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Who is Your Covering? Part 1

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Issue #416March 2023

Who is Your Covering? Part 1

Occasionally, when someone hears that I am in the ministry, they will ask, “Who is your covering?” When I tell them, “Jesus is my covering,” they reply, “And who?”

In other words, they do not think that Jesus’ covering is sufficient. Everyone must be accountable to a man other than Jesus, and this is referred to as a “covering.”

This is, in fact, a primary requirement in most Christian denominations today, which prefer to be ruled by men rather than by God (directly).

King Saul and the Rule of Men

This was well illustrated by the Israelites in the days of Samuel. We read in 1 Sam. 8:5-7,

5 … “Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.”

The fact that God answered the people’s prayer did not mean that God endorsed their rejection of God as their King. In fact, God then told Samuel to give them a warning.

1 Sam. 8:9 says,

9 Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure [mishpat, “judgment, type of justice”] of the king who will reign over them.

The prophet warns them in verses 11-18 that their king would be a taker, not a giver. He will take their sons and daughters as his servants, he will take their property (through taxes) and give it to his servants, and he will take their tithes to pay his employees. The warning culminates in verses 18, 19,

18 Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us.”

Many Christians fail to apply this to denominations, because they see a king only in political terms. But Saul, who became their king, was also a type of the church in the Pentecostal Age. Saul was a classic Pentecostal type, as Samuel prophesied to Saul in 1 Sam. 10:6,

6 Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man.

So we see this fulfilled in 1 Sam. 10:10,

10 When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him [Saul]; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them.

In New Testament terms, Saul was a Pentecostal type who foreshadowed the Pentecostal church in Acts 2. His reign started out good, but soon problems arose, and in the end, he was consulting the witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:7). This shows the ultimate failure of the Pentecostal church and the need for a Tabernacles church to arise through the house of David, the overcomer.

The point for us now, however, is to say that the people made a very big mistake in desiring to be ruled by God only indirectly. By placing men between themselves and God, they established the pattern of the rule of men that was then duplicated in the Pentecostal Age.

This problem got steadily worse throughout the Middle Ages. Saul reigned 40 years; the Pentecostal Church reigned for 40 Jubilees. And what can one say about what God considers to be witchcraft? Have many Christians once again failed to hear the word of the Lord?

The Root Problem

The root problem is that the people want a man to act as their priest to mediate between them and God. The result is that the people are dependent upon their leaders to hear God and then repeat it to the people.

The result is that the people place their faith in men, rather than in God—and they do not even realize it. The problem remains hidden, because the people think that men’s tradition is the word of God. True faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17); but what sort of faith comes by hearing the word of men?

Christ’s word may indeed come through men, but the actual process is that the people must look beyond the man who is delivering the word. People must hear what the Spirit of God is saying—not what the men are saying. There is no substitute for hearing God’s voice directly and personally.

This problem manifested on that first day of Pentecost at the conclusion of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:19,

19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself, and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”

God says that this means they have rejected God, although it is likely that few people in Samuel’s day would have agreed with that assessment.

The five-fold ministry in Eph. 4:11 does not include a priesthood. These “gifts” were given “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service” (Eph. 4:12). They were not imposed to enslave the church by a hierarchy of takers.

Comparing Saul and David

Having said that, let us also compare Saul and David. Both ruled in Christ’s throne, but their reigns differed in quality. Saul ruled by his own will. He thought that the anointing meant that God would rubber stamp all of his decisions just because he was genuinely called by God.

David, on the other hand, asked himself, “What would God do?” His reign, though not perfect, was based on the will of God. He sought to reign and judge according to the mind of God, while Saul sought God’s approval for his own policies and decisions.

David saw himself as a trustee of God’s throne; therefore, he prayed to know God’s will, so that he would know what to do and how to do it. Saul thought that the throne was his own and that God therefore would assist him through prayer to accomplish things according to his own will.

The spirit of witchcraft is far more than being a medium. Our own soulish mind can act as a medium, even if we are not particularly psychic. It has to do with the origin of one’s perceived revelation. Does it originate in one’s soul or in one’s spirit? Does the soul tell the spirit what to do, or does the spirit tell the soul what to do? What is supreme? Is it the will of God coming from our spirit, or the will of man coming from our soul?

When Christian believers do not understand the difference, they can easily be led into the spirit of witchcraft, which consults the mortal soul rather than the spirit that has been filled with the Holy Spirit.

So even though both Saul and David ruled as men from the same throne in Israel, their governments were different. David’s government recognized God as the King of Kings according to the First Commandment. Saul’s government gave lip service to the First Commandment but did not truly believe the sovereignty of God.

So Saul became the covering for most of the Israelites of his day. The people therefore were in submission to men, rather than to God. Most would hotly contest this, saying, “No, God said to submit to men as to God.” Yet they do not realize that we are to submit to men only insofar as those men are submitted to God. Whenever men contradict the word of God, we are to obey God rather than man, following the practice of the apostles in Acts 4:18-20,

18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.

The disciples were given the Great Commission in Matt. 28:19, 20 to teach all nations. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “You are My witnesses.” When witnesses were adjured by a higher authority to speak the truth, it was a sin to refuse to speak (Lev. 5:1). There is no fifth amendment in the law of God. (But if they refuse, they are to be judged by God, not by men.)

During the Middle Ages—especially during the time of the Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834), countless people were tortured and killed for believing and teaching something not approved by the Vatican. Some of these, of course, were teaching alternate traditions of men, but many of them were teaching Scriptural truth as led by the Spirit.

This persecution was foreshadowed by Saul’s persecution of David. What Saul did, the church copied.

Submitting to Authority

In the law we see both man’s covering and God’s covering. The problem is not man’s covering per se; the problem comes when men exercise the authority independent of God, instead of seeing that all authority is under God. So Paul tells us in Rom. 13:1-4,

1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except [ei me, “if not”] from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good…

This has long been used to justify persecution for obeying God rather than men. What if Peter and John had submitted to the command of the Sanhedrin and refused to testify as witnesses of what they had seen and heard?

In fact, if Paul had submitted to the command of Nero, he could have avoided martyrdom. If Daniel’s three friends had submitted to the command of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:4, 5 to worship the golden image, would God have commended them? Obviously not.

It is clear that men have misunderstood Paul’s words in Romans 13. We recognize that “there is no authority if not from God.” That authority is to be used to enforce the laws of God according to the mind of Christ. “If not,” then “there is no authority” that we must submit to.

Paul’s entire thesis is based on this caveat. He was speaking about godly rulers who exhibited “good behavior” and “the ordinance of God.” When Paul faced Nero, he refused to offer sacrifice to the emperor or to recognize him as a god. Did Paul do wrong? Did he die for disobeying God? Was Nero “a minister of God to you for good?”

Here we may recall the legitimate authority of King Saul, who had been anointed by God. Even David respected that authority, refusing to kill “the Lord’s anointed” (Saul) when the opportunity presented itself (1 Sam. 24:6, 10). But this did not mean that David had to come to Saul and submit to his authority so that Saul could kill his potential rival.

To discern what to do in such cases is a matter of hearing God’s voice. One must know God’s purpose for each of the ungodly kings. One must see through God’s eyes and put on the mind of Christ. There are times to submit to men; and there are times where men overstep their authority by telling us to sin or to remain silent when God has adjured us to testify what we have seen and heard (Lev. 5:1).

There are often hidden circumstances that must be taken into consideration when applying this law of submission. For example, when God pronounced judgment against Jerusalem in Jer. 27:4-6, He expected them to submit to the king of Babylon. In Jesus’ day, the people were expected to submit to the emperor of Rome, which was the fourth kingdom in Daniel’s prophecy. But this did not include the command to worship the emperors as gods.

In the past century, on account of the church’s sin, God has again judged us by placing us under the authority of Mystery Babylon. While this has put us in captivity, it was necessary to submit to the judgment of God until Babylon’s time expired. We known that He is now working to set us free from this captivity, and that we are not called to set ourselves free through any sort of violent revolution.

We must know these principles in order to discern how to live in Babylon while in captivity. (Jeremiah’s letter to the captives in Babylon is found in Jeremiah 29:1-7.) This instruction applies unless the king commands us to sin.

In the past century, Mystery Babylon has given us many opportunities to sin, but few have been forced to commit the sin of aborticide. No one is forced to pray without ceasing. No one is forced to become transgender. Yet because Babylon’s time expired in October of 2017, we now see them crossing the line by commanding us to cease teaching certain Scriptures or to testify what we have seen and heard as His witnesses.

This, in fact, is evidence that Babylon will soon fall, not at our hands but at the hands of God Himself.

Godly Covering

Biblical authority begins with the family in the Fifth Commandment. Exodus 20:12 says,

12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

Paul confirms this in Eph. 6:1-3, but in the next verse he adds,

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Hence, even here we see that parental authority is in turn under the command of God Himself and is not unlimited.

The father in the family was normally the legal guardian, whose responsibility it was to judge family disputes and to protect the innocent from being victimized. If a dispute broke out with the member of another family, it was the responsibility of both guardians to seek justice in order to restore the loss of the victim.

If they could not come to an agreement, then they had the option of taking it to a judge. If a judge found the case too difficult, he could take it to Moses (Deut. 1:17). Moses was a type of Christ, so we today would take it to Jesus.

The guardian was known as the kinsman redeemer, usually mistranslated as the Avenger of Blood (Deut. 19:6). The word translated “avenger” is ga’al, “redeemer.” The word translated “blood” is dam, which in this case refers to one’s bloodline—that is, a kinsman.

His job was not to take vengeance, for Deut. 32:35, 36 says, “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution… for the Lord will vindicate His people.” Paul refers to this in Rom. 12:18-21. The kinsman redeemer was responsible to seek the path of peace. If none could be found, he was not to take matters into his own hands but was to appeal to the judge. The judge, in turn, was responsible to judge the case according to the law of God and to discern with the mind of Christ.

It was the responsibility of the guardian to “cover” his family by his authority. But there were some people who had no such guardian. What of them?

Those Without a Guardian

Due to various circumstances, many people have been without a guardian to take up their cause when they are oppressed and mistreated. Exodus 22:21-24 says,

21 You shall not wrong a stranger [gar] or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22 You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. 23 If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; 24 and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

Strangers (foreigners), widows, and orphans all have one thing in common—they lack a guardian to cover them and protect them from injustice. In such cases, God Himself will take upon Himself the role of Kinsman-Redeemer if they appeal to Him.

We know that Jesus Christ is our great Kinsman-Redeemer. God is known as Yahweh (Exodus 6:2). Yahweh was Yeshua (Jesus) in His pre-incarnate form, for the prophet tells us in Isaiah 12:2 (literal translation),

2 Behold, God is My Yeshua, I will trust and not be afraid, for Yah Yahweh is my strength and song, and He has become my Yeshua.

We see, then, that the law does not tell the strangers, widows, and orphans to seek some man’s covering. He simply makes Himself available as their covering.

Such was the case for David, for his own parents were forced to renounce him to avoid the wrath of Saul. So David wrote in Psalm 27:8-10,

8 When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” 9 Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.

When David’s parents renounced him as their son, he became an orphan. On those grounds, he appealed to God, and the Lord answered according to His word in Exodus 22:23, “I will surely hear his cry.”

Not too long after this, Saul was killed in battle while fighting the Philistines. God said in Exodus 22:24, “I will kill you with the sword,” and this literally happened. We read in 1 Sam. 31:4,

4 Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, otherwise these uncircumcised will come and pierce me through and make sport of me.” But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So Saul took his sword and fell on it.

We see, then, how David did not need a guardian among men, nor did he seek man’s covering. He saw that he had been orphaned, and he knew that this gave him the right to appeal to God as his covering. That is what he meant when he sought God’s face.

We know from 2 Cor. 3:18 that we are transfigured by seeking His face. This does not necessarily require us to renounce all of men’s coverings. It depends on the men and their relationship with Christ. If they have the spirit of Saul, then their covering could be a hindrance. If they have the spirit of David, it may not be a hindrance. But it is clear that men’s covering can be a problem, and in the end, we should seek to be covered by Jesus Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer.

Cover Letter for March 2023 FFI

Dear friends,

In the past month we published two new books: Ephesians: The Epistle of Ascension ($15) and Habakkuk: The Prophet of Faith ($6). All books are free to inmates, of course, and to anyone else who cannot afford them.

There is much that is happening in the world as the Deep State continues its attempt to foment World War III in its overall plan to bring down the earth’s population to 500 million, as they published on the Georgia Guidestones 40 years ago. We who believe Scripture know that their plan will fail, because their divine right to rule ended in 2017. We believe in the promise of God that He is setting up a Kingdom that will never be destroyed.

Nonetheless, the danger of war and other catastrophes is very real in certain regions of the world. What the world calls “World War III” is actually called Armageddon in Revelation 16:16. The nations are being gathered in preparation for the fall of Babylon in verses 18-21. This fall of Babylon is compared to the capture of the old city of Babylon, which fell to the Medes and Persians (Darius and Cyrus) in Daniel 5:28. Recall that they dried up the River Euphrates in order to take the city.

Revelation 16:12 tells us that “the kings from the east” will overthrow Babylon once again by drying up the Euphrates. The difference is that Babylon is now a world-wide system, whereas the original Babylon was a city-state. So the scope of the present war is also world-wide, and the new kings from the east are Russia and China.

As for those of us who live under the rule of Mystery Babylon, God has raised up the kings from the east to set us free, even as He did in the days of Daniel. If we had been living in Babylon during the time of Daniel, we might have lived in fear at the prospect of the Medes and Persians conquering Babylon. But as it turned out, Cyrus issued his famous Edict allowing the captive nations (including Judah) to return to their original lands.

The pattern was set thousands of years ago, and Revelation 16 indicates that this pattern is being repeated in our time. How will this happen? Scripture does not give us many details. We are, however, expected to understand Revelation 16 in light of the history in Daniel 5. Most Christians do not understand this, because they have been taught that the kings from the east are going to attack the Israeli state and be defeated by divine intervention. But we know that God raised up Cyrus to overthrow Babylon (Isaiah 45:1) and that the armies of the Medes and Persians were actually directed by God—even though those kings thought they were fighting this war by their own power.

For this reason, we see the Kingdom of God being established, while most of the church sees only destruction. We see the overcomers being empowered to rule as God removes the wicked from the earth, while most of the church sees God coming to rescue us and rapture us to heaven in order to avoid this time of trouble. But this is not a rescue operation. Victory is ours. We won this war through spiritual warfare long before the conflict even started.

We have hope—which means expectation, not wishful thinking. We expect full victory and divine redemption, not defeat that puts us in need of a divine rescue.

Our perspective differs greatly from what the government-sponsored media and its propaganda tries to tell us. Our beliefs center on Scripture, not the lies of the false prophets in the media. The media has been telling us, for example, that Russia is running out of ammunition, while at the same time Ukraine is the one running out of ammunition. Why else does President Zelensky travel the world begging for more ammunition?

The media claims that Russia has committed more than 71,000 war crimes, while in fact, Ukraine has been shelling the citizens of Donetsk City daily since 2014, killing more than 14,000 civilians in that city alone. This has been Ukraine’s official policy for 9 years; Russia has no such official policy.

We are told that Ukraine is a Democracy fighting Russia’s autocracy. It is, in fact, the other way around. Zelensky, who ran for president on an anti-war platform, reversed that policy as soon he came into office. He has banned opposing parties, restricted freedom of worship, destroyed Orthodox churches, and declared martial law, which has turned him into a dictator. No such conditions exist in Russia. Russia is not the Soviet Union anymore.

It was the US-led coup in 2014 that started this war. The coup was followed by a policy of banning the Russian language in Ukraine, even though a large part of its population were ethnic Russians. Inn fact, these ethnic Russians were cut off from Russia in 1991 when the Soviet Union fell apart, and Ukraine became an independent state. For decades, they were content to be called Ukrainian—until the 2014 coup drove a wedge between them and the Ukrainians. Ukraine then embarked on a policy of ethnic cleansing to rid itself of all Russian culture, language, and people.

The Russians in Eastern Ukraine saw this coming and took steps to protect themselves. The Minsk Agreement, brokered and signed by the European governments, agreed to a division in Ukraine and gave its eastern provinces autonomy. But the Agreement was never implemented, and a few months ago the European leaders admitted that they had no intention of implementing it. The claimed that they signed it only to buy time to arm Ukraine to fight Russia later.

A man is only as good as his word. This applies to nations as well.

It is important, then, that we understand that modern Babylon is centered in the West, not in the East. Though we were instructed to submit to Babylon (Jeremiah 27:6-8) during the time that God put the nation into captivity, this instruction only applied until the kings of the east came to set them free. In long-term prophecy, we are now at that point.

This does not mean that we are to foment a revolution against Babylon. That is not our job. But we are certainly called to know the divine plan and to know the times and seasons in which we live. We must understand that God has raised up the modern kings from the east to overthrow Mystery Babylon, to do His “dirty work,” as they say, and to be on God’s side in this war.

Knowing the outcome of this war, according to Revelation 16 and in many other passages, we can have hope and confidence that Christ and His Kingdom is the Stone that is hitting the image on its feet. The entire image will eventually be ground to powder (Daniel 2:35).