Should the children of God pay taxes?

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This topic is no doubt a very explosive one, but as usual, I have come to present the word of God raw to either support the truth or expose the lies. I would encourage and even insist on the reader studying the bible and following the path that the Bible leads, to get the most out of my posts. My posts heavily rely on the reader knowing what the scripture says whether or not they understand it. The dramatised audio bible goes a long towards traversing the scriptures.

The most popular belief is that we should pay taxes. This belief may stem from the fact that the practice has been in place for centuries, or because we have been told that the money is needed to sustain governments, infrastructure, and a beast with its ever-increasing demands. From a biblical perspective, Mark 12:13-17 shown below, has been traditionally used to justify that the Bible agrees with the current view on taxation.

The ingenious snare

13. And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.
14. 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 Cæsar, or not?
15. 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.
16. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Cæsar’s.
17. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

Mark 12:13-17 (KJV)

The dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees can be found in these places also, Luke 20:20-26 (KJV) & Mathew 22:16-22 (KJV).

This passage is often taken to believe that Jesus said that taxes should be paid, but this is far from the case. Jesus superbly navigated this question by providing an answer that relied heavily on the listeners’ knowledge of the scriptures. The intention of the Pharisees was to catch Jesus through his own words thereby they devised a very clever scheme to get Jesus to speak the truth of the scriptures, but by doing this, would condemn himself by going against the Roman empire.

And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.

Mark 12:13 (KJV)

The Pharisees and the Herodians first established to the audience that Jesus speaks the Word of God truthfully and does this without regard for anyone. Now that they had created a stage (cage) for Jesus to operate within, they then presented the question of whether paying taxes was legitimate according to the Word of God. Jesus knew what they were up to, which is to entrap and then accuse him, and showed this by stating, “why do ye tempt me”. He then proceeded to present a duality of understanding in his response. He achieved one half of the duality by bringing focus to the coin and Cæsar’s face on the coin so that those who did not know the scriptures would focus on this, while those who knew the scriptures would understand that everything belongs to God. So when Jesus stated “Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”, those who understood scriptures would know that everything belongs to God, and therefore, nothing belongs to Cæsar.

Focusing on his goal

Why did Jesus not merely answer the question with a straightforward, no we should not pay taxes, be condemned and have the same outcome as when He died at a later date? He did not do this because Jesus came for a purpose, wherein part, He outlined it in the following passage.

17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Matthew 5:17-18 (KJV)

After his rise from the grave, subsequent to his crucifixion on a tree, he confirmed that indeed he did fulfil all that was required of him before His death, however, at the time that the Pharisees tempted Him, all that needed to be fulfilled by Him had not yet been fulfilled.

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Luke 24:44 (KJV)

There are many instances where Jesus stated that it was not time for Him to see and conquer death, with the following one of these instances.

28. Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.
29. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.
30. Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

John 7:28-30 (KJV)

This was not the time for Jesus to be crucified as all things that were to be done by Him, were not yet accomplished. The amazing thing that comes to mind here, and further goes on to justify that he must fulfil all things concerning Him before He can be crucified, is why didn’t they grab hold of him? Yes, his time has not come, but what did that matter to the people who wanted His head? These following passages provide great insight into this topic.

48. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
49. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
50. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
51. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.
52. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
53. Thinkest thou that I can not now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
54. But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
55. In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
56. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

Matthew 26:48-56 (KJV)

Jesus daily was protected by the Father’s angels upon prayer and thus nobody could touch him.

5. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6. And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Matthew 4:5-6 (KJV)

What belongs to Cæsar?

On the back of establishing the reason for the Pharisees to present such a question and how they envisioned they would catch Jesus, while also establishing the reason Jesus just did not come out directly and say the answer the Pharisees expected is because it was not the time for him to be crucified, I will show what belongs to Cæsar and what belongs to God.

And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

Mark 12:17 (KJV)

What then belongs to God and what belongs to Cæsar?

Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

Deuteronomy 10:14 (KJV)

The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.

Psalms 89:11 (KJV)

For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

1 Corinthians 10:26 (KJV)

The passages above are clear in their declaration that everything belongs to God and nothing belongs to Cæsar, however, to add solidification to the foundation I present another passage.

The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.

Haggai 2:8 (KJV)

Four scriptures presented from the books of Moses, Psalms, prophets and the apostles. Throughout the scriptures without fail, this declaration is made repeatedly. There is no question what Jesus meant when he said “render to Cæsar” — nothing, and “render to God” — everything.

For some people, this would be evidence enough that we, as the son and daughters of the MOST HIGH God, should not pay taxes, but for others, there may still be some doubt. To satisfy the doubters I present the following passage.

24. And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
25. He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
26. Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
27. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

Matthew 17:24-17 (KJV)

The children of the kings are free because they pay no taxes (tribute), but as it stands, if we choose not to pay the likelihood of offending and ending up being penalised is quite high. The governments currently in place have many layers of enforcement with more arsenal than anyone or even groups of us can fight. Jesus made it quite clear that taxation is slavery, despite this, we are having to oblige because the power for now, lay on the side of the rulers.

Further evidence is presented by Ezra to support no taxation in a specific scenario. He presents a set of professions where it is explicitly stated that no taxation is acceptable.

Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.

Ezra 7:24 (KJV)

Here Ezra gives explicit exclusions for a set of people and professions, and not under any circumstances will these people or professions be taxed. One caveat would be that this exclusion would only apply when Israel is a free nation and governed by God.

The ever-tightening yoke

When God is our leader, what should we offer in return for this leadership? Better yet, what does God want in return for his guidance, His support, His armament and protection?

God asks for us to keep following his laws which include honouring His covenants. The benefits of following these laws and covenants go to the people being led. On the other hand, when people are being led by men, the benefits go to the leaders.

10. And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
11. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
17. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
18. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
19. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

1 Samuel 8:10-19 (KJV)

And now, the words of the MOST HIGH is evident in how the kings, even the wisest earthly king of them all, Solomon, have treated the people of the kingdom.

1. And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
2. And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;)
3. That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,
4. Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
5. And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.
6. And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived,and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?
7. And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.
8. But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
9. And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
10. And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.
11. And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
12. So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying,Come to me again the third day.
13. And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;
14. And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
15. Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16. So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

1 Kings 12:1-16 (KJV)

The yoke of taxation was described as grievous by Israel. Is this what the Father intended? His son, who was sent in His name gives us a view of the intended yoke of Yah.

I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

John 5:43 (KJV)

29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest un to your souls.
30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:29-31 (KJV)

Conclusion

When God led Israel, the people were free, but once men started to lead, the people suffered. The people of God were not put here to be led by men and transitively were not put here to serve men. YAH does not want gold and silver, He created it all, He doesn’t need or desire these things. He imparts His love for our happiness. He is a father to His children and thus chastises when we step out of line, He challenges us so that we grow, He protects us from our enemies and in return, all we need to do is love Him.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1 John 5:3 (KJV)

Taxation is not meant for the children of YAH. This is not to say that the children will never pay towards anything, but the system as it is implemented today is not what was intended. The system, however, is as it is for the moment until the king returns.

Unless you desire to offend I would recommend paying your taxes.

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