The Subject and Slaves
The Saved and Servants
of the Eucharist of Christ
A brief look at Romans 13 before we begin for those who have not yet read the Church's essay on these controversial verses:
“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.” Romans 13:1
This statement by Paul is very true, but a common understanding that God desires men to be subject to the will of other men is false. What Paul is clearly saying with an honest reading of the Greek text is:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher liberty. For there is no liberty but of God: the liberties that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth (opposes) the liberty, resisteth (opposes) 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 liberty? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.” Romans 13: 1,3
This rendering of the text is unquestionably correct, despite the fact that it seems to contradict the interpretation often applied to Romans. There are many words that can be translated power, but the word used by Paul in Romans is exousia. It means specifically “power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases.”1 The same Greek word is even translated “liberty” in 1Corinthians 8:9 and “right” in Hebrews 13:10 and Revelations 22:14.
Aristotle actually exemplifies exousia's use in the statement, “The right (exousia) to do anything one wishes...”2 Liberty is a power and a right endowed by God to every man. The translation in King James Version is not incorrect, though interpretations of it may be flawed.
The reference in verse three that “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil” is also true. That does not mean that God desires men to rule over men. If we recall the bondage of Egypt, where men were subject to the rule of Pharaoh and forced by law to pay 20 percent of their income to Pharaoh,3 was a direct result of the evil deed of abusing and selling their own brother into slavery.4
When the voice of the people of Israel cried out for a leader to appoint judges to rule over them and be a Commander in Chief to fight their battles for them5 God called it a rejection of Him.6 God was specific in His description of the multitude of problems that would befall men who made such a wicked and foolish choice.7 If we are subject to the same conditions it would not be because God ordained it as much as because we too have rejected God.
Such prophecy always come true when men fail to “seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”. The power of God's precepts and their neglect are inescapable. The consequence are predicable.
“And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.” 1 Samuel 8:18
When Saul foolishly8 forced the sacrifice of the people his kingdom was doomed. When David foolishly numbered the young men of Israel for the draft, his kingdom would have ended except he repented.9 When Solomon and his son oppressed the people10 they repented their sin of rejecting God that a man should rule over them. But the evil had already been set in motion, the nation was divided and conquered.
“Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.” Judges 10:14
There are other verses that may lead to confusion if not seen in the context of the spirit of love and dominion of God:
“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” 2 Peter 2:10
Everywhere else the word translated government in 2 Peter 2 it is translated dominion.11 If dominion is a right and responsibility endowed by God and men give that divine inheritance away in exchange for comforts of the flesh then have we despised the dominion of God?
“Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage ... thus Esau despised [his] birthright.” Genesis 25:34
From Cain to Nimrod, or from Pharaoh to Caesar governments were instituted by men who would not be ruled by God. God's punishment has not the vengeful purpose that is sometimes applied to God by men. It is God's desire to draw man to the natural state for which he was created. The terror of tyrants come from the sin of the wicked. The sting that results from that sin is a gift to awaken man to the wisdom of repentance.
The Bible says in James that you should:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
The word devil here is diabolos and is often applied to those “opposing the cause of God.” God's cause is to free men, not put them in bondage. If we desire to set men free, evil will flee from our hearts.
“Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
Should we submit to God or men? Should we ever go under authority or sell ourselves into bondage in exchange for free bread or pottage?
Israel was forced to do so in Egypt because they had sold their own brother into bondage but we were told to never return to that type of bondage again.12
The will of God for man is that he should be free to make choices and not under the authority of men like Cain, Nimrod, Pharaoh, Saul, or Caesar, yet, we also see Peter say that you should:
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;” 1 Peter 2:13
If we look at this verse word by word and put it into the context of the whole scripture we may see it in a new light.
First, the Greek word Oun13 is not translated in King James version. The meaning of oun is consequently or therefore. Peter's verse 13 is an instruction in relation to prior statements.
“Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:12
We must always read the Bible in the context of the whole Gospel of the kingdom of God. Jesus preached that kingdom of God at hand. While all the Jews of Judea did not accept Him as the king, thousands of people did at His entry into Jerusalem and again at Pentecost.
All who accepted Him as the Messiah14 were cast out15 of the “religion” of the Pharisees. That means they would get no benefits or aid from that government. Both the “world” of Rome and Judea at that time provided for their needy in society through their civil temples. They collected contributions from the people to provide welfare for the people. Whether those contributions were by charity or by force divided the kingdom of God from the governments of the gentiles.
About 78 BC, the Pharisees, which were a political party, thought they had a better idea and decided to create a socialist state based on a new deal where benefactors could exercise authority over the people compelling the contributions of their members.
They managed to enact a law to enforce the collection of temple tribute for those who would sign up.16 The right hand of government increased its power while reducing the status and freedom of the people. The people lost the spiritually maturing benefit of exercising charity in freedom and their right to choose what and to whom the might contribute.
All governments expand their power or influence over the people by offers of gifts, gratuities, and benefits in schemes that require a decrease in their individual right to choose what they will contribute, to whom and for what purpose. Someone else will have their power of choice.
Herod's grand scheme of a vast membership, who were baptized after their application for membership and the payment of prescribed fees, was growing before John began his preaching of the kingdom of God at hand. With annual contributions collected and recorded by the scribes in a system called Corban Herod and his Pharisee ministers were making the word of God to none effect17.
Members were given a white stone as ID18 and Herod was able to expand his hope of a kingdom of God on earth by this religious system of social security (Corban) and statutory enforcement collection from membership in the form of a tax.
Pilate "... used the sacred treasure of the temple, called corban (qorban), to pay for bringing water into Jerusalem by an aqueduct. A crowd came together and clamored against him..."19 Because those funds were for their social welfare the people complained. Few understood that what should have been for their welfare had brought them into bondage.
“Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.” Psalms 69:22
Because this precept of God is so fundamental Paul repeats it.
“And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:” Romans 11:920
Why do I say this social security system was religious?
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit21 the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
The Greek word for world in this verse is defined as “an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government” and comes the Greek word komizo defined “to care for, take care of, provide for.”
Christ's kingdom offered the same religious benefits, care, and assistance as the “world”, but was dependent on faith, hope, and charity to provide the resources of its government as God has always intended.
Other nations offer social contracts22 that bind its members. These subject citizens have duties incumbent23 including full faith24 and allegiance.25 These were the benefactors who exercised authority one over the other that Christ told us we were not to be like26 when He appointed the kingdom to His ambassadors.27
This is why 1 Peter 2:12 talks about our conduct among the Gentiles. The word Gentiles is from ethnos meaning other nations. The kingdom of God was a nation at hand and Jesus Christ was their anointed King.
The ministers of that Kingdom did not exercise authority over the people because Christ had placed that restriction on the kingdom when he appointed it to His ambassadors, who we call apostles. Like Herod's kingdom it had members all over the world, but unlike Herod's kingdom Christ's Kingdom was based on the perfect law of liberty and free will offerings and the right of choice spoken of by Paul.
“The union and discipline of the Christian republic” praised Edward Gibbon concerning the early Church, “it gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman Empire.”28
The word 'conversation' in 1 Peter 2:12 has the meaning of conduct and is translated from the Greek word anastrophe29 which is from anastrepho30 meaning to “to turn upside down, overturn, to turn back.” We see a variation of that same word referencing Jason accused of turning the world upside down.31
The nature of the charge was that they were doing contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there was another king, and of course there was. These acts were upsetting the local rulers so much so that they were arrested and appear to have been forced to post a bond in order to get out of jail. Then Paul and Silas were sent away in secret and went to Berea where many believed after researching the scriptures.32
Paul did explain that Jesus came and suffered for them, and that he was the Christ. Christ meant Anointed or Messiah which were terms used to identify the king of Israel or Judea since the days of King David.
Jesus had been proclaimed king by foreign rulers from the east, by the people of Jerusalem who hailed him as the highest son of David. Pilate as procurator of Rome had officially proclaimed Jesus as the king of the Jews.33 Christians like Paul claimed this Christ king and preached His government. Agrippa recognized that political position. By Christ's sacrifice and death He sealed the truth of His kingship in His innocent blood, freeing people from the age old bondage which had been brought again by Hasmonians, Herod, and the Pharisees.34
Modern societies have fallen prey to the same temptations and have return to the sin and mire of Babylon, Egypt, and Herod's Judah. Jesus' Kingship was very controversial because He was restoring every man to his possession and to their family.35 The kingdom of God is a network of families coming together under the perfect law of liberty36 binding themselves by faith, hope, and charity37, rather than social contracts38 with civil benefactors who exercise authority one over the other.
The early Church did not pray to the Patronus of Rome39 for mercy and justice nor free bread in times of need. Christian prayed to Our Father who art in Heaven40 for forgiveness as they showed forgiveness for others and their daily bread. Christian bread was contributed freely by the thanksgiving of Christ's faithful believers. Anyone who professed Christ was cast out of the social welfare system, Corban, of the Pharisees at Herod's golden temple that made the word of God to none effect.
“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition,41 which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” Mark 7:13
Corban is sacrifice. It is also translated offering, oblation, offered, sacrifice, and treasury in the Bible. The purpose of the sacrifice was to care for the needy of society which included anyone who did not have sufficient resources within their family to provide for a crisis. Corban has been a part of all governments and societies of man.
Corban was a religious Rite for the welfare of the people. Cain, Nimrod, Pharaoh, Caesar, and Herod were benefactors in the provision of free bread by forcing the sacrifice, contributions, of the people.
The followers of Jesus the Christ also had provisions to care for the needy of their society. They accomplished this without the benefactors of the “world” which exercised authority over the contributions of the people.42 Pure Religion was providing for society in a way that was unspotted by the covetous authoritarianism of the “world”.
“And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so:” Luke 22:25. Also Matthew 20:25, Mark 10:42.
Early Rome, the Republic, depended entirely on the distribution of charity through the congregation of the the family hearths. These networked families provided for the welfare needs of their society.
Public works projects, commercial ventures, and even war was financed through similar fund raising institutions or temples. This community in affluence and apathy eventually built temples to manage services on a centralized governmental scale with a broadened scope. By 70 B.C. a bread dole was decreed distributing free bread to 40,000 adult males which increased over the centuries to include over 300,000.
There was little need for individual charity with the government taking over this responsibility. Every year 500,000,000 bushels of grain were imported from Egypt alone. This grain was stockpiled and redistributed daily from warehouses along Trajan’s dock covering over 160 acres. With these massive government giveaway programs in place, the local farmers needed to be subsidized and individual charity died from neglect.
As the republic moved away from voluntarism and charity. The people were seduced by the temptation of easy entitlements offered by benefactors who exercised authority. The voluntary charitable network which had bound families together into a strong society were gradually replaced by an authoritarian systems bureaucrats who imposed a civil duty and legal obligation to contribute. A once titular leadership became law makers whose authority and power was soon centralized into the hands of one Caesar or dictator after another until Rome declined and fell.
“Protection draws to it subjection; subjection protection”43
“The real destroyers of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.” Plutarch, 2000 years ago.
It has always been common practice to expand the power of government though the offer of social contracts and schemes to an acquiescing, if not consenting, populous by enticing people with benefits and promises provided at the expense of their neighbors.
The Bible warns us concerning such foolishness.44 The unrighteous path is the unrighteous mammon. Mammon is not money, although money may represent a form of mammon. Mammon is entrusted wealth45 like the camp of the golden calf people deposit their wealth under the control of another. Jesus compares God and mammon as two masters, both requiring service and bestowing benefits and grace upon its faithful members. One will fail, the other is everlasting.
“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.... If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [riches]?” Luke 16:9-11
Jesus also tells us to be faithful with the unrighteous mammon, while we should pursue the righteous. We should not be cheating the present master while we are in the process of seeking the kingdom.
The people in Egypt were required to pay their tale of bricks, but they gleaned in the field for their straw. These are metaphors where the tale was what they owed the government, and straw was their entitlements and benefits. As these systems decline so do their benefits, but the burden increases upon the people and they cry out to the true God.46
If men understood that these systems of entrusting benefactors who exercise authority with the wealth and welfare of the people snares them in a plague of bondage, then they might not seek the flesh pots47 of Egypt, Rome and Herod, and pursue the righteous path of God.
During the Christian persecutions emperor Decius [249-251] required all to sacrifice to the gods of the temple. The purpose was not to please idols of stone, but to fill the treasury of the temples. The severe penalties were meant to intimidate their members. We see that “...the chiliarchs48 were calling upon each one by name from a roll.”49
Inflation had been staggering since the silver was removed from the denarii and the endless fighting against the barbarian terrorists had drained the funds of government. In order to keep the people placated and passive, benefits would need to be provided. The government built temples and institutions used to manage those “mammon” funds.
There has been accusations that “The Emperor Decius, wishing to break and suppress the law of the Christians, issued his edicts throughout the world.”50 Christians were not of that “world” nor were “believers” members on the “rolls” of the temples or partakers of its mammon.
Although Christians were separate with their own law, anyone not participating in those systems of sacrifice were immediately suspect. These system of sacrifice and benefit was called Qorban by the Romans, Corban in the Bible, Korban in the Hebrew, and even Holy Qurbana.
All Corban is the same. The Corban of the Pharisees made the word of God to none effect. God had told the people to love their neighbor as themselves with freewill offerings through a system of voluntary charity managed by their public servants, the Levites. They were the public servants of a kingdom, chosen by ten families in congregations and paid based on their service.51 The Church was no different.
“The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.” Proverbs 12:24
“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” 1 Cor. 10:21
The Pagans had their “Liturgy” from the Greek word leitourgi meaning “public service”52. Christians Liturgy was not about singing and vestments or the smoke and mirrors of modern religions. It was about the serving the public in congregations of the kingdom of God operating under the perfect law of liberty in true worship of God by actively love one another in a religious system of, by, and for the people.
The Christian community was well-disciplined in their hearts and minds and organized from the bottom up through a system of charity rather than force. The Roman Mammon was failing. But the Christ's Mammon of righteousness successfully provided for Christian welfare.
Justin Martyr, in about AD 150, hoping to clear the misconceptions and prejudices surrounding Christianity, wrote the Emperor Antoninus Pius in defense of the Christian faith and allegiance to Christ:
“There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a vessel of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe... And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.”
“And the wealthy among us help the needy ... and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.” (First Apology, Ch. 65-67)
This was not a ritual where a crumb of bread was given as a token but was the life saving bread of life. Through charity and hope a brotherhood is born in the Eucharist of Christ by the charitable sharing of provisions.
"We call this food eucharist (thanksgiving), and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined.” (First Apology, Chapter 66:1-20)
This was the precept of the kingdom of God defined by John the Baptist53, Christ54 and Moses.55 This is the kingdom of God at hand. This is doing the will of the Father and following the dictates of Christ. The faithful are the partakers of the Eucharist in faith, hope, and charity.
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