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Caesar is in the House

  • Caesar is in the House from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Jesus was born during a time of great division and strife. As so many times before, His nation of Israel had once again been conquered by a surrounding enemy. This time it was the Roman empire. Rome was the latest in a long list of nations that had invaded and occupied Israel.

    All through history, God used "evil" nations to bring judgment on His disobedient people. Each time God's people turned away from Him and began to follow idols, the authority to rule over them was given to their enemies. Since King Solomon's rule, the Israelites had suffered under the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and now they were under Roman control.

    The Jews had been waiting in anguish for their Messiah to come. They expected Him to be a great King like David who would rise up and deliver them from the Romans and set up an everlasting empire. Many expected the Messiah to be a powerful political ruler like Caesar. And that He would bring a political revolution and lead a rebellion to drive out the Roman occupiers. They were surprised and offended when Jesus came as a humble Servant. Some even tried to trap Jesus in His words to try and make Him choose a political side.

    (Matthew 22:15–22 NASB)  Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. “Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? “Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.

    Jesus avoided their politics and liked to keep God's things and the things belonging to Caesar separate, just as He drove the money changers from the temple. He did not condemn Rome, nor speak bad things about the emperor or the evil King Herod. In fact, Jesus asked His Father to forgive the Roman soldiers who were busy nailing Him to the cross:

    (Luke 23:33–34 NASB)  When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

    John the Baptist was a hell, fire, and brimstone preacher, who expected Jesus to bring the wrath of God down on the evildoers, or at the very least, speak out against it. John prophesied this:

    (Matthew 3:10–12 NASB)  “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

    Then Jesus came, but He wasn't swinging an ax or burning things up with fire. He wasn't speaking out against the evil leaders who were oppressing the people. Yet, John did. He started going after the political leaders and told King Herod that he could not marry Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. Herod promptly had John arrested and put in prison.

    (Mark 6:17–18 NASB)  For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her. For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

    What did Jesus do when John spoke out about the evil ruler's behavior and got himself arrested? John apparently expected Jesus to take his side and defend him, and possibly get him out of jail. But Jesus left the area so He would not be a part of it.

    (Matthew 4:12 NKJV)  Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.

    John was perplexed, so he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus what was happening:

    (Luke 7:19 NASB)  Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?”

    John was now sitting in jail and getting offended. He basically asked Jesus, "Are You the Expected One? You don't seem to be... Do we start looking for someone else?" Yet, Jesus was doing exactly what He had come to do. He was busy healing people, teaching the Gospel, and staying out of the nation's drama.

    (Luke 7:22–23 NASB)  And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

    Sadly, John the baptist's ministry came to an abrupt end. He was beheaded in prison, and his head was placed on a silver platter as gift for Herodias. Did John's life have to end that way? I don't know. What I do know is that Jesus told Pilate this:

    (John 19:10–11 NASB)  So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above...”

    Whether the occupying ruler is evil or not, they would have no power over you if God had not allowed them to be on the throne.

    Jesus did not lead a rebellion to take back His country from the evil leaders. Instead, He suffered under them, and He prayed for them. This was so unexpected for the Messiah. He allowed them to arrest Him, beat Him until His ribs showed, and nail Him to a cross to die, without speaking out about it.

    (Isaiah 53:7 NASB)  He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.

    Jerusalem was destroyed soon after in 70 A.D. by the Romans after the Jews started a rebellion to overthrow the government. Jesus could have been their salvation, but they ignored Him and the path of peace. They chose violence, and God did not rescue them from their fate.

    God sets the times and seasons. In the book of Jeremiah, after His people began serving idols, the Lord decreed that Jerusalem would be destroyed by Babylon and the people would go into exile for seventy years. When those seventy years were up, the prophet Daniel began seeking the Lord for change:

    (Jeremiah 25:11 NASB)  This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

    (Daniel 9:2–3 NASB)  in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.

    During those seventy years, there was nothing that could be done to change God's mind about His judgment. His people just had to pray and wait it out. Those who determined to fight Babylon were all killed. Their lives were cut short because they found themselves actually fighting against God. We don't fight against flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). People are not our enemy. It is the spirits living in them. Look at what the Apostle Paul and Peter said about this:

    (1 Timothy 2:1–3 NASB)  First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior

    (Titus 3:1–3 NASB)  Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

    (1 Peter 2:13–17 NASB)  Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

    Now, I want to be clear that Jesus Christ is our Lord and not Caesar. We don't worship leaders, and as long as they allow us the religious freedom to freely serve God, we should be happy. Let God handle the heavy lifting and the things we cannot change. Let us learn to live in peace with those around us and let the politicians squabble amongst themselves. Keep Caesar out of the house of God.

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please unite our country and inspire our leaders to make the right decisions. Bring Your people back from mental exile and help us see clearly once again. You know what is best for us. May Your will be done on Earth, in our nation, and in our lives, as it is in heaven. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!


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15 comments
  • 0
Marilyn Salter
Marilyn Salter It makes me wonder what evil spirits are currently residing in the country and it’s leaders. I pray that God will forgive our nation for our transgressions against Him and our fellow man. I pray the Lord will hear our prayers and forgive us.
Feb 16
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen Good Morning Everyone 

Feb 15
  • 1
Brenda F
Brenda F

Amen

Feb 15
  • 1
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Yes Lord Jesus, amen 

Feb 15
  • 1
Kevin J. Eck
Kevin J. Eck

Amen, 

Feb 15
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen. I pray for peace for all living things, and may Peace be with You. Amen

Feb 15
  • 1
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Amen,inspiring message.Thank you Pastor Dion.

Feb 15
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

 Amen

Feb 15
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

Feb 15
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen! Thank you pastor Dion and Sylvia for another great service love you guys.

Feb 15
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father I humbly ask You to bring peace to our country and the world, that Your Holy word be expressed unto us as the word explicit said...give to Cesar's what is Cesar's, don't use the word of God in things that are not of God. In the name of Jesus Christ Your Son we pray, Amen. Lord lead us and keep us safe, Amen. 

Thank you Pastor for this word of wisdom, God bless you and Sylvia, Amen. 

Feb 15
  • 1
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb

Appreciate the focus and clarity of this much needed message, Pastor Dion! PTL for His intentional model!

Feb 15
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

Feb 15
  • 1
Sherry McCosh
Sherry McCosh

Father God, please unite our country and inspire our leaders to make the decisions. Bring your people back from their mental exile and help us see clearly once again. You know what is best for us. May your will be done on Earth, in our nation, and in our lives, as it is in heaven. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen!!

 

God bless everyone at Refreshing Hope Ministries, especially Pastor Dion and Sylvia, watch over them and keep them safe!

Thank you Dion once again for this awesome devotion service!!

Feb 15
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen

Feb 15