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Once a fruit so advertised

Authority Was destruction well disguised

A Study of Heaven’s Order This work is dedicated to the same class.
And its Relation to Believers in the Present Truth
With an Application of the Principles to the Issue of Military Service.
By Eugene Prewitt

“The principles that you present to others, you should first know are faultless
because sustained by a 'Thus saith the Lord.' How careful we should be in
giving advice, lest our counsel result in great evil and suffering. How much
better for the families to go out into some other cities or some other country,
but never encourage the spirit of defiance and resistance, even if they are
placed in the chain-gang. The bigotry that exists, the prejudice against truth to
sustain religious error, is firm. . . . Pray, our Savior says, for those who entreat
you evil, and resist not evil.” Review and Herald, April 13, 1911.

Perhaps I have given too much advice in this paper. Let the reader make sure
for himself that the principles are well sustained.

To those looking for someone to tell them what to do and when, the study
may seem unnecessarily circuitous. But ideas that are explained quickly and
accepted as fast as they are explained have little foundation. They are as
rapidly uprooted by arguments that seem opposing. This paper takes pains to
establish a number of principles that would give the reader a basis for
answering objections to the paper’s conclusions. Many of these objections are
not dealt with directly, and their absence is purposeful. Objections to the truth
may be created with great alacrity. Answers to objections must be developed
slowly. If an objection/answer-to-objection controversy arises over truth, the
opposers will soon have the upper hand in the bulk of material they have to
work with.

The best policy is to present truth from its roots up with enough earth besides
to hold the tree against fierce winds. If it was a lumberyard rather than a tree
that you hoped to find here, now is a good time to re-adjust. Read for depth.
Think through the thoughts. Read the footnotes. Gems of truth have been
hidden in them just to coax you into looking them all up.

The dedication of one book, written incidentally to attack the doctrine of the
investigative judgment, is to “those that…value truth above reputation, honor,
and life.”

The Draft as Viewed from the Doctrine of Authority When the universe existed as a perfect system of created beings blissfully
serving a loving Creator, the idea of essential truth would have been easier to
For Christians, the issue of forced military service, or compulsory service of illustrate. The reason that a thing ought to be done a certain way is that it
any type, brings up questions of divided loyalties. We ought to obey God works best that way. The way that something works best is the way that it
rather than men, all agree. But what does God command? And how much ought to be done. A command to do something that way is enforced by
latitude does He give His servants in their daily life? The second question we natural law. If natural law says that to do it different will bring death, then
will pose first by a brief study of God’s authority in heaven, a place where natural law enforces the command with just and lethal force.
there were once, and where there are now, no divided loyalties.
Love works best in the Universe. Only selfless love by every member of the
Jesus specifically appropriated to Himself all authority in heaven and in earth. heavenly kingdom could preserve the system there, the Divine order. That is
His right to rule heaven may be proved by two facts. because the system is nothing more or less than a perfect application of the
love principle. The order of heaven promised life on the basis of the continual
The first is that He is the Creator. As the Author of all, He is the only practice of selfless love.
legitimate authority on the purpose and meaning of the creation. Either He
made us for a reason or for no reason at all. If the latter, then there is no God is love. The evidence of that assertion has always been found in the way
reason or meaning for the creation. If the former, then whatever reason He that God works. When God presented to the heavenly intelligences that He
made us for is our reason for being. was love, they had no way of knowing that it was certainly true. The fact that
a house exists today does not prove that it will exist tomorrow or that it
More than that, the method used in the Creation gives Him certain rights. An existed a thousand years ago. The fact that God has been loving since my
ex nihilo creation (creation of something out of nothing) makes the creation creation is no proof that He was loving before, or that He will be loving in the
the personal property of the Creator. If you build a home with my lumber and future. From the beginning the creation had to accept the statements of God
with my money, you could not in justice say it is completely yours. about reality, even the most basic realities, by faith. They had to take Him at
“Creation” by fashioning a thing does not bring with it the same rights as His word. There was no other way and there could not be any other way for a
creation from nothing. So by creation Jesus is the rightful owner of all and the created being to know something to be certainly and eternally true but by
only One that can assign purpose and meaning. Purpose and meaning carry faith.
with them inherent duties. By creation He has the authority to assign these
duties and to explain our meaning and purpose. To search for meaning and The beings had no way of demonstrating, by comparison or contrast, whether
purpose from some other source is to side-step His right and authority as our or not God’s system was the one that worked best. This is not to say that they
Creator. believed God blindly. They had the strongest evidence that God loved them.
Their experience established that His ways were perfect. They had no need or
The second fact is easy to state. God is right. Some things are true, not want that He had not lovingly supplied. Creation had been adapted to their
because God commanded them. On the contrary, God commanded them happiness and they had been created with the capacity for enjoyment. That
because they were true. It was no arbitrary decision on God’s part that made law, possibly unstated in its negative sense, 1 said that there was no other
unselfishness right and that gave love its power. Nor was it the result of 1
Divine taste that falsehood was forbidden. For the sake of exploring this Consider the italicized words in the following statement. Notice the apparent
thought, we might call things that must be true essential truths. Essential lack of a concrete knowledge of what could or would come as a result of
truths are not truths of history, they are truths of principle. They do not disobedience. It is nearly stated that disobedience was an unthinkable, yeah,
describe what choices a man has made. Rather, they describe the invariable an unthought of thought. “Satan refused to listen. And then he turned from the
effects of those choices. loyal and true angels, denouncing them as slaves. These angels, true to God,
stood in amazement as they saw that Satan was successful in his effort to
excite rebellion. He promised them a new and better government than they
then had, in which all would be freedom. Great numbers signified their

system that worked. The law demanded an evidence-based faith in God. It the only course that tends to life. Sin is a violation of the law. Sin is a
promised that leaving the established system would produce death. violation of the principles that tend to life. By definition, then, it is the course
that tends to an end of life. As created beings are not omniscient, they can
There was only one sure way to establish this principle as essential truth. One only have righteousness by faith. Only by taking God at His Word can they
might violate the law and by an unholy experiment discover whether the laws discern and practice the course that tends to life. They cannot see into the
of nature would enforce it. But even if one experiment proved that violation future, neither can they perceive the eventual impact of their decisions, except
leads to death, it would not prove that a different violation might not be an by faith.
alternate path to life. Experiment could never lead to a certain knowledge of
the truth of God’s Word and of the sacredness of His law. And the first So these principles, “we establish the law by faith” and “what ever is not of
experiment would bring darkness—and worse—into the universe. faith is sin” 4 and “righteousness is by faith,” have always been true. They are
not products created for this terrible experiment of sin. They are eternal truths
The only way to know the essential truth of God’s law would be by faith. and ought to be understood.
Only by faith could angels establish the rightful authority of the law without
breaking it. And only by an eternal faith could the law be eternally Authority of God on Earth
established. In other words, if ever a being would cease his natural testing of
the law by his faithful obedience, he would break the law while Natural law is enforced by nature. Sin, left to itself, will degrade endlessly.
demonstrating the justice of its claims. “Do we then make void the law of There is a limit to degradation that once passed, would remove a being from
God by faith? Not all. We establish the law.” 2 This principle has always been the class of responsible moral agents. 5 Satan, while greater in knowledge then
true, not only for fallen men, but also for all beings in all ages. when he fell (for he has retained the power to learn) is yet decreasing in
mental vigor. 6
The authority of God in heaven was based on willing and loving obedience
born of faith. The reason to obey God was that it was right. What made There is a difference between natural law and naturalism. When you toss a
obedience right? Natural laws. What are natural laws? They are the dictates coin into the air and then catch it while it plummets earthward, you have
arising from knowledge of cause and effect relationships. Natural law gives
birth to the idea of righteousness. Righteousness is right doing. 3 It is taking commandments are righteousness.’ Psalm 119:172.” – Story of Jesus, p. 61
Romans 14:34
purpose to accept Satan as their leader and chief commander. As he saw his “God cannot take to heaven the slave who has been kept in ignorance and
advances were met with success, he flattered himself that he should yet have degradation, knowing nothing of God or the Bible, fearing nothing but his
all the angels on his side, and that he would be equal with God himself, and master's lash, and holding a lower position than the brutes. But He does the
his voice of authority would be heard in commanding the entire host of best thing for him that a compassionate God can do. He permits him to be as
Heaven. Again the loyal angels warned Satan, and assured him what must be if he had not been, while the master must endure the seven last plagues and
the consequence if he persisted; that He who could create the angels, could by then come up in the second resurrection and suffer the second, most awful
His power overturn all their authority, and in some signal manner punish their death. Then the justice of God will be satisfied.” Early Writings, p. 276.
audacity and terrible rebellion. To think that an angel should resist the law of Emphasis in all quotations is supplied unless otherwise noted.
God which was as sacred as Himself! They warned the rebellious to close “Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Christ . . . His forehead
their ears to Satan's deceptive reasonings, and advised Satan, and all who had was high and broad, showing great intelligence. His form was perfect; his
been affected by him, to go to God and confess their wrong for even bearing noble and majestic. [152] Then I was shown him as he now is . . . .
admitting a thought of questioning his authority.”—Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, That brow which was once so noble, I particularly noticed. His forehead
p. 20 commenced from his eyes to recede. I saw that he had so long bent himself to
Romans 3:31 evil that every good quality was debased, and every evil trait was developed
“Righteousness is right-doing. It is obedience to the law of God; for in that . . . . His frame was large, but the flesh hung loosely about his hands and
law the principles of righteousness are set forth. The Bible says, ‘All Thy face.” Early Writings, p. 145, 154.

interfered with the natural course of things. Without your intelligent The doctrine of wrath forces itself into a Biblical discussion of authority. We
intervention, the coin would have fallen to the earth. Your will determines the recognize that we do or do not have a “right” to be angry. Moses questioned
nature of your intelligent intervention. You may throw the coin, pocket it, or God regarding the fierceness of His wrath. “Why does your anger wax hot,”
spend it. But not one of these things is a violation of natural law. Natural law he asked, “against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of
says that if you catch it, it will stop falling. If you don’t, it will continue. Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?” Exodus 32:11. God
reminded Israel emphatically that they had called down wrath on themselves.
Naturalism is philosophy that would make Divine intervention a violation of See Deuteronomy 9:7.
natural law. 7 It perceives, as it were, in the argument that the coin was caught
thousands of years ago an attack on the eternal influence of gravity. A most amazing thing that has confounded Satan since the promise that the
serpent’s head would be bruised is that fact that wrath may be turned away.
In that respect, naturalism is naïve. Intervention gives evidence of thought, Yet there could be a point of no return at which the wrath would never and
and thought of order. There are many ways that one may choose to intervene. could never be withdrawn. 9 It is interesting also that wrath may be treasured
Discipline is a tool that is used by rational beings, both Creator and created, up by nations or by individuals while they live in apparent peace and
to intervene in the natural course of otherwise ungoverned events. It is an prosperity. 10 11 But God’s servants recognized and preached that it would not
effort to catch in mid-fall a man addicted to tobacco or to violence. Discipline
is a type of government, a method of administration. And it is the first 9
example given of God’s active authority, compulsion, on earth. 8 When the “And they . . . served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and
unholy pair was expelled from Eden and kept out by a sword-bearing angel, it Jerusalem for this their trespass.” “ . . . make a covenant with the LORD God
was the first time they had felt the compelling power of an unwelcome of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.” “Now be ye not stiff-
command. necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, . . . that
the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.” “But they mocked the
messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until
the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.”
Here it might be appropriate to demonstrate the difference between magic 2 Chronicles 24:18; 29:10; 30:8; 36:16.
and miracle. Consider for a minute the nature of miracles in scripture. They Many have thought that the curse pronounced on Adam and Eve, “on the
are acts of intelligent intervention in cooperation with the laws of nature. A day that you eat of the tree you will certainly die,” foretold instant
creative word here, an angel to close a lion’s mouth there, a wind to dry the destruction. On this basis some have argued that had not Jesus especially
earth at one time, and to tear it at another–God works by and through the laws interposed as an Intercessor they would have died that very day. Is this true?
of the universe. Magic is capricious. It would as soon turn the lion into a It was on account of the fact that Adam and Eve could live forever while
mouse and turn the flood’s water into a flower-garden. It makes light of law having access to the tree of life that they were expelled from the garden. See
and order in the universe. It rules by its power. In short, magic alone is Genesis 3:22. Jesus stepped in immediately, not as a necessity to ward off
arbitrary. By stories and media, Satan has thrown a blanket over the minds of lethal reprisal, but to offer hope and aid. Satan, living today thousands of
those that have come to respect natural law. They confound magic and years after his rebellion, stands without an intercessor, living by the power of
miracle and see in them both what is in magic alone—a threat to reason and God. What did the curse on man mean? “The warning given to our first
the future. parents—‘In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’ (Genesis
The first example of active authority in history was the war between Satan 2:17)—did not imply that they were to die on the very day when they partook
and Michael, with the angels arrayed under them fighting as well. See of the forbidden fruit. But on the day the irrevocable sentence would be
Revelation 12. The reason that Satan left heaven was unlike the motive of any pronounced. Immortality was promised them on condition of obedience; by
obedience in the universe prior to that time. He obeyed because he had no transgression they would forfeit eternal life. That very day they would be
power to disobey. He was not able to resist the power. This type of authority doomed to death.” Emphasis supplied. In this respect, Satan himself died the
is itself war, and hence the use of the word in Reveltion 12. Satan contests very day he first sinned.
God’s right to use this authority. See Nehemiah 13:8; Nahum 1:2; Romans 2:5. John 3:36.

be delayed forever. Fear of the Divine wrath was a motive that led kings the authority that has been granted earthly governments and institutions, it is
instructed by Ezra to support the cause of God. 12 right that we should notice the part that justice plays in final events. The
seven last plagues, dreadful as they are, call forth the praise of the heavenly
God used other nations to inflict His wrath on the condemned, 13 and Satan beings. On what basis do plagues solicit praise? When an angel bearing the
worked to diffuse the power of these judgements by causing meaningless and plagues is introduced in the 15th chapter of the Revelation, it is to the song of
random destruction. Acts of random terror become false consolations to those the victorious. Their anthem ends with the strain, “for thy judgements are
afflicted from above. They permit a man to entertain the thought that his made manifest.” Then as the third plague smites the earth an angel declares
sufferrings are as unrelated to his wrong-doing as those of the man who “Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou
suffered wrongly. Random suffering dilutes the force of God’s chastening by hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and
blinding men to the fact that their consequences are following hard on a thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.” Then a voice from
cause. the altar cries “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy
judgments.” 18 Voices represented as coming from below the altar have been
God uses governments and authority figures to punish evil doers even crying out to God for justice since God’s servants were slain ages ago. 19 Now
today. 14 In this context war is a tool sometimes used of God for His purposes a sentence is executed.
of justice. This truth should be kept in mind when studying military action
and its relation to the Christian. The sentence is executed on those that are “worthy.” Such a statement by one
other than God implies a vindication of God’s arguments in the great
The wrath of God figures prominently in the closing scenes of this earth’s controversy. Only God can judge character and weigh motives. He must
history. The seven last plagues fill up the wrath of God. This is stated determine a man’s worthiness of pain or power. When created beings have
repeatedly in Revelation. 15 Issues of authority have come to the head, and in seen and known enough to ratify God’s judgements, the arguments are settled
the face of the clearest revelation of God’s rightful rulership, men have with them.
indulged their habits of despising authority. The habit of relating wrongly to
the authority of God and man will bring the Mark of the Beast. Our relation to In summary, we can say that God’s authority on earth rests on the very same
authority now is a sowing process that portends a most significant harvest. principles that it does in heaven. He has created us, and He alone can speak as
War or no war, we have good reason to study the issue of human authority. to our purpose for existence. He created us from nothing, and so we are His.
He commands what is right so that natural law enforces all He says. He has
Jesus is especially qualified for His work of executing God’s wrath by His all power and exercises it over unwilling subjects when that is the right thing
kinship to our race. “And [God] hath given Him authority to execute to do. That it is His right to do this on earth will be made manifest. He uses
judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” 16 Jesus will use the authority discipline and executes wrath on the wrong doer. No one has a right to resist
given Him at the proper time. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have His will, and, in the end, not one of the wicked will have power to resist it.
delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put His right to authority on earth is absolute; His use of authority on earth is
down all rule and all authority and power.” 17 18
See Revelation 15:1–4; 16:4–6.
Justice eludes the best of human tribunals. Yet the ideas of equity in Revelation 6:9–11. The plea for justice, though answered with an
judgement are the basis of modern civilization. As we progress into a study of admonition to “rest a little season” until the final persecution could be
followed by a final judgement, was not answered that way alone. First those
See Ezra 7:23; 8:22 slain were declared to truly be among the righteous. This allusion to putting
See Ezra 5:12 on white robes is strong evidence in favor of a pre-advent investigative
See Romans 13:4 judgement. Notice that the white robe if given (A) after death, for it is a
See Revelation 14:10; 14:19; 15:1; 15:7; 16:1; 16:19; 19:15 plurality of souls that cry out for justice; (B) before the final persecution; and
John 5:27 (C) while they are yet “resting,” a simple reference to their unconscious sleep.
1 Corinthians 15:24 See Hebrews 11:4; Genesis 4:10 where Abel’s “blood” cries for justice.

wise. “There is no power but of God. He who resists the power resists the
ordinance of God. And they that resist shall receive to themselves Later that evening He replied to Pilate that “Thou couldest have no power at
damnation.” all against me, except it were given thee from above:” 24

King of Kings and Lord of Lords In what sense was Pilate given power from “above?” Does Heaven empower
a man to condemn Jesus to death? To kill or pardon at will? Are men
In the Revelation Jesus has received this appellation. The name is part of empowered to remove lesser authorities from their positions? Consider the
Himself. Written on His thigh are these words, “KING OF KINGS AND case of Nebuchadnezzar as presented to the king of Babylon.
LORD OF LORDS.” Kingdoms will rise up against the Lamb, and ‘the Lamb
“O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy
will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords, and Kings of kings.” No father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: And for
monarch can resist His will, for He is “Ruler of the kings of the earth.” 20 To a the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and
remarkable extent God directs earthly affairs. languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he
In the annals of human history the growth of nations, the rise slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would
and fall of empires, appear as dependent on the will and he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart
prowess of man. The shaping of events seems, to a great was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed
degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. from his kingly throne. . . . They fed him with grass like oxen,
But in the Word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that
behold, behind, above, and through all the play and the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he
counterplay of human interests and power and passions, the appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O
agencies of the all-merciful One, silently, patiently working out Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest
the counsels of His own will. 21 all this . . . and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose
are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: 25
An Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah had predicted that the Christ
would come “just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and The kings that have ruled in the past ruled, and presidents that rule today
upon a colt the foal of an ass.” 22 The same prophecy had crowned the Coming govern, by the authority of God. The Jews in the time of Nebuchadnezzar
One with the words “Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you!” were inclined to resist their attacks by a show of arms. They thought that God
would aid them in national self-defense. But that vain imagination was no
It was Jesus that rode into the city triumphantly amid glad “Hosannas.” The fault of the prophets. Jeremiah had testified to the contrary.
Jews accused Him to the Romans as a threat to the crown. He had actively I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the
applied to Himself a prophecy of the coming king. When Pilate asked Jesus of ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and
His kingship, “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world: if my
kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not 24
John 19:11; Paul referred to this conversation in his letter to Timothy when
be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.’” 23 he charged the young man “before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate
witnessed a good confession” to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on
Revelation 19:16; 17:14; 1:5 eternal life, whereunto thou art also called.” 1 Timothy 6:12-16. Timothy was
Education, p. 173. The “counsels” being worked out are the objects of to fight spiritual battles in harmony with Christ’s confession to have only a
prophecy. All earthly order is tending towards the final end when the spiritual kingdom. It is in this context that Paul affirms that Jesus is “the only
kingdoms shall be given into Christ’s hands. Even now “the government is on Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” The letter also hints that an
His shoulders,” and as time continues it will be seen that “There is no end to understanding of these principles will be important eschatologically. “Keep
the increase of His government.” Isaiah 9:6–7, Literal Translation. this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our
Zechariah 9:9 Lord Jesus Christ.”
23 25
John 18:36 Daniel 5:18–23.

have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now Satan works through the civil governments of earth, delegated with authority
have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar from heaven, to force men into his ranks or to deprive them of life. 31 This use
the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field of civil powers is an abomination of desolation. 32
have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve
him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his God’s servants have been given “power and authority over all
land come. . . . And it shall come to pass, that the nation and devils.” 33 And they have been given the mastery over themselves.
kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the “Of the kingdom within them God has made them rulers, and they
king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the are to exercise their Heaven-appointed kingship.” 34
yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the
Only by working through the civil powers that God’s servants are enjoined to
LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the
pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. 26 obey can Satan have a semblance of authority over their lives. This use of
authority by Satan unmasks him. He, despite himself, is slowly working out
To whom does God give civil powers? To those that seem appropriate 27 to
Him. When conquered, do the nations that have lost their sovereignty have a
right to rebel? No, they are to accept their lot as God’s will. 28 Governing
powers are removed when the nation is weighed in the scale and found See Luke 20:20; Acts 26:10
wanting. How are they removed? By God’s chosen method, whether it is by You’ll find no proof in this endnote. But here are evidences that have
temporary insanity of the leader, or by the rise of a rival power. appealed to my reason. The use of state power by a church, represented by a
woman riding a beast, is called the “mother of abominations” of the earth.
The Limited Authority of Satan Her cup is full of her abominations. Revelation 17:4–5. She makes all nations
drink of that cup, which is all called the “wine of the wrath of her
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard. . . . And the dragon gave fornications.” Revelation 14:8–9. Her fornications are the same as her
him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” 29 Where did Satan, the abominations; they are her dependence on civil powers for help where she
dragon, acquire this authority? ought to depend on her Maker and her ex-Husband. Revelation 17:2, 18; 18:3,
9; Ezekiel 16:22–51; 33:24–26. “And they watched [Jesus] that they might
Satan has gathered to himself authority from two sources. Firstly, evil angels take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and
have pledged themselves to his service, as have some men. Secondly, evil authority of the governor.” Luke 20:20. The desolation came as foretold by
men are, knowingly or unwittingly, under that authority until they are Daniel. The Roman power, being used by Satan to force His way and to crush
“translated” out of his kingdom. 30 Natural law adds no force to Satan’s the center of Christianity, surrounded the city. But as Jesus had fled the
commands and he is left to rule by arbitrary authority alone. So the subjects Roman dragon that threatened his nativity, Christians by His advice escaped
of his kingdom are in bondage, captives forced to do his will and led by him the Roman abomination that threatened to destroy them there.
according to his fancy. Where his tyranny can not be imposed in the heart, Luke 9:1; Mark 1:27
Education, pp. 203–204. Here is the context. “It is the beginnings of evil
Jeremiah 27:5. that should be guarded against. In the instruction of the youth the effect of
It may not fall into the scope of this survey to demonstrate on what basis apparently small deviations from the right should be made very plain. Let the
God deems a man fit for an emperor’s crown. Suffice it here to say that God student be taught the value of a simple, healthful diet in preventing the desire
has often chosen cruel men, wicked men, to fill positions of trust. for unnatural stimulants. Let the habit of self-control be early established. Let
Perhaps a few more witnesses might be in order. See Daniel 4:32; 2:21. the youth be impressed with the thought that they are to be masters, and not
“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto slaves. Of the kingdom within them God has made them rulers, and they are
God.” Psalms 62:11. It is not kings alone that rule by God’s power. “By me to exercise their Heaven-appointed kingship. When such instruction is
princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.” Proverbs 8:16. faithfully given, the results will extend far beyond the youth themselves.
Revelation 13:1 Influences will reach out that will save thousands of men and women who are
See Colossians 1:13 on the very brink of ruin.” See also Luke 17:21.

God’s purpose for the universe by using it. “Nothing can be done against the responsibilities that God has delegated to the governments of men, to the
truth, but for the truth.” 35 organized body of His church, and to the teachers in that church. Their
authority is drawn from their delegated charge. If they will be judged for how
Authority of the 5th Commandment they handled the discipline of members, they will be given authority to
discipline them. If they are accountable for how they punish evil doers, they
The scriptures allude to the order in heaven. Various angels have assignments will not be given the “sword in vain.”
and positions. Lucifer had an honored place, and aspired to a higher one yet.
Man was made “a little lower” than the angels. Jesus, as the Lord of hosts, The fifth commandment also teaches that at times the extent of legitimate
commands the armies of heaven. And while on earth, He doubted not that his government may vary with the maturity of the governed. While all are to
Father could presently send Him “twelve legions of angels.”36 Regiments of honor their father and mother (Ex. 20) it is children that are to obey them
heavenly beings, numbered and ready for command, give us a glimpse into (Ephesians 6:1). This natural change in authority follows the shift in
the truth that order is the first law of heaven. 37 Such order was commanded to accountability onto the shoulders of the child. Human authority mirrors
men in the firth commandment. human accountability. The Law of God enforces that principle by the fifth
commandment. For the thousands of years directly preceding Sinai, human
Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is
due to no other person. God Himself, who has placed upon
government on earth under God was always patriarchal. God became the
them a responsibility for the souls committed to their charge, Father of Israel, and until the rebellious crowning of king Saul, Israel
has ordained that during the earlier years of life, parents shall continued as a patriarchal government under the Divine Parent. In this context
stand in the place of God to their children. And he who rejects the fifth commandment was adapted to the needs of both national and family
the rightful authority of his parents is rejecting the authority of government.
God. The fifth commandment requires children not only to
yield respect, submission, and obedience to their parents, but For the youth a time may come when the desire of even a godly parent must
also to give them love and tenderness, to lighten their cares, to be denied on the basis of a higher call. “Know you not that I must be about
guard their reputation, and to succor and comfort them in old my father’s business?” Jesus asked. For those that accept the call, their duty
age. It also enjoins respect for ministers and rulers and for all to both family and friends becomes “a secondary matter.” 40
others to whom God has delegated authority. 38
The fifth commandment is “exceeding broad,”39 far broader than many would Higher Authority
have it to be. It establishes the basis for human authority and defines the
bounds of its jurisdiction. Our study will bring us several times to the thirteenth chapter of the epistle to
the Romans. The introduction of this chapter makes several sweeping
The basis of authority is responsibility. A parent will be judged for how he statements that have been used by theocrats in all ages to justify persecution.
regulates his home. If he is to be judged for how it is regulated, he must be Paul writes,
empowered to regulate it. He cannot be condemned for neglecting to do that Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is
which he has no power to do. The Bible explains elsewhere the no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power resisteth the
2 Corinthians 13:8
Matthew 26:53
37 40
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 200; Mind Character and Personality, For an interesting statement on the relation of Jesus to His parents’ choices
vol. 1, p. 177. Emphases supplied. These references admonish the school and regarding education, see Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 439–440.
home, respectively, to imitate the order of heaven. For a brief treatment on the relation of the work of God to a person’s personal
Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 308 life and familial responsibilities, see Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, pp.
Psalms 119:165 499–500.

ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to
themselves damnation. 41 Man was created free. On what ground did it ever come about that one man
The delegation of God’s authority to civil servants is one of several charges could, with Heaven’s support, require tax from another? Man’s authority,
given to men to rule over their fellow men. Authority has been given to kings, when used justly, has always been a “government of the people by the people
governors, and masters. Kings reign as “supreme” while governors are for the people.” In other words, men have been granted freedom to work
manifestly under them. 42 Not only are there various levels of authority, but together for their mutual benefit and to organize themselves accordingly. In
there are two distinct types of human authority. The authority given to the an as-yet-ungoverned society men may say, “We do not want to live each man
church contrasts sharply with that given to the state. Jesus said, “Ye know that with the responsibility of defending his own home from thief and foe. We will
the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are each willingly give up some of our freedom to each other to secure greater
great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you.” 43 benefit. We will pledge money and time and chose representatives who will
While civil leaders exercised authority by compelling their subjects, the oversee the use of that time and money. We will submit to their authority over
church leaders were to guide by precept and example. 44 that time and money, and they will be responsible to protect and help us.”

It is with this concept of government in mind that the United States

Romans 13:1–2 Constitution makes provision for its own annulment by the people at what
I Peter 2:13–14 time they should chose another form of government.
Matthew 20:25
“By precept and example” was a favorite phrase of Ellen White’s. A search This benefactor principle of authority is found in Luke’s record of the
on my edition of the EGW CD-ROM returns 706 paragraphs with the phrase. church/state authority lecture. “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship
The idea is found expressly in scripture. Spiritual leaders reprimanded for over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called
their ruling “with force and with cruelty” in Ezekiel 34 are admonished rather benefactors.” 45 Jesus gave recognition to this truth again when challenged
to “feed the flock,” to strengthen the poor, to heal the wounded. The apostle over the lawfulness of paying Roman taxes. Some have mistakenly thought
Peter, adopting this maxim as his own wrote, “Feed the flock of God which is that He skirted the question, “Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?” by
among you, taking the oversight thereof not by constraint, but willingly; not a cunning half-answer.
for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s
heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:2–3. Emphasis Christ's reply was no evasion, but a candid answer to the
Supplied. question. Holding in His hand the Roman coin, upon which
were stamped the name and image of Caesar, He declared that
since they were living under the protection of the Roman
Jesus was challenged very directly to reveal who had authorized him to speak
power, they should render to that power the support it claimed,
of truth and righteousness without permission form church authorities. Jesus
so long as this did not conflict with a higher duty. But while
never answered the question, but His willingness to answer it on condition peaceably subject to the laws of the land, they should at all
gives us a hint at what His answer would have been. See Luke 20:2, 8. He times give their first allegiance to God. 46
was authorized by the Word of God to “speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all
authority.” Titus 2:15. This authority is given to God’s workers (see Mark Heaven recognizes the binding nature of man’s civil arrangements and the
13:34), says Paul, “for edification, and not for your destruction.” binding nature they must have on all those that benefit from the system if law
2 Corinthians 10:8. But the authority did come with executive powers to keep and order are to be maintained. And it is not in this respect alone that “the
order in the church.
On this basis Paul wrote “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp Luke 22:25
authority over the man, but to be in silence.” 1 Timothy 2:12. The order Desire of Ages, p. 602. See Testimonies to the Church, vol. 5, pp. 712–713.
established in the family was not to be confounded by a conflicting order in For an interesting homiletic application of this principle, see Signs of the
the church. Times, March 1, 1899.

powers that be are ordained of God.” God has more than a passive
relationship to the civil powers on earth and to the choosing of their heads of Why does the state have authority to call me to war? Because I benefit from
state. the peace and stability that the military provides to the nation. I benefit from
the money spent to protect me from crime and to provide for my just defense
In summary, there are pluralities of legitimate authorities that we ought to in the face of an accusation. Then for the young man asked by the state to
recognize. These authorities rule with power enforced by God. These register for the draft and forbidden by his mother to do so, he must render
authorities may contradict each other in their requirements. The state, a unto mom what is mom’s and unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. It is Caesar’s to
spouse, a pastor or church official, or a passage of Scripture may oppose each protect the country and mom’s to guard the influence of the home. The limit
other’s injunctions. Then what rule are we to follow? “Be subject to the of the authority determines which authority is higher in which circumstance.
higher power.” Order is the first law of heaven. It prevents dissention from
generating into anarchy by specifying rules to govern who submits to who. The Relation of War to Citizenship
These rules have been established for every earthly relationship. The master
and the slave, the general and his king, the husband and his wife, the elder Pilate asked Jesus if He was indeed, as He was accused, a king.
and the church board; in every case of disagreement, the lower power is to
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my
willingly submit. This is not to say that a slave is always to submit to a kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that
master, or a wife to her husband. In every controversy over moral issues, God I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom
is party to the discussion and His Words trumps all other “powers,” whatever not from hence. 48
their relation to each other. 47
Jesus, speaking to a Roman ruler, justified war as a national defense. He
Which Authority is “Higher”? taught that the servants even of His kingdom would take up the sword were
that kingdom an earthly monarchy. But it was not, and so Pilate had nothing
In some cases, the order of specific powers in the hierarchy of authority may to fear in the way of a national rebellion led by Jesus.
not be apparent. What do I do when my mother forbids me to register for the
draft, and the laws of my state require it? Understanding the sources of The right of kings to wage war in the defense of their homelands is
human authority will be of the greatest value in determining its limits. Why established not only by this precept, but also by numerous examples. This
does mother have authority over me while I am a child? Because she is right was exercised shortly after the introduction of sin when Michael and
responsible for the development of my moral character. Why does she have “His angels” fought the dragon’s host. The rival kingdom was expelled with a
authority over me while I, a young man, am living in her house? Because she warning to the earth that “the devil is come down to you having great wrath.”
is responsible for the influence and order of her home. It is manifestly true that there were no conscientious objectors in this
bloodless, deathless, yet desperate, war.
Why is she entitled to love and respect? Because she, like no other, has loved If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are
and cared for me. Her knowledge of her own weaknesses and tendencies as guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference
likely inherited by me and of the details of my earliest years qualifies her and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a
more than any other to be my truest counselor. Those qualifications justify grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility
God’s commission to her. She is held accountable for how she counsels and against God. 49
guides me. And her commission regulates the extent and nature of her
authority in my life. I am under bounden obligation to listen to her words, to Since that time all beings have been enlisted either “under the blood-stained
cherish her approval and to respect her opinion. banner of Prince Emmanuel,” or arrayed under the “black banner of the

For Ellen White’s application of this principle to the case of the husband
and the wife, see Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 476; Adventist Home, John 18:36. Emphasis supplied.
pp. 115–119. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 281

powers of Darkness.” 50 The fact that all men are under one of these banners prepared unto glory . . . ?” “But in a great house there are not
proves that every national citizen has a duel citizenship. only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of
earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonor. If a man
The first is a citizenship in a spiritual kingdom and warrants, nay, demands therefore purge himself . . . he shall be a vessel unto honour,
that he participate in a spiritual battle. This conflict is ongoing and “there is sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto
no discharge in that war.” 51 Each man since the flood is also a citizen in an every good work.” 53
earthly kingdom. No higher power forbidding that citizenship warrants A home has china for honored guests and waste bins for refuse. These vessels
participation in national battles. Whether the “higher power” of God’s Word are both essential and valued, but are reserved for their honorable or
forbids it for a particular individual is the question under consideration. dishonorable tasks. In God’s great house, there are a variety of services to be
performed and a variety of servants or ministers. Christians are most familiar
Ministers and Vessels of Wrath with ministers of the Word. These Elders are not to be cumbered with the
work of the ministers of business. 54 And the deacons, caring for the church’s
A kindred question to the proverbial “why do good people suffer?” is the possessions, are by their consecration poorly fitted for carrying out acts of
question, “why do wicked people prosper? 52” These questions are, often, vengeance. For this work God has ministers of wrath.
unwitting attacks on God’s justice. Paul partially answers the latter question
with a reference to God’s “much longsuffering.” For [the civil ruler] is the minister of God to thee for good. But
if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to
make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience
known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s
fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 55
of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore
The offices of elder, deacon, and law enforcement are each ordained to
These phrases were favorites of Ellen White. See Appendix A for a particular work. The church is that body of men called to full-time ministry in
chronological list of sources where these terms are used. When read in their the present truth. From its members are drawn the holders of spiritual gifts
context, they are a fruitful field. and trusts. Every Christian that has “purged” himself has been made a vessel
Ecclesiastes 8:8; see also 2 Corinthians 10:4–6. to honor. Other Christians are so only in name; they are double minded and
These questions have plagued even prophets. Asaph, Jeremiah and receive no spiritual gifts from the Lord. The arms of the military or of civil
Habakkuk among them approached God about their distress at the “prosperity justice are drawn from the rest of society, from vessels unconsecrated, and so
of the wicked,” at the fact that “all they are happy that deal very unfitted, for the more honorable tasks.
treacherously.” They asked God “How can you hold your tongue when the
wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he?” See Psalms 78, A sniper in a police SWAT team that gives his heart to Jesus must face this
Jeremiah 12, Habakkuk 1:12–2:3. The answers given are references to a truth. He has been a minister of God for as long as he has been commissioned
certain future judgement. Asaph went into the sanctuary, “then understood I to protect society with lethal force. As a minister of wrath his position
their end.” God gave Jeremiah to understand that “I have left mine heritage; I commanded the respect and love of his fellow citizens. As a vessel of
have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.” “dishonor” he might have been used by God to slay the murderous father of
Why? To test them and bring them to repentance. Habakkuk received a two innocent children. In the course of his work he might have lied, cursed
concise answer. “Write the vision, make it plain upon tables that he may run and been drunk. But God still owns these men as His. They do His work of
that reads it.” The vision was that of the sanctuary that Asaph had studied, the
one that points to the time of judgement. To the pain of the righteous and the Romans 9:21–23; 2 Timothy 2:20–21
joy of the evil ones God answers alike that the judgment is coming, let all Acts 6:2
beware. Justice there will be most fair. Romans 13:4–6

repressing evil. And He who delegated to them their authority aids them. But and they most cheerfully accepted their positions and found their greatest
now the convert has purified himself from these things. Does society still happiness in performing their appointed service.
need the protection provided by lethal force? Yes, but from those fitted for the
dirty job. The convert has been called to obey the Ten Commandments and to Rebellion is the annulment of order. By overturning the first law, it destroys
visit those in prison rather than to put them there. This is not to say that the entire system built upon that law. In this truest sense, rebellion is as the
Christians may not serve as civil servants, whether as judges or clerks or men sin of witchcraft. Witchcraft59, divination of all sorts, is a willful act to
of state. But their covenant to keep the commandments of God precludes overturn natural law. Rebellion and witchcraft are identical in nature. 60
activities that might obligate them to take the life of their fellow men.
Unjust Authority
The question arises, “but what if everyone were a Christian? What would we
do then?” We would go to heaven. And honestly, we would hear again the When it comes to our relation to human authorities, Peter makes a sweeping
familiar phrase “you shall not need to fight in this battle.” 56 Our enemies injunction.
would flee from the wasp and the hornet. Those that would lie to the Holy
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the
Ghost might meet their immediate doom at the hands of the Searcher of king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not
Hearts. We do not know the answer to what might come, but the Bible gives only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 61
plain counsel as to what we are to do. “To obey is better than to sacrifice, and
to hearken than the fat of lambs.” Since each man has been made in the image of God, and has a soul of infinite
worth, he cannot be both rightly and lightly esteemed. The weak, the young,
The Doctrines of Order and Rebellion the old, the wise, the weak-minded, each is entitled to the special honor due
his station and likewise to that honor due to the noble race of man.
Pregnant with meaning were the words of Samuel. “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.” “Let the
iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour,
the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 57 especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.” “Let as
many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters
Order is the first law of heaven. By first we do not mean in point of time, but worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be
in order of derivation. This is what Christ taught when He explained that on not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them
the laws of love to God and love to men “hang all the law and the prophets.” not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them
From the laws of love one can show by logic that each of the Ten service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the
Commandments can be forcibly derived. The Ten Commandments are benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach
“briefly comprehended in” these two sayings. 58 And these two laws and the otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words . . . from such
motifs of faith and love themselves are briefly comprehended in this one withdraw thyself.” 62
word, Order. The establishment of order in heaven was the only manifest
mechanism of law before sin. The angels did not feel the force of the law See footnote 7.
against idolatry or against murder. They had never conceived such thoughts. It is a marked tendency of the unconsecrated in God’s church to think and
But they were well aware of their place in society and the role that they were speak lightly of authorities. See 2 Peter 2:10 and Jude 8 in their contexts.
to carry in the heavenly government. That role was a product of God’s law, I Peter 2:17–18
Leviticus 19:32; 1 Timothy 5:17; 6:1–5. Notice in these verses the idea of
measured honor. Christians are to be “subject to one another in the fear of
2 Chronicles 20:17 God” and to “rulers and authorities.” God causes “the poor . . . to sit with
1 Samuel 15:23 nobles; yea, he caused them to inherit a throne of honor” Ephesians 5:21;
cf. Romans 13:9; Titus 3:1; 1 Samuel 2:8.

Peter’s statement about unkind slave masters rests in tension with a Testimony Adventists had been supporting these practices by their ignorant buying
given soon before the American Civil War. The northern states passed a law habits! This charge has since become the subject of several lawsuits. 66
that run-away slaves must be returned to their masters in the south. Returned
slaves would face terrible treatment—possibly even a tortuous death. But the While it appears that the rumor is false, the experience did bring up a good set
law was the law of the land. How were Seventh-day Adventists to relate? of questions. Where is the limit of our responsibility? Consider these
questions. Ham’s son, Canaan, who lived more than 3,000 years ago, was
“The law of our land requiring us to deliver a slave to his
master, we are not to obey; and we must abide the
vile. His children were vile. His grandchildren partook of the same spirit. His
consequences of violating this law.” “The fugitive slave law descendants built Babel. Language was confused and arguments broke out.
was calculated to crush out of man every noble, generous Cultural differences since that time have resulted in millions of deaths and
feeling of sympathy that should arise in his heart for the untold pain. Canaan’s influence is still felt in the world today. A young man
oppressed and suffering slave. It was in direct opposition to the born today in Chicago might have a lineage directly traceable to Canaan.
teaching of Christ.” 63 When he dies while attempting to rob a convenience store, he will be lost.
The young man caused a little trouble in his life, and he did so at the end of
The question of whether or not to obey an authority can not be answered merely the world’s history. Will Canaan, guilty perhaps of neither murder nor theft,
on the basis of whether or not that authority has only just laws. There has never
be held responsible for the 80 million murders that have resulted to a greater
yet been a national authority that had only just and good laws. We are to “submit
or lessor degree from his choices while the young Chicago boy is only held
to every ordinance of man,” as a child is to obey his parents “in the Lord.” 64
Order does not permit us to evade the inconvenient ordinances on account of a
responsible for his 17 years of impropriety?
few “bad” ones. 65 This is manifest in the command a few verses later “Slaves,
obey your lords according to the flesh with fear and trembling . . . as to Christ.” What about secondary causes? When we pay a man to mow our lawns
knowing full well that he is a smoker, are we responsible for enabling him to
Jesus, Peter and Paul, the primary agents of the Godhead in explaining our buy his cigarettes? If we help to manufacture ammunition and artillery, are we
relation to gentile rulers, wrote what they wrote while under a most unjust regime. responsible for its use on the battlefield? What if we help make the boxes for
The Roman power that they taught us to obey put not one, but all three of them, to the ammunition? If the answer to these questions is “no,” then are we
death; two of them by torture. That power imprisoned often and long the one that responsible when we fly the bomber to a place someone else has chosen while
wrote “he that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God.” The taxes they yet someone else releases the bombs?
all three said we should pay enabled that power to enslave and oppress the
masses. In short, the historical context of the “submit” passages enforces The Bible answers clearly, and perhaps in a surprising way, questions of this
obedience specifically to unjust “ministers of wrath.” nature. Consider the following passages.

The Draft as Viewed from the Doctrine of Responsibility And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two
mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor
widow hath cast in more than they all. 67
When I was in school I heard the sobering news that Procter and Gamble was
owned by men that used the profits from the company to fund satanic rituals
and worship. A host of innocent commodities, from dental floss to tissues, 66
Proctor and Gamble has sued a number of persons while fighting this
were being used to raise money for these purposes. And even Seventh-day
allegation. In 1995 they sued a high-level member of Amway Corporation
with spreading this malicious rumor to draw away customers from the
63 company. As of this writing the P&G side of the story could be read at:
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 202, 264. The context of the first of; The case was dismissed. There is a great
these passages is very interesting in regard to God’s relation to the making of
deal on the Internet on this topic. The more serious sources don’t seem to
national laws. See Appendix B.
64 credit the rumor at all, whether or not they defend Amway.
Ephesians 6:1; compare Colossians 3:20.
See Appendix B 67
Luke 21:2–3

For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s connection. When required to carry the burden one mile, one might comply
ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render out of fear. But what could possess the Jew to go a second mile? As he was
therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; not required to do it, it could not be the threatened force of the civil servant.
custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom Only a freely offered and generous act of support for the civil power by the
honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he citizen could motivate the second mile. This freely offered support for Roman
that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 68 power, the power that was used by Satan to execute the babes of Bethlehem,
The money given by the poor widow helped support the very priests that proves that we are not responsible for the acts of the civil government that we
raised the cry “crucify Him!” But she was unaware of their malice and was conscientiously support.
not responsible for the actions that she unwittingly funded. 69 But the second Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow
passage goes further. It exhorts to tax paying. Not only for fear of wrath, but of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said,
“for conscience sake”! But which tax-requiring system in earth’s history has Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say
been free of scandal and waste? Paul taught that we are morally obligated to unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do
support our civil power, and by that teaching he taught just as plainly that we good to them that hate you, and pray for them which
are not responsible for the use made of that tax money. To Jews that hated despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the
Romans and the Roman rule, Jesus bore witness to the same. 70 He strikingly children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his
addressed the question of our responsibility in secondary effects in the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the
Sermon on the Mount. just and on the unjust. 73
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall Christ provides here the clearest evidence that we can not be held accountable
smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if for the evil that is enabled by our kind and generous acts. If responsibility can
any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let be thrown back on those that enabled the wrong-doer, then God would
him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to become responsible for the work of the “evil” and the “unjust” that He warms
go a mile, go with him twain. 71 and waters. Satan has a vested interest in the civil cause that would make it a
On this passage commentators point to the ordinance, originating with Cyrus crime to pay taxes, serve military hospitals, or to register for the draft. The
in Persia, that authorized civil authorities to draft, if you will, any citizen arguments used to accuse faithful citizens also attack the goodness of God,
anywhere at anytime to help transport a civil burden a short distance. The the Giver of breath and food to the impenitent.
Romans adopted this custom along with the Persian word for it. The custom For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do
was particularly hated in Judea. 72 What Jesus taught is remarkable in this not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your
brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the
Romans 13:6–8 publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father
Counsels on Stewardship, p. 175. See Appendix C which is in heaven is perfect. Take heed that ye do not your
Luke 20:25; In this context the Jews were a type of slave. Slaves, under alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no
unjust authority by the very nature of the relationship, are counseled to obey reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou
their masters. See Colossians 3:22. doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the
Mathew 5:39–41 hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they
“Collisions between the people and the soldiers were frequent, and these may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their
inflamed the popular hatred. Often as some Roman official with his guard of reward. 74
soldiers hastened from point to point, he would seize upon the Jewish
peasants who were laboring in the field and compel them to carry burdens up
the mountainside or render any other service that might be needed. This was Blessings, pp. 69–70.
in accordance with the Roman law and custom, and resistance to such Matthew 5:42–45
demands only called forth taunts and cruelty.” Thoughts from the Mount of Mathew 5:46–6:1

The loud protests against war and the defiant spirit that boasts that it will Before we go too far into the depths of our freedom from responsibility, we
accept a martyr’s fate before cooperating with the national government in its might well study the other side. John, on the isle of Patmos, saw the coming
war efforts contrast sharply with Christ’s advice to “resist not evil” and to of Christ. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and
“turn the other cheek” and with Paul’s to “as much as lies with you, live they also which pierced him:” The reference here is to particularly wicked
peaceably with all men.” 75 When the American Civil War was approaching men, including, but not limited to, the soldiers that put the nails through
the point that a draft was rumored, some Seventh-day Adventists with their Christ’s body. These soldiers were fulfilling orders against a man that in all
conference leadership formed a public movement to announce that they likelihood they personally knew little about. Pilate had washed his hands
would not comply with the expected law. from Christ’s blood and the Jews had offered to take full responsibility for the
death of the Messiah. But neither the hand washing nor the claiming of blame
In Iowa they carried things to quite a length, and ran into
fanaticism. They mistook zeal and fanaticism for
freed the soldiers at the cross from their willful complicity. They did not
conscientiousness. Instead of being guided by reason and understand the significance of what they were doing and Christ prayed that
sound judgment, they allowed their feelings to take the lead. the Father would wink at their ignorance. But that sin, unrepented of and
They were ready to become martyrs for their faith. Did all this unforsaken, will follow them to that dreadful day when they are called from
feeling lead them to God? to greater humility before Him? . . . their graves by the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
I saw that those who have been forward to talk so decidedly
about refusing to obey a draft do not understand what they are And the Jewish leaders, though they did not touch Jesus personally, will meet
talking about. Should they really be drafted and, refusing to their decision to kill him again on that same day. 77 Pilate, the soldiers, the
obey, be threatened with imprisonment, torture, or death, they Jewish followers and their leaders represent nearly every class of accomplices
would shrink and then find that they had not prepared in an evil work. And they all share the guilt. Those that planned, those that
themselves for such an emergency . . . .Those who would be allowed themselves to be used against their conscience, he that wavered and
best prepared to sacrifice even life, if required, rather than let the crowd have their way, and they that justified their cruelty on the basis
place themselves in a position where they could not obey God, of their orders from their superiors—all are held accountable at the bar of
would have the least to say. They would make no boast. They God.
would feel deeply and meditate much, and their earnest prayers
would go up to heaven for wisdom to act and grace to endure. Men are even responsible for the accidents that occur during their fighting. 78
Those who feel that in the fear of God they cannot But there are limits to the spreading of responsibility. On one hand, the curses
conscientiously engage in this war will be very quiet, and
on Adam, on Ham, and on Caiaphas and the Jews still operate in the world. 79
when interrogated will simply state what they are obliged to
On the other, the blessings of God operate with greater endurance than his
say in order to answer the inquirer, and then let it be
understood that they have no sympathy with the Rebellion. 76 judgments. Consider the Second Commandment.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image . . . . Thou
Romans 12:18; this is the immediate context of Romans 13. shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 356–357. Emphasis supplied. The LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation
article begins on p. 355. Ellen was shown some things regarding the article
of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of
(written by her husband) on Adventists and military service. This article
them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
opined, in one paragraph, that when a government chooses to engage in
battle, it takes on itself the responsibility for killing and that the soldier does
not bear that responsibility. This was the paragraph that created the stir See Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 294
spoken of. The testimony does not defend the article as being true in this See Exodus 21:22–24. Here a man may even be killed for an accidental
point, but as being the “best light” that the author had. This history receives death. No question is asked in the passage as to the propriety or justice of the
treatment in chapter 4 of The Progressive Years, the second volume of the quarrel. The accidental death implied by verse 23 is the death of a fetus.
Ellen White Biography series. See Desire of Ages, pp. 739–740.

“In prohibiting the worship of false gods, the second withdraw it from those to whom it has been lent. 82 God enlists even godless
commandment by implication enjoins the worship of the true governments in this work of life-taking, 83 but only in a nation under the
God. And to those who are faithful in His service, mercy is immediate Divine Direction, whether by Urim and Thumim or prophet could
promised, not merely to the third and fourth generation as is a man of God be enlisted in this work. Without the unequivocal directions of
the wrath threatened against those who hate Him, but to the Life-giver to take life, a godly man could not be suited to the work. To
thousands of generations.” 80 take life that the Heart-reader has not specifically appointed for destruction is
Faith, love and obedience are that much stronger than guilt and sin. But more to steal from that soul what God has leant him. It is a crime against him and a
than that, each generation bears the lion’s share of responsibility for its own greater crime against God.
decisions. The generation before bears the responsibility to a only slightly less
degree. But the law of God limits the responsibility resting on Shem’s son Even king David was unsuited by his life of war for the work of building the
Canaan by limiting his direct influence. His wicked decisions played direct Temple of God. How much less could those that are part of the temple’s
roles in the moral makeup of only three or four generations. cleansing be qualified for their work while taking blood on their hands. The
punishment of evil doers is here and now entrusted to gentile governments
There are other limits to responsibility. Many people, in an effort to defend and they “bare not the sword in vain.” 84
their views on Christian participation in a righteous war, offer the example of
the nation of Israel. God commanded them not only to fight, but often to Military service does not mean, intrinsically, participation in murder. But the
commit most thorough acts of genocide. The commands of God would be willful joining of the military, in America at least, is a resigning of your
viewed today as outrages against humanity. Moses would be arranged before personal freedoms. This Christians are not at liberty to do. But when they
the international community as a villain without a peer. How could God have, or when they come to know Jesus in their military capacity, the Law of
command men to carry out deeds of slaughter? God does not require them to desert their post. When people asked John the
Baptist what they were to do, he answered with practical suggestions. Then
Imagine that I loaned a vehicle to you for a few days and let you know that I the publicans asked. Finally the soldiers “demanded” in typical soldierly
might need it back without much notice. If, while it was in your possession, fashion. John did not bid them to refuse obedience to their commanding
you were pulled from the driver’s seat and a thief drove away, you would officer. But neither did he permit them to fight. He bade them “Do violence to
consider that stealing. It would be a wrong done to you, though it was not no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” 85 The
your car, and a greater wrong done to me. military was, in the time of Jesus, the home of the greatest man of faith Jesus
had met in the nation of Israel. 86 One must assume that the greatest faith was
Now if I came and took the car, it would be different. The car is mine and I not the possession of a man whose job made him a hypocrite. But he with his
may take it if I care to. And if I decided that you were being irresponsible great authority was, like all men, to “be no brawler, gentle to all men.” 87
with the car and asked my shop manager to take the spare key and bring the
car back, that would also be my prerogative. Neither my faithful manager nor God has delegated to men the execution of murderers. This ordinance was the
I could be charged with wrongdoing. I took what was mine; he did what I first of all civil ordinances, and is enunciated in the 13th chapter of
asked him with my goods. Revelation. 88 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood shall be shed by man.
See Numbers 25:5; Exodus 32:27; Deuteronomy 32:39
When people charge God with wrong doing in the work of death that he has 83
See Ezekiel 30:24–25
assigned men and angels to do, they forget that God is the life-giver and the 84
See Romans 13:4
sustainer of life. “In Him we live and move and exist . . . for we are His 85
See Luke 3:10–14
offspring.” “All souls are mine.” 81 Life is His, and He has the right to 86
Matthew 8
I Timothy 3:3
80 88
Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 306 Genesis 9:6; Revelation 13:10; prior to the flood, when there was no civil
Acts 17:28; Ezekiel 18:4 government, and even before a man had died from any other cause, a murder

For He made man in the image of God.” Here it is the sacredness of life that “And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day,
is urged in defense of the death penalty contrary to the way the argument is before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. And he
heard most often today. “If anyone will kill by the sword, he must be killed by said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and
the sword” is the language of the last living apostle. Let those considering shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said
military careers consider this last point. The reformer Zwingli, neglecting this he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and
article of faith, fell on the field of battle while in the prime of his life. 89 likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his
garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is
The discussion of the death penalty leads naturally to the discussion of self- written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned
among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an
defense. Consider the following passages in connection.
end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to said unto them, It is enough.” 92
destroy:” “If a man shall steal an ox . . . and kill it, or sell it; he
shall restore five oxen for an ox. . . . If a thief be found
While the disciples had been doing the work of God, they had been under
breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be Divine protection. No harm could come to them without their God’s approval.
shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood While in His employ, they were provided with food and shelter and
shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have guardianship. But tonight that would change. They would leave His service,
nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” 90 and Jesus warned them that they would need now to watch out for
themselves. While in the service of the evil one they would need sword and
The laws of Israel like those of civilized nations today, made allowance for money to ensure their survival. It was the prophecy of Peter’s fall that called
the use of lethal force in self-protection and in the protection of others. Jesus, forth this saying. Christian’s must understand that a loving Savior gives men
just before His betrayal and death, reiterated the principle by instructing His that have placed themselves where He can not protect them the right to
disciples to sell what was necessary to get the funds to buy a sword. protect their own lives. 93
Jesus had sent out the twelve without a purse or a scrip. They had returned But when, that very evening, Peter tried to defend Jesus with one of the two
with joy for their evangelistic success. Then Jesus had sent out the seventy swords, Jesus denied him the privilege. “Then said Jesus to Peter, ‘Put your
with a similar lack of provisions. The seventy had the report of the twelve to sword into the sheath: the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not
sustain their faith and went out boldly. They too returned victorious. 91 But drink it?” 94 Peter was still claiming to serve Jesus and the sword was
now, after warning of Peter’s soon coming fall, Jesus changed His directives. unwarranted. Jesus rested in the thought that heaven could and would protect
Him if it was right. But the time had come to drink the cup of persecution.
took place. Cain feared vigilantism. There was no government on earth and
no judicial system to hear the arguments. God did not sanction the personal
taking of vengeance against the wrong doer. Without due process of law life
was not to be taken. See Genesis 4:9–15. “And Jehovah set a mark on Cain so
that anyone that found him should not kill him.” v. 15. Murder is not to be See the first few verses of chapters nine and ten of Luke for these stories.
revenged with murder. Perhaps God is waiting today for a small group that will demonstrate their
The Great Controversy, 1911 ed., p. 212 willingness to venture into His work equipped and supported by naught but
John 10:10; Exodus 22:1–3. The idea here seems to be that if a thief breaks His promises. And perhaps a veritable multitude will do the same work when
in during the day, his intentions were to steal only, not to kill. In that case he the few return.
should make restitution, not be slaughtered. The passage does not teach that a Luke 22:34–38
man ought to kill a thief in self-defense, but only that a government should The book of Esther makes no distinct reference to God. But it gives a
not punish a man if he does. This is an important distinction. The laws of the picture of circumstances that Providence seems to take credit for in the
land were not written with the thought that every man would be an angel- protection of the Jews. See Esther 8:11; 9:16
protected Christian. See John 18:11

That was to be swallowed without resistance. Jesus is not the only sheep that servant of Solomon was turned by an unfounded fear of death into a most
is to be led silently to the place of execution. 95 He is not the only one to drink dreadful apostasy that led to the ruin of his kingdom. 103
the cup without resistance. 96 He was not the only one. If we are to resist to the
point of shedding blood, it is to be our own blood shed by the agony of the Satan has gambled on man’s fear of death. “Skin for skin” he retorted when
struggle against sin. 97 challenged by God to think about Job. 104 The Jews misjudged Jesus on the
same point. The Pharisees “came saying ‘Go out and go on from here, for
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also
suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow
Herod desires to kill you.’ ” Jesus replied confessing that He was ready for
his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his his fate and that He was unafraid of the power of men. But he said that he
mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he would travel on to the capital, “for it is not possible for a prophet to perish
suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that outside Jerusalem.” 105
judgeth righteously.” 98
The fear of death has, ironically, often led directly to death. Founded as fear
God is our defense and we are not to undermine the truth by our efforts. We of death is on an unbelief in God’s promises of protection and on a supposed
are to commit the keeping of even our temporal souls to Christ. Vengeance is ability to see the outcome of events, it is often little helped by correction from
not ours. 99 David considered that it would have been a sin not only against God’s prophets. It was fear of death that led the Jews to seek counsel from
God but against Saul personally to have killed him in self-defense. 100 In the Jeremiah and to promise to comply. But when that counsel seemed very very
case of war the practice of national defense exposes the Christian to further dangerous, it was fear of death that led them to disobey. Their disobedience
woes. “Do not kill the innocent and the righteous; for I will not justify the led to their death. 106
wicked.” 101 If a man can not be righteous and fight in a war, then the issue is
settled. If a man may be righteous and fight in a war, then the enemy may be a Sabbath Observance and Oath Taking
righteous man. And the target may house innocent men. We will be
responsible if we assume that we know either the future or the hearts of our When an officer commands a Seventh-day Adventist cadet to take aim at an
fellow men. enemy encampment and to fire his weapon, the cadet may see forcefully that
his conscience forbids obedience to his superior. The law includes a
For the believer, the fear of death is just that type of assumption. It is a virtual prohibition of murder. But when asked to swear allegiance and unconditional
rejection of God’s promises for protection here and a happy life in the obedience to his commanders, he may not find clear Bible passages coming to
hereafter. As a guiding motive in forced military service cowardice is most to his mind to forbid or permit compliance.
be despised in the Christian. To “risk” our life in efforts to save dying men we
do not show the same bravery as the atheist who has no thought of afterlife. And military persons are often little inclined to respect Sabbath’s sacred
The world has a right to expect us to be nobler. But alas, the family of obligations. Nor are they inclined to grant their men the Sabbath privileges
believers, including its fathers Abraham (twice) and Isaac, has shown too they request or demand. In our own denominational history the issues of
often its heart’s unbelief by its failure in the face of death. 102 The faithful Sabbath observance during time of war and under oppressive regimes have
led to significant divisions.
Psalms 44:22; Romans 8:26 Jesus taught that “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day.” That example
Mark 10:38–39 he was referring to was the healing of a person. With this in mind Adventists
Hebrews 12:3
98 103
See 1 Peter 2:21–23 I Kings 12:27; This prediction of the future, like many predictions do,
See Romans 12:19; I Corinthians 4:11–12; I Thessalonians 5:15; I Peter 3:9 neglected to reckon in the effect of God’s blessing on the obedient.
100 104
I Samuel 24:11 Job 2:4
101 105
Exodus 23:7 Luke 13:31–33
102 106
See Genesis 12, 20, 26. See Jeremiah 41; see also 1 Samuel 28

have thought and taught that medical ministry on Sabbath would not be a conscience? Which is pure and elevating and ennobling? When
violation of the commandment. This understanding led to a petition to the one takes a course that is in harmony with his own perverted,
American military that Adventists, as far as possible, be placed in medical hereditary and cultivated taste, in indulgence of appetite, shall
units to avoid unnecessary hassles over the Sabbath issue. his claims of conscientiousness be respected as of heavenly
At this point it would be right to discuss the role of conscience in the Jesus condemned their practices, declaring that their custom in
decisions made by a Christian. Of special interest are the answers to the oath taking was a transgression of the commandment of God.
following questions. Our Savior did not, however, forbid the use of the judicial
oath, in which God is solemnly called to witness that what is
What should an SDA do who is not “convicted” regarding bearing arms? said is truth and nothing but the truth. Jesus Himself, at His
trial before the Sanhedrin, did not refuse to testify under oath
What should he do if he is “convicted” that he should obey his commander’s . . . . Had Christ in the Sermon on the Mount condemned the
orders even when those conflict with the plain wording of the judicial oath, He would at His trial have reproved the high
Commandments? priest and thus, for the benefit of His followers, have enforced
His own teaching . . . . There are very many who do not fear to
Which oaths, and under which circumstances, violate the command to “swear deceive their fellow men, but they have been taught, and have
not at all”? been impressed by the Spirit of God, that it is a fearful thing to
lie to their Maker. When put under oath they are made to feel
What kind of work is prohibited by the fourth commandment? Does work in a that they are not testifying merely before men, but before God;
that if they bear false witness, it is to Him who reads the heart
medical facility exempt the worker from the prohibition against doing “any
and who knows the exact truth. The knowledge of the fearful
work”? What about worker remuneration for Sabbath labor? judgments that have followed this sin has a restraining
influence upon them.110
A few statements from the pen of Inspiration would be of service. A man
under authority is not released from his moral obligations. The most difficult You may say, "But I have given my promise [in regard to
pressure to bear is often not that which arises from persecution by the enemy. marriage], and shall I now retract it?" I answer, If you have
Rather, it is the little jab, the disgusted look, of a respected friend. The soldier, made a promise contrary to the Scriptures, by all means retract
whether in the medical corps or in basic training, must hold as his motto, it without delay, and in humility before God repent of the
“Death before dishonor or the transgression of God's law.”107 infatuation that led you to make so rash a pledge. Far better
take back such a promise, in the fear of God, than keep it, and
[This man] will do anything and everything to be a servant of thereby dishonor your Maker.111
the cause, but he will not do the very thing that the Lord has
signified is right to be done . . . . This pretense of “Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? He that sweareth to
conscientiousness has been pretty thoroughly tested and his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his
proved. I speak understandingly when I tell you that I have money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that
very little confidence in his conscientiousness. There is a good doeth these things shall never be moved. Psalms 15
conscience and a bad conscience, and the man is most Physicians need to cultivate a spirit of self-denial and self-
thoroughly deceived in himself.”108 sacrifice. It may be necessary to devote even the hours of the
How can you plead that you are conscientious in the work? holy Sabbath to the relief of suffering humanity. But the fee for
Know ye not that there is a good conscience and a bad such labor should be put into the treasury of the Lord, to be
Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 209
107 110
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 147 Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 66-67
108 111
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, p. 725 Adventist Home, pp. 48-49

used for the worthy poor, who need medical skill but cannot But fanaticism and feelings are often mistaken for conscience. Men are not
afford to pay for it.112 held responsible for the actions of the nations they support, nor are they
A spirit of irreverence and carelessness in the observance of released from supporting them by the wicked acts of those nations. Whether
the Sabbath is liable to come into our sanitariums . . . . that support is financial or physical, when demanded it is to be cheerfully
Especially should every physician endeavor to set a right given. And as a symbol of our belief in national order, we ought to “go the
example. The nature of his duties naturally leads him to feel extra mile” to show that support.
justified in doing on the Sabbath many things that he should
refrain from doing. So far as possible, he should so plan his But our support for our nation does not detract an iota of authority from the
work that he can lay aside his ordinary duties . . . . Often sacred Law of God. Christians are not authorized to use lethal force nor to
physicians and nurses are called upon during the Sabbath to take positions requiring the use of lethal force. If they are found in those
minister to the sick, and sometimes it is impossible for them to positions they are commanded to “do violence to no man.” Their Christianity
take time for rest and for attending devotional services. The has unfitted them to be ministers of wrath. They may display the greatest faith
needs of suffering humanity are never to be neglected. The and courage in their military duties. They ought not to fear death and ought to
Savior by His example has shown us that it is right to relieve obey authority even at the peril of their lives from enemy fire. But they must
suffering on the Sabbath. But unnecessary work, such as under no case disobey the Holy Law of Jehovah.
ordinary treatments and operations that can be postponed,
should be deferred. Let the patients understand that physicians They may relieve the sick and suffering, but the needs of wounded humanity
and helpers should have one day for rest. Let them understand do not remove from the Sabbath its sacred character. Things that can be done
that the workers fear God and desire to keep holy the day that
the next day should be. Things that can be done on Friday should be. The
He has set apart for His followers to observe as a sign between
voice of a commanding officer does not make wrong into right. A man must,
Him and them.113
like Daniel, purpose in his heart that he will not defile himself. Then he
Conclusion should, like Daniel, make humble and consistent efforts to have his rights to
worship respected. But his humility will not excuse treachery against the
Order and chaos are at war. God is on the side of order and has given to men government of heaven. While doing the duties he must do to relieve suffering,
the right to order themselves and to enforce laws and discipline. The he must yet keep the Sabbath as the Sabbath “of the Lord” his God. He can
maintenance of this order depends as much on the support of citizens as did accept no assignments, permit no forced labor. If paid for what he must do as
the order in heaven. For that reason Christians, more than all others, are a missionary, he will return that pay into a fund for doing further mission
obligated to support order in the form of national and civil institutions at all work.
levels. National governments are not the only gifts of order given to men.
Order has been placed in the family and in the church. And the order that When he is sworn into service, he will not be at liberty to barter away his
regulates heaven, the Law of God, binds all men under the strictest obligation. will. He must recognize in his promise that the one nation he pledges his
Christians are to support all these forms of organization by cheerful allegiance to is “under God.” If he has made a promise to do whatever he is
submission. When these forms conflict, the Christian must evaluate which told to do regardless of all else, he should be all means retract this promise.
authority is the higher and submit to that one. When the higher authority is He is Christ’s free man, though he be a slave of the government.
not the state, the Christian will recognize that it is most unfortunate that he is
not able to support the lower form of order and will be not at all inclined to These last paragraphs are advice. We are to be very careful in the advice we
boast of his defiance of national law. give. And more so in the advice received. That truth may shine brighter and
duty more clear is my prayer.

Appendix A
Medical Ministry, p. 216
Counsels on Health, p. 236

RH 01-19-64; also in 1T 427 2T 285 (ca. 1968) 4T 200 (1875) take God to witness that what they say is the truth, and nothing but the truth.
RH 11-27-83 RH 1-15-84 RH 2-14-88 – Testimonies to the Church, vol. 1, pp. 201–202
RH 3-6-88; also in TMKH 115 ST 7-6-88 6BC 1120
2SAT 57, 68; 2-1-90 EV 204 (1894) RH 5-5-91 Appendix C
14MR 294; also in TE 110 (1896) RH 4-19-98 RH 11-29-98
RH 2-1-99 1SAT p. 313 (2-2-00) 14MR 161 The Saviour called His disciples to Him, and bade them mark the
RH 7-30-00 YI 01-01-03 widow's poverty. Then His words of commendation fell upon her ear: "Of a
SpTB07, 11-27-1903; p. 17 RH 3-15-06; also in HP 361 truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all."
Tears of joy filled her eyes as she felt that her act was understood and
Appendix B appreciated. Many would have advised her to keep her pittance for her own
Oath Taking and the Fugitive Slave Law use; given into the hands of the well-fed priests, it would be lost sight of
among the many costly gifts brought to the treasury. But Jesus understood her
I saw that some of God's children have made a mistake in regard to oath motive. She believed the service of the temple to be of God's appointment,
taking, and Satan has taken advantage of this to oppress them, and take from and she was anxious to do her utmost to sustain it. She did what she could,
them their Lord's money. I saw that the words of our Lord, "Swear not at all," and her act was to be a monument to her memory through all time, and her
do not touch the judicial oath. "Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, joy in eternity. Her heart went with her gift; its value was estimated, not by
nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." This refers to the worth of the coin, but by the love to God and the interest in His work that
common conversation. Some exaggerate in their language. Some swear by had prompted the deed. – Counsels on Stewardship, p. 175
their own life; others swear by their head--as sure as they live; as sure as they
have a head. Some take heaven and earth to witness that such things are so.
Some hope that God will strike them out of existence if what they are saying
is not true. It is this kind of common swearing against which Jesus warns His
We have men placed over us for rulers, and laws to govern the people.
Were it not for these laws, the condition of the world would be worse than it
is now. Some of these laws are good, others are bad. The bad have been
increasing, and we are yet to be brought into strait places. But God will
sustain His people in being firm and living up to the principles of His word.
When the laws of men conflict with the word and law of God, we are to obey
the latter, whatever the consequences may be. The law of our land requiring
us to deliver a slave to his master, we are not to obey; and we must abide the
consequences of violating this law. The slave is not the property of any man.
God is his rightful master, and man has no right to take God's workmanship
into his hands, and claim him as his own.
I saw that the Lord still has something to do with the laws of the land.
While Jesus is in the sanctuary, God's restraining Spirit is felt by rulers and
people. But Satan controls to a great extent the mass of the world, and were it
not for the laws of the land, we should experience much suffering. I was
shown that when it is actually necessary, and they are called upon to testify in
a lawful manner, it is no violation of God's word for His children to solemnly