God’s Laws of Authority:
Rebellion & Restoration of God’s Authority
by Gerald R. Thompson
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Gen. 1:31).
We know that God is the originator and creator of individuals, families, nations and the universal Church. Which makes Him the author and designer of the entire structure of society. Since God Himself is altogether good, righteous and perfect, therefore everything He has made is altogether good, righteous and perfect, including the social structure He has made. So there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way God has made the social structure. It needs no correction or fixing; it does not need to be altered or remolded. It is very good.
So what have people done, exactly, with this very good social structure God has made? How good of a job have we done, as stewards of God’s creation, to preserve and protect the social structure? We have set about destroying it, of course. And the destruction is very nearly complete.
From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, “How shall we return?” (Mal. 3:7).
I already mentioned some pages earlier about recent efforts to redefine the family unit, with respect to the marriage relationship, parent-child relations, and reproductive rights. All of these innovations have been postured as creating more options for the changing needs of people, as though having the ability to choose things outside the scope of God’s design is a good thing. But what each new option inherently implies, is that God’s design wasn’t good enough. Implicitly, each deviation from God’s family order is crafted to be an improvement. God’s design was OK for people back then, but our modern changes have made the family much more perfect – supposedly.
And it’s not as though all the recent changes to the societal definition of a family have been completely random. All the changes have only gone in one direction – to loosen or to break free of the social constraints of the past. That is, to allow people to live together, have children, and to exercise reproductive autonomy in ways that for millennia were forbidden. The clear result – so far – is that a family unit has become whatever each person decides he or she wants it to be. Families today are merely a loose collection of individuals for living purposes who do so with a modicum of consent. Whenever anyone wants out, they just leave and go live with someone else.
A similarly destructive process has happened at the individual level. If the righteous goal of individual authority is self-government under God’s rule, then the opposite of that is the pursuit of self over and above all else. The key element of godly self-government is self-restraint. To serve and worship God, to refrain from setting God aside, and to resist trying to be like God, or worshiping oneself as a god. However, that restraint is increasingly being cast aside.
Contemporary wisdom looks down on the idolatry of past generations, in part because people were looking at something outside of themselves, as ultimately being greater than themselves. How primitive! – we observe. How much grander, how much more evolved are we (in our estimation), who look no further than ourselves for that which is greatest. Finally, after thousands of years, we have clawed our way up from idol worship to self-worship. That’s real progress.
To the extent there are any laws of the universe, they are ours to manipulate, control and bend to our will. Our evolutionary progress is measured by the extent to which prior social norms, behavioral rules, and civil laws can be thrown off, much like the butterfly sheds its cocoon. Worshiping God is viewed as naïve. Taking dominion over the animals and the earth is viewed as arrogant – even while we arrogantly proclaim there is no one over us. God said he made mankind male and female (binary), while contemporary wisdom regards gender as being on a spectrum of numerous possibilities.
Of course, what this means in the real world is that people are everywhere attempting to free themselves from the laws of God, which are viewed as chains to be thrown off. This rejection of God’s laws has one main object: that each man should become his own god, the ultimate power in the universe. It is the complete abandonment of all self-restraint. Self-government has become whatever I can do, and seemingly get away with.
Politically, this societal breakdown and loss of self-restraint will show up in the rise of anarchy, and the eradication of law and order. Whether it is the Days of Rage of the Arab Spring, race riots in America (“Defund the Police”), or violent mass protests around the world, anarchy is increasingly rearing its ugly head. Self-glorification can only ever have one result – the dehumanization of everyone other than self. Oh, how easily people are led into participating in, and glorifying, a riot. It’s almost as if people are like sheep – no, I take that back – like lemmings. Rushing headlong over a cliff, without knowing why. But hey – everyone else is doing it.
However, anarchy is inherently unstable, and is therefore always very temporary. Consequently, anarchy is only ever a means to an end – a means of transitioning from one political reality to another. But the political result is nearly always the same – making way for a strongman to come on the scene and establish order. Except the order he will bring will not be lawful, securing liberty and freedom. Rather, it will be a new order based on tyranny and fear.
And if I was at all a skeptical person, I might even say that the increasing distress and social unrest of recent times was being carefully manipulated to create a favorable environment for a new world order. Naw – that’s just too conspiratorial. I mean, the rise in anarchy has to be purely accidental, right? It’s not like there are any actual organized groups whipping up the masses, or anything …
One of the strongest invectives against any nation in scripture is the criticism of the ancient Chaldeans,
“They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. … At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” (Hab. 1:7, 10-11).
In other words, they were the source of their own authority. For this, God held them in contempt. “Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own … Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you.” (Hab 2:6, 8).
This is in sharp contrast to the claims of Christ.
• “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment what to say and what to speak.” (Jn. 12:49).
• “The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” (Jn. 14:10).
Unlike the Chaldeans, who had no regard for God’s fixed order of authority, Christ deferred to that fixed order completely. He regarded God’s social structure as altogether very good. (Mat. 19:4-6). But people today are generally more like the ancient Chaldeans than like Christ.
God’s social order is designed to primarily benefit the private sector (individuals, families, the Church and voluntary associations). Nations were created and empowered to provide a stable society for the safety, prosperity and happiness of the people in their private capacities. The Dominion Mandate and all that it implies (the economy, the means of production, and economic control in society) was given by God to individuals and families, not to nations or governments.
Modern society, on the other hand, has turned God’s social order on its head, making the civil state the highest of all human achievements, and the private sector as a mere provider for the state’s needs. The very opposite of God’s design for society is the belief that the economy, the means of production, and economic control in society are all primarily the domain of the civil state. This belief is known as statism, which is merely a form of collectivism. And collectivism is the mantra of the modern age.
Our communities have kept getting larger. One family/couple was enough to populate the world and take dominion in the beginning. After the flood, four families (couples) were enough to repopulate the world and take dominion. But now, a family isn’t adequate, apparently. It takes a village to raise a child, or so we are told. The family, as an institution, is dead. The fact is, everything in society is being pushed further out into the wider population. Mass protests, mass media, mass surveillance.
Every government policy issue has become a national matter, and therefore a federal matter. Federalism, as a legal and constitutional principle, is dead. A black man is killed by a white police officer in middle America, and there are marches and riots in major cities on both coasts. The result? Individual opinions contrary to the new mainstream view are not tolerated. Dissent is not an option. Those who voice a contrary opinion are fired from their jobs, smeared by the media, hounded by mobs, ostracized from society, and treated as criminals by the government. The forces that be not only demand, but are now able to enforce, a national uniformity of ideology.
Freedom of thought and freedom of speech are both dead. The individual, as a creative ideological force, is dead. But as a cog in a soulless machine, individuals are doing great.
Like the ancient Chaldeans, modern society is the source of its own authority. But don’t think for a minute that applies to each individual in society – any more than each ancient Chaldean was an independent thinker. No – societal authority only inheres in the collective elite, keepers of the hive mind.
It is the ultimate rejection of the Diffusion Principle on a societal level. When God created all individuals equal, all families equal, and all nations equal, He purposely made it so that everyone is endowed with equal authority. But in modern society, everyone is absolutely equal primarily in that they have no authority. What little authority we are allowed to exercise is by the permission of the civil government. And all autonomy of local and regional officials is being brought into conformity with a national policy.
In other words, everything God designed to be governed from the bottom-up, is now being governed from the top-down. It is merely the latest step in the historical and unrelenting move towards collectivism, the goal of which is the total concentration of all power and authority.
Yet, even the move towards nationalizing every legal issue in America is passé. Make no mistake, a world without borders is already on the horizon, bidding us welcome. Nations, as a legal concept, are fast becoming obsolete. Soon, nations will also be dead. The goal? Absolute global tyranny.
The Church Response
Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. … Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. (Neh. 9:34, 36).
How has the Church responded to these societal changes? It is tasked, via the Great Commission, with the job of teaching all nations (and therefore all people) the laws of God, i.e., the things Christ has commanded throughout history. The things commanded by Christ necessarily include a hearty respect for God’s laws of authority and the societal structure God has made. In the face of the increasing lawlessness of society, when people are most seeking the peace, prosperity and freedom that society enjoyed in the past, the Church holds the very key of knowledge to bring that all about.
Armed with this wealth of knowledge, the people of God surely must be blanketing the earth with a knowledge of God’s laws and His authority structure. Not exactly.
Instead, churches everywhere are preaching a doctrine of unlimited submission to the authority of men (particularly public officials). Instead of raising up a people who will stand up for God’s laws and His authority, churches are raising a generation of slaves. Don’t get me wrong – they preach a qualified resistance to preserve religious organizations from government interference. But that’s as far as it goes. Ministry leaders decry the deterioration of families, self absorption, and public uncivility, but ultimately all those things are for government to decide and manage. Leave us alone inside the four walls of the church, and we’ll leave politics’ (i.e., social issues) out of the pulpit.
This is most manifest, obviously, in any and every hierarchical church – any church with multiple layers of clergy (an ecclesiastical hierarchy) and/or any church whose clergy are not also members of the congregations where they serve. (All Catholic, Orthodox, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopalian and many other Protestant churches.) All hierarchical churches, by definition, are organized top-down, rather than bottom-up. All hierarchical churches, by definition, reject the Diffusion Principle of God’s laws of authority, and concentrate power which God has declared should be diffuse.
However, many non-hierarchical churches are just as problematic. They are often run by a sole pastor or senior pastor whose word is law, and the church is his little kingdom. They may not have an ecclesiastical hierarchy, but they have an internal hierarchy which treats no one as being equal with the pastor, or the pastor’s family. The pastor has no interest in spreading power around, but keeps it very tightly clustered around himself.
You see, in both of these types of churches, the people who attend them are continually conditioned – by the very fact of their attendance – to accept concentrations of power within an organization as being perfectly normal and acceptable. When they leave the four walls of their church and go into the rest of society, they carry that attitude with them. They carry with themselves the attitude that if it is OK with God for them to be nothing more than a peon at church, it must be OK with God for them to be a mere peon in society. And thus, the overwhelming majority of churches teach their people by example, and teach them very well, that they are slaves. Praise God!
Allow me to simplify. If you continually beat into people’s heads that they are sheep in the church, they will continually think of themselves as sheep in society. And what do sheep need, more than anything else? A shepherd. Poor things – they just can’t think for themselves.
And so, in the larger scheme of things, there is absolutely no practical reason for the societal powers to eliminate religion in their march towards a grand, unified state. In reality, churches are very useful idiots. Churches have been, and will continue to be, very great allies of the elitists in making people subservient, submissive, and eventually, willing slaves. They will continue to teach the tried and true message to respect and obey the man-made authorities (civil government and visible church institutions) as though God made them and put them there. Submit not to God, but to other men in the name of God. And get used to it.
In short, churches have abdicated their God given duty to teach God’s laws to the people of all nations. I call that deplorable. God calls it rebellion.
Rebellion Against God’s Authority
I noted earlier that escaping or avoiding God’s laws is not possible. In the short run, we may deceive ourselves into thinking we can be free of God’s rules and His laws of authority. But in the long run, our failure to adhere to them will result in judgment of the most severe kind. It is clear from scripture what God’s expectation is concerning our regard for His authority.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Rom. 13:1-2).
This scripture is not a command to obey all purported authorities that people have created (such as religious institutions or civil governments) – it only applies to authorities instituted by God. And there is no presumption that merely because some form of human government exists, it was made (or put there) by God. It is the laws of God, which define and restrict all institutions of human authority, that people are to obey and respect. The failure to obey and respect these divine laws of authority incurs His severe judgment.
[T]he Lord knows how to … keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. (2 Pet. 2:9-10).
And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day …. Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. … But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! (Jude 6, 8, 10-11a).
However, God’s judgment for the sin of rebellion is not limited to a future day of judgment. He also punishes in the here and now. Consider some examples. When Israel first had the opportunity to enter the Promised Land after leaving Egypt, they refused because they were afraid of the people already living in the land. This refusal is often attributed to a mere lack of faith, based mainly on Heb. 3:19, “they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” But taking a verse out of context like this misses the larger point.
Yes, certainly, Israel lacked faith. But from God’s perspective, this was no mere shortcoming or lack of maturity – it was rebellion. Israel’s refusal is called rebellion three times in the prior twelve verses (i.e., Heb. 3:7-18).
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.” (Heb 3:7b-9, quoting Ps. 95:7-10).
Forty years, of course, refers to Israel’s wandering in the wilderness before being allowed to enter the Promised Land. And although Hebrews refers to those people as not being allowed to enter God’s rest, in practical terms, God killed off the entire adult population of the nation during that time. So that rebellion was punished in the here and now. And if you’re asking yourself what rebellion has to do with authority, consider this:
re•bel•lion (ri-bel’yen), n. 1. an act or state of armed, open resistance to authority, government, etc. 2. a defiance of or opposition to any control. (Webster’s New World Dictionary).
There are plenty of other examples in scripture to show how seriously God takes any defiance of authority He has instituted.
• Korah and 250 followers rebelled against the leadership of Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. God had the earth open up and swallow alive all 250 men, plus their entire households and all their possessions. (Num. 16:1-35).
• Saul had his kingdom torn from him when he spared Agag, the king of the Amalekites, contrary to God’s command. (1 Sam. 15:17-28).
• Athaliah killed the proper heirs of the throne of Israel and set herself up as queen, all in defiance of God’s covenant with David to limit the throne to his male descendants. For this she was executed. (2 Chr. 22:10-12; 23:12-15).
There are many other examples I will not describe here. The point is this: rebellion against any authority God has instituted will incur a severe judgment, sooner or later. And God has an extremely long memory.
The Ultimate Goal of Rebellion
The societal disintegration, remolding of society, and the poor response of churches I described above, are all forms of rebellion against God and His laws of authority. When people start acting based on a core belief that Self = God, it is hard to see how things could turn out any differently.
However, don’t think the changes sweeping our society right now are merely random, because in fact they are being orchestrated. For what purpose? Globalization. The gradual reduction and then elimination of national borders. First by the creation of regional governments and authorities (United Nations, World Court, European Union, North American Union, Muslim Caliphate, etc.). Then by the unification of these regional authorities into a one world system. Driven by, and closely aligned with, a global economy and the merging of national currencies.
And thus we see everything coming in full circle. Just as self-government is ultimately the bedrock foundation upon which the proper functioning of all of God’s institutions ultimately rests, so the abandonment of righteous self-government is the bedrock foundation upon which the global unification of mankind rests. Once again, we are pursuing the age old temptation to “be like God.” (Gen. 3:5). Only this time, it is collectively, on behalf of all individuals.
You may think that all of this is very new, but in fact it is very old. Let me take you back to the Prelude of the Postlude, namely, the Tower of Babel.
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. … Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth. (Gen. 11:1-9).
One of the wonderful lessons we can learn from the Tower of Babel experience is that human nature has never really changed. Here people were, some 4,200 years ago or more, congregating all in one place, engaged in a single task to do what, really? To build a monument to their own greatness. And God sees that since they are one people having a common purpose, “this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.”
So here we are, some 4,200 years or so later, doing what? Trying to unify the world by obliterating borders and forming a one-world economic system of co-dependency. Global markets, global communications, global transportation, and global surveillance. Getting ready, like an episode of Star Trek, to present ourselves as one people eager and willing to make First Contact with an alien race, to finally figure out we are not alone in the universe. Meanwhile, to keep the momentum going, we are rushing headlong down the path of forming a global government, as a monument to our own greatness.
Nothing has really changed – our vision has just gotten larger. Our ego is more puffed up, and our authority is more supreme. Our technology is vastly superior. We have evolved. See how wonderful we are. What on earth do we need God for?
Meanwhile, churches will continue preaching self-actualization and self-empowerment, in order to become part of a global spiritual body. Do you see how, with kernels of truth, the Gospel message can be turned into the message of a global brotherhood of man? God made us all, and He loves us all. A message which prepares people for the triumphant unification of humanity. Except, of course, it will be an evil empire. No matter – as long as you feel good about yourself …
Yes, what the people at Babel accomplished, compared to what people have done since, is positively puny. Our modern accomplishments are so much more magnificent. But our natures have not changed. The people at Babel were every bit as ambitious as people today – they simply lacked the skills and the resources we have. But those were the very people who determined, notwithstanding being later scattered across the earth, that they would persist in their ambitions until they had the skills and resources they needed to pull them off. They were us, and we are them. The technology we have is the fruit of their ambition, applied over time. We are their children, after all.
God knew this all along. He knew people would eventually get to exactly where we are right now. But He didn’t want that to happen millennia ago, so He built into the world’s population a delay mechanism which held back cooperative efforts and discoveries to slow our progress. This delay mechanism – differing languages – has now been overcome, thanks to computers and the internet. So all the original ambitions are now free to be pursued uninhibited. Nothing can stop us.
And in a certain sense, this new one world government to come is merely a return to the historical method of combining church and state, or at least, religion and government. The goal of which is – as always – to exact and extract the maximum amount of submission from the people. That is, to use the purported authority of God, and the collective authority of mankind, to speak with one voice, thereby quashing all dissent or opposition. The old sins are the best sins, after all.
Except, of course, God did not allow man’s ambitions to be pursued unchecked the first time. And He is of no mood to allow them to go unchecked a second time. We are fast approaching the time when God will say, “Enough!” Because, ultimately, we are not in charge of this earth, the cosmos, or even ourselves. God is in charge, and He will reign us in, along with our false claims of authority. After all, no one can ever become greater than their creator – and that goes for each of us. This little rebellion of ours will itself be quashed.
How will God respond to all this rebellion? God will reward us – as He did in Noah’s time and with ancient Israel – with almost total destruction. Only a few – a remnant – will ultimately be spared. (Isa. 24:1-6). God alone will have the last laugh.
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. (Ps. 2:1-4).
The scripture from Ps. 2 is often interpreted as referring to the events preceding the crucifixion of Christ, but I think it has a broader meaning. Namely, that the phrase to burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords is a direct reference to God’s laws. In other words, the people in power in society (not just 2,000 years ago, but right now) see God’s laws as an unreasonable and unwanted restraint on their actions. By design, God’s laws limit the authority of men in specific ways. Their greatest desire is to be free from God’s constraints, telling them what they must, and must not, do.
God’s response is to laugh in derision. Why? Because whatever obligations and limits the universal laws of God impose, they are inescapable. There is no freedom from God’s laws. There is only compliance, or punishment – there is no middle ground. There is no reasoning with God to get Him to “go easy” in enforcing His laws. He will not change His laws. Nor is partial compliance with God’s laws ever good enough. God’s laws are absolute, and He demands full obedience.
God can laugh in derision about this because He knows, ultimately, there is no alternative. It is His way, with no highway option. But people are stubborn and rebellious by nature. And in our stubbornness, we will not yield. So to the extent God is unyielding in His laws, His authority, and His laws of authority, people are determined to be just as unyielding in their defiance of God. This can only eventually lead to an all out global war. But this time, it will not be nations against nations, but humanity against God and His sovereignty.
“The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed.” (1 Sam. 2:10).
There is only one possible outcome of this future global war. And that is in the direction of God re-asserting His authority over all the earth, and necessarily, all people. When all things are put right, when God will reign supreme over the entire earth and everyone in it. But there is a process – a very painful transition – that people and the earth are going to go through first. What I mean to say is, this global society will be destroyed.
Our Authority Will Be Crushed
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12).
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. … And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation. (Rev. 13:5, 7).
Part of what makes people different from animals, and what makes us partake of the image of God, is that people are vested with authority. But just because we have authority, and animals do not, does not mean we are the only ones having authority on the earth.
There is such a thing as forces of darkness – beings and entities which have been aligned against God from the very beginning. These forces have been manifested in various world empires throughout history: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and others. Essentially, each of these empires is a chapter in the evolution of an evil empire, the goal of which is world domination. Ultimately, these forces will coalesce around a powerful leader, who will eventually gather the nations of the world into a global government under his rule. The purpose of this world government? To overthrow the kingdom of God, His laws, and His authority.
I said earlier that the movement towards globalization is being orchestrated. The people working tirelessly and earnestly for globalization may seem to be pulling the strings of power, but in reality they are being played. Yes, they manipulate other people, but they are also being manipulated. They are merely instruments controlled by the forces of darkness. Deny this reality, and you will never truly understand what is going on.
Bringing about the destruction of national borders, national sovereignties, and national currencies is being promoted as a means of eliminating wars, injustice, and world hunger. But actually, it is the means for ushering in the most horrible tyranny the world has ever seen. Instead of peace, murderous persecutions. Instead of equal justice, enslavement. And instead of prosperity for all, forced deprivations.
All this will be done for one purpose: to throw off entirely the laws of God, the cords and bonds which hold society together. In the process, this will mean (temporarily) the destruction of the family unit, nations, and any outward expression of religions designated as “false,” including Judaism and Christianity. And to the extent possible, as a necessity, the destruction of any real or significant self-government, especially individual rights and liberties.
Which means that all of our pretensions to raise ourselves up by forming a one world government will eventually be used against us, to put us down. The power brokers will go along with this process under the inducement of being safely elevated above the fray. They will find out (too late) that they also have been deceived. The authority used to justify unifying will be yanked from everyone and usurped by the world leader at our expense. Instead of being gloriously liberated, humanity will be ignominiously subjugated, from the greatest to the least.
However, all is not lost. This too, will last only a short time – just a few years. Because just as this evil world empire reaches its zenith, the wrath and judgment of God will fall.
Our World Will Be Shaken
I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. … Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of his fierce anger. (Isa. 13:11, 13).
“I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother.” (Hag 2:21-22).
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken – that is, things that have been made – in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. (Heb. 12:26-27).
It should be quite clear from scripture that there’s going to be a whole lot of shaking going on. See also, Isa. 24:19; Eze. 38:19-20; Rev. 6:12-14; 16:18-20. At some point, God is going to be fed up with all of the false assertions of authority going on in His world, and He’s going to put a stop to it all at once. The false authority of people and the forces of darkness alike, will all be brought to an end. The arrogant and the ruthless will not only be brought low, but for the most part, eliminated.
“The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” (Rev. 11:18).
At that point, everything people have built – whether physical structures, institutions, or governments – will all be knocked down. And this to the point that nothing will be left, except for what God has built. These are the things that cannot be shaken, and which will remain. Now, I don’t want you to get the idea that only evil things will be destroyed. Rather, all the works of mankind will be broken down. Every building, and every wall. Every business, school, and church. Even mountains and islands. Everything.
In other words, God is going to wipe the slate clean (i.e., the whole earth), and basically start over from scratch. As He did in Noah’s time, He will preserve some few people (and a special remnant of Israel) to repopulate the earth. All of man’s achievements, and every tangible expression of his false authority, will be destroyed. What was left of civilization when the flood waters in Noah’s time dried up, eventually? Nothing. When Noah and his family left the ark, they had nothing except what they carried with them. And yet they survived, and thrived, because God cared for them afterwards. We can expect the same type of thing in the future.
God’s Supremacy Will Be Restored
Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, “What is … the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. (Heb. 2:5-8).
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. (1 Cor. 15:24).
I started out this essay noting that God, as Creator, has all ultimate authority over us, because He alone has made us. Similarly, He has all ultimate authority over the earth because He also made it. As part of the creation of people in His image, God delegated certain authority to us, including a limited dominion over the earth God has made. God has made additional delegations of authority at various times in history, which we have looked at. And, I suppose it is correct to say that even the forces of darkness have a certain authority to wreak havoc on the earth and among people, especially with regard to nations and governments.
In all of this, we have been altogether pretty poor stewards. God established a social order, a fixed order of authority, and rules governing our behavior. His expectation – and our opportunity – was that we would use our authority to accomplish God’s purposes and do His will. The unfortunate reality is that people used every opportunity to seek our own agenda, thwart His will, and undermine His authority. Instead of compliance, rebellion. Instead of building a kingdom of God, building a kingdom raised against Him. Instead of acknowledging His supreme authority, proclaiming our own authority to be supreme.
God’s intention from the beginning was to let us exercise our authority until it reached its logical conclusion. All available evidence (biblical, as well as experiential) is that we will squander our authority and use it for the exact opposite purpose of what was intended. Consequently, it is inevitable at some point that God will bring this to a halt, when we have basically become as totally committed to evil as we possibly can, as a race.
This is when the great shaking will occur – the giant reset. What will come after is a worldwide regime change. A new king will appear, above all other kings, and He will strike down the nations, and rule them with a rod of iron. Rev. 19:11-16. The forces of darkness will be captured and locked away in prison, and their minions destroyed. Rev. 19:20-20:3. Our God-given authority will remain intact, but no longer superintended with a lenient hand, and no longer subject to outside influence.
Unlike the years following the Tower of Babel, people will not be left to regroup and pass our bold ungodly ambition down to our descendants. A new worldwide regime will begin, where the promises of true peace, justice and prosperity will be actually realized. Instead of oppression and tyranny, unparalleled liberty and freedom. All of God’s institutions – individuals, families, nations and churches – will function as intended. The supremacy of God’s laws will be restored and maintained with a firm hand (“a rod of iron”). The turmoil of the history of mankind will become a distant memory.
And so, in the end, we will see the grand unification of authority and power, both wielded in the same hands – but not ours. However, neither will we be powerless. We will merely be greatly encouraged – both by example and by official government laws – to exercise self-government under the rule of God. It will be better, much better, than now.
Also, in the end, we will see the grand unification of church and state, united by the One who will be both Priest and King of the world. Except that He will not share our sinful human nature, or suffer from any human limitations. He will rule us as God would directly, for the benefit of all.
But for now, all we can do is anticipate what is to come. And conduct ourselves in a manner which will lead to reward, rather than wrath. In other words, acting in obedience, rather than rebellion. God’s laws of authority will be restored and fully implemented worldwide, one day. It’s not optional. It is inescapable. You might as well get with the program. Right?