Category Archives: Government

A Prayer for Defense Against the Wicked

There are no special words that must be repeated in prayer. However, I find it rewarding to sift through the word of YHWH and to find the prayers of his people as examples of how to pray in certain situations. It helps to guide and mature my prayer life and gives me perspective.

One such prayer is from Psalms and is a prayer for YHWH to defend against the wicked. I think this is a prayer today that we can pray not only for an individual, but for our nation, recognizing that the wicked which seem intent on destroying us are within our own nation trying to separate us from YHWH as a nation and instead desiring that we should all answer to and serve an all powerful central government which provides for us. (That will not work well, it never has.)

Psalm 7

The LORD Implored to Defend the Psalmist against the Wicked.

Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

     1O LORD my God, in You I have taken refuge;
Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me,

      2Or he will tear my soul like a lion,
Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver.

      3O LORD my God, if I have done this,
If there is injustice in my hands,

      4If I have rewarded evil to my friend,
Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary,

      5Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it;
And let him trample my life down to the ground
And lay my glory in the dust.

Selah.

      6Arise, O LORD, in Your anger;
Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries,
And arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment.

      7Let the assembly of the peoples encompass You,
And over them return on high.

      8The LORD judges the peoples;
Vindicate me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me.

      9O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous;
For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.

      10My shield is with God,
Who saves the upright in heart.

      11God is a righteous judge,
And a God who has indignation every day.

      12If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword;
He has bent His bow and made it ready.

      13He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons;
He makes His arrows fiery shafts.

      14Behold, he travails with wickedness,
And he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood.

      15He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,
And has fallen into the hole which he made.

      16His mischief will return upon his own head,
And his violence will descend upon his own pate.

      17I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness
And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Dividing the Land

The book of Joshua devotes a lot of time and effort to documenting how the promised land was divided. It reminds us  that the Bible is an actual historical document, recording real events. It reminds us that YHWH is not some far off God that cares nothing for the details of his people because he is too busy. He gave them victory. He gave them the land. He helped them distribute it.

Joshua 18

Rest of the Land Divided

     1Then the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there; and the land was subdued before them.

      2There remained among the sons of Israel seven tribes who had not divided their inheritance. 3So Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you? 4“Provide for yourselves three men from each tribe that I may send them, and that they may arise and walk through the land and write a description of it according to their inheritance; then they shall return to me. 5“They shall divide it into seven portions; Judah shall stay in its territory on the south, and the house of Joseph shall stay in their territory on the north. 6“You shall describe the land in seven divisions, and bring the description here to me. I will cast lots for you here before the LORD our God. 7“For the Levites have no portion among you, because the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance. Gad and Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh also have received their inheritance eastward beyond the Jordan, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.”

      8Then the men arose and went, and Joshua commanded those who went to describe the land, saying, “Go and walk through the land and describe it, and return to me; then I will cast lots for you here before the LORD in Shiloh.” 9So the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities in seven divisions in a book; and they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh. 10And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD, and there Joshua divided the land to the sons of Israel according to their divisions.

The Territory of Benjamin

     11Now the lot of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin came up according to their families, and the territory of their lot lay between the sons of Judah and the sons of Joseph. 12Their border on the north side was from the Jordan, then the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north, and went up through the hill country westward, and it ended at the wilderness of Beth-aven. 13From there the border continued to Luz, to the side of Luz (that is, Bethel) southward; and the border went down to Ataroth-addar, near the hill which lies on the south of lower Beth-horon. 14The border extended from there and turned round on the west side southward, from the hill which lies before Beth-horon southward; and it ended at Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), a city of the sons of Judah. This was the west side. 15Then the south side was from the edge of Kiriath-jearim, and the border went westward and went to the fountain of the waters of Nephtoah. 16The border went down to the edge of the hill which is in the valley of Ben-hinnom, which is in the valley of Rephaim northward; and it went down to the valley of Hinnom, to the slope of the Jebusite southward, and went down to En-rogel. 17It extended northward and went to En-shemesh and went to Geliloth, which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, and it went down to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. 18It continued to the side in front of the Arabah northward and went down to the Arabah. 19The border continued to the side of Beth-hoglah northward; and the border ended at the north bay of the Salt Sea, at the south end of the Jordan. This was the south border. 20Moreover, the Jordan was its border on the east side. This was the inheritance of the sons of Benjamin, according to their families and according to its borders all around.

      21Now the cities of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho and Beth-hoglah and Emek-keziz, 22and Beth-arabah and Zemaraim and Bethel, 23and Avvim and Parah and Ophrah, 24and Chephar-ammoni and Ophni and Geba; twelve cities with their villages. 25Gibeon and Ramah and Beeroth, 26and Mizpeh and Chephirah and Mozah, 27and Rekem and Irpeel and Taralah, 28and Zelah, Haeleph and the Jebusite (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, Kiriath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the sons of Benjamin according to their families.

I can only imagine how this type of activity would take place today… with dirty politics and underhanded deals and smear campaigns against one another. People would be protesting in the streets that they deserve one piece of land or the other. The media would report full of bias to influence the outcome. If any spoke up for YHWH, they would be attacked for not separating their religious beliefs from government affairs. It is refreshing to see a group of people who made and accepted decisions based on acknowledgment and submission to the LORD as a whole.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What Did Jesus Say About Paying Taxes?

Mark 12 documents an encounter Jesus had with the Pharisees and Herodians as they were trying to trap Him. He not only deflected their trap, but also laid out  straightforward guidance for all of us in regards to submission to government and paying taxes.

Mark 12: 13-16

Jesus Answers the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes

      13Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15“Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

Clearly Jesus did not agree with everything the Romans were doing, but He still gave guidance to pay the taxes to Caesar. Some may speculate that He was just deflecting the trap question, but Jesus never provided a wrong answer just to avoid a trap. He always took the opportunity to address the trap and make a point on the right way of doing things also.

For those who need more convincing… the Bible has it.

Romans 13:1-7

Be Subject to Government

      1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

It is ok to work lawfully to reduce the tax burden. Governments usually waste money badly. Often they spend on things which may not honor God. However, just refusing to pay is not the guidance that Jesus provided for His people.

We can also recognize that not all governments are acting as described in Romans 13. Some persecute followers of Christ openly and actively. You could perhaps debate then if you are required to pay taxes, but to what end? To give them more cause persecute you? The government was no friend to Paul as a follower of Christ as he wrote Romans. Keep that in mind.

We can debate the “why” Jesus gives this instruction. Perhaps it is as simple as the fact that He does not want Christians to be misunderstood by unbelievers as lawbreakers, unruly, selfish, greedy, and rebellious on matters that do not offend God. Maybe He does not want His people putting their freedom at risk or constantly distracted by a fear of arrest so that they live not in the fullness of joy He intends. Maybe he wants us to be content with what we have and avoid greed.

It is indeed different if the government calls us to reject our God or  His instructions. Then there well may be times where we refuse to obey as we stand for a higher authority, our Father and Creator, if there is a direct conflict between the laws of men and the laws of God.

This article was developed in partnership with GrowGodsMoney.org.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Get Involved. Influence the politics of our country… or someone else will.

We have another important election coming up very soon. People will be put in positions of influence at local, state, and national levels. Whether it is a local city council member, a board of education member, or a senator or congressman headed for Washington D.C., they all have influence over the policies that govern our nation or locality.

Many Christians seem to be disengaged at times. They see the sin rampant in society and often in candidates as well. They choose not to vote. If we, as followers of Christ, do not vote… than others who reject Him will. No matter how imperfect the candidates, we should do our homework to understand the candidates… not just what they say but also what their previous actions reflect. We should pray.

We must also test the values and principles they support against scripture. We must not choose someone because of the superficial diversity of their skin color or biological sex. Choose based on their values. Personal integrity matters, but so does policy and policy will have significant implications.

As an example, I have seen Christians turn against a man who had sinned (adultery) and repented (genuinely) years ago, but stood for the sanctity of life (against abortion). They instead turned to a man who has not committed adultery, but openly pronounced that he avidly supports abortion and promoting the homosexual agenda (encouraging them to embrace this lifestyle even at the expense of the rights of Christians rather than encouraging them to get help and repent). Which is the better candidate? Which is more consistent with God’s word? I will give you a hint… as Christians we believe in repentance and forgiveness of sin.

Another man in a different senate race was accused of dating women too much younger than him 40 years ago but had demonstrated 40 years of honorable living. His opponent openly supported abortion, the killing of millions of babies. How is this even a tough choice for a Christian? But it went the wrong way and another  ungodly person was sent to direct the policy of our national government.

Sometimes the decisions seem tougher. A Mormon ran for president awhile back, against a man who claimed to be Christian. However, the policies and beliefs that the false Christian supported were not consistent with God’s word. The Mormon supported policies more consistent with our Christian values. Many did not vote for him because he was a Mormon. Meanwhile they voted for someone who was not a Christian either, but he claimed to be. Many bad policies have damaged our country since and continued to normalize ungodly behavior in our nation.

Staying home is not the right answer either. If we stay home, it just means someone else will vote, someone who may be voting for an agenda to overturn Christian values and embrace godlessness.

I encourage you to know your candidates, pray for your locality and our nation, pray for guidance on how to vote and be active. Not only vote, but engage people ahead of the election to influence them also. Let us take back our country for righteousness and cast aside wickedness and depravity which is all to often being normalized.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

 

A Call To Prayer For Our Nation

There is a battle going on for our nation and for nations around the world. It is not always fought with military. Often it is fought through politics. There are many who want to keep leading our country farther and farther away from a Christian worldview. They want to demonize people who live out their faith by suing them (e.g. bakers, florists, artists). They want to create rights for people who are struggling with their sexual identity while stripping rights away from Christians who want to live according to YHWH’s word. They want to fight for the right to provide free abortion to kill children while decrying that any who oppose abortion are against women. This is nonsense. It is lies. Half the children killed would grow into women.

We see this battle playing out in politics. There is a push to make government the sole provider and master of all things instead of YHWH. The government should determine what healthcare and education you get. The government should take your money and decide whom to give it to. Instead of equality of opportunity, they want to claim equality of outcomes. There will never be an end to it. We need only look to countries like China or Russia to see how the government, once established with enough power, will continue to persecute and scatter those who follow Christ or try to control them.

At this point, the odds are stacked against the righteous in terms of the power of the government, the way in which education has been stripped of God and Biblical focus and replaced with a secular worldview, the way in which traditional mainstream news media have a clear bias in reporting (as well as new media like major social media platforms), the way in which pastors are silenced on politics under threat by the IRS to revoke non profit status, and these are just some examples. For those who deny Christ, there is no concept of “fair play” or true right and wrong. They constantly redefine what is right and wrong to suit their purpose.

But take heart, that if we are on the Lord’s side, than we have all we need. If we are to follow Christ, we must actively stand up and stand against evil. We must influence others. We must vote. We must not believe the lie that we are to separate our faith from our government. Our government was founded based on faith in YHWH through Christ. We must recognize that this is a spiritual battle for our country as well. We must not remain neutral, but rather based on God’s word get involved despite any persecution we may face.

More than anything we must humble ourselves and pray. Let us repent from sin, rededicate ourselves to the Lord, and pray for Him to bring our nation back to righteousness. Pray that He would defeat the plans of the evil and raise up righteous leaders across our nation in government and in churches and in education and in the news.  Let us pray for our nation in this battle between evil and righteousness as David prayed for Himself in similar situations he faced.

Psalm 7 

The LORD Implored to Defend the Psalmist against the Wicked.

A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

     1O LORD my God, in You I have taken refuge;
Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me,

      2Or he will tear my soul like a lion,
Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver.

      3O LORD my God, if I have done this,
If there is injustice in my hands,

      4If I have rewarded evil to my friend,
Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary,

      5Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it;
And let him trample my life down to the ground
And lay my glory in the dust.

Selah.

      6Arise, O LORD, in Your anger;
Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries,
And arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment.

      7Let the assembly of the peoples encompass You,
And over them return on high.

      8The LORD judges the peoples;
Vindicate me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me.

      9O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous;
For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.

      10My shield is with God,
Who saves the upright in heart.

      11God is a righteous judge,
And a God who has indignation every day.

      12If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword;
He has bent His bow and made it ready.

      13He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons;
He makes His arrows fiery shafts.

      14Behold, he travails with wickedness,
And he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood.

      15He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,
And has fallen into the hole which he made.

      16His mischief will return upon his own head,
And his violence will descend upon his own pate.

      17I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness
And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Pray for our president and congress. Pray for those in the judiciary to be guided by godly principles consistent with our Constitution as written, not as changed to imply what others today want it to say. Pray for local and state officials. Influence others. Do not remain silent. Vote. Continue praying. Let us take action to help bring about a return of our nation to righteousness and away from darkness.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The 10 Commandments Matter To God and They Should Also Matter To Us

Many probably forget this, but when Moses came down off the mountain(Deuteronomy 9) with the 10 commandments the first time, he found the people sinning in rebellion to YHWH. He was so angry he broke the tablets with the 10 commandments on them. It was quite a dramatic scene. Once the situation was addressed, however, YHWH must have thought it was important because He told Moses to come back so He could provide a replacement set of the commandments.

Deuteronomy 10:1-5

The Tablets Rewritten

     1“At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Cut out for yourself two tablets of stone like the former ones, and come up to Me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood for yourself. 2‘I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered, and you shall put them in the ark.’ 3“So I made an ark of acacia wood and cut out two tablets of stone like the former ones, and went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. 4“He wrote on the tablets, like the former writing, the Ten Commandments which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me. 5“Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me.”

The commandments are important to our Father. They are not all inclusive of all instructions He has provided, but they are an important summary and for many a good starting place. They are not obsolete. Neither YHWH nor human nature nor sin have changed in thousands of years. YHWH’s instructions are there for our benefit, not His. We should honor and respect that which our Father has provided to help guide us.

Ask yourself… Do you know what the 10 commandments are? When is the last time you reviewed them and prayed over them for the Spirit to show you what changes you need to make in your life?

Ask also… What can we do to ensure that the commandments are honored throughout our country instead of constantly being under attack by atheists. Are we as Christians, fighting as hard to protect the ten commandments and instructions of God throughout our culture as the atheists are fighting to eliminate them? Pray for guidance on how you can get involved to help.

Praying for our nation is a great spot to start… for our nation to embrace YHWH and His ways rather than reject them. Pray for the plans of the wicked to be destroyed and the righteous to be lifted up and protected.

The 10 commandments matter to YHWH and they should also matter to us.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Lord Provides Justice

For those who cry out “separation of church and state” for the USA, I simply call out the lie inherent in the claim. Those words never show up in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. They only show up in letters of a founding Father not incorporated into our governing documents. The context was reassuring a Baptist congregation they would not be forced by the government to accept a certain set of Christian beliefs. The founding fathers integrates their faith in the one Christian God throughout the launching of our great nation.

The great freedom and protections we get are directly related to Christian beliefs and understanding of God. Our legal system is an example. Reading Numbers 35 we see some key aspects of what has now been incorporated into our legal code… differentiation for unintentional manslaughter vs. murder, a right to a trial, validation of witness testimony, rules and limitations put on even those who committed manslaughter, and the Levites at the center of it all to dispense unbiased execution of the law.

Numbers 35:9-34

      9Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11then you shall select for yourselves cities to be your cities of refuge, that the manslayer who has killed any person unintentionally may flee there. 12‘The cities shall be to you as a refuge from the avenger, so that the manslayer will not die until he stands before the congregation for trial. 13‘The cities which you are to give shall be your six cities of refuge. 14‘You shall give three cities across the Jordan and three cities in the land of Canaan; they are to be cities of refuge. 15‘These six cities shall be for refuge for the sons of Israel, and for the alien and for the sojourner among them; that anyone who kills a person unintentionally may flee there.

      16‘But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. 17‘If he struck him down with a stone in the hand, by which he will die, and as a result he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. 18‘Or if he struck him with a wooden object in the hand, by which he might die, and as a result he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. 19‘The blood avenger himself shall put the murderer to death; he shall put him to death when he meets him. 20‘If he pushed him of hatred, or threw something at him lying in wait and as a result he died, 21or if he struck him down with his hand in enmity, and as a result he died, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death, he is a murderer; the blood avenger shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.

      22‘But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or threw something at him without lying in wait, 23or with any deadly object of stone, and without seeing it dropped on him so that he died, while he was not his enemy nor seeking his injury, 24then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the blood avenger according to these ordinances. 25‘The congregation shall deliver the manslayer from the hand of the blood avenger, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge to which he fled; and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. 26‘But if the manslayer at any time goes beyond the border of his city of refuge to which he may flee, 27and the blood avenger finds him outside the border of his city of refuge, and the blood avenger kills the manslayer, he will not be guilty of blood 28because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the manslayer shall return to the land of his possession.

      29‘These things shall be for a statutory ordinance to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

      30‘If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death at the evidence of witnesses, but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. 31‘Moreover, you shall not take ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death. 32‘You shall not take ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to live in the land before the death of the priest. 33‘So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it. 34‘You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the LORD am dwelling in the midst of the sons of Israel.’”

Careful comparison and study of the laws of YHWH compared to other civilizations at the same time often amazes me to see how He provided for His people a way of living together beyond simply giving them land. He was constantly involved in their culture and structure of society. He was, and remains, a loving Father who is interested and engaged with the lives of His children.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What Did Jesus Say About Paying Taxes?

Mark 12 documents an encounter Jesus had with the Pharisees and Herodians as they were trying to trap Him. He not only deflected their trap, but also laid out  straightforward guidance for all of us in regards to submission to government and paying taxes.

Mark 12: 13-16

Jesus Answers the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes

      13Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15“Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

Clearly Jesus did not agree with everything the Romans were doing, but He still gave guidance to pay the taxes to Caesar. Some may speculate that He was just deflecting the trap question, but Jesus never provided a wrong answer just to avoid a trap. He always took the opportunity to address the trap and make a point on the right way of doing things also.

For those who need more convincing… the Bible has it.

Romans 13:1-7

Be Subject to Government

      1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

It is ok to work lawfully to reduce the tax burden. Governments usually waste money badly. Often they spend on things which may not honor God. However, just refusing to pay is not the guidance that Jesus provided for His people.

We can debate the “why” Jesus gives this instruction. Perhaps it is as simple as the fact that He does not want Christians to be misunderstood by unbelievers as lawbreakers, unruly, selfish, greedy, and rebellious on matters that do not offend God. Maybe He does not want His people putting their freedom at risk or constantly distracted by a fear of arrest so that they live not in the fullness of joy He intends.

It is indeed different if the government calls us to reject our God or  His instructions. Then there well may be times where we refuse to obey as we stand for a higher authority, our Father and Creator, if there is a direct conflict between the laws of men and the laws of God.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Separation Of Church And State?

Our society today would have you believe that we must rely on the laws of men to sort out legal matters. Some would say that God is too busy and we can’t “bother” Him with all our “trivial matters”…that He does not care of such small things.

Our Father both cares for us and our concerns and has the time. He is infinite. He can’t get “overwhelmed” or “too busy”. It is not possible!

Others may say that we must not base our country’s laws on God’s word and direction because we need “separation of church and state”. God feels differently. God not only cares and has the time, but He wants us to come before Him to settle our legal matters. What’s more… just for fun… there is no such clause in the Constitution that calls for “separation of church and state”. It is a total deception. Look for it. Basically all the Constitution says toward this matter is that the government will not force someone to practice a particular denomination of Christianity.

Numbers 27:1-11

A Law of Inheritance

     1Then the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, came near; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah and Hoglah and Milcah and Tirzah. 2They stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the leaders and all the congregation, at the doorway of the tent of meeting, saying, 3“Our father died in the wilderness, yet he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons. 4“Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.” 5So Moses brought their case before the LORD.

      6Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 7“The daughters of Zelophehad are right in their statements. You shall surely give them a hereditary possession among their father’s brothers, and you shall transfer the inheritance of their father to them. 8“Further, you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter. 9‘If he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10‘If he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11‘If his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his nearest relative in his own family, and he shall possess it; and it shall be a statutory ordinance to the sons of Israel, just as the LORD commanded Moses.’”

God is interested to be a focal point in all parts of our lives as His children. Let us seek Him and submit to Him in all areas. Let us put Him and His instructions above those rules and laws created by men. Let us seek to reflect His wisdom and guidance in our legal system in our towns, states, and nations today. Pray for our nation to humble themselves before the Lord and come before Him asking forgiveness and committing to repentance.

2 Chronicles 7:14

14and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

He Who Is Not Against You Is For You

There are many who acknowledge Christ and carry out deeds in His name that are consistent with His teaching and direction. Not all of them are coordinated by men and follow under one flag of a “church” or one group of disciples. Never the less, they may still serve Christ.

We do well not to try to force everyone to follow in one group, but to respect those who are also teaching and preaching and doing miracles in the name of Christ… so long as they are genuine and consistent with His teaching. This is not an excuse to accept false shepherds and people who teach the wrong gospel but do so in the name of Jesus.

In this context, we are reminded that the body of Christ is made up of many members. When we find them at work, doing the Lord’s work and teaching the full truth of scripture, we need not consider them enemies and try to shut them down. Instead let us support one another and get the word out.

Luke 9:49-50

      49John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” 50But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”

Mark 9:38-42

      38John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” 39But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40“For he who is not against us is for us. 41“For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.

      42“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.

There are many doctrinal disagreements in the denominations of Christian churches today. Never the less, many genuinely are trying to teach the truth of the gospel as they understand it. They get the main things right and perhaps stumble on some others. (Disregard for the moment those churches that teach false doctrine such as the  “prosperity” gospel in the name of Christ to fill seats and raise money for selfish desires. For these please refer to Mark 9:42, above.) Imagine if we could all pull together and influence the direction of the culture toward Christ. What if we could all come together to vote for laws and leaders consistent with Christian values rather than constantly electing worldly people who accept every religion as equal… a concept which most religions, including the one these same people claim to follow,  completely reject.

What if we worked together across denominations to fight poverty? to end abortion? to help set free those deceived by the world about homosexuality or transgender issues?

Pray for unity in the body of Christ. Pray that God’s people would work together according to His plans to accomplish great revival in our nation.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.