Christians need to walk a fine line in their relationship with the State system. While we shouldn’t go looking for trouble, if we are sincere about following Jesus, trouble will find us.  This happens when we are forced to make a choice between obeying God or obeying the laws of the land. We need to be wise in how we walk this narrow path, especially as the issues are not always that clear, but also in light of where things are heading.

Over recent months, several people have written in arguing that it’s impossible to leave the system. And, the reason people usually give for why it is impossible is that it would be seen by the State as criminal to do so.

Most of the concerns people raise boil down to one of the following: The need for an address for shelter and bureaucracy; the need for a paid job for security and to satisfy authorities; and, lastly, concern over possible backlash from the system if you don’t tick the correct boxes or jump through the right hoops.

We need to be sensitive to the difficulties people face, especially in staunchly socialist countries like Sweden or Holland, where dropping out of the rat race is more or less seen as aggression against a compassionate system. However, this should not stop us from doing everything we can to expose the lie that it is impossible to leave the system.

THREE WAYS THE LIE GETS PERPETUATED

To expose the lie, we first need to understand how it is perpetuated. One way is through false teaching. Church-goers everywhere are taught to take isolated passages and misinterpret them. The main culprit is Romans, chapter 13:1-10. Here, Paul writes about people needing to be “subject to the higher powers… for the powers that be are ordained of God”. This teaching has been used throughout the centuries to defend Christians prostituting their time for money, and fighting in wars sanctioned by governments and the institutional church, not to mention all the other atrocities! The end result is that God is used to justify a multitude of godless practices.

The passage in Romans goes on to say that, “…rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil”. This is the authority any legitimate government would have. However, after he was resurrected, Jesus made it clear that "all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him". (Matthew 28:18) This means that no earthly government has authority to go against the teachings of Jesus. Our submission to the system should only be to the degree to which the system is submitted to the Highest Authority, God through Jesus.

When Jesus was about to be sentenced to death, Pilate told him, "Don’t you know I have authority to release you?” Jesus replied, "You only have authority because my Father gave it to you." (John 19:11) In his letter to the Romans, Paul appears to be saying much the same thing; that our submission must always be to God. This will lead us to walk a fine line, where we neither compromise on what we believe, but neither do we fight against the system just because we don't like it. Just like Jesus, who also submitted himself to the earthly authorities of his day: He refused to “call down a legion of angels” to protect him; and he refused to “ask his servants to fight”, because his “kingdom is not of this world”. (Matthew 26:53; John 18:36) So, Jesus submitted himself to the authorities, but he never compromised by playing their game.

The general rule for Christians is that whenever the laws of the land do not contradict God’s law or go against our conscience we should obey them. However, in cases where a law of the land does contradict God’s law, our submission to God’s higher authority will result in our righteous defiance of the law of the land. In other words, we don’t go looking to rebel against the system. But, when we put God’s law above the laws of man, our rebellion will be the natural bi-product of our submission to God.

A good example of this is found in Acts 5:27-29. Here, Peter and the other apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin and questioned by the high priest. The high priest told the apostles that they had been given strict orders not to teach in Jesus’ name. But in response, Peter and the other apostles proclaimed: “We must obey God rather than men!”  The Sanhedrin had told them not to preach Christ. But, Christ had told them to go into the whole world to teach people to obey everything he commanded. So, from the apostle’s perspective, the choice was clear: Put God above men. And the same choice should be clear to any would-be follower of Christ today.

In all situations, we should accept God’s ultimate authority over our lives and over the system itself. This will include accepting any punishment dished out by earthly authorities; like Jesus did when he submitted himself to Pontius Pilate; and like Peter and the other apostles did when they submitted themselves to punishment dished out by the Sanhedrin. They didn’t protest at being flogged but rejoiced at being able to suffer for obeying God. (Acts 5:40-42) So, the fine line that Christians are called to tread is learning how to disobey and submit to the system at the same time.

Another passage that is used to support blind obedience to the system is found in Matthew 17:24-27. In this passage, Peter is approached by temple tax collectors and asked whether Jesus did pay tax, to which he replies “Yes”. Jesus then challenges Peter over whether the kings of the earth take taxes from their sons or from strangers, to which Peter replies, “From strangers”. Jesus’ response is significant. He says, “Then the sons are free”. However, rather than offend the tax collectors, he tells Peter to go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the first fish he catches, in the mouth of which he will find a piece of money to be used to pay the tax on their behalf.

So, what does this mean?  Well, Jesus had told Peter that God’s children are free from requirements like paying tax. But, Peter had arbitrarily placed Jesus in a tight spot by saying that Jesus paid tax without checking with him first. So, to help Peter be true to his word, Jesus ensured the tax was paid. But, look at how the tax gets paid! Jesus provides the money through a miracle! Peter didn’t need to sell fish, like he did in his old life before forsaking all to follow Jesus. He didn’t need to work in the system to earn the money to pay the tax. So, what Jesus said in this instance about the “sons are free” still applied.

There is no record of Jesus ever instructing his disciples to work for money in order to pay their taxes. However, we also know that Jesus did not wish to needlessly offend the system. This fine line should be the approach of any Christian. We should pay our taxes if we have the funds to do so. But, this does not mean we should put the system before God, by choosing to work for money.

Another passage used to justify conformity to the system is found in Matthew 22:15-22. Here, some of the Pharisees plot to entrap Jesus in his words. They ask Jesus whether it’s lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not. Jesus initially responds by asking why they are trying to test him, calling them “hypocrites”. He then asks them to show him the tax money, so they bring him a coin. Jesus then asks whose image and inscription is on the coin, to which they reply “Caesar’s”. Jesus’ response leaves them completely baffled. He says, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Now, why did Jesus refuse to give a straight answer? Surely, if he felt that it was lawful to demand tax (and pay it) he would have just said, “Yes”. How we interpret Jesus’ response reveals whether our faith is, ultimately, in God, or in the system. Most church-goers only choose to see the first half of the quote, “render to Caesar”, meaning God only gets the leftovers. In contrast, real followers of Jesus know that God demands our whole heart, mind, body, soul and strength. Sure, if someone works for money in the system they clearly have a duty to pay Caesar his dues. However, if Jesus commands us to forsake everything, including our wealth and our system jobs, then what is left for Caesar to take after we’ve done this?

So, while we should make every effort to live peaceably with the system, our first priority should always be to God. We have been freed from needing to work for the monetary system for the sole purpose of working for God’s kingdom. And, if the system clamps down on us for doing this, well this is just part of the cross we’re called to bear.

Another way the lie that it’s impossible to leave the system is perpetuated is through our self interest. For example, if we are told by the system that we cannot tax a vehicle, or have access to medical insurance and welfare without an address, we have a choice. We can choose to argue that we are unable to live without those things, or we can choose to accept the consequences of living without them. Sure, the latter may result in inconvenience and hardship, but this does not make it impossible. Can you see that our attachment to an outcome or creature comfort can blind us to what is possible?

A third way the lie is perpetuated is through our lack of faith in the solution. Throughout the ages, men and women of faith have put God above the systems of their time. These pilgrims have lived without addresses, seeking refuge in distant lands. They have lived without paid jobs or vehicles to travel in. And, they have lived without access to welfare or various forms of identification. While the system is looking for ways to make it more difficult to leave, the fact individuals have succeeded in doing so, which includes people alive today, is evidence that it is possible.

The issue is not whether it is possible to leave the system. The issue is whether we are willing to leave the system, and face the consequences, because our faith is in something higher than what we believe the system has to offer.

JESUS AND THE SYSTEM

In contrast to what most people have been conned into believing, Jesus was not respectable. In addition to making questionable statements about paying taxes, he was accused of public disorder for whipping out the moneychangers from the temple. In the end, he needed to be betrayed by one of his own gang who led his captors to his secret hideout, where he was taken to be tried and executed as a common criminal.

If we are sincere about following Jesus we need to follow Jesus’ example, even if it results in a similar fate to him. So, if we wish to know whether it’s possible to leave the system, we need look no further than Jesus.

If we’re worried about not having an address, Jesus said “foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but that the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”. If homelessness was good enough for the Son of God, it should be good enough for us! Both Jesus and Paul made it clear that all we need is food and clothing; so shelter is a bonus, not an absolute necessity. (Matthew 6:25-34; 1 Timothy 6:8)

If we’re worried about needing a paid job to satisfy authorities, Jesus said that it’s impossible to serve two authorities at the same time. Either we submit to God or we submit to money. As Jesus’ brother, James said, “friendship with the world [or system] is enmity with God”. (James 4:4) Jesus reassured us that our Father in heaven will give us everything we need if we help to build his kingdom. So we have no need of Satan’s system.

If we’re worried about possible backlash from the system, Jesus said that we would be hated by all for his sake and the gospel’s. However, rather than freak out about this, we are instructed to rejoice, for great is our reward in heaven!  Jesus also reassured us that when we are put on trial by system authorities, we don’t need to worry about what to say because the Holy Spirit will be speaking through us, giving us wisdom.

Over and over, Jesus demonstrated that with God all things are possible. The issue is whether we trust the system or whether we trust God. If we trust God, this means letting go of everything tying us to the system.

To help us follow through with this, we need to know what Jesus Christ actually taught. If we don’t, we’re more likely to get confused by the false doctrines used to promote blind faith in the system. By allowing our conscience to be trained by the institutional church or the State, we will end up rejecting God's law in preference for a system law because we won’t have learned to discern the difference.

For example, almost everyone on the planet, including most professing Christians, supports the lie that we need to work for money in order to survive. So when the system says, “You need money”, or “You need an address” most people will side with the law of the land. They are either totally missing or choosing to ignore what Jesus taught on the matter, possibly because it is more convenient to do so.

Could this be at the heart of people’s claims that it’s impossible to leave the system? Is it possible that deep down they prefer to give the system authority over their lives, because doing so is more convenient, more comfortable and more respectable? If the system says it’s illegal not to have a home address, when Jesus says we must forsake all, including our homes, then who do we follow? It really does come down to this.

WHERE IS IT ALL HEADING?

This decision of who we follow is not going to get any easier. The more antichrist the system becomes, the harder it will be to leave the system or function outside of it. Already, in some places it is illegal to help the poor, or preach the Gospel like Jesus commanded us to do.

As the system becomes stronger and more controlling it is going to become harder to jump off the system conveyor belt. We are likely to be told with greater frequency and volume that, "You need this or that in order to function in society”, whether it’s a registered address, or a microchip implant for buying and selling.

This brings us to the topic of the Mark of the Beast. This issue has eternal significance yet so few people appear to be doing anything about it.

With a worldwide push towards a cashless society happening before our very eyes, the question is not if this is going to happen, but when. In light of this, there are some inevitable consequences we need to urgently prepare for.

The first consequence of the cashless society will be moneyless living and enforced poverty. We know from Revelation 13:16-17 that to participate in the cashless society will eventually require the Mark of the Beast. Anyone who refuses the Mark will be forced to go completely moneyless, unless, of course, they decide to give in and take it. The result will be restricted or no access to anything requiring the use of money.

The second consequence will be restricted access to public services. The final Mark is likely to double-up as a person’s identification, meaning we will not be able to hold any legitimate form of I.D. without it. This will result in limited or no access to government welfare, like subsidized medical treatment; and restricted or no access to local community amenities, like homeless shelters. It is also likely to seriously restrict or end our use of public transport, based on how technology has been developing over the years.

The third consequence will be homelessness. Without money, we will not be able to tax or insure our homes or vehicles, which is likely to make legal ownership or rental of property impossible. This will force us to go “underground”, onto the streets or in search of safe houses and locations in which to find shelter and avoid scrutiny.

The fourth consequence of the cashless society will be marginalisation and persecution on a scale never before experienced in human history. (Matthew 24:21) The Antichrist system will accuse non-conformists of being anything from “dissidents” to “criminals”, to even “terrorists”. System authorities will seek to identity and hunt down believers, resulting in many family members and former friends betraying us to the system. Incarceration, torture and execution are scenarios we need to expect and prepare for in future.

In The Revelation, Jesus says, “Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days”. (Revelation 2:10)

This kind of prediction is a two-edged sword. We cannot run away from the seriousness of what is coming, but we have been forewarned for a very good reason. Anyone who wishes to take a stand for Christ will need to prepare for the reality that the system will accuse us of being "criminals” and it will treat us as such. The system did this to our Leader, and the system will do this to us as well. So, do we turn from this in fear, or do we humbly submit, like Jesus did, to whatever consequences we have been called to suffer for the sake of our obedience to God?

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, we began by looking at the concerns many people have about the system making it difficult or even illegal to function outside of it.

We went on to explore three contributing factors to the lie that it is impossible to leave the system. These are: twisting of scripture, self interest and lack of faith in the solution.

We then showed how Jesus exposed the lie that it is impossible to leave the system, by giving a perfect illustration of how to walk the fine line between continually submitting to God while not offending the system unnecessarily, including submitting to any punishment it metes out.

Lastly, we explored how the world is almost at the point where people will be forced to choose between following God or conform to the System’s decree to take the Mark of the Beast. We showed that there are certain inevitable consequences of this reality, and that if we refuse to confront these head on we are only deceiving ourselves that we will take a stand in future, when it becomes impossible to participate in the system without it.

In the 18th chapter of The Revelation a voice is heard from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.”  The “her” in this passage refers to the Whore of Babylon: In other words, the System.

As more and more people choose to heed this call to leave the system, the more the system will come down on us. But, in facing this reality, it is comforting to remember that the body of Christ has always thrived and grown under persecution.

The choice is ours. Either we embrace the reproach of labels like “criminal”, or we end up supporting a system that is criminal in the eyes of God.

We need to sincerely ask ourselves whether we love Jesus more than anything else; more than our own lives, more than the comforts offered by the system. Are we willing to be seen as a disgrace by our friends and family? Are we willing to be seen as a criminal for His name's sake?

If so, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., so you can connect with others who are experimenting with the freedom and challenges of life outside the system, in preparation for the return of our King.