|Romans 13 |
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing powers [authorities]. For there is no power but of God; the powers that exist are ordained by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities, resists the ordinance of God; and those who resist shall incur damnation to themselves.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil works. Do you want to be unafraid of the authorities? Do that which is good, and you will have their praise;
4 For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon those who do evil.
5 Therefore you must be subject to them, not only in fear of their wrath, but also for the sake of conscience.1
6 Because of conscience, you also pay your taxes for they are God's ministers [servants], attending continually to this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: taxes to whom taxes are due, custom to whom custom is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
8 Owe no man anything but to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.2 [Having massively disregarded the wisdom of this command, the world is set to experience the bitter suffering of the consequences.]
9 For the commandments: "You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet," and any other commandments, are all briefly summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
10 Love works no wrong to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. [A man who walks in the royal law of love, is prompted and energized by God what to say and what to do, so that his every action and word is from loving obedience to God; truly such a man loves the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Deu 6:4-5; such a man fulfills the law and establishes the law, even greatly exceeding the law. From the Word of the Lord within: "There are no laws when you are under complete control of the spirit; you walk in love in obedience as prompted — you don't walk in restricted flesh."]
11 Do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.3
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.4 [Near for these believers is the day when the light of God, Jesus the morning star, appears in their heart. The works of darkness are sin, walking according to the lusts and desires of your flesh instead of walking in the light with God's guidance in words to be spoken and deeds to be performed.]
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in revelry [partying] and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and excess, not in strife and envying. [From the Word of the Lord within: "Everyone, make it your ambition to lead a quiet and peaceful life. Have nothing to do with the evils of society. Everyone should put away what they are doing for the sake of righteousness. You do not have to go to Him to end your social life."]
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts of it.
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1 Be submissive to government and laws because of conscience. Pay your taxes and respect the civilian authorities. From George Fox's Journal:
If all that profess themselves Christians walked in the spirit of Christ, and by it did mortify sin and evil, it would be a great ease to the magistrates and rulers, and would free them from a great deal of trouble, for it would lead all to “do unto others as they would have others do unto them," and so the royal law of liberty would be fulfilled. For if all called Christians walked in the spirit of Christ; by it to have the evil spirit and its fruits cut down in them, then, not being led by the evil spirit, but by the good spirit of Christ, the fruits of the good spirit would appear in all. For as people are led by the good spirit of Christ, it leads them out of sin and evil, which the magistrate's sword defends against and so would be an ease to the magistrates. But as people err from this good spirit of Christ, and follow the evil spirit, which leads them into sin and evil; that spirit brings the magistrate into a great deal of trouble, to execute the law upon the sinners and transgressors of the good spirit. That spirit, which leads people from all manner of sin and evil, is one with the magistrate's power, and with the righteous law. For the law was added because of transgression, and that spirit which leads out of transgression must be one with that law which is against transgressors. So that spirit which leads out of transgression is the good spirit of Christ, and is one with the magistrates in the higher power, and owns it and them; but that spirit which leads into transgression is the bad spirit, and is against the law, against the magistrates, and makes them a great deal of troublesome work. The manifestation of the good spirit is given to every man to profit from; and no man can profit in the things of God but by the spirit of God which brings to deny all sin and evil. It is said of Israel, Neh 9:20,26. “The Lord gave them his good spirit to instruct them, yet they rebelled against it." If all people would mind this manifestation of the spirit which God has given to instruct them, it would lead them to forsake all manner of sin and evil, enmity, hatred, malice, unrighteousness and ungodliness, and to mortify it. Then in the spirit of Christ they would have fellowship and unity, which is the bond of peace; then would love and peace, which are the fruits of the good spirit, flow among all that are called Christians.
2 Owe no man anything but to love one another. Stay out of debt. Those who borrow money, make a show of other people's money for a time; but when they fail, they do great hurt to those they owe and shame the name of Christ. The man of God is to lend to the poor, not borrow. It is one's covetousness that tempts one to borrow. Be content with what you have. For if we have food, clothing, and shelter, we have everything we need; and if you are a sincere seeker of God, he will see to it that you always have the necessities of life. After you have crucified your lusts and affections for the world, the Lord will see to it that you have the good things of this life — but not before your desires are dead because you would only consume his blessings on your lusts.
Despite this and other warnings of the Lord about debt, our entire society is built on debt. Even the banking system is relied on to loan a multiple of their reserves to keep the economy going. The US government is currently (2011) borrowing a new 40 cents for every dollar spent. In 2011, Italy, maligned for uncontrolled deficits, has a deficit to GDP ratio of 3.2%; the USA's deficit to GDP ratio was 10%, (as of 8/11),* which is three times worse than Italy. Sovereign (national) debt's poster child, Greece, had a deficit to GDP ratio of 8.5%, which is less than the USA's 10%. Both Greece and Italy have instituted large scale spending reduction programs, while the USA is planning increased spending. The world has given the USA a blank check, but it cannot last forever. From the Word of the Lord within: "the United States is spending itself into oblivion." The total debt of our federal, state, and local governments is conservatively calculated to be $59 trillion; that works out to each household on the hook for $516,348 of government debt. Credit cards are routinely sent by banks to the unsuspecting. The media is full of financial advisers who preach how to be successful with debt. Governments have borrowed massive sums of money without a thought of ever paying off their debts, only borrowing new money to pay off old debts when due as they borrow even more; our current world has become so addicted to debt that we think debt is good.
*As of 2014, the USA annual deficit, (net additional debt), is down to $500,000,000, (500 Billion), which is a big improvement from $1.4 Trillion due to higher taxes being enacted; but it is still unsustainable growth in the total debt.
All the money contributed by wage-earners and their employers to the Social Security Trust Fund has been spent by both Democratic and Republican federal governments, while they have assured us they are backed by the "full faith and credit of the US Government;" which credit only exists as long as they can borrow more money to pay the social security monthly checks. The Trust Funds were looted by Presidents and Congress to spend for pet programs without being counted in the deficit; they deliberately used this sleight of hand to hide their spending from the public. The only thing in the Trust Fund is a binder full of US Intra government bonds: $2.6 trillion worth of IOUs, which are not even negotiable in the market like normal Treasury bonds. The so called Trust Fund is dead broke; that is why in the July debt ceiling negotiations President Obama said on July 12, 2011, "if the debt ceiling were not raised, Social Security checks could not be paid." The elected Congresses as guardians of the Trust Fund failed in their duties; the temptation to buy votes with easily raided money from the Trust Fund was too great. All the public projections about when Social Security will be broke are projections about when the IOUs will be exhausted in value, providing the US could continue to borrow more money from the bond market to pay off the IOUs.
Be prepared; when the world loses confidence in US government-backed bonds, or in the dollar, the world will race to dump all their US dollar-based assets, and the world's economies will crash into a widespread, acute depression; it will be world-wide because the US$ is the de facto reserve currency of the world, and much of the world's wealth is held in US reserves. International trade will be paralyzed when the world loses confidence in the US$. As the dollar decreases relative to major foreign currencies, the interest received and payout value of foreign purchased US bonds decreases. This will probably occur gradually: first the US will continue to borrow, but the bonds will have to offer an higher rate of interest to attract cautious buyers; unfortunately each rise in bond interest rates will result in losses of market value to holders of older bonds, resulting in a spiraling upward of interest rates and a spiraling down of demand for further bond purchases — a death spiral for bonds. If any one of the large debt holders decides to liquidate their holdings, (such as China, Japan, Oil Exporters, Brazil, Taiwan), it could occur suddenly by creating an immediate panic to dump all US dollar-based assets. The rising interest rates for bonds will force rising mortgage rates, which will create a death spiral for the housing market too; underwater loans will become almost universal.
We are so deep in continuous additional borrowing to support government spending that our economy risks recession or even depression with a true cut-off of more debt; so no majority of politicians has the courage to put us in a recession to avoid a catastrophic depression. There is no solution possible; it is only a question of when: 2 months, 2 years, 5 years, or ??. From the Word of the Lord within: "The world is like a man running to jump into a snake pit; the formula is here, it is ripe for destruction, and we await the results."
The USA has been partying on borrowed money for 50 years; from the Word of the Lord within: "the party is over, and the debt ceiling debaters have a problem — they can't portray poor people as poor." (In case you are wondering who are the poor the Lord references, it is every citizen in the USA; all of us are living in a society built on borrowed money; we owe, we owe — $516,348 of government debt per household, not including what we personally owe.) Further from the Word of the Lord within: "you are witnessing the swallowing of an empire." The empire is the USA, which has wielded mighty military, economic, and political power for 100 years; that empire and power is at the beginning of being swallowed by the debt it has created.
The world has forgotten the common sense of yesterday: "save up for a rainy day;" instead the world has been borrowing while the sun is shining, ignoring the possibility of a rainy day to come. The elected officials are not the only ones to blame; the world has forgotten the Lord's forbidding debt, and so we will pay the price for our complacency. Bankrupt governments at all levels will be powerless to spend us out of the depression; governments' bankruptcy is what will start that depression.
From the Word of the Lord within: "No one wants to admit that the world's debt is unsustainable; the world's balances stand in subjection, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. I want everyone to save something beforehand. In time of need, violence will erupt in the land."
What something should everyone save beforehand?—money is obvious, and cash in hand is safer than sitting in a bank account; plus if the crisis is so deep that banks fail, cash in hand will be king because so little will be in circulation. What else?—depending on what precipitates the crisis, (which we have not been told), a supply of emergency, non-perishable food could be priceless. Canned food is obvious, and pinto beans plus rice makes a complete protein; both rice and pinto beans are very inexpensive in dry, 20-25 lb. bags, (Costco, Sam's, Walmart), and both can be stored in a dry location indefinitely. Dried beans and rice require cooking; if your stove is electric, to be able to cook in power outages, you may want to purchase a small camp stove, (Walmart, Amazon, REI).
Based on recent messages from the Word of the Lord within, (which were: "The whole world believes what is about to happen couldn't happen. My intent is to shake the entire world into a knowledge of my being."), I have changed the focus of troubles. For Him to shake the world into a knowledge of His being, I emphasize the more likely sequence of events is: first convincing miracles, then warnings to herald the coming events, and later the troubles themselves; convincing miracles would be performed by perfected members of His body, and the miracles would necessarily be on a scale far beyond anything the world thinks is remotely possible. Therefore we should only focus only on expecting personal troubles, trials, and tribulations so that we can enter the kingdom and be prepared for whatever physical events occur afterwards. The Lord has previously said: "I will warn people about the coming troubles, about which there is no comparison. " When you, (along with the rest of the world), hear the warnings clearly stated, you will know to complete any required preparations.
If you commit yourself to God, to seeking his will on a daily basis, with time dedicated to getting quiet to listen, he will guide you and protect you. Your problems will go away. Whatever happens will be to your good, even if it doesn't seem so to you at the time. Nothing will harm you. He will give you rest. You will have the protection of the heavens. So there is nothing to worry about any more. Do what you are capable of doing, and then cast all your cares on him. Let him work them out. From the Word of the Lord within: "You do your best; we do the rest. You will have the protection of the heavens." The troubles will be the means of trying our faith and perfecting us for entry into the kingdom. While we are seeking, the creator of the universe is watching over us, protecting us, planning for us, moving the world to our benefit, and always there for us. With this assurance, we know that everything that comes our way is his will for us; and whatever happens, even if it appears to be a problem at the time, we know as it is written, all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose; and because we keep his commands, he knows we love him. So we know that everything that happens to us has been willed by God, to help us grow, and we have a peace that is based on the love of God to us. We can cast all of our worries and fears upon him, and depend on him to work everything out to our benefit. We have confidence that he is working for us, even when we can't see how it is happening; we know he controls the whole universe, and to work our life to his union, is effortless for him.
3 Believing is not equivalent to salvation; Paul says so right here in verse 11: for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Paul repeatedly tells us believing and salvation are not the same in his letters to believers in the churches:
The work is carrying the inward cross of self-denial over time. To wait, watch, listen, hear, and obey is part of the cross.
(It is a cross to your mind to sit silently, waiting on the Lord's voice; your mind would far rather plan out the clever things you can say to others later.)
Peter also echoes the same message that salvation is not just believing or faith, rather salvation is the end of faith's obedient journey and requires growth :
Salvation occurs when you experience the grace of God (Christ) bring it to you, when Christ destroys the selfish spirit in you by the spirit in his mouth and by the brightness of his coming, when he crushes the head of Satan under your feet, [a personal experience with your feet and Christ and the spirit of Satan that has ruled you until then].
Faith is not instant, it is a process of work that yields growth to share in the divine nature. As Peter instructs us: which exceedingly great and precious promises are given to us, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
For this very reason, applying all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;
And to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, godliness;
And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
For if these things are in you and abound, you will neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:4-8.
4 The day [of the Lord's appearance in your heart] is at hand [near]. Put on the armor of light. As you are purified, the light rises in you heart, like the day star or morning star, to shine in our heart and allow you to see the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. To put on light, is to abide [live, remain] in the light, where no devil can come; dwell in the light. George Fox writes of this:
‘The night is far spent, and the day is at hand; let us cast off therefore the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.’ This armor of light is not natural, but divine and spiritual, to all the children of the light, and of the day. This armor of light is before darkness was, and the devil the power of it, and he, the power of darkness cannot pierce through this armor of light; and this armor of light is above all natural and carnal armor; and all the children of the light, that walk in this light, and this armor, they walk honestly, and decently, as in the day; for those who walk in ‘not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature,’ such are naked concerning the armor of light, and though they may make profession of Christ, they do not put him on.
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