So you wanna be…

A Moses, a David, a Paul, an Ezra, a Barnabas, we can never legitimately aspire to be because that route would deny God the pleasure of his wise and wonderful will for each individual.  So if we insist on jumping through hoops to win prizes that are not available to us that delusion has a date with the One with the keys. Why does it surprise us that we cannot be Father, Son, Holy Spirit? No hoops are necessary.  I cannot imagine who we might dare to want to be with all our might, and be anything but unapologetic and expectant for the discovery of who we are in God’s grand scheme.

Holy you and holy me are incomparable in name, function, and destiny.

Identity we cannot afford to neglect

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it. 

Revelation of John 2:17, NASB

Whatever people call us does not alter what is contained in the unique and exclusive name Christ gives. Just as the name SON distinguishes the Word of God from all other entities, so we can expect the name given in connection with the white stone to pierce the bubbles in which we might seek refuge.

Governments and all kinds of institutions go to great lengths to prevent confusion between people having the same names, which often happens. With a close(r) look at the two, three, four, or five individuals bearing the same name authorities will discover something that will decisively distinguish one from all others. With that information much misunderstanding and anguish can be averted. We would be surprised at how many people do not like you/us, period.

Hunger free, sinless and tireless

Superheroes own aircraft, never have to cook, mop a floor, raid a beehive, or go shopping.

When a sparrow’s death has God’s attention he does not seem to be much of a deity, so people reason, because death is the ultimate enemy, and they conclude that they have defeated death, a thing we know is entirely in GOD’s hands. People want to claim a win and a gain no matter what experience GOD assigns. After all, did not his SON die to bring life to humanity? .

Not even David, with God’s own heart

David’s a guy with a ton of baggage that we do not want wholesale. We’re sure we want his victory songs, and nothing to do with his anointing, his respect for Saul, his alliance with Jonathan, and we know what experiences of his we would never get ourselves into. We want the Father’s love without his discipline and correction. Our saddest desire is for the Word of God, incarnate and written, without change-creating and makeover power.

That I may reside, that He may reside

A truly marvellous pun rises from the canopy of David’s loves.  David gets the idea that YHWH deserves something better than a tent, especially since the people are no longer on a physical journey, with the sacred tent moving from place to place. David confided in the prophet Nathan that something was out of whack with his house of cedar and YHWH’s curtains (animal hair tent). The discussion of residence continues with Nathan giving the king the thumbs up, and with YHWH delivering his perspective to the king through Nathan.  From what proceeds in the conversation, David’s sleepless quest arises.  He sings about staying away from his residence until he finds an appropriately regal place for YHWH to reside. He vowed, “I will not enjoy residence or sleep until YHWH has a palace”.

THE ONE THING that seems to be genuinely single.

We read “one thing” in many places, but it is obvious that the singleness of focus or intention can be contextual. For example:

John 9:25, 2 Samuel 3:13, Philippians 3:13, Luke 10:42, Matthew 21:24

In the Psalms, “one thing” is exclusively David’s.  We can confirm that this sole desire is the one for which he made himself sleepless (Psa 132:3-5)

Just so we understand the idea of residence as not static, let us recall that the kingdom of God is constantly in motion: from Egypt to Canaan, then towards  peace with their neighbours, and towards a spiritual rest in which individual minds could be fixed upon YHWH and the gifts with which he is able to clothe the inner person (even before the age of the unleashed Holy Spirit!).

God’s residence plan moves from “with” to “in”

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

John 14:16-17

Now if God’s dwelling among (in the middle of) his people (Exodus 25:8) is to be something more than a temporary and celebratory palace in the nation’s capital there must be a human component.  Behind that necessity we see God removing the notion of unclean people and clean people, so that anyone who responds diligently to divine prompting to change (minds) may become a part of God’s new tabernacle.  HE cleanses Gentiles and Jews and gives them the Holy Spirit.

having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,  in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,  in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:20-22, NASB

For a future look at what divine residence might look like we may ponder Ezekiel’s city and temple vision (chaper 40:2, 5), and practically all levitical matters seem to fade in the light of Messianic glory, because nothing created by human hands can be recognized as having access to the glory of the eternal kingdom.  There are still, in Ezekiel’s vision, grain and animal sacrifices, and those for sin are particularly (40:39) inconsistent with the memo to the prophets about the unsuitability of offerings. 

Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.

Isaiah 1:13, NASB

Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

Psalms 40:6, NASB

For what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba And the sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.

Jeremiah 6:20, NASB

Temple theology tanks

The glory of God comes and goes from the Jerusalem temple, but there is never even a hint that the Jew-Gentiles split is to be dissolved in fulfilment of Abraham’s blessing.  The inclusion of Gentiles into Israel for the establishmen of David’s house seems not to have occured to Ezekiel.

The unmistakeable inclusion of Canaanites and Gentiles, Ornan of Jebus and Hiram of Tyre in the acquisition of the land for the temple and its building points to a definite end of levitical priesthood,  so Ezekiel’s vision is to be interpreted as symbolic if the priesthood and offerings are essential.

“Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord.” (Ezekiel 10:4, NASB)

“And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.” (Ezekiel 43:5, NASB)

“Then He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the house; and I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord, and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 44:4, NASB)

Ezekiel’s vision of sacrifices for sin continuing (43:19-21) is a great example of ancient Spirit-led persons saying what they were told without knowing its significance. We know there is a decisive end of atonement in Christ’s death – it is finished -on the cross. Temple an types are finished. John, in Revelation “… heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,” (Revelation of John 21:3, NASB) and to drive this point further to the centre John also reports that in the New Jerusalem he “saw no temple …  for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” (Revelation of John 21:22, NASB)

They have no right

In this age of rights and competing privileges it may seem hardheaded to talk about people who have no right.  In most associations there are hard rules governing the conduct of their distinctive business.  For example, we will know exactly how topsy turvy our world is when a woman is the bishop of Rome.  We are neither topsy  turvy nor out on a limb when we say that people who turn from the gifts of the Risen Christ to the weak and useless rudiments of ancient Israelite life have no right to eat at the table with the people who are hospitable to outsiders, are not established in the community of the faithful by means of food and drink, but by the blood of Christ.

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years.  I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.”

Galatians 4:9-11

To a man, every group of “Christians” obsessing about law and grace, law and order, law and righteousness, has found the low road. The easiest thing a person can do to impress his peers is to put on a show, you know, rend the garment and not the heart. The easy reality bypass is to say we are committed to doing everything God says, and that proves how deeply in love with him we are. We then pick all the things that have nothing to do with people being the supreme object of God’s love.

We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.

Hebrews 13:10, NASB

Quit messing with our altar

No Gentile could ever become a priest in Israel’s ancient Levitical priesthood, nor can any Muslim convince adherents of Islam that he or she is a prophet.  We had better start worrying about why God for so many people is the ultimate do-as-I-say boss. I much prefer the God who opens the door for his amazing creatures to emulate him, especially in interpersonal matters. Woe is me for seeing an accessible God in the merciful Allah (ain’t that what they say?), or in the God of Abraham who turns a dead end couple from Mesopotamian into the ancestors of a family as numerous as stars in the sky.

Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.

Hebrews 13:9

The insane and the inane

So tell the world why do people turn from loving people to loving the law, the state or the political party. Is it not a leaky lifeboat that people are rushing to board when they tell us that it is a righteous or godly thing to do no work on the seventh day of the week while it is clear that God is works 365-24-7? People are insane and just plain inane to subscribe to a good news package that begins and ends with commands that can never produce life. The insanity proceeds to prefer so-called prophetic visions, tabernacle theories, opposing views of the Bible’s pronouncements on the means of salvation, what to eat, touch, and taste, and being more Jewish than the Jews, over the eyewitness accounts of the apostles, whose words the insane refuse to interpret from their purest forms. It is definitely a silly thing to claim to be the real McCoy when we do not even want to admit that our proclamation arises from mere and often poor copies of the handwriting of Messiah’s eyewitnesses. What right indeed have such people to call themselves disciples, to eat at our altar?

Roosting rebels can’t take the heat

Why are so many of the USA’s troubles connected to “Amendments”?  Lawyer-speak and law manipulation, a phenomenon top of field since New Testament times.  In addition to the law being written on stone to indicate its permanence and immutability we have to admit that amendments to the American Constitution or any other body of law would indicate its imperfection. It is the point made in the book of Hebrews when it affirms that a change in priesthood necessitates a change in law.  Priesthood, as the top ranking agency in Israel, is not Levitical but Melchizedekan.  It is hot in this space and all the crowing about law and order is a dead give away that the reality of grace and goodness is either not enough for insincere people or too much heat for them to absorb.

The scribe and the lawyer

Two professional types in New Testament times were the perpetual hounds of anyone who dared to act on the revelation that David’s greater son was the fulfillment of the essential hope of Abraham’s descendants and the hope of the human race. The scribes appear first helping Herod locate the birthplace of the newborn Messiah and thereafter asking gotcha questions or making shipwreck of the noblest human character trait: forgiveness.

The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” (Luke 5:21, NASB)

Scribes stood out for gumming up the power and authority that is latent in the Scriptures. Matthew reports that phenomenon: “for He [Christ] was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matthew 7:29, NASB)

Grace: the block’s hottest girl

Law written in the heart does nothing to resolve the impurities in the heart; it only adds condemnation because it will always serve to show man guilty.  Whether you are saved or not, or think yourself a saint or a sinner saved by grace, there are certain things in the heart that we need to wrestle with. Tell yourself that you are in a different class and you will deny yourself the salvation which God provides for all human beings. Grace is simply too hot to handle much less manipulate, unlike law.  Grace (charis,χάρις) properly received elicits simple and unmixed thanks  (charis, χαρις ).

That’s not a prayer

You are likely to have received a forwarded message asking you to pray and forward to a specific number of contacts. Typically I ignore such messages with a “Thank you”. When the message comes from someone who is in a position of influence I have found it helpful to put a spotlight on the particulars of the so-called prayer campaign.

Here is the pitch

We are trying to form a thousand-person prayer group to pray for the children of this generation. We want to ask God to save them... (italics are mine).

This may look like targeted prayer, but it is just another example of the kind of thing a secondhand or copycat “exorcist” or “prayer warrior ” might want to do. In the book of Acts there is the narrative about the sons of a Jewish high priest who were going around the city of Ephesus using the Saviour’s name in what they hoped would be exorcism experiences. They made the mistake of using the phrase “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” (Acts 19:13, NASB)”. These men were rascals exploiting what they thought was an effective formula, namely, “in the name of”.

The rascal sons of Sceva were not even Christians, just as there many capitalist and fame-seeking imps posing as pastors and evangelists of the Church of Christ.

The sons of Sceva, like many people in our times, were unaware that simply saying “in Jesus’s name” cannot makeover things which are not in character with Jesus. People have the power to ask God for anything whatever but they had better remember that God has a will (and testament) for all humans, and he is not about to set that aside because 1000 or 2 persons make a case.

Save people by preaching the Gospel

Here is what the message says the children of this generation need to be saved from.

  • the negative side of the Internet…
  • games addiction
  • pornography
  • wrong relationships and influences
  • rebellion
  • lewdness
  • laziness
  • greed
  • ignorance of God’s presence
  • confusion
  • helplessness
  • anxiety
  • depression

There is a name for what God saves people from: sin.

If your view of sin is legalistic you are in the misguided majority. People are not saved because they stop certain behaviours, but when they believe that Christ died and rose from the dead.

Lost people need to be found by gospel workers

This 1000 man campaign has a list that does not include unbelief. It is incredibly daft to not know that people are in darkness – lost – until they believe. Saved people know that they could not have been made aware of salvation without God personally intervening. Noone gets saved without preaching. The campaign hopes to have an entire generation just turn around because of a 30 second prayer.

Here is the rationale and instructions

They do not realize that they are moving into a deep darkness slowly but surely. Please love and care for them by joining us in the next 30 seconds to PRAY aloud (or silently as you wish) for every child of every color in every country in the world today. Then take the next 30 seconds to forward this prayer to 10 of your friends whom you think will invest 1 minute of their lives to unite with us in this prayer.
Let’s us pray:

THANK YOU! Now please forward to 10 people so we keep this prayer alight for the hearts, minds and souls of our precious children!
Prayer Works because God Answers!!

Of course the children of this generation do not know they are lost condemned. Neither did we until Christ arrested us. God has demonstrated his tender love for humanity. His hands are wounded for every human being IN SPITE OF ANYTHING THEY CAN BE ACCUSED OF DOING. The human race is in his care. We cannot put our neighbours in his care any more than we can interpret the Bible without reading it.

God answers, “you talking to me or performing for your peers?:

Our Father in Heaven, we place all the children everywhere in the world of all ages today into Your gentle but powerful hands. Please save them, have mercy on them and free them all from rebellion, lewdness, laziness and greed. May they be conscious of Your presence Lord Jesus as You take away all their confusion, hopelessness, anxiety and depression. Release Your supernatural faith, love, hope and peace in them. Heal all their broken hearts as You replace it with Your joy and strength to withstand all the temptations that come before them. Teach them how to yearn for righteousness and to detest lies and immorality. Preserve their innocence and keep their hearts pure! Save these children from every snare set up by Satan and the world that surrounds them. We claim victory for each child in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.”

I shudder to think that the message is the brainchild of a church leader. Claiming in prayer what we should be doing is as off the wall as are prayers to Mary and departed saints.

What memo? No demo?

Most of the world’s religions keep trying to insert themselves into the necessary narrative of near-global expectation for a world at peace, but their rhetoric keeps overshooting reality and the vanity of the violence they are prepared to unleash on society is convincing evidence that some people have not seen the memo titled “One home, one family, one love”.

No peace among friends and allies

No genuine pacesetter has emerged despite thousands of years of jockeying, storytelling and violent attempts to convince the public.  It is good sign that enemies sign treaties and trade accords, but, more often than not, such innovations are simply signs. Most people alive have not seen a demo of world peace or civic health.

Deadly secrets of the club

It must be a secret affair that keeps peace from breaking out even in Jerusalem.  I suppose that the ancient kingdom had to surmount the interests of 11 tribes in the context of a system dominated by another, a twelfth, tribe.  The New Testament witnesses to a greatly reduced kingdom with two tribes left alive.

Where is the wisdom

Wisdom’s a totally nice girl. Solomon was not kidding, despite his poor choices, when he wrote, “Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square;” (Proverbs 1:20, NASB) and tells us about her relative value with “How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!” (Proverbs 16:16a NASB) There is not a lot of room for finding fig leaves to hide the folly of ancient and modern leaders.

“Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace.” (Proverbs 3:17, NASB)

“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7, NASB)

“Their feet run to evil, And they hasten to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, Devastation and destruction are in their highways. They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks; They have made their paths crooked, Whoever treads on them does not know peace.” (Isaiah 59:7-8, NASB)

He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live.

Proverbs 15:27, NASB

Who is going to be his brother’s keeper? People who have received and read the memo. Let us do this, because not even an only child can be that insensitive.


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making up my mind what to eat and drink and what to say

whether to be sober or just dance and play

all across my neighbourhood

people are calling bad things good

rating foolish things as wise

turn people into merchandise
good news in the city these days hard to find

people so let down they're literally blowing their minds

Shake the tree

shake the tree, see if leaves and fruit will fall

oh no! with deep roots producing won't stall

lace up your boots, climb before it gets too late

stop looking down, time for our eyes to elevate

Attack like wild beasts

I am pretty sure that the proponents of an artificial intelligence powered world have already gotten the memo.  Like the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires the highly anticipated AI world is going to crash.  Yes, it will crash even though the engineering geniuses know that there are unsurmountable problems with trusting unthinking robots with navigating the highways and lanes of human dignity and diversity.  For the same reason that humans need to go where only machines currently go and explore human societies need the best of human integrity and intelligence to generate meaningful momentum towards sustainable civic society.

Since we have a full array of witnesses concerning the perfection of human civilizing attempts on every continent and island a non-human basis for maturing human societies cannot be more vacuous, rebellious and futile.  With five entities holding veto power at the United Nations and the member nations settling into their tribal and national delusions I think it is time to ask two critical questions. Why are the nations in a seemingly endless uproar? Why are the nations imagining emptiness?

Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing?

  Psalm 2:1, NASB

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying…

Psalm 2:2, NASB

Are the goyim the only people who RAGASH (רגש)? The verb appears once in scripture so we can best tell what the word means by observing what nations do.

It may not be obvious to the casual or avid reader that the nations – the goyim – were a kind of whipping boy or scapegoat.  The wish and prayer for the nations to be blessed as Israel was or could be is indeed rare. God never asked for the world’s nations to emulate Israel.   It is no surprise that the mention of the nations (the Gentiles) was (and likely still is) derogatory and unrealistic, not to mention being out of line with Abraham’s vision and his descendants’ experience of bondage and out of line with the blessing of all families on earth.

Like wild beasts

People who believe that God is not an absent landlord and is willing to invest in human welfare by a personal intervention are going to be attacked and threatened with death by the communities in which they live. Christ impressed his disciples with the certainty of attack with these words, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” (John 15:18, NASB)

THE BEAST. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. (Revelation of John 13:6, NASB) It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. (Revelation of John 13:7, NASB)

A SECOND BEAST. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (Revelation of John 13:15, NASB)