3. In the Bible, Paul said, “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” (Rom 13:1–2). Practicing according to the words of Paul, we should submit to the ruling powers in all things. And yet, the atheistic CCP government has persecuted religious belief throughout its history. It is hostile to God, and not only does it not permit us to believe in the Lord, but it also arrests and persecutes those who spread the gospel and testify to God. If we bow to the Chinese Communist government, cease to believe in the Lord, and stop spreading the gospel and testifying to God, will we not be standing on the side of Satan by opposing and turning our backs on the Lord? I really can’t figure this out: Just what must I do to conform with the Lord’s will in matters of the ruling powers?
Paul said: “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” (Rom 13:1–2). Because Paul said these words, many believers in the Lord think that governing authorities are ordained by God, and that to obey them is to obey God. Some even think that regardless of how the authorities try to hinder and suppress their faith in God, people should still obey them, and that to defy them is to oppose God. Are such views correct? Do they accord with God’s will? In fact, from the Age of Law to the Age of Grace, God never said that people should submit to the powers that be. In the Age of Law, the enemy of the Israelites was the pharaoh of Egypt; he was the one who held power. And what did God do to him? When he stopped the Israelites from leaving Egypt, God rained down the ten disasters upon him. If he had not let the Israelites go, God would have destroyed him. When the Egyptian army was pursuing the Israelites, the Red Sea parted, and then it drowned and destroyed the pursuing soldiers. In the Age of the Law, all the kings of devils who resisted God were eventually destroyed by God. Now take a look at the Age of Grace: Why did the Lord Jesus go into the wilderness and among the people to preach, rather than preaching in the temples? Because the authorities and the leaders of the religious world all opposed God and were all hostile to the Lord, this left the Lord Jesus with no choice but to preach in the wilderness and among the people. If the disciples of the Lord Jesus had obeyed the authorities, would they still have followed Him? And would they still have been praised by Him? All of this should show those who truly believe in the Lord just what their approach to the CCP authorities should be in order to be after God’s heart. If people have believed in the Lord for many years, yet still cannot recognize that the powers that be are the enemies of God, do these people really understand the Scriptures? And do they really know the Lord? That many people have no discernment and cannot see these things for what they really are is because they do not know what to do after reading these words of Paul in the Bible. Some people even believe that obedience to the governing authorities is obedience to the Lord, and that to oppose and resist these powers is to resist the ordinance of God and bring damnation upon themselves. Are such views not totally wrong? Are they not a grievous misunderstanding and defiance of God? These are erroneous views that confuse and harm people!
We all know that the CCP is an atheistic political party—and where atheism is in power, Satan is in power. The CCP has always regarded God as the enemy. Its approach to the appearance and work of Christ is, “Troops Won’t Be Withdrawn Until the Purge Is Complete.” It will stop at nothing to nail Christ to the cross. Since the CCP came to power, it has openly denied, condemned, and blasphemed against God. Christianity has been declared a xie jiao, Bibles are confiscated and burned as xie jiao literature, and religious groups are persecuted and oppressed under the label of xie jiao organizations. In particular, the CCP has rabidly oppressed, arrested, and persecuted Christians who believe in the true God and who preach and testify to God, subjecting them to inhumane cruelty and torture that has left many injured and maimed. Some have even died from the abuse they suffered. Why is the CCP so hostile to Christ, and why does it persecute those who believe in the true God? What is its aim? What it fears most of all is that the Chinese people will start to believe in and follow God. It is afraid that people will pursue the truth and be saved by God—in which case there will be no one left for the CCP to enslave, no one to serve it. And so, the demonic regime of the CCP frantically hunts down Christ, employing every means at its disposal to brutalize and persecute Christians in the vain hope of eradicating the work of God, exterminating religious belief, and turning China into a land without God, so that the dictatorship of the demonic CCP will reign eternal and unchanged in China. This proves that no one in the world loathes the truth and hates God more than the satanic, evil regime of the CCP. They are a coterie of devils who defy God! Where the CCP rules, Satan rules! So when we reject the CCP and turn our backs on it, is this not in full accordance with God’s will?
In fact, this was revealed by the Lord Jesus long ago: “This is an evil generation” (Luk 11:29). “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (Jhn 3:19). The Bible says, “The whole world lies in wickedness” (1Jn 5:19). The Lord Jesus cut straight to the chase in exposing the true face and source of the world’s darkness and evil. All of mankind lives under the influence of Satan, intolerant of the existence of God and the truth. In the religious community, no one dares to openly testify to the incarnation of God in churches, much less do they dare to testify to the truths expressed by Christ either in church or among the people. In any denomination, people who are discovered testifying to Christ in the flesh are seized and condemned—they are driven out of the church, and even given up to the authorities. Has this mankind not reached the apex of evil? That everywhere in the world resounds with the denial of God, denial of the truth, and condemnation of Christ, is this not because those satanic, evil forces that oppose God hold sway in the world? Look back to two thousand years ago: No sooner had He been born, than the Lord Jesus was hunted by the Roman government; whilst working and preaching the way, He was nailed to the cross by the Jewish leaders in collaboration with the Roman authorities; and when His gospel was preached in China, it, too, was met with frenzied condemnation and resistance by the Chinese government—who knows how many missionaries in China were tortured and killed. After the CCP came to power, countless more Christians were arrested and tortured by the CCP. The list goes on. What do these facts show? Why does the CCP hate people who believe in God so much? Why have generations of Christians suffered such inhumane persecution? Why is the truth always met with rejection and condemnation among man? Why can the will of God not be carried out on earth and throughout every nation in the world? It is because the whole world lies under the domain of Satan, the evil one, because the evil forces of Satan hold power on earth, and they are all atheistic political regimes that oppose God; the CCP regime, especially, is the archetype of the evil forces of Satan. It is this that has led to the extreme evil and darkness of mankind. This is a recognized fact! But because of the words of Paul—“Let every soul be subject to the higher powers”—some people believe that obedience to the authorities is obedience to God. Let us ask you this: When the demonic CCP regime hinders and restricts our faith in and worship of God, should we still obey? When the CCP arrests and tortures Christians, forces them to write statements of repentance, makes them deny and betray God, and even compels them to curse and blaspheme God, can we still obey? When the CCP does not allow us to preach the gospel and testify to God, when it forces us to sell out the Lord and our fellow believers, to be its accomplices and running dogs, can we still obey? If we obeyed the demonic regime of the CCP, would we not be standing on the side of Satan, opposing and betraying God? Let us look again at the words of Paul: “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers,” “Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” Are such words practicable? Are they in accordance with the truth? Could Paul really not see this dark and evil age for what it really is? Paul, too, was arrested and imprisoned for spreading the gospel. Reasonably speaking, he should have been able to see the essence of Satan’s evil powers even more clearly than us, yet he still uttered those words—unbelievable!
We should all be aware that in God’s allowing Satan to corrupt mankind and His permitting Satan the devil to hold power on earth is contained the wisdom and arrangements of God. God’s salvation of mankind is chiefly in order to defeat Satan, and to make those who have been corrupted by Satan obey and worship God. Only then will Satan be utterly defeated and humiliated, and its fate finally sealed. And so, when God permits Satan to wield power and corrupt mankind, His will is for mankind to have discernment over Satan, to see through to the essence of Satan, so that people loathe Satan, and turn their backs on Satan; yet God has never asked that people obey Satan, much less has He said that defying any satanic regime would bring damnation upon oneself. So according to the viewpoint of Paul, did the generations of saints who were hunted and persecuted by satanic governments, and even martyred for the Lord, bring damnation upon themselves because they defied the ruling powers? Is the fact of the imprisonment of generations of saints not a beautiful and resounding testimony to the Lord? According to the viewpoint of Paul, the arrest and even murder of these generations of saints was not beautiful testimony—it was them bringing damnation upon themselves because they defied the authorities. And in that case, was the pain of imprisonment Paul suffered for spreading the gospel not also in vain? So why did Paul testify of the pain he had suffered to others? Was this not a contradiction? Our faith in the Lord and our preaching of and bearing testimony to the Lord’s gospel is mandated by Heaven and acknowledged by earth; the governments of Satan, meanwhile, will stop at nothing to brutally persecute Christians, to impede the spread of God’s gospel work and stop God’s will from being carried out—which lays bare their demonic essence, an essence that loathes the truth and is hostile to God. When people are brutally persecuted by the governments of Satan for upholding the true way and preaching and testifying to the Lord’s gospel, they are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and nothing is more worthy of the Lord’s praise. How then can it be said that they bring damnation upon themselves? The Lord Jesus once clearly stated that, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 5:10). Could it be that Paul was not aware of these words of the Lord Jesus? The words spoken by Paul are clearly in conflict with the words of the Lord Jesus. They are fundamentally at odds with the truth, and cannot form the basis of our actions. We were created by God, and we belong to God, so it is mandated by Heaven and acknowledged by earth that we should listen to God in all things and obey the authority of God!