(Cast out from the governments of men)
(Fled into the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.)
“The civil law is what a people establishes for itself.”
“And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.” Ge 4:17
From Cain to Lemech and Nimrod to Pharaoh and Caesar, men have been subjecting themselves to other men in exchange for the assumed peace and security of the city state and civil governments made by the hand of man. Is that God’s plan?
“And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Ge 4:26 )
Enos did not call upon the names of the civil states of Cain through Lemech but upon the name of the LORD. Should we do less?
“I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ( Ps 116:13… Ro 10:13)
We may imagine that thousands of years ago people lived primitive lives all over the world, much like the aborigines of North America or Australia, even Africa. Yet, when the record is examined, we find not only complex societies, but societies that have many similar characteristics to our modern systems of economics, justice, and government.
Men began to band together in clans, tribes, and, then, into communities for a number of reasons. Villages became towns, towns became cities or city-states. Eventually, those cities became wealthy, or, at least, some of the inhabitants in them became wealthy. When greed, jealousy, envy, avarice, and sloth began to motivate the people instead of God’s ways, new methods of protecting and increasing that urban wealth were devised.
“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” (Ge 11:4)
Over four thousand years ago, in the kingdom of Ur, there were systematic methods and specified rules in courts of record. They settled, “disputes arising out of sales, inheritance, gifts, or divorce.” There were different kinds of courts with different jurisdictional authority. “When the claim had been ‘in the king’s name’ and rebutted, the case was settled by an oath either taken by one of the parties or by a witness.”
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:” (Mt. 5:33)
The Ana Ittishu (legal phrases and extracts) was an ancient code preserving the “Sumerian Family Laws.” Such codes made provisions regulating marriage, adoption, liability for personal and property damage, as well as obligations to neighbors, penalties for false accusations, and rules for hiring laborers as slaves for a period of time (employment). The systems were established by social compacts that brought benefits and edicts.
“A man void of understanding striketh hands, [and] becometh surety in the presence of his friend [fellow-citizen].”
In a natural society, without the imposition of one man’s will upon another, each individual is answerable to his own God given conscience. He may seek to do the will of his Creator or not.
“And sometimes they sacrificed to the old stone gods, Made heathen vows, hoping for Hell’s Support, the Devil’s guidance in driving Their affliction off. That was their way, And the heathen’s only hope,
Hell Always in their hearts, knowing neither God Nor His passing as He walks through our world, the Lord Of Heaven and earth; their ears could not hear His praise nor know His glory.”
Men lacking faith and feeling the terror of the absence of God in their lives band together and create false gods to worship through false hopes. In this self-indulgence, men will be recreated by another god who will demand their service, loyalty, and homage. All is done to protect themselves from the perils of the world, other false gods created by other men and/or the acts of the Almighty God or Nature.
“The old king Bent close to the handle of the ancient relic, And saw written there the story of ancient wars Between good and evil, the opening of the waters, The Flood sweeping giants away, how they suffered And died, that race who hated the Ruler Of us all and received judgment from His hands, Surging waves that found them wherever They fled.”
City-states sprung up in answer to this fear, often creating fear in their neighbors. Those states, in turn, were ally together into oligarchies, constitutional confederations, and despotic empires. What appeared to be one man’s salvation, often became another man’s oppressive enemy and tyrant.
His vanity swelled him so vile and rank That he could hear no voices but his own…
“How often an entire country suffers On one man’s account!”
By the time of the writing of the Code of Hammurabi, the “king is already the source of justice; the judges are strictly supervised, and appeal to the king is allowed.” With a contracted dominion by oath, appeals to God by individuals could not be heard over the authoritarian trumpeting of one man over another and that power made a bed for injustice.
These were not evolving legal systems, but archetypes that grew naturally due to social constructions and moral choices or moral neglect by the people of God’s earth, in those times and now.
“A brood forever opposing the Lord’s Will, and again and again defeated… Words and bright wit Won’t help your soul; you’ll suffer hell’s fires, Unferth, forever tormented…
Then and now Men must lie in their Master’s holy Hands, moved only as he wills: Our hearts must seek out that will.”
People that lived in different societies developed rules and customs which permitted their survival. Droughts, floods, famines, as well as enemies of peace, were managed in different ways, unique to the economy, social, and moral or amoral customs of the people in that place.
As man’s socioeconomic base changed, so did his environment. The new environmental conditions stimulated another resulting social and economic change. What may appear to some as an evolving process is, in fact, merely a revolving one, which is the result of cause and effect. Has this revolving spiral been going up or down? Is it fueled by virtue or vanity, by righteousness or wickedness?
None of these systems were perfect. They depended on the wisdom and justice and charity and love in the hearts of the people of those societies.
“What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” (Romans 7:7)
Some people might believe that the history of the evolving social nature of men is defined by the progressive history of governments and the expansion of their civil systems. Is the quality of man’s state as a noble human based upon the amount of civil government required to hold his corrupt nature in check or is it based upon the purity of his own virtues and the God of virtue who he worships?
“In the most corrupt state the most laws.”
I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and courts. These are false hopes, believe me; these are false hopes. “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no Constitution, no law, no court can save it.”
Could the evolving, burgeoning, and encompassing bureaucratic government be causing an addicting, apathetic effect upon the virtuous nature of its citizenry, bringing about the decline of the human character?
“Be not thou [one] of them that strike hands, [or] of them that are sureties for debts.” (Pr 22:26)
In the days of Hamurabi’s codes, there were benefits and drawbacks to the centralized power and man-made jurisdictions, as men were bound under oath.
“And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.” (Ge. 11: 28)
Haran died in Ur. Did he just die, or was he “put to death” by the legal authorities of Ur because he offended the state? Terah felt compelled to leave by the events of his son’s death.
“And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.” (Genesis 11:31)
The word laqach can mean “to take”, “lay hold of”, “seize”, even, “to buy”. Together, they exited and came out of Ur and its jurisdictions, as well as the protection and subjection of that flourishing civilization. When they came unto (bow’ - to go in, to be enumerated) the city, that they called Haran, they were simply in the same condition with a different ruler, but not yet by faith under the rulership of the LORD (YHWH) God.
“Avoid the reeking herd, Shun the polluted flock.”
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get[depart] thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” (Genesis 12:5)
Abram, with Lot, departed out from Haran, being led by faith. Haran was another city-state in which his father had settled. But it was not what God wanted for Abraham, nor was it what Abraham wanted.
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” (Ga 3:7)
“Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” (Ro 4:16)
Abraham was the father of all true Christians. because true Christians put their faith in The LORD and His only begotten Son, not in the institutions of men, their leaders and social schemes and promises.
According to the story of Joseph, his brothers cast him into slavery and, in turn, Joseph’s brothers went into slavery, that they might learn the lesson of their earthly father, Abraham, whose Father was in Heaven and, in hope, that by faith, they would be saved in the great deliverance of a new covenant.
“And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” (Ge 45:7)
Hundreds of years later, Moses and the people of Israel would also exit another civilized kingdom and again become Hebrew wanderers in the wilderness.
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (Heb 11:24, 25)
Both Abraham and Moses were very successful against the difficulties that confronted them. Lot, living in Sodom under the protection of the king, found his family corrupted and himself a captive of an invader and was saved by his Hebrew uncle and his invisible God more than once.
“And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.” (Ex 12:39)
The Israelites, while coming out of the corvee bondage of Egypt, had to go through a process of change, or reconversion, living under God’s law in the desert for forty years, to prepare them for the promised land. Having lived under the civil government of Egypt for four hundred years, they had been changed or converted from the ways of their forefathers. That change began even before they left Egypt. The hard times of the plagues taught them to depend upon charity and not benefits of Pharaoh.
For hundreds of years following that exodus, God’s people would have no king, no emperor, and no president. In the affluence that God’s way brought them came pride, vanity, sloth, apathy, and foolishness.
“Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;” (1 Samuel 8:19)
The people had now departed from the ways of the LORD again. They chose to have another Ruler between them and God. Those rulers, in turn, acting like gods themselves, counted the people as their own and required the people to tithe to them as benefactors and patriarchs of the people.
“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 Sa 24:10)
“Covetousness is a sort of mental gluttony, not confined to money, but greedy of honor and feeding on selfishness.”
The Israelites stumbled under kings like Saul, Absalom, and Rehoboam, who, like all demagogues, appealed to the democratic whim of the people to empower themselves and to supplant God.
“And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” (2 Sa 15:6)
Men had returned to the ways of the city-state. No longer trusting in the prophets and judgment of the LORD, they built cities and temples of stone and trusted in the storehouse and treasuries of ruling classes. They trusted in the leaders they had chosen for themselves and their neighbor. They went under tribute.
“But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,” (Acts 7:47, 48)
Rehoboam burdened the people and caused division among them. Like the heathen, his kingdoms was not made in the image of God’s Kingdom, but in the imperfect, merciless image of men.
“For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I [will chastise you] with scorpions.” (2Ch 10:11)
Without God as their King and Ruler, the people fell into one snare, trap, and pit after another, blindly following the blind. The people devolved as they were weakened by their own institutions.
“So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they [were] written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, [who] were carried away to Babylon for their transgression.” (1Ch 9:1)
The law of God was understood by men like Enos, Samuel, Elijah, and others. There is the LORD thy God and there must be no other gods before Him; you must not bow down to them nor may you serve them.
“And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because, [I say], that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand.” (Ezekiel 21:23,24)
Men living by the wisdom that God had granted them, knew that the depositing of their wealth, their rights, their God given gifts into a common purse or bank or vault or golden calf or cestui que trust would lead every man quickly into debt, slavery and even death.
“Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives. So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.” (Proverbs 1:14, 19)
Why would people cast in their lots together, except to gain the use and benefit of their neighbor’s goods, possessions, and wealth? How can someone gamble, putting their inheritance into a common pot, unless they are hoping and praying to get more out from their neighbors' share than they put in?
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
Anyone, who lends money to someone who is poorer than himself and, in addition, charges interest, would be going against the teachings of the Bible and the principles laid down by God in His government.
“Under Capitalism man exploits man; under Socialism the process is reversed.”
“If thou lend money to [any of] my people [that is] poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.” (Ex 22:25)
People who consume the goods and services paid for by the sweat and blood of those who, by force, toil to provide those goods and services are consuming the sweat and blood of those souls still living and laboring.
“And whatsoever man [there be] of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:10, 11)
Many would say that this is Old Testament and we are not under the law. Is not God the same today as he was yesterday? His law, His way, His charity, His love should be written on our hearts in the fullness of His provision and we, by the virtue of our new nature, no longer seek the ways of sin.
“ Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.” (1 Cor 8:1, 6)
“Government big enough to supply everything you need, it is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”
When a person enters into a tax contribution system in order to gain the benefits and protection offered by the rulers of that system, crafted by the hands of men, he subjects himself to the jurisdictional authority of those rulers (gods) of that system. The benefits they receive are the meat and, sometimes, the blood of those victims, which that system strangles and devours daily. The sins of that system rest upon the beneficiaries of that body, that corporation, that creation of men as much, if not more, than the rulers.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live. It is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent . . . the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.”
“A majority of the people of the United States have lived all of their lives under emergency rule. For 40 years, freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the Constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws brought into force by states of national emergency. The problem of how a constitutional democracy reacts to great crises, however, far antedates the Great Depression. As a philosophical issue, its origins reach back to the Greek city-states and the Roman Republic. And, in the United States, actions taken by the Government in times of great crises have - from, at least, the Civil War - in important ways shaped the present phenomenon of a permanent state of national emergency.”
“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it].” (Rev 2:14, 17)
Will men repent of such associations? Can he stop serving the lusts of idols and contributing to rulers other than “The Ruler” of Heaven and Earth? Is there a kingdom to which one may exodus ?
“If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. (Nu 30:2) Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.” (Pr 6: 2)
Will men stop devouring the sweat and blood of those poor souls who are bound, by oath, to sacrifice their service to false gods? Is there another system of government not taught by men?
“The term republic, res publica, signifies the state independent of its form of government.”
In a republic, the citizenry is free from the administration of government, as opposed to democracy, where rights are placed into a common purse.
“Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was [free] born.” (Acts 22:27,28)
Citizens of the original Roman republic were not subject to the administrative civil authority, which was designed to regulate those residents of Rome, who were subject to the administrative powers. After the Roman civil war, which came about because of their own corruption, the Imperial Roman power protected, and even controlled, many kingdoms and domains throughout the world. Some kingdoms did not fall under their empirical power and influence.
People who were citizens of these separate kingdoms could pass through or even live within the realm of the Pax Romana without being subject to many of the administrative regulations and taxes. Jealousy, envy, and hate sometimes brought unjust persecutions for these free citizens.
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” (Lu 2:1)
A census in those days required some form of accounting and usually required a token to mark those who had been counted. The census called for by Augustus ‘was regarded as the badge of servitude, and incompatible with the Theocratic character of Israel.’
All Jews did not hate the Emperor (Emperator), the commander-in-chief of the multinational military force that kept the peace throughout the world.
“The annual Temple-tribute was allowed to be transported to Jerusalem, and the alienation of these funds by the civil magistrates treated as sacrilege. As the Jews objected to bear arms, or march, on the Sabbath, they were freed from military service. On similar grounds, they were not obliged to appear in courts of law on their holy days. Augustus even ordered that, when the public distribution of corn or of money among the citizens fell on a Sabbath, the Jews were to receive their share on the following day. In a similar spirit the Roman authorities confirmed a decree by which the founder of Antioch, Seleucus I. (Nicator),[d Ob.280 B.C.] had granted the Jews the right of citizenship in all the cities of Asia Minor and Syria which he had built, and the privilege of receiving, instead of the oil that was distributed, which their religion forbade them to use, [e Ab. Sar ii. 6] an equivalent in money. [Jos.Ant. xii. 3. 1] These rights were maintained by Vespasian and Titus even after the last Jewish war, not with standing the earnest remonstrances of these cities. No wonder, that at the death of Caesar [g 44 B.C.] the Jews of Rome gathered for many nights, waking strange feelings of awe in the city, as they chanted in mournful melodies their Psalms around the pyre on which the body of their benefactor had been burnt, and raised their pathetic dirges.”
Judea did not hate Rome. Many loved and desired their protection, generosity, and social security; besides, they were good for business. There were rebels, as always. There was corruption, as always. The Caesars were the protector of their peace, the benefactor of their welfare.
“The year 2 B.C. marked the 25th anniversary of Caesar Augustus’s rule and the 750th anniversary of the founding of Rome. Huge celebrations were planned. The whole empire was at peace. The doors of the temple of Janus were closed for only the third time in Roman history. To honor their emperor, the people were to rise as one and name him pater patriae, or Father of the Country. This enrollment, described in the Book of Luke, which brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, has always been a mystery since no regular census occurred at this time. But the pater patriae enrollment fits perfectly.”
“And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in Heaven.” (Matthew. 23:9)
Much of Israel did not choose to serve their true King, the Anointed Jesus (Yeshua), and His Father (YHWH) in Heaven, but they did choose to serve their father in Rome, to worship him and to serve him.
“But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:15)
Those, who chose to follow the anointed king, Jesus, were cast out (excommunicated) from the temple and its benefits. Jesus sought the faithful and the Apostles ministered to them daily in the temple after their restoration at Pentecost. Until the fall of Jerusalem, the temple was a center of Christian activity, but, by that time, the kingdom was being preached throughout the world.
These new citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven were also cast out from Rome and other city- states and kingdoms, for they would serve but one king only. Their system of government was the reverse of the systems endured by the other nations, the Gentiles.
“ And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this [matter]. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed…” (Acts 17:32, 34)
“The more a power departs from God’s law, the more impotent it becomes in coping with real offenses, and the more severe it becomes with trifling offenses or with meaningless infractions of empty statutes which seek to govern without moral authority and without reason.”
“After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.” (Acts 18:1,3)
There are three Greek words is translated into “depart” or “departed”. The first is exerchomai, which really means “expelled” or “cast out” or “to go forth from one’s power”. The second and third times, the word is chorizo meaning “to separate” or to “separate one’s self from”. When people were deported by the command of Claudius, how did officials make sure that they did not come back? Why was it so important that all these people be deported? Were they also barred from buying and selling in the Roman markets and practicing licensed professions?
In Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he praised “the union and discipline of the Christian republic.” He also pointed out that “it gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman Empire.” The early Christian ekklesia was a republic that was recognized by Rome through the proclamation nailed to the cross by order of the Proconsul of Rome, Pontius Pilate. When Jesus rose from the dead to stand again upon the earth, so did his Kingdom. His kingdom now lives in the hearts of those who follow His way.
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Cor. 6:12)
Paul would not go under any authority but the highest power of God.
“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.” (Ro 13:1)
Believers were cast out, excommunicated, deported and they chose separation, rather than subjection. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. (John 9:35, 38)
Early Christians were expelled from the welfare systems of the day, run by the state churches of the world government of its time, the Roman Empire. They then appointed ministers to handle their tithes to the poor, but not men to rule over them and their hereditaments.
“And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples [unto them], and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables (bank). Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (Acts 6:1, 3)
There was a system to the government called the kingdom of Heaven. There were Apostles appointed and ministers to take care of the daily administration. There was a system established and functioning that spread across the world.
Jealousy, envy, and greed brought persecution to the early Christians as they became successful in their separate and holy Kingdom, established by Jesus the Christ (anointed king). Those persecutions kept the body of Christians pure from the corruption that was so prevalent in that day and now, in our own time.
When Constantine legalized a portion of the church with the Edict of Milan, some were already on the road to corruption. As the legal church began a fornicating relationship with the kingdoms of men, true Christians departed to the remote ends of the earth. Christians were eventually hunted and persecuted by both, the kingdoms of men and the legal churches, reciprocally empowered by each other.
Today, legal churches are not incorporated in the Body of Christ, but in the body of man- made governments. The few duties that the church still performs are done so by the authority vested in them by the state. They still claim their right to tithe, but have relinquished the obligation of the daily ministration to the state, having squandered the tithing on temples of stone and wood and glass. These churches claim that God has ordained that men should not only bow down to these governments, but that we are to serve them with our sweat and our blood. They say our children should run before their chariots and we should give them the first fruits of our labor. They tell us that this is what God wants, but the Bible is an unending procession out of such systems.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor Safety.”
Men in the world today have returned to the corvee’ slavery from which God had taken them while in Egypt. Because of the subtle economic and social oppression, women cast out their children by the tens of thousands each year in government-endorsed abortions. Large sections of the population feast on the sweat and blood of those living souls who toil in service to man-made institutions. The prophetic warnings of Samuel are accepted as the should-be fate of all Christians.
If we are to listen to the apostate churches, we would have to conclude that Enos should have built a city, that Cain was right in establishing the city of Enoch; Abraham should have stayed in Ur, or at least in Haran; the Israelites were better off in Egypt; that Paul should not have departed from Rome; and that we should serve the United States Federal Democracy, its Emperor (Commander-in-chief), its Principas Civitas (first citizen, chief executive officer) and its Apo Theos originator of gods (god, ruling magistrate, appointer of judges).
“Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. Judges 10:14 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Ga 5:1)
If we are to depart from such systems, how has it been done? What manner should that departure take? Where shall we go? There are no wildernesses to which we can depart . What did Jesus tell us? Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven. Where is that Kingdom and what does it look like? Is it a place of the dead or the living? Must we die to enter?
We must die to the ways of sin. His kingdom comes when his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What was the system that Jesus established? He told us, but have we ears to hear? The blind and deaf have lead us back to Egypt and the doors are closing. It is time for the faithful to repent and turn to the ways of the Lord.
Who shall be the modern Levites and come out first to traverse the gates of the walled-in city with a sword of truth at their side? This is the mission of those “called out,” the ekklesia of the Lord, that Holy Church appointed by the King. Who shall learn His ways and teach them in the streets of the city?
“For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”. 2 Peter 1:11