Healing in his wings

The importance of health seems to on the frontburner when disease and death appear and we have a range of coping strategies.  We live recklessly, follow medical advice, but the vast majority of us want instant relief and perfect bodies.   We all subconsciously rely on the doctor with healing in his wings. 

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and all of you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Malachi 4:2

If the wound or condition is not virulent and persistent the human body is capable of fighting off most assaults. We do not need interventions for most injuries.

I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.

Psalms 139:14

Holy health

Israelite health could be measured by the individual’s compliance with the law.  If a disease free condition depended on compliance with the law then  there must be an appropriate level of fitness attached to a person who violates 90% of the commands.

Maybe we will find the one command among the hundreds that will remove leprosy?  No! Not happening.  Surely there has to be a command that sends the common cold flying! We know why our Lord did not prescribe commandments from the law for sick persons to get healed.  We have to realize too that every Christian has died so that there is no physical healing in the atonement. Why would people with perfectly healed bodies and immortal souls die?

Dying daily

It would be foolish to think that health for an Israelite was not attached to the law. Diseases do not recognize international borders. Diabetes in Egypt and Canaan is the identical. We are literally dying every moment and every time we resist the temptation to follow the Holy Spirit we die.

Sickness no more

Our hopes are secure in the promises of God and our present condition has a certain date with destiny. The day is coming when all oppression ends.

Wherefore it shall come to pass, if all of you hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD your God shall keep unto you the covenant and the mercy which he swore unto your fathers:

Deuteronomy 7:12

And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, upon you; but will lay them upon all them that hate you.

Deuteronomy 7:15

And said, If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you.

Exodus 15:26

I wonder what answer the law has for fear and pestilence.

Shields Up

Above all, take the shield of faith…

Ephesians 6:16a

You may have been taught that the Christian’s shield is (a) his promise to follow and (b) the reliability of his performance. Let us be persuaded about our security.

Abraham’s Shield Should Shake us from our Slumber

After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Genesis 15:1

Whiny Orange Threat Feels the Chill

Hazzard county comes to Washington, DC and Christian radio with a whimper. Crime-fighting, dirt-collecting operatives, constitutional experts and compromised preachers of quasi-righteousness pretend not to see the facts. Impeached boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane have told us that there is no impartial justice. Duh!

One African American Woman of Courage

If any politician deserves a prophetic mantle it is Rep. Maxine Waters. Her truth to power determination is a flag flying high. The 45 they thought would kill American democracy, make bigotry, fascism and nazism acceptable, and make a mockery of truth and decency has jammed and is discovered to be loaded with blanks. The impeached despot had better get busy licking his wounds before he ends up with no memory but his mountain of lies, people he tried to bury, buy their silence, and the many nations who he deemed unworthy of being Americans.

One Despised Mormon

There is always a witness to the truth. It is not surprising that the criminal enterprise of the Republican party and the evangelical mob gets called by a faithful Mormon. When the orange threat announced his run for the presidency Mr. Mitt Romney warned the public: he of Mar a Lago is a con man.

Home for jammed 45s

Peace awaits the impeached president in Moscow, Ankara, Pyongyang, and Manila. Reality awaits him in New York: the exposure of his tax crimes and lawyers pocketing large sums of his ill gotten fortune for all the defence he is going to need. It is permanent winter for the American despot whether he flees north or south. There is nothing but blind testosterone and mob incitement in the world of Republican politics and evangelical theology. They both see that the population as primarily an armed force they can whip into quasi-revolutionary fervour. Boo hoo! Real Christians and genuine representatives of the people do not support do not support the denial of immigrant and resident right to life. They do not support the criminalization of murdering blacks, They all must vigorously support outlawing the evil of lying lips, not only to the FBI. They should be busy now calling up the great elector of Russia and get their orders in for the best Russian coats. America’s chill has begun.

Golden Goose and Fabulous Failures

Gold is good, controversial, unpopular, demoted by legend and greed, and destined for street paving. It is one of the few acknowledged by all as a symbol of excellence and high quality. The people of new Testament times received a wake up call demonstrating how gold as a sacred commodity did not cut it.

The origins of God’s golden decor

  • Gold or golden appears on average 9 times per book in the Old Testament. The actual frequency is 383 times.
  • In the New Testament the terms appear 23 times. That makes an average of 1.3 per book.

Guess where it peaks. Exodus with 22%, and at the other end Deuteronomy showing less than 1% (.007). Pure gold and gold covered items dominate the Exodus tabernacle construction narrative.  Why does it matter?

Temple and fidelity

People used to swear by God’s life. They did not say “so help me God” but “As the Lord lives” and “by Yahweh’s life”, staking their promise or affirmation on God’s continuing existence. A person’s word should be reliable enough to take to the bank. In New Testament times the connection became quite transparent. They swore by the gold – the thing they supposed made the temple noble and majestic.

Matthew 23:16-22 has a set of warnings about common oath practices and the people developing policies regulating temple procedures increasingly swore – made vows – with respect to temple gold and not Yahweh’s life.

  • Oaths and temple gold
  • Oaths and the temple
  • Oaths and Yahweh’s name
  • Oaths and the altar

OUR LORD CLARIFIES THE ISSUE

  • Whoever shall swear by the altar, swears by it, and by all things on it.
  • Whoever shall swear by the temple, swears by it, and by him that dwells there.
  • He who swears by heaven, swears by God’s throne and by him that sits on it.

When gold is at the top of our value list we very well may keep asking for the wrong things, as did a lame man who saw Peter and John near the temple. He was probably certain that the disciples had cash, as are many who observe churchgoers.

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Acts 3:6

Having gold or swearing by it did not advance the oath. The practice showed how people kept imposing distance and corruptible things between themselves and God. Food, drink, clothing, marital status, and yes, gold (silver, cash, credit) keep showing up as the genuine markers of our relationship with God.

Forasmuch as all of you know that all of you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21. Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

1 Peter 1:18-21

Common sense is gunk

Right is not decided by majority. American wisdom is below farm animal standards. Cute soundbytes will make learned men say anything. Lawyers will say anything in defense of their clients.

Welcome to American nationalism

A Senate of sober deliberation just proved that fascism is on the rise. Common sense never smelled as bad as the Russian and Saudi grip on American and British testicles. Imagine the hallelujahs in church this weekend as the wheels of justice fall off the truck. If that can happen in America what budding democracy can survive?

Brexiteers and mucksiteers

Convinced that the fellowship of 20 something nations was not good enough the United Kingdom tries to carve a path for itself.   At the same time the most thoughtful body on the planet, the United States Senate conducts a trial without witnesses and documents.   These days are tumultuous indeed and indicate the depth of the decay that comes with human organizations. To use the terms from a famous lament and prophecy “The gold has dimmed” and the iron has rusted.

How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.

Lamentations 4:1
  • Gold represents the best of human governance
  • In the lament the gold has lost its character and secret things are on the streets (is public)

Britons were half-baked Europeans.   They kept their pound and imperial measures out of selfish pride.  It should not come as a surprise that some people want to be either in or out.

And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

Daniel 2:43

Senators who do not know what a trial looks like are not surprising to me.  We all expect elected officials to be literate and committed to decency and excellence.  The Republican dominated Senate is showing itself  to be dealers and experts in muck.

I’m taking Peter’s exhortation to heart afresh. After taking the audience that they needd to relent and believe he cautioned about his contemporaries.

And with many more appeals he solemnly warned and entreated them, saying, “Escape from this crooked generation.”

Acts 2:40

Entering the Holiest

Ancient things are rudimentary and introductory because the mystery of godliness was kept from the understanding of the ancients. A few persons saw the coming kingdom of God. Tabernacle, blood, high priest, sacrifice are empty when the interpretation proceeds without the blood of Yeshua as the anchor for all that proceeds from that kingdom.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, Heb. 10:19 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, Heb. 10:20 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, Heb. 10:21 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Heb. 10:22

These verses give a picture of approaching God in a new way and they do so using Levitical images:

  • holy places
  • blood (of a sacrifice)
  • curtain (veil)
  • high priest
  • God’s house
  • draw near (qarab, to bring, 105 times in Leviticus)
  • sprinkling (12 times in Leviticus)
  • wash (37 times in Leviticus)

These verses also introduce a picture of approaching God in a new way by pinning the approach to the Lord Yeshua’s blood. This leads to an intimacy that keeps happening as often as we wish. Christ’s blood makes access possible to all people, not only to Abraham’s descendants.

How this plays out in Christian worship has nothing to do with physical location except when the church is gathered. Even then the approach is cosmic. We by following the leaders in our services are joining the great fellowship of believers in prayers everywhere.

With Confidence

Christians face no barrier to the God of the Covenant. Christ ushers us into the holiest place. That is what is meant by through the veil: the veil used to hide or separate the inner chamber from the rest of the sacred tent. NO anxiety should accompany our worship and fellowship with the Father. John reminds us that Christ is the satisfaction for both the world and the saints. It is with confidence in the bag that we can approach God to praise him and seek his help. No one needs anything beside the blood of Christ to enjoy this access.

New cannot be old

The New brings perfection or maturity as opposed to childish and elementary things. The old cannot regulate the new. Christ was offered once for all. He is a priest of a different order.

If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need [was there] that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? Heb. 7:11

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. Heb. 7:12

For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. Heb. 7:13

For [it is] evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. Heb. 7:14

And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Heb. 7:15

Tabernacle, blood, high priest, sacrifice are effective concepts when interpretated in the light of Yeshua’s person and work. All else is juvenile bondage. Christ delivers adoption of humans from every family and love that connects them with God directly. His message, coming to us through the apostolic witnesses, allows no return to Moses and Levitical conventions.

Better hope has come so we can come to God any time and anywhere

For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness Heb. 7:18

(for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. Heb. 7:19

Treacherous Tricksters

It is not possible for politicians who have spent 8 years obstructing the 44th president to wake up to facts and disavow their racist and violent manifesto, to recognize truth in any form. The church leaders of the United States have been virtually silent while the mercenary evangelical mob sneaked the right to life – a constitutional pillar- into the church’s mission. They tricked themselves into a slimy pit of soundbytes and dead doctrines when they formed an alliance with the Republican Party.

The end of abortion is a pretext for distracting the nation builders from dressing the gaping wound of bigotry and slavery. The same people waving the pro-life flag are also committing crimes of fascist nationalism.

Their professed care for the unborn is inconsistent with their silence about homicides, especially about their children’s. Their inaction to the commonplace bigotry-fuelled mass shootings, to the massacre of  Jews,  their eagerness to put Muslims and Mexicans into a trash category is fully consistent with wild beasts and farm animals.

2. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD has spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3. The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel does not know, my people does not consider. 4. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.

Isaiah 1:2-4

Hard to Heal

None of the churches (denominations) in North America ever cared enough about social justice to take a public stand.   That zeal died with the revolution and every upward step by the upcoming generation has been the victim of the grip of old Caucasian males on political office.  The legacy of the justice fight is as assassination-laden as any racist imperial government anywhere. Politicians who return to office until their 8th and 9th decades – at which time they find youthful clones – are a scandal and disgrace. “Tomorrow’s leaders ” turn out to be yesterday’s monsters. The fresh views and unpolluted passion of young people are no longer the lifeline of consistent transfer and visionary growth.

People on their way down

The designed divide in the government – opposition and incumbent – is enough evidence that healing is not possible.  Divided houses fall!  Lies perpetrated by Abraham, Hammurabi, Pharaoh, Moses, Aaron, Nebuchadnezzar, Nehemiah,  heads of state, or people representatives are not cute and serve no noble process.  A lying prostitute is the heritage of the nations in the last days.

Lies and fables

9. Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. 10. Day and night they go about it on the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the middle of it. 11. Wickedness is in the middle thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.

Psalms 55:9-11

People who do not curb their desires to be first in everything are doomed to become a proverb. This does not say much for the billions spent to be great (again?)

Their constitutional integrity tells them a Gentile will become high priest in Israel.  They are professional disesteemers.

Behold, you despisers, be astonished and perish, because I am carrying on a work in your time–a work which you will utterly refuse to believe, though it be fully declared to you.'”

Acts 13:41

Better Things

The Book of Hebrews is a no-nonsense but softspoken arrest of the religion of Judah, the roots of which can be accurately traced to Moses and the ancestors of the Jewish people. The writer calls all of the sources “prophets” then proceeds to show these prophets as inferior and the new speaker – the Son of God – as superior and final.

  1. Son is better than “messenger”, “servant”, “prophet”, or “angel”. (Heb. 1:4)
  2. Salvation distinguishes these better things. (Heb. 6:9)
  3. There is no controversy that the greater blesses the inferior. (Heb. 7:7)
  4. Law is eclipsed by the entrance of hope. (Heb. 7:19)
  5. The oath makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. (Heb. 7:22)
  6. Christ has a ministry and mediates a covenant that exceeds the old by being founded on better promises. (Heb. 8:6)
  7. Better sacrifices are necessary in order to exceed the pattern for the priesthood and its services. (Heb. 9:23)
  8. A better possession meant that bonds or the plunder of their property could be endured with grace. (Heb. 10:34)
  9. God is not ashamed to be called the god of people who look for a better city. (Heb. 11:16)
  10. Women who expected a better life following resurrection did not look for release from the torture they faced (Heb. 11:35)
  11. God provides something better for all (ancient and modern people) to inherit at the same tome together. (Heb. 11:40)
  12. Opposite Sinai is a (1) New Covenant, (2) effective mediation, (3) Jesus, (4) blood sprinkling that outdoes the function of Abel’s blood. (Heb. 12:24)

If a Jew in spite of this exposition wants to keep following Moses and the traditions of the elders and ancestors he would be most foolish, void of good judgment. What shall we say when Gentiles try to turn the business of the Son into the very business on which he came to close the door?

Perhaps “Woe” comes to mind, yet it remains for us to make every effort to stay grounded in the Son not in the ancient prophets, any prophet, any messenger or even an angel from heaven. It remains for us to work for souls to see God’s love in the Scriptures and in us and be drawn to his better things.

Jerusalem the abused

This treasure of real estate does not need an endorsement from anyone, least of all a nation that shows little regard for Jerusalem’s peace. In fact her residents do not care that much either. David took steps after being crowned in Hebron to live in Jerusalem and house his families there. The political moves of an American president in 2019 do nothing to Jerusalem’s status.

Great nations have gone to Jerusalem but few have joined the Jews in worshipping Yahweh. When the city was emptied there was some export of Jewish religion and Jerusalem remained the beloved centre of Jewish hopes and practice. In neither case was any foreign power trying to change Jerusalem from being the place for Yahweh’s name.

The tombs of Judah’s kingdom are in Jerusalem. The iving residents Jerusalem’s have much to live up to. The attempt to deny Jerusalem her cosmopolitan nature endures as the ultimate unfaithfulness. She has troubles no foreign or local power can relieve. The news that the US president is moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a case of smoke without fire, and the smoke smells like patriotism and racism.

Sinners in conspiracy

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

Proverbs 1:10-16

Who, having properly invested in his son, talks to him like this? Who might be those sinners who entice the righteous to stalk and kill innocent people? Could it be that sinners entice sinners? What ever happened to “A mature person will not depart from his training“? (Proverbs 22:6)

The multitude near the mountain

Whose son needs to hear “Do not follow the crowd”?  If anyone thinks that a small group of humans anywhere is responsible for murders and thefts it is time for a rethink.  Let us remember exactly who said “We do not want to hear God’s voice” just when God was teasing out the evidence that humans are guilty and have no defence. 

Those words spoken and inscribed in stone are a witness against the Hebrew people.   The human race had already been decreed as dead and shut out of fellowship (Eden) to await the arrival of faith (=the Word Incarnate). The people gathered at Sinai were under no illusion that they were lining up to receive eternal life. We have not agreed that humanity was plunged into a cycle of rebellion and death deliberately.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope,

Romans 8:20

This is not wisdom for God’s Son. God does not talk to Messiah like that. No son of the commandment, no child of God, can actually withstand the force of the law. Everyone is guilty as charged and dead until faith brings the release with eternal life.

Dark Mindedness

Self-betrayal

talks about giving oneself over to a certain work-ethic. Paul is not in a storytelling mode when he paints the picture of the completeness of the abandonment of light.

Ephesians 4:19

Beware of Gentile likes and ignorance

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Ephesians 4:17

Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

Ephesian 4:18

Who being past feeling (apelgekotes) have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

These people who are “past feeling” are not just behaving without feeling, they are settled into the condition where they feel nothing for others. In the Bible this would be the people, seeing only themselves as beneficiaries of God’s gifts and deserving of his mercies, profess to love God so much that they do not need to help their neighbour. In our world this would be the thing that defines a lot of deeply religious people. They say “We care for the lost and the outsider” but they will stand outside their door, do everything not to eat with or be seen with the lost of the outsider. Peter and the early church was bullied to accept this attitude towards others.
They just wanted to continue as they have in all their generations, yet the prostitutes and tax-collectors heeded the message from God’s anointed and his messenger.

The Chats of Antiquity

To say the least, Yahweh’s chats with his ancient friends were subject to one devastating concern, namely that people who have a one-to-one with him die. At least they could have expected to be changed – something has to die or be discarded. Jacob’s experience on the journey between Padanaram and Canaan lights our way to a better conversataion environment and to content that eclipses the chats of antiquity.

And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Genesis 32:30

Moses, amid terror and dangerous natural upheavals, chatted with God and survived. Why do Christians cling to the idea that God devours people who approach him, if they make mistakes in doing so? It could not be anything wrong with God. By the way, who was it that died trying to approach God that caused the apprehension in the first place?

Back to my opening thought. Chat and die. The chat in Eden did not go well, ending in exclusion and futility. The Sinai chat, with the covenant at the centre, ended as death sentence with no defence or appeal. The chat with Abraham hits bullseye with a commendation and two oaths.

You’ve not withheld your son

And said, By myself have I sworn, says the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, yours only son:

Your descendants will be numerous

That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

An international blessing

And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.

Genesis 22:16-18

It can only be a view of God that is divorced from the wisdom of God’s justice. Not only is God talking directly to us, is fully acquainted with our experience and language, he is speaking freedom, righteous standing, and eternal parental love and permanent grace. He is not condemning anyone, neither Jew nor Gentile, neither insider nor alien.

One problem with the believer’s chats is that the language of ancient chats are in a language that leaves no doubt about effectiveness. Why so many died without having a chat with God is no mystery. The law does not speak righteousness. It is not God’s righteousness that people are declared guilty and condemned to death. You will cetainly die is not a condemnation. It is a prescription for the only way to fellowship with God. Every day, year after year, the tabernacle service continued with the law declaring everyone guilty and enforcing silence on the accused. Let us face it. The law did not begin speaking condemnation because Paul says so. The messenger of that covenant (commands, statutes, and judgments) is an accuser/prosecutor, while the messenger of our covenant turns the hearts of children to their fathers and vice versa.

The megalogue

It comes as no surprise when we see that God shifts his chats over to his son. The word incarnate comes to give life through his own death. It is the only way to life. P’niel (face of EL, (פניאל) brings us to the face of God that is not angry.

In the face of Christ light beams. In the Holy Spirit every truth become accessible and help to walk in the light is guaranteed.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6

First Morning of the Decade

In the first 12 hours of the new year and decade there are signs of decay and despair and death. In the parable of the plantation Yeshua said that the owner planted his crops and overnight the enemy dropped in some noxious weeds. This new, happy and prosperous year is already a victim and the challenges will soon appear, including our destructive attitude, to which our wise Lord says, “Leave the weeds alone, harvest is coming”.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

TROUBLES RISE. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, did not you sow good seed in your field? from whence then has it tares? He said unto them, An enemy has done this.

DESTRUCTIVE ATTITUDE. servants said unto him, Will you then that we go and gather them up?

But he said, Nay; lest while all of you gather up the tares, all of you root up also the wheat with them.

GODLY WISDOM. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather all of you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Matthew 13:24-30

Let us resist the temptation to pluck up things different to us in our attempt to create a perfect year.

2020 Sight and Fight

No day in 2019 was trouble-free and the diligent found what they wanted and achieved a great deal even if some of it was pure fantasy. Of one thing we can be certain. There is no time machine to help us go back and change events. We can correct the narrative – retell the story to create the comforts we want. Things that did not go well can be addressed and even dressed up to look like triumphs or failures. If you had staged a death or bore responsibility for something heinous you might feel like you need to confess and move on to a better place. The need to see things before they happen can suck the growth and glory out of life, leaving us with a sense of sight and fight.

As surely as a tree’s trunk has rings that tell how much time has passed humans have deposits and withdrawals that we dare not ignore.

No one needs to feel abandoned or sink into the same 2019 attitudes and behaviours and definitely not feel that every thing in sight is an enemy. If you are a believer you do not want to be caught denying the very substantial wealth at your disposal.

Within us is the supreme power.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

1 John 4:4

Outside of us are angels sent to help us. Why we do not achieve is a mystery.

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Hebrews 1:13-14

Great Joy to the World

The practice of reading the New Testament and trying to find a corresponding or foundation saying in the Old Testament is not reliable, because Christ has many things to say and do that are uniquely his.
Just so no claim to authority rises to validity angels are out in front putting God’s business on the agenda for all people.

Looking for the Christ

We are better off applying that practice to apostolic sayings and their depiction of Messianic sayings and deeds. A lot of mistakes could have been avoided if we had been looking for the Christ in what anyone has to say about the kingdom of God. Thousands of books and preachers can be ignored because they do not present the Christ nor do they have a reputation for prioritizing his claim. This is reason to be joyful to the max.

Spears into pruning hooks

It is not mentally ill people who attack Jews, people of African descent, and immigrants who are not from Europe. All those people who have set their compass to God and country are sleepwalking, deaf and dumb watchmen and idolatrous zealots. The attack on the Rabbi’s home on the seventh night of Hanukkah in Monsey, New York, has its roots in a basic American perversion. There is less evidence today that America’s leaders believe in the equality of all humans. They prefer swords to pruning hooks.

What are we to think when America behaves like a deported nation? What can we expect when her “greatest president ever” makes excuses for and friends with despots Insulting immigrants is now a prime time reality in American society? Her leaders seem oblivious to the individual who works hard at three jobs and still cannot make ends meet.

Why do we expect

  • protection for Jewish people when the juvenile children of American citizens and residents have no protection in schools?
  • protection for Jewish people when the religious establishments have turned both Jewish and Christian ideals into marketing guides for greed
  • protection for Jewish people when the nationalist psyche puts people in the gutter and the nation in a palace

We expect because we believe that the rich are working for the poor and that the guardians of justice have the right to life as their north star. We believe a lot of lies.

Criminal enterprise

Guns and free speech have effectively raised the skirts of the United States of America and the sight is attractive only to pimps and prostitutes.

Going after Jewish people did not end well for Babylon, Persia, Greece or Rome. Not caring for Jewish people in the 21st century will end very badly for the United States and Canada. God will not forgive us for allowing gun violence to shatter our sense of security.

Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.

2 Kings 24:3-4

Intellectual and emotional depravity has soaked into societies that used to have the admiration of the whole world. Let us be brutally honest. A nation of laws is a nation of criminals.

Nativity Lecture 2 – The Nazarene Eighteen Years later

Slices of the Nazarene

Shaped by Galilee, our Lord was familiar with both sides of Abraham’s family, the faith-formed and the natural descendants. This experience would help to shape the church’s appreciation of all people without condition. There is no Jew Gentile difference in God’s distribution of eternal life and gifts for living. We may underestimate the power of growing up in a certain place, especially when it is not where we were born. If you had a memorable birth such as King of the Jews, and such a life of contradiction you might consider how much pleasure he took from seeing people from the place where life shaped him turn to him in faith. Faith and love are the bangs in the Nazarene buck. This is what pleases God and no-one can please God without it. To be precise, faith is effective in love to others, not to a loyalty to traditions of any kind. Kindness to strangers is top of the list for the Nazarene. That is why the light came to Galilee, the land of darkness.

FINDING GENTILE FAITH

  1. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. Matt. 15:22
    • But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. Matt. 15:23
    • But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matt. 15:24
    • She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Matt. 15:27
    • Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Matt. 15:28

No-one gets rewarded for following prophets or ancestors and only the faithful get this kind of commendation. The people who were genuinely attracted to the Nazarene were the tax-collectors and prostitutes. As he forgave them, they loved him. When he did not commend people for their marketplace games they hated and plotted against him. The learned and the unlearned rallied to their lies and fabled genealogies, the gold and silver and animal blood, holy places and things, ignoring the testimony of the Law and the Prophets about the Nazarene.

“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates, Matt. 11:16 “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ Matt. 11:17 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ Matt. 11:18 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” Matt. 11:19

Matthew 11:16-19

MARVELLING AT GENTILE FAITH IN HIS HOMETOWN

  1. And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Luke. 7:6 Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. Luke. 7:7 For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Luke. 7:8
    • When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Luke. 7:9

Again, the Nazarene finds great faith, from a notable member from the Gentile community. This is remarkable indeed, in the light of being turned off, literally, by unbelief, and in the light of Nazareth’s reputation of being a dump, from which nothing good could come.

THE NAZARENE’S HONOURABLE PASSING

It is no surprise that Galilean women claim the Nazarene’s lifeless body. Some of these were with him from the start. They travelled with him. Now they make sure his rest in the grave has all the love they could muster. Remember the woman who emptied a jar of ointment worth a year’s salary on his feet in preparation for burial.

  1. GALILEAN FUNERAL SERVICE – FEMALE COMPLIMENTS
    • It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. Luke. 23:54 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Luke. 23:55 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke. 23:56

THE RISEN NAZARENE’S ATTACHMENT TO A GALILEAN MOUNTAIN

  1. THE LAST APPOINTMENT IN GALILEE.
    • But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. Mark. 16:7
    • Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. Matt. 28:16
    • Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matt. 28:19

We call him Yeshua because of his effective resolution of the sinfulness of humanity. We call him Nazarene because of his connection as Light with the darkness of Galilee. We can make no progress apart from considering the identity of a migrant king, born in Bethlehem, resident in the darkness. We can hope to spin our wheels if we continue to label people and things as incapable of producing good. The entire expreience of the Nazarene makes prejudice and identity discrimination a lie that we do well to flee.

Nativity Lecture 1 – The Galilean Roots of the Messiah

Exploring the Messiah’s Galilean Roots

The birth of Christ – his nativity proper – is a prerequisite for atonement, so whether or not there is a prescribed memorial, a doctrine or a festival connected with it there is value in getting our eyes anointed with a look at the birth and early life of Yeshua. Nativity includes accuracy in time and place, and to be strict, we can say it took a moment (assuming Mary’s labour was not extended!). What birth drama there is to see is brief and filled with adventure. Nativity extends to origins too, which is why we are keen to know where does a person come from. Messiah’s connection to his place of residence is not brief. This nativity for the Saviour of the world attaches firmly to Galilee, Nazareth and Capernaum. This is not discriminatory nor accidental, because Christ’s residence in Galilee will inform us of the major character-block, if one follows the gospels. The fuller nativity narrative itself is thick, deep and rich, is more holy than its night, more awesome than its angelic interactions, more mysterious than its refugee king, and yet could be no more ordinary than to have begun in Nazareth. If we merely followed the gospels we would fill our bellies with a long list of places, and individuals, and a divine checklist of errands.

  1. The Lord’s Messenger John the Baptist
  2. The Lord’s angel Gabriel dispatched to Nazareth, Galilee.
  3. The Lord’s parents: engagement (Nazareth)
  4. Announcement to Mary (Nazareth)
  5. Prophecy (song) of Mary (Judea)
  6. Prophecy of Zechariah (Judea)
  7. Registering for the census (Bethlehem)
  8. Angelic Announcement to the shepherds (Bethlehem)
  9. Birth (Bethlehem)
  10. Magi visit (Bethlehem)
  11. Herod’s infant slaughter (Bethlehem, depart for Egypt)
  12. Prophecy of Simeon (Jerusalem)
  13. Angelic appearance (Bethlehem)
  14. Flight into Egypt
  15. Angelic appearance (return to Palestine)
  16. Return > Galilee
  17. On the brink of Teenage in the Temple (Jerusalem, Nazareth)

It seems best to stick to home for a grounded nativity panorama. We realize that home is Bethlehem, but that appears only as the hospital; an already very famous birthplace. The record of our Lord’s residence in Bethlehem is brief, consisting of his birth and speedy departure for Egypt parents returning and warned about the safety of Bethlehem. The census which brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem kicks off an adventure which turns out to be octagon of intense contradictions.

The winding road to Nazareth

THE OCTAGON OF CONTRADICTIONS

We are well aware that the Christ-child’s arrival was the cause and reason for great joy to any person tuned in to the event and for all people. Yet the intended effect of the Light’s arrival on earth was not to be felt until the Passover of His 33rd year. We would see him briefly as a 12 year old resident of Nazareth in the Jerusalem temple making the leaders of Judea scratch their heads.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Luke. 2:46 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

Luke. 2:47

The shaping of the life in those eighteen years does not have to be guessed at. Galilee had the following distinct features of interest to the young Incarnate.

  1. Galilee was among the first areas to suffer exile (as a result of the warning in Numbers 33:56)
  2. Galilee was one of areas hosting a city of refuge (Kedesh, in Naphthali territory, Joshua 20:7, 21:32)
  3. Galilee was a richly cosmopolitan region, i.e. Gentiles made up a considerable portion of the cities in Galilee, 20 known are on record (1 Kings 9:11)

Galilee was a fertile field because it was in need of light. We cannot presume that the young Incarnate (YI) ended his interest in his Father’s business

  1. All of the people who came into contact with the YI would have benefited from or at least be challenged by his wisdom
  2. All of the people with whom he had regular contact would have heard him speak at synagogue for 18 years until that day when he read Isaiah 61 (Luke 4)
  3. As with the temple so with heaven’s interests in Kedesh, the Galilean city of refuge would have fallen under his gaze and evaluation.

In Nazareth our Lord learned by experience about the Jew-Gentile partition. Even though he kept his mission focused on Jews, his encounters with Gentiles showed how well he was prepared to meet most honourably with the desire of Gentiles to reach him. Three foreigners came to the manger and worshipped, and Gentiles sought relentlessly to see and touch him throughout his three years of testimony. I am glad that there is a witness in AD 2019 that they still do, in droves.

Highlights from a 24-day Reading of Luke – day 8

Luke Nativity Read – 24 Days of Witness

Capturing the drama of Chapters 22, 23, 24

The Passion Approaches

This is the solemn and satisfying season that our Lord announced in Nazareth three years previous.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (Isa. 61:1) to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, (Isaiah 61:2a)

Isaiah 61:1-2a

The full citation from Isaiah appears below.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; Isa. 61:1 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; Isa. 61:2 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. Isa. 61:3

The Nazarene’s Attention to his timetable

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover.

Luke. 22:1

This is the festival that celebrated the Hebrew people’s escape from Egypt.

The disciples resist the idea that their Teacher must suffer the things he was predicting with great solemnity.

THE PASSOVER OF PASSOVERS

And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. Luke. 22:15

  • It was not the roast lamb, bitter herbs, and wine of the Exodus (chapter 14)
  • It was his own body and blood as sacrifice (propitiation) that he longed to inaugurate in symbolic form
  • He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1John. 2:2
  • In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1John. 4:10

THE MEMORIAL

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke. 22:19

PETER’S UNIQUE FUNTIONS PREDICTED

Peter was the first to receive the revelation, directly from God, of who the Nazarene was.

Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” Luke. 9:18 And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Luke. 9:19 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” Luke. 9:20

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, Luke. 22:31 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke. 22:32

In fulfillment of this Christ – strengthen your brothers – authorizes Peter with the mission to the Jewish people, Peter speaks for the church and joins with Paul in his mission to the Gentiles.

THE AGONY OF THE CROSS

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. Luke. 22:39

  • And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke. 22:44
  • Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? Luke. 22:52
  • Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. Luke. 22:54

THE TRIAL

  • “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, Luke. 22:67
  • and if I ask you, you will not answer. Luke. 22:68
  • But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” Luke. 22:69
  • Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.” Luke. 22:71

THE SENTENCE OF DEATH

Who wants Christ dead or out of the wasy is obvious.

Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Luke. 23:13 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Luke. 23:14 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. Luke. 23:15 I will therefore punish and release him.” Luke. 23:16

Luke. 23:13-16

But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— Luke. 23:18 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Luke. 23:19 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, Luke. 23:20 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” Luke. 23:21

THREE STRIKES

  • A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” Luke. 23:22
  • But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. Luke. 23:23

AT THE CROSS

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. Luke. 23:32

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Luke. 23:33

And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” Luke. 23:35 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine Luke. 23:36 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” Luke. 23:37 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” Luke. 23:38

THE CROWD TAUNTS THE NAZARENE

  1. to reverse his path to death
  2. to cheapen the very thing he agonized over doing the night before
  3. to deny the reason for his life

HE GIVES UP HIS LIFE

Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Luke. 23:46

THE FAITHFUL WOMEN CONTINUE THEIR SERVICE IN BURIAL ARRANGEMENTS

Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, Luke. 23:50 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Luke. 23:52

The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Luke. 23:55 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke. 23:56

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. Luke. 24:1 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, Luke. 24:2

The cycles of the Nazarene’s life are almost over. Normally death ends the journey. For the Nazarene, one more step is on the timetable. He must be received as firstfruit and perfect sacrifice. This means a return to glory.

RETURN TO GLORY

THE BABE OF BETHLEHEM IS NOW BACK WHEN HE CAME as GLORIOUS KING

His return is recognized with great fanfare.

Lift up your heads, O gates!

And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Ps. 24:7

Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Ps. 24:8

Lift up your heads, O gates!

And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Ps. 24:9

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! — Selah Ps. 24:10

WHAT ARE THE RISEN LORD’S PRIORITIES?

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke. 24:44 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, Luke. 24:46

  1. THE GOSPEL. and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke. 24:47
  2. ITS AGENTS. You are witnesses of these things. Luke. 24:48
  3. THE GUARANTEE OF HIS PRIORITIES. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke. 24:49

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Luke. 24:50 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. Luke. 24:51

THE LAST LOOK

Bethany was a certain favourite place for the Nazarene, the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, home of the former leper Simon, the residence of the woman who prepared the Lord’s body for burial. What else brings the Risen Lord to Bethany is his to declare, but these connecting memories are there to remind us of the tender mercy of God, in accord with visit of the sunrise (Luke. 1:78)

What Debate?

The idea that evangelicals are going to have a debate over the vile behavior of the White House and the GOP is laughable. We know them for two things; reciting the soundbytes of their ancestors without thinking, and for proclaiming things they want without evidence people.

Little dt 45 is a congenital liar who makes the case daily that he is the bottom of the barrel.

The days when public officials, including prime ministers and presidents can simply make a public announcement to change the world, name or rename things are long gone. There is no king for 4 years.

And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim (קרא qara) a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

1 Kings 21:9

And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry (קרא qara) aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried (קרא qara) aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

1 Kings 18:27-29

You have certainly seen people saying repeatedly “In Jesus’s name ” to change a situation and have noted that saying those words does not make what they are saying sound doctrine nor brings about the change they predict or expect.

No debate, just violence

If you are holding your breath waiting for evangelical Christians to debate the facts about American public life you have a death wish. They have not settled the facts about necromancy, witchcraft, the law of Moses, Messianic priority and the gene of racial discrimination and the oppression of poor people in the DNA of modern homo sapiens.

Highlights from a 24-day Reading of Luke – day 7

From chapters 19, 20, and 21

The royal ride into Zion


Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

Luke 19:30-31

This event – the royal ride into his city – was the subject of an ancient prophecy.


Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah 9:9

Glory to the king


And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

Luke 19:37-38

Zeal for the temple


And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Luke 19:45-46

The murder plot

And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

Luke 19:47-48

The Authority of Christ Questioned

And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

Luke 20:1-4

The deceitful reply of the gatekeepers

And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ Luke. 20:5 But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” Luke. 20:6 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. Luke. 20:7 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Luke. 20:8

Luke 20:5-8

The significance of John’s Unquestionable Authority is deadly

So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Luke 20:15-18

He was talking against the leaders

And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.

Luke 20:19-20

What do the end of days look like?

The road to the end of days has intersections with (Luke 21:8-26)

  • Deception
  • Turmoil
  • International conflicts
  • Inter-jurisdictional conflicts
  • Terrestrial upheavals
  • Famines
  • Pestilences
  • Awe-inspiring sings in space
  • Persecution of the faithful
  • Opportunities to wtiness
  • Wisdom and power to explain
  • Assassinations of the faithful
  • Betrayal by one’s family members
  • Military assult on Jerusalem
  • Great distress and extreme assaults on Jewish people
  • Jerusalem trampled by the Gentiles
  • Signs in the sun, moon and stars
  • People weakened by fear

This detailed road to the end of days comes with one viral warning. “Watch and be awake because the day comes like a trap”. No-one knows, or will know, the day or the hour.

Highlights from a 24-day Reading of Luke – day 6

From chapters 16, 17, and   18

Not a probability, an impossibility

Serving two masters is not a thing that anyone does. A person is either lost or saved, a child of God or mere human.

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

Luke 16:13-14

The self-righteous

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Luke 16:15

The means of justifying oneself is out in the open. The options are binary. Yeshua’s contemporaries were either following Moses, with John the Baptist showing the straight path to the Anointed.

There are no people going to heaven or hell, and most certainly Yeshua is the only person to have come from glory and goes to glory from humiliation. This is not a teaching about communication with the dead or the devices of the dead.

The certainty of offences


Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!

Luke 17:1

Ready to forgive


Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Luke 17:3-4

Not a lot of faith

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

NO SOUL JUSTIFIED BY DUTY = NOBODY SAVED BY WORKS

But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Luke 17:6-10

This practical obedience understood. Doing what is expected, keeping covenant, performing acts of loyalty and observing seasons does not get God’s smile of approval. Duty is not faith. Faith is the work of believing in the Son of God. Getting to that point is God’s gift: repentance to the elect (those that are ready to switch from the temporary to the permanent, from old to new).

How to get life

A Jew should not be asking this question.  His right standing was never a matter of a single duty, but rather a host of duties.


And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Luke 18:18

In simple terms, this list of FIVE commands is not the gospel.

Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. Luke 18:20

Highlights from a 24-day Reading of Luke – day 5

Returning home and finding uncommon faith in a Gentile person

Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.

Luke 7:1

Today we review glimpses from Days 7, 8, and 9

For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Luke 7:8-9

A widow gets her son back from the dead and Yeshua is called a great prophet

Luke 7:14
And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

Luke 7:16
And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

Yeshua commends John and exposes the religious zealots

And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.

Luke 7:26

The sinners give God his due by being baptized unto John

And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

Luke 7:29-30

A parable about different kinds of people receiving God’s word


A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, (a) some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. (b) And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. (c) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. (d) And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Luke 8:5-8

Calm in distress and near people of little-faith

But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.

And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

Luke 8:23-25

Yeshua and the Bacon Industry

I wow to this idea that there were people, Jewish ones or Gentile ones (whether or nor the mission to Gentiles and Samaritans was yet authorized) who risked being unclean every day.  These swine were domesticated!  They do not lay eggs, or produce milk, and we have no idea how swine may have been rented out as scavenger-cleaners of people’s lands.

And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.

Luke 8:32-34

“Who am I?”, what to go about it and why

Our Lord raises the question about who he is and then after that is revealed he makes it clear that he does not want this information to get out.

And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

Luke 9:18-22

The revelation of the Saviour of the world was not a popularity contest, is not now, and never will be.

Swallowing a camel

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Matthew 23:23-24

Impeaching the criminal

Little dt of Mar a Lago runs into the US constitution and the rebel nationalist GOP chokes on a camel after trying to show America how well they can strain out a fly

Caiaphas ran into Yeshua and the temple’s days were numbered

Gideon distinguishes God from Official

One of the problems we have in modern Bible study and practice is the tendency to bring God down from his seat and put humans or some other creatures up in this place. We see, in this narrative, that Gideon was able to see the difference between the angel of the Lord and the Lord and addressed himself properly in this conversation with the angel.
The King James tips us off with a truly handy usage. It uses “LORD” for the divine name and “Lord” or “lord” for the common title or address. The latter is equivalent to “sir”.


And the angel of the LORD (YAHWEH) appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD (YAHWEH) is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

Judges 6:12

Judges 6:13
Then Gideon said, “Pardon me, sir, but if the LORD is with us, why are we having so many troubles? We heard that he did wonderful things for our ancestors. They tell us that the LORD took them out of Egypt. But now it seems the LORD has left us and is letting the Midianites defeat us.” (Easy to Read Version)

Judges 6:13

Bearing in mind the human (even Christian) tendency to worship or pay homage to undeserving entities this narrative ought to firm up our resistance to idolatry.

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Revelation of John 19:10

Listing Badly

Load up your ship without balance in mind and you will sink. John and Yeshua mark a turning point in divine revelation and intervention in addition to announcing that time was right (up and fulfilled). The ship that concerns us began its journey in the Book of Acts and its listing became obvious as wolves began loading the ship with idolatrous and useless objects: chiefly the beliefs and practices of the Jewish people. In the 21st century the ship’s listing can be felt everywhere.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Very often there is no dividing. It is all the same to one group: the ostriches. They want to stone people and keep barriers in place between people. They see no difference between the kingdom of God and the law and prophets.

Interpretation for balance

The reason for dividing is not the anti-Jewish agenda that many Christians espouse and love to deny. The reason for dividing is to put things in their rightful place. It is balance enough for Christ to be sole boss of God’s words and deeds. It is idolatrous and ostrich-like to even try to make all things in the Bible equal, and it is definitely abominable to put Yeshua as subordinate to anyone.

A ship can list only so far before the captain calls “abandon ship”. Correct a list early, my friends, otherwise the ship will not reach port.

Potus has not apologized

There are lower blows than “can’t make your son a baron”. My mother, is a proud progenitor of ancient kingdoms, to which none of the imperial serial rapist mothers can compare. On the day when the Speaker of the House announces the decision to draft articles of impeachment Jay Sekulo (on Christian radio) and Guiliani (in Ukraine), are out sowing seeds to make the American people cease their march to a more mature republic (union). Africans are not waiting for potus45 to apologize because an apology from an avowed megalomaniac is worth nothing. I love Haiti, her sisters and their mother.

We can read the text of the Bible in the original languages and know precisely what the authors intent, thank you very much, unlike many politicians and preachers who are respectively interpreting recent English documents (like the United States Constitution) with obvious difficulties and ancient ones with their heads up the rear end of a businessman gone rogue.

Irreligious people have rights too. Soundbytes by experts in theology, nothing or constitutional law are equally destructive and dangerous. We like complete sentences where a yes or no is not indicated. Lawyers in the service of a man who wants to be “king for 4 years” are likely to be just as corrupt and unapologetic.

So distracted

If you ever get the impression that the centre of attention is often at risk of being pushed offscreen by a willing and free minded audience you are not alone.  Sometimes we see this phenomenon and call it “face that hates its nose”, or “prophet without honour at home”.  This is happening with regularity as Christians get exposed to other faiths with comparative practices and beliefs.  The star of the show is the Yeshua the Nazarene and avoiding mention of him has become an eyesore and gaping hole in reality.

If the lifestyles and interests of the human family were perfect noone would ever have to grow or change.  That means we can strike a host of cultural and religious traditions that refuse to give up the dross and adopt the gold from the list of noble priorities.

God intervenes for the benefit of the lost and he chooses the younger not the elder, the alien not the inside. He chooses the despised places like Galilee.

In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath–pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel–beth–maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.

2 Kings 15:29

We are therefore challenged to look soberly at the rejected people and places if we wish to find God’s priorities. Light is appreciated by darkness. The dark places bring light into sharp focus.

Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Isaiah 9:1-2

The early life of Christ, from infancy to 30 years old, is shaped by his residence in Galilee. The peer pressure to reject Him is strong as it was when he was here in the flesh.

We can replace “Yeshua” with “Yahweh” with confidence because both are Shepherd, Light, Saviour, God, and King. What do we do when we have to bring the Shepherd, Saviour and Light into sharp focus in order to appreciate the One who sent (gave) him? We can deny Christ the highest name, the right hand seat in glory, and the distinction of being the only way to God and peace. The result is catastrophic. Nothing works without the Nazarene.

A gaping wound no one can cure

490 years is a lot of time to encourage, exhort,  or coerce ones family to do the right thing.  Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Greece and France have had millennia to get their act together.   What happens if they don’t?  What has happened when they did not?  America and British decline, evident in the 21st century are minuscule compared to the atrocities of kings of Israel and Judah.

God does not give time or extensions of time and walk them back. When John the Baptist aand Yeshua announced “kingdom at hand” they were in lock step with the divine timetable. They both knew what time it was. They were the tic and toc of God’s alarm clock.

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Mark 1:15

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17

It does not and should not surprise and literate or intelligent person that capitalism is dead, religious ritual is dead, the ethnic state is dead. If anyone wants to pretend that criminal enterprises did not define Levitical systems at the time of John’s announcement cement, let them.

All of them, priests, prophets, kings, scribes, and patriarchs, took to themselves honours and privileges that belonged only to God. Hence they can all be rightly called thieves and robbers.

The capitals of Israel and Judah are the smoking guns of their incurable wounds.

For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem?

Micah 1:5

In the gate – the very place where justice and judgement should prevail a stink prevails.

For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.

Micah 1:9

They will call the truth a lie and ensure that their national treasures – Senate and Sanhedrin – become rubbish heaps and landfills. The axe is at the root the tree.

The Ephesian Elite Syndrome

If we throw around the sacred name of the Light from Nazareth and think that doing so is a power play we had better rethink the issue. It is already clear from the gospels that doing miracles, prophesying and exorcising demons are not a sure sign that one has found grace. So when the sons of a Jewish High priest saw an occasion to use Yeshua’s name to grab a headline as people with access to heavenly power they ended up in shreds.

Ephesus was the first place to which our Lord sent a letter by John bar Zebedee. It was the place where people could be found in transition: some between Moses and John, others between John and Yeshua (Acts 19:1-2). The widespread display and progress of both teaching and miracles could hardly be ignored by the Jewish faith.

And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Acts 19:10-12

People can say “Christ” and mean the Son of Gid who became human to redeem humanity. People can also say “Christ” and mean anything from the Bible but the Messianic mission. These Jewish boys got a lesson in secondhand fallout. They were obviously not followers of Christ but thought they could use his name to grab a spot in the news.

What they did showed how little they actually knew about God, Yeshua, or Paul.

Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

Acts 19:13

The demons (evil spirits) responded to the powerplay of these wannabe exorcists with an assault.

Acts 19:15

And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

Acts 19:15

The demonic response also sent them packing with action. The demons launched the demoniac against the would be exorcists.

And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Acts 19:16

All the people who have pedigree, like these Jewish men, and want to sling Yeshua’s name and blood around without a personal relationship with Him need to reconsider the personal injury that they may run into. How well do we know the Light of the World?

What victory looks like

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

Revelation of John 15:2

This is a precious graphic to me. I relate, even now in this life, to the guitar (harp κιθαρα, kithara,) possession, but more salient are the songs the victorious sing.

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

Revelation of John 15:3

Moses’ Song and the Lamb’s Song

That had better be two songs, because Moses and Yeshua are not identical twins. If the song of each is to be related to achievement Moses has a failed and eclipsed law and Lamb has his laid down and retrieved life, guaranteeing salvation to believers, and sealing the promise with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Does not make one Christian

  • All day talk about God dnmoc
  • Calling Jesus “Lord” dnmoc
  • Calling Jesus “king” dnmoc.
  • Joining a carefully chosen church dnmoc.
  • Using Jesus’ name – to perform miracles, to exercise demons, and to do wonders – dnmoc.
  • Pledging obedience dnmoc

We should not be surprised to find that many Christian communities are estranged from Christ. There are things that unequivocally disqualify followers, of which eminently are:

  • Bigotry
  • Nepotism
  • More Moses than Jesus doctrine
  • Secondhand witnesses (vs apostolic witnesses)

Sin – one hundred or one, committed – does not make a person of less or more value to God. In fact, the “one lost sheep” swamps the Shepherd’s attention!

Good works do not make a person of less or more value to God. There are no kudos for doing our duty.

And so with you–when you have done all that you have been told, still say ‘We are but useless servants; we have done no more than we ought to have done.'”

Luke 17:10

All that we can add to “BELIEVE AND CONFESS the death and resurrection of Christ” is pollution and mutilation. Like the attempt to sneak circumcision into the Way, pronouncements about salvation over and above Believe and Confess are oppressive, deceptive, and damnable. We know that nothing saves but Lamb’s blood.

Unconverted men with liberating power

The thought that one of the people exercising authority in your faith community and shaping lives may be unconverted should terrify us and comfort us because of the benefits to victims of demon-possession and medical illness.

And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.



In Matthew 10:1 we learn that authority over demons, sickness and disease can be a phenomenon outside of Christian conviction.

At the end of Luke’s gospel Peter is still unconverted and it must be acknowledged that this is the case for all of them since conversion requires Christ to give the Holy Spirit so that one can become a child of God.

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Luke 22:32

One does not even need to be in the group of Christ followers. The case of the strange exorcist illustrates this.

And John answered him, saying, Master,we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

Mark 9:38-39


We can expect unconverted people to be a part of this phenomenon in the 2nd millennium after Pentecost. Sobering and highly and disturbing.

We know everything we need to

Imagine processing at the same time the glow of your last kiss, now hours old, and along with that, the four appointments later today, the five questions you are hoping God will answer, the pain in your knee, and the latest murder of innocents using fully automatic weapons. As we are imagining ourselves thinking through these life slices would we not wake up to our limited vision and inability to multitask? That pizza of things past, present, and future is not real, and does not happen.

When we get led into all truth we had better not consider ourselves in possession of anything more than a drop in the ocean of intimate knowledge of the Son of God, even though he did clothe himself with humanity and left a fourfold view of his time in the flesh.

Of all the things or persons we know only one thing/person drags us out of death into life. With that life in town comes a full database of “need to know”, as a Samaritan woman expected.

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

John 4:25

That delivery of knowledge is affirmed by Christ. He holds back nothing.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

John 15:15

On the offensive

It is good to remind ourselves that a conflict is raging around us.  My war will always be on the side of oppressed people. Joining the people who are losing their grip on robbery and bribery is just not in the cards. Caesar’s moves are in service of idolatry. We know that. So we are not drawing new lines between sacred and secular authority, and are committed to being harmless as doves and wise as serpents.

We only mess up character by putting the things we want out front at the wrong time or too often. Desires – lusts – war against life. We know the joyful sound. Dying daily, wrestling our passions over to Christ’s example is we will find ourselves victoriously on the offensive.

Dear friends, I urge you, as pilgrims and strangers upon earth, to refrain from indulging the cravings of your earthly nature, for they make war upon the soul.

1 Peter 2:11

The church has no secret agenda. Much of what goes on is public. While the official gatherings are designed for both vested and other interests they are of optimum benefit only to the member and any initiate to the faith.

Honest conduct (with food and drink, clothing and circumspection, other people and prayer) with Christ as star of the show, is what we envision as vibrant and abundant life. We cannot dump that “prosperity is abundance” idea soon enough.

When the gospel is toyed with – not accepted- we cannot use it when we run into trouble.

I love the gospel’s thrust and plunge: this piece of armor, the shoes, 👞👠, covers everywhere we go. We travel with good news shoes.

And with the readiness to serve the Good News of Peace as shoes for your feet.

Ephesians 6:15

How the wisdom of Christ was received

A post-Resurrection episode involving Stephen


Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

Like Master, like servant

And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

This pattern of attack began with the Lord Jesus himself as these three encounters (below) illustrate.

About Resurrection

Have we gone offscript and are unfamiliar with God’s power.

After our Lord silenced the Sadducees on the question of resurrection the Pharisees decided that they would try to see if their attacks would fare any better. The Sadducees had thought they could muddy the hope of resurrection with ordinary marital developments. Their question was “who gets a many-times married woman to be his wife in the resurrection age?” This was probably a first rate silly question out in the open for the first time.

“Your mistake,” replied Jesus, “is due to your ignorance of the Scriptures, and of the power of God.

Matthew 22:29

What are the law’s priorities?

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Matthew 22:35-36

Though they did not know it at the time monotheism had so little to do with loving people that no neighbour of Israel was excited about become Israelite or imitating her religion. We now know that loving God wholeheartedly can quickly become a convenient cover for malice and apathy.

Identifying Messiah with a descendant of David.

Knowing that ultimately the question about Israelite destiny would come around to what authority our Lord had. The winds and waves were subject, the thoughts of men were open to him, so Yeshua did not wait for them to pose the question. He brought it up.

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Matthew 22:41-46

Let us pose questions to the text. As we also learn from the birds and field lilies, let us live in one-eyed attraction to Christ. Failure to do so will result in angel worship, food and marriage barriers, and making the creature more influential than the Creator.

The satisfaction we have from getting our needs and desires met does not justify the wisdom that comes with the indwelling Christ. As long as the proceeds of prophecy, exorcism and wonderful works are still around the wisdom of God will take a back seat, being justified by her children apart from law and prophets and hirelings of all kinds.

The Rush to Dupe us

The personal focus of writers and speakers cannot be nebulous. A hard line of reality separates “I” from “we”, “you” from “us”, and “him” from “them”. Realizing that expressions can be reports or questions, demands, or commands, or speculations, we pay attention to the type of expression we find ourselves reluctant to confront.

As a teacher of the gospel (=Christian theology) I find that one needs to pick carefully from the growing list of red herrings and non-sequitors in order to be most effective. Constantly going after students’ oneliners and supposedly faith building slogans is more destructive than helpful. One has to notice that many things called Christian have no explicit reference to :

  • CHRIST- Messiah the Anointed One (lamb, king, saviour, door, shepherd, lover-supreme)
  • Christ’s work – dying, rising, interceding on high
  • Christ’s words – sayings from the apostolic witnesses (4 gospels, the letters, the prophecy of Revelation and Acts)

Why is that?

We need to be reminded that we are not our neighbour, and that our names matter because identity matters. We know we cannot insert any name – least of all our names – where the Bible has a personal name. Jesus is not Isaiah, nor will Moses ever be John the son of Zebedee.

Scoffers have no legs

The chances of anyone who turns away from dealing soberly with Yeshua’s words and actions contributing to anything besides mockery and ignorance are small indeed.

We buy a great many catastrophic scenarios if we insert ourselves into the text without asking “What time is it?”

Of all those sayings in Psalms and Proverbs which can we say have brought us back from death?

God said both “let there be” and “I am sorry I let there be”. God said both “let us make” and “I am sorry I made”. So we can spare ourselves a lot of misery and embarrassment by filtering the notion that all God-spoken words are relevant all the time for all people.

And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; … for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Genesis 6:7

Why did the Sinai covenant not include “angry with a brother is murder”? Where are the priests who work on the Sabbath and are innocent? Are there any people partaking of sacred things – as David did – illicitly that we might want to execute.

Duped over righteousness

Du-ped indeed

Walking in two camps at the same time has never been attractive and is mostly destructive.

  • Declaring righteousness
  • Being just
  • Justifying people who believe
  • Justify people apart from their performance


Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 3:25-28

Things Unchangeable You Bought

God wrote ten words! That’s it, folks. The rest of sacred literature is the product thievery and robbery, temporary and subject to human whims. This is part of a mantra belonging to people in death’s shadow who think they are God’s exclusive lamp.

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Isaiah 45:22

God did not write Isaiah 45:22 with his finger but if one does not “look and be saved” one’s condemnation and perishing is assured apart from a thousand violations of law and prophetic judgments.

No one Needs to stare Perpetual Condemnation in the Face to be Saved

Who wants to be condemned? Certainly not the saved. Proof that all people are victims is readily available before we read or hear what the law and the prophets say.

Now we know that everything said in the Law is addressed to those who are under its authority, in order that every mouth may be closed, and the whole world become liable to the judgement of God. For ‘no human being will be pronounced righteous before God’ as the result of obedience to Law; for it is Law that shows what sin is.

Romans 3:19-20

Fingerprinted and blinded

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

2 Corinthians 3:7-8

Spotlighting and sighted

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6

The contrary handwriting

So you love the handwriting more than you love God? You do not know what parts of Scripture are hostile, and bring condemnation and death? That’s incredible. You do not know what parts of Scripture are beneficial and bring hope and life? That’s incredible too. No child of God needs to hear “not”, “not”, “not” to stay alive. Who wrote what is no secret and who gets life is not rocket science.

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:14-15

The stone inscribed handwriting gets eclipsed by a person. The Messiah does not turn things over to Moses and the prophets. Yeshua’s face is light, but Moses’ face is a dim ember that points to blindness. Handwriting will never trump atonement.

Whaddya know! Look what you bought!

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 1:9

Buttonholing Capernaum

I suppose that many observers think of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Bethany and Golgotha as the main settings for the Messianic drama. There are however two places that seem to be destiny: Nazareth and Capernaum in Galilee.

And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

Matthew 4:13-16

This was done to connect Messiah with a region where (a) death stalked innocent citizens and (b) the darkness of hatred cemented the barriers of xenophohia.  Our Saviour grew up in Gentile Galilee – the prophecy calls it so, and no one can put down his fond regard for all humans in contrast to the murderous Jerusalem cliques and revengeful people in general.

There were three cities of refuge in the Galilee region. Having come as high priest, the Son of David would have had proper concern for the plight of people in protective custody or facing oppression.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Luke 4:18

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

Matthew 12:18

So when one assumes that nothing good can come out of Nazareth it is a denial of both the darkness and the light. The disturbing trend of denial continues over who the Saviour of the world is and the not so important “which city and which mountain”.

Whose name is in you?

SALVATION is not just an argument we make about human status but the person we need to make life livable.

A Samaritan woman’s testimony

We can pretend that we do not know his name even though it is in the highest place, higher than all blessing and praise (Neh. 9:5), and above every kind of authority.

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Ephesians 1:21

Creative interests adorn the gospel; witness “y’all are a new creation”, not merely new items in the workshop. There is new status available: sons and daughters of God. We each carry a potter’s logo. His name identifies every vessel, every living stone, just as surely as name-glory distinguished Jerusalem, as surely as the name-excellence is everywhere. We are a new world order: a family grounded in God, not Adam.

God made us to be shepherded (Psalm 100:5). How many universes has any human made and how many angelic insurrections have we had to put down and manage?

Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Philippians 2:9

I embrace Peter’s caution about the necessity of “one name unlocking salvation for all humans”. That puts me at odds with all the faiths without malice or anger.

And Salvation is in him alone; for there is no other Name in the whole world, given to men, to which we must look for our Salvation.”

Acts 4:12

I pledged a long time ago, taking a cue from Paul (nothing of interest but the Crucified) to reject any theory that does not have the Son of David as front and centre, and him as A and Z. No one can survive the hypocrisy, thievery and robbery without him. No relief comes without his name.

Violence and Murder Inspiration

As news of another senseless violent incident reaches us we find that reflection on the history of human violence is helpful. Violence had a dramatic effect on the Creator of heaven and earth and a fresh start was his judgment. In the 21st century widespread violence and murder are complicated by the suicide of the perpetrators. There is a graphic illustration of this murder-suicide phenomenon. Judas.

And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

John 13:27

Judas proceeded to finish his deal with certain of the leaders.

Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

John 18:3

And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Matthew 27:5

I am suggesting that suspect #1 in murder-suicides demonic influence, if not demon possession.

Rebuked in Public

I have no idea how many of the politicians in Canada and the United States are regular churchgoers or how many are actually believers in Jesus of Nazareth (believe it or not, he is what church is all about). The spiritual growth rate of believers happens to be the interest of all church members. Correction and discipline are the bedrock of human development and only fools refuse or reject it. The men and women who bring to bear the discipline of the heavenly Father to his sons and daughters may have turned aside from loving God to loving the world, hence the most outrageous behaviours occur with regularity in public by public officials. If these officials are not church elders they all deserve to be rebuked in the weekly church service for their ungodly and wicked speeches and deeds.

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. Heb. 12:5 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Heb. 12:6 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Heb. 12:7 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Heb. 12:8 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? Heb. 12:9

Hebrews 12:5-9

Finding a pastor who knows how to do this is worse than finding a needle in a haystack. To a man, they remain silent and so the bad boys club continues its filthiness unchecked. This is happening in nations that like the label “under God” and “carries the Cross”.

I am not holding my breath for North American pastors to deliver a father’s discipline to the brats of our 21st century reality show. Public statements by public figures properly labelling the departure from loving truth such as those by Mr. Romney are inadequate. The bad boys can pray that their sleeping pastors do not wake up and rebuke them in church. It only takes two of us to pray that this weekend the Father’s discipline will begin to reach public officials in the form of sharp rebukes.

Protest! Contend! Refuse!

I do not like to separate a message from its concrete business. I am deliberately highlighting Roman 12:2 without the context of human bodies – balancing our godward and community obligations – because the connection lends itself to the very thing we need to do but largely ignore. 12:2 may begin like the notable Sinai covenant with its Do not conform, but it rattles a cage we need to protest.

Do not conform to the fashion of this world; but be transformed by the complete change that has come over your minds, so that you may discern what God’s will is–all that is good, acceptable, and perfect.

Romans 12:2

Stop conforming! Cooperating with the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. The world wants us to adopt its wisdom, fashion, and goals, but we are on a different trek. Keep decreasing the readiness to shape our lives by what the world dictates. Knowing that friendship with the world demonstrates the absence of divine Father-love we mount a strong and sustained protest. Knowing that for the rest of our lives there is transformation and renewal we contend vigorously for growth in Christ. Knowing that the world will eventually turn on us we refuse to be turned on by its pretty pictures of shallow success.

Careful! Isaiah has your number

Isaiah is the salvation prophet of Old Testament times and he draws the fire of New Testament times observers who wish he has not asked. “Who believes our report?” is the dreaded question that opens his 53rd chapter. He also exposes the lipservice rendered by people in ancient and New Testament times who reject faith in God as all sufficient. By the time we arrive at the 5th verse – one of the iconic sayings in this passage – we have seen 17 actions defined.

  • verse 1: believe, reveal
  • verse 2: ascend, see, desire
  • verse 3: despise, be familiar, despise, esteem
  • verse 4: lift, carry, esteem, plague, smite, afflict
  • verse 5: pierce, bruise, heal

What we can learn from this small observation is that 7 of these actions are human and none of them are honourable, not even our seeing him, which does not end in desire for him.

Brother Ben

Ben Carson on What is a Bad Racist
Is there an intelligent nuance to “not too bad sinner”? How does any literate person define racism if not by what a person says and does?
Ben Carson, a sometimes departed Christian, a man whose defence of African liberation is a feather in the wind, a cowardly activist for the poor, has failed to bring the fire of his medical expertise to the political arena. If he still names Christ as Lord and Saviour-God there remains much room for growth, at least a small sign of maturing.

The dives into political power with a religious mask, in Judaism, Islam, or Hinduism, are a catastrophic error. Caesar and Christ do not become genuine partners.

A Palm Sunday Royal Ode

The panels in the prophecy highlight

the end of power for Ephraim; his chariot and his bow will be cut off

the Gentile mission. The Lord will speak to the Gentiles

the great eternal covenant, which sets people free from waterless wells

This helps me understand the developments of Passion Week.

Hosannah to David’s Son

We found a white what?

Hole.  Abode.  House.       Home. Den. Lair.

Since “Fox” is perfectly at home 1600 should be officially recognized as a desolation.

Because of Mount Zion which lies desolate, Foxes prowl in it.

Lamentations 5:18

The White House changes people. You never come out the same.

There are few living or working spaces more dangerous than the executive mansion of the US government.

“Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom.”

Song of Solomon 2:15
Black House Hole (ESA)

The White House

  • is not white at all
  • is black
  • turns boys into men
  • grants doctorates in heresy (remember Spicer, Sessions, Huckabee, Flynn, Mulvaney?)
  • turns criminal intent into royal abuse
  • is a nincompoop downgrader
  • A blind for destructive behavior
  • A fox hole home
  • is not a house but a portal to fame and infamy
Honourable no more: $hithole

“Elijah Cummings was honorable before he was elected to office. There’s a difference. There’s a difference if you are honorable and treated others honorably outside the limelight,” …

President Obama at the Cummings funeral (from ABC News).

Tell all the foxes

Herod was a building freak. The 46 year temple project lay in ruins by the 7th decade of the first century. He managed to get his name on Solomon’s construction. He was no builder, just a destructive, homicidal megalomaniac. A fox.

The fame of foxes

31) Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, “Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You.” 32) And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’

Luke 13:31-32

The Face of Deceit

When a mosquito bites… When a bee stings… When a dog bites… When people lie to us…When a mutated virus is killing people…

Why all the megalomania and gee whiz optics?

“We do not know what we have here” is what the scientists are saying, nevermind the frantic search for solutions. Wait until a genuine Biblical plague comes down the pike! Forget the magic and optimism. Just tell us the truth.

Humans tend to have a consistent response to mosquito bites, dog bites, lies, but covid-19 has shown us the face of deceit, from the White House, governments across the globe and delusional religious leaders. Coronavirus is going away but not like a miracle and the pandemic was not totally under control two weeks ago. Please God, help me plug my ears from hearing one more syllable from the shameless bigot king potus45.

The Bottom 10 Covid19-affected States

Timor-Leste
Papua New Guinea
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Sierra Leone
Caribbean Netherlands
Burundi
Anguilla
Central African Republic
British Virgin Islands
Belize

Is there a pattern in there?

Plague or Preparation for the Desolation?

I suppose that the coronavirus mutated to seek out the neighbour-killers of the planet. These nations have no global imperial design, no navy, no cutting edge technological distinction, and no nuclear weapons. If the pandemic is not a sign of the end of days human ingenuity will prevail and fearmongering is way out of line.

The plagues are not subject to cries for their cessation. I can just hear someone who has an opinion about the pandemic saying “Let us pray” then decreeing it away.

No-Cross Chaos

The devil has succeeded in counterfeiting the seal of God, the love of God, the work, and the word of God. Every where we look we see the signs or substitute and idols. Even the cross, the means of atonement, has become a hub for twisted views and raw idolatry.

The cross of Christ is not an add-on like the clause “in Jesus’ name “. A lot of Christians are trying to receive the Bible’s riches without the cross. Nothing in the Bible smells good without the Nazarene. In our quest for personal integrity we line up things which are neither original, redemptive, nor unending.

  • Seal: the Holy Spirit or one command?
  • Assurance of salvation: obedience or Holy Spirit indwelling?
  • Love: obedience or caring for people?

Middle class, upper class ministry

Covetousness and carnal desires guide positive thinking, and none of the greater (or great) things promised by people preaching victory and abundance even come close to the gift of the Holy Spirit. By carnal desires we do not mean bodily interests but those desires that belong to the human and temporary experience. Crossless preaching is worse than looking for an accusation against Christ.

One has to violate one’s conscience to put distance between one’s beliefs and one’s practice. Whether the interest is food, drink, festivals, family or ancestral practices, chaos and emptiness follow the abandonment of Messianic atonement for sin. There is no truth that compares to “came into the world to save sinners“; not circumcision, not tireless labour, and not promises to try to be faithful. Faith establishes faithfulness, and none of the situations in which we find ourselves makes us victims. In the midst of all our chaotic situations we are assured of God’s peace and love.

The Godly Man

Admittedly the goal of human life is an approach to realizing a likeness to God. In the Old Testament the focus seems to be on man’s compliance with divine commands (Ecc. 12:13) and covenant-keeping (Exo 19:5 and Gen 17:10). Examples of godliness have appeared that are not related to either commandments or covenant. The happiness that comes from being forgiven is a measure of godliness, just as the happiness of the peacemaker is a measure of godly status.
Commandment-keeping and covenant (such as circumcision) have not surfaced as reliable or effective means to achieve godliness, the first due to human brokenness and the latter due to its purely physical nature. A new standard must be available since the call to holiness is to be found on both Testaments especially in view of the claims of Christ to be the Way, Truth and Life and his provision of a way past the essential obstacle between man and God. With the atonement Christ proved that godliness could only be achieved through divine help. Godliness must therefore be redefined as possessing characteristics that belong to God and not merely as claiming to have responded to Him.

The Godly Individual
The term man of God is to be applied to all believers because of their adoption into God’s family. Such persons have qualities that separate them from unregenerate humans. They are first of all faithful. They are all flawed persons. They recognize that Christ as the template for human beings is in certain aspects separate from human beings. When they contemplate their path to God’s ideal they are aware of an infinite gap between Creator and creature.

How Much Like Christ?
Christ does not hold forth a family likeness other than identity since all notions of human performance can never approach Christ’s. Since compliance with covenant has changed and obedience to the Law is no longer the primary demand we turn to the two demands of the scriptures: be and do.
The call for a change of identity rests on a divine act. Unlike Israelite process of becoming God’s people through complete compliance with the law humans become godly by God’s will and graceful intervention. No-one can stand before God and claim to be His child on the basis of obedience to any set of regulations or instructions. On the contrary humans become children of God by means of faith alone.
We can never be God-from-God, saviour of the world, sinless sacrifice, and head of the church.
Do as I say and Do as I do
Since men cannot claim to have done all what has required from earliest times it is left only for us to find our likeness to God in (1) cherishing our identity as sons and (2) imitating the Son of God. Instead of an unreliazable set of commands two things bring us to genuine godliness: faith in the Son of God and loving as He loved us.

The Holy Spirit fully empowers us to do what Christ did: deeds of love, compassion, and power. Herein lies the most secure version of godliness. Performance of legal requirements is bound to be broken and incomplete at some point.
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