Friday, June 15, 2018
Ezra/Nehemiah returned from Babylon to Jerusalem and kicked out the high priestly line from Joshua (Yeshua) son of Joseidek and Zarubbabel (line of David). Ezra established the corrupt scholarly rabbinical and scribal system that corrupted Judaism. Ezra brought Kabbalah from Babylon at the order of Artaxerxes. (Ezra 7:25-26)
Scholarship (letters) was never the basis for divine authority among God’s people. The consequence of basing religious authority on scholarship was to lead the people away from the truth and the true Messiah.
Ezra displaced the rightful kings and priests of Israel by over-racially interpreting the Law of Moses which proscribed that Levitical priests be married to women from “among their own people”. Many priests had married converts that were spiritually part of Israel but may not have been ethnically pure. So, Ezra displaced these priests and usurped their power and calked for the priests to divorce their wives or be exiled.
Malachi was critical of Ezra’s actions:
Mal 2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.
(Levites were given divine authority and not Ezra’s people)
Mal 2: 8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.
(Ezra’s appointed rabbi’s and scribes are corrupt)
Mal 2:11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.
(Irony that it is Ezra that is “married to a wife of a strange God” and not the Levites)
Mal 2: 12 The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts.
(God will cut off the master (Rabbi) and scholar (scribe) from Israel)
Mal 2: 16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
(Ezra commanded the Levites to divorce their wives but God tells Ezra that He hates divorce)
Ezra’s corrupt scholarly and racist/ethnocentric interpretations of scripture has led to racism among Jews and Christians. Ezra taught that conversion wasn’t enough but that God respected blood-lines. Except Ezra is a hypocrite and cast out the Levites and then said if you’re a convert but not “pure blood”, then your not a real Jew.
So, knowing that “letters” is NOT the basis for religious authority, why has the Catholic and Protestant Churches based their religious authority on the same corrupt scholarly system where authority is based on degrees of divinity and theology?
Why has Christianity based its doctrine on scholarly-derived Creeds?
Do we think its possible that scholarly-derived creeds has led Christians away from the true Messiah in the same way Ezra led Israel away from Jesus Christ?
Monday, June 11, 2018
Leviticus 19:15 “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.”
Our modern society is breeding narcissism and inequality. Groups are living by a different set of rules. The poor are prone to being victim narcissism while the rich are susceptible to grandiose narcissism. In either case, the narcissist feels a sense of entitlement because of their disadvantaged or advantaged circumstance. Narcissists tend to feel like they are a special exception to many rules. These dangerous attitudes are destrctive to a nation built upon the “rule of law” and “social capital”.
President Monson once said (Ensign, July 2013) if we don’t repent, as a nation, of violating the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom, we will lose our freedoms like Rome and Greece. Annyone can read more about Rome in the 6-volume, “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”.
President Monson’s first-presidency message caused me to realize, the complex geopolitics of Rome and America could both be greatly simplified down to a few salient issues. I appreciate our prophet’s laser-like focus.
Rome had 2 damaging influences. 1. The Silk Road: In addition to silks and spices, traders (Venetian Black Nobility = VBN) supplied the Roman Empire with opium and hashish used for both medicinal and recreational purposes. 2. Pompeii: Rome was plagued by rampant promiscuity. These 2 destructive influences generated greater poverty in a society via increased idleness, lost productivity, increased illegitimacy, broken families, increased disease and mental health problems.
Rome began as a republic, but the poverty problem opened the door for the King-men (black nobility) to place a ceasar at the head of the government promising to address the issues of poverty and lack of social justice in the Republic. Rome accepted the purposed socialist solution of “free bread and circus” in exchange for a military dictatorship covertly controlled by the nobility.
[Rome maintained a perpetual trade deficit with Asia (VBN), continually devalued their currency, and instituted Marian reforms promising citizenship to barbarians/foeterati to supply the Legion with soldiers. Continual conquest was required to supply the empire with necessary liquidity via tribute. As the great Ponzi scheme that was Pax Romana reached it’s tipping point, Odoacer led an internal revolt by the foeterati, assassinating Romulus Augustus and dividing up the western empire. The corrupt middle men control trade keeping developing producer nations destabilized and buy cheap goods which they turn around and sell to a first-world consumer economy. eg. Phoenicians, Venetians, East India Trade Co, Walmart]
Poverty in America has allowed a group of globalist conspirators to use the issue of social justice to gain control of our government and econmy, to consolodate economic and political power and errode away and ursurp our individual rights in exchange for solving our poverty problem via socialism and not a necessary “return to virtue”.
Government welfare might prevent short-term suffering, but rarely results in long-term change because socialism is effective at income redistribution but terrible at rehabilitation. In fact, giving welfare without accountability enables the poor and is a positive incentive to stay poor. Thus we create a segment of society that live by different rules and develop a separate and corrupt culture of poverty (ghetto).
James 1:27 teaches that welfare and virtue are the primary business of pure religion. Pure religion is more effective at dealing with poverty because they are more efficient, and can actually deal with the root causes of poverty, and not just treat symptoms. Only religion and other NGO’s can rehabilitate.
In reality, the decline of America rests in the failures of our religious institutions. Churches today provide minimal welfare survives and provide even less accountability and expectation. If a church is involved in activities focusing more on entertainment and money collecting, it isn’t religion. If an NGO provides welfare services while teaching self-reliance, it’s serving as more of a religion than most churches.
The US Constitutional proscribes a sacred separation of Church and State. Socialism wholly violates this separation. Welfare is the very definition of religion. Accordingly, federal individual welfare services are categorically unconstitutional and the Federal government needs to get out of the business of religion.
The ancient church managed the plight of the fatherless and the widow through the institution of the family and not shelters, group homes or orphanages. Sadly, orphanages create more orphans. Marriage and adoption have been and continue to be sacred institutions of religion to care for the individual through the family. Accordingly, federal goverment “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercize thereof”. Again, the federal government needs to get out of the business of religion.
Virtue = “do no harm”. The jurisdiction of the church deals with disciplining those struggling with self-harm via addiction. The brain rewards itself for productive behavior. Stimulating and simulating brain reward centers via artificial and chemical means is an exploit and robs people of motivation, drive, ambition, and potential.
The jurisdiction of the government is over those who do harm to others. There doesn’t need to be an explicit law covering every possible harmful deed (Mos 4:29). Instead the law should only set up an equitable system where by those who have caused harm to others might be tried by a jury of their peers who must determine: 1. has harm been committed 2. is the accused the perpetrator 3. consequence. In our society, the wicked go unpunished because “they broke no law”, or the prosecution “fails to prove ill intent”.
I believe the Millennial Kingdom will preserve the separation of Church and State. Ephraim will rule over the Church and Judah, over the State. Types and shadows of God’s organization can be seen in His creations: Oliblish stands next Kolob, Jachin (God establishes) stands next to Boaz (strength), and the Acra watching over the Ophel. In Zion, the government will protect the Church and religious freedom. And on the other hand, virtuous leaders will be identified and selected based upon the virtue and covenants established though and upheld by the Holy Temple (High Priest anoints the King).
The United Order satisfies both wants and needs; not just needs. The United Order is not based on Ancient Greek Epicureanism or Buddhism where we are expected to extinguish our desires and think, “I don’t really need it, and you know, I don’t really want it”.
D&C59: 17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.
The issue in the early LDS church was the federal government only sold land in huge chunks. The Land Ordinance Act of 1785 required individuals to purchse land in increments if 640 acres for $1/acre or 320 acres for $1.25/acre. 320 acres was way more than anyone could ever need or even want. The bishop’s storehouse was established to collect the excess of the Saints for use to care for the poor and needy. It would be a natural inclination of the established land owners to hoard their easily-obtained land, and exploit the newer, poorer immigrating members by charging perpetual rents instead of providing the Saints property right “with a deed and covenant that cannot be broken”.
An equitable welfare system would provide needs but only access to wants. A person's needs would be determined by the Bishop and would be granted more liberally. Wants, on the other hand, would only be made available conditionally. An individual would have to fully earn them through the same labors as anyone else. Thus, an equitable system would help a disadvantaged individual with extra training and tutoring to qualify for something but never selectivelt lower the qualification. However, the bar of qualification wouldn’t be set so high that it purposefully excludes. In this way, a Zion people would live “with all things common” and NOT “with all things [in] common”.
During the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church prohibited the lending of money and the collection of any interest. this over-interpretation of Deut 23:19 stifled most innovation in Europe and created a credit black market. Satan loves to create artificial scarcity so that he can make people serve him out of desperation and fear. Scarcity creates the dilemma of the haves and the have-nots. Yet scripture reveals the truth, that “the earth is full and there is enough and to spare”. (D&C 104:17) The Renaissance coincided with the liberalism of credit and currency (banking).
The Revolutionary War was primarly fought over rights over an independent currency and equitable credit in addition to “taxation without representation”, (thank you masonic tea party for emphasizing the lesser issue via your illegal actions) During the days of the British Empire (Pax Britanica), if someone in America wanted to start a business, he had to go to the British for the money. Three things typically happened: 1. decline, 2. accept with usury (unfair, exploitable terms), 3. steal idea and murder you. If you weren’t part of the their club, you were not supported. Their interests were not altruism, but about preservation of their position and power.
The United States was established based on the principle of the separation of power. All prople were to be equal and prosper according to their labors. There was to be no American aristocracy.
Isa 65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
Unfortunately, our current banking system consolidates economic and political power (campaign finance) into the hands of a few. Certain people (robber-barons) have access to huge amounts of credit and capital with which they can use to conduct hostile takeovers, subvert honest elections, and fund revolutions (Cambridge Analytica/SCL Group). These modern-day Gadiantons may throw us a few philanthropistic bones but the potential for corruption is considerable and almost guaranteed. Remember that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
I am of the opinion that money will be used in the Millennium. Money is used in the temple (temple shekel), and is proscribed in the US Constitution. Money is a potentially fair and useful medium of exchange of value and not inherently evil but subject to corruption like most things. Without money, other things would just take its place like reputation or IOU’s.
A more equitable monetary system would regulate the value of the currency to prevent inflation or deflation (Art 1 Sec 8). Also,
an equitable money system would have all currency backed by real assets. Real money can be backed by gold, but also existing and projected minerals, land, houses and buildings. A majority of money is created at loan origination. Money retains its value as long as its created and circulates in the system only as fast and as much as its needed. dM + dV = dP + dG. Simple interest rates can be used to generate government revenue (fee on money usage), and to decrease money supply (borrowing is more expensive).
An equitable credit system would grant loans based on individual and collective credit worthiness. Larger loans would require combining the credit from a community or a corporation. In this way, both risk and rewards are distributed among a larger sector of the populations.
A major economic ussue of the Civil War was over tariffs. The South realized that industrialization was better than slavery. However, the South resented paying high prices for nothern-built machinery and preferred cheeper imported slave-produced goods.
NAFTA and GAD are additional demonstrations we have forgotten the lessons of history and turned our backs on causes for which our forefathers faught and gave their lives. The US is hampered by not having a national rail system (post roads) like we do interstates. Consequently, It is cheaper to import instead of ship goods across the country. Instead of producing cheap, slave-produced goods from overseas, America should be self reliant and decided to produce our things domestically and robotically instead of exploiting the third world to produce our cheap slave-produced Walmart junk (mess of pottage). Here in the US we can mine our own coal (Utah), drill our own natural gas and oil (ANWR), and extract our own rare earth minerals (Limhi Pass, ID).
The third world could have been lifted out of poverty by being able to license US technology, build their own factories to produce the things they both want and need. If inflation was controlled, I think US corporations wouldn’t feel the need to behave imperialistically as they have, ever needing to expand into and dominate new markets. The Amortize mortgage (double death) is a major driver or inflation.
Post-war success in Japan, South Korea, Germany and failures in Italy, Cuba, Argentina reveal that innovation requires 3 ingredients: 1. demographics (educated healthy workers), 2. currency and credit (investment), 3. social capital (freedom, safety, trust yielding cooperation).
Communism vs. Capitalism is a false dichotomy. I believe in a free market is possible without the capitalist. Tariffs result in true price discovery, all products will be produced with heirloom quality (not planned obsolescence), and price will be determined by the quantity and quality of labor required to produce it. An equitable economy will be not be scarcity/fear based (supply and demand) but based on abundance.
The Federal Reserve has never ceased to continue to print money since 2008 (Quantitative Easing). When the current economic system finally implodes, as the children of light, we will be responsible for building a new, more equitable system. We should be ready with ideas on what we want that system should look like or we can expect our enemies who are both the authors of our current system and the engineers of its collapse will be ready with something even worse. Or, said in another way, at some point the Book of Mormon suggests that a some point the more wicked part of the people will be destroyed and when a better system is presented (Adam-ondi-Ahman?) , we should be willing to let go of our current paradigms and conventions and be open to doing things differently.
Posted by David B at 11:35 AM
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Dr. Craig Evans, like Ravi Zacharias, is a prolific writer and public speaker with many words of wisdom. I’ve been pondering the doctrine of equality and like how Dr. Evans articulated how Christ and Christianity has (imperfectly) championed equality and the intrinsic value of the soul.
Sadly it has taken some extra time and effort to rid ourselves of Ezra’s ethnocenticity. I am seeing Ezra/Nehemiah bigotry as (possibly) a major negative influence which Christianity has had a hard time getting away from.
As you know, ethnocentricity and equality is a major theme of the Book of Mormon. Sadly many people with only a superficial knowledge of the Book or Mormon often make errant conclusions that the Book encourages racism because it discusses peoples of a lighter and darker skin.
1. Dark skin was a mark and not the curse
Alma 3:6 And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.
2. Curse was living in the world with a diminished light of Christ and conscience without correct traditions, laws, scriptures, and example. The Lamanites initially were living in the world generally separated from the influence of the Holy Ghost, and the divine presence.
(Alma 3:10-11) Those who believed in the tradition of the Lamanites and rejected the scriptures were under the curse and eventually marked themselves like Amlici. (epigenetics?) Those who accepted the traditions of the Nephites were considered Nephites regardless of skin color.
Amalakites were Nephites that wholly went over to live with the Lamanites and has reference to Amalek in the OT (Deut 25:17-19)..
3. Although the Lamanites were initually discribed as “savages”, Jacob taught:
Jacob 3:9 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins; neither shall ye revile against them because of their filthiness; but ye shall remember your own filthiness, and remember that their filthiness came because of their fathers.
4. the Book of Mormon teaches against slavery and that God is no respecter of persons.
Mosiah 2:13 no slaves
2 Nephi 26:33 no black or white
5. The Book of Mormon, like the Bible, highlights how God and Christ’s atonement is overcoming and will overcome all curses (enemies).
1 Cor 15:26-26 last enemy (curse) is death
Enos 1:20 seeking to restore the Lamanites
6. Then real curse is inequality/sin/poverty.
3 Nephi 6:14 curse = inequality
2 Nephi 5:24 curse = idleness
Alma 28:13 curse = sin
7. Christ’s atonement has the power to overcome all enemies and all curses.
Hel 6:1 Righteousness of Lananites exceeds the Nephites.
8. Zion will live with “all things common” (not in common) with perfect equality in access to temporal and spiritual things. Everyone will live under the same rules.
15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
Thete are 2 kinds of Narcissism: 1 grandiose narcissism and 2. vulnerable (victim) narcissism, which means you have convinced yourself that 1. general rules don't apply to you, 2. law unto yourself, 3. your a special exception because of unique circumstances (good or bad). 4. entitled
Our modern society is breeding narcissism and inequality where groups are living by a different set of rules (very poor or ultra rich).
Posted by David B at 6:08 AM
Saturday, June 09, 2018
Dr. Craig Evans gives a wonderful explaination of the equality taught in the Bible and by Christianity. The Bible championed the fatherless and the widow encouraging social justice. Christianity teaches the intrinsic value of every individual regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, or social status.
Gal 3: 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
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.
Posted by David B at 1:21 AM
Friday, June 01, 2018
There may be another important consequence here with Ezra and that has to do with the historical Judeo-Christian understanding of “seed” and how that relates to historical religious racism and ethnocentricity.
Lev 21:13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity.
14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.
15 Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the Lord do sanctify him.
Jews had had an unfortunate history of ethnocentricity at certain points in their history. Ancient Jews despised Samaritans for being ethnically impure. Also, there is a not uncommon belief that a convert to Judaism may not fully be a convert if he or she isn’t of a Jewish bloodline. In modern times there has been accounts of prejudice of certain Jewish ethicities against Jews migrating from Iran or Yemen.
Ezra’s over-interpreted these regulations in Leviticus likely lead to a racist and ethnocentric interpretation.
I think the examples of Jethro, Rahab, Naaman, and Ruth’s conversion deminstrate that God is no respecter of person and being God’s seed has everything to do with spiritual conversion and nothing to do with bloodline.
Abinadi in the Book of Mormon clarifies just what God means by the term “seed”.
Mosiah 15:11 Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, yea, all the holy prophets who have prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord--I say unto you, that all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed, or they are the heirs of the kingdom of God.
Marriage into the covenant is critical. The Bible warns how Solomon’s strange wives eventually led his heart away from God. However, I think Ezra’s ethnocentric interpretation of “seed” has led to tragic prejudice, bigotry, and racism in the judeo-christian world. These false ethnocentric ideas even crept their way into early Mormon thinking.
Ezra 9:2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
Christ’s liberating gospel, on the other hand, taught the equality man. Paul, a Pharisee, taught the Galatians:
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
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.
Posted by David B at 6:11 PM