OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew


          The Bible is filled with examples.  Some of these examples are to be followed.  Peter affirms that Jesus is an example of suffering who is worthy to be followed.  “For even hereunto were ye called:  because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps” (I Pet. 2:21).  The Jews, on the other hand, while wandering in the wilderness became an example of what should be avoided.  “But with many of them God was not well pleased:  for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.  Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of the destroyer.  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:  and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (I Cor. 10:5-11).

          Most of us realize that all men and women have their good and their bad points.  We can mimic the good, and we can refrain from the bad.  There is only one completely pure example.  This is Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:15; I Pet. 2:22).  This is why He is held up as the true standard.  On the other hand, there is one completely evil example that should be avoided.  This is none other than Satan himself.  Satan has no good points.  There is nothing positive that he has done, is doing, or will do that should be copied by mankind.  Listen to Jesus’ description of this wicked being.  “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do:  he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:  for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  The evil of Satan is clearly manifested in the words of the Son of God.  This poisonous being is man’s archenemy (I Pet. 5:8).  He seeks to damage and destroy every human being.

          Who would ever think of taking anything Satan has ever done and using it as an example to be followed?  Yet, this is exactly what some in evil political systems have done.  In Saul Alinsky’s book entitled:  Rules for Radicals, he does this very thing on the dedicatory page.  He writes:  “Let we forget, an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical:  from all over legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.”  Alinsky is a man who despises “the establishment” in democratic governments.  He longs to over them by covert, deceptive techniques.  One of his heroes is Lucifer, that is, Satan.

          Satan rebelled against the God of heaven.  He was a being who was filled with pride (I Tim. 3:6).  He desired positions of exaltation that were not his (Isa. 14:13-14).  Because of his overestimation of self and his deep yearning for power, he rebelled against God.  Because of this, he and his allies were cast down from heaven (II Pet. 2:4, Jude 6).  They were not victorious in taking God’s throne.  Too, Satan’s ultimate end will be in hell, tormented in a lake of fire and brimstone for ever and ever (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).  This is the example that Mr. Alinsky praises.  It is one of the examples of rebellion against “the establishment” that he prides himself in.  Who can truly fathom such?  Surely no Christian believes that Satan should be used as a positive role model in rebelling against the establishment.

          The heart of the rebellion for radicals lies in one word, “power.”  This is the only end.  Everything else is of no importance.  They want to control the economy.  They want to control the environment.  They want to control the home.  They want to control the minute aspects of the lives of all individuals.  They will promise the world as long as that promise brings another person under their power.  “The power” always knows best.  The people are supposed to trust this and submit to all of “the power’s’ decisions.”  At first, their promises seem to be beneficial to the masses.  Eventually, “the power” destroys the masses.       

Some of our readers may be of the opinion that ministers of the gospel should never delve into the power structure of the government under which we live.  They have been deceived by the lie that says there is supposed to be a complete separation between church and state.  This is not the case at all.  The Bible has much to say about both the establishment of government and the purposes of government.  Bible greats like Joseph, Moses, Daniel, John the Baptist, Paul, and Jesus confronted the leaders of their day.  They pointed out their moral failures.  They challenged them with their righteous messages.  They warned them of the coming judgment by the Governor of the nations (Ps. 22:28).

          Dear readers, governments and those who lead them are in power because God allows them to be there.  To Pilate Jesus spoke these words:  “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above…” (John 19:11).  Our political officials are supposed to be ministers of God (Rom. 13:4).  They are to protect the good and execute wrath against the evil doers (Rom. 13:3-4).  If they desire for their nation to be exalted, they will lead the nation in righteousness (Prov. 14:34).  They need to remember that God’s watchful eye is upon them (Prov. 5:21).  Surely, no leader wants to be weighed in the balances of God and found wanting (Dan. 5:27).

          As children of God, we need to learn, understand, and appreciate the fact that God has legislated about the actions of our government and her leaders.  First and foremost, our leaders need to acknowledge the God of heaven.  A brief study of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign will reveal this.  Too, they need to implement the principles of righteousness within our nation.  These principles are found in God’s Word (Rom. 1:17; Tit. 2:11-12).  As citizens within our nation, we need to hold our leaders to these things.  Any government that rejects God and His Word and aligns itself with the archenemy Satan needs to be ousted as quickly as possible.  As far as God is concerned, such a nation will eventually be cast into hell (Ps. 9:17).