Are all governments of the world ordained by God?
/ Commentary, Michael Fehrer 00, 2011-03-25
The battle in heaven.
Satan is ruler of the world.
The search for intelligent life in the universe.
What is the point of life? / Discourse 104 - Part 1
I refer to your article on the point of life (Discourse 104: #8220:What is the
point of life?", FH), in which you assert that all governments of the world are ordained
by Satan. I have never either heard or read anything of the kind, so I wonder in what shady
corner you have come up with such a view? (…)
You claim to know the Bible after all, so how can you have missed Paul’s statement in the Letter to the Romans, where he commands as follows (Rom 13,1): "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God"? You should read through the rest of this passage as well, up to 13,7, and then reconsider your views. You can’t claim to be Christian and faithful to the Bible, and then make assertions of this kind which state the exact contrary of what the Bible teaches. Paul tells us that all governments of the world are ordained by God, not by Satan!
(Michael Fehrer firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Thank you for your visit to Immanuel.at and for your comments. In the interest of
getting a better overview, here is the biblical passage from the Letter to the Romans which you
refer to, along with its context.
For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Rom 13,1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing
authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by
God. 13,2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they
who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
13,3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 13,4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 13,5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.
13,6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 13,7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Rom 13, 1- 7;
Of course I did not miss these statements of Paul’s. But what at least I also
cannot fail to be aware of is the history of the world over the last two thousand years ‒
starting from the tyranny of the Roman empire, in Paul’s own lifetime, when the emperor Nero
(54-68) instituted a persecution of Christians in the year 64 AD on the pretext that they had
started the fire of Rome, persecuted them and put them to death. Tacitus
- Roman historian (c. AD 50 - c. 120) - writes about this:
"The first people to be arrested confessed ‒ then, on their
information, vast numbers were arrested. They were committed not just for having started the fire,
but rather on account of their general hatred of the human race. The condemned were made into a
spectacle ‒ they were clothed in animal skins and torn apart by dogs, they were crucified, or
set on fire after dark and used as human torches."
Those people who were first arrested, and then betrayed their brethren, were
evidently following Paul’s instruction in Rom 13,2: "Whoever resists authority has opposed the
ordinance of God". The result was that vast numbers of Christians were put to death ‒ either
by crucifixion, by being thrown as a meal to the dogs, or ending their lives miserably as human
torches to light the streets of Rome.
We would hardly have space here to recount all the crimes of the "powers that be" in the various subsequent dispensations of this world, so let us just stick to the best known. Consider another generally well-known event, also emanating from Rome, but this time from the Roman Catholic church.
At the Roman Catholic synod in the French town of Clermont in 1095, Pope Urban II called for a crusade to recapture Palestine from the Moslems. In a thoroughly histrionic address, the Pope had convinced those present of the necessity of freeing the holy places from the Moslems, and his appeal was enthusiastically received. He then ended his sermon with the words Deus lo vult! ‒ God wills it! These words were adopted as the motto of subsequent crusades, in which the casualties amounted to millions. And Christians went along with this, because they believed Paul to be telling them that "Whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God".
Not to speak of the following centuries, when the Spanish, Portuguese, English and other royal houses colonized North and South America and brutally slaughtered or evicted hundreds of thousands of Native Americans and Indios, so as to steal their land and their gold ‒ or the colonization of Africa, Asia and Australia, when the peoples of these continents were similarly oppressed and reduced to servitude ‒ but we need not go into these matters in detail here.
But one event in our recent past undoubtedly deserves a mention. I refer to the dominion of the Nazis. This not only brought about some 50 million military and civilian deaths. Six million Jews as well, more importantly, became victims of the Holocaust ‒ being persecuted, imprisoned in concentration camps and killed. The brutality of the Nazis in their persecution of the Jews is altogether comparable with that of Nero in persecuting the Christians of Rome. And here too Christians joined in, faithful to Paul’s supposed mandate expressed in the words "Whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God".
Now we might think that things like this could not possibly occur in our world as it is today. But then take a look at the current risings of the Arab peoples in North Africa and Arabia ("Arab Spring"), resulting in thousands of deaths. Without these events it would not have been brought to international public notice that all these states are ruled by dictators, many of whom have maintained themselves in power by violent means for decades (e.g. the state of emergency in Syria, which has lasted for almost 50 years), in order to deprive the people of the country’s natural resources of precious metals and oil, while at the same time stockpiling assets worth billions and tons of gold for themselves and their clan.
And now Mr. Fehrer opines, in his commentary quoted above, that all the governments of this world ‒ including all the above-mentioned rulers and powers, from ancient Rome right through to the present ‒ have been ordained by God. And he is not alone in this opinion ‒ just a few years ago another visitor to this site wrote me as follows:
"The foundation of the State of Israel in the year 1948 was in the end
not the work of the Zionists. Like all other nations of the world, this state too was ordained by
God. Paul tells us as much in Rom 13,1. This is also the sense in which the Holocaust should be
understood. Even in the Old Testament Israel was repeatedly punished by its God because it had
forsaken his commandments. But now it has been gathered to its own land, and anyone who condemns the
government of Israel is condemning God’s dealings with his people."
(See also Discourse 08: "Are
all governments - and so also the government of Israel - ordained by God?")
So according to this Christian brother, the Holocaust of six million Jews was God’s
punishment of the people of Israel. Then was the persecution of Christians in Rome likewise a
punishment of the Christians of the time? Or was the colonization of the American continent a
punishment of the Native Americans and Indios? When we attempt to analyze the background to this
line of argument, we can see that this conclusion is actually perfectly logical. If you go along
with Paul’s statement in Rom 13,1 ff without reflection, there is no other way out of this dilemma
other than the conclusion that all these things must be the will of God -
Deus lo vult.
In order to come to a better understanding of the matter, let us now try to examine this problem from a different angle. Almost everyone knows the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the Fall. Just what the emperor Nero was for the persecuted Roman Christians, and what Hitler and his henchmen were for the persecuted Jews in the Third Reich, so for the first human beings Satan too was among the "powers that be". And unlike the worldly rulers referred to above, the devil was undoubtedly "ordained" by God. And they obeyed him and so committed the biggest mistake of human history. Deus lo vult? Was this too the will of God? If we read the story of the Fall with attention, we will certainly come to realize that it was not the will of God by any means.
Now since both cannot possibly be right, a mistake must have crept in here at some point. The solution is the absolute righteousness of God. God granted free will to the very first human beings, and allowed them to choose freely where they would place their trust ‒ in what they had been told by God, their Creator, or in the assertions of the old serpent, Satan. And Adam and Eve made use of their free will and decided to believe in Satan.
Finally, the statement of the Apostle Paul, the most important
preacher of the Gospel among the nations, quoted by the visitor above, and who
writes in Rom 13,2,
Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God;
must be contrasted with the exhortation of the apostle Peter and
the other apostles in Acts 5,29, where they declare quite clearly,
We must obey God rather than men.
That gives us a pretty definite answer ‒ but can this insight then also help us with our
problem about the human authorities of this world? It does permit us to draw a conclusion, which may
form the basis for an answer: if God, in his absolute righteousness, grants free power of decision
to all human beings, it necessarily follows that when it comes to the point of decision, just as for
Adam and Eve, there must be at least two possibilities to choose from. With Adam
and Eve it was God and Satan, here it is
righteousness and unrighteousness. Righteousness is represented by God and his Word, the Bible. But
who represents unrighteousness?
Well, again it is Satan of course ‒ who here happily leaps into the breach to carry on his
favorite activity, that of seducing humanity into evil. And just as with Adam and Eve, so God has
also permitted it that in this world people shall be tested in order to show where they place their
trust ‒ in their God, or in the Antagonist. These are not empty assertions either, but based
on plain statements in the Bible ‒ as we can demonstrate in the biblical references that
So God permitted Satan to tempt humanity in the Garden of Eden. Just as God actually needs Satan in the first place to test human beings on earth ‒ like the angels in heaven ‒ to see whether they are deserving of trust. In heaven Satan succeeded in seducing a third of the angels of God and acquiring them for his party. As the Bible tells us, in the lifetime of Jesus on earth a battle took place in heaven, in which Satan, with the angels who had gone over to him, fought against the archangel Michael and the remaining two thirds of the angels of God. Satan lost this battle and was thrown out of heaven onto the earth with his angels.
And Satan, the great dragon was thrown down, to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Rev 12,7 7 And there was battle in heaven, Michael and his angels waging
war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 12,8 and they were not strong enough, and
there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 12,9 And the great dragon was thrown down,
the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown
down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Rev 12, 7- 9;
And the tail of the dragon swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.
Rev 12,3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great
red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 12,4 And
his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon
stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her
child. Rev 12, 3- 4;
Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
Jn 12,28 "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came out
of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." 12,29 So the crowd of
people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, "An
angel has spoken to Him." 12,30 Jesus answered and said, "This voice has not come for My
sake, but for your sakes. 12,31 "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this
world will be cast out. Jn 12,28-31;
I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming.
Jn 14,28 "You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will
come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father
is greater than I. 14,29 "Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you
may believe. 14,30 "I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is
coming, and he has nothing in Me; 14,31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I
do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here. Jn 14.28-31;
And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
Lk 10,17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the
demons are subject to us in Your name." 17,18 And He said to them, "I was watching
Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Lk 10,17-18;
Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath.
Rev 12,12 "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell
in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great
wrath, knowing that he has only a short time." Rev 12,12;
How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning.
Isa 14,12 "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the
morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the
nations! Isa 14,12;
The prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Eph 2,1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2,2 in which you
formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of
the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Eph 2, 1- 2;
If the head of the house (Satan) had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house (the world) to be broken into.
Mt 24,42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day
your Lord is coming. 24,43 "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house (Satan) had
known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not
have allowed his house (the world) to be broken into. 24,44 "For this reason you also must be
ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. Mt 24,42-44;
As we see here, from this time on Satan has ruled the world as "the prince of the
power of the air" along with his angels, who rule in the air as demons. And right after they were
thrown out of heaven onto the earth, these demons looked for a home in the spirit of human beings.
As we know from the Bible, in a number of cases our Lord drove them out (Mt 8:28-34; 9:32-34;
12:28; or Lk 8:30 – a Roman legion at that time consisted of around 6000 men).
And so it has been with world history right up to the present day ‒ with Satan as ruler of the world, and his angels as demons in the spirit of human beings who open up to let them in. The best demonstration of this can be seen in the course of world history itself, with its seemingly endless wars, dictatorships, crimes, mass murders and perversities.
(See also Excursus 06: "From the face of God into
the lake of fire - the four stages of Satan")
As we read in Lk 4,6 below, God at that time (similar to the beginning of creation in
the Garden of Eden!), gave Satan power over all the kingdoms of the world, so that he might test human
beings likewise to see whether they would remain loyal to God, or – as it was also the case
with a third of the angels –, allow themselves be led astray. And right at the beginning of his
earthly dominion, Satan even tried to seduce the Son of God by offering him all the kingdoms of the world,
if he would fall down and worship him.
But the Lord answered him just in the way that Adam and Eve should have answered him, when Satan led them into temptation: "You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only". Had they answered like this, right at the beginning of the creation of humanity, they could have saved millennia of chaos on earth.
I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
Lk 4,5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the
world in a moment of time. 4,6 And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this
domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 4,7
"Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours." 4,8 Jesus answered him,
"It is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your GOD and serve Him only.’" Lk 4, 5- 8;
So let us just stick to the following biblical facts:
o Satan and his angels lost the battle in heaven against Michael and
his angels. (Rev 12:7-8)
o Satan and his angels were thrown out of heaven onto the earth.
(Rev 12:4,9: Jn 12:31; Isa 14:12)
o The Lord Jesus announces to his disciples that now "the ruler of
the world" is coming to earth. (Jn 14:30)
o A little later, he revealed to them: "I was watching Satan fall
from heaven like lightning." (Lk 10:18)
o John alludes to this in Revelation: "Woe to the earth and the
sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath." (Rev 12:12)
o Paul too testifies that "the prince of the power of the air"
is already active in the spirit of human beings. (Eph 2:2)
o And finally we can actually see Satan in action on earth, when he
tries to lead the Son of God astray and extract worship from him. (Lk 4:5-6)
But the most important statement in this connection is to be found in the last verse
referred to above (Lk 4,6). Here Satan offers the Son of God the rule of all the kingdoms of this
world, and announces that all power over these world kingdoms has been handed over to him
(by God) and he can give it to anyone he chooses. (Lk 4,6)
Now Satan is admittedly the Father of Lies, and you can’t usually believe anything that he says. But here it is the Son of God who confirms the correctness of this utterance ‒ for if it had been a lie, the Lord would have rebutted it just as promptly and as sharply as he does the devil’s presumption to obtain worship from him. But when Satan proclaims that power over all the kingdoms of the world has been handed over to him, the Lord does not contradict it. So we can assume that Satan has been ruling this world for almost two thousand years, and all rulers and persons with power have been ordained by him.
But we also know, based on historical traditions, that the so-called "Christian" royal houses of Europe have for centuries ‒ and right up to the present day(!) ‒ prided themselves on being the Elect of God, based on Paul’s statement in Rom 13,1 with which we are here concerned: "For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God."
And they took this as the basis for claiming an authority given them from "above", entitling them first of all to plunder their subjects with outrageous taxes, so that the ruling families and their entourage could lead a life of luxury; and then to send the men of the nation to the wars, with a view to extending their own power ‒ wars in which they were brutally massacred. And here again frequent recourse was had to the inflammatory idea of Pope Urban II, with which he launched the crusades and told the world that Deus lo vult! ‒ God wills it!
And the Catholic church too has been happy to avail itself of this biblical statement in order to legitimize its collaboration with the GESTAPO under the Nazis. It was the Austrian Cardinal Innitzer who wrote Gauleiter Bürckel in a letter that "The voice of our common blood has brought Austria and Germany together", signing the letter with a "Heil Hitler". And even the highest authority in the Catholic church of the time has an exceedingly shady record (see the book "Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII" by John Cornwell).
As we can see, the view that the supreme authorities of the states of this world ‒ the Vatican State included ‒ have been ordained by God is completely impossible to believe, and borders on a denial of reality. To block out this discrepancy on the grounds of the supposed "infallibility" of the entire Bible would be hypocritical and not entirely convincing. So for any correctly believing Christian the question now arises, what on earth can have motivated Paul to make a statement of this kind?
(See also Discourse 40: "Are there errors in the
And here there are two possibilities which may help us to arrive at an explanation:
Could it be that Paul was quite unaware of the above New Testament statements that relate to this issue? In which case he would presumably have relied on the Old Testament, with which, as a Jewish scribe, he was thoroughly familiar ‒ with passages like Eccl 8,2 for example, where it is written: "Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God".
Even if we were able to establish, as a result of closer examination, that Paul could not have known either Revelation or the Gospel of John, in view of the fact that these books were only written after his death, he must still have been familiar with the Lord’s statement in the Gospel of Luke (10,18): "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning", as he spent a good deal of time with Luke on repeated occasions, and this must surely have been one of the questions they discussed.
But Paul’s own reference in Eph 2,2 ‒ "according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience" ‒ shows beyond doubt that Paul was well aware of the presence of Satan in the world.
And this immediately gives us a point of departure for a second possible explanation. Above all when we consider that Paul must himself have experienced Nero’s persecution of the Christians in Rome (64 AD), before dying as a martyr (perhaps in 67 AD), it is highly improbable that he would have described this "supreme authority" as having been ordained by God. On the contrary, in fact, Paul was himself imprisoned in Rome on two occasions (61-62 and 67), because he went against this "supreme authority" of state power through his efforts to preach the gospel. ‒ So what, then, was the reason?
It is fairly certain that Paul wrote this his letter to the Romans when he was in Corinth in the year 58. It was sent by a messenger, and Paul was aware that the congregation in Rome, even at this time, was regarded with extreme hostility. Since the letter, like the letters to other congregations (the Corinthians, the Thessalonians etc.), was to be passed around the community, it could also be assumed that it would be subject to control by the Roman authorities. If its contents were critical, it could have been censored or even confiscated.
And perhaps it was just in order to prevent this happening that Paul inserted this passage about subjection ‒ "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities." This was enough to keep Rome happy, and the remaining content of the letter ‒ one of the best, if not the very best in the entire New Testament ‒ was saved for the brethren and for us today. Meanwhile for correctly believing Christians it was perfectly clear, then as now, that there is only one authority to whom we should really be subject ‒ our God.
We must obey God rather than men.
Acts 5,29 But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey
God rather than men. Acts 5,29;
The Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.
Acts 5,32 "And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the
Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." Acts 5,32;
Finally Paul himself, in this same Letter to the Romans in which he writes in verse
13,1, "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities", goes on in 6,12-13 to
enjoin the brethren:
Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness.
Rom 6,12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you
obey its lusts, 6,13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments
of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members
as instruments of righteousness to God. Rom 6,12-13;
And that now leaves no doubt about it ‒ the "governing authorities" of the
state are only to be obeyed when their decrees are actually in agreement with the will of God. War,
murder, betrayal and connivance in such activities do not fall in this category, and so are
automatically excluded from Paul’s injunction here.
In the following verses (Rom 13,3 ff) Paul then makes it very plain which state authorities a Christian must be subject to: "For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same."
ll the rulers referred to above were exclusively intent on "doing what is evil" ‒ through such actions as the oppression and depredation of the peoples of America, Africa, Asia and Australia by European kings, the "liberation" of Jerusalem from the Moslems by the crusades of the Catholic church, or the "final solution" of the Jewish question by the Nazis.
And anyone who wanted to "do what is good" would have had to go against the decrees of state ‒ e.g. by hiding the Jews from the Nazis and helping them to escape. For this he would certainly not have received any praise from the GESTAPO ‒ he would have been sent to Auschwitz, Treblinka or Bergen-Belsen himself.
And we look at Paul’s indication further on, in Rom 13,6: "For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing" ‒ it sounds like a mockery of world history. For the rulers of this world in fact "devote themselves", in greater or less degree, to the expansion of their power, their influence and their assets, without regard to anyone else.
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
Jn 5,19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies
in the power of the evil one. 5,20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us
understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son
Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 1Jn 5,19-20;
Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.
Gal 1,3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 1,4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 1,5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. Gal 1,3-5;
So there can be no doubt that the rulers of the world have been ordained by Satan for the last two
thousand years or so ‒ appointed from the ranks of his willing subjects. But we have to ask
ourselves, all the same, what kind of understanding of God is shown by those Christians who want to
make out that this world is under God’s government. A world of wars, murder, criminality, fraud,
corruption, dictatorships, perversities, annihilation of the environment, destruction of the animal
and plant kingdoms and so on and so forth ‒ a world where evidently chaos has been declared
Probably no father would do such a thing to his children ‒ let alone God, to a human race that believes in him. It is not without good reason that the Son of God tells us in the Lord’s prayer to pray to the Father: "deliver us from evil". But this mankind has for the most part forgotten its God, its Creator. They prefer to run after earthly "gods" in the most different forms (religion, sport, politics, finances …).
Anyone who fails to see that Paul’s statement in Rom 13,1 ‒ that all state authority has been established by God ‒ is a protective utterance intended for the eyes of the censor, is obliged to explain why it is that our Lord did not contradict Satan when the latter asserted, in Lk 4,5-6, that all the kingdoms of this world had been handed over to him and he could give them to anyone he chose.
Even more importantly, the fact that the Son of God actually confirmed Satan’s assertion by describing the devil in Jn 14,30 as "the ruler of this world" and in Mt 24,43 as "head of the house" is an absolute guarantee of the correctness of this interpretation. Anyone who contradicts this would have to accuse the Son of God of uttering an untruth – which no rightly believing Christian could possibly do.
Now of course humanity would have had the option of rejecting Satan, and ruling this world in peace and prosperity. But they chose not to do so. The late lamented evangelist and preacher Wilhelm Busch refers to this in his book, "Jesus Our Destiny":
"There is a devastating story in the Bible. Here is the Son of God,
the Lord Jesus, sitting on the Mount of Olives. In the valley below him is the city of Jerusalem in
glorious sunshine. Over there the Mount of the Temple stands, with the glorious Temple built on it,
of which even the heathen said that it was an edifice that really had to be counted among the
wonders of the world. All this is outspread below him. But all of a sudden, the disciples see to
their horror that tears are running down his cheeks. They turn to him in surprise and puzzlement.
And then these words break from the Lord Jesus: 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem... how often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were unwilling. Now you are confronted with the judgment of God. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!' (a free quotation from Mt 23,37-38). This is one of the most devastating sayings in the Bible: 'But you were unwilling'. The people of Jerusalem also doubtless said, 'We just cannot believe' - but actually they did not want to."
Wilhelm Busch (1897‒1966) was a Pastor and youth worker in Essen, an evangelist,
preacher, writer and author.
+) This extract and the photo are taken from the book "Jesus unser Schicksal" ["Jesus our Destiny"], by W. Busch, Schriftenmissions‒Verlag Gladbeck/Westfalen [Scriptural Mission Publications, Gladbeck/Westphalia], ISBN 3-7958-0364-0.
(See also Discourse 55: "People who
are unable to believe")
"But you were unwilling", Jesus said to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He did not
compel them. But what they chose was atrocious! Because they refused to recognize the Son of God and
rejected him, God rejected Israel and dissolved his covenant with them. In 70 AD the city and the
Temple of Jerusalem were razed to the ground by the Roman legions under Titus
(Flavius Josephus, Bell, 6: 254-259), and some time after that the entire
people of the Jews was driven into exile.
Israel was abandoned by its God, and from having been a chosen people, has now become a God-less people. Only when they come to accept the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, as their Messiah (and not the false "Christ", the Antichrist, who will come first), will Israel again be reconciled with its God.
From now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Mt 23,37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones
those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen
gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 23,38 "Behold, your house is being
left to you desolate! 23,39 "For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you
say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’" Mt 23,37-39;
Here above, in Mt 23,38, the Lord says to the Israelites:
"Behold, your house is being left to you desolate". This is originally a saying
of David (Psalm 69,25: «May their camp be desolate; May none dwell in their
tents.»), which Peter also quotes in Acts 1,20, in his address on the election
of a new twelfth apostle instead of the traitor Judas Iscariot, together with
another saying of David, from Ps 109,8: «… Let another take his office.»
It is significant that these two sayings of Daniel apply not only to the traitor Judas Iscariot, but also to the betrayal of the people of Israel against their Messiah. Their house will be left desolate – God has dissolved the covenant with Israel – and their office – the government in the Kingdom of God on earth, the Millennium – will be given to to a people, producing the fruit of it (Mt 21,43).
But just as gruesome as Israel’s choice at that time is, what the whole of humanity has chosen. They too stand under God’s judgment. And here too, the few survivors among them will be left with the whole planet made desolate.
Behold, the LORD lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface.
Isa 24,1 Behold, the LORD lays the earth waste, devastates it,
distorts its surface and scatters its inhabitants. 24,2 And the people will be like the priest,
the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller, the lender like
the borrower, the creditor like the debtor. Isa 24, 1– 2;
The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they broke the everlasting covenant.
Isa 24,3 The earth will be completely laid waste and completely
despoiled, for the LORD has spoken is word. 24,4 The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and
withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away. 24,5 The earth is also polluted by its
inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. 24,6
Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the
inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left. Isa 24, 3– 6;
But God will make a new beginning with humanity. He will bind Satan in the abyss for
a thousand years, and our Lord Jesus Christ will then actually rule this world in peace and righteousness.
I have put My words in your mouth, to establish the heavens, to found the earth.
Isa 51,15 "For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea and
its waves roar (the LORD of hosts is His name). 51,16 "I have put My words in your mouth and
have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to
say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’" Isa 51,15–16;
I create new heavens and a new earth.
Isa 65,17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. 65,18 "But be glad and rejoice
forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness.
65,19 "I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be
heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying. 65,20 "No longer will there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth
will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will
be thought accursed. 65,21 They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant
vineyards and eat their fruit. 65,22 They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant
and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My
chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands. Isa 65,17-22;
The nations that are left round about you will know that I am the LORD.
Eze 36,35 "They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like
the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’ 36
"Then the nations that are left round about you will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt
the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, the LORD, have spoken and will do
it." Eze 36,35-36;
The remnant of Israel will become a blessing among the nations.
Zech 8,11 ‘But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in
the former days,’ declares the LORD of hosts. 8,12 ‘For there will be peace for the seed: the
vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew;
and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. 8,13 ‘It will come
about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I
will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.’ Zech
The search for intelligent life in the universe.
For decades humanity has been trying – with massive
scientific research, and enormous financial and material outlay – to
investigate the cosmos in search of intelligent life. For any correctly
believing Christian and one familiar with the Bible, however, this is just
money thrown away, which would have been better spent on aid to the needy
of this world.
(See also Chapter 08: "The reorganization of heaven and earth.")
(See also Chapter 10: "The Millennium.")