Part 3 What does the Kingdom look like?
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24
Mammon is not money, although money may represent a form of mammon. Mammon is entrusted wealth.1 We have seen that the corporate state and its enfranchised citizenry are parts of the corpus of the state. Like the camp of the golden calf, all wealth is bound under the authority of the civil state. Jesus compares God and mammon as two masters, both requiring service.
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. Luke 16:9
If you are bound to the mammon, or corpus of the modern civil state, you are given a similar alternative today. Jesus tells us to be friends with the unrighteous mammon for, when it fails, we will be received into everlasting tabernacles, or tents. In other words, if you are a selfish, disobedient cheat under the system of the unrighteous mammon, you will probably do the same with God.
There is another clue to “mammon” in this statement. He speaks of it “failing” as a sure thing that will happen. For this reason, as much as any other, we should seek the Kingdom and its righteousness. Rather than seeking the Truth of God’s Kingdom on earth, men heed not his prophetic warnings and follow after their own pernicious ways. If they knew that these systems of Mammon have plagued the history of man since before the Corban and Quarban of Herod and Caesar or the flesh pots of Egypt, they might have pursued another path.
Paul tells us what to do if we find ourselves a servant to mammon or anything or anyone else.
Art thou called [being] a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use [it] rather. 1 Corinthians 7:21
Assembling a congregation
Clearly, freedom is preferred, but it may take some time and work to get there, depending on where we are when we start to seek this freedom and how much of the beam we are willing to remove from our own eye in the process.
We must remember that the Kingdom is about His righteousness, not our own. We may never be righteous, but we may and must seek a righteousness that exceeds that of the Pharisees, as a matter of policy. If we love Christ and the Father, this is possible.
We can start by coming together in congregations of families, like the Israelites and the early Christians. If you cannot find ten families near you, find what you can. Help the ministers, working for the Kingdom, find more people and gather them together. Help them preach the Gospel of the Kingdom at hand. Contribute according to your heart, enlist others, invest in each other with hope, faith, and love. We need to preach the kingdom and help others do the same in the way most suited to our gifts.
Nurture and strengthen your family relationships. Homeschool your children and help others do the same. Learn about home health, home care, home industries, and home business. Early Christian congregations made the need for banks, like the one at Ephesus, obsolete.
Develop skills and knowledge for independent living and self-reliance. Help take care of others. Visit, care for, and nurture the elderly and ill, the lost, and forlorn. Find out how a free Church worked in the international network during that first millennium and how that Church was and should be formed today to serve the people.
"To that field the head of each family led his sons and kinsfolk; every ten families (or tything) were united under their own chosen captain. Every ten of these tythings had, again, some loftier chief, dear to the populace in peace; and so on the holy circle spread from household, hamlet, town,--till, all combined, as one county under one Earl, the warriors fought under the eyes of their own kinsfolk, friends, neighbours, chosen chiefs! What wonder that they were brave?" 2
Start a home Bible study. Share and work together to learn and grow. Start good Samaritan outreach projects. Network with others in groups of tens, hundreds, and thousands. Provide for family, congregation, and congregation of congregations, as if there was no other government upon which to depend. Learn to stand alone and together. Be fruitful and multiply in virtue and numbers. Don’t impose your religious perception or dogma on others. Be patient.
Learn about the Gospel of the Kingdom as it was in the first century, and how it existed in the world, amongst its laws, regulations, and institutions, without being of that world.
Each congregation of ten families is an unincorporated fellowship, united by a network of ministers or public servants of the kingdom. Ministers also assemble in groups of ten, choosing a leader to minister to them. Each man of an assembly brings some expertise, talent, or gift, and each ministerial assembly adds more wisdom and knowledge to the whole. The congregations comes together to strengthen those who are weak, educate those who are uninformed, and make the people and the nation of God whole and healthy again.
Advice from brothers and ministers on every subject was readily available through a network of communication and service. The health, education, and welfare services of the Kingdom may take many forms, enlightening people about independent living, home power, gardening, agriculture, veterinary, hygiene, and health. Information and assistance can be located through this national network. If a few ministers talk to their immediate constituents, thousands of people can be consulted and play a part in the health of the whole body.
The more you help and work, the larger and more willing the rest of the Kingdom will be to help you. Your investment is not in a bank or national treasury, but in your neighbor, your congregations and assemblies, and in the Kingdom of your God.
You become linked with the most unselfish, hard-working and giving people in the world. Love and charity binds you with people who have God’s laws written on their hearts and on their minds. Men and women of all backgrounds, who have been called and are seeking the kingdom, are immediately attracted to the Kingdom and its righteousness.
The kingdom is not for the selfish and slothful; it is for the diligent and industrious.
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. Proverbs 12:24
The Kingdom of God does all the work of governments. Israel was a nation of brothers in liberty, forming a free dominion. When there were deportations or depressions, calamities or national emergencies in the first century, as Rome declined, the Christian Church had connections all over the world and places of refuge outside the cities. They fed each other, cared for the orphans and widows, and served one another as Christ taught.
Many people have already begun to seek the independence and freedom that is found in the Kingdom of God, but they are still scattered. They are still seeking and learning what the Kingdom means. They are His sheep, but they have not seen the full nature of the Shepherd and His Kingdom. They may continue to come together, step by step, without the loss of freedom of choice. Seeking the kingdom is an infinite journey of love and hope, sacrifice and charity.
Many feel that the present systems must be pursued until Christ comes again, but shall He come and find you doing the will of the Father in Heaven or another father on earth? Have you been seeking the Kingdom, or applying at the altars of the Nicolaitan? The contracts of Rome, that bind the people through application and participation, can be undone by the new covenant with God and His Kingdom. That power of contract may bind you on earth or in Heaven. In God’s Kingdom, we serve God by caring for His sheep and loving our neighbor and following in His ways. This requires His patience, humility, charity, and love actively fulfilling the gospel of the Kingdom everyday, in every way.
1“Mammon, an Aramaic word mamon “wealth” … It is probably derived from Ma’amon, something entrusted to safe keeping. Encyclopedia Britanica.
2Harold, Book 12. by Edward Bulwer-Lytton The Last Of The Saxon Kings