Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God


This is the Gostelowe Battle Flag of the American Revolution.

This was a Pennsylvania militia flag and its design is credited to Philadelphia businessman Jonathan Gostelowe.  It shows thirteen stars representing the thirteen American Colonies/States during the America Revolution.  It displays an armored arm coming out of the cloud representing Jehovah-sabaioth- The LORD of Hosts or the God of Armies.


I Samuel 17:45 (NASV)

Then David said to the Philistine [Goliath of Gath], “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the Armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.


The phrase “Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God” was the slogan for the American Revolution.  Like David facing Goliath over two thousand years prior, the Americans knew they had nothing on their side except the protection of the Lord of Hosts.  Benjamin Franklin proposed that slogan in his draft for the new nation’s seal.  Jefferson proposed a similar wording in his design, replacing resistance with rebellion.  There is no debate that this was the slogan of the American Revolution.  After the French and Indian War a constitutional battle was waged between the thirteen American Colonies and the British King George III and his Parliament.  The American cause was preached from the pulpits long before it made its way to the councils and committee tables of American government. 


John Adams credited the preachings of the Rev. Dr. Johnathan Mayhew and Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper as being the two most “most conspicuous, the most ardent, and influential” individuals in the “awakening and revival of American principles and feelings” leading up to independence.  America was born out of the Protestant Reformation and beginning in 1740 the First Great Awakening in America began when the pulpits “roared,” first calling the people back to a personal relationship with God and encouraging them that “resistance to tyranny was obedience to God.”


Rev. Mayhew preached A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers.  It was published as a pamphlet and sent to England as an argument for the American cause.  This was one of the sermons that argued the 27 grievances in the Declaration of Independence.

We may very safely assert these two things in general, without undermining government: One is, That no civil rulers are to be obeyed when they enjoin things that are inconsistent with the commands of God: All such disobedience is lawful and glorious; particularly, if persons refuse to comply with any legal establishment of religion, because it is a gross perversion and corruption (as to doctrine, worship and discipline) of a pure and divine religion, brought from heaven to earth by the Son of God, (the only King and Head of the Christian church) and propagated through the world by his inspired apostles. All commands running counter to the declared will of the supreme legislator of heaven and earth, are null and void: And therefore disobedience to them is a duty, not a crime.
Till people find themselves greatly abused and oppressed by their governors, they are not apt to complain; and whenever they do, in fact, find themselves thus abused and oppressed, they must be stupid not to complain.
To say that subjects in general are not proper judges when their governors oppress them, and play the tyrant; and when they defend their rights, administer justice impartially, and promote the public welfare, is as great treason as ever man uttered;—'tis treason,—not against one single man, but the state—against the whole body politic;—'tis treason against mankind;—'tis treason against common sense;—'tis treason against God. And this impious principle lays the foundation for justifying all the tyranny and oppression that ever any prince was guilty of. The people know for what end they set up, and maintain, their governors; and they are the proper judges when they execute their trust as they ought to do it;—when their prince exercises an equitable and paternal authority over them;—when from a prince and common father, he exalts himself into a tyrant—when from subjects and children, he degrades them into the class of slaves;—plunders them, makes them his prey, and unnaturally sports himself with their lives and fortunes.
It would be stupid tameness, and unaccountable folly, for whole nations to suffer one unreasonable, ambitious and cruel man, to wanton and riot in their misery. And in such a case it would, of the two, be more rational to suppose, that they that did NOT resist, than that they who did, would receive to themselves damnation.
It becomes us, therefore, to be contented, and dutiful subjects. Let us prize our freedom; but not use our liberty for a cloak of maliciousness. There are men who strike at liberty under the term licentiousness. There are others who aim at popularity under the disguise of patriotism. Be aware of both. Extremes are dangerous. There is at present amongst us, perhaps, more danger of the latter, than of the former. For which reason I would exhort you to pay all due Regard to the government over us; to the KING and all in authority; and to lead a quiet and peaceable life.—And while I am speaking of loyalty to our earthly Prince, suffer me just to put you in mind to be loyal also to the supreme RULER of the universe, by whom kings reign, and princes decree justice. To which king eternal immortal, invisible, even to the ONLY WISE GOD, be all honor and praise, DOMINION and thanksgiving, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD. AMEN.

Rev. Samuel Davies was a mentor to the young Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry in western Virginia.  We plainly see his fire in those men’s commitment to Liberty.  He preached to a militia company preparing to enter the fight:

We are engaged in a righteous cause ... We act entirely upon the defensive, repel unjust violence, and avenge national injuries; we are fighting for our people and the cities of our God. ... He has condescended to be a God of our nation and to honor our cities with His gracious presence and the institutions of His worship—the means to make us wise, good and happy.  But now these most invaluable blessings lie at stake—these are the prizes for which we contend; and must it not excite all our active powers to the highest pitch of exertion?  Shall we tamely submit to idolatry and religious tyranny?  No!  God forbid!  Let us play the men since we take up arms for our people and the cities of our God.
... To protect your brethren ... to defend the territories … against the oppression of arbitrary power—to secure the inestimable blessings of liberty … from the chains of … slavery ... to guard your religion, the pure religion of Jesus streaming uncorrupted from the sacred fountain of the Scriptures, the most excellent, rational and Devine religion that ever was made known to the sons of men ... to secure the liberties conveyed to you by your brave forefathers and bought with the blood that you transmit uncurtailed to your posterity—these are the blessings you contend for.  
And now, my dear friends ... in the name of the Lord, lift up your banners! ... May the Lord of Hosts—the God of the Armies of Israel—go forth along with you! May he teach your hands to war [2 Samuel 22:35; Psalms 144:1] and gird your strength to battle [2 Samuel 22:40]!

In 1824 Major General the Marquis de Lafayette had this to say commemorating the opening battle of the Revolution at a celebration at the Lexington Battlefield with 14 surviving veterans attending.

The General, with great sensibility, expressed his warmest thanks for the flattering attention he had received from the people of Lexington, the satisfaction and pleasure he felt in standing upon the soil consecrated by the blood of patriots to the glorious cause of freedom throughout the world, and the high gratification he experienced in beholding the surviving remnant of that heroic band [14 survivors of that day present], which here inaugurated that resistance to tyrants which is obedience to God.

Historian Clinton Rossiter concluded:

By the coming of the Revolutionary era America’s religious future had been fixed. America would be a land of religious freedom, and American politics would be conducted accordingly. Yet true religious feeling was, if anything, more widely held than in many European countries where conformity and establishment remained state policy. The principles of the awakening American democracy were to be thoroughly moral, if not indeed religious, in character. The men of 1776 believed that the good state would rise on the rock of private and public morality, that morality was in the case of most men and all states the product of religion, and that the earthly mission of religion was to set men free. It was no mere pose when they justified resistance to oppression as obedience to God and an appeal to heaven.

Because of inspiration from the pulpit the Americans declared that they recognized “No King But Jesus”.  They understood what the God of the Holy Bible had done for them every step of the way.  They knew what that God was capable of doing for them if they would stay faithful to His will contained only in the Scriptures of the Holy Bible.  America if you want to keep your nation as founded to your posterity inviolate, you must once more become an American that resists tyranny in all forms armed with the Sword of the Spirit and declare No King But Jesus.  It will take a miracle to right this ship.  Wake up America and STAND.