Friday, January 30, 2015

Understanding Law

Providentially, a friend of mine recently gave me an article he wrote back in 1996 about understanding law.  He asked me if I would type it up for him because he had lost the original electronic version so I did.  I was so impressed that I am pasting it here for posterity's reference.
Understanding Law


What I am about to share is intended firstly for Christians, and secondly for any who have grave concerns as to where our country is heading.  It is first to Christians because we should demonstrate the Righteous Standard with our lives (because of His Life In us). Yet we who should be teachers need to be taught.
My own journey which brought me to these things began about 20 years ago.  At that time, the LORD began to impress upon me a conviction.  I had no precedent, no person I was following, almost no support, lots of conflict over it, and only one verse in the Bible to refer to.  It’s often then LORD’S way to call us to obedience without understanding.  It was years later, after many testings and trials over holding to his conviction, that He began to unfold an understanding which included a wealth of Scriptural testimony.
My concern is that Christians in this country today are sorely lacking in two very important areas:
Knowing God’s Law-Psalms 119:1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.
Knowing the power of the Holy Spirit-Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.
Speaking to the religious leaders of his day, in Matthew 22:29 “Jesus replied, ‘You are in error because you know not the Scriptures nor the power of God’” We suffer from the same problem.
Many today, in trying to figure out the problems and solutions needed in our country, are beginning to relearn some aspects of God’s Law. There is a cursory recognition that our Constitution was largely build on this foundation, that our Creator had a few things to say about civil government and human interactions and right living.  These are subjects every Christian should be well versed in, because they are primary subjects throughout the Scriptures.
Psalms 1:1-2 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD and on His law he meditates day and night.
Yet in many ways we have adopted pagan law, pagan ways of thought and operation, and often pagan values, and we have known so little of God’s Law that we don’t even realize the difference.  We barely know the elementary teachings of Christ as in Hebrews 5:12 and 6:2, and are not trained and mature to distinguish good from evil.  We are part of the problem.
Understanding Law is one of the most important, most foundational needs in our life.  Not only is it in force and applicable to all areas of life at all times, but it is the necessary context for understanding our need for a Savior.  What do I mean?  Sin is the transgression of the Law. (1 John 3:4)  All have sinned. (Romans 3:23)  Law demands justice, transgressions will be punished. (Jeremiah 17:10 & Galatians 6:7) And the law will always be upheld. (Matthew 5:17-18 & Luke 16:17)  We now have a context within which to see the need for a Savior, and to understand the nature of what He did for us.  Yes, Christ is the answer.  Galatians 3:@4 says the purpose of the law was to lead us to Christ.  (& see Romans 2:18-20) The Law is a framework, the backdrop.  It’s true that God has written these things in our hearts (Romans 2:15), and it’s also true that we each have a God-shaped vacuum in our hearts that only God can fill.  Yet unless we come to the knowledge of truth and respond to it properly, it will count for little in saving and redeeming us.
What’s presented herein are some of those foundational principles of Law as drawn from Scripture.  In Section 6 there is a brief discussion of the power of the Holy Spirit, where it is shown that the only way to fulfill God’s Law unto righteousness is through the life of His Holy Spirit within us, which we receive as a deposit when we repent and come under the blood of Christ (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

Section 1: Law is and Law is Supreme

Our whole universe is ordered and functions by Law.  From the law of gravity to the law of ‘you reap what you sow’ this is true.  ‘In the beginning God created’ (Genesis 1:1), and “God said ‘Let there be light’“ (v.3), and “day and night” (v.4), and  “seasons and days and years” (v.14).  God established and ordered these things and they are set. We can’t change them.  He has ordered and established all of life, including the laws by which men should live and interact.  Therefore, Law is a science.  It can’t be “enacted” by us, only discovered.  The notion that we shape law and make it what it is is a pagan concept.  The U.S. Supreme Court said in 1993, “There has been no evolution of law since 1973 which says that we should change the decision (of Row v. Wade).” This reflects a transition from a Godly to a pagan base, away from a standard of right and wrong (such as the Ten Commandments) to a socialistic, relativistic, baseless approach.
Galatians 6:7 says “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” God’s Law is a force.  Choose to ignore the law of gravity by walking off a cliff and see what happens.  It therefore behooves us to discover the rules by which men must live from the One who established them.  We must not be so foolish as to think we can do better.
In about 1620 Samuel Rutherford wrote a book titled “Lex Rex”, meaning Law is King, as opposed to Rex Lex or ‘the King is Law’.  This simply follows Deuteronomy 17:18-20 where God commanded that the king of Israel know the book of the Law and abide by it.  Just because he was the king didn’t mean he could do as he pleased.  God said the king was His servant and must rule justly and according to Law.
James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.
Romans 13:1b,2,4.. for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  .. For he is God’s servant to do you good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God’s servant, and agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Psalms 94:1-2, 7-12 O LORD, the God who avenges,
O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
Pay back to the proud what they deserve.
They say, “The LORD does not see;
The God of Jacob pays no heed.”
Take heed you senseless ones among the people;
You fool, when will you become wise?
Does He who implanted the ear no hear?
Does He who formed the eye not see?
Does He who disciplines nations not punish?
Doe HE who teaches man lack knowledge?
The LORD knows the thoughts of man;
He knows that they are futile.
Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD
The man you teach from you law.
It is interesting to note the phrase ‘the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” found in our Declaration of Independence.  In Blackstone’s Commentaries, a work the Founding Fathers were quite familiar with, he says the Law of Nature is the will of his (man’s) Maker, and his binding on all men, and dictated by God Himself.  The Law of Nature refers to the will of God observable in creation, while the Law of Nature’s God refers to the divine law which is revealed throughout the Scripture.  This Law is of course superior to any other.  It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, an all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all the authority mediately or immediately, from this original.
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen. Being understood from what has been made, so that men re without excuse.

Section 2 – Authority and Jurisdiction

Authority is a most important principle.  When you have authority to do something, it means you have the right, the legitimate standing to do it.  Jurisdiction is defined as authority or legal power in general or sometimes as the range or sphere of authority.  Ninety percent of the law is jurisdiction.
Authority is of two types: original and delegated.  Original authority comes from being a creator/originator.  If I paint a picture then it is mine to keep, loan, give away, sell, or destroy.  O I can delegate someone to do all these things for me.  Proper delegated authority can only come from a proper source-from one who properly had it.  For example, I cannot delegate anyone authority to murder because I don’t have the right to murder.
Scripture declares that God Almighty is Most High over all the earth.  In Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar had to learn that “the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.” (Daniel 4:25, 32, 34-35)  God has original authority/Jurisdiction.  He created the world. He determined its bounds, its order and laws, both spiritual and physical.  Only He has the right to delegate authority on earth to men.
In Matthew 21:23 the Pharisees rightly asked Christ “By what authority do you do these things?” (Also in Luke 20:1-8) They understood authority.  (They just didn’t want to believe his answer.) The centurion understood when he asked Christ to heal his servant.  In Luke 7:6-8 (& Matthew 8:6-10) he said “I have those under my authority and I am under authority myself…”  So Christ need only say the word and the servant would be healed, because he believed Christ had the authority to say so.  When Christ drove the moneychangers from the temple in John 2, they asked him “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” (He answered “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days.’ V. 18-19).  In Matthew 9:2-7 when the paralytic was lowered through the roof Jesus said “Your sins are forgiven.” then he said, “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, get up, take your mat and go home.”  God the Father is Most High, and His Son Jesus Christ declared in Matthew 28:18 that “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. (by the Father).”
Authority (exousia in the Greek) is not to be confused with power (dynamis in the Greek).  Power refers to might or strength, not right or legitimacy.  Christ was given both power and authority over all the earth.
Ephesians 1:20-21 … which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in the heavenly realms, for above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the age to come. (also see Colossians 2:10)
Christ gave his disciples authority to cast out demons in his Name. “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” (Matthew 10:11) The demons were still more powerful than the disciples were as men, but he the delegated authority Christ gave them was from a proper source, and the demons had to obey—Christ’s power was behind it.
Jurisdiction also carries with it the concept of limits and bounds, particularly delegated authority.  If it is outside your jurisdiction then you have no proper authority over it.  Since God has original jurisdiction over all the earth, then the only proper delegated authorities are those which God has ordained.  Romans 13:1says “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.”  Any other claim to authority is only usurped or self-appointed, and should be resisted/rejected as improper, unlawful, invalid, i.e. not of God (more on this in Section 5).  In fact, God specifically commanded the Israelites not to obey pagan law.
Leviticus 18:1-5 The LORD said to Moses, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God.  You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you.  Do not follow their practices.  You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees.  I am the LORD you God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them.  I am the LORD.
Notice too in Romans 13 that the word ‘authorities’ is plural.  God ordained several authorities on earth not only civil government.  Each has its jurisdictional sphere, its limits and bounds.  To name a few; He ordained the conscience within man, the family with parents over children and husband over wife, the elders in the church, and the civil government to punish wrongdoers (criminals) within a nation.  Each sphere has its assigned duties and responsibilities for which there is accountability.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.  They keep watch over you as men who must give account.
As with any other sin, this applies to doing what you should and not doing what you shouldn’t.  This jurisdictional model necessitates that you stay within your delegated sphere.  To overstep these limits is to be in a position of not having proper authority, to be out of God’s established order, to be violating God’s Law.  For example, I have the responsibility and duty to train up my children, but not my neighbor’s children.  I have no right to force a man to violate his conscience before God, and I have no authority personally to punish a criminal.  Likewise, the civil government has no authority to command me how to raise my children, or to regulate the teachings and functions of the church and its elders. (How to respond when a victim of such transgressions will be discussed in Sections 5-7)

Section 3 – Contracts

The third foundation of Law lies in understanding the difference between natural law and contract law.  True Law is universal.  It applies to everyone at all times.  Also it requires little in the way of actions from us (don’t steal, don’t kill, etc.).  You are free to act tithing this framework, and free to enter any agreements you may so choose.  Upon doing so, you are now bound by the terms of the agreement.
Galatians 3:15 Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life.  Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.
You are now under contract law.  The Law requires us to speak truthfully, to not bear false witness. (Commandment 9) God frowns heavily on unfulfilled vows.
Ecclesiastes 5:4-6  When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it.  He has no pleasure in fools: fulfill your wow.  It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.  Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.  And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake” Why should God be angry at what you san and destroy the work of your hands?
This difference between natural and contract law is reflected in our legal system by the courts of law and courts of equity.  It is seen in salvation, in that Christ’s blood brings us under a new covenant/contract with God.
Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance-now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
Under the Law all men are sinners going to judgment.
Romans 3:23 ..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Hebrews 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.
The old covenant made a covering for sins through the blood of animals, but the new covenant made a better way, and through Christ’s blood paid the just requirements of the Law.
Hebrews 9:12-14 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves: but he entered the Most Holy place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.  The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.  How much more, then, will the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleans you consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
The terms of this covenant are laid out in Jeremiah 31:31-34, 7:23, and Hebrews 8:8-12.
The terms a valid contract can never violate natural law, and they deal with things you have no requirement at natural law to perform, but once you agree to the contract, it becomes law for you.  Any legitimate contract must be entered freely and knowingly - Coercion or fraud are grounds for nullifying a contract.
The Constitution for the U.S. was a contract, as was the Mayflower Compact.  In fact, our founding fathers weren’t rebellious.  They simply declare that King George had so often and in so many ways violated the contracts (Charters, Compacts) by which they came to America, that they wer no longer valid and thus rightfully and lawfully nullified.  Rebellion would have been wrong, but to hold themselves and each other, including the king, accountable to their word/agreements shows respect to the law and honor to God.

Section 4 – Justice

Another foundation of God’s Law is the principle of Justice.  Simply put, it is that you reap what you sow.
Isaiah 3:10-11 Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.  Woe to the wicked!  Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.
This is an all-inclusive law of the universe, a law of cause and effect.  It is true in the physical world, in morality, in society, in relationships, etc.  All of life has its laws, its order is established by a Creator.  Justice is the application of the deserved rewards and punishments of obeying or breaking those laws/order.  By definition, then, there is required a defined standard of right and wrong.  This is I not a world of no absolutes, of relativism, of merely differing opinions of right and wrong.  Nor where the State decides right and wrong, and can change its mind (evolve).  James 4:12 states there is one Lawmaker and Judge.  Accountability is a reality.  Because justice reigns, you will reap what you sow.  So remember, you can choose to ignore the Law, but you cannot choose to ignore the effects of ignoring the Law.
Jesus made a very profound statement when criticizing the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, He said they had ignored the “weightier matters of the law”. What are these weightier matters? --- Justice, Mercy, Faithfulness.
Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You give a tenth of your spices-mint, dill, and cumin.  But you have neglected the more important matters of the law- justice, mercy, and faithfulness.  You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
This is almost a direct quote of Micah 6:8, which reads:
He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Justice is a very high and important matter to the Most High.
Isaiah 61:8 For I the LORD, love justice.  I hate robbery and iniquity.
Amos 5:15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.  Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy.
Psalms 11:5&7 The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.  For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.
Justice is necessary to the Law of Love; to treat anyone unjustly is not love.
James 2:8-9, 12-12 IF you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” you are doing right.  But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers… Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom (i.e. Royal Law), because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.

Section 5 – Submit vs Resist

A corollary to the “reap what you sow” principle is to understand Scripture’s admonition to submit and to resist.  This is the simple application of knowing what to sow and what not to sow.  Scripture commands both-submit and resist-and defines when to do which.
Proverbs 28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law resist them.
Many references call us to submit (to one another, to husband, to masters, etc.).  Likewise, Paul said in referring to false brothers in Galatians 2:5, “..but we did not submit to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.”  James 4:7 says to “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil.”  That is a good theme verse of the Bible. Realizing to o that Go’s nature and methods are opposite those of Satan’s , we also see that whatever is not of God’s nature and order was resist.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
Galatians 5:16, 18-23  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature… But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, self ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Against such things there is no law.
I want to clearly state that the use of the term ‘resist’ as in these verse is not speaking of aggression or attacking.  To resist is not to destroy in an offensive sense.  Rather to resist is to refuse to cooperate, to not participate, not give you assent, not allow entrance (into your life).  To resist the devil or sinful nature means you will have nothing to do with it.  It is not a passive response, for the way to resist is to actively choose the alternative, to submit to God.
Many references command us to hate evil.
Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Amos 5:14-15 Seek good, not evil, that you may live.  Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you just as you say he is.  Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.
Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness but rather expose them.
In truth, we give strength to any lie/evil whenever we acquiesce, accept, comply, cooperate—in short, when we fail to resist it.  We don’t have to actively choose, support, or defend it.  To simply not stand against tit strengthens it, and brings us into disobedience to God for not resisting.  Edmond Burke said, “All that’s required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.
There are a few other points about submit/resist that should also be noted.  Submit is not identical to obey.  It is possible to submit and disobey at the same time.  David recognized and submitted to Saul as King over Israel, yet he sidestepped Saul’s spear, and evaded capture time and again.  Christ submitted unto death on the cross, though He did not obey everything Herod or the Sanhedrin said.  He obeyed God always.  An excellent definition of submit is in 1 Peter 2:19-23
For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.  But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.  Instead, he entrusted himself to him how judges justly.
Also, resist is not to rebel.  Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.  1 Samuel 15:23a “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.”  Rebellion against any of God’s ordained order/authority is sin.  However, to fail to resist sin, evil, wickedness, etc. is also sin.  Even when it emanates from a God ordained ‘position’.
Which brings up a third differentiation—to resist should be only against the errant part.  Jurisdiction can be in at least three different spheres: geographical, person, or subject matter.  In Acts 4, Peter and John stand before the Sanhedrin.  They don’t argue against their geographical jurisdiction as elders over Israel or jurisdiction over their person as Israelites, only against their subject matter jurisdiction.  That is, they had no proper authority to command Peter and John to not speak or teach in the Name of Jesus.  Therefore Peter and John would resist that command and obey God instead.

Whenever someone oversteps the bounds of their proper delegated authority, we don’t thereafter deny them any recognition.  We continue to respect their proper authority, only resisting the errant part.  Likewise, a position of authority may be valid, but the person in it may be a scoundrel.  We still show respect for the position even if we must resist the improper actions of the scoundrel (David and Saul)
Another important concept to understand is the difference between an interest, a right, and a sacred trust.  In Law, a right always supersedes an interest and a sacred trust always supersedes a right.  My neighbor (or the State) may have an interest in my property, and a compelling interest in my children (their education, for example).  I can sell or grant them my property if I want to—it’s mine and I have the right.  But they have no right to take it from me just because they want (covet) it.  However, my children aren’t ‘mine’, but God has ‘entrusted’ them to my care for a time, and commanded me to train them up.  Therefore I cannot give my children over to my neighbor/State no matter how compelling their interest might be. (Leviticus 20:1-5,7) And their compelling interest gives them no right to command me how to train my children.
With this quick review of some of the most basic principles of Law, let’s now examine a few applications.

Section 6 – Spiritual Applications

God’s Law and order rules in the spirit world just as it does in the physical world.  This is easily seen by examining the enemy, Satan.  If there was a way around God’s sovereignty, he’s be the one to know.  Yet Satan himself recognized the supremacy of God and His Law.  Did he not come ask permission in order to touch Job (Job 1:6-12 & 2:1-6)?  And he asked permission to sift Peter (Luke 22:31).
Satan also recognizes delegated as well as original authority.  For when Christ was on earth, the demons cried out who he was, until Christ commanded them to be silent (which they did).
Mark 1:27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this?”  a new teaching- and  with authority!  He even gives order to evil spirits and they obey him”.
When Christ said, “Get the behind me, Satan.” (Mark 8:33) did we hear any backtalk?  The demons submitted to the disciples after Christ had given them authority to cast them out in His Name (Matthew 10:1) Yet the demons also knew ‘pretended’ authority.
Acts 19:13-16 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon possessed.  They would say, “In the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Severn sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.  One day the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?”  Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and over powered them all.  He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
Satan also made an interesting claim when tempting Jesus.
Luke 4:5-7 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.  And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.  So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”
This is true—mostly.  (He forgot to mention that one day these ‘worldly kingdoms’ will all perish, and he will end up with only the lake of fire.)  Satan has his own jurisdiction or kingdom.  He is prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2).  His realm covers all sin.  He was a murderer from the beginning and the father of all lies (John 8:44).   John 1:34 tells us “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”  Therefore, whenever we sin, we enter Satan’s jurisdiction and he now has authority over us in that area.  We have left the protective jurisdiction of God and are now subject to His just judgment.   It will come at its appointed time; Stan knows that his time is short (Revelation 12:12).  If we never sinned, Satan could not touch us without God’s permission.  But every time we sin we give Satan more ground/authority in our life. (A true believer will confess and repent daily and allow him no such ground.)
Romans 3:19-20 New we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.  Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
There is a remedy for this.  While the Law teaches us we deserve death, it also leads us to Christ.
Galatians 3:21-14 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not!  For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.  But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe,   Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.  So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
Christ said he didn’t come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-20).  And so he did.  He paid the just penalty for our sins through shedding his blood, to satisfy justice.
Romans 3:21-26 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.  He did this to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith?  Not at all!! Rather, we uphold the law.
Remember, a contract is not law, but when entered it becomes law for the agreeing parties.  Through Christ we are now in a contract/covenant (or promise, as in Galatians 3:21 above) situation with God, i.e. the new covenant by the blood of Christ and by faith.  Under this covenant, He puts His Spirit within us (2 Corinthians 1:21-22 & 5:5), and writes His law on our hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:10-11 & 10:16).
We will now fulfill God’s Law, not by the supervision of the law/written code and human effort (Galatians 3:3, 25), but by faith and by the power of the Holy Spirit within us (Galatians 5:18; Ephesians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:5; & Romans 2:29).
Romans 8:2-4 Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit.
So then, we are in a battle of two laws, two jurisdictions, two paths.  God has provided a remedy out of Satan’s jurisdiction (realm of sin) for all who will choose it, through confession, repentance, accepting the finished work of Christ’s blood, and living then by the new covenant under his blood in the power and leading of his Spirit.
Now let’s recall the submit/resist principle.  Satan hates to lose people from his side and is continually roaming looking for an opportunity to tempt and devour.  It becomes an everyday and all time thing for us to examine all that comes our way, and discern whether it is of God or not, and then submit or resist accordingly.  It is imperative that we continue to study and learn of God and His Law (with the help of the Holy Spirit’s enlightening) so that we will recognize the source and nature of things.  The enemy’s fiery darts can take endlessly deceiving forms from fleshly lusts, pride of life, our good works done only in the flesh, voices without, putting thoughts in our head, even supernatural experiences where Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).  If we slip at some point though, all is not lost.  Colossians 2:6 tells us that “as you received Christ, so live in him.” - i.e. confess, repent, be cleansed by his blood.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
So if the Holy Spirit convicts you of something in your life, then submit to him and resist the temptation to procrastinate, or justify yourself, and thereby grieve the Holy Spirit.

Section 7 – Civil Government Applications

In dealing with the subject of civil government, let me first point out that every Scriptural reference to submitting to governing authorities also specifically commands that we “do right” (Hebrews 13:2 & 1 Peter 2:15).  And this means ‘right’ in God’s eyes.
1 Timothy 1:8-11 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.  We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers - and for whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God.
God ordained civil government and defined their duties and demanded that they operate according to His Law and Justice.  When they don’t, we still obey God by doing what He says is right – even if we suffer for it.
1 Peter 2: 16-17 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.  Show proper respect for everyone; love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
….3:13-15  Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.  Do not fear what they fear, do not be frightened.  But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
…4:15-16, 19  If you suffer it should not be as a murderer or a thief or any kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.  So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
If you suffer for doing good and endure it, this is ‘commendable before God’ (1 Peter 2:19-20)
John the Baptist was imprisoned and then beheaded for telling Herod it was unlawful for him to have his brother’s wife (Mark 5:18).  Whose law do you think John was referring to?  Roman law?  In Roman law Caesar was god.  It was no problem to declare divorce and remarriage ‘legal’.
Remember also that civil government’s jurisdiction has limits.  Whenever they try to command/enforce things God never delegated them authority to do (such as meddle in a parent’s training of their children), they are outside their ordained authority and must be resisted.  Many times in Scripture rulers are kept in check because they feared the people (Matthew 21:26, 46; 14:5-9; 26:5 for a few).  Whenever the people of any nation/government refuse to do wrong and steadfastly do right, even in the face of force and punishment, government is weakened and held accountable for being out of line.  But whenever people obey like sheep whatever they are told, and not follow their conscience before God, evil flourishes, because there is no resistance.  And words count for little without actions.
It’s interesting to study when Jesus was before Pilate.  Here is a question: Did Pilate sin in putting Jesus to death on the cross?  He tried to wash his hands of the guilt, yet he was the one with the authority to decide life or death.  The Pharisees came to Pilate because they wanted the death penalty, and that was outside their authority (John 18:31).  In John 19:10 Pilate said to Jesus, “Don’t you realize I have power to free you or crucify you?”  Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given you from above.” (v.11)  Does that mean Pilate had the authority and could do it without sin?  Did Jesus submit to death because Pilate’s authority is valid?  No.  Jesus submitted to death because he was being obedient to God the Father.  In John 10:18 Jesus said “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my Father.”  There were other times when they sought to arrest him but Jesus hid himself because His time had not yet come.  In fact, Jesus refused to obey and Pilate, Herod, and the Sanhedrin a number of times while never denying they had some legitimate authority.  (Matthew 26:62-63 & 27:12=14; Mark 14:60-61 & 15:3-5; Luke 23:9; John 18:19-24 & 19:8-10)  Yes, Pilate did sin in crucifying Jesus.  In John 19:11 Jesus said “…the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” But what was Pilate’s sin?  Injustice—he condemned an innocent man.  And he knew he was innocent (Matthew 27:19, 23-24), but he did so to please the people (Mark 15:15).
Isaiah 10:1-3 Woe to those who make unjust laws, and to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.  What will you do on the day of reckoning… (before God)?
But now let’s look at a present day situation in our own land—abortion.  The sixth Commandment says “Thou shalt not murder.” That the government and courts sanction it does not make abortion right. Many acknowledge this, but say, “the government hasn’t commanded me to abort, so there is nothing to resist yet.”  But evil is seldom so up front in its entrance.  It finds a thousand ways to confuse us and compromise us so that the distinction is muddled and the line you draw is always “not here yet”.  For example, if you try to help save a baby from being aborted, they won’t arrest you for resisting aborting.  They may arrest you for trespassing, disturbing the peace, blocking traffic, harassing, obstruction of justice (sic), congregating without a permit, or violating some other zoning regulation or city ordinance.  You can preach against abortion all you want – just do so in your licensed churches (where you can be regulated if you become a real threat to public policy).  Neither Caesar, Hitler, nor Communist Russia ever made a law against preaching Jesus, as long as you were in a licensed church (5001c3).  Of course they may have wanted to approve the sermons at times.
I choose to look at abortion because, in America, so many of the deceptions used to draw us away from our Godly foundations are reflected here.  We have a government by contract.  Our founding fathers gave us a system whereby we could be responsible and free.  The Preamble to the Constitution says “… and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution…” But, like Esau, we have treated our birthright as of little worth (Genesis 25:29-34).  We have chosen back into serfdom, mostly through contracts, handouts, and accepting pretended authority.  Therefore, in Roe v. Wade the Court ruled the only way it could.  Why?  Because Roe was a federal citizen/subject/serf, not a free American under the Republic.  Why do I say this?  What do I mean?
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution reads “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”.
1.       Obviously the U.S. citizenship is federal, as it is in addition to any possible State Citizenship.
2.       This citizenship is a subject/serf type because it is created and granted by the federal U.S., and whatever they create they have the power (original authority) to regulate or even destroy.  Contrarily, a Preamble Citizen declared their rights to be unalienable, from God.  These people created the federal government, by contract, and retain the right to regulate, even abolish, the government, not vise versa;
3.       How do you again this type of federal citizenship?  You are either born, naturalized, and/or subject to their jurisdiction.  This third one begin the way most people are deceived into it.  That is, whenever one receives federal welfare, or enters a contract with them for some benefit (social security), they become subject to their jurisdiction.  Row was on welfare, had a Social Security number, and was in such respects under their jurisdiction, and therefore was treated by the Court as a federal citizen.  So what did the 14th Amendment say?
4.       “All persons born…”  An unborn child had no standing before the Court that it could be protected.
But what does the Preamble say?  “… for our Posterity…”  And when does posterity begin?  Arguably it si in the loins of man, but certainly posterity exists and is recognized by the law at conception.  They (the founding fathers) certainly were securing the blessings of liberty for descendents as yet unborn.  Had the case before the Court been in this context, the Court would have had to rule differently.
This is the manner by which we have been deceived and misled into pagan law.  We did not understand the principles of True Law well enough to see what was happening to us.  We have accepted pretended authority.  Most of what the federal government does today is done through the loopholes:  Article 1 Section 8 Clause 17 of the Constitution, coupled with the 14th Amendment; through Treaties (which become ‘law of the land’); through Executive Orders and declared State of Emergency (suspends the Constitution); and/or through contracts and handouts with the people and States.  And we have sat by while they have found ways to ‘make legal’ things which would never be lawful before God or our Constitution.  And we haven’t resisted, we haven’t refused to participate.  They have been out of line and we haven’t held them accountable.
Social Security is another example.  It is the area in which I had a conviction from God almost 20 years ago.  It is against God’s order (I Timothy 5:8).  It undermines the family.  It was never an ordained function of government.  The Constitution gave the government no authority for such a program (except in D.C.-article 1, section 8 clause 17).  And contrary to what most Americans have been misled to believe, there is not law requiring anyone to get an SSN.  Therefore, if you get one, you must have volunteered into this contract (take-my-money-take-care-of-me-later) with government.  The contract now becomes binding and enforceable in court.  The Feds gain great power through this accept-our-money-accept-our-regulation type approach.  Too often people have chosen the handout rather than be responsible and free, with faith in God.  Why not simply opt out, stop volunteering, and trust God instead?

Section 8 – Major Principles to Apply

We must begin to study and know God’s Law, that we would know how to live rightly, and that we can avoid deceptions.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
We must start with the first and greatest commandment, to love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied: ‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  this is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
Galatians 5:14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Jesus said that if we love Him we will obey Him and listen to Him (John 14:15 & 10:1-3) And He promised to give us a Counselor to help us and to be with us forever (John 14:16)
We need to seek Him and study Scripture to learn God’s order and character.  Examine everything that comes our way (like as in testing the spirits in 1 John 4:!), to see what source it is from, if it is proper or not.  Ask ‘by what authority?’  Always be ready to submit if it’s proper and resist if it’s not.  Seek the LORD’s direction and walk in obedience to Him.

Resist through non-compliance and non-cooperation.  You don’t need to fight or attack anyone.  Simply don’t assent or acquiesce to evil.  If something is not right and of God, resist the pressures that try to force you to do it anyway.  Satan’s methodology is to manipulate, force, intimidate, cause fear, etc.  Begin to cancel and revoke all ungodly contracts and entanglements-written, verbal, even spiritual.  Abjure is the term at law.  It means to repent: i.e. Yes I did it; It was wrong; I repent; and I won’t do it again.

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