Theocracy is "a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God's or deity's laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities. 2. a system of government by priests claiming a divine commission."
THEOCRACY. "A species of government which claims to be immediately directed by God." Bouvier's Law Dictionary , 1856 Edition
The definition of a theocracy is according to one dictionary is "a government or country that is ruled by someone who has religious authority or divine right." By that definition we could apply the term theocracy to England under Henry VIII who claimed the divine right of kings and to be head of the church.
Caesar Augustus claimed to be a god or at least the Apotheos of Rome. Paul said there are gods many. Once we examine and understand how the term "gods" has been used in history and therefore how it is often meant to be understood in the Bible we can conclude that almost every government is a theocracy of sorts. The difference is who are the gods of your government or is your God the God of heaven?
In God's government God dwells in the hearts and minds of the people and therefore the power of choice must rest in the people and not a central authority like a king, prime minister or president or the fathers of the earth.
John the Baptist and Jesus preached the Kingdom of God which would also seem to be a theocracy. The chief difference between the Kingdom of God and other governments of the world is that there is no centralization of the power of choice because there are no rulers.
A true believer in the God of heaven would seek to live by faith, hope and charity and what Paul calls the perfect law of liberty. They would not live by force and fear through covetous practices of Benefactors who exercise authority one over the other.
Form of government
Natural Law is often contrasted with the positive law of a given political community, society, or state. And Natural law is where rights originated.
All government or State power or power of the State originates in the people. The rights of man are endowed by God but man may choose to endow governments with a portion of those rights or powers of choice.
There are at least two ways to do that. One is you support the government by Freewill offerings and the other is when you give the power to government to force the offerings of all the people. The former requires, if we wish to call it "one form of government", a servant body of titular leaders who respect your right to choose but freely receive and freely give what you offer in support of the government. The latter has the power to force offerings and sacrifices from the people but has never been God's plan for the righteous. Whenever the voice of the people elect a ruler who exercises authority one over the other they are rejecting God.
The first operates by faith, hope and charity in that system or Kingdom of love.
What is commonly called the State is the result of the acts of people vesting power in another. The election of a man who could rule over the people, even if by the Voice of the People was, from the beginning, called a rejection of God and carried with it a long list of consequences prophesied by God through Samuel. God allows the people to make foolish choices and tells them that he will not hear their prayers if they do.
This was a matter of Common Sense at one time in America.
In a true government of, for and by the people, natural rights remain with the people. Where the people remain in a “natural state” as God intended before the creation of a “social contract” (whether implied or actual, defacto or dejure), the power of government remains with the individual. In this natural “state of society” the power of choice (liberty or right to choose), called the potestas, remains with every man within the family.
The Romans called this form of government libera res publica, which means free from things public. It is this phrase which is the origin of the Latin word republica. But over time the word developed two senses and uses.
A Republic in one sense is “that form of government in which the administration of affairs is open to all the citizens". In another sense, it signifies "the state, independently of its government.”
In the latter sense we can envision a republic as a system where the people retain their rights, hold the power of the state and the ministers are titular servants of the people. In such systems taxes remain voluntary and it is every man’s responsibility to protect his neighbor as he would desire to be protected by his neighbor.
What would hold such a society together as a nation?
Are there examples of such a government anywhere in man's history?
There is a rich history of such governments and nations operating as diversified networks of voluntary systems of faith, hope, and charity. In fact, “our modern reliance on government to make law and establish order is not the historical norm.”
Modern history books have not only removed this record of independent and successful voluntary government but have expunged the concept from our thinking until we cannot even imagine the possibility of such a government.
Israel for almost 400 years operating with no central authority in their government, with little more than freewill offerings given to support that form of government. The Levites were the benefactors who did not exercise authority one over the other but the highest among them were servants of servants. They were only tithed to "according to their service" in this system of national charity and social welfare.
With an all-volunteer army, organised by the same system of tens they thrived as a nation. We also saw the early Christians surviving and even thriving during the decline and fall of the Roman Empire under off-and-on persecutions. Christians who said there was another king and because of their faith in Christ excluded themselves from the welfare of the Roman socialist state and provided for themselves through one of those networks of faith, hope and charity.
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- The Church is legally defined as ""A body or community of Christians, united under one form of government..."
- 1 Samuel 8:5-22 “... 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 8:5-22 “According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants....”
- Thomas Paine, Common Sense, warnings of Samuel http://www.hisholychurch.org/documents/commonsense.php
- In the law of the Latins, the word potestas signifies generally a power or authority by which we do anything. Patria Potestas signifies the authority which a father had over of his children, grandchildren, and other descendants. When this right or power was vested in the State the agent of government became the father of the people. See Call no man Father http://www.hisholychurch.org/sermon/fatherabba.php
- Leviticus 25:10 “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
- Republic. Black’s Dictionary 3rd Ed. p1536.
- Part I of The Enterprise of Law : Justice without the State by Dr. Bruce L. Benson.
- 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.”
- The Corban http://www.hisholychurch.org/sermon/corban.php
- 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 5:43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
- 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.
- Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.
- James 2:8 ¶ If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
- Mark 7:22 “Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:”
- Luke 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”
- Romans 1:29 “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,...they which commit such things are worthy of death...”
- Romans 7:7 “What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
- 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.”
- 1 Corinthians 5:10 “Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.”
- 1 Corinthians 5:11 “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”
- Ephesians 5:3 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;”
- Ephesians 5:5 “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.”
- Colossians 3:5 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:”
- 2 Timothy 3:2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, … Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
- Hebrews 13:5 “[Let your] conversation [manner, way] [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
- 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:”
- 2 Corinthians 6:16 “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”