Notre Dame scholastic deep dive

If American jurisprudence seems torn between the hard cold evidence in an eighteenth century text and a sensitive development of legislation the nomination of a judge to the supreme court with a specific set of expectations then a deep dive into injustice and tyranny is in the making.

Law, like gospel, has no partisan streak

It is more than strange that lawyers know less about the recent American constitution than they do about the text of the Greek New Testament. They cannot agree.  Greek does not  lend itself to personal interpretation.  It gets weirder when we realize that pastors claim to know more about the American constitution than they do about the text of the Greek New Testament, not because they know 18th century American English so well.

The open hostility between religion and American politics can never be erased.  The constitution cannot be at the same time a living document- capable of growing and becoming more focused – and dead fixed standard.

Fools rush in to believe that lawyers do not know for sure what the law says and justice gets delayed.

Individual responsibility has traditionally melted into the background.  As the record of both conscience and protest has shown revolutionary vision cannot be in bed with tradition.  One might be convinced that the best revolutionary or protest stance is to flee as the Pilgrim Fathers of the United States did, but failing to include the right to free speech and the right to bear arms only shows that these were not priorities to the founding fathers.

The bridge between commander in chief and his troops is a broken roadway: the people he calls Christian allies and the fallen soldiers he calls losers are one and the same.

The distance between an independent judge and the president does not exist

All the American English grammar in the world has made interpretation of the 18th century constitution neither easier nor accurate. One has to be a raving lunatic or seriously brainwashed to believe that the current chaos of disparate Christian beliefs is not the direct result of pastors neglecting our original documents. I do not exaggerate. The distance between the apostles and the modern expositor remains as long as dishonest men and women are satisfied with labels such as conservative, liberal, leftist, and right-wing. The fact of corrupt incompetence among lawyers and religious leaders is not without precedent, and their collusion to oppress the poor is out in the open.

Precedent on the precipice

Isaiah 29:10

For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.

It surely looks noble to say that the supreme court has judges interpretating law and judges making law, but the facts are that neither side should have any difficulty discovering the intent of the writers of constitution (or ite amendments). Sadly, the church has way too many bogus scholars with megaphones, who do not even agree that our safeguard is the original text of our documents, and way too many scholars who are great at producing lists of what the quality life looks like, but who neglect the original and settle for peer commentary.

Isaiah 29:11, Literate Precedent

The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”

Isaiah 29:12, Illiterate Precedent

Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”

Isaiah 29:13, Repetitive Spin and Hype

Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,

That’s not a leader

His mouth opens and out comes tumbling the signals to the vile and violent.  It is a bad enough idea to propose that one man should die – executed by the state- in order to save the nation from destruction, but it is not helpful to give the impression that any such utterance is the result of orthodox doctrine.   If by virtue of his office one does utter things that are utterly reliable  we should not lose sight of the record of massive loss of life at the hands of both domestic and foreign actors. Since we have seen the value of a single life listed as both animal cheap and God expensive it makes little sense for a leader to have any qualms about quashing the voice of protest which typically amounts to a few dozens or not more than a couple hundred.

  Protest is what protestants do.  Should not the followers of Moses and George Washington expect to find revolutionary trails in the leader’s guidance?

Speaking evil of anyone is devilish except where the evil is accurate but you will not find me standing up, saluting, nodding my head, when the high priest or the head of state is a charlatan megalomaniac, such as potus45 and any of his featherweight children

Provoke us not name you


Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?”

Acts 23:3

The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike [Paul] on the mouth. Acts 23:2. God will strike the leader who plays strongman by urging violence on Black people, peaceful protesters and homeless Palestinians, and makes deals with xenophobic and misogynist Islamic states. That is not leadership: it is scavenging in support of insurance for sycophants.

Sons of potus45

The bigot in the White House has many sons (I wonder how many daughters!) who swear there is no such thing as a virus pandemic killing people in the hundreds of thousands. All those Christians and their leaders who see a winner in the Republican party’s platform are tree waiting for the axe to fall.

Leading from the shadows

The threat is not death. Death valley is in every continent and island and God is in every death valley. The shadows created by created beings confuse, deceive, and enslave. Does anyone remember “there were no millions of Jewish lives lost in the holocaust in Europe”? Aren’t the shadows telling us now that only sick people die from covid-19? Do not those shadows even now tell us that up is down, that law is grace, and America is a righteous empire. I suppose the tribes of Israel did to make the point sufficiently clear.

After thousands of years of gathering to the sacred tent (or temple) for guidance and atonement the leadership disowned God. They said that the Roman emperor was their only king (basileus, king, βασιλευς, melek in Hebrew, מלך).

Even if America, or any other state, religious or cultural jurisdiction has dozens of streaks of divine instruction in its policymaking God does not hide his disgust with lies, with the oppression of widows and orphans, with the discrimination against what people eat, drink, or wear. His rebuke, censure and chastisement are equally out in the open; quite clear.

Who’s the boss, who’s your dad?

Politicians and preachers seem to have found bargain basement prices on mind transplant operations. They are spouting the same drivel about life and liberty without the only Saviour as the source.

When you look at…

Why do people think that saying the words on the page or screen is reading?  Maybe you think that saying popular and trending words improve your learning or appearance of being informed.  To make a point people will say “when you look at…” and the poor audience, without access to the mentioned source, is left without a path to a conclusion.  There are far too many people who say “When you look at” when they may not have seen the source and worse, stoking the flames of rank rejection of revelation.

THINGS REVEALED = THE TEXTS

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy 29:29

Looking elsewhere is hazardous

Discrimination turned towards understanding

If you want to pretend that the reliable source of divine revelation is a seventeenth century translation of the Bible you are looking at … with glazed eyes.  I know hundreds of people who stand as clergy who think that competence to teach culminates with the gift of gab.  If you can talk you can teach.

The trashing of intellect

When I was a child I thought that English grammar was great, but French and Latin were way more interesting.  They had rules.  When I discovered that meaning was latent in the actual words of the Bible and that what the writer intended was often not produced in the popular translations a whole new world opened up for me.  Translations are still great for public reading, but the only way to be certain of getting past “looking at…” is to look into the written words in their original languages.  Anything else is likely to land you in the ditch with the blind leaders.

Slander the educated and idolize the ignorant

You have bought a good study Bible and you imagine that the insights you have gained from it arise from the witers’ survey of the offerings in the marketplace. That may be true of some but the average study Bible or commentary is created with the original languages as the source. It still amuses me to hear a gospel minister bragging about his low level of formal education. Whatever happened to the quest for excellence?

Let us not fool ourselves with the thought that we can repeat with any confidence the things said by Yeshua’s contemporaries.

Who knew? Who understood?

Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?

Mark 12:24

The Spirit will not give you things you can find for yourself. You can learn what to do from day to day but you cannot teach without learning. If you are not a sluggard there is a chance you can still display some nobility by selling a few things and buying the relevant tools so you do not depend on a semi-literate minister’s interpretation of a comment on a comment.

When you look into the facts intending to be guided by them you do not end up suggesting that people follow your application of your discoveries apart from the latent meaning in the words and their unique values as they appear.

What-aboutism

At some point all the opinions we have about what God’s will is are going to be tested by what was actually written. Think about that and challenge yourself to be God’s child, longing for the least watered-down milk from Christ himself.

Unadulterated Nutrition

like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

1 Peter 2:2

Pompeo’s viral moment

In that “Old City”, the visual backdrop for the American Secretary of State’s political convention contribution, the state of Israel continues a criminal and sinful campaign to rid Zion of its citizens. That old city is where David built a tent for the ark; it is the place where holiness precluded the residence of an Egyptian princess.  It is a crime against humanity for Zion not to have Egyptians,  Babylonians,  Philistines, Tyrians (Lebanese) and Ethiopians and an abuse of privilege for the American Secretary of State to use David’s City as a backdrop.

Contemptible, despicable, and evil

Neither Israel with all its Torah soaked patriots nor the United States with its evangelical parrots can escape the zeal of the Lord of the armies. Neither technology nor psychology nor extreme prosecutions in the toolbox of these two these prostituting twins can avert the darkness than is about to descend on their unsuspecting citizens.

They are not watching the ball. They are stuck in traffic watching a broadcast about a traffic jam in their immediate vicinity. Pompeo has turned out to be a vacuous sycophant, enjoying the grandiosity of any viral moment, while he has nothing to say about the criminal enterprise that has been in the daylight since Ornan sold David the threshingfloor and since the pilgrims pretended to have been given the land of the First Nations of Turtle Island.

CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE IN ZION

4) “I shall mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know Me; Behold, Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia: ‘This one was born there.’” 5) But of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; And the Most High Himself will establish her.

Psalms 87:4-5

Criminal enterprise is written all over the evangelical fornication with politics

The potus-stopping buck: facts

Cold and robotic hearts in the United States are crawling out of their freezers to perform their civic duty later this year. Among the slowly moulting 33% are the TV commentators who support the cruel criminal enterprise that potus45 heads up. The media figleaf that gave the gloating bigot in the White House a reality tv legitimacy is shrinking and what is left of it can be seen in the scarce Republican party members who can avoid conspiracy theories and false narratives.

God’s Way Neglected

It is much more than merely surprising that there are people who say that God’s plan for the world is the same as the plan for Israel. The gospel is not an item in the marketplace with versions for everyone with an idea or a set preferences. We, 2000 years after God took the lid off the world’s salvation, have to consider that if Judah, with its many detailed instructions, had a problem changing its mind, then the Gentile world crosses the river of repentance much more easily.

Mark 7:7-13

7) But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. 8) Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” (Compare Isaiah 29:13)

9) He also kept saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition”.

FOR EXAMPLE

10) For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; 11. but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ 12) you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; 13) thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”

Mark 7

Signs and goodness

Alas, even when the Lord puts his miracles of kindness on full display to both Jew and Gentile people stuck to what their ancestors passed down. Our Lord’s evaluation of several Judean cities (including his chosen hometown) should shake us awake to the dangers of holding up any tradition as contributions to the kingdom way. All the prophets and the law do defer to the Incarnate Word (Acts 3)

EVERYTHING HE SAYS.
22) Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. 23) And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’

Acts 3

Repentance and Miracles in the Gospel

PRIVILEGED AND RESISTANT COMMUNITIES

20) Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21) “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22) Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23) And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.

Matthew 11

Performance and accountability

Finally, we cannot embrace Yeshua as the Way and at the same time lay hold of other ways, especially a ton of them, with a straight face. There is only one “way” to the Father, not a multitude of ways. Human pride keeps insisting on bringing a wide variety of performance and accountability issues to the table, but those issues are all filthy rags, to use a popular and prophetic description. Separating the divine from the human is essential both for our access to the kingdom and our enjoyment of elect privileges.

The God who needs no evidence

Trials and temptations (testing) are common passages of life. God tested Abraham (Gn. 22:1), the Hebrew people as they journeyed towards Canaan (Exo. 15:25, 16:4, 20:20, Deut. 8:2, 16, 9:22). The propets and the dreamer of dreams is a means of testing the people (Deut. 13:3). The Canaanites left in the land after Israel’s entry was a means of gtesting the people (Judges 2:22, 3:1-4). The people tested God in a manifest departure from His will as recorded in Deuteronomy 6:16 over and over (Exo. 17:2, ). Numbers 14:22 reports that there were ten occasions of the descendants of Jacob putting God to the test. It seems a bit Satanic to request a miracle to prove that anything (see the testing of Jesus in Matthew 4). The cross, all by itself, is the evidence of God’s plan and ongoing and complete care for humanity, affirming that God, having done that amazing thing for us, assures us of all his other gracious provisions, and therefore neither He nor we needs any evidence.

God, who knows the hearts of all men, gives the Holy Spirit to those who trust their eternal destiny and the removal of their debts to God’s Son. We have no right and no ability to investigate the progress of a person’s development as child of God. We owe others nothing but to love – care for – them. The giving of the Holy Spirit is final. It is a down-payment for what is to come, namely our glorification. God commits himself to finish what he started. We believers are not exposed to what men have to say about us when we step away from the crowd to believe what God has done. God speaks with authority: that person is Mine. All the king’s horses and men cannot undo that eternal choice. God needs no evidence and does not ask us to go around asking people to show them our faith.

Consider that God is able to keep the thing we have – at His instigation (Philippians 4:13) entrusted to him, from now until the day of Christ’s appearing. You may have a terrorist for pastor/bishop, someone who stirs up a poison pot of fear that the saved are switchcing back and forth from the kingdom of darkness to the the kingdom of light. This pastoral or laity attitude comes from sin-tracking ministry, often not their own, evidently based on the levitical system, not the cross.

We have no reason, in the light of the Holy Spirit’s presence and mission, to pray like David. God knows us and we know him. We do not need anyone urging us “Get to know the Lord”.

​Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.

Ps. 26:2 (ESV2011)

Complicit in and committed to bloodshed

Do you still think a nation’s greatness depends on

  • Its police services
  • Its legislation
  • Its economic growth?

And when all of you spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when all of you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

This is not an idle threat.  This kind of behaviour from people whon God has put his finger on is absolutely unacceptable, land there will be consequences.



3) “An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand.” 4) Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the Lord, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him.

Isaiah 1:3-4

This is not only about leaders (who would have taken the lead in these outrages).  Psalms 106:38 reports that they shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan.  The result: the land was polluted with blood.  If we think back to polluted land/earth in early history, we find innocent “blood ” crying out to God for justice.  We see there too the penalty attached to killing innocent people.

Genesis 4:10

He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.

God cancels the harvest

Genesis 4:11-12a

11) Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12) When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you;

What a hurricane, a fire, or a good downpour cannot do the insects will. Shutting down anything on this planet requires no gigantic upheaval. One lightning strike without a sound or rain can cripple the mighty. The foolish and the proud should pay attention. I am sure that the prayers on God’s priority list are the pleas for justice and the confessions of bigots and silent legislators.

The Republican administration, the Likud government, the evangelical front, and the media manipulators that arevworking to put a vile and corrupt regimes in power need to step up now. The clock is ticking towards a confession or a blackness and gloom the racists or even Old Snake himself could imagine.

Even as the nations watch America tries to come to grips with the murder of an unarmed and handcuffed Black man the police are still brutalizing innocent people in plain sight. 45’s banana republic is here. America is a sinful nation, worse than the ox and the donkey. Let the conversation continue in Congress about the acknowledged crimson and scarlet with a goal for a makeover. The great constitution is useless trash when justice and truth are in demand. Remember the perfect phone call and the firing of people who do their public service jobs well. Justice makes no deals. The Congress will be complicit.

Jeremiah would weep an ocean

The most serious interventions in most churches are no intervention at all.  We have heard the mighty rants against sin in the church and sin in the world.  Have we heard so much as a peep about sin carried through the heavens into the highest and holiest?   Or course not.  The priority, when the believer’s purity is the issue, is not God’s great gift of his Son but some gimmick for ensnaring an unsuspecting believer into the latest scam or paying homage to human ingenuity.  It is a case for weeping, because healed people cling to their fatal diagnosis and saved people cannot seem to get past their condemnation. Jeremiah would weep and pray for his reservoirs of his tears to pour if he heard you saying the saved are not saved.

Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise.

Jeremiah 17:14

The healed are healed and the saved are saved

We do not have to go too far into anyone’s basement to discover that what they say about the great salvation is not what they believe. We find people creating jobs for Yeshua which he resolutely denounces. We find people turning the liberator into a prison warden. Jeremiah would weep a lot.

God’s people should be what God has made them. Shouldn’t the recipients of grace have God’s gift without the neighbours chiming to devalue them and make God look bad?

Here is how the subtle outrages typically begin.

  • The saved are not saved until they…
  • The healed are not healthy unless they…
  • The child of God has eternal life but only if…

It really must be troubling to the Saviour to see how his work is hijacked by people who have courage only to drown themselves in their freedom-killing cover stories, their hypocritical lies, and demonic-sourced doctrines.

1) Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2) Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 3) And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth on the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, said the LORD.

Jeremiah 9:1-3

Why Lie About It?

our parents insisted that we tell the truth when a misbehaviour is under investigation and we should do so even when we know that someone is going to have to give account. I hope yours did too, because right now, AD 2020, is a bad time to flirt with lies of any kind, and we find Church and state frequently in collusiion with known lies and misdirection.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John. 8:12

The opportunity to separate oneself from lying rhetoric seems to have come to Yeshua’s contemporaries after Yeshua announced that He was the world’s light. If he was the world’s light what were the sacred texts, the temple services, the priesthood and the Davidide monarchy? An examination of these staples in Jewish life were opportunities to not lie any more about history.

This saying – John 8:12 – was like salt in the wound, intended to heal, but the sting was volatile. It set off the bells about the self-talk that had guided the thinking of Yeshua’s contemporaries and many generations before and since. There was a great deal of stumbling in Israelite history and the darkness was never obscure. Sinai’s darkness, the cycle of subjugation duing the Judges era, the subsequent bad kings and exile made the Isaiah prediction of the land that walked in darkness seeing a great light an all the more attractive incentive to tell the truth.

The response to Yeshua’s testimony kept trying to separate him from God, while Yeshua did not even have to try: he naturally imitated God – his father. The work on the Sabbath (John 5:17), the healing of the sick (frequently), and the forgiveness of sin ( Matt. 9:2, Matt. 9:5, Mark. 2:5, Mark. 3:28, Luke. 5:20, Luke. 7:47, Luke. 7:48) were evidence that needed no explanation or debate. When did Satan ever open blind eyes or shone light into dark places? Never!

Being unable to separate Yeshua from what they knew to be God’s goodness they resorted to technicalities such (a) as a man canot be God, and (b) the need for two or three witness to establish a matter. We can overlook the “God cannot be man” argument by referring to the creation of mankind in God’s image. The question of witness was truly moot.

Yeshua was doing, in the first place, what the Father does and what people wanted the Father to do. Secondly, it is ridiculous for anyone to think that God was allowing someone to do work that was exclusively his. Did not God stop the Egyptian magicians immediately when they tried to duplicate the transformation of Moses’ rod into a serpent? Thirdly, which human could say he or she knows anything about the Father’s person? None. Only God knows God.

But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. Heb. 1:8,

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John. 1:17, No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. John. 1:18,

John 1:17-18

When it come to grace one lie ruins everything.

How dreadful a fate it is to hear from the One who holds the keys “You will die in your sin”! That is about as horrendous and alarming as a situation can be.

They knew neither Yeshua nor God, and Isaiah predicted (6:10) no path to conversion for the masses (confirmed in Matthew 13:15). They kept substituting their views and rhetoric in order to short circuit Yeshua’s message. Do not do this!

So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.”

John. 8:21

Redemption out of dire circumstances

Ruth 4:22

And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

The conclusion of Ruth’s story (4:22) might leave some people wondering, a huge “So!” filling the thoughtscape. A famine brings a Jewish family to Moab, a land that was no friend of the seed of Isaac and Jacob. Emigration seems to mark every important development towards the unveiling of global salvation. Some of us can pretend we do not see how abominable a racist and homicidal immigration policy is and always was, there is a malingering nod to dire circumstances that open up our most treasured encounters.

Ventilators for the dying

Ruth’s story belongs with the Joseph legacy. We remember that a hated teenager was forced into a new land and from there became the instrument of keeping the Jacob-Israel clan alive, and kept the promise of land and national identity on everyone’s mind. Ruth is no patriarch. She is a matriarch of unparalleled majesty. She left Israel to bring back the woman and the womb that God wanted to separate a household for Christ to be born.

A resurrection is in the mix

Ruth 4:5
Property:
Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

Ruth 4:10
Marriage
Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.

Stance for this circumstance

In our 2020 first quarter circumstance we see homicide-by-virus bringing the planet to a new level of terror and interpersonal abuse. Fear has been the preferred tool of people carving out religious and politics space for superiority. Our love, that supreme gift, will not allow us to take a dive into the animalistic pools where everything despicable seems to collect. Let us avoid the rumours of war and peace. When the most disturbing events in the time of unprecedented trouble begin to occur we stand resolute on the promise of redemption. Catch up with David’s son!

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 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?

Jonestown Massacre in Plain Sight

If your pastor tells you what to believe, where to get your knowledge and how to live your life you might think he loves you and wanted you to be safe, but you would be at the mercy of a charlatan who wants your worship.  When Jim Jones led hundreds from their homes in the United States to their death in a distant jungle the truth about American Christianity popped into view as a Jonestown massacre.

The power of faith is not mediocrity

What are we up to when we do not believe the science of faith (religion), the data of climate, of finance, of  economy and of civic society? Necromancy and prostitution. Most of  the people I would like to call colleagues are zombies under the spell of the corrupt GOP and the criminal and unrepentant neo-Nazis in the government.  The power of faith makes us see through the darkness and it does not provide a string of miracles for conditions for which we have handy and well known remedies.

Deceit will not furnish my home

How many of us actually have a human being who

  • What you see is not happening
  • What I tell you is the truth
  • Scientific information is useless because it exposes
  • Democratic government cannot make (any) law
  • Discussion only needs humour, no rules

Seeing is believing!  Some things are cut and dried.  No debate is needed to settle facts.  Discussion does not turn a conman – like potus45 –  into a principled leader. If anyone thinks that it is possible to find a Bible saying to justify the evils of misogyny, let us urge them to THINK AGAIN!  The conflict between Israel and her neighbours are a stark warning against dividing society into us and them, Jew and Gentile, Black and White, Muslim and infidel, sinner and saint, because human instincts for justice and salvation are not helpful for God’s purposes. The traditional Islamic,  Jewish, Christian, and  political treatment of these issues

The latest nominations to the Supreme Court in the United States are part of the massacre.  Are people supposed to believe that SCOTUS is hogtied to mere interpretation of the 2 centuries old constitution, that new law is not their duty?  If Notre Dame scholastic excellence does not accept new law and claims to need original documents for its interpretation of the gospel it dare not call itself Roman Catholic when the pope makes  binding law as easily as the Congress.

Unquestionable Cowardice Witnessed from the 1970s to 2020

American preachers have packed up the gospel in their corruption bag of laws and economic slavery.   They ask for tithe as if they do not know who the high priest is.  They bypass the fountain of decency and precision in order to pursue their conspiracy theories and their idolatrous traditions of judges and peace officers attempting to align themselves with the love of God.  Even with their vigorous campaigns in print, audio, and video there has been –  practically – a deafening silence from American religious leaders for almost a century.

Patriotism and discrimination were Nazism’s distinguishing marks, and that exposes why both Hitler and the Jewish movement towards nationalism have failed.  American religious leaders have seemed unaware of the idolatry in making a test of God and country: a test which to this day avoids recognizing one’s neighbour as the country and the God as specifically Christ the Son of God, or Allah, or Adonai ( Yhwh).

The least racist person in the Third Reich

The least racist person in the Third Reich would hang in Israel if we caught him. It is too bad that Likud does not recognize the reich in potus45.

Trash talking chief

I promise
to release my taxes
I want to release my taxes

In the land where no-one is above

The land of the free has a severe challenge producing men and women who are genuinely free and the gatekeepers pretend not to know what impartial justice, diversity, and religion look like. If you were a criminal head of state who gets a pass because law enforcement have their hands temporarily tied by policy what would you be proud of?

The least racist person in the Third Reich is a racist

Diligently seeking

Thus says God!
My word (my message and my will)  is now incarnate and remains uncreated.

It is pure self-deception to think that we have found the God of Salvation because we searched diligently.  Moses told his people that neither climbing up into high things nor diving into the depths will bring about the produce of faithfulness. (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).  Events in history or predictions are easy to find by searching, but salvation and holiness are not.

Still people keep alive the illusion that law is going to be the solution for the human problem, chiefly those depending on simple, easy, cheap, and quick solutions. We can see how important to GOD it was that the solution be neither simple, easy, cheap, nor quick because of the following.

  • The time it took from creation to unveil
  • Seating the solution in his own person
  • The impossibility of humanity having a guiding hand or genius in designing or defining the discovery

Disguising the deposit

In that light we see how childish and foolish our leaders have been for looking for the same things as the people of old. We cannot provide a single reason for thinking concretely of creation, life, death, promise and happiness with the same slideshow as the ancients did. Palestine cannot possibly hold the saved of all ages, so the eternal home is necessarily larger. None of the nations can be expected to take the law seriously about building a sacred tent and having a place for annual festivals and daily offerings.

Shattered dream

The idea that the Bible has a word for every situation runs into considerable trouble.   One can seek for God with all one’s heart and be certainly not rewarded with what they are looking for, as the saying from the Gospels (John 7:32-34) reveals.

Some will seek and not find

32) The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. 33) Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 34) You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

John 7:32-34

The foolish son will also be disappointed

“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,

Proverbs 1:28

Noah was not looking for grace and neither was any of the millions whom the the Father has saved. There is no credit for recognizing God’s grace and if you think that you do get credit for finding grace that would explain why so many are faking obedience instead of doing God’s work of believing on His Son.

There’s no life in the law

All of the discoveries that are connected to the tabernacle (the ark, the priesthood, and the service routines) wind up delivering false hopes.

Looking for death after rejecting life

And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

Revelation of John 9:6

Blind if God does not unveil

Isaiah 65:1-2

1) “I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ To a nation which did not call on My name. 2) “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,

Isaiah 65:1-2

I know that there are hundreds of “thus say Yahweh” sayings in the writings of people who do not know Him and there are hundreds of commands from Christ and his disciples which stand when all the others crash and burn. The one about women’s inheritance rights should suffice to show how little we appreciate God’s revelation of himself.

Did he or didn’t he?

No condemnation in Christ

No condemnation from Christ

No condemnation according to Christ

Two things Christ came to do that people reject

  1. Render Satan powerless (Greek, destroy the one having the power of death)
  2. Free the fearful

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,  Hebrews 2:14

and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:15

Many do not have a clear answer.

Did he or didn’t he?

A deserved duping out in the open

It is cold comfort that sone American justices want us to believe that they only interpret and apply the law as it is written.  The most recent nominee to the Supreme Court asserts that (a)  the law must be interpreted according to the intentions of the founders and (b) there are problems that law cannot solve. 

Problems that current law does not address are problems that can be solved by new amendments.  Otherwise one is left with criminal conduct above or outside the law.

The two assertions show just how idolatrous the American justice system has become.  Every body of legislation is open to amendment.   The USA constitution was deemed to have missed important rights and over the two centuries of its existence there have been 27 amendments.

Interpreting as written

We are not so daft as to think that people do not keep seeing themselves as outside the law or abovs the law, but our eyes do not fool us.  Neither 18th century English nor 1st century Greek is out of reach.   We are being duped into rationalizing the oppression of having multiple jobs and being unable to nake ends meet, and the inequality of second class citizenship for Black and brown people.

Even the great Mosaic law was found lacking the justice of equality and the case was made by women for women’s inheritance rights. 

We believers understand the need to treat the gospel as an unchangeable message and our best approach is to master the language of the document.   This is hardly rocket science for either English of the 18th century or Greek of the 1st century.  It is shameful that both preachers and lawyers fall short of becoming reliable witnesses because they respectively reject the idea that original languages open the door to accurate information and reject the idea that law can change.

If American English of the 18th century has difficulty bringing the wealth of its standards to the lighf of day the prospect of 1st century Greek bringing its riches to the church is quite improbable.

Faith needs neither electoral nor academic handles

A culture of denial is behind the curtains of both our dilemmas and our valiant struggles, and the people tasked with ensuring transparency and accountability keep hoping for miracles instead of using their considerable intellect to work on respectable solutions.  It is good that people are amazed at the handles recommended but fogging up the screen of the common goal of participating in God’s kingdom and picking the wrong tools for the several problems  needs neither electoral or academic handles.

When the rabbi from Nazareth burst onto the scene in the third decade of his life he did not say “Money makes the world go round”; that would have made Solomon proud. He was not even a rabbi; they had no idea where he acquired his cutting edge grasp of the law and the nation’s destiny.  Money or law as the world turners are respectively economist and Israelite views.  No historical, economic or theological review can draw an ownership circle around either view or the practice that belongs.

An early sign that the core teachings of Judaism were not being reflected in civic life was the encounter between a young Yeshua and a later sign was Yeshua’s assault on temple corruption.

Young Yeshua interacts with temple officials

46) Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47) And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

Luke 2:46-47

John 2:14-16 shows Messiah taking ownership of the temple

14) And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15) And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16) and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

Check your teacher

What school, what grades?

The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?”

John 7:15

Judeo-Christian footwork leaves no question

Mishnah – Sayings of ths Fathers

It should not be surprising to discover that Israeli governments, though named after legal parties, are usually formed  through alliances between tiny religious factions, in violation of rabbinic wisdom.

It is no secret that a host of Christian (church and para church) leaders are woefully biased towards tradition and away from active public service and accurate interpretation of the matters at hand.  It matters little where one gets trained or educated, but it matters absolutely that one soberly does ones work conscientiously at ones level of competence.

People espousing political views, Jew or Gentile, as if those views have a heavenly stamp, and following the hype and spin of partisan politics, trying to make spiritual hay of civic grass,  are deemed to be on dangerous ground.  The experts in New Testament times – the priests and the scribes –  sold out their responsibilities to personal enrichment and fables.  Our experts – the pastors, divinity and theology teachers – can be expected to include some intelligent servants, people with questionable academic credentials, fullblown rascals, and  a few whose  priorities and practices have tenuous connections to the established facts of faith in God.

The secret and sacred vote

Even though one’s contribution to discussions and the public appearance of participation gives away what one supports or rejects the individual’s vote remains secret.  We discover that many debates are the seed bed of conflict and open hostility.  Political discussions are like religious debates: they take you to places you never thought you’d want to be.

Scholar and the student

Isaiah 29:11-13

11) The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12) Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.” 13) Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote…

From the vaults of the logical latrine

Some people, having neglected to count the cost of their discipleship, find themselves at the shrimp level of the food chain, all the while publishing their resume as scholars, experts and teachers. It is easy to spot the shrimp: they read English haltingly, they major in practically all the cliches of popular Christianity and they use history and logic to add precision to their interpretation of the gospel.

Self and others
How well do you take care of yourself?

COUNTING THE COST

28. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29. Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30. saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Luke 14:28-30

They seem, in most cases, to have missed the lesson about Scripture having no vulnerability to individual opinions.   What we say about Scripture is of no consequence compared to our saying accurately what the Scriptures mean.  Apparently people are still excited about hearing what the Bible says even when the meaning is still a mystery.

It is pure ignorance that keeps a person believing that violation of the Law (Pentateuch and Sinai Covenant in particular and the whole Bible in general)

It was through a hungry, thirsty and dying man and an empty God that God addressed the world’s salvation.

If violation of law was what put Adam in debt we should expect Johm 3:16 to be interpreted as “… whoever keeps the law may not perish but have eternal life”.  We should also expect the access to be proclaimed as judgment, hardball, and conviction not grace,  mercy,  and peace.

Instead of grace and peace we have law and torment dressed up as sensible arguments such as this image (below).  Instead of following the example of Christ in putting the interests of others first people take up this so-called reasonable path of loving oneself first.