"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Why Sons are Exempt

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Sons are exempt. Jesus said this about paying taxes but principles like this have spiritual implications and ramifications. Exemption here is not just about earthly taxes. I can see it applied to our entire sonship in Christ, for instance. We tend to box ourselves in traditionally and humanly accepted meanings and fail to see passages like this through the mind of Christ and miss the glory.

Like muzzling an ox that treads the grain. How did Paul conclude that to apply to ministers of the Gospel and not really to an ox? The context in Deuteronomy 25 is to point out how imposing unreasonable punishment on a guilty offender is like muzzling an ox while it’s doing its burdensome work. The comparison is on the difficulty and cruelty. Imagine subjecting the ox to heavy work without feeding it.

Sons Look for Spiritual Principles in the WORD

But Paul took it to apply to ministers (though we see no hint on this whatsoever in Deuteronomy). Why? Because he saw how the passage has Kingdom repercussions, not just on oxen and grains, but on a lot of things in ministry and life. He saw it applicable to our entire sonship, too. He showed the Corinthians how the passage must be seen through the mind of Christ:
Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. [1 Cor.9]
God's grand plan for exempted sons and daughters. Click here. 

Now, going back to Jesus and Peter, sons being exempt does not just apply to tax exemption. It applies to different aspects of Kingdom life, too. Thus, Jesus’ remedy here was to produce fish that has money in its mouth. Very extraordinary! Do you see this? The fish was commanded to produce tax payment for Jesus and Peter (and to appear precisely at the time Peter threw his fishing line into the water). Now, how the fish did all that could be answered only with Kingdom principles.

Simply put, the passage shows that the principle has spiritual or supernatural meaning as well, not just for earthly taxes. If not, then Jesus would’ve just told Peter to get money from Judas (their money bag keeper) to pay for their taxes. But no, he had to produce it supernaturally. Why? As I've said, it has supernatural implications. It’s not just on taxes—it reveals a glimpse of a Kingdom working principle, showing how sons should operate. So, you need to pay for something? You’re exempted from having to sweat it out and work for a living just to produce money to pay with. You can just command a fish to do it all for you. You're a son.

Figurative or Literal?

You say Jesus meant it figuratively? Really? Then how come Peter really caught fish with money in its mouth, literally? And at another time, Jesus said anyone who has faith in him will do the same things he did. No wonder---we're sons and daughters.

I mean, such things make no sense except in the Kingdom—God’s Kingdom on earth—willed by God’s own Son. Those with the mind of the world will balk at this but Kingdom people won’t. They’d take it seriously because Jesus did. Bad news is, things like this won’t even make sense in church today. Church has become too intelligent and logical to seriously believe something like catching fish with money in its mouth. They may discuss it in bible studies or preach it on Sundays as an illustration, but seriously believe it? They’d say you’re nuts.

But true sons in Christ are similarly “exempt” by virtue of Christ in us (we’re in the Son and the Son is in us). We’re exempt (and this includes all daughters in Christ, too, of course) from everything that applies to ordinary mortals of this world. Ordinary humans will sink in water, but not Jesus because he’s the Son. Religious people were not allowed to break the Sabbath or talk to Samaritan women, but Jesus did. Jesus ordered the storm and waves to be still but ordinary men today just wonder about its possibility. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead but all "believers" today can do is either water it down as a mere bible fairy tale or debate about it.

Sons See the Literal

True sons and daughters should be like Jesus, not just in heart and character but also supernaturally. Anyone born of the Spirit is like the wind that “blows wherever it wills.” You can’t box the wind. If the Son sets you free, you’re free indeed. You’re “exempt.” You’re exempt from both the rules, norms and expectations of men and the laws of nature. Jesus explicitly said you can tell this mountain, “Be thrown to the sea,” and it will obey you—if you have faith.

But again, they’d say this was figurative. Figurative? Jesus just cursed the fig tree and it died, literally, and you say it’s figurative?

God never makes excuses by saying this or that is just figurative. Only humans do that (and Paul told the Corinthians we're not mere men). To God all his words take literal meanings. Create the universe with just a word? Release healing to the sick 100 miles away from him? Multiply bread and fish miraculously? God becoming 100 percent man while retaining his deity also 100 percent? Calling animals from all over the world by pairs to enter Noah’s Ark and behave there for 40 days? Pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night? Stopping the rotation of the earth for half a day?

These weren’t just figurative.

And the amazing thing is, we’re real sons of God—sons and daughters of God in Christ. We’re not just humans saved spiritually but remain powerless and helpless physically in this world. God’s very own “blood” and “DNA” runs through our veins! And Christ is IN US, not figuratively, but literally. He really lives in us 100 percent! We've died and it's not we who live but Christ who lives in us. To smart Alecks this may just be another figurative idea---not to be taken literally---but to us who are deemed "idiots" because we seriously believe every Word of God in the bible, this is literal.

Sons are Exempt from Earthly Measures

And anyway, who decides whether something in Scriptures is figurative or not? Only those with degrees in theology? Bible school graduates? Those with masters and doctorate? Great theologians or denominational church fathers? I believe it's only God who can do this through the Holy Spirit. And no one can claim he or she has the monopoly of God's Spirit. We all have God's Spirit.

My measure on this is not titles or degrees or church positions. What I look for is fruit. "You will know them by their fruit" is how Jesus told us discerning right and wrong interpretation should be done. What's the character of the one interpreting Scripture? Is he meek and selfless like Jesus? Does he genuinely live a holy life? Is the Word of God his life? If so, then I'm going to listen to him. True sons and daughters are exempt from earthly measures.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. [2 Cor. 5.16]
..the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me. [Psalm 101.6]
 Sons are from Another Dimension

I find it quite amusing how Christians try to be as earthly as possible when the fact is their Lord showed himself unearthly as much as possible. They try to satisfy human standards in their bible interpretation, for instance, and be as far away as possible from how God interprets it. We are exempt from any earthly expectations because we belong to another world. Our being aliens and strangers in this world is how God wants us to impact this world, not how we subscribe to its norms.

Funny, but we try to lure people to our churches with our programs, activities, music and buildings, pretty much how Jollibee and McDonald would do it. We compete in the worldly arena according to worldly standards when we should be doing things in the unique (supernatural) ways of the Kingdom as Jesus did. In a sense, we're not exempting ourselves---we're subjecting ourselves to the same race and rules. Now, how can we win against the hustlers in this world?

The church is so engrossed with externals---church property and building, facilities, musical instruments, rites, altars, pulpits, interiors, attires, niceties and formalities, positions, etc. Sons are exempt from all this. Jesus never bothered with them. In fact, John the baptizer wore only camel's hair and a leather belt.

No wonder the church is always gobbled up by the world. We may have the looks and trappings of success with our "mission works" and "church planting" but actually we're drowning in a whirlpool, helplessly absorbed by the system. We're not in the least "unique." You won't believe the mundane politics right inside the church and how church people act worse than unscrupulous politicians. We're just a religious (or Pharisaical) version of the world, looking so unlike our Lord.

Sometimes, I think Christian mission around the world is actually how God scatters us as "exiles" to the nations the way God did Israel due to its rebellion. Well, this happens especially when I see church denominations and their names and doctrines being spread more than Jesus and his pure, unadulterated Gospel. Often, we mistake our drive for expansionism and mega-ism (madness to be the mega-est church of all) as evangelism and heart for the lost.

Flimsy Increase

We try to expand the church with our own efforts, but actually gain nothing. Initially, the churches we plant do well, but they worsen as time passes. Most of them become problematic and go out of control. How many do we see end up in unwanted pregnancies in church? How many do we see rebellious to parents? How many wrecked marriages and families? And yet they remain active in church. The rest who seem to progress and "mature" actually just survive by getting along with the world system in church. We seem so productive but actually get no Kingdom results.
We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not come to life. [Isa. 26.18]
They will eat but not have enough; they will engage in prostitution but not flourish, because they have deserted the Lord to give themselves to prostitution [Hosea 4.10-11]
But praise God the exile is just for "70 years." The 71st year will soon be here!

Jesus came to show the world his Kingdom. He didn't play by the world's rules---he set up another race with its own rules and displayed it to the world, and the world was astounded. It saw something entirely unique, with different measures, standards, norms and an out-of-this-world culture. Jesus showed himself "exempt" in every way. If he had played by the rules of men, he would've pursued being a Pharisee or a law teacher. He would've earned titles and degrees and sought recognition by the Sanhedrin. He would've attached himself to politicians and the influential, the way some pastors do it today.

But no. He came as a poor, rugged and unschooled son of a carpenter, socializing among sinners and tax collectors and the unclean and unwanted. He was exempt. We, sons and daughters, should also be exempt. People of the world should see a different kingdom in us, one that is so divergent and dissimilar that they themselves would decide we're exempt. We're here, among them, but do not belong. Then those too tired to stay in the system, enduring things as they are because they see no other option, would decide to bolt away and join us for exemption. Many, when they see God's grace in us, will want to be exempt, too.

We Comply for Now

However, though exempt as sons, we often comply. This is where most sonship believers err. They think they're also exempt from accountability. Jesus was surefire exempted but he chose to comply nonetheless.
"Then sons are exempt,” Jesus said to Peter. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours. [Matthew 17]
On apt occasions, we should be careful not to "cause offense." We comply for now because the world (and those still entangle in its mindset) will never understand. They think exemption is pride or self-conceit or holier-than-thou. Instead of arousing their curiosity positively (for God's glory), they'd stumble. So Jesus told Peter to pay the tax. But the fact remains---sons are exempt.

Truth is, we're not supposed to be subject to human authorities even in church. We're exempt. But for now, we comply. Jesus said they should obey what the Pharisees told them. But they shouldn't do what these religious leaders were doing. In fact, he said "Leave them, they're blind guides." We leave them at the same time we comply for now. Get it? This is one of Jesus' Kingdom reversals we should not be confused about. Many are. They get mixed up and end up doing one thing against the other. They grab their exemption and condemn compliance.

We're exempt but compliant, for now.

It's something like being innocent as doves but shrewd as serpents. We should be both, not assuming one and be against the other. This is where denominations get mixed up, one believing salvation is eternally secure while the other believes it can be lost, for instance. They get only one side of the equation and blow that up into a doctrine. Because they're not exempt. They're still subjects whose only and uttermost goal in life is to comply to the world.

We comply only to a certain extent. Peter once told the authorities, "We would rather obey God than men." Jesus helped a lot of people but not the two brothers who were arguing about their earthly inheritance. And he was willing to go to the house of the centurion to heal his servant but not answer Pilate's questions. In truth, sons are not obligated to comply because they're exempt. But for now, in certain cases, they comply.

Exempt Subjects

Here's another Kingdom truth seen only by exempted sons. Actually, a lot of Kingdom generals (real apostles and prophets in church today) have to submit to earthly religious authorities and act as subjects. They comply for now although they know deep in their spirits they're exempt. They know there's another real church in the Spirit dimensions---the glorious church---existing within the worldly "Christian" church though unseen and undetected by it.

It's like how Israel was in Egypt, a nation within a nation. Only exempt sons and daughters see this. They live and move and have their being in the glorious church at the same time they seem to be subject to human religious authorities. It's like how Superman lived as Clark Kent on earth but knew all along that he didn't belong here but to another superior world that was not of this world. Meanwhile, he pretended to be a reporter for Daily Planet under editor Perry White. White treated him as a subordinate while Clark played along, though he knew better.

Exempted sons and daughters recognize each other in the Spirit. It's a mark of exemption. If you're a son, you'd quickly recognize an apostle or prophet in the worldly church acting out his role as subordinate or a nobody. Make sure you recognize them and accord proper respect in the Spirit.

You're not of this world, so why should you comply? In most cases, you're exempt because of your Father who owns all these---everything seen in this universe---and who authored all powers and authorities, the seen and unseen.

But at certain times, you need to comply---for now.

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