We have added new doctrines: Divine Guidance, Knowing the Will of God for your Life: Yielding or Yieldedness to God; Wisdom.
We have updated the doctrine of Alcoholism and Drinking, to add information about recovering from alcoholism or drug abuse.
Current Bible Studies
Ephesians Chapter 5,
Eph 5:20, “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.”
The next result of the Spirit’s filling is constant gratitude to God, cf. Phil 4:6-7; Col 3:16-17.
In this passage, first we have the WHAT we are to do. “Always giving thanks,” which is the Adverb PANOTOTE πάντοτε that means, “perpetually, always, ever, at all times, etc.” and the Verb EUCHARISTEO, εὐχαριστέω in the Present, Active, Participle, Nominative, Plural that means, “to continually or habitually be thankful and give thanks” It is another imperatival use of the Participle for a command to habitually give thanks.
All humans are to give thanks, Rom 1:21; 2 Thes 1:3; 2:13, and thanksgiving is an essential part of our corporate worship, 1 Cor 14:16-17. It is particularly seen in the Lord’s Supper, 1 Cor 11:23-25. Remember that EUCHRISTEO is also the word transliterated into English for Eucharist, better known as the Communion Supper.
Next, we have the CONTENT of our thanks giving or what we are to be thankful for, “for all things,” HUPER PAS. Notice this verse does not say to be thankful for this or that, or somethings, or any one or two things. No, it says, “all things.” You see, everything that we have, enjoy, or experience, either physically or spiritually, we are to be thankful for; the good and the bad.
As Rom 8:28 tells us, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Notice it does not say that God causes all things to happen to us. This is important, because God does not cause sin or evil to happen in our lives. But God does cause all things to work together for good. You see, for those who love God, everything that happens in their life, (for example, sin, evil, Divine discipline, happiness, joy, blessings, success, etc.), God takes those things, and puts it in His plan for their overall good. Since God can take the lemons in your life and make them into lemonade, you are to be thankful for everything that comes in your life. This includes thankfulness for suffering and adversity, as well as prosperity and promotion.
The caveat is, if we are walking habitually in sin, we will not see those bad things as beneficial in our lives. But if we are walking by the filling of God the Holy Spirit, even the bad things that happen to us, God will work it out, so that it ends up producing good; especially Divine Good in your life. Therefore, you are to be thankful “for all things.”
1 Thes 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
In addition, the words gratitude and grace come from the same root word, CHARIS. If we have experienced the grace of God, then we ought to be grateful for what God brings to us. Thank and think also go hand in hand. If we would think more in terms of Bible doctrine, we would thank more as a result.
Next, we are told the HOW to give thanks, “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is made up from the Greek EN ONOMA, in the Dative of Sphere; the sphere in which we are to be praying is the person of Jesus Christ, our position, union, and occupation with Him. Then we have the Genitive of Reference, Singular of HO KURIOS for “the Lord,” with the Personal Pronoun HEMEIS, in the Possessive Genitive, First Person, Plural for, “the Lord of us,” or better, “our Lord.” Then we have the Genitive of IESOUS CHRISTOS, for “Jesus Christ.”
The key to everything is Jesus Christ. We are what we are, because of what Christ is. We are members of the Royal Family because at the moment of salvation, God the Holy Spirit entered us into union with Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father. We are in union with the King of kings, therefore we are royalty. Only Church Age believers are in this status of royalty.
This emphasizes a principle regarding our prayers that relates to our songs of praise, in that we pray in the “name of Jesus Christ.” We are not commanded to pray to Jesus, but we are commanded to pray in His name, John 16:26; Col 3:17; James 5:14. Therefore, in our thanksgiving, either by song or prayer, we are to do so in the name of Jesus Christ.
Finally, we are given the WHO we direct our thanksgiving songs and prayers to; “the God and Father.” The Greek reads, HO THEOS KAI PATER, ὁ θεός καί πατήρ, in the Dative of Indirect Object case.
Here, we have an application of the Granville Sharp Rule that states, “when two nouns are connected by the Conjunction KAI, and the Article, (in this case HO), precedes only the first noun, there is a close connection between the two.” It indicates unity, equality, and/or identity. In other words, God and Father, is speaking about one and the same person, the First member of the Trinity; God the Father.
It is to Him, and Him alone, that we are to direct our thanksgiving in song and prayer. Therefore, even when we are singing about Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, our song of thanks and praise is directed to the first member of the Trinity, God the Father, just as our prayers are also to be directed to Him.
Heb 13:15, “Through Him (Jesus Christ) then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”
This is another form of our expression of love to God. When you truly love someone, you are thankful for that person and what they do. As a result, you give thanks for that person you are occupied with. That person is in your soul, in your heart/right lobe, in your frame of reference, in your memory center, and you are constantly thinking about that person.
Therefore, giving thanks is first a mental attitude. It is a mental attitude of thinking of someone else. It is a mental attitude of love, and therefore a mental attitude of appreciation. It then is expressed from your heart, to your soul, to your mind, and then with your strength/body, Make 12:30; Luke 10:27.
Mark 12:30, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”
It is a wonderful thing for members of the Royal Family of God to be grateful to God in time for all that He has provided, whether it is blessing or adversity, regardless of the circumstances. Therefore, it is a wonderful privilege of the Royal Priest to express, on a daily basis, in his thinking and in his prayer, in his attitude of love, in his occupation with the person of Christ, his thanksgiving to God.
And where there is growth in grace, and where the believer has the capacity to love Jesus Christ, and where the believer is occupied with Christ, his thanksgiving, including the Communion Table becomes a very meaningful and wonderful thing.
On the other hand, if you are not taking in Bible doctrine, if you are not growing in grace, and if you are a reversionist moving away from Bible doctrine, then things like singing, praying, thanksgiving, the communion table, etc., become very tedious and painful; ritual without reality is meaningless and you have no ability to concentrate on who and what God and Jesus Christ are.
Psa 100:4, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless/honor His person.”
Psa 96:2, “Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.”
Psa 107:22, “Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.”
Psa 100:4, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless/honor His person.”
Psa 96:2, “Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.”
Psa 107:22, “Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.”
Summary and Principles of Praise Thanksgiving.
1. Thanksgiving is first of all directed toward God, and is an overflow of capacity and appreciation for all that He has and will do for you.
2. Thankfulness is based on maximum intake of Bible doctrine in the soul through the function of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP). The GAP of Bible doctrine, causes the believer priest to appreciate the members of the Godhead, the plan of the Father, the principle of grace. Therefore, the believer is in a constant state of thanksgiving regardless of the circumstances of life.
3. Thanksgiving involves grace orientation. This is impossible apart from Bible doctrine in the right lobe and human spirit. Doctrine in the human spirit and right lobe is impossible apart from the daily function of GAP. The greater the spiritual IQ, the greater the grace orientation. The greater the grace orientation, the greater the thankfulness of the Royal Priest. If we have experienced the grace of God, then we ought to be grateful for what God brings to us.
4. Thanksgiving is the state of being Occupied with the Person of Jesus Christ, oriented to the plan of God, and maintaining Divine viewpoint in the right lobe. If we would think more Divine viewpoint, we would thank more.
5. Thanksgiving is a moment by moment mental attitude produced by the spiritual skills in the soul, (Rebound, Filling of the Holy Spirit, and application of Bible Doctrine).
6. Thanksgiving is a result of having Divine viewpoint towards life. It is more than an expression of gratitude, more than appreciation in a human sense. It is appreciation for God.
Col 2:7, “Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”
Col 1:12, “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”
7. Thanksgiving is an act of giving thanks, grateful acknowledgement of the benefits of the grace of God, hence, it is an expression of gratitude toward God based on your doctrinal capacity to appreciate who and what He is.
8. Thanksgiving is a function of prayer.
Eph 1:16, “I do not cease giving thanks for you, and I make mention of you in my prayers.”
Col 1:3, “We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.”
Col 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.”
Phil 4:6, “Stop worrying about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
9. Thanksgiving is often a public acknowledgment or celebration of worship, 1 Chron 16:7 36; Rom 14:11; 15: 9.
10. Thanksgiving is not some shallow, fleeting system of gratitude for something. It is a system of worship toward God, capacity for worship, and capacity for life.
11. Giving causes thanks giving, 2 Cor 9:7-12.
12. Food should be accepted with thanks giving, 1 Tim 4:3 4.
13. Therefore, are you known for ongoing thanksgiving or for complaining, murmuring, and pouting? Spirit-filled believers are thankful people, not complaining people. When we consider what God has done for us in the previous chapters of Ephesians, how could we not live with constant gratitude for His amazing grace? People who are always thankful, always grateful, and who have an object, as well as content of thanksgiving, are the best oriented people in life, and this is the normal procedure for the Royal Priest in Phase Two.
14. Thank Him today because:
He formed you and made you.
He has given you the breath of life.
He has given you this day.
He is working in you to become all that He has intended you to be.
He is working everything in your life together for the good.
He is using your difficulties and trials to conform you to His image.
Thank Him today for:
The forgiveness of your sins.
The peace that surpasses all understanding.
The smiles that have come to your face because His joy is in your heart.
The comfort of His presence that has quieted your heart and calmed your fears.
The hope that is in you because He has promised to always be with you.
The place in heaven that He has reserved and has prepared for you.
Thank Him today with:
Words of exaltation.
Songs of celebration.
A heart of strong devotion.
Thoughts of deep reflection.
Acts of admiration.
Claps of loud ovation.
1 Thes 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Eph 5:21, “And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”
With this verse, we will complete the first segment of our 4th division of Chapter 5, (D. The Believer’s Walk in the World; God’s Standards for Authority and Submission in the Church, Eph 5:18-6:9).
1. As to one’s self and the church, be filled with God’s Spirit, Eph 5:18-21.
Here we will note the third evidence, result, or demonstration of the Spirit filled life, which is also a means for maintaining the filling of the Holy Spirit:
Vs. 19, we will be joyful, singing praise to God.
Vs. 20, we will be thankful to God the Father for all things.
Vs. 21, we will be submissive toward one another and our Lord.
Vs. 21, also sets up the overarching principle for the next four topics of relationships to follow: marriage, family, working, and worldly.
The word “and” is not in the original language for this verse. It begins with, “be subject to one another,” which is HUPOTASSO, ὑποτάσσω, ALLELON, ἀλλήλων.
ALLELON means, “each other or one another.” It means the quality or state by which there is a mutual exchange between others and ourselves. This could reference every other member of the human race, as other scriptures do, but more specifically, it is talking about other members of the Royal Family of God. In both applications, it sets up the following groups we interact with, our spouse, our parents or children, our bosses and employees, and those in the world / Satan’s cosmic system. Each, in their own unique way, call for some form of genuine humility, as noted in the term HUPOTASSO, on our part in order to have meaningful and successful relationships, as well as to remain filled with the Holy Spirit and produce Divine Good.
Specifically, HUPOTASSO means, “to be subject to, put in submission to, to be or make subject, to submit oneself, to be under obedience, to subordinate, etc.” It is in the Present, Middle, Participle, Nominative, Plural. The root word TASSO means, “to appoint or order.”
The active voice of this verb means, “to place under, to affix, or to subordinate.” This describes involuntary submission or obedience, and occurs less often.
The passive voice means, “to be made subject to.”
The middle voice, as we have here, means, “to subject oneself, to be subservient, to submit voluntarily, or to place oneself in submission.” The middle voice is used showing the necessity of voluntary submission.
In classical Greek, it frequently occurs in the middle voice, as it does here, and most often indicates voluntary submission or obedience.
In the LXX it is used in Psa 37:7, “Rest in, (be in subjection to. The Hebrew is DAMAM, “stand still or keep silent”), the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.”
In our verse it is a general humility corresponding to the mutual subjection of fellow members of society, especially of those who are part of the Body of Christ.
It is used of submission in the sense of voluntary yielding in love, 1 Cor 16:16; Eph 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5.
1 Cor16:16, “That you also be in subjection to such men (Pastors and Evangelists) and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.”
1 Peter 5:5, “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Cf. Prov 3:34; James 4:6.
Submission to authority is another extremely important issue. Although we are all equal in Christ, believers are to give deference to elders, those in positions of high standing, and to all operating in the body of Christ.
Gal 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
In society all members of the human race, all men and women, in various positions of authority, leadership, following, or dependence, are equal, even though their functions vary and their responsibilities are diverse. As Scripture tells us, we are all equal before God, Gal 3:28. Likewise, we are all equal in the laws of society, and yet we have varying functions and responsibilities. If we accept certain functions under the authority of a fellow human, we must then subject ourselves to that individual to accomplish the desired goal. The functions are equally important, although different in scope and responsibility. They are different, not because we want them to be, but because God made them to be so. Therefore, within the Church, where we are all members of the body of Christ, yet have differing spiritual gifts, ministries, and impact, we are to support one another in humility to achieve God’s Plan for our generation.
As we see in the second half of this verse, we have the manner by which we voluntarily place ourselves in subjection to one another, as the situation calls for, as it reads, “in the fear of Christ.” This is also an indirect statement of the deity of Jesus, the Lord.
The Greek reads, EN PHOBOS CHRISTOS, with the Dative of Manner for EN PHOBOS indicating “how” this submission to one another, (genuine humility), is accomplished.
With this we have the Genitive of Source of CHRISTOS. There is no article here, so this phrase should read, “in fear of Christ.” This is also a principle of Occupation with the person of Jesus Christ.
Doctrine of Fear of the Lord
PHOBOS means, “fear, fright, terror, or alarm,” but also “respect, awe, or reverence.”
“As early as Homer (Eighth Century B.C.) the Greeks used phobos in the sense of “fright” or “panic.” The word is related to phobeō (5236), “to flee” or “run away” (Liddell-Scott). Throughout the classical period, the word was used not only for “terror” and “headlong flight” but “fear” or “apprehension,” whatever the cause. Fear of death was a common example. Sometimes the word was used in the positive sense of “respect, awe,” or “reverence,” especially toward authorities to whom one is responsible or to deity. As early as Homer the god Phobos was ranked high in the mythological system, depicted as a typical war-god (ibid.).”
(Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)
2. Fear is used two ways in the Bible.
a. Fear is used for an emotional mental attitude sin, characterized by panic when in a dangerous situation. It is a painful emotional distress aroused by impending pain, danger, disaster, evil, or by illusions regarding the same. It is worry, apprehension, consternation, or horror. Fear is also an active feeling of dread, of which fright and terror are the more intense degrees. This is the “bad” category of fear.
b. Fear is used for reverence, respect, or awe. It is a reverence manifesting itself in obedience. In this respect, fear is a Christian virtue, 1 Peter 2:17. This is the “good” category of fear.
1 Peter 2:17, “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
The latter is the application for this verse. But remember, a little emotional fear goes a long way to having respect and reverence for the Lord.
3. Fear is a natural and, in its purpose, beneficial feeling, arising in the presence or anticipation of danger, and moving to its avoidance; it is also awakened in the presence of superiors and of striking manifestations of power, taking the form of awe or reverence.
4. This kind of fear is also an expression of two great Problem Solving Devices, our Personal Love for God and Occupation with Christ, 2 Sam 23:2-3; Neh 5:9; Job 28:28; Psa 19:9; 34:11-12; 111:10; Prov 1:7; 9:10, 10:27; 22:4; Mal 3:16; Eph 5:21.
5. First and foremost, in the believer’s life, is to have this kind of fear / respect / awe for God, where we revere, honor, exalt, lift up, hold in high regard, esteem, worship, yield, and surrender to Him, Deut 13:4.
Deut 13:4, “You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.”
6. In fact, the entire world should fear the Lord, Psa 33:8, “Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him,” just as the thief on the Cross did, Luke 23:40. But unfortunately, the world has no fear of God and do not honor Him, Rom 3:10-18, “18THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES,” just as there is no fear of Him in the sinner, Psa 36:1.
7. Yet the fact is, if we live in sin, we absolutely should fear the Lord, because one day He is going to judge us, Psa 119:120.
Psa 119:120, “My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments.”
8. One of the greatest restraints on sin is fear of the righteousness and justice of God, Ex 20:20.
Ex 20:20, “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin’.”
9. Legitimate fear of failure is helpful in utilizing the Faith-Rest Drill and making doctrinal applications in life, Heb 4:1. Believers should be afraid of subjective thinking and failure, and instead claim the doctrines, promises, and logistical grace blessings of God.
Prov 14:26, “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have refuge.”
Prov 19:23, “The fear of the LORD leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.”
10. In Lev 25:17, fear prevents wrongdoing toward other persons, “So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God.” Instead of reacting to the wrongdoing of others, you should put the entire matter in the hands of God.
11. When you realize in humility, your own weakness and dependence upon God, and knowing that God will judge you according to your own works, you are commanded to “pass the time of our stay upon earth in fear,” 1 Peter 1:17. In doing so, the believer will be kept from the arrogant self-confidence, which so often leads to falling.
As Paul states in Phil 2:12, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
12. To fear God is to:
a. Realize that sin is in your life.
b. Respect that He did something about it.
c. Be in awe of Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming down to become a man in our own image to take our sinful place on the Cross.
d. Realize how much sin cost, which was His humanity dying on a Cross for mankind.
That is reverence of God.
13. Fear denotes respect for God’s Word, Bible doctrine, that results in respect for the Lord, Deut 17:19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes.”
14. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, Psa 111:10; Prov 1:7; 9:10.
Prov 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Prov 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Psa 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding has all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.”
15. The respect for the Lord is the beginning of a lifetime of learning Bible doctrine and having that Bible doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness.
16. As a result, it keeps you away from evil with the results of a healthful life, Prov 3:7-8; 16:6.
Prov 16:6, “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.”
Prov 3:7-8, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.”
17. The Bible is full of assurance to those who “fear God, and keep his commandments,” Eccl 12:13.
Eccl 12:13, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.”
In that relationship of love and trust, for those who fear Him and keep His commandments, God delivers them from bondage, and gives them the spirit of adoption (son-placing), so that they confidently call God “Father,” as the glory of the gospel, in that a new relationship with God, overwhelms the negative aspects of fear.
a. As noted above in Prov 14:26, it gives you strong confidence, boldness, and assurance in all aspects of life.
b. It fulfills the desires of your heart, Psa 145:19.
Psa 145:19, “He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.”
c. It saves and protects you, Psa 34:7; 91:all.
Psa 34:7, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”
d. It leads to a life free of fear and worry, Psa 19:23.
Prov 19:23, “The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.”
e. It prolongs your earthly life to maximize your service to God here on earth, Prov 10:27.
Prov 10:27, “The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.”
f. It leads you to voluntarily place yourself in subjection to God and to one another in support and service of the body of Christ, Eph 5:21.
18. To voluntarily place yourself in subjection to one another, especially in the four areas noted in Eph 5:22-6:20, you must have respect for our Lord Jesus Christ, which is demonstrated by following His commands and mandates, Deut 11:27; 1 Sam 15:22; Jer 7:23; 11:4, 7.
Deut 11:26-28, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today. 28and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today…”
1 Sam 15:22, “Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams’.”
Spirit-controlled believers are to submit to one another, willingly serving others and being under them rather than dominating them and exalting themselves. Basic to your attitude toward others, is your reverence for Christ. Whatever relationships exist in life, in order for them to be successful, wonderful, and have great content, they demand self-discipline on the part of one person as a result of fear and respect of the Lord, (i.e., authority orientation to the Person of Jesus Christ), which also means occupation with person of Jesus Christ.
The believer priest is to submit to the various authorities in life, as noted in the following verses of Eph 5:22-6:20, through self-discipline provided under the ministry of the Word of God and the Filling of the Holy Spirit, in the fear of the Lord. Therefore, we submit to others because Christ is the ultimate authority over our lives. This does not mean believers live in terror of Christ. It means they stand in awe of Christ, who is the King and Judge. Believers stand in awe not only of His holiness but also of His forgiveness, Psa 130:4. We belong to Christ’s kingdom. He is the King. Out of reverence for Him, we gladly submit to His rule and serve others with compassion.
With this verse, we begin the second segment of our fourth main division of Chapter 5, which has two categories.
D. The Believer’s Walk in the World; God’s Standards for Authority and Submission in the Church, Eph 5:18-6:9.
1. As to One’s Self, Eph 5:18-21.
2. As to One’s Home, Eph 5:22-6:4.
a. Husbands and Wives, Eph 5:22-33.
b. Parents and Children, Eph 6:1-4.
This verse begins a great discussion regarding the Godly marriage relationship between husbands and wives, which is Divine Institutions (D.I.) # 2 that runs through the rest of this chapter, vs. 33. Before we get into the details of these verses, I first want to review two important doctrines, Divine Establishment Principles, (Institutions), and Authority Orientation.
Divine Establishment Principles:
God has ordained certain laws for the survival, protection, and freedom of the human race during the course of human history. When segments of a nation’s population ignore these laws, anarchy will inevitably result. These laws directly affect freedom, civilization, authority, evangelism, spiritual growth, and the perpetuation of the human race. They are as important to us as is the law of gravity. Therefore, God has provided Laws of Divine Establishment to provide the freedom to fulfill the God’s plan as ordained in the Divine decrees under many types of government.
The Laws of Divine Establishment are designed and directed toward both believer and unbeliever. They have been in operation since the fall of man, and will remain through the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, including the Millennium with some modifications in compatibility with perfect environment.
The Laws of Divine Establishment define freedom in terms of privacy, property, and authority. There is no such thing as the enjoyment of life or freedom without authority. All systems of freedom function under authority. Both the privacy of the individual and the function of legitimate authority are necessary for the function of human freedom. Therefore, God created four Divine Institutions under the Law of Divine Establishment: volition, marriage, family, and nationalism. These are the basis for the Laws of Divine Establishment.
God also has Divine laws for angels and nature. All these laws are designed to resolve the Angelic Conflict using an inferior creature, man.
2. Establishment and the Divine Institutions.
Two of the four Divine Institutions, (D.I.’s), under God’s Laws of Divine Establishment are addressed in our passage, Eph 5:22-6:4, marriage and family, where we are given instruction how to operate inside of them. The other two D.I.’s are Volition and Nationalism.
a. Volition. God has prepared a soul for every member of the human race that houses your human life and placed it inside your body at physical birth. The justice of God imputes human life to the soul; human life resides in the soul forever. No one can remove human life from the soul. This is the doctrine of human security.
The soul is made up of self consciousness, mentality, emotion, and volition as the authority of the soul. Human volition must have freedom and privacy for proper function. Your soul has privacy since it is hidden in the skull. While people are not born equal or live in equality, God has given them freedom of choice and the right to make decisions for themselves. With your freedom of choice you have the option of positive or negative volition at God-consciousness, the freedom to accept or reject Jesus Christ at gospel hearing, and the freedom to choose to go forward in God’s plan for your life by learning and applying His Word or not.
When we believe in Christ, God’s perfect righteousness is imputed to us and we now have a purpose in life: the imputation of blessing to that perfect righteousness, which glorifies God. The Laws of Divine Establishment give freedom to exercise our positive volition toward Bible doctrine so that we can develop the capacity for these blessings.
b. Marriage. The second D.I. is the civil union between one man and one woman in monogamy. This is ordained of God to remind mankind that He has from the beginning a design called right man – right woman, Gen 1:26:27, 5:1 2, 2:18 25; 1 Cor 7:2 4.
When Jesus Christ created Adam he said, “it is not good that man should be alone.” Therefore, God provided the female. Jesus Christ constructed Adam’s right woman. Their relationship, established in the garden, was continued after the fall. It has never been cancelled in any generation.
Marriage is the most basic and fundamental organization in the human race. Even the unbeliever, whose life is a total failure, can have great temporary happiness by marrying the right woman, Eccl 9:9.
Eccl 9:9, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”
It is the basis for stability in society and for the formation of civilization. It is the protection for the home, where the parents exercise authority over the children.
Under the authority of the Laws of Divine Establishment, the right man – right woman relationship becomes the normal, legitimate expression of category two love, 1 Cor 7:9; 1 Tim 5:14; Eph 5:22-23, 28, 33; Heb 13:4. This monogamous relationship is also an example of our relationship to Christ, as noted in our passages, Eph 5:26-33.
Marriage is the beginning of authority in life for adults. The husband has all the authority; there are no exceptions or rationalizations. Violations of a principle do not change the principle. We cannot deny the principle of marriage just because some have made bad marriages, or some husbands do not properly exercise their authority.
Marriage rejects the theory of revolution, anarchy, promiscuousness, and/or communal living.
c. Family. In the third D.I., God has provided certain Divine laws, such as the authority of parents, to protect, care, nourish, provide, train, and discipline children to prepare them for life. Parental authority is the way of preparing children for a normal life. Permissiveness destroys this.
There must be recognition of authority and orientation to certain principles of life in children in order to be functioning and productive adults. The parents have the responsibility to teach their children the basic principles of life. The highest expression of parental love is to inculcate these principles through the various forms of discipline. Children must be trained to respect the privacy, property, and rights of others, not to abuse freedom, and to have respect for authority.
Adjustment to life and orientation to circumstances demand authority training. Parents must teach poise, objectivity, respect for police, patriotism, and willingness to serve to protect freedom.
Christian parents must also evangelize and provide pre-doctrinal training for their children, Deut 6:6 9; 7:9. It is the responsibility of parents to instill respect for the Word of God, the teaching of Bible doctrine, plus recognition of authority of the Pastor-Teacher. This is a spiritual responsibility over and above their establishment responsibility.
d. Nationalism. The fourth D.I. is nationalism, the recognition and respect of sovereign and autonomous states, (countries). Nationalism is the form of world order that was instituted by God in which He segregated the peoples of the world into various national entities. Webster defines a nation as a group of people who have a common language, religion, traditions, history, institutions, and customs.
Each nation occupies a designated geographic locale, which has been established by God, to exercises rule over a segment of the human race, Acts 17:26.
Acts 17:26, “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.”
The Biblical proof that nationalism is authorized by God is found in Gen 10:5; Deut 32:8; Acts 17:26 28. With the Divine judgment of the original United Nations at the tower of Babel, the human race was then divided into nations. This division was originally based on clan, racial, geographical, and linguistic norms. That is why only one language should be recognized in a nation.
The formation of the Jewish nation set up the perfect standard of what a national entity should be. As the human race continued in history, true racial distinctions were obliterated in the rise of civilization. Thus, racial purity is a myth, except in pristine areas. Race is used by politicians to create false issues.
God sovereignly controls the establishment of nations and their destruction, and decides the fate of nations based on their volitional response to His plan, Jonah 3; Isa 44:7; 40:21-24; 41:2; Dan 2:21, 36ff.
Satan opposes Divine Institution #4, and seeks to circumvent nationalism via internationalism. If the entire human race were under one rule prior to the Millennium, it would self destruct. Internationalism results in loss of individual freedoms, is characterized by rejection of Divine revelation, and the destruction of those that would oppose “unity.”
National entities are a barrier to Satan, because they prevent him from unifying people under his system of evil; it is far more difficult to manage and control many individual entities than it is to control a single entity. Therefore, nationalism is the primary barrier to the supremacy of evil in the world and the loss of individual freedom, and is outlawed as being evil by the Word of God. To perpetuate the human race and bring history to its logical conclusion, God has designed the nation to protect the freedom and rights of all people on this planet.
Nationalism is designed to provide internal and external security for the citizens of a nation by means of government, which we are to honor and uphold.
a. External protection is provided by the legitimate military. The military of a nation is designed by God to protect the nation from aggression, from predator nations that seek to conquer and enslave other nations or peoples. The population of a nation only enjoys peace and security to the extent that their military can prevent invasion by aggressor nations.
b. Internal security is one legitimate function of the government by defining criminal activity, executing justice upon those that practice it, and protecting the populace from criminal exploitation, Deut 16:18-20. The government’s ability to punish crime acts as a deterrent for most normal people, Deut 13:6-11; 17:13; 19:15-20.
Criminal elements exist within the nation that seek to prey on the weak and defenseless, Prov 1:10-19. Criminals are defined as those who do not have regard for and violate the rights of persons, privacy, or property; they are not only a hazard to the individual, they are a danger to the community at large.
The authority of the national government runs the gamut from monetary punishment for minor offenses, to loss of rights for more significant offenses, to capital punishment for the most serious crimes, Gen 9:5-6; Rom 13:4, and to prevent revenge tactics and vendettas, Num. 35:9-34.
The believer recognizes the truth that there are no physical or spiritual authorities that exist apart from the will of God, Rom 13:1. The believer is to remain a loyal subject of the nation in which God has placed him, 1 Peter 2:12. This involves obedience to all the established authorities within the nation; this includes national, state, and local authorities, Rom 13:2; 1 Peter 2:13-17.
The Word of God does not sanction conspiracy, anarchy, revolution, assassination, or any attempt of any kind to undermine the government, Rom 13:2. The adjusted believer recognizes that while abuses exist, all authorities are ultimately placed there for his good, for the good of civilized society, and for the good of the human race in general, Rom 13:4.
The believer is to pray for the establishment chain of command, 1 Tim 2:1-3. Prayer for those in positions of leadership should focus on the issue of maintaining a safe, secure, and peaceful environment in which the local church is free to pursue and promote Bible doctrine, Eph 6:19; 2 Thes 3:1. Prayer should include the requests that good leaders would be blessed, national peace will prevail, attacks on personal and religious freedoms will be frustrated, and criminals will be frustrated.
3. Establishment and Human Freedom.
Freedom is the heritage of birth with the imputation of human life to the soul by God. God imputing human life to the soul is the basis for freedom. Freedom, therefore, is an extension of the various functions of the soul, (i.e., volition, mentality, emotion, conscience, and self-consciousness), and exists in two areas of life: 1) As an extension of the imputation of human life at birth, and 2) As an extension of regeneration, the imputation of eternal life to the human spirit.
The Laws of Divine Establishment deal with the first area of human freedom, while the principles of Bible doctrine under the Royal Family Honor Code deal with the second area of human freedom. Since man was created to resolve the Angelic Conflict, freedom is an extension of that conflict into human history. The Laws of Divine Establishment are designed to protect human freedom so that evangelism and spiritual advance can occur in every generation of history, as they protect the privacy, property, freedom, and volition of mankind.
Gal 5:1, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery, (sin, human good, and evil).”
John 8:31-32, “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’.”
God’s truth gives you spiritual freedom regardless of your human circumstances.
Rom 8:21, “That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” This refers to our future freedom.
2 Cor 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Psa 119:45, “And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts, (doctrines).”
The believer has freedom in the spiritual realm based on Christ’s work upon the Cross, but the freedom in the spiritual realm, which belongs only to the believer, must be distinguished from establishment freedom, which is the heritage of all people in a national entity as noted under the four Divine Institutions.
Therefore, the existence and perpetuation of freedom for all people, demands respect for the four Divine Institutions and respect for all forms of establishment authority inside each of the four D.I.’s. As such, under the Laws of Divine Establishment, freedom places demands upon both the believer and unbeliever to honor and respect the four D.I.’s and their accompanying authorities, as established by God.
In addition, the Decalogue, (Ten Commandments), is part of the Laws of Divine Establishment designed to protect human freedom and human rights. In them are Biblical statements to the believer about freedom, as we will note below.
4. Establishment and the Ten Commandments.
The Decalogue is found in Ex 20:1-17. These commandments are prefaced by the phrase, “You shall not,” which in Hebrew is the Imperfect tense with a Negative Particle used as the Imperative for a command of negation or prohibition.
That phrase indicates the believer’s responsibility in protecting human freedom through compliance with the Laws of Divine Establishment. The Decalogue does not deal with the subject of sin, per se, but with the subject of human freedom. It just so happens that certain sins are an attack on human freedom, as the ones noted in this list. Thus, the two subjects come together in the Decalogue.
The Ten Commandments define human freedom in terms of attitude toward God, people, and property. They tell us that peoples’ property is sacred, and that it belongs to them. It indicates that there is nothing wrong with being wealthy or successful; it is not anti Christian. People can be wealthy under free enterprise, and there is nothing wrong with it as long as they do not worship their wealth. It also tells us that you must have respect for people and their property by giving them their privacy.
1. The first commandment is not only a prohibition of idolatry, but national recognition that Jesus Christ controls history. It prohibits mental or soul idolatry.
2. While the first commandment prohibits mental or soul idolatry, the second prohibits overt idolatry, which is said to be contact with demons, Zech 10:2; 1 Cor 10:19 21. Demonism destroys human freedom, while overt idolatry destroys a nation, Isa 2:8, 18 20; 21:9; 36:18 20; 37:12 19; Jer 3:6 11; Ezek 6:4 6.
3. The third commandment prohibits the use of the name of the Lord God for vain and unworthy objects, including gossip, false testimony, and covering a lie. Using God’s name as an expletive is taking the Lord’s name in vain, but is only a minor portion of what this passage deals with. This passage means to use God as a front for your lying, cheating, stealing, or perjury. God’s name is used properly in worship, prayer, praise, thanksgiving, the expression of personal love for God, and doctrinal communication. God’s name should not be used to persuade people into a false position. In other words, “you shall not use the name of the Lord your God for evil.” God’s name is not to be used for human projects, which allege the will of God.
4. The fourth commandment relates the volition of man to time. The importance of the Sabbath is in the fact that it is a memorial to the grace of God. It is a reminder that God rested on the seventh day from all He had provided, Isa 58:11 14. The Sabbath also recognizes an establishment principle in the function of the economy, i.e., that people who work for a living have to have time to rest. People need to rest to get ready for the next week. Doing nothing is a reminder of grace. Just as the body needs rest for function, so man needs rest for freedom. Man with no rest becomes a slave. He has no opportunity to exercise his freedom and personal volition in relationship to time.
5. The fifth commandment establishes the principle of authority under the Laws of Divine Establishment. The first authority in life is that of parents. This is the first commandment that has a promise associated to it. “Respect your father and mother that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives to you.” Recognition of authority is the basic principle of orientation to life. Recognition of authority is the secret to a long healthy life.
6. The sixth commandment emphasizes the establishment principle of live and let live, “You shall not murder.” Killing is authorized for capital punishment and for those in the military fighting for freedom. Yet, murder is the basic violation of human freedom. It is also a sin. The right to live under God is removed when a person is murdered. If you intrude on God’s right to take life in His timing, you violate the Laws of Divine Establishment and commit the worst overt sin.
7. The seventh commandment protects the freedom of right man – right woman, “You shall not commit adultery.” Adultery is both a sin and an attack on human freedom. Capacity for love and life is distorted and ruined, so that adultery not only abuses freedom, but destroys the possibility for happiness in life. A woman should be one man’s property. A man is one woman’s property. From the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden onward, a sacred sanction has been attached to marriage expressed in Gen. 2:24, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” In Matt. 19:5, our Lord Jesus Christ reaffirmed the sanctity of the marriage. The relative neglect of these guidelines in our modern culture has led to untold degradation and misery, both to the partners in impurity and to all affected children.
8. The eighth commandment emphasizes the right of private property under the Laws of Divine Establishment, “You shall not steal.” Stealing is a sin, a crime, and a violation of the Laws of Divine Establishment. As we noted above under “Nationalism,” the command demands the government protect both the lives and property of those in the nation. Stealing is a basic and complete disorientation to life. People who have accumulated things in life have a right to those things. You should not even steal to stay alive. It is as low a thing as could occur. Stealing is short-cutting the function of advancing under authority. Governments steal through high taxes.
When you are oriented to life, you never have to steal. You recognize people have the right to their property, and you are not tempted to steal. If you are, it is a warning you are not oriented to life and to the Laws of Divine Establishment.
9. The ninth commandment emphasizes the protection of human freedom through objectivity in the function of the law. Laws of evidence demand truth in courtroom testimony. This verbal sin is sinful and anti-establishment. Hearsay is not admissible as testimony. You cannot live and let live and gossip at the same time. Law cannot function objectively with perjury; society cannot live objectively where gossip and maligning goes unchecked.
10. The tenth commandment demands restraint on the lust pattern of the Old Sin Nature. This command was the basis for Paul’s discovery of the Old Sin Nature, Rom 7:7.
Rom 7:7, “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COVET’.”
5. Establishment and Authority.
People cannot survive until they understand authority. Authority is the legal power delegated by God under the Laws of Divine Establishment, whereby a certain member of the human race has jurisdiction and responsibility for other members of the human race. While authority exists in both spiritual and temporal realms, only temporal authority is related to the Laws of Divine Establishment. Spiritual authority is related to the Royal Family Honor Code.
Establishment authority is for both the believer and unbeliever. It includes the authority of husband over wife, parents over children, teachers over students, coaches over athletes, management over labor, senior rank over junior rank, police officers over public, etc. In the spiritual realm, the Pastor-Teacher is the authority over the congregation, 1 Cor 16:15 16; 2 Cor 10:8; 1 Thes 5:12; Heb 13:7, 17.
In the realm of establishment, the husband has the authority over the wife. The wife consents to the marriage, and therefore is under his authority until death, Eph 5:22; Col 3:18. Authority in the business world stabilizes the economy. Management and investment has all the authority, never labor, Eph 6:5; Col 3:22. Likewise, freedom through military victory is based on authority in military establishment, Neh 4:13 15.
Therefore, we must differentiate between the person and the delegated authority a person has, and honor it and them as necessary. Establishment defines authority, and without authority, there is no establishment. Authority is necessary for the function of the Laws of Divine Establishment, and the Laws of Divine Establishment define the function of authority for the proper function of the human race.
Authority Orientation, a Problem Solving Device
Authority has been an issue since the beginning of the human race, Gen 3. The fall was rejection of authority. The woman rejected the authority of God and Bible doctrine and accepted the authority of Satan. She also rejected the authority of her right man, 1 Tim 2:11-14.
1 Tim 2:14, “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.”
Man accepted the authority of the woman first rejecting God’s authority, thereby throwing his delegated authority away. Therefore, rejection of authority on the part of the woman contributed to her fall. The woman failed in the garden under two principles of authority.
a. First she failed under the principle of the Word, which was taught by Jesus Christ to both of them daily.
b. Secondly, she failed under the principle of the authority of the man who was both divinely commissioned as ruler of the world, as well as the ruler of the woman under category #2 love. Under the original Laws of Divine Establishment, Adam was the ruler of planet earth and he was also the ruler of the woman. Both failures are emphasized in 1 Tim 2:11-14. So the first civilization really began with rejection of authority: revolution.
As we have noted, authority has been delegated by God to four Divine Institutions.
a. Self-determination is the authority of your own soul with emphasis on your volition. With freedom to make decisions comes responsibility.
b. Marriage is the authority of the husband over the wife, Eph 5:22; Col 3:18.
c. Family is the authority of the parents over the children, Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20.
d. Nationalism is the authority of government over the citizens of that nation.
It is inevitable that arrogance will challenge any legitimate system of authority, as it did in the Garden of Eden. When it does, tyranny results. This is Satanic in nature. For Satan, as the ruler of this world, constantly seeks to do everything possible to overthrow the Divinely-delegated authority that brings freedom and blessing to individuals and nations.
Freedom and authority must coexist. You cannot have freedom without authority. Freedom without authority is anarchy. Authority without freedom is tyranny. Freedom includes the right of privacy, the right of self-determination, the right to hold your own opinions, and the sacredness of property and life. Establishment freedom is the heritage of physical birth. In order to have freedom, we must have authority and be oriented to that authority, which means to have the utmost respect for and honor the authority and authorities in our lives.
God has certain commandments directed to the believer for obedience to authority, which is having authority orientation, Deut 11:27; 1 Sam 15:22; Jer 7:23; 11:4, 7.
Deut 11:27, “The blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today.”
1 Sam 15:22, “Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”
Jer 7:23, “But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you’.”
These commandments stem from the omniscience and sovereignty of God, and are executed by the believer through the function of Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP). Perception of Bible doctrine is based on a principle of authority orientation. Perception of Bible doctrine is the only way to advance spiritually.
While believers positive toward doctrine advance to maturity, execute the plan of God, and become invisible heroes, a positive believer cannot maintain and continue momentum unless he maintains and continues the basis for doing so, which is authority orientation.
As noted above, perception of doctrine is based on a principle of authority orientation. Perception of Bible doctrine is the only way to advance spiritually. Such perception absolutely demands authority orientation. There is no way you can read your Bible for yourself and understand and execute God’s Plan. That is why God has given the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher, Eph 4:11; for our perception of Bible doctrine under authority orientation for advancement spiritually.
Authority orientation is honor and humility; the greater the authority over people, the greater the responsibility of the leader and the people to have humility. No matter how high we go in life, there is always higher authority that must be recognized in order to perpetuate humility as orientation to life.
Our nation was founded on the principles of the Laws of Divine Establishment, as noted in the Introduction and Preamble of the Declaration of Independence.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
George Mason, Father of the United States Bill of Rights noted in 1776, “The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth.”
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that to secure these rights, governments are institutions among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . . to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness. … to provide new guards for their future security.”
As we have noted, the L.D.E. define the function of authority that we must be oriented to, because authority orientation is necessary for the function of the L.D.E.
Without authority orientation under the L.D.E., our nation will inevitably follow the path of destruction for a nation, as noted by Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh at around the time of our nation’s birth, who outlined 8 steps as to how nations rise and fall.
1. From bondage to spiritual faith.
2. From spiritual faith to great courage.
3. From courage to liberty.
4. From liberty to abundance.
5. From abundance to complacency.
6. From complacency to apathy.
7. From apathy to dependence.
8. From dependence back into bondage.
There are many benefits and blessings from having Authority Orientation, including being a Problem Avoiding and Problem Solving Device.
Authority Orientation is one of the 11 Problem Solving Devices.
1. Rebound – Psa 32:5b; 1 John 1:9.
2. Filling of the Holy Spirit – John 14:26; 16:12-14; Eph 5:18; Gal 5:16.
3. Doctrinal Orientation – Heb 11:1; 1 Thes 4:13.
4. Faith Rest Drill – Psa 37:4-5; Rom 4:20; 2 Cor 8:9; Heb 4:1-3.
5. Grace Orientation – Eph 3:20; 2 Cor 12:9.
6. Authority Orientation – Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-3:6; 2 Cor 10:8; Eph 5:21-24, 33b-6:9; Col 3:18-25.
7. Personal Sense of Destiny – Eph 3:16; Phil 4:9; Rom 9:23.
8. Personal Love for God the Father – 1 John 4:19; Rom 5:5; 8:28; 1 Cor 2:9.
9. Impersonal Unconditional Love for Mankind – John 15:15; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14.
10. Sharing the Perfect Happiness of God – John 15:11; Prov 3:13; 1 John 1:4.
11. Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 1:8.
As such, when the believer is oriented to authority in life, it will first cause the avoidance of many problems in life, and secondly, adjust the mentality of the soul to overcome existing problems in life, especially those problems caused by rejection of authority.
Authority Orientation and Joy, the +H of God.
1. When we are properly orientated to the various forms of authority in our lives, we build capacity for joy, God’s happiness (+H) in our lives. This joy is the inner peace, contentment, and happiness that can also be expressed outwardly in our lives, as also noted in Eph 5:19-20, “singing and making melody with your heart.”
“Joy” is inner liveliness caused by response to metabolized Bible doctrine in the soul’s stream of consciousness. Joy is the reality of the spiritual life in the thinking of your soul. It is animated thinking, as a result of God’s Word in your Soul. Authority orientation is life orientation. Therefore, “Authority Orientation and Joy,” have to do with building capacity within your soul for joy, by learning and applying God’s Word to life’s situations where there is authority. When you apply God’s Word in life, your soul is freed from sin and the garbage of Satan’s Cosmic System that hinders happiness, and therefore you build capacity within your soul for the Joy of Jesus Christ, Psa 89:15-18; John 15:11.
John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
Psa 89:15-18, “How blessed (happy) are the people who know the joyful sound (trumpet blast = authority orientation)! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. 16In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are exalted. 17For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor (Grace) our horn is exalted (military victory). 18For our shield belongs to the LORD, even to our King the Holy One of Israel (Jesus Christ).”
2. When we reject authority in our lives, we do not have joy, Psa 107:10-11; Isa 59:7-8; Rom 3:11, 16; 13:1f. cf. Rom 8:7; 10:3.
Rom 3:11, “There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; …16destruction and misery are in their paths.”
Rom 8:7, “Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”
Isaiah 59:7-8, “Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, devastation and destruction are in their highways. 8They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks; they have made their paths crooked, whoever treads on them does not know peace.”
3. Your authority orientation towards your Pastor/Teacher gives him great joy and provides you with tremendous amounts of Bible doctrine that in turn gives you great inner peace, happiness, and joy. It frees him from having to address various problems or situations that distract him from his main job so that he can focus on studying and teaching, Heb 13:17.
Heb 13:7, “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.”
a. You “remember” Pastors by attending Bible class, by praying for them, by understanding that they have an abnormal life and supporting them financially, 1 Cor 9:3-14; 1 Tim 5:17-18.
b. The issue of a Pastor’s way of life is first their teaching of Bible doctrine, and secondly how they conduct themselves in life. Are they faithful in studying and teaching the word, is the primary issue. Then secondly, is their conduct, as they too need to apply what is taught. But remember the Pastor is not perfect, and has an Old Sin Nature, just as you do. Therefore, you are not to be hyper critical regarding your Pastor.
Heb 13:16, “And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
a. We must, according to our power, give to the necessities of the body of Christ, especially towards the needs of our Pastor/Teachers. The Pastor is totally dependent on the grace of God and the grace of the local assembly. We are commanded to give graciously in all aspects, especially in providing for our Pastor, 2 Cor 9:7-8.
b. God accepts these offerings with pleasure, and will accept and bless the one who offers, through Christ.
Heb 13:17, “Obey your leaders (Pastor/Teacher) and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”
4. Authority Orientation towards governing authorities frees the soul, so that the joy of God can come in, Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Prov 21:15.
a. “to be subject to” is the Greek verb HUPOTASSO, (as in Eph 5:21), and in Romans and Peter it is in the Imperative Mood which is a command. In Titus 3:1, the word “remind” is in the Imperative Mood where Titus is commanded to remind believers of the command “to be in subjection to authority.”
Titus 3:1, “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.”
Prov 21:15, “The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, but is terror to the workers of iniquity.”
5. Wives who submit to the authority of their husbands have capacity for joy. The husband has authority over the wife. The husband’s authority over his wife provides great happiness in category two love. This stabilizes category two love, Eph 5:22-24, 33b; Col 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1-6.
6. Children who submit to the authority of their Parents have capacity for joy, Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20; Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16; Prov 6:20; 23:22-25.
7. Workers who submit to their bosses have capacity for joy, Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-24; 1 Peter 2:18-19, 25; 1 Tim 6:1-2; Titus 2:9.
8. Rejection of authority carries responsibility, and results in a life of misery, unhappiness, disaster, and no human or Spiritual Self-Esteem, Rom 13:5.
Rom 13:5, “Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection …for conscience’ sake.”
The Role of Human Volition in Accepting Authority.
As we have noted, responding to authority is a function of human volition. Therefore, for D.I. # 2-4 to function properly, we must function under D.I. #1 properly. In other words, the function of authority is a matter of personal volition. The acceptability of authority in this life is dependent upon human volition.
Our God given freedom under D.I. #1, (Freedom of choice – volition), provides the option of accepting or rejecting authority in life, both legitimate and illegitimate authority. While God has delegated legitimate authority in life under the Laws of Divine Establishment, (L.D.E.), these authorities are useless, if human volition does not accept them. In fact, even D.I. #1, requires authority, the authority over your own soul with the intake and application of God’s Word, Bible Doctrine, that otherwise would be controlled by the Old Sin Nature, (OSN).
Legitimate authority is delegated by God through two categories of truth; the Laws of Divine Establishment, and the content of Bible doctrine. Illegitimate authority is based upon the function of man’s arrogance in the cosmic system of Satan. Power lust is one of the motivating factors in arrogance and illegitimate authority.
What makes authority work is human consent, where rational human beings understand the importance of the principle of authority, regardless of whether they like the personality or not.
Therefore, legitimate government has authority over its citizenry, but that authority is useless apart from human consent. Human consent in this country is expressed first by voting for someone you think will do the job, and second by consenting to be governed by whoever is duly elected. The important factor is the consent of the governed. Apart from human consent, there is revolution, civil war, violence, terrorism, crime, dictatorships, slavery, and other functions of evil.
While God has delegated authority in life to such legitimate categories as government, husbands, parents, teachers, coaches, public officers, judges, and management, this authority is useless apart from human consent. And the fact is, which we must caution ourselves against, that you can be bullied into accepting authority, especially illegitimate authority, even though, in the long run, it will be ineffective and detrimental to you.
For example, the husband has legitimate authority over his wife. But his authority is useless unless his wife, from her own free will, recognizes and accepts it. Regardless of whether she is motivated by love or something else, she must accept his authority, as noted in Eph 5:22. Therefore, even personal love is not the answer, because personal love does not accept human authority, unless the authority agrees with it and does what it wants. But as soon as the authority says “no,” then the personal love is gone. That is why impersonal love is necessary in authority orientation. Without impersonal love, the woman, for example, resents the authority of the man, and therefore becomes an uncontrollable woman.
From the example of the woman and Adam in the Garden of Eden, arrogance resulted from the rejection of legitimate authority in life. Such arrogance is the source of evil and psychosis. Rejection of authority causes people to degenerate, either morally or immorally.
For example, rejection of all authorities means you have the potential of becoming a criminal. It means you will reject the authority of the police officer, the judge on the bench, and of management. Rejection of authority carries responsibility, and results in a life of misery, unhappiness, disaster, and no human or spiritual self-esteem. Such miserable people make those in their periphery miserable too.
Therefore, legitimate authority is only effective where human volition responds to it under the principle of freedom. When we choose for legitimate authority, we are blessed both individually and collectively. However, when people through arrogance and power madness gravitate to the cosmic system, they use their volition to make decisions from a position of weakness which has both personal and national repercussions.
Our founding fathers and forefathers understood these principles of authority orientation, especially in regard to the governance of our nation.
John Adams stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In 1789 George Washington noted, “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”
President Calvin Coolidge noted in 1923, “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”
President Ronald Reagan stated, “Government should uphold–and not undermine–those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded: religion, education, and, above all, family.”
The biggest issue that keeps anyone from growing up is their rejection of authority, their lack of consent to submit to necessary authority under the Laws of Divine Establishment. Every person is a product of their own decisions. Good decisions from a position of strength accept authority and develop capacity for life. Bad decisions from a position of weakness reject authority and fulfill passages dealing with the laws of volitional responsibility, Prov 22:8; Hos 8:7; Gal 6:7; Col 3:25.
Hos 8:7, “For they sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; it yields no grain. Should it yield, strangers would swallow it up.”
Gal 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
Col 3:25, “For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.”
Believers who gravitate to a life of fulfillment of lust and arrogance have used their free will to ruin their lives. How does the rise of dictatorship and evil happen? People use their own free will to gravitate to a system of evil power, especially in time of historical disaster. Such small groups as the Bolsheviks and Nazis have controlled millions of people, because the people surrendered to them with their own free will, gravitating to a system of power.
When people gravitate to God’s Power System, (GPS), they use their own volition to make good decisions for legitimate authority, and inevitably receive Divine blessing as they become mature believers. However, when believers gravitate to the power of the cosmic system, they use their volition to make bad decisions from a position of weakness. Inevitably, they give their authority to evil leaders with disastrous consequences.
Evil has no authority apart from human consent. We are the products of our own decisions. We are constantly assigning authority to evil people who represent the cosmic system, or to righteous people who represent the L.D.E. When given to evil people, this is how dictators become oppressors of the people. This explains the rise of terror in the French Revolution, as well as the rise of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler. In times of tribulation, the free will of man often chooses for an alleged or apparent strong man. By so doing, man establishes the authority of evil in dictatorship. Therefore in history, disaster is the result of individual and collective decisions of people. People are the products of their own volition.
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence stated, “The only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible.”
He also stated, “The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life…The Bible…should be read in our schools in preference to all other books, because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.”
Good decisions from a position of strength place the believer in the directive will of God. The believer is both protected and blessed in the directive will of God. The winners in history never deviate from the Divine authority of God’s directive will and His mandates found in His Word, which lead the believer to spiritual maturity, the establishment of a pivot, and the manufacture of invisible heroes.
Mark Twain noted, “It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.”
Act 23:5, “You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.”
Rom 13:1, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”
1 Peter 2:13-15, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution whether to a king as the one in authority, 14or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
Next, are three examples of relationships properly characterized by submission, (yieldedness), and authority orientation, (wives/husbands; parents/children; masters/slaves). Paul tells us that the Spirit’s fullness is also needed in the home. If our homes are to be a heaven on earth, then we must be controlled by the Holy Spirit. But how can a person tell whether or not he is filled with the Spirit? Paul says nothing about miracles or tongues, or other special manifestations. He states that the home can be a heaven on earth if each family member is controlled by the Spirit, and is joyful, thankful, and submissive.
Therefore, having admonished believers to be wise by being controlled by the Holy Spirit, Paul now applies this to specific life-relationships. This is what is called the “Household Code.” It is relatively easy to exhibit a Spirit-filled life for one or two hours a week in church, but it takes the work of the Holy Spirit to exhibit godliness not only on Sundays, but also in everyday relationships between wives and husbands, children and parents, and slaves and masters. In each of these three relationships, the first partner is commanded to be submissive or obedient, Eph 5:22; 6:1, 5. But the second partner is also to show submissiveness by his care and concern for the first partner. Both partners are to act toward one another as a service rendered to the Lord.
We have been learning about our new life in Christ in the book of Ephesians. One of the most important results of our new life is that we have new relationships. Sin separates us from God and people. But through Christ everything changes. Our relationships with one another are now different, Eph 2:11-22. Our relationships with our spouses are different, Eph 5:22-33. Our relationships with our children are different, Eph 6:1-4. Our relationships at work are different, Eph 6:5-9. And our relationship with this world is different, Eph 6:10-24. Here we will consider the Spirit’s work in relationships in general and in marriage in particular.