“My kingdom is not of this world.” What did Jesus mean?
He was heir to the throne of King David. Wise men had recognized Him as a King at birth. The people proclaimed Him the highest son of David when He entered Jerusalem. He preached a kingdom at hand and told us to do the same. He took, gave, and appointed the Kingdom.
The Kingdom had been on earth from generation to generation. It was already there when He said He was going to take it away from the Pharisees and appoint it to the little flock and then He did.
He said he would not eat again until He did so with them in the Kingdom with all things fulfilled ---and then He did eat, because all things were fulfilled, that Kingdom was there, and the power came when they were in Jerusalem as He said it would be, with all power.
He had said the Kingdom of God is at hand, and told us to preach the same. He came in Spirit and Truth. When did His Kingdom become only spiritual? Why did He tell His ambassadors in Matthew 20:25, Mark 10:42, and Luke 22:25, not to be like other princes and kings?
The word world in today's society might conjure up a picture of a blue planetary globe hanging marble like in the blackness of space like a photograph from the moon, but when the gospel was preached, man's viewpoint of earth had not reached such astronomical heights. There are many different words in the New Testament that are translated into the single English word 'world'.
Which Greek word was used by Jesus, according to John 18:36?
Was it the word aeon? ‘Aion’ means an unbroken age, and is far more often translated into variations of the word age or time.
Another Greek word translated world is ‘oikoumene,’ which originally meant "the portion of the earth inhabited by the Greeks, in distinction from the lands of the barbarians." It commonly has to do with inhabited places including Israel. It was your national home place.
The word ‘ge’ is also translated world, once, but is translated earth about 188 times, land 42 times, ground 18, and country, twice. This is the closest word to meaning planet earth that you will find in the text. If you were to say “I am from the United States,” you would not be using ‘ge’. If you said you went all over the continent or even the whole planet and have seen its mountains and valleys, deserts and rich farmland, then the word ‘ge’ might be appropriate. But ‘ge’ is not the word used to demonstrate Jesus' statement about His Kingdom not being of this world.
The word 'world' in John 18:36 is translated from the word ‘kosmos.’ Some might think that kosmos is like the modern word cosmos, and therefore means the whole universe, but that was not its common use at the time. Kosmos in Greek had the sense of an orderly arrangement, and the Romans were the New World Order arrangement of their day. From that word the Greeks produced other forms, such as the Homeric kosmeo, used in reference to the act of “marshaling troops.”
From the Greek and Roman point of view, the “... encroachment of one opposite on another was spoken of as injustice, (adikia) and the due observance of a balance between them as justice (dikê). The later word kosmos is based on this notion, too. It meant originally the discipline of an army, and next the ordered constitution of a state.”
The word kosmos is defined in Strong's Concordance as an “orderly arrangement” and in another Greek concordance as "an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government."
Was Jesus simply telling Pilate, who was sitting in the judgment seat, “My Kingdom is not a part of your constitution, order, or government and you have no jurisdiction to judge Me or My Kingdom”?
When Jesus was born, Augustus Octavius had already been the Emperor of Rome for almost 25 years:
"He [Augustus] was now, to quote his own words, 'master of all things,' and the Roman world looked to him for some permanent settlement of the distracted Empire. His first task was the re-establishment of a regular and constitutional government, such as had not existed since Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon 20 years before.'... At home it was understood that he would, year by year, be elected consul, and enjoy the powers and pre-eminence attached to the chief magistrate [god] of the Roman state. Thus the republic was restored under the presidency and patronage of its 'first citizen' (Princeps Civitatis)."
Most people do not understand that the office of Emperor was an elected position with a ten year term, requiring an oath of office, and was equivalent to the Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy. He was often elected Principas Civatas or president of Rome.Besides holding those office he also requested the office of the Apotheos of Rome, which means he was the appointer of gods. That meant he appointed all the imperial judges or magistrates throughout the Empire, just like the President of the United States, who has also been labeled Apotheos.
Rome had not conquered Israel at that time, but had been invited in to settle a civil war between two brothers back in 66 B.C. over who should be king. Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II were fighting over the Kingdom of God. One brother got the idea to invite Pompey and his legions for benevolent aid to settle this dispute. Rome was offered reimbursement by Aristobulus. There were men trying to overthrow his government.
Under international law, Aristobulus had made the request to Rome seeking to use its might as a world police force. Many countries accepted Roman aid by treaty, and were required to pay into the Roman effort of Pax Romana in the form of a tribute, or excise tax. They created mutual obligations which bound Aristobulus and Rome to keep the peace.
Aristobulus gained Pompey's favor by giving him a gift of gold. After some complaints surfaced, Pompey personally investigated and found Hyrcanus had a better claim as rightful king by the laws of Israel.
Pompey gave the gift from Aristobulus to the poor and offered to assist the lawful king in obtaining his throne. King Hyrcanus would not appeal to Rome, but without proper authority the Pharisees did.
Pompey's troops carefully removed Aristobulus and his adherents, the Sadducees, who still occupied the Temple illegally. Rome respected the laws of other nations. It did not simply impose its personal whim, but through the reason of right and wrong and jus gentium, they decided disputes based on the specific customs and ordinances of each country.
Jesus would not appeal to Rome, because to make treaties with other nations would be a violation of the laws of Israel, which diminished the rights of the people. Christ came to return every man to those rights endowed by God [Leviticus 25:10]and to the “perfect law of liberty”.
The Romans had washed (in respect to the laws of the Jews) before entering that Herodian temple to remove Aristobulus' followers. The true defiling of the temple was at the hands of the people who had made the city a cauldron filled with the flesh of the people for the elite.
Because of an appetite for the blood of the innocent, and a willingness to consent to the one purse that runs toward evil, the people were captured in the net of their own making which had been set to snare their neighbor for their personal welfare and gain.
“Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.” Ps 69:22.
“And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:” Romans 11:9.
Nimrod in Babylon, a mighty provider instead of the Lord.
The word kosmos originated from the word komizo, meaning "to care for, take care of, provide for" or "carry off what is one's own." Governmental systems organized in the manner of Nimrod, Pharaoh, Caesar first offer benefits, often in the form of a social Democracies.
Plato stated that “Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.” Thomas Jefferson seconded this opinion in his second inaugural address with the comment that, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” He also gave us some insight as to when the transition from democracy to tyranny will take place by his statement, “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
It takes a steady change in the spirit of the people in order to make that transition, but it is often punctuated with major events in history.
Originally, Israel was a government that had no central authority to regulate or compel the people to contribute to the military or to the welfare of society. The responsibility of government was in the hands of the people who made freewill offerings, and served as militia and court.
The welfare was managed through the network of the Levites, who were a unique civil society within their nation. Understanding the mission of Levites as a body politic is critical to understanding the mission of the early Church, and the nature of the Kingdom.
The Pharisees had consistently turned from God's charitable protection. Rome and Judea had become vast welfare states with people looking to government to take care of them, as in the days of Egypt and Babylon. They were covetous. They took comfort in benefits provided at the expense of their neighbor through the elected benefactors who exercised authority over the people. They became trapped in their own scheme, only to discover that they had become little more than merchandise, human resources for tyrants and despots.
The highest authority on earth should be the Almighty Father of us all, in Heaven. That Father of us all should rule through the hearts and minds---of the people, for the people, and by the people. Jesus said to pray only to Our Father in Heaven and to Call no man on earth Father, because the Roman leaders were all addressed as Patri, Father.
Tribute is: “A sum of money paid by an inferior sovereign or state to a superior potentate, to secure the friendship or protection of the latter.” And “Excise (tribute), in its origin, is the patrimonial right of emperors and kings.”
The Pharisees appealed to Rome to get rid of Jesus, but Jesus would not appeal to Rome either for protection or to get rid of the Pharisees. Jesus is King. Had He appealed to Rome for protection He would have compromised the sovereignty of His Kingdom.
Allegiance is: “The obligation of fidelity and obedience which the individual owes to the government under which he lives, or to his sovereign, in return for the protection he receives. It may be an absolute and permanent obligation, or it may be a qualified and temporary one.”
Jesus had been hailed as King by the people, gave instruction in the royal treasury, issued orders in the government temple, and fired personnel. In 78 BC, the Pharisees had an ordinance passed into law requiring the temple tax be paid, or the matter was handed over to the appointed civil magistrates of Judea for enforcement. The Greek word for “moneychangers” was kollubistes ,which was a word for a small coin or “clipped amount”. Kollubistes had to do with the commission charged by the holders of these lucrative offices of the government.
These commissioned moneychangers were likely to bring in an amount in excess of 7,600,000 denarii in that one month. They were allowed to charge a silver meah, or about one-fourth of a denar. Their cut on this one event could be 950,000 denarii, worth more than $9,000,000 today. “Thus the immense offerings … to the Temple passed through the hands of the moneychangers.”
Only the king could fire these gatekeepers of the temple treasury, and that is exactly what Jesus was doing with His string whip, turning over those tables. Understanding who the money-changers were as government officials, and what it meant to be fired from their lucrative commissioned position in the national treasury, brings the motivation of crucifying Jesus into a new and revealing light.
The Sadducees and Pharisees, including the scribes, were just a few of the more dominating political and philosophical groups of Judea which had changed the system preached by Moses and the prophets.
The Sadducees espoused the Hellenizing philosophy of the early Hasmonean princes, which had merged Church and State, allowing the Levites to own land and profit from collected taxes forced on the people by statutes created by the Sanhedrin and the application of the people for the benefits offered by the foolish system of Corban of the Pharisees.
In 78 BC, the Pharisees, a political party, had an ordinance passed, requiring the temple tax be paid or face the judgment of an appointed civil magistrate of the Judean government. Funds flowed into the government’s treasury within the temple, whether it served the people or not. With top-down legislated courts, new statutes, and the fornication of the priests with the government of Herod and Rome, the system served the people less and the people served the government more.
“All government without the consent of the governed
is the very definition of slavery!”
The Kingdom was an alternative form of government which Jesus preached. Moses, Abraham, and the prophets had taught its precepts centuries before. It set men free from the tyranny of men who would rule over their brothers and neighbors, by unifying them in systems of charity and hope, love, and respect for the rights of each other.
Freedom under the God of creation had been a common theme of the Bible from Cain to Revelations. Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Gideon, Moses, and Abraham all sought to set men free and teach them the way of liberty under the God of this planet. Yet modern Churches are often preaching that we are supposed to be subject to rulers.
Jesus was teaching people how a Kingdom of faith, hope, and charity worked. He knew that only freewill offerings, in a society that loved justice and mercy and each other as much as themselves, could establish a treasure of brotherhood that brings us closer to God and secures to us our godly endowment of freedom.
The central treasury of the temple that held the government funds for the welfare system of a nation could be eroded by a selfish populous or robbed by a corrupt bureaucracy. Such a self-destructive system supplanted the natural need for family, the foundation of society, and seduced the people into a slothful state of servitude. Jesus took the Kingdom from those who would suppress and corrupt the people and appointed His faithful followers to be the princes and ambassadors of a Kingdom that set men free in spirit and in truth.
Governments have no inalienable right to rule mankind. They obtain lawful authority through consent. Understanding how that consent is obtained is the first guardian of freedom.
“The real destroyers of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations, and benefits.” For “No one is obliged to accept a benefit against his consent. But if he does not dissent, he will be considered as assenting.” “Every man is presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of his own voluntary acts.”
Why was Jesus’ kingdom not a part of that world? Because the Kingdom of God is and was not a part of the constitutional order of Rome, which by that time in history was exercising authority over the people who applied(or prayed) to it for their benefits and welfare.
Rome had gone from a free republic to an Empire. A once independent and self reliant society had become self indulgent, apathetic, and subject to the whim and will of their chosen Dictators, who called themselves Fathers and benefactors of the people.
Those benefactors forced contribution by the people to provide the welfare for the people by taxation of the people through their system of Roman Qorban or the Herod's Corban, which made the word of God to none effect. Society has always been required by God to make sacrifices to assist the needy of society, but that sacrifice must be freely given to be truly godly and qualify as true charity.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
In Jesus' Kingdom, the needy of society were provided for through freewill offerings of the people who professed Him as King, and God as their Father. His sheep were fed according to the perfect law of liberty, by faith, hope, and charity. It was the world of Rome and the Pharisees that made the provisions of society a blemish on its moral character.
God’s way was the antithesis of these social contracts, oaths, and benefactors who exercise an authority other than God's, the prophets, and Christ's. Moses had required that we love our neighbor as ourselves with freewill offerings to provide for society. Jesus was no different, and if we understood Abraham's altars, we would see the same charity manifest to keep the people out of the hands of Ur and Sodom.
The Kingdom of God, the government of Israel and all those who walked with God would not covet their neighbor's goods through the agency of the institutions of the world.
Is there such a thing as free education, free fire protection, free police services? The benefits of government should be the result of the free will contributions of the people who come to the aid of their neighbor because it is right to do so.
God given rights are also responsibilities. If we will not exercise our responsibilities then we will loose our rights. “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.” Pr. 12:24
“Protection draws to it subjection; subjection protection”
Moses set up a government entirely dependent upon freewill offerings distributed by a system of charitable ministers that served the welfare needs of the families in congregations of tens. They formed a separate body for the ministration of a free state. In Israel the people decided fact and law according to the commandments of God.
When the voice of the people cried out for a commander in chief to fight their battles and to appoint judges from the top down, God called it a rejection of Him. Samuel warned the people about the bondage that would result. The sin of that rejection continues in the world today.
Paul said there were gods many and the God of heaven said we should not make covenants with those gods or the inhabitants of their world. The original word for God and gods in old and new testaments means ruling judges or magistrates. People make men gods over them by praying to them for justice and mercy, by bowing down and serving them in a covetous desire of the benefits they promise.
These precepts and warnings are repeated throughout the Bible.
“When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what [is] before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.” Proverbs 23:1-3
The contractual nature of government requires the consent of the people in waiving their rights, through the offers of benefits supplied at the expense of their neighbor---which is the antithesis of charity. God's Kingdom is a system of faith, hope, and charity that binds families, communities, and nations together in a network of brotherhood so that the people can survive without the benefactors who would make them into merchandise. God's Kingdom operated by the perfect law of liberty, but that liberty can be lost through the sloth and avarice of the people.
At Pentecost, any one who received the baptism of Christ was kicked out of the welfare system established by the Pharisees and were allowed to enter the charitable system established by Christ and his appointed apostles. We see the Church taking on their job, working daily in the temple and tending to appointing porters to tend to the bank of the people, and rightly dividing the daily ministration for the people.
In Ephesus, there was an uproar about the apostles with a reference to robbing the temple there. One of the best-kept secrets of our time is what was actually going on in these temples. We have seen that the temple built by Herod collected vast sums of money and contained a great treasury. Through its administration, it oversaw a welfare program for the needy, built aqueducts, and provided common government services.
The assembly at Ephesus was fashioned according to the doctrines of Diana, i.e. Artemus, in the Asiatic traditions. It’s center was a massive temple similar in design to the front of the US treasury. Each of its 127 columns had been contributed by different government members.
The most interesting thing was its purpose. It contained a great vault, which was considered one of the safest depositories in Asia Minor. This temple actually functioned as a bank. What we might call the “high priest” was also a credit officer making loans and collecting interest, managing valuable property, and in charge of security for those who deposited valuables in the temple in the course of commerce and trade.
It was was literally an underwriter of national social insurance systems. There were regular and sizable contributions by members in the hopes of a secure return, profit, or gain. There was coinage of money and the issuing of scrip. Ephesus was a World Bank of the world order.
Some temples acted as investment houses for mining, trade, and even military ventures. Great returns could be had with such investments in temples like Janus and Diana. The members were investors and the Temple of Diana could seat over 24,000 people.
In the Temple of Saturn there was a common treasury, supported by the general taxes and a special reserve fund, and the aerarium sanctum ---originally consisting of the spoils of war, but maintained chiefly by a 5% tax on slaves who were fired or discharged. It was not to be touched except in cases of extreme necessity.
What was the purpose of the golden calf? It was not mere superstition that motivated them, but practicality and a lack of faith. The people literally deposited their gold on the altar of the golden calf. Gold was deposited into a large statue for all to see. The wealth and the community was melded together into a common purse. They took, in turn, a token of their membership and the promise of security.
No one person could leave in the face of an enemy without leaving behind the golden depository of their wealth. Moses could take the people out of Egypt, but only God, time, and repentance could take Egypt out of the people. The depository of the Kingdom is the purses and pockets of a network of people who love one another.
This practice was used in Athens, who called their golden statue of a god the “reserved fund”. In 406 B.C., at the close of the Peloponnesian war, after a naval disaster, Athens equipped and manned its new fleet by sending the gold statue of the god Nike (in the Parthenon) to the mint.
These idols were not just superstitious mumbo-jumbo, but paganism with a purpose. They were reserved funds established to protect the people and guarantee their loyalty. It also secured the power of the ruling elite. The king of Sodom had put more value on ”his” human resources than the treasure of his city.
Aaron also knew these “arts of the temple” and accommodated the people. But Moses was outraged with the people for entrusting their family wealth in this unrighteous mammon. He knew it would return people to the bondage of Egypt. He called out the Church in the wilderness to undo that mess, the same as Christ called out the Church.
How much gold does the United States have in its Reserves?
There is supposed to be about 530 tons of gold in “reserve fund” at Fort Knox, although they have not had an audit in half a century.
If people of America had the lawful title to just one gold ounce each they would have their own reserve fund. In a vault, some thieves and robbers can steal the whole lot. And since it is not formed into a statue they could do it and you wouldn't even know.
To depend on a networking community based on charity is conducive to brotherly love, while commercial insurance and welfare systems under benefactors who exercise authority usually produces cold hearts.
In fact, God never wanted the people to build the stone temple. The ancient temple of Israel was to be only a tent that moved about. The Holy Spirit did not dwell in the works of men's hands, but in hearts and minds of people who live by faith and hope, charity and love.
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)
The planet did not hate the apostles, but those members of governments that reject God hated the Christians. They spoke evil of the ways of the Lord, even accusing them of turning the world upside down.
“Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:15-16)
John is not talking about not loving the planet. From the beginning, man was meant to have dominion over it and given the command to dress and keep it. It should be clear that the world Jesus is talking about is the world men make for themselves. The ones were people are bound by the contracts they make and the benefits they apply for.
“This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.” The kingdom of Heaven on earth in Spirit and in Truth was a government system of liberty that by its nature was the adversary of the “world” that sought to posses men and make them human resources.
The Bible is a book about godly and ungodly governing of the planet without oppressing our brothers. It is about men who seek to be free souls under God and other men who seek to oppress the people.
Peter warns that because of deceptive words and our own covetousness we would become merchandise and condemned. Since the antithesis of covetousness is charity, then the path to freedom is love.
We should understand that Jesus, Moses, and Abraham were talking about setting people free by teaching them to be a community of Faith, Hope, and Charity. The Church was meant to be a government of service and brotherhood so that all may be free under the perfect law of liberty.
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10, 11
Elements of the world and the kingdom
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:12
Some interpreter of the New Testament suggest that the word “elements” is referring to a future nuclear war. The word “element is from the Greek stoicheion from stoicheo “to proceed ... in order”.
The same words element is also used in Galatians 4:3, in reference to bing “in bondage under the elements of the world.” This is the same “world” which is defined “constitution, order, government.” And, in Galatians 4:9, we see, “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?”
We see the same words in Colossians 2:20, “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,” In Colossians 2:8 we see the Greek word “ordinances” translated “traditions” of that same constitutional order. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” The word spoil means “to carry off booty.”
Mammon does not mean money but is entrusted wealth. Systems that hold the wealth and property of the people for the good of society exercise the right to choose granted to the people by God. Men who seek power seek those offices of power and are corrupted by that power granted by the people. Such systems always fail under corruption, avarice, and over-indulgence because of the spirit of tyranny.
“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)
Mankind has repeatedly been snared by his own wantonness and appetite, his own greed and lust. Man's sinful nature will always bring him back to the bondage of Egypt. He must repent and change his ways in order to be free. Even though he may have to suffer for a season under the burden of his captivity, he must, with honesty and honor, seek to learn the ways of Our Father who are in Heaven.
“No servant 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.” Luke 16:13, Mt. 6:24.
In the process of being freed from bondage, we may continue to pay the Pharaoh a tale of bricks, Herod the Corban of the temple, and Caesar the tribute of the world, but we should not eat of the things sacrificed to these gods of force and fear. They serve deceitful meats and their table is a snare. To be freed of the tyrants of the world you must first be freed from the tyranny in your heart and mind through charity and humility.
The “Kingdom of Heaven” as a phrase only appears in the gospel of Matthew who originally wrote in Aramaic. In translating from Aramaic to Greek, the word malkuthach becomes basileia ouranos, or Kingdom of Heaven. It actually means a “realm”. The word ouranos in Plato’s Dialogues is translated “world”. Ouranos, is from a root word meaning “to cover, encompass” meaning the “vaulted expanse of the sky”, from the outer edge of the atmosphere to the center of the earth. The Kingdom of Heaven is the Kingdom of the World.
Rome recognized Jesus as a king of an autonomous government in the world but not of the world of Rome. If God's kingdom was of the world of Rome Christ would have plead His case before Pilate who was sitting in the judgment seat of Rome. Jesus claimed Pilate lacked jurisdiction because His kingdom was not of the world of Pilate.
If Christ is our king and we are ruled by God, then why are we subject to the ordinances of benefactor who exercise authority? Why are we under tribute? Have we left the path to the kingdom of God and crossed over the line into the “world” and grip of Caesar?
"It is trite law that His Majesty's subjects are free if they can make their own arrangements so that their cases may fall outside the scope of the taxing Acts. They incur no legal penalties and, strictly speaking, no more censure if, having considered the lines drawn by the Legislature for the imposition of taxes, they make it their business to walk outside them."
We are all in the world God created, but we should not be of the world of Rome? Have we prayed and bowed down to Roman gods? Have we been snared by the unrighteous mammon? Have we been spoiled through the philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of that world. The kingdom of Heaven that was preached by Christ and the prophets is the godly arrangement that allows men to be subject to the “higher liberty” under the God of Heaven walking outside the ordinances of men, living in the world but not of it.
Repent, and seek the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.
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