Where’s God’s Authority Starts and Man’s Authority Ends

If Romans 13 is your stance for remainging closed – You definitely should read this

Romans 13 and 1Peter2 clearly states we are subject and require obedience to governing authorities including kings, governors, employers “not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable” 1 Peter 2:18 Because God Himself has ordained our civil authorities. However, we are to submit to the government, but not required to obey the government.

Many crimes have been perpetrated against humanity because of using scripture out of context like Romans 13.

Where God’s authority starts and man’s authority ends:

There are limits to this submission. Apostle Peter and the other Apostles, when ordered by the authorities not to preach, said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Jesus said to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s (Matthew 22:21).  We should always seek to obey the civil authority as Christians.  But God has not granted civic rulers’ authority over the doctrine, practice, or policies of the church. If there is a true conflict in authority, like limiting or suspending all church gatherings indefinitely, Hebrews 10:2, regulating how we worship like bans on singing, Colossians 3:16 & Ephesians 5:19, caps on attendance, forbidding laying on of hands for the sick, Mark 16:17-18, veiling our faces with masks 2Corinthians 3:18 then we have a duty to obey God even if we suffer for the faith. We are not required to follow orders that forbid our obedience to God’s Word or His Law.

Biblical Examples of Civil Disobedience

Exodus 1, Pharaoh gave the clear command to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Purah, to kill Hebrew babies if they are boys. If we apply Romans 13 as some Christians would, in the strictest manner, they would have carried out the government’s order. However, the midwives disobeyed Pharaoh and “feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live” (Exodus 1:17). The midwives even lied to Pharaoh (Exodus 1:15-22) yet even though they lied and disobeyed their government, “God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them” (Exodus 1:20–21). These two midwives prevented a genocide and was commended by God.

Rahab, Joshua 2, directly disobeyed a command from the king of Jericho to produce the Israelite spies who had entered the city. Instead, she let them down a rope so they could escape. As a result, she was saved from the city’s destruction when Joshua and his army destroyed it.

In 1 Samuel, King Saul, called a fast until he won his battle with the Philistines. Jonathan, his son, hadn’t heard his order and ate. When his father found out, he ordered his son’s death. But Saul’s soldiers resisted the King’s orders and saved Jonathan from being put to death (1 Samuel 14:45).

Queen Esther risks her life and decides to go against the law of the land to intervene in a great injustice, saying, “Then I shall go to the king, though it is contrary to the law; and if I am to perish, I shall perish” (Esther  4:16). As a result, she saved her people from genocide.

When the queen Jezebel was killing God’s prophets, Obadiah who “feared the Lord greatly.” took a hundred of them and hid them from her, and they lived.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3, refused to bow down to the golden idol and was found in direct disobedience to King Nebuchadnezzar’s command. They were thrown into a fiery furnace and God miraculously preserved their lives. (Dan 3:25) Even the Son of God showed up to the protest, there were four in the fire.

We pray the Canadian church does not succumb to a lethargic spirit and bow.

Daniel 6 King Darius outlawed prayer to anyone other than himself. Daniel defied the law continuing to pray to God openly in the same manner as he had done before and was thrown into the lion’s den to be eaten alive.  God intervened and shut the mouths of the lions

King Herod commands the Wisemen, who were searching for the Christ, to return and tell him where Jesus was found so he could have him killed. But they ignored the order and went a different route.

Peter and John were arrested for preaching about Jesus and put in jail. The religious authorities were determined to stop them from teaching about Jesus; however, Peter said, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19–20). They keep speaking of Jesus, and in Acts 5 they end up being thrown in prison.

The rulers confronted the apostles again commanding them to not teach about Jesus, but Peter responded, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

The last book of the Bible in Revelation, the Antichrist commands to worship an image of himself. But it is written the believers disobey and refuse to worship the image (Revelation 13:15)

Jesus himself was disobedient to the mandates of social distancing when He reached out to touch and healed the leper (Mark 1:40-42)   Jesus broke health orders and embraced the “unclean” which others thought would threaten everyone’s health! He continually met with those who were on lockdown and excluded by societal laws, known as the untouchables, the sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, the sick, the diseased and dying, the hungry, widows, women, fishermen, and children. Jesus publicly embraced them all (Mark 3:34) (Mark 2:15) (Luke 8:43-48)

Even though working and healing on the Sabbath was considered illegal, Jesus requires us to have mercy and realize human needs precedes regulation and rule. (Mark 2:23) The disciples illegally plucked grain. Mark 3:1-6 healing of the withered hand; Luke 13:10-17, healing of the woman, Luke 14:1-6 healing of man

Jesus challenged the legalized religious dietary and cleanliness codes including hand washings used to manipulate and oppress and if not followed there would be social condemnation and ostracization (Mark 7:1-23)

Jesus called for a return to the basics of justice and mercy (Luke 11:37-43)

Jesus also defied His death sentence and illegally resurrected!

It is important to note that Christians are commanded to pray for their leaders  “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1–2).

Jesus commanded us to follow God’s law first and foremost – TO LOVE God above all else and TO LOVE our neighbors as ourselves

Jesus is the supreme ultimate authority and head over the Church and man’s law cannot dictate our worship, ethics, and morality. There will be times when it is designed to stop us from pursuing God and His LAW of LOVE. Then we will have to make a choice. Obey man or God.

  • Ephesians 1:22 “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church”.
  • Ephesians 5:23 “Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church”
  • Colossians 1:18 “Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.”
  • 1 Timothy 6:15 “…God will make this known. God is the blessed and only ruler. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.”
  • Revelation 17:14 “Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because He is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And His called and Chosen and faithful ones will be with Him.”
  • Revelation 19:16 “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”.

Even our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms starts with the words “ Where as Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the Supremacy of God and the rule of law”.

Christians have an important task on earth. We are to influence all aspects of a society including civil government so that society will increasingly reflect God’s righteousness. Christ was given all authority over the earth, and He has commanded the church to disciple the nations (Matthew 28:18-19). A nation under the authority of Christ will carry out civil government in accordance with the teachings of Christ and do what is lawfully right.

Churches for a year or more have been closed, disrupted, regulated and bankrupted. Funerals delayed and mourners denied, Pastoral care and Ministry not allowed, baptisms, dedications and weddings limited or cancelled. Sacred holidays and practices shut down. Outreaches and street missions have been stopped, pastors fined and imprisoned. Churches being seized and surrounded and guarded by police. Million of dollars issued in fines for opening church doors. Not in a foreign country, in Canada.

The Chinese church would have to stop meeting secretly from house to house and destroy their bibles because they’re not allowed to have one. Missionaries will have to stop sneaking in bibles into countries that forbid it. In many countries the Christian would have to stop sharing the gospel because of anti conversion laws. Canadian laws have changed and are changing and soon it will be against the law to do what the church has done freely.

May God keep our Land Glorious and Free!


Reverend Ken Gilliard
Reverend Bonnie Gilliard