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07/01/2008 - Usurping Authority: Part 2



Usurping Authority

Part 2

Date: 07/01/2008

Issue No. 240

At the end of Part 1, I mentioned King Saul, who usurped the sovereignty of God instead of ruling as one under authority. He thought that being “chosen” meant that he had been given the sovereign right to do as he pleased, and that God would bless his every decision, whether right or wrong.

But God never gave away His sovereignty. He only gives authority to men, and all authority is subject to His higher power (i.e., sovereignty). All earthly authority is accountable to God and will be judged accordingly. In fact, the more authority one is given, the greater is the accountability.

Saul, however, is very typical of man’s tendency to usurp God’s rights. As H. G. Wells wrote on page 650 of his book, The Outline of History,

“But it is the universal weakness of mankind that what we are given to administer we presently imagine we own.”

That was Saul’s problem. He was given authority to administer the Kingdom, but he soon imagined that he owned it and could do as he pleased. Yet as a type of Pentecostal, Saul specifically represents the Church in the Age of Pentecost (since Acts 2). Pope Gregory I (590-604) must have had a clear concept of what it meant to usurp God’s sovereignty, for he wrote a letter in 596 declaring,

“Whosoever calls himself universal priest or desires to be called so, was the forerunner of Antichrist.”

(See Philip Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, Vol. 4, page 220.)

He apparently understood the sentiments in the Roman Church and sought to eliminate this desire to usurp power. He was unsuccessful, however. His successor, Pope Sabinian (604-606) did little, but the next pope, Boniface III (606-607) did precisely what Gregory had opposed. Philip Schaff tells us in Vol. 4, page 230,

“Boniface III (606-607) did not scruple to assume the title of ‘universal bishop,’ against which Gregory, in proud humility, had so indignantly protested as a blasphemous antichristian assumption.”

Thus, 606 A.D. marks the time when the Roman Bishop usurped the authority over all other bishops. Boniface III succeeded where Pope Victor had failed in 192 A.D. In 606 this assumed authority became a permanent fixture in the Church religious system. It took precisely 414 years to complete this usurpation of power. This is, of course, the factor of Cursed Time which I discussed fully in my book, Secrets of Time.

This was, of course, the sin which caused God to raise up Islam. Islam’s divine mandate is to judge the Church for its usurpation of power. Mohammed received his “revelation” around 609 and began preaching in 612. God has used Islam to judge the Church to the present day.

Later popes continued to overrule not only the apostles but Jesus Christ Himself, as Pope Boniface VIII testified in his Unum Sanctum in 1302 A.D.,

“Wherefore, no marvel if it be in my power to change times and times, to alter and abrogate laws, to dispense with all things, yea, with the precepts of Christ; for where Christ biddeth Peter put up his sword, and admonishes His disciples not to use any outward force in revenging themselves, do not I, Pope Nicolas, writing to the bishops of France, exhort them to draw out their material swords?

In other words, Boniface tells us that Christ told Peter to stop using force of arms, since that was the Old Covenant method of establishing the Kingdom. Peter was shortly to be given the Sword of the Spirit which Israel had rejected at Sinai. Boniface says that Pope Nicolas had the power to contradict Jesus’ words.

And whereas Christ was present Himself at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, do not I, Pope Martin, in my distinction, inhibit the spiritual clergy to be present at marriage feasts, and also to marry?

Boniface admits that Christ sanctified marriage, but he tells us that because Pope Martin forbids the marriage of priests, it “proves” that the popes have the power to overrule Jesus Christ.

Moreover, where Christ biddeth us lend without hope of gain, do not I, Pope Martin, give dispensation to do the same? What should I speak of murder, making it to be no murder or homicide to slay them that be excommunicated?

In other words, Jesus said to lend to the poor without demanding that it be repaid. But Pope Martin contradicted this, “proving” to Boniface VIII that the Church had been given the divine authority to overrule the words of Christ.

“Likewise against the law of nature, item against the apostles, also against the canons of the apostles, I can and do dispense . . .”

So we see that Pope Boniface VIII made it quite clear that he and other Popes before him had the absolute right to alter or abrogate the teachings of not only the apostles but of Jesus. He even gives examples to prove his point, so that there can be no misunderstanding as to his meaning.

Was it Wrong for Israel to Have a King?

Jacob removed the Dominion Mandate from the rest of the birthright when he blessed his sons in Genesis 49. The Dominion Mandate was given to Judah in Genesis 49:10 when he prophesied, “the scepter shall not depart from Judah.” This is confirmed in 1 Chron. 5:1, 2.

However, Judah was not allowed to receive that Dominion Mandate for ten generations because of his sin with Tamar in Genesis 38, which produced essentially twin illegitimate sons, Zarah and Pharez. The law stated in Deut. 23:2 (NASB),

2 No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation shall enter the assembly of the Lord.

David was the tenth generation from Pharez. Thus, it is apparent that the tribe of Judah had to wait for ten generations before they could place a king upon the throne of Israel.

But the people demanded a king one generation too soon. That is why God gave them a king from the tribe of Benjamin instead of from Judah. Even so, God gave Saul opportunity, at least in theory, to establish a permanent dynasty of kings (1 Sam. 13:13). Here is another example showing the difference between God’s will and His plan. It was God’s will that Saul should be obedient and that his kingdom would endure. But it was clearly not the divine plan, because if Saul had succeeded, the prophecy to Judah would have failed. The Dominion Mandate would have been given to Benjamin, rather than to Judah.

The fact that Israel wanted a king too early indicated that they were dissatisfied with God’s law, by which they were judged when they turned to worship other gods. In their first three centuries, God had put them into captivity for 111 years—more than a third of their time in Canaan.

It was for this reason that they wanted a new king. The intent behind this demand was that they felt God’s law was unjust or unreasonable, and they were hoping to get a king who would rule by his own laws, setting aside God’s law.

God gave them their desire. Saul was precisely what they had demanded—a king who usurped the power of God and ruled as if he had been given ownership of the nation of Israel. This is the classic definition of antichrist.

The Greek word anti means “in place of.” For example, Matt. 2:22 says, “Archelaus did reign in Judea in the place of [Greek: anti] his father Herod.”

An antichrist is one who rules in place of Christ. John gives the term a negative tone in the sense of usurping the place of Christ. But technically, the term can be applied to anyone who rules in place of another. In the positive sense of the word, David was an antichrist, because he ruled in place of Christ. The difference was that Saul usurped the throne by ruling as if he owned the nation, whereas David knew that he himself was under God. David ruled by the laws of God and did not attempt to make his own laws (‘traditions of men”) and thus did not usurp power.

So the bottom line is that it was NOT wrong for Israel to have a king, but their motives were wrong in asking for a king. In essence, God told Samuel, the people had rejected God as being their King (1 Sam. 8:7) on the grounds that His law was unreasonable to their carnal minds. Furthermore, their timing was off, because they did not understand that they had to wait ten generations for Judah to be eligible to fulfill its tribal destiny.

Knowing this, we can see the problem in the Church as well, because the only reason the Church produced popes who usurped the place of Christ was because the people preferred the traditions of men to the law of God. They felt that God’s law was unreasonable and unjust.

They still do. This is the core problem of the carnal mind, which rebels against the law of God. Paul mentioned this in Romans 7 in his discussion of the mind of Christ vs. the mind of the carnal mind. In verse 25 Paul concludes,

25 . . . So then, on the one hand I myself with my [spiritual] mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

When we are led by the Spirit, we follow the law of God. When we are led by the flesh, we serve the law of sin. Sin is, of course, lawlessness (anomia), as John says.

The core problem of Saul is the core problem of the Church even today. Christians largely feel that God’s judgments are unreasonable and His laws are unjust. They prefer the laws of men, which are more lenient and allow them to sin with immunity. So it has come about that what the Bible calls sin is disputed among Christians today.

That dispute is a manifestation of the antichrist spirit that is within the carnal mind of all men, including Christians. Even Paul himself confessed that his flesh desired to follow the law of sin (lawlessness). Human nature is common to all, but the difference is whether we confess that we are in agreement with the law of God, even when it brings judgment upon the things that we do by the mind of the flesh.

Absalom

I have already written much about Absalom and his usurpation of David’s throne. So I will assume that most of you know this. Yet for those who are new, let me explain how Absalom became an antichrist.

Absalom was the son of King David. He disagreed with David in matters of justice. 2 Sam. 15 says,

2 And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate [where judicial matters were handled]; and it happened that when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on behalf of the king.” 4 Moreover, Absalom would say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has a suit or cause could come to me, and I would give him justice.”

See how Absalom accused David of being unjust or of being a poor judge. David was representing Christ. That made Absalom an antichrist, one who desired to usurp the throne and rule by his own laws.

Absalom succeeded in overthrowing David. He had the assistance of Ahithophel, David’s friend and counselor (2 Sam. 15:12). Thus, Ahithophel betrayed David. David left Jerusalem without a fight, and made a sacrifice on the top of the Mount of Olives (2 Sam. 15:30). Soon afterward, Ahithophel hanged himself (2 Sam. 17:23). Later, at some unknown time period, David returned to reclaim His kingdom from the usurper, and Absalom was killed in the battle (2 Sam. 18:15).

This established the basic story line that proved to be the prophetic pattern for the New Testament story.

The Chief Priests in Jerusalem

In the New Testament, Jesus fulfilled the role of his ancestor, David. His throne was usurped by the chief priests in Jerusalem, who said (Matt. 21:38), “this is the Heir; come, let us kill him and seize His inheritance.”

Just as Absalom knew that David was the rightful heir of the throne, so also did the chief priests know that Jesus was the Messiah, the “anointed one.” In crucifying Him, they fulfilled their role as Absalom and even had help from Judas, who played the role of Ahithophel.

Just as Ahithophel had hanged himself, so also did Judas hang himself afterward (Matt. 27:5).

Even as David made a sacrifice on the top of the Mount of Olives, so also was Jesus crucified on that same spot outside the gate of Jerusalem (Heb. 13:12).

Thus, the throne of Christ was usurped when the chief priests seized His inheritance as the King of Judah. That inheritance was the Dominion Mandate, the scepter.

But this is not the end of the story. Even as David later returned to reclaim His throne, so also will Christ return to reclaim His throne from the usurpers. In that return, the usurpers will not survive, for Absalom was killed. Though David gave specific orders that Absalom was not to be killed, he could not change the divine script, because the story was much bigger than a local revolt in Jerusalem.

Thus, Absalom’s end prophesies of the fate of the Israeli state today, for it is the heir of Absalom in our time. Those who think that Christ is coming to save Absalom from his enemies do not realize that Isaiah has already prophesied that God is on the side of Jerusalem’s enemies in this battle. David’s “enemy” was Absalom, because Absalom had usurped the throne and had thus become an antichrist.

The Role of Judas, Helper of Antichrist

David wrote much about Ahithophel, who had betrayed him in the Absalom revolt. Jesus’ disciples recognized afterward that Judas had perfectly fulfilled the role of Ahithophel, and so they applied David’s words to him. Thus, we read in Acts 1:16 that the disciples discussed the problem of Judas and what to do about replacing him.

In that context, we read in verse 20,

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, “Let his homestead be made desolate, and let no man dwell in it” [Psalm 69:25]; and “His office let another man take” [Psalm 109:8].

These psalms both prophesy of the crucifixion of Christ and speak of Ahithophel helping David’s enemies. Psalm 109 is especially clear about how David saw the one who betrayed him.

The Church is Modern Judas

The second coming of Christ not only is the fulfillment of David’s return to the throne, it is also the time of the second betrayal of Christ by the modern Judas.

Because the Dominion Mandate had been separated from the Birthright (that is, the Fruitfulness Mandate, or Sonship), Jesus Christ must come twice in order to lay claim to both of these mandates. He came the first time of Judah (specifically of David) in order to have the lawful right to the scepter, or the Dominion Mandate. That right, as we have seen, was usurped by the chief priests.

The second coming completes this usurpation. The second coming of Christ is a manifestation of Joseph, and for this reason, Rev. 19:13 tells us, “He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood.” Joseph’s robe was dipped in blood (Gen. 37:21).

The purpose of the second coming of Christ is not only to secure the scepter of Judah, but also the birthright of Joseph. But in this past century, the birthright has been usurped by those calling themselves Israel. Though they have never claimed to be of the tribes of Joseph, they have allowed their ignorant helpers in the Church to spread the lie that they are the rightful holders of the birthright.

In this, the Church has corporately played the role of Judas in the second work of Christ at the end of the Age of Pentecost. Christian Zionism is the most blatant of all, for it has openly sided with the usurpers and has vowed to support the Israeli state to its last breath.

The Church as a whole refuses to recognize that the tribes of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) were the holders of the birthright, although 1 Chron. 5:1, 2 makes this very clear. They desperately try to hide the fact that the tribes of Israel were dispersed into Assyria—not to Babylon.

Ezekiel 34 condemns the “shepherds of Israel” for not seeking for the “lost sheep” of the house of Israel, for this was a violation of the law regarding lost sheep (Deut. 22:1-3). These shepherds are the civil and spiritual leaders who prefer that those lost sheep be lost forever so that the Jews may replace them as the holders of the birthright. This is something that the prophet denounces in very strong terms.

Christian Zionism is the Judas of modern times, and John Hagee is his prophet.

In the second coming of Christ, He will regain not only His throne but also His birthright. Both have been usurped, one by the help of Judas, and the other by the help of the Christian Zionism. Thus, the prophecies about Judas are equally applicable to Christian Zionism.

Christian Zionism seeks to provoke Armageddon in order to force Christ to return. For this reason, they back the most radical of all Jewish Zionists and castigate all Jews who sincerely desire peace with their neighbors. They believe that all but 144,000 of the Jews will be slaughtered before Jesus comes to save the day, and yet they pay the plane fares for more Jews to immigrate to the Israeli state. If they had any conscience, they would be paying their way OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

In the name of Christ’s love, they are pushing the Israelis into the disaster prophesied in Isaiah and Jeremiah. They do this in the name of Jesus and then lay curses upon anyone who dares to object to their blatant betrayal of Christ. They claim that to be anti-Zionist is to be anti-Jewish. I fail to see the logic in this, and I certainly will not be blackmailed by their threats into causing more Jews to be killed.

Judas, too, thought that he could force Jesus to manifest His power by betraying Him into the hands of His enemies. The mere threat of crucifixion, he thought, would force Jesus’ hand, and then the whole world would see a tremendous miracle of self-deliverance. Jesus would then come to agree with Judas that his plan was much better, and Judas would then be made the treasurer of the Kingdom.

When his plan backfired, and he realized that he had been the occasion for Jesus’ crucifixion, he hanged himself.

What will the Christian Zionists do when their devious plot backfires? What will they do when they realize that Jesus will not come to save the last 144,000 survivors of the Israeli state disaster? I do not know, but Acts 1:20 says that they will lose their position among the apostles. “His office let another man take.” There is yet time to repent.