God and Militia:

We cannot ask ministers and pastors and their congregations to do things that are not consistent with the word of God and Jesus Christ. Most pastors and preachers today advocate that their members do their “duty” to go vote and become involved in certain political issues they feel directly impacts the church and the scripture. The churches themselves will not become involved in any issues except for abortion, and in some cases, homosexuality. Yet the pastors and preachers will advocate, even from the pulpit, the need for their members to become involved in leading the nation and states in a Godly way and liken that activity to the actions of the early American church and their members fighting for freedom and principle. But in most cases the church and the pastor will remain far away from the battlefield and in most cases will not render aid to those injured in the fight.

But what is the role of the church on earth while Christ is away? Do they have a responsibility to defend the people and their property consisting of life, liberty and possessions? Or is the church merely an outpost of heaven built in hell to show folks how to endure hell and get by until they die and go to heaven? Unfortunately this is not only bad theology but bad for the nation and Western Civilization. Scripture seems to indicate that the church and its members are already in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth:

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7 (Bolding added) 

Is it not clear that we are in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth at this very moment? And that being the case, why are the Christians hiding under rocks and the dark corners and in their churches? If there are to be any brave people in the world it is us Christians and if not us who are in heaven with eternal life which we cannot lose who?

And scripture shows that Christians and pastors are to be salt and light in the world and to be husbandmen of God’s creation and to stand at the hedge and in the watch tower to guard the vineyard and the winepress from the evil that would steal, kill and destroy the Kingdom:

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matthew 5:13

We should be salt that is good and useful for people to help them live. But if we lose our power to be of some use to the world we shall be cast out of it and be trodden under the feet of the world. This is a warning to all Christians and the church.

“Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.” Matthew 21:33-41  

Obviously, Christ is talking about his own future of being cast out of the vineyard and killed. But, what about after this, while Christ has been cast out, while we wait for his return?

“For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” Mark 13:34-37  

Are we to allow the hedge to open up and the tower to fall and the heathens steal and destroy the vineyard that Christ has established? Does Christ need guards and stewards and husbandmen while he is away, or after he returns to destroy all evil with the brightness of his coming? Should we not become the husbandmen that render unto God the fruits in their season and guard the vineyard to do so? And what is the fruit that Christ and his Father are looking for? Is it not those who are born again by the power of Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension? But is that all? Could the fruit also be the stewardship of the vineyard so that the fruit can continue to ripen on the vine? How can we produce the fruit of salvation if the let the horsemen trample the vineyard under hoof? We need the preaching, the hearing and the doing of sound doctrine that includes salvation and the defense of the vineyard.

If Christ has warned that we should take care of the vineyard to render unto him the fruit then did he provide us with the tools and authority to do so? Yes indeed, he not only gave us authority in the vineyard or the world to rule it, as shown above, but left us powerful tools to defeat the army of evil as well. He gave us work and the command to watch and guard against intrusion of the enemy, not only spiritual but material. We are not to become spiritually polluted or materially ravaged. When Christ returns will he find a watching powerful church that has guarded and defended the vineyard from the evil one and nurtured fruit branches on the vine? Or will he find just uncertain clanging noise of the church polluted, derelict, and fruitless?

Well, then we should find out what the tools of maintaining the hedge and tower are and arm the watchmen and the hedge keepers and the husbandmen for defense and pruning, watering and harvesting. The entire cosmos is God’s house and He has made Christ His King and Judge of it and Christ has given his disciples authority to run it while Christ is away. And Christ has given his disciples tools to use while he is away. In fact he has made all Christians kings and priests in his kingdom he has established by his death, resurrection and ascension.

“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:6  

“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:10  

It is pretty obvious that we have obtained authority to rule and reign in the vineyard and on the earth in this present age while Christ is away and before his return. Christ needs us not to rule the one world when he returns as his coming will destroy all evil in the cosmos.[1] No matter what kind of tools one has, if you don’t have authority or right you have nothing at all. All tyrants fall, not because they don’t have superior power but because they don’t have authority any longer, even if they had it to start with.

What is the purpose of all governments on the earth according to scripture?

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:1-10   

We cannot stop the reading of Romans Chapter 13 at the first two verses to get the full meaning. Paul is saying that God has ordained government to rule mankind as long as it works to defend the rights and properties of all individuals under its jurisdiction. And those that resist this God granted authority will bring the sword of God against them. But what happens when this ordained institution is reversed? There is no better interpretation of Romans 13 than that provided us by Algernon Sidney[2] in his Discourses of Government for which he was beheaded in 1683 by King Charles II for placing sovereignty in the people not the king:

“This shews the work of all magistrates to be always and everywhere the same, even the doing of justice, and procuring the welfare of those that create them. This we learn from common sense: Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and the best human authors lay it as an unmoveable foundation, upon which they build their arguments relating to matters of that nature: And the Apostle from better authority declares, That rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil: Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shah have praise of the same; for he is the minister of God unto thee for good: But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain; for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.[3] And the reason he gives for praying for kings, and all that are in authority, is, that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.[4] But if this be the work of the magistrate, and the glorious name of God's minister be given to him for the performance of it, we may easily see to whom that title belongs. His children and servants ye are, whose works ye do.[5] He therefore, and he only, is the servant of God, who does the work of God; who is a terror to those that do evil, and a praise to those that do well; who beareth the sword for the punishment of wickedness and vice, and so governs, that the people may live quietly in all godliness and honesty. The order of his institution is inverted, and the institution vacated, if the power be turned to the praise of those that do evil, and becomes a terror to such as do well; and that none who live honestly and justly can be quiet under it.”[6]

So our founders here in early America knew well that when government stops punishing evil and begins to punish good and harm their properties and remove their defense which protects all their other possessions the government loses God’s ordination as well as the authority granted them from the people. And the same action justifies the formation of a militia even if no other government or subdivision of it or any magistrate will approve of it. And this militia is protected and ordained of God to protect the property of the people against their own government at every level if necessary. Christians are given superior tools to fight against the tyranny of man and his devices and governments:

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

And I will give him the morning star.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 2:26-29

This is the power to tear down nations that do not conform to the Principles of Property derived from the Natural Law that is built into all men by God. This is the power of Christians and others with them to destroy unlawful nations that abuse the property of their citizens. The current mainstream theological Christian world view under the influence of the false doctrine of Premillennialism does not perceive of the church having any role in civil government much less power over the nations. But this is obviously not Biblical or our forefathers would not have endeavored to create the United States of America or seek more freedom in the Glorious English Revolution of 1688.

It is common today to hear people say that there is a Spiritual Kingdom and a material kingdom and the works of Christ and his saints is all about building a spiritual kingdom that is separate and apart from the material world we observe everyday. They also erroneously conclude that Christians and the Church have no business messing around with government on earth.

Christ has promised to those Christians who are born again into the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and who keep the works of Christ and resist the devices of Satan to deceive them into believing that Christians are powerless in the world will, in fact, have obtained power over the nations and the material world. It is the doctrines of Christ that he initiated into the world that are the very power of God in the world to change it for the benefit of His Son Jesus and his disciples. These nations Christ speaks of are not in some unknown spiritual realm. Neither does Christ speak of the nations after his return to earth in his second coming. There will only be one nation at the return of Christ and that is the Kingdom of God and it will cover the Earth and reach unto the most distant galaxies. Christ needs not assistance in ruling the world or the nations while he stands upon it in his omnipotent, glorified, eternal, indestructible body. But he most assuredly needs assistance in ruling the world while he is away on a far trip. This is the time that Christ speaks of and promises that his disciples will have power over the nations while he is away.

The power to become a pillar in the temple of God is the power to create lawful government on earth. This is authority from God while Christ is away on his “long journey” to establish government on earth that is operated by the principles that the King of kings and Lord of lords has established in his first coming. Therefore, Christians have power to tear down unlawful governments with the rod of iron as given the Church at Thyatira and they have the power to create new lawful governments on earth in this promised power to become pillars in the temple of God which is the Kingdom of Heaven or God on earth which has already been established by the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus:

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Revelation 3:12 

Notice that all the seven churches spoken of in Revelation are churches that are on earth not in the afterlife. So it is clear that Christ is granting powers to the church and to individuals in the church to rule on the earth not after the death of the vessel or after the return of Christ wherein he needs not any of us to rule a world without sin and evil. There are other tools promised us in the first three chapters of Revelation which all Christians should learn of and put to use. But those discussed here are significant in and of themselves if not totally sufficient.

No pastor or church should doubt their right or authority to act in defense and to act in a coordinated way with others both in and out of the church in their defense. God is not the author of tyranny and the church has a right to defend against it and to create new lawful government better to their need and liking:

“I am not now unseasonably, according to the Prelate's order, to dispute of the power of lawful defence against tyranny; but, I lay down this maxim of divinity: Tyranny being a work of Satan, is not from God, because sin, either habitual or actual, is not from God: the power that is, must be from God; the magistrate, as magistrate, is good in nature of office, and the intrinsic end of his office, (Rom. xiii. 4) for he is the minister of God for thy good; and, therefore, a power ethical, politic, or moral, to oppress, is not from God, and is not a power, but a licentious deviation of a power; and is no more from God, but from sinful nature and the old serpent, than a license to sin.”[7] (Bolding added)

It should be clear now to any pastor, preacher, priest, clergyman, church and Christian that they have a right to organize against tyranny and against any move by any government to disarm the people which removes their ability to defend themselves. It is high time to organize and act in militia to resist any effort by any government to pick up firearms from the people of our community. It is the duty of the clergy to guard the vineyard to continue the growth and production of salvation within it. Any clergy that refuses to defend the vineyard has no care for the salvation of mankind and will lose their saltness and savor.

Rev. Samuel Rutherford was instrumental in bringing about the Glorious Revolution in the United Kingdom and died from the stress of having his books ordered burned in the streets and being summoned to stand trial for treason. How can any clergyman refuse to defend his own flock and pretend that he only has a duty to bring the word of salvation to his congregation?

[1] 2 Thessalonians 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

[2] “Thomas Jefferson regarded John Locke and Algernon Sidney as the two leading sources for the American understanding of the principles of political liberty and the rights of humanity” “From the Minutes of the Board of Visitors, University of Virginia,” March 4, 1825, in Thomas Jefferson, Writings (New York: Library of America, 1984) 479. 

[3] Romans 13:3-4

[4] 1 Timothy 2:1-2

[5] Romans 6:16:  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

[6] Algernon Sidney Discourses Concerning Government ed. Thomas G. West (Liberty Fund, Inc. 8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250-1687) Chap. 1, Sec. 20, p. 70.

[7] Rev. Samuel Rutherford Lex Rex 1644, (Crown Rights Book Company, P.O. Box 386 Dahlonega, Georgia 30533, 2004) Question 9, p.34.