Civil authorities (30)

       Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                C I V I L    A U T H O R I T I E S          (  3  RELATED  PHRASES )                      

                       The  phrase  'Civil authorities'  appears  30  times in the published writings of EGW                See page on Original site                                                          Related phrase:   civil power

   The apostle plainly outlined the attitude that believers should sustain toward the civil authorities:  "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with welldoing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.  {ML 280.2}  {AA 522.2}



  By some of our brethren many things have been spoken and written that are interpreted as expressing antagonism to government and law. It is a mistake thus to lay ourselves open to misunderstanding. It is not wise to find fault continually with what is done by the rulers of government. It is not our work to attack individuals or institutions. We should exercise great care lest we be understood as putting ourselves in opposition to the civil authorities. It is true that our warfare is aggressive, but our weapons are to be those found in a plain "Thus saith the Lord." Our work is to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God. We should not be turned aside to lines that will encourage controversy or arouse antagonism in those not of our faith.  Test, Vol. 6, page 394.1   {CW 68.1}   {RH, March 30, 1911 par. 2}  



  The decrees of councils proving insufficient, the secular authorities were besought to issue an edict that would strike terror to the hearts of the people and force them to refrain from labor on the Sunday. At a synod held in Rome, all previous decisions were reaffirmed with greater force and solemnity. They were also incorporated into the ecclesiastical law and enforced by the civil authorities throughout nearly all Christendom. (See Heylyn, History of the Sabbath, pt. 2, ch. 5, sec. 7.)   Great Controversy, page 575.3

Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives.  Great Controversy, page 592.1   {4SP 409.2}
In vain were both ecclesiastical and civil authorities invoked to crush the heresy. In vain they resorted to imprisonment, torture, fire, and sword. Thousands of believers sealed their faith with their blood, and yet the work went on. Throughout Germany, particularly in the Saxon States, in France and Holland, in Switzerland, in England, and in other countries, the Lord raised up men to present to the benighted minds of the people the light of God's word. Persecution served only to extend the work; and the fanaticism which Satan endeavored to unite with it, resulted in making more clear the contrast between the work of Satan and the work of God.  {ST, November 1, 1883 par. 13}


                  How To Relate To Civil Authorities, Especially in Regard to the Sabbath  {2MR 193.1}

                    Recommended reading:  Attitude to Civil Authorities

                                  Civil  authorities  should  not  control  the  conscience                                                


A hundred years later, John Trask acknowledged the obligation of the true Sabbath, and employed voice and pen in its defense. He was soon called to account by the persecuting power of the Church of England. He declared the sufficiency of the Scriptures as a guide for religious faith, and maintained that civil authorities should not control the conscience in matters which concern salvation. He was brought for trial before the infamous tribunal of the Star Chamber, where a long discussion was held respecting the Sabbath. Trask would not depart from the injunctions and commandments of God to obey the commandments of men. He was therefore condemned, and sentenced to be set upon the pillory, and thence to be publicly whipped to the fleet, there to remain a prisoner. This cruel sentence was executed, and after a time his spirit was broken. He endured his sufferings in the prison for one year, and then recanted. Oh that he had suffered on, and won a martyr's crown!  {4SP 181.1}






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Related Information

Civil authority (24) Aid of the civil power