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SNT 0356 Higher Powers - Romans 13

Higher Powers:
Romans 13

February 12, 1967

Explains what the ‘higher powers’ of this chapter refer to and how they benefit and work in the Body.
SNT – 356

3rdburglar by Wordburglar
Topic: government, "spiritual gifts", "gift ministries", apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, teachers, logospedia, lp
Format: audio, pdf
Publication Date: 02-12-1967
Pages: 11

Victor Paul Wierwille was a Bible scholar and teacher for over four decades.

By means of Dr. Wierwille's dynamic teaching of the accuracy and integrity of God's Word, foundational class and advanced class graduates of Power for Abundant Living have learned that the one great requirement for every student of the Bible is to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Thus, his presentation of the Word of God was designed for students who desire the in-depth-accuracy of God’s Word.

In his many years of research, Dr. Wierwille studied with such men as Karl Barth, E. Stanley Jones, Glenn Clark, Bishop K.C. Pillai, and George M. Lamsa. His formal training included Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Theology degrees from Mission House (Lakeland) College and Seminary. He studied at the University of Chicago and at Princeton Theological Seminary from which he received a Master of Theology degree in Practical Theology. Later he completed his work for the Doctor of Theology degree.

Dr. Wierwille taught the first class on Power for Abundant Living in 1953.

Books by Dr. Wierwille include: Are the Dead Alive Now? published in 1971; Receiving the Holy Spirit Today published in 1972; five volumes of Studies in Abundant Living— The Bible Tells Me So (1971), The New, Dynamic Church (1971), The Word's Way (1971), God's Magnified Word (1977), Order My Steps in Thy Word (1985); Jesus Christ Is Not God (1975); Jesus Christ Our Passover (1980); and Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed (1982).

Dr. Wierwille researched God's Word, taught, wrote, and traveled worldwide, holding forth the accuracy of God's "wonderful, matchless" Word.

Rom 13:1-4; 12:18-21; 1:11; Act 8:18-20; Eph 4:1-7

Eph 4:7-14; 1Co 13:12

Eph 4:14; Rom 12:4-8; 1Co 12:28-30

Rom 12:7, 8; 13:1-4


Higher Powers – Romans 13

Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille

Sunday Night Teaching – 0356


Take your Bibles tonight and turn to the Book of Romans Chapter 13. Here in the Book of Romans, I would like to set before you what I believe again is the truth of God’s Word. I know it is not commonly accepted, the things that I’m going to say today or tonight. I do not know of any commentary that has recorded what I’m going to be teaching tonight. They teach just the opposite, basically.

But, people, it’s not a question of what they teach or question of what I teach, it’s a question of the integrity of God’s Word. Does it fit? Does it work with the mathematical exactness and scientific precision? Does it work all the way through from Genesis to Revelation? If it’s God’s Word, it will have to fit.

Here in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Romans, we have this tremendous first verse where we read:

Romans 13:1:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: [and] the powers that be are ordained of God.

This is the verse of scripture that people keep pushing at us and keep saying, well, this refers to civil authorities. That I have to be subject to the higher powers. In other words, I am subject to the governor of the state, I’m subject to the mayor, I’m subject to the representatives, the senators, I am subject to the President of the United States – this kind of thing; that we are subject unto the higher powers.

I know that’s what that verse says, that we’re subject to the higher powers, but we’ve got to find out who those higher powers are.

Now, I as a Christian, I as a believer, you as a believer – certainly you and I just by plain sense knowledge, without ever having the Word of God – if you just sit down and think for a half a minute, you would have to say that a Christian could never be subject to some higher powers in civil authority. We just could not be subject to them because what they do, and how they act, and what they want to carry out is absolutely contradictory to what God says a man is supposed to do. Therefore, just on the surface, we should have known all through the years that this verse could not be talking about civil authorities, about government powers in a secular world.

Because the Word of God first teaches that, as far as the world is concerned; it is controlled, it is run, it is influenced by the devil and his operation.

Now, I want to read sections of this chapter with you, and then I’ll get into the Word; and we’ll put this whole thing together so that you will see what’s really involved in the whole thing.

If you’ll go back, it says in verse 18 of Chapter 12:

Romans 12:18-21:
18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him [to] drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

The whole essence, the whole teaching, is to the dearly beloved; the people who are Christian, the people who are believers, the people who love the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s telling them here in the Book of Romans how they’re to operate; how you and I as a believer are to walk.

Romans 12:21:
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

All of this. Then he gets to Chapter 13 which should have gone right on.

Romans 13:1-2a:
1Let every soul [every soul who? Every believer, every beloved soul] be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, [resisteth whatever these higher powers are] resisteth the ordinance of [what?] God: . . .

It doesn’t say the ordinance of a government, individual, but the ordinance of whom? {God.} From the context, I already know who these higher powers are. They have to be people who are in authority under God, to God’s people.

Romans 13:2b:
. . . and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

The word ‘damnation’ is the word ‘judgment’. Not damnation in the sense in which it’s commonly understood. When you think of damnation, you think of damning somebody to go to hell or do something else. That’s not the word here used. The word is. . . The Greek word is the word “krima” – K-R-I-M-A, and it just means judgment.

Romans 13:3a:
For rulers [verse 3. For rulers] . . .

In the verse before, he talked about powers, remember? Now, these powers are rulers. These rulers,

Romans 13:3b-4:
3 . . . are not a terror to good works, but to . . . evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid [the word “afraid” is the word “reverence, respect, awe.” A-W-E. Have respect, have awe, have reverence for, or] of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4For he [verse 4] is the minister of God [for good] to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

And they take this verse and say, “he beareth not the sword in vain,” and they apply it to the secular world in which we live.

Well, you know, in the Book of Romans in Chapter 1, the Apostle Paul addressing these words by revelation to these people says in verse 11,

Romans 1:11:
For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end [that you] may be [what?] established;

There are only five spiritual gifts to the believers. There are only five. These five are ministries in the body – among the body, in the body of believers – only five. The Apostle Paul desired to go to the believers at Rome that he might be able to impart unto them a spiritual gift, because the church in Rome needed this leadership. They needed men in authority who could carry out the work whereunto God had called them.

In the Book of Acts, in Chapter 8, it says in verse 18:

Acts 8:18-20:
18And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them [Peter and John] money,
19Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20[verse 20] But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

That the gift of God. What was he trying to buy? a ministry. That’s right. He wanted to buy a ministry so that he would have the ability to carry out this work; that he could have this gift of God.

Now, salvation is a gift, that’s right, but you have to be saved before you belong to the family. Now, once you’re saved, born again of God’s spirit, then what has God set among God’s people so that these people can be governed, can be ruled, can be carried forth so that they can grow and be real strong in their life with the power of God?

Turn to Ephesians, Chapter 4 – Ephesians, Chapter 4.

Ephesians 4:1:
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, [verse 1] beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Now, here we’re talking again about the walk – about the Christian’s fellowship – the walk.

Ephesians 4:2-7:
2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the [denomination? No. The unity of what? of the] Spirit [that unity of the Spirit. This is what we’re to endeavor to keep] in the bond of peace.
4There is one body, . . .  one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5[There is] One Lord, [there is] one faith, [the faith of Jesus Christ. And there is] one baptism, [with his presence.]
6[There is] One God and [that one God is Spirit, He is Lord. That one God, He is] Father [over what? all] of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

This gift of Christ is this new birth, which we receive when we accept him as our personal Lord and Savior; this is that gift. And it’s given according to the measure of the gift. Well, what’s the measure? It says that he has the faith of Jesus Christ, the righteousness of God, the justll those things I teach you in the Foundational Class . . . show it to you, read it with you from the Word. All of this is involved in that gift, which we have when we accepted him as our personal Lord and Savior.

Ephesians 4:8a:
Wherefore [verse 8] he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, . . .

When he ascended up on high. This is the time at the ascension. Forty days after the resurrection is the ascension. At the time Jesus Christ ascended up into heaven (it said when he ascended up on high), he, Jesus Christ, led captivity captive. This leading captivity captives – I was telling some of our groups this week – what it really means is that those who were holding people captive before, the captors; those who had been captors before, now Jesus took those, and he led those captors captive. Those who were holding people in enslavement, those who were beating people down; he took those, and he led those captive – when he ascended up on high.

This is why, in Christ Jesus, legally, we are the property of our heavenly Father. And Satan has no legal right over God’s property. And for the believer, for the believer, when Jesus Christ ascended, he led captivity captive. But now, suppose he led captivity captive? Suppose that I am a Christian, a believer, suppose I have all of this. It’s only spiritual. How am I to walk in this life? How am I to carry out what I have into concretion, into manifestation? So that day by day, and week by week, and moment by moment, I can live a victorious life . . . [Dr. Wierwille responds to something in the audience] the only sensible girl in the place . . . that I can live a victorious life and be able to walk with the power of God to manifest that I am more than a conqueror.

How am I going to do this? The last part of that verse tells you.

Ephesians 4:8b:
. . . and [he] gave [what?] gifts unto men.

He gave gifts. Not only did he ascend to leave captivity captive, but he gave gifts unto men.

Now, verses 9 and 10 are a parenthesis. A parenthesis is a legitimate figure of speech put in by way of explanation – that’s all. You can read right on, from the last word of verse 8 to the first word of verse 11, and get the thought content. Let’s do it.

Ephesians 4:8b,11:
8. . . [he] gave gifts unto [what?] men. [verse 8]
11[Now verse 11] And he gave some, [what?] apostles; . . . some, prophets; . . . some, evangelists; . . . some, pastors and teachers;

You see, when he ascended up into heaven, he had accomplished something. But on the Day of Pentecost, that which we read about in Acts, Chapter 2 came to pass; and at that time he gave gifts unto men. And these gifts are these ministries. They are gift ministries in the body of believers to help the body of believers to grow so they can walk with an effervescence and a glow; that the body of believers can be victorious in their day by day walk, operating the things which God gave them when they were born again.

Ephesians 4:11:
And [so] he gave some, apostles; . . . some, prophets; . . . some, evangelists; . . . some, [teachers, some pastors] . . .

Those are the five ministries in the body. There are only five; that’s it. An apostle is one who brings new light to his generation. It may be old light, but it’s new to the generation to whom he speaks. A prophet is a man called of God, having the ministry, who speaks specifically to God’s people. He speaks to God’s people, and he speaks to people in the essence of, “Thus saith the Lord.”

Have you ever read the prophet like Elijah, Elisha – the rest of the prophets of the Old Testament, others in the New? It’s always in the essence, “Thus saith the Lord,” and it’s always to God’s people. Like, when Elijah spoke, it was basically always to Israel. Elijah, Elisha, all of those . . . Jeremiah . . . always to God’s people. And the message always was, “Thus saith the Lord -- do this, do this.” This is what the Lord said. A prophet is a man called of God who speaks specifically to God’s people, to get God’s people back on the ball that had been off the ball [chuckles]. He calls them back and says, “Come on, get in here, this is where God wants you. Quit feeding out in the hog country and the rest. Come on back in.”

That is why a prophet’s ministry is usually very difficult, because he doesn’t make too many friends. He didn’t read Dale Carnegie’s course, or something. But you see, he speaks for God to God’s people in the emphasis of, thus saith the Lord.

Now, an evangelist is one who speaks specifically to the unsaved; to evangelize them, to give them the evangel, the good news of salvation: why they ought to get saved, and how tickled to death God is to save them, and what God gives them when they’re saved, and how they can have the abundance of the presence of Christ. That’s an evangelist, one who speaks the Word; and people hear the Word, and as they hear the Word, they get saved according to the Word.

A pastor is the last ministry on the scene, more or less . . . in practice. There’s no use to giving people a pastor until they understand the Word. They’ve got to be born again first. They need the ministry of an apostle to bring the new light to them that’s available. They need the ministry of the teacher. They need all this.

Then, the last . . . about the last thing they need is a pastor. And a pastor is one in the body who, who simply . . . who simply takes God’s people and continues to pastor them: to bind up their wounds, to pray with them, to work with them – to be, you know, the man of God that takes care of their every need when it comes up, so that the wolves don’t get in the pack and tear the sheep apart. That the old unbeliever coming down the street doesn’t take that believer and try to push his old head in the ground. A pastor is one who takes his people, and he stands with his people.

These are the five ministries, and verse 12 tells you what they are for. They’re:

Ephesians 4:12a:
For the perfecting of the saints, . . .

Now, this cannot mean spiritually perfecting, because when you’re born again of God’s spirit, you’ve got all God has available. You’re perfect in the spirit, right? Then it can only mean it’s the perfecting of the saints on an horizontal level, on my day by day walk; to perfect my walk so that I can walk in this more abundant life; to manifest that I am more than a conqueror through him who loved me and gave himself for me. This is:

Ephesians 4:12b:
. . . the perfecting of the saints, . . .  the work of the ministry, . . . [the building up] the edifying of the body of Christ:

Then it tells you in the next verse how long this is going to be true. Until or:

Ephesians 4:13:
Till we all come [verse 13. Till we all come] in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of [what?] {Christ:}

What does it say in 1 Corinthians 13? You don’t look it up, but what do you recall it says? That when he comes back, we’re going to see him like he is, for we shall see him what?

1 Corinthians 13:12:
. . . face to face: . . .

So, until that time of his return, we have not come yet to the measure of the stature of the fullness of what? {Christ.} But when he comes back, and we are like he is, and we shall see him face to face; then we will have risen up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. And when he comes back, and we have that perfection,  then we no longer need the five ministries in the body of apostles, prophecy, evangelists, teachers, and pastors; for we have something a lot better. We will have him.

And we’ll have a new body fashioned like unto his glorious body. Won’t have all these negatives, and doubts, and all that baloney flowing through. But until that time, until that time of Christ’s return, these five ministries are in the Body. And they’re to build up the Body, to edify it, to govern it, to rule it, to bless it – reason being given in verse 14:

Ephesians 4:14:
That we henceforth [that we henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and  [carried away or] carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, [ whereby maybe – NO MAYBE ABOUT IT] whereby [THEY DO] they [right now] lie in wait to deceive;

The reason for these five ministries in the Body of believers is that the Body of believers will be strong. That the Body of believers will have on the whole armor of God. That the Body will be edified. That they are no more like children, tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine and the sleight and cunning craftiness, whereby the people lie in wait to deceive the very elect of God. This is why these ministries are to be in the Body.

You know, in the Book of Romans . . . going back there, Chapter 12 . . . Romans, Chapter 12. In the fourth edition of the Holy Spirit book, on page 177, I have this very essence of this scripture that we’re dealing with here tonight set forth.[1] And I think it’ll be a real blessing to you if I go into this and put all this together for you. And I’ll certainly be able and glad to do this particular thing.

Did I say Romans 12? I think we ought to go to 1 Corinthians. Keep your finger in Romans, we’re coming back.

1 Corinthians . . . take this first . . . Chapter 14. Some of you people perhaps will have noted that we placed here in the auditorium a display case having in it some of our real prize possessions. You will notice the first copy of the Holy Spirit book in there, and so forth. You might be surprised at the immensity of its size . . . few other minor things. But we haven’t labeled it all yet. We’ll get it labeled sometime, and you’ll all know what’s in there; but there’s some wonderful, wonderful research material in there.

Somebody was talking today about the value of those things in there. And I said, well, when I put them in there this week, I sort of figured I wouldn’t take $5,000 for what’s in there. So, I don’t know what it’s worth, but you couldn’t buy it for that. If you had to go out on the market to buy it, you’d have to pay that much if you could find it. Nine times out of ten, you couldn’t find it to begin with. Some of the old Aramaic work we have in there, some of the great work on the Masorah is in there, and oh . . . Dr. Lamsa’s original . . . the concordance that Dr. Lamsa used
 . . . gave to me when he came to Van Wert and finished his book on the Bible translation. His copy is in there. A lot of wonderful things in there.

But on page 177 of the Holy Spirit book is . . . are some of these things that relate to this matter that we’re dealing with from Romans tonight.

In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 14, in verse 28 . . . did I say Chapter 14? {yes} twelve . . . Chapter 12:

1 Corinthians 12:28a:
. . . God hath set some [Chapter 12, verse 28 . . . God has set some in the what?] in the church, . . .

Now, God has set these in the Church. Now we’re going to read King James first, then I’ll straighten you out.

1 Corinthians 12:28b-30:
28b. . . first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29[And then verse 29] Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30[verse 30] Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

Here, in 1 Corinthians 12 in the King James, we have a wonderful presentation of how this Body is to operate. Every member in that Body, the Church, is complete. And every member is a particular member in that Body. And everybody’s got a real wonderful position to fill. But, inside of the Church, there are also some who are called with these special ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors. And therefore, God has set some in the Church as apostles, prophets, teachers. Now, the ordinary way they handle this is just to . . . those three – they’ll say, “Well those are the ministries.”

Then he skips over here in Romans . . . in Corinthians, he skips to miracles, then gifts of healing. He’s no longer now talking about gift ministries; he’s now talking about the operation of manifestations. Because you have the gift ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors; but every born-again believer has also nine manifestations of the spirit to operate. Among which, he has the manifestation of miracles, he has the manifestation of the gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

And verse 29, they use rather surreptitiously when they say, “Well, are all apostles? No, they’re not. Are all prophets? No, they’re not,” they say. “Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? No, they’re not.” But it does not say that not everybody could not work a miracle, does it? It doesn’t say that you could not be an apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher or pastor.

Verse 30, “Have all the gifts of healing?” They say, “Well, no. You see, this implies that not everybody has it. Therefore, you may have it, she may not; you may have it, he may not.” That’s not at all it. Inside of the Church, do all speak with tongues? No, not in a Sunday morning service, or a Sunday evening, or a midweek service, or any service – not everybody. Although it does not say everybody could not speak in tongues, but they don’t all speak in tongues. Why?

When would you get to chicken? When would you get home for dinner? If you had a membership of a thousand, and everybody spoke in tongues and interpreted, you wouldn’t get home for two days. Think of how you’d starve.

Do all interpret? No, not in particular in a service because it’s all said in the Word as to how they do it. You see, all these ministries are given to keep the Church in line, to keep the body edified, built up, and walking.

This, I will give you from page 177 of the Holy Spirit book, which is a free translation of verse 28.[2]

So, God has placed some in the Church having the ministry of apostles, prophets, and teachers. [Period.] There are some who minister more effectively as miracle workers. Some who are very effective in ministering the blessings of healing. Some who are very adept along the line of ministering as helps and governments. And some whose ministry is diversity of tongues.

You see, this verse 28 is God’s order for ministering in the Church age in which we’re living. There is no one passage of scripture which nullifies this order. As a matter of fact, that passage from Ephesians 4 just augments it. And, the one from Romans 12, where I’d like for you to turn, because this is the one I said we would be going into here now. God has set these ministries – now, remember that.

In Romans, Chapter 12, verse 4:

Romans 12:4-8:
4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: [the word “office” is the word “function”]
5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6[verse 6] Having then gifts [gifts] differing according to the grace that is given . . . us, whether prophecy, let us [what?] prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

I have translated this on page 180 of the book on Receiving the Holy Spirit, and literally translated it as follows:[3]

According to usage, Romans 12:6 should read, “ . . .having then spiritual abilities, functions in the Body, the Church, differing according to the divine favor or friendly willingness of God that is given to us, whether a ministry of prophesy, keep busy manifesting by prophesying according to the proportion of your believing faith.”

You see, a person born again and filled with the holy spirit, let’s say that you’re very adept at speaking in tongues and interpretation, or very adept at prophecy. Then in the Body of believers, you have a ministry to the Body on an horizontal level like this, right? But the five ministries of apostles, prophets, and evangelists, pastors, and teachers are ministries given this way down. And when that man operates them, they are a blessing to God’s people on an horizontal plane. God gives these this way, and we carry out.

This is why that verse 7 – if you have a ministry of prophecy, if that’s your long suit, if that’s where you really shine, if this is what you’re really adept at; boy, then you minister in the Body on an horizontal level to make God’s people blessed by what you have to share.

Romans 12:7 [should read, literally], “Or if you have another type of ministry, get busy ministering; or, if your ministry is teaching, get busy teaching; or if you have an exhortation ministry, get busy exhorting.”

[And] Romans 12:8 should then begin [with the words]: “He that giveth forth in any ministry in the Church, let him do it with simplicity; he that has a ruling ministry, let him do it with diligence; and he that hath a ministry making him very adept in mercy, let him do it with cheerfulness.”[4]

That’s a tremendous thing. He that has a ruling ministry, a ruling ministry, let him do it with diligence; carry it forth, and carry it out. Therefore, the greatness of this Word just becomes dynamically important.

Now, with that light on the Word, you go to Romans 13:

Romans 13:1a
Let every soul [verse 1 . . . every soul, every soul, who? every believer, every Christian, every person who belongs to the Body. Let every soul] be subject unto the higher
powers. . . .

What higher powers? Those who have ministries of rulership. If you have a ministry of rulership, we just got to from Romans 12:8; if you have this ministry, let him do it with diligence. He has a ruling ministry. There are only five: apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors. They’re for the perfecting of the saints, they’re for the edifying of the body; that we no more be children tossed to and fro. That’s what it said, that’s what it meant. Now:

Romans 13:1a
Let every soul [every believer in the Body] be subject unto the higher powers. . . .

Not civil, not government, but the Body – in the Church, the Church Body. Let the Body be subject to the higher powers. It doesn’t say the board of deacons, the board of elders. It says the people are to be subject to the higher powers. The people are to be subject to men of God who have gift ministries as apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, or pastors.

Now, what in the world you going to do if you haven’t got any one of the five? Well, you elect a board of elders, a board of deacons, hold a trustee meeting, and a few other . . . no way to move. And that’s about all we know. That’s why every teaching on the accuracy of the Word just goes contrary to experience today, for the most part. I can just read in the Word of God page after page how the Apostle Paul sent Timothy to town, and he said, “Timothy, look up all the businessmen, and be sure that for the treasury you get the banker. And after you’ve gotten all of these wonderful men in the community all picked out, then you be sure that you get the official board in operation.”

Who are you kidding? The Apostle Paul walked by revelation. The spirit said to him, “Send old Timothy up there and get the Church rolling. Send Barnabas over here; send Peter over there.” That’s how they walked in the early Church. They were men of God, having ministries in the Body; and they sent men of God, and these men of God ministered to the Body. That’s why the early Church really moved with the enthusiastic believing of the power of God and got something done.

Romans 13:1b:
. . . For there is no power . . . [in the Church, there’s no power except it comes from whom?] God: . . .

Because there are only five ministries, and these are gifts, charismata, gifts of grace from God this way down.

Romans 13:1c:
. . . [For] the powers that be [in the Church, these] are ordained of God.

Because God gave them; apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors.

Romans 13:2a:
Whosoever therefore resisteth . . . [this] power, [of apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, or pastors; they] resisteth the ordinance of [what?] {God:} . . .

Because God said that He’s set these ministries in the Body to edify, build up the Body. And if we resist those ministries . . . People, it doesn’t say resist the man that graduated from a theological cemetery, or any other college or institution. It says that they must resist men of God. That’s all.

Now, people, you can graduate from every seminary in the country and still not have a call of God. On the other hand, you could have a call from God and graduate from every seminary, too.  Hasn’t got a thing to do with it if God calls you. If God called the man, he’s got a ministry. And when that ministry is set, it will build the Body up. It will bless the Body. And those who resist it, they just make judgment for themselves.[5] Verse 3:

Romans 13:3:
For [the] rulers [the rulers . . . these men whom God has put in authority as apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, or pastors . . . these rulers] are not a terror to good works, but [these men in the Body are a terror] to the evil. . . .

You know, if things don’t go wrong, what would the prophet say? The prophet would say, “Thus saith the Lord, John, come on back to the Word. Thus saith the Lord, Suzie, get on back.” But as long as John, and Mary, and George, and Suzie are walking in the light as He is the light, these men of God are not rulers that sit in control of them, where they bounce them around. These men of God are there to build them up, to edify them so they can walk. But when they refuse to walk, then God has to use these ministries to bring people back in line. Verse 4 says:

Romans 13:4a:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. . . .

He is the minister of God. He is the minister of God. Well, how many ministries are there? five; apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors. And these five ruling ministries in the Church, these are gifts of God; and these are to the Church, to the Body of believers. And these men are ministers of God to bring good to God’s people, to make it possible for God’s people to walk with an effervescence and a glow; to make it possible for God’s people to get their prayers answered; to make it possible for God’s people to be abundantly blessed – not deep down every step of the way; not always to be in confusion, and doubt, and unbelief.

But these are God’s ministers to God’s people for their good.

Romans 13:4b:
. . . if thou do that which is evil, [however] be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in [what?] {vain:} . . .

What sword? the sword of the Word of God. My goodness, yes. Not the other kind of sword made in England that only doctors could use. I don’t . . . I see this on TV. What’s the sword? Well, what do you men shave with? Not Gillette, that’s an insult. Huh? It’s Wilkinson’s. Where you people . . . are you tonight? You’re supposed to help me out on these things.

It’s not a Wilkinson Sword blade. No, no, no, no. It’s not the sword to kill people with, it’s the sword which is the Word of God. And it’s that Word of God, which:

2 Timothy 3:16b-17:
16b . . . is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction [of] righteousness:
17That the man of God may be perfect, [through and through, and] throughly [perfected] unto all good works.

Therefore, this minister of God, as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher, or pastor, he doesn’t carry the sword in vain. He doesn’t carry the Word of God in vain. He speaks to the people the Word of God, and that’s the sword. For he is the minister of God. He is a minister of God.

Therefore, these truths are just tremendous when you see the greatness of it. And therefore “let every soul be subject unto the higher powers” can only refer to those higher powers that are inside of the Church as ruling bodies . . . as ruling ministries in the Body as apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors.


[1] Victor Paul Wierwille, Receiving the Holy Spirit Today, (New Knoxville, OH: American Christian Press).

[2] Victor Paul Wierwille, Receiving the Holy Spirit Today, (New Knoxville, OH: American Christian Press).

[3] Victor Paul Wierwille, Receiving the Holy Spirit Today, (New Knoxville, OH: American Christian Press).

[4] Victor Paul Wierwille, Receiving the Holy Spirit Today, (New Knoxville, OH: American Christian Press).

[5] Romans 13:2: … and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.