The Constitutions Part Vl
Part I: The people were “not a party” to the Constitution.
Part II: There are two forms of government free and not free.
Part III: The people opposed the Constitution for good cause.
Part IV: Consolidation of power by men is a rejection of God.
Part V: To retain rights you must accept responsibility.
Bound by Benefits
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man”. Matthew 15:18
Since Jerusalem fell to the Roman General Titus there had been a steady decline of the Empire and central civil powers of that world. For almost a thousand years the majority of people of Europe lived without taxes, owning and working their own land, caring for their families and protecting their communities on a voluntary basis. There was almost as many people living in Europe in 176 AD as there was in 1776 but the former were far more free.
The end of the first millennium brought a new rise in the power of kings and a sometimes military reformation of the “Church” through these new crowned heads under new religious overseers.
By the middle of the second millennium after Christ, men who called themselves benefactors and wore the crown given them by this reformed church continued to bind the land and the people of Europe and Britain. It was during this time we see an expansion of feudalism and fealty, tax levies and registry in the Doomesday Book, celibacy amongst ministers and tax funds for the Church, a system of statutory labor, draft and impressment into service, legalization of usury, credit money - and last, but not least: “Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy”.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus ruled what some historians call the Golden Age of the Roman Empire. He was a Stoic philosopher with high ideals of duty and humble service. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius became one of the most widely read works of Greek literature, second only to the New Testament in popularity. Much of it reads like a modern Sunday sermon about duty to country and governments of men, minus the common Christian names. Marcus’ rule as First Citizen, Commander in Chief and Appointer of the Judiciary was benevolent and prosperous with the exception of bloody wars and official Christian persecution.
Why was there such mistrust and oppression of Christians? He was influenced by the stoic philosophers who were both his mentors and companions. Jealousy and envy, which should not be stoic traits, may have come from an appearance of Christians robbing them of many followers. Marcus Aurelius believed that the Christians were secretly planning to overthrow the Empire.
If those early Christians were familiar with Romans 131 and there was constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom in Rome, then why were the Christians singled out for persecution? At the height of Christianity they only comprised 5% of the Roman population, had no military aspirations, and because of their Jewish origins were exempt from military service. It is true Jesus had preached a kingdom. The Christians had developed a unique and ancient system of family rule and community independence. They applied for none of the “free” government benefits so common in the affluent system of Rome.
Rome’s welfare system was often operated through its network of what we call temples. Rome also imposed “contributions” or taxes upon its citizenry and those they conquered militarily and commercially under the operation of their legal system. To apply for such benefits openly would be partaking of “meat sacrificed to idols.” Any application to the Patronus2 of Rome would be praying to another Father on the earth.
“And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”3 Matthew 23:9
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Matthew 6:9
Christians had been set free from the laws of the Pharisees and their statutory Sanhedrin which had been nailed to the cross. They said there was another king, one Jesus who had set them free. Rome had recognized Christ as a king and also His apostles as that kingdom’s appointed ambassadors and overseers of the kingdom of God that operated according to the perfect law of liberty. Romans 13 was seen much differently in those days than the meaning ascribed by the modern Church.4 That Church was the benefactor who did not exercise authority but served the people through faith, hope and charity according to a different way.
“The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.”5
The expansion of the power and authority in governments is often due to application and contracts to government to obtain benefits. The Bible is packed with warnings about eating at the table of rulers, praying to or making agreements with governments of men and those they call benefactors.
“Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.” Psalms 69:22
“And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:” Romans 11:9
Christians had their own table of benefits set by love for one another through charity and personal sacrifice.6 Like John the Baptist their kingdom was not established by force.
“[T]he union and discipline of the Christian republic” which “gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman Empire”.7 Romans both admired and were jealous of Christians but were suspicious because of their unity.
The objections concerning Christians were compounded by the fact that they would not take an oath of allegiance and supremacy,8 because to do so cometh of evil. Any taking of oaths was considered by some Christians to be a “snare of Satan” who is merely the adversary of the liberty in Christ.
“Do as you choose; I lay it down as a law that there be no swearing at all. If any bid you swear, tell him, Christ has spoken, and I do not swear.”9
Somewhere along the way Christians have been convinced that worship has to do with singing in Churches or repeating words of praise while your real allegiance is given elsewhere, your real prayers are to those men who call themselves benefactors but take from your neighbor to satisfy your lust and avarice.
Prayer is application and worship is allegiance and homage. Because of the early American unfettered examination of the newly translated Biblical text a strikingly different perception of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was emerging. Acting separately and independently from the governments of the world was growing popular. Caesar had not been crowned by the church nor the church supported by Caesar. The church had been separate from Caesar and certainly from his benefits from which Christians did not eat. The early church had an independent and republican form.
People were coming closer to the ways of the first century Church and farther from what some men have tried to make the Church from the beginning. When men gave their Allegiance and oath of Supremacy to other men they bound themselves in homage and service of king or government to which they swore. They would then be protected but also procured by the walls of man-made institutions by contract. They would be regulated and restricted within those walls to the service and judgment of that government. They would not be free but entangled again with the yoke of bondage.10
Balaamites and Nicolaitans
“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 has been a debate for centuries as to exactly what the deeds or doctrines of the Nicolaitans11 might be. Some say a man named Nicolas formed a sect that was charged with holding the error of Balaam, casting a stumbling block before the church of God by upholding the liberty of eating things sacrificed to idols as well as committing fornication. There are a few unreliable accounts of this Nicolas by men like Epiphanius. A number of authors believe that the name is allegorical and is “the reference to the Nicolaitans is merely a symbolic manner of reference.”12
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. Its meaning has been accepted as “either lord of the people, or he destroyed the people; and that, as the same effect was produced by their doctrines as by those of Balaam, that the people were led to commit fornication and to join in idolatrous worship, they might be called Balaamites or Nicolaitanes - that is, corrupters of the people.”13
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.
Many of the pagan temples offered charity to the poor and had been dependent upon charity of the people to sustain their activities. In fact the early government of Rome was dependent upon the voluntarism of the people after casting out the Tarquinian kings and establishing a Republic. Even the military was not paid except by local support. The temples of Rome were the core of social services, including the temple in Jerusalem. Some eventually became more like investment brokers for major enterprises from trade and mining to war.
War could be profitable and those who supported it through their investment of funds or service would reap the benefits in their share of the spoils and tribute demanded from fallen foes.
The taxes in Greece during war, eisphora, were sometimes refunded by revenue extracted from the enemy. Rome was more systematic as they developed the arts of finances and war. This made victory sweet and war appealing.
Roman portoria was one of the earliest taxes in Rome. It consisted of customs duties on imports and exports. But under the Caesars other taxes were instituted.
Pompey was invited to Judea to settle the civil war between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus as to who was the rightful king. He received a huge sum of gold as international peace keepers. When it appeared to be more a bribe rather than payment he gave it all away to the temples for distribution amongst the poor.
Keeping the peace in Judea was expensive. Rome was invited to stay by the Pharisees. There was a 1% annual income tax. There was also the standard import and export taxes, through the system of roads and harbors. There was also a tax on crops, 10% on grain and 20% on wine, fruit, and oils. These taxes came over a long period of time and often with a promise of sweet benefit to help make the bitter medicine of taxation go down. Sales tax was established by Augustus at 1% for most items but if you sold a slave it would cost 4%. Inheritance taxes started at 5%.14
Augustus Caesar was very philanthropic when it came to temples and giving to the poor. His benevolent grain and bread distribution was extremely popular among all the citizens of the Empire including the Jews who truly mourned his passing.
While Caesar gave much from his own deep pockets he also used government funds to provide his benefaction. The temples and the priests were often supported by these taxes.
While the tithe of ancient Israel was paid to support its government ministers providing the welfare of society through free will offerings it was unique in tax schemes. You were supposed to pay it but you could pay it to what ever minister you chose. Even then it was only paid according to his service.15 This was a system of self taxation where the right to choose remained with the people. The people taxed themselves and their contribution was really a contribution.
No Levite could kick in your door because the people were free. Even Christ tells his ministers that the people not only had the right to choose but the ministers had to mark every contribution as paid in full.16 This system requires a people immersed and washed in the sacrifice and charity of Christ.
When Saul imposed a tax on the people in Israel it was called foolish.17 It was for that cause that he would lose his kingdom. The idea that you could eat of the table or accept the benefits with impunity which were offered by governments, leaders who called themselves benefactors but exercised authority over the people was unacceptable to Christians and God himself.18
To apply for benefits at the expense of your neighbor was the error of Baalam and the doctrine of the Nicolaitan. The Corban of the Pharisees that made the word of God to none effect fell in this same category of sin.19 It is the trap that snares you that you think is for your welfare spoken of by David and Paul.20 It is the deceitful meat of rulers you should not eat.21 It was the sin of Babylon22 and Sodom that in a time of affluence they weaken the poor.23
These were governmental systems of social welfare that made men gods, ruling judges, over other men. They made the men who sought their benefaction subjects. That subjection demanded worship and homage, homage being fealty to a king or ruler or benefactor who can demand a portion of your service in exchange for protection.
Augustus Caesar had been elected by the electoral college of the Senate to the office of Emperator24 after he won the civil war. It was a 10 year term of office taken under an oath of office, regulated by constitutional restrictions. At first he was also elected to the office of Principas Civitas or Princeps or President of Rome. This was an annual election and he did not always win it. The platform he often ran on was a return to the Republic and family values. The third government office Augustus requested was the Apo Theos of Rome, the appointer of gods.
There are gods Many
In the New Testament, the words “God” and “gods” is translated from the Greek word theos, which figuratively means “a magistrate.”25The word “god” specifies an office and means a “ruling judge”. It was a title used to address men who have a right to exercise authority or judgment in courts of law. To realize that, at the time of Christ, you addressed a judge in a Hebrew, Roman, or Greek court as god should change the entire way you read your modern Bibles. This is why there are “gods many” of which Paul spoke.
We find God has said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) The words “gods” and “God” are translated from the single word elohiym in the Old Testament, too. Elohiym is defined “rulers, judges” and “occasionally applied as deference to magistrates”. Even in 1st Samuel 2:25 we see the word elohiym translated judge when speaking about men judging other men.
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:” Exodus 20:5
The words “bow down” are translated from shachah meaning “bow (self) down… humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance … worship.” Serve is translated from `abad meaning “to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (cause.) enslave, etc.: - x be, keep in bondage …”
“For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and [whom] he had not given unto them:” Deuteronomy 29:26
It could be said that God doesn’t want His people to have any ruler instead of Himself or to make anything with their own hands a ruler over themselves other than Him. And He doesn’t want them to beseech or appeal to that creation of their hands or put themselves in bondage to it, serving it with their labor or service for they are to belong to Him alone.
It should not be so strange to think of the Roman Emperors as gods when you realize that George Washington himself is deified in the ceiling of the Capitol Dome in the “... gigantic allegorical painting by the Italian artist Constantino Brumidi. The painting depicts the ‘Apotheosis,’ or glorification, of George Washington.”26 “The word ‘apotheosis’ in the title means literally the raising of a person to the rank of a god…”27
George Washington appointed the federal judges throughout the United States just as Augustus appointed imperial judges, gods many, throughout the Roman Empire. In his day federal judges had little to do and had little effect on private rights. Since the Civil War in the United States there has been a vast and continuous change in the power of the Federal courts.
“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” John 10:34
Why would Jesus say “ye are gods”? If the people exercise freewill, they remain the ruling judges of their own lives under our Father in heaven. “Ye are gods” and are ruling judges since you are made in the image of God. You may only be exercising dominion over that which the God of heaven has endowed thee. You have no right to rule over your neighbor as gods unless we make covenants with your neighbors and their gods. This is sin against God.28
In Egypt the people had been delivered into bondage to the government of Pharaoh because they needed his benefaction in the time of trouble. God, elohiym, brought the people out from under that ruler and set them free. When the “voice of the people” in 1 Samuel 8 elected a commander in chief to fight their battles and appoint judges God called it a rejection of Him that He should not rule over them.29 Have the people of the nations made covenants with new “gods many” today?
Giving men such power by swearing allegiance whether they are a single king, prince, potentate, state, sovereignty or democracy establishes a power that will corrupt all men. The Kingdom of God is bound by the law of love for one another, by love for God and his righteousness and love for one another.
These Cometh of Evil?
“The gods are the creation of the created.
They are not emanations of The Eternal.
They are made by the adoration of their worshipers.”30
What is a vote? According to Webster’s 1913 Dictionary the word vote can be defined as, “An ardent wish or desire; a vow; a prayer.”
“Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.” (Pr 6: 2)31
Comments on Oaths and swearing.
TITLE 28, PART V, CHAPTER 115, Sec. 1746.-
Unsworn declarations under penalty of perjury:
“Wherever, under any law of the United States or under any rule, regulation, order, or requirement made pursuant to law, any matter is required or permitted to be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the sworn declaration, verification, certificate, statement, oath, or affidavit, in writing of the person making the same (other than a deposition, or an oath of office, or an oath required to be taken before a specified official other than a notary public), such matter may, with like force and effect, be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the unsworn declaration, certificate, verification, or statement, in writing of such person which is subscribed by him, as true under penal