Watch out Jerusalem

Here comes the king of the north – Russia – with his valued southern ally just as predicted. I am not looking fur any credit for tagging the Saudi-Russian handshake in Buenos Aires as an omen of the truth famine, but it reveals the absence of American vision and backbone, and the irrelevance of America’s most treasured friend on the global scene.
The difference between the great and wannabe will appear in the interactions of European and Russian heads with the oligarchs and monarchs.
The sparks will fly over human rights and international law and America has no flint.
Jerusalem is never again going to be a toy for bigoted Jew or Gentile, and most assuredly not for the global oppressors of the poor and freedom-loving people.

God’s holiness on display when Israel attacked
You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. Ezekiel 38:16

MILITARY INTRIGUE
Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? You will come from your place OUT OF THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE NORTH, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. Ezekiel 38:14-15

Second-hand Secretaries

The specter of US officials choosing not to examine the evidence regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi is disturbing to the popular expectation that government has a vital interest in facts for everyone’s welfare. The conundrum is also a familiar one. There are many gatekeepers who have neither expertise nor experience in the business – electric power generation, supporting people’s personal needs, elder care – they are charged with supervising.

The familiar is also deadly. I know preachers who repeat a sentence or clause 70 times in 30 minutes and what they do not know is that people who have a habit (and immense privilege) of returning to look at the evidence know that there is not a lot of familiarity with the evidence behind such performances. The loud and repetitious presentations are a lot of hot air.

There are enough nurses and caregivers who have far too little compassion for needy and dependent persons. There are far too many people in positions of accountability who have little grasp of the material that they are charged with interpreting.

The world does not run on secondhand information despite the millions who, in 2018, have no firsthand relationship with the evidence. They read the translations of others like the US officials read the transcripts. They prefer to eat beef than to eat grain. They prefer 17th century English to 21st century Canadian-English and that only helps shatters the facade of the miraculous second-hand secretaries.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15

Those Weeping Stones

An interesting confluence takes place when we put the Tables of the Covenant alongside the concept of stones crying out and the fact of hearts that were incapable of receiving the covenant. Claims of being Abraham’s children without a makeover is a fantasy. Abe would have loved Yeshua!

The stones we throw

The people who escaped bondage in the first Passover would be the prime witnesses to the success of the covenant but they died of unbelief. Before we accuse and execute others – by subjecting them to the ministry of condemnation engraved in stony tables – we ought to check our hands for absolute purity.

The stones that condemn us

The tables of stone are not an accident nor are they a token of permanence. They are the evidence that people talk a good game but need supernatural help to take the first step towards adoption. They are evidence that God has a greater idea.

Verified by Blood

A covenant reminder can be a refreshing exercise.  When we revel in the New Covenant we are not to be charged with inventing some new fad. The Lord himself introduces it distinct fashion. The partaking of bread and wine in memory of our Lord’s death resurrection should be held in strict reverence. The covenant in his blood is the only candidate for the progress of the people of God. Jeremiah’s new covenant prediction can only be realized (a) with the shedding of efficacious blood, and (b) the terms of the covenant cannot include anything from the testimony (Jeremiah. 31:31-34).

For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer 31:34
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;

The homogeneity between the Sinai Covenant and the covenant of grace may be something more than a childish delusion, a refusal to grow up. It comes from ground that wants to take credit for the rain and the farmer’s work. It comes from a mind that wants to sit on the fence. When our Lord cautioned about loving God or Mammon, the elephants in the room were Himself and the rest of the world. His disciple could not embrace both Moses and the God who had appeared in human flesh. The difference is stark. The difference is demands and death through unbelief versus grace and life through faith.
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On top of this, bread and wine, the very staples of Palestinian life, are the signs of the Lord’s mediation as priest-king.  Our life in Christ is sustained, dynamically, by High-priestly generosity, the milk and honey of our times in fellowship with the Father. These proverbial queens of baby food give way to the blood that pays our debt and is our life.

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) Gen 14:18;

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest,
one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, Heb 8:1;

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost
those who draw near to God through him,
since he always lives to make intercession for them. Heb 7:25;

Finally! No Death Sting

Here are a few of the summary statements by New Testament witnesses. There are at least another 5 or so with the same feature. No writer urges obedience to the law or reliance on prophets.

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Philippians 3:1

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 1 Thessalonians 4:1

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8

How could the guardians of God’s saving revelation not proclaim the whole duty of man?

Fact or Fiction

The songbook of the Hebrews remains popular for the history, geography, insights into God’s work in the world. Its authority rests on the interpretation especially of deeds narrated as distinct from established facts. “The Lord is my light” is a fact we rely on. Both God’s activities and outcomes are unmistakeably stamped with insight. Paul reminds us that even the visible creation reveals God’s invisible godhead. On the other hand, “The Lord will hear from heaven” is likely to happen, and “The Lord brought them out of Egypt” is not likely to happen. These actions are therefore not enduring truth.

The purpose of Scripture is not to retread the call of Abram, the bondage in a foreign land, the exodus, the journey to Canaan, the servitude to Canaanite powers, the monarchy, exile, and return. Christ brought the full significance of God’s interest in the human race. John says that the early witness saw the glory of the Father in the incarnate Word (John 1:14)

The message of Yeshua deserves a new kind of attention because only he can tell of heavenly things. The prophets were never there, neither were the wise and prudent of all the ages.

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Matt 11:25

He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. John 3:31

If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? John 3:12 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. John 3:13

The difference between the messengers who came before Christ and Christ is not a trifle. The message cannot be the same as those messengers’. Christ alone has the words on which we can build secure lives. The importance of the very words of Christ is indicated by possessive pronouns, not mere [personal pronouns (my, your, their, his, her, our). Possessive pronouns (mostly hidden by poor translations) are more like adjectives that transform “the word of me” into “the my word”, ton logon mou into ton emon logon, signifying his peculiar words and not someone else’s. The stakes are inestimable.

It can be demonstrated that all the problems with practice and discussion arise from the distractions that draw attention away from the new covenant. Most Christians are speeding headlong along the same trajectory as the Greeks, who spent their intellectual capital hunting for new concepts. The Jews of New Testament times were dead set against anything new, as if they had been told that the customs of their patriarchs and the covenant of Sinai was going to last forever. It was as if they did not know that a new and different arrangement had touched down and official Judaism was not going to be its chief spokesman and that the new was not going to be a copy of the old.

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, John 8:31