“A magistrate is a person clothed with power as a public civic officer – whether executive, legislative, or judicial. As the title implies, a lesser magistrate is one who possesses less power than a higher magistrate.  For example, a county executive possesses less authority than a state governor.  The position of the lesser magistrate can be obtained by election or by appointment.

“The primary duty of the lesser magistrates regarding the doctrine of the lesser magistrates is threefold.  First, they are to oppose and resist any laws or edicts from the higher authority that contravene the law or Word of God.  Second, they are to protect the person, liberty, and property of those who reside within their jurisdiction from any unjust or immoral laws or actions by the higher authority.  Third, they are not to implement any laws or decrees made by the higher authority that violate the Constitution, and if necessary, resist them.”


(Matthew J. Trewhella, The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates: A Proper Resistance to Tyranny and a Repudiation of Unlimited Civil Obedience, “The Duty of Lesser Magistrates,” Chpt. 4, p15, 2013)

Three Conditions for Opposing Civil Government


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