The first reason the people should gather in these congregations or companies upon companies of elders of families in ranks by hundreds, and ranks by fifties is because Jesus commanded that his disciples make the people organize themselves in that way.
The word "Record" simply means testimony or witness. The Bible tells us in The Old and New Testaments to establish everything with two or three witnesses. That testimony is both in writing by your words and in deed by your actions. It does not include contracts or oaths which bind individuals but does include Freewill offerings of, for, and by the people to give substance to their words while allowing every man to remain free.
Congregations of the early Church were nothing more than free assemblies of families who came together seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in word and deed. The Kingdom of God is from generation to generation.
The Christians who believed in the Gospel of the Kingdom sought to practice Pure Religion by taking care of one another through Faith, Hope and Charity and the Perfect law of liberty without using any of the benefits offered by the world of Caesar nor any other authoritarian Benefactors or the Fathers of the earth.
At Pentecost the heads of families being Baptized were put out of the system of Corban by the thousands and began to form a Living Network by the free elders of each family gathering in small groups of Tens who picked ministers to serve their needs in society. This was the Church and together they naturally formed the Church in general.
Congregation of Recorded Elders
- A congregation is a free assembly.
- It is bound only by bonds of love.
- It should be connected in a spiritual sense by charity.
- It should strive to be consistent with the character of the creator.
- It should seek to act in one accord.
- It is groups of families served by one Minister of the Church.
- It does not have the common purse of Socialism nor the subject rights of a Democracy.
- It is not a corporation nor an unincorporated association.
- It is not a legal entity like the churches established by State.
- Each family’s spokesmen are Elders.
- Two or more Elders served by the same Minister of the Church form a CORE.
- Ten families are generally thought to be ideal.
- These free assemblies form Altars of clay.
- Any gathering of congregations is also a free assembly.
In order for a congregation to form a part of the kingdom it must gather with other congregations by choosing a minister linked in a network of ministers. That minister facilitates the charity within the congregation. That minister's job from a kingdom perspective is to facilitate the charity within the gathering of congregations in a living Network with all other congregations.
The pattern of tens starts with ten families.
A family consists of the eldest Father of a family, his wife, unmarried sons and daughters and married sons and their wives and children.
The eldest father is an Elder.
While they may be a member of a free assembly when the assembly meeting ends there are no legal bonds maintaining their membership. The Congregation is not a corporation nor even an unincorporated association.
The Elders' mission and obligation is to love God and their fellow elders and those other elders all over the kingdom network.
The fulfillment of that mission and obligation of a congregation is the responsibility of every Elder and his family. By freely attending to the Weightier matters for himself and other families he secures his own liberty under God according to the Perfect law of liberty.
A congregation is not a Democracy. The majority of Elders do not elect the minister. It is by consensus. Each elder must choose the minister he wishes to connect him with the whole body of the Church. While there is no means or inclination to compel offerings by force or guilt there is usually a token head tithe of value like the Half shekel.
The elected Minister who is appointed by Ordained Ministers of the Church is a member of the congregation of fellow ministers. But like the Elder's free assembly that congregation of ministers is also not a corporation nor an unincorporated association. This is for at least three reasons.
- Their choice of minister is not the result of a democratic vote.
- They do not own what they receive as donations but only hold it in trust as an appointed ex officio ministers.
- What they release to their ministers is freely given as if it is a burnt offering.
It is a principle and policy of the prophets that each minister is acting as a single independent stone of the Altar of God. They are not hewn but seek to fit together in a cohesive group as friends.
There is another classification within the the network of tens. Ordained ministers of the Church are members of their congregation but hold all things in common within that independent congregation and are joint heirs within the whole network of congregations. This is explained in more detail within the book The Free Church Report.
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- A Minister is a legal representative of Christ who came to save, serve and set the people free.
- A minister is a titular servant of Christ to the people.
- A minister is an individual member of the Church.
- A minister's Membership is by appointment or anointing, ex officio or ordination.
- Ministers do not exercise authority one over the other.
- Ministers hold all of what has been given them to hold for Christ and His purposes in common as joint heirs.
- A minister is part of the Body of the Church as a member of their Congregation of Ministers ["COM"];
- A minister is a Titular clerk or "clergy" in one form of government called the Church.
- A congregation of Ministers is a convention of Churches.
- Together they form Altars of clay and Stones as the Church in general.
- And spiritually are the Body of Christ.
His Church is:
- It composed of the "called out" Ministers of Christ.
- It composed of those who are servant Ministers of the Church.
- It consists of all ministers of His kingdom at hand.
- It is the legal entity of Christ.
- It is the institution of God appointed by Christ.
- It is foreign to the World.
- It is “A body or community of Christians", those following the Doctrines of Jesus.
- It is united under one form of government by the profession of one faith.
- It observes the same rituals and ceremonies.
- It has a legal and apostolic identity.
- It is the religious society founded and established by Jesus Christ,
- It is to receive, preserve, and propagate His doctrines and ordinances.
- The individual and families of congregations should be linked as one Spiritual body in practical and real ways. This is accomplished by their charitable Communion through their Ministers of service in a virtual society. They are bound by a common love for one another within the mission of the Church and purpose of Christ. With the help and service of every family in congregations of congregations through the network of Ministers, Bishops and Archbishops chosen by the people, the people become one nation under God.
- Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:1 ¶ Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him,
Terms like bishop and archbishop or liturgy are common terms in the modern Church, but in the first century Church they often had a very different meaning and purpose.
Jesus talked about the apostles as if they were princes when he appointed them a kingdom using a word that is translated both ruler and princes but His instructions limited them. The decree of Christ barred them from exercising authority one over the other like the princes of the other nations.
The apostles and other deacons, ministers of ten, like the Levites before them were to serve the people as Benefactors but could only do so by the division of the Freewill offerings of the people which is another way of saying by charity rather than force like the gentiles were doing then.
Anyone who would pray to the Fathers of the earth to obtain benefits at the expense of their neighbor, a covetous practice, is not following the instructions of Christ and therefore should not be labeled Christian. Any Church that is not seeking to provide the benefits of society through charity is not His Church.
This Daily ministration by ministers of His Church required that the people came together and contributed regularly to build a network of congregations which strive to live by faith, hope and charity which is the perfect law of liberty.
Congregations of record or testimony were a part of the kingdom from the beginning.
- "Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place [such] over them, [to be] rulers of thousands, [and] rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:" Exodus 18:21
Early Israel was a network of congregations bound only by a common purpose which did not allow people to take from others because their "rulers" "hated covetousness".
We also see phrases like "the ruler of his house" in Genesis 43:16. It is from the word bayith The Hebrew letters for bayith are BietYodTav [תיב]. Biet means house and Yod is the divine spark while the letter Tav is the door of faith.
These words for ruler do not always mean ruler as we might think of ruler today. Sar, Shem Reish, is translated prince 208 times, captain 130, chief 33, ruler 33, governor 6, keeper 3, principal 2, general 1, lords 1.
Moses was not giving the power of a king to these ministers. That rejection of God would not come until 1 Samuel 8.
- Deuteronomy 1:15 "So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes."
This statement "chief of your tribes, wise men, and known" meant the people chose their leaders and Moses approved their and blessed their choice.
Moses and Jesus appointed a kingdom and barred the ministers from exercising authority one over the other like the princes of the other nations.
They both had Daily ministration by ministers who were called out. These voluntary systems required that the people choose to come together and contribute regularly to build a network of congregations which strive to live by faith, hope and charity which means Freewill offerings which is the Perfect law of liberty.
This also required men of truth. Christ was the truth. What he told us to do and seek is His truth. Anyone who tells you that you do not have to seek and strive to be a doer of what Christ said to do to be His follower is not preaching the gospel of Christ.
In order to love your neighbor as yourself you need to devote time and energy to care for his or her true needs. To do this well you must gather together in a network of charity, faith and hope that others will be there for you when you need help. Those who work at this process of social care by charity will develop the trust of love in Christ found amongst the early Christian community.
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- Mark 6:39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
- : Exodus 17:16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
- Deuteronomy 29:22 So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it;
- Psalms 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
- Psalms 102:18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
- Isaiah 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
- Isaiah 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.
- Isaiah 34:17 And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.
- Isaiah 51:8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
- Jeremiah 50:39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.
- Lamentations 5:19 Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation.
- Daniel 4:3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
- Daniel 4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
- Joel 3:20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
- Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
- Exodus 30:13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel [is] twenty gerahs:) an half shekel [shall be] the offering of the LORD. 14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. 16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
- Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
- Deacon: The word deacon means leader of ten. Leadership in the Church is by service. In the Greek the word diakonos means servant or Ministers. Minister is the Latin word for doer of little deeds. Minister is a generic term that includes all who serve others, whether deacon or bishop. Philippians 1:1 ¶ Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
- 08130 ^אנשׂ^ sane’ \@saw-nay’\@ a primitive root; v; AV-hate 136, enemies 3, enemy 2, foes 1, hateful 1, misc 3; 146 1) to hate, be hateful 1a) (Qal) to hate 1a1) of man 1a2) of God 1a3) hater, one hating, enemy (participle) (subst) 1b) (Niphal) to be hated 1c) (Piel) hater (participle) 1c1) of persons, nations, God, wisdom
- 01215 ^עצב^ betsa‘ \@beh’- tsah\@ from 01214; n m; AV-covetousness 10, gain 9, profit 3, lucre 1; 23 1) profit, unjust gain, gain (profit) acquired by violence
- 08269 ^רשׂ^ sar \@sar\@ from 08323; n m; AV-prince 208, captain 130, chief 33, ruler 33, governor 6, keeper 3, principal 2, general 1, lords 1, misc 4; 421 1) prince, ruler, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain 1a) chieftain, leader 1b) vassal, noble, official (under king) 1c) captain, general, commander (military) 1d) chief, head, overseer (of other official classes) 1e) heads, princes (of religious office) 1f) elders (of representative leaders of people) 1g) merchant-princes (of rank and dignity) 1h) patron-angel 1i) Ruler of rulers (of God) 1j) warden
- 08323 ^ררשׂ^ sarar \@saw-rar’\@ a primitive root; v; AV-rule 3, make prince 1, altogether 1; 5 1) to be or act as prince, rule, contend, have power, prevail over, reign, govern 1a) (Qal) to rule over, govern 1b) (Hithpael) to lord it over
- 04910 ^לשׁמ^ mashal \@maw-shal’\@ a primitive root; v; AV-rule 38, ruler 19, reign 8, dominion 7, governor 4, ruled over 2, power 2, indeed 1; 81 1) to rule, have dominion, reign 1a) (Qal) to rule, have dominion 1b) (Hiphil) 1b1) to cause to rule 1b2) to exercise dominion
- Nehemiah 9:37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion [mashal ] over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we [are] in great distress.
- Job 25:2 Dominion [mashal ] and fear [are] with him, he maketh peace in his high places.
- Psalms 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion <04910> over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
- Psalms 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion <04910> over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
- Genesis 45:8 So now [it was] not you [that] sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
- 05387 ^אישׂנ^ nasiy’ \@naw-see’\@ or ^אשׂנ^ nasi’ \@naw-see’\@ from 05375; n m; AV-prince 96, captain 12, chief 10, ruler 6, vapours 3, governor 1, chief + 05387 1, clouds 1, part 1, prince + 05387 1; 132 1) one lifted up, chief, prince, captain, leader 2) rising mist, vapour
- Exodus 34:31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.
- Genesis 43:16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring [these] men home, and slay, and make ready; for [these] men shall dine with me at noon.
- 01004 ^תיב^ bayith \@bah’- yith\@ probably from 01129 abbreviated; ; AV-house 1881, household 54, home 25, within 22, temple 11, prison 16, place 16, family 3, families + 01 2, dungeon 2, misc 23; 2055 n m 1) house 1a) house, dwelling habitation 1b) shelter or abode of animals 1c) human bodies (fig.) 1d) of Sheol 1e) of abode of light and darkness 1f) of land of Ephraim 2) place 3) receptacle 4) home, house as containing a family 5) household, family 5a) those belonging to the same household 5b) family of descendants, descendants as organized body 6) household affairs 7) inwards (metaph.) 8) (TWOT) temple adv 9) on the inside prep 10) within
- 0977 ^רחב^ bachar \@baw-khar’\@ a primitive root; v; AV-choose 77, chosen 77, choice 6, choose … out 5, acceptable 1, appoint 1, excellent 1, chosen men 1, rather 1, require 1, not translated; 172 1) to choose, elect, decide for 1a) (Qal) to choose 1b) (Niphal) to be chosen 1c) (Pual) to be chosen, selected
- 07218 ^שׁאר^ ro’sh \@roshe\@ from an unused root apparently meaning to shake; n m; AV-head 349, chief 91, top 73, beginning 14, company 12, captain 10, sum 9, first 6, principal 5, chapiters 4, rulers 2, misc 23; 598 1) head, top, summit, upper part, chief, total, sum, height, front, beginning 1a) head (of man, animals) 1b) top, tip (of mountain) 1c) height (of stars) 1d) chief, head (of man, city, nation, place, family, riest) 1e) head, front, beginning 1f) chief, choicest, best 1g) head, division, company, band 1h) sum
- 0571 ^תמא^ ‘emeth \@eh’- meth\@ contracted from 0539; AV-truth 92, true 18, truly 7, right 3, faithfully 2, assured 1, assuredly 1, establishment 1, faithful 1, sure 1, verity 1; 127 n f
- 1) firmness, faithfulness, truth
- 1a) sureness, reliability 1b) stability, continuance 1c) faithfulness, reliableness 1d) truth 1d1) as spoken 1d2) of testimony and judgment 1d3) of divine instruction 1d4) truth as a body of ethical or religious knowledge 1d5) true doctrine adv
- 2) in truth, truly
- 1) firmness, faithfulness, truth
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