Getting Right With God (Repentance and Faith)

Getting Right With God

Robert Wurtz II

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6 NKJV)

Our passage is a prophecy that is precious to all saints. Isaiah speaks of the Lord Jesus receiving the awesome punishment that each of us rightly deserves. The verse begins with the word “all” and ends with the word “all.” The word “everyone” is sandwiched in the middle to assure us that God means everyone without exception. 

First, the verse states, all we like sheep have gone astray. I’m reminded of a sheep that went lost several years back in New Zealand and was presumed dead. It made national headlines when it was found a longtime later with its wool so large and thick that it earned the name Shrek. In fact, it hid out in caves and dens until its coat weighed 60 lbs. However, Shrek is a very rare case. Most sheep who wonder off are living against the clock. It is only a matter of time before they meet an untimely death. 



Sheep are sometimes called the dumbest animals on earth. Although their I.Q. may be closer to cattle, some of their documented behaviors are so bad that they are legendary. In fact, they are not only vulnerable to predators, they have to be protected from their own risky actions. This is why they need either a shepherd or to be pinned up in a safe area. Once a sheep has gone astray there is little chance it will find its way back home. This is a picture of all people… We all, like sheep, have gone astray. We have “wandered off” from the safety of God and His precepts — whether we consciously know it or believe it. This is part of the analogy of the relationship between man and sheep. We generally see neither our own errors nor the danger those errors have put us in. 

The next part of the verse tells us; We have turned, everyone, to his own way.”  At first glance, the casual reader may respond, “Well, isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Are we not all supposed to do our own thing and live our own lives?” It seems correct to say, “Yes! Of course!” We are used to politicians and motivational speakers encouraging us to control our own destiny and achieve the American Dream. However, this is nothing more than the Devil’s self-centered philosophy. He pioneered the attitude of asserting his own corrupted will in place of God’s will. For that, he was banished from Heaven for all eternity. 

Modern western culture is about the greatness of the individual. People are made to desire stardom and wealth (fame and fortune). Nevertheless, the government of God is not a democracy, it is a kingdom. This is a radical departure from a democratic society. Seeing this tension, some people try a “hybrid” between kingdom and democracy, but it cannot work. When we breathe our last breath, everyone will realize that there is a kingdom where God rules absolutely. 

The Kingdom of God


All our lives we in the West have been used to having control of our destiny — as well as voice and vote within the government. However, this has never been the case, nor will it ever be the case within the Kingdom of God. Each one of us either is doing, or at one time did, what they wanted to do — to the exclusion of what God thought about it. In the kingdom of God the will of God is done 100% of the time. 

In the language of the time of the Judges we read, In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6, 21:5) This is the essence of all sin — me being in charge  of my own life doing what is right in my own eyes. Yet, this type of life nothing more than slavery to Sin. As Jesus said it in John 8:34; “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. (NKJV) Everyone is going to serve someone or something. Nobody lives in a vacuum. The question is, what kingdom are you and I going to submit to? 

A lot is said about freedom in Christian circles. There are hundreds of books on freedom. Sermons on freedom. I recently performed a contemporary Gospel song query and found over 100 songs that contain the word “freedom.” Many people speak of freedom as the release of inhibitions in public worship. Others see it as being free from their past sin or past life and identity. Yet, freedom can be a deceptive concept. Understand that no one but God is truly “free.” The rest of us are slaves to someone else. The question is, who or what are we a slave to?

A Prayer That Must Be Prayed

A Prayer That Must Be Prayed
Robert Wurtz II

After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
(Luke 10:1-2)

Our passage contains an urgent command from our Lord: therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. It is pressing because souls are at risk, and time is running out. It is commanded because many who are called into the work are not answering the call. Imagine having a secular job and there is a massive task to be performed. When you arrive on site you see the work that needs to be done; and yet, there are very few laborers to perform it. What would you do? That’s right; you would get on the phone to the management and insist on getting more workers.  


The Harvest is a metaphor for the vast amount of people who are ready to hear the Gospel, and “be reaped into the Kingdom.” This great (plentiful and abundant) harvest is brought into the Kingdom through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As with any harvesting, the process involves labor and dedication. You will notice that our Lord gives instruction to those who were witnessing the vastness of the harvest firsthand. As if He were asking them, “Do you see all of these people? There are so many of them, but so few of us.” This is the basis upon which we are to pray that the Lord of the Harvest (The Father) would send forth His laborers into His harvest. The idea is not that the Lord of the harvest would create new laborers, but exercise His authority in sending forth the laborers He has already raised up to be in His service. He has been working on these workers since birth — preparing them for His work. All of his or her life experiences will serve as training for the particular field that He calls them to. Unfortunately, many feel the call, but have no urgency to get about the work. This is where our prayers come in.

An Abundant Harvest

The prophet Jonah is an example of a person who was called to do a work for God, but ran away from it. He had his reasons. The Assyrians were among the meanest and most merciless people on earth at the time. One of their capitol cities was Nineveh. The King’s palace was adorned with murals depicting their war conquests and its accompanying brutality. Jonah didn’t want these people to have mercy, but God did. 

It is sometimes believed that their are few who desire to repent and believe in our times, but this is clearly not the case. The harvest is always ripe, and there are many who would believe, but there are few who desire to labor in preaching. Ministering the Gospel is work, but more than work. It is a dangerous proposition when done properly. The Lord will say later, “I send you as sheep among wolves.” (Luke 10:3) Read that slowly. Sheep among wolves? That sounds dangerous; even a bloodbath. Nevertheless, ministry in the Lord’s Harvest requires that we set aside ourselves to perform God’s will. 

Thrust Them In 



Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2)


Our English translation does not rightly capture the urgency of the situation when it translates the Greek word ekballo as “send forth”. The word literally means to eject, drive out, cast forth, etc. It comes from a root that means to throw. It is the same root word used to describe how Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness and in numerous places to describe casting out devils or casting a person into hell. I don’t think it an imposition on the text to say that we are to pray that the Lord would order the laborers out into the fields as would a manager or an owner order his workers to do a job. This is not a slapdash request, but a direct order. Souls are at risk. Harvests must be reaped in a timely way, or they can be lost. Storms can come and ruin a harvest. This is lost opportunity. There is no time for delay. We are to pray to the Lord of the harvest to drive His workers forth into the fields. 

Not Just for Preachers

It goes without saying that God has called all of His people to labor in the fields in some capacity. Nevertheless, we sometimes suffer from a mental block here. We live in a time where everything seems to be left up to the “professionals.” That is to say, the mentality is often to hire a professional plumber or electrician. Hire a professional mechanic or clean-up person. This may be appropriate to work on things that are technically beyond our ability, but in the Kingdom of God, there is no such thing as a “professional minister” in this sense. We are all called to minister the Gospel. What says the scripture:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
(1 Peter 3:15)
Full of Grace and Power

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. (Acts 6:8-10)

Here is a man who was waiting tables and doing miracles. He set his heart to do whatever God called him to do, and before he knew what happened, he had the full attention of the Devil. Obviously, he was ministering the Gospel to the people, and God was confirming what he was saying with signs and wonders following. He didn’t have a platform or a microphone. He was just sharing what he understood to be true. He was no theologian, scribe, or Pharisee. He was a common man, full of the Spirit and faith. He was willing to be used of God. In fact, he was so full of the Holy Spirit that ministry was natural to him. His ministry was the overflow of his relationship with God. As the Prophet once stated, “It was like fire shut up in his bones” and he could not hold his peace.

Why God Sends Revival

When the Lord Jesus spoke of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1, He said “and you shall be witnesses unto Me.” Many times over the centuries God has poured out His Holy Spirit. He has done this, for one reason, as one minister put it, to reset the moral default settings in society. However, God also intends that His outpouring have the effect of thrusting His laborers into the Harvest Field. In my relatively short life I have seen many outpourings of the Spirit. After a while, I began to notice something; if the people did not get about the Harvest, the move of God would die down to nothing. In time, I came up with a theology about it that demonstrates God’s desire to make His people “witnesses” by pouring His Spirit upon them. Is this not what He has always done to prepare a person for His service? 

Nevertheless, many receive the Spirit or a touch of God and do nothing with it that is meaningful. It is just another “spiritual experience” for them. Sometimes I think folks would do almost anything but go out in the fields to work. In fact, we do a lot of things that we think are spiritual; but the truth is, God is interested in getting His Harvest in. His focus is on building the Kingdom of God. Heaven rejoices as we reap down the fields. If we continue to major on the minors, we dishonor God and put His Harvest at risk. In this evil generation, we suffer from serious priority issues. Jesus died so that people can be born again. Think about it. What is the book of Acts about? Did they spend all of their energy on conferences, meetings, and concerts? No. The book of Acts is about men and women who went into His Harvest, filled with the Holy Spirit, and did their part. This is the Holy Spirit’s primary goal. Everything else is secondary. 

THY KINGDOM COME


THY KINGDOM COME
Robert Wurtz II
When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. (Luke 11:2)
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is what John the Baptist preached, Jesus preached and the Apostles preached.[1]The word Kingdom is used in connection with this theme over 100 times in the New Testament. The subject is so pervasive, that one cannot help but notice it continually as you study the scriptures. Yet in modern times, the Kingdom emphasis in evangelism and church life is not nearly as pronounced. We need to ask, what is the Kingdom that was preached in the New Testament, and why is it essential to the Gospel message? We will look to answer these questions and see how they apply in our everyday lives.
As in Heaven
 The LORD Jesus Christ, in setting about to teach the disciples to pray, instructed them in the right way to pray, that is, what theme should be our first priority in prayer; Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. The word kingdom can be broken down into two words: king and domain. It is translated from the Greek word basileia with a root basileus that means ‘foundation of power’. We translate basileus typically as king or sovereign. The kingdom of God motif originated with the theocratic kingdom of Israel in the Old Testament. The word theocratic simply means ‘God’s-Rule’. Israel was established in the land and designed to ideally reflect the reality of the heavenly kingdom in which God’s will is carried out absolutely. Israel failed in demonstrating this reality and came under the dominion of many other kingdoms. Jesus wanted the disciples to pray that the Kingdom would come and that God’s will would be carried out on earth as it is in Heaven. This is only possible in places where God Almighty is reigning absolutely as king. That is a very simple start to our subject.  
Overcoming a democratic mindset
One of the challenges we face as we go forward in our study is that most people in the Western World live under some form of democracy. Kingdoms in the biblical sense are not democracies, they are places where a king rules with absolute power and authority. In America we are used to having a voice and a vote, but in a true kingdom- it is the kings will that is done, not the peoples. Transporting ourselves into this type of culture is a very difficult thing to do. 
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world where the will of God was done as it is in Heaven? What if everyone in the world maintained their base personality, but had a nature like Jesus Christ who in His humanity was utterly submitted to God? He did always those things that He saw His Father doing. He lived by every word that is proceeding from the mouth of God. Unlike Moses that disobeyed God and was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, Jesus Christ utterly sanctified the Lord in the eyes of the people. That is to say, He obeyed God in such a way that God was exalted into His rightful place in the eyes of men. Jesus left no one with the impression that God could be disobeyed or trifled with. This is the primary requirement for any person in the Kingdom of God; we must obey God resolutely. This is why Jesus told the Disciples, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20) In other words, if they were in Heaven with the way they obeyed God- they would have to be cast out as was Satan and His angels. The Pharisees, according to Stephen in Acts 7 did always resist the Holy Ghost as did their fathers. Resisting a king in His kingdom is an invitation for the sword. The religious leaders simply were not qualified to be in the Kingdom of God. They wanted to be obeyed and exalted. They set up their own rules, fences (traditions) around the Law that made the word of God of no effect. This is why John the Baptist preached repentance as a first order. We can’t even talk about going on with God until there is a willingness to come under His authority. 
 
In the Regeneration
It has been nearly 2000 years since Jesus gave this direction to the disciples. Did He mean that we should pray that the Kingdom would come many thousands of years in the future? We know that in the REGENERATION Jesus Christ is going to sit on the throne of His glory. (Matthew 19:28) So there is a sense in which the Kingdom of God is coming eschatologically. This word simply means in the end times. But what about now? The religious leaders were not obeying the King, though they were very religious. As we will learn later, many of the Jews wanted a king that would relieve the oppression of Rome. This is why the disciples asked Jesus this very question Acts 1:6, wanting to know that if He would now restore the Kingdom to Israel. It is obvious that they still did not understand what Jesus and John the Baptist meant when they referred to the Kingdom of God. Jesus said that one has to be Born Again in order to seethe Kingdom of God. (John 3:3) Why? Because they that are still rebellious in Adam are moving in the enemies kingdom. The things of God are foolishness to them because they are spiritually discerned. The disciples and religious leaders believed the Kingdom of God was going to come with observable signs and that Israel would be made to rule the earth in a way similar to the time of King David. One of their primary Messianic concepts was that the Messiah was coming as a conquering king. So when Jesus died on the cross the disciples were totally disillusioned. They were ready to take up swords and call fire from Heaven, but Jesus is telling them to put them away and that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword. Here they had their conquering king, capable of walking on water, healing wounds, creative miracles and raising the dead. Who in a time of war would not want to go into battle with that kind of king at your side? But they had it all wrong. Why? They had a militant understanding of the Kingdom of God. 
Jewish Expectations of a ‘Kingdom’
By the time John the Baptist appears on the scene, the Jews had been suffering terribly as a client state under many oppressors for centuries. These oppressions would serve to forge Messianic concepts during the 400 silent years. The Northern Kingdom of Israel had been carried away to Assyria and subsequently passed into legend. The Babylonians carried off Judah leaving the hopes of a future kingdom in shambles. After they returned under the Persians they still suffered terribly at the hands of oppressors. Alexander the Great then conquered much of the known world passing into Jerusalem where he was shown the book of Daniel where God had already shown Israel that Alexander was coming. Because of this Alexander passed on into Egypt. (ca. 332 BC) This started a huge push towards Hellenization (Greek influence) of the Jews- to the dismay of many of the traditional Jews that desired to retain their Hebraic roots. When Alexander died his kingdom was divided up leaving Israel sandwiched between the Ptolemaic Kingdom based in Egyptin the south and the evil Seleucid empire based in Syriato the north. 
A type of the AntiChrist
When Antiochus IV Epiphanes(ca. 215–164 BC), became ruler of the Seleucid Empire in 175 BC he decided he would install the High Priest of his choice rather than the one God chose. This was met with resistance and eventually serious conflict. Epiphanes, a type of the AntiChrist, raided the Temple and set up the false god Zeus. He then sacrificed a pig and placed the blood in the Holy of Holies as a precursor to the Abomination of Desolation. The Maccabees (a name that means ‘hammer’) were a band of Jewish Freedom Fighters that overthrew the Seleucid’s (ca. 165 BC), rededicated and purged the Temple- setting up the Hasmonian dynasty. Practicing Jews celebrate this event as Hanukkah. They ruled until 63 BC, when the Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem and subjected Israel to Roman rule. The Hasmonian dynasty officially ended in 37 BC when the Idumean Herod the Great became king of Israel.   
Jesus arrives on the scene
When we get nearer to the time of Jesus, the Romans had been oppressing the people with taxation and other things until a real desire for freedom was born. This desire eventuated in what historians refer to as The Jewish Freedom Movement. It is important that we bring this out now because Jesus was going to preach the Kingdom of God and the Jews were going to pour their concepts and ideas into His words that were totally contrary to what He was saying. As today, people change very slowly. Old concepts die hard. So we need to look at the Jewish Freedom Movement sufficiently to understand the backdrop of what was going on in peoples understanding as Jesus would teach.
Some movements are like rivers that are difficult to trace the source. Rather than embark on a history lesson, I want to first look briefly to a group known as the Galileans.[2] You will recall Jesus speaking of the Galileans that Pilate had mixed their blood with their sacrifices in Luke 13:1-3. Their leader Judas of Galilee was mentioned by Gamaliel in Acts 5:37 as having been killed by the Romans. I suppose we could say that the Galileans ‘evolved’ into what is known as the fourth philosophy in Judaism known as the Zealots. The other three philosophies of Judaism most important in the New Testament period (the time of Christ and shortly there after) were the Pharisees, Sadducee’s and Essenes. The Zealots and similar Jewish Freedom groups were known to be ruthless killers. They believed in taking the kingdom by brute force. However, there was so much dissension within the Zealots as time went on, that it is more accurate to call them a “tendency” or an “ideology” than a “sect.” Before it was over they were at war within themselves. Such is the case with many radical movements. We can generally trace their history from the time of the Galileans (led by Judas of Galilee) until the Zealots fled to Masada and committed suicide in ca. 70AD. According to Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews 18.3 –18.23 their main doctrine was as follows:
1) Only GOD may be called LORD or ruler (sole rule of God).
2) They had an ‘invincible love of freedom’.
3) The people must cooperate with God for His intervention.
4) They had a deep and bitter resentment of the Roman census.
Disciples confused
The disciples were greatly influenced by the conquering king Messianic concepts. This is why they were so disillusioned and confused when Jesus refused to take up a sword as they had hoped. Again, because this dominated their minds all throughout our Lord’s ministry we read the question, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6b) He didn’t do it prior to the cross event, so are you going to restore the Kingdom now? Understand that many people even today are primarily focused on Jesus bringing in His Kingdom in some great end-time event. Some even take this as what Jesus was talking about when He stated, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. But it has been nearly 2000 years and it does not stand to reason that Jesus would be having every generation pray for something to come that is so distant in the future. Yes, the Kingdom is coming and praise God for that! But there is another sense that God has in mind that we have to grasp or we will miss the whole point of the New Testament. Jesus said it this way, And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation: Neither shall they say, Look here! or, look there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21-21) 
King in Israel
Although Israel and later the Northern and Southern kingdoms may have had many kings, God always desired to be their King. This is why it is so shocking to know that after the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD that the Pharisees fled to Yavneh (Jamnia) and started a religion on the premise that authority is NOT IN HEAVEN. . These men were so deceived and diabolical, that they actually believed they could overrule God himself. This religion has come down to us as Rabbinic Judaism. But God started His theocratic rule over His people from the Wilderness Tabernacle inside the Throne Room; i.e., the Holy of Holies above the Mercy Seat and Ark of the Covenant. Ron Bailey in his landmark book, The Better Covenant states,
“This would have been the pattern for a desert chieftain; his personal residence would be at the heart of the camp. The residence in this case will be a tent, not unlike the tents of his people but much grander.  It was called The Tabernacle; just a name for a tent. Lots of ceremonies would take place here but at its heart its simple purpose was to be a place where God could ‘dwell’, and that idea is built into one of the Hebrew words which is used to describe this structure; the Mishkan a place to lodge.”
God ruled from the Tabernacle, more or less, until the days of Samuel. We have this sobering event recorded that marked an end for that reality and the beginning of a misguided series of theological notions; Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (1 Samuel 8:4-7) Although God came in a marvelous way to Solomon’s Temple, the stage was now set for the eventual eviction of God as ruler over Israel. They had totally missed God’s intention. He wanted to live among them and rule among them on earth as He did in Heaven, but they would not. This eventuated in the rule not being ‘as in Heaven’ but ‘not in heaven’. 
King in Me?
Between what the Pharisees and the Zealots were teaching there is little surprise that the people were totally confused by exactly what Jesus meant by ‘kingdom’. The Jews, and I dare say even the disciples, wanted Israel to have its boot on the neck of the Gentiles as a reprisal for all of their sufferings. This ‘knock heads and take names’ mentality was so in play that the disciples suggested calling fire down from heaven on the Samaritans. Jesus told them that they knew not what manor of spirit they were of;  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. (Luke 9:56) They were obviously not on the same page. 
There is a proverb that states, Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth. (Proverbs 17:24) That is a way of saying that a wise person seeks understanding for themselves that they apply it to themselves, but a fool is always looking someplace else to apply wisdom. In other words, we are not concerned about God being King in us, we want God to be king over everything and everyone else. But it has to start IN me, not in my neighbor or not in our city and government. If the people that are called by God’s name don’t obey Him as King, why should anyone else? Keep in mind what we said earlier, the word kingdom means kings domain. Anywhere that God is reigning as king is God’s domain or ‘kingdom’. Is it starting to make sense now? Is it possible for the Kingdom of God to come now? Certainly it is so long as we understand that man to live a manor of life like unto Jesus that lived by every word that proceeded from the mouth of God? 
Powerless proclamations
When Israel went into Jerico they saw how powerful their God was to bring victory, but the KEY is that they had to obey God absolutely and to the letter. If they would obey God on earth as He is obeyed in Heaven, they would never lose a single soldier in battle. Their enemies would flee before them like scalded dogs. But the moment disobedience comes into the picture and the people no longer obey God as He is obeyed in Heaven, then God refused to drive their enemies out from before them. This is a most powerful truth. This is why James reminds us, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) Submit in the Greek is a military term that means to be subject to or come under the authority of. It is in the aorist ingressive imperative, meaning we must do it in such a way that it is an ongoing reality in our lives. It is not something we do when we want something from God, but something we are in a continual state of. The Devil flees because we are under the authority of God as King. Satan has no place in that environment and can be put to flight speedily. But why should the enemies of God flee when the people called by His name will not obey? We cannot boss the Devil around when we are living in disobedience. In fact, only in as much as we are directed of God can we even live on this earth. We don’t perform our own will, we live like foot-soldiers waiting for orders from the King. Jesus was utterly in subjection to God the Father as His King, so when He declared the word of God to Satan He was moving in the Kingdom of God.  


[1] Matthew 3:2, 4:17, Acts 8:12, 19:8, 28:31, etc.
[2] Martin Hengel in his scholarly dissertation “the Zealots” sheds important light on the historical background of the Gospels through the works of Josephus and others. His focus was the unrest that existed in the area of Galilee and other places. As far as I know, the term “Zealot” is first mentioned in the New Testament Gospels. Simon the “Zealot” was one of Jesus’ disciples. The Zealots were founded by Judas the Galilean and Zadok (Saddok) the priest. Judas of Galilee is mentioned to have been killed by an uprising. (Acts 5:37). The “prototype” of the Zealots was Phinehas (Numbers 25:6-13). The Galileans had a reputation for their rebellion against Rome and had a certain accent that gave them away when they spoke (Mark 14:70).  Many believed  paying tribute to Caesar was paramount to paying him a “tithe” and therefore acknowledging him as deity. That, to them, was a breach of the 1st Commandment. Remember the questions about paying tribute directed towards Jesus? That was part of it. So the Zealots and Galileans hated the publicans that collected taxes for Rome.

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