In the previous article, it was necessary to tackle the subject of the definition of “gospel” and to provide examples of various gospels throughout world history. However, there is still much confused ground to cover concerning the details professing Christians consider about the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Because gospels are political campaign messages, contextually definitive of how societies should be maintained, it should be obvious that the political campaign message of King Jesus the Nazarene was fundamentally different than the false gospels that preceded it and still come after it. Whereas the gospels of civil rulers and Benefactors who exercise authority necessarily enticed the people to contractually bring themselves into bondage while promising them liberty, then the gospel of Christ obviously stands in direct contradiction and exclusive competition to offers of man-made civil society.
His Gospel promised true, uncompromised freedom, not by the might and power of social contracts, but through faith, meaning that if the people are faithful to God alone to be their ruler and magistrate, then God will be faithful to them and maintain their society by His Spirit. This is the very essence of relying on God’s Providence. This Spirit indwells every faithful citizen of God’s kingdom, giving them hearts of flesh, compelling them to love their neighbors as themselves, allowing them to remain faithful to social virtues because they are faithful to each other, making faith a primary component of interpersonal relationships rather than relying on contract laws. When the people are bound by social contracts in believing on the false gospels of false christs, their hearts harden to each other, creating an unnatural indifference towards their fellow man because they are no longer compelled to maintain organic relationships of service, but can expect their society to be maintained by the bureaucratic compulsion of human institutions. When you outsource your social virtues to human institutions, you (un)naturally become indifferent to your neighbor.
Whereas the gospels of pagan societies necessitate human rulers to acquire the powers of choice and the wealth of society, the politics of Christ reversed that relationship where He willingly gave up His royal, wealthy estate in order to be made poor, leading the people through an example of service and humility, compelling them to establish a network, not of a bureaucracy fueled by taxation and socialist benefits, but of an adhocracy fueled by charity and capitalistic integrity. When the legal and judicial order of authoritative gospels remake men into their own image, washing the outside of the cup through positive law and requiring them to narrowly specialize their skills to strengthen the false economies of collectivist societies, they become bound together in contracts, entitlements, and taxation. But when the God of the Kingdom of Heaven, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ writes his natural law onto your heart where you are naturally compelled to love your neighbor as yourself, and to productively retain your liberties and the rights to your family and property, then your society becomes bound together in faith, hope and charity. Both of these kinds of gospels and their kingdoms are inherited from generation to generation. While one inheritance is of a bastardized bondage, calling earthly rulers “fathers“, the other inheritance is of liberty and everlasting life.
In order to continue, it is necessary to explicitly express this dichotomy in common Christian language by endeavoring to put that language back into context of the Kingdom of God: The kingdoms of men are “worldly” institutions that are centered on “the flesh”. They appeal to the things of our flesh. They exercise authority over our flesh. They entice us with wanton covetousness of socialist meat, benefits, creature comforts, daily bread, safety, security, fiat wealth, and authoritarian organization to partake in all of these things in a systematic way. These kingdoms change the nature of society in a spiritual way, causing the people to be dead and born of the flesh, carnally minded to seek after the creature comforts at the expense of their neighbor. The Kingdom of God, however, is of the Spirit causing redeemed men to be born of the Spirit so that they can retake their self-control and other fruits of the Spirit, and to seek to serve their neighbor by sacrificing and laying their lives down for their neighbor while they had previously only required their neighbor’s taxed contribution to provide for their civil society in their greed. These images will be useful in further exploring the Biblical concepts surrounding the Gospel in accurate context.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:16-21)
Each of the times the word “world” is mentioned in this passage it is translated from the Greek “kosmos” referring to “an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government” referencing the kinds of human civil governments exemplified by the Roman New World Order at the time and, in this case, as synecdochical reference to those within its jurisdiction. When John says that “God loved the world”, it means that God loved those trapped into civil bondage by chasing after the socialist desires of their flesh. When John says that God sent Christ to not condemn the world, it means that Christ’s arrival was not one of punitive judgment against their political rebellion and usurpation of God’s jurisdiction, but one of restorative offering of repentance. Read carefully that passage. It is saying that an alternative kind of politician in the person of Christ, along with his alternative kind of kingdom is a new and renewed rebuttal to the status quo of the kingdoms of darkness. The very introduction of the Kingdom of Light as an idea is enough to expose the wickedness of the hearts of men who find their citizenship to reflect the gospels of the “world”. They had broken the commandments of God, each and every one of them sinning by doing that which God prohibited, thereby finding themselves under the power of civil magistrates. Sin leads to darkness and death, as everybody knows, except that modern Christians cannot fathom that God’s perfect Law of Liberty can keep men from the imperfect laws of civil bondage, and that their breaking of that law is the very reason why they pay taxes and bear the heavy burden of civil law and ever-diminishing freedom. They cannot fathom that truly believing on the campaign promises of King Jesus may liberate them from those fruits of their sins.
“After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.” (John 3:22-26)
Although the image of washing with water was often utilized in Israel’s history to signify a sanctifying purification meant to set apart a people or a project for a cause of God, the ceremony of baptism as practiced by ministers for a ritual induction of civil citizenship was not exclusive to the Kingdom of Heaven. To define baptism more thoroughly: As a symbol of traditional preparation and solemn intent, the act of baptism was an expression of naturalization into a civil jurisdiction. It was an act of making one a citizen as an official statement regarded by witnesses who could thereafter give testimony. And, at this time in Israel’s history, John the baptizer on behalf of the Kingdom of God, was not the only one offering ritual immersion into a civil society.
Herod the Great, in order to secure the favor and loyalty of the people, and in addition to his civil engineering projects like aqueducts, and the building and incorporating of the temple in Jerusalem, had also established an offer of baptism so that the people could enter into his jurisdiction, provided by his New Deal of civil citizenship through social security registration. He had employed, not only the Pharisaical civil bureaucracy as teachers into his socialist schemes, but also a sect of Essenes to be his missionaries, to preach the not-so-great-commission of his worldly gospel.
“Herod the Great had a grand scheme of a vast worldwide membership. This involved sending evangelists out all over the world. The participants of this system of social security were ritually baptized after an application and payment to Herod’s ministers of the prescribed fees. Annual contributions would be collected and recorded by the scribes…
Membership was marked by the display of a white stone seal or token with a registered Hebrew name whenever entering homes for the weekly gatherings or at synagogues or temples and applying for social benefits. The temple tax collectors now collected an annual contribution that brought great wealth to the government, Herod, and his administrators…
The missionaries… with their leather wallets full of white stones, would come back with the same wallets full of money, in foreign currency. Once put into Jewish currency by the money-changers [porters of the temple], it would be stored in vaults, ready to be used by Herod for his vast building projects, or any subsequent causes…
Herod’s scheme of initiation into a new form of Judaism was immensely successful. Jews everywhere were willing to join the worldwide society whose meetings were held in the evenings in private houses. Entry was for members only; they had to show at the door an admission token in the form of a white stone from the river Jordan which the missionaries gave them at baptism. On the stone was written their new Jewish name.” (Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Barbara Thiering)
The notion of a white stone as a form of identification that stood as a proxy for the person bearing it, was not exclusive to Herod’s New World Order. Scripture says that even those who are baptized into God’s kingdom will receive a white stone with a new name. Not a legal name like that which is used by human civil governments to have power over their citizens, but a name known only by the one “to whom it is given”.
The Baptism of Christ was a competitive alternative to the baptism of Herod. Its offer of citizenship into the Kingdom of God required an exclusive allegiance to that kingdom and a willingness to sacrifice for one’s neighbor voluntarily rather than compel one’s neighbor to sacrifice for them through Herod’s bureaucratic socialist projects and covetous offers of benefits. This competition is the premise of the whole message of Christ, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
In fact, the image of Baptism: the washing away of an old civil obligation and putting on a new, pure one, is borrowed by other Biblical metaphors, like “being born again” “as a new creature“.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3-7)
This takes us back to the differences between the corruptible seed of the flesh and the incorruptible seed of the spirit (1 Peter 1:23) where the people were once destined to bear the image of God, but were instead born into the sin of civil bondage characterized by “the flesh”, inheriting their parents’ curses through birth certification and social security, as they inherited it from their parents “unto the third and fourth generation” which keep the people spiritually dead in their kingdoms of death. However,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3)
This notion of being “born again” and becoming a “new creature” is not just some hyper-spiritual mantra meant to make professing Christians convince themselves that they are faithful through the witchcraft of repeating Biblical phrases and rhetoric, without grounded context or practical application. The notion explicitly refers to classical Sumerian Cuneiform, to ancient Abrahamic history, of which Christ expected Nicodemus to be familiar: “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” A little bit of that history is as follows:
Abraham had rejected the false gospels of the city-states of Ur and Haran, and undermined their civil authorities by rescuing their civil slaves in order to form with them a free society in an obedient kingdom in the wilderness. Before doing so, Abraham was familiar with the interwoven Mesopotamian cultures in the Indus Valley, including Sumer, Akkadia, and Lagash. He and his people had conflict with the “merchants of men” there, a mercantile caste who considered the people to be their property and merchandise through debt and taxation. This conflict was characterized by a “bitter struggle for power between the temple and the palace—the “church” and the “state”— with the citizens… taking the side of the temple” which were justifying and defending their individual rights. It was during the reign of Urukagina that this opposition with “the wealth and criminality of the tamkarum [merchant-moneylenders]”, who had enslaved the people, had occurred. It is in an historical cuneiform “document that we find the word ‘freedom’ used for the first time in man’s recorded history; the word is amargi…” which may literally be translated “return to the mother” or her womb. (The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character By Samuel Noah Kramer documents of 2350 BC in the reign of Urukagina)
The term ama-argi or ama-gi produced the idea of “freedom”, as well as “manumission“, “exemption from debts or obligations”, “reversion to a previous state” Akk. anduraāru, and release from debt, slavery, taxation or punishment. It was this liberty that Abraham advocated for the people. It was into this liberty also that Moses was instrumental in redeeming the Israelites from Egypt. A renewal of a free society means a rebirth of the individual from the corruption of bondage to the primordial cradle of the human condition. In legal terms, baptism and being born again into God’s Kingdom is a representation of expatriating from one country, and becoming a naturalized citizen of another. One must die to their old master so that they may begin, through rebirth, to serve alongside a new body politic.
In other words, the notion of being “born again” is entirely related to being adopted into mankind’s original liberty before he was enslaved into the jurisdictions of civil magistrates and the human Benefactors who exercise authority, and is ceremonially expressed through baptism and ritually washing away your debt to your old social contracts. To be born again is to be remade into God’s image, in the conception of upright innocence and power of choice, after having been born into the image of civil fathers who make you their property through civil law and societies of flesh. This principle is common throughout Scripture, and God’s people were often given explicit instructions on how to not build a society on debt and interest, and to intentionally manumit their neighbor from their debt obligations.
“And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty (manumission) throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.” (Leviticus 25:10)
This is the essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only is it a campaign promise of a better society, but it is a promise of freedom from the societies that have already bound you through contracts, entitlements, and taxation to the mercantile caste of your choosing. It promises you equity and allodium, and a renewed natural relationship to your family, without the deleterious legal titles in marriage certificates and birth registration. What is more important is that it is the only gospel in existence that offers these things and has the power to deliver them.
In order to continue to thoroughly analyze gospel-related material, the next article will endeavor to explore the events immediately following Christ’s baptism, namely the significance of His temptations in the wilderness.