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and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Here is Jesus in John 11:26 affirming – no, triple-locking – the way of life. Living believers do not need to hear from anyone what else they need to be assured of life, to have anxiety reduced or removed. If you have been paying attention to Christian movements and the distinctions of the various groups you will know that every sect invents something that it hope’s will confirm that group’s views. Every group makes that mistake of adding something to what Christ commands.
Two factors are in the mix.
[ ] People who are LIVING
[ ] People who are BELIEVING
One of the truly silly and useless ideas are that people need, in addition to being alive and believing, a growing list of things, including the following:
- Abraham’s ruthless faith
- Solomon’s wisdom
- Moses’ law
- Adam’s diet
- Aaron’s DNA
- David’s passion
There is nothing but a black hole if we can picture someone dying “for ever”. Even more difficult is to try to see what someone NOT dying forever looks like. The freedom from dying is FINAL not absolute. We all have an appointment with death whether or not we cross from (the sentence and) the penalty and the life of those dead in trespasses and sins.
What do I mean by triple-locking? First lock: Jesus’s statement of the fact is without controversy. The second lock is the use of the double negative (ou me, ου μη) with “shall die”. The third lock is the use of the phrase unto the age, forever. This phrase is like our term “period ” or “fullstop”. It cannot mean that there are people who die when the age (or eternity) arrives.
How do you love?
John 3:16 does not talk about how much God loved the world or the “whoever”. It tells us how God loves the world. All the evangelists who fail to tell us who are the people God loves more than others should apologize for following the trend that says God is partial and imperfect love. He loves those who keep his commandments but what he does for those who don’t is the scandal of the ages. Love in small scales down packages is devilish stuff.
Imagine God’s perfect love @ 50%
As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord.
After reading a proclamation like that one is likely to think that the community was interested in bridging the diversity gaps. Israel had 12 tribes and a host of foreigners. Diversity was not a hidden dimension. It was not under the rug. Israel made arrangements for the consumption of taboo food items all the while embracing compliance with the law. The laws of other nations were considered inferior but human dignity – even female dignity – remained outside the camp had it not been for courageous protest.
Point of Pride
DEFERRED DINNERDeuteronomy 14:21
“You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
ONE LAW, ONE ORDINANCE
14) If an alien sojourns with you, or one who may be among you throughout your generations, and he wishes to make an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the Lord, just as you do so he shall do. 15) As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord. 16) There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.’”
Why does James have a Messianic leg to stand on when he (and his Pharisee allies) tried to bring the church under Mosaic bondage with circumcision, the (entire) law of Moses, and specifically the law of beasts strangled? Could a Pharisee not be aware that aliens were free from that observance?
James makes a weird and desperate ruling.Acts 15:19-20
19) Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, 20) but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.
Things strangled were kept away from Jews, not Gentiles. Who are you following with the monetizing of health care? Who do you follow with their praise of the law?
Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. -Martin Luther
Attempts to erase health care for the masses during a pandemic tells the whole truth about justice in America.
Maybe this is a good time to review every word of God before proclaiming the triumph of a Judeo-Christian world. Is James more Mosaic than Moses? We can see the law set in stone and simultaneously perfectly inconsistent and adaptable.
When the American president poses with a Bible in front of a church building and repeats the hollow sentiment that the United States has a Judeo-Christian root or shoot we know that there may be more American patriots outside of the US than those resident. That idolatrous claim is borne out by the stupid pairing of God with country. Two thousands years is a long time to establish a Christian state, more than enough time and enough time for the supervisor of the project to say “time is up”.
I suppose King James’ translators let him down. If their work was supposed to give the realm a cutting edge tool for bringing biblical the outcome is out in the open. They let me down even though I know that translations of the Bible from their original languages are not intended to bring the reader into a consistent face to face with the writers. The pulpit and the classroom are the best places for giving believers an inside view. Few pulpits and classrooms are engaged in this task.
Governments have no interest in making Scripture come alive for humanity and if they had an interest in adopting biblical codes for governance they surely look like they could not find them. Even the modern Jewish state is playing games with the Bible. Hundreds of years after David and Solomon the levitical kingdom came crashing down. What else could there be that anyone might want to prove?
The United States, as a righteous and godly entity, is manifestly a counterfeit. The Russians and the Chinese have America strung up by the ankles. The fundamental religionists are helping. If the United States is female, that makes a shameful display.
Some people want to pretend that revenge and fairness are the standard processes for global stability. Misery and loss are poor equalizers. No government can survive using legislation like this “eye for eye” legislation.
Addressing personal injuryExodus 21:23-25
23. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24. eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25. burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
Cleaning up the kitchenMatthew 5:38-41
38. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39. But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
We, living in the 21st century may say it is in the “bank”, in the generals and mighty men, even in the wise spokespersons of our times. The great is not the entity calling the shots but the one who Carries pir the orders. That’s right. The servant. The migrant and casual worker, the devoted parents holding down two or three jobs have more standing in the congregation of the righteous
The great and the greatestLuke 22:27
For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
Logic, political and religious theories do not accept the notion in the questions of Luke 22:47 and the proposition in the affirmation of the Son of Man’s position in the disciples’ company.
It sure looks illogical to have the greater – the meizôn – doing servant work. The Greatest is incarnate not merely as master of all but also as true servant and enabler.
We were great when we were helping the poor and needy
We turned viciously the First Nations and locked ’em up. We closed our harbours to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. We neglected to give the emancipated slave his land and tractor. That is more animalistic than noble. We are now defending the fox’s rampage in the henhouse.
If Isaiah had a year to serve as prophet his service would have bookends as follows.
Isaiah’s observation – Day OneIsaiah 1:23
Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow’s plea come before them.
The great and mighty have been falling with little sign that they can “get up”. “We have fallen” is a great place to start addressing the certainty of the fall from brisk business to empty cash registers.
Whether or not you think the United States is to be identified with the mega harlot the changes and the claim are similar.
Revelation of John 18:11 – business dries up
“And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more–
Revelation of John 18:7 – the navelgazing queen
To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’
Who would have thought that the ruler of the age to come would make himself an offering for sin? The princes of this world did not for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8. The bloody component of divine wisdom is scandalous, necessary and diagnostic.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.Isaiah 53:10
His soul an offering for sin
If we do not know what sin is we might have an excuse. With the conscience accusing every one, and the law condemning everyone who looks into it, an offering for sin is the only answer. We know what a sin offering looks like. It is the holy and undefiled Son of God, incarnate and separate from sinners (all humans). Sin, for which Christ suffered himself, is unbelief. This is the universal failure of the human race. There is no one who is exempt from God’s evaluation of humanity.
I know that tombs were emptied the moment Christ died. In the Bible we find neither rumor nor speculation that the sick and diseased were affected by the Lord’s death. On the cross is where the atonement takes place, not before or after. It is to honour the Son that this timing is precise and public. Christ on the cross is God’s exclusive answer to the human problem, and that problem is not the kind of thing that a doctor, prophet, priest or king can treat. Sin calls for a life – “blood”, not a beating. The idea that the physical abuse our Lord endured is atonement for infirmity (sickness and disease) has no biblical support. To remove disease requires no offering, least of all the offering of God’s Son. The idea that Christ went to Golgotha to change the physical wellbeing of the human race is a mouldy piece of bread.
Trafficking in trademark trash
It is obvious that the mission of the original missionaries did not include forgiveness of sins. Jesus stopped funerals, reversed the corruption of death (in one case after four days). At his death all kinds of ancient dead came back to life.
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
- The sick
- The lepers
- The dead
- The demonized (those possessed by evil angels)
- No price tag attached
Instead of believing the message we have turned the report into a set of fables. Isaiah’s question still highly functional. Who is believing the messsge of the evangelist?
Scandalous from the start
When the Hebrews slew a lamb and sprinkled its blood on their doorposts it saved their lives. Noone questioned this use of blood. There were no questions about the use of blood in the tabernacle day after day. However, since a life is given to pay for sin, and the life is in the blood, there was no living link between the sinner and the animal that saved his life. The priest sprinkled or poured the blood but that atoning blood never came into contact with the worshipper. Blood was the last thing an Israelite wanted to handle.
26. Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. 27. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.