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Paying Taxes and Acquiring Social Security Numbers
Practical Matters of a Spiritual Nature
Copyright © 1996, 2002 - All rights retained by author
Written by: C. W. Booth

In many circles where the name of Christ is invoked, it is odd to find that His words and commands are often ignored. Many times Jesus and the apostles said that "if you love Jesus, you will keep His commandments".

Jesus and the apostles He appointed to speak for Him have been simple and plain concerning some practical matters of living on this Earth. Why then is He so often ignored?

Should Christians Pay Taxes to the Secular Government?

Paul Teaches All Men to Pay Taxes to Their Governments

"Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.

For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor." Romans 13:1-7

Jesus and Peter Actually Paid Taxes

And when they had come to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter, and said, "Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?" He *said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?" And upon his saying, "From strangers," Jesus said to him, "Consequently the sons are exempt. But, lest we give them offense, go to the sea, and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a stater. Take that and give it to them for you and Me." Matthew 17:24-27

Jesus Teaches Everyone to Pay Taxes to Governments

And they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him, in order to trap Him in a statement. And they came and said to Him, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?" But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, "Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at." And they brought one. And He said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" And they said to Him, "Caesar's." And Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:13-17 (see also Matthew 22:15-22 and Luke 20:20-26)


Old testament Examples of Taxation

Tax imposed by God on the Jews: "And levy a tax for the Lord from the men of war who went out to battle, one in five hundred of the persons and of the cattle and of the donkeys and of the sheep; Numbers 21:28

Tax imposed by a foreign king on the Jews: Also there were those who said, "We have borrowed money for the king's tax on our fields and our vineyards. Nehemiah 5:4


Is Receiving a "Social Security Number" the Same as Receiving the "Mark of the Beast"?

Mark of the Beast Defined

The mark of the beast is described in Revelation Chapter 13:

And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.

And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. Revelation 13:11 - 18

And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Revelation 14:9,10

"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Revelation 14:11,12

And the first {angel} went and poured out his bowl into the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image. Revelation 16:2

And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. Revelation 19:20

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I {saw} the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4

Social Security Numbers do not Meet the Criteria as the "Mark of the Beast"

Today’s Social Security Number (SSN) is not the "Mark of the Beast" as defined by scriptures because it does not meet any of the criteria. In it’s present form, the Social Security Number is essentially a Tax Payer Identifier for the massive computer applications of the IRS. In effect, it is used to enforce tax payments, a Biblically acceptable activity of the government which is endorsed by Jesus and given such authority by God.

Some day the SSN could easily be perverted into the "Mark of the Beast". Or, the "Mark of the Beast" may turn out to be something completely unrelated to the SSN. For the present, the SSN serves the rather mundane task of being a unique primary identifier for tax purposes, a substitute for using your personal name since personal names are not unique.

How will people know exactly what the "Mark of the Beast" is when it is finally imposed on the world? By using these Biblically revealed criteria:


God grants authority to the government to tax its citizens. The ancient Jews paid taxes, Jesus paid taxes, Peter paid taxes, even Joseph and Mary registered themselves for the census. Jesus commands those who love Him to obey Him, and one of His commands is to pay to Caesar what we owe Caesar—taxes.

The means for the government to run the computerized tax files is the Tax Payer ID, the SSN. The SSN is a substitute for your name on a census list. Some day the SSN could become involved in more sinister plans for a man who wants to be a god-on-Earth, but today it does not meet the criteria to be known as the "Mark of the Beast". Do your spiritual duty, if you name the name of Christ and if you owe taxes, pay them.

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