Swear not

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What is the difference between Swearing and Affirmations and Vows?

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Oaths and Swearing

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” Matthew 15:18

Much of the persecution of Christians is due to the fact that they would not take an oath of allegiance and supremacy. This was also true of the Israelites.

“If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.” (Nu 30:2)

When men gave their Allegiance and oath of Supremacy to other men, they bound themselves to homage and service of those kings or government lawmakers. They would now be protected and procured by the walls of man- made government and institutions. They would be regulated and restricted within those walls to service and subjected to their judgment.

“Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.” (Pr. 6:2)

Jesus did not overthrow this concern and warning of the prophets, but affirmed it.

“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matthew 5:33-37)

The emphasis on not swearing or taking oaths by Jesus was affirmed, also by James, in no uncertain terms, as something all Christians should avoid more than anything else.

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” (James 5:12)
Was the Oath of the Horatii swearing or was it a vow?

A Witness from the Past

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12

There were many who witnessed this controversy.

  • “Let no one of you cherish any evil in his heart against his neighbour, and love not an oath of falsehood. (Barnabas, The Epistle of Barnabas, late 1st century). And with regard to our not swearing at all, and always speaking the truth, He enjoined as follows: ‘Swear not at all; but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.’ And that we ought to worship God alone, He thus persuaded us.” (Justin Martyr, First apology of Justin, A.D.165)
  • “…but also to love their enemies; and enjoined them not only not to swear falsely, but not even to swear at all; and not only not to speak evil of their neighbours, but not even to style any one “Raca” and “fool; [declaring] that otherwise they were in danger of hell-fire.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 2, late 2nd century)
  • “For they do not receive from the Father the knowledge of the Son; neither do they learn who the Father is from the Son, who teaches clearly and without parables Him who truly is God. He says: ‘Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King’.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 4, late 2nd century)
  • “Above all, let an oath on account of what is sold be far from you. And let swearing on account of other things be banished.” (Clement of Alexandria, A.D.195)
  • “Of perjury I am silent, since even swearing is not lawful.” (Tertullian, A.D.200)
  • “You are compelled to swear, which is not lawful.” (Cyprian, A.D.250)
  • “We must not swear… of this same matter, according to Matthew… ‘I say unto you swear not at all.’”(Cyprian A.D.250)

Even earlier comments on oaths can be found.

  • “Every man who vows another to death by the laws of the gentiles will himself be put to death.” The Essene’s Cairo Damascus Document following Geza Vermes:
  • “The very need for any oath assumes that truth can not be guaranteed without it, and that lies can be told, expected and tolerated if there is no oath! Such a system ignores the fact that lies are equally as offensive to God, with or without an oath!… There is a reference (in Acts 18:18) which is often quoted by some who want to set aside the words of Jesus, to make it obligatory for Christians to swear oaths. That obligation is even built into the creeds of some Churches!” (Allon Maxwell, What Jesus said about Oaths, Bible Digest - Number 60 August 1996)
  • “Anabaptists found explicit prohibitions in the Bible against oath-taking (Matthew 5:34, and James 5:12). This alone made them poor citizens, for they could not participate in most juries and could not swear oaths of allegiance. It also meant that they could not serve in public office.” (Dr. E.L. Skip Knox, Anabaptist Beliefs - the Christian and the State, History of Western Civilization, 18 October 1998)
  • “We commit ourselves to tell the truth, to give a simple yes or no, and to avoid swearing of oaths.” (Mennonite Confession of Faith, Herald Press, 1995)
  • “That war was looked upon as contrary to the will of God, and oath-taking was forbidden.” (Uxbridge Quaker Heritage, By Allan McGillivray, 1996)


Christians use to be persecuted for refusing to take oaths, affirmations of allegiance in obedience to Christ but now churches preach their own brand of Christianity that is an adversary to the teachings of Christ. They, by their own private doctrines and customs, have delivered the people into bondage. By their customs, they make the law of God to no effect.

Can or should Christians, who believe that Christ is King and that God is the one we should serve, take the modern oath of Allegiance and fidelity required by the United States? Christians once went to their death rather than renounce Christ as King and Prince of God’s Kingdom.

"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God."[1]
"But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."[2]
"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."[3]
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling ."[4]
"Not embezzle, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, "[5]

Affirmations

Taking an “affirmation in lieu of oath” is not really a loophole because, Jesus also prohibited affirmations, calling the practice an oath “by thy head”. He clearly said in Matthew Chapter 5 “whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” The Quakers accepted that as a victory. Given what they’d been through, that was understandable.

  • AFFIRM. To say positively; declare firmly; assert to be true... v.i. in law to declare solemnly, but not under oath; make affirmation. Webster New World Dictionary.
  • SWEAR. To make a solemn declaration or affirmation with an appeal to God or to someone or something held sacred for confirmation: as, he swore by the bible. Webster New World Dictionary.

What is the difference between “to declare solemnly” and “make a solemn declaration”?

What is the difference between “To make a solemn declaration or affirmation” which is to SWEAR and to AFFIRM?

In Bouvier’s an Oath is defined in one form of attestation as commonly called an affirmation, (q. v.) the officer repeats, “You do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm, that.”

Even the definition of swear includes an “affirmation with an appeal to God or to someone or something held sacred for confirmation.”

Jesus says for whatsoever is more than Yes for Yes and No for No cometh of evil.

To take an oath or affirmation under penalty of perjury is more than just answering yes or no and is solemnization of the penalties of perjury and there are men who will judge you as the gods of your testimony.

There is no more difference between taking an oath or an affirmation than there is a difference between committing adultery or having an affair. Both of these activities are the same just as an affirmation is the same as an oath because the end result is the same.

Christians used to be persecuted for refusing to take oaths, affirmations of allegiance in obedience to Christ’s words but now churches preach their own brand of Christianity and have often become an adversary to the teachings of Christ. They, by their own private doctrines and customs, have delivered the people into bondage. By their customs they make the law of God to none effect.

An affidavit may be different. It is all dependent upon what authority is used to bind the conscience.

Is it man or God?

Are you bound under God concerning false witness[6] or bound under men and their courts or under other gods?


“And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Matthew 15:6


"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen." [7]

Unsworn declarations

TITLE 28, PART V, CHAPTER 115, Sec. 1746.-

Unsworn declarations under penalty of perjury:

“Wherever, under any law of the United States or under any rule, regulation, order, or requirement made pursuant to law, any matter is required or permitted to be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the sworn declaration, verification, certificate, statement, oath, or affidavit, in writing of the person making the same (other than a deposition, or an oath of office, or an oath required to be taken before a specified official other than a notary public), such matter may, with like force and effect, be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the unsworn declaration, certificate, verification, or statement, in writing of such person which is subscribed by him, as true under penalty of perjury, and dated, in substantially the following form:”

(1) If executed without the United States: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)”.
(2) If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)”

Although there is a distinction between an oath and a declaration in the above title one subjects themselves to the power of the court in either case and the rulers of that court, the laws they make and are made for them.

Many Christians think it is okay to take oaths or make affirmations before courts and governments. Jesus expressed a different opinion in the New Testament:

“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matthew 5:33-37)

Taking oaths or swearing allegiance or service or anything at all was a great controversy between Christians and the other nations and led to their persecution from the earliest history of the Church and the Kingdom it served.

For centuries Christians would not take oaths even when facing death but modern Christians think it is now okay to take oaths and affirmations.

Why?

What was this prohibition really all about?

These Cometh of Evil?

“The gods are the creation of the created.

They are not emanations of The Eternal.

They are made by the adoration of their worshipers.”[8]

What is a vote? According to Webster’s 1913 Dictionary the word vote can be defined as, “An ardent wish or desire; a vow; a prayer.”

“Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.” (Pr 6: 2)[9]
“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” (James 5:12)

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Footnotes

  1. Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
  2. James 5:12 ¶ But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
  3. James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
  4. Philippians 2:12 ¶ Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
  5. Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
  6. Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  7. Ge 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
  8. Kabbalah (B.C. 1200- 700 A.D.)
  9. Job 15:6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee. Luke 19:22, Matthew 15:18.
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