Lost in Time

Sometimes the best foot forward turns out to be the same old yesterday. If God put the moon under your foot why does it dominate your head?

There is an eclipsed moon in the heavenly sign of Revelation 12 and people liked the dim moonlight of their tradition.

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (12:1)

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Galatians 4:9

Luke 11:48 tells us that yesterday’s errors were with the proud people of New Testament times in Palestine.

So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs.

Peter (2:2:22) puts in a knowing comment on this subject too. With all the evidence of Israelite progress why would anyone put any confidence in Moses and the prophets?

What the true proverb says has happened to them: The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.

Symbols out of Control

Symbols out of control include temple, the human heart, land, altars, censors body, will, and blood. They are dangerously close to tripping the vast majority of believers into a lake of deception. These are all mere idol potential essentials. God has a unique deal for created things and one thing of which we can be certain is that no creature naturally what it takes to please God. Hebrews 8:10 could not be clearer about the finality of Christ’s work and person.

There is no reason for even a Jew to think that any created entity can bring about God’s desire through their own reliability. At Sinai, there was no heart to receive God’s will. The temple proved to be inadequate and God’s riches towards the human race has abounded in Christ alone. No symbol is needed.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: Heb. 8:10

Insurrection, Intervention, Inscription

Even with the claim that we have hidden God’s word in our hearts as a hedge against sin and this promise (Heb. 8:10) of an inner inscription of divine laws our hope crumbles like a cookie without remedy. Rebellion is not only an edenic reality. It permeates God’s temple in effective saving process is not a human invention and there was no temple in Messianic truth-speaking, death or resurrection.

Who are our children and to what horrors we have condemned them with our deception about obedience?

Lost commandment-keepers are our examples of Christian holiness and divine intervention is the last thing on most minds. Many people cannot tell salvation’s story because they have rejected salvation by grace. All they have is a twisted tale of ancient symbols and condemnation. Temple, food, clothing, gold and silver utensils do not make it across the human-divine divide.

Grace stands first and alone

It is a manifest lie that our life is now, after Christ died and rose, is raised up on a failed covenant, a heartless interpersonal order, interpretation of symbols and types. This lying venture is the chosen path for most Christian groups, most of whose interests are grounded in symbols that hold no vitality and those interests lead to thoughts of self-help and a life of little divine control.

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. Hebrews 13:9

Certainty and Privacy

The clothes we wear, the things we ingest are poor means of identifying us. Even before we could create video with Satan’s face and Christ’s voice – with subtitles – there was always the ability to deceive. We have more than ample warning about this, and the need to have shields against deception is no less urgent now that we are the last days. Since Christ started preaching his kingdom the human race has certainty and privacy in all the arrangements and guarantees regarding participation in God’s business.

Works are not faith

I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. Revelation of John 2:19

I cite this verse as a reminder that even good things, holy things, and right things can all go south. Works, love, faith, service and endurance are different facets of human functions. They are, by any measure, things,

Idolize nothing

And there are no things which do not have the potential to become idols. Having idols around is risky. When God is not in first and exclusive place something or someone is being idolized.

Food, drink, money, and property are common objects we revere and adore. They can appear on the higher rungs of our priorities. Far more toxic is the idolizing of space, time, and people. They too are created things, not to be equated with the Saviour God.

Knowing God is now on a level which will completely go over the heads of most people because all they can see as important in the relationship with God are things and not the God-With-Us

Personally Responsible But Absent

Actions in the Old Testament have not only tense, mood and voice. They have stems (7 or 8 of them!) that each arranges the subjects in a unique relation to the action. For example the stems of to walk (halak) can mean (a) walk, (b) walk about, (c) make [someone or something] go [away], and (d) go to and fro.  In Exodus 3:8 the Lord is causing the deliverance and the ascent from Egypt.

The causation plays out either in the action or the outcome. The deliverance and ascent of Exodus 3:8 are action causatives. It was Moses and Joshua who were God’s agents on the ground delivering and conveying.

and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Exod 3:8

We know that the personal arrival of God did not occur until the Word became flesh and live among us, so “I have come down” is to be understood in limited sense in that the interactions are accomplished through human or angelic agents.

Christ had no helpers in atoning for human rebellion. He was all alone in the passion, resurrection and exaltation.

Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. Acts 7:53

Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Gal 3:19

Risky Prayer Networks

How many times are we bold to share what God contributes to the conversation we call prayer? Prayers that ask for many things and have no actual outcomes or at least a word about the expected outcome(s) are are plenty and popular. Prayers are not decrees and declarations of things we want, and especially are not one-to-one, even when private. Prayer is at risk when no community appears in the process, the one addressed is more Santa Claus than divine Father, and the object is not finding God’s will but erasing human situations we find uncomfortable.

A prayer can be a simple cry for help: Peter sinking beneath the waves says “Save me!”. A prayer can have extensive affirmations of God, recapping of His dealings with our forebears and our own personal requests, as did Solomon’s interaction at the inauguration of the temple. Prayer can have few words like Elijah’s success on Mount Carmel or be lengthy and dramatic like the futile chants of Baal’s prophets.

It is highly inappropriate to repeat and circulate a “prayer” that is unrecognizable as a Christian connection to God, or follows the pattern Christ taught. Many prayers that are circulating have the following features.

  1. Fails to recognize that God has a plan for each of us that includes spiritual growth in grace,
  2. Does not affirm God’s love in all of our circumstances
  3. Centers on self
  4. Avoids what God has promised and programmed

Stop praying like a false prophet

Praying with a lot of words and useless repetitions is strictly forbidden. Our Lord said “Do not even start using empty repetitions…” (me battalogesete). Since we are doing it our response is to cease.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matthew 6:7-8

Heartless Heads

There are far too many heads of state, of corporations, and of families who are heartless. When they promote and enforce policies that serve selfish human pride and insularity they stand out like water in olive oil. Inhumanity is streaming like sunshine at a time when public and private regard for basic human dignity and needs are at an all time low. Immigrant policies and social justice are not political choices. They are the seedbed of higher civilized behaviour.

No People Movement, No Utopia

The stories of both the Old and New Testament are witness to the surprising excellence of hospitality to strangers and kindness to widows and orphans. There can be no leading of humanity without practices and policies that are saturated with human kindness. Patriotism and nationalism are the tools of heartless heads. Increasingly we are coming to the conclusion that there is not much of facts and reality in the heads of many leaders.

Land, Empire and Commonwealth

“Jews will not replace us” is a chant we dismiss as devilish and pray that speech like that be criminalized. It could not come from anything that we can define as fine. Most states are reverting to the ugliest and most sickening periods of their development: cruelty to widows and orphans, mistreatment of foreigners, dissing of parents by their children, children abandoned to society’s shifting sands, and irrelevant loyalties. Immigration has been the fuel and the test for civilized behavior in the most riveting story of human development.

Stories of the heart

No better story exists. No seismic activity in the area of human conscience and responsibility to community compares to the Mosaic and prophetic traditions of Israel. The migration of Asian tribes to North America did not create a global paradigm neither did the arrival of Europeans in their migration to North America.

Abraham would be surprised to find that the people he called friend and neighbour were being targeted for annihilation. This is evidence that the ancient arrangements need to be sifted (we Christians call this the correct division of the message), to separate the outdated instructions.

I suppose that the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25ff) illustrates the existence of leadership without a heart and a leadership obsessed with compliance without love or compassion. Obeying the Sabbath command is futile and hypocritical when compassion for others is absent.

But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day. Then the Lord answered him, You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? Luke 13:14-16

Rise and Shine

Incredibly this cry from Isaiah is the only sentence in the Hebrew scriptures containing a pairing of rise and shine.

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. Isa 60:1

Upgrades are ready!

It is an upgrade and reversal prophecy. The rising light brings the following surprises, reminiscent of Paul’s exhortation (Eph. 3:20-21) to be ready for God to provide answers that exceed our requests.

  1. Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
  2. and instead of iron I will bring silver;
  3. instead of wood, bronze,
  4. instead of stones, iron.
  5. I will make your overseers peace
  6. and your taskmasters righteousness. Isa 60:17

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, Eph 3:20  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Eph 3:21

 

Queen Power in Disguise

Since when did truth and justice matter for Canadians? When did politicians learn to do the right thing? Since Quebec’s sovereignty gamble and the Russian grip on the USA has not roused the sleeping call girls of Europe and the Middle East we need to understand what credibiity is driving the predatory calls for investigations and resignations. Canadian media were duped by the Ontario Conservatives now the Liberal Party cannot make up its mind about the integrity of a whistleblowing officer of the Crown in the justice arm of government.

We can hardly hear of wrongdoing without swinging the gavel indignantly, but colleagues who conspire to unseat their leader outside of a leadership contest have yet to learn about the dangers of flirting with compliance with the law and amorality. The loyal opposition is all too ready to throw stones and the media follows like a trained canine.

Woman Power

Female power is gravely important and underestimated. The issues seems to coalesce around equality and lordship. Contemporary events moved by truly heroic women, successful protests in antiquity (Numbers 27:1-8), the witness of women in New Testament times, provide the assurance that the end of misogyny is a worthy goal even while it has little informed popular appeal.

Equality and lordship

The gospel has no place where both are not functionally relevant. Whenever dysfunction appears there is a tendency to lay down rules and in the wider political context there is usually legislation to make sure the problem does not recur. No society has successfully brought about an end to misogyny, racism, and the violence of of religious bigotry. The church, government and the global community depend on best practices and zero tolerance regimes to appear to be accountable, but officers of the church, crown or global institutions are not paragons of virtue. It is not surprising that the Canadian government is facing a women-led media attack highlighting interference in the administration of justice.

Just when we thought our glass house was safe

It is required of stewards that they keep their heads above the water. We are not comparing the PM with his colleagues. The woman at the centre of the assault on the Prime Minister’s Office wants to be a hero of war against her leader while enjoying the privilege of cabinet. Attacking interference by the PM in public is a close relative of surreptitious recording of private conversations.

Right wing and no wing

Politics in Canada may be a kind of religion for the media and the women’s movement just took a dive with the revelations by a cabinet member and the sheer malice of the leader of others. There is a lack of insight and humility that plagues the politics of both the left and the right. What next? Call the Republican Party of the United States to help us sort out what the shuffled and resigned females of the Liberal Party have foolishly thought was the spark for the rise of a new political environment? Sic the RCMP on the Prime Minister’s Office?

Right! On the 33rd of February.