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God's Plan for Civil Government – Part 12 - Does God's Word command us to obedience in all cases? (3rd Session)

In January through April of 2012 I led a Bible Study on the Bible and Civil Government. It lasted 13 weeks. These lessons are being posted on a website:

The Lessons are a bit long for people to read on facebook, so the lessons are being posted on facebook in shorter pieces.

God's Plan for Civil Government # 12  - Does God's Word command us to obedience in all cases?

The Bible and Civil Government # 11

We continue to study the question: “Does God’s Word command us to obedience in all cases?”

I hope it is becoming clear that there are “limits” to our Christian duty to government. This is very important in today’s world and in the future as we approach the End of Age events revealed in the Bible.

Acts 5:27-29 Disciples defy authorities and continue preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ

In Acts 4:18 Peter and John are commanded by the Sadducees and council, “not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” They defy this command and are arrested, placed in jail where an Angel liberates them. Returning to preaching they are taken before the council.  The apostles response was,” We ought to Obey God rather than men.”


King James Version


And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,


28Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.


Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.


Matthew 2:8-15 Wise men disobey Herod as instructed by God.

Wise men were ordered by king Herod to return and report the location of Jesus to him. God warned them in a dream to disobey King Herod. Unlike the previous examples the Wise men were not instructed to do something specifically against the commandments of God. But God intervened and commanded them to disobey the magistrate.


King James Version


And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.


When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.


When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.


And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.


And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.


2 Chronicles 26:16-21 King Uzziah tried to burn incense in the temple.

King Uzziah, a successful king decided he would burn incense in the Temple. Azariah and 40 priests opposed Uzziah. God sided with the priests and struck Uzziah down with leprosy. Once again Azariah and the 40 priests were not directly ordered by the king to commit an unGodly act, they acted to prevent one.


King James Version


But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.


And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:


And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.


Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.


And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.


And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.



Conclusion: Any interpretation of Romans 13:1-7 that includes a statement that Christians are to obey civil government in all things is incorrect. A better understanding is needed. This question will be continued in next part of this Bible Study.

Next: Part 13 - Does God's Word command us to obedience in all cases? (4rd session)


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