Paul, the apostle, fully preached the Gospel of the Grace of God that is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth (2 Timothy 4:17; Romans 1:16; Ephesians 3:1-2). He received his message by visions and revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 12:1,7; Galatians 1:11,12; Ephesians 3:3). This message contains the preaching of the cross, that is, unto us who are saved the "power of God" (1Corinthians 1:18).
But before salvation, we were all under the dominion and rule of the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. We walked according to the course of this world which is established by Satan, the prince of the power of the invisible realm, manifesting the lusts of our flesh (Ephesians 2:2-3). As such, we possessed no capacity to function under the power ordained of God, the higher power.
But thanks be unto God, Who is rich in mercy, for when we, by faith, relied upon the accomplishments of His Son upon the cross, were delivered from the power of darkness and translated into His glorious Heavenly Kingdom\Places (Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 1:3; 2:4-6). God, through the working of the Holy Spirit, placed (baptized) us in the One Body of Christ, under the power and authority of Jesus Christ as our HEAD (1Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 2:12).
This good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day arose from the dead is the only Gospel that saves the soul (1Corinthians 15:3-4). Sinners who believe are now counted as saints.
Let us now examine Romans 13:1-7---
These commands of Paul unto the Roman saints reveals that they were to be under subjection to the higher powers that were ordained of God. Please note that Paul is not addressing lost mankind nor religious folks apart from Christ, but the saints that dwelt in Rome...remember, only saved people who are in the One Body are addressed in this Romans Epistle (Romans 1:6; 12:4,5). Only the members of the Body have the translation into God's jurisdiction and were instructed by God through Paul to be in subjection (1Corinthians 6:20; 2Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 5:21). Put another way, this 13th chapter of Romans contains Paul's commandment for the One Body of Christ.
Verse one states, "the powers that be are ordained of God." These are the higher or superior powers that are of God and ordained of God. They are set in orderly arrangement. God established this orderly arrangement (ordination) with a purpose in mind. That purpose being the edification process or the building up of the Body of Christ. This will be explained later in this article.
These powers had delegated authority and were privileged to exercise power since the authority they operated under did not originate within themselves. Thus, these ministers of God were given authority to function in a proper manner so they could discharge their duty and accomplish God's purpose. As such, they had no power within themselves to claim power or the exercising of power.
Historically and of greater importance doctrinally, Paul the apostle of and to the Gentiles is the higher power due to his office of apostleship with it's corresponding Gospel (Romans 11:13; 1 Timothy 2:6-7). Paul with the Gospel of the Grace of God in the Dispensation of the Grace of God for the Gentiles was the one sent of God (Galatians 1:15,16; 1Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 3:1,2).
Paul revealed his understanding as he wrote concerning his delegated authority and the use of his power within the Body of Christ:
Romans 15:15 - Paul wrote to the Romans because of the grace given unto him of God that placed them within his authority/power.
1Corinthians 3:5-7 - Paul the apostle states that he is not anything.
2Corinthians 10:8 - Paul acknowledged his authority and power was given him and that it was for the edification of the Body of Christ and not their destruction.
2Corinthians 12:11 - Paul further states it this way, "though I be nothing".
2Corinthians 13:3,4 - Christ spoke through Paul and he lived with Christ by the power of God toward the Corinthians.
Ephesians 3:8 - Paul claims to be less than the least of all saints.
Colossians 1:29 - Paul's energetic labor was according to Christ's working in him.
It is clear that Paul grasped with humbleness of spirit and boldness of pen that his position of authority with power was ordained of God (Romans 1:5; 2Corinthians 10:8; 1Timothy 2:7; 2Timothy 1:11).
In the King James Bible the English word power and powers in Romans 13:1; 2Corinthians 13:10 and the English word authority in 2Corinthians 10:8 are translated from the same Greek word. Thus, in 2Corinthians 10:8 Paul writes that his "authority" was given him by the Lord. In Chapter 13, verse 10 of 2Corinthians, Paul also states that he would use sharpness amongst the Corinthians according to the "power" which the Lord had given him. In Paul's mind both the authority and power came from God.
There is a three-fold cord in Scriptures that can not be broken concerning God investing His chosen mouthpiece with authority/power. The Record shows God vesting authority in Moses in the Dispensation of Law during Time Past; and He had also committed unto Peter, the primary prophetic Kingdom apostle, the 'keys' to the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, with Peter using those keys during the Pentecostal era as recorded in the early chapters of Acts; and God had also committed unto Paul the Dispensation of the Grace of God, with it's corresponding authority/power to accomplish the establishment of the Sound Doctrines of Grace Truth (1Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 3:2; Colossians 1:25; compare Acts 13:4-12).
To review what we have studied so far--
The 13th Chapter of Romans is addressed to every soul within the One Body of Christ, which is the Church in this Dispensation of the Grace of God.
2. God had placed in orderly arrangement a higher power/authority to which all saints were to be in subjection. The higher power was not any man within his own power; for man is nothing. Because of God's design for edification of the One Body of Christ, the higher powers were men who had been granted stewardship of the Mystery revelation with Paul being the first one in this Dispensation of the Grace of God (1Corinthians 4:1-2; 1 Timothy 1:12-16).
Paul was the higher power because of the form of Sound Doctrine that God was depositing with him (2Corinthians 12:1,7; 1 Timothy 1:11; Titus 1:3, 9). Thus, the higher authority delegated unto Paul, is in reality for us in the 20th century, that form of sound words contained in sound doctrine which produces sound faith when sinners believe his Gospel (i.e Scriptures rightly divided).
God had set (ordained) some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers within the Body of Christ to facilitate the edification process as the Word of Truth was being given to Paul (Ephesians 4:11-14). These men labored in harmony with Paul. They were co-laborers with him as he exercised his apostolic authority in directing their ministry (1Thessalonians 3:1-2; Philippians 2:19-25; 1Timothy 1:3; Titus 1:5).
Within themselves, these men were not the authority, but because of the deposit of Truth placed into their trust by God through Paul's ministry, they could speak and rebuke with all authority (1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:2; 4:2-5; Titus 2:15).
Submission, Obedience, and Life
In Romans 13:2-5, there are two basic issues presented concerning how the saints could respond to the higher powers of verse one. Of course, this is consistent with the other admonitions given by Paul throughout this Roman Epistle.
For example, in Romans chapters 6-8, Paul lays before each saint the newness of life that we have been raised to walk in. A saint can either choose to walk "after" the flesh or walk "after" the Spirit of God. One walk is a daily life in subjection to God and His revealed Word under Grace. The other, is resistance to God and His authority found under Paul's ministry and written in his epistles (1 Corinthians 14:37; 2Corinthians 13:3).
Likewise, in Romans 13 the charge is to find obedience unto God through willingly subjecting oneself unto God's higher power/rulers/ministers. The opposite to this is to resist that which God had ordained to be the power.
THE TWO BASIC ISSUES
A Saint Walking After the FLESH:
These believers resist the power/authority of God - Romans 12:2.
These believers resist the ordinance (arrangement) of God - v 2. The ordinance of God reveals the will and purpose of God so the saint can align his manner of living so that he may function as a full-grown son of God manifesting Grace and Truth (Romans 8:29; 15:8; 2Corinthians 3:18).
These believers that resist receive unto themselves damnation or judgment:
During the Acts period as Romans was being written, Paul exercised his authority to bring physical signs of destruction unto those who opposed the preaching of His gospel. There was also a great spiritual loss in the blessedness of grace reigning within the local assemblies when they rejected and spoke against Paul (Acts 13:11; 1 Corinthians 4:21; 5:3-5;11:27-30; 2Corinthians 12:12-13:3,10; Galatians 4:15).
The post-Acts period marked the departure of physical signs being manifested, but the magnitude of the spiritual loss has increased as the saints, since Paul's day, have consistently rejected the Authority of God found in the Pauline epistles. As a whole the Church which is His Body has preferred the demonstration of God's power as recorded in Acts chapters 1-8. The Body of Christ has neglected, yes even changed, the truth concerning "...the powers that be are ordained of God." Yet, there remains a day when all the Body will appear before the Bema Seat of Christ to give account (1Corinthians 3:10-4:2; 2Corinthians 5:10).
Understand that when resistance is given, it is to resist:
The power of God
The ordinance of God
The rulers of God (1Tim 5:17)
The ministers of God (1Thessalonians 3:2)
A Saint Walking After the SPIRIT:
These believers were subject unto the higher power/authority of God-Romans 13:3.
These believers were to be affected for good by the power as the will and purpose of God was manifested and understood by the saints. The powers of God were to exercise their authority in such an exacting manner that the saints would experience spiritual soundness, goodness, and profit (Philippians 2:19-21; 1Timothy 4:15,16).
These believers would receive praise of the powers that be:
During the apostolic journeys of Paul as he had just left the brethren in the midst of persecution, he often sent his co-laborers or ministers of God to run checks upon those saints he left behind. As these ministers of God brought back good reports of the saints submitting to Paul's authority, this news refreshed Paul and brought his praise unto the same (1Thessalonians 3:1-10; Philippians 2:19-23; 2Corinthians 7:6-16).
It was the design of God to use men invested with delegated power/authority contained in Sound Doctrine to bring maturity and edification to the membership of the Body of Christ by the POWER OF GOD (1Corinthians 2:5). Romans 13:4 records that this is good. The spirit-filled ministers of God would be faithful stewards of the Truth committed to Paul and would not change the Doctrine (2Timothy 2:2).
When subjection is given, it is to submit to:
The revealed Word of Truth
The authority of Paul, the apostle
The speaking of Christ in Paul
The power of Christ in one's life
The warning is clear and the results very evident, that apart from the leaders in the Body of Christ recognizing God's design for BUILDING UP the Church (not building the Church) through the Mystery committed to Paul, the impact of their ministries would be to the evil/bad no matter how Biblical their teaching.
Properly, the teaching/laboring should accommodate God's leadership in teaching the Word of Truth rightly divided. Years later when Paul wrote his second epistle to Timothy this very issue was expressed in 2Timothy 2:15:
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Leaders within the Body of Christ must teach the Word of Truth rightly divided making clear the differences between Mystery Truth and Prophetic Truth, the Body of Christ and National Israel, the Heavenly Program and the Earthly Program, and Grace and Law.
To sum up what we have covered so far is to say that God ordained Paul the apostle with delegated authority to be God's mouth piece during this present Dispensation of Grace. Paul had the signs of an apostle wrought in him. He used this power upon the lost and the saved to bring the understanding that Christ was speaking through him. Paul could and did use that power in a destructive way as well as for edification (2Corinthians 10:8; 13:2, 10; Acts 13:11).
Concerning the higher powers/rulers/ministers of God as recorded in Romans 13:3-6, Paul also sent others such as Titus, Timothy, and Epaphroditus as those ordained ministers of God to confirm the saints with the issues of His Gospel. These men were the "gifts" God gave to the Body of Christ as recorded in 1Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11.
The identifying mark of the true ministers of God would be that they would not change the Sound Doctrine Paul had committed unto them. They would teach and do the same thing Paul taught (2Timothy 2:1,2; Philippians 4:9). The local assemblies were expected to submit themselves unto these true powers/rulers/ministers of God thus proving the sincerity of their love (2Corinthians 7:5-16). The local assemblies were/are expected to stand against Satan's false apostles and deceitful workers. These men were/are sent by Satan into the Body of Christ to draw the members into a Law/Works/Flesh system. God even labels these false workers as the ministers of righteousness (2Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 4:14).
Loving obedience to God was made known when the assemblies submitted to Paul and his co-laborers and rejected the false authorities/powers. This was evidence of their obedience to the Spirit of Christ that was in them as they lived under the Grace/Faith/Spirit system.
To serve Christ and to be involved with the work of Christ was to obey Paul and to respond in a God honoring manner to his co-laborers giving honor to whom honor was due (Philippians 2:25-30 1Thessalonians 5:12-13).
THE NITTY GRITTY APPLICATION
For the saint to resist the powers of God is to walk after the flesh. Today, most of the members of the Church, which is His Body, are in this position due to their ignorance and disregard of the distinctive nature of Paul's authority, power, and epistles in the Dispensation of the Grace of God. Though the consequences of that resistance may not be viewed in this life, all things will be manifested at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1Corinthians 4:5; 2Corinthians 5:10). Nevertheless, the believer that now ministers another gospel due to his neglect of rightly dividing the Word of Truth between Prophecy and Mystery is accursed (Galatians 1:8,9), reprobate concerning the faith and good works (2Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:16).
We must keep in mind that as Paul wrote Romans during the diminishing of Israel (Romans 11:11-13), and as God raised up this apostle of Grace, that to speak against Paul at this time, resulted in a judgment/damnation that affected the physical body.
A good example of this is in 1Corinthians 5 wherein a member of the Body of Christ was having sexual relations with his father's wife. This man, as well as the whole Corinthian assembly, was outside of godly conduct that was acceptable to Paul in his God given authority.
Though the Corinthians were speaking against Paul, they were in essence speaking against or resisting the higher power of God over them and as a result, God through Paul brought a damnation to the flesh of this man who was guilty of fornication.
In addition to this, in 1Corinthians 11, the whole assembly was feeling the effects of rebellion towards Paul's deposit of truth. He had labored to build up the saints, but many were sick, even dying, because they resisted the higher power, the Word of Truth in Paul. In these cases, Paul played the part of the revenger (Romans 13:4; 1Corinthians 4:21; 2Corinthians 13:2,10; 1Thessalonians 4:6).
With the diminishing of Israel being brought to a close in Acts 28, we find this era of the apostolic signs failing, ceasing, and vanishing (1Corinthians 13:8-12). This was done by God in conjunction with the completed deposit of the full-knowledge (Greek = epi-gnosis) concerning the revelation of the mystery of God's will as revealed to Paul (Ephesians 1:9,10; Colossians 1:25).
Therefore, we find that since that time, and unto our day, God's method for establishing sound doctrine, for bringing reproof, correction, and instruction to the saints, is via 2 Timothy 3:16; A completed Book called the Holy Scriptures studied and applied according to 2 Timothy 2:15.
Every believer can find himself in subjection unto God during this present Dispensation of Grace, living life under His power as we grow in understanding Grace; FOR TODAY GRACE REIGNS--Romans 5:21.
Let's consider Romans 13:6-8 wherein we find one major point within these three verses. It is that the members of the One Body were to discharge their duty unto the ministers of God as he faithfully discharged his responsibility given him of God. Those that received the 'spiritual things' from the minister of God were bound by love's duty to provide the 'physical things' unto that faithful power/ruler/minister so he could continue on in those God given ministries (Galatians 6:6; 1Corinthians 9:10-14).
Romans 13:6 states that these powers/rulers/minister of God were to attend continually upon this very thing. What is "this very thing?" In context it is that the minister of God exercise his God delegated power for the benefit of the saints which produces edification and maturity. Verse 5 reveals that the saint was to obey the minister of God for conscience sake (i.e. for the saint to possess a pure and good conscience toward God's commandments through Paul, contrasted to a weak and defiled or seared conscience). This is the forming of Christ within the saints (Galatians 4:19; Eph 4:11,12; Colossians 1:28).
These men of God were to effectively use Paul's Sound Doctrine. That Sound Doctrine would then provide the increase or profit of God within the new life of the saints (1Timothy 1:10,11; 4:15).
Actually, it is the Holy Spirit taking the Word of God through an effective ministry and energizing the Word within the believing heart of the saints by the power of God, thus strengthening the inner man (Romans 15:13; Ephesians 3:16-17; Romans 8:29; 2Corinthians 3:18).
If those ministers of God failed to deliver the Word rightly divided, the saints would not be established by God in spiritual wisdom of the Mystery, but rather they would possess a human and worldly wisdom (1Corinthians 2:5; Romans 8:5-7).
In verse 6-8 there are four words that most people, saved or lost, view as only applying to some form of human/national/civil government. The words are: tribute, custom, fear, and honour.
Verse 7 reads, "Render therefore to all their dues:" This is the collective heading that ties all the four words under one issue. That issue being the saints faithfully discharging their responsibility unto God's ministers who are the higher powers. Rendering their dues, though it be down here on this earth being done unto the faithful power/ruler/minister of God, was the same as being done unto God for He had ordained this procedure.
TRIBUTE--a tax which was self imposed which was paid to the minister of God (1Corinthians 9:9-14; 2Corinthians 8:8-14/9:5-8; Galatians 6:6). By 'taxing' oneself it denoted an attitude of subjection unto God as the saint recognized God's ordinance or arrangement.
CUSTOM--a toll or tax paid to accomplish a specific purpose. Paul collected from local assemblies money to be used to help out the other assemblies. Paul was entreated to take on "the fellowship of the ministering to the saints" (2Corinthians 8:1-18; 2Corinthians 1:13).
FEAR--a wholesome dread of displeasing the minister of God. This godly fear was beneficial as it influenced the disposition and attitude concerning subjection unto God (2Corinthians 7:1; Eph 5:21).
HONOUR-an internal system of valuing or esteeming the Man of God in his ministry as the saints yielded to God's will as expressed by these faithful stewards (1Thessalonians 5:12,13; 1Timothy 5:17).
Finally, Romans 13 is very plain that the higher power/ruler/minister of God was to continually look upon that which edified and was for good. This brought maturity to the saints so they could do the work of the ministry. Ephesians 4:11-13 is a wonderful passage of Scripture that confirms this Truth. If the servant of God did this, he was worth his support. If he did not, the saints were not to support him in what he was doing until he recovered himself by acknowledging the full truth delivered unto and by Paul through the office of his apostleship (1 Corinthians 14:37).
A DISPENSATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
In the present Dispensation of the Grace of God, Jesus Christ is the Head of the One Body. To make this mystery position known, God committed unto Paul's trust a divine office of authority. There were no other humans who had this office (Romans 11:13) though there were other Body apostles. Just like Moses, who was the first and only one that possessed "the pattern of the tabernacle" and delivered the Law unto the Circumcised, Paul was the first and only one God entrusted with "the form of sound words" and delivered the issues of the Dispensation of the Grace of God unto the Uncircumcised (Titus 1:3; 1Timothy 1:11). Paul received "the form of sound words" through visions and revelations of the Lord (Acts 9:16; 18:9; 26:16; Galatians 1:11,12; Ephesians 3:3; Colossians 1:25). All the other 'gifts' God gave unto men (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, etc.) received this through illumination as they were taught by the Holy Spirit through Paul's ministry. Subsequently, they ministered the same things with the Spirit of God confirming the issues of this Mystery Revelation (Ephesians 3:4-5; 1Corinthians 1:10; 2:13; 14:26-37; 1Timothy 1:3; 2Timothy 2:2).
As God's authority and power was personified in Moses at the beginning of the Dispensation of Law, likewise God's authority and power was personified in Paul at the beginning of the Dispensation of the Grace of God.
As the sign gift ministry failed, ceased, and vanished with the close of the Acts period; and with Paul and the other 'gifts' that God gave to men having died; and God notgiving others or continuing to give other 'gifts', was/is God left without an authoritative voice? Is there a power/authority that speaks for God today? Yes, there still is an authority that speaks.
But just like it was in Paul's day when the lost, and sadly the saved, spoke against God's design in the edification process in using Paul and the other 'gifts', the same ill-will is demonstrated towards that which replaced them.
As we look at Paul's ministry as well as the ministry of the other ordained men of God, we find that their ministries were to provide a four-fold effect. These men were to provide doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. With the passing away of these "gifts unto men" God replaced them with His completed Word of Truth.
Part of God's design in the edification process was to have Paul complete the Word of Truth through the hidden wisdom of God which he received of Jesus Christ (1Corinthians 2:7). It is called the MYSTERY. It was/is, "...the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the MYSTERY, which was kept secret since the world began,..." that fulfilled the Word of God (Ephesians 3:1-3; Colossians 1:25,26). .
This completed Word of God was known as Scriptures (2Timothy 3:16). Second Timothy 3:16,17 reveals that the four-fold ministry of the gifted men had been replaced with Scriptures that do the very same thing. God replacing Paul's ministry as well as the ministry of the other ordained men of God with Scriptures that provide doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
TODAY, there are no longer any Romans 13 higher powers or rulers or ministers of God, but God's fully, completed, perfect Word in the Bible.
With the Epistle of Second Timothy being the last book in the Bible to be written while Paul was near his execution, God had used the Romans 13 'higher powers' to give, copy, collect, and collate all that is Scripture. God's design was to have all Scripture resident within the Body of Christ before Paul died, with his Second Epistle to Timothy concluding the deposit of Truth. The Body of Christ was/is to be the place where God's Word of Truth could be found. The Body of Christ, the church of the living God, was/is the pillar and the ground of the truth (1Timothy 3:15). The Body of Christ was/is the depository of the completed Word of Truth. It has sixty-six books of Scripture found in a one volume book. These are the Writings that God breathed. Scripture now gives the doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16,17; Romans 16:25,26; 1Corinthians 14:37; Colossians 4:16).
Since the death of Paul the apostle, God's edifying process has been through Scriptures; NOT a man as a gift or even especially gifted men for ministry, for this false tradition is not stated in 2Timothy 3:16 as the means of edification. Through the Word of Truth found in a BOOK studied "rightly divided", we grow up IN CHRIST and become workmen of God (Ephesians 4:15; 2Timothy 2:15).
Today, elders that desire the office of a bishop are to rule well, being counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in word and doctrine (1Timothy 5:17).
Today there are upon the shelves of booksellers, Bibles which have given the saints of God the misunderstanding that the 'higher powers' are the many forms of human government and its leaders. The New International Version and New American Standard reads, "governing authorities", Today's English Version reads, "state authorities", et al.
These versions have beguiled the saints. When asked if God has a book that is His Word (i.e. which one of the 100+ English translations is the Word of God for the English speaking people), people often repeat that today we do not have God's word in a one book form that is inerrant, complete, and perfect. The common believer has repeatedly been told by learned men that there is no perfect Bible; that only the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts were perfectly inspired; and, that those same manuscripts were destroyed long ago. Thus, according to scholars, no Bible is the very word of God for the English speaking people.
Yet when questioned about human authority they boldly proclaim that God established civil government with human leaders. Christians are to obey the government, for according to them, they are God's ministers or rulers. Isn't it interesting that many are dogmatically sure that Romans 13 speaks about obedience to human government, but yet they declare this from a Bible which has errors in it according to their thinking! If their Bible has errors in it, then they are preaching error!!
Is it not strange to think that God established man in civil government to be the authority over His people, yet He could not keep His Word intact in a BOOK called Holy Scripture wherein sinner or saint could read about Paul's knowledge of the Mystery for the Body of Christ? It would appear then, that God's people are to listen to governmental officials rather than to find and read perfect Scripture of what God spoke! Man is now the authority as to what constitutes faith and its obedience--Humanism!!!
Interestingly most trust human government and its leaders rather than to trust that God could keep His word pure and perfect, found as Holy Scriptures in a Book!!
So it is that today we find people blindly following human government and arrogantly denying that God kept His word about His Word being intact and pure in a Book. Amazing!!
These perverted versions need to be understood in the proper light of who owns them. For the uninformed, all Bibles except one have the actual text of the Scripture copyrighted. In the United States of America the publishers of all other Bibles, except one, has the Federal Government protecting their translation or version (copyright infringements rob corporate profits--2Corinthians 2:17 and 1Timothy 6:9-10; Titus 1:11).
Only the actual text of the Authorized Version (KJV) is not copyrighted. It is God's Word of Truth for the common people!!
A good Bible student will recognize from Luke 4:5-7, Ephesians 2:2, Daniel 10, Ezekiel 28:1-19, and Isaiah 14:9-18 that all human governments that are presently on this planet, including the one in the United States, are under the dominion and control of Satan.
God's one and only ordained righteous earthly government is the one of His righteous Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will sit upon the Throne of His Glory (Matt 25:31).
All seats of governmental authority, both heavenly and earthly, which were created by and for Jesus Christ (Col 1:16) have been delivered unto Satan, with him giving this power and glory to whomsoever he wills.
The power of God's Christ has not yet come to bear its fullness upon these created ranks of governmental power (Revelation 12:10; Hebrews 2:8; 1Corinthians 15:24-27). All power in heaven and earth has not yet been given to Jesus Christ; for the strongman of the house has not yet been bound (Matthew 12:25-29; 28:18; Revelation 20:1-3).
Thus, the rulers of the nations are Satan's men not God's ministers; neither do they occupy the seats of the higher power. Therefore, to appeal to any human government to protect "the Word of God" in a book is like placing the fox over the chicken coop.
"For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake." Titus 1:10-11
Surely, to the observant student of the Word he can see that it has not changed since Paul's day unto ours, only their attack is so sophisticated that the hearts of the simple are still being deceived (Romans 16:17,18), but let the trusting soul acknowledge that God exalted Paul's office of apostleship with power and authority for the purpose of making known the riches of His Grace among the Nations.
To say that Romans 13:1-7 is feeble, weak, and corrupt forms of human government and/or governmental leaders is to defile God's glory and eternal purpose. It is also to neglect and hide the truth of God's initial design in the edification process of the Body of Christ through these higher powers/rulers/ministers of God, of which Paul was the first apostle in the Dispensation of the Grace of God (1 Tim 1:15-16).
Understanding and standing for the "higher powers", "rulers", "the ministers of God", and "he" as beginning with Paul in his office of apostleship and the Word of Truth committed unto him by revelation, allows the Body of Christ to fulfill the objective of God's purpose in calling and saving Paul by the riches of His Grace (Romans 1:5; 15:16-18; Galatians 1:15; Ephesians 2:8).
The Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are still operating the Dispensation of Grace, and Paul the apostle still continues to speak through his Epistles with authority and power!!
Get the Authorized Version of the Word of God and be a Berean!!
The author of this article (Duane Gallentine) has found that most, even those with the KJV Bible rightly divided, advance the traditional understanding of Romans 13:1-7. To some any form of human government is ordained of God, though not necessarily the men who run it. Some view this passage as Paul's proclamation that God ordained, in a broader sense, human government with the particular form of government determined by the men of the nation. To others, government's sole function is to bring order to man's society; even if this order (peace and safety) is secured by destruction, fear, and lies. And some in the Grace Movement see this passage proclaiming the same issues of Colossians 1:16.
The author has no problem with Colossians 1:16 advancing the issue of ranks of governmental authority in heaven and earth, both visible and invisible, being created, sustained, and ultimately functioning for the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, who through the blood of His cross made peace to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, Paul said, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven--Col 1:20. [The "things" being the thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers, visible or invisible of Col 1:16] The author will gladly acknowledge 1Timothy 2:1-2 wherein Paul admonishes the Body of Christ to make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for Kings and all that are in authority. While on this earth, we like Paul find ourselves under human authority. But to make Romans 13 the traditional view point, or variations of it, is to deny the very words of that passage, and this is where those arguments break down and what we stand against.
If the reader of this article will carefully read Romans 13 and stay with the text, instead of trusting the tradition of men, he will find that God the Spirit had Paul use words which personify the higher powers into flesh, blood, and bonepersons. God used the words, "rulers", "he", "the minster of God", and "they" to describe the higher powers being people.
If the rightly dividing KJV grace believer is going to be consistent in his position that Romans 13 is human government, then he must reckon that the "rulers", "he", "the minister of God", and "they" are the same ordained powers. Furthermore he must conclude that God contradicted Himself when Paul wrote 1Corinthians 6:1-8 wherein he rebuked the saints for going to law (human government) if Romans 13 is human government unto the saints to continually look upon the good in our life!
In other words, one can't be honest with the passage and say that human government is ordained of God without concluding that all the people, by whatever title they have in that human government, are also ordained of God; for the passage does not make a separation!!
If the believer does not reckon this, we would ask, by what authority do you handle the Scriptures in this manner? By what means do you "cut" the first two verses off from the remaining verses? Don't rightly dividers object when others do this type of Bible butchering? Should we not now object when the brethren in our own camp, as well as any one else, do the same?
As this writer has confined himself to building the understanding by staying in the passage and turning to other Scriptures, he and other believers have found great comfort and consolation in the understanding God has granted by His Spirit regarding Romans 13:1-7. Let us praise Him for the Light of His Word!!