Archive for July 11th, 2022

Let me tell you a bit about my journey with the subject of “Pastors” and “Romans 13.” By the early 1990s I had come to understand the nature of the institutional “Pastor,” as well as what the Scriptures taught regarding the “Ascension Gifts” mentioned in Ephesians. This led me to a re-evaluation of Romans 13[1] and to see that it was not a reference to civil authorities, but to Israel’s ecclesiastical rulers of the Acts Period. All of this would contribute to my eventual resignation as a “pastor,” and an abandoning of “church” membership and attendance altogether.

However, sadly, for about a 10-year period in the 2010s, and during the finalization of my World Affairs and National Politics book,[2] I allowed myself to be swayed back to the traditional position of Romans 13, due to the influence of A.E. Knoch. This is a classic problem when one has respect for a teacher of Scripture. I found so much valuable help from Knoch during my studies of the early 2000s that it was easy to allow myself to be influenced by him across the board.

World Affairs is in need of adjustments to bring it back in line with my earlier, and now present, understanding of Romans 13. In some ways, my Pastor[3] book is a supplementary attempt at such an adjustment. One day I plan to go back and adjust many of my books, including World Affairs.[4]

As for my approach to current human government, my studies have led me to view them in a similar way as to how I would view any organized crime (e.g., “the Mob”) – that they are illegitimate powers. Illegitimate, relatively of course, since they are all absolutely employed by God for His present purpose.[5] As some have aptly stated, “Kings and rulers appointed by the king and any rulers of the world, are there by God’s sovereign will. Jesus applied that truth to Pilate (John 19:11).”

As I have delt with in World Affairs, in Eden, Earth’s dominion was vested in the family. Nationalism, as we know it today, began at Babel as an illegitimate alliance in rebellion against God – a revolt that was in opposition to God’s dominion mandate in Genesis 1:28. Earthly dominion still rightfully remains vested in the family.[6]

Having said all of this, it must be recognized that the family is now in ruins, having been strategically reduced by its adversaries to the nuclear “family,” which is but a mere semblance of the true scriptural family tribe.

So where does all of this leave us? During this current administration, we are at a new height of “Man’s Day” (I Corinthians 4:3, CV, YLT) and this “Evil Age” (Galatians 1:4, REB, YLT). It has certainly never been truer that mankind is doing that which is “right in his own eyes.” What we have, in essence, is a perpetual undercurrent of anarchy, with diabolical men, as well as well-intended ones, attempting to make the most of this situation to do “that which is evil,” and “that which is good,” respectively. In either case, any impression of legitimacy has marked advantages over complete anarchy.

By way of illustration, if I moved into a town that was firmly ruled by organized crime – “the Mob” – and attempted to live there with my family and conduct a livelihood, what would be my attitude and response? Would I disregard its existence, being illegitimate as it is, and fight it every step of the way? Or, would I seek to follow Paul’s instruction to, “if it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men”? In fact, the entire context of this passage would be a worthy consideration for my response:

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ saith the Lord.” Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).

So, what would my response to such rule of organized crime be if they would come by for a visit to introduce themselves, and to let me know of their “services” and “protection”? For me, it would be humble submission – even to the point of paying their “protection” fees – after all, this is “Man’s Day.” I would not render to them “evil for evil,” but would instead be respectful of my “high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” demonstrating a pacific, kind and gracious spirit in the face of their blatant illegitimacy.

Well, the fact of the matter is that there is a “mob” in the town where I live. There is “organized crime” here – and it bears the utmost guise of legitimacy – “mayors,” “representatives,” “councils” and “boards.” This illegitimacy extends regionally, and beyond, in further pretense of validity. Nonetheless, all of this is a system with a long line of men (generals, governors, senators, presidents, etc.) seizing power, property and control from other illegitimate powers. All modern Gentile governments are a perpetual history of taking illegitimate power from those who themselves possess illegitimate power – all in an ever-steady flow of coup d’états, revolutions, riots, takeovers, insurrections, uprisings, mutinies – all perpetuating appalling injustices.

However, it is man’s “heyday” of usurpation and evil that provides the ideal backdrop and contrast for that ray of hope, love, mercy, grace and justice that flickers ever so faintly forth from broken vessels, divinely possessed. Oh, to live in daily contrast to the evil age that envelops us – and to do so joyously among our spouses, children, families, friends and neighbors!

What about our response to this farce of legitimate government – one that has no actual dominion mandate? It is a response of humble submission – even to the point of paying their “protection” fees (taxes, duties, tolls, levies, etc.)[7] Without rendering “evil for evil,” we simply let them have their day – knowing assuredly that our day is yet to come![8]

A fine example for us is that all of the kings and other civil authorities during the history of the Gospels and Book of Acts were illegitimate powers over Israel. They had usurped Israel’s land and tribal governments – enslaving the children of Israel, while granting them a pretense of self-government. Thus, as some have noted, we have many passages in the Circumcision writings that would show a proper response to the usurpers (i.e., Acts 4:19; 5:28-29; I Peter 2:13-14).

So, yes, in this way, I am in full agreement that we “are to be subject to the secular government of the country where we find ourselves, except for where obeying them would be contrary to God’s will for us. That approach reflects the mind of Christ and His Father – as that was the way He conducted Himself during His earthly ministry (see also Mathew 22:17-21). Although Jesus’ example and words were during the Law Administration, the principle and attitude behind it still applies to us today. We need to conduct ourselves ‘with wisdom toward outsiders’ (Colossians 4:5).”[9]

[1]     [Editor:] For more regarding Romans 13, see:

[2]     See under “Clyde Pilkington” on the order form or visit StudyShelf online.

[3]     See under “Clyde Pilkington” on the order form or visit StudyShelf online.

[4]     For more regarding the need to edit and revise my books, see

[5]     For more information, see,

[6]     The dominion of the Earth was vested in the family. The authorities were a husband and his wife. The perpetuation and increase in this domain was to be through their children (Genesis 1:28). God gave dominion to Adam and Eve (:26); but note (:28) that the subduing of, and continued dominion over the earth, followed “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth.” As Adam and Eve had children, their dominion increased, and the authority naturally passed to them. Thus, the dominion of the Earth was vested in the family.

The family here is not the nuclear family of contemporary Western culture, but the family governed by the patriarchal system.

“The Old Testament family is a wider circle than the typical two-generation nuclear family of parents and children characteristic of contemporary Western society.” — Sinclair Ferguson, ed., New Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove, IL, InterVarsity Press, 1988), page 251

“Another term for family, ‘bayith,’ included all living within the confines and jurisdiction of the dwelling.” — Merrel Tenney, ed., New International Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Ml, Zondervan, 1987), page 343

“In both Testaments the family is much broader, and much more important, than we normally see it being in our day. With regard to the family, one thing is absolutely clear in the Bible. Nowhere in Scripture is there found the idea that each ‘family’ consists of two parents and 2.3 children living in a house on a lot 100 by 60 feet and as an isolated unit, with ‘King and Queen’ and a three-bedroom home as their little ‘castle.’ In the Bible, the family was too broad and too important for such isolation … Actually, the concept of the ‘nuclear’ family of today – the typical two generation nuclear family of parents and children characteristic of contemporary Western society – is not only foreign to the Bible; it is relatively new in the history of America as well …” — Terry & Beverly Miethe, Serving Christ: A Family Affair (Joplin, MO, College Press, 1995) pages 178-179

Family dominion continued unaltered for nearly two thousand years before its usurpation by nationalism, and although it remains through subsequent administrations, it does so in a weakened and frail state.

[7]     After all, to Christ’s well-articulated point, “Whose is this image and superscription?” on the coin (Mark 12:15-17).

[8]     And our day, as members of Christ’s Body, for which He alone is our Head, is in fact His day: “the Day of Christ!”

[9]     For related consideration, see:

  • “The Genesis Dominion Decree and Current Human Governments” (Reader’s Question Box #59), Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr., Bible Student’s Notebook #861.

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