In General, Obey the Civil Authorities
Elohim in his Word instructs his servants to obey the civil laws and authorities in the lands in which they are living (Deut 17:12; Matt 22:21; Rom 13:1–7; Tit 3:1; 1 Pet 2:13–17).
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. (Rom 13:1)
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work… (Tit 3:1)
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme… (1 Pet 2:13)
Examples of Civil Disobedience in the Bible
However, when obeying the laws of men goes against the higher laws of Elohim, Scripture requires the saints to follow Elohim’s laws over the laws of men (Acts 4:19; 5:29).
But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of Elohim to listen to you more than to Elohim, you judge. (Acts 4:19)
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey Elohim rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
Here are some examples from the Bible of righteous saints who disobeyed the civil laws when those laws violated the higher laws of Elohim.
- The Israelite midwives defied Pharaoh and refused to practice abortion or infanticide (Exod 1:15–20).
- Rahab defied the ruling authorities of Jericho and hid the Israelite spies (Josh 2).
- Gideon defied Israel’s Midianites rulers (Judg 6:11–8:21).
- Samson rebelled against the Philistines (Judg 14–16).
- Mordechai defied Hamon, the king’s agent (Est 3).
- David became a fugitive on the run from King Saul (1 Sam 21–27).
- Elijah defied the king’s religious establishment and defeated the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18).
- Elijah became a fugitive fleeing for his life from Queen Jezebel (1 Kgs 19).
- Obadiah hid the 100 prophets of Elohim from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel (1 Kgs 18:3–4, 13).
- The three Hebrews defied King Nebuchanezzar and refused to worship the golden idol (Dan 3).
- Daniel prayed to Elohim against the commands of King Darius (Dan 6).
- Yeshua turning over the money changers tables in the temple (John 2:14–15).
- Peter and John were arrested and imprisoned for preaching the gospel (Acts 4).
- The apostles were arrested for preaching the gospel, put on trial, but refused to stop preaching the gospel (Acts 5).
- Peter was arrested again for preaching the gospel (Acts 12).
- Paul and Silas were imprisoned for preaching the gospel (Acts 16).
- Paul was arrested, tried and imprisoned for preaching the gospel (Acts 21–25).
- The end times Babylon the Great, Antichrist, New World Order system will require all the inhabitants of the earth to worship the beast and to take the mark of the beast on their bodies in order buy and sell (or, by implication) or starve to death (Rev 13:11–18). At the same time, there will be those saints who refuse to take the mark of the beast (Rev 15:2; 20:4). To not take the mark of the beast will be an act of civil disobedience.
The Case for Civil Disobedience
Civil governments all around the world—especially in formerly Christian nations—are increasingly removing freedoms from their citizens and demanding that they stop preaching biblical truth and the gospel message, and, in essence, obey and worship the State.
For example, in the U.S. the constitutional right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to keep and to bear arms, to practice one’s religion, to raise one’s children in a biblical way, to educate one’s children outside the government approved educational system, to not be forced to immunize oneself or one’s children with harmful pharmaceutical chemicals, the right to privacy, or to circumcise one’s boys (and the list goes on) is being attacked or being infringed upon every day, and increasingly so at an alarming rate. The righteous saint at some point must establish boundaries and mark lines in the sand beyond which they refuse to go in acquiescing to illegal unbiblical governmental demands. Each person, prayerfully, while searching the Scriptures for wisdom and direction, will have to make the decision before Elohim where the line too far is and beyond which they will not pass.
Who Will Rise Up? A Might Cloud of Witnesses
The Bible is full of examples of those saints who chose to serve Elohim over man. Some paid with their lives for doing so; the rest were persecuted and suffered great hardship. But one thing is certain. They all received a higher, eternal reward from Elohim as the Epistles to the Hebrews chapter eleven records.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,
Elohim having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… (Heb 11:39–12:1)
Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? (Psa 94:16)