1. God has established four principles for the human race in order to provide maximum order, stability and freedom. They can be called DIVINE INSTITUTIONS or divine morality.
See Topic: MORALITY as designed by God.
     A. Volition: You are your own authority. That is, you have the freedom THINK
     anything you want, and the freedom to ATTEMPT anything you want. The divine
     restriction on this of  course, is – as long as it does not bring harm to another or violate
     God’s spiritual or moral standards.

     B. Marriage: One man and one woman in a unique soul and body relationship that is
     exclusive to them alone, and in which  lies the boundary for sex and reproduction.

     In this relationship, both function together to make personal and societal decisions>
     However, the final authority rests with the man according to divine design.
     For details on this see Topic: MARRIAGE

     C. Family: This is the unit that provides the proper environment for the birth and
     training of children so that they can take their place within society as stable and
     productive individuals. The parents are the authority structure in the family and are the
     ones who have responsibility for training and discipline – NOT SOCIETY.

     D. Nations:
As individual family units began to increase, the need for social
    government developed. But because of man's sin nature, there existed the
    tendency to distort government, resulting in slavery.
The sin nature
     influences people to operate in the lust of the flesh (physical desire), eyes
     (possessiveness) and mind (pride and arrogance). This results in sinful, criminal type
     activity that threatens the stability and freedom of the family units that have chosen to
     live together.

    Therefore Divine morality has provided principles of nationalism to prevent one
    man or one (group of men to dominate the freedoms of society through either
    political or religious activity.

2. The principle of parental authority is established early in the Bible with the first family. Genesis 2:24

3. The Mosaic law first mentions the direct command to honor and respect ones parents.
     Exodus 20:12; Ex. 5:16
     They represent duly constituted authority.
     They are responsible for the training and equipping of the children for proper function
     in  life. Deut. 32:46; Prov. 1:8; 3:1-2; Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21.
Ex. 20:12

A. honor: kAbhad is a piel imperative.
It means to recognize honor in someone and to respect it.

B. Your father and mother: parents - Moral institution #3
This is the proper authority structure for children until they become adults.
Gen. 2:24; Col. 3:20
Honor is a mental attitude that extends from the earliest child training to old age.
1 Tim. 5:4, 8; Pr. 23:22

C. That your days may be prolonged: proper orientation and obedience to the family structure is the basis for freedom and stability in society.

C. When children consistently rebel against parents, it overflows into society and undermines freedom and security for others.

The progress of negative volition through 4 generations is illustrated in Prov. 30:11-17.

    A. The first generation: v. 11
        1. There is a kind: dōr = a generation = there is a generation.
            a. Reference to one link in a family tree.
            b. This is the first in a chain of negative volition to divine standards
                for human morality.

            c. Rejection of divine authority is not mentioned, but the moral depravity
                in the family is explained.

        2. Who curses: qAlal - not really to put a curse on, but to speak with contempt
            and dishonor. Its a word for rejection and disdain for authority.

        3. His father: indicates the object of contempt.
            a. The father's authority is rejected because of creature arrogance rejecting
                the values of divine morality.
            b. Self is placed on a level higher than morality and therefore rejects whatever
                tries to keep self under control.
            c. It begins with parental authority.

        4. The rejection of the mother's authority:
            a. And does not bless: bArak in the piel imperfect means to bend the knee to,
                respect, to speak praise of someone.
            b. Plus the negative (not) indicates failure to do this.
            c. He rejects mother's role in the family.
            d. He does not honor her with action or word.
            e. But in contrast, the implication is that he attacks her instead.
            f. He should learn from his mother's teaching and example. Prov. 31:1ff

        5. And so, we have generation #1, rejecting divine authority as it is represented
        in family morality.

    B. Generation #2: v. 12
        1. There is a generation: dōr - his father rejected parental authority
            and is going to reflect that to his own children.

        2. It could manifest in two ways: super strict or super lenient.
        3. So the child will grow up with a distorted example in life.
           As a result, he turns his focus on self even more than his father did.

        4. Pure: tAhōr = clean, pure, faultless.
        5. In his own eyes: the perspective of self-centeredness.
           He is faultless and everyone else is weak and imperfect.

        6. Yet he is not washed: in actuality there is no purity.
            He is morally and spiritually blind.

        7. From his own filthiness: refers to his mental attitude of pride
           and self-centeredness.
           a. It is the natural trend of the sin nature to act independently from God.
           b. Generation #2 has only negative parental influence so his trend leans to
               a more intense expression.
           c. This is called "genetic drift." When the trends of the sin nature are not
               controlled, the expressions of rebellion become more intense.
           d. As this family tree grows, the function of rebellion will become worse
               and worse unless there is positive influence in the other direction.
           e. See Topic:  GENETIC DRIFT

    C. Generation #3, v. 13:
        1. There is a generation: This child has been taught by example that he is "number
         one" in life and everything centers around him. You must always look out for
         "number one."

        2. Oh how lofty are his eyes: intensity of self-centeredness.
        3. Eyelids raised: repeats for great emphasis
        4. Intensity of arrogance is expressed in every area of life - He can do no wrong.
            Looks down on others.
            Blames others for his own failures.
            Always promotes his own abilities to be greater than they are.
        5. And the next generation will carry this to the stage of intense violence.

    D. Generation #4, v. 14:
        1. There is a generation: The rejection of divine authority and moral authority
            has reached the ultimate in this cycle.
        2. Teeth like swords: arrogance of self-centeredness now becomes violent.
        3. Jaw teethe like knives: repeated for emphasis
        4. To devour: nothing stands in his way. He promotes self interest
           and promotion to the point of destroying others.
        5. The afflicted and needy are the weak ones who get in his way.
            Whether intentionally or not, they are their and are bowled over.
        6. Their philosophy is to "do to others before they do it to you."
            Violence is the natural solution to everything because they won't be pushed
            around by anyone or anything.

    E. Generation #5 is not mentioned here but based on Ex. 20:5,
       the curse stops at the 4th generation.
        1. If the child continues in negative volition,
           he begins a brand new "4 generation" cycle.
        2. But again, the new cycle will be more intense in this case
           because of genetic drift as well as personal influence.

    F. Two observations: v. 15-17
        1. Those who live in creature arrogance are totally occupied with the material
           things of life, but they have an insatiable desire. v. 15-16. They will never
           find satisfaction.
        2. The natural consequences of their rebellion will eat up their own soul so that
          they have no peace or joy. Isaiah 57:21
        3. They will die a very lonely and miserable death because all they have is
           what is in their own soul (themselves). v. 17.

    G. Divine truth is the only answer to preventing or interrupting the family curse.
       Ex. 20:6; Deut. 6:4-13

5. Strict national policy in attempt to offset early rebellion. Deut. 21:18-21
The rebellious "teen" is to be removed from the society before he has a chance to initiate and/or contribute to the progress of the 4 generation curse.

6. Orientation to the parental authority structure.

    A. Deut. 6:6-9, doctrine and morality
    B. 1 Tim. 3:4 , policy
    C. Child discipline: Pr. 13:14; 22:15; 23:23-14; 29:15; Heb. 12:9-10a
    D. Col. 3:21; Eph. 6:4: Character stability in parents
    E. Eph. 6.1-3, obedience and honor

7. Ephesians 6:1-3 (Col. 3:20)
    A. Children obey your parents: This means to recognize and respond to their authority.
        The verb is a present active imperative of hupakouō.
        This is talking about the child who is living AT HOME under the roof of the parents.
     B. In the Lord: This is a required mandate for maintaining fellowship with God.
      It goes beyond the MORAL focus, and looks to spiritual dynamics that preserve one’s
      testimony and witness to others.
    C. Honor: This is the verb, timaō, as a present active imperative. It means to honor, respect
      and revere. This is a commanded pattern for one’s entire life. The attitude of honor goes beyond
      the home environment of childhood and applies for all time.

    D. which is the first commandment with a promise.
    This was noted above via Exodus 20:12.
    It involves both a personal and a national blessing.

    E. Colossians 3:20
        1. Children obey your parents: repeats the same verb as in Ephesians.
        2. In all things: IN EVERY AREA OF LIFE.  This still applies only to those
           children who are living IN the home under the direct authority of the parents.
        3. for this is acceptable to the Lord: the adjective is euarestos. It means “well-
          pleasing.” Again, the focus is on SPIRITUAL dynamics as being more important
          and impacting than moral dynamics.

7. Notice the contrast between the wise and the foolish son in Proverbs 15:20
     A. The foolish son is the one who despises his parents (the mother).
     B. The wise son (the one who honors, respects and in the proper context – obeys)
         makes them happy. Of course, above and beyond the PLEASING of the parents,
         is the continuation of moral order and  stability within society.

8. Proverbs 23:22 indicates that respect for parents should continue throughout all of one’s life even when they no longer have any DIRECT authority over the child.

9. The example of Jesus.
    A. Luke 2:41-49: Jesus was not being disrespectful. There is no disobedience here.
        This is simply the independent pursuit of truth and service.
    B. Luke 2:51: Throughout his childhood he continued to be in subjection to their
        duly constituted moral authority.
    C. John 2:1-11: No disrespect here, but a mild rebuke in an attempt to get Mary
        to focus on spiritual things rather than the physical things.

10. Honoring parents when the child is living outside the parents home does not requires OBEDIENCE to their commands. But if one chooses not to obey, the attitude AND ACTION of HONOR and respect MUST be maintained.

11. Out of the parents’ home, the child’s relationship will be based on societal stability AND Bible truth. If the parents are unbelievers or believers out of fellowship, the attitude of honor MUST still be maintained.

12. Be relaxed and respectful in answering criticisms and vitriolic remarks, either written or verbal. Don’t “preach” at them (or any relative for that matter) or try to coerce them into spiritual or moral actions.

13. Bible truth divides families (Mat. 10:34-38), but the principle of HONOR must always be maintained. The choice to follow Christ rather than family ties, is not dishonoring to parents.

14. Keep honor balanced without religious or superstitious speech or ritual. Luke 11:27-28
Do not go “over-board” with excessive honor that distracts from spiritual truth.

15. One of the last things that Jesus thought about before His physical death was the welfare of His mother. John 19:25-27.

16 Point of conflict: What happens when the parents interfere with the child’s pursuit of truth? Quite often parents forbid reading things or going to meetings. I cannot find anything in Scripture that DIRECTLY addresses this difficult situation. I don’t want to advocate DIRECT disobedience, or any “sneaking around,” but at the same time the child should have the freedom to pursue his own search for TRUTH. Of course, for Christian parents, when the child might be looking “elsewhere,” we would want VETO authority. However, if WE want to claim such authority for Christian parents, should not the non-Christian parents have similar authority over their children?
Perhaps, as in many other areas, we must simply insist on the following of Truth.
     A. For Christian parents – maintain control.
     B. For children who want to pursue truth against the parents’  desire – encourage it at
         any cost.
Consider the following study on CONFLICTING COMMANDS to assist in this difficult area.

God's instructions vs. man's

1. Orientation:

A. Every command In the Word of God is based on a principle of absolute Divine righteousness.
B. The righteousness of God is revealed in the Word as His norms and standards for thinking and behavior.
C. The decrees of God have established authority levels designed to test and prove the supremacy of God and resolve the angelic conflict.

D. God has established 2 authority levels which are necessary in the preservation of the human race so the conflict can be resolved.

1. Spiritual authority
2. Moral authority

E. Spiritual authority defines the rights and power of God's sovereignty over his creatures.

1. Sp. authority begins with the Godhead as the Father delegates authority to the Son and Spirit.
2. From the Godhead, authority is delegated directly to the body of Divine revelation - the Scripture.

3. Then indirectly to each believer priest based on ambassadorship and stewardship.

F. Moral authority defines and regulates interrelationships between members of the human race.

1. It too, however, has its origin within the Godhead, as He alone knows what is best for the creature.

2. Moral authority exists In 4 areas.

a. Volition
b. Marriage
c. Family
d. Nation

2. God has placed these two levels of authority side by side in the human race.

A. But because of freewill and the sin nature, there is the possibility of conflict.
B. The moral authorities may not recognize or honor spiritual laws.
C. The moral authorities may not recognize or honor moral laws.
D. In other words, some authority may tell you to do something that violates spiritual law or God's moral law.

3. God's word establishes a priority between these 2 levels.

A. Spiritual authority is absolute as it represents the very essence of the light system. I Jn. 1:5 - God is light and in Him is no darkness.

B. Moral authority is delegated to Imperfect creatures and therefore deals with principle.
C. floral authority can express Itself In an immoral way and yet it still remains the authority.

D. When man rejects sp. authority, he rejects the absolutes of Divine standards. This becomes religion and has no authority over man.

E. When moral authority attempts to restrict sp. authority, the sp. authority has priority and the believer is not bound by the moral authority in that area.

4. Spiritual authority always has priority over moral authority. Acts 5:29 We must obey God rather than man.

A. The two are not In conflict.
B. But when an imperfect moral authority sets itself up in opposition to sp. laws, the sp. laws take precedent.
C.If a corrupt moral authority enslaves through corrupt policies, the believer Is still under the principle of that authority unless the oppression hinders observance of sp. laws.

D. Spiritual laws are Divine mandates for worship and service.
E. Even though a corrupt moral authority advocates Immorality and indeed, practices immorality, the believer Is still obligated to the principle of authority.

F. The believer combats immorality and apostasy within society through his witness of life and message. Not violence nor anything that obstructs the freedom of others. 2 Cor. 10:3-6

G. Our Christian mandate is not to force others to be Christian, or even moral, but to teach Truth and provide light influence in every area of society. Eph. 5:6-21

5. The Christian obligation to authority: Eph. 5.22-6.9

A. Marriage: 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7
B. Children: 6:1-3
C. Parents: 6:4
D. servants: 6:5-5; 1 Pet. 2:18
E. masters: 6:9
F. Nation: 1 Pet. 2:13-14; Rom. 13:1-7

6. Principle of moral authority delegated to human institutions.

A. John 19:11
B. Rom. 13:1-2
C. Dan. 4:17
D. Jer. 27:5-5
E. Ex. 20:12- parents
F. Gen. 3:16 marriage

7. The potential for conflict:

A. Mat. 10:34-39
B. Psalm 2:2-3

8. How to handle the crisis. Daniel 6:1-23

A. The conflict develops - v.1-5

1. v.1-3 - operation jealousy
2. v.4 - operation criticism - failed (1 Pet. 4:12-16)
3. v.5 - The believers vulnerability (Achilles heel) is his dedication to spiritual laws.

B. Operation conspiracy - v.6-9

1. The. plan: create a conflict between moral authority and Daniel's perception of spiritual authority.

a. The king is a dupe in this situation.
b. The political rulers are the instigators.

2. Daniel recognized the existence of moral authority.
He was part of that moral authority.

3. The conspiracy against him recognized the importance of spiritual authority in his life.

4. They used moral authority to try to overrule sp. authority.
They made a law against prayer.

C. Daniel, knowing the new law, followed spiritual law as was his custom. v.10

1. The conflict was resolved in Daniel's soul by yielding to the higher authority.
2. Moral authority: No one shall make a petition to any god or man besides the King (Darius) for 30 days.

3. Spiritual authority: worship and service. Summarized at Deut. 6:1-15

D. Daniel handled the crisis by applying Bible Truth through the operation of Faith rest in the plan and viewpoint of God. Principle of I Pet. 3:13-17

E. The conspirators invade privacy, v. 11

1. Dan was not trying to keep anything secret -
2. But It was still home worship done In privacy.

F. Operation hook: v. 2 - Darius doesn't have any Idea that his best political aide is in violation of the new law.

G. They "reel in" Darius by exposing Daniel. v.13
H. Darius tries to prevent them from taking Daniel. v.14
I. But he is bound by his own law. v.15-17
J. Comforts Daniel with what he hopes is true although he himself is an unbeliever. v. 16b
K. Practices his religious ritual in attempt to appease God. v.15
L. In the morning, Darius hopes for the impossible. v.19-20
M. Daniel's attitude: v.21-23

v.21 - 0 King, live forever: title of respect because Dan still recognizes the moral authority he is under.

v.22 - Explanation

1. innocent before Him - God
2. Committed no crime against Darius

v.23 - Narrative summary

1. no harm because he trusted in his God. Principle of 1 Pet.4:19
2. No harm Is only one option In God's plan.
3. Sometimes He allows harm - even death. Heb. 11:32-39
4. But always His plan is promoted and the believer benefits from the perspective of sp. value. I Pet. 3:13; Rom. 5:35-37

9. Dan. 3:1-18

10. Acts 5:17-42

11. Acts 4:1-31

12. Application to social action

A. These passages cannot be used to advocate social demonstrations or physical actions for support of any cause.

B. The issue was worship and service. Not politics or morality.
C. Our responsibility as Christians is to represent Truth by our witness in life and word.
D. That means we speak when we have a chance, but we do not force ourselves upon anyone either emotionally or physically.

E. The present laws of this nation permit us the right of peaceful assembly, and of speaking out on any issue without fear of government reprisal.

F. And if the laws forbad us to proclaim our message of Bible Truth, then we would be obligated to the higher sp. law
that commands us to proclaim.

G. But never are we authorized to use violence, oppression, coercion or invasion of privacy to make that proclamation.


Questions and comments are always welcome

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