Civilian Affairs

We just passed a century that could be classified as the century of dictators, and someone had to pay the price to restrain unbridled oppression and to preserve a world that was worth living in. Those who were engaged in this struggle had a cause to fight for, so much so that every aspect of their life became subject to seeing this struggle through to victory. The goal to be reached justified every sacrifice, even the supreme sacrifice of their lives.

It was such soldierly qualities that the Apostle Paul wanted to see translated into the spiritual realm, into the life of everyone who claimed to be a believer in Yahshua, the Son of God. There was a spiritual battle to be fought, a spiritual tyrant and oppressor to be dethroned, and this battle called for the single-minded devotion and complete loyalty to the cause of everyone engaged in it. There was absolutely no room to be distracted by civilian affairs.

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Timothy 2:3-4)

"The affairs of this life" simply means making a living. Paul was saying that just like a soldier, a believer doesn't concern himself with making his own living. If a soldier did so he would be disqualified from carrying on active service because he would be completely ineffective in warfare. This is just plain common sense.

In the army a soldier joins a structure that not only functions as a unit, but that also takes care of his every need and equips him fully to perform at maximum capacity. That is how it must be for disciples in the Body of Christ. So where does that leave a believer who is making a living for himself? Is he disqualified as a believer? Is his faith completely ineffective? Where is the structure he is to join that would enable him to function according to the lines Paul puts forth in his letter to Timothy?

We have to understand that in saying these things Paul was only echoing the words of the Savior Himself, who had explained to His disciples that they shouldn't worry about what to eat and drink and what to clothe themselves with. That' how the nations of the world live. They have to take care of their own needs. But 1 called His disciples to a completely different life when He told them to seek first His kingdom.2 Of course disciples need food and clothing as much as anybody else. That' not in question. The point Yahshua was making was how they would obtain these things. He knew that all those who received His Spirit would have His love poured out in their hearts,3 which would compel them to take care of each other. They would be set free from the curse of living for themselves.

And that's exactly what happened when the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost after Yahshua's resurrection. All those who received this Spirit were together and shared all things in common. They formed an actual community, where they could live a life of taking care of each other. It was a place where nobody needed to be concerned for his own needs, because everyone who belonged to that place would lay down his life for everyone else who belonged to that place, seeking and working for the good of all. This is full-time ministry in the Body of Christ, the church or community of the living God.

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. (Acts 2:44-45)

Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. (Acts 4:32-35)

So it is very clear that Paul's statement to Timothy can't even be understood outside of communal living. In other words if a person isn't living this way he can't help but be engaged in civilian affairs ? the affairs of making a living for himself.

Unfortunately Paul saw many forsaking the good fight and taking their life back into their own hands. It is only in community where the good fight can be fought. This is the place where the great big enemy of self-life and everything that stems from it is being exposed and subdued. Selfish ambition (seeking recognition and acknowledgment) and selfishness (providing for their own needs according to their likings) destroyed the community. Pretty soon those who claimed to believe couldn't even live together anymore and had to reduce their common life to an occasional meeting. Before long they were actually fighting against each other and killing each other. But that' surely not the "good fight" Paul talked about.

And so to this day Yahshua, the Son of the living God, is still waiting for those who would forsake civilian affairs in order to subdue all of His enemies.

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. (Hebrews 10:12-13)

  • 1. Matthew 6:31-33
  • 2. Matthew 6:31-33
  • 3. Romans 5:5

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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