The Money Hook

 

“And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him saying, What thinkest thou Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, of strangers. Jesus saith unto him. Then are the children free. Not withstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee” – (Mt.17:24-27).

 

   The tribute money that Israel’s people paid to Rome because they were in subjection to them, was a very touchy point to them. Paying the tribute money was a constant reminder that they were not free, but in bondage to Rome and Caesar. They had the Roman hook in their noses. God had warned them that this would happen because of their sins. “The Lord God hath sworn by his holiness… that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks” – (Amos 4:2)). God’s promise to them for their wickedness, that the enemy’s army would conquer them and make a prey of them and place them in captivity as fish are taken by hooks – “Therefore will I put my hook in thy nose…” – (Is.37:29). A free people don’t pay tribute – “Then are the children free.”  A hook in the nose vividly shows bondage.

 

   Satan will try to trap us with many snares and hooks – “…out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” – (2 Tim.2:26). A Christian must be particularly careful of the money snare because it is the root of all evil. Money is the bait on the hook and snare that ensnares many. “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare…” – (I Tim.6:9). Don’t get hooked by Satan, watch his money bait that covers the deadly hook. Don’t be covetous.

 

   Satan also gets many ‘hooked’ and addicted by drugs and by sex from ‘hookers.’ But the money bait is the deadliest hook of all. Don’t try to get rich by hook or by crook and by any means. Be saved by Christ and get off the devil’s hook of death.

 

   Jesus knew immediately that the sore spot of tribute money would be a deadly hook by Satan to ensnare him and so he tells Peter to pay the tribute money by going fishing. But he’s not to fish with nets, but by angling with a hook. Jesus was showing us the money hook of Satan so we can beware of it. So Peter cast the hook and opened the mouth of the first fish he caught and found enough money to pay the tribute. And the mouth is the deadliest part of Satan’s snares. And soon after, the deadly mouths of the Pharisees came against him and baited their deadly hook with the same question of tribute money. And they cast it in the water in front of Jesus, trying to hook Him by the words of His mouth. In the rest of (Mt.22) and throughout the four gospels, you will find Christ’s enemies baiting their hooks and trying to entangle Him with the words of His mouth, but they never succeeded once. They were trying to incriminate Him with His speech to kill him.

 

   “Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk” – (Mt.22:15). Notice the word “entangle which means to ensnare or hook with an angle, which is where we get the world ‘angler,’ meaning a fisherman that uses hooks in the bait. They were trying to entangle Jesus and hook Him with the tribute money words as bait. And the Pharisees said – “Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute with Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them,, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” – (Mt.22:17-21).

 

    Later the religious leaders lied when they took Jesus to Pilate so the Romans would crucify Jesus. “And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar…” – (Lk.23:2) – Liars – amen.

 

   Jesus said that we are to pay tribute to Caesar; for that is rendering to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s. But we are never to render tribute to Caesar in the form of worshipping Caesar or his image or calling Caesar Lord. Because that tribute belongs only to God. We are to render to God only our worship.

 

   And very soon, the Antichrist shall come, the last Caesar before the rightful King of Kings returns, the Lord Jesus. Antichrist will be the emperor of the final outgrowth of the Roman Empire which is shown in (Dan.2) as the feet of iron and clay of the Roman leg.

 

   And when the Antichrist-Beast rules, the whole earth will be faced with the same choice as Jesus and the early church faced: whether to give tribute to this Caesar by worshipping the Beast and his image. It all comes down to the money with the image upon it. The same money snare will be there as well because you must also receive the number of the beast (666) in your forehead or right hand in order to buy or sell, under penalty of death. “…as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” – (Rev.13:15). This is the great snare that Jesus warned us about in the tribulation – “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” – (Lk.21:35).

 

   This computer digit in your skin will make your body a credit card and tribute money will be paid to the emperor-Beast in the form of a fee from every transaction of buying and selling worldwide. Right now a 2% ‘exchange fee’ in paid to the credit card company for each transaction. That fee may very well be the tribute money of the Beast. This is the great money snare and idolatry snare.

 

   This is the same snare spoken of in (Eccl.9:12) – the evil time of the Tribulation – “For man knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.” O the great money snare of the mark of the Beast soon to come. Antichrist says ‘take the mark or die” and God says “Don’t take the mark or you’ll burn forever in the lake of fire, which is the second death” – (Rev.14:9-11). Jesus said – “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” – (Mt.10:28).

 

   We’ve all been hooked by Satan like a fish because we’re sinners. We may be still wiggling and alive but death is soon to come. But Jesus sends His fishermen preaching the gospel of Christ so that we can get saved and get off the hook of death. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” – (Mt.4:19). “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” – (Rom.6:23). Everyone has swallowed the bait and the hook is deeply imbedded.

 

   Only Jesus Christ can loose you and free you from the hook of sin and death. Only Christ can save you – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” – (Acts 4:12). The hook of death is in your mouth and so when you’re truly saved you will confess Christ with your mouth. “…The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith,; which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever beliveth on him shall not be ashamed” – (Rom.10:8-11).

 

   A true Christian is not ashamed of Christ and will confess him as Savior publicly to family and friends etc. The Holy Spirit in you will witness of Christ. Your mouth is loosed from the hook of death and this is shown by your unashamed witness for Christ. “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” – (Mt.10:32,33). You cannot remove the hook yourself, by your own works, it’s only by your faith in Christ who removes it. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” – (I Jn.5:11).

 

   If you’re not saved and born again, repent of your sins, and believe in your heart in Christ by faith and you will become a new born again creature in Christ having forgiveness of sins. Born again describes what happens to you when you’re truly saved. Many people join a church and get baptized by water and pay money to the church treasury, but they’re not saved and so cannot confess Christ to the world.

 

Get off the hook of death – be saved by Christ.

 

 

Pastor Mike Storti

5000 N. LaCholla- Lot 76

Tucson, AZ  85705

Email: BibleWatchman@aol.com

Website: BibleWatchman.com

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