Why it is not funny

The greatest powers on earth might seem to have no mention in God’s road map, the Bible, but let’s face it, Syria, Iraq, Iran,  Lebanon, Russia and Egypt are all living witnesses to the movement of God’s agenda from antiquity. So where are China, Australia and the Caribbean?  The nations of Europe are in the record, but where are the United States and Canada?  Is it funny that Israel and the undisputed powerhouse of the modern era are often in the same room, eating the same dinner and no-one seems to be unravelling the outrageous homicidal behavior of the powers competing for dominance on the world stage? No. 

The powers that have helped Israel with God’s stamp of approval are few. Though the Israelites kept running to Egypt for help it is Ethiopia, Syria and Persia that have been the helpers of Israel. Today’s Arabs will betray and attack Israel even as both parties invoke the name of Abraham. It is not funny. It is a deadly game of profit over the prophetic. God is not impressed by monuments, cowardly generals, and magnates. Poverty, misogyny, miscarriage of justice, and the crushing the visions of young people with deadly traditions is not funny.

Calling for peace with a knee on the neck of a helpless and vulnerable people is immoral in any country. God gets the last and decisive laugh and the blind now sees they all do it.

2) The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, 3) “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” 4) He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.

(Psalms 2:2-4)

Things that set us off

The mosquito’s charm is minor compared to the female body and hoth of these pale beside the popular hypocritical righteous grab bag. You may not be a warrior for the righteousness that is of debt and performance, but the words obey and precept are triggers that often lead to disaster.

Turned on by viral words

When people affirm their salvation by grace through faith there is sometimes a violent disapproval. “Grace through faith” is not enough but depending on shaky human will and standing next to the fireplace labelled “perfect compliance” .human will and freedom of choice.

Word of God in the heart

Tbe word of God is not a condom. People sin while reciting and magnifying a host of sayings from the Bible. A very common sin is lying: lying about miraculous deliverance while the messenger is in the grip of disability and disease easily corrected by human diligence

Are you turned on by grace or obedience, by God’s personal customized package of amens or a servant’s collection of negatives?

What a difference between the sight of a mosquito and a dragonfly!

Wasted Xenophobic Years

“All the earth”, “all the people”, and “all the nations” are phrases we find intriguing because they appears as bright lights then disappear like used toilet paper. The legacy of Abraham and logical conclusion of the Solomonic dynasty are a stiff rebuke to all the religious contention, all the political camps, and all. The common pattern in politics, religion and human traits is the years wasted hating outsiders.

United Europe, Kingdom and States

The visionary and courageous George might be wondering over his wandering children, weeping over the blood spilt over (1) the love of money (unpaid servants), (2) the vanity of a pluralism that features two (count them, 2!) political parties and (3) a Christian coalition aimed at silencing the prayers of Jews, Hindus, Muslims and even Christians with whom they disagree.

Xenophobia is the target of the gospel’s truth

Since Christ is himself the truth we must assign to him at least two primary characteristics. The first is that, as truth, he is the one to whom we look for certainty. This shade of meaning comes from the Hebrew root amn, believe, verify, etc. The second characteristic which we must assign to Christ as truth is that he is the one who is in the open, no longer the mystery concealed (from the foundation of the world) because this is the nature of truth. Truth, to be accessed and applied, needs to be in the open It cannot be hidden, as is the case for a lot of the knowledge that exists as attractive among the major religions. There is always something hidden; always something in the secret place. Not so with the way of Christ. He is the truth right out in the open clear and without controversy.

Yet we have a deafening silence over what the Bible calls the truth of the gospel. All the books and digital broadcasts apparently do not know what the gospel’s truth is. They are, I am sure, going to keep calling wolves lambs and the dragon a lamb. Practically, they will keep pretending to have found revolutionary keys to sinless living when in fact they have neither spade nor trowel for discovering the treasures of God’s written messsge.

14) But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? 15) We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles;

Gal. 2:14-15

Today’s gospel ministers are silent over xenophobia because they have not been convinced that Paul and Peter were in the upward way while people like James were still hateful name calling zealots pushing a Jew-Gentile split in the church.

You can joke about it but for the historical record, the United States, the United Kingdom and the exiled province of Judea have wasted respectively in excess of two hundred years, over four hundred years, and seventy years pursuing supremacist, colonial and xenophobic fantasies. Definitely not a joke!

Storytelling and Truth Shouts

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.

Psalms 34:6

Most readers are not capable of getting the meaning of the text from the simplest of sayings. Even when the saying is a single clause such as “I shall not want” (Psalm 23) the difference between drama and the expression of fact, being a basic feature of the Hebrew language seems to have been ignored as inconsequential. The major translations (or versions) of the Bible are complicit in this substandard word-handling. Most translators might say they were interested in being simple, but it is better to translate based on the actual words and the context.

The actor’s “I will bless”

The difference between a promise (there is no Hebrew word for promise corresponding to the Greek epaggelia) and a plea is completely avoided. “I will sing” in the Psalms makes people lie in public. The verb shir in the imperfect aspect (often treated as a future tense) is not a pledge. “I will sing” and “I will play” appear more often than not in their cohortative aspects of the verbs. No-one but an angel ceaselessly utters thanksgiving or adoration. None of the psalmists are angels. They all use their mouths for other things and saying “Bless God” or “Hallelujah” often does not cut it. The practice of peppering one’s speech with words that might reflect blessing or praise is barking up the wrong tree. The cohortative is more a plea for permission (may I please) and an expression of determination (I only want to) than a prediction (I will).

The more time we spend approaching the word of God as a treasure for which some careful digging – like an archaeologist – is required, the more secure our witness and our lives become. Getting the meaning of a saying from a Bible dictionary or a lexicon is a preliminary exercise, and this is what many interpreters do to show that there is commendable word handling in progress. Knowing the meaning of words (Hebrew and Greek) ought to lead to examining the critically important matters of word order, the various aspects of the verbs, and the host of idiomatic expressions (blessing I will bless = I will most certainly bless, dying you will die = you will definitely die).

So here we are, in the age of increasing deception, shallowness, and laziness, creating illustrations and fanciful applications of important statements of facts. The obsession with storytelling is destroying the transmission of healthy doctrine. We ignore the difference between indisputable conclusions and drama to the catastrophic destruction of our houses. We build on reliable conclusions about God’s completed actions and promises not stories.

““Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.”

Matthew 7:26, NASB

How much law can you apply to ingratitude?

We do not know how many leper colonies there were in Israel in New Testament times, but lepers and former lepers were common enough; common and perennial, eliciting a bold and decisive move from Yeshua.  On one occasion He touched a leper and cleansed him instantly.  That incident must have caused an earthquake in the levitical system, and Yeshua made sure the priesthood knew what had happened. Compared to what they were instructed to do Yeshua’s touch and cleaning was outrageous. None of the Jewish lepers returned with praise.  They were likely to have been there and done that, with no relief of their condition

Leper cleansing front and centre

The mission of the first disciples included dealing with lepers.  The evangelists do not reveal the exact method of cleansing lepers, except in Yeshua’s case.  It goes without saying that the disciples did not engage in a potentially months long inspection like the priestly process (Leviticus 14:2-32).

““Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”

(Mat 10:8, NASB)

One leper delivers clarity

Luke reports that Yeshua cleansed ten lepers and instructed them to present themselves to the priesthood.

15) Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, 16) and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. 17) Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine–where are they? 18) Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”

Luke 17:15-18

Not a single leper in Israel was cleansed of leprosy, despite a lengthy procedure in place for the priests.  If you believe that Christ is delivering people (and not necessarily believers) from life’s financial,  social, marital, medical and legal ups and downs should not the deliverers be examples of the delivered? Should we expect the lives of the deliverers to show the effects of deliverance?

History haunts and a community taunts

We can fantasize all we want about law and obedience but no one – God included- appreciates ingratitude.  No, we are not going to force people to go to church, to sing praise, to pray. If these actions are not spontaneous we are stuck in the mud of confusion and hypocrisy. Perhaps the lepers and their families in New Testament times had come to realize that God was not going to help them. They might well have known that God miraculously cleansed a Syrian military officer and they might well have been aware that there is no record of the levitical service – Law of the Leper – being successful. Yeshua knew those two things too. He also knew that Israelite lepers had suffered and were suffering beyond remedy.

“27) “And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”28) And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29) and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.” (Luke 4:27-29, NASB)

A rash of leper cleansing

The priestly response to lepers being cleansed apart from their intervention is not recorded. The examination of the man born blind may give us hints of how they may have taken on a rash cleansed lepers showing up to register their gratitude.

The illusion of favour and happiness has crested. It is endemic. The people who believe that law (secular and sacred) will fix our problems and keep us safe are the same people who believe that those Christ saves can die. They believe that the people made whole by Yeshua need addons. They believe that law – designed for bad actors – is the foundation of God’s kingdom.

“And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Luke 7:22, NASB)

Tune in to the Messiah channel! When these events listed in Luke 7:22 happen in the twenty-first century there is no need for an explanation and everybody knows they do not happen because of law. People who sense God’s grace need no law to tell them to say thank you.

Gold turns to tin

The great nations of the world are now at the bottom of the barrel doubling fown on junk theories, gone wild possibilities, misfiling words with empty promises, and trying to be relevant when it is clear that they are all loud gongs, and their intellectual enterprises show that the gold is definitely turned to tin.

If I said the same thing about religions someone is bound to be offended. If I presented all the evidence I have collected about the start, progress and decline of the popular religious groups someone will still be offended. It is good to remember that human goodwill and good sense did not bring us to the twenty-first century. Active and proactive goodwill and good sense are neither latent nor manifest in the ancient religions. One has to dig real deep to find the expected excellence.

The meaning and mouthing of God’s words

While Yeshua said that people live by God’s words and Moses was absolutely clear that people needed to comply with God’s words. Life, land and death are incidental to Moses’ teaching. Life is central to Yeshua’s work and teaching. We cannot say the same about Moses and the Israelite experience. involved and the proof of that is that the first generation who complied with God’s words by leaving Egypt under the blood of a lamb painted onto the door post all died and did not see the promise which everybody thought was given to every generation.

I am not given to repeating maxims and slogans; not even popular sayings like John 3:16. I have an aversion to repeating promises and judgments that have no anchor to the gospel. Just think. How how many sentences can a preacher string together and ask the congregation to say them before the congregation realizes they are up the creek in the land of Oz saying lots loudly and meaning nothing.

There are no excuses for the kind of ignorance that accompanies the rabbis, pastors and imams. They know they are not up to snuff. They betray their calling and education. They are good at broadcasting the trivia of words without demonstrating divine approval.


One of these days all the secondhand wisdom and sons of Sceva powers will be shattered. The ears will stop tingling because people prefer the meaningless appearance of knowledge rather than integrity and honesty. The man of God will do as instructed; “… break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you” (Jer 19:10, NASB)

The kings of earth and their affair with gold

After the mention of its presence in an ancient place named Havilah gold disappears only to reappear as the obsession of kings as esthetically superior and the most valuable object of currency.  Pharaoh’s surrounded themselves with it in life and death.  At least one Babylonian king built a monument of gold to be worshipped by all in his realm.  Meanwhile silver rises as the common “money” but gold is not really forgotten.

SILVER and GOLD

Genesis 13:2 details Abram’s wealth (his KABOD, glory, weight or significance) as livestock, silver, and gold (and likely in that order of volume). 

Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold. 

This patriarch acquired servants with silver (Genesis 17) no doubt in conformity to common practice.  Servants were “family” but were to be distinguished by the fact that they were bought. Abram’s wealth, a few years later, is counted in livestock (flocks and herds), silver, gold, and serving girls, camels and donkeys, as reported by his steward.

The Lord has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become rich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys.

Genesis 24:35

Gold objects and jewelry appear in Canaan and Egypt (Genesis 24 and 41:42).  By the time of the closing narratives in Genesis “put your silver where your mouth is” might have been part of the vernacular.

GOLD, GOD, AND HOLINESS

When Yahweh instructed Moses to set up the levitical kingdom the amount of gold was staggering.  The items of gold are clearly chosen for their extraordinary ranking in the innermost processes of the sacred tent.  

Gold almost everywhere one looks

What do we mean by innermost?  The tabernacle was a tent encircled by a wall, separating the tribes from the sacred tent.  The tent had two rooms. We distinguish the innermost room by the rare –  once a year – access to it, and then only by the high priest.  The golden items in that room were golden cherubim, the kapporet or mercy-seat (a kind of lid for the ark), the gold-covered ark, gold rings for the gold-overlaid poles for carrying the ark.  The ark was really a wooden box, overlaid with gold, and built to contain the two stone tablets on which God and Moses wrote the covenant.   

In the other room, used every day, with the need for lamps and incense and bread to be resupplied, were the golden lampstand, the golden incense altar, golden snuffers and trays for the lampstand, and the gold-covered bread table, golden dishes, pans, jars and bowls for the bread table.  The lampstand and the table also had gold-covered acacia poles for transporting them.

From tent to temple

David’s preparation for the temple, which he was not allowed to build, was extensive. He had been dedicating bronze, silver, and gold to the Lord which he had been hauling away from the Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, Amalekites (1 Chronicles 18:11, NASB).

Solomon appears to have was pulled out all the stops, but he could not seem to duplicate the all-gold cherubim.  

“Also in the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high.”

1 Kings 6:23, NASB

“He also overlaid the cherubim with gold.”

1 Kings 6:28, NASB

But get this:

“He overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar which was by the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.”

1 Kings 6:22, NASB

A Warning to the princes

While the people of Judah were in Babylon the Lord issued an indictment against the Babylonian king, Belshazzar, who had decided that he and his court could use the golden vessels stolen from the Jerusalem temple for purposes other than what they were designed for.  A drinking binge in the palace ended badly.

“but you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see, hear or understand. But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and all your ways, you have not glorified.”

Daniel 5:23, NASB

“That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain.” (Daniel 5:30, NASB)  

Priestly Refuge shattered

There should be no doubt that gold, as the most valued currency, was devoted to the national centrepiece.  The priests were not only fully supported by the tithes from the people; they grew wealthy through the redemption processes regarding property.  They also lost sight of the values of the things they handled.  These were the reasons for Yahweh to remind the people of his ownership and issue a riveting prediction concerning the second temple.  Both were riveting because no-one instructed in the temple processes had an excuse for confusing the sanctified with the sanctifier, and anyone who could remember Solomon’s temple would have to admit that Ezra’s temple was nothing to write home about.

“‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

(Haggai 2:7, NASB)

The priests came to see the purpose of the temple services as unlikely.  They had clearly forgotten that the purpose of the priesthood was to restore balance in the community and to provide (as promised) atonement for violations of the covenant.  In answer to the question about the resulting transfer of holiness from a person carrying the holy flesh (of an animal) to bread, cooked food, wine, etc. they did not make the grade.

“‘If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’” And the priests answered, “No.””

(Haggai 2:12, NASB)

When asked the corresponding question about the transfer of uncleanness the priests missed the mark by responding that uncleanness gets transferred from an unclean person touching bread, cooked food, wine, etc. 

“Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will become unclean.””

(Haggai 2:13, NASB)

A stingy view of God and his gifts emerges. If the priests’ views were correct there is scant grace in the administration of God’s property; silver or gold, the clean and the unclean. 

Yahweh affirms his ownership of all things, saying, “‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine …” (Haggai 2:8, NASB)

Greater than the temple and all its treasures.

It is a sad story in any era when the leaders do not know what they are alking about. One has to be blind (Romans 11:7-8) not to see how dark the gold had become, how the pure gold had changed, nor how sacred things had become common. It is no coincidence that the precious sons of Zion, weighed against fine gold, are regarded as earthen jars (from Lam 4:1-2, NASB)

“But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here.”

(Matthew 12:6, NASB)

The capitalist dooms the temple

ÝWith his high regard for silver and gold the expert misled the priest and exposed their livelihood to a catastrophic encounter with Christ.  Christ was full of zeal for his Father’s house.  He saw something when he was twelve years old, and as he returned each year he saw the deepening corruption of both Mosaic doctrine and prayer.  The amazement of all who heard the young Yeshua’s questions and answers comes from the fact that the teachers (and the Sadducees) were mired in error.

The religious capitalist gets a woe

People can be more fond of money than of God. The people of the last days are clearly descendants of the Pharisees of New Testament times.

In a set of withering denunciations our Lord called the members of the most popular religious group and the scholars blind guides because they had been denigrating oaths invoking the temple, and elevating oaths invoking the gold of the temple (Matthew 23:16, NASB).

  • “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,” (2 Timothy 3:2, NASB)
  • “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.” (Luke 16:14, NASB)

If gold was more important than the temple to the learned men of New Testament times, what is there to make the case that the capitalist systems of the twenty-first century are lined up for a catastrophic fall?  Perhaps the warning from Paul and his prediction helps to understand the relationship between standing up and falling when money or wealth is a priority.

  • “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (1 Timothy 6:9, NASB)
  • “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17, NASB)

Despite the evidence of the millions who, hooked on the capitalist dream, continue to profess to be kingdom people, Christ, who holds the keys to who gets into the kingdom, says it is hard for a rich person to be a kingdom person.  He thought it was so hard that he illustrated the possibility with the analogy of a camel passing through the eye of a needle.

More than gold or any gem

Now that we know that gold is not the true standard of wealth and the glittering professions and achievements of the twenty-first century alliances and superpowers is just iron and tin, we should know why have the transcendent values stayed pinned to corruptible things. All things do not continue as from the beginning. The flood is God’s punctuation of the sentence that defines the creation of man. Peter says that it is shortsightedness that energizes the view of all things continuing as from the beginning and that corruptible things – even the ones declared holy in the Levitical kingdom – are capable of redeeming humanity. Yeshua’s disciples also fantasized about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. Instead, we see the temple destroyed.

Way above the hundreds of injunctions and prohibitions stand God’s promises. First, the sovereign words concerning the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants fulfilled apart from compliance with the Sinai Covenant. The evidence that God provided for the certainty of his promise was the sojourn in Egypt, a event concluded four hundred years after Abraham’s decease. Secondly, Christ warns of the fan club idolizing the rich. Thirdly, there is no evidence that poor people – having neither silver nor gold – are withholding wages, dragging innocent people into court, and oppressing foreigners and visitors. If we want to see food turn instantly into feces, let us make a rich man ruler!

Reactionary algorithms

One of these days we will arrive at a place where we are free from the influences of neighbours and the media. We will clearly hear the suggestions in the viral videos and articles and realize that we already know the truth and we will not allow any thing said to remove truth from its liberating perch.

Truth is remedy surpassing facts

“I have learnt two things about the press and wives. When they say something – don’t react.”

— Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

Social media and regular media reach into our lives, often saying nothing of consequence, but prompts us to react. “Say something”. “Share your views”. Will we ever see something and not do something? Maybe not. We can be certain that we are not all writers, no matter what app or platform we are using.

I have learnt one thing about the heavenly media: play ostrich and end up abandoned to chasing shadows.

Non-virtual algorithms

The natural pathways of information aimed at humans appear in the Eden narrative. This source shows how deeply invested God is in humans. “Do not mess with the knowledge of good and evil” seems tiny and odd compared to (1) have dominion over the fish, birds, and moving creatures and (2) dressing and keeping the garden.

Google and all the handlers of information think they have figured out how to make the world seem better than it is. All the people responding to news and disinformation do not constitute a think tank. How many people do we think are really interested in the end of racism and xenophobia? Why does it take decades to make the Bible the law of the land (as Israel claims to have done)? A mere handful are interested. Every day a person in power misleads and intimidates people who want neither Moses nor Christ as a civic leader.

Unless we want to prove that we are better than Adam and Eve we should stop talking about keeping hundreds of commandments so that God can bless us or so we can have God’s approval. So let us stop reacting to inflammatory and unvetted information, such as visions and promises of relief from all of life’s offerings, the resurrection of juvenile practices, and rather respond to the voice that calls us to decency honesty and excellence.