The third tenet of the abolitionist ideology can also be considered its central, and most pivotal tenet in the literal sense. The message of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not only the centerpiece to a Christian, Anarchist, and Abolitionist worldview, and the crux upon which they rest, but it is the very tenet around which the other tenets revolve.
The notion that the Gospel means ‘good news’ is a correct one but, on its own, this association does the connotation of ‘Gospel’ an anachronistic disservice, for not every piece of beneficial information was or should be considered a ‘gospel’. Rather, gospels are inherently and historically news of political messages. To get to the point, a gospel represents an exclusive platform of political campaign promises in order to win the hearts and minds of potential constituents in order to place their faith in the authority and persons of their representative politicians. Gospels represent policy changes to be adopted by their believers, and the promise of their respective magistrates to fulfill those policies. This will be further explained shortly.
The reason that this is so important is because, without the message of an offer of citizenship for believers into an alternative Kingdom to the man-made nations of the ‘world‘, there would be no hope for abolishing human archism in any meaningful sense of the idea. The abolitionist message would be a purely philosophical and intangible one of a wistful imagination that lacks any practical implication or application. If Biblical doctrines surrounding the Kingdom of Heaven were exclusively defining a hyperspiritual, afterlife kingdom in Heaven for dead souls who made a meager profession of faith during their time being alive, and not the supernatural imposition of Heaven’s kingdom-model onto the earth as a literal, civil, and jurisdictional nation to begin seeking, building, and establishing, then the Gospel of God becomes a far cry of what was preached by Jesus Christ and what was believed by the earliest Christians. The Abolitionist message then necessarily becomes a myopic and truncated one that makes a mockery of the lives of Biblical heroes which, by comparison, call into question the very things that modern ‘Christians’ call Christianity.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city…
…And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11)
If the characters mentioned in this passage were willing to forsake the national and political environments that they inherited through the flesh, in favor of remaining entirely and physically separate from pagan nations under human civil governments, or under threat of receiving persecution unto imprisonment and literal death (even by crucifixion), then professing Christians of today who are eligible to ‘receive the promises‘ fulfilled by Christ’s kingship but do not ‘embrace‘ them and ‘confess‘ themselves to be unstained from the world, cannot said to be Christians at all, but false converts, blinded by blind guides, who take the Lord’s name in vain while trying to serve two political masters.
And [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke 4:16-21)
The very nation and city on which the faithful mentioned in Hebrews staked their entire lives were fulfilled in Christ’s ministry to be received by the faithful of his generation and every generation thereafter. It is as false as it is common to reduce this scriptural prophecy to an ethereal, post-mortem fate for those who dress up to go to religious service providers once a week, where they sing songs, listen to clergymen recite sophistry, call this the extent of their Christian obligation, and still have the audacity to say ‘Lord, Lord‘. Perhaps most of the problem of the confusion between what modern Christians believe and what the early Christians practiced lies within the scope of the meaning of the word ‘Gospel‘, and how the definition cannot be contextually or essentially separated from civil and political implications; for the exact same reason why every would-be political savior (god) has a political campaign message (gospel) for societal redemption and reformation (salvation). Contrary to popular assumption, the term ‘gospel’ was not invented for Christian use concerning Christ’s message, but was assimilated and repurposed as a sort of plagiarized competition with the message of the efficacy of Roman citizenship. This homogenization of rhetoric is not exclusive to the word ‘Gospel’ either, but also to words like ‘Providence’ and ‘Ekklesia‘, which modern Christians recognize as ‘church’, but is intended to mean something similar to ‘political party.’ It is important to note two things here: Firstly, that the Christian co-opting of these terms did not change their original meanings from something political to something hyperspiritual and esoteric, and secondly, that this competition between civil jurisdictions was not exclusive to that of early Christian society and Roman society, but was and is categorically between every kingdom of ‘this world’ and the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Gospel of Cain, for instance, included accruing, through consent, the liberties and rights of the people through contracts in socialist bondage. ‘The real destroyers of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations, and benefits.’ (Plutarch) In order to establish the earth’s first recorded city-state, Enoch, Cain had to ’till’ the ‘adamic clay‘ necessitating a rule of force and tyranny to cause those who personified the same dust from which Adam was created to be made merchandise for Cain. The tribute extracted from the working class was used to provide welfare benefits to the people in a collectivist setting. This is a common denominator between all Old Testament city-states, or pagan societies, and even between all modern human civil societies. As we can see from Cain’s story, this is something that God is displeased with, and rejects, curses, and condemns. He prefered that Cain be his brother’s keeper, willingly serving him, rather than rule over the people and live by force and violence, which exiled him from ‘the presence of the Lord’ in retreating shame. It should be expressed that the ‘Sons of God‘ mentioned in Genesis 6 patterned their city-states after Cain’s socialist inspiration, and subjected the people to civil bondage, justified by superstitious lies about the alleged approval of God. The faithless saw fit to partake in their gospels until God saw fit to send a great deluge, recorded by all of the ancient cultures, as a gospel of tabula rasa.
The Gospel of Nimrod (Gilgamesh) also fits the model established by Cain and inspired by Satan. In saying that the rebellious, tyrannical and ‘divine’ king of Babylon was a ‘mighty [provider] [instead of] the Lord’ (Genesis 10:9), Scripture explains the difference between the people relying on the Providence of God and the people relying on the providence of false gods, which is pragmatism. According to Jewish legend, Nimrod had a massive bureaucracy by which to exercise authority over the people, but by implication, to also provide socialist benefits in order to obtain that authority. This is exemplified in maxims of law: ‘No one is obliged to accept a benefit against his consent. But if he does not dissent, he will be considered as assenting.’ (Dig. 50.17.69) ‘Every man is presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of his own voluntary acts.’ (1 Green. Evid. 18; 9 East, 277) Jewish texts testify to this government of Nimrod’s Babylon:
Our king and our god! Wherefore art thou in fear by reason of a little child? There are myriad upon myriad of princes in thy realm, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens, and overseers without number. Let the pettiest of the princes go and fetch the boy and put him in prison. (The Legends of the Jews: From the Creation to Jacob, Vol. 1, Chapter V)
The magistrates of the Babylonian Mystery religion became an ordered, collectivist rule of force and tyranny to compel the sacrifices of the slothful for the benefit of the covetous, and to establish ‘justice’ and met out punishment. This is the true gospel of Benefactors who exercise authority. It is not just that the people get to come together to have one purse and be surety for each other’s debt, but it is also that they get to outsource their personal responsibilities to social virtues and the weightier matters to the bureaucracies of public works. It is important to note that Babylon became a readily available archetype for all of the world’s systems of bureaucracy and socialism that also included a complicated subtext of superstitious myths and paganism. When God frustrated this one world government by splintering its citizenry through unintelligible communication and dismantling its ziggurat, the people naturally scattered in migration and took with them their shared practices, beliefs, and models for society that each eventually evolved into every cultural practice, icon, and ‘religious’ iteration that we have seen throughout history. It included an intertwined system of pagan superstition and pageantry full of idolatrous symbols that became cultural shorthand for nationalistic institutions. In this way, temples housing bureaucratic institutions were characterized by various members of their pantheons. The ziggurat (Tower) of Babel became pyramids, erected all over the earth. Likewise, currencies, central banks, and nationalistic symbols were characterized by animism, or even by rulers.
Continuing on the course of human history, the Gospel of Pharaoh most notably promised salvation to the tribes of Israel from drought and famine, through an offer of socialist benefits. Egypt had become one of the earliest civilizations committing to collectivism and rebellion to God after the Flood. Its translated name, Mizraim, means ‘besieged places or a place where we were besieged by masters‘ to illustrate this fact. However, just like in every other instance of human civil government, this was not done through compulsion, but through voluntary socialism by passively or actively receiving benefits. This is also illustrated by maxims of law: ‘Those captured by pirates and robbers remain free.’ (Dig. 49. 15. 19. 2.) ‘Things captured by pirates and robbers do not change ownership.’ (1 Kent, Comm. 108, 184)
And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh’s. And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof… Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants. And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh’s.
And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly. (Genesis 47:20-27)
For a twenty percent tax, the people of Israel, and many others, became civil slaves, employed into Egyptian economy. By believing on Pharaoh’s gospel of salvation, the tribes of Israel, formerly free people under God, could allegedly be spared the destruction of their own sloth for failing to prepare for the oncoming famine by selling themselves into civil bondage due to their own jealousy in selling their brother Joseph into chattel slavery. After generations of ever-increasing servitude through the acceptance of benefits and protection, God through Moses and a series of miraculous events that dissolved the superstitious power of Egyptian institutions, offered up a gospel of true salvation that liberated the repentant from their Egyptian civil citizenship.
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. (Zondervan’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible)
It was in the receptive wilderness that God established a Constitution for an embryonic free society that was meant to preserve their liberties through personal and interpersonal accountability to their societal responsibilities, rather than continuing to outsource them to ‘heads of state’ and their bureaucracies. However, like all pragmatic and faithless people, they quickly regressed and began to act on the same common gospel of the nearsighted who are willing to give up their liberties for temporary safety. As a result, not only did they attempt to create an idolatrous, centralized bank and a national economy, but they were determined to preserve themselves by creating their own city-state. All this, after having just left the bondage of Egypt which had damned them for generations.
The existence of false gospels is not exclusive to what is common considered ‘the old testament’, but continued as a major setting on the world stage when Jesus Christ was incarnated in ‘occupied’ Judea. The Gospel of Caesar, still modeled after its Babylonian predecessor, was complete with a myriad of institutions symbolized by members of a pagan pantheon, and had a much more intricate system of social, economic, political, and idiomatic details that are readily available to be perceived by purveyors of western culture for the very reason that all contemporary western societies have directly modeled themselves after Roman civilization. Including its superstitious ritualism. Even before the first Caesar came into power, the republic of Rome had already been voluntarily backsliding into a socialist dystopia.
But when a new generation arises and the democracy falls into the hands of the grandchildren of its founders, they have become so accustomed to freedom and equality that they no longer value them, and begin to aim at pre-eminence; and it is chiefly those of ample fortune who fall into this error. So when they begin to lust for power and cannot attain it through themselves or their own good qualities, they ruin their estates, tempting and corrupting the people in every possible way. And hence when by their foolish thirst for reputation they have created among the masses an appetite for gifts and the habit of receiving them, democracy in its turn is abolished and changes into a rule of force and violence. For the people, having grown accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others, as soon as they find a leader who is enterprising but is excluded from the houses of office by his penury, institute the rule of violence; and now uniting their forces massacre, banish, and plunder, until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch. (Polybius: The Histories [composed at Rome around 130 BC] Fragments of Book VI, p289)
Consequently, the increasing savagery of the Romans did enable them to receive a series of ‘saviors’ wielding their gospels, further enticing the people into a more organized system of benefits and oppression, otherwise known as ‘civilization’. Within this collectivist polity of providence and liability included birth registration, social security, public education, civil engineering, executive, legislative, and judicial powers of government, a worldwide banking system, and a standing military. The ever-increasing Empire of Rome led to a global, militaristic world government, as is common to socialist civilizations, and its endeavors even co-opted the local bureaucratic institutions of the false gospel of Judea and its own rulers and magistrates. When Octavian became the first Emperor of Rome and established, through military might and global civil organization, a sort of ‘everlasting peace’, the people naturally praised him with the same language that Christians would later repurpose for Jesus Christ and the same language that was prophesied about him. The gospel of Caesar Augustus is boiled down to the following:
Whereas the Providence which has guided our whole existence and which has shown such care and liberality, has brought our life to the peak of perfection in giving to us Augustus Caesar, whom it (Providence) filled with virtue for the welfare of mankind, and who, being sent to us and to our descendants as a Savior (soter), has put an end to war and has set all things in order; and whereas, having become visible, Caesar has fulfilled the hopes of all earlier times… not only in surpassing all the benefactors who preceded him but also in leaving to his successors no hope of surpassing him; and whereas, finally, that the birthday of the God (i.e. Augustus) has been for the whole world the beginning of the gospel (euangelion) concerning him, therefore, let all reckon a new era beginning from the date of his birth, and let his birthday mark the beginning of the new year. (Letter of the Proconsul to the Cities of Asia [9 B.C.])
Sound familiar? What should be mentioned is that even Virgil’s historical fiction was similarly written to praise Caesar Augustus and to further jettison his personage as a savior-hero of the people. The emperor was repeatedly called ‘the savior of the world’ and ‘the savior of the inhabited earth.’ One might imagine though, through the pride of being God’s chosen people throughout history, and being ever studious concerning the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, that the social and political rulers of Judea would have known to reject Caesar’s gospel with prejudice and without deliberation. However, the readily available idolatry in making secure one’s livelihood and political power is often common to those who should know better. When ‘other christs‘, through legislative and judicial power offer to reform their policy and bend to the will of the people, codifying civil privileges and answering their prayers for ‘justice’ and mercy, the people will allow themselves to be bought out and ensnared into civil bondage as hastily as the Israelites did under Pharaoh.
The annual Temple-tribute was allowed to be transported to Jerusalem, and the alienation of these funds by the civil magistrates treated as sacrilege. As the Jews objected to bear arms, or march, on the Sabbath, they were freed from military service. On similar grounds, they were not obliged to appear in courts of law on their holy days. Augustus even ordered that, when the public distribution of corn or of money among the citizens fell on a Sabbath, the Jews were to receive their share on the following day. In a similar spirit the Roman authorities confirmed a decree by which the founder of Antioch, Seleucus I. (Nicator, [d Ob.280 B.C.]) had granted the Jews the right of citizenship in all the cities of Asia Minor and Syria which he had built, and the privilege of receiving, instead of the oil that was distributed, which their religion forbade them to use, [e Ab. Sar ii. 6] an equivalent in money. [Jos.Ant. Xii. 3. 1]. These rights were maintained by Vespasian and Titus even after the last Jewish war, notwithstanding the earnest remonstrances of these cities. No wonder, that at the death of Caesar the Jews of Rome gathered for many nights, waking strange feelings of awe in the city, as they chanted in mournful melodies their Psalms around the pyre on which the body of their benefactor had been burnt, and raised their pathetic dirges. (Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Chapter V)
In detailing the gospels of false christs throughout the past, present, and future of the human condition, the context to understand the uniquely efficacious Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God can be better understood by those who desire to immerse themselves into Abolitionist ideology and those who seek redemption and atonement from their socialist bondage. Whereas this article serves as a backdrop against which the Christian gospel should be contrasted, the next article will endeavor to more elucidate the details of its message.