“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,”
Titus 3:1 is a great example how false doctrines have been creeping in due to the work of misguided ministers and the teachers. If we read the translations outside the context of history and the original text, deception and confusion will reign.
The sentence contains three verbs including the Greek imperative to remind1. The term “to be subject” is from Greek word “hupotasso”2 meaning “to arrange under” and in civilian terms it meant “voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating”.
Titus was probably written around 65 AD when Nero was burning Rome and falsely accusing Christians who were murdered by the thousands. It was wise to encourage cooperation in “humility”.3
They knew they were to “obey God rather than men”4 and again all did “contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, [one] Jesus.”5 Paul even asked “why... are ye subject to ordinances.”6 Christians were not a part of those rudiments or elements of the world. They did not apply to the Fathers of the earth for their daily bread.
God’s governmental design is about liberty not the oppression of Cain nor a democracy which collectively covets the goods of others by forcing their contributions for our own benefit.
In the beginning we were free souls under God until we sinned and Cain created his city state, Nimrod his Babylon, Pharaoh his corvee system of statutory bondage,7 and of course all those other governments with men who promise liberty and benefits at the expense of your neighbor and bring you back into bondage again.
Of course if Titus stated “to obey magistrates” that would set the manner of the arrangement. Here is the interesting point, Titus does not say obey magistrates. The word “magistrate” is not in the original text. We see only the word “peitharcheo”8 which simply means “obey”. It could mean obey magistrates, but it could mean obey God, since that is who we were to obey in the “beginning” if we would “remember”. The statement seems clear if you will believe.
In fact Peter and others use the same word in Acts 5:29:
“...and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
In Acts 5:32 the word is used to tell us to obey God and His Holy Spirit.9 We also see it in Acts 27:21 when Paul stood forth and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me.
How can the word be translated obey magistrates in one place and listen to Paul in another? While archo can mean leader, the word peitho means to persuade. A problem of interpretation should not arise since the leaders of the Church led by persuasion while the leaders of the world often operated by force.
History is filled with the record of successful governments that did not exercise authority one over the other. The nations that neglected the responsibility of the individual by centralizing the power of choice in the hands of a few always declined into decadence and despotism.
Be the Magistrate
The leaders of the Church, including the elders were also magistrates who had the right to settle disputes. In fact, the people were told not to sue their brothers at law.10 The word law here is not the word nomos which is commonly translated law, but the words krino and krima which as a noun and verb are commonly translated judgment and judge.
The Christians formed their own government and settled disputes, cared for the needy and one another. Those chosen amongst them in a network of leaders were also the judges of their society, settling disputes and offering a system of appeals through the servant government of the Church. This is why, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” John 10:34
The word gods, from theos, is defined “figuratively a magistrate”. The same is true of the Hebrew word elohim translated gods and judges in the Old Testament. It was “applied by way of deference to magistrates”. These are the gods many spoken of by Paul.
The purpose of the early Church courts was not to punish, but protect the people from abuse. They exposed evil and selfishness and shunned those who would not repent and make recompense. The governments of the world would punish the wicked.
If we are going to deny the power of Jesus to appoint a Kingdom, a government, even though it was a different form than the governments of the world, We are denying the gospel of the Kingdom at hand. Such churches may pretend a form of godliness, but they are clearly denying the power thereof.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:5:
The word power in this verse is dunamis meaning strength, power, ability. In denying the Kingdom as real and present these ministers are quite obviously denying the power of the Kingdom at hand.
1Strong’s 5279 hupomimnesko; v AV-put in remembrance 3, remember 2, bring to remembrance 1, put in mind 1; 7 1) to cause one to remember, bring to remembrance, recall to mind: to another
2 Strong’s 5293 hupotasso defined 1) to arrange under, to subordinate... 5) to yield to one’s admonition or advice... A Greek military term that when used in a non-military means “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”. Thayer's
31 Peter 5:5 “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
4Acts 5:29 “Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
5Acts 17:7 “Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, [one] Jesus.”
6Colossians 2:20 “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,”
7Employ vs Enslave from the book “The Covenants of the gods”
8 Strong’s 3980 peitharcheo from 3982 and 757; v. 1) to obey
9Acts 5:32 “And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
10Matthew 5:40 “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloke also.”
1 Corinthians 6:7 “Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather [suffer yourselves to] be defrauded?”
Early non Bible authors
Athenagoras of Athens | Methodius of Olympus | The Gospel of Thomas |
Hippolytus of Rome | Justin the Martyr | Jerome | Augustine of Hippo |
Epistle of Mathetes |
Philo Judaeus or Philo of Alexandria and The Allegories of the Sacred Laws
People in the Bible
Paul the Apostle | Melchizedek | Moses | Cain | Caesar | Herod | Jesus |
John the Baptist | Nimrod | Abraham | Essenes |
Buddha | Celsus | Constantine | Eusebius | Marcus Tullius Cicero | Augustine of Canterbury |
Ambrose | Lady Godiva | Plutarch | Polybius | Seneca | Tacitus | Vespian | Manichaeism | John Wycliffe |
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