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Midnight Rider Newsletter

Jul-Aug, Year of Our Lord, 1996
Number 964

What's Inside


Who is your Father-in-law?

If you are a man of God and you marry a woman of the devil, you will be sure to have trouble with your father-in-law.

Dear Friends,

Let everyone obey the authorities that are over him, for there is no authority except from God, and all authority that exists is established by God.

Romans 13:1 (New American Bible)

Jail can be a fruitful mission field, but a potential convert can be lost if Romans 13 is not understood. One day while our friend David was in jail, he told a young inmate that he did not need a driver license. David said, "You should be more concerned about living in obedience to God's law, rather than obeying what the State calls law." The young man was eager to hear more.

A few days later another inmate, Bible Johnny, arrived on the scene. An intense discussion of the Scriptures began. David told them how we lay down our lives in jail, rather than submit to strangers. "Wait a minute," cried Bible Johnny, "what about Romans 13? Christians are supposed to submit to the governing authorities. You guys with the Embassy of Heaven are provoking the authorities. You're bringing down their wrath upon yourselves unnecessarily."

Bible Johnny was very convincing. He knew the scriptures well and David did not have a simple comeback for Romans 13. The young inmate started losing trust in David. He figured David was not a true Christian because he did not submit to the authorities in the proper manner.

Overcoming Romans 13

The best way to bring understanding on Romans 13 is to ask, "Who was Apostle Paul writing to at Rome?" The answer is found at Romans 1:7. Paul was writing to all in Rome who are beloved of God and called to be saints. He was not writing to the general population at Rome. He was specifically addressing the "called-out ones," the body of Christ.

If Apostle Paul was advocating obedience to the "law of the land," then Caesar would have no cause against him. Why would Caesar have Paul killed if Paul was promoting "obedience" to civil authorities?

The world loves its own. If Paul belonged to Caesar, Caesar would not want to kill his own. If Paul was promoting, "Be subject to Caesar," why behead him? You don't destroy the very instrument that advertises for you. It does not make sense.

The Truth is that Paul was beheaded for promoting a rival government known as the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven. Already this new government was turning the world upside down. Caesar had Paul killed to help stop this threat to Rome's power.

The harlot churches like to promote Romans 13 as meaning, "Obey Caesar," or "Obey the law of the land." How else can they interpret it? They have yoked themselves with Caesar through State incorporation. Their very life comes from the State. If they do not obey Caesar, Caesar will withdraw their corporate charter, and they will die. State incorporated churches have only one choice if they are to survive - promote obedience to the State.

If Romans 13 does not mean, "Obey the State," what does it mean? Romans 13 means, "Obey those that have the rule over you" (Hebrews 13:17). Since Paul was addressing the saints at Rome, it is logical that he would instruct them to submit to those who look after their souls. It is a reminder to be obedient to the authorities God has placed over His people. For they are truly the ministers of God to thee for good. Unlike worldly rulers, godly rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Therefore, do that which is good and thou shalt have praise of the same.

Paul Revere, Pastor


HARVEST RETREAT PLANNED

When: September 18 - 22, 1996

Theme: Practical Kingdom Living


Harvest RetreatMark your calendars and plan to fellowship with us in the forested foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

 

 

Topics include:

For futher details, request our Retreat Brochure, which is planned for release later this summer.

Kingdom of Heaven
Questions and Answers

Some of the ideas in your newsletter have struck a raw nerve with me. For instance, isn't there a difference between blindly serving the State and living under its authority, as directed in Romans 13?

You're not the first one to be apprehensive about us. What we preach is sometimes so radically different from what you have been taught, that you feel threatened.

One man after hearing me preach, wanted to punch me out. A year later he came back to thank me for opening his eyes. I urge you to prove all things, holding fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

You mentioned Romans 13 directing us to live under State authority. Romans 13 was written to the Church at Rome and refers to being in submission to Church authority, not State authority. Why would Jesus give us His government (Luke 22:29) and then want us to be under the governments of the world? Jesus would not betray us.


You do not make it clear in your newsletter what your opinion of State licensing is, but because you provide an alternative, I presume you feel State licensing is to be avoided. But by providing alternate licensing, are you not just participating in your own brand of statism, with the Embassy at the center?

We issue licenses not for ourselves, but for them. Jesus said, "Give to those who ask." The police want to see licenses. While we won't seek them out for licenses, we will show them where our authority to travel comes from. We travel under the command of Jesus Christ and the Great Commission. We use licenses as a preaching tool to demonstrate that we belong to another government. Unlike the State, having a license is not a requirement in our government, nor do we play lordship games with them.


How can you "Bring forth the Kingdom of God" when His kingdom is not of this world?

It is true that Christ's Kingdom is not of this world. It is of Heaven. But it is a present reality for all who believe. We pray to the Father that "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" (Matthew 6:10).

Jesus brought His Kingdom from Heaven to earth at the Lord's Supper when he said, "I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me" (Luke 22:29). He explained the character of His Father's government. It was to be a government where the greatest among them shall be like the youngest and the one who rules like the one who serves. And the apostles clearly understood what was happening and they began arguing over what offices they were going to hold in His Father's government (Luke 22:24-30).


Your article "Dancing with the Devil" demonized State government. How can you justify going to this extreme?

We believe the State is of the devil. You will know them by their fruits. The State is antichrist because it will not acknowledge that Jesus came in the flesh (1 John 4:1-3). Scripture says the whole world lies under the power of the wicked one (1 John 5:19). The State is definitely of the world. Therefore, it must be of Satan.


You said that in a State incorporated church, the board of elders and the Pastor are acting in behalf of the State and that the attorney general for the State is the true head of the church. Because the State attorney general has many times acted at odds with the evangelical churches, I find it improbable that the office has any direct power over church pulpits. Do you have any documentation to support this?

YOUR CHURCH

As far as church incorporation, it is a basic principle of law that what one creates, one controls. Any church that is incorporated, gets its life from the State and must obey the State or lose its corporate status. "Corporate" means shaped into a body. State incorporated churches are part of the body of the State. We are to be the body of Christ and receive our life from Jesus Christ, not the State.

In the State of Oregon, the Attorney General has the final authority over a corporation. ORS 61.065, Section 3 states:
He may ". . . enjoin the corporation from performing unauthorized acts."

What kind of unauthorized acts? In Medford, Oregon, a church ran into trouble for not getting a permit to park their church buses. Another church did not get a new educational ministry approved by the State and was forced to close it. Another church tried to expand its buildings without a building permit and was stopped. The attorney general has the power to shut down an incorporated church for any breach of State statutes.

When a church incorporates under the State, the church comes under the jurisdiction of the State and therefore surrenders its headship to the State. The church's chief officers become official representatives of the State by virtue of their corporate charter.

Those who incorporate transform their churches into fictitious entities created by the State and ruled by State laws. Such institutions are State churches and they can prove it. They have corporate charters that bear the name of their sovereign.

We must be the change we want to see in the world

Spiritual Authority
and
Romans 13

From THE TRIBAL CALL newsletter, Issue 8, P. O. Box 90, Berino, NM 88024

Introduction

The way we view Romans chapter 13:1-7 greatly determines the way we interact with the governments of men. The ideas we are about to set forth are radical, even revolutionary. They will overthrow many sacred "traditions" among those who claim to be followers of Jesus.

True Christianity is a way of life which involves renouncing the world and pledging our allegiance to the Kingdom of God. There is an inherent conflict between the old kingdom we have come out from and the new Kingdom to which we now belong. Jesus was crucified as a result of this conflict. He has assured us that if we are true to His word that we can expect the same kind of treatment. "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14).

To try to combine the humanistic governments of men with the Spirit government of God is an impossible task. Any attempt to combine the governments of men with God's government is doomed to failure. Nevertheless, throughout history politicians have attempted to mix the holy and the profane. They have borrowed heavily from God's law in order to appear righteous, yet man is still left in control. This strange mixture is often called "God inspired government" or "Government based on God's laws." As a result, multitudes of Christians have been brought into bondage to patriotism and nationalism. They have been forced to submit to manmade governments under the pretext that God has commanded our submission in Romans 13:1-7.

No Compromise


Spirit Revolution

Since around the 4th century AD many have been led to believe that manmade governments actually possess authority to rule over God's people. A misinterpretation of Romans 13:1-7 is used to support this belief.

The average churchgoer believes that Christians should be satisfied with the humanistic governments of men, obeying the laws of the land. They don't stop to consider that God desires His people to live under His Spirit government.

The crux of the matter is this: Does Paul, in Romans 13:1-7, argue that the civil governments of this world have legitimate authority over the people of God?

We believe that the obedient people of God are not bound to obey the manmade civil governments of this world. God's people are answerable to God above all else and are bound by His commands. At the same time, God's people are not to use their liberty as a cloak for evil, to foment rebellion in the flesh, or waste time trying to politically influence the governments of this world.

Furthermore, we believe Paul, in Romans 13:1-7, is referring to the spiritual leaders of the Body of Christ, not the civil authorities of this world. Remember that the true followers of Jesus are Spirit people whose lives should reflect the fact that they belong to another Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Their stay on earth is only transitory.

As citizens of Heaven, we are bound to submit and pledge allegiance to the King of Heaven and His government over us. We are not bound to submit to the government of some nation just because we happen to be living within its borders.

Romans 13 has been wrongly interpreted by ruling civil governments to mean that Christians should submit to them. Combined with nationalism and patriotism, a powerful weapon has been formed to neutralize and misdirect the power of God's Kingdom within His people. The idea that God's government is to be subordinated to the civil governments of this world is a deception that must be exposed.

Be Not Afraid of Their Faces

This does not sit well with those in civil governments who claim to have power and authority to rule over other men. Throughout history, those who have declared independence from the systems of this world and dependence upon God, have almost always encountered violent reactions. They were frequently persecuted unto death by the "civil" authorities. It will be the same today for anyone who will break all allegiances and ties with this world and declare Jesus Christ as their Sovereign King.

This does not mean Christians are out to cause trouble or overthrow the governments of this world. On the contrary, Christians make the best citizens because they strive to obey the laws of God, which are far superior to the feeble attempts of men at lawmaking. Actually, the true Christian's goal is to live a life pleasing to God and win souls to Christ. This is hardly a threatening activity! We seek to obey Paul's advice in Romans 12:18, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."

Yet, the rulers of the nations of this world view this type of separation unto God as a serious offense. When a group of people refuses to pledge allegiance to their authority, that group is considered a threat to "national security" and dealt with accordingly. It was the same with King Nebuchadnezzar, who was determined to destroy anyone who would not bow down to his image.

Who are the Authorities?

In Verse 1, the Interlinear text reads, "Let every soul be subject to authorities above him." The word translated authorities, or powers in the King James version, is the Greek word exousia. (Strong's #1849) The most crucial question in this study is, "Who are the exousia or authorities that Paul was referring to in this verse?"

Traditionally 99% of the church world has interpreted this passage to mean that Paul was referring to the manmade civil governments of this world. The governments of the world have been quick to place their "stamp of approval" on such an interpretation. Imagine the advantage enjoyed by worldly rulers when they can point to the Christians' own sacred writings for proof that Christians should submit to their authority.

It is not obvious from the original Greek text what authorities Paul was referring to in Romans 13. He does not specifically state that he is referring to civil government authorities anywhere in these verses.

It is our belief that the authorities or powers that Paul was referring to in Romans 13:1 were the spiritual leaders of the Body of Christ in Rome. Paul was not exhorting the Christians in Rome to submit to the Roman Empire. He was exhorting them to submit to their own government - to the spiritual leaders whom God has placed over the Ecclesia (called-out ones) to guide it by His Spirit.

God has always appointed leaders over His people such as Moses, Joshua, David and the Apostles, including Paul. He has invested those leaders with the authority to rule. Paul could easily have been speaking about Christian authorities within the Ecclesia. Why would Paul be directing the Roman Christians to obey the authorities of the Roman Empire when they had their own leaders to obey? Obviously, he was not.

Doctrine of Confusion

In verse 4 of the Greek text, Paul refers back to the authority three times in the singular, using the word "it." ("he" in the King James version) Paul tells us "it" is a servant to us for good; "it" does not wear the sword in vain; and "it" is a servant of God.

Civil governments of this world rarely, if ever, meet these three points. You would expect them to, if Paul was indeed referring to them. Many times civil authorities stand in total opposition to the gospel and cruelly persecute God's people, just as Jesus said they would (John 15:20). In contrast, godly authority, exercised by God's leaders, will always meet these three qualifications and act as a "servant of God" for our good.

When we realize Paul was talking about spiritual leaders of the Body of Christ in verse 1, the following verses become much clearer. We can focus on the fact that God has His own government which operates under His authority. As His followers, we are expected to submit to that authority which is invested in His leaders.

Civil governments make demands of those who happen to be living within their territory. These demands often openly contradict the gospel and the law of God. For the true Christian to submit to such commands would be sin. Yet according to the "civil government" theory of Romans 13, Christians are supposed to submit to the "laws of the land." This brings confusion and God is not the author of confusion.

Confusion is eliminated when we realize Paul was not commanding submission to manmade civil governments, but to God's government. The blood of the martyrs bears witness to the fact that true Christians throughout history have come to this conclusion. They have been persecuted and killed by "civil" governments on every continent because they were determined to submit to God's government and refused to obey the commands of men which opposed or contradicted God's laws.

Why Submit to Spiritual Authority?

The Sword of Truth

Verses 2 through 5 give us several important reasons why we must submit to true godly authority. First of all, Paul says if you resist God's leaders, that you are in all respects resisting God. Those who resist will receive damnation. He goes on to explain that God's leaders are not a terror to good works. We need not be afraid to submit to godly authority if our hearts are dedicated to God.

In verse 4, Paul explains that godly authority is actually our servant if we desire to do what is right. At the same time, he warns us that if we do evil the same authority will become an avenger and execute God's wrath upon us. What a clear and beautiful picture of godly authority and how it is meant to function in the Body of Christ. Additionally, each one of the above points can be supported by numerous scriptures, which is always a characteristic of solid godly doctrine.

This kind of true godly authority is rarely found in the religious systems of today. As a result, many become confused. They end up believing Paul must be talking about civil governments who punish according to their own humanistic definitions of good and evil, which fluctuate from day to day.

The spiritual authority described by Paul has all but vanished from the Body of Christ. As a result, evil works are not punished and sin runs rampant among God's people.

Paul sums up his arguments in verse 5 by stating the two main reasons why we must be subject to godly authority: 1) because of wrath, or the fear of God's judgement, and 2) because of conscience.

Continuation of Chapter 12

In chapter 12, Paul has been dealing with the mutual responsibilities and duties between Christians in the Body of Christ. This also clearly points to the fact that chapter 13 is a definite continuation along the same lines. There is nothing in the letter to indicate why Paul feels it necessary to so positively and quickly change from one subject to another without explanation.

Nothing in chapters 12 or 13 supports the idea that Paul has switched his focus in chapter 13 to discuss the Christian's relationship to civil government. In fact, the context clearly supports the contrary: Paul was dealing with spiritual authority within the Body of Christ and the individual members' relationship to that authority.

Rulers

In verse 3 is the Greek word arkhone, which is translated as rulers in both the King James and the Interlinear text. The definition in Strong's concordance is, "A first in rank or power, chief, ruler, magistrate, prince." Every other instance of this word in the New Testament refers to Jewish (religious) leaders in Israel, not civil leaders.

Servants

Another important Greek word is diakonos, which is translated minister or servant twice in verse 4. Strong's concordance defines this word as "An attendant, a waiter at a table or other menial duties; specifically a Christian teacher or pastor; deacon, minister, servant." Paul uses this word to describe the authorities in verse 1. This strongly supports the fact that he was talking about God's leaders. This is the same root from which we get the word deacon, a widely used term to describe leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:8; Philippians 1:1).

A true leader of God's people will be a servant of all. Jesus said, "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant" (Matthew 23:11). Paul's description of the authorities as diakonos (servants) reinforces that God's leaders are actually the greatest servants to the Body of Christ.

Nowhere in the New Testament do we find civil authorities or officials described as servants of the body of Christ. Yet there are numerous examples of God's leaders acting as servants to God's people. That is why Paul would be exhorting the Roman Christians to submit to those whom God has placed in authority over them. These leaders were actually their servants in the Spirit, sacrificing their lives to lead God's people.

The Sword - Figurative or Literal

Two swords. That is enough.The next important Greek word is machaira, which is the Greek word for sword found in verse 4. This verse is often used as proof that Paul was talking about civil authorities, since God's leaders do not use weapons to enforce God's will. Strong's Concordance defines machaira as, "A knife or dirk; figuratively - war, judicial punishment; a sword."

Is there a sword entrusted to God's leaders to execute judgement in the Body of Christ? If so, could Paul have been referring to this sword in verse 4?

The answer is found in Ephesians 6:17, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." And again in Hebrews 4:12 we read, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead by the sword of the Spirit which came out of Peter's mouth (Acts 5). Paul also executed judgement upon Elymas the sorcerer, as the sword of the Spirit speaking through Paul blinded the man (Acts 13:11).

It is not unreasonable to assume Paul was referring to this figurative sword of the Spirit in verse 4. Obviously, the Spirit sword is just as effective in executing judgement as any physical sword. And God invests His true leaders with this authority.

Supporting the Government

Another important word which we need to examine is foros, which is translated as tribute. This is again used as proof that Paul was commanding submission to the civil authorities - especially those who collect taxes! The word foros refers to a tax, being a general assessment of one's property and possessions. This tax was generally collected by civil governments such as the Roman Empire.

Paul was dealing with many new converts who had been raised in Roman society. Taxing was a commonly accepted fact of life. It is quite possible that Paul was describing their responsibility to give of what they had in support of God's work. He used the term "tribute" as a word they could easily understand. Paul was reinforcing the idea that Christians were no longer citizens of this world, but had come under their own government. If they wanted to enjoy the benefits of God's government, they were obligated to support it.

The world requires tribute to support their governments, which often serve their people very poorly. God's true leaders keep the Body of Christ clean, healthy and functioning properly. How much more should Christians be willing to support the government of God's Ecclesia with a portion of their personal wealth.

God's leaders need to be supported by those whom they serve, just as the civil servants of the world require support. Paul used the common Roman term tribute to remind God's people to "render therefore to all their dues."

Fear God or Man?

In verse 7, Paul commands that fear be given to the authorities who deserved it. Paul had been whipped, beaten, stoned and imprisoned at the hands of "civil" authorities for refusing to compromise the gospel. Why would he exhort his fellow Christians to fear the authorities who worked for the manmade governments of this world?

One of the great themes of God's Word is that we are to fear and obey God alone, regardless of what "authorities" in the kingdoms of men have to say (Daniel 3:18; Acts 5:29). Yet it makes sense that Paul would exhort the Roman Christians to respect and honor the leaders of the Ecclesia. For they are appointed by God and entrusted with the Sword of the Spirit to execute judgement among them.

Conclusion

As the followers of Jesus Christ, we belong to a new Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven. This Kingdom has its own government, its own laws and its own leaders. Paul was not commanding us in Romans 13 to submit to the civil authorities of the kingdoms of the world. He was commanding us to submit to the authority of God's leaders who oversee the Ecclesias, or spirit communities of God's people.

There is no denying that true Christians make the best citizens. Their primary concern is obedience to God, and second, the reconciliation of lost humanity to God. Man, in his separation from God, does not think highly of the Christian's objectives. As a result, the governments of this world try to coerce Christians to abandon their course and submit to them. When these situations arise, Christians are forced to choose whom they will obey.

Romans 13 is used by secular interests.For too long the words of Paul in Romans 13:1-7 have been used by the world's governments as a club to beat God's people into submission. This kind of scriptural strong-arming must stop. It is a fallacy that Paul was commanding the Christians at Rome to submit to the governments of men. It is time that Christ's followers break their covenants and allegiances with the transitory governments of men. They must set an example that there is a higher and more perfect form of government - the Kingdom of Heaven.

Of course there will be consequences. Just as Jesus suffered as a consequence of our sin, we must be willing to sacrifice ourselves in any way necessary to fulfill our obedience to God. We serve the Living God. He is well able to make a way for us, regardless of how much the modern day Nebuchadnezzars rage and threaten to destroy.

When we boldly declare that we belong to God's Kingdom, we are left with no choice but to trust God for His provision in the face of a hostile world. We quickly learn that our safety is in our obedience. To trust in carnal weapons and physical force for our defense is vanity. Our greatest weapon is love! If we seriously claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, we must renounce the world, and the authority of the governments of this world. We must proclaim God's sovereign rulership over our lives. Christians are in no way bound by the Scriptures to obey and support the manmade governments of this world. We are bound to live peaceably with all men to the greatest degree possible. Yet, our loyalty, allegiance and obedience must always be found at the feet of Christ.

Our goal is to see souls brought to Christ. The more fully we separate from the world and consecrate ourselves to God, the more power we will have to infiltrate the hearts and minds of men with a living example of the gospel. The world must see that God does have a people on this earth and that His power dwells in their midst. Let us commit ourselves to His Kingdom and BE THAT PEOPLE.

Postscript

By General Jim Green

For several years now, our staff have pondered, studied, prayed over and sought out various interpretations of Romans 13.

In the early 1980's, I personally taught submission to Christian authority. Then, as Christian patriotism experienced a resurgence of popularity, we fell under the spell of the "God and country" mentality. Consequently, we supported the submission to civil authority belief regarding Romans 13.

Fortunately, we never went to the extreme of worshiping the US government or constitution as many Christians have. Thank God that this period was short lived. The Spirit of God revealed to us that one of the most powerful driving forces behind the "God and country" mentality was FREEMASONRY. The US government founded in 1776 is in reality a humanist institution. As such, it is vulnerable to every form of corruption and abuse.

Christ is our Crown of GloryAs we continued to seek God, He eventually led us into a fuller understanding of the Ecclesia system, which is the original blueprint for God's people as laid out in the Book of Acts. Consequently, the Lord commanded us to break all covenants and allegiances with the governments and systems of this world and to declare ourselves His Holy Army/Nation/Tribe. God's people are meant to have their own government ruled by those whom God appoints: A Spirit Theocracy under the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sadly enough, because we don't see God's government operating in what we call the "church" today, multitudes of Christians are led to believe that church and State can and should be unified. Nevertheless, we cannot allow this to deter us from seeking God, renouncing the world and allowing Him to establish His throne in our midst.


Readers Respond

Dear Pastor Revere,

Readers RespondThank you for sending 10 issues of the May-June newsletter to distribute. It is one of the best yet, though they are all so good, comparison is difficult.

You can credit yourself with guiding another atheist to Christianity, though I remain a firm believer in the immutability of natural law and thus the impossibility of miracles. But the Kingdom of Heaven on earth is real to me.

From what I've read thus far of the New Testament, Jesus' laws are designed to bring peace of mind, especially once one loses one's fear of death. This I lost many years ago. It is fear of prison that you have helped me to overcome. You teach that when taken prisoner, to immediately start a spiritual fast, to be continued until you are freed or die. Thus, all freedom requires is a willingness to risk martyrdom. This is what Christ came to teach us, by example.

But I suspect that you were not the first people in history since the crucifixion, to realize whom you were really supposed to be working for. More probably, you were the first since the conversion of Constantine, when Caesar defeated the Church by joining it and forcing everyone else to join. I suspect that the Christians who previously were thrown to the lions knew whom they were working for.

Their martyrdom had always puzzled me, both why they were persecuted and why they converted and endured the persecution. But once I read the Embassy of Heaven newsletter, it all suddenly made sense. Caesar persecuted them because they would not pay him tribute or acknowledge his supremacy. They took Jesus as their lord because his burden was light. They might be killed for following Him, but until they died, they would live as free men, not slaves to Caesar.

I am not yet ready to become an official citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. I still think the United States government might be redeemable. And I'm not yet ready to give up the Social Security survivor's benefits that my late husband paid for, except for complete freedom to earn my living, free of State harassment. But the day may come. In the meantime, I'll do my best to . . .

Live Free and Prosper,
Rycke Brown, Arizona

Being fed to the Lions den.


But Jesus Paid Taxes

"You ought to pay taxes. Jesus did." But is that the correct understanding of Matthew 17:24-27?

In verse 24, we find the collectors of the temple tax approaching Peter and asking, "Does not your master pay tribute?"

Peter answers, "Yes."

Poor, bungling Peter, he answered too quickly. And Jesus was not pleased.

When Peter tries to go back into the house, Jesus bars his entrance. "Oh Peter, what got into you? What were you thinking when you told the tax collector we pay tribute?"

Peter made the commitmentThen Jesus instructs Peter on who is obligated to pay. "Do the kings of the earth take tribute from their own children or from strangers?"

Peter answers, "From strangers."

"Then the children are free," said Jesus.

Jesus has corrected Peter. He knows how to answer the tax collector next time. But still a problem remains. Peter has incurred an obligation to pay the temple tax. Now what does he do?

Since the commitment has been made, Jesus chooses not to confuse the tax collectors. He explains, "Lest we offend them, go to the sea and throw out a line. Take out the fish you catch. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Take it to give to the tax collectors for you and me."

Peter did not pay the taxes because they were owed, but because he volunteered to pay them. Once he made the commitment, he needed to make his yes's, "yes." If Peter had answered correctly the first time, there would have been no need for Jesus to rebuke him.

Ima Redeemed Jailed Again

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Hebrews 13:3

Ima Redeemed is again in jail, after spending over 30 days fasting in jail in April and May. (See newsletter #963) She was released from jail on May 13th, then arrested again on June 11th. She is charged with taping her telephone conversations with local government officials, without letting them know she was taping.

On June 17th she told the jailers she would not go to court on her own two feet. They came into her cell, grabbed her by the torso and legs and carried her down the hallway. Several times they slipped and dropped her on the concrete. They duct-taped her to a chair in the holding cell and in the courtroom. She suffered much pain from the manhandling. She told them, "Jesus is my only Master and this judge in the court is not my master and he has no authority over me."

Ima is fasting for His Glory. She says, "My whole life is now in God's hands. I hope and pray that I am doing the right thing in God's eyes. People's opinions really don't matter to me anymore. Only God's approval matters, and I am ready to die for His approval."

Four-Day Fast

Richard Mutch, an inmate at a jail in Clallam Bay, Washington, who receives our newsletter wrote, "My heart and prayers go out to Ima Redeemed and her religious war against the corrupt system rearing its ugly head in Ely, Nevada." He and a group of his brothers at the jail fasted and prayed four days for Ima.

Firecrackers Worthless

We FAXed the following letter to Sheriff Romero on the 4th of July:

Re: False Imprisonment of Ima Redeemed

Greetings from the Kingdom of Heaven, God's government upon the earth. May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Today you celebrate the independence of the United States of America from British rule. Meanwhile, you have learned how to oppress Ima Redeemed. As far as I'm concerned, your firecrackers aren't worth 2 cents. I have lost all respect for you and your office and all the rest of the cogs on the wheel.

I am not asking you to release Ima Redeemed, for it will be Jesus Christ who will guarantee her release. I pray that when you reach the judgement seat of my Father, that He treats you much better than you treated Ima Redeemed. There is still time for repentance. Go for it!

BangUnder the Authority of Jesus Christ,

Embassy of Heaven
Paul Revere, Pastor

Caleb Israel Released

Caleb Israel was held in San Luis Obispo County Jail, San Luis Obispo, California, for 21 days and was released on July 16. He wrote the following letter to us from jail:

7-7-96

Matador Bull

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, Our King Now! As I sit here in this jail cell, pondering the events that have taken place last month; I can't help but remember the words I heard in Kansas City at the Ecclesia meeting. "We should not be waving red flags at the bull."

I guess I should explain why I am in jail. As many of you know, I believe we live in God's Kingdom Now!

Several years ago, I was searching for a way to separate myself from the beast system that has virtually everyone in servitude to it. I heard of a ministry in Oregon Territory that was making and issuing Driver Licenses and Vehicle License plates by the authority in the Kingdom of Heaven, called the Embassy of Heaven.

As I understood then, one could not separate from the world's system of government while still contracting with that system for permission to travel on the highways in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Here was the answer to my dilemma. Tools to help one escape from the Beast system and be in obedience to the commandment of our King to, "be ye separate."

These tools do just what so many people are afraid of: "Waving a red flag in front of the Bull." I have to ask, "What were the disciples of Christ doing in the first century when they refused to bow the knee to Caesar and take his licenses?" They were waving a red flag in front of the Bull. They were thrown into the dungeons and fed to the lions. We have not yet had to suffer unto death as they.

My big crime is being a citizen of Heaven, as were my brothers and sisters in the first century. We are told in Philippians 3:20 that "our citizenship is in Heaven." I guess another crime of mine is believing the Scripture literally means what it says.

Our citizenship is in the Kingdom of Heaven Now! But we cannot be citizens of two nations at the same time. Jesus taught this principle in Matthew 6:24, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other . . . Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

What is it that men fear about waving a red flag at the bull? Is it not what men will do to us? Is it not our fear of losing the things of this world? Then what shall we eat, or what shall we drink: or for the body, what shall we put on?

Jesus gives us the answer to our fears: "Therefore take no thought, saying what shall we eat? or what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Matthew 6:24-34.

Until next time, God bless you all with His Love, grace and peace through Jesus Christ our King Now! Amen.

Caleb Israel