Things Unchangeable You Bought

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

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

Isaiah 45:22

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

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

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

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

Romans 3:19-20

Fingerprinted and blinded

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

2 Corinthians 3:7-8

Spotlighting and sighted

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

2 Corinthians 4:6

The contrary handwriting

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

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

Colossians 2:14-15

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

Whaddya know! Look what you bought!

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

1 Timothy 1:9

Buttonholing Capernaum

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

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

Matthew 4:13-16

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

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

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

Luke 4:18

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

Matthew 12:18

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

Whose name is in you?

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

A Samaritan woman’s testimony

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

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

Ephesians 1:21

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

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

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

Philippians 2:9

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

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

Acts 4:12

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

Violence and Murder Inspiration

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

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

John 13:27

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

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

John 18:3

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

Matthew 27:5

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

Rebuked in Public

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

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

Hebrews 12:5-9

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

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

Protest! Contend! Refuse!

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

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

Romans 12:2

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

Careful! Isaiah has your number

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

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

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

Brother Ben

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

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

Repentance and discernment help

The ability to repent and discern truth is a function of paternal pity. Repentance and discernment help comes and goes with minimal human intervention and their progress do much better when we stay off our neighbours’ field.

There comes a time, unlike all others, when God wants nothing but a one-on-one with those he wants close to him. They can short-circuit his intentions by hanging on to testimony that says they already know about the righteous and the wicked (the ungodly, the same guys from Psalm 1).

Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Malachi 3:18

We in the 21st century have to revise our concept that people in antiquity always knew the difference between the righteous and the wicked.

  • Consider that 400 years go by and no one discerns the difference; in Egypt
  • Imagine that 40 years (an entire generation) go by and there is no consensus; in the wilderness
  • Consider that three persons out of thousands stood resolute against idolatry; in Babylonian exile
  • A millennium passes from the first king to the great passover; ending in New Testament times

Killing people as service to God

A man faces opposition, word traps from religious people, death threats, and accusations of wrongdoing for doing on demand a host of things that were either rare or nonexistent in the province of Judea. Even faith for a healing was scarce in Israel.

They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

John 16:2-3

This treatment of a neighbour, demonstrates poor community standards and a lack of direction, and it shows that having Abraham as ancestor and the four world-ruling powers are inconsequential.

Knowing the difference between the tsiddiqim and the reshayim is not so easy as singing a popular song (Ps 1) about the counsel of the the wicked/ungodly. It does not happen apart from God’s personal intervention.

Grace a.m. and Terror p.m.

Preachers and the bigot in the White House have been doing the same thing: trying make a hero to tie Mr. Obama’s laces. Good luck with that!

Many Christians, not only in North America, have countenanced an endless stream of doublespeak. The apostolic witness is clear: Christ is boss of everything by himself. No government or country commands equal attention with the gospel.

They flip between Baal and Yahweh in the same sentence. Elijah (John the Baptist) is cooking their goose.

Divine oaths that bind

“You will certainly die” (Gen. 2;17) gets attention as does “I will certainly bless you” (22:17) spoken to the man and Abram respectively. These are recognized as oaths. These oaths are functional and persistent. Oaths also appear as intensified sayings like the following.

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Genesis 3:16

“Greatly multiply” expresses certainty not intensity. Dying you will die is precisely the same form as multiplying I will multiply or blessing I will bless.

Yahweh pinned his sovereignty to civic duty too, not only all-inclusive matters such as female sorrow and blessing Abram. We cannot reasonably pass on the other side or pretend we do not see our neighbour’s property at risk.

If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

Exodus 23:4

Where are the righteous nations?

In the modern era we suffer from hundreds of dangerous soundbytes. Some of them are a single word, others consist of a few words and may be a full sentence. Even if the words are factual the sound few soundbytes can compete for leaving the smell of death like “God and country” or “one nation under God”.

What is a soundbyte? It is an expression that is small and intentionally charged with meaning, positive or negative. Advertisements on television and radio are popular users of soundbytes: well-chosen words intended to seize attention and become part of the public’s thinking.

Nation under God

Where is that righteous nation? Why does a nation have transgression and sins? How do these two conditions get resolved? These are our concerns for the people who take the bible into their civic life as if one can make a car run on grape juice.

Isaiah had an assignment that helps us understand the values of any nation or kingdom that steps up to be registered as righteous. In 58:1-2 we read of the rebellion and misses.

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

If these people who Isaiah addressed had the best instruction what hope can anyone clung to in quest of a righteous report card?

In every nation

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Acts 10:34ff

The devil’s grip on the nations

That word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judæa, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him

The nation vs the righteous

  • And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem;
  • whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
  • Him God raised up the third day,
  • and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
  • And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
  • To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

There is no righteousness in the law, not for nations nor for individuals. So what could possibly constitute the righteous report card for the world’s modern nations? Will they turn their swords in farming tools? Will empty their prisons of condemned inncent and their jurisdictions of poor and disenfranchised citizens?

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

Ps. 127:1

Nations are typically defined as republics, kingdoms, principalities, or states. The Bible recognizes all of them but only the kingdom, those having an effective head in whom resides both leadership and representation has a chance of getting a well-done from God. That is rare, and the entity that puts its own goals and concepts ahead of pure philanthropy can be expected to be part of the alliance that separates divine graces from its civic process can hardly be called righteous. Even when they claim to have Judaic and Christian foundations the politics turns out to be a mishmash of cruelty and oppression. The rich are the models while the messengers of the healing of the human family are despised and assassinated.

Here what Stephen had to say when he came face to face with the civic power of a religious entity. It is a severe warning about mixing political power with a religious agenda. No-one with a cleansed heart can want to be subject to the judgment of religious bigots as Stephen was.

Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, Acts. 7:52 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.” Acts. 7:53 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. Acts. 7:54

The search for the righteous nation with the same qualities as the redeemed person is futile. No mob rule – people blindly following traditon – can ever represent God’s idea of righteous. “Nations under God” are bound to be idolatrous comedies. The beast will never beome a man. The mixing of Caesar’s dominion with a corporate religious entity will give way to individual responsibility.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. Jer. 31:27 And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the LORD. Jer. 31:28 In those days they shall no longer say: “‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ Jer. 31:29 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. Jer. 31:30

The real regime

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, Jer. 31:31
not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. Jer. 31:32

A righteous nation can only have righteous building blocks, as Peter calls them, living stones. No alliance with Caesar is acceptable. the guidance offered to earth’s nations in our times has been ignored: only a sense of collective security commitment to the human race can qualify the nations for righteous identity. The great and mighty have the greatest hurdles to getting there.

Be very sure my friends

Relations with the Risen Christ is not defined by prophetic, wonder-working, or exorcist ministries.  Ask Yeshua.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, all of you that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Matthew 7:22-27

Mo’trashing Brat

I want to draw attention to – observe carefully – an entity that trashes its mother. Not only is the concept abominable in human relationships it is damnable in our collective love for our source and nourished.

[ ] Insects are disappearing because of us
[ ] Plants are disappearing because of us
[ ] Land mass is shrinking because of us

What did we think “work the earth” mean if not service? The earth is not a thinking entity yet is our mother, our source and destination.

The shame attached to disrespecting one’s parents was illustrated by the capital punishment sentence.

Dissing parents is a capital offence

Mother-trashing brats beware!
People who trash anyone’s mother can be expected to pay. None of those children (adults included) who speak bad things about their parents will go free.

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Rev 11:18

Should the USA trash-talk the UK?
Should the dispersed of Africa, China or Israel feel free to trash-talk their motherland?

Speak the truth but trash no-one.

Constrained – changing the course of God and man

But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

Luke 24:29

Luke 24:29 gives clear picture of the disciples changing the course of the master. One cannot say that he was meant to stay so no change really occurred.

What they saw convinced them he intended to continue on his journey (vs 28). They, according to the writer, changed that. Luke was probably not there.

We can add to this pattern the Saviour’s amazement and turnaround when he saw the faith of the Syrophoenician woman who pleaded with him to rescue her child (Mark 7:26-29).

The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

This is a powerful illustration of an insider trying to keep people away from the benefits of the group. Here we have to wonder why is it that people still think that only Christians or believers have the right to God’s gifts of healing and deliverance. It is a sucky and change-resistant attitude to maintain.

The case of Lydia illustrates the same thing. We must assume that the missionary team were not disposed to be the guest of a new convert. The new child of God changed their lodging plans.

And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:15

Feeling too set to change. Think again. What heights have we attained that signal we are through growing or learning?

Why Yahweh loves Israel

Deuteronomy 7:7 sets out to explain why Israel was a target of divine love.

The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

Deuteronomy 7:7

Love, an oath, and redemption

  • But because the Lord loved you,
  • and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand,
  • and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Deuteronomy 7:8

What Scripture is supposed to do and for whom

  • My Story. Doctrine must relate to the one person who says “They are my testimony” (John 5:39)
  • My Courage to Change. Reproof establishes that having God’s word without believing it is not profitable. (John 5:46)
  • Confess the vanity of the past. Correction is a benefit for people willing to say we have been wrong
  • One brand and one source item. Righteousness is the full shield and armour against death, law, and sin
  • Beneficiary. God’s man only can be perfectsd: the devil’s guy can drop his charade about reading and studying

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

For the man of God to be fully equipped with good works

It is knowledge of the writings that brings us to the encounter with the One whose story is being told. Knowing him is not acquiring a ton of data but establishing the lover’s link. Asking ourselves if good works are pouring out of us will be a good test to see if the Scriptures are working.

Run sister! Run brother!

I can guarantee you that my great, great, grandfather’s loins were rocking with protest against the slavemaster and his assertion of property rights. If you are wondering, I am a descendant of African people, a part of the waves of westward transported labour to America and the Caribbean.

Since the 17th century, European powers (Spain, Portugal, France, England, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany) have been exploiting their own poor and people in far-flung lands with various justifications.

I would have been a runner: running off the slaveowners property to entrust my life to God. They would have had to chain me 24/7 or kill me.

Running is good for the believer.

  • When temptation seems to corner us we should run
  • When persecution closes in on us we can run
  • When Christ says follow me we should run

We live because Christ gave us life

We sing because Christ gave us a song

We conquer because Christ gave us the victory

We should run – live – for life’s sake and remember that our crown does not come from anyone overcoming sin.  Even with laws in our hearts and near countless constant recitations of God’s will we come to God with contrition or prove that we are still lost, having no Spirit to help because we did not really believe that God forgives sin all the time and powers our life moment by moment.

Where to look!

We cannot look away from Christ- the Nazarene- and call what we see truth.

He has the promises

He has the remedy to death

He has the bread to nourish us

All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him. Matthew 11:27

Torment and Terror Treatment

How does the growth in Christ proceed? Still trying to find and live by every word that God speaks or has ever spoken? That amounts to hundreds of commands and loving others is supposed to foot the bill.

Get an attitude adjustment! It ends the labour and heavy load. It feels like rest.


Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.

Philippians 2:5-7

He has commanded you

Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:

Deuteronomy 6:1

This turning point of Moses’ leadership is aimed at LIFE IN CANAAN (LIC), and includes the essential statement of Judaism. It also states Israelite obligations with devastating clarity. The personal responsibilies were to do the CSJ (commands, statutes, and judgments), to take possession of Canaan, and to keep (guard) in an attitude of reference the CSJ.

“Ya gotta love” might have been the end of exhortation. Let’s face the fact that Moses was not commanding things that did not exist to become reality. He was stating expectations. It gets complicated when God’s uniqueness rises to the top of the confidence list. I mean the Shema which puts on blinders about how many gods have been part of Israel’s experience up to the Deuteronony turning point (and since).
The Shema calls for attention: hear, there is one God. It does not say “Israel has had one god; that’d be a false report.

When did he command you?

What Israel had to do to have the Life in Canaan as promised are alien to the viability of Abraham’s family.
Is it slightly schizophrenic to embrace the Shema as a statement of faith without hearing what God’s spokesperson – it is not Moses or the prophets- has said?

Can neighbour be reduced to “partners in fables” or battered out of shape with the cyclical bloodbath of animal blood? Christians have more commands than Jews and face no risk of condemnation, exile or deportation. God has commanded repentance.

Remembering Christ’s Sacrifice

Idols litter the landscape while the majesty of the Risen Lord gets a passing mention. No repeated claim attends the memorial of Christ’s death for all human sin. We belittle and denigrate the covenant by inserting our desire for a miracle.

The cross must be accepted as full and effective payment for sin, not for financial, physical or mental wellbeing. People do not have to claim anything when the Church celebrates the Lord’s supper. No one needs to apply for what is theirs by virtue of their once-for-all confession and faith in the once-for-all propitiation in the Blood of the Lamb?

People can add whatever they wish to their celebration of Christ but only at great risk of showing how much shipwreck is part of their beliefs. One pastor proclaims that no physical death will touch our families when we partake of the Lord’s supper. We ought to know what the Scriptures authorize and quit making it up as we go. Remember does not mean request.

Darkness Descends

There is only one way for fables and xenophobia: down. What followers of God use the law to breathe out cruelty to immigrants and embrace the rights of the unborn or claim to have law as the foundation of civic life when lies are only things one tells the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

When the truth is really a PERSON the idolatry lanes disappear. Even when the written message is not involved darkness takes over. Fables about gold and silver and corruptible things will never drown out the light of God’s Lamb.

The outcome is the same whether one turns away from the message in the works of God’s hands or turns away from the Anointed.

Darkness has descended and all kinds of perversion have followed.

Plain to see

The vast array of written resources that are intended to open human eyes to matters beyond our control and common desires remain an attractive and impressive vault. Nature is equally endowed and our attention to its messages results in a unique outcome: landmark people, a law until themselves

Nature hides her secrets because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse.
-Albert Einstein

Comparing the effectiveness of the sacred texts with the natural world we have to admit that there are (1) plagues of illiteracy as a general rule and (2) incompetence and egoistic pride on the part of those who translate and interpret the message of the Bible. The messages from both have authority and we let them slip to our peril.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Romans 1:20

Virulent EXPERTS

American radio is the swampiest manifestation of all that is damnable and malicious. The American Centre for justice – popular on so-called Christian radio – makes Caiaphas, the high priest who unwittingly predicted the atoning death of Messiah Yeshua look like a hero of righteousness.

Sekulo on Christian radio? Haha! Spin doctor extraordinary and eminently lost in evangelical betrayal of Christ. American Christians are by far the most dangerous antisemites of all.

Let’s not think that their love of Israel and the exorbitant spending to support the State of Israel has anything to do with real respect for humanity. We know it has nothing to do with either Christian or Mosaic nobility. Americans simply like getting on the inside – chumming up – so that they can perpetuate their own Promised Land and Chosen People delusion ane the inevitable oppression of of native peoples.

Everybody with an ear has heard the American president proclaim that there are good people followers of Hitler. Not one preacher of the gospel has whispered a protest or rebuke.

Jude Packs a Punch. Faith Most Holy

But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.
Jude 1:20‭-‬21 CSB

Not many things that actually affect life are ranked topmost”. The inner chamber of the tabernacle is perhaps most familiar: it resolved little. The blood of animals and the incense were also topnotch items along with all the vessels of the tabernacle (see Exodus 30). One could touch one of these items and become holy, not most holy.

In faith’s domain one encounters real holiness in prayer, divine love, and merciful behaviour.

Food for faith vs food for family

A portion of the holiest offerings kept from the fire will be yours; every one of their offerings that they give me, whether the grain offering, sin offering, or guilt offering will be most holy for you and your sons. You are to eat it as a most holy offering. Every male may eat it; it is to be holy to you.
Numbers 18:9‭-‬10 CSB

Figleaf Prayerfulness

Hallelujah, Thank you Jesus, I love you Lord, Have mercy Lord are phrases worn by people who wish to appear to be prayerful.   When the call to be in prayer all the time is properly understood no one needs to put on expressions like this to appear to comply with “pray without ceasing”.  There is no real multitasking beyond repetitious tasks such as riding  a bicycle and eating a peanut at the same time.  Joining the Holy Spirit in his activity, calls for discrimination and sensitivity and praying all the time a consuming activity for which opportunities are to be sought.  No one prays all the time (or everywhere) and believers do no need a figleaf to cover the gaps in our prayer life.

Pray with unceasing prayer and entreaty on every fitting occasion in the Spirit, and be always on the alert to seize opportunities for doing so, with unwearied persistence and entreaty on behalf of all God’s people,

Ephesians 6:18

The location from which one watches for (unto) prayer is not prayer.

Watching for the Lord more than for the morning.

Who gets to die?

In a world dulled by nepotism and xenophobia it may seem to be a wonder that noone died like Ananias and Saphira when discrimination appeared in the early church.
We have no record of investigation of the problem and there are no named culprits – it would have shrunk the membership to zero. Peter was caught in it and he was the designated rallying point for the disciples. We should not terrify church members- people who believe – with the thought that they die when they sin.

People whom Christ has given life do not die.

A death row junkie knows no better way than
sin, the law and death

When prophets suck

The prophet is not a robot. He was sensitive to God’s voice where other people were deaf. He had messages for priest, king and prophet. Prophets can be found standing firmly for the covenant and the traditions but it is quite another thing to see them being corrected by God.

Why does God not immediately fire a prophet when his work goes off the rails? After all, prophets were expected to be accurate or risk execution.

  1. God is not in the “gotcha” business
  2. Prophets needed the mediation of the priesthood (Israel was a kingdom of priests, not prophets)
  3. The offices of both priest and prophet get diffused by the prophetic and priestly functions of every believer

Sucky trails

Prophets suck whenever their messages fail the apostolic test. Since the prophets of old lost their authority when John the Baptist came onto the scene we know that it is because there is a new foundation. Christ precludes any contradiction from the ancient prophets to confuse by building his church on apostolic witness. Whatever greatness there was in the prophetic realm we have to recognize that the trail ends. Noone is under any obligation and to follow any prophet. Spokespersons who dare to put law beside grace – some put law above grace by rejecting the fact that the cross alone represents God’s righteous judgment – are imposters.

  1. John saw the Lamb of God
  2. The apostles saw the glory of God, full of grace and truth.
  3. The disciples of Moses and the disciples of the prophets were hostile to the Lamb from the day he was born
  4. All of Christ’s disciples recognize that all gifts and functions get their efficacy from the apostolic witness.
  5. Every attitude and act of service is now subject to Christ and the cross not to Moses and the law.

Idolatrous suckers

Let us recall that John was in vision, amazed by what the angel was showing him and twice attempted to worship the angel (Rev. 19:10, 22:8-9). We are in no less risk than John for elevating messengers of any kind.

We are all prophets, all priests, and there is only one amazing fountain of truth: the Lord Messiah Yeshua. There is only one amazing measuring stick for the conduct of our messaging: the words of the eyewitnesses.

It does not take much inquiry to see why so much of today’s junky messaging comes from either the law (entire Old Testament) or from people wanting to be seen as authorized, who are only in the shallowest sense familiar with and committed to the gospel. Yeshua identifies them as thieves and robbers.

Neither Gospel nor Kingdom

Today’s prophets are the channels of the most harmful practices in church history. They spue the most vicious lies and use deceitful gimmicks to trap careless disciples. When a messenger sucks up proverbs and commands and tries to spit them out as either gospel bedrock or kingdom patterns someone should blow the trumpet.

Why did the heathen rage

The heathen who raged were bigoted and rebellious. They rage with jealousy and they rage against the king, not the people. They seem to like being exposed to divine anger. Israel is a nation (goy, yog) above all others.1 There is only one kingdom of priests: Israel. Neither the Hebrew nation nor the nations are ignorant of God’s priorities. Germany, the UK or the US are never going to be the greatest or highest nation on the planet. That designation was reserved for the descendants of Abraham and is now exclusively for those who kiss the Son, the king on the hill. The nations conspire because they do not know what God is going to do, and even God’s prophets are often in the dark, even though he promises to give his prophets a heads up (Amos 3:7). Let the heathen rage, because they can, and they must, so that the happiness of those who take refuge the Lord’s Son may stand in contrast with the perishing as long as they remain exposed, separate from the king.

The day Yeshua could not hide

This business about the king on the hill is not as private as we have thought. Magi came to worship while the people had their heads in the sand, or more precisely, their noses glued to the scent of Roman power, instead of the power of God’s written word.

And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. Mark. 7:24

The interactions God had with the neighbours of Israel are eyeopening. They make the case that when both repeated exile and restoration, the ups and the downs always have been in the care and company of heathen nations and peoples that takes the sail out of the us them of the Mosaic tradition. One can refuse to eat with Gentiles or even to enter a Gentile home, but we are standing against that conspiracy to ignore the facts, namely that God in ancient times sent top level ambassadors to people other than Israelites.2 There is even a God-directed partnership with Syria and Israel on one side and Judah on the other (2 Kings 15:37).

God’s checklist – from Abraham to David

It is as if there is a checklist of events Yeshua to use to drive home the emptiness of the wall of partition between Israelites and the heathen. Syria, Lebanon, alien lepers, widows, all receiving law defying attention from heaven’s ambassadors is a testimony that cannot be hidden. The same players are on the agenda. He goes to them, he touches them, he stays with them.

We cannot forget that Abraham’s descendants are not themselves the king, and David’s house, in which were combined both mediation and kingdom, was the repository of all things that make happiness and lasting security possible. David’s house was going to buck the trend in order to make a clear distinction between the king on one side and the heathen and the rulers on the other. Some things we have to just say amen to. When it comes to being not Israel the Ninevites probably take the cake. But any nation will do to help us illustrate that the heathen/Gentile Jew split has had its day.

How to love the nations

The ancient pattern of showing how much he cared for the heathen was going to have a witness doubles in modern times. This is what plays out in Yeshua’s visit to Tyre and Sidon. It is a deliberate fellowship with the heathen that also came to life in the Book of Acts. Him wanting to keep it secret is not to hide the momentous event(s) but to avoid unnecessary publicity, which we have seen him do. The interests of David’s house was going to excel by connected with both global inclusion and atonement through the king on the hill. Even with John the baptist preaching in a desert the upset could not remain unwitnessed.

The God in touch with everyone

God does not stand afar off. He sends prophetic delegation to a military officer in Syria who suffers with leprosy, to a widow in Lebanon, to the Syro-phoenician woman whose daughter was demonized, to the centurion whose faith was not found in Israel, to a uncircumcised centurion Cornelius.

And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” Matt. 8:2 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matt. 8:3 And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” Matt. 8:4

A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Do not even try. The king of that city has a shiny new title: king of the nations.

1 The ESV soft pedals segullah mikol haummim, a manifest comparison and distinction, not “among”. Compare Gen. 3:1, Exo.. 33:16, Deu. 7:6, 1 Kings 4:31, Jer. 17:9

2 Israelite king to Syrian King (1 Kings 15:18), Syrian king to Israelite king (2 King 5;5).

Liars die but bigots dive

In a world dulled by nepotism and xenophobia it may seem to be a wonder that no one died like Ananias and Saphira when discrimination appeared in the early church.
We have no record of investigation or culprits – it would have shrunk the membership to zero. Peter was caught up in the hypocrisy and he was the rallying point for the disciples. We should not terrify church members- people who believe – with the thought that they die when they sin.

Freed by truth

Honesty and candour are lasting character treasures but it is necessary to  evaluate the quality of the resulting freedom. It is necessary because many things are called truth: only one of them is a candidate as saving truth. One reviewing every collection of commands, decrees, and judgments, one thing is certain: it takes more than any created thing to liberate humanity. There is not even a hnt of liberation in the Ten Commandments, and there is no record of anyone being ushered into the glorious liberty of God’s elect because they have kept any covenant. The business of setting people free has never happened on account of compliance with regulations. Something unique has to be brought to bear on our bondage.

He shall send from heaven, and save me [from] the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

Psalm 57:3

The doublespeak about human performance, accountability, and identity is under the miscroscope. Animals, gold and silver are not liberating elements. For an ancient Israelite there was the lasting impression that money answers to everything. Even the ancient activity of returning (shub) to covenant or Yahweh is not a lifegiving activity. Coming back to worship Yahweh after an idolatrous excursion is not the same as changing one’s mind about the status quo and believing in God for finality. The blood of animals does not affect the source of poor human judgment and behaviour. The consciences of people who were occupied with gold, silver, grain, and animal blood sacrifices remained tainted with destructive desires and rebellion. Truth that liberates does not bring one under the yokes of the past. Christ has a new yoke that does not include any anxiety such as the law introduces with its hundreds of demands. Coming to the Truth, to Christ, brings rest, liberty from death’s terror and from the owners of death’s power, guaranteed.

Do not bother saying Amen

When we cannot believe the things we hear in prayer we encourage foolishness when we say amen. God will only answer the requests that match His will anyway. Even when no one else agrees God gives, on request, good gifts. I am personally cautious about being an amen-for-amen’s-sake kind of guy.

Junky prayers show up when we ignore God’s will

  • We ask for a touch on someone’s “everything”, head to toe
  • We ask for God to heal a person’s everything
  • Then we ask God to remove every “stumblingblock”

Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Matthew 18:7

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

Luke 17:1

No amen when prayer turns to junk

People who pray in public often show off their private practices, the theological concern of the moment, and a confusing mix of insults to a caring God and a desire dressed up like faith. Asking for a miraculous and instantaneous loss of weight may sound like a great faith venture but may also be as unlikely as a wanting to swallow a camel. We can never pray away things Christ says MUST happen, such as affliction, adversity, or stumbling blocks. Perhaps people make poor word choices when they are praying, instead of getting their words from the Holy Spirit. Offences or stumbling blocks are necessary from God’s perspective.

Finding rest in the text – B

Continuing our conviction that coming to God’s written word is a deal that brings rest, we venture to propose that our coming and arrival includes guarding the

Protecting the mysteries

Our defence of  the faith is an important part of our rest.  This will ultimately call for us to walk in the other person’s shoes. This is a primary contributor to spiritual health. It is more than having thoughts and prayers and even having an emotional expression or deliverance insights about our neighbours in their adversity. Theology that brings us to law, Moses, Jewish types and fables as the ultimate expressionn9fnthr kin hd9mjru4dis suspect because the texts are designed to bring us to Christ, to discoveries of the substance of what the earlier witnesses saw or spoke about as yet future, not understanding but yet saved by the faith they possessed.

Real Rest

The aim of God’s intervention is to deposit divine love in human hearts.
The yoke – easy and educational – that we are invited to take on gives us real rest in the place of annual cycles of sin and death. Even when our love does not provide the relief needed for life’s situations rest is assured.  We rejoice with those rejoicing, and we mourn with the mourners. Our rest takes Messianic shape with our dynamic connection to our neighbours. Our rest is not from our hostile neighbours but from the anointed work of God.

Guarding the word and the treasure the word brings

We do theology only to the extent that we have been equipped by our pastors to do so. Instead of holding people captive to our pastoral acuity and expertise we ought to take the greatest pleasure in seeing our members advance along the lines of our own empowerment and outfitting. Currently we keep looking for problems to solve, the miracle relief, but both the written word and the personal Word of God give rest without revolving yawning.

The Rush to Dupe us

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

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

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

Why is that?

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

Scoffers have no legs

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

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

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

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

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

Genesis 6:7

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

Duped over righteousness

Du-ped indeed

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

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

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

Romans 3:25-28

Choosing God’s Will and Personal Destiny

Mechanics who can fix our cars without aptitude and passion are a symptom of the darkness and stupor that covers humanity. In the same class are cooks whose food speed our trek to our graves, politicians who are self-serving and bribable clowns, children who dominate their parents, patriots with itchy trigger fingers, and selfish spouses. Finding God’s will is not rocket science and choosing to do it involves a great deal more than being a nice guy or complying with a hundred commands. In the world of tickets to heaven, membership in the church, nepotism, tradition, and blind men with visions, there are few individuals who  have found their personal call.  The passion of Yeshua of Nazareth shows us that self-righteous certainty about our calling is a childish and hypocritical game that few dare relinquish.

Twelve years old

Connecting with destiny then pressing pause for eighteen years may seem like unique path to take but it is a pattern of divine calling and timing for all people.

And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

Luke 2:42-48

Thirty-three years old

In the last year of his life Yeshua wrapped up his testimony by riding into Zion on a donkey, visiting the temple, and by preparing to lay down his life.

And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Mark 11:11-17

Passion for God

When our Lord realized that his life’s mission was imminent he prayed. His success was not only the result of thanksgiving. His victory in staying with the mission did not come easily. He prayed.

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

Matt. 26:36ff

He insisted on going through with his calling.

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Matthew 26:36-44

This is what shouldering the calling of a lifetime looks like. This is above and beyond our daily dying. It is not a cakewalk.

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

Hebrews 5:7

Have you found your calling? Are you wrestling with getting it done? Does your calling involve your death? Does your calling make you “deadly sorrowful”? Have you been handed the victor’s wreath or have you said “I have finished my race”?