"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. . . . If thou
do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the
minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Verses
5. For whom is law made?
"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the
lawless and disobedient." 1 Tim. 1:9.
6. How are Christians admonished to respect civil authority?
"Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and
powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work." Titus 3:1. "
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 evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well. . . . Honor all men. Love the
brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king." 1 Peter 2:13-17. "For for this cause pay
ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom;
fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor." Rom. 13:6,7.
7. In what words does Christ show that there is another realm outside of Caesar's,
or civil government?
"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the
things that are God's." Matt. 22:21.
8. To whom alone did He say worship is to be rendered?
"Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou
serve." Matt. 4:10.
9. What decree did King Nebuchadnezzar once make respecting worship?
"To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye
hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of
music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath
set up. And whoso falleth not down and worshipeth shall the same hour be cast into the
midst of a burning fiery furnace."' Dan. 3:4-6.
NOTE.-This decree was in direct conflict with the second commandment of God's law,
which forbids making, bowing down to, and serving images. It was religious, idolatrous,
and persecuting in character.
10. What answer did the three Hebrew captives, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego,
return when asked by the king why they had not fallen down and worshiped the golden image,
as he had commanded?
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar
, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is
able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine
hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy
gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Verses 16-18.
11. What did Nebuchadnezzar then do?
"Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: . . . and he commanded the most mighty men that
were in his army; to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the
burning fiery furnace." Verses 19, 20.
12. After their miraculous deliverance, what did Nebuchadnezzar say?
"Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego, who hath sent His angel, and delivered His servants that trusted in Him, and
have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor
worship any god, except their own God." Verse 28.
NOTE.-By preserving these men in the fire, and thus changing the king's word, God was
demonstrating before all the world, through this greatest of then-existing earthly
kingdoms, that with the question of religion civil governments can of right have nothing
whatsoever to do; that religion is a realm outside the legitimate sphere of civil
authority; and that every individual should be left free to worship, or not to worship,
according: to the dictates of his own conscience. The lesson to be learned from this is
that, although ordained of God, civil governments are not ordained to direct or oppress
men in religious matters.
13. How only did the envious princes and rulers under King Darius conclude that they
could effect the downfall of Daniel?
"Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except
we find it against him concerning the law of God." Dan. 6:5.
14. To this end, what decree did they prevail upon the king to make and sign?
"That whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of
thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions." Verse 7.
NOTE.-Unlike the decree of Nebuchadnezzar, this decree forbade the worship of the true
God, and was therefore in direct conflict with the first commandment, which forbids the
worship of any other than the true God. Like it, however, it was religious and persecuting
15. How did Daniel regard this decree?
"Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his
windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three
times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime."
16. What was finally done with Daniel?
"Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of
lions." Verse 16.
17. What did Darius say to Daniel the next morning when he came to the lions' den?
"The king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy
God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?" Verse 20.
18. What was Daniel's reply?
"Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. My God hath sent His angel,
and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him
innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt." Verses
NOTE.-Here again was demonstrated by a most remarkable miracle, wrought in the face of
the greatest nation then in existence, that with the directing, prescribing, proscribing,
or interfering with religion or its free exercise, civil governments can of right have
nothing whatever to do; that religion is an individual matter, and should be left to the
dictates of each one s own conscience.
19. Before leaving His disciples, what command did Christ give them?
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark
20. What counter-command did the Jewish Sanhedrin soon afterward give them?
"And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the
name of Jesus." Acts 4:18.
21. What reply did Peter and John make?
"But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the
sight of God to harken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak
the things which we have seen and heard." Verses 19, 20.
22. For continuing to preach Jesus, what did the Jewish rulers do to the apostles?
"Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect
of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the
apostles, and put them in the common prison." Acts 5:17,18.
23. What did an angel of God then do?
"But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them
forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of
this life." Verses 19, 20.
NOTE.-Here once again is demonstrated the fact that men have no right to interfere with
the free exercise of religion, and that when the laws of men conflict with the law and
Word of God, we are to obey the latter, whatever the consequences may be. God Himself has
set the seal of His approval to such a course. John Bunyan was imprisoned for twelve years
for daring to preach the gospel contrary to law.
24. Upon the apostles being called before the council again, what question did the
high priest ask them?