Gods

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Judges 10:14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. Part 9: Gods Many ~10 min min

There Be gods Many

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“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)” (1 Corinthians 8:5)

What is Paul talking about when he says there are “gods many”?

He is not talking about spiritual creatures or statues of stone and wood. He is talking about the "Ruling judges of men." The verse before verse 5 states "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one." 1 Corinthians 8:4


Food of the gods

The Welfare of the world depends upon the men who call themselves Benefactors who exercise authority to force your neighbor to contribute to provide you with benefits. This is the covetous practice that Peter said makes you merchandise and curses your children. Paul and David said that eating at that table which should have been for your welfare but is a snare and a trap. If religion was how you took care of the needy of society which it was then welfare through the state is public religion and the men. Pure religion was taking care of your social welfare "unspotted" by the world governments of Rome. Christians would not apply for the free bread of Rome but prayed to God for their "daily bread" and hoped that His servant Church would rightly divide the bread from house to house. This system of charity rather than force was at the core of the Christian Conflict with Rome.

People today, who believe in a superior being that has brought about creation, use the term "god" to reference the creator of mankind. They believe that "god" is a religious term and of course it is, if you understand what the word Religion use to mean.

Jesus spoke of some revolutionary ideas that actually worked to set men free. To understand what he was talking about we may have to look at some of the terms of His day and how they have changed through the Sophistry of those who do not want you to understand the whole truth.

Jesus talks about Benefactors who exercise authority one over the other and the fathers of the earth. If we knew who these Benefactors, Fathers and gods were we might also know what Jesus meant by the "righteousness of God" which He tells us to seek.

Besides the New Testament, we can see that in the Old Testament, ancient history, and even modern language the term "god" often referred to a man or men.

People sacrifice to these gods of the world through the temples they build in order to be able to eat of those sacrifices. Those temples were government buildings which provided government services like free bread or care for those in need. That is what Religion was really all about. The Imperial Cult of Rome was a "social and political organization" which included a membership through a social welfare scheme run through the government Temples like the Corban of Herod and the Pharisees. Application and membership consolidated the power of government over every aspect of the lives of the people and altered society.


Read the book The Covenants of the gods which is free online. Ask about it on the Living Network.


Elohiym

“And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for [am] I in the place of God?” (Genesis 50:19)

Here in Genesis, Joseph asks if he is in the place of God or a god? He had the power of judgment, but left that judgment to God the Father and forgave his brothers.

In the Old Testament, the words “gods” and “God” are both translated from the single Hebrew word elohiym,[1] defined as “rulers, judges” and “applied as deference to magistrates” according to the Strong's Concordance.

"Elohiym"[1] is even translated "judges".

In Exodus 21:

“..if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master” and choose to serve him, “then his master will bring him unto the judges”. We also see in Exodus 22 that Moses uses it when he is talking about men judging matters of guilt and innocence in cases of robbery of personal property.[2]

Even in 1 Samuel 2:25 we see the word "elohiym"[1] translated judge when speaking about men judging other men.

“If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall entreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.”

The word was used by the Israelites to refer to men amongst their own people, men that had the right to judge certain matters of guilt and innocence.

Were other men called gods?

Joshua gives a choice in chapter 24 verse 15:

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. And the people answered and said, ‘God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods."

What are or who are those gods? No one serves stone. Stone statues were just the symbol of men who were the ruling judges of other men. Men who exercise authority over the service of others, making rules.

Exodus 22:28 tells us that:

“Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.”

The terms "gods", "Elohiym"[1] and "rulers" or more commonly "princes" are coupled together because when people were not talking about the God of creation they were usually talking about men who represented the position of God in a more temporal setting or institution.

We see the same idea in Ecclesiastes 10:20 "Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter." or Jesus when he warned in Luke 12:3 " Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."

Theos

In the New Testament, the words “God” and “gods” is translated from the Greek word theos[3], which figuratively means “a magistrate.”[4] The 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 would address 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.”

The term "theos"[3] like "Elohim" can also figuratively mean "magistrates and judges" and is defined as such.


IV. whatever can in any respect be likened unto God, or resemble him in any way
A. God's representative or viceregent
i. of magistrates and judges

θεός theós, theh'-os; of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very:—X exceeding, God, god(-ly, -ward).[5]


Octavius, who became Augustus[6] Caesar, was called a god but the actual title was Apotheosis which means an appointer of gods. Augustus was the Soter[7] "meaning a saviour, a deliverer" of Rome and his reforms transformed the Republican to an indirect democracy and virtual de facto monarchy with traditional Roman practices and the appearance of Republican values.

Roman gods were merely Greek gods renamed. They represented in myth form human characteristics to be admired or respected. Originally every head of household embodied the genius of the familia but with the rise of power, men were given official titles like "unconquered god" granted to Caesar and inscribed in the temple of Quirinus. He was called parens patriae (father of the fatherland). As this Father of the earth, his genius demanded the loyalty of all the natural fathers of Roman households and proven by legal oaths were taken by his Genius.

In the Republic, the gods manifested their character, power, and authority through those individual "heads of households". Even though many of the Roman people feared this centralization of power in the office, munificence, auctoritas and gens[8] of a man and were driven to assassinate Julius Caesar. After the bloody civil war, few dared argue with Augustus. The spoils of war had made Augustus rich and "his" Imperial revenue funded temples, amphitheaters, theatres, baths, festivals and the government itself. The free bread of Rome appeased the mob and fed their loyalty. According to Polybius the acceptance of a despot was a long time in coming because the people " an appetite for benefits and the habit of receiving them by way of a rule of force and violence. The people, having grown accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others... institute the rule of violence".

These socialist provisions of free bread by the government of Rome was counted as covetous practices and seen as the antithesis of the teaching of John the Baptist, Jesus the Christ and the Apostles.

Once the divine office of Principate was sanctioned by the Senate and occupied by a man subsequent successors like Caligula exposed the legal and moral contradictions of the Augustan "Republic" which was not a republic at all. The Senate was compelled to constitutionally define his role, but the rites and sacrifices to the living genius of the emperor as a god of Rome already acknowledged his constitutionally of unlimited powers as the paterfamilias of the Roman people.

Remember the Greek word theos is can be defined as "whatever can in any respect be likened unto God, or resemble him in any way." Almost every time the Bible speaks of gods it is not talking about an alternative spiritual creator of the universe but a man-made "office or institution" that assumes a role of authority over other men and their natural conscience or God-given faith and logos.

Ye are gods

“But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.”[9] The Kingdom of God is unique because, having one God, Jesus told us: “...The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.”[10]

His appointed government did not force the contributions of the people, but as Paul said, was bound together by charity according to the perfect law of liberty.

“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (John 10:34)

What He is saying is that each of us is a god, or ruling judge, of our own choices and action if we are born of the Spirit and led by the Holy Spirit. We are not gods of other men or our neighbors. We should not rule over men, nor should we make men rulers over us, but we should remain free souls under God, The Father who is in Heaven. We should only be praying to our Father in heaven for "our daily bread" and not the Fathers of the earth who exercise authority and take from our neighbor and curse children with our debt.

If we do the things Jesus says and obey God’s commandments, then we shalt have no other gods ruling over us.[11] We will not have to bow down nor serve them.[12] But, if we make covenants, [13] swear oaths,[14] pray to other fathers on earth to obtain benefits[15] or break God’s laws,[16] then we will go under the powers[17] of the gods of men and their rulers.


They will be your ruling judges. They will decide what is good and what is evil. These gods of old were men who ruled, made laws and licensed evil.[18] They rejected spirit of God who ruled through the individual and chose a man to rule over them, to be a king in 1 Samuel 8.

So also do they reject the Spiritual God of righteousness who rights His laws on the hearts and minds of the individual that he should decide "fact and law" and the people through sloth and by the creation of institutions where they chose men to take the place of God and be their gods.[19] But in the imagination of the people they do not want to see that those gods who make covenants requiring oaths, and the servece and toil of the people were men. In their imagination they cling to the idea that these gods were only the "work of men’s hands, wood and stone" idols rather than the institutions and offices created by men which they represented.[20]

These Supreme beings have the right to decide good and evil for the people. They are chosen by the Apotheos of Washington DC.
“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)” (1 Corinthians 8:5)

In the days of Jacob and Egypt, Joseph's brothers delivered their brother into bondage as a result of their own selfishness, envy, and covetous hearts. Had they not done this, Joseph's relationship with God would have revealed to them the coming events. It would have been they, not Egypt, who would have prepared for the time of famine. The sons of Jacob would have become wealthy among nations. Instead, they cast the source of their own salvation into a pit.

Because of their straying from the righteousness of God they were delivered into bondage. This bondage grew until the powers of Egypt through the subtleties of the gods of other men or our neighbors. We should not rule over men, nor should we make men rulers over us, but we should remain free souls under God, The Father who is in Heaven. We should only be praying to our Father in heaven for "our daily bread" and not the Fathers of the earth who exercise authority and take from our neighbor and curse children with our debt.

They weren't slaves as we often think of slavery but 2.5 months out of the year they labored for the government of Pharaoh. This would be called a corvee system of statutory labor. It was an excise or tribute tax upon the sweat of men's brows. All the gold and silver was in the treasuries of the government which meddled heavily into the family life of Israel, abortion was encouraged. The people only had a legal title to their land, animals, and labor.

God eventually arranged that Moses was able to redeem the people and bring them out of this bondage. They were given the gold and silver [an honest money system] replacing their interest-bearing scarabs. They got their animals and families back and once they learned the ways of the God they obtained some land of their own.

Was this golden calf superstitous idolatry or a national treasury and an economic system like Egypt meant to bind the people?
Banking on one purse to bind the people with a golden statue has been part of the schemes of the Nimrods and Cains of the world. These systems of exchange bind the people until benefactors and the fathers of the earth arise weakening the people and becoming despots. Jesus was not a socialist.
  • "And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for [as for] this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him." Exodus 32:1

Golden Statues

The practice of creating statues made of gold or silver was not mere superstition, but a practicality stimulated by fear and a lack of faith.

The people literally deposited their gold, as well as other goods, into a common purse [21] sacrificed the right to it, and took, in turn, some sort of exchangeable token.[22] The gold was poured or plated into a large statue for all to see.[23] The wealth of the community was melted together.

The result of this common purse was that no one person could leave in the face of an enemy attack or trouble without leaving behind the wealth deposited in the golden idol. This was a way of creating a closed society[24] but it bound the people and their loyalty and lead to centralization of power in society.

Their scarabs or tokens, which acted as a medium of exchange in a closed economy, were worthless except within their community. There was a possibility of some exchange with other communities but management practices may very from group to group creating inequalities that allow for profit. The priests of the temple kept track of all the complexities of this monetary system and, of course, eventually the profits from interest and usury.

These systems besides leading the people back to the bondage of Egypt were to common in the world which produced a need for the principle of "just weights and measures".[25]

The Reserve Fund

Nimrod to Now Series: Part 2: Golden Calf ~5 min

This was 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 the golden calf was their “reserve fund”.[26] 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.

This practice was used in Athens, who called their golden statue of a god the “reserved fund”. In 406 B.C., at the close of the Peloponnesian war, after a naval disaster, Athens equipped and manned its new fleet by sending the gold statue of the god Nike (in the Parthenon) to the mint.

These idols of old were not just superstitious mumbo-jumbo, but paganism with a purpose. The statues were symbols for systems created by the hand of men. To bow down to an idol was to make yourself subject to the system it represented. That was idolatry.

Where these statues were made of precious metal like gold they did more than represent the system but also were a reserved fund established to protect the wealth of the people in a common purse but also to guarantee their loyalty. It also assured the power of the ruling elite. The king of Sodom had put more value on ”his” human resources than the treasure of his city. [27]

Aaron also knew these “arts of the temple and accommodated the people. But Moses was outraged with the people for entrusting their family wealth in this unrighteous mammon. He knew it would return people to the bondage of Egypt. Moses then called out the Church in the wilderness to undo the mess they got into. Christ did the same when He called out the Church.

"Bishops, presbyters(Elder) and deacons occupy in the church the same positions as those which were occupied by Aaron, his sons, and the Levites in the temple." –Jerome, Ep. 146

The early Church did not depend upon a centralized treasury nor men who called themselves benefactors but exercised authority one over the other and neither did the Levites. They did not pray to the fathers of the earth but to their Father who art in Heaven. Those prayers were often answered by the Holy Spirit living in the hearts of the men and women as they freely assembled through faith, hope and charity and the perfect law of liberty.

Some people believe Capitalism enables the richest few to control everything for their sole benefit.” They believe that, “Efficient rationing by the State would allow everyone to have the ability to get everything they need to have at least close to the same quality of life as everyone else.”

Rome tried state control of the means of production and they got chaos, economic decline and eventually collapse. While the Roman empire was suffering under runaway inflation, forced price controls, regulated rationing and free bread. They still suffered mass shortages.

However the christian community was not only surviving, but thriving. They did this by balancing capitalism with moral virtue and a network of charitable practices rather than the covetous practices of Rome's socialist state. The only reason the rich may have an advantage over the poor because the poor do not come together in a similar system of moral virtue and a network of charity.

Christ had forbid socialism and the use of government control, but not without offering an alternative. One of the basic problems with society today is that it does not understand what the early Christians were doing, including the modern Christians.

Today, the average laborer in the United States works to pay off his corvee obligation to the government. Through the graduated income tax, and through "crafts of state" this can amount to more than 5 months of labor out of each year. The people no longer actually own their land, having a mere legal title, and pay an annual "use tax" just to remain in their homes. All the gold and silver is legally in the hands of the civil and commercial powers and the people use a fluctuating system of interest-bearing notes.

“Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.” (Jeremiah 11:12)
  • How did all this happen and what is the hope of our redemption?
  • Can we learn anything from history of Rome at the time of Jesus?

They were very good at borrowing from other nations, including Egypt.

Rome had been a Republic, it also had strong commercial interests which had come to power after their major civil war.

Rome was doing much the same as Egypt after it had been invited into Judea by two brothers fighting over the kingdom. Rome had not conquered Judea, not yet, but they were spreading their commercial influence, civil methodology and system of corvee through commerce and trade. Rome had formed sort of an internatiopeacekeepingping force to maintain order. Their presence in Judea was mainly to resolve civil and political disputes concerning who would be King. Their strong commercial interest, which always requires stable government and a compliant population, supplied their incentive.

Rome recognized Jesus as King and Jesus as king redeemed the people from their Roman involvement, if they would learn his ways. Jews and others who prescribed to the perfect law of liberty established by the government of servants appointed by Jesus became known in history as Christians while those who denounced Jesus as King and continued in apostasy were conquered and destroyed at the fall of Jerusalem. An exodus took place at the destruction of Jerusalem and during much of the persecution of the followers of Christ. These people who we call Christians were mostly Jews and Israelites as well as others who formed the political Kingdom of Jesus and therefore God on earth. His Kingdom was unique in history because it is not like the Kingdoms of the Gentiles or Nations. It is often over-looked because few know what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like. And there are factions that would not want you to truly understand God's Kingdom on earth and therefore they choose to keep it a “Mystery”.

Jews and others who prescribed to the perfect law of liberty established by this government of servants appointed by Jesus became known in history as Christians. While those who denounced Jesus as King saying they had no king but Caesar and continued in apostasy were conquered and destroyed at the fall of Jerusalem. An exodus took place at the destruction of Jerusalem. The followers of Christ who became known as Christians would eventually be persecuded when they refused to sign up with the systems of welfare run through the temples of Rome.


In Gibbon's Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, he praised "the union and discipline of the Christian republic." He also pointed out that, "it gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman Empire."

Romans knew what a republic was having formed one in 500 BC after they drove our the Tarquinian Kings. They fashioned it after the early patriarch of Israel. The word Republic comes from the Latin idiom Libera Res Public, 'Free from Things Public'.

Republic vs. Democracy

But alas as history repeats itself they too eventual went under a king type dominion.

In 29 B.C. Gaius Octavianus marched into Rome as the savior of the Republic and was given the title of Augustus by the Senate. He was then legally granted the position Emperator, under constitutional forms and limitations by an electoral college composed of the Senate, the Conscripted Fathers, or Conscripti Patres. Emperator means the 'commander in chief' [Emperator, emperatoris m. commander in chief Collins L.E. Dict. '62.] of all military and naval forces, for a period of ten years. He could set foreign policy and establish treaties. Each year he could also be elected consul (chief executive officer, Principas Civitas, the First Citizen or President, His wife was Principa Femina, the first lady). By this office Britannica calls him the President of Rome ["Thus the republic was restored under the presidency of its 'first citizen' (princeps civitatis)." [28]

The third office he requested was ApoTheos (literally the beginner of gods which means the appointor of magistrate ). Each of these offices required swearing another binding oath of office.

Augustus as Emperator had dropped his position of Consul of Rome for almost 18 years while he settled disputes as a sort of combination N.A.T.O, U.N. and U.S. military force all rolled into one. He kept banking, trade and commerce prospering throughout the world and received great praise and adoration for the accomplishment.

Today, the president of the US is the Commander in Chief of the military, the Emperor. As first citizen he is the chief executive officer called the President. He also can appoint federal justices throughout the federal empire, who then sits as theos or judges or gods of its citizenry.

“'Civil Law,' 'Roman Law' and 'Roman Civil Law' are convertible phrases, meaning the same system of jurisprudence.” [29]

The gods of the US

Welcome to Rome, again.

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". Check your concordance.

The gods of the US are like the gods of Rome who were elected by the appointor gods.

To realize that at the time of Christ you would address a judge in a Hebrew, Roman, or Greek court as god should change the entire way you read your modern Bibles.

The emperors were often referred to as gods using the words Apo Theos. This was not because any one believed that they created heaven and earth but because they were the chief magistracy and ruler of the people appointing judges throughout the empire.

The president of the United States is also granted this office or title. We do not always read it in its Greek form but we can.

It is not so strange to think of the Roman Emperors as gods when you realize that George Washington himself was deified in the ceiling of the Capital dome. "Across the Dome's eye, 180 feet above the floor, spreads a gigantic allegorical painting by the Italian artist Constantino Brumidi. The painting depicts the Apotheosis, or glorification, of George Washington. Surrounding Washington in sweeping circles are delicately colored figures--some 15 feet tall. They include gods and goddesses [among them Ceres, Vulcan, Mercury, Neptune, Minerva and 13 State goddesses] pictured as protectors of American ideals and progress."[30]

Even a government website references this painting as raising Washington to the "rank of god".[31] The statues of Augustus honored him as a national icon but it was when they gave him the power to appoint the ruling judges in imperial courts that he became a god over the gods many.

So, the dog does return to the vomit, the pig to the mire, and history repeats itself. Jesus came to redeem us spiritually and in truth.

“Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:45)

History has repeated itself again and you are delivered into bondage. The redemption of Jesus still stands in the world today both in spirit and in truth but one must knock and the door shall be opened.

"Redemption is deliverance from the power of an alien dominion and the enjoyment of the resulting freedom. It involves the idea of restoration to one who possesses a more fundamental right or interest. The best example of redemption in the Old Testament was the deliverance of the children of Israel from bondage, from the dominion of the alien power in Egypt." [32]

Consider the word god now that we see it as an office and men can choose whether or not to have other gods before them.

If men make such foolish choices, then God may hold them accountable to the gods they have chosen for themselves.

“Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.” (Exodus 22:28)

The Greek word for god may appear as Theos, Theon and Theoi. Greek and Latin are inflected languages and have different endings depending on how they are used in the sentence. That does not change the meaning of the word. The case of the word or a different grammatical role within a sentence will produce a different ending to the word. "The God" tells you something, but I could be saying "the God" of the Amalaks or "the God" of Abraham. You can add articles or create phrases, but again the word's meaning remains the same which is "ruling judge". It was used every day in the Bible to denote a person who had the power to judge good and evil for you.

We should not make gods of men but we often do by making covenants with men and their “ruling judges” usually for granted benefits or protection, and by application, oath, and participation in schemes of social welfare.

The “gods of the City"

“In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months: And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.” (Acts 7:20-21)

What do they mean exceeding fair?

Fair is from the word asteios which in the original form was astu (a city). Here it is a form that means "of the city" or civil authority of government. The word is only used in reference to Moses in the Bible, but it is another Greek word found in the text which is a key to understanding the author in this context. Exceeding is translated from the Greek word theos. Of the over 1300 times it appears in the New Testament this word is translated God or gods. Yes, Moses was a god and had the power to rule over his brothers with executorial judgment as a god of the city.

All god or gods means is that he had the right to judge and rule according. Theos means ruling judge and was used every day through out the empire as an address for the appointed judges of Rome. The same can be said of the judges of Israel at the time of Jesus who were addressed also as god.

Moses had the right to judge, but did not want to take it for he despised the force that is required in such power and fled from it as Lemech and Cain should have done. This same rejection of power over others was the way Jesus and Peter taught & walked. When the husband and wife who lied about the land they sold bought the money to Peter, he did not punish them. It was their money, they could have kept it, but they lied and were punished by the Holy Spirit, not Peter, for he could not act as the princes of the Gentiles would if you cheated on your income taxes. Moses too showed this holy restraint in the case of Dathan and Abiram who could have been judged by Moses but he left judgment to God the Father for vengeance is mine saith the LORD.

In god men may trust, but we must always ask which god for there are gods many.

“But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:6)

We should accept no substitute god or father upon the earth, but God the Father who is in heaven. Yet, men do pray to other men for their salvation. Those are the men who often rule the people.

“The people always have some champion whom they set over themselves and nurse into greatness... This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” [33]

These protectors often call themselves benefactors and by their welfare they snare many back into some form of servitude where the people become human resources to be used up for the whim of the despots and tyrants.

These Benefactors become the gods of our society where we pray to them for our civil and temporal salvation. Since their benefits are provided at the expense of our neighbor by the exercising authority of these gods our souls are soon altered by our rejection[34] of God's way of charity and love and we are returned to the bondage of Egypt.

Religion ~4 min

It has been the practice of men to invent religions, surround them with mysterious rituals and complex doctrines for the purpose of justifying our selfishness and sin. While we covet our neighbors goods through the agency of governments we create with our own hands we ourselves are delivered into the net[35] of our own making.

Salvation is not dependent upon hollow professions of faith, self serving designer doctrines, or dissembling adoration. Our verbal or melodic praises do not impress God.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

Christ and His apostles were Doers of the word. Their faith gave them spiritual motivation. To understand how Christ, His apostles, and His Church were turning the world upside down, may require us to turn some of our modern religious beliefs upside down---or throw them out all together.

“...certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4)

What is Proverbs 23 telling us when it says, “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.”?

What did Jesus mean when he told us to pray (apply) to our Father in Heaven and call no man father upon the earth?

Why did Paul in Romans 11:9 repeat David's warning from Psalms 69:22, “...Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them:”? David knew “that which should have been for their welfare, [would] become a trap.”?

The Kingdom of God binds men together by faith, hope, and charity.[36] The apostles, like Gideon,[37] would not rule over the people. Moses led the people out of bondage, to a place where there were no kings who exercised authority one over the other. Ministers of God are titular leaders of a peculiar people. They are not like Nimrod or Caesar.

A Challenge to Modern Religion: A Strong Delusion ~3 min

Edward Gibbon praised “the union and discipline of the Christian republic” in his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and explained that the Church "gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman Empire."[38] The Christian state was different.

If Christians were told to, “Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power.” then why were Christians persecuted by governments? Why were they accused of saying that there is another king, one Jesus?[39] God instituted the government of the apostles, man instituted the government of Caesar.

“Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:7-8)

Why do you owe Caesar at all? How is it that you are under tribute, when we are told in Proverbs 12:24, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute”?

Governments of men are created by men. The righteous power of government to tax the people comes from the people by consent. When the voice of the people called for a leader who could rule over them in the days of Samuel, the election of the people was a rejection of God.

The people had lived without such authoritarian benefactors for centuries, [40]but they were now doing evil and rejecting God, because they were tired of taking on the responsibility of protecting one another, of loving their neighbor as themselves. When the people called to the prophet Samuel to swear in a ruler to appoint judges, make laws, and to lead them in battle, that was an evil thing because God said they were rejecting Him. Before that the welfare of the people was attended to by the people and for the people through the charity and hope of the people. [41]Churches were a part of this system of daily ministration to the needy of society. This was the pure religion[42] of loving your neighbor as yourself.

“The real destroyers of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations, and benefits.” –Plutarch

Mankind has repeatedly been snared by his own wantonness and appetite, his own greed and lust for power over his neighbor. When John Wycliffe introduced his translation of the Bible in 1382 he wrote, “This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.” He was often treated as a heretic, his followers were arrested and after his death his body was dug up and burned.

“He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the hunter before the LORD.” (Genesis 10:9)

The word hunter is from tsayid which is more often translated ‘'provision, food, food-supply, or victuals'’. This verse would be better translated to the effect that Nimrod was a mighty provider instead of the LORD. This concept of benefactors who exercise authority would be in-line with testimonies of David and Paul, and John and Jesus, about praying and eating at the tables of rulers and being snared by those tables that should have been for our welfare.

“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesian 5:5)

Today, we are taught that it is a good thing to apply to the authoritarian benefactors who force the contributions and sacrifices of the people, even though when Saul did that he was called “foolish” by Samuel and a violator of the commandments of the LORD thy God.[43]

  • Have we made covenants with other gods, and bowed down to them waiving our rights endowed by God the Father of our creation?
  • Have we been snared in service to these gods who rule us and our neighbors because we desired the social welfare of their offered benefits at the expense of our neighbors?
  • By denying the ways of God have we made gods of men?
“Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.” (Judges 10:13-14)

All this reference to other gods, gods many, and gods served comes into a new light when we are willing to admit that these other gods are ruling judges to whom we give power, because we swear oaths and apply for benefits from them. This is not a new idea, as we have seen, but some desire more proof.

“In an old Hebrew vocabulary, by William Robertson of Edinburgh, Eloah is rendered God; while some, it is said "not without ground, interpret it to signify properly a judge (from Alah to swear,) because it belongs to a judge by his office to bind others by oaths; and hence the name is attributed to God; as the greatest and most glorious judge of all the world; thus Ps. 82: 1. Elohim (God) judgeth among the Elohim (gods or judges), who are called gods, i. e. judges because they represent God upon earth, as his deputed ministers and officers among men.”[44]

</blockquote> “Meaning of Elohim and Theos” “inferred that the being or beings referred to by that name, were supposed to possess qualities and attributes which led their votaries or dependents to worship and revere them. Hence, he says, it was applied to kings, magistrates, judges, and others to whom reverence is shown, and which are regarded as representative's of the Deity upon earth.”[45]</blockquote>

“It (Elohim) should seem to be second in dignity only to the name Jehovah : — as that name imports the essential being of the Divinity, so Elohim seems to import the power inherent in Deity ; or the manifestation of that power on its relative subjects." [46]
“The Jewish grammarians, conceiving that the word Elohim is used in Scripture for men in power and authority, particularly for judges, connect this sense with the root Alah to swear, by observing that it is the particular office and prerogative of judges and magistrates to administer oaths. This power they make the first principle of judicature or magistracy...Hence they say Elohim signified judges or magistrates generally, and by pre-eminence God ; as the first of all judges, to whom alt other judges are subordinate, and from whom they derive their authority.”[47]

The term Elohim: “...appears to be attributed in a lower sense to angels, &c. — Kings who have greater power than their subjects: magistrates who have greater power than those who come before them to obtain decision of their suits and application of the laws ; and princes or men of rank, whether in office or not, who possess power and influence by their wealth,". [48]


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Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 0430 םיהלא ‘elohiym el-o-heem’ plural of 0433; n m p; {See TWOT on 93 @@ "93c" } AV-God 2346, god 244, judge 5, GOD 1, goddess 2, great 2, mighty 2, angels 1, exceeding 1, God-ward + 04136 1, godly 1; 2606
    1) (plural)
    1a) rulers, judges
    1b) divine ones
    1c) angels
    1d) gods
    2) (plural intensive-singular meaning)
    2a) god, goddess
    2b) godlike one
    2c) works or special possessions of God
    2d) the (true) God
    2e) God
  2. Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. Ex 21:6 and If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods. For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour. Exodus 22:8-9
  3. 3.0 3.1 2316 ~θεός~ theos \@theh’-os\@ of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with 3588) the supreme Divinity; TDNT-3:65,322; {See TDNT 305} n m AV-God 1320, god 13, godly 3, God-ward + 4214 2, misc 5; 1343
    1) a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities
    2) the Godhead, trinity
    2a) God the Father, the first person in the trinity
    2b) Christ, the second person of the trinity
    2c) Holy Spirit, the third person in the trinity
    3) spoken of the only and true God
    3a) refers to the things of God
    3b) his counsels, interests, things due to him
    4) whatever can in any respect be likened unto God, or resemble him in any way
    4a) God’s representative or viceregent
    4a1) of magistrates and judges
  4. Strong’s Concordance.
  5. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g2316
  6. Latin for "majestic", "the increaser" or "venerable".
  7. Soter has been used as:
    a title of gods: Poseidon Soter, Zeus Soter, Dionysus Soter, Apollo Soter, Athena Soteria etc.
    a title for rulers: Ptolemy (Egypt 323-283 BCE), Antiochus (281-261 BCE), and Demetrius (161-150 BCE) of the Seleucid Empire, Rome and many others etc.
    a title of liberators (eleutherios)
    a title of Jesus of Nazareth, most particularly in the fish acronym
  8. The Potestas, Imperium and Auctoritas of God's government belongs in each family, in the Pater Familias, where God intended it to be. God warned that the desire for power over others would bring their own punishment.
    The Potestas, Imperium and Auctoritas passes from generation to generation unless your natural father sells that right through obligations and debts in which case you will not inherit it. This is why Israel was still in bondage 400 years after the actions of their ancestors and it is why people are in bondage today and cannot just free themselves or redeem themselves. We gather in hope of His redemption...
  9. 1 Corinthians 8:6
  10. Luke 22:25, Matthew 20:25, Mark 10:42..
  11. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)
  12. Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
    Exodus 23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.
    Deuteronomy 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
  13. “Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.” (Exodus 23:32) and Deuteronomy 7:2
  14. Joshua 23:7 That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them:
    Matthew 5:34... :James 5:12
  15. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9). “And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9)
  16. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
  17. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1) “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)
  18. Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Deuteronomy 31:18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Judges 10:6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.
    2 Chronicles 7:22 And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.
    Isaiah 41:23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.
    Jeremiah 35:15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.
  19. 1 Kings 9:9 "And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil."
  20. Jeremiah 13:10 "This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing."
  21. "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:" (Proverbs 1:10-14)
  22. In Egypt they used clay scarabs, in Rome they used iron coins and clay scarabs, in many countries they use notes and now even credit entries but none are "just weights and measures"
  23. This allowed some accountability which is always a problem but it did not solve the problem of over issuing the exchange tokens which caused inflation.
  24. The camp was now gated not only to keep people out but to keep the people in. Exodus 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who [is] on the LORD’S side? [let him come] unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.
  25. Leviticus 19:36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
    Proverbs 16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work.
  26. Athens, under the leadership of Pericles, was driven to her golden goddess, their reserve fund, and compelled to melt it down and coin it into money Peloponnesian Wars. They eventually minted a plated bronze tetradrachms in Athens during the hard times which followed the Athenian collapse, viz. from B.C. 406-393. “In 393 the wretched bronze money of necessity was cried down, the Town Crier being sent round to proclaim that silver was once more to be the only legal tender :” ARIST. Eccl. 819.
    Aerarium (from Lat. aes, in its derived sense of ``money) the name (in full, aerarium stabulum, treasure-house) given in ancient Rome to the public treasury, and in a secondary sense to the public finances. The treasury contained the moneys and accounts of the state, and also the standards of the legions; the public laws engraved on brass, the decrees of the senate and other papers and registers of importance. These public treasures were deposited in the temple of Saturn, on the eastern slope of the Capitoline hill... In addition to the common treasury, supported by the general taxes and charged with the ordinary expenditure, there was a special reserve fund, also in the temple of Saturn, the aerarium sanctum (or sanctius), probably originally consisting of the spoils of war, afterwards maintained chiefly by a 5% tax... The later emperors had a separate aerarium privatum, containing the moneys allotted for their own use, distinct from the fiscus, which they administered in the interests of the empire. From a 1911 Encyclopedia
  27. "And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself." (Genesis 14:21)
  28. Encyclopedia Britannica Vol 2, p. 687, '53..
  29. Black's 3rd p 332.
  30. "We, the People" "The Story of the United States Capitol" by the United States Capitol Historical Society, Washington D.C., Library of Congress catalog number 65-20721.
  31. http://www.aoc.gov/capitol-hill/murals/apotheosis-washington
  32. Zondervan's Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.
  33. Socrates quoted by Plato from The Republic, bk. 8, sect.. 565:
  34. “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (1 Samuel 8:7)
  35. “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not... Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:.. For their feet run to evil... in vain the net is spread ... they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives.” (Proverbs 1:10-18)
  36. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
  37. “And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.” (Judges 8:23)
  38. Rousseau and Revolution, Will et Ariel Durant p.801. fn 83 Heiseler, 85.
  39. Acts 17:6, 7
  40. “In those days [there was] no king in Israel, [but] every man did [that which was] right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6)
  41. Then John Wycliffe introduced his translation of the Bible in 1382 with the words, “This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People
  42. .“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
  43. “And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.” (1 Samuel 13:13)
  44. The Proper Mode of Rendering the Word God in translating the Sacred Scriptures into the Chinese Language, Walter Henry Medhurs, the Mission Press 1848
  45. The Proper Mode of Rendering the Word God in translating the Sacred Scriptures into the Chinese Language, the Mission Press 1848
  46. Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible, edited by Charles Taylor, Vol. I. page 484
  47. The Proper Mode of Rendering the Word God in translating the Sacred Scriptures into the Chinese Language, Walter Henry Medhurs, the Mission Press 1848
  48. The Proper Mode of Rendering the Word God in translating the Sacred Scriptures into the Chinese Language, Walter Henry Medhurs, the Mission Press 1848

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