John Steward of Jesus
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Confederation vs. Federal Government

This entry is a partial record of a recent dialog with a brother.  Those interested in reading more of the dialog can find it at

December 15, 2007
(from the brother)

The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union established a "confederacy" of free and independent American states or nations.  The Constitution for the United States established a federal union of what is now 50 states.

Question: What is the difference between a "confederacy" and a "federal union'?

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.  The system of government administered in a state formed by the union or confederation of several independent or quasi independent states; also the composite state so formed.

In strict usage, there is a distinction between a confederacy and a federal government.  The former  term [i.e. confederacy] denotes a league  [i.e. treaty] or permanent alliance between several states, each of which is fully sovereign and independent, and each of which retains its full dignity, organization, and sovereignty, though yielding to the central authority a controlling power for a few limited purposes, such as external and diplomatic relations.  In this case, the component states are the units with respect to the confederation, and the central government ACTS UPON THEM, NOT UPON THE INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS

In the federal government, on the other hand, the allied states FORM a union, -- not indeed, to such an extent as to destroy their separate organization or deprive them of quasi sovereignty with respect to the administration of their purely local concerns, but so that the central power is erected into a true state or nation, possessing sovereignty both external and internal, -- while the administration of national affairs is directed, and its effects felt, not by the separate states deliberating as units, but by the people of all in their collective capacity, as citizens of the nation. The distinction is expressed, by the German writers, by the use of the two words "Staatenbund"  and "Bundesstaat;" the former denoting a league [i.e. treaty] or confederation of states, and the latter a federal government, or state formed by means of a league or confederation."  Black's Law Dictionary, 4th edition page 740

Can we now see what change has taken place due to Washington's consolidation of the Union;  a change whereby the "administration of national affairs by the central government is directed and its effects felt directly by the people of all the states in their capacity as federal citizens. This was the sole purpose of establishing a "more perfect Union".  It is "more perfect" for the aristocrats to control the people for their own selfish purposes and those of their foreign friends.

Living under the Articles of Confederation as a "free inhabitant of a state" is looking better and better to me.  I wonder if we can return to the "Perpetual Union" rather than remain in the "More Perfect Union"?

I will wait for some comments and discussion concerning the information I shared in my last three messages before sharing any more.


December 15, 2007
Greetings brother Harry,

The information you have presented is significant, informative, and helpful.  Thanks again for the time and effort you have put into gathering it.

What I say below is simply a recording of my current state of knowledge, insight, and commitment.

I agree that living under the Articles of Confederation as a "free inhabitant of a state" seems better than living under the "More Perfect Union".

I am not aware that anyone has been presenting this as a viable option of choice for people today.

I do not know anyone who is now claiming the former option.  Nor would I be optimistic regarding the results for someone who might claim to make a choice for that option.

It seems to me that there is another, better option which remains open.

As for me and my household, we will serve Yahweh.

May He bless and lead each of us.


December 22, 2007
Greetings brother John,

The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union recognizes two groups (status or standing) of people - i.e. "the free inhabitants located at one of the free and independent states in the perpetual Union" and the "free Citizens IN one of the States of the perpetual Union."  Of course today, under the U.S. Constitution and its 14th amendment you are considered to be a citizen of the United States federal government resident in a State.

A "free Citizen IN a state" and/or a "not so free citizen of the U.S. federal government" cannot serve Yahweh "only" because citizens owe allegiance to the government of the state in which they are members/citizens/subjects.   We are to render what we owe to whom we owe it, are we not? 

Even though our Lord did not owe a certain tax, when one of His disciples said He paid this tax in the past, our Lord then paid the present tax that appeared due of Him.  Apparently there is not to be even a hint of our not paying what is owed.  Even if it is not lawfully owed it must be paid if we are considered as owing it, thus the importance of our correcting the record by correcting the mistakes we have made in the past when we claimed to be citizens of the United States, residents, drivers, employees, persons engaged in an occupation, trade or business, etc.

Only the "free inhabitant OF [i.e. located at] one of the free and independent states is of the state recognized status to be able to serve the Lord their God and Him only.  The "free inhabitant OF a state" would not owe allegiance to any earthly government simply because he is not a citizen IN the state.  Only citizens IN the state or federal government owe allegiance to the state.

"People OF a state [i.e. inhabitants] are entitled to all rights which formerly belonged to the king by his prerogative."  Lansing v. Smith, 21 D, 89

It does not say "citizens" in a state have all the rights of a king but only that "people" OF a state have such kingly rights.

John, it is not so much our choosing to "live under the Articles of Confederation" as it is the fact that only the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union recognizes an individual man's natural right to inhabit land within the exterior limits of any of the free and independent states in the perpetual union without being a citizen of any one of them who, if he was a citizen, would owe allegiance thereto.  As a free inhabitant of a state, one would be living under the Law of Nature and Nature's God.

Here is a court case that recognizes this lawful possibility.

"...That the majority shall prevail is a rule posterior to the formation of government, and result from it. It is not a rule binding upon mankind in their natural state.  There, every man is independent of all laws, except those prescribed by nature.  He is not bound by any institutions formed by his fellowmen without his consent." Cruden v. Neale, 2 N.C. 338 (1796) 2 S.E. 70

To my knowledge every state constitution in Article I of that constitution recognizes mankind's right to live under the Law of Nature without being subject to the laws of his fellowmen who are about to form a government of men in Article II and following.

Also, when it comes to correcting our status or standing, someone has to be the first to make the correction which might be why you do not know of anyone presenting this as a viable option at this time.  As far as one being successful in making such claim, we will have to wait until someone makes such a claim and see what happens. Would you be willing to attempt to correct your status or standing in the community?

To me, the question is "where" are you going to stand as you seek to serve the Lord and Him only?  Will it be as a "free inhabitant of one of the free and independent states of the perpetual Union" OR as a person considered to be a citizen of the United States resident in one of the States of the more perfect Union established under the Constitution for the United States of America who is considered by the government to owe allegiance to that earthly government in which he is a citizen subject?

Paul, an apostle of our Lord, claimed his nationality to be that of a Roman, but he did not claim to be a Roman citizen as did the soldier to whom he was speaking.  I claim my nationality to be that of a Pennsylvanian.  Under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union when I was in a foreign country I would claim to be an American national.

For me, "serving my Lord" is not an option.  However, if I am correct, it appears that where I "stand" as I seek to serve Him while on this earth is a matter of choice and consent, else the government is not a free government as it claims. 

How to legally and lawfully make my choice known to the "powers that be" and have them recognize my choice is not altogether clear to me at this point, however I am working on it. My blessed hope is that my Master will lead me to the truth regarding the importance of my legally establishing my "standing" or "status" and how how I might establish it with the civil government of which I am not a member.  When He does lead me to that truth it will be that Truth Who will MAKE me free to legally, lawfully and in truth serve the Lord my God and Him only.

Could I file into the county court a non-adversarial ex parte action in which I would request or insist the court issue an order in which it recognizes my true "status" or "standing" in relationship to the members of the society who are citizens of the United States federal government?

Please give this possibility some prayer and do share your thoughts with us.


December 22, 2007
Greetings brother Harry,

This most recent response of yours supports my continuing impression that engaging in dialog with you is a rare privilege and blessing.  You are finding very significant references in legal records and using your keen and disciplined mind to demonstrate their significance.  I'm sure that many who are interested in these questions will benefit greatly from your work.

Also continuing is my impression that we share the same fundamental commitment which propels us.  We desire to be faithful to the same Lord.  I recognize the Spirit who seems to flow through your words.  In each of our experiences He may be  focusing His work in differing ways, but that is His prerogative.  May we each be faithful to His leading.

Though I no longer share it, I think I can understand your intense desire to prove from within written legal references that you are correctly maintaining your status.  You want to demonstrate to those who feel bound within that system that your position is good.  I feel that I spent many years in the same frame of mind.  Many of the postings on my web site resulted from those years.  Because I then felt so led, it was a good experience.  No longer do I feel so led.  In the contemporary lingo, I feel like I've "been there, done that".

At present I am more content and at peace to present as tactfully, peacefully, and attractively as I am able, but yet directly and "head on", the claim that I serve exclusively another master, the Creator and Lord of all, and that, so long as I am correctly discerning and faithfully following His will, any attempts to limit my freedom to serve Him which are based on legal creations of men have no legitimacy and cannot prevail.  If this claim is not honored when presented directly, I have no confidence that it will be recognized if supported by references from human legal records.  I know that the record demonstrates that at unpredictable times such appeals are successful.  But my sense is that these successes result from the work of the Spirit who moves like the wind, and cannot be programmed.

My lack of confidence in appeals to legal records is related to my sense that legal officers who are presented with this evidence and recognize some validity in it are immediately forced into a schizophrenic state of mind.  Knowing the truth that the way of the Creator and His Messiah is the way of freedom and blessing immediately leads to the implication that all systems of human law are counterfeit frauds which lead to tyranny, scarcity, and death.  They are necessary to restrain the evil of those whose hearts keep them on the path of hatred and misery.  Their legal officers can continue only so long as men are imprisoned in the ways of darkness.  To openly recognize the claims of the kingdom of light would be to become evangelists of the good news.  Should great numbers hear and believe,  the system which maintains the legal officers would diminish greatly.  Such is the conflict of interest.  It may be an undisclosed factor in the unexpected resignations and career changes of some public officials.  The desire of others to prevent such changes of heart may lead to their exorbitant pension packages.

With these meandering thoughts as background, I will  inject some further reactions into the body of your message below.


P.S. I thought I would inject comments, but the format doesn't seem to permit that, as it used to.
I'll put some comments here.  It will probably be evident what they relate to in your posting.

We agree that we must "render what we owe".

It is a good observation that we must correct the record if we believe that someone relying on that record may be misled to do what he would not do if correctly informed.  When and how this should be done is open to much discussion.  Previously on this forum we had some discussion of what in today's world might be "public notice".  I would not want to make rules or policies on this for anyone else.  May the Spirit lead.

The distinction between being "in" a state or "of" or "at" a state is probably quite important in legalese.  It's good to be aware of  it.  In this context, to be "of" a state seems to mean to be "of" or "at" a territory or area of the earth's surface.  My sense is that it's even less ambiguous and confusing if we avoid the the use of "state"  and simply say that  that we generally spend our time, or began our life on earth, at a described location.  My natural life on earth began between the Six-Mile Creek and the West Branch of the Floyd River, which all flow into the Missouri River about forty miles to the south.  I now spend most of my time not far from where the Little Arkansas River flows into the Arkansas River, on the central plains of the continent of North America.

If the Articles of Confederation "recognize" the rights of men to live freely without allegiance to human states, then those rights existed before, and independently of, the words of those Articles (or any other human compositions).  I'd rather appeal to the original situation.

The "Law of Nature and Nature's God" is terminology from the time of the Declaration of Independence.  It may have Deistic implications.  I'd rather use scriptural phrases, or language which the Spirit puts in our minds.

I am satisfied at present with the way I have made my claim of status.  The extent to which it is recognized is not in my control.  Where do I "stand" when I make my claim?  What is my "status"?  In Him I live, and move, and have my being.  I live in God's kingdom, where Jesus is Lord.  I need no other government.

All of Paul's claims must be understood with the awareness that he was not trying to perfect his status or freedom.  He was seeking a way to stand before Caesar and testify to him.  It was his specific calling and mission.  Each of us may or may not have a similar mission.

My best understanding and belief is that at the moment we sincerely renounce all other sovereigns and lords and commit ourselves to serve Jesus alone, we are lawfully and in truth free to do so.  We may need to settle some unpaid bills and "damages" from broken contracts, but that is part of our service to Him.  Whether or not we should try to be "legally" free in the eyes of the "civil government" can be discerned only as He reveals.  May His Spirit enable all of us to discern His will correctly.

I am not qualified to respond to your question regarding a specific action in a county court.  Nor do I feel any inclination to become so qualified.

Harry, it is truly a blessing on this wintry day to be able to continue this conversation with you.