“And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.” – Acts 19:23-29
In this passage we see an all to familiar scenario. A false religious and governmental system that was set up to control and enslave the people while profiting from their submission. Then enters Paul and his disciples speaking truth and the freedom from the enslavement these lies were set up to create. They did not directly or even intentionally speak against this system of control, but simply by speaking the truth people’s eyes begin to recognize the lies, where before they had not.
“Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (freedom).” – 2 Corinthians 3:16-17
Those who profited from this control and enslavement of the hearts and minds of men got very angry, and knowing what they had to loose, sought to keep the people in the guile of bondage and servitude through sin and the cloud of confusion it brings. This was done that the people not be freed from not only their iniquity but also from their ability to be easily influenced and controlled by their earthly rulers knowing that when a person does not have the Holy Spirit of God in them leading them into all truth (John 16:13), they do not have the light of the truth being revealed to them and they can be easily led to believe any lie, foolishness, manipulation, deceit, or trickery to their own enslavement or demise because the light of the truth is not in them and the powers that be know that if “ye know the truth, the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32), that Jesus is “the truth, the way, and the life” (John 14:6), and that “whom the son sets free is free indeed” (John 8:36).
The fact of the matter is this. Every dictatorship and oppressive government or regime in the world comes against Christianity, restricts the Bible, silences missionaries, and persecutes the faithful followers of Christ. Why? Because they know that when a man or woman is set free by God, they realize that they were not created to be in bondage to men or the will of men but are to willingly choose to submit only to the good and perfect will of God, even when it opposes the will of man. In other words, dictators hate Christians because they can not control them and they will do anything to silence the truth that is in them for fear that they will set others free from their bondage and control, opting to be heirs of a higher Kingdom, rather then slaves in theirs. In other words, dictators try to keep God out of everything because they hate liberty and know that “where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty“.
“Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” – Galatians 4:7-9