The Higher Right to Choose
“You can fool all of the people some of the time and You can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln.
When I first began to talk about government and the Bible in the same paragraphs, I heard people respond with quotes from Romans 13 probably more than any other verse. It Reads:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Romans 13: 1
Of course we should honor true authority, such as our Father and Mother, or others that God places over us (or we go under by contract and agreement), but is that even what Romans 13 is talking about? Have we been completely misled about the meaning of that scripture by Paul?
"A truth's initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn't the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn't flat. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic."
The Greek word exousia translated in Romans 13:1 as power or authority actually means the "right to choose", the “power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases."
It is also translated as the word "right" in Revelations.
Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have [exousia] right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
The whole idea of the tree of life is about choice and the right to choose, to obey God, and follow him and not your own willfulness. Nor are we to go under the will of other men and their created institutions which may establish an authority over us as we see with Cain, Nimrod and Pharaoh.
Paul is simply telling you in Romans 13 that you should remain subject to the better or higher liberty or right to choose.
Exousia is even translated as "liberty" in 1 Corinthians.
“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” 1Co 8:9
The word liberty in this verse is the same word translated power in Romans 13.
Christ came to set men free not to deliver them into the bondage of governments like those of Egypt or Babylon. Early Christians were part of a government appointed by Christ and were cast out of the Hellenized Pharisaical system of Corban in Judea when thousands accepted Christ at Pentecost. They began to live according to those precepts established in the perfect law of liberty, by faith, hope and charity. This was done with freewill offerings, and not the covetous and forced offerings of benefactors in other governments who exercised authority.
The ministers appointed by Christ were told they were not to be like those governments of the other nations, who offered benefits to the people but exercised authority one over the other. They were not to use the right arm of government to enforce the charitable contributions on the left side of government. All the offerings in Christ's government were free will contributions under that perfect law of liberty.
Dunamis, dunamai, didomi, arche, ischus, ischuros, kratos and energes all appear in the New Testament as forms of the word 'power' but have decidedly different meanings than exousia. The appearance of the word 'power' in the translated text of Romans is misleading many people concerning the consistent ideas expressed by the authors of the Bible. In fact the confusion and misunderstanding is rampant in these modern times due to this subtle but pervasive sophistry.
The word ex-ousia is from two Greek words. Ex means 'of' or 'from', while ousia is "what one has, i.e. property, possessions, estate". Paul is simply telling you that you should remain subject to the right to choose the manner in which your property is distributed as freemen under Christ. From the Beginning, God gave mankind the right to choose. He stopped the rise of Nimrod's Babylonian tower, freed the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt, and has always desired that man be subject to liberty under God the Father and not other gods of men. What would happen if we take the word 'exousia' and translate it "liberty" as we see in 1 Corinthians 8:9 and place it where we find exousia in other of Paul's writings:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher liberty. For there is no liberty but of God: the liberties that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth (opposes) the liberty, resisteth (opposes) the ordinance of God: and they that resist (sets one's self against) shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the liberty? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.” Romans 13: 1,3
Liberty is the power to choose to do something. It is a free estate. Liberty is frightening to many people because it also means responsibility. If you have given the power or right to choose to someone or something else, then they have power over you. But if you have made no such covenants or agreements then you keep your original right to choose, your free dominion granted by God.
The word resisteth is from antitassomai and is defined as "to range in battle against". Resisteth is not the same as refusing to go under an authority or refusing to swear an oath of allegiance. Nor does resisteth have anything to do with not applying for benefits that might be considered deceitful dainties offered at the tables of the ruling powers. The word resisteth has to do with overt battle and railing against these powers and authorities that are established by individual agreement, consent or application and participation. .
The word damnation is another one of those legal terms that has been twisted into a religious context only. The word is krima and means "a decree, judgments… the sentence of a judge… a matter to be judicially decided, a lawsuit, a case in court". Jesus was very much concerned with the activities of lawyers, judges and governments.
Couple this with the fact that both the words elohim and theos, which are translated God and gods, were commonly used in all the courts Israel and the Roman Empire to address magistrates and judges, and we began to see that to go under damnation would include going under the authority of other judges and courts. This can be done by entering into social welfare contracts, three party marriage contracts, or membership that allowed rulers of political bodies to make treaties and leagues for you. It would also include applications and acceptance of benefits from the benefactors who exercised authority one over the other to enforce a common welfare. These were the doctrines and creeds of the Nicolaitan.
No translation of the Bible is perfect because words are not perfect. Although it is reasonable, as a matter of faith, to believe that the original authors were inspired there is no logical reason to believe that one translation is inspired more than another. Words are only "signs of ideas," and there is often more than one idea included in each word.
Words can have a variety of meanings and are therefore always subjective. The word powers has over a dozen different definitions in The American Heritage alone. The first is "The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively." This of course includes the idea of the liberty and freedom to choose to act.
The sixth definition is, "The might of a nation, political organization, or similar group." This could lend the definition of the word power to the idea that there is a superior power or government we are to be subject to. But is it by God putting a government in power, or is it due to our own rejection and sloth? Then there is the fifteenth definition appearing as: "powers Christianity. The sixth of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology."
So, which of these definitions should we apply to Paul's Romans 13, to say nothing of the thirteen other definitions found in the Heritage Dictionary for the same word, powers? This of course is why we should go back to the original manuscript in order to determine what the original intent of the author was and therefore what is the truth for us today.
We have already seen earlier in this article that there are more than a half a dozen different words translated into power in the New Testament alone. We should examine the early Greek text to determine what the intent of the author was, and which definition of a word or meaning should be used or applied in the translated text and therefore in our thinking.
Even the religiously skewed Strong's clearly states that the word exousia is used in the sense of ability and uses words like "capacity, competency, freedom..." By pointing out that exousia is translated in the King James Bible as power 69 times, authority 29 times, right twice and liberty, jurisdiction, strength once each, we still cannot establish what the prime meaning of the word was when it was written down. We can establish that its meaning leans towards the idea of capacity and power of choice than exclusively the power of government.
Twisting or Straightening?
I have been accused of twisting the inspired text simply by examining its origins. I often quote other sources, including the same Bible translations themselves. Those who cannot accept the idea that they have been deluded by 500 years of post-Inquisition sophistry, and 2000 years of creeping apostasy, may find it difficult to accept the truth no matter how clearly it is laid out.
One person wrote, "So, produce an ancient Bible or manuscript pre-inquisition that has your reading."
There is a clear and reasonably concise pre-inquisition Bible and manuscript available. It is the early Greek texts. But again, we are faced with current religious sophistry if we are going to use only modern religion-based Greek Lexicons. We need to discover, not what people have been led to believe the text means, but what those words meant at the time they were included in the original manuscript. The same is true of more modern documents like the Constitution for the united States or the Magna Carta.
There is fairly conclusive evidence that the modern Church has been steadily deluded and deluding others---through many years by either negligence or design, arrogance or ignorance.
To look at how the word exousia was used by the Greeks and Romans in the days of Christ and the authors of those sacred texts we can simply examine the scholars of that era. The meaning we derived is quite the opposite of that which we get from the translators of King James and others.
The Greek Glossary of Aristotelian Terms states that exousia means "right".
Aristotle actually exemplifies its use in the statement, "The right (exousia) to do anything one wishes..."
And in Plato's notes "Greek words for freedom (is) eleutheros (liberal/Free), exousia (Freedom/Power to do something), ..."
Again in Bryn Mawr's Classical Review we see, "Enomaos maintained that we are absolutely masters of the most necessary things (52-53). Brancacci notices that the term used by Enomaos to refer to human freedom is not the typical Cynic one (eleutheria), but exousia, which expresses 'the new concept of freedom in opposition to the already defunct and unhelpful eleutheria'."
The evidence is clear that exousia does not mean governmental top down power, but rather undoubtedly means the right to choose. To use these few quotes to attempt to insert the idea that everyone should apply to authoritarian benefactors to care for every aspect of society does the gospel of the kingdom of God a brutal injury. Exousia clearly relates to a capacity or a right to decide. It certainly does not inherently mean an absolute or even far reaching central government power over individual choice.
We know that men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights or liberties. We also know that some governments of men are endowed by their creator with some powers of choice and authority. These men are those who go out of the presence of God and even reject God, men like Cain, Nimrod, Pharaoh, Caesar, and the voice of the people who rejected God in the days of Samuel. Those governments are created by the hands of men not by the hand of God the Father who desired us to have free choice from the beginning of creation. These governments are vested with those right and powers which men neglect, give up or, sell out in order to obtain the often imagined protection and profit, the surety and security, the benefits, bounties and blessings of those bound and civilized societies. Such as these socialized association of civil servitude (in return for their gifts and gratuities) require full faith and allegiance to their ideals and idols. Their prescribed pledges, prideful pomp and preponderating programs take the right to choose from men and bestow it upon the beast of a burgeoning bureaucracy.
“What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose; the right to create for yourself the alternative of choice. Without the responsibility and exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing.”
The rights granted to governments are rights first granted to men by God. Governments are not instituted by God, but by men. Men who choose to create governments by giving away their divine endowment of rights and responsibilities are rejecting God. Governments operate on privileges granted them by the slothful, greedy, covetous souls of men. It is the voice of the people that rejects God, at least by the suffrage of the people. This binding on earth may or may not be lawfully revocable in the eyes of God, depending on the nature and terms of their compact, constitution, and covenant.
Men have the option of vesting the right to choose and an accompanying authority in government, or to maintain that power and right as free men under God. Rights are responsibilities. When men make government responsible then governments obtain rights. Only to that degree do governments have any power or authority.
When men chose to vest responsibilities in men like Saul, God warned them through Samuel not to do so. Power corrupts. But the subject in this article on Romans 13 is that exousia is the right of choice which was originally in the hands of men. It is the right of choice, granted first to the individual that is the higher authority spoken of in Romans 13.
If men consistently give up their responsibility through sloth and their rights through covetous social compacts, it is no wonder that they end up as merchandise or human resources of authoritarian Benefactors. Christ preached a kingdom of responsible love and generous good Samaritan offerings, a government of love of neighbor.
If we do not have the humility to recognize our own error and failure, then we will remain subject to the sophistic delusions of those who wish to keep you subject in body and in spirit rather than set free in spirit and in truth.
The Covenants of the gods outlines many ways in which we physically become subject to the world, but the reason we fall prey to such ancient schemes is that we fail to love the character of our Father in heaven and the kingdom that comes by obeying His will. Thy Kingdom Comes outlines the history of His kingdom. We are slothful and covetous and will not forgive and give of ourselves for the sake of our neighbor.
The spirit and power of the kingdom of God is always at hand. It is not of the world of Rome, Egypt, and Babylon but it is on this planet if it is in the hearts of the people.
God and gods
In both Old and New Testament, the words "gods" and "God" are generally translated from the same Hebrew or Greek word. Both words figuratively mean "a magistrate." They are words that designate an office of ruling judge and were used commonly to address men from judges to kings. Even Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" John 10:34.
To commonly address a judge as god in Hebrew, Roman, or Greek courts at the time of Christ should change the entire way you read your modern Bibles. Is this why Paul says:
“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many...”)? 1 Corinthians 8:5.
The word god is an office not the name of the creator of heaven and earth.
“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 Corinthians 8:6.
Men put other men in this office of god while imagining they are serving the God of Heaven. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and this does much to remove men from the ways of our Father in Heaven. Should we give men the power to rule over us?
People are entering into relationships with institutions and their appointed gods and their administrators, or appointed judges. “For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are gods' ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”
What does the Bible say about being under tribute in Proverbs 12:24?
“The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.”
Yes, we should do as Romans 13:7-8 states:
“Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe no man any thing.”
But how is it that you owe Caesar? Have we sinned already? Jesus was king. The Pharisees said they had no king but Caesar. The apostles said there was another king. The Pharisees kicked the followers of Christ out of the system of Corban much like the Israelites were kicked out of Egypt.
People go under the authority of Caesar because they apply for the entitlements of Caesar. At that point Caesar gains an entitlement to the people. This comes about because people desire or covet the goods and benefits of Caesar. A problem arises, because Caesar gets the funds for those benefits from your neighbor by compelled contributions, as opposed to charity.
By this covetous method we place ourselves in this subject position through application, participation and contract, whether implied, constructed, or executed. By this covetousness we give men the power to be our ruling judges, which is to say gods over us. We become merchandise or human resources. We go under authority and come under the jurisdiction and power of these rulers.
In Luke 23:7, exousia is translated jurisdiction simply because they use it to describe Herod's right to decide an issue.
“And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.”
Is jurisdiction incorrect here? Doesn't the jurisdiction of government include the right to choose? The fact is, Herod Antipas accepted Christ as the rightful heir to the throne in Jerusalem. This idea of being under another authority or the right of an individual ruler to choose for you is a common theme in the Bible from Nimrod to Pharaoh. This is why Paul says he will not go under the power of any.
“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.” 1Co 6:12
This quote in 6:12 is consistent with Paul in 1Corinthians 7:21.
"Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather."
Commonly people reply with, "But Paul was a citizen of Rome."
Was Paul a subject citizen under the authority of Rome? The answer is simply, no. The Bible does not say he was a subject citizen of Rome. It actually states something clearly different, but one needs to understand the meaning of the words at a particular time in history and the structure and nature of citizenship at that time. Paul was not a subject Roman citizen. Could it be true that we have been misled on this subject? Is this more sophistry, twisting the meaning of words?
The fact is most people who think they are Christians or followers of Christ are actually abandoning the gospels as a matter of daily policy and practice. Is this true? Why? Are they the victims of centuries of religious sophistry?
The reasons people are subject to the powers of governments is because they have listened to great swelling words and by coveting the benefits supplied by a "Benefactor" who exercises authority they have become merchandise, human resources.
"Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many Citizens, because of respect for the law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their rights due to ignorance."
Those authoritarian government Benefactors obtain the funds to give you benefits at the expense of your neighbor. You are eligible for those benefits financed by your neighbor because you have applied or prayed to the gods of a system instituted by men, a system that is not like what Christ preached and called the kingdom of God, it is more like the system that persecuted Christians, e.g. Rome.
Jesus did not preach a religion, but a kingdom. A form of government whereby people could live together under the perfect law of liberty. He told you over and over that it was at hand and with in your reach. He told you to go and preach it, and seek it and His righteousness. He said it did not come by observation but by doing the will of His Father in Heaven. He said it was for the living, not for the dead. Yet, the Churches on the corner tell you that you only go to the kingdom when you die or that it will come through observations if you wait...
Meanwhile they not only have people applying to authoritarian governments for the benefit of that daily ministration, but the churches have for the most part become entities or corporations of the very state which subjects the people. It is the people's prayers to the state, their oaths and application to that exercising authority that has made them subject.
A Deeper look into ROMANS 13 verse 1
True Christians have always been in the minority so why would they place their hopes for salvation on a democracy? The solution is the same today under this modern Romanized government, as it was in the time of Christ. Seek the kingdom which is a viable and godly alternative and all else will be provided and fit into place.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher liberty. For there is no liberty but of God: the liberties that be are ordained of God.” Romans 13 1
Note here in Romans 13 that the word soul is used rather than man or body. In law the soul of a living individual would include both the corporeal and incorporeal hereditaments of personality [that is to say “rights that can be inherited in his estate, both tangible and intangible.”]. Those rights cease when our breath ceases and life, granted by God, stops. This Greek word is translated soul 58 times, life 40 times, also mind 3 and heart 1 time. It is not the same as the word spirit, which is concerned with the motivation, power, and character of the individual---and is commonly translated from pneuma.
“Are men the property of the state? Or are they free souls under God?
This same battle continues throughout the world?”
The word 'subject' is from the word hupotasso and means to "obey; to submit to one's control, to yield to one's admonition or advice."
The word higher is similar and is from huperecho, "to have or hold over one", and denotes the idea of better. The verse clearly has to do with the fact that all life is subject to one system of authority or another. The choice is the authority of God over man or another system of authority like the corporate cities or civil authorities of man over men; Cain, Lemeck, Nimrod, Pharaoh, Caesar, etc.
“Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another [man’s] conscience?” 1 Corinthians 10:29.
The word exousia has to do with the "power of choice, the liberty of doing as one pleases". In 1Corinthians 9, Paul talks about Moses' governmental system of free will offerings where the people maintained the right to choose how and what they would contribute to the ministers of that government, the Levites. It was originally a government of hope and faith that depended, for the support of the brethren, upon the free will choice of the people gathered in congregations of ten families.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
“For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. ... this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power [exousia, right to choose] over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power [exousia, right to choose]; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.”
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13
Paul is repeating a precept of the Old Testament. If the apostles, as the appointed ministers, had the power to exercise authority, then they could muzzle the ox and compel offerings to support the ministration of the appointed kingdom at hand but they, as Christian ministers, could rely only on the hope of contributions leaving the original power of choice of, for, and by the people.
The word exousia is also used by the Centurion when talking to Jesus in Matthew 8:9:
“For I am a man under authority [of authority], having soldiers under me: and I say to this [man], Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth [it].”
The Greek word hupo is seldom translated under, but commonly appears as the word of. The Greek phrase under authority is from hupo exousia meaning of the power or capacity of choice.
The Centurion was a man of authority over men because they had taken oaths to obey, while the Centurion, as an officer, also had taken an oath to obey for a term of years. They were bound in a system of rank and authority, not so much that his office came from God over men but because he and men by oath had gone under a system of rules. God holds us to our words.
“The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” Luke 4:18
Exousia also appears in Matthew 7:29, where it refers to Jesus being in authority. "For he taught them as [one] having authority..." Jesus spoke freely and did not depend on the dogma or dictates of the Pharisees. Jesus was not under an oath and even told us not to take such oaths and pledges of allegiance which will bring us under authority. Jesus had the power of choice as to what to teach, to fire the money Changers, instruct workers in the treasury. He had the right as the highest son of David and king which all the people proclaimed as he entered Jerusalem.
“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” 1 Peter 2:15
“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we ...are come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2
“Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, [one] Jesus.” Acts 17:7
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17
“Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;” 1 Timothy 6:15
“And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS...” John 19:19-22
“...Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king...” John 18:37
Snared and Hooked
Some people believe that this one verse [Romans 13:1] in the Bible sentences all men to the arbitrary authority of rulers and governments as if all "governments" as institutions of power and force are of God and that they can do no wrong. Nothing could be farther from the truth nor more opposed to God's plan and His Kingdom of righteousness. God does not want man snared under benefactors who exercise authority, kings that serve deceitful dainties.
“Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.” Proverbs 6:2
Many have gone under exercising authority by taking an oath, applying for benefits and participating in some social welfare system involving our submission and waiving of a right to choose. Jesus clearly advises against these practices with his stand on oaths, Corban and the giving of alms.
The warning about not taking oaths is clear in Matthew 5:34 and again emphasized in James 5:12
“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”
Beginning in Mark 7:11-13, Jesus condemns a social entitlement program called Corban when He accuses the Pharisees of "Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."
The word paradosis, translated tradition, is a legal term and is also translated ordinance. The word means "giving up, giving over; the act of giving up; the surrender of cities: a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing." By applying to these schemes of social benefit one is often "expanding the written law" through this thing called paradosis.
The word 'fall' is from pipto meaning "to descend from a higher place to a lower" and is often used as a "metaphor to fall under judgment, came under condemnation" as a matter of rank. If we do not go under additional authorities by participation, application or overt binding commitments, such as oaths and pledges of allegiance and loyalty, we remain free to serve God in a clear unrestricted state of God-given rights and due conscience.
It is very clear that authority, whether governmental or otherwise, is granted by consent. It is our consent according to the Law of God that such authority is often ordained even though God and Christ told us repeatedly not to do so. We have been told to “Thou shalt not consent unto him.” “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”
Peter certainly continued to contradict the idea of automatic submission to men (or at least absolute submission) in Acts 5:29 “Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, 'We ought to obey God rather than men.'"
The word swear is from omnuo and means "to affirm, promise". To add to a word to your 'yes' or 'no' is so dangerous in the area of agreements, authority or jurisdiction Jesus said no matter "… whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." These warnings are clearly a continuation of the Old Testament precepts, which stated this over and over. Abraham left Ur, Israel was brought out of Egypt and learned to live without a king or a ruling body consisting of men who were exercising authority over other men and demanding allegiance.
“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
In Psalms 69:22 David says, "Let their table become a snare before them: and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap." We find this repeated in Romans 11 concerning the Gentiles, again by Paul, the author of Romans 13.
These constant prohibitions in the Old Testament, repeated in the New, to not make covenants or applications with strangers and heathens or anyone not having the same values and ways of God are still viable today to those who seek the kingdom.
The Fishy Tax Story
Jesus again amplifies this idea of tempering the words of your mouth to prevent going under tribute, in the episode where Peter misstated that Jesus and His disciples were subject to the tribute tax.
“And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.” Matthew 17:24, 27
Jesus clearly disagreed with Peter's rash statement but required him to obtain the coins because Peter said that they paid the tax and Jesus knew they should not give offense. The offense would be to do contrary to what Peter had said. Peter had to make his yes, yes.. Jesus himself would not touch the coins, nor did they take them from their purse or give coins for the other members who did not speak out of turn.
The Constitution of God
Why did God bring men out of earthly governments like Babylon, Ur, Haran, and Egypt? Did God lead men away from the rule of men throughout the Old Testament and then suddenly in the New Testament reverse His opinion and decide it was now alright again to bring men back into bondage? The fact is that God did not want us to go under benefactors of authority, nor did Paul.
“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
Jesus preached a kingdom, a government of righteousness. He removed the rulers of one that exercised authority, and then appointed a kingdom of servants with no top down authority. God, the Father in Heaven, has endowed men with certain inalienable rights. He has done so because those rights, being also responsibilities, are conducive to growth and lead men to a physical and spiritual maturity. But, "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many Citizens, because of respect for the law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their rights due to ignorance."
Here is where many proclaiming a belief in Jesus Christ and a faith in God the Father fall short of taking His name. They do not understand that through their traditions they are Making the word of God of none effect. They have coveted their neighbors' goods and desired the benefits of the rulers of their society. They have gone under the “Benefactors who exercise authority one over the other.” Luke 22:25
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Mt.7:21)
Israel and Judea were governments, and they were to have constitutions that were in accordance with the ways of God the Father. This was also true of the followers of Jesus who claimed that Jesus was their King. So what is a Christian constitution? Is it the will of the Father in Heaven that you go under the authority of men by consensual contracts (or quasi contracts of application and participation) in order to receive their benefits that are paid for with the compelled offerings of your neighbor?
“Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.” Exodus 23:32 [De. 7:2, De. 13:8 ]
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.
“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
Over and over in the Bible, God is telling men not to pledge allegiance to men or the organizations they create with there own hands. If we pledge allegiance or apply for their gifts, gratuities and benefits they become our Benefactors, Soter or Pater Patriae, Patonus, our father.
Yes, God allows men to have Kings and Rulers if they so choose. He allows men to make these covenants and contracts. He allows men to create their civil states such as those of Cain and Lemech, or Egypt and Rome. But God the Father's true desire for man is to walk with him and live 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
There are many ways that men go under the arbitrary authority of men. Ultimately those who go under the rulers of the gentiles are a surety for their power and authority. It is those subject citizens who make the mighty men and rulers of the world.
We are repeatedly told in Biblical precepts not to make leagues with other nations, and not to pledge allegiance to governments that can make leagues or treaties for us.
Before John Wycliffe was imprisoned by the government, and his body burned at the stake by the orthodox Church 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 kings rather than the once free nation of God where every man was prince in his own house and there “was no king in Israel.”
Moses had known the weakness of the people. They would eventually desire a central king. He prophetically warned the people what such rulers would be inclined to do and wisely established constitutional limitation for those chosen governing authority.
That government leader was to be from among thy brethren. They were not to set a stranger over them as an authority. Brethren had to do with the same Father which of course is God the Father. We know that those who are of the Father know the Father and do His will.
The king was not to multiply horses. God was not concerned with the king owning horses. He qualifies this statement by correlating the multiplying of horses to the returning to Egypt which was absolutely forbidden.
“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 its geographical location 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.
“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
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
Babylon, Egypt, and 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 with 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 ]
No treaty making powers were allowed by God in His government. The bar against the multiplying of wives was another of many constitutional 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 in the making of treaties. Because the people are bound under the king then the king by his agreements can bind the whole nation. In a pure republic where the leaders remain titular they cannot bind the people. The whole body must sign because each one remains free.
“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 neighbors 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. God made it clear through Samuel that the voice of the people showed that their hearts 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 this government leader would eventually be.
“And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;” 1 Samuel 8:11-19
Law and justice---as well as national security---had been in the hands of the people who assembled themselves in voluntary militias or armies based on a pattern of tens and fifties, hundreds and thousands. These 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.
Saul was chosen because he was a great man who defended justice and fought for the rights of the people. But once he was given the power of a king he was tempted by that power. At one of the first signs of trouble he compelled a tax on the people.
There was a measured loss of liberty when the people sinned against God and asked Samuel to establish a centralized government which now was Benefactor to the nation imposed taxes or 'sacrifice', and appointed officers over the people. Men rejected God's kingdom and the voice of the people elected men to make laws, rule with exercising authority, collect the contributions like a tax rather than a free will offering and generally rule over every man and his neighbor.
Once, when there was a threat of invasion and Samuel had not arrived, Saul took matters into his own hands. Fearing that he would not have the resources to fight the enemy he did a very foolish thing in violation of the constitution of God..
“And Samuel said, What hast thou done?… I forced myself therefore [In Wycliffe's translation we see this as, "I was compelled by need], and offered a burnt offering.” 1 Samuel 13:11
The word offered here 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.
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 taken them out of all Kingdoms like that, so that no ruler could take from them any more or rule over or oppress them again. The people did not trust in God's way but desired to compel their neighbor to be bound under a single leader to assure their security. Samuel had them present themselves according to the assembled units of the congregation and the tribes.
“And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you: And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.” 1 Samuel 10:18-19
Former freewill contributions became compulsory and the nation was no longer sustained by love of neighbor but by the demands of governing agents. This power corrupted the leaders, even though it was to be limited according to the constitution laid out by Moses. This evil system, contrary to the nature of God, also spread to the temple where the priests soon began to demand a temple tax with the aid of the King's right hand.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1.
Deliver thyself from the hand of the hunter,
“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, [if] thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” Proverbs 6:1-5
"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." Because, "Every man is presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of his own voluntary acts."
“He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the hunter before theLORD.” Genesis 10:9
In Genesis 10:9, the word hunter is from the Hebrew word tsayid which is more often translated provision, food, food-supply, or victuals. The word paniym is translated before in the sense in the face of, before or in stead of. It could be said that “Nimrod was a mighty provider instead of the LORD.”
It is not only by overt consent that a just and actual authority is established by governments and assented to by individuals, but also by application for or the acceptance of benefits gratuities, entitlements and privileges not owed. These entitlement systems demand a corresponding entitlement of allegiance and service. They exercise a power and dominion not intended by God the Father.
See Matthew 20:25, Mark 10:42, and Luke 22:25.
"Membership in a political society, implying a duty of allegiance on the part of the member and a duty of protection on the part of society." "Protection draws to it subjection; subjection protection" Allegiance is, "'The tie or ligamen which binds the subject [or citizen] to the king [or government] in return for that protection which the king [or government] affords the subject, [or citizen]' It consists in 'a true and faithful obedience of the subject to his sovereign.'" We are told that we are to give our allegiance to men and governments, or to ideas and documents, but is that what God really intended?
Few rulers in history have not abused power. They often establish order but at what cost. Responsibility breeds character. Entitlements breed apathy and avarice. Power corrupts. This is why Abraham left Ur, Israel left Egypt, and Moses established a government with no central powers. But men continue to return to the vomit, and wallow in the mire, binding themselves under tribute, due to their ignorance, apathy, avarice and sloth.
What State do you live in? A State is, "That quality which belongs to a person in society, and which secures to and imposes upon him different rights and duties in consequence of the difference of that quality."
"Although all men come from the hands of nature upon an equality, yet there are among them marked differences… Three sorts of different qualities which form the state or condition of men may, then, be distinguished: those which are purely natural, those purely civil, and those which are composed of natural and civil or municipal law."
God has said, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Because of its importance it bears repeating, the words "gods" and "God" are translated from the single word 'elohiym in the plural. 'Elohiym is defined: "rulers, judges" and was "applied as deference to magistrates", while in the New Testament the word God is translated from the Greek word theos which figuratively means "a magistrate."
God expounds that, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:" The words graven image comes from pecel meaning "idol, image" while likeness is translated from temuwnah meaning "something portioned (i.e. fashioned) out… likeness, similitude."
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."
Income tax is an excise tax. "Excise (tribute), in its origin, is the patrimonial right of emperors and kings." If income tax is a patrimonial right then it is a right of the Father to receive honor from his children. It actually stems from the ancient commandment to honor your father. It is from the Hebrew word kabad meaning to make heavy, give weight to or to fatten. The government becomes the father of the nation, Pater Patriae and demands Parens Patriae requiring your contribution.
Men have done this in every age. Men make constitutions, pledge allegiance, strike hands in agreement, and fill out applications to corporate entities created by human imagination to gain security. By doing so they themselves become surety for another and go under the authority and power of those man created institutions even though it is written, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:"
Serve is translated from `abad meaning "to work (in any sense); by implication to serve…" Because men apply to other men and the systems they create for security and protection they also in turn go under those authorities. They give away their responsibility and therefore their rights. Men have developed an appetite for the dainties of the tables of rulers and governments of men. They have again returned to the bondage of Egypt where they serve their Benefactor who exercises authority.
Elements of the kingdom
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19
“ 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
Many will tell you that this is when our God of Heaven brings destruction to the planet. The word world is the same 'world' which Jesus said his kingdom was not a part of. It does not mean planet but means constitutional order. This was a jurisdictional statement in court.
The same words element and world are again found in Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. Here the author is speaking of bondage in a legal system. And also in Galatians 4:9 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?
If Christ was a king and He preached a kingdom, and He told us to preach the kingdom was at hand, then why would a man of Christ preach that we should go under any other kingdom or governmental authority? It is clear Jesus and Paul did not.
Again in Colossians 2:8 we see the Greek word for elements translated as rudiments 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.” Here, the author is again not speaking of atomic structure but of philosophy and vain deceit. And again 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,”
Why are we subject to the ordinances of men? Why are we under tribute? Why do we serve a government who stands in the position of Father, who is a Benefactor to the people? Why are we a part of governments who exercise authority one over another?
The first centralized civil authority was Cain. Abraham left the city State. Israel was a nation designed to not have a king or central governmental authority or central bank. Its Ministers were not to go up by steps.
They were taken out of such systems by Moses and told to not return to the ways of Egypt. Samuel warned what would happen if you made men rulers over you and Moses had given them a constitution for each ruler to read.
“Thou shalt in any wise set [him] king over thee… he shall not… cause the people to return to Egypt… Ye shall henceforth return no more that way… neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” Deuteronomy 17:15
Jesus appointed a kingdom to those who follow His ways. “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;” Luke 22:29. And then He told them how it was to be run. And he said unto them, 'The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.'” Luke 22:25-26
Israel was a government, not a religion. Judea was its Remnant. Yes, it was a system of faith, hope and law. All governments are systems, but not all are of faith and hope. Some are based on entitlements, force and allegiance.
John and Jesus preached a Kingdom and we were told to do the same. Ministers of God preach what Christ said to preach. The kingdom of Heaven is at hand. It is His government that we should be seeking and teaching. It is not financed by coveting your neighbors' goods through the agency of authoritarian benefactors. As the bondservants of His Holy Church we are "to receive, preserve, and propagate His doctrines and ordinances." We are not to make the word of God to none effect. We are to feed His sheep in spirit and in truth, not lead them into bondage.
We are to lead the people in the ways of Christ, to His kingdom and His righteousness, with no god or father on earth but God Almighty and His Father in Heaven.
Jesus loves those who can receive the meat of His teachings, the milk of His kindness and breath and the mercy of His forgiveness. The word that was translated as element in the New Testament also is translated as principles in Hebrews 5:12 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”
We may let men remain under authority they have chosen to apply to and become subject to, but God wants you to seek and serve Him alone. He sent His Son to purchase you from those other authorities of earth by His sacrifice. In His kingdom your redemption is sealed by His blood with the proclamation of Caesar nailed to the cross. “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”
The word testament is from diatheke which is the same word translated into covenant. It means a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid. It is His covenant which we should be validating with our lives, His government that we should be seeking and applying to for our benefit.
His government operates under the perfect law of liberty by Faith, Hope and Charity, not force, control and violence. His law and traditions and way is the acceptance of responsibility for, of and by the people seeking His kingdom. His Kingdom sets men free to serve God through serving one another in love and charity, while other governments that do contrary to His way bind men to the service of others.
We are to love the ways of God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. The tyranny of neighbor over neighbor to be secure in our sin is anti-Christ. We should turn around and go the other way rather than convert to the Caesars of this world with the voice of a people who have already rejected God.
Jesus preached His kingdom at hand in one word. In the Epistles of Paul it is translated Charity but in the Gospels of Christ the same word is translated as Love.