Can Christians Resist Government? Can Christians be Deceptive?

When it comes to government we should realize God rebelled against totalitarian governments many times. Passover in fact is a celebration that commemorates resistance to a totalitarian dictator and God’s powerful deliverance of his people from slavery (Exod. 12).

What the following scriptures and information reveal is when human authority--government-- rejects God’s authority it becomes anti-God and loses its godly right to demand compliance! The proof of righteous people violating Government edicts or laws to keep from violating God’s word is revealed from the beginning of the Bible to the end. When God’s people resisted and disobeyed government’s anti-god commands they were blessed.

In Acts 4:15-22 the government or Jewish theocracy during a Council meeting called Peter and John to them and: “…commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’” In other words government does not have the authority from God to stop Christians from speaking and teaching about Jesus Christ.

The Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah in Exodus 1:8-22, literally deceived the King to keep him from killing Israeli children. The midwives did not disobey Gods word, and God blessed them.

Another is Moses’ parents in Hebrews 11:23, who hid Moses, violating the government’s order to turn over all male children to the government.

Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3:13-15 defied King Nebuchadnezzar and were thrown into the blazing furnace and God saved them and blessed them. 

Rahab the prostitute in Joshua 2:4-16 deceived the King’s men when she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” God blessed her.

Also in 1 Samuel 16:1-11 God told the prophet Samuel to go to Jesse’s and Samuel told God he would be killed by Saul if he did so. God then devised a plan to deceive Saul and advised Samuel to take a heifer for sacrifice so Saul would not know the real reason.

Then in 2 Corinthians 6:1-10 explaining ‘Marks of the Ministry,’ “In all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true.” This deception here is referring to situations like the midwives, Rahab, and Samuel above.

Then best of all, Jesus, under threat of death by the Jewish leadership who wanted to kill Christ because He performed miracles and spoke publicly exposing the evil within the Israeli theocracy and hierarchy, He did not bow to government authority and stop speaking. No, in John 7:25-27 the people are saying, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah?”  These people were astonish Christ was bold enough to continue to speak publicly and defy the Israeli theocracy.

Another is Luke 19:39-40, “Then some of the Pharisees in the crowd spoke to Jesus. `Teacher’, they said, `command your disciples to be quiet!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting.’ Again Jesus refused to quiet His Disciples. This was violating the Jewish authority. The key here is government cannot righteously silence the truth of Christ.

In Acts 9:23-25 the Jewish theocracy wanted to silence Paul because he was speaking Christ in the synagogues. “After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews [again from their hierarchy] to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night [defying government] and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.” Paul and his helpers defied them.

Then in Joshua 24:14 – 15 Joshua appeals to the people to choose between the gods of their ancestors or the gods of the ammonites, which were all man made gods that encompassed totalitarian governments. (Note: these governments rejected God’s authority. Their leaders gained power and control over the people in an attempt to replace God. This is why America has God given rights established in our constitution.)

Joshua clearly and unambiguously took his stand against totalitarianism and on the side of the living God. Joshua modeled the perfect leader’s actions. A leader must be willing to move ahead and commit himself to the truth regardless of the people’s inclinations. (Personally, I wish more Shepherds today would model themselves after Joshua) This is why Joshua said, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Note: This is a very similar meaning to what Peter and John told the Israeli theocracy recorded in Acts 4 above.

The founding fathers of America knew biblical history and this is why “The Declaration of Independence” starts with the following.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

           In 1775 America was standing against a tyrannical government and there is no doubt God blessed America’s stand against authoritarianism and then blessed America into existence.


The Ultimate Abuse of Power is coming

Perhaps the most dramatic abuse of political power revealed in the Bible occurs in Revelation 13:1-10. In his vision, John sees a beast rising out of the sea and gaining great power and authority (Rev. 13:2). “People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”

This is where we are today because those supporting liberalism are “…uttering proud words and blasphemies while exercising its authority…. They blaspheme God, and slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.  Their goal is to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them.” (Rev. 13:4-7 paraphrased). This is todays attack on Christianity!

Conclusion:

All biblical history proves when human government rejects God’s authority the government becomes anti-God. Therefore, government loses its godly authority to demand compliance! Christians can then stand against the political bands that have unbound them from their government. Civil disobedience is now possible and being shrewd and deceptive against those who are creating anti-God edicts or laws is honoring God.

Biblically Christians are NOT told to bend over backwards to honor secular kings or be totally obedient to civil magistrates. We don’t project slavish obedience to the civil authorities, but we do respect them. There are many occasions when Christians not only may but must disobey civil government. Today is that day! Anytime a civil government requires a Christian to do what God forbids, when governments are the law breakers, or forbid Christians to do what God commands, then Christians must disobey. Esther is a prime example when she civilly disobeyed the king because the king had been convinced to kill her people, the Jews, Esther in 4:16 says, “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

If God-fearing people do not stand up for God’s truth then the state and the federal government will think they are only answerable to themselves and not God.

This is what is happening in America because Christians are mostly silent and of no consequence. There is no doubt God monitors governments; God raises them up and brings them down. Every human government is accountable to God and is to maintain its affairs with justice and righteousness. When the government is no longer acting justly and is no longer protecting life and liberty by sanctioning abortions, gay marriage, and prohibiting the free exercise of religion then it is the task of the Church to resist and be the forewarning voice, the watchman on the wall. The Church must call the state to task, and tell the state to stop and repent.

David Howard, Foxhole Ministry, Billings, MT