When Christ spoke of the Kingdom there was a revolution going on in Judea and the world. The policies and practices of politicians and people had the world on a one way road to social and economic destruction. John the Baptist and Jesus were turning the world upside down. They were shaming the hypocrites who claimed to be following Moses but did not know him nor the God who sent him to free the people.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
The word translated ignorant is not the normal Greek word agnoeo meaning ignorant or unlearned1 but is the Greek word idiōtēs [ἰδιώτης].2 The English word “idiot” comes from the Latin the idiōta which came to mean an ignorant person. But in the Greek idiōtēs as used here in Acts meant a private “person not involved in public affairs”.
Even the word translated unlearned in this text is not the Greek agnoeo nor amathes which can mean ignorant but it is the word agrammatoi which only appears once in the Bible and “should not be rendered ‘unlearned’”3 This word agrammatoi is rare in Greek text. Its meaning may depend on the period and use in context. I have found it describing the muster rolls of a battalion or a registry of members kept by scribes.
Christians provided for one another in charity and did not participate in the free bread welfare of Rome as we see the Pharisees doing.4 The Pharisees had chosen Caesar’s ways and government as their benefactor. The Christians were not involved in the public affairs of the Pharisees. Christians were involved in public affairs of Christ working daily in the temple.5
The temple in Jerusalem, the same as those of Rome, was the center of their social welfare. With the baptism of John, Christ’s followers, who were eventually called Christians, had opted out of a social welfare system that had snared the people under the authority of Herod’s welfare state.6 Christians had another king, one Jesus, and were standing fast in the liberty of Christ. The persecution of Christians by public magistrates was often based on their refusal to participate in the temple welfare systems of Rome.
The word translated marvelled in Acts is “thaumazo” which is also translated in the Bible as “have in admiration” and “admire.” They were impressed and yet they did not like what they were hearing. Many modern Christians would not want to hear the truth of what the early church was doing either.
The Pharisees had been teaching things that were contrary to God, Moses and now Jesus. They professed God with their lips in vain. The people were going back into the bondage of Egypt under the imperial powers of Rome7 contrary to the command of God.8 They had been running their government and leading the people in a way that violated the Spirit of the Law established by God and His precepts upon precepts. They were making the word of God to none effect with their social welfare programs.
Many will decry this interpretation of agrammatoi eisin kai idiōtai.9 Christians need to be willing to know the whole truth and look at all things anew. If you will not learn the context in history when the Bible was written you will fail to understand the meaning of the authors. Simple misinterpretations by private souls can take the people a long ways off course in their quest for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Early Rome, like the Americans of the 17th century, had learned to govern themselves according to the ideals of the earliest republics. But maintaining that form of government requires great diligence and virtue.10 The Roman people had begun to look to their elected officials and then the office of Caesar for every social benefit. The more they neglected individual responsibility the more their liberty, their right to choose, declined.
With each new benefit the government became more and more powerful and the people became more self indulgent, apathetic and weak. Rome had become the peace keepers of the world and soon offered themselves as benefactors to other nations, but not without a heavy price. They would exercise authority over the people who were slothful in the practices of honor and virtue taught by the prophets of God. Rome like the United States11 began exacting tribute12 from its subjects to obtain the funds needed to supply those suggested benefits.13 The more power the people granted by vote or negligence the more the government became corrupt and self-serving.
The practice of expanding government power through offering to care for the people and shower them with benefits14 is as old as Cain and Nimrod.15 From the beginning we were not to covet our neighbor’s goods nor were we to make covenants with the people round about us to take from our neighbor. If you choose to eat with a ruler you were to put a knife to your throat for your own protection.16 You were not to consent with people to obtain benefits where there is one purse.17 If people failed to listen to these warnings then what should have been for their welfare would become that snare.18
Many of the people were entangled in bondage under the elements of the world because of these false teachings that had crept into their eschatology. Lawyers, Senates and Sanhedrin bound the people through the establishment of a social welfare scheme they labeled Qorban and Corban. In 78 BC19 the Pharisees and eventually Herod would expanded that social welfare system.
Jesus said through those ordinances they made the word of God to none effect.20 The original Corban, a form of social assurance, under Moses was based on free will offerings or sacrifice given through a living network of ministers who sought to serve the people. Herod’s system included baptism, contributions, a temple treasury to store them, scribes to keep track of the mandatory contribution of members [the temple tax], and a network of ministers and synagogues to distribute the benefits according to statutory limitations.
The sacred texts should have been clear enough, but the Pharisees were able to twist the meaning of the words to justify themselves. The pride of the scholar strangles the hope of repentance. What part of free will offering and charity do they not understand? History of the pharisees has repeated itself in the modern religions and they have all betrayed their founders.21
John the Baptist offered an alternative system. It also included a Baptism ritual but it operated much differently. His network of congregations and ministers provided for their needy in pure religion22 through free will contributions – charity.23 They did not have entitlements but lived in hope. They did not give allegiance but lived by faith. They did not force their neighbor to contribute but lived by charity. There is no more revolutionary gospel than Christ’s.
Modern Christians are ignorant of the full “Gospel of Kingdom” preached by Christ and the early Church. Some have even claimed that Jesus was a socialist. Modern socialism requires a social contract and the point of a sword to force the contributions of the people. Those who covet their neighbor’s goods through the agency of these so-called state benefactors have become nothing more than human resources according to prophecy of Peter.24 They have more in common with the Pharisees than they do John or Jesus. That and their lack of knowledge is why they are back in bondage of the world.25
Christ preached a welfare system based on faith, hope and charity which required virtue and love for one another. The ministers of their society were servants of the people in an alternative system that set men free. Jesus told many parables on how His government of righteousness must operate. He talked about forgiving debt rather than arresting people and forcing them to pay. He talked about the poor widow giving more value than that of the rich man. He fired the money changers and instructed the ministers in the royal treasury.26 He refused to appoint captains and princes to rule over the people. He taught his minister that they were there to serve.
This was called the perfect law of liberty.27 It was a system of individual responsibility and honor. It had congregations and ministers. It was organized from the bottom of the hearts of men who loved the way of Christ according to the precepts of God. It divided the goats and sheep.
Some of the people of Judea and the world went the way of Herod, Caesar, and Pharaoh and some went the way of Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist and Jesus. The former denounced David and embraced the ways of Caesar and the latter embraced the highest son of David, the rightful king of Judea according to Rome.28
The Pharisees were socialist. Christians simply would not participate in socialist schemes that compelled the contributions of their neighbor because Jesus said “But it shall not be so among you.”29
People are under a strong delusion set forward by the Modern Pharisees of today posing as the Church established by Christ. They profess God and Jesus with their mouths, but they fall short of following His “Way.”
You cannot be a follower of Christ and seek to force your neighbor to contribute to your welfare at the point of a sword or gun. You cannot be a modern socialist and a Christian. Those who think they can may be idiots. They are certainly non-participators in the Gospel of the Kingdom preached by Christ.
We should all be striving to participate in the ways of Christ by serving one another in love and not coveting our neighbor’s goods. If we are to be free we must set our neighbor free. If we are to be forgiven we must forgive our neighbor’s debt.
There is no reason to opt out of the world or its systems until you are ready to opt into the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
The priests and preachers who say it is okay to covet your neighbor’s goods through the agency of governments are not preaching the Gospel of Christ. It is time to repent and seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness by striving to do the will of the Father.
Audio file answering the question “Are Christians Idiotes” from Blog Talk Radio
2 Peter 2-13
Is it better to obey God?
http://www.hisholychurch.org/study/bklt/2peter2-13.pdf Printable 5″ X 8 1/2″ Pamphlets.
Follow up note:
Christians were idiotes, unregistered and not involved in public affairs of the Roman government or the Pharisees. When it came to participating in the welfare of governments who forced the contributions of the people they would not do it. This is why they were commonly persecuted.
The Modern Christian thinks it is okay to do so even though it is clearly coveting their neighbor’s goods through the power and the agency of government that are often called benefactors but force the contributions of the people.
This is a “damnable heresies… and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”30 The word destruction31 can mean the destruction of money or even the whole economy.
Peter goes on to say, in 2 Peter 2:2 “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”
Unfortunately, it is often the modern Churches that are leading the people in these pernicious ways.
What are those destructive ways?
Peter tells you in the very next verse.
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:3
It is a great delusion to think you are following Christ when you are doing like those who rule over the other nations.32 What part of it shall not be so with you don’t they understand.
We offer volumes of research and resources to take the scales off your eyes.33 We have put it all together over many decades. If your heart does not show you the truth of charity and love vs. force in forming a viable society no fact, no research, no expert opinion will undue your bondage.
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” 2 Peter 2:4…
The word translated government is kuriotes34 meaning “dominion”. God gave men Dominion. When men give that dominion to other men they are neglecting the personal obligation to exercise that God given responsibility… Why dopes the modern Church speak evil of dignities…
“For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth — to know the worst and to provide for it. “Patrick Henry
agnoew: agnoeo meaning to be ignorant, not to know – Ac 13:27, 17:23, Ro 10:3, 2Pe 2:12, 1Co 14:38, Mr 9:32 Lu 9:45, Heb 5:2 ↩
from idios meaning as ‘pertaining to one’s self, one’s own, belonging to one’s self.’
“Etymology. Idiot as a word derived from the Greek idiotes, idiotes (‘person lacking professional skill’, ‘a private citizen’, ‘individual’), from idios, idios (‘private’, ‘one’s own’).”
“The words agrammatoi and idiotai should not be rendered ‘unlearned and ignorant’, as in the King James Version (and ASV).” The Cambridge Companion to Jesus by Markus Bockmuehl, University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College. Author of Revelation and mystery in ancient Judaism and Pauline Christianity (1990), This Jesus: martyr, Lord, Messiah (1994), The Epistle to the Philippians (1997), and Jewish law in Gentile churches: halakhah and the beginning of Christian public ethics (2000). ↩
Departed vs Deported, Chapter 12. of the book The Covenants of the gods
Matthew 26:55 “In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.”
Mark 14:49 “I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.”
Luke 19:47 “And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,”
Luke 22:53 “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Acts 2:46 “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”
Acts 5:42 “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” ↩
John 9:19-34 Water Baptism http://www.hisholychurch.org/declarations/baptism/waterbaptism.php ↩
Employ vs Enslave Chapter 4. of the book The Covenants of the gods
Deuteronomy 17:16 , Ezekiel 29:14, 1 Samuel 8:7-8 ↩
ἀγράμματοι εἰσιν καὶ ἰδιῶται ↩
A Pure Republic, The Higher Liberty, Sec. 13 http://www.hisholychurch.org/media/books/THL/purrepublic.php ↩
Rome vs US Does history repeat itself because man does not repent?
Proverbs 12:24 “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.” ↩
“He who receives the benefit should also bear the disadvantage.” “Cujus est commodum ejus debet esse incommodum.” ↩
The real destroyers of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations, and benefits.” Plutarch, 2000 years ago. ↩
Nimrod, The Hunter http://www.hisholychurch.org/news/articles/hunter.php
Proverbs 23:1 “When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.”
Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” ↩
Proverbs 1: “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not…. Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:….Surely in vain the net is spread…for those greedy for gain…” ↩
Psalms 69:22 “Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.”
Romans 11:9 “And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:” ↩
Mark 7:11 “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]. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” ↩
Pure Religion http://www.hisholychurch.org/news/articles/religion.php ↩
Luke 3:11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. ↩
2 Peter 2:3 “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” ↩
This World, Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUQlOGyf7to
Not of the World? http://www.hisholychurch.org/news/articles/world.php ↩
Mark 12:41-43. The Greek gazophulakion means the royal or public treasure. ↩
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.” ↩
Matthew 2:2, 27:11-37,Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, John 19:19-22 ↩
Matthew 20:26 “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;”
Mark 10:43 “But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:”
Luke 22:26 “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.” ↩
2 Peter 2:1 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” ↩
684 ~ apwleia ~ apoleia translated perdition 8, destruction 5, waste 2, damnable 1,… pernicious 1; 20
1) destroying, utter destruction 2) a perishing, ruin, destruction 2a) of money ↩
Matthew 20:25 “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.”
Mark 10:42 “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.”
Luke 22:25 “And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.” ↩
2963 ~ kuriothv ~ kuriotes AV-dominion 3, government 1; 41) dominion… ↩