Dis this and die

Having seen that loving people is God’s example and expectation how did those New Testament Pharisees dare to keep slapping loving God and circumcision on everything?

Sinai was not a love-in if we are measuring human love. They did not want to hear God’s words.

Commandments and obedience is what builds empires, cults, corrupt societies, and sin-laden peoples.

They did it with darkened minds, and all who try to cover their Christlessness with an obedience culture are swimming in deception.

Did you thank God for obedience

We give thanks for many things, even disasters, but few have the presence of mind to give thanks for everything as it happens. The list can be tiring if you are not an angel. I have heard thanks for commandments and trials, but never have I heard a note of thanks for obedience: God’s will received and done.

Where are the grateful aces?

What is going on here? Something fishy. Do we not say we delight in doing everything what God wants? Maybe not enough. So where are the people who say “Thanks for allowing me to perfectly and completely comply with your will”? Hiding in the shadows of biblical ignorance and empty symbols, types and traditions. Let us not forget the composite character of Psalm 119 who says with one breath “help me” and “I have done all you asked ” with the next.

This type of bravado based on human performance and triumph never seems to connect with gratitude. Perhaps that is because it does not exist. While it is just fine to give thanks for things we expect from guaranteed sources it is at best divorced from reality to say “Today I do not need a Saviour from sin”. Well, at least, if we are disciples, praying as we were taught, obedience perfected is not on the gift list.

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”?

Do I know a Moses?

Do you have a Moses in your community or country? Of course not. Neither do I. We can stop pretending to be Israel because there is only one Israel and one Moses. Law and obedience did not work, and thousands of years of claims of being “in covenant” are false.

A brutal interpretation of the questions on John 7:19-23 might look like this.

  • Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? No. He did not.
  • Why go all of you about to kill me? Assassins – murderers- are behind every mask of obedience. How did you know, Sir,
  • The people answered and said, You have a devil: who goes about to kill you? Wait two years and you will see yourself screaming for my life, with the high priest affirming the need for someone to die to save the nation from Roman government action.

Who is the accuser/ prosecutor

Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom all of you trust. For had all of you believed Moses, all of you would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if all of you believe not his writings, how shall all of you believe my words?

John 5:45-47

Moses the servant dissed for tradition

People whose lives are defined by law and regulations are sure to be tainted with accusations and condemnation. One cannot have fire in one’s bosom and not get burned. So in an attempt to bring their accusation to the proper context Jesus answered and said unto them:

  • I have done one work, and all of you all marvel.
  • Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and all of you on the sabbath day circumcise a man.
  • If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are all of you angry at me, because I have made a man everything whole on the sabbath day?

The disease that allows people to dress up everything like ancient Israel is virulent and more pervasive than we imagine. It sets in only when the claims of the gospel are rejected. Which court do we know stands ready to permanently dismiss every case if the accused confess?

He has commanded you

Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:

Deuteronomy 6:1

This turning point of Moses’ leadership is aimed at LIFE IN CANAAN (LIC), and includes the essential statement of Judaism. It also states Israelite obligations with devastating clarity. The personal responsibilies were to do the CSJ (commands, statutes, and judgments), to take possession of Canaan, and to keep (guard) in an attitude of reference the CSJ.

“Ya gotta love” might have been the end of exhortation. Let’s face the fact that Moses was not commanding things that did not exist to become reality. He was stating expectations. It gets complicated when God’s uniqueness rises to the top of the confidence list. I mean the Shema which puts on blinders about how many gods have been part of Israel’s experience up to the Deuteronony turning point (and since).
The Shema calls for attention: hear, there is one God. It does not say “Israel has had one god; that’d be a false report.

When did he command you?

What Israel had to do to have the Life in Canaan as promised are alien to the viability of Abraham’s family.
Is it slightly schizophrenic to embrace the Shema as a statement of faith without hearing what God’s spokesperson – it is not Moses or the prophets- has said?

Can neighbour be reduced to “partners in fables” or battered out of shape with the cyclical bloodbath of animal blood? Christians have more commands than Jews and face no risk of condemnation, exile or deportation. God has commanded repentance.

Knowing Yeshua’s Commands Means Life

Every time you run to the words of Moses and prophets you disrespect God. Like a dog to its vomit and a pig to the mud, you forget who matters.

In the first six chapters of Matthew’s gospel alone we find the following direct commands of the Saviour of the world. None are intended to test or prove the hearer (prove, Exo. 20:19-20) nor yet to show him lost and condemned (Romans 3:19-20). If we take the time to examine for ourselves the obedience claims and the love practices of our brothers we will find a black hole of kindergarten pictures and toys arranged around a death cult. The words of the many are decidedly unlike Yeshua’s words. From the Life comes life, and from the dead, death.

  1. REPENT: From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matt 4:17
  2. FOLLOW: And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matt 4:19
  3. REJOICE AND EXULT: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matt 5:12
  4. SHINE: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt 5:16
  5. PAUSE YOUR WORSHIP AND BE RECONCILED : Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matt 5:24
  6. COME TO TERMS AT COURT: Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Matt 5:25
  7. REMOVE TROUBLESOME MEMBERS: And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matt 5:30
  8. AMPUTATE TROUBLESOME MEMBERS: And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matt 5:29
  9. USE SIMPLE SPEECH: But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matt 5:37
  10. DO NO RESIST EVIL, TURN THE OTHER CHEEK: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matt 5:39
  11. GO THE EXTRA MILE: And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Matt 5:41
  12. LOVE ENEMIES: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matt 5:44
  13. BLESS THOSE WHO CURSE: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matt 5:44
  14. DO GOOD TO HATERS: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matt 5:44
  15. PRAY FOR ASSAULTERS AND ABUSERS: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matt 5:44
  16. DO NOT SHOW OFF YOUR ALMSGIVING:Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Matt 6:1
  17. PRAY IN SECRET: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matt 6:6
  18. HOW TO PRAY: After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Matt 6:9
  19. DO NOT FAST LIKE A HYPOCRITE: Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matt 6:16
  20. HOW TO FAST:But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; Matt 6:17
  21. STORE UP TREASURES APPROPRIATELY:Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: Matt 6:19
  22. STORE UP TREASURES APPROPRIATELY: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: Matt 6:20
  23. AVOID ANXIETY: Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Matt 6:25
  24. TAKE A LESSON FROM THE BIRDS: Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Matt 6:26
  25. TAKE A LESSON FROM THE LILIES: And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: Matt 6:28

It is obvious that finding all the relevant commands by Yeshua and his apostles is neither recommended nor healthy. The Holy Spirit is the dynamic guide and that relationship is intensely personal. The Holy Scriptures, which people are interpreting to put human beings ahead of Christ, is not private at all, but they are the measuring stick for the hypocritically righteous crew. Listen closely and you will hear them saying, “Oh look! We found another command. ‘Thou shalt not sin.'”

Chasing commands can become ridiculous. It is destructive. Even the evaluation of someone’s lunch shows the absence of genuine love.

Think soberly the next time you are tempted to say “I love Jesus and am keeping his commandments”

Out of the Box

The title is a variation of out of the gutter, the gutter being the place where the waste fringe our necessary process are channeled away from us. I think that few people want to be in a box, or dependent on a box, and definitely not terrorized by a box. However, life is stranger than human imagination. Box theology is the basis for a large portion of beliefs regarding spiritual things. How it eludes the seeker that there is no merit for doing nothing that offends is part of the mystery. The distinction of being perfectly harmless and sinless belongs to Christ. The rest of humanity needs to admit that Christ has brought that debate to a conclusion.

No life except from Christ

The ark and its contents may attract a great deal of attention in our times, just as other groups have sacred objects with which they invest a lot of confidence, but it was prophesied a long time ago that people will not ever even remember it or speak of it. The warrant then for all the talk about the commandments of God and especially those commandments that were written on stone must be satanic.

Our pledges, determination and commitment to not offend God do not bring a single ray of sunshine to our lives, yet this is where most Christians claim to live.

Puffed up and ready to pop

There is a genuine lack of humility which may be due, in part, to the idea that God fixes everything when he gives us access to his riches. Imagine the present world to be free of illness, tears, hungry people, death and sorrow, and we are in prime Christian territory. When we ask believers if they are holy or unholy, sinners or perfected humans, we begin to see what box theology has done to cripple those seeking the Way to God.

Which of the ten words in the ark gives life to the dead?

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 2 Corinthians 3:7-8

Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me? John 7:19

Three strikes – nix the box

If the people who studied and praised the law for hundreds of years failed to do what it says, there is no hope for a sound interpretation of what the law says.

  1. Few people who can actually read it intelligently.
  2. To what end is our interest in what was a fading glory when Moses mediated it?
  3. None of the ten words gives life to the dead

Any vs All for Life

He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. ”

Matthew 4:4 CSB

Did we ever not love God with all our inner and outer resources and did we ever love him with utmost diligence? Did we stone the lying neighbour? Did we worship in Jerusalem three times last year? Have we stayed away from God because we ate a raven?

Every word we never heard

Everything God has ever said includes relevant and irrelevant matters. If I were dead, sick or thirsty, the words that would most interest and benefit me are God’s invitations: believe, come, and drink.

For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:33 CSB

Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35

Perhaps the absurd proof of life are a better choice: ten things you never did

When our Lord refers to the ten commandments, to show he knows the subject beyond any prophet or angel, he uses the extreme prohibition form over the future (which exposes the probability).

Do not ever / do not even start


You shall not

Living by every word never happened unless one is an ocean wave, the sun, the moon, night and day.

When did we ever say amen and follow through like the ocean wave, the sun, the moon, night and day do?