I am well aware that many believers hold the opinion that they should not be caught up in the political maters of the material world. I have to wonder, however, whether or not believers who belong to this camp realize just how ‘political’ Yeshua was in His time? After all, Yeshua was constantly engaging in public confrontations with the Pharisees, Sadducees and even the Sanhedrin. These were the spiritual and government leaders of the nation of Israel at the time. In today’s terms, it would be the equivalent of Yeshua going into the halls of Congress and condemning the Representatives and Senators for their corruption. So, it would be a mistake to divorce faith from politics, which leads us to the question about which we should really be concerned:
What do the Scriptures teach us about how we should understand and participate in the political matters of the material world?
Well, to be honest, this is a big question, and exploring it could easily fill more than one book. Obviously, this means the answer to this question is beyond the scope of a humble blog post. Why, then, do I pose the question? Simple: I wish to address a few of the ‘big picture’ points that have been stuck in my mind for months. I don’t claim to understand why, but that ‘still, small voice’ I have come to understand as the Voice of the Lord keeps pointing me back to the following sections of Scripture — and they all seem to be connected to the political state of our nation today.
The fist thing I want to make clear is that I have almost given up on thinking about politics in terms of Left vs Right, Liberal/Progressive vs Conservative. Any more, I have started to view worldly politics in terms of right vs wrong: are things in accordance with YHWH’s Natural or Revealed Law or not? This applies to both individual laws, but also to Party politics, their agendas, their methods and even to the beliefs and actions of individuals. Again, I don’t know why, but the passages I am about to share started coming to me shortly after I made this conceptual switch in my mind. Therefore, I can’t help but feel the change in my thinking is somehow connected to the following Scriptures and their Spiritual messages.
I start with a warning the Lord issued to the nation of Israel as it was about to enter into the land YHWH had promised the birth-right descendants of Abraham:
Numbers 33:50-56 New American Standard Bible
55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from you, then it will come about that those whom you let remain of them will be like thorns in your eyes and like pricks in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live.Joshua 23:13 New American Standard Bible
So, YHWH said that, if the Hebrews allowed any of the people of Canaan to remain among them, those people would become, ‘horns in your eyes and like pricks in your side.’ This is a Hebrew idiom and, essentially, it means that, if the sons of Israel didn’t drive out the Canaanites, they would become stumbling blocks to the Hebrews; leading them away from YHWH and into apostasy. So, what is the spiritual message here? Well, others may disagree, but I believe that — among other likely possibilities — the core of the Spiritual message here is that YHWH’s people cannot live in close, intimate associations with pagans. Rather than God’s people turning the pagans to YHWH, the pagans will eventually turn God’s people away from YHWH.
But we no longer live in those ancient times, where the people could easily identify the Canaanites. So, how do we identify them today? Well, this passage seems to hold the key to answering this question:
Matthew 7:16-20 New American Standard Bible
Well, this verse immediately points my mind back to one of the passages I just cited:
Numbers 33:55-56 New American Standard Bible
And forward to this passage:
Matthew 7:21-23 New American Standard Bible
Now, brothers and sisters, I don’t know whether or not this speaks to you as loudly as it screams to me, so I ask that you forgive me while I explain what I see — just so you will clearly understand my perspective here.
YHWH told His people to remove non-believers from among them so that they would not turn them away from Him and, thus, lead them to destruction along with those non-believers. Yeshua then tells us we will know these people by their fruit, or works (i.e. the things they do and ways in which they do them). Yeshua immediately follows this by repeating YHWH’s warning from Numbers. I say this because non-believers do not work in the Name of Yeshua, which means that Matthew 7:20-23 is aimed directly at those who claim to believe in Yeshua and the Father. And look at why Yeshua will deny them: because they were lawless. They had turned away from the Father and His Laws, or commands — TORAH!
OK, while this is all well and good, how is any of it connected to the current political state of this material world? Well, with all of these previous verses rattling around in my mind, that ‘still, small voice’ then points me to this passage:
John 8:44 New American Standard Bible
To whom was Yeshua speaking here? Well, look at the whole passage in context:
John 8:31-44 New American Standard BibleThe Truth Will Set You Free
31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 Now the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you are seeking to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak of the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”
39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born as a result of sexual immorality; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came forth from God and am here; for I have not even come on My own, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.
Yeshua — YHWH in the flesh — was speaking to “…those Jews who had believed in Him.” He was speaking to those who claimed to believe! Yet, Yeshua denied them, calling them children of their father, Satan. And by what ‘fruit’ does Yeshua identify them? By the desire to deny Truth, to lie and to murder those who disagree with them! There is the key to helping believers navigate politics in this material world!
To the extent that we have the ability, we must seek out and support those who stand for and defend Truth — as defined by YHWH. And how does YHWH define Truth? By and through His Word! And the Word defines Truth and Righteousness as TORAH! While we cannot know the heart of any individual, we can look to their fruit. Therefore, believers — those who truly seek to do the will of the Father — must look for those who do not lie; who do not deceive; who do not make false accusations; who do not seek to force or coerce; who do not use fear as a weapon; who do not seek to silence opposition; who are not lawless, or who think that they are above the law; and people who do not murder to achieve their goals. According to Yeshua, anyone and everyone who practices these things is not of Abraham, but of Satan.
Now, if you have the Spiritual eyes to see, then the confusion of Left v Right, Liberal/Progressive vs Conservative should quickly fall away as you start to look to the fruit of the individuals asking to represent your voice in government. Ignore their words and look to their deeds. How do they live? Do they have a pattern of Scriptural Righteousness, or do they follow the ways of Satan? Then chose according to your Spiritual Father’s Commands and not according to our own ways and reasoning. In short, be the instrument through which the Lord can work.
But note: we are all sinners, so we will all have examples of these things in our lives. The key is in how we live. Do we rest in such practices, or do we repent and turn away from them when we realize what we have done? So keep this word of caution in examining the fruit of those who we chose to speak in our name: look to how they live. If they live by the lie and sword, then they are of Satan. However, if they show repentance and a humble, correctable spirit, and they seek Righteousness as the Lord’s Word defines it, then they are at least producing the fruit of the Spirit. Chose those people to represent you over those who live by Satan’s ways and you will be doing the will of your Father in Heaven. What’s more, if YHWH’s people will live in this way, we will drive out all those who present a fruit of the Canaanite spirit, which will allow YHWH to heal our land (does that ring a bell? 🙂 ).
[AN ADDITIONAL THOUGHT: I would like to offer a thought that seems to me to connect the central theme of this post directly to prophecy. The first three passages I cited are connected to the passages where YHWH commands His people to utterly destroy the Canaanites, even to their livestock! Many explanations have been offered for why YHWH commanded this, but I am not looking to offer any comment on those explanations. Rather, I would like to point out that the Canaanites are connected to the Nephilim! And the notion of animal-human hybrids are connected to the idea of the Nephilim! And the Hebrews of Yeshua’s time knew this. So, when Yeshua said, “As in the days of Noah,…” He was saying much, MUCH more than modern readers realize. Now, do what you will with this, but do so in light of the knowledge that we — Man — is now seeking to ‘create’ life through genetic splicing of animals and human DNA as well as artificial technology. I readily confess, there may well be absolutely no connection here. However, there certainly does seem to be a parallel story line between the story of the Nephilim which lies behind the whole New Testament and the things that the Canaanites of today are doing. I just thought I’d point this out — in case others have more pieces to the puzzle than I…]