Gross or Net
Tax time is coming. It is a time of headache for many, partly due to the complicated rules for determining just how much money a person makes. It is actually very easy if you have nothing to deduct, but most want every deduction they can get. No one wants to give anything more to the government than what they absolutely have to. There is an expression that is used in jest, but I think it bears a more serious examination---“The Lord gives and the government takes away.”
The Bible teaches us to honor the authorities in our taxes.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:1-8 AV)
How much should we give to the government?
22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?
23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?
24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.
25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.
The government has the power to decide and God has ordained them as His workers for the good of the people. One thing to remember is that governments are ordained by God for a particular purpose but they are not God. God always takes first priority in everything.
Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
For this reason, we must consider that God’s claim to the portion which is His own (tithes and offerings) should be given to Him first. God does not have the complicated rules for figuring out how much to return to Him. Those who use Luke 20:25 as a reason for figuring the tithe on their after tax income, are simply placing the government first in line for funds ahead of God. In the last days, people will do the same thing when it comes to obeying the Sunday laws instead of obeying God first.
How do we figure our income or our increase if we make our living in other ways than working a job for so many dollars per hour?
Deuteronomy 28:4 Blessed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.
31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
Genesis 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Genesis 28:22 And this stone, which I have set [for] a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
15 If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering:
16 And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.
Joshua 7---603550 Israelite-male 20+ able to go to war. Millions of israelites.