The Official Journal of the Ensign Trust, London

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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES FOR SOCIETY OR IDEAS FOR GOVERNING

By

Australia

“We live in an age which is fast moving and no one knows what the future holds. So much is changing at such a rapid pace that many are facing what could be called: “Future Shock”. It is not the  first time that the world has faced such a time as this. We read in Genesis 11:6, “Anything that enters their mind, nothing which they propose to do will be impossible for them.” I believe we are living in similar days as they were in those times. Science and technology is moving at a rapid pace, in so many areas, that what was new yesterday, is obsolete tomorrow.

Many philosophies have been advanced in the last few hundred years, and put forward as a basis in which to establish society. These have all had their supporters but have failed to deliver on the promises for a better society, and happier people. Socialism, Communism and corporate capitalism have all been tried, and are still being tried, but the results testify to their failure.

I would like to demonstrate that there is a better way to organize society, and the blue print is in the Bible. It has been there for all to see and study, since the Kingdom of God was established by the Israelites under Moses and Joshua over 3000 years ago. Although the system as it was instituted then failed because mankind thought they could design a better system; time has proved them wrong.

Let us consider some ideas, based on Biblical principles, that would result in a much better system of government than that which we now witness in the nations of Jacob.

Let us first consider the money system, as that is what we hear so much about today. Let us consider how a theocratic money system would work to our advantage. First, we have to accept a few things as fact: 1. There is a Creator. 2. He created a people for Himself. 3. Our people, the people that we know; the Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Germanic people, the Israelites, the Hebrews: our ancestors, are that people; I believe that the Bible was written to, for and by the Hebrews, and it is for us today. It is up to date, and the answers we need are in that Book.

Back in the days of Abraham, when his wife died; he weighed out the money, bought the field from the Hittite and buried Sarah. Abraham weighed  the money, it wasn’t coinage, it was gold and silver by weight: That was the way they were doing things in those days. They didn’t go to the bank, they didn’t have  an American  Express  card,  Visa  or whatever. Later on, coinage came into existence, coins were issued by the ruler; silver and gold  coins, and  they had a certain value. Coinage facilitated the buying and selling of  goods and services.

Money should only be used as a means to an end, and not an end to a means. We need a money system of some kind. We could have gold and silver or a local currency by the municipality or whatever. Merchants could  issue  script to be used  by the  people.

The nations of the world are in massive debt. What is the Biblical solution to the debt? Every seventh year there is to be a debt release. This is a calendar date. If someone loans money to someone else and it’s in  the 3rd year of this cycle and if the debt is not paid by the end of six years, the lender is to forgive the debt. You might say, “That does not make sense.” If the loan was for $100,000. in the 4th year of the cycle and the borrower paid back $30,000 he still owes $70,000. But I am to write off and forgive the debt. This, at first, seems ridiculous, but it does stop people from worshipping money, and I believe that is why this command was given. If you forgive the debt that is owed to you, you are stating that money is not your god. It is not the first thing in your life. Your life will continue whether you get that few thousand dollars or not, and it takes away the coveting of money. We are told in the commandments, “Thou shall not covet.”

TAXATION

At the present we are probably paying 60 to 70 per cent of our income in various forms of taxation The Biblical tax is 10% of the increase. If someone makes a $100,000 profit from a crop of grain, he would   pay $10,000 in tax. You might think that would not be enough money to run the system, but we need to decide what kind of system we want to have. If government is going to give you everything, the government will be able to take everything from you. And that is what is presently happening. We have to decide what community projects are needed and how they will be funded. People should be free to join insurance schemes, which schemes in turn are not overregulated to the point of being unviable.

Let us briefly consider corporations and capitalism. Corporations are registered and given limited liability. Why should a corporation or any entity be absolved from liability? If individuals have to be responsible for their actions, and pay the penalty for what they do wrong, then corporations should be treated  in  a  similar  fashion.  Limited  liability  for corporations  should be abolished.

Any society that displaces a family or fails to accept it as the centre of life of an orderly system is destined to fail. We are now seeing an attack on privately held land. The reason why governments want to get control over local councils is that through local councils government can get more control over private land.

Governments have sold off so much of the public’s assets they now want to get control of the land. If government gets control of the land; what will be their next objective?

In ancient Israel, an Israelite could not sell his land so that his family wouldn’t be left without an inheritance in the land. An inheritance is the right by law to receive possessions or property which is one’s inheritance or birth right. “God declared: the land shall not be sold forever; for the land is mine”.(Leviticus 25:23). Owners could lease the land, but a definite time period was set, after which the land must revert to the original family. The land could not be taken by tax levies, for no tax was to be levied against a man’s inheritance. All real property, all land: the ruling authorities of the day could not tax that land. There was no land tax. You could not be dispossessed of your land. And this is the system we should have re-instituted today.

To tax land is an admission that the state is sovereign and the state is saying that it is god. The state has assumed godhead, or rather, the state has become god-walking-on-the-earth.

Besides, the 7th year debt release there was also the 50th year jubilee at the end of every 49th year. The 50th year saw another larger forgiveness of debt of the land. If you owned land, you could lease the land to someone else and at the end of the 49th year that land was returned to its original owner. During the 50th year Jubilee, every man was to return to his own family inheritance which was to be restored to him. It was a system of private ownership, with no place for communism.

When Jesus the Messiah came 2000 years ago, He was preaching the Kingdom of God. When you do this and appeal to a Higher Authority today, you will come into conflict with the ruling powers of the day. They consider themselves to be gods. Two thousand years ago, Caesar was revered as a god and worshipped as deity.

In western nations there is a great deal of land that has been alienated into public land, such as national parks, state forests and so on. There is therefore much land that could and should be distributed amongst the people. There is no Biblical injunction for the government to own any land at all.

Let us now consider how we should be choosing our government representatives. In the Kingdom that was set up when our ancestors came out of Egypt and went into Palestine, under the leadership of Joshua, the land was divided amongst the people and the laws were given to them concerning how to run the system. It was done without a king. Almighty God was to be their King.

There was no voting of people into office as we know it today. Representatives were appointed  into office and the basic system was  leaders  of  10, leaders of 100 and leaders of 1000. Under  the present system we have political  parties  and  the party chooses who is  to  be  the  candidate.  The people have no say in this. The inner circle of the political party decide who the candidate will be. A candidate is expected  to  be  faithful  to  the  party and not go against the party’s wishes. Under a Biblical  system,  the  representative  would  have  to be a Christian. The man would have to be a fellow Israelite and not one of  another  race.  He  would  have to fear God. A man who didn’t fear men.  One who is schooled in the Laws of God. One who has written  out  his  own  copy  of  God’s  Law.  Even  the king, who replaced the judges in the Old Testament, was told to write out a copy of the Law and read it every day. One who is unable  to  be bribed. One who is a terror to the wicked and a champion of the righteous. There  might  have  been very few  who  would  meet  these  qualifications. Even if a  man  met  the  qualifications,  he  may  not be able to be appointed because his wife or children could disqualify him.  How  could  that  be? He must manage  his own household  well.  He  must be the head of his own house, with  a  dignified wife,  sober and non-rebellious children. So, you can see that  it was a high  standard. How  many  men  in key government positions today would meet the criteria?  Or approach  i t?

CRIMINAL LAW AND PUNISHMENT

What does Scripture say about law and punishment? First, there is the death penalty for capital  offenses,  such  as murder,  rape  and kidnapping, and there are others, for certain immoral acts. For minor offenses, there is corporal punishment  of from one to 40 stripes. For stealing and destruction of another man’s property restitution was to be made to the victim, to which may be added 100 to 500 per cent. If your car was stolen the thief would have to restore two cars. If you made your living with a fishing boat and your boat was stolen, the thief would have to give you five boats.

Today, if someone steals from you and gets caught, they go to jail and your taxes pay for his prison confinement and you don’t get restitution .

Those who are unable to make financial restitution or pay the fine are obliged to contribute their labour until the debt is paid. However, someone could make restitution on behalf of the thief, such as a friend or relative. If the criminal couldn’t afford to pay the restitution and had no-one to come forward on their behalf,  then they were to be put  into  indentured labour and be obliged  to work  off the  debt.

USURY

“Thou shalt not lend upon usury to your brother, usury of victuals, usury of money, usury upon anything that is lent upon usury.” Usury is not to be charged upon money. If you lend money, you are not to charge usury and  the same applies to the banks .

The banking system as we know it, with its funny money, would go out the door. We would have a fairer money system. Theocratic money would be gold and silver. If one had land with a gold mine, that gold would be yours and you could coin it and spend it. This also applies if you had land with oil on it; it would be yours. There would  be complete  property rights.

GOVERNING AUTHORITY

The governing authority would be local government. We don’t need a centralized system. The worst thing that has happened  to  modern  nations was the setting up of centralized governing authorities. It has consolidated  power  into the hands of the few who take unto themselves more and more power. Central governments have signed agreements with foreign nations. Israel was NOT to make covenants with foreign nations, or those of other  races. Israel was to be separate dwelling alone. Israel was, NOT to be reckoned amongst the nations. Of course, it i s not separate today, because of multiculturalism, and multiculturalism means many gods. If you want to change the culture of a society, change the religion of that society and you change  its culture. We now have all kinds of competing cultures in this country, each warring against the other. This is NOT the way it should be.

LAWS OF WAR

Some western nations have troops in various countries around the world. This should not be the case. Biblical laws of war state, that 20 year old males (not women) are to be trained for warfare, but only volunteers would be sent into combat. Before soldiers were to go into battle they would be asked, “Are you afraid?” If they said they were afraid, they would be exempt from going to war. A man who had gotten married would be exempt from military service for a year and the same applied if a man had started a business. The military should only be used to defend the nation, and not go warring into other nations that pose no threat. Treaties that have been signed with the United Nations should be cancelled immediately.

The military is to be a militia type military and not a standing army. There must never be a professional standing army. There could be a cadre of trainers to train the 20 year old males and then they would be sent home with their equipment to be ready at short notice to defend their homes, villages, towns, cities and nation, when necessary. A system such as this would deter any would be foreign aggressor.

Other things could be discussed and other examples given, how the Kingdom of God could operate NOW on the earth. This has been but a brief introduction touching on some main points. Much more could be written and expanded upon.”

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