I know that Paul want us to listen to potus45’s very fine people.
Even in the world of wolves Christ’s lambs are secure. The gates of Hades do not prevail so it bears explaining that we are concerned about weapons formed against us. Many books we read twist and warp the glorious gospel and we do not notice that we have drifted. Someone in your/my circle will betray you/me. Is that Isaiah 54:17 saying a genuine boast by the church in the face of obvious debility and death or is it the quiet and humble confidence of the individual?
Heritage and RighteousnessIsaiah 54:17
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
From barren to fertileIsaiah 54:1
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.
What the future looks likeIsaiah 54:12
And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
A promise of invincibility or invulnerability is inconsistent with individual Christian faith. Every day has evil or adverse conditions that affect us.
Persecution and Opposition
That there is both persecution and opposition aimed at believers and sometimes at specific groups is not debatable. The promise of 54:17 is that the weapons formed do not prosper. Between the extremes of birth and burial death and a host of setbacks haunt us. Is prosperity freedom from illness, a life of wealth, or is it that in spite of life’s common difficulties that God does not allow them to overcome us?
If there were documentation and not just casual witnesses to miracles like raising the dead, healing of fatal diseases, or of financial rescue we would find that doctrinal purity was not causal. Miracles in the Bible occur whether or not people have the correct views of the kingdom of God. The failure of weapons formed to hurt us depends on God’s grace.
We ignore a host of realities that are essential to the understanding of 54:17.
Reality is bigger than the pipe dream
Isaiah 54:11Isaiah 54:11
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
The entity addressed is neither invulnerable nor invincible. The experience of this lady included being called the following.
- The barren (vs. 1)
- The forsaken (vs. 6 )
- The spiritually grieved (vs. 6)
- The comfortless (vs. 11)
- The afflicted (vs. 11)
- The tempest-tossed (vs. 11)
Did the founding fathers of the United States cross the ocean in cowardice and were there believers left in their homelands?
When the books mislead and the familiar betrays we must affirm God’s love and stand boldly as “more than conqueror”. Tracking weapons will be tiring. Their effect cannot be denied. In fact if God opens our eyes to the conflict around us we will be shocked to see how many weapons there are and amazed when we realize how often we refuse the protection of his wings.
America’s Attorney General is a lawyer of the worst kind. He thought he needed to summarize the Mueller Report for the American people. We have Mueller’s own summary of a) no collusion and b) a host of criminal activities which Mueller was prevented from attaching to a sitting president. Isn’t he the one keeping protesters busy with his silence on police brutality and is he one of those patriots who does not believe that all men are created equal?
Wonder no more, Christian sibling
The vocal American is likely to be a public pretender – a writer, preacher, prosecutor and peace officer. The silent have shown what ugliness lurks in their churches and institutions. If we understand New Testament politics and modern governments calling themselves Judeo-Christian or Christian we know that a only a graphic lie has given them the appearance of legitimacy and human decency. AG Barr should lose his lawyer license stat for betrayal of the public trust.
What the apostles and New Testament writers intended us to know is in Black and white but do not ask the multitude. They are likely to give you the talking points of their denominational ancestors without regard to what the Bible actually says.
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.”
The wall of literacy is too much for many leaders and they refuse to climb it. They make excuses for people who are satisfied to repeat the slogans they have I inherited. The generations of New Testament times also were not into much reading. They preferred to take their quest for knowledge to the scribes who our Lord recognized as authorized scoundrels. This makes me shudder because the one thing that the church needs is competent scholars, and among the hordes of denominations and pastors one (1) is hard to find.
From the frying pan to the fireThen the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”
Where this leads is clear as day. The literate makes an indecipherable mystery and idol of the sacred text and the illiterate admits that he cannot even read it. In many church services they might as well exalt the Reader’s Digest. The speakers pretend to know. The tables in Judah were piled high with non-edible vomit and excreta. That was Isaiah’s observation.
Recitation is not learning
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,Isaiah 29:13
“Say after me” is shallow and shameful but that is all that many religions have. Tell your brother what he needs to be a Christian leader. Giving him a handgun to kill house flies is rank unprofessionalism.
Poor Falwell and crew! The thinly disguised moral majority was all the time silent on the violence directed against minorities, women and aliens. While many churches and the prominent leaders kept up the propaganda about public morality, they were ignoring lying, respect for parents and Sabbath-keeping. Not a good look for biblical morality. Falwell was no exegete and “biblical” for many evangelicals still means anything found in the Bible they hope to connect to life in America. For crying out loud: the state of Israel is the only entity with the Old Testament as its constitution or main law. The vision that gave rise a Christian America is a nightmare from which recovery is unlikely. The more people keep saying “God bless America” and “One nation under God” the less likely it seems that America will have a caliphate.
Fascism follows law
People have seen what God would do when people are oppressed. We do not need to imagine. Genocide, wild west vigilantism, gun fights, crooked marshals and drunken preachers, do not make a great precursor for a government underpinned by any distillation of biblical teaching. Discrimination and violence are not tools for civilization or spirituality. After 200 years there is no evidence of responsible civic society. American and western governments have deceived the world with words like democracy and rule of law. Law gets into people’s bones and they kill themselves. They have elections and keep up apartheid structures and misogynist beliefs. People excited about law will do what the crowd and the gatekeepers did to Jesus. Guaranteed! We do not have to imagine what they will do to us.
No Christ in the room
Holiness, goodness and equity do not come from law even though the law is those things. This grand triad comes to human lives only through the cross. If you think that the pastor will say the right thing because of his office (as Caiaphas did regarding the death of Christ) you know your lifeline is straw. We have a hard time finding God, much less Christ, in the world’s governments. America has been a captive of defunct ideas – chosen people and the rule of law- and is not a puppet of Russia. Americans and many Christians are essentially fascists, mostly devoted to imperial colonialism, genocidal solutions to social problems, and the superiority of European and Jewish peoples. Just ask their neighbours. Christian government is a $23 coin. No matter how many judges the religious people put on the supreme court and no matter how many Christians are elected to government there will never a Christian caliphate.
Knowing what we have discovered about secular religious power in religious hands we ought to be far more cautious about reinventing the wheel. The trial of Jesus by a religious court provides convincing evidence that injustice can acquire the label and reputation of justice. We can add nothing to the doctrines of Moses or Jesus and mixing the two is bound to result in wasting the two.
You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. Deut. 4:2,
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, (Rev. 22:18) and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Rev. 22:19)Rev. 22:18-19
Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”Matthew 9:17
The persecution of the church
In John 5:16 we see the Jews persecuting Jesus, because He was doing good things on the Sabbath. In Acts we see the persecution of Jesus’s disciples continues the church for calling on and preaching Jesus’s name. Perhaps it is James and the Pharisees who are the persecutors of the church. Judaism has never sustained a sense of morality. It only knew how to engage in power plays: prosecuting violators of the law, keeping aliens as second class citizens, and discriminating against women. Perfection and maturity are not the outcomes of law; law lets people know what sin they have committed, it condemns everyone without exception and predicts it’s own demise.
The way and the life
Since Christ personally takes the reins of God’s kingdom from the levitical system complete with a change of law, how can life of the redeemed (the converted) ever be shaped by dead works? Death and condemnation are not affirmed by the ritual law… Death sentences appear all over the law: for incest, sorcery, gluttony, rebellious children and many prohibitions (“you shall not…”) regarding festivals, and food and drink. We could believe that the law has nothing to do with moral behaviour or lifesaving obligations, but how can the cross not be elevated above the hills because of the freedom from death it brings? How can the cross not be the spice that flavors the life it brings if we believe that it does something the law could never do? Where is “what he’s done for others he’ll do for you” when you need one?
The evangelical world rejects the idea that the Law is perfect by rejecting the Sabbath and the rituals for sacrifice and festivals. If the law needs an improvement for the protection of women’s inheritance rights it is neither whole nor perfect. A Jew will rightly not accept the unraveling of the law into moral and ritual. Christians know that defining sin is not what Christ came to do. He came to abolish death and bring life and immortality to light through the gospel. If you think that the gospel is inadequate as a moral standard you will remain excited about pig’s mud, dog’s vomit, and give the nod to oppression of the poor and needy.
Sometimes lovers and friends imagine that they are so alike as think themselves to be identical. Because we have developed the habit of joining things in an equality craze there are many unwelcome and identical twin ghosts in our mindscape.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Law and testimony are synonymous
We all know that creation responds to God like clockwork. Lightning, thunder, rain, solar heat, water vapour and clouds need neither promise nor prohibition. Demons and lepers are equally and readily affected by the divine word. A human, a soul is not in the same class. After thousands of years of reciting what God has to say about what we should be or do we have no evidence that the content of the two stone tablets fulfill any transformative function.
Yahweh’s Torah converts life? Yahweh’s testimony wisens up the gullible? I state these as questions because we do not know which part of Moses’s five great books actually converts a person or which testimony delivers wisdom to simpleminded people. These twins do not seem related to grace and mercy’s salvation. Bearing in mind that a transfer from death to life is the major conversion that human beings need we hold our breath for the next outrageous “Judeo-Christian gospel” recommendation.
The fable of the perfect law has been thoroughly debunked because the law is known to have made nothing perfect and is not capable of doing so. That is Jewish testimony. There is no maturity to be had from submitting to it. Submitting to it confirms the childish stage of kingdom development. People who have read the material to learn what to do have learned what not to do and watch themselves do what it prohibits. The last place to look for personal perfection is the law, no matter how much noise is made or how many books are published to praise law and obedience.
The law says “kill the accused”
The date when the perfection dawned cannot be found. Year after year they cleansed the laundromat and returned to their broken lives. The law was killing people en masse.
Yeshua says set them free.
So where do life and wisdom really come from? The Son of God, exclusively.
1 Corinthians 1:21
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
1 Corinthians 1:24
but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
The schizophrenic take the cake
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
I still have to see the circumstances under which a ministry of condemnation and a ministry of life get identified as twins.