The Rush to Dupe us

The personal focus of writers and speakers cannot be nebulous. A hard line of reality separates “I” from “we”, “you” from “us”, and “him” from “them”. Realizing that expressions can be reports or questions, demands, or commands, or speculations, we pay attention to the type of expression we find ourselves reluctant to confront.

As a teacher of the gospel (=Christian theology) I find that one needs to pick carefully from the growing list of red herrings and non-sequitors in order to be most effective. Constantly going after students’ oneliners and supposedly faith building slogans is more destructive than helpful. One has to notice that many things called Christian have no explicit reference to :

  • CHRIST- Messiah the Anointed One (lamb, king, saviour, door, shepherd, lover-supreme)
  • Christ’s work – dying, rising, interceding on high
  • Christ’s words – sayings from the apostolic witnesses (4 gospels, the letters, the prophecy of Revelation and Acts)

Why is that?

We need to be reminded that we are not our neighbour, and that our names matter because identity matters. We know we cannot insert any name – least of all our names – where the Bible has a personal name. Jesus is not Isaiah, nor will Moses ever be John the son of Zebedee.

Scoffers have no legs

The chances of anyone who turns away from dealing soberly with Yeshua’s words and actions contributing to anything besides mockery and ignorance are small indeed.

We buy a great many catastrophic scenarios if we insert ourselves into the text without asking “What time is it?”

Of all those sayings in Psalms and Proverbs which can we say have brought us back from death?

God said both “let there be” and “I am sorry I let there be”. God said both “let us make” and “I am sorry I made”. So we can spare ourselves a lot of misery and embarrassment by filtering the notion that all God-spoken words are relevant all the time for all people.

And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; … for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Genesis 6:7

Why did the Sinai covenant not include “angry with a brother is murder”? Where are the priests who work on the Sabbath and are innocent? Are there any people partaking of sacred things – as David did – illicitly that we might want to execute.

Duped over righteousness

Du-ped indeed

Walking in two camps at the same time has never been attractive and is mostly destructive.

  • Declaring righteousness
  • Being just
  • Justifying people who believe
  • Justify people apart from their performance


Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 3:25-28

Things Unchangeable You Bought

God wrote ten words! That’s it, folks. The rest of sacred literature is the product thievery and robbery, temporary and subject to human whims. This is part of a mantra belonging to people in death’s shadow who think they are God’s exclusive lamp.

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Isaiah 45:22

God did not write Isaiah 45:22 with his finger but if one does not “look and be saved” one’s condemnation and perishing is assured apart from a thousand violations of law and prophetic judgments.

No one Needs to stare Perpetual Condemnation in the Face to be Saved

Who wants to be condemned? Certainly not the saved. Proof that all people are victims is readily available before we read or hear what the law and the prophets say.

Now we know that everything said in the Law is addressed to those who are under its authority, in order that every mouth may be closed, and the whole world become liable to the judgement of God. For ‘no human being will be pronounced righteous before God’ as the result of obedience to Law; for it is Law that shows what sin is.

Romans 3:19-20

Fingerprinted and blinded

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

2 Corinthians 3:7-8

Spotlighting and sighted

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6

The contrary handwriting

So you love the handwriting more than you love God? You do not know what parts of Scripture are hostile, and bring condemnation and death? That’s incredible. You do not know what parts of Scripture are beneficial and bring hope and life? That’s incredible too. No child of God needs to hear “not”, “not”, “not” to stay alive. Who wrote what is no secret and who gets life is not rocket science.

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:14-15

The stone inscribed handwriting gets eclipsed by a person. The Messiah does not turn things over to Moses and the prophets. Yeshua’s face is light, but Moses’ face is a dim ember that points to blindness. Handwriting will never trump atonement.

Whaddya know! Look what you bought!

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 1:9

Buttonholing Capernaum

I suppose that many observers think of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Bethany and Golgotha as the main settings for the Messianic drama. There are however two places that seem to be destiny: Nazareth and Capernaum in Galilee.

And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

Matthew 4:13-16

This was done to connect Messiah with a region where (a) death stalked innocent citizens and (b) the darkness of hatred cemented the barriers of xenophohia.  Our Saviour grew up in Gentile Galilee – the prophecy calls it so, and no one can put down his fond regard for all humans in contrast to the murderous Jerusalem cliques and revengeful people in general.

There were three cities of refuge in the Galilee region. Having come as high priest, the Son of David would have had proper concern for the plight of people in protective custody or facing oppression.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Luke 4:18

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

Matthew 12:18

So when one assumes that nothing good can come out of Nazareth it is a denial of both the darkness and the light. The disturbing trend of denial continues over who the Saviour of the world is and the not so important “which city and which mountain”.

Choosing God’s Will and Personal Destiny

Mechanics who can fix our cars without aptitude and passion are a symptom of the darkness and stupor that covers humanity. In the same class are cooks whose food speed our trek to our graves, politicians who are self-serving and bribable clowns, children who dominate their parents, patriots with itchy trigger fingers, and selfish spouses. Finding God’s will is not rocket science and choosing to do it involves a great deal more than being a nice guy or complying with a hundred commands. In the world of tickets to heaven, membership in the church, nepotism, tradition, and blind men with visions, there are few individuals who  have found their personal call.  The passion of Yeshua of Nazareth shows us that self-righteous certainty about our calling is a childish and hypocritical game that few dare relinquish.

Twelve years old

Connecting with destiny then pressing pause for eighteen years may seem like unique path to take but it is a pattern of divine calling and timing for all people.

And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

Luke 2:42-48

Thirty-three years old

In the last year of his life Yeshua wrapped up his testimony by riding into Zion on a donkey, visiting the temple, and by preparing to lay down his life.

And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Mark 11:11-17

Passion for God

When our Lord realized that his life’s mission was imminent he prayed. His success was not only the result of thanksgiving. His victory in staying with the mission did not come easily. He prayed.

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

Matt. 26:36ff


He insisted on going through with his calling.

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Matthew 26:36-44


This is what shouldering the calling of a lifetime looks like. This is above and beyond our daily dying. It is not a cakewalk.

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

Hebrews 5:7

Have you found your calling? Are you wrestling with getting it done? Does your calling involve your death? Does your calling make you “deadly sorrowful”? Have you been handed the victor’s wreath or have you said “I have finished my race”?

Whose name is in you?

SALVATION is not just an argument we make about human status but the person we need to make life livable.

A Samaritan woman’s testimony

We can pretend that we do not know his name even though it is in the highest place, higher than all blessing and praise (Neh. 9:5), and above every kind of authority.

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Ephesians 1:21

Creative interests adorn the gospel; witness “y’all are a new creation”, not merely new items in the workshop. There is new status available: sons and daughters of God. We each carry a potter’s logo. His name identifies every vessel, every living stone, just as surely as name-glory distinguished Jerusalem, as surely as the name-excellence is everywhere. We are a new world order: a family grounded in God, not Adam.

God made us to be shepherded (Psalm 100:5). How many universes has any human made and how many angelic insurrections have we had to put down and manage?

Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Philippians 2:9

I embrace Peter’s caution about the necessity of “one name unlocking salvation for all humans”. That puts me at odds with all the faiths without malice or anger.

And Salvation is in him alone; for there is no other Name in the whole world, given to men, to which we must look for our Salvation.”

Acts 4:12

I pledged a long time ago, taking a cue from Paul (nothing of interest but the Crucified) to reject any theory that does not have the Son of David as front and centre, and him as A and Z. No one can survive the hypocrisy, thievery and robbery without him. No relief comes without his name.

Violence and Murder Inspiration

As news of another senseless violent incident reaches us we find that reflection on the history of human violence is helpful. Violence had a dramatic effect on the Creator of heaven and earth and a fresh start was his judgment. In the 21st century widespread violence and murder are complicated by the suicide of the perpetrators. There is a graphic illustration of this murder-suicide phenomenon. Judas.

And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

John 13:27

Judas proceeded to finish his deal with certain of the leaders.

Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

John 18:3

And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Matthew 27:5

I am suggesting that suspect #1 in murder-suicides demonic influence, if not demon possession.

Rebuked in Public

I have no idea how many of the politicians in Canada and the United States are regular churchgoers or how many are actually believers in Jesus of Nazareth (believe it or not, he is what church is all about). The spiritual growth rate of believers happens to be the interest of all church members. Correction and discipline are the bedrock of human development and only fools refuse or reject it. The men and women who bring to bear the discipline of the heavenly Father to his sons and daughters may have turned aside from loving God to loving the world, hence the most outrageous behaviours occur with regularity in public by public officials. If these officials are not church elders they all deserve to be rebuked in the weekly church service for their ungodly and wicked speeches and deeds.

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. Heb. 12:5 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Heb. 12:6 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Heb. 12:7 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Heb. 12:8 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? Heb. 12:9

Hebrews 12:5-9

Finding a pastor who knows how to do this is worse than finding a needle in a haystack. To a man, they remain silent and so the bad boys club continues its filthiness unchecked. This is happening in nations that like the label “under God” and “carries the Cross”.

I am not holding my breath for North American pastors to deliver a father’s discipline to the brats of our 21st century reality show. Public statements by public figures properly labelling the departure from loving truth such as those by Mr. Romney are inadequate. The bad boys can pray that their sleeping pastors do not wake up and rebuke them in church. It only takes two of us to pray that this weekend the Father’s discipline will begin to reach public officials in the form of sharp rebukes.