Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Scourge of Usury


In my studies of the early Christian writings, I was reading the Apocalypse of Peter which appears to have been written by the Apostle Peter mentioned in the Gospels.  Upon reading the verses relating to the visions of heaven and hell, I found this startling verse:
“And into another place near by, saturated with filth, they throw men and women up to their knees.  These are they who lent money and took usury.” (Ethiopian Text)
“And in another great lake, full of discharge and blood and boiling mire, stood men and women up to their knees.  These were those who lent money and demanded compound interest.
(Akhim Text)
I have studied the Bible for over twenty years, and I never regarded the making of loans with interest as a sin.  But when I read this Apocalypse I was stunned.
In many reference books about Biblical literature, this Apocalypse was referred to as “Holy Scripture” in the early Christian church.  One article said that certain people did not want this book read in the Church.  Maybe those people were bankers; I don’t know.  But given the power bankers have because of interest, it is very possible that the financiers of that time could not tolerate the Apocalypse of Peter to be read, otherwise, they would lose their stranglehold on the economy.  The book “New Testament Apocrypha” Vol 2 we see the following statement: “...the Apocalypse of Peter was later evidently suppressed almost everywhere so far as the Church was concerned.”  The reason is obvious.
I decided to do a study on usury to see if I had overlooked something, and this is what I found:
“If thou lend money to my people, that is, to the poor with thee, thou shalt not be as an usurer unto him: ye shall not oppress him with usury.”  (Exodus 22:25 GB)
I just noticed how the King James Version watered down this verse: “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as a usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.” (Exodus 22:25 KJV)  There is a big difference in the use of the words oppress and lay upon because the word oppress is more specific in its description of the effects of usury.  Now we can begin to see that perhaps the reason for so much misery is the fact that we have been allowing corrupted scriptures to rule our lives rather than using the truth.  The lawful authority is always the truth, not what some other man thinks nor his opinion.
“Moreover, if thy brother be impoverished, and fallen in decay with thee, thou shalt relieve him, and as a stranger and sojourner, so shall he live with thee.  Thou shalt take no usury of him, nor vantage, but thou shalt fear thy God, that thy brother may live with thee.  Thou shalt not give him thy money to usury, nor lend him thy vittles for increase.”  (Leviticus 25:35-37 GB)
“Thou shalt not give to usury to thy brother: as usury of money, usury of meat, usury of anything that is put to usury.”  (Deut. 23:19 GB)
There appears to be a conflict in teaching between the following verse in Deut 23:20 and Leviticus 25:35-37.  And the wisdom of deciding which is true scripture and which is not lies within the contradiction.  There isn’t any sense in attempting to harmonize the contradictions, but to simply point them out and use the weight of the evidence to arrive at a truthful conclusion.
“Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury, but thou shalt not lend upon usury unto thy brother: as usury of money, usury of meat, usury of anything that is put to usury.” (Deut. 20:20 GB)  It is my opinion that this one verse is a false pericope because it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the scriptures.  In light of this contradiction, one must state the obvious, that the charging of usury was forbidden by God.  And we’ll see more evidence to support this as we continue.
Therefore, we must look at other verses to get a complete picture.
“And now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, and our sons as their sons: and lo, we bring into subjection our sons and our daughters, as servants, and there be of our daughters now in subjection, and there is no power in our hands: for other men have our lands and our vineyards.”  (Nehemiah 5:5 GB)  Are we all not subject to the bankers of today?  We are like the cattle grazing in the pasture getting fattened up for the slaughter.  The source of our slavery is the sins we all have committed and we refuse to correct ourselves.  We keep doing the same stupid things over and over again, because the feel good, because we are entertained, because we deserve it; we deserve it alright, but not in the way most people think.  God’s laws were put in place just as gravity is a natural part of our environment.  What chaos we would have if God took out the laws of gravity, yet “we the people” think we’re so smart that some even think that they are God.  How arrogant and absurd is that?  Usury is sin.  Let’s continue in Nehemiah 5:6-7 :
“Then I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.  And I thought in my mind, and I rebuked the princes, and the rulers, and said unto them.  You lay burdens every one upon his brethren and I set a great assembly against them.”
Moving over to Psalms 15:4-5 we see this:
“In whose eyes a vile person is contemned, but he honored them that fear the Lord: he that sweareth to his own hindrance and changeth not.  He that giveth not his money unto usury, not taketh reward against the innocent: he that doeth these things shall never be moved.”
Now we will come upon Proverbs 28:8 and find out why usury is a sin.
     "He that increaseth his riches by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance.”  So there it is, if usury is considered unjust gain; then it would come under the commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.”  Thus, the whole financial system of the world is built upon usury, it is Satanic, and does not serve God in any way.  The financial system as it exists today defies the natural law of economics and there is nothing good that can come from it except its eventual and complete failure.
Jeremiah the prophet stated: “...I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent unto me on usury: yet everyone doth curse me.”  Jeremiah 15:10
And the conclusion of the matter appears in Ezekiel Chapter 18:4-5: “Behold, all souls are mine, both the soul of the father, and also the soul of the son are mine: the soul that sinneth shall die.  But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbor’s wife, neither hat lain with a menstruous woman, Neither hath oppressed any, but hat restored the pledge to his debtor: he that hath spoiled none by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment.  And hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, but hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, and hath executed true judgment between man and man,....”  Moving on, we see in Ezekiel 18:13: “Or hath given forth upon usury, or hath taken increase, shall he live?  he shall not live: seeing he hath done all these abominations, he shall die the death, and his blood shall be upon him.”  Simply stated, usury is in the same class of sin as idolatry, fornication, violence, and many other sins.  A just man feeds and helps the poor.  But our whole economic existence depends upon usury which will eventually collapse itself into an extreme imbroglio.
The act of engaging in usury is an abomination in the eyes of God.  It is so hard to grasp the implications of this, and how evil we all have been engaging in usury when the true scriptures say that it is an abomination.  The way to become a just man is to stop committing sins, and usury is one of them.  No one will escape the bad fruit of usury.
Here’s the solution.
“But if the wicked will return from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep ally my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, and shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him, but in his righteousness that he hath done, he shall live.”  (Ezekiel 18:21-22 GB)
Continuing in verses 27 and 28 of the same chapter: “Again, when the wicked turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.  Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, and shall not die.”
And now in verse 30 we are told what to do.  “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, saith the Lord God: return therefore, and cause others to turn away from all your transgressions: so iniquity shall not be your destruction.”
Now let’s go to verses 31 and 32: “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  For I desire not the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: cause therefore one another to return, and live ye.”
I tremble when I think about all of the loans I took out in my lifetime; and now just finding out just how perverse the financial systems of the nations of the world are under the current system of banking.
In looking back now, I realized that every time I took out a loan; I sinned against God.
I sinned by swearing an oath, or signing for the loan under the penalty of perjury, and engaging in usury.  Though I was ignorant, the fact is that I still violated God’s commandments.  I sinned when I used credit cards without paying off the balance.  I sinned when I got my home mortgages.  I sinned when I used my business credit line.  I sinned if I earned one penny of interest or compound interest on my savings or checking accounts.  I sinned when I paid interest on any late payments.
It is a real “jaw-dropper” to realize that something which we do in our everyday lives (feeling completely normal) is in fact a transgression against the commandments, against the God who created us.  And it is a stunner to realize that the commandment against usury has been in the scriptures for over 3000 years.  It is no wonder the Apocalypse of Peter was removed from the Church as it was probably in complete apostasy at the time of its removal.
And it is the sin of usury that should be avoided no matter what the temporal consequences should be.  By engaging in usuary, man enslaves himself to endless debt, and by that debt he is subject to the entity that lent it to him in the first place.
So it is the grace of repentance that is the only solution for our problems.  In the first place, the most reasonable thing to do is to ask for God’s forgiveness for the engagement of ourselves in usury.  Then simply repent, amend our lives, never to lend or borrow again using usury or compound interest.
What about existing loans?  The only thing I can think of is to pay off te principal, or make mayments on the principle; but never again pay any more interest.  The solution is easy enough, but it will be challenging to say the least.  if enough people decided toobey God’s commandment, there would be a major financial shift.
While financial systems would choke and gag, the end result would be a more productive and peaceful economy, and a major reduction of war throughout the world.
Instead of paying out massive amounts of monies to interest charges, the people could (and would) purchase more goods and services and live a more enjoyable life because they are now on the side of God’s natural order; interest is the “new world order” which isn’t really new,
it is Satan’s way of attempting to usurp the authority of God Himself; and that is completely stupid and insane.
Usury (interest and compound interest) is one of the major yokes of slavery used by the banking system.  It is the scourge of the world economy.
How could such an important teaching and commandment be lost and completely ignored by the existing “Christian” church?
I believe that perhaps what is currently in the Bible was filtered to suit the needs of the existing Roman Empire which existed at the time of Christ, and immediately thereafter.
Perhaps the battle raged in the Corinthian church as Clement of Rome warned not to allow anything of an “unjust or counterfeit character” to be a part of the scriptures. (1st Epistle of Clement)  And perhaps the removal of the Apocalypse of Peter is an example of removing some important teachings, as this book doesn’t change or modify any doctrines, but it does show the gravity and severity of the choices made by man; to either follow God, or do the work of Satan.
Tampering with the scriptures was a major issue with Clement of Rome, as he recognized the extreme damage that had been done in the early church.  Early Christians did not have the Bible as we know it, but nevertheless, they did have at some point of their existence, a most successful church.  And it appears by Clement’s first letter to the Corinthian church, that all it took was a few false teachers to destroy and overthrow a perfectly good assembly.
In order to protect the interests of the state, it would only follow that the Apocalypse of Peter would have to be removed.  However, I have no idea what the early Corinthian church used as scripture.  But whether the Apocalypse of Peter was removed during its existence, or whether it was done at a latter time is not important.  What is important is that a very significant Christian writing was removed from use within the Church; most likely to protect the moneychangers.
And while Constantine was the first “Christian” Roman Emperor, only those churches approved by the state were allowed to operate.  In fact, Constantine behaved in a very unseemly way in that he conquered other nations in the name of Christ.  Christ never taught man to conquer another, but rather to love your neighbor as yourself, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.
Banking as we know it could not exist without usury.  And it certainly could not exercise such extraordinary power over the nations if there was not usury.  Few wars would be started, because any sensible government would not want to spend their hard earned resources on the military.  And it is the banking interests that facilitate the starting of wars; then funding the rebuilding and reconstruction of the conquered.
If any man had read the Apocalypse of Peter, how willing would he be to participate in usuary?  After reading the Apocalypse of Peter passage, there is no way I’ll every participate in usury again.  The consequence of the downside is unspeakable.  Thus the Apocalypse of Peter would be a very strong deterrent for anyone to get involved in usury.
Accordingly, this teaching would certainly change the way we all live (those of us who are called Christians) completely upside down and inside out from the way we are used to living.
The change would be for the better.  The destruction of usury would profit mankind in ways that we can’t even imagine.  We were not created by God to be subject to usury.
Many will ask: How will we buy our houses, our cars, and other things we need without loans?  The answer is simply this: pay for the things you wish to buy, and forget about the loans.  How much is your soul worth?  The market will always adjust to what the people can afford, and it would work just fine.  The natural laws of economics will always work the same way for everyone.
In my opinion, the Apocalypse of Peter is doctrinally consistent, written by an Apostle of Jesus Christ, and it has the power to change a man’s thinking to be in line with God’s commandments.  This writing was generally accepted as scripture but removed for obvious reasons.
In order for us to keep God’s commandments, I think it is extremely important to know what they are, and then comply with them.  I think that things would get so much better for us, and we wouldn’t always be bound by the insane and stupid banking system, which is in fact our own government.
     According to this writing, there is a special place in hell for those who engage in charging interest.  And that the charging of interest is "unjust" gain; stealing.  What we think about interest and what the reality of it is two separate things.  Where were all of the religious teachers to warn about using interest?  They were asleep at the wheel.  If the politicians really wanted to fix the economy, then they would stop the use of usury.  To adjust the economy to stay in line with God's law is the only way to make it work properly.
     Getting rid of the oath and usury would be a powerful correction and nothing but good things would come from it.

Related:
How Usury Encloses the Commons



Walter Allen Thompson has a new book called Natural Law: The True Supreme Law of the Land


4 comments:

  1. Monetary Challenges -- Dysfunctions of bank-created 'privatized credit as if' money favor privatization of resources and wealth versus global common good. The ways in which fiat money is created by the 21st century banking systems cause a debt imperative which drives a growth imperative, and this drives destructive competition for a never-sufficient supply of money to service the collective debt. Debt-based money creation becomes entwined with systemic violence, whereas ancient faith-based wisdom implores against theft and usury, interest charged for enriching oneself at the expense of others - especially the poor. Discernment discipleship seeking the will of God must evaluate supporting freedoms to create debt-free money and movement toward practical Sabbath economics.
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    Refer to (copy link to browser; click on name above):
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    http://forusa.org/multimedia-publications-for/fellowship-magazine/winter-2011-rethinking-money

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  2. Why do you think Adolf Hitler has been so heavily demonized for 70 years? Why was there a world war waged to crush Hitler's Germany? Hitler threw the international bankers out of Germany in 1933 and overnight the county became the most prosperous country in the world with the highest standard of living the modern world has ever seen- and not seen since. Once Hitler got rid of the banksters and their usurious shackles the German worker was able to keep 100% of the fruits of his/her own labor. Nazi Germany was a shining example of what could be achieved by getting rid of the banksters. The banksters are scared to death that one day the population will realize this, so they have propagandized the people into believing outlandish smears like the "Holocaust™". When people are so convinced that Hitler & the Nazis were more evil than the devil himself they won't even allow themselves to see the truth.

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  3. For what it's worth, 1000 years of christian thought struggled with this, and the christian case against usury is suspect. A good chunk of the first third of Murray Rothbard's "Economic thought before Adam Smith" looks into the Scholastics' and Thomists' grappling with the usury question, and why it unfolded the way it did.

    And the bottom line is - interest is not sinful, nor fundamentally unproductive, it is a necessary recompense for risk and for investment-forgone by the lender. There is a solid christian case for interest.

    For instance: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/kevindeyoung/2011/11/08/is-it-wrong-to-charge-interest-on-a-loan/

    "So did the church change its mind about usury? No, but it did become more precise with its definition. “Usury isn’t charging interest on a loan to offset the risk of the loan and the cost of forgoing other uses for the money; it’s unjustly charging someone for a loan by exploiting them when they’re in dire straits” (144). This seems to be a fair distinction given the context of the Old Testament provisions."

    And Gary North rebuts Ellen Brown on the subject, citing biblical sources: http://www.garynorth.com/public/6909.cfm

    In short, Jesus himself uses an interest analogy to say why you owe God a positive return on his investment in you, in the parable of the talents. Aside from that, even a strict reading of usury (biblically speaking, rather than in canon law) still only applied to loans given in charity, not loans given with an expectation of return, to offset forgone returns the lender might have obtained if he had directly invested that capital in his own ventures.

    In short, this is a supremely superficial and bibically suspect interpretation of usury, and is essentially a rolling-back of 1000 years of christian scholarship on the matter.

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    1. Usury has always been considered stealing. It gives the bankers or money changers too much power in the economy. Actually, I sometime use the parable of the talents as an example how the early "church" justified something that was sinful and against the natural law of economics. In the parable of talents, the passage makes usury appear to be a virtue but in fact would be an evil deed. And as we can see today, the financial chaos that it causes because the debts cannot be paid back. But the real issue is if usury is stealing or "unjust gain" then it should simply be abolished. There are a lot of better ways to loan money. Banks could lend money and then take a stake in the property or company. I think one of the reasons the Middle East is getting so much turmoil is because the bankers do not like their interest free banking system.

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