The Faith I Live By


God and Caesar, August 22

In Contact With Others

Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? ... And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's. Luke 20:22-25. FLB 240.1

Christ's reply was ... a candid answer to the 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 power, they should render to that power the support it claimed, so long as this did not conflict with a higher duty. But while peaceably subject to the laws of the land, they should at all times give their first allegiance to God.106The Desire of Ages, 602. FLB 240.2

We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God's Word must be recognized as above all human legislation. A “Thus saith the Lord” is not to be set aside for a “Thus saith the church” or a “Thus saith the state.” The crown of Christ is to be lifted above the diadems of earthly potentates.107The Acts of the Apostles, 69. FLB 240.3

The wisdom and authority of the divine law are supreme.... The ten precepts of Jehovah are the foundation of all righteous and good laws. Those who love God's commandments will conform to every good law of the land.108Testimonies for the Church 1:361, 362. FLB 240.4

We are not required to defy authorities.... We are to go forward in Christ's name, advocating the truths committed to us. If we are forbidden by men to do this work, then we may say, as did the apostles, “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19, 20.109The Acts of the Apostles, 69. FLB 240.5

Our kingdom is not of this world. We are waiting for our Lord from heaven to come to earth to ... set up His everlasting kingdom.110Testimonies for the Church 1:360. FLB 240.6