Matthew 17:24-27;22:15, Mark 12; Luke 20, Jesus said, Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, to God what belongs to God. The Biblical accounts of Gospels in Capernaum said tax collectors of two drachma temple tax asked Peter if Jesus pays tax, he said He does. If Jesus paid taxes then what did Jesus teach His disciples? Matthew records two taxes Jesus paid in Matthew 17:24-27; 22:15-22 temple tax and tax to government in Rome. People asked Jesus: “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?” It was a ploy to set a trap for Jesus. But He saw through their attempt to manipulate Him and falsely accuse Him of asking people not to pay. So obliged to pay the tax, Jesus paid His taxes with the coin from the mouth of a fish Peter caught. Tax collector cornered Peter and asked if Jesus paid the temple tax. Later in Matthew 17:2427 Jesus said to Peter at home, “Simon, does the kings collect taxes from their own children or from other people? Peter answered the others. And Jesus replied we don’t want to cause trouble go cast a net in the lake and the first fish you catch open mouth, and you will find a coin. Use coin to pay your taxes and mine.” Take it and give them for my tax and yours.”Jesus told the Pharisees and Herodians to give to Caesar things belong to Caesar in Mark 12. The issue is controversial as people disagree on how the government spends money. Some people feel angry because their needs are not met though they pay tax. The Bible example of Jesus to pay taxes again in Gospel of Matthew Mark and Luke are other account of the Pharisees trying to trap Jesus to find the reason to accuse him. In Matthew 22:15-22 Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap Jesus to use His words against Him.Pharisees disciples with Herodians said “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are sincere so teach the way of God in truth. You are not influenced by men. Tell us, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” Jesus, knowing their evil intention said, “You hypocrites why are you trying to trap me? Show a coin for paying tax.” They brought him a denarius and He asked them, “Whose head inscription?” They said, “Caesar’s. Then He said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God belongs to God.” When they heard this, they were amazed so they left him and went away.If Jesus refused to pay or He condemned Caesar they will accuse Jesus of inciting rebellion. People had no choice but to pay as Jesus also did. And Zachaeus a tax collector climbed a tree to see Jesus passing by. Impressed Jesus dined in his home during meal he decided to restore money he extorted by collecting taxes in Mark 2:13-17. In Psalm 24:1, The earth is the LORD’S and everything in it but life requires money to function, pay staff, provide services, resources, processing, printing costs, transporting goods. And maintaining the structures and repairs restoration, regeneration, grounds and gardens etc. Too numerous to list costs of services provided by the nations. Amazon, Google, Wealthy Offshore accounts do not pay tax proportionately fairly like others.Jesus and His disciples voluntarily gave to the Temple tax and state to set a good example. Taxes paid directly to local tax collectors who decided what people pay. Tax collectors paid by charging people more to earn money. Levi, the apostle was the customs official in Capernaum taxed imports and exports as he liked. The Jews hated him because he worked for Rome and betrayed his countrymen. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector for the Jericho district notorious for taxes changed meeting Jesus of Nazareth.People are saying the tax exemption for Churches are unfair making mega rich pastors super wealthy multimillionaires Church members struggle to pay bills, food, mortgage, health insurance, fees or basic necessities of life. Private jets, mansions get bigger, fleet of cars longer but members poor. Its a major source of tension rich multi billionaires are state sponsored in extravagant lifestyles. Schools reduce hours, hospitals cut staff budget reduced. The churches use tithe, offerings, donations, for salaries wages, cost of projects, feed orphans, help poor under the radar, homeless, HIV, disaster flood victims, TV ministry, preaching, teaching Gospel Message of Jesus Christ, Evangelism etc. among wonderful work of God. Admission fee puts people off so first time Benny Hinn was at NEC entry was free. Thousands turned up with no room for overflow solved crowd control next visit with ticket admission. Only a few people turned up venue was almost empty. God said nobody must enter HIS Presence empty handed so Jesus talked about the widow’s mite even poor give. In Exodus 23:15 God said, no one shall appear before ME empty-handed. Also in Exodus 34:20 God said no one must appear before ME empty-handed. Again in Deuteronomy 16:16 God said do not appear before the LORD empty-handed.Gap between the rich and poor widens causing hunger and the stress, pressure, unemployment, lack, in deprived areas. No resources for disadvantaged so most public servants cannot get on the home ownership ladder. Many depend on the food banks despite their hard work and education. Zero hour job wastes time of trained staff without job or income. And the popular highly influential Christian leaders spew wrong ideas as ‘Christian Ideas.’ Don’t be misled…Study the bible yourself to know the truth of the Word of Christ. Read Bible as JesusFollowers and Christian’s. Some think Churches must follow Jesus’ example to provide fairly for the least in society too. So gap between rich and poor widens as many continue to suffer daily, starve and die in the most advance developed wealthy countries. Unfortunately a Class divide disproportionately allocate lion share to themselves as the world watches them flaunt it in their faces daily. 1 Timothy 6:10 says the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Craving more money is cause of all evil in doing so wander from true faith so pierce themselves with sorrow.A Christian family is fined taxes saying it is against God’s will to pay taxes. The Christian family refused to pay income tax because its “against God’s will” but are ordered to pay more than A$2m tax (£1.1m $1.4m) to Australia’s tax office. It is Christian debate Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot and Fanny Alida Beerepoot of Tasmania do not pay income tax since 2011 as their religious right. Their farm was seized and sold by a local council in 2017 for not paying seven years of tax rates. Ms Beerepoot told the court: “We don’t own anything because it is God’s.” The siblings represented themselves in Supreme Court of Tasmania Wednesday, after did not pay $930,000 in income tax or other charges in 2017 ABC News said.Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot (left) and Fanny Alida Beerepoot (far right) seen here outside the court in Tasmania. Mr Beerepoot argued the law of God is the “supreme law of this land” and making people pay tax weakens dependency on God, leading to “curses… in the form of droughts and infertility.” “Transferring allegiance from God to Commonwealth means rebelling against God breaking first commandment,” he said, according to the public broadcaster. In judgement, Associate Justice Stephen Holt said he believed Beerepoots’ beliefs is genuinely held but there is no specific reference in Bible to support their argument. “In my view, Bible effectively said civil matters and law of God operate in two different spheres.” So the siblings ordered to pay sums of – Ms Beerepoot A$1.17m and Mr Beereport A$1.16m to cover income tax, administrative penalties and all interest charges” and costs in court documents. What do you think about various views?
1 Thessalonians 4:16 says For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ rise first. The “dead in Christ” are Christians who died before return of Christ. They will rise first and return with Him in 2 Corinthians. 5:8. They are in Christ, because they are saved so the Children of God. Redeemed by Jesus the Son of God boldly enter God’s Presence through the Blood of the Lamb of God in eternal life. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. COMFORT one another with these words from 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18. And in resurrection all who rise first have glorified bodies, meet with those alive and so will rapture together into heaven.And the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will descend from heaven with thousands of angels. At the last trumpet call, the dead in Christ will arise first. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself comes from heaven in the clouds with loud command the dead rise in Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 guaranteed so come back to life. And together with those still alive will go in rapture to heaven as part of our hope in the eternal life. Eagerly waiting for the resurrection knowing RETURN of Christ reunites our families in heaven in the PRESENCE OF GOD. Those who died in God in Christ through salvation of God arise first at the TRUMPET call. All eyes on earth will SEE Jesus SHINING bright as the Sunshine. All in Christ will rejoice exceedingly at this COMING of Christ in rapture and celebrate in Jesus Name.
Jesus attention miracles by some people in the Bible is amazing. A totally mad man lunatic, insane, violent, bound in chains living in cemetery, cuts himself RECOGNISED and worshipped Jesus at Gadarenes. He fell on his knees, asked Jesus to deliver him from 1000 demons tormenting him. Jesus healed him and cast out demons into pigs drowned in the sea. An insane man seeking Jesus’ help by himself is a Miracle as families struggle to control them. The madman in Matthew 8:28-34 called on Jesus so sane who hear Words of salvation for Eternal life, believe and be saved too.An army captain sought Jesus’ help for servant’s health at home. Although sick man was not physically present pleaded with Jesus for his healing and humbled himself as a man of great power and with authority. He asked Jesus to speak the word and man will be well because people listen and obey his commands. So much more will healing COMMAND of Jesus be taken more seriously by God in heaven to heal him by faith. Jesus is so impressed with his belief in healing power of God. His faith has made man whole and he was healed so there is no distance in prayer in Jesus Name. A boy is healed by Jesus in Mark 9:14-25 when his father brought him to the disciples. Jesus came to His disciples and saw the great multitude around and the scribes disputing with them. 15. People greatly amazed run and greeted Him.16 Jesus asked the scribes, “What they discussed?” 17 A man in the crowd said “Teacher I brought my son who has deaf spirit and fits. 18 It seizes him and throws him down so he foams in mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I told Your disciples to cast it out but they could not.” 19 Jesus said O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long do I bear with you? Bring him to Me. 20 They brought him to Jesus, as the boy saw Him the spirit convulsed so he fell on the ground, wallowed, foamed in the mouth. 21 He asked father, “How long is this happening to him, he said, from childhood. 22 He is thrown in fire and water. Have compassion, help us.” 23 Jesus said “All things are possible to all who believe.” The father cried with tears, “Lord I believe help my unbelief!” 24 Jesus rebuked unclean spirits, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more.” 25 The boy was healed from epilepsy and Jesus said some deliverances need faith for powerful ministration with the gift of faith to believe. The father’s faith has turned from unbelief to believe in faith in agreement son’s miracle manifested. Jesus told His disciples some miracles need fasting and prayers.Another fascinating true Jesus seeker is a woman not allowed to be in public to announce her sickness. She is supposed to isolated until clean before daring to get near or touch Jesus, HOLY MAN OF GOD. She pushed through the crowds and the press to touch Jesus’ garments and her bleeding stopped. Her choice of treatment is interesting after years of seeking medical help in vain. She spent lots of money but got worse and broke so sought Jesus the Great Physician. One point touch contact with Jesus has made her completely whole by her faith. The disciples challenged Jesus about virtue flowing into her. Impediments or some restrictions cannot stop the bold daring faith action to seek Jesus despite all the obstacles in their way for God’s help. In Mark 5:25- And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. She heard about Jesus came up behind in the crowd and touched his cloak 28 she thought, “If I touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in body free from suffering. 30 Jesus realized power had gone out from him. He turned to crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 Disciples said the crowds is thick yet you asked, ‘Who touched me? 32 Jesus look around to see 33 The woman, knowing who came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith healed you. Go in peace and be free from suffering.”Mark 5:22-43 Jesus raised this dead girl when a synagogue leader Jairus came to Jesus and fell at His Feet. 23 He pleaded, “My little daughter is dying please come and heal her. 24 Jesus went with him so a large crowd followed….35 While Jesus was speaking people from the house of Jairus said. “Your daughter is dead don’t bother Jesus anymore.” 36 Jesus heard them and told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James, John brother of James. They came to home of synagogue leader, saw people crying and wailing loudly 39 He went in and said to them, “The child is not dead just asleep 40 But they laughed at Him. He put them out He took the child’s father and mother and disciples with him into room where the child was. 41 He took her hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!”( it means “Little girl, rise up. 42 The girl stood and walked, she was twelve years old. They were surprised 43 And Jesus gave strict orders not to let anyone know this, and told them to give her something to eat.A Syrophoenician woman calls on Jesus to heal her daughter but told it’s not yet the time of the Gentiles. Jesus is called FIRST to the House of Israel then all the nations. Her persistence paid off when she said crumbs from the table are good enough for the dogs. Her faith touched Jesus so she received healing on behalf of her daughter. She boldly approached Jesus directly and got her miracle that day. Believe by faith you are worthy of God’s Grace and Mercy even if the odds are against you in Jesus Name.Curious children followed crowds to see Jesus and to watch miracles. They came too close near Jesus as disciples wanted to remove them from Jesus. Then Jesus intervenes and said let the children come to me, DO NOT HINDER THEM for theirs is the Kingdom of God. Jesus also healed children, taught them to be kind to share food and He raised others from death as God uses children in the Bible for HIS GLORY. Jesus said anyone that hinders them it is better a millstone is hanged around their neck to drown. An outcast madman or ostracised bleeding woman and Gentile woman and Highly successful powerful people in Authority and the children are all worthy of God’s Grace, healing power, Mercy and God’s Comfort in time of need in Eternal life and in imminent Rapture Resurrection.
Jesus compares God’s heavenly Kingdom to wedding banquet a king prepared for his son in Matthew 22:2. Many people invited agreed to come but on the banquet day all refused to attend in verses 4-5 giving many excuses. Some of the king’s servants were mistreated or killed in some cases in verse 6. The king sent his army to avenge death of servants in verse 7 extends invitations to anyone servants found so the wedding hall is full in verses 8-10. During feast the king noticed one man was not wearing wedding clothes in verse 11 but had no answer why so is thrown out from the feast “into outer darkness of weeping and gnashing of teeth in verses 12-13. Jesus ends with statement “Many called, invited but few chosen” in verse 14. One said he bought piece of land he went to see in verse 18. Another bought oxen on the way to yoke them in verse 19. Another gave excuse he was newly married so could not come in verse 20. The master of the house heard excuses was angry told servants to go to on streets, alleyways and invite “the poor, crippled, blind and lame” in verse 21.The KING is Father God and HIS Son honoured at banquet is Jesus Christ who came to save but many do not receive him in John 1:11. God sends invitation to all people but some reject Jesus as LORD so refuse to believe in Him. Many prophets, including John the Baptist and disciples murdered in Matthew 14:10. The KING’S anger, wrath, vengeance, desolation in Revelations is on all who reject salvation in Jesus, judged in Hebrews 10:29-31. Their deliberate choice to reject God’s offer by freewill choice in Luke 13:34 by excuses of permissive will of God permanently left God’s Heavenly Kingdom. The wedding invitation extends to everyone, total strangers, good, bad who “did not deserve to come in accept WORD of God sent to all not worthy of eternal life” in Acts 13:46). So GOSPEL MESSAGE Jesus taught, available to all to come just as they are. Garments of righteousness clothes people washed in the BLOOD of the LAMB. Acceptance of Jesus and repentance in HIS Blood is the means Lamb uses to makes all worthy to boldly enter PRESENCE of the KING. So to refuse to put on garment of righteousness provided means wearing old clothes unfit for the purpose of the banquet celebration. Jesus teaches conditional offer KING is obedience to HIS standard requirements to meet criteria of submission to God. God’s righteousness in Philippians 3:9 provides salvation to cover multitude of sins of filthy rags in Isaiah 64:6. Adam and Eve’s sin God took away, replaced with the skins of sacrificed animals in Genesis 3:7, 21. And in Revelation 7:14 God provides heavenly white robes washed in the BLOOD of the Lamb. The KING God provides a wedding garment of salvation for all mankind but some want things done their own way. The WAY of God is the Cross of Christ HIS only way to salvation in John 14:6. Those who refuse to submit to God’s WAY thrown out into the darkness. God sends them into an “outer darkness” eternally as Christ said, “many are invited but few are chosen.” So invitations extends to all people to hear call of God but many reject it. The world rejects Jesus so some people don’t celebrate His salvation. God judges thems as a result of their own choice to approve of rejection of Christ with dire consequences. Kingdom of heaven demands all put away their own old garments by faith to accept righteousness God provides in Christ. All those who reject God’s gift of salvation for their own “good” works will spend eternity in hell. Those who mock or ridicule God’s salvation plan by a self-righteous rejection miss Jesus cross of Calvary VICTORY. God wants all to make sure to receive God’s salvation plan to put on new garments and not retain old filthy garments of sin in God’s PRESENCE. God’s desire is seek to dwell in the HOUSE of the LORD all the days of life to behold the beauty of the LORD and enquire in HIS Temple. In time of trouble HE hides in HIS pavilion in HIS secret tabernacle and sets upon the ROCK of Ages and lifts up above enemies round about. And so offer in HIS tabernacle sacrifices of joy, sing, yes sing praises to the LORD Most High in Jesus Name says Psalms 27:4-6.
May the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ bring peace, joy and happiness to you all and your family in Jesus Name.
Faith does the works of God in practical ways by applying theology to help others. And Jesus said whoever feeds or gives a coat, provides shelter or gives drink to the least in His Name is a sheep in His Kingdom. Faith in action works if the gospel preached with loving care to the people. Some think doing works of God earns ‘salvation’ some believers do not show kindness, compassion for fear of displeasing God become Scrooge. Justify lack of compassion by excuse is “works” but is this thinking correct? God commands farmers to leave edges of harvest for the poor and travellers to collect and eat for free. Other people help by donating to charity for good causes. But debate comes up because generosity to the stranger or others seen as lazy parasite. Some use excuse of sponsoring bad habit substance abuse, addiction to alcohol or drugs as reasons not to give. Situations of the homeless approaching others for help is considered an offence to beg so most turn to other ways to get funds but risk their lives. Many people refuse to give them support except to help themselves. In Bible on numerous occasions Jesus preached and taught the multitudes, He fed them. As gap widens between rich and the poor qualified but unemployed without wages on the zero hour contract life is difficult for them. Some are trained as back up emergency stand by staff to fill in for absent staff on vacation, sick or on maternity leave. Tied to company, cannot seek other jobs in the interim, with bills to pay and rent arrears while employers raise their own salaries and bonuses. So the question is how to reach out to help others without judging them. This debate between faith as God works of salvation and salvation based on faith alone exists for centuries.The Bible speaks volumes on this topic of salvation good works. Interpretation or proper understanding these passages is vital to our relationship with the Lord and relationship with others. Search for answers to this question in God’s Word says “Know, O foolish man faith without works is dead. Abraham our father was justified by faith works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar. So faith works together with GOD WORKS by works so faith is made perfect. A man is justified by works not by faith only says James 2:20, 22, 24.” Passage in James 2 proves faith alone is not good enough; we must demonstrate good works of salvation. It seems James is not teaching as Paul said salvation of faith alone in Romans 5:1. Time and time again, Paul says works cannot save but faith is knowing Lord Jesus as our Saviour. “For by Grace you are saved through faith not yourselves; so the GIFT of God not by works so none should boast in Ephesians 2:8-9.” James 2 in full context, is not telling us to earn salvation but confirms that good works helps prove we are really true believers. “Faith by itself works is dead. Show me faith without works and I will show you faith by works in James 2:17-18.” When we accept Christ as our Saviour, there is immediate change. A sinner is immediately forgiven, washed clean of sin and restored to a right relationship with the Lord. No fear of consequences of sin because fully justified in His eyes; covered by the blood of Jesus Christ and His SACRIFICE on the cross. The old self dies to become a new creation says 2 Corinthians 5;17.We are sanctified by blood of Jesus daily by process of constant learning to grow on faith journey. Cultivating the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 in serving God. And 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 reveals the intricacy of Body of Christ working together by love to bring Him Glory and share His Love and Truth in the world. Kindness, compassion and our love to others promotes work based salvation. Jesus moved with compassion in His ministry by His example so expects His followers to do so. Matthew 9:36; 14:14; Philippians 2:1-8; Ephesians 4:32 says be kind and loving to others as Jesus did to those around Him and even those who hated Him. Help and serve others but be not absorbed in works with improper motive. Not a people-pleaser by nature constantly looking for others to praise for good things done to get rewards. Jesus sees through ego or pride to earn His good favour by doing good things to others. Developing fruits of kindness and love is Godly works in life. Keeping the heart in check to ensure right motives to serve others. Knowing these things helps to save us so extremely important. The rich man in Bible missed heaven for mistreating Lazarus. God discerns the intentions of the heart and readily help us approach HIM in humility with desire to grow in faith. By our love others know we are Christians as the words of John 13:35 show, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” It is a great reminder of the responsibility to love others the way God LOVES us. God is LOVE so whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them …We love because Jesus first Loved us,” in 1 John 4:16, 19. God’s LOVE is unconditional, endless so let’s rest in God’s amazing LOVE and extend love to our spouses, kids, friends and strangers in need of kind words or help. In Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and Earth shall pass away but MY WORDS Shall Not pass away. Psalms 119:11, “YOUR WORD I have I hidden in my heart so I will not sin against God and Joseph refused to sin against God. In Psalms 12:6, “The WORDS of the LORD are Pure Words, as silver is tried in furnace of Earth is Purified Seven Times.”Psalms 19:14 says “Let the WORDS of our mouth meditations of our Heart be acceptable in YOUR Sight O LORD Our Strength, and OUR Redeemer in Jesus Name. And Psalms 119:105 says “YOUR WORD is a Lamp unto my feet and Light to my Path!!! THANK YOU OUR FATHER LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. Thank you Son Lord Jesus and thank you Holy Spirit in helping us to love another in Jesus Name.