Cities of refuge
Cities of Refuge
The false religion of the Pharisees that the Old Testament was about vengeance has played havoc with the thinking of the Modern Christians. Moses and Jesus were in agreement and the image of criminals running to a city of refuge to escape punishment or retribution is a product of sophistry. We were always to love our neighbor in Pure Religion and attend to the weightier matters of law, judgment, mercy and faith. .
The Cities of Refuge were not just six Levitical towns in the Kingdom of Israel or Judea in which the perpetrators of manslaughter could claim the right of asylum. They would soon become hideouts like The-hole-in-the-wall gang if that were true.
These cities were the centers of a Levitical system of appeals courts. The Torah names the six cities as being cities of refuge: Golan, Ramoth, and Bosor, on the east of the Jordan River, and Kedesh, Shechem, and Hebron on the west side.
Israel before kings used a system where the head of each family in a congregation of tens would hear a matter of dispute concerning the laws like "thou shalt not steal". These ten elders might also include their minister and his minister in the network of tens. If the dispute included people from two different congregations, they would use a system of voir dire to pick the jurists. If the one convicted felt he got an unjust deal, he could appeal to what was called the "cities of refuge", which was appeals courts in a government of servants called Levites.
All societies form some sort of court system to judge among themselves for either protection from or punishment of evil. Those systems usually have a method of appeal. We either depend on the Father in Heaven or the fathers of the earth.
The Levites formed a system of appeals courts which were called the cities of refuge through a network of ministers created by the free choice of the people through the patterns of tens in free assemblies.
- 1 Samuel 8:3 Samuel's sons were taking bribes " And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment."
These appeals courts could acquit people who did not get a fair trial in local congregations of the people. But if they took bribes, the guilty might go free from recompense of their evil deeds. The people could prevent that corruption if they chose their ministers with an eye on that distinct corruption. But if the people were not interested in the weightier matters for everyone in the nation, corruption and bribes went forth unchecked.
The people failed to let God rule their hearts in His righteousness, and the voice of the people elected a king like Saul. This always leads to a government that exercises authority and takes and takes and takes as 1 Samuel 8 clearly states. While a jury that can decide fact and law is important, the heart of the people who sit on that jury is even more important.
If people will not live and attend to the weightier matters through a network of faith, hope and charity and the perfect law of liberty according to The Way of Christ, then they will not be free. They will go under the authority of the Cains, Nimrods, Sauls and Caesars of the world.
Refuge in Repentance
Modern Christians have become workers of iniquity because they are not doers of the word. They say Lord, Lord and say they believe in Jesus but through Covetous Practices they have become Merchandise and returned to the bondage of Egypt and fail to attend to the Weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith which include caring for the needs of our neighbors and the widows and orphans of our society through Pure Religion in matters of health, education, and welfare. We are NOT to do so by the Covetous Practices of modern governments.
The Way of Christ was like neither the way of the world nor the governments of the gentiles who depend on benefactors who exercise authority. Christ's ministers and true Christians do not depend upon systems of social welfare that force the contributions of the people like the corban of the Pharisees which made the word of God to none effect. Many people have been deceived to go the way of Balaam and the Nicolaitan and out of The Way of Christ.
The Christian conflict of the first century Church appointed by Christ was because they would not apply to the fathers of the earth for benefits but instead relied upon a voluntary network providing a daily ministration to the needy of society through Faith, Hope, and Charity by way of freewill offerings of the people, for the people, and by the people through the perfect law of liberty in Free Assemblies according to the ancient pattern of Tuns or Tens.
"Follow me!" —Jesus the Christ.
- One of the most important things to do is to become involved in a network of Charitable Practices. Everyone should want to join a Living Network of Love and Charity.
- If you think you have a calling to be a Minister of God or you might want to dedicate your life to Christ as an Ordained Minister of His Holy Church, contact us to start the process of discipleship and become the benefactors who exercise only love, NOT authority.
The Modern Christians may get Baptized but few repent of thinking that it is okay to covet what belonged to their neighbor or they merely remain slothful in the ways of Christ failing to gather and care for one another.
Healers of a Nation
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” 1 Corinthians 15:50
The Levites began to occupy a distinct position as the spiritual primogeniture of a nation, since that terrible scene of sin established with the golden calf. They were conferred with the office of service to the tents of the congregation. They were selected for this purpose because, as a tribe, they were willing to come out first and serve Moses and the Lord.
As being wholly consecrated or separated to the service of the Lord, they had no territorial possessions. Jehovah was their inheritance1 and, for their support, it was ordained that they should receive from the other tribes the tithes of the produce of the land and the people, but only according to their service. It was not automatic nor collected by force.
“Forty-eight civil jurisdictions were assigned to them, thirteen of which were called priest cities. Along with their dwellings they had ‘suburbs’, and ‘commons’, for their herds and flocks, and also fields and vineyards (Num. 35:2-5). Nine of these cities were in Judah, three in Naphtali, and four in each of the other tribes (Josh. 21). Six of the Levitical cities were set apart as ‘cities of refuge’ (q.v.). Thus the Levites were scattered among the tribes to keep alive among them the knowledge and service to God.” 2
A Father’s offer
“Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom.”3
He suggested a series of changes that drove a stake through the heart of the last vestiges of the Roman Free Republic. While always proclaiming a desire and intention to reform the way to safety, prosperity, and freedom, he edged inexorably toward tyranny.
This road to ruin began a glorious journey of successive rulers who consistently grew in power. By the rule of Marcus Aurelius, true freedom and independence was despised. This stoic president led what historians have called the Golden Age of Rome.
“I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”4 “Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments.”5
If you wish to conquer a people, addict their hearts to the love of benefits and their minds to vain knowledge, then they will fight to maintain their slavery against any who might set them free. Just teach the people to call good “evil” and evil “good”. The weakened and deceived people of a once strong republic will rush to grant new power to men like Augustus in exchange for peace and security. With the abandonment of responsibility, liberty, and freedom, rights are soon traded for the provisos, or conditions, and the “provisions of the state”.
“For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19
With the office of Emperator, translated “Commander-in-Chief”, he controlled the military. With the office of Principas Civitas, “First Citizen”, he was the chief executive officer, President of Rome, Prince of the People, signing into law the statutes of the Senate. And with the office of Apo Theos, ”Appointor of gods”, he appointed the magistrates and judges throughout the Empire to enforce those laws and his sovereign power.
It was not these three elected offices of Roman government that subdued the people so much as the clever systems of citizen enfranchisement.6 Among these was the threefold process of individual abdication through Novation,7 Tutor8 and Korban.9
The fathers and patriarchs of each household steadily released their custodial rights to their sons and daughters into the power of the of the State, the Conscripted Fathers.10 Originally within the laws of Nature and Nature’s God, it is the Father of a house who holds the power and authority over his children. Originally, children were the property of the head of the household. The Romans called this authority and right patria potestas.
“The patria potestas could not be dissolved immediately by manumissio (manumission), because the patria potestas must be viewed as an imperium, and not as a right of property like the power of a master over his slave.”11
What Caesar had become through a history of changes was the Pater Patriae, “The Father of his Country”. With this granted imperium, the heads of the families, the fathers, were cut off from their God-given rights, liberty, and freedom. The Commander-in-Chief was proclaimed to be the Patron of the people of Greater Rome, called the “world”. To this new world order, he was the Patronus, or Our Father, to whom all were to apply for security and salvation.
The registration of foreigners, as well as resident citizens, led to the registrations of the children of each family in a process of Novation, whereby a father manumitted the custody of his own children into the care and tutorship of the Father of the state. This custom alone would eventually bring Rome and the Kingdom of God into pernicious conflict.
The Caesars, as Father of the State, initiated a series of reforms that began a fast track ascension into the bondage that had begun years before. But “It is easier to show the disorder that must accompany reform than the order that should follow it”.12 By 200 AD, Caesar was the name of a subordinate to the Emperor, which was called Augustus in Latin or Basileus in Greek.
Caesar Augustus was not alone in his lust for power and control. His rise to authority over men was relatively easy. All he had to do was to appeal to the tyranny in the hearts of every man. By promising them an entitlement to the power and profits of his rule, his own jurisdiction was insured. Men feared standing for what was right, they coveted their neighbor’s goods and they loved themselves more than they loved their neighbor or their rights. Freedom soon perishes in a nation of tyrants.
1Num. 18:20; 26:62; Deut. 10:9; 18:1, 2
2Easton’s Bible Dictionary.
3Chapter 3, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon.
4On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, Benjamin Franklin, 29 November 1766.
5Letter on the Stamp Act, Benjamin Franklin, 1 July 1765.
6Enfranchisement n. 1. Releasing from slavery or custody. 2. Admission to the freedom of a corporation or body politic; investiture with the privileges of free citizens. Webster’s Dictionary
7“the remodeling of an old obligation.” Webster’s Dictionary
8tutor -ari, dep.: also tuto -are: to protect, watch, keep. guard against.
9Bringing closer to the originator or father, a substitute father honored.
10Conscripti Patres. Elected Fathers of the Senate. All Senators were addressed Patri or Father.
11Unterholzner, Zeitschrift, vol. ii p. 139; Von den formen der Manumissio per Vindictam und der Emancipatio.
- Numbers 35:11 Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares.
- Numbers 35:14 Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.
- Joshua 20:2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
- 1 Chronicles 6:67 And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs,
- Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mark 10:42-43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
Luke 22:25-26 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
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