Clay and stone
|Christ tells us to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness which should be fom generation to generation.|
|His righteousness cannot come through imitating metaphors and allegories.|
|The Church in the wilderness and early Church were the ekklesia or called out of God for religious purposes.|
|But religion was the performance of a duty to God and your fellow man.|
|Pure religion was the performance of that duty through charity and freewill offerings unspotted by the use of force.|
|Is a gathering of stones an altar of God?|
|Are the stones of the altars actually men?|
|Has sophistry led us under a strong delusion?|
|* What does it mean to be of the world?|
|* What does it mean not to be spotted by the world?|
|* Are the ministers of the Church to be a benefactors of the people?|
|* What is the perfect law of liberty?|
|* The Church in the wilderness and the early Church provided the same purpose in society.|
From the book Thy Kingdom Comes
Moses and the Altars of Clay and Stone
The Mizbeach or altars are said to be of two types.
“An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.” Exodus 20:24
Moses made an altar of earth. He was told to do so. He was not told to use just any type of earth but particularly the “red clay”.1 God had made Adam from this “red clay”. Was the altar made of dirt or was this another metaphor? Was the altar made of a certain kind of clay, or was it made of a special kind of man?
This altar was used to convey the sacrifices of the people. The chief characteristic of sacrifice is not so much that something is destroyed by fire, but rather that it is lost to the grantor. The grantor must be willing to truly concede the, “surrender of something for the sake of something else… something given up or lost”.
Such giving was essential in a free society where no government collected funds through taxation for redistributing wealth. Society needed a way of taking care of community needs. Such voluntary assistance is an extension of what should already be a part of the family, but in Israel, it became a part of the congregational community on a national level. Nothing is more benevolent than the parent’s sacrifice for their children and the children’s for their parents. The same may apply to nations with networking intimate charitable congregations.
The burnt offering is dedicated, or hallowed, upon the living altar of each family by the grantors. Like bread upon the waters, or tribute to the kings, it is lost to the grantor. If you have anything more than an intangible hope and faith to insure its return, then it is not entirely given and pure charity is not truly exercised.
In the City-State, there is a contribution for the good of the populous and the general welfare of the corpus of the State. The difference between those statutory contributions and those offerings set on Abraham’s and Moses’ altars was the former is extracted by authority upon entering the jurisdiction of the State as a member; and the latter was a freewill offering with personal daily choice in liberty. The State guarantees social security within its walled boundaries of authority in the form of entitlements, while God’s altars offer only hope and faith.
Abraham and the people who exercised the free will choice to support one another formed an altar of earth and brotherhood. As he spread his tent, his tabernacle, the way of liberty became strong in the land. When kings like Chedorlaomer devoured one City-State after another, it was Abram and those who believed in the law of liberty and choice who were the saviors of that day. This prophetic principle may still hold true in our own time.
There was another altar mentioned by God, but not with the terms “thou shalt”, but with the terms “if thou wilt make”. This altar was different and carried specific restrictions.
“And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.” Exodus 20:25-26
This altar was made of stone not hewn by the hands of men, not touched by tools of iron or power. You are also warned not to make the altar tiered where you go up to its higher places by steps or degrees. If you do so, you will reveal a nakedness or lack of the covering or authority.
The Hebrew word rigmah [hmgr] is translated into “council”, but actually means literally “a gathering of stones”. It is from the Hebrew word Regem [Mgr], which is translated “friend” and is the same as ragam [Mgr], meaning “stone”. Both words have as a common origin [bgr] regeb, “a clod” (of earth). Hebrew letters have meanings which define the words.
God wrote the Ten Commandments upon dead stone. It is not the medium that He preferred, but was a secondary choice, as the hearts of the people were too hard. They were stiff-necked and hard- hearted. It was easier to write His laws on stone than upon the hearts of the Israelites. There would come a day when this was no longer true.
“For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” Hebrews 8:10
God wishes to write His laws upon lively stones and to construct His altars and temple with those same stones of living flesh.
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5
The stones of the altar of God were men. The use of the word “stones” was a metaphor, just as the words “burnt offering” were a metaphor for the idea of giving a thing up entirely. These altars were composed of men who the community trusted as friends, not rulers.
One of the key characteristics of these altars of men is that they are not to be hewn with iron tools. Again a metaphor of the language common to Abraham. This is in reference to regulations and restrictions placed upon these men as to how their job is done.
Why would it not be a good idea to regulate these men of the Altar? First, you should ask, “who is doing the regulating and who made them judge over the men of the altar?”
The people who freely give offerings govern by their power in choosing to give or not to give. If they did not trust or choose to give, they could stop donating and that living altar would no longer receive their offerings. The people were the governors of the system and tempered the wisdom of the altar by their own freewill charity.
No “steps that go up” is another limitation on these stone altars of flesh. The going up by steps would also be creating a hierarchy of power and control. It would be a centralization of the wealth of the altar. This would lead to power and authority amongst those who tend the altar. A different kind of soul would be drawn to the service of the altar, one thirsty for position, prestige, and power. They would assume the duties and responsibilities of the people, one to another, and, in the repose of the people, apathy and corruption would grow. The people need to participate in the daily choice of charity. Such activity builds virtue and character, as well as fellowship and community. Any centralization of authority leads to a ruling elite, and the slothful deprivation of man’s individual dominion or freedom granted by God’s good grace is diminished.
“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.”2
These systems of charitable altars allowed communities and nations to remain free from the exercising authority established by men like Cain, Nimrod, and others. It encouraged strength amongst the gathering of the people through virtue, brotherhood, and sacrifice. It did not diminish the role of the individual or the family. It left honor within the family and compelled men only by the practice of God’s love.
At the core of this system was the family. It was the family that provided security for men through the blessings of the ways of God the Father. Each family as members of the community cared one for the other, forming the whole nation through a network of caring.
In this fragile life we live, families may falter or suffer calamity or experience destitution. When larger groups came together to safeguard the whole community, they would devise methods by which all could be secure. There was always a danger of a loss of freedom: the people sought social security. Abraham’s Altars gave a solution to the dilemma.
In the City-State, security was established by controls, force, and regulation of men, by men. These edicts hewed away at the freewill of men, giving power to other men instead. Men who sought power and control carved this new system into their own image. The exercising authority corrupted men and with that power came the danger of tyranny.
“Protection draws to it subjection; subjection protection”3
These leaders were granted the power to enforce the security of the State. Stripped of the presence and plan of God, these men revealed their naked assent to the position of gods, or ruling judges, of the city or civil powers. The dominion granted by God to the individual was now incorporated into the City or Civil State. The ruling elite were perpetually tempted by that power granted to them by the demagoguery of the people.
From their high positions over other men and their lofty offices, these principalities exercised authority that became totalitarian. The temptation to become a beast, devouring the people and their substance, was too great, except for men like Moses and Abraham. There was none more divinely suited as ruler of a free state than Jesus, Who came as a servant.
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49
Leaders are corrupted by their weakness for power and the weakness of slothful people. Equally important in the devolution of mankind is the cultivated apathy of the general populations. People no longer had to choose corporeal sacrifice in charity. No longer was faith in the Creator and love of neighbor the essential principles of social security.
It was the will of the organized State that men conformed to the will of the state and not the will of the Father in Heaven. The State promised to provide security from famine, catastrophe, and other “acts of God” or the tyranny and attacks of other civil gods of power.
A new kind of faith was directed toward the State and its gods. This faith was called allegiance. To insure the loyalty and fidelity of men, oaths were required. These ruling Benefactors also required tribute from all to insure the benefits of this controlled society. Ultimately, one class of citizens were deprived to pay for the appetites of the other. Coveting your neighbors goods became a policy of the State with a granted license by the voice of the people. Love of the State was more undeniable than love of neighbor. Private wealth became an enemy of the state and we soon saw Plato’s simple economic policy, whereby no gold or silver shall be owned by any citizen, become true, even before he taught it.
Gold in the hands of the public is an enemy of the state. Adolph Hitler
Children were taught by the State or abandoned to the care of strangers. The sanctity of marriage diminished and the natural use of the flesh became dissolute. Fear of the State was more real than fear of God, for despite the praises in their temples and churches their real homage, prayers (applications) and worship was to the State.
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools… Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature [institutions] … For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:” Romans 1:22-26
Under the perfect law of liberty and at the altars of Abraham and Moses, each individual or family exercised faith, hope, and charity. While at the altars and temples of the City-State, obedience and compliance were the ruling creatures. The spirit that moved those altars of force was that of covetousness, control, and cupidity.
Men may choose to apply, or pray, at a government altar of authority and force or the altar of God’s granted liberty. God created a law that forbids coveting or stealing from your neighbor. Man created institutions based on taking from your neighbor.
“Because the creature [institutions]4 itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:21
Mankind is changed by his choice. He chooses the institutions made by men to rule over men or he chooses to seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness.
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12
The Altar of Sin
In the days of Joseph’s famine, the people had given their gold, their animals, their land, and themselves in exchange for provisions. So, what did they use for money in everyday business transactions? They used a small stone or clay scarab given out by the City Treasury. The priests of Egypt administered this financial system, living through the famine on a donation from the Pharaoh. They grew wealthy while others toiled. They had vast stores of grain which they controlled as an utility, loaning it out at interest.
In their temple “granaries… priests became bankers through the loan of seed grain. In many societies the main temple and dependent structures were the most important buildings, although many smaller, often isolated, temples existed as well.”5 These temples were the centers of commerce and control and the depositories of records and contracts.
“Give me control over a nation’s currency and I care not who makes its laws”6
The High Priests knew the arts of the temple, which was, at the least, a central bank. They had control of the flow of currency which could be redeemed by foreign traders through the gates of the city, but was a regulated fiat money for the subject citizenry.
It was the greed and envy of Joseph’s brothers that had brought all of Israel under the power of the Pharaohs and at the mercy of the priests of Egypt. They were to be the Altar of God as ministers in His kingdom on earth, but instead they became the bricks and stones of a ruling elite.
In Egypt, two-and-a-half month’s worth of labor each year went to the government. All the gold and silver was in the treasury and the people held a mere legal title to their land and their possessions.
Moses became the son of the daughter of Pharaoh by adoption, but he saw himself becoming a tyrant and murderer like Cain and Lemech. He fled from this temptation and sought the ways of God.
God saw that the people too, were corrupted by this bondage and He sent Moses back to lead the people out of Egypt and desired that they never return to such a system.
“But he shall not… cause the people to return to Egypt … Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.” Deuteronomy 17:16
God chose His people from Abraham’s seed of faith and led them out of the civil powers of Egypt. He would be their God and Ruler through their hearts and minds, but they did not have the faith of their forefather, nor of Moses. They feared for their lives and sought strength in their own numbers and bound themselves together by surety and sacrifice, placing the wealth of their families in Aaron’s altar of the golden calf.
“… And all the people brake off the golden earrings which [were] in their ears, and brought [them] unto Aaron. And he received7 [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” Exodus 32:2, 4
What possessed them to make that golden calf? It was not mere superstition that motivated them, but a practicality and a lack of faith. The people literally deposited their gold, as well as other goods and sacrificed their rights to them on the altar of the golden calf. They took, in turn, some sort of exchangeable token and the promise of social security.
“Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.” Proverbs 1:14-19
Gold was deposited into a large statue for all to see. The wealth and the community was melded together into a common purse. No one person could leave in the face of an enemy without leaving behind the golden depository of their wealth. Moses could take the people out of Egypt, but only God, time, and repentance could take Egypt out of the people.
“… I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” Zechariah 13:7
Without men of faith like Moses, David, or Jesus Christ, the people become frightened. In their fear, they reach out for something else other than God to secure their safety.
In Egypt’s central banking system, the temple issued clay and stone scarabs as a substitute for commodity money like gold and silver. Those scarabs, or tokens of exchange, were worthless except in that monetarily-bound community. The priests of the temple in Egypt had kept track of all the complexities of their centralized monetary system and, of course, they profited from its management. Allegiance was assured with no true wealth in the hands of the people.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34
Was the sin the golden statue or the lack of faith it represented? Men gave away their God-given rights and liberty in exchange for the promises of men. The altar upon which they now sacrificed was hewn with the hands of men and regulated by a ruling elite of that central depository or national bank. They had returned to Egypt with a new god.
“They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” Exodus 32:8
Footnotes for the above artile
1[hmda] ‘adamah from “adam” the red earth from which Adam was made.
2Archibald Macleish (1882-1982) Secretary of State under FDR.
3Protectio trahit subjectionem, subjectio protectionem. Coke, Littl. 65.
4Ktisis from ktizo meaning to found a city, colony, state and itself means “the act of founding, establishing, building etc… the sum or aggregate of things created 1c) institution, ordinance
5Temple Microsoft ® Encarta. © 1994 Ms. Corp.& F & W’s Corp.
6Baron M.A. Rothschild (1744 - 1812)
7“Receive” is from laqach, which includes the idea of “acquire, buy” and is sometimes translated “buy” in the Old Testament.
|Altars of the world||Altars of God|
|Serve those who swear allegiance to force||Serve those who seek faith of love|
|People look for entitlements||People look to hope|
|Based on the use of force||Based on the use of charity|
|Forces the Sacrifice of the people||Encourages sacrifice through love|
|Entitles the slothful to the fruits of the diligent||Encourages diligent virtue with assistance and care|
|Administrators seek to serve rulers with granted authority||Ministers seek to serve the people with the grace of love|
|Administrators seek power||Ministers seek to empower|
|Motivated by advantage and control||Motivated by love of righteousness|
|Love the gods of the world||Love the God of heaven and their neighbors|
|Deceitful meats and dainties of Kings||The Eucharist or thanks-giving of Christ|
|Makes the word of God to none effect||Makes the word of God at home in your hearts|
|Is a snare and bondage making them merchandise||Sets men free making them children of God|
|Curses children through covetous practices||Blesses children with the knowledge of God and His ways|
|Of the world||In the world|
|Ordained of men who covet that which was their neighbors||Ordained of God for those who keep his commandments|
- 1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
- Leviticus 19:18 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. Matthew 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. Romans 13:9 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. Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
- Proverbs 23:3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they [are] deceitful meat.
- Psalms 69:22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. Romans 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 2 Peter 2:3 ¶ And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
- 2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
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Thy Kingdom Comes is an examination of the dominion of God from generation to generation, Abraham through the early Church. Chapter-by-chapter cleans a window of history to reveal what Abraham, early Israel and the early Christians were really doing and how they began to go wrong.
Abraham, Moses, and Jesus promoted a system of self-government that set men free and kept them free souls under God despite the plagues of Egypt, hardships in the wilderness, the apostasy of the Pharisees, and the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. The precepts of that faith, the spiritual self-discipline of the heart and mind of Christ guiding the people in the will of the Father, has protected and sustained faithful societies in freedom of those who truly seeks the dominion of God and His righteousness. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven.” Mt 6:10