Biblical economics

We're not sure of the author of this particular article, as we found this in an old drive from some years ago. If anyone knows who wrote this, feel free to let us know, as we feel that it is very close to our own way of seeing these things.  Thank you.

Will Caesar's Image and Inscription Withstand The Refiner's Fire

Recently the infamous subject of "render unto Caesar" became the topic of discussion at our fellowship meeting. Instantly sides were drawn and the battle wore on. Few minds were changed but hurt feelings seemed to be what the day is most remembered for. This most misunderstood subject has put more believers under bondage to the prince of this world than any other subject. I hope to shed some new light on an old subject and new revelation from the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) of what Messiah Yahshua really said in His infamous comments.

First lets turn in the (ISR) Scriptures to Luke 23.

Luke 23:1-2 "And the entire assembly of them, having risen up, led Him to Pilate, and began to accuse Him, saying "We found this one perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Messiah, a Sovereign."

It has also been much debated and theorized that Messiah Yahshua was "falsely accused" in the passage above. Nowhere does it say, however, that He was, in fact, falsely accused. It says "and [they] began to accuse Him". It is an assumption that the "accusation was false". It is true it was just an allegation, but it says "the entire assembly" whom had apparently interpreted what He was teaching to be outright opposition to Caesar. It wasn't like a few people misunderstood or misinterpreted what Yahshua said. It appeared conclusive to "the entire assembly". Judging from the way Yahshua repeatedly taught, He always spoke in two realms (or worlds if you will). A reasonable understanding of the Word would prove that while He was talking about the differences between the "physical" realm and the "spiritual" realm (most of His teachings and parable relate to the "spiritual/heavenly" realm and kingdom), the people perceived it to be about the only realm they understand, the physical realm here on earth and the present earthly kingdom, and thus it appeared to them to be an outright defiant attitude towards "taxes" and Caesar and thus a crime worthy of being taken to trial.

In Mattithyahu (Matthew) 22:17-22 it reads "‘Then say to us, what do You think? Is it right to pay tribute [taxes] to Caesar, or not?' But knowing their wickedness, Yahshua said, ‘Why do you try Me, you hypocrites?' ‘Show Me the coin of the tax.' And they brought Him a silver piece. And He said to them, ‘Whose likeness and inscription is this?' They said to Him, ‘Caesar's' And He said to them, ‘Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and to Elohim what is Elohim's.' And having heard, they marveled, and left Him and went away."

The very fact that they marveled" indicates, I believe, that they were given spiritual eyes,  even for just a moment and as we say today, "the lights came on" and they "understood" exactly what He said. It could be perceived they marveled because He had a good answer, but I believe the word "marveled" indicates they were amazed at the truth He spoke to them at that moment in time.

Then there is the word "RENDER" which is another very interesting word. It is true that it means "to give, pay, render, yield" etc. but the dictionary records another meaning which has not been taken into account.

Definition: Render: To reduce, convert, or melt down by heating.. It comes from the root word "rend".

Definition: Rend: To be rent or torn; to become parted; to separate; to split.

In Mark 12:14-17 and Luke 20:19-26 stated the same basic incident and in all three instances you will find the words "whose likeness and inscription", or as the King James says, "Whose image and superscription hath it?"

What is the "it" talked about? The "it" is the metal; the silver coin, if you will. "It" is the coin and is the object in possession of the "image and superscription".

The word "image" or "likeness" comes from the Greek word:
1504 eikon {i-kone'}
from 1503; TDNT - 2:381,203; n f 
AV - image 23; 23 
1) an image, figure, likeness 
1a) an image of the things (the heavenly things)
1a1) used of the moral likeness of renewed men to God 
1b1) one in whom the likeness of any one is seen 

The word "superscription" comes from the Greek word 
1923 epigraphe {ep-ig-raf-ay'}
from 1924;; n f 
AV - superscription 5; 5 
1) an inscription, title 
1b) of the inscription on a coin 

Now that we have the background of the incident portrayed, let's go back to the very beginning. YES, THE VERY BEGINNING.

What is an image? Where did our image come from?

Bereshith (Genesis) 1:26 says "Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness..."

Continuing in verse 27 "So Elohim created the man in His image, in the image of Elohim created he him; male and female created He them.

Now what about the "inscription" or "superscription"? Obviously the Messiah said both "image/likeness and inscription/superscription" I put forth before the reader that our Heavenly Father, YAHWEH, has inscribed His very Name in everything in creation that hath breath. I believe that King David wisely knew this to be true when he stated in Tehillim (Psalms) 150:6 "Let all that have breath praise Yah. Praise Yah!". Read the article His Name Written In Our Breath. I often demonstrate this to people as such. Imagine your Doctor putting the stethoscope on your chest to listen to your lungs. He says "take a deep breath" and with an open mouth you breath the deepest breath you can and you hear a one syllable air sound as the air is drawn past your lips down into your lungs and the sound of "Yah" is made in breath only. Then your Doctor says "exhale" and you release the air from your lungs and you hear another one syllable sound as the air is released past your lips making the sound of "weh". Breath in, [Yah] breath out, [weh]. Let everything that hath breath PRAISE THE NAME OF YAHWEH. For He has inscribed upon us, whom are made in His image, His very Name [inscription if you will]?

Now what about the "coin", the "silver piece" that was brought to Yahshua? Who made the "silver"? Who made the granite stones we walk on? Yahweh, of course! All substance was MADE by our Creator YAHWEH. Haggai 2:8 says "The silver is mine and the gold is mine, sayeth Yahweh Tzevaoth (Yahweh of hosts)."

Yeremeyahu (Jeremiah) 10:16 "... for He [Yahweh] is the Maker of all,..."

So, what in the world could Yahshua have been teaching about that could have led to this "accusation" where "the entire assembly" or "the whole multitude" rose up and led Him to Pilate, saying "We found this one perverting the nation..."? For do we not have that same "multitude" or "assembly" with us today that says and does the very same thing? We can easily look to Scripture and identify how wrong that multitude or assembly was to accuse Messiah but do we not have the same type of hypocrites here with us today leading their brethren to the courts saying they deserve imprisonment for not obeying Caesar or the "laws" of the land?

I will address the former question, "What in the world could Yahshua have been teaching about that could have led to this "accusation" where "the entire assembly" or "the whole multitude" rose up and led Him to Pilate, saying "We found this one perverting the nation, forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar". I put forth here, that Messiah Yahshua was teaching the pubic, if you will, about the passage in Yermeyahu Chapter 10.

Verses 6-7 "There is none like You, O, YAHWEH, You are great and great is Your Name in might. Who would not fear You, O Sovereign of the nations?For this is Your due, for among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their reigns, there in none like You"

Verses 10-15 "But YAHWEH is truly Elohim. He is the living Elohim and the everlasting Sovereign. At His wrath the earth shakes, and nations are unable to stand His displeasure. Say to them this "The elah [mighty-one, Caesar?] that did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens." He [YAHWEH] has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens by His understanding. When He makes His voice heard, there is a roaring of waters in the heavens. And He makes vapors rise from the ends of the earth. The lightnings for rain He has made and brings wind from His treasuries. Everyone is brutish in knowledge; every smith [founder] is put to shame by his idol. For his mouled image is falsehood, and there is no spirit in them. They are worthless, a work of mockery. In the time of punishment they perish." ISR Version

I want to ask you a question here. If someone came up to your cement driveway and chalked their facial image there does that make it no longer yours but the property of the person who's image is on it? Or if someone who is a good artist quickly sketched his likeness and name on your house or car, is your house or car now his? Think about it! Placing your image on property that does not lawfully belong to you is fraud, is it not? Will not water wash away the chalk off your driveway? Will not a new coat of paint cover up what we would consider "graffiti" or and act of vandalism? Will not the Renderer or Smelter or Refiner dissolve the "image and inscription" off of the property that belongs to Yahweh? Again I ask, who does Scripture records as owning the silver and gold? Our Creator, YAHWEH, of course!

Now I repeat verses 14-15 from the KJV with the Strongs Concordance/Thayer's numbers in place.

14 Every man <120> is brutish <1197> in [his] knowledge <1847>: every founder <6884> is confounded <3001> by the graven image <6459>: for his molten image <5262> [is] falsehood <8267>, and [there is] no breath <7307> in them. 15 They [are] vanity <1892>, [and] the work <4639> of errors <8595>: in the time <6256> of their visitation <6486> they shall perish <6>.

Here are the meanings of most of the key words in these two verses. 
Brutish (Strongs #1197) burn up, kindle, consume 
Knowledge (#1847) skill, perception, knowledge or lack of it, understanding 
Founder (#6884) to smelt or refine 
Comfounded (#3001) withered away, dried up 
Graven image (#6459) molten or carved image 
Falsehood (#8267) a lie, deceitful, deception, fraudulent, in vain 
Breath (#7307) spirit, wind, mind, breath, of heaven 
Vanity (#1892) vain, altogether, vapor 
Errors (#8595) error, delusions, mockery 
Time (#6256) time, season 
Visitation (#6486) giving of account, punishment 
Perish (#6) perish, die, to be exterminated.

So if Messiah Yahshua was teaching this passage in Yermeyahu, one can imagine He was probably standing up there showing a coin of Caesar's and teaching to this effect,

For there is none like YAHWEH. He alone is great and great is His Name in might. For YAHWEH is truly Elohim He is the living Elohim and the everlasting Sovereign. Your mighty-one, Caesar, did not make the heavens and the earth and he shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens. For YAHWEH has established this world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. Take notice, people! Every man is burning inside with his perceived understanding: every smelter and refiner is withered away and dried up by the engraved image: for his molten image is a lie, a deception, deceitful and fraudulent and [there is] no spirit of heaven in them. 15 They are nothing but vapor, a vain thing, and the work of delusion and is a mockery: in the season of Caesar's appointed time to give account and face punishment thereof, he and his kind shall perish; they shall be utterly exterminated.

And if Yahshua spoke such words today most Christians would jump up ("all the assembly") and say, "You good for nothing TAX PROTESTOR!" You deserve to go to prison.

Be ever mindful, my friends, what the TORAH of truth does say in Debarim (Deuteronomy) Chapter 4:

    5 Behold, I [Moshe] have taught you statutes and judgments, even as YAHWEH my Elohim commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. 6 Keep therefore and do [them]; for this [is] your wisdom [WORLD, see Yerm. 10:12] and your understanding[HEAVENS, see Yerm. 10:12] in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation [is] a wise and understanding people. 7 For what nation [is there so] great, who [hath] Elohim [so] nigh unto them, as YAHWEH our Elohim [is] in all [things that] we call upon him [for]? 8 And what nation [is there so] great, that hath statutes and judgments [so] righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? 9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; 10 [Specially] the day that thou stoodest before YAHWEH thy Elohim in Horeb, when YAHWEH said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and [that] they may teach their children. 11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. 12 And YAHWEH spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only [ye heard] a voice. 13 And He declared unto you His covenant, which he commanded you to perform, [even] ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. 14 And YAHWEH commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. 15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day [that] YAHWEH spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 16 Lest ye corrupt [yourselves], and make you a graven image [Caesar's image on the coin?], the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 The likeness of any beast that [is] on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that [is] in the waters beneath the earth: 19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, [even] all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which YAHWEH thy Elohim hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. 20 But YAHWEH hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, [even] out of Egypt [a type of the WORLD], to be unto him a people of inheritance, as [ye are] this day. 23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of YAHWEH your Elohim, which He made with you, and make you a graven image, [or] the likeness of any [thing], which YAHWEH thy Elohim hath forbidden thee. 24 For YAHWEH thy Elohim [is] a consuming fire, [even] a jealous Elohim. 25 When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt [yourselves], and make a graven image, [or] the likeness of any [thing], and shall do evil in the sight of YAHWEH thy Elohim, to provoke him to anger: 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong [your] days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. 27 And YAHWEH shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither YAHWEH shall lead you. 28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 But if from thence thou shalt seek YAHWEH thy Elohim, thou shalt find [him], if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. 30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, [even] in the latter days, if thou turn to YAHWEH thy Elohim, and shalt be obedient unto His voice; 31 (For YAHWEH thy Elohim [is] a merciful Elohim;) He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. 32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that Elohim created man upon the earth, and [ask] from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been [any such thing] as this great thing [is], or hath been heard like it? 33 Did [ever] people hear the voice of Elohim speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? 34 Or hath Elohim assayed to go [and] take him a nation from the midst of [another] nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that YAHWEH your Elohim did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that YAHWEH He [is] Elohim; [there is] none else beside Him. 36 Out of heaven He made thee to hear His voice, that He might instruct thee: and upon earth He shewed thee His great fire; and thou heardest His words out of the midst of the fire. 37 And because He loved thy fathers, therefore He chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in His sight with His mighty power out of Egypt; 38 To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou [art], to bring thee in, to give thee their land [for] an inheritance, as [it is] this day. 39 Know therefore this day, and consider [it] in thine heart, that YAHWEH He [is] Elohim in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: [there is] none else. 40 Thou shalt keep therefore His statutes, and His commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong [thy] days upon the earth, which YAHWEH thy Elohim giveth thee, for ever."

Let the Torah of truth determine a matter. If any "thing" which is a graven image causes you to stumble in knowing to do right from wrong in your walk of obedience to YAHWEH, then follow His law above. Render the graven image in the Refiner's Fire and give to YAHWEH what has always been YAHWEH'S and give to Caesar what of his survived if you can even give him the benefit of the doubt that his "image and inscription" was really "his"property" in the first place. But truth shall always prevail and Caesar has absolutely nothing which survives the Refiner's Fire. Praise YAHWEH for His truth from the Ruach haKodesh. HalleluYAH!

Joseph Farah, Editor in Chief of recently wrote an article entitled Rendering unto Caesar that deserves some quotes herein:

    "I've been pilloried by Christians for the last week for opposing the federal seizure of a church in Indianapolis.

    Most of the criticism boils down to two scriptural references, which, these folks apparently believe, mean Christians should never resist evil perpetrated by government. The first reference is one found in the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke in which Jesus said "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's."

    The second reference cited by readers is Romans 13, in which the Apostle Paul advocates submission to earthly rulers.

    A great many Christians -- including many pastors -- wrote to me explaining that it is the duty of good citizens and churches to "render unto Caesar."

    I hardly know where to begin in addressing such a fundamental issue. But let me start by asking all Americans who subscribe to this principle as an absolute how our founding fathers, many of them devout Christians, justified breaking the bonds with their rulers in Great Britain? Were they not under a scriptural obligation to render unto King George? Have you read the Declaration of Independence?

    I strongly suggest that my dear misguided Christian friends spend a little time reading the great debates that precipitated the War for Independence -- all of which took place among men far more learned in the Scriptures than the average modern Christian."

    Mr. Farah continues in the article with:

    "But think about it. There are two components to Jesus' words. We are to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's," but we are also to "render unto God the things that are God's." Well, everything ultimately belongs to God. But, most of all, this injunction by Jesus instructs us that government laws cannot trump God's laws -- ever.

    If government commands you to do evil, as a Christian you must resist. There is no alternative. Citing the "render unto Caesar" line is an excuse for accountability to God -- nothing more, nothing less.

    Furthermore, it needs to be pointed out to my critics that in America we don't have a Caesar. Never have, never will. You see, our system of government is called a free republic and it is based on the concept of constitutional self-government. We have no "rulers" in America -- except ourselves and our God. We believe in the rule of law, not the rule of men.

    This is an important distinction, not a semantic one.

    Nowhere in the Bible does it teach us to obey evil rulers. Nowhere. Quite the contrary. In fact, the Bible has inspired more non-violent civil disobedience movements than any other religious document. The example of Jesus and the apostles was to submit to arrest, submit to being jailed, even submit to execution. But, in no way, can one derive from biblical example that we are to do evil because we are told to do so by government.

    I believe it is evil -- pure and simple -- for the Internal Revenue Service to force a church to serve as its unpaid tax collection agency. That is the issue in Indianapolis. Armed federal agents seized the Indianapolis Baptist Church because it refused to collect withholding taxes from employees.

    This is an act of conscience that demands respect -- not only for churches but for independent, privately held, tax-paying businesses as well. The IRS cannot at once pretend the income tax is voluntary and at the same time demand that employers collect it from employees before they ever see it.

    It is stealing. And stealing is forbidden in the Ten Commandments. Christians are not to countenance stealing, because stealing is evil. Christians are to resist evil -- even at a cost of life itself.

    I for one am not accountable to any Caesar, thank God. I am accountable to my Creator. My rights and responsibilities as a free man descend not from government, but from God Almighty.

    I would love to ask my Christian critics how they feel about those heroes who risked death in Nazi Germany because they refused to render Jews unto Hitler?

    The greatest acts of moral courage in the last 2,000 years have been the countless examples of individuals standing up to tyrants against all odds. Sadly, it seems many modern American Christians are content to sit on their duffs and condone evil because of their own scriptural illiteracy and moral blindness.

    Joseph Farah is editor and chief executive officer of and writes a daily column.

So I ask, if the Federal Income tax is lawful but is evil in its purpose and use of it's obtained funds, do we disobey YAHWEH and participate in evil? If the Federal Income tax is not in fact a legitimate law of government as many would claim, do we volunteer YAHWEH'S SUBSTANCE to assist in the activity of supporting abortion and other abominations (i.e. Arts and Humanities), because we fear man? We must answer these questions because we will all give account at the judgment.

I say to you, my friends, that when you take the "coin of the realm" and put it through the Refiner's fire, all that was YAHWEH'S to begin with will return to YAHWEH. When you take a one ounce silver coin and render (melt) it, you will still have one ounce of silver. All the substance remains in its entirely. What never was substance will be consumed as in Caesar's "image". The only thing that is therefore different now is that the "image with no spirit/breath in it" has vaporized, melted away, vanished if you will for it was a falsehood, a deception, a fraud to keep you, my friend in bondage to the prince of this world. The substance is YAHWEH'S and the image also belongs to YAHWEH and since the image [Caesar's image, your image or mine] is but a copy of the original, YAHWEH owns the COPYRIGHT and can destroy all copies in the form of graven images or in live form also for them that do not live in obedience to Him.

What I believe Yahshua said, was this is a moral issue of good vs. evil; an issue of conscience if you will. Circumstances from time to time, from government to government, from age to age will be different. As II Timothy 2:15 states and we quote all the time "Study to shew thyself approved..." Have you studied and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that man's "laws" are in fact laws? Or is your "proof" the 30 second sound bites from off the T.V. or who the government sent to jail last week? Right is right and truth is truth. That cannot change, only men's perception of what is right or what is truth, changes. As Mr. Farah put it above, I ask "are you willing to be arrested for standing up against evil? Are you willing to be put in prison for standing up against evil? Are you resolved you would be willing, even, to give up your life by standing up against evil?" Only you can answer those questions and it is not for you or I to judge what another man has "proven"or what he is resolved to do or resolved not to do according to his conscience. We can all come to a consensus but still be dead wrong in the eyes of YAHWEH. What really matters is what Messiah Yahshua said in Mattithyahu (Matthew) 10:28. "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Chose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will follow Yahshua and we will serve YAHWEH!