The Electronic Employment Verification System.
The Real ID Act.
Facial recognition software.
National databases combining those of the 50 states, the Social Security Administration, IRS auditors, and the FBI IDENT (fingerprint database).
International databases growing like weeds out of the seeds of "pilot projects" that create international passports, offer technological help to other nations in developing efficient tracking systems for their own citizens, and "share information" with the result.
We need to decide if it even matters.
Our Republican presidential candidates don't seem to think so; they all pretty much endorse it. Database initiatives are still led by Bible believing Moral Conservative leaders. The Iowa Christian Alliance asked the 6 Republican presidential candidates, who came to the forum which it co-hosted June 30, to pledge their support for the electronic employment verification system! Brownback, Tancredo, Hunter, and Romney said they would. Thompson and Huckabee answered that they would support a "tamper proof ID", which raises interesting questions: what future technology will be absolutely tamper proof even for skillful tamperers?
Next time a highway patrolman is tailgating you, see if you still feel that way. Next time an IRS auditor shows up at your doorstep to examine your financial records for the past 10 years, see how happy you feel for the company.
Whether it's a building inspectorchecking to see if you took out a permit last time you fixed your sink, a child abuse inspector checking to see what caused a scraped elbow, a beautification inspector asking how long it's been since you painted your doghouse, a homicide detective asking where you were on a particular night, or a news reporter inquiring about your connection to a breaking scandal, the normal concern is not that your interrogator will learn, understand, and correctly judge the truth. But that he will (1) falsely accuse you, perhaps through a false accusation from a neighbor; or (2) interpret an arbitrary regulation in a way that condemns you; and (3) at best, even if you are not found guilty, that your normal routine will suffer a huge interruption while your interrogator satisfies himself that you are innocent.
You will actually suffer less terror if you are guilty, because terror for the guilty begins with the crime and fear of being caught, and is actually given a bit of closure by being caught. Because of this principle, when God judges us at the Great White Throne judgment, Revelation 20:11, there will be no terror of false accusation or misunderstood intentions, or even of unfair correction, or even of correction continuing beyond its achievement of God's loving purpose. (In this last phrase I depart from tradition, but see my books "Hell Fire: Heaven's Loving Purpose" and "The Prehistoric Angel Diary".) But when a bureaucrat thinks he is god, his capacity for terror is limited only to the information he can gather about you.
Now think of national tracking that watches where you are, what you buy, where you work, and what you write in your emails. Think of electronic inspectors going through your records, accepting information about you from their neighbors, 24/7, for the rest of your life. Can you see anything not to like about it yet?
The tremendous inaccuracy of our existing databases will not discourage tyrants from implementing it anyway.
Stalin understood that when justice is consistent, those willing to accept a tyrant's laws will at least know what not to do in order to remain safe. What Stalin didn't like about consistent justice was that even though he made up the rules, he had to follow them or the people would rebel at his hypocrisy. So he deliberately made his "justice" erratic and unpredictable, in order to rule by terror. Such a "government" has greater license to rule by whim. He didn't explain it in those words, but he even explained publicly his intention to rule by terror through deliberately erratic justice.
The principle is explained better than Stalin explained it, in a Court case arising from a Des Moines child abuse case, showing the connection between vague law and tyranny:
Alsager v. District Court of Polk County, Iowa, 406 F. Supp. 10(1975), said: "[Parents should receive] notice of what they were doing wrong. They [should be] given a factual basis from which to predict how they should modify their past conduct, their 'parenting', to avoid termination." The decision explained that when parents are not given explicit notice, their constitutional rights are violated, which brings child abuse cases under the jurisdiction of federal courts. The way parents' constitutional rights are violated is that, "Wary of what conduct is required and what conduct must be avoided to prevent termination, parents might fail to exercise their rights freely and fully. The risk that parents will be forced to 'steer far wider of the unlawful zone' than is constitutionally necessary is not justified when the state is capable of enacting less ambiguous termination standards. The Court finds the aforementioned standards unconstitutionally vague in that they deter parents from conduct which is constitutionally protected."
The ability to monitor everyone was portrayed by George Orwell in 1948. (He died the next year, when it was published.)
The clock strikes 13. Life is comfortably stark. Too comfortable. Dull. Telescreens monitor every room of every building in the world. But what dictatorship could be more benevolent? Why, he is our Big Brother! His image and MO resemble Stalin's, though.
Thought police patrol. Vaporization awaits eggregious thought violations, such as writing in a Diary or visiting the nearby city where thought has less need of restriction, wisdom having fled from it long ago.There are no laws any longer, but Winston perceives if he is caught, he will be vaporized for doing something that is technically legal.
The ability to monitor is the ability to censor. The ability to censor is the ability to control communication. The ability to control communication is the ability to manipulate language, allowing certain words and prohibiting others.
At first, Winston is just bored, with a vague sense that things aren't right. He remembers, from his childhood, an experience called "love". He meets Julia, and begins putting political theory into words. But the words put Julia to sleep; she rebels with him just for the fun of it. Freedom is but a prohibited toy to her. She cares nothing for understanding. Hers is not the principled passion for a cause, but youth's vain expectation of never getting caught.
Winston rebels by hiding from the telescreen and by visiting the city of less restricted thought. But Winston learns that obedience is not enough for the watchers: he must love Big Brother. Which means to reject love and loyalty to any other. He is tortured, but maintains his integrity until he is threatened with what is most important. For that, he betrays Julia, becoming a shell of a man, no longer a threat to the state. The friend in whom he trusted works tirelessly to cure Winston of his sick thoughts which keep him from loving Big Brother. Finally, released, he sits in the cafe where the story began, welcoming his own defeat: in love with Big Brother.
IN LOVE WITH 99% of BIG BROTHER.
To even mention Revelation prophecies of the Mark of the Beast in connection with existing Big Brotherish database tracking systems causes universal eye-rolling in America, which would be understandable except that it includes even "evangelical" Christians whose buying habits have made "Mark of the Beast" movies and books top sellers. These are Christians who believe the Revelation 13 and 14 description of the Mark of the Beast as the greatest sin of all human history - the only sin of which the Bible says that each and every person who submits to it will go to Hell! (Revelation 14:9-12) Popular Christian literature universally assumes this is being fulfilled by growth of an international database of every man, woman, and child, interfacing with chips implanted in our foreheads or right hands, a technology firmly on the horizon. The implantable chip is the only thing lacked by the Real ID Act combined with S1348, according to popular literature.
Although the "Mark of the Beast" is a hot topic in entertainment, it is a very small issue in Christian activism where people actually DO something about what concerns them - judging by the fact that even Republican candidates, who are personally motivated by Scripture and who serve constituencies with the highest concentration of concern for Biblical prophecies, are leading us towards what popular Christian literature warns against! - who, indeed, if Revelation and the popular literature based on it are to be believed, are leading the paving crew for the Road to Hell.
How is all this possible? How is it possible for Revelation-believing Christians to see nothing wrong with actually heading up the paving crew for the Road to Hell?
Simple. Christians know that 100% of the Mark of the Beast is named by God as the only sin of which God says each and every person who accpets it will go to Hell; but who asks WHY God cares so much? Without understanding what is so bad about it, how can we recognize the evil in a portion of it? Who asks "if 100% of the Mark of the Beast is so terrible, should we resist accepting 99% of the Mark of the Beast?" or "Can a Bible believing Moral Conservative politician escape judgment who leads America to 99% of the Mark of the Beast?"
When the Antichrist finally picks up the keys handed him by Moral Conservative Congressmen like Tom Tancredo and Steve King, will Moral Conservatives still tell Christians to honor the Antichrist's "rule of law", all the way to Hell (Revelation 14:9)?
If simple reason and experience does not answer this question to your satisfaction, perhaps a comparison of Numbers 1 with 1 Chronicles 1 and 2 Samuel 24 will.
Does the Bible say anything bad about the steps leading up to the Mark? Anything that might help us understand why this matters so much to God?
One clue is found in how seriously God takes a plain old census. It turns out that the way we did our first one was just over God's line, but the way we do it today is far more serious by God's standards than the one which God punished with a plague that killed 70,000 souls. If God reacted so strongly in Bible times to far less sin than we commit today, how much of our disease today might be God's judgment for our national tracking systems?
But a question of even greater personal urgency: if the census of our Founders was 1% over God's line towards the Mark of the Beast, and now with our social security numbers, IRS reports, credit cards, and computerized driver's license databases we have come 90% of the way, will our Christian political leaders, our Christian voters who tolerate them, and our pastors who look the other way, still have a warm, bright, safe corner in Heaven after pulling us 99% of the way to the Antichrist?
That is the issue raised by the Census Verses. The question still to be answered: WHY does God care so much?
David conducted one census, and 70,000 people died by pestilence for David’s sin. He was warned against so great a sin before he sinned, and he repented afterwards. II Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21. The place where David sacrificed in repentance for that terrible deed later became the location of Solomon's Temple, 2 Chronicles 3:1.
In other words, the symbol of political stability and God's relationship with His People was founded on repentance from the slightest national tracking. In fact, 1 Chronicles 21:26, quoted below, says the first sacrifice on that holy site, for the sin of national tracking, was one of only two times in the Bible when fire came down from God out of Heaven to consume the sacrifice. (The other time was 1 Kings 18:30-38.)
Moses conducted 2 censuses of the people, with God’s blessing, and at God’s direction. Exodus 18, Numbers 1.
Even after analyzing the differences between Moses' and David's census, the modern mind, so accustomed to "sin" far more terrible, struggles to imagine what significance God saw in such small differences.
Difference #1: Moses collected a temple tax: David didn't. Exodus 30:11-16 says census takers must collect half a shekel (worth 5 pennies, or 5 days' wages) from every man fit for military duty between age 20 and 60. God says without this tax, people will die of plague. Since 70,000 died as a result of David's census, we know he didn't collect the tax. (This tax was the same tax which Jesus paid in Matthew 17:24-27, while explaining to Peter that it was ridiculous for a church to tax God - but that wasn't the time to fight that battle.)
Ex 30:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. 13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. 14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. 16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
1 Chronicles 21:1-6 states in three ways that David's census was a terrible sin.
First, it states that Satan was behind it. (Actually the parallel account in II Samuel 24 says God moved David to that action, which only shows that Satan does not act without God's permission; compare also Job 1 with Job 42:11.)
1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
Second, it quotes Joab's warning to David. (Which was significant because Joab, David's top general, was a ruthless, violent, untrustworthy man whom one would not expect to be scrupulous about obeying God or even David. He fought dirty. 2 Samuel chapters 3, 11, 18, 19:13, and 20. He was finally executed by Solomon, 1 Kings 2:29-33.)
2 Chronicles 21:2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. 3 And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?
Third, it shows David's stubbornness in defying the warnings.
2 Chronicles 21:4 Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab.
Fourth, it shows that even wicked Joab was too repulsed by this wicked order to count one of the tribes.
2 Chronicles 21:5 And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword. 6 But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king's word was abominable to Joab.
The rest of the chapter shows God's judgment for David's sin. Unexplained is WHY it was a sin, although the reason, whatever it was, was obvious to everyone in the story. Maybe the fault is not God's, for judging a nation for something we can see nothing wrong with. Maybe the fault is ours, for our blindness to the obvious. Surely the Molech worshippers of Bible times could see nothing wrong with throwing their children into the red-hot fire-heated arms of their cruel idol. They must have complained to God's prophets, "but WHY does God say this is wrong?" Abortionists today profess ignorance of anything wrong with murdering 1.5 million U.S. babies a year. Sodomites see no connection between any concern of God and the terrible diseases spawned by the unimaginable filth of some of their practices. Adulterers can't figure out why God is concerned with the trail of broken hearts they leave behind. Hitler saw nothing wrong with "purifying" the human race. Perhaps our blindness to anything wrong with government tracking puts our spiritual blindness in the same camp with all these others.
1 Chronicles 21:7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. 8 And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. 9 And the LORD spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying, 10 Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 11 So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee 12 Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. 13 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. 14 So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. 15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 17 And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued. 18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD. 20 And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. 21 And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. 23 And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. 24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. 25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. 26 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. 27 And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. 28 At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. 29 For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
Difference #2: Moses took 1 day for his census: David took 9 months.
Numbers 1 shows the exact day the entire nation was numbered. One man from each tribe counted the people of that tribe. The average number each had to count was 50,000. To count 50,000 in 15 hours, would require counting one per second.
The Matthew Henry commentary thinks verses 2 and 18 mean the government wrote down where every man lives, so they can be located if there is a war.
Matthew Henry, on Numbers 1: "The account was to be taken according to their families, that it might not only be known how many they were, and what were their names, but of what tribe and family, or clan, nay, of what particular house every person was; or, reckoning it the muster of an army, to what regiment every man belonged, that he might know his place himself and the government might know where to find him."
But it is impossible for one man to write down one name and address, or family name, per second, even if they may have spoken their names as they handed over their money. However, that is plenty of time to put a coin in a stack, creating stacks of ten coins each. Probably verse 18 means each man did state his name and perhaps family, which would serve the purpose of enabling bystanders to correct a name they heard out of place. But at one name per second there is no way any single record keeper or government representative could have even paid much attention, much less have made a record, or memorized names!
Numbers 1:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; 3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. 4 And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers. 5 And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: (God gave the name of one man in each tribe)....16 These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel. 17 And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed by their names: 18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls. 19 As the LORD commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai.
By contrast, 2 Samuel 24:4-9 details the 9 month census conducted by the army.
2 Samuel 24:4 ...And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel. 5 And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward Jazer: 6 Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtimhodshi; and they came to Danjaan, and about to Zidon, 7 And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beersheba. 8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.
Difference #3: Moses finished. God stopped David with pestilence before he could finish.
1 Chronicles 27:23-24 says the census was never finished!
1 Chronicles 27:23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the LORD had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens. 24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he finished not, because there fell wrath for it against Israel; neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David.
Difference #4: Moses had everyone come to the census taker. David had the army go out across the land. (Shown by above Scriptures.)
Difference #5: Moses counted money; no record was made of names and addresses. David recorded names and addresses; no money was collected. The fact that Moses counted the money is explicit in Exodus 38:24-26:
Exodus 38:24 All the that was occupied for the work in all the work of the holy place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary. 25 And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: 26 A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men.
The Bible does not specify that Moses did not also record names and addresses, except by doing it too quickly for names, let alone addresses, to be counted.
The fact that David did not collect money, let alone count it, is proved by the pestilence which God promised would not happen if money were collected.
The fact that David did count names and addresses is inferred from two facts: (1) the army scoured the country, even recording the addresses it traversed in the Bible, in the process of collecting names; and (2) nothing else could have been counted, but names and addresses. A census has to count something tangible, and not inflatable, that can be rechecked if there is a question. Names and addresses can be rechecked, so that is what the army must have counted, and that is what alarmed God enough to skew the census results with a pestilence.
If you count lines drawn with a pencil, and the totals look wrong, there is nothing you can go back and double check. But with names and addresses, you can send troops back to a specific area to recount.
But if coins could be counted, why not pebbles or matchsticks? Why couldn't each man in the city file by and throw a pebble in the pot? Or a mite - the smallest unit of money, rather than a unit of money representing 5 days' wages?
Because the temptation would be too big to throw in extra pebbles, matchsticks, or mites.
Why? Because census results determined judicial districts, much like today. Exodus 18. The second census even allotted land according to population, Numbers 26:52-56, and it is possible that David's census might have used census results to influence any disputed land claims too.
Today's census results determine how many congressmen a state may have. The number of Congressmen is fixed at 425. Each state's share of those Congressmen is determined by the state's share of total US population. In the 1990 census, Iowa lost a Congressman; we now have five. By the same principle, state legislatures redraw their legislative districts after every census. The more population a city has, the more state lawmakers it gets. Average voters could care less about such details, and usually don't even know them. But if our census were measured by each citizen throwing a pebble into a pot, there would be a lineup of gravel trucks backing up to the pot.
However, if each citizen had to throw in $500, no politician would be motivated to throw in a couple of million dollars just to get another state lawmaker in his city. His money would be better spent buying the lawmakers his city already has.
God's system really is a brilliant alternative to taking down names. If we followed it today, we would have citizens show up at their voting places. Each party already has precinct leaders in each precinct. Precinct leaders are enough into politics to be highly motivated to make sure everyone shows up. They are familiar with their neighborhoods to kinow where to find everybody. And yet, precinct leaders are not paid by Federal government, and would not be motivated to share any lists of names with Federal agents. The same political incentives existed in Israel.
Besides the motivation of redrawn political districts, everyone would be motivated to watch for any corruption or inaccuracy that might justify or result in the census taker/tax collector coming around twice!
9 censuses are recorded in Scripture. David's was #6. The tally is given differently in 1 Chr 21:5 and II Sam 24:9. This is probably because it was never completed, nor its results officially recorded, 1 Chr 27:23-24, so the figures must be unofficial estimates. The census did not count Benjamin, 1 Chr 21:6. Levites were counted separately.
(Actually Matthew Henry counts Exodus 38:26 and Numbers 1:46 as two separate censuses, the first to collect money and the second to record names, even though they both report exactly the same numbers. The Chronological Bible likewise dates them separately. The Interpreter's Bible says they are "assumed to be" the same census. Since the second census was the one specified as occurring in a single day, too fast to record names, and is the only one for which a specific date is given which was only a year after leaving Egypt, they must be the same census.)
1st: 603,550 / Nu 1:46, Ex 38:26 / 1461 BC
2nd: 601,730 / Nu 26:51 / 1423 BC
3rd: 426,700 / Ju 20:15-17 / 1315 BC
4th: 330,000 / 1 Sam 11:8 / 1065 BC
5th: 210,000 / 1 Sam 15:4 / 1050 BC
6th: 1,300,000 / II Sam 24:9 / 1,570,000 / 1 Chr 21:5 988 BC
7th: ? / 1 Kings 20:15 / 879 BC
8th: ? / II Kings 3:6 / 868 BC
9th: 300,000 / II Chr 25:5 / 802 BC.
The lesson? The common thread with the Mark of the Beast? Tyranny occurs to the extent a central government knows where to find each and every citizen, making rebellion almost impossible.
RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS: (The denial of the right to bear arms is here described as an example of tyranny from which God delivered His people:)
1Sa 13:19 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: 20 But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. 21 Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. 22 So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.
Jg 5:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?
RIGHT TO OVERTHROW GOVERNMENT: 2 Kings 11 (the story of God-sanctioned rebellion, for good cause, against the bloody Queen Athaliah)
Judges 3 (the story of God-blessed rebellion against the fat tyrant Eglon, king of Moab)
RIGHT TO OBSTRUCT GOVERNMENT TYRANNY:
1Sa 22:17 And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.
(This last passage is one of many about David's God-blessed 7-year rebellion against King Saul. Here Saul orders the execution of priests for helping David rebel, and Saul's own soldiers join the rebellion by refusing to execute the priests! A few verses earlier, Saul identified his own son as a rebel in helping protect David.)
Pr 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. 11 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; 12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
Notice this last passage is talking about rebelling against a bloody government. A common thief does not have the leisure or power to lead away a victim to death, or to do so with public knowledge. Only governments do that. We cannot save a victim from a common thief because we do not know when or where it will happen; but when government murders people know.
RIGHT TO DISOBEY GOVERNMENT: Ac 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Ac 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Mr 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. 14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
The entire four gospels records the contest between Jesus and the enforcers of criminal and civil law in Palestine, the Sanhedrin and its officers. But in this amazing passage Jesus' reason for ignoring the Sanhedrin's hygeine laws is that the Sanhedrin ignores some of the laws of God!
God is not an anarchist. “Rule of law” is defined upside down today from the way our Founders meant it. They defined “law” as applied equally to everybody, so that majorities are not “above the law” which they impose on minorities. They contrasted "rule of LAW" with the rule of kings, in which kings freely enacted laws applying to everybody else but themselves. We today enact laws against immigrants the way kings did, drawing a line around the rights of others where God has not. We apply harsh laws and insufferable bureaucracy upon those born on the other side of our quota line, which we would never tolerate upon ourselves. We call “rule of law” what our founders called “rule of tyrants”. They understood that the “higher authorities”, plural, which Romans 13:1 tells us to obey, presumes higher authorities in agreement; so when they conflict, we are to obey the highest authority: “we ought to obey God rather than men”, Acts 5:29.
God challenges us to freely rebel against stupid and cruel laws, advising us, if it is good, do it, even if it means going to court over it. At least that is what Jesus did and said when the Sanhedrin ruled that he should not heal on the Sabbath, and his defense before that day's equivalent of our courtroom was:
Mr 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. 3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. 4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. 5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. 6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
SO WHY CAN'T A FREE GOVERNMENT HAVE A TRACKING SYSTEM?
Such a question assumes a group of human beings can be found and placed in government positions who are not human beings but angels. But if human beings were angels we would need no government. Because government is made of human beings, government needs restraints.
The ability to track all citizens removes restraints. The ultimate restraint against any government is the ability to rebel. Our government is founded on the right of its citizens to rebel against it.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Too many Americans think our government can be trusted with tracking systems, because our government is a Free Government which will only use tracking technology to protect us and give us "benefits". No, our government is as free as it is because it does no more tracking than it does. Our freedom is not to be compared with the freedom of a century ago, when no one had to keep records for the IRS, and people could start up a business without having to worry about a single government form.
Christians today have so much admiration for the hope of a "benevolent dictator" that they look forward to when Jesus will come be our Absolute Dictator, crushing all dissent and heresy by bloody sword! Jesus not only has flatly turned that down, John 6, but he called even the most benevolent dictatorship possible -- with Him the dictator -- worship of something other than God! Matthew 4:10.
Mt 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Was God cruel to stop David's census with a plague that killed 70,000? Or was God merciful to nip a tyranny in the bud that would have claimed far more lives?
Parents ought to understand why God cares so much about our freedom to do good.
Parents invest tremendous resources and sacrifice so that their children may grow up able to enjoy the freedom of adulthood. A child who rebels against the self discipline necessary to mature, which defeats all that investment and sacrifice, through sheer laziness, (like adult voters who throw away their God-given freedom by sheer apathy), is considered very "naughty" by everyone.
"Free" appears 58 times in the King James Version of the Bible.
Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Ro 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
1Co 7:21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
Ga 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. ...Ga 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Ro 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
1Co 7:21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
Ga 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. ...Ga 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Our freedom was bought with a great price! Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. ...18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. God doesn't just care about our individual freedom. God wants us to live under free governments. When Israel begged God for a dictator, God was justly horrified. They insisted so stubbornly that God gave them the evil they prayed for, but He warned them first. Notice their reasons: they thought a dictator would "fight their battles for them". Well, sure, with their blood and their money! The same myth drives the Democratic party today (and almost as many Republicans); the idea that government can provide us benefits, without a clue that for every dollar of benefit they give, they take 5 dollars in taxes.
1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. 10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. 11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. 18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. 19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. 22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.
God’s ideal government will collect only about 12% taxes, which will cover “church” as well as state!
God’s limits on federal taxation are described in Ezekiel 45:8-17: only 1/60th (1.67%) of the wheat and barley, 1/100th (1%) of the oil, and 1/200th (0.5%) of the lambs, and no taxes on anything else! People would be taxed another 10% for “church”, but church duties include providing a judicial branch of government for the nation, Ezekiel 44:23-24!
Ezekiel 45:8 These sections of land will be the prince’s allotment. Then my princes will no longer oppress and rob my people; they will assign the rest of the land to the people, giving an allotment to each tribe. Rules for the Princes 9 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Enough, you princes of Israel! Stop your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Quit robbing and cheating my people out of their land. Stop expelling them from their homes, says the Sovereign Lord. 10 Use only honest weights and scales and honest measures, both dry and liquid. 11 The homer will be your standard unit for measuring volume. The ephah and the bath will each measure one-tenth of a homer. 12 The standard unit for weight will be the silver shekel. One shekel will consist of twenty gerahs, and sixty shekels will be equal to one mina. Special Offerings and Celebrations 13 “You must give this tax to the prince: one bushel of wheat or barley for every 60 you harvest, 14 one percent of your olive oil, 15 and one sheep or goat for every 200 in your flocks in Israel. These will be the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings that will make atonement for the people who bring them, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 All the people of Israel must join in bringing these offerings to the prince. 17 The prince will be required to provide offerings that are given at the religious festivals, the new moon celebrations, the Sabbath days, and all other similar occasions. He will provide the sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, liquid offerings, and peace offerings to purify the people of Israel, making them right with the Lord. (New Living Translation)What a switch from today’s taxes of about 50%, while the church not only declines to provide a judiciary even for its own members – 1 Corinthians 6, but admonishes its flock to “stay out of politics” altogether, leaving the federal money grab unresisted, and then wants another 10% from us for itself! But the view that God has no messages for Christians to give politicians makes less and less sense as politicians, more and more, criminalize righteous proclamation of the Gospel in public and in education, while protecting and even subsidizing what God calls crimes.
You can see from these passages that God wants government not only out of your private business, but out of your wallet. With taxes this low, obviously no government could afford to snoop on everybody. Big Brother has a huge appetite, which is one of the reasons all but 13 states have taken some steps to protest the Real ID act and 6 states have passed a law against obeying it.
THE STUPIDITY OF DEFYING GOD. The tragedy of this rush to throw away our freedoms to Hell is that it is totally unnecessary for the goal of securing our borders, if we will just follow the rest of God’s immigration policy. Getting rid of arbitrarily low Numerical Limitations (quotas), and replacing them with quality criteria, so that when we tell immigrants to “get in line like everybody else” there will actually be a line for them to get in, will cause 99% of immigrants to indeed get in line, voluntarily, leaving the USCIS bureaucracy free to chase the 1% who are real criminals and terrorists. But wouldn’t biometric ID cards help apprehend the 1% of real criminals and terrorists?
The first answer for a Bible believer must always be that when a Bible believing U.S. Congressman paves the way for the greatest crime of all human history, as identified by God, in order to locate criminals and terrorists, who are the “real criminals and terrorists”?
But the second answer is the one that makes disobeying God just plain foolish. It is to point out that the “real criminals and terrorists” have the money to be the last ones captured anyway. First, because they are funded by crime and terrorists, they have little occasion to ever present their phony ID’s. They use cash. They don’t have honest jobs. They don’t have paychecks with Social Security taxes withheld. Second, because their money enables them to acquire top quality phony ID’s. For example, facial recognition software can be fooled by adding patches to parts of the face such as actors use. Third, because their networks help them navigate around the situations where they will need to expose their ID’s to anyone. Because of these obvious realities, the defacto primary targets of national tracking schemes will always be the most honest of citizens, who will suffer loss of freedom of movement, risk of terror from their own government, and before that, individual moments of terror when technological and human errors cause their biometric cards to categorize them incorrectly.
The greatest sin of all human history is knocking at the door. Should God’s people let it in without objecting? Of no other sin does Revelation 13-14 say that all who partake will be tormented in Hell. If God takes it that seriously, do you think God finds nothing wrong with the last step before its full implementation? To do nothing because “Christians should not get involved in politics” or "it's prophesied so nothing we can do will stop it" is to excuse standing by as sin blackens the land. And not just a little sin.
Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Do you ask how German Christians could stand by and watch Jews exterminated in Germany? Ask if we will stand by as Jews and Christians are exterminated across the world. Do you marvel that Southern Christians could tolerate slavery of blacks? Marvel at our tolerance of impending slavery of everyone. Do you cry for the abortion of 1/3 of our unborn? Cry for the coming abortions of 2/3 of the world’s unborn and 1/3 of the world’s born. If we do nothing, the Real ID act, Public Law 109-13, enacted May 11, 2005, will force states, by May 11, 2008, (except for states which request extensions of time), to add biometric data (such as digital photograph) to the data they collect for drivers’ licenses, and to submit their data to a central federal database. No one will be able to travel by car, bus, plane, or train, enter a federal building, or open a bank account, without showing this new ID. The purpose of this bill was to keep illegals from getting jobs by requiring employers to check this ID before hiring anybody, but the bill doesn’t yet require employers to check it. Many in Congress are working to correct this. It is not certain whether those who already have bank accounts will be able to keep them, without showing this ID. The only people who will be able to do all these things without a proper ID will be the terrorists who are able to make phony ID’s – the folks this bill was designed to catch.
LET'S BE THE PROTESTERS IN FRONT OF THE BULLDOZERS, NOT THE CAPTAINS OF THE PAVING CREW FOR THE ROAD TO HELL. Antichrist will fight wars, Daniel 11:40-45. Some will not receive the Mark, Revelation 20:4. We can be the people God prophesied about, who will resist Antichrist, and who are not tormented in Hell.
About the justice of Hell: some may wonder, if God is so dedicated to our happiness that He would give us such strong warnings against throwing away our freedom, why would He then care so little for our happiness that He would add, to our torment under tyranny on Earth, an eternity of torments in Hell?
From the introduction to my book "Hell Fire: Heaven's Loving Purpose":
Hell offers Potential – not forced – Purification.
Hell really makes a lot of sense, understood Biblically. We all know what it’s like to resist good, God, light, love, truth, evidence, life, and grace. We do it; others do it. We doubt God’s promises. We covet the fruits of darkness. Romans 3:10-12. Explain how it is possible to choose such woe for even one moment, here on Earth, before you reject Biblical evidence that some harden their hearts so much that they will resist forever!
Hell Fire is Heaven’s loving solution. The Bible says the flames which torture, in Hell, those who hate God, are the same kind of flames which purify God’s beloved saints – two different fires are never described – just as the Light which Christians hide is the same Light from which sinners hide.
The Bible treats fire and light as metaphors of correction more penetrating than mere physical fire: twice the cruelty, of word or deed, done or wished upon others; twice the world suffering that might have been eased but was flipped off; twice the kicks aimed through the door when Love and Innocence came to help; twice the ignorance earned by resisting correction; and twice the chains of unused withered wisdom, talent, and potential.
In other words, “debtors” not forgiven by Grace face Justice. Debt is finite, but as huge, Matthew 18:34, as a heart is hard. Some will resist softening, or “paying”, forever.
To be more compassionate than God would be neither wise nor safe. But Tradition contradicts Scripture, dismissing some verses as “difficult”, and taking others less literally than does the Bible. Tradition is not too pure for the “refiner’s fire”.
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