157 – SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT PRO SLAVERY
There is a system of government of those who are pro slavery—who defend slavery. There is a power and dominium that those in favor of slavery have. There are slaves with power over other slaves—who own slaves themselves. Wherever we find slavery, be it within a political or religious system, we find a power that is evil and diabolic, for it directly hurts the inalienable rights of man: LIFE, FREEDOM, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
Jesus Christ is not pro slavery. His preaching said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). He preached it to the religious Jews, the scribes and Pharisees who knew the Old Testament by heart. John, in his Gospel, says, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Jesus and John spoke of the truth as if there were no truth in the law and in the Old Testament. We should remember that the law and the Old Testament are part of the Old Covenant, and have nothing to do with the prophecies about Jesus.
Jesus’ ministry was and is a ministry of deliverance, for all men are slaves in four different ways:
1. Men are slaves of sin, for they cannot stop sinning. We read it in John 8:32-35 and Rom. 6:17-18.
2. Men are slaves of Satan and of darkness, and because of this they are oppressed. Paul explains this slavery with the following words: “In which you formerly walked, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Eph. 2:2-3). And Jesus came to deliver from the devil and his evil spirits (Acts 26:18)3..
3. Men are slaves of the law, that is, they do not do evil because the law forbids them, and not because of their own goodness. It is not virtue that moves them, but fear. In the case of the Jews, being slaves to the law, they are slaves to Jehovah who published it. The Moslem, also, for fear of Allah, do not practice evil; or the Buddhists, etc. (Ezek. 18:4).
4. Men are slaves to their flesh, their appetites and desires, their lusts and fleshly desires, which lead them to spiritual death. Paul says, “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death” (Rom. 7:5). “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:13).
Well, the Spirit of Christ leads the Christian to crucify his flesh, and he is, in this way, totally free from it(Gal. 3:13; Rom. 6:14). Christ delivers men from Satan as we read in Acts 26:18, and Christ completely delivers the Christian. Christ is an abolitionist, for he puts an end to all kinds of slavery. Paul calls the Holy Spirit, which Jesus shed on the disciples in Acts 2, the Spirit of freedom (2 Cor. 3:17).
Jehovah, in the Old Testament, is pro slavery. He took the descendants of Abraham into Egypt, to be slaves, and told it to Abraham in advance, in Gen. 15:13-14. The plan was to prepare Israel in the politics of a pro-slavery system, to be ready to slave other peoples in the future. Jehovah declared, as he gave the laws through Moses: “When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. And it shall come about, if it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then it shall be that all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. When Jehovah your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword” (Deut. 20:10-13). This is the spirit of the pro-slavery system of Jehovah. Slavery or death! It is not the spirit of Jesus Christ and the Father. Jehovah backed slavery, for we read in the law that the slaves worked for the Israelite in the condition of slaves (Ex. 23:12). In the book of Leviticus, we read that the Israelites could not be slaves in Israel (Lev. 25:38-42). As to other races, Jehovah declares, “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another” (Lev. 25:44-46).
When Israel went into Canaan led by Joshua, the Canaanites who dwelled in the middle of the people of Ephraim were put under forced labor and taxes, according to the teachings received in Egypt, and to the approval of Jehovah (Josh. 16:10). The sons of Manasseh did the same thing with the Canaanites(Josh. 17:13). Zebulun did not send the Canaanites away either, making them subject to slavery and taxes (Judg. 1:28-30). Asher and Naphtali followed the same slavery politics that Ephraim, Manasseh and Zebulun had followed, according to the will of Jehovah (Judg. 1:31-33). Israel’s politics was pro-slavery because their god was pro-slavery, too, and had ordained in the law that they acted in this way. Solomon, who had received from Solomon all wisdom and knowledge, subjected the Hittites, Amorites, and Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and made them servants subject to taxes (2 Chr. 8:7-8).
When the people of Israel turned to idols, Jehovah would invert the slavery, handing his people over into the hands of these tributary slaves, who, in turn, to avenge themselves, were terribly cruel (Judg. 2:13-15). Israel was slave to Cushan-rishathaim, king of Babylon, for eight years, according to the will of Jehovah (Judg. 3:8). After that Jehovah handed them over to Eglon, the king of Moab, for eighteen years (Judg. 3:12-14). They were seven captivities, a total of 111 years. The question we have for this tricky god is: If he hands the rebel in the hands of the criminals, will he be cured? Human experience has proven that those who lived with the wicked were corrupted. Jehovah, being a god, did not know that? When a father wishes to corrupt his daughter, forces her to walk with prostitutes. This is what Jehovah did with Israel. Jesus Christ did the opposite, bringing grace over all those who were predestined to the slavery of corruption (Rom. 8:19-23).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira