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By Herb Evans

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. -- Rom. 13:1,2


The first thing that must be noticed is that Government is an ordinance of God and that governments are ordained of God, whether monarchies, dictatorships, or constitutional republics. Whoever resists such governments is resisting God's ordinance for the maintenance of order, crime and punishment, and the protection of the citizenry.

The second thing that must be noticed is that it is "souls" or persons that are to be subject unto the higher powers. Nothing is said about churches being subject to anything or anyone besides its Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ. The church has one Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, unless a church is a two headed monster, State church.

Third, in regard to individuals, this subjection is qualified by the apostles' behavior in this regard in that they did not obey, when there was a contradiction between God and men, for they said that they should obey God rather than men. This conviction is substantiated by Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Rahab, and many others throughout the scripture.

Fourth, it must be established who the higher powers are in a given situation in a given country. Subjection is not the same under Caesar as it is under the Constitution. In the United States, the constitution and the legal portions of the bill of Rights are the Higher powers. We are to be governed by a rule of law. If it is not the law, it is not the Higher power. For instance, the constitution allows a public display of one's faith under its freedom of religion and freedom of speech clauses. If a local statute is passed to prevent a person from exercising their first amendment rights, it is not being subject unto the higher powers. If a law enforcement agency stands in the way of a person's first amendment rights, they are not being subject to the higher powers. If local governments or the Federal government view public policy as binding on the Christian rather than constitutional law, they are not being in subjection to the higher powers, rather than the guilt being laid at the doorstep of the one, who is attempting to exercise both his biblical and constitutional rights. The consequence of such tyranny is damnation, not to the Christian, but to those, who resist and bypass our higher powers or rule of law.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  -- Rom. 13:3-5

God has ordained rulers to protect its citizens from evil. He did not ordain rulers to be a terror to the Christian witness and Christian churches. They are ordained to be protectors and not predators, as is and has been the case in the last few decades. The supreme ruler is the rule of law, even the constitution to which all lesser powers must be subject. The Protestant and Catholic civil magistrate used these same scriptures to justify their suppression of religious dissidents. Now, we are confronted not by religious magistrates but irreligious, atheists, agnostics, humanists, and socialists.

Christians, who commit real crimes are to be punished by law the same as anyone else. Contrived crimes or public policy offenses that are not constitutionally valid are not included in such subjection nor need enter into a Christian's conscience. Still, the Christian must be prepared to be handled unfairly and illegally. He must also be prepared for juries to be convinced against him and to uphold these illegal proceeedings.


For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. -- Rom. 13:6,7

Again, the various system of governments mean various systems of tribute, custom, fear, and honour that is due such higher powers. In our estimation, the highest power of our land, apart from our Bible, is due the highest subjection, the highest tribute, the highest custom, the highest fear, and the highest honour.

Christian folks that criticize those, who run around with a Bible in one hand and the constitution in the other do not know what they are talking about. The zealots are doing what Romans 13 is telling them to do. Those that are subjecting them selves to the lower or lesser powers are not.

Taxes are biblical. But they must be lawfully extracted by the higher powers, i.e. the constitution. Now, taxes are extracted illegally even to the point of unlawfully passing an amendment to obscure our rights in this regard. The IRS has set itself up as the higher power, usurping the constitution and even the Federal government.


Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.  -- Ezra 7:24

The policy of Israel as followed by America was to exempt God's house and its ministers from all forms of taxation. But we now have a Pharaoh, who knew not Joseph, who is seeking the destruction of our churches. Some alert brethren realized this years ago, warning us and taking the offensive, knowing that churches must not bow to Caesar nor Pharaoh, especially when the law of the land affords them certain rights and privileges. Pharaoh and Caesar are trying to sift them as wheat, seeking any loophole and technicality to entrap them. This is not justice; this is a railroad job.

Rather than criticize those, who are braver and more involved and more zealous than ourselves, we pray and applaud them, who have the courage and wherewithal to brave the fight. No doubt, they as well as we must suffer in the future as those, who have gone on before us. Possibly, we will lose our possessions, our wealth, our families, our friends, our churches, and even our lives. Still we will not criticize their brave stand, for they are putting themselves on the line for us, and we appreciate them. Find fault with them if you will, but to their master they stand or fall.