The kings of the earth set themselves,And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.”
-Psalm 2 2-3
“Christianity is a fighting religion. I don't want retreat I want attack...let us go down fighting for the right side.”
The original American seal was “rebellion to tyrants is obedience to god” with a picture of Moses drowning pharaohs army in the red sea. Israel could either follow Moses and God into the promise land under his authority and law, or they could return to Egypt under a tyrannical form of government under pharaoh. A biblical principle is to overcome evil with good Rom 12 17-21 1 Peter 2 21-24. God looks for people to oppose injustice Ezk 22 29-20 such as tyrants. Rebellion to tyrants has been around since the origins of Christianity and supported by men like Augustine in the city of God and Thomas Aquinas in on kingship.
“As government actions become more and more evil, the cause of resistance towards government becomes more and more righteous.”
-Timothy and Chuck Baldwin Romans 13 the True Meaning of Submission
“The duty to resist unjust law is the product of christian thought.”
--Matthew J Trewhella The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates A Proper resistance to Tyranny and a Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government
“An unjust law, is no law at all.”
You overcome tyrannical governments with Gods law of liberty James 1.5. God gave his preferred governmental system in the old Testament. The purpose of goverment is to restrain evil men, not to give evil men Gods ordination. God himself overthrow many tyrannical governments and instituted those who would follow his whole law James 2.10. His laws and not mans should be followed
Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.
God gave rights and liberty to man being created in his image that are not to be violated by man. A violation of a God given unalienable right is a violation of man being created in the image of God. So man made government that has violated Gods laws for mankind is in rebellion towards the King of Kings. Any nation that follows Gods law will be blessed Deuteronomy 28.1-14 Psalm 33.12 and any nation that does not, will be cursed Deuteronomy 6 15-57.
They set up kings without my consent;
they choose princes without my approval.
It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
for the throne is established by righteousness.
Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
There are reasons for just war Ecclesiastes 3.8 proverbs 20.18 24.6 Numbers 21 21-24 Luke 14.32 Exodus 22.2 and the conquest narratives in Joshua for example. Jesus himself is often armed with a sword rev 19, 1 Chronicles 21:16, Joshua 5.13, Numbers 22.23 and others. In Judges 5.23 God condemns the Meroz who refused to fight his enemies. Jael was praised for killing the Canaanite general Sisera by driving a tent peg through his skull. God himself overthrow governments multiple times in the old Testament even by the use of warfare.
The LORD is a man of war
Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully,
And cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.
Stephen and Paul affirmed and commended Israel for fighting in those OT wars in acts 7.46 13 19 and Heb 11 33-34. God raised up Moses, Gideon, Ehud, Jephthah, Sampson, Esther, and Deborah to trow off tyrannical governments and restore Israel to the king of kings, and they were all praised in Hebrews 11.
23 But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.”
When Jesus returns he will overthrow the governments of the world united against him.
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him [Jesus] was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.... out of His mouth goes a sharp[g] sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.... the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Other forms of resistance in the bible took place such as In acts chapter 5 Peter replied to the officials “We must obey God rather than human beings!” and they put Gods word above mans Acts 4.19. 2 Kings 11 the tyrant queen Athaliah declared treason against those who followed God and Jehoiada the priest had her executed. In Daniel 6 the prophet hears of an unjust law, and deliberate and openly rebels against the law that contradicted gods law. Jeremiah was arrested for treason for preaching gods word calling on Israel to surrender instead of going to war as the king wanted. Rahab disobeyed her king and was praised in Hebrews 11 and James 2.25 as did the midwives Hebrews 11.23. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-dgo disobeyed government authority. In 1 Kings 21 Elijah is “the enemy” of the king Ahab. In 2 Kings 1 the king sends captains to Elijah to come down from the hill to speak with the king [a very easy reasonable request]. Elijah and the angel of the lord [Jesus] by killing the kings men twice for a total of 100 men. Peter disobeyed authority in Acts 5.29. And the men of god withstood king Uzziah
18 And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.”
-2 chronicles 26.18
“When the state commands that which God forbids, or forbids that which god commands, we are to obey God rather than man.”
-Matthew J Trewhella The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates A Proper resistance to Tyranny and a Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government
God often sent prophets to Kings who stepped outside of gods law. Samuel was sent to confront Saul, Nathan and Gad to David, Isiah to Manasseh. The apostles were in and out of jail and killed for perching Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 11 32-33 Paul escaped government officials rather than submit. In Acts 16 Paul ans Silas refused orders and told the magistrates to see them face and admit their unjust imprisonment. Jesus resisted authorities when they often tried to kill him. Instead of submitting to Herod's massacre of the babies of Bethlehem, Joesph obeyed god and brought his family to Egypt. The early Christians fled instead of submitting to injustice Matt 10.23. Jesus was killed for treason and crucified “king of the Jews” as there was no king but Cesar. Paul preached Jesus as king and was accused of treason
and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.
And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”
The Maccabees Revolt
Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
Let the godly exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
7 to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishments on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with chains
and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9 to execute on them the judgment written!
This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the Lord!
-Psalm 149 5-9
Jesus celebrated Hanukkah [festival of lights/ festival of dedication] in remembrance of the Maccabees refusal to confirm to the pagan government and society. The Maccabees are praised in the “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11 35-36 and v 38. In the books of Maccabees the Greek government over Israel sought to outlaw Judaism and assimilate Jews into the Greek culture so they would not be so rebellious. “Those who obey the Torah rather than the king were publicly put to death.” “Jerusalem was no longer free but became a slave.” The government authority wanted to recreate Jews in its own image as all centralized nations do 1 Macc 1.41. Those Jews that conformed with Greek culture and obeyed the government, were those who “hated their own nation.”
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[a] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
In this climate comes the celebrated Maccabees who fought a war of resistance against Greek rule who stayed separate as a people following the laws of Moses and would not conform to the governments demands. They fought battles and recaptured the temple. In 1 Macc 2 19-22 the Maccabees followed Moses laws and ordinances not the Kings. And in v 24 Mattathias driven by a righteous anger killed a assimilated Jew and one of the Kings officials and torn down government placed alters. In short
“They rescued the law out of the hands of the Gentiles and kings, and they never let the sinner gain the upper hand.”
-1 Macc 2.48
These were the actions of those praised in Hebrews 11 and that Jesus found cause to celebrate. And according to the Talmud, God did a miracle to keep the Menorah lit for eight days for those brave men who loved God more than Government.
Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.”
-2 Samuel 10.12