The Constitutions Part IV
Part I: The people were “not a party” to the Constitution.
Part II: There are two forms of government free and not so free governments by contract.
Part III: The people opposed and feared the Constitution and those fears have been realized.
Pursuing Perspective and Precepts
“The end does not justify the means.” Ayn Rand
In all fairness, the Constitution of the United States of America occupies a unique place in history, although, its basic elements have been seen in the centralization of governments for thousands of years.
The creation of the institution called the “United States” was a valiant attempt by some men to create a central exercising authority in hopes of bettering the condition of man without losing control of that power vested in that government. From the days of Pharaoh, Saul and Rome such efforts often ended in disaster.
A detailed study, a broader approach, and a critical eye upon that history is required to understand the context and condition in which that document rose to prominence and the perils wrought in its consummation.
There are two forces operating in governments.
1. To guarantee the safety of the people there is a granting of power by the people to one form of government;
2. And there is an imposition of limitations to guarantee the safety of the people from government.
The balance of these elements in the world of government defines the difference between freedom and despotism. Those who seek power will commonly make a promise of liberty but proceed to create offices of power and take control to obtain that end. This temptation of one man ruling over another has come down to us in the fallen nature of man from Cain to Christ.
People are fond of attributing the United States’ success, prominence, and power to its constitution. There are many factors that compose our past and present and the constitution and the institutions it created and continues to create are only one part of that equation. Not disregarding the unspoiled natural resources of the land itself, it is the people that have made this nation great. It is also the people who will destroy it.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln
In early America there was a higher rate of literacy than in Europe or Britain, even higher than it is today. You had to know how to read to study the Bible and it was religious zeal and faith that had been a great motivating factor in the settling of North America. Education was important, even paramount but faith in higher principles, precepts and purposes was predominant.
Every home had a collection of books as a prized treasure. Without TV, radio or other distractions, books and the ideas they contained was a common pursuit. Books like Gibbon’s The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire had been published. There was a keen interest in governments and how they should work or did not work. The quest for Civil Freedom was another passionate pursuit of those early adventures to the wilderness. There were more law books per capita in America than anywhere else in the world.
It was the inuring conditions of survival and endurance that played out the purifying process for those early Americans. There was no social security, Medicare, unemployment, etc. The people were responsible for their family’s needs, protection, education, and condition. The community itself, often through the Church, was dependent on mutual charity to sustain itself.
The burden of social responsibility cultivated an independent and self-reliant character unprecedented in America ever since. Shouldering that responsibility is correlative to retaining and maintaining the rights so equated with freedom.
There are many people who espouse the Constitution as the sacred source of American success. The success of every free nation is not its structure but its virtue. The structure offered by the constitution actually provided a means by which the people could neglect and even waive their rights and return to bondage. Many do not even know what is in the constitution and do those that do often fail to really understand it and its flaws?
“Lawyers are being graduated from law school by the thousands who have little knowledge of the constitution. When organizations seek a lawyer to instruct them on the Constitution they find it nearly impossible to secure one competent.”1
It has been well established that the people were “not a party” to that Constitution and the vast majority opposed it. “We the People” clearly did not mean the average American.
This does not mean they opposed many of the noble concepts contained in it but that they saw certain dangers in its creation and implementation. Patrick Henry was one of its most ardent opponents yet he served in an office under its authority. Most Americans saw great dangers in that structure and form of government and to know their concerns is to be forewarned and forearmed.
Any constitution is a body of precepts, written or unwritten, for the purpose of controlling government action until modified. What was the constitution of those natural people in America if they opposed the Constitution of the United States? What did Samuel Adams mean, on August 1, 1776 when he said, “Our Union is complete; our constitution composed, established, and approved’.”
Certainly customary law played a part in that constitution of the people but it did little to give the whole nation international standing. Hamilton thought debt to other nations gave the United State standing.
We should look for the answers to these questions without limiting our search to the brief history of America. We shall examine the whole history of mankind. To not study and learn all you can about institutions and enterprises that have such a dynamic grip and integral influence over our lives and the lives of our children is foolishness and folly.
Anyone may seek out the Anti-Federalist Papers to see the opposing views, pitfalls and dangers. Ruination and downfall so common in history might be more readily avoided with a diligent effort to understand the opposing fears and trepidation toward a central governing power.
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”2
Our entire concept of history has been greatly influenced through the writing and rewriting of history in ancient and even our modern text books.
It is not the constitution which was written as if good men would take office but the exercise of principles of freedom and God-given law upon which our faith should rest. The weightier matters of law, judgment, mercy and faith3 should be the pastime and endeavor of every man and woman of America if they are to be a free nation under God.
Early American settlers had a curiosity about government and a religious devotion to the study of forms of government. Their love of the Bible allowed them to read for themselves how the ancient men of Israel lived free from kings and parliaments for centuries and still govern themselves.
The examination of the Bible produces a diversified opinion of what God wants. This dichotomy is the result of language and the private agenda of the men who read it. The selfish nature and agenda of men sows confusion in the world.
While men chose to interpret the text in millions of different ways, they could see how Israel supported their government with tithing to ministers only “according to their service”.4 They read how they owned the “milk and honey” produced on land they “possessed” and taxes consisted of granting “freewill offerings” to a network of men they chose. The army was a volunteer militia organized along the same social structure of congregations and servant ministers who supported the community through a system of charity. Leaders were titular and supported the needs of the people by the free offerings of the people according to the choices by the people.
They had already become aware of the network of tens, hundreds and thousands which were the foundation of their form of government. It was seen in many cultures before Christ and throughout Europe after Christ. Some yearned for the days when the head of each house was prince on his own land, having been delivered from bondage in Egypt by God through Moses.
They read about the sin of the “voice of the people” calling for a king to judge them like the other nations,5 and if they did fall prey to the temptation of electing a ruling elite that they should bind that ruler by written limitations.
Why did God bring men out of worldly governments like Babylon, Ur, Haran, and Egypt? Did God lead men away from the rule of men in the Old Testament and then in the New Testament reverse His opinion and desire them to go back under governments where men rule over their neighbor? Electing Saul was a rejection of God. The agreement to go under Pharaoh was the result of a series of choices. Men were making some of the same choices before the birth of Christ down to this very day. The fact is Christ came to set us free and seal that freedom in His own blood.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,” 2Co 6:17
Is it the will of the Father in Heaven that men go under the authority of other men by consensual or quasi contracts through application and participation to obtain benefits? We know that we are to make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.6
“And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?” Judges 2:2
The word league here is the same word normally translated covenant some 264 times in the Bible. It is from the word barah which is translated eat, choose or give and even cause to eat. The word for covenant actually is defined covenant, alliance, pledge; between men.
God is telling men in the Bible not to pledge allegiance to other men or the organizations they create with their own hands. If we pledge allegiance or apply for gifts, gratuities and benefits then benefactors, Soters or Patonus’7 and conscripted fathers will have the right to rule over us.
If we enter into a contract, covenant, constitution or league what would it look like and does God have an opinion as to what should be in the agreement?
A King Over Me
John Wycliffe was imprisoned by the government and his body burned at the stake by the orthodox Church because he had translated the Bible into English. He identified the books of Samuel and Kings as Kings 1 through 4. Kings as opposed to Judges is the period of history where Israel went under rulers rather than the once free nation of God where every man was prince in his own house and there was no king in Israel.
Yes, God allows men to have Kings and Rulers if they so choose. He allows men to make these covenants and contracts if they so choose. He allows men to create their civil states such as those of Cain and Lemech, or Egypt and Rome. He allows men to sin and suffer the consequences of that sin.
Is God the Father’s true desire for man to be in bondage or to walk with Him and live by faith, hope and charity according to the perfect law of liberty and love?
Moses had known the weakness of the people. They would eventually desire a central governing authority again. He prophetically warned the people what such rulers would be inclined to do and wisely established constitutional limitation for those chosen as benefactors of the people but who could exercise authority like most other nations and governments do.
“When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that [are] about me; ” Deuteronomy 17:14
Men had come to America to actually “possess” the land. They did not come to merely be a tenant upon the land where they had to pay yearly for its use or be cast off. They desired to own the land as freemen so that the land could not be taxed and they would be free souls under God.
A half a millennium had passed since the rise of kings over the people in Europe. Wars and inquisitions had taken their toll on liberty and the knowledge of its ways. Most of the people had become subjects of governments. America supplied a unique opportunity to regain freedom.
In America the voice of the people would eventually choose to elect someone to exercise authority and they would create a constitution containing rules to protect them from the rulers.
“Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.” Deuteronomy 17:15
If we read the phrase “set a king over “ we might imagine a modern monarch with a crown ruling over the people. The Hebrew word for king is melek [Klm]. The word is actually translated as both king or counsel. The office of melek ranged from little power to the power over life and death, law and land.
One of those limitations of government written by Moses was that if you elected a ruler you had to choose someone who was part of your people. Brethren had to do with the same Father which of course is God the Father. They should also not be a stranger. There is more than one word for stranger in Hebrew.
The Hebrew word nekar [rkn] is often translated stranger and is defined as that which is foreign. The word in this verse for stranger is nokriy [yrkn]. The word ending in the fourth letter yod could be interpreted as foreign to God or the understanding of God. The same three letters nekar [rkn] given the Strong’s number 5234 is commonly translated know or acknowledge.
The moral character of your leader is clearly important. When the people tried to make Gideon their king he said:
“And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.” Judges 8:23
There are many men who would not refuse the power to rule over other people. They would fall to such a temptation only to be seduced by the desire for even more power. Good and honorable men like Saul and David are examples of how power corrupts.
The Horses of Egypt
“But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.” Deuteronomy 17:16
The bar against returning to Egypt had nothing to do with geography but was about returning to that form of government where a portion of the labor of a man could be annually extracted by the government. God had taken the people from Egypt, out of the house of bondage where they had to pay one-fifth of every thing they earned in a given year to the government and the government was to care for them in time of need.
There are many references in the old and new testament about the bondage of Egypt where the people had to bow down and serve the Pharaoh. The power of that government corrupted the leaders who made their instruments of war, suppressed the people and wreaked havoc on men’s lives.
God wants men to live as free souls according to virtue and good conscience. Every time they go back to a government like in 1 Samuel 8 it was called a rejection of God. Any leader who was knowledgeable of God and His ways would not lead the people back to bondage and, like Gideon, would not try to rule over them.
The king was also not to multiply horses. Did God not want leaders to own a horse ranch? God was not concerned with the king owning horses. He qualifies this statement by correlating the multiplying of horses to the returning to Egypt.
Egypt was a large grain producer and it had perfected the art of war by the use of horses for cavalry and chariots as well as military supply lines. In denying the king the right to accumulate horses he was denied an unlimited power to wage war.8 When the people do not have trust or faith in God’s way, they often return to a central government to assure their security.
Things went from bad to worse and eventually Solomon had 40,000 “stalls of horses” and 12,000 horsemen. He also maintained 1,400 chariots in his chariot cities including Jerusalem.
The Cost of Government
When the voice of the people elected to give Saul power as commander in chief to fight their battles for them these limitations should have been in place. During his reign Saul feared the enemy would be ready before he was and he took matters into his own hands forcing the people to give him what he needed.9
The word “offering” here in 1 Samuel 13:9 is from the Hebrew alah and can mean “withdraw… to be taken up, be brought up, be taken away… to be carried away”. It is also translated “increase, put” and “raised”. The word “and” is not in the original text. What is being said is that Saul compelled the taking of a burnt offering. A burnt offering is just something you are not getting back, as we have already seen. Since Israel had operated for centuries by freewill offerings when Samuel arrived he said:
“...What hast thou done?... Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee... now thy kingdom shall not continue...” 1 Samuel 13:11-14
Because Saul was afraid the people would not come, he compelled a sacrifice, a tax. He coveted the goods of the people and demanded they contribute. This was a clear violation of the Ten Commandments. It was a noble cause, but still a sin.
Samuel’s response to Saul was to the point and direct. He called him a fool:
“And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” 1 Samuel 13:12-14
God had not just taken people out of Egypt and the house of bondage, but had continuously taken the people out of governments where men can exercise authority one over the other.
“And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.” 1 Kings 5:13
“Raising a levy” is more often translated “tributary” from the Hebrew word “mac” (mas), meaning “gang/body of forced labourers, task-workers, labour band/gang, forced service, task-work, serfdom, tributary, tribute, levy, taskmasters, discomfited … forced service, serfdom, tribute, enforced payment.” 10 “Of the twenty-three uses of this term, all but three (Isa 31:8; Lam1:1; Est 10:1) occur early in the literature. The institution of tribute, or corvée,11 involves involuntary, unpaid labour, or other service, for superior power - a feudal lord, a king, or a foreign ruler (Ex 1:11; Est 10:1; Lam 1:1). in Gen. 49:15, Jacob’s blessing on Issachar identifies him as bowing to ‘tribute.’ In Egypt, the Israelites find themselves in that position (Ex 1:11). This unpopular measure, and Rehoboam’s refusal to moderate it, was the immediate cause of the secession of the ten tribes and the establishment of the northern kingdom.”12
Today in almost every country in the world the vast majority of the people are forced to contribute two to five hours out of every day laboring without pay. Although they imagine they have some control over government in truth they are entangled again in the yoke of bondage. They have returned to Egypt.
“The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.” Proverbs 12:24
Tribute, tributary, levy, corvée, or statutory labor are different names for a tax on labor. It is compulsory (forced) labor without pay. It may be collected in funds equal to the of value of labor or forced labor and is withheld by regulated taskmasters or it is taken annually.
Solomon conscripted 30,000 men, 10,000 each month, working for him in Lebanon. There was another 70,000 who “bore burdens”. and 80,000 “hewers in the mountains”. There were 3,300 officers who ruled over the working people like in Egypt.
Shall he Multiply Wives
“I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:2-3
Now whole nations practice this form of government supported by forced labor to provide the support they need for their leaders. Has the whole world been brought back to a state of bondage?
“How doth the city sit solitary, [that was] full of people! [how] is she become as a widow! she [that was] great among the nations, [and] princess among the provinces, [how] is she become tributary !” (La 1:1)
This idea of not returning to that house of bondage was also seen in the bar of the king from the accumulation of the gold and silver of the nation as was the case in Egypt.
“Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” Deuteronomy 17:17
With an accumulation of wealth in its treasury, the power to conscript the people in to its service the government could create armies, wage war and wield untold power. With unlimited power came unlimited corruption. With an army under its control a central government could not only protect the people but it could wage war on them. This was always a concern in history from Nimrod to the crossing of the Rubicon by Caesar down to modern times.
Babylon, Egypt, eventually Rome and other countries throughout history have often regulated the ownership of gold and silver and its use as money. Often these countries went to the use of some form of monetary exchange that was supported only by an artificial value imposed by the state rather than an actual commodity money like gold or silver with a present value. The removal of these honest weights and measures was a common and often a last ditch effort to maintain some stability as their usurious economies began to collapse.
“Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 19:36 [Deuteronomy 25:13 ]
The bar against the multiplying of wives was another of many limitations placed on any king or ruler that the people might choose. In those days when a ruler signed a treaty it was common to consummate the contract by giving a daughter in marriage to the other ruler. David did this as well as many other kings.
Although multiple wives leads to trouble of its own the real bar in relation to the king is the making of treaties. Because the people are bound under the king then the king by his agreements can bind the whole nation. The same is true of any treaty making powers.
He Shall Read Therein
In a pure republic where the leaders remain titular they cannot bind the people. The whole body must sign because each one remains free. The authors of the Constitution could not bind the people by their signature alone. The people would have to sign by their own hand waiving their rights through word and deed.
“And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?” Judges 2:2
God forbade the king from making leagues or treaties with other nations and their leaders. This was also stated for all the people in Exodus 23:32, “Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.” The word covenant in this commandment and the word league are both brriyth and is translated covenant, league, confederacy. It means a covenant, alliance, pledge; between men; treaty, alliance, league (man to man). All these things meant that they were making men authorities over themselves instead of God the Father.
Moses directed the king to not only remember all these basic rules but to write them down and read them over and over. He was also still bound by the Ten Commandments which did not allow him to covet his neighbor’s goods, or kill, or commit adultery or bear false witness…
“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.” Deuteronomy 17:18-20
Moses knew what he was talking about and though it took centuries, eventually the people wanted a king. People become more interested in their own security than their neighbor’s liberty.
God has stated clearly through the words of Samuel that the voice of the people had rejected God and His kingdom on earth according to all the works which they have done since the day that He brought them out of Egypt, wherewith they have forsaken Him, and served other gods. God warned them what kind of ruler that government would produce.
“...This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself... will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war... he will take your daughters... to be cooks... he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards... and give them to his servants.... he will take ... take ... take...” 1 Samuel 8:11-19
If the government created by the people can take the first fruits, the sons and daughters, the best of its fields etc. then it is because the people have long since rejected God, coveted their neighbor’s goods and made covenants.
“And David numbered the people that [were] with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.” 2 Samuel 18:1
When David became king because the people rejected God and Saul had foolishly disobeyed God and forced a tax upon the people, David decided to number the young men so he could draft them into his army. Thousands died resisting his efforts. David repented this breach of his authority.
“And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.” 2 Samuel 24:10
Then and Now
Why was it a sin to number the people for a draft under David but it is acceptable under governments of the world? Why was it foolish to force the people to pay for government needs under Saul but it is okay now? Why was it a rejection of God for the voice of the people to elect a ruler who could exercise authority over the whole people according to Samuel but it is okay in the eyes of modern Christians?
If God wanted you to write a constitution that forbade a ruler the power to accumulate the gold and silver of the people, to make treaties, to have large standing armies or the power to do anything to return to the bondage of Egypt then God could not have wanted the people to create the constitution of the United States. If all the predictions by Samuel for the people were the result of the choice of the people to reject God, and all those predictions are true today then the people must have rejected God again. If God will not hear our cries under the government of our choice then it is time to repent before we claim to pray to God.
“.... 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. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;” 1 Samuel 8:5-19
Law and justice as well as national security had been in the hands of the people for centuries. The people assembled themselves in voluntary militias based on a pattern of tens, hundreds and thousands.13 These congregations were fused by the bonds of faith, love, sacrifice, and charity. The leaders were titular in their authority and held office by mutual respect and the consensus of those they served. Every captain was chosen by the ten men he served. This was a pure republic designed by God where the people were free from things public under the perfect law of liberty.
“Be not thou [one] of them that strike hands, [or] of them that are sureties for debts.” Proverbs 22:26
Leaders should not have the power to take from the people, make war for or on the people, establish a central treasury, make treaties for the people, and they should never do anything to return the people to that bondage in Egypt where they labored for the governing powers without pay or cause them to covet each others goods through the power of government. They are to require love only and live by that love and forgiveness of debt, not become a surety for debt.
These precepts should be written in every constitution if it is to be of God. When any constitution is written contrary to those precepts then it is a rejection of the decrees of God. If the people establish men to be their benefactors and then give them the authority to take from their neighbor to insure their welfare and social security then they will be trapped in the net14 of their own covetous consent.
Our entire concept of history has been greatly influenced through the writing
and rewriting of history in our modern text books.
I highly recommend reading,
And "New Lamps for
It is not the constitution which was written as if good men would
take office but the exercise of principles of freedom and God given law upon
which our faith should rest. When the Constitution or any group of men go
contrary to those precepts we should be prepared and remain free enough from
debt and obligation to follow those truths and precepts and not be bound to
follow men who walk contrary to the principles upon which liberty is founded.