Matthew 22:15 Then the Pharisees went out and planned together to entrap him with his own words. 22:16 They sent to him their disciples along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful, and teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You do not court anyone’s favor because you show no partiality. 22:17 Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
22:18 But Jesus realized their evil intentions and said, “Hypocrites! Why are you testing me? 22:19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” So they brought him a denarius. 22:20 Jesus said to them, “Whose image is this, and whose inscription?” 22:21 They replied, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
When Jesus said "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's..." He added "and unto God that which is God's". The image of Caesar was on the coin given to Him by the Pharisees and the image of God is on each of us. We do not belong to ourselves but to God who is our Creator and Redeemer. This was the challenge that Jesus posed to the Pharisees who were actually serving the world bestial system inasmuch as their behaviour and thinking conformed to it. They sought to appear righteous and obedient to God but this was merely for the sake of display. They hated Jesus because He exposed their hypocrisy.
The secular power in control of the world at that time was Rome. This was then the latest beast that God had set in control of the nation of Judah and they were rightfully under its yoke. When that nation was destroyed in 70 AD the responsibility to bring forth the Kingdom of God was transferred to the Christian Church but the control of the world system remained with Rome in the sovereign will of God. This placed the Church lawfully under the yoke of Rome and the responsibility of the Christians was to submit to the yoke of Christ who had placed them in the power of Rome. Their allegiance was first to Christ and they paid for this allegiance with their lives when they refused to worship the Emperor as commanded by the law of Rome. They would pay their taxes but would not recognise the sovereignty of the Emperor as supreme ruler that position belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
Fast forward to today and the secular power rests with the power known in the Bible as Mystery Babylon. This is the latest and final beast system in all its religious, economic and political institutions. The religious institutions include the Christian churches who have been absorbed into the world system. It is God's intention to bring this bestial system to an end and first He has called out of the churches those with whom He will bring forth the Kingdom of God. These are still in the world but not of the world. They know that Mystery Babylon has now been judged and is coming to an end but they still obey the command of the Lord Jesus Christ and render to that system all that it demands but in a way that is in accord with the Law of God. They do not acknowledge the beast system in their thinking (their foreheads) or their actions (their hands) those being the property of the Father alone who has sealed them with His Seal.
"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)
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