Chapter 3

The War Against Law

From the booklet No Freedom Without Law
By Gerald Flurry

The Greek Empire tried to establish the rule of law. They failed and their empire collapsed. The Roman Empire also tried to build a society based on law. They were unable to do so and the Roman Empire fell. Many other empires experienced the same failure.

The famous British historian Paul Johnson wrote an article titled “No Law Without Order, No Freedom Without Law.” It was printed in the Sunday Telegraph, December 26, 1999. In it he wrote, “The rule of law, as distinct from the rule of a person, or class or people, and as opposed to the rule of force, is an abstract, sophisticated concept. It is mighty difficult to achieve. But until it is achieved, and established in the public mind with such vehemence that masses of individuals are prepared to die to uphold it, no other form of progress can be regarded as secure. The Greeks had tried to establish the rule of law but failed. The Romans had succeeded under their republic but Caesar and his successors had destroyed it. The essence of the rule of law is its impersonality, omnipotence and ubiquity. It is the same law for everyone, everywhere—kings, emperors, high priests, the state itself, are subject to it. If exceptions are made, the rule of law begins to collapse—that was the grand lesson of antiquity” (emphasis mine throughout).

Yes, “that was the grand lesson” of history. But have we learned that lesson? Failure to do so means we pay the supreme sacrifice—loss of our republic.

The continual problem of man has been his failure to learn from history.

Are “masses of individuals … prepared to die” to uphold America’s rule of law? Mr. Johnson stated that this is our only security!

In many cases our people are confused about what the law is. And many others want to change our laws, including our constitutional law.

Who is going to be willing to die for such confusion? Will such a deeply divided people sacrifice their lives for our republic and the rule of law?

Our people in Britain and America lack the will to even sacrifice a few soldiers’ lives to fight a ground war. Our generals know that we lack the will to win any hard-fought battle—even if it directly relates to our own freedom. For example, we had to be bombed into World War ii. Even one of the most diabolical leaders in history, Adolf Hitler, could not rouse us to fight until we were bombed by Japan. And we are much more isolationist today.

We are not prepared to die to defend our security, as we were in our past. This is the supreme sign that our will has been broken—and that our republic cannot stand. We must make very radical changes to save our country.

Our forefathers were willing to die to establish the rule of law. Many Americans died in the Civil War to sustain our constitutional law.

How different they were from our people today!

Our Forefathers’ Goal

Early immigrants who came to this land were often persecuted in the countries they left. They usually lacked religious freedom.

“[B]oth in Virginia and in New England to the north, the colonists were determined, God-fearing men,” Mr. Johnson wrote, “often in search of a religious toleration denied them at home, who brought their families and were anxious to farm and establish permanent settlements. They put political and religious freedom before riches …. Thus took shape the economic dynamo that eventually became the United States—an experiment designed to establish the rule of God on Earth …” (ibid).

What a goal. They planned to establish the rule of God on Earth! That means they had the goal of each person keeping the Ten Commandments of God—the basis of all righteous law.

How many Americans are willing to face that reality? Not many. Because then we would have to see that we often fight not to establish law, but to promote lawlessness!

Consider some statements from the Founding Fathers. In his First Inaugural Address, President George Washington said, “[T]he foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality ….” And in his famous Farewell Address he said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” Without religion and morality, Washington knew the American experiment was doomed to fail. John Adams backed him up: “Statesmen … may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.” Religion and morality are firmly rooted in divine law.

In 1954, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote, “I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it ….”

What political or religious leaders would make such statements as these men did? Even the politicians who established our republic were more spiritual than most of our religious leaders today!

The Constitution is the foundation of our republic. And the Ten Commandments were, in many ways, the foundation of the Constitution. Our forefathers believed that if we didn’t keep God’s Ten Commandments, our republic would collapse!

We can’t afford to take the words of our founders lightly if we want to see our nation stand.

It was much harder for our Founding Fathers to spill streams of blood winning our freedom, and to create and establish our constitutional law, than it is for us just to maintain it! So we ought to respect our Founding Fathers above ourselves. But we are too vain and arrogant to see how profoundly strong they were and how pathetically shallow and weak we are.

Noble Constitution

The Constitution was based to a great extent on God’s law. That is why I believe it is the most noble document ever written by a government of this world.

What a rare document it is. Our forefathers had the awesome opportunity to establish the rule of God in the wealthiest country ever. So they established a Constitution to protect all of us from the extremes of human reason. Tyrants, unjust judges and biased leaders were controlled by this law.

Did our Founding Fathers know that the Bible interprets itself? To some extent, I believe they did. And they probably patterned the Constitution after the Bible, in that sense. The Constitution is a document that interprets itself probably better than any book or document, other than the Bible.

We see indescribable confusion about the Bible today. Why? Because people won’t let it interpret itself!

We received some foundational direction from Britain’s Magna Carta. But Britain has no Constitution.

Our persecuted forefathers wanted their protection spelled out in detail. They had suffered intensely at the hands of tyrants. Such tribulation deepens a people’s understanding about the value of freedom.

Will we have to experience indescribable tribulation before we can appreciate our freedom, which is given to us by the rule of law?

The Bork Nomination

When Robert Bork was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987, it created a firestorm in Congress, and he failed to get confirmed. Shortly thereafter, he wrote The Tempting of America, which I believe is the best book about constitutional law in a century—perhaps ever.

Mr. Bork believed we were more than halfway along in the destruction of our Constitution. That was in 1990. If he was right, our republic is in grave danger.

We live today in a culture that is becoming much more anti-law and anti-God.

If the Constitution is to be rewritten, it should be done only by our legislative branch, or Congress, and the president, or the executive branch. If they err, these leaders are subject to the voters. But that is not true of the judicial branch—the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court justices are selected for life by the president.

Our forefathers designed the Constitution that way so the U.S. Supreme Court justices would not be so concerned about the people when unpopular judgments had to be made. The Supreme Court justices are subject only to constitutional law—not the voters!

Their job is to interpret the law—or better, to let the law interpret itself. They have no authority to rewrite the law. If they rewrite the law, it’s almost impossible to correct the error.

In our history, there was a judge who wanted slavery. He kept searching the Constitution to support his belief. He found the phrase “substantive due process,” and he twisted these words to say that slavery was constitutional.

It took a civil war to overturn that decision. That gives you some idea of how hard it is to change what judges do! Today judges used that same reasoning—“substantive due process”—to say that abortion is constitutional. Mr. Bork believed that reasoning to be a dangerous mistake, and so do I.

If the judges are not subject to constitutional law, they are subject to nothing and nobody!

Law schools routinely teach about being “legal realists.” Like former Vice President Al Gore, they want an “evolving Constitution.” But this reasoning gives the judges despotic powers. It also takes us away from the foundational law established by our forefathers.

Then why do our politicians allow it? The president and Congress often like the judges to rewrite the law, if the decisions are favorable to their views and they know their views will not be approved by the voters. Still, the judges are taking power from the legislature and the executive branches as they rewrite the Constitution.

Our politicians simply lack the vision to see how disastrous this process is. It is based on selfish lawlessness—not law!

The Supreme Court justices are gaining dictatorial powers, and none of them were voted into their offices or approved by the people. The democratic process is being destroyed. That means we cannot maintain the rule of law. Our future is very black indeed unless we make far-reaching changes.

Usually the people know very little about how the law works. But they know enough to lose respect for our governmental institutions. They also lose interest in the whole political system.

As a result, they end up doing what our predecessors in ancient Israel did. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). This is the history of our own people. And the book of Judges is a part of the biblical books called the former prophets. That means it is prophecy for this end time.

Today, we have no king or president or real authority figure that we look to for leadership. And that means we are a nation without strong leadership. The same is true of Britain.

No ship of state can find its way to a safe harbor without a captain to guide it. That is exactly the way it was in ancient Israel just before they were conquered! And that is exactly where America and Britain are today! There is no leader who can or will establish the rule of law. This sad state of affairs was also prophesied (Isaiah 3:1-5). In this prophecy, our leaders are likened to children!

Most people don’t see that we are destroying the rule of law. And history tells us that our republic cannot stand unless that evil is corrected.

The media is a big part of the liberal culture—nearly 80 percent of them. The destruction of our constitutional republic would not be possible without their support. All too often they are deceived, and in turn they have the power to deceive our citizens.

Mr. Bork related how the Constitution is the big trump card in American politics. Today it is being used by the liberal culture to force their unlawful ideas on people!

The great heresy being taught in our law schools is that the judges are not bound by law. Some are saying the Constitution isn’t even law!

That means we are being led by the human reasoning of a liberal culture.

That is often the opposite of establishing the rule of law. Again, history reveals that empires are destroyed if they fail to establish the rule of law. But the liberal culture often has contempt of history and our Founding Fathers. They foolishly rely on their own reasoning, which is not grounded in foundational law.

The founders of the Constitution put in place the walls, roofs and beams of our Constitution, as Mr. Bork said. The judges’ purpose is to preserve the architectural features—adding only filigree or ornamental work. Instead, the lawyers and judges are changing the very structure of our representative democracy.

The Constitution is being altered dramatically. And it is the foundation of our republic! We are experiencing a constitutional earthquake, and most of our people don’t even know it—yet. Your future is being changed for you, and often you have no input.

This process is sure to lead to anarchy! That is why you and I should be deeply concerned.

Seeking Lawlessness

Why did our Founding Fathers work so hard to establish the Constitution? Because it was to be the supreme law of the land.

“A well-known Harvard law professor,” Mr. Bork wrote, “turned to me with some exasperation and said, ‘Your notion that the Constitution is in some sense law must rest upon an obscure philosophic principle with which I am unfamiliar.’”

But notice what the Constitution itself states: “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

The senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

A Harvard law professor is actually stating that the Constitution is not even law! That view comes from our most prestigious university. The very fact that he would even make that statement shows that we are already getting into extreme lawlessness!

The majority of our leaders now agree with the Harvard law professor. He made a statement that shows we are failing to establish the rule of law. The real issue here is lawlessness.

That means your future will be adversely affected.

Cal Thomas wrote in the March 8, 2000, Washington Times, “In the final Democratic debate before the Super Tuesday election, Vice President Al Gore responded to a question about the type of Supreme Court justices he as president would select: ‘I would look for justices of the Supreme Court who understand that our Constitution is a living and breathing document, that it was intended by our founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people.’ …

“Mr. Gore’s view of the Constitution, shared by most political liberals, is one of the most dangerous philosophies of our time. It establishes a class of philosopher-kings who determine the rights of the people and shreds the Constitution as a document that conforms people to unchanging principles that promote their own and the general welfare.

“A ‘living’ Constitution, notes constitutional attorney John Whitehead, means the Constitution is ‘up for grabs,’ and it becomes whatever the justices decide, not the people through their elected representatives ….

The founders never intended the courts to be supreme. Their intention was that the law, rooted in objective and unchanging truth, would be preeminent.

Law scholars today don’t believe the Constitution was “rooted in objective and unchanging truth”—that is, they don’t believe our founders established the rule of law. But that’s just what the founders did. And now most lawyers and judges reject their foundational work.

Our views today reflect a deadly degeneration into lawlessness!

The liberal culture in politics wants a “living Constitution.” Mr. Bork stated that many liberals imply the Constitution is dead. They don’t want unchanging truth, established 200 years ago, to direct their lives.

The liberal religious culture similarly wants a “living Bible.” Their “intelligence” demands that they adapt the Bible to modern times—even though every word was inspired by God (Matthew 4:4).

Most religions preach that God’s law was done away, in spite of what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Christ came to fulfill, or fill the law to the full. He essentially was saying every t must be crossed and every i dotted. Still, many thought, and still think, that He came to destroy the law. They refuse to believe the truth!

Christians are supposedly people who follow Christ, the Lawgiver. That is how they got their name “Christian.”

But whether secular or religious, we are racing into lawlessness, and our nation is plunging toward disaster. Any good history book will show us that!

The Bible should be even more convicting. Study it and see the deadly danger of lawlessness.

When the new U.S. government was established, Benjamin Franklin said that we have “a republic, if you can keep it. It’s all about either establishing the rule of law—or descending into lawlessness.

Stumbling at the Law

Some time ago I read one of the most unbiblical statements about God’s law ever made by a religious leader in God’s Church. Joseph Tkach Sr., now deceased, was pastor general of the Worldwide Church of God. He wrote in his member and co-worker letter of May 27, 1992, “The Ten Commandments are important, but they are not enough. Jesus warned the Pharisees, who were strict legalists: ‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness’ (Matthew 23:27-28).”

The Bible does not say, “Woe to you, teachers of the law.” That was Mr. Tkach’s interpretation. The better translations make no mention of the word law. You can find the word law in some paraphrased versions of the Bible and a few incorrect translations that add the word law because translators thought it fit the context—or because they hate God’s law. The word law is not in the Greek manuscript. The word law is inserted by those men who are either ignorant of God’s law or are trying to destroy it!

Mr. Tkach said this in that same co-worker letter: “These moral problems, along with the more ‘invisible’ moral problems of neglect and oppression of the weak and the poor, and corruption in business, politics and religion, would indeed be improved if people began keeping the Ten Commandments. However, it is a common mistake to assume, ‘If everybody would just keep the Ten Commandments, what a nice world we would have.’ Christians should consider that the Ten Commandments do not require kindness, mercy, compassion, generosity, sacrifice for others, impartiality, patience or love. Nor do the Ten Commandments specifically forbid conceit, envy, hatred, rage or selfish ambition.”

He said “the Ten Commandments do not require kindness, mercy ….” Let’s back up just four verses before those Mr. Tkach quoted: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (verse 23). Here the “law” is mentioned in God’s Word. And it says one of the weightier matters of the law is “mercy”!

Mr. Tkach also said the Ten Commandments “do not require … sacrifice … or love.” But notice 1 John 5:3: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” God says keeping the law is love! In other words, if you don’t keep the Ten Commandments, you don’t have real love.

Mr. Tkach created his own phony “love” outside of God’s law.

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40). The great commandment that sums up the Ten Commandments is the subject here. God says the law means you must love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself!

How could you love your neighbor as much as yourself without sacrifice? Without patience? How could you love your neighbor as yourself (an unbelievably deep, hard-to-fathom love) and still have “conceit, envy, hatred or selfish ambition” toward your neighbor?

Mr. Tkach made some outrageous statements. However, it was all prophesied to happen to God’s own Laodicean Church in the end time: “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 2:7-8). If we know the Bible, we know Mr. Tkach caused many people “to stumble at the law”! He “departed out of the way.” He led many away from God’s law. Woe be to those who follow his instructions!

God’s Nature and Character

In his book Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong wrote, “Most important of all however is what is God’s nature—His character—like? One cannot know what God is unless he knows what His character is!

“The character of both God the Father and Christ the Son is that of spiritual holiness, righteousness and absolute perfection.

“That character might be summed up in the one word love, defined as an outflowing, loving concern. It is the way of giving, serving, helping, sharing, not the ‘get’ way.

“It is the way devoid of coveting, lust and greed, vanity and selfishness, competition, strife, violence and destruction, envy and jealousy, resentment and bitterness.

“God’s inherent nature is the way of peace, of justice, mercy, happiness and joy radiating outward toward those He has created! …

“Their [God and the Word’s] way of life produced perfect peace, cooperation, happiness, accomplishment. This way of life became a law.” God’s way of life became the law!

When two leaders of God’s Church have such fundamental and gigantic differences in how they teach God’s law, one of them is frighteningly wrong!

God’s people are being judged now by whom we follow and how we keep God’s law.

Eternal Life at Stake

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).

Those are very strong words. The subject is those who lose their eternal lives because of how they deal with the words of God’s Bible. If you add to God’s words, you receive the plagues that are written in the Bible.

But that’s not all. If you take away some of the words of the Bible, you will lose your eternal life! What could be more serious?

Mr. Tkach Sr. had been in the Worldwide Church of God since the 1950s. He worked unusually close to Mr. Armstrong the last seven years of Mr. Armstrong’s life. He was given an opportunity to learn the truth of God as few men on this Earth ever have been!

Let all ministers of God beware of how they handle God’s words!

The Mystery of Lawlessness

Did you know that most of God’s people fear facing the truth of 2 Thessalonians 2? And there is a good reason why. This chapter discusses two men—definite individuals. They are both revealed in a great apostasy or falling away just before Christ returns.

So God’s people must have this truth revealed or we are not God’s true Church. Now is the time for this truth to be revealed. God said that both of these men would be “revealed” in a great “falling away,” or “great revolt” as the Williams Bible translates it. The context also shows it as a great falling away. After all, the man of sin, better translated lawlessness, leads God’s own temple (His Church today) away from God! (verses 3-4). He is a son of perdition, or destruction. This means he destroys God’s truth, which is known to God’s people. “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle” (verse 15). The word traditions should read instructions. The man of lawlessness is destroying what God’s people “have been taught.” There is no excuse for God’s people not holding on to God’s revealed truth.

So who taught these doctrines to God’s people? “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (verse 7). The expression “he who now letteth will let” should read “he who now restrains will restrain” until God removes him—a specific physical man!

The mystery of iniquity (better translated lawlessness) was already there before he was removed. He was restraining it. But when this man was removed there was an explosive revolt against the truth he taught God’s Church. So this whole revolt revolved around God’s government. This man used God’s government to restrain the mystery of iniquity. When he was removed, the Church he founded rejected the government he taught—God’s government. This led to a very radical rebellion—probably the worst ever in God’s Church!

This is all part of God’s plan. God wants to know who can be used by Him without being deceived by a man. Those who rebel are deceived. They are losing their eternal lives!

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (verse 10). The word perish should read “are perishing.” Many of God’s own people are perishing spiritually even as you read this booklet!

Only those people who can identify these two men are doing God’s Work today. God reveals the mystery of iniquity only to His own true Church and Work. You can never understand the mystery unless you deeply know those two men. They are the key players in the mystery of iniquity.

This is the only sign God gives to His Church that Christ’s return is imminent! Obviously, God’s true Church must see that sign.

The Philadelphia era of the Church may have been the greatest Work God ever built on Earth. God used one man to build it. He allowed another man to destroy most of that Work in a very short span of time! You and I must understand why. God’s true Church must see and understand this colossal tragedy!

The man of sin is a rebel—totally against God’s law. The man who restrained the mystery of iniquity or lawlessness had to be a great law keeper. Humanly, he led the government used to enforce God’s law. God’s government is based on His law. Without God’s government, there is nobody to enforce the law. God said the man of sin would be revealed “in his time” (verse 6). That time is now. God’s promise and reputation are at stake! This understanding reveals where God is working today.

Malachi’s Message is the only book on Earth that teaches the truth about 2 Thessalonians 2! This book reveals who these two men are. The mystery of iniquity has been revealed as God said it would be!

Whether you realize it or not, your future revolves around this mystery. Many of God’s own people are going to perish spiritually because they refuse to understand.

Request a free copy of Malachi’s Message. It could lead to your salvation, physically and spiritually!

Source of Lawlessness

Even angelic empires fell because of lawlessness. This was Lucifer’s problem. “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity [lawlessness] was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:15). Lucifer was perfect until he rejected God’s law. “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire” (verse 16). He sinned, and sin is the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). Then violence was all around him. God’s law prevents violence. But this lawless world is filled with violence.

God had to cast Lucifer down. Today Lucifer (renamed Satan) has no more access to God’s throne. So his empire was shaken and is destined to totally fall.

Satan is still the god of this world, though shortly to be replaced by Christ. “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4). That means this world worships him as its god and follows his lawless ways!

Satan has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9). And this world continues in his violent ways. Human survival has become our number one problem. We would destroy every man, woman, child and all flesh if Christ didn’t intervene and stop human annihilation (Matthew 24:21-22).

But Christ is about to intervene, and the wonderful rule of God’s law is about to be established forever!

Continue Reading: Chapter 4: Aaron’s Rod