Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s

Image result for man paying the IRS

In Matt. 22:21 we read —

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” 

Our King gave us instructions to give to our government what belongs to it. But oh how this clear plain instruction has been ridiculed, ignored, side-stepped, explained away through out the centuries. Let’s face it most of us  do not think that our government should have our money, they waste and overspend.

Yet our King has shown that stealing in all forms, even to our government,  is wrong and not good in His sight. As April 15th has just passed, we would do well to look at this injunction and see how we can please our King in obedience.

As we know the Pharisees often tried to trip up our Lord and one example is found in Mark 12:13-17.

“And they sent unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in His words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Shall we give, or shall we not give? But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye Me? bring Me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at Him.” 

Also we have —

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)

So it is clear that we have a duty to subject ourselves to the governing laws that God ultimately establishes. Those laws that do not conflict with His holy law and righteousness. One of the most important laws is the paying of taxes. As Commandment number 8 says we shall not steal , therefore we must take this command seriously. Present truth believers are certainly no exception. 

It is important to point out that the Lord, in His all-knowing wisdom, gave us a way out and enabled us to save and thus have more funds to contribute to His vineyard work. Allow us to go over this issue.

The tax situation for us present truth believers, those who pay their Tithes to his “meat in due season” storehouses, are aware that the main two organizations (Mt. Dale and Waco) are Incorporated. Just as the Seventh-day Adventist church is and has been since the 1860’s. This inc. status has enabled those who have made Tithe donations to deducted their Tithes from their taxes, thereby saving money.  It also enables the organizations to be tax-free on the Tithes and donations they receive, a win-win for both the Tithe payer and the Storehouses of God!

From a personal view these government allowed tax benefits have hugely helped us to focus the savings into spreading the message via mailings of present truth material all around the world.

Paul contributes to this importance of proper tax paying —

“Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:5-7)

The message gives us good counsel as well —

“God’s authority being supreme and absolute, “altogether-Christians” will ever prefer homage to the King of heaven and earth, while faithfully seeking to render “unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” Luke 20:25. “…to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Rom. 13:7.

Such will “owe no man anything” so long as their debtor’s demands or requirements conflict not
with God’s laws and statutes. As “altogether-Christians” they will be as true to God and to man as was Daniel and as was Joseph.

When “the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the
kingdom;…they could find none occasion nor fault.” Dan. 6:4. Finding him thus faultless, his enemies “consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, “save of” the king, should “be cast into the den of lions.” Dan. 6:7.

By securing the king’s signature on the decree, they sought to create a situation that must
necessarily involve Daniel in an act of rebellion against the king. They knew that though he purposed to render unfaltering allegiance to the king, he would not do so at the price of showing disloyalty to his God. And so as he continued to petition his God as he was wont to do, he was cast into the “den of lions.” But the One to whom he prayed saved his life from the ravenous beasts.

And amid the slaves of ancient Egypt looms the majestic stature of Joseph, the greatest provisioner the world has ever seen. Behold him in steadfast loyalty to his government, rising in honor till he is given to share the very throne of Pharaoh himself!

From these and other Bible examples, it is clear that one’s loyalty to his government is his pledge of allegiance to it — a salute to its flag. Altogether, therefore, we see that while on the one hand a man’s disloyalty to the divine government is a sin against God, on the other hand his disloyalty to his nation’s government is a sin against it, also indirectly against God, for disloyalty to one’s government is disobedience to God’s express command: “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.” Tit. 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 evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” 1 Pet. 2:13, 14. (Tract 13, p.32-34)

The great deceiver often tries to get us to ‘cut corners’ in our walk and one of the most successful areas is to convince believers that “taxes are not so important especially to the corrupted government” mentality. Don’t fall for it–stick to the Master and His words.

For those who reflectively realize that they have not kept faithful in paying Caesar what is Caesars, now is the time to begin to make things right. You can either pay the government and shun His timely message of the hour, or pay less to the government because you pay to His storehouses . You can be the faithful steward who has contributed all year to His cause.

And let us remember that the Lord’s Elijah message specifically tells us the old message of the “judgment of the dead” proclaimed for decades by us Seventh-day Adventists no longer was “meat in due season” when the new message came to our church in 1930 , the message of the upcoming “judgment of the living”. THIS is His meat in His storehouse worthy of our Tithes.

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more.  The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more.  But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!

The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more. The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate.  I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.

But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 25:14-30)

In closing, every year we are to carefully account for all our income. This accounting includes properly paying our taxes to our government. Yet if we are working in God’s vineyard God as provided us a beautiful answer to  contributing to His final message to His church –claiming and deducting our Tithes from taxes.

 

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