Now days we seem to have many malcontents and militia types who blame the U.S. government for many insane and oppressive policies. Maybe they are right about the insane and oppressive policies. Revolutionaries fall into the same category as Barabbas. Barabbas was an insurrectionist who killed a man during a rebellion against Rome.
"And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow insurrectionists; they had committed murder in the insurrection" (Mr. 15:7).
"But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them" (Mr. 15:11).
"So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified" (Mar. 15:15).
Barabbas was what was called a zealot (today they would be called Zionists). The goal of the zealot was to overthrow the rule of Caesar. Zealots were also called robbers. They felt that Rome had no right to rule over the Jews. They believed that with God's help, they could overthrow the oppressor. Almost forty years after choosing the release of Barabbas, the zealots gained the upper hand in Palestine. They rebelled against Rome, won an early victory, and then were destroyed. The prophecy of Jesus, as a result, was fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem.
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate" (Mt. 23:37, 38).
Barabbas types believe in the doctrine of blood and soil. They believe that their blood and their soil are holy. They consider themselves patriots. They are racists. The Zionists, the Aryan Supremacists, the KKK, the Nazis, and Muslims terrorists are good examples. They believe their violence is justified. But Jesus said, "Put up your sword. He that lives by the sword shall die by the sword." Romans 13:1 says, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God."
The militia types of today are very similar to Barabbas. They blame all of their woes on the oppressor. The Barabbas types of today believe in a conspiracy theory. They believe the statists and one worldists are the cause of all our ills. They believe overthrowing the conspirators can solve these problems.
The statists and the conspirators
Those who say, "We have no king but Caesar," are the same ones who say, "It takes a village." They are the statists and one worldists who cause the whole world to worship the image of the state (Caesar). The same chief priests who chose Barabbas said they had no king but Caesar. They then spoke like a dragon and said, "Crucify Him!" They spoke out of both sides of their mouth. On one hand, Caesar, the seven-headed beast, supported them. On the other hand, they chose violence in the form of Barabbas, to over throw Caesar. The statist believes that the state should save us from all our problems. They believe the state possesses all rights to our children. They believe the state must support the poor. Some of them believe the state should own private businesses. They believe it is cruel to say, "If any man work not, neither let him eat" (2 Thes. 3:10). They believe in building a tower of power that reaches to heaven. This tower will save us, they believe, from a flood. There is no need to trust God. Their tower is an effort to by-pass the conditions of God's covenant. They believe in bigger and bigger government, with more and more taxes.
Barabbas types join gangs. These gangs are ethnic and racist in nature. These gangs have names like Aryan Supremacists, La Raza, Black Power, Gay Power, KKK, National Socialist Party, Feminism, etc. "Power" is their watchword.
The animal I have been describing looks like a lamb. It seems to be well meaning, innocently motivated, and religious. Its two expressions of power (horns) seem to contradict each other. One horn says, "Give us Barabbas." The other horn says, "We have no king but Caesar." The motive is self- preservation. But Jesus said, "He that saves his life shall lose it. But he that loses his life for My sake shall find it." These two power sources (horns) are part and parcel of the same animal. This animal is psychotic. This same lamb-like creature speaks like a dragon and says, "Crucify Him."
By choosing either Barabbas or Caesar, one has no option but to reject Christ. Its function is to cause the whole world to worship the image of Caesar (the beast). This two-horned, lamb-looking beast, rises out of the land. It is nationalistic. The seven-headed beast (Caesar) rises out of the sea. It is international. It looks like the seven-headed dragon (Satan). Only by losing one's self-preservation can one find life in Christ.
The militia (Barabbas) types of the world need to know that God raised up Rome to destroy Jerusalem and the Barabbas types. Caesar was defeated three hundred years later in the conversion of Constantine by the Lamb of God.
Caesar was defeated not by power nor by might, but by the Spirit of the Lord. God chose His church to destroy Caesar, and she did it meekly through the sword of the Spirit and not by power, nor by might.
Extreme nationalism is a curse sent by God to those who build their Tower of Babel. God destroys their gang tower of power by confusing their languages and dividing them. They thought they could enter into a covenant with each other that would save them from the conditions of God's covenant. They spoke in tongues. The next time the gift of tongues was seen was when the church was christened (Acts 2). On that day, the people from all over the world heard God's church speaking in their own tongues, praising God. At the Tower of Babel, they were divided. At Pentecost, they were united. God has broken down the dividing wall and has created one new race made up of all nations. His church is a new nation. It is one new race made up of all races.
The oppressor is always sent by God
Every time God's people sinned, God sold them to the oppressor. He warned that He would do it. In the Book of Judges, when the people cried out to God, He delivered them. Finally, He sent the Assyrians and carried Israel away into captivity because of their sins. Then, a hundred years later, Judah was carried away by Babylon. Then Jerusalem was destroyed. When they prayed, God caused the king of Persia to send them back to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. God commanded them to obey the king (their oppressor) and to pray for the peace of his city.
Jeremiah 29:7 says, "And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace."
The reason oppressors oppress us today is always because of sin. The sword is never the solution. The solution is submission to God and to the authorities He has placed over us. If we repent as a people, we are guaranteed to be freed. how can anyone read the Bible and not see this?
Romans 13:1-6 says, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and God appoints the authorities that exist. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience's sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing."
Just before the destruction of Jerusalem, the Barabbas types rose up in rebellion against Rome. The Apostle Paul had predicted that they would arise because they hated the truth and that God would therefore send them a lie.
"And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie" (2 Thes 2:11).
The militia types of today are no different. They believe in conspiracy theories. Even if there is a conspiracy, it is sent from God as a judgment because of our sins. Only repentance can deliver us. To join the statists or the militia is sin and deception, but righteousness exalts a nation.
Would you say that unquestioned allegiance to the state would be the same as taking the mark of the beast? That is what Hitler required. Those who do that are actually placing the state as that which is in charge of a new covenant ... an antichrist covenant. When the law of the state becomes the supreme law, the state becomes the supreme god. When lawyers use the law of the state to violate the law of God, they become marked men. God put a mark on Cain. Those who believe that the state is the supreme authority have taken the mark of the beast in their hearts just as the saints of God have been sealed with the Holy Spirit.
Give Us Barabbas!
On the other hand, those who hate Caesar as Barabbas did, still give rise to an opportunity for the whole world to marvel at the wounded beast who comes back to life. Both horns cause the whole world to worship the image of the beast (the state). Barabbas types, like Lenin, overthrew the czar (Russian for Caesar). The result was a worse tyranny ... a state more like Caesar than the czar was. The Barabbas types, like Pancho Villa, resulted in a one-party oligarchy and a fake democracy. Castro is more like Caesar than Batista was. On and on it goes, example after example.
The only answer to oppression is to cry out to God.
"For they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them" (Isa. 19:20b).
"If My people which are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chron 7:14).
I do believe, however, in the "just war" theory of Saint Augustine, and that a nation has a duty to defend its national security.