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Would Jesus register with Caesar?


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Would Jesus register with Caesar?

By Pastor Paul Revere

We were talking earlier this week about flags. Since the Kingdom of Heaven is a nation, what would be the flag? I guess question number one is, Would there be a flag? If so, What would it be? We were trying to describe the purpose of a flag. Those in the United States of America put their hand on their hearts, look at the red, white and blue flag, shed a few little tears and say, "I pledge allegiance to the flag." And this flag is raised into the air as a focal point where everybody can observe it. In fact, if I carried this flag, I could hold it out in front of me, exalted as high as possible. All the army would be following behind me, and the flag would be a focal point wherever we're going. All eyes would remain on that flag - and everybody has pledged their allegiance to that flag.

One thing about that flag is that it is carnal. If that man carries it as high as he can and a bullet comes and shoots him down, that flag falls to the ground. Then someone else picks up the flag and carries it forward. Of course, if you're carrying a flag, you can't carry a gun, too. It means carrying either the flag or a gun. It's hard to shoot at the enemy and carry a flag, but someone has to be out there carrying that flag. It's probably the most dangerous position on the field. The flag directs where the forces go. If that flag is heading to the rear, you know you're in dead retreat. But it's a carnal flag. It can fall, it can fall to the ground and get dirty and stained and burned.1 2 Samuel 1:27 "How the mighty have fallen, And the weapons of war perished!"

Christ is our Flag

What is a Christian flag? What was raised up high where everyone could see? Jesus. Jesus was raised up on top of the pole,2 John 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." and He's our flag.3 Isaiah 11:10 "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious." He's in our heart, and no matter what happens on the battlefield, that Flag can never be stained, that Flag can never be drowned, can never be trampled on, because He's in our heart.4 Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. As long as Jesus remains in our heart at all times, that's our focal point, He's our focus. Jesus is always in front of us. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and everything will be added unto it."5 Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." In other words, Christ is our focal point. They can't take Him away unless we voluntarily give Him up.6 Hebrews 12:16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.

Don't take eyes off goal

Let me give you a short illustration. There was a man, an old time farmer named Samuel. He was out in his field and noticed three young lads who thought they knew everything. Samuel couldn't stand it anymore: "Hey lads come over here! I have a race for you." The lads thought, "Who's this old white-bearded man who thinks he has a race for young kids?" They came over and Samuel said, "Here are the rules. This is a different kind of race than ever has been run. What I'm going to do is walk across this field. Now the objective of the race is not to be the first one over here. The objective is to see which one can walk the straightest line across the field to where I'm standing. The one who makes the straightest line is the winner."

The boys wonder what this race could be about and accept his challenge. Samuel stands at one end of the field and the first boy makes his attempt. He is fairly nervous and inexperienced. He decides to make very sure that his steps are the straightest. He keeps his eyes on his feet. He makes sure one foot is right in front of the other as he walks across the freshly plowed field. If you look at his tracks, they wander all over.

The second boy, thinking he's smarter than the first, says, "I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to put my eyes on that first boy, to give me a reference point." He ends up watching the first one and does as badly.7 Matthew 15:14 "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch." I don't know the character of the third boy. All he knows comes to him naturally. Maybe the Father in Heaven directs him. He puts his eyeballs on Samuel standing at the other end of the field. And no matter what happens, no matter what noises he hears, whether some car passes, he keeps his eyeballs on Samuel the entire time he crosses that field. Can you imagine who made the straightest path across the field? Of course, the third boy. He never took his eyes off Samuel. What's the point? We need to keep our eyes on Christ.8 Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. If we take our eyes off Christ, then we're going to wander.

Recently a man said to me, "If you take a stone, a small round stone that fits in your hand, and throw the stone at Baal and hit his nose, and chip it, you've still worshipped Baal." Why? Because you took your eyes off Christ. In order to pitch the stone at Baal, you had to look at Baal.

World requires registration

The question that we're addressing is, Would Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, register with Caesar? Would He do such an act? Why do we even ask the question? Because that is the controversy. We're not going out of our way to say, "Hey, let's cause some trouble down at the city hall." That's not our intent. Why would anybody want to do that? That's not very nice. That's not loving your neighbor. Why would you want to cause somebody a whole lot of grief? Especially when the locals have decided it's a good idea that you should go get these registrations with the State or the cities. Registrations come in different forms, it's just a matter of language. Sometimes they're called a license, sometimes you register to vote, sometimes you register your children in school, sometimes you get a permit to build. It can come under all kinds of different premises, but the world requires registration with the world.

Jesus' Family Registered

Let's take a look at Jesus. While Jesus was still in the womb, while Mary was still carrying Him, a decree was issued that everyone shall register. I believe it's recorded at Luke, Chapter 2, beginning at verse 1: "And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered." That's a common act. Notice his name was Caesar Augustus. In those days all the kings were referred to as Caesar. They were kings or emperors over all the known world and Rome had brought all the nations under their power. It was the greatest nation that the world had ever known. It was a very simple thing that they required: "Come and register with us. Now we don't care what your religion is, we don't care if you worship turtles, we don't care if you love Jupiter, we don't really care what you do. But just come and register with us." So at that time, when Christ was still in the womb, Augustus required that everybody be registered:

This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.9

Luke 2:1-7

And the story goes on.

Jesus became like us to free us

Technically, Jesus was born under the law. He didn't have a whole lot of choice in it. It was the will of God. He was to be born under the law. He was to be registered. I believe Galatians 4:4 supports that:

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.10

Galatians 4:4-7 (emphasis added)

What a peculiar passage. What in the world is going on? God sent His only Son to be born under the law to set us free? I'm confused. How can we possibly be set free by someone who's born under the law? I'll give you a clue through an illustration.

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