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“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
Civil Authority is Delegated, Limited and Accountable
To the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, our Lord Jesus Christ declared: “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” John 19:11. Clearly, all authority is delegated by God and all authority is answerable to God. Authority is limited, delegated and accountable to God.
Ministry of Justice
The Bible is very clear that God has instituted civil government as “an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrong-doer.” Romans 13:4. Civil governments are called to a minister of God’s Justice: “to punish those who do wrong.” 1 Peter 2:14
To Protect and to Serve
The Bible makes it clear that the primary duties and responsibilities of any civil authority are the protection of law-abiding citizens and the punishment of law-breaking criminals. Psalm 101, reminds us that the duty of God-honouring rulers is to destroy the wicked, to root out evil and to protect the law-abiding.
Render Unto Caesar the Things That Are Caesars
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught that we are to: “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are God’s.” Luke 20:25. To illustrate this, our Lord held up a coin and asked: “Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said: “Caesars” Luke 20:24. We are to render to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar (such as taxes).
And To God the Things That Are God’s
By way of contrast, anything having the image of God (e.g. children) do not belong to the state. Children are not made in the image of Caesar, but in the image of God. We are to render to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar. Not everything that Caesar demands. Caesar receives the coin. Everything else belongs to God.
The Sanctity of Life
The sanctity of life is the foundation for the establishment of all government. For this reason, God commanded that: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God, He made man.” Genesis 9:6
Respect for Life
The priority of any government is to protect the right to life of preborn babies and every other law-abiding member of society. Because those made in the image of God have inherent value, God has declared that anyone who takes the life of an innocent human being is to be executed. Murderers forfeit their lives by showing contempt for the lives of others (Exodus 21:12-16; Leviticus 24:17-22; Numbers 35:33; Romans 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14).
The Creation Mandate
The Creation Mandate clearly includes the right to life, to liberty and to private ownership of property. “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
Decentralisation to Restrain the Depravity of Man
Because of the depravity of man, God requires a decentralised state with most responsibilities and powers resting on local government, the family and the individual (Exodus 24:1; Deuteronomy 1:13-17; Acts 17:26).
Centralisation of Power is a Pagan Tendency
Centralisation of power in a unitary state has always been a pagan tendency, as seen in Nineveh, Egypt and Babel (Genesis 10:11; 11:1).
Checks and Balances
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is necessary to limit and divide the powers of government in a system of checks and balances. Biblically, governments need to be separated into Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government (Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 33:22).
The Four Spheres of Government
God has instituted four spheres of government:
Civil Servants Are to Serve
In the teachings of our Lord, it is clear that civil authorities are to be public servants (Matthew 20:25-28); “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.” Luke 22:25-26
Government Is to Serve its Citizens
It is for this reason that officials in civil government are called: “ministers,” or servants/deacons of God (Romans 13:3-4; 1 Peter 2:13-14). The concept that civil government is a servant of its citizens is uniquely a Christian idea that originated from these verses, hence the term “Prime Minister” – as the First Servant.
In the landmark book, Lex Rex (or The Law and the Prince), written by Samuel Rutherford (published in 1644), the Reformation principle is expounded that to be valid, all law needs to be rooted and grounded in God’s Law. For centuries, the prevailing philosophy had been Rex Lex, the Latin phrase meaning that the King is the law. The Reformers reversed this Latin Phrase to Lex Rex. The Law is King! The King is under the law. All civil authority is delegated by God and is limited and answerable to God. Obedience to tyrants and unjust laws is rebellion against God.
In Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants
Similarly, the Huguenot book: Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (In Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants), makes the point that as citizens owe allegiance to their king, the king owes allegiance to the King of kings. If the king is in rebellion to the King of kings, we may not join in that king’s rebellion. We have a higher allegiance. Scottish Reformer, John Knox, declared “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!”
Refusal to Obey Wicked Decrees is Commended by God
Hence, when pharaoh of Egypt ordered the midwives to kill newborn Hebrew boys, “the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.” Exodus 1:17. This act of disobedience to the wicked command of Pharaoh is commended in the Hall of Faith. “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.” Hebrews 11:23
When Authorities Attempt to Limit the Fulfilment of the Great Commission
We read that the Sanhedrin commanded the Apostles: “…not to speak at all nor teach in the Name of Jesus.” Acts 4:18. “But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20
Prayer for Boldness, to Disobey the Sanhedrin, Blessed by God
Despite further threats, the disciples of Jesus prayed for the boldness to disobey the Sanhedrin. “Now, Lord, look on their threats and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word… And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:29, 31
We Must Obey God Rather Than Man
When the Apostle Peter was arrested and brought again before the Sanhedrin, the High Priest demanded: “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us! But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’” Acts 5:28-29
Only God is All Knowing, All Wise and Infallible
Government is not God. They are not our Lord and Saviour! They are not all-knowing. Nor are governments all wise. Governments are not infallible. Only God, our Creator and Eternal Judge is all-knowing, all-wise, everywhere present and infallible. God’s Law is real Law. All man-made laws must be grounded in God’s Law and must flow from the principles of the Law of God. Any Law not consistent with God’s Law is no law at all. It is invalid. “To the Law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.
Truth Does Not Fear Investigation
“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free… Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36
Lockdown Lunacy Economic Suicide
The Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020 have been unjustified by scientific research. Covid-19 has not proven to be anything near as deadly as the Bubonic plague, nor as devastating as the Spanish Flu. There is no proven medical justification for locking down over 3 billion people and committing what amounted to economic suicide. Although the term “suicide” suggests a voluntary act, economic murder would be more accurate. The jobs of tens of millions of people worldwide have been undermined and destroyed. Big Tech, Big Pharma and Big Government have united to crush family businesses and the small entrepreneurs. The Covid-19 Lockdowns have proven to be a cover for colossal corruption and for communist centralisation and control. “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’” Galatians 5:13-14
The Committee for Public Safety
The French Revolution was government by a committee. The so-called “Committee for Public Safety” under the chairmanship of Maximillian Robespierre, chose who to guillotine. Over 40,000 Frenchmen lost their heads to the guillotine by order of the Committee for Public Safety. A further 300,000 were killed by firing squads and millions more died in the ruinous 25-years of Revolutionary wars that flowed from the French Revolution.
Government by Committee
The word Soviet means Committee. As in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Hence, when the South African ANC government chose to sidelined parliament and replace it with a committee of 6 who they assured us “consult their ancestors”! It was an ominous sign. Not only has parliament been sidelined, but the Bill of Rights has been effectively suspended by martial law-type lockdowns and curfews.
No law is valid if it violates the Bill of Rights. Yet, the extraordinary Covid-19 state of emergency/disaster has violated the essential freedoms of religion, belief and opinion; freedom of conscience; freedom of thought; freedom of expression; freedom of the press; freedom of association; freedom of assembly and freedom to demonstration; freedom of movement and freedom of trade, occupation, trade and profession. The lockdown was clearly unconstitutional. No politicians have the right to declare people’s livelihoods “non-essential!”
The lockdown has also seriously curtailed the “freedom for cultural, religious and linguistic communities to gather and practise their religion in free association with others.”
Unnecessary and Counter Productive
The lockdown also violated principles of the rule of law by presumption of guilt. If masks work, why were lockdowns necessary? If lockdowns work, why are masks necessary? Why wear masks when on your own in your home, or car? Why do people walking alone outdoors need to wear a mask? Is there any medical science justifying such extraordinary and unprecedented requirements?
The Covid Cult
We are facing a Covid cult with dogmatic demands to accept and comply, to submit and not question. Anyone questioning the masquerade is subject to shunning and inquisition-like persecution.
No wonder many are referring to it as Covid-1984. George Orwell’s prophetic warning political satire 1984, seems ominously relevant today. Where the Ministry of Truth deals with lies, the Ministry of Plenty deals with starvation and rationing, the Ministry of Love deals with torture and the Ministry of Peace deals with war. The media communicate in newspeak and double-think and any one questioning the official party line are guilty of a Thought crime and forced by Thought Police. Those questioning the politically correct narrative can become unpersons, vapourised and disappear down the memory hole.
The hypocrisy, double-standards and inconsistency of those advocating social distancing could be seen in the bizarre leftist justification of BLM-ANTIFA/EFF riots by the same people who condemned anti-lockdown protests as “threats” to “spreading the virus”!
Ignoring real crime and real threats, governments have poured unprecedented amount of resources and energy into enforcing mindless requirements for even children at school to wear masks all the time and locking down even churches over Easter. To this day, many congregations are not able to gather as government regulations have prevented any churches meeting in a school, scout or guide hall. Right of assembly has been suspended.
When restaurant and hospitality industry workers peacefully protested in Cape Town, they were meet with unprecedented violence by police, who had stood by doing nothing while mobs looted, burned and ransacked. However peaceful restauranteurs and hospitality workers were water cannoned, had stun grenades thrown at them and tear gas used to disperse their orderly march. “And that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:26
Masks dehumanise. This is the reason why people placed in front of firing squads traditionally have been made to wear a mask. This is not because of any concern for the person about to be shot, it is because it makes the task of the firing squad easier when the victim is dehumanised by having their face obscured. It has long been recognised that forcing Muslim women in the Middle East to wear a veil is dehumanising.
Anonymity Encourages Irresponsibility and Unaccountability
France forbade women to wear masks/veils in public for multiple reasons, including not to obscure one’s identity, responsibility for actions, or accountability for behaviour. Facial recognition, much like number plates on cars and trucks are essential in a law-abiding society. Interestingly enough, South African law concerning protests passed in 1996, forbids the wearing of masks at any protest. This is so that people’s identity can be determined in the event of any irresponsible action to be able to call each person to account for what they have done. Crime seeks anonymity.
Unmask the Masquerade
There is a need for courage, integrity and steadfastness. The Cultural Mandate of Genesis 1:28 and the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, are being stifled and suffocated by lockdown regulations. We need to unmask the truth behind the masquerade.
Where the Battle Rages Loyalty is Proved
As professor Martin Luther so eloquently described: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
No Government Has the Right to Interfere in the Cultural Mandate or the Great Commission
Civil authorities have greatly over reached themselves and exceeded their authority when they infringed on the essential activities of employers and employees, economic or agricultural enterprises, or the fulfilment of the Creation Mandate and the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must obey God rather than man.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa