He Removes Kings

Church leaders often exhort their members to work diligently for the election of politicians of whom they approve, claiming it is God’s will to do so as well as their “Christian duty.” They warn of the dire consequences that will befall the church and the nation if they fail to immerse themselves in partisan politics and promote the moral values and social policies endorsed by them. Moreover, they do this despite what Scripture declares on the matter.

Apparently, followers of Jesus must fight tooth and nail for the candidates chosen by their “spiritual” leaders, even using the immoral means of this world to do so when necessary.

Cosmos Alone - Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
[Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash]

How do these men of God know which politician or political party represents God’s will, or which proposed policy will advance His cause on the Earth? Can our Christian leaders see “
the end from the beginning,” or do they know what is truly in the heart of any political candidate or officeholder? How do they know what the plan of the Almighty is?

The Book of Daniel begins by declaring that God GAVE the king of Judah, Jerusalem, and the “vessels of the house of God” into the “hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon,” the pagan ruler who would destroy the Kingdom of Judah, the City of Jerusalem, and the Temple, and exile many Jews to Mesopotamia.

What patriotic Israelite in his right mind would have elected that idol-worshipping despot to the imperial throne? Nevertheless, with that very king in mind, Daniel praised Yahweh as the one who “removes kings and sets up kings,” and later, he pronounced to Nebuchadnezzar himself:

  • You are the king of kings, for the God of Heavens has GIVEN YOU the kingship, the might, the power, and the dignity; and wherever the sons of men dwell, the wild beasts of the field and the birds of the air has HE GIVEN into your hand and made you ruler over them all.”

One evening, after he attributed his might and majesty to his own power, an angel pronounced punishment on the great king so that he would learn that the “Most-High has dominion over the kingdom of men, and TO WHOMEVER HE PLEASES, he gives it, and sets up over it EVEN THE BASEST OF MEN.”

Consequently, Nebuchadnezzar was removed from the throne for “seven seasons” until God restored him to office. Humbled, the mighty ruler of the World Empire declared:

  • I rendered praise and honor to the God of Heaven, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation, before whom and all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and according TO HIS OWN PLEASURE he deals with the army of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth, and none there is who can smite upon his hand, or say to him - WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

He discovered that Yahweh ALONE has dominion over all political powers, and He gives the right to rule to whomever he pleases to accomplish His purposes. Why are so many of us seemingly incapable of accepting and applying this lesson from Scripture?

GOD’S ARRANGEMENT


Writing to believers living in the center of the World Empire, the Apostle Paul exhorted them to respect governors, magistrates, and the king. It seems “there is no authority except by God, and the existing ones HAVE BEEN ARRANGED BY HIM, therefore, he who opposes the authority, OPPOSES THE ARRANGEMENT OF GOD” - (Romans 13:1-7).

He wrote this when members of the church had few if any civil “rights” under Roman rule. They certainly had no ability or opportunity to elect their political rulers or influence governmental policies.

This new faith was an “illegal” religion in the eyes of the Roman government, and Caesar certainly was no champion of democracy or religious and individual liberties. He was an absolute ruler whose word was law, yet Paul warned believers that to oppose the existing government constituted rebellion against the “arrangement” of God.

At the time Paul wrote his Letter, the Empire was ruled by Nero, one of the most despotic rulers in Roman history, a man who murdered his mother, kicked his pregnant wife to death, and became the first emperor to persecute the Church of Jesus Christ. Very likely, Paul was executed during the ‘Neronian Persecution’, yet the Apostle exhorted believers in Rome not to oppose Caesar’s government.

Roman Ruins - Photo by Stefan Gogov on Unsplash
[Photo by Stefan Gogov on Unsplash]

God's hand is not limited. He can save His people by many or few, and He is well able to employ evil, good, and even incompetent politicians to achieve His plans, and despite its irresistible power, the Roman Empire is no more.

The same fate awaits today's most powerful empires and regimes. In the end, only the Kingdom of God will be left standing, and all existing political systems, parties, and ideologies will prove to be little more than perishing meat.

When Satan offered Jesus all the political powers of this world, he refused the offer. Instead, he submitted to an unjust death at the hands of the World Empire., and he taught his disciples to walk that same path – To deny themselves, take up the cross, and become servants of all men who are in need.

Since his elevation to the Davidic Throne, Jesus has been calling his Assembly to proclaim HIS Gospel to all nations, NOT to seize political power and forcibly impose his reign, or otherwise imitate the corrupt political systems of this age.

This is not a call for passivity or disengagement from the world, but a summons for true disciples to engage humanity and governments in the same way that Jesus and his Apostles did - Through faithful witness, prayer, enduring unjust suffering, and when necessary, martyrdom.

Certainly, Christians are free to vote and otherwise participate in the political systems of this world, but they fool themselves if they think doing so (or not) will thwart the purposes of the Creator of all things. Moreover, it is a dangerous thing to oppose the will of God.

Unfortunately, having arrogated to themselves the right to decide who should govern, according to their own likes and dislikes, far too many church “leaders” have presumed upon what is God’s prerogative alone. Nevertheless, it is the “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” who grants political power to whomever He pleases.



RELATED POSTS:
  • Ruler of Kings - (The faithful witness, Jesus, now reigns supreme over the Kings of the Earth and even over his enemies, and he is shepherding the nations)
  • His Present Reign - (The PRESENT reign of Jesus began with his exaltation to the messianic Throne following his death and resurrection – Psalms 110:1)
  • Sovereign over all things - (The New Testament applies messianic promises in the Psalms to the present reign of Jesus who possesses all authority in Heaven and on Earth)

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