Embassy of Heaven

Would Jesus register with Caesar?

 

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Registration requires bowing to other gods

Imagine if Jesus did go down to Caesar and register. What would that do? What kind of relationship would Jesus have with Caesar? What kind of relationship would He have with God? God sends Jesus into the world, to go after the lost,59 Luke 19:10 "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." to establish His Kingdom on earth. And Jesus, as an example, goes down and registers with Caesar. I would say that would be similar to His encounter with Satan in the desert. What happened during that encounter? All Satan wanted was Jesus to bow down and worship him, and He could have all the kingdoms of the earth. He could have them handed over on a silver platter. "Just bow down and worship me." I'd say that sounds like registering. "Register with Satan! And I'll give you everything. Register with the State. Register with the nations, and we'll see that you get anything that you want." Jesus turned it down.60 Matthew 4:8-10 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " His Kingdom was not of this world.61 John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."

Seekers of His kingdom throughout history have steadfastly refused to register with the Caesars of their day. John Bunyan, who wrote "Pilgrim's Progress," spent 12 years in prison for refusing to get a preaching license. The Clerk admonished him saying, "You must submit to the laws of the land, and leave off those meetings which you were wont to have, for the statute law is directly against it; and I am sent to you by the justices to tell you that they do intend to prosecute the law against you if you submit not."62 The Complete Works of John Bunyan, Bradley, Garretson & Co., 1876. "A Relation of the Imprisonment of Mr. John Bunyan, Minister of the Gospel at Bedford, in November, 1660, Written by Himself." But Bunyan refused. Time after time he was brought before the magistrates and told that he could be set at liberty if he would just submit to their demands to get a license. But Bunyan stood his ground for 12 years. He knew he didn't need permission from the State to preach. Jesus Christ had given him all the authority he needed.63 Luke 9:1-2 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

The early Christians also refused to obtain a license from Caesar. The Roman Empire used licenses to establish sovereign authority over her conquered subjects. Rome generously declared that her subjects could worship any god they chose and in any manner they chose. All these privileges were available with one minor requirement - they must first obtain a license from the Roman government.64 Persecution in the Early Church, A Chapter in the History of Renunciation, by Herbert B. Workman, M.A., Oxford University Press 1980, page 28-29, "By Roman theory the State was the one society which must engross every interest of its subjects, religious, social, political, humanitarian, with the one possible exception of the family. There was no room in Roman law for the existence, much less the development on its own lines of organic growth, of any corporation or society which did not recognize itself from the first as a mere department or auxiliary of the State. The State was all and in all, the one organism with a life of its own. Such a theory the Church, as the living kingdom of Jesus, could not possibly accept either in the first century or the twentieth." Why couldn't the Christians apply for a license? To accept a license meant to seek permission from an authority outside the Church. For Christians to acknowledge they had no right to worship Christ without Caesar's approval, Caesar's license, would have been to acknowledge that Caesar was over Christ. It would deny the sovereignty of God and acknowledge that the Roman Emperor stood above God Himself.65 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Today, we see the Caesars bidding us to accept licenses of all kinds. They offer an inexpensive little plastic card that promises you the chance to travel throughout all the kingdoms of the world - if we'll just bow down to them. It's such an innocent little card. What could be wrong with it? Let's say you succumb to the temptation and get their license. Now your traveling depends on staying in good graces with Caesar. One day you will offend Caesar. You don't pay a fine or you don't fill out an accident report form. You receive a notice - your driving privilege is suspended. You can't drive. You can't get groceries. You can't go to church. You can't go out and preach the gospel. You are grounded. Here's the dilemma. Jesus says, "Go." The State says, "Stay." Who are you going to obey?66 Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men."

Since the time of the Roman Empire, the license has been used by the Caesars of the world to establish their authority over a particular area. When we accept a license, we are accepting the sovereignty of the one who grants the license. An important principle of licensing is that the lesser authority never licenses the greater authority. Therefore, to ask permission from Caesar to preach or to worship or to travel would be to openly acknowledge that Caesar, not Jesus Christ, is lord over certain spheres of our lives. In other words, Caesar is the greater authority, Caesar is above Jesus Christ. Would we have Caesar as our king, not Jesus Christ?67 John 19:15 But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!"

Bow down to Son lest you be destroyed

I'm concerned about the calling of Christ - the calling of people to His Kingship. He gives a parable in the Bible that would frighten me. It's in Luke 19 starting at verse 11:

Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Therefore He said: 'A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.'

I want to study this parable piece by piece. This certain nobleman, I would say, is Jesus. Usually Jesus tends to talk about Himself and our relationship to God in His parables. So Jesus went into a far country. Let's call it the earth. This is a far country from Heaven, the world is very far. The world has totally rejected Heaven.68 Acts 4:25-26 'Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.' "To receive for Himself a kingdom and to return." In other words, He's to come to earth, establish His Kingdom and return to the Father. That's what He did through the Cross.

So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business till I come.' But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.'

Isn't that what the Pharisees said? They did not recognize Jesus, they did not recognize that He came from God, they did not want this man to reign over them. "And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom" - which Jesus has accomplished through the Cross and being raised up again, "he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading." Now the next section deals with what these servants were doing, whether they were being attentive to their responsibilities. I want to jump right down through to the end, where the important meat is: "But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me."69 Luke 19:11-15,27

Imagine if Jesus Christ came to get Himself a Kingdom and He succeeds in His kingship, but you rejected Him as King. That's the worst position to be in if you didn't support Him. Of all the deaths, of all the gnashing of the teeth, of all the weeping that could possibly be, it appears to me like that one would be the most wicked of deaths, because we did not believe in Him. I say it's crucial. We must believe in Christ, we must accept His Kingship, because if we reject it, He has no use for us70 Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. He's very jealous, He's already demonstrated that, highly jealous.71 Exodus 34:14 "(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)." Therefore, He does not want us to have intercourse with the world, to go register. Registering is an act of allegiance, it's an act of recognition of someone over you.

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