In a Jewish worship service the ancient blessings of praise and thanksgiving to God such as Sh'ma, Amidah (Standing Prayer) or Tfilah (The Prayer) are often recited and Psalms might be sung.
The modern Christian worship service often includes singing both traditional Christian hymns and choruses or more modern renditions of songs and praises, scripture reading and a sermon.
Such communal activities give participants a sense of fellowship and solemnity but is this what worshiping is about? Does God want singing and praise or justice and mercy?
“Justice and judgment [are] the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” Psalms 89:14
In the military the day starts with a pledge of allegiance and solemn raising of the flag. It is common to see several hundred men marching in cadence singing in union. Are these also forms of worship? Could we also include as worship the staid rising to sing the Star Spangled Banner at political conventions or ball games or rising for a judge at his entry into the courtroom?
The word worship in modern dictionaries is defined, "The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object." Before early Americans came from England it was common to use the word worship, "as a form of address for magistrates, mayors, and certain other dignitaries."
Nothing has contributed to the control of the mind of man than the ability to alter the meaning of words. Words may be changed but the original meaning is for ever locked in time and history.
A little over a hundred years ago, in Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary the word worship is found defined, "homage rendered to God which it is sinful (idolatry) to render to any created being (Ex. 34:14; Isa. 2:8). Such worship was refused by Peter (Acts 10:25,26) and by an angel (Rev. 22:8,9)".
Easton says worship is homage which is "Ceremonial acknowledgment by a vassal of allegiance to his lord under feudal law." This seems closer to the meaning of the authors of scripture than singing on Sabbath or Sunday. What any word means in a Biblical sense is dependent upon the meaning and intent of the author and does not change with modern opinions, philosophies or doctrines.
The word worship in the New Testament is consistently from the Greek word proskuneo which is formed from two words, the preposition unto or to and the word for dog. It literally meant “meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.”
Worship in the Old Testament
The Greek word proskuneo is consistently translated worship in the New Testament but since Jesus did not preach in Greek we may assume that proskuneo is simply the Greek substitute for the Hebrew word translated worship. But there is not just one Hebrew word translated into worship and the words that are translated into worship are not consistently translated the same..
One Hebrew word translated worship first appears in Genesis 22:5, "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."
We are to believe by the traditional translation of the text that Abraham is going off to worship God and make a sacrifice of his son as he believed that was the will of God. Here the word worship was shachah which means "to bow down" in the sense of obeisance as in the recognition of rank. This is not the first place shachah, [hxv Shin, Chet Hei], appears in the Testaments.
“And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw [them], he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,” Genesis 18:2
The Hebrew word we often see as worship is also translated bow 31 times, bow down 18, obeisance 9, reverence 5, fall down 3 times and themselves twice, also stoop and crouch once each. The same three letter word in Hebrew [7811, hxv Shin, Chet Hei] is also translated swim.
This concept of bowing toward the ground as a form of worship is a way of recognizing rank which is the essential quality of the homage as expressed with the Aramaic word sagid, dgo , [Semech, Gimel, Dalet] is translated into worship in Daniel but is defined "to prostrate oneself, do homage."
The same three letter Hebrew word [dgo Semech, Gimel, Dalet] appears in Isaiah and are given a different Strong's number  translated “fall down” in relationship to false gods. If you exchange the Dalet with the letter Nun, you get the Hebrew word for governor and ruler. Exchange the Dalet with a Reish and you get the Hebrew word for shut up, enclose or imprison.
We also find the word worship as in worshipers of Baal in 2 Kings to be from abad, dbe, meaning to labor but more in the sense of "to be compelled to work" or " to be enticed to serve." Even the word Baal means "lord" and again expresses a superior rank with subordinate service as a form of compelled duty or worship. Cain was a tiller of the ground. The ground he compelled into his service was Adamah, translated as land, earth, ground, but also husbandman and country. Was Cain the ground or forcing other sons of Adam to labor for him, to bow, down, to pay him homage?
Shachah, hxv, is seen in the ten commandments associated with service and again translated bow down. Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: …
Rank, homage, service are political concepts and of course Biblically speaking Abraham was leaving City or Civil States of Ur and Haran to be free of paying homage to the gods of the city. He chose to pay homage to the God of Creation, God the Father. He even established “altars” of living stone so that the people may live according to the perfect law of liberty.
In the Old Testament the words "gods" and "God" are translated from the single word 'elohiym in the plural. 'Elohiym is defined "rulers, judges" and "occasionally 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." Emperors and Presidents often hold the office of Apotheos, appointer of gods, because they are the appointer of judges within their jurisdictional states.
The most common word translated into worship in the New Testament is proskuneo. It does not mean bow down but rather to kiss the hand. This translation does not do justice to its meaning. Among the Orientals it did include the idea of falling upon the knee and is simply a token of reverence by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance. Proskuneo was a word used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank. But obeisance alone is not enough for rulers for there is no profit in bowing alone.
The word latreuo from latris (a hired menial, employee); is also translated worship and worshiper in the New Testament and means to serve for hire and also includes the idea of homage.
What worship truly means in the Bible has a common theme and significance. It has to do with homage and rank of a superior and inferior citizens of a political state. Jesus and John the Baptist preached a kingdom not a religion.
At the time of Christ there was a complaint of the Helenization of the Jewish traditions. In Plato's Laws On Musical Worship for Apollo he states,
"In order, then, that the soul of the child… obey the law… I say, to produce this effect, chants appear to have been invented, which really enchant, and are designed to implant that harmony of which we speak."
"And similarly the true legislator will persuade, and, if he cannot persuade, will compel the poet to express, as he ought, by fair and noble words, in his rhythms, the figures, and in his melodies, the music of temperate and brave and in every way good men."
I suspect that the modern transformation of the word worship from a political act of homage and recognition of superior rank is a completion of that ancient demagoguery of the Greeks. Certainly the modern preaching has more in common with the Greek orators than the question and answers coming during the New Testament sermons.
Israel was a kingdom not a religion. Judea was the remnant of that kingdom steeped in apostasy with usurpers occupying the office of the crown and the public service in the temple. Jesus came preaching a kingdom at hand not a religion. The worship in the kingdom of Heaven is not merely lip service or verbal praise and melodious singing, but is a manifestation of the homage owed the King and His Father.
Homage is a ceremony that gives evidence of submission but with that submission the people are required to give their substance to their master or masters, their law makers, rulers and judges. Religion is an aspect of every government. It is in essence the caring for the widows, orphans and needy of society. In the kingdom there is also an aspect of religion that requires us to accomplish this task with free will offering in faith, hope and charity. Pure religion is well defined in the bible.
“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
Being unspotted from the world is being untouched in spirit and in truth by the ways of the world. The world was the government of Rome which like Cain now forced the offerings of the people, like Saul compelled the sacrifice of the people and like Solomon and Rehoboam oppressed them as if they were whipped with whips and scorpions.
Jesus was the king. The Angels announced it, kings recognized it, shepherds accepted it, the the voice of the people hailed Him, Rome proclaimed it. The only ones who denounced him were the Pharisees and they said they had no king but Caesar.
As King, He appointed a kingdom to certain chosen men so that they would serve that kingdom at hand and maintain it. Their rank in that kingdom is always one of service not exercising authority. They do not receive homage or obeisance which is reserved only for the Son, the king of the Kingdom and His Father.
“And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped [him]. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” Acts 10:25
From the beginning the true bondservants of Christ have always refused to receive the homage due the King. They were true to the commands of Christ as servants of His kingdom. But there are those who have chosen from the beginning to dilute, deny and even usurp His kingdom at hand with other ways that bring the people into bondage and under the ways of the would be Caesars of the world..
Thou hatest the deeds
“But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” Revelation 2:6
What was the doctrine of the "Nicolaitans"? There was a connection between them and Balaam. Balaam is from the Hebrew word 'Baal' meaning lord or master and 'am' references the people. It is an expression of superior rank over the people contrary to the directive of Christ, the King.
Nike is the Greek word for conqueror with nikos meaning victor. Laos is a word for people. Nicolaitan and Baalam are two different forms of the same idea. Both include the idea of rank, lordship and submission to an exercising authority who can judge the people. They are systems that make gods, or judging rulers, of men, who other men must pay homage too. Homage being fealty or allegiance.
Cain did the same in the first city state and the kings of Israel chosen by the people, when the people rejected God, also forced the homage and sacrifice of the people, whipping them with whips and scorpions.
There is a controversy concerning who is the clergy and laity or people in the kingdom of Heaven. It is clear by the Biblical text that Jesus appointed certain individuals to positions of service. Those individuals also made appointments of ministering trustees chosen by the people. The word clergy is simply the clerks of the kingdom, the bondservants of the King and public servants of the people. While the laity are the people who enjoy the perfect law of liberty with its burden of individual responsibility and its reward of redemption in spirit and in truth.
The problem arises in distinguishing the Nicolatian or Baalam system of clergy and laity from that which was established by Christ is the result of religious doctrines that preach that the kingdom of God is not at hand. They do not seem to realize that the kingdom comes when His will is done. It does not come through observation but it is the fruit of faith and consequence of charity.
Some religions have a top down clergy that exercises authority but this is contrary to the Kingdom of Heaven. “He taught that the authority of kings and princes was originally derived from the people” How do Kings get their power of authority which originally belonged to the people by God's granted grace and dominion? They get it because the people reject God and cry out for rulers who may exercise authority over them. They covet their neighbor's goods through the agency of these governmental rulers and judges who they choose for themselves. Through that covetous nature they are made into human resources and brought into bondage again. These worldly institution which men create with their own hands demand that the people serve them, they oppress their neighbor, denounce the king, claim no government but Caesar and turn their hearts from the ways of God.
"And with regard to our not swearing at all, and always speaking the truth, He enjoined as follows: 'Swear not at all; but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of Evil.' [Matt. 5 34-37]. And that we ought to worship God alone, He thus persuaded us: 'The greatest commandment is, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall thou serve, with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, the Lord God that made thee.' [Mark 7].”
Here we see Justin the martyr equating swearing oaths to anyone as a violation of the commandment to worship God. This is one way governments gain power and men and society are made weak by their dependency on that government of allegiance.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
Jesus was not preaching the religion of heaven is at hand but the kingdom of heaven is at hand. It is not like the government of the other nations but was and is very real. It is seldom recognized because it does not exercise authority one over the other as Jesus forbid.
The reason early Christians gathered together was to take care of the business of that government of God. This is also why they were persecuted out of jealousy and envy for their liberty. There was religious freedom guaranteed by Roman constitution so you could look to any government for your needs. Christ was turning the world right side up and to those who did not want to change they were seen as turning the world upside down.
The governments of the gentiles were top down, but the government of God is bottom up. It begins in the bottom of every man's heart. It is a system of choice and liberty where no one taxes you but your own conscience. Everyman is king in his own house and priest in his own family.
Jesus came to serve.
“… I am among you as he that serveth.” Luke 22:27
In Gibbon's Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, he praised "the union and discipline of the Christian republic." This personal discipline included the rights and responsibilities of freedom. It was a kingdom that depended on faith hope and charity.
He also pointed out that "it gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman Empire." The early Christian ekklesia was a republic that was recognized by Rome through the proclamation nailed to the cross by order of the Proconsul of Rome, Pontius Pilate. When Jesus rose from the dead to stand again upon the earth, so did his Kingdom. His kingdom now lives in the hearts of those who follow His way and do the will of the Father and the Son.
When Jesus said to call no man on earth Father that was a spiritual and political statement. To live in Christ kingdom and return to the house of the Father in Heaven is a wonderful thing. If we are really returning to His house and kingdom in spirit and truth then we should be living under the perfect law of liberty and not the bondage of Jacob.
Many people think of worship as singing or praising Jesus or the Father, but is this true worship or only lip service. He says:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:15, 23
Is faith in Christ a hollow thing or a thing that bears fruit? Homage or worship can be defined as "a symbolical acknowledgment made by a feudal tenant to, and in the presence of, his lord, on receiving investiture of fee, or coming to it by succession, that he was his man, or vassal; profession of fealty to a sovereign." Though many people sing praises of worship, their lives are filled with acts of homage and worship toward the kings of the gentiles who exercise authority one over the other. Their lives are like the gentiles and not like the kingdom of God. These same people also apply or pray at the table of these gentile rulers who are called benefactors in hopes of receiving their gifts, gratuities and benefits.
“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
Worship is an act of faith and expression of acceptance of superior rank of a king or Lord. It is not originally a religious term. When we truly began to worship the Lord and King then we may find cause to celebrate and sing His praises but we are told that his family does the will of the Father.
When we truly worship God it is cause to celebrate, but we should not confuse the celebration with the act of worship itself.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
Seek the Kingdom
The entire Bible is a commentary on man's political relationships with governments created by the hands of men. These governments require the service of the people as human resources, that take their sons and daughters, the first fruits of their labor, the best of their fields, and rule over them because the voice of the people rejected God.
From Cain's city to Nimrod's kingdom, onto the Pharaohs and Caesars of the world men have rejected God for governments of their own creation and for the benefits they covet.
To really understand God's government and the Kingdom of Heaven or a godly government you need to obtain some knowledge and understanding of governments.
Israel was literally the kingdom of God on earth. Before Saul and David who was its King? Was it not the head of every family? How was it ruled? Was it not ruled first in their hearts and mind by their God given conscience? Where did it go wrong? Was it not the voice of the people? The people have been told.
“And the LORD said… hearken unto their voice… yet protest solemnly… He will take your sons… he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties… he will take your daughters… he will take your fields… even the best of them, and give them to his servants… he will take… and give to his officers, and to his servants... he will take… your goodliest young men… put them to his work... ye shall cry out… and the LORD will not hear you... Nevertheless the people refused to obey… Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.” 1 Samuel 8:8-22
The centralization of a top down authority under kings made of flesh and blood was sharply condemned and warned against by Samuel. The people refused to listen to the Wisdom of God as they had done from the beginning. Therefore, until Christ the king came they were set on the road to despotism and tyranny. People still have trouble living with out rulers who exercise authority one over the other. This is because they have not really received the Gospel that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
What kind of Kingdom does God want for His children?
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12
Some 3,000 years ago Moses managed a society of about three million people. He was led to organize them by establishing captains of ten families and captains of ten captains, etc..
“That the princes of Israel, heads of the house of their fathers, who [were] the princes of the tribes, and were over them that were numbered, offered:” Numbers 7:2
If the princes of the tribes were over the people then what was the difference in appointing a king over the people? The word over in Numbers 7:2 is from amad dme translated stood 171 times and stand 137 and is almost never translated over in more than 500 appearances. The same three Hebrew letters are also given other Strong's numbers which are translated upright or with me.
Amad means “to stand, remain, endure, take one's stand.” The word does not really mean over as we often think of a king or a general ruling over his subjects. It is more in the way of enduring or standing or endorsing an office of service, respect and duty. Now the word numbered in the Biblical verse Numbers 7:2 is from paqad dqp which means to attend to, muster, number, reckon, visit, punish, appoint, look after, care for.
There were twelve tribes and the people were gathered together in small groups of tens choosing their civil and religious leaders from amongst the patriarchs and the Levites. These leaders were titular because the real authority rested with the people. God not give them an exercising authority nor the power to compel the offerings of the people. The people did that themselves under Saul.
This same pattern of free will and liberty, chosen but titular public servants of small groups networked together, was repeated in the early Church. As we see in the upper room there were 120 families represented by name, and the twelve apostles, one for each group of ten.
“And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)” Acts 1:15
Israel's early Kingdom granted by God through Moses was a trusteeship under God the Father dependent upon the good will of the people. It was divided into the civil power which remained with the families. In fact each family had its own priest, usually the eldest son. Each family was autonomous but they gathered together in congregations of people choosing their ministers from a pool of Levites. The priestly office of the nation bound by liberty and charity was held by the first born of the kingdom, known as the Levites.
The Levites took the position of the first born of the nation when they were called out by Moses. The Levites managed the altar and the daily ministration of the government. They were the ministers and clerks. They served the people and ministered to the kingdom like eldest sons in a family. The Levites were only tithed to according to their service. They truly were public servants.
When the people were afraid everyone would desert while Moses was gone, they devised a common plan found in many governments of that day and this. They deposited their family wealth in a central vault controlled by trusted men of government, in this case it was the the golden calf, Moses understood how it was a wicked thing to bind the people by anything more than love for one another, a passion for mercy and justice and the way of God the Father. The Levites were called out by Moses to serve the kingdom because they had the faith to step out of that system of social security.
The ministers of the kingdom belonged to God as His bondservant to hold in trust His dominion on earth for the service of the people who seek that kingdom. They had no personal estate and depended upon the people whom they served. The Church, from the Greek ekklesia meaning called out, was appointed to that role by Jesus Christ. It was not to be like what the Pharisees had be
Eventually Israel's civil powers held by the individual Patriarchs were vested into the trusteeship of the Kings rather than the individual Fathers of each family. The Romans underwent a similar process of shifting the manus of the family from the Patria Potestas of the patriarchs to the Senate and then to the Patronus or Emperor of their nation. This form of centralized government of power and control is a departure from the system of faith, hope and charity instituted by God. History, because of the sinful nature of men, continues to repeat itself.
The priestly offices of public servant also came under the direction of the high priests through an adulterous corruption of that office. Following this same path of the centralization of power is an accompanying neglect of responsibility by the people to each other.
“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.” Leviticus 19:18
“For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Romans 13:9
Much of this corruption of the Pharisees at the time of Christ grew with the Hasmonean Dynasty which led to a corrupted priesthood and civil war. To settle that dispute some applied to Roman international military peace keeping forces under Pompey. They willingly agreed to help resolve disputes as to who should be the rightful King according to Hebraic law and tradition.
Both the Hasmonean and the Romans heavily influenced the traditional Separation of Church and State, religion and defense, along different lines than those laid down by Moses. The Church gained some power to collect or receive taxes, own land in their own name and exercise authority, under the Hasmonians while the State powers, still resting with the king, began to legislate religious doctrine and institutionalize what was previously systems of charity under their growing control.
In 78 BC the Pharisees, a political party, had an ordinance passed requiring the temple tax be paid or the matter was handed over to the appointed civil magistrates of Judea for enforcement by the right hand of government. Funds flowed into the government's temple whether it served the people or not. Now with the top down appointment of the courts, new legislated statutes and the fornication of the priests the government served the people less and the people served the government more.
Much of Israel or the seed of Abraham had little to nothing to do with the House of David from the time of Rehoboam. At the time of Herod's occupation of the throne the problems of the kingdom had become acute. Who should take the positions of royal trustee of both the civil and religious aspects of the kingdom of God on earth, High Priest and King. Jesus came to settle the Issue
Luke 22:29 states, "And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;"
Here we see that the Apostles had a Kingdom appointed to them for the purpose of ministering to that Kingdom. In God's Kingdom the individual takes on His God given right to the dominion of his own flesh and blood, body and soul and also the responsibility that is correlative to that right. The ministers of the kingdom are answerable to God through the authority of Jesus the King. They are the bondservants of Jesus Christ serving His Kingdom by serving the people. To coordinate these individual freemen into one body politic under the kingship of Jesus the Christ and God the Father without exercising dominion or authority over them is the duty and office of His appointed Church.
The Kingdom of Heaven is a palpable reality when one recognizes its auspicious nature. His Holy or Separate Church, which serves His kingdom, is a proponent of the divine principles of freedom and an advocate of the perfect law of liberty and responsibility.
As Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of Heaven there were a few things He was going to have to do: “ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.” Leviticus 25:10
Most of the governments of today exercise authority over men. They are not Christian. They are governments like the gentiles which Jesus clearly forbid. They are all in opposition to the teachings of Christ Jesus, the Anointed King. [Matthew 20:25-27, Mark 10:42, Luke 22:25]
Under the perfect law of liberty the elder father of each family group was the head of a household and by the nature of that fact he was an elder. When the Apostles appointed elders they were not granting the office of elder they were appointing elders to the office of minister. Those ministers were chosen by the people. What has become known today as bishops were chosen by ten ministers. Bishops or overseers were to stand and serve those original ministers and in turn ten bishops chose an archbishop.
This system continued for most of the followers of the Messiah even after Constantine order at Milan to become Christian, where people picked one bishop for a whole city and he in turn exercised authority issuing edicts and calling for the persecution of so called non Christians. That Bishop began to exercise authority issuing edicts and commands. He considered a bishop as an "aristocratic figure" and formulated the Church according to the "ways of Rome issuing decrees, edicts, and commands" rather than serving as a subject minister and servant of the people. He was intolerant of other religions and actually argued in the Roman Senate that all other religions should be stamped out.
They eventually appointed those who ruled that new Roman church from the top down with the aid of their crowned Kings, who were often crowned by the very Church who was appointed to keep the people free. These so called Christians, of course, were not a true Christians Church. They were the instituted Church and manufactured christians with more fear of Constantine than love of Jesus. The system that grew out of this departure from the "Way of the Lord" was contrary to the words of Jesus Christ. It was a breach of His trust.
An example of the nature of the Church was still obvious in 600 AD when the Anglo Saxon had formed a government with something called a Tithing man who oversaw ten families, a Hundredsmen who oversaw ten Tithingmen, and an Eoldorman who oversaw ten Hundredsmen. There were a thousand families known as Shire under the oversership of an Eoldorman.
This system contributed to a united society in part because no person was responsible for communicating directly with more than 10 people and each man was free to choose the Tithing man of his choice and each Tithing man in small groups of ten chose their Hundredsman etc.. These small dedicated often related cell groups made for an independent yet unified force to ward off almost any hardship, attack or attempted usurpation.
The Kings were crowned by the vicarious institution of those manufactured christians. The ruling elite replaced the tithing men with constables who kept the people as they kept their stables.
“But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, … Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.” De. 17:16.
These religious and civil leaders brought with them all the disadvantages that Samuel had warned us of two thousand years before.
“And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you:… he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties;…” 1 Samuel 8:11,12.
We have fallen away from the teachings of the Bible. Their institution of modern Churches are barren. Instead of leading people to liberty they have delivered them into bondage.
“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
The people seeking the kingdom of God have been influenced by Roman ideas and many of our traditions have evolved from that influence.
“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” Rev. 2:14, 15
Balac was not a religion but a government system that brought the people to a state of selfish apathy and wantonness by an exercising authority and covetous vanity. The exercising authority of rulers, their entitlements, traditions and doctrines usurps the responsibility of the individual and brings them into sloth, apathy and avarice.
Religion today has been polluted by men who desire power and authority over other people, whether in civil democracies or the church pew. This power and authority was never intended by the Lord.
“Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways [from] the ancient paths, to walk in paths, [in] a way not cast up;” Jeremiah 18:15
We may return to the ancient paths and join together in true worship of our King and Father. Modern Christianity is the product of centuries of book burning, prevarication and persecution. We must learn to worship the Father by paying Him homage and service by caring for His sheep. We cannot serve two masters nor can we pay homage to one King while we say we worship another.
“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11:2
There should be no king or ruler for Christians but Jesus the Christ. No Father on earth but our Father in Heaven. It is that kingdom of liberty under God which is at hand. It is the justice and mercy of His perfect law of liberty to which we owe our homage, allegiance and worship.
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2