THE CHRISTIAN VIEW OF THE STATE

In Revelation the great world-governments full of blasphemy, utterly opposed to God and Christ, persecuting and destroying God’s people, etc., is misunderstood by some scholars as a contradiction of the views of Paul and Peter (Rom. 13:1-7,1 Peter 2:13-16); but it is clear from Revelation 13:10 that John’s views were fully in harmony with theirs.

Some people believe the following:

  • For Paul, the empire and its rulers were inherently good … under the direct control of God, not Satan …
  • However, for John, there is nothing good about either the empire or the emperors.
  • The rulers are not ordained of God, but are the agents of Satan himself.

Such a view is based upon an inadequate understanding of what all the apostles taught.

There are two kinds of states; and, besides that, the same principles of submission are enjoined upon Christians with reference to both kinds, as plainly indicated in Revelation 13:10 where John implied the very fullest consonance with all that Paul and Peter wrote.

If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goeth: if any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Revelation 13:10 ASV

Despite the satanic alliance between wicked states and Satan, such alliances exist clearly and only under the terms of God’s permissive will.

What else could be the meaning of the recurring expression “and there was given unto him” (Revelation 13:5), “and it was given to him” (Revelation 13:7), “it was given to him” (Revelation 13:14), “and it was given to him” (Revelation 13:15), etc.?

No, John did not teach that Satan is truly in control.

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.
Mark 16:16 ASV

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