“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” -Declaration of Independence
In the Declaration of Independence, the duly elected representatives of the American colonies wrote a letter to their king explaining that based upon his abuses of power, they had the legal authority to abolish his government and put a new government in its place. But where did they get this authority? A brief history lesson helps to clear this up.
The need for a method of restraint for government officials can be traced back thousands of years. In Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar wielded absolute power. He was king, lawgiver and judge. He passed a law demanding his people worship the statue of a false god. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused, he sent for them to be arrested where they were tried, found guilty and thrown into the fiery furnace. Other than An Appeal to Heaven, Nebuchadnezzar’s power was unchecked by man. However, by the time King Darius began to reign over Babylon, there were provisions in the law that restricted this type of arbitrary power. When the king issued the decree and put it in writing, it could not be altered, repealed or rescinded in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians. Once the king signed a decree, he was powerless to alter or retract the law. [see Daniel 6:8]. Thus, we begin to see the genesis of the need for government restraint.
Throughout history, man has sought the perfect remedy for restraining their government officials from wielding unrestrained and arbitrary power over the citizenry. This has taken the form of laws and what would later became known as constitutions.
America’s founders all agreed that government was a “necessary evil.” So, when forming the American system of government, the challenge was how to create a government and grant them enough power to restrain the people, while simultaneously restricting the amount of power that they are given so that they do not incrementally enslave the people. [Read Federalist No. 51]. Since power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, how do you restrain this necessary evil once it is created?
To understand this, we must first understand the 3-tiered system of governmental authority. They are, (descending in levels of authority), Divine Law, Constitutional Law and Statuary law.
1. Divine Law – Divine Law is the supreme law of the world. It is superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over the entire globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to these God-given laws. “Divine” carries the idea that there is a moral authority higher than even earthly governments and the laws and rulings of government officials. The idea that God (divine law) is the source and basis for all laws was also expressed by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence when he used the phrase “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Alexander Hamilton, quoting William Blackstone in The Farmer Refuted, explains what these terms mean: “This is what is called the law of nature, “which, being… dictated by God himself, is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid, derive all their authority, mediately, or immediately, from this original.”
2. Constitutional Law – Constitutional Law on the other hand, is the supreme law of any governmental legal system. It is second in authority only to Divine Law. While Statuary Law places restrictions upon the citizenry, Constitutional Laws are enacted by “We the People” in order to place restrictions on the government (i.e., government officials) from exercising or wielding absolute and/or arbitrary power that would otherwise go unchecked.
3. Statuary Law – Statutory Law is the term used to define written laws that have been enacted by some legislative body. It is third in authority behind Divine Law and Constitutional Law. Any Statuary Law that has been enacted by man that is contrary to or antagonist to either Divine Law or Constitutional Law, is null and void as the signatories had no legal authority to enact the Statuary Law.
The challenge for the citizens of all nations has been what recourse do you have when your government officials, drunk with power, enact Statuary Laws that violate both Divine Law and Constitutional Law? We can use the “Redress of Grievance” clause of the 1st Amendment, but tyrants never respond. America’s Founding Fathers knew how to deal with tyrants. You legally take their power from them using the nation’s constitution. However, the American people, ignorant of British constitutional law, think that the American Revolution was nothing more than a tax revolt. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Since most American history classes start with the Declaration of Independence, we have never been taught that Britain had a constitution. It was called the Magna Carta. And as “subjects of the British crown” the American colonists were afforded equal protection under the law from arbitrary and unrestrained government mandates. When a king, corrupted by power, violated these constitutional restrictions, the people not only had the constitutional authority to remove him from office but also to put the king on trial.
Seven times between 1327 and 1689 the English people forced out a sitting tyrannical king. In 1649 King Charles was tried, convicted and executed for “Subverting the ancient and fundamental laws of this nation (Magna Carta) and establishing in its place an arbitrary and tyrannical government.” The last time was in 1689 when James II was removed from office and replaced with William and Mary.
The same power that was afforded to the citizens of Britain, is still afforded to the American people today. The Right of the People to alter or to abolish their government, and to institute new Government is still an inalienable right. And today’s government tyrants are subject to Divine, Constitutional and Statuary Law. All make it a criminal offence to violate our God-given and constitutionally protected rights. According to the US Justice Department under Title 18 U.S.C. Section 242:
“Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within their lawful authority but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties… The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death. – TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242
The American people must understand that many of their governors are criminals! They are in violation of Divine Law, Constitutional Law and Statuary law and the American people have every right to demand that they be brought to justice. Like Britain before us, these criminals need to be convicted of “Subverting the ancient and fundamental laws of this nation (US Constitution) and establishing in its place an arbitrary and tyrannical government.”
Following the proper procedural appeal process, (submitting petitions and seeking a redress of grievances), our next appeal should be to Attorney General Barr and President Trump. And if those lawful appeals fall on deaf ears, we can always do as Americas founders did: “Appeal to the Supreme Judge of the Universe.”
And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. (Lk 18:7-8)
Dr. John Diamond the Director of PeaceMakers Outreach and Chancellor of PeaceMakers University. He is the author of 3 books. “An Appeal to Heaven: A Cry for Divine Justice,” “Fighting the Next America Revolution” & “Unifying the Body of Christ: Restoring the New Testament Temple, Book 1: The Quest for Unity.”
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