Servant Priests of a Nation
The Levites had replaced the firstborn of the nation as public servants to keep the people from the sin of the golden calf, the common purse of national banking. They were to serve the tents of the congregation, strengthening them as individuals while unifying them as one nation. In this process, they were required, as an alternative to Babylonian, Egyptian, or Roman systems, to help them be fruitful and prosperous.
Keeping each family strong and prosperous was the practical duty for the ministers of the people, who would share in their prosperity. Taking care of the poor1 in a way that strengthened them was an essential duty of the kingdom’s ministers. How did this priestly office function to make the people stronger?
Christ had preached a kingdom under the perfect law of liberty. It was a kingdom under God where every man was king in his own home. Such systems cannot hold together and be prepared for sudden invasion or disaster if they are not also bound together in time of peace and prosperity.
The ministers who were called out to serve the kingdom and appointed by Jesus were called the ekklesia in Greek, meaning the “called out”, but became known as the “Church” in the English language. It was designed to maintain an entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth where every man might be returned to his possession and restored to his family.
These “called out” men were not the right hand of government but the left. The State was in the hands of the people, as it was in the days of Moses. Through the captains of tens, the people chose who they would follow in battling the trials of life in the world. That choice was based on personal knowledge and mutual consent. That voluntary network of men choosing ministers and ministers choosing ministers formed a nation of freemen.
The Levites were also “called out” by Moses, just as Jesus called out the Church. They were the ministers of the common welfare of the people of the Kingdom of God, not the strong arm of justice. They taught the ways of God’s kingdom and kept the people together and strong by their system of charity and hope.
These separate but complimentary activities kept the kingdom a working brotherhood in time of peace and war. They could bring men together in the face of personal robbery, disaster, and sickness or national famine, disaster, or invasion. As long as men lovingly remembered the character and precepts of God the Father first and secondly loved their neighbor as themselves, the kingdom would flourish and be fruitful under God’s precepts.
… thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD. Leviticus 19:18
There is no difference in the canons of Christ’s kingdom at-hand and the Kingdom of God that Moses tried to teach the people. The Levites were servants of the congregations of men. They belonged to God as his bondservants with no inheritance. Each one served ten families, who chose them as ministers, and to whom were tithed in accordance to their service2.
The Church called out by Christ did the same as that earlier Church in the wilderness called out by Moses. They taught a kingdom of God organized by congregation of tens.
And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Acts 1:15
Here 12 apostles and 120 families were the beginning foundation of the Christian Church. The apostles were bondservants appointed by Christ to minister to the congregation of the people. In order to discern exactly how all this worked together for good, we must explore even deeper into those ancient times.
Even as late as the 9th and 10th century, among the Lombard kings there was something called Deans connected to ten families. The word originated from the Latin “decanus”, which was a military term of the Romans. Decurius was also used by early writers. This included the Greek deka and dekate, meaning ten or tithe.
The term was used to described those men performing functions of the secular clergy. This term was used by what we might call ministers of the early ecclesiastical Church. That clergy was much different in their position to authority and function than those now held in what we have come to believe is the Church. They held that office which included a position in their judicial system chosen from the bottom up. Some have tried to assert that a Dean was in authority over those ten families, but the terms used to describe the office clearly establish it as a subordinate position with respect and service to the people. It was a part of their system of governance, but its leaders were titular.
Terms like decurions signified those who served ten deans, again, in a subjective or servant manner. As the network of tens, fifties, and hundreds grew, there was a need for assistance like the heralds of the kings and the singers3 and Nethinims4 of the Levites who performed important functions of keeping the people and ministers informed. The chore pisco pus was an assistant to the overseer or Bishop to keep the communion between the congregation effectual. Over the centuries, this special communications officer for the government of the people was degenerated into the director of the choir.
The communion of the first-century Church was substantive to fill the true physical and spiritual needs of the people. Christians depended upon the freewill charity of each other, not the entitlements of Rome or the synagogue of Satan.5
Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. 1 Corinthians 10:21
The Christian community was well-disciplined and organized from the bottom up with a system of charity rather than forced taxes. While the Roman system of political control and its usurious economy was breaking down, those who followed Christ were excluded from the dainties of those civic tables. In about AD 150, Justin Martyr, hoping to clear the misconceptions and prejudices surrounding Christianity, wrote the Emperor Antoninus Pius in defense of the Christian faith and allegiance to Christ:
“And the wealthy among us help the needy ... and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.” (Ch. 65-67)
As we saw with ministers like Stephen, we also see the Didache stating: 6
“Therefore, elect for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are meek and not lovers of money, true and approved, for they also perform for you the ministry of the prophets and teachers.” 15:1
The nature of these appointments would remain the same for centuries. In the 10th century, drastic reforms were enforced to “unify the liturgy” of the Church. This authoritarian call for unity under a centralized Church had been creeping into some Church thinking from the beginning and now became a rebellion against the gospels.
Liturgy is defined as “a prescribed form or set of forms for public religious worship.”7 It is from the Greek word leitourgi and leitourgos, meaning “public service” and “public servant” respectively. Liturgy was not about singing and vestments and the smoke and mirrors of modern Christendom. It was about the public servants of the kingdom of God operating under the perfect law of liberty in true worship of God8 by service to the people. Liturgy was the common procedures of the public servants of God’s kingdom in congregations composed of, by, and for the people. These “reforms” were forced upon the innocent and faithful by usurping kings, who were crowned by a fornicating church, in hopes of securing their own positions of wealth and power, turning the world upside-down again.
The free systems of tens, hundreds, and thousands, bound together only by brotherhood and love, had been the predominant form of successful voluntary government throughout man’s history. Similar cell patterns were evident in the persecuted Church.
The crucial ingredient to their success is the implementation of the Ten Codes of God’s Law summarized in the virtuous application of Christ’s two commandments. Love God and His ways with all that you think and do and actively love your neighbor's rights to his property and family, his life and liberty as much, if not more, than you love your own. The Church that comes together according to these ancient patterns and righteousness can overcome all tyrants, despots, and enemies of freedom and liberty. They can weather the greatest storms and cataclysms of history, both past or future. They can and will inherit the earth.
1Leviticus 25:35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: [yea, though he be] a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Deuteronomy 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
2Nu 7:5 Take [it] of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service.
3There were several different forms of this word translated into singer, sheer or shuwr. These were identical with shoor which meant to travel, journey, go [through the idea of strolling minstrelsy]; Minstrels sang and recited poetically because it was easier to remember messages and communications accurately. They were the newsmen or heralds of official business. The singers were travelers because they had to deliver the news and messages all around the kingdom of God in order to keep the people informed.
4Nethinims were commissioned ministers of the Levites licensed to act ex officio.
5Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.
6The Didache is mentioned by Eusebius (c. 324) as the Teachings of the Apostles following the books recognized as canonical (Historia Ecclesiastica III, 25): ...
7The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
8See Appendix 3 What is worship