Nation and State - Part 2

Posted in: 2014
By Tom M. Ballinger
May 19, 2014 - 7:42:29 PM

Plainer Words since 1968
May 14, 2014
Mankind originally looked to the family for guidance. The Progenitor was usually the head of the family. The family insisted that its members follow the social traditions and procedures. As such, the family was not without government. Family rules, customs, and social graces produced the family’s orderly arrangement of life. The family’s character grew out of the experiences by the trial-and-error method which proved itself to be beneficial.
The family unit was, generally, a conservative culture. That which was “right” in the eyes of family custom was “right” by their standards. There was no lack of Leadership within the family. Leadership was provided by Nature and Common Sense. These leaders in the Old Testament were referred to as “princes.” They were chosen, or selected by virtue of their proven gifts of Leadership. Over time, these family units with the same Progenitor, speaking the same language, adhering to the same moral and ethical standards, and living in the same region or territory, became known as Tribes or Clans.
The statesman-prophet, Moses, framed a civil government in which (I believe) illustrated the future Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God upon earth. The theocracy did not simulate any government of earth, whether it be a monarchy, a republic, a dictatorship, or a socialistic government. It combined the best elements in all of these and set up the most effective checks which have ever been devised against the evils of each.
Moses, as the priest-prophet, prepared and gave to Israel a ritual of worship. It most typified the redemptive mercy of God and which was, so wonderfully, unfolded in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Moses, as the lawgiver-prophet, inculcated tenets and laws which set the feet of the Children of Israel in the way of life, so that, while failing as a law of life in a sinful world, these eternal precepts ever remain as a rule of mankind’s conduct.
Moses founded the Church [Ecclesia] in the Wilderness. This was Israel’s Wilderness Government for forty years. Moses left Egypt with 603,550 fighting men (Ex. 38:26 & Num. 1:46). According to God’s instruction, Moses chose the following men to be the PLAINERrulers of the Israel’s Church (Qahal):
            Rulers over 1,000’s of men  =     603
            Rulers over 100’s of men …=   6,100
            Rulers over 50’s of men ….  = 12,000
            Rulers over 10’s of men ….  = 60,000
            Total members of the “Qahal”   = 78,603
Not one, single member of the ruling “Body of Moses” received remuneration. They were not paid for their services. Later, the LORD spoke to Moses and said:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee”            (Num. 11:16).
These Seventy were added to the “Government (Qahal) of Israel” without pay.
 The Ecclesia in the Wilderness will never, again, function as it did in Israel’s wilderness wanderings. Some of the rulers who were part of this Ecclesia may be part of the ruling body in Israel, by way of resurrection, when the Kingdom comes. Those who were chosen to rule under Moses were referred to as “princes.”
“These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel” (Numbers 1:16).
The Ecclesia in the Wilderness was Israel’s Government for the forty years of wandering. Satan zeroed-in on Israel’s “princes” and exerted every effort he could muster to thwart justice, truth, and righteousness within the Wilderness Government—the “body of Moses” (Jude 9). An example of Satan contending for the “body of Moses” can be seen in Numbers Chapter Sixteen. Notice the following, concerning Korah and his followers who were part of the “body of Moses” and who mistrusted Moses’ authority:
“And they [Korahites] rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?” (Numbers 16:2-3).
The wicked architect causing the dissention, jealousy, and envy within the ranks of the “body of Moses” was Satan. A subsequent revelation, given to Jude, tells us this:
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (Vs. 9).
Satan, as “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) ever since the fall of Adam, has been orchestrating the “course of this world.” The Ecclesia in the Wilderness challenged Satan’s authority, as it related to Israel, as the “prince of this world” (John 16:11).  In his effort to protect his domain, he stirred-up Korah and his tribal followers.
Satan was, also, instrumental in promoting dissention and division among believers during “The Acts of the Apostles.” He was the author of the party-spirit, that is to say, believers becoming followers of men, as in “…I am of Paul;  and I of Apollos; and I of Cephus; and I of Christ”       (1 Corinthians 1:12).
The Devil even stirred-up Saul of Tarsus to such an extent that he persecuted the Acts Ecclesia; even “wasted it” (Galatians 1:13). It’s clear that the Devil has a hatred for those who make up the Ecclesia, whether in the Wilderness, or during the Acts period:
“Concerning zeal, persecuting the Ecclesia [church]; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:6).
We’ll even submit to the reader that the wicked-one will even have a greater loathing for the Ecclesia over which Christ Jesus is the Head than he will have ever manifested toward another.
Many of the Old Testament “princes” will, no doubt, live again as ministers in Israel’s Government when the nation will be a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9).
Adherence to tried and proven principles was the only way the men of Israel could enjoy the freedom which the Tribal life offered. The Tribesmen learned, very early, that freedom was not a license. The economy of Tribal Israel demanded of the individual that he adjust to the accepted way of life. If a man indulged in his whims of erratic behavior when the tribes were on the move, searching for new grazing land, he would be courting disaster—it was a situation, in those days, of hold together or die. As the Twelve Tribes of Israel began to be identified, before the coming of the kings, someone had to plan the logistics, strategy, and battle plans as they marched to the Promised Land.
This left the “princes” the responsibility of adjudicating disputes in order to quell chaos and internecine struggles. As the leaders, the “princes” were to maintain harmony between the Twelve Tribes. There were constant quarrels which had to be settled equitably. The Scriptural evidence leads to the conclusion that these “princes” ruled by natural selection and common consent, much like the chiefs of American Indian Tribes. The offices of the “princes” were not filled by a count at the ballot boxes. There were no ballot boxes, or votes to count. Gifted leadership prevailed over the political skills of deceit.
The important thing is to recognize that the office of these “princes” was not endowed with the power of coercion. In the days of the rule of the Judges in Israel, the Twelve Tribes were clearly defined. Judges were selected out of each tribe’s pool of “princes.” It must be assumed that there was no police force to enforce rules of behavior. Neither was there equivalence to our Criminal Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation within the Tribal Governments.
“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).
This meant, in plainer words, no man was compelled to do otherwise—he was at liberty to do as he pleased, as long as it was in line with proven Tribal customs and public opinion. Judges 17:6, in its context, indicated that kings would limit man’s freedom. After all, that’s what kings do—limit or constrict man’s freedom “to do what is right in his own eyes.” The sole enforcement agency upon which the authority of the Judges rested was based on Tribal Customs, which is to say, Public Opinion.
After the days of Joshua, each tribe had its own “Judge” (Shaphat  =  ruler, governor”). The “Judges” was not the same as we understand what a “judge” is today. They were the equivalent to the “Chief” of an American Indian Tribe. Unlike the “Chiefs” of the American Indians, the Twelve Tribes of Israel agreed that the authority of the “Judges” was sanctioned by the LORD.
As it was pointed out in Part 1 of this study, the Biblical use of the words, “tribe” and “nation,” can mean the same thing:
A “Nation” arises from a family, a clan, or a tribe descended from a common ancestor. “Webster’s 1828 Dictionary,” in part of its definition, it says, “Nation, as its etymology imports, originally denoted a family or race of men descended from a common progenitor, like a tribe or a clan.”  (Page 1, Paragraph 2 of this study).
The Israelites originally looked to the family leaders for guidance as the Leaders looked to the LORD (Yahweh), through the direction of Moses, and the Five Books of Scripture he wrote. Moses was their mediator (Gal. 3:19).
The Nation of Israel was made up of Twelve Tribes. After Moses and Joshua died, God prescribed that the Tribal Nations were to be governed, or ruled by “Judges.” The Hebrew word was “Shaphat.”  These Rulers were not Judges in the sense that our English language suggests.
Some Bible teachers believe that the Judges ruled over the Twelve Tribes of Israel for about 410 years. Still, there are others who believe the rule of the Judges lasted 480 years. Whatever, four centuries was a long time. Most governments don’t last nearly that long. The time of the Judges was, almost, twice as long as the U. S. Government has been in existence. There seems to be no precise time of the Judges Chronology. Israel, in its beginning, took the form of Twelve Tribal Tribes.
Each Tribe was a Nation. Earlier, it was pointed out that the word for “Judges” was “Shaphat.” According to Dr. E. W. Bullinger in his “Companion Bible” on Page 325, he gives the following definition to “Shaphat”= The Hebrew name for rulers; from the verb to put right and then rule.” This is an illustrious description of what the Judges’ function was. We should not be surprised if we will see “Judges” ruling over the Twelve Tribes during the Day of Jesus Christ.
In plainer words, the Judges were to SET IN ORDER EVERYTHING THAT WAS WRONG AND, THEN, RULE. This was, simply, a magnificent formula! Would to God there was such a formula in America today. This formula will probably be the prevailing form of governments of the new world order when Jesus Christ assumes His dominion over the world. (It may not be the order of government among the Angelic Hosts in the heavens).
In the next issue of Plainer Words, we will look at Israel as it tries to put in place the apparatus which makes a Nation become a State.
Copyright© 2014 by Thomas L. Ballinger
Tom Ballinger
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