Monday, April 17, 2017

Do What's Right, No Matter What Authorities Say

Here is a moral dilemma: If an authority figure tells you to do something wrong or evil, should you do it?

This question could apply to civil or military authorities as well as religious, academic and commercial authorities.

The Scriptures say the answer is no, we must not do anything evil, even if an authority tells us to. We must do what is right.

As governments increasingly align to the New World Order agenda during the end times, we will face more severe pressures. Authorities may order police or military to confiscate property or use violence unjustly against fellow citizens. Will police and military do what's right or enforce the tyranny? Authorities may force mandatory vaccines that will harm or disable us. Will you let them do that to you and your family? They may demand people relocate to concentration camps under the pretext of providing food, shelter and safety, but it will be a ruse. These will be labor and death camps. Ultimately governments will demand people take the mark of the beast under penalty of starvation, torture and death. Anyone who takes the mark can never be redeemed and will spend eternity in the lake of fire, according to the Book of Revelation.

We have to make up our minds now to be courageous and not yield to the pressures to do wrong, even if it comes from authorities, whether governmental, religious or societal.

 The prophet Isaiah stated plainly the standard of conduct God requires:

"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow."
 - Isaiah 1:16-17, NASB

Say yes to good and no to evil. Assist the helpless and downtrodden. Stand up against ruthless abusers.

The prophet Micah said it this way:

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8, NKJV

Submit only to doing good

Let's begin the primary Bible passage about submission to authority:

"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor." - Romans 13:1-4, NKJV

Romans 13 encourages us to be good citizens and follow laws and customs. However, it is clearly a submission in the context of doing good: "Do what is good." When governing authorities demand we do evil, THIS PASSAGE DOES NOT APPLY.

Some people believe that submitting to authority means we do anything they say. No, the injunction to do good and not evil comes first. When we all stand before the judgment seat of the Almighty, He will not accept "the government told me to" or "the church told me to" as an excuse for doing evil. We are all individually accountable to discern and carry out what is right.

Midwives disobey Pharaoh

Let's look at the account of the Hebrew midwives in the book of Exodus. Keep in mind that Pharaoh is the king. He is the head government "authority." The Hebrew people are his subjects: 

"Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, "When you help the Hebrew women give birth, observe them as they deliver. If the child is a son, kill him, but if it’s a daughter, she may live." The Hebrew midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live. So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this and let the boys live?" The midwives said to Pharaoh, "The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before a midwife can get to them." So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very numerous. Since the midwives feared God, He gave them families." - Exodus 1:15-21

Pharaoh began to fear the Hebrew people because they became so numerous and strong. He was concerned they might one day rebel against his kingdom, so he decided to persecute them with slavery and infanticide. He ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill any sons born among their people.

However, the midwives refused to obey the command. When confronted, they told Pharaoh the Hebrew women bore children before they could arrive. This wasn't really true - it was a cover story. God was pleased with the midwives' faithfulness and rewarded them with families or, as some translations put it, "households." According to Jewish sages, this meant not only that they received husbands and children, but that their families became great in the nation of Israel. God blessed them greatly for their good deeds.

What is the lesson we can draw from this passage? When confronted with an evil law or command from those in authority, do not carry it out. Disobedience and maybe even a little wiliness are in order.

Some may object: Aren't we supposed to submit to authority? Aren't we supposed to tell the truth? Yes, that's the rule. But there are exceptions to rules and this passage in Exodus describes one. God expects us to exercise discernment and make righteous choices, not unthinkingly follow "rules" and "authorities."

Rahab hides the Israelite spies

Here is another insightful passage in Scripture:

"Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men as spies from the Acacia Grove, saying, 'Go and scout the land, especially Jericho.' So they left, and they came to the house of a woman, a prostitute named Rahab, and stayed there. The king of Jericho was told, 'Look, some of the Israelite men have come here tonight to investigate the land.' Then the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab and said, 'Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, for they came to investigate the entire land.' But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. So she said, 'Yes, the men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they were from. At nightfall, when the gate was about to close, the men went out, and I don’t know where they were going. Chase after them quickly, and you can catch up with them!' But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them among the stalks of flax that she had arranged on the roof. The men pursued them along the road to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as they left to pursue them, the gate was shut. Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof and said to them, 'I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below. Now please swear to me by the Lord that you will also show kindness to my family, because I showed kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death.' The men answered her, 'We will give our lives for yours. If you don’t report our mission, we will show kindness and faithfulness to you when the Lord gives us the land.' Then she let them down by a rope through the window, since she lived in a house that was built into the wall of the city. 'Go to the hill country so that the men pursuing you won’t find you,' she said to them. 'Hide yourselves there for three days until they return; afterward, go on your way.' The men said to her, 'We will be free from this oath you made us swear, unless, when we enter the land, you tie this scarlet cord to the window through which you let us down. Bring your father, mother, brothers, and all your father’s family into your house. If anyone goes out the doors of your house, his blood will be on his own head, and we will be innocent. But if anyone with you in the house should be harmed, his blood will be on our heads. And if you report our mission, we are free from the oath you made us swear.' 'Let it be as you say,' she replied, and she sent them away. After they had gone, she tied the scarlet cord to the window."
- Joshua 2:1-21, Holman Bible

Joshua sent two spies to investigate the land God had promised to Israel. The spies stayed at Rahab the harlot's house in Jericho. When the king of Jericho demanded she bring out the spies, Rahab hid them and misdirected the authorities. She understood God was with Israel and her city would eventually fall to them. So Rahab made a deal with the spies to protect her and her family.

Here again is someone defying authorities and being canny and guileful, which is portrayed in the word of God as a great act of faith. So much so that Rahab's story is enshrined in the Hebrews faith hall of fame:

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being encircled by the Israelites for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute received the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed." - Hebrews 11:30-31

Not only did Rahab become an honorary citizen of Israel, but it appears she also became part of the Messiah's ancestry:

"Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse..." - Matthew 1:5

Is your head spinning now? Many think that walking with God means following a simple, black-and-white set of rules, but it's more than that. It's walking with God by faith, hearing his voice and following him. God wants us to understand the situation and times we are in and discern what his will and purposes are. Rahab understood she was living in a nation under judgment and that God was with the nation of Israel. She elected to join God's movement, in spite of her own people and nation. That was an enormous act of courage and faith.

By contrast, the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus time did not understand they were living in the time of the Messiah and missed it completely. They rejected Jesus, labeled him a heretic and consigned him to death.

Do you understand the times we live in now? I cannot emphasize enough how important that is.

David flees from King Saul

In 1 Samuel we read the story of King Saul and his successor King David. Saul did not fully trust and obey the Lord and lost his throne, while David was a man after God's own heart. There came a time when God anointed David as the next king, but Saul was still on the throne for many years before passing away. In those intervening years, King Saul constantly tried to kill David. He hated David because he knew God was with him and would eventually inherit the throne.

Though Saul was king and still the "governing authority," David fled and would not let Saul kill him. David was constantly on the run. Twice Saul tried to impale him with a spear, but David dodged it. Saul marched his army around the country to find and kill David. With the Lord's help, David was always one step ahead.

Here is my point: Just because the government wants to kill or imprison you doesn't necessarily mean you should let them. There is a time coming when this will be a clear threat especially for true Christians. It already is in many countries around the world.

Saul's servants refuse to slay the priests

1 Samuel 21 and 22 tell the story of David seeking help from the priest Ahimelech in the town of Nob. David pretended to be on a mission for King Saul, when actually he was fleeing from Saul. Ahimelech gave David food and Goliath's old sword.

When Saul learned of it, he was furious and summoned Ahimelech and all his father's household. He accused Ahimelech of giving aid to a traitor and ordered his guards to kill the priests.

"But the king’s servants would not lift a hand to execute the priests of the Lord." - 1 Samuel 22:17

In other words, they feared the Lord and refused to carry out an unjust order. For those in military, police and other enforcement agencies, please keep this example in mind.

Instead, Saul ordered Doeg the Edomite, who was not a Hebrew, to do it. Doeg slaughtered the whole town. For those of you aware of foreign troops stationed in the US, note the pattern here.

Apostles refuse to stop preaching about Jesus Christ

In Acts 5, the apostles in Jerusalem were preaching and performing miracles and more and more people became believers. This made the religious leaders jealous, so they arrested the apostles and put them in jail. An angel of the Lord opened the door during the night, let them out and told them to go preach again in the temple complex. When they were spotted preaching, the temple police brought them in before the Sanhedrin, Jerusalem's council of judges and religious leaders. The high priest reprimanded the apostles and reminded them of the Sanhedrin's order to stop preaching about Jesus.

"But Peter and the apostles replied, 'We must obey God rather than men.'" - Acts 5:29

And that's the bottom line. We obey God rather than men. If the laws and commands of men conflict with God, we submit to God instead. 


I hope these Scriptures challenge everyone to go deeper in understanding what it means to walk with God by faith. As we move into the end times and the world system becomes darker and more sinister, conventional wisdom and conventional ways of operating will no longer apply. Following authority figures without question or adhering to a simplistic set of rules could get you and others harmed, killed or worse. Anyone who buckles to the pressure from government and society to receive the mark of the beast will lose their soul for eternity (more on this topic in a future article):

"And a third angel followed them and spoke with a loud voice: 'If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, which is mixed full strength in the cup of His anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or anyone who receives the mark of his name. This demands the perseverance of the saints, who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus.'" - Revelation 14:9-12

I'm not saying people should not follow the rules. I am saying the rules are perhaps bigger than you think they are. It's important to read Bible cover to cover and receive the whole counsel of God. We are going to have to live more by faith - by a direct connection to God through the Holy Spirit. He is faithful to lead us!

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