Romans 13 Shorter Version
Romans 13, verse 1, is one of the most misunderstood verses of the Bible and a vast system of control and power over the people of the world is dependent upon this pervasive misunderstanding and the resulting confusion.
The Higher Right to Choose
"You can fool all of the people some of the time and You can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Romans 13: 1
Of course we should honor true authority, such as our Father and Mother, or others that God places over us (or we go under by contract and agreement), but is that even what Romans 13 is talking about? Have we been completely misled about the meaning of that scripture by Paul?
Dunamis, dunamai, didomi, arche, ischus, ischuros, kratos and energes all appear in the New Testament as forms of the word 'power' but have decidedly different meanings than exousia. The appearance of the word 'power' in the translated text of Romans is misleading many people concerning the consistent ideas expressed by the authors of the Bible. In fact the confusion and misunderstanding is rampant in these modern times due to this subtle but pervasive sophistry.
The Greek word exousia translated in Romans 13:1 as power or authority actually means the "right to choose", the “power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases."
Paul is simply telling you in Romans 13 that you should remain subject to the better or higher liberty or right to choose.
Exousia is even translated as "liberty" in 1 Corinthiansand is also translated as the word "right" in Revelations.
“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” 1Co 8:9
The word liberty in this verse is the same word translated power in Romans 13.
Christ came to set men free not to deliver them into the bondage of governments like those of Egypt or Babylon. Early Christians were part of a government appointed by Christ and were cast out of the Hellenized Pharisaical system of Corban in Judea when thousands accepted Christ at Pentecost. They began to live according to those precepts established in the perfect law of liberty, by faith, hope and charity. This was done with freewill offerings, and not the covetous and forced offerings of benefactors in other governments who exercised authority.
The ministers appointed by Christ were told they were not to be like those governments of the other nations, who offered benefits to the people but exercised authority one over the other. They were not to use the right arm of government to enforce the charitable contributions on the left side of government. All the offerings in Christ's government were free will contributions under that perfect law of liberty.
The word ex-ousia is from two Greek words. Ex means 'of' or 'from', while ousia is "what one has, i.e. property, possessions, estate". Paul is simply telling you that you should remain subject to the right to choose the manner in which your property is distributed as freemen under Christ. From the Beginning, God gave mankind the right to choose. He stopped the rise of Nimrod's Babylonian tower, freed the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt, and has always desired that man be subject to liberty under God the Father and not other gods of men. What would happen if we take the word 'exousia' and translate it "liberty" as we see in 1 Corinthians 8:9 and place it where we find exousia in other of Paul's writings:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher liberty. For there is no liberty but of God: the liberties that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth (opposes) the liberty, resisteth (opposes) the ordinance of God: and they that resist (sets one's self against) shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the liberty? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.” Romans 13: 1,3
Liberty is the power to choose to do something. It is a free estate. Liberty is frightening to many people because it also means responsibility. If you have given the power or right to choose to someone or something else, then they have power over you. But if you have made no such covenants or agreements then you keep your original right to choose, your free dominion granted by God.
The word resisteth is from antitassomai and is defined as "to range in battle against". Resisteth is not the same as refusing to go under an authority or refusing to swear an oath of allegiance. Nor does resisteth have anything to do with not applying for benefits that might be considered deceitful dainties offered at the tables of the ruling powers. The word resisteth has to do with overt battle and railing against these powers and authorities that are established by individual agreement, consent or application and participation. .
The word damnation is another one of those legal terms that has been twisted into a religious context only. The word is krima and means "a decree, judgments… the sentence of a judge… a matter to be judicially decided, a lawsuit, a case in court". Jesus was very much concerned with the activities of lawyers, judges and governments.
Couple this with the fact that both the words elohim and theos, which are translated God and gods, were commonly used in all the courts Israel and the Roman Empire to address magistrates and judges, and we began to see that to go under damnation would include going under the authority of other judges and courts. This can be done by entering into social welfare contracts, three party marriage contracts, or membership that allowed rulers of political bodies to make treaties and leagues for you. It would also include applications and acceptance of benefits from the benefactors who exercised authority one over the other to enforce a common welfare. These were the doctrines and creeds of the Nicolaitan.
Words can have a variety of meanings and are therefore always subjective. The word powers has over a dozen different definitions in The American Heritage alone. The first is "The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively." This of course includes the idea of the liberty and freedom to choose to act.
The sixth definition is, "The might of a nation, political organization, or similar group." This could lend the definition of the word power to the idea that there is a superior power or government we are to be subject to. But is it by God putting a government in power, or is it due to our own rejection and sloth? Then there is the fifteenth definition appearing as: "powers Christianity. The sixth of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology."
So, which of these definitions should we apply to Paul's Romans 13, to say nothing of the thirteen other definitions found in the Heritage Dictionary for the same word, powers? This of course is why we should go back to the original manuscript to determine what the original intent of the author was and therefore what is the truth for us today.
Even the religiously skewed Strong's clearly states that the word exousia is used in the sense of ability and uses words like "capacity, competency, freedom..." By pointing out that exousia is translated in the King James Bible as power 69 times, authority 29 times, right twice and liberty, jurisdiction, strength once each, we still cannot establish what the prime meaning of the word was when it was written down. We can establish that its meaning leans towards the idea of capacity and power of choice than exclusively the power of government.
There is fairly conclusive evidence that the modern Church has been steadily deluded and deluding others---over many years by either negligence or design, arrogance or ignorance.
To look at how the word exousia was used by the Greeks and Romans in the days of Christ and the authors of those sacred texts we can simply examine the scholars of that era. The meaning we derived is quite the opposite of that which we get from the translators of King James and others.
The Greek Glossary of Aristotelian Terms states that exousia means "right".
Aristotle actually exemplifies its use in the statement, "The right (exousia) to do anything one wishes..."
And in Plato's notes "Greek words for freedom (is) eleutheros (liberal/Free), exousia (Freedom/Power to do something), ..."
Again in Bryn Mawr's Classical Review we see, "Enomaos maintained that we are absolutely masters of the most necessary things (52-53). Brancacci notices that the term used by Enomaos to refer to human freedom is not the typical Cynic one (eleutheria), but exousia, which expresses 'the new concept of freedom in opposition to the already defunct and unhelpful eleutheria'."
The evidence is clear that exousia does not mean governmental top down power, but rather undoubtedly means the right to choose. To use these few quotes to attempt to insert the idea that everyone should apply to authoritarian benefactors to care for every aspect of society does the gospel of the kingdom of God a brutal injury. Exousia clearly relates to a capacity or a right to decide. It certainly does not inherently mean an absolute or even far reaching central government power over individual choice.
We know that men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights or liberties. We also know that some governments of men are endowed by their creator with some powers of choice and authority. These men are those who go out of the presence of God and even reject God, men like Cain, Nimrod, Pharaoh, Caesar, and the voice of the people who rejected God in the days of Samuel. Those governments are created by the hands of men not by the hand of God the Father who desired us to have free choice from the beginning of creation.
These governments are vested with those right and powers which men neglect, give up or, sell out in order to obtain the often imagined protection and profit, the surety and security, the benefits, bounties and blessings of those bound and civilized societies. Such as these socialized association of civil servitude (in return for their gifts and gratuities) require full faith and allegiance to their ideals and idols. Their prescribed pledges, prideful pomp and preponderating programs take the right to choose from men and bestow it upon the beast of a burgeoning bureaucracy.
“What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose; the right to create for yourself the alternative of choice. Without the responsibility and exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing.”
The rights granted to governments are rights first granted to men by God. Governments are not instituted by God, but by men. Men who choose to create governments by giving away their divine endowment of rights and responsibilities are rejecting God. Governments operate on privileges granted them by the slothful, greedy, covetous souls of men. It is the voice of the people that rejects God, at least by the suffrage of the people. This binding on earth may or may not be lawfully revocable in the eyes of God, depending on the nature and terms of their compact, constitution, and covenant.
Men have the option of vesting the "right to choose" in government, or to maintain that power and right as free men under God. Rights are responsibilities. When men make government responsible then governments obtain rights. Only to that degree do governments have any power or authority.
When men chose to vest responsibilities in men like Saul, God warned them through Samuel not to do so. Power corrupts. But the subject in this article on Romans 13 is that exousia is the right of choice which was originally in the hands of men. It is the right of choice, granted first to the individual that is the higher authority spoken of in Romans 13.
If we do not have the humility to recognize our own error and failure, then we will remain subject to the sophistic delusions of those who wish to keep you subject in body and in spirit rather than set free in spirit and in truth.
The Covenants of the gods outlines many ways in which we physically become subject to the world, but the reason we fall prey to such ancient schemes is that we fail to love the character of our Father in heaven and the kingdom that comes by obeying His will. Thy Kingdom Comes outlines the history of His kingdom. We are slothful and covetous and will not forgive and give of ourselves for the sake of our neighbor.
The spirit and power of the kingdom of God is always at hand. It is not of the world of Rome, Egypt, and Babylon but it is on this planet if it is in the hearts of the people.
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1Co 6:12
This quote in 6:12 is consistent with Paul in 1Corinthians 7:21.
"Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather."
Commonly people reply with, "But Paul was a citizen of Rome." Could it be true that we have been misled on this subject? Is this more sophistry, twisting the meaning of words?Are we the victims of centuries of sophistry?
The reasons people are subject to the powers of governments is often, "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many Citizens, because of respect for the law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their rights due to ignorance." The deception of Romans 13 merely adds to this process of a decline of liberty in the world.
“Are men the property of the state? Or are they free souls under God?
This same battle continues throughout the world?”
“Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another [man’s] conscience?” 1 Corinthians 10:29.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13
“The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” Luke 4:18
“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” 1 Peter 2:15
“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we ...are come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2
“Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, [one] Jesus.” Acts 17:7
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17
“Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;” 1 Timothy 6:15
“And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS...” John 19:19-22
“...Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king...” John 18:37