Civil Government: “Is The Kingdom of God Within You?”

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 “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;  nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU” (Luke 17:20, 21).

This is the New King James translation (and the KJV is the same), and many Christians use this passage to teach that the civil government aspect of the Kingdom of God is a personal, private, neutral affair (“within you”). They often go on to say that when externalized and public, politics becomes a dirty business in which Christians should not be involved. 

However, the Greek word translated “within” in verse 21 is the Greek word entos.  The alternate, and equally valid translation of that word, according to Thayer’s Greek Dictionary, is the word “among.” That renders this verse to, equally legitimately, read,  “The Kingdom of God is among you.”

Given the context (speaking to the Pharisees), Jesus was obviously not talking about the kingdom already “within” those who were out to destroy Him, the Pharisees. Much more likely He was referring to Himself, as a Kingdom of God expression, living “among” them. The Kingdom of God had already come to them, as they observed it naturally flowing from the life of Jesus Christ, and they had no clue!

With this understanding, how then should we, as believers in Jesus, approach the civil government, one of God’s ordained institutions to extend His rule over the earth (Genesis 9:5, 6)? The family and the church are obvious weapons in our arsenal with which we rule; civil government, an equally important weapon, is much easier for us to ignore. 

As a matter of fact, many churches have done just that by following the “personal, private, neutral” mantra, and they never discuss politics with their congregations. That means no one is offended, attendance is not affected, and offering plates remain full. Thus, the unchallenged, civil government of the day is presently and increasingly under Satan’s control, and therefore becoming more and more anti-Christian! 

Unknowingly, we, as twenty-first century Christians, have lived for years on the credit accrued for us by our founding fathers. As that credit is rapidly being used up, and the Christian culture our founders left us disappears, we have not returned to their original model. Rather than preaching a return to that model of Jesus being the active Lord of our nation today, many churches have followed the escapist mentality of a popular preacher who said years ago, “Why shine brass on a sinking ship?” 

In other words, drop out of the public square’s political battle and retreat behind the stained glass windows of the church, watching passively as our nation (which was explicitly founded on Christianity) declines into becoming a nation actually hostile to biblical Christianity!

The solution, as is always the case, is “What does God say?” Yes, the Bible has a lot to say! In his book, Roots of the American Republic, written in the mid-19th century, Rev. E. C. Wines describes in detail some seventeen principles that formed the foundation of the American Republic and then much later, the United States Constitution. These principles originated with the Hebrew Republic, the civil government of the Israelites. This republic functioned for several hundred years—from the giving of the Mosaic Law (Exodus 20), until Israel’s demand for a king other than God produced Saul (1 Samuel 8).

In this Hebrew Republic, the civil law included laws addressing the following issues, among others, hence the title of Wines’ book! Here is a portion of these 17 issues addressed: 1.) unity of God, 2.) unity of the nation under God, 3.) liberty, 4.) private ownership of property, 5.) magistrates elected by the people  6.) answerable to the people, 7.) people determined their laws, 8.) speedy impartial administration of justice, 9.) all citizens work for a living, etc.

One can see that these inviolate principals, enshrined in Hebrew Civil law, made their way into our Constitution, making it a governing document unique among all the nations of the world, and the beacon of Truth for all those nations!

However, that Constitution is not the written Word of God itself, as many seem to feel. The most glaring discrepancy lies in the first two principals in the above abbreviated list from Wines’ account of the Hebrew Republic: unity of God and the unity of the nation

Everyone who was a citizen of the Hebrew Republic was a circumcised Isaelite who worshiped the one true God, Jehovah. All others, the non-Israelites who lived within the nation, were “sojourners,” not citizens. They were welcomed, were subject to all laws of the land, had businesses, lived in peace according to all those civil laws, prospered, were honored and accepted in Jehovah’s nation, but they could not vote or hold public office. If these sojourners had other gods, they could not worship those gods publicly or that would be treason, a capital crime—having a king other than Jehovah..

Many sojourners saw how a “nation under Jehovah God” prospered uniquely and eventually they wanted to follow Him too, so they became “proselytes” and were circumcised, thus becoming full, voting citizens under Jehovah God as their King.

This is a biblical theocracy, not an historical one. All attempts at theocracy historically have been monumental failures, leading to today’s religious pluralism in our government. I have written a short (73 pages) book entitled, Let Earth Receive Her King – Does Jesus Rule Over All the Nations?.available free of charge in pdf form upon request. Drop me an email. My purpose in writing this book is to help today’s church have an educational journey on which the majority of them have not yet begun.

Congratulations! If you have now read each of the blog postings representing the four courses offered by “Theology for Dummies” seminary, you are a seminary graduate! Missed classes can be made up by searching the back blog postings on the blog on my website, Two Edges of the Sword. You are now personally equipped, weaponized and credentialed! ATTACK!

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