If and when the government operates outside of its jurisdiction and sphere it becomes the beast of Revelation 13. This beast has no place in the church.
Do you still have stipulations and restrictions put in place by the government with regards to worship? If you do, you have allowed the beast and its forms of worship to synchronize with God’s worship. This should never be!
Just for 30 days
In the writings of Daniel the prophet, in Daniel chapter 6, he and all of the people in the Medo-Persian empire, were told by the governing officials that any petitioning (praying, worship) they would do for the next 30 days, would look a certain way. They would only be able to pray to the ruling king Darius as the only ‘divine being’ worthy of petitioning. Just for 30 days.
And of course Daniel agreed and for the next 30 days he altered his worship to God – WRONG!
Actually, he defied this order and continued to worship the One and only true God as he had always done! He went to his room and made petition and pleas before God on behalf of his people. Even from his place of authority (remember Daniel was also a governing official), he aligned himself with the guilt of his people in forsaking their covenant God, the LORD God of Hosts.
Daniel honored the government. Daniel submitted to the government. Daniel was even part of the government. But he knew exactly where the line was to be drawn. He recognized where the power of the government stopped and that they did not have jurisdiction over worship to the LORD. And this basically cost him his life. He was thrown into the den of lions.
Sure his life was spared from the mouth of the lions by God’s grace and power, but he did not know that beforehand. And king Darius ends up praising the God of Daniel. (click here to read the full story)
The Significance of Prayer and Petition
In Daniel chapter 3, there was a previous incident involving worship and a refusal to comply. Daniel was not present but his 3 friends found themselves in a huge public gathering wherein there would be a demand to worship a massive golden statue replicated after the king. When music played, everyone was to bow down to this monstrosity. The 3 friends refused. They knew that worship was due to God alone. The king became enraged and attempted to kill them by burning them in a fiery furnace. But God saved them from this perilous situation. And the king here too ended up praising the God of the faithful trio.
In chapter 6 notice the nuance. There was a “progression of the perfection and the satanic temptation of the pagan state-power” (Bremmer, pg. 25). In chapter 3 there is a positive outward demand to fall down and worship the idol (the beast of government detracting worship from God). In chapter 6 there is only a negative demand – one only had to omit prayer to God Almighty. A fiercer temptation with easier means to comply. And what was the big deal… it was just for 30 days?
Remember too, that the demand of chapter 3 came from the Babylonian empire, which, inside of Daniel’s lifetime, had fallen. And the no less wicked successive Medo-Persian empire (according to God’s prophetic word to Daniel) revealed itself with even craftier methods. These kingdoms in all their power were still subject to God’s prophetic word that they would rise and fall according to His plan and the advancing of His eternal kingdom. But this eternal kingdom does not come without warfare from the evil one.
“Every state that does not subject itself to the rules set by the Creator God of this world falls into self-worship and demands that worship from other people too. That is the revelation of Daniel 6 and Daniel 3.”Dr. R.H. Bremmer
Daniel chapter 9 gives us an excellent example of what Daniel’s prayers looked like. Perhaps it is a record of the petitioning he did in chapter 6. I mentioned above that he aligned himself with the guilt of his people in forsaking God and His covenant. Intercessory prayer was key in God bringing about redemption for His people — “O Daniel…. at the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out and I (Gabriel) have come to tell it to you…” (Daniel 9:22, 23). So much is initiated through intercessory petition! It is still of great significance today as God continues to advance His Kingdom in the Name of Jesus Christ, gathering His people from all over the globe as His Word is preached and prayed!
In Daniel’s day there was still the looking forward to the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, to come and save His people. Today we look forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ who will come as King, Judge and Triumphant Conqueror making all things new, and eliminate worldly kingdoms forever.
Therefore ANY attempt to paralyze (restrict, manipulate) Daniel’s prayer or any prayers — or any worship, is a satanic temptation. It is an attempt to eliminate the petitioning of God’s people before His holy throne… to be merciful, to remember His covenant, and to act of behalf of His people. It is an attempt to eliminate the proper nature and beauty of God’s people shining among the nations of the world — even within dark empires like that of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and of today. It is an attempt to synchronize the worship of God with the worship of the pagan state-idol. Just for 30 days.
Do we not see worship compromised in so many churches?? The sickening synchronizing of pagan worship is integrated into God’s worship!! The beast continues to rear its ugly head. This is a continued attack on the coming of Christ as the beast cooperates with the the dragon, that ancient serpent, the devil, to make war on the people of God. If he can interfere with the gospel going forth (limited as he is), and conflict the people of God — even just a pinch, then he thinks he wins. And by observing the synchronized worship of many churches, he has gained some ground.
But as in the time of Daniel, where he was miraculously spared and his prayers continued, the Kingdom of God advances against the most formidable of enemies — beast and devil included. Worship can even be multiplied… praise came from the mouth of the pagan king who had been duped into seeking it for himself!
The Place of the State
So understand something here. The state in itself is not to be rejected. That is out of the question. It is set up and given its authority by the Most High God. We know that from Romans 13. But when reading Romans 13, one should always read it along with Revelation 13 to maintain an overall grand historical perspective. The just and right state government are ordained by God and it is how He exercises His reign in this world. However, as soon as the state oversteps the boundaries set by God it becomes the beast of Revelation 13.
Worship is Exclusive
Worship of the Most Holy God and how it is conducted is not under the jurisdiction and sphere of the government. It is exclusively under the sovereign governance of Jesus Christ. So if the government attempts to have say over the worship of God, it is operating outside of its sphere, and it becomes the beast of Revelation 13, the beast which seeks its own worship. Let me be clear. Government interfering with worship becomes the beast seeking its own style of worship.
If you have any restrictions on worship going on inside of your place of worship that are regulated and dictated by the government, you have allowed the beast and its forms of worship into God’s worship. A filthy and disgraceful synchronizing! The beast has no place in worship of God. The beast seeks its own worship, and seeks to steal people away and lull them into his distorted ways of worship.
If you as church leadership or as a church body have allowed for the beast to distort your worship, now is time to repent! Cleanse yourselves and your worship from such dangerous nonsense.
With repentance comes washing in the blood of Jesus… forgiveness of sins — as Daniel petitioned God for (see Daniel 9) and a turning… turning away from that which is evil and a seeking that which is good. May God be glorified as places of His worship rid themselves of the deceptions of the beast!
Reference: https://thestudy-books.com/products/278/ Redeemer versus Destroyer, Dr. R.H. Bremmer