CHRIST OUR PASCHAL LAMB

If we needed evidence of the estrangement of Christianity from its roots we need look no further than the seminal intervention and memorial of both Judaism and the Way; the Passover.  There is no need to probe the Law vs Grace red herring, the moral abyss invented by deluded perfectionists, or the hypocrisy of commandment-keepers.   We are not expecting a resurgence of Judaism, nor do we feel obliged to give up Messianic revelation because there are roots reaching back to Israelite history.  Every so often the Passover falls on the day Christians have christened as Good Friday and this year the setting of Good Friday a month away from Passover is a stark exposure of Christian negligence and avoidance of the public truth, namely that  Christ died as the primary act in salvation history and the Gospel.  The season is still being called Easter and passed off as commemorative of Yeshua’s resurrection. Despite the fact that there is no biblical call for celebrating the Lord’s resurrection, we omit the reason for the season, the sacrifice of the Lamb, and the vast majority of Christians stumbles on in the dark about Christ our Paschal Lamb.

The prevalence of “Easter” as a name for the seminal event in Christ’s saving mission is the result of a poor translation of a single word in the 17th century King James version, and the negligence of succeeding generations. Instead of translating pascha as Passover, because the Greek term comes from the Hebrew pesach, they gave us  “Easter” in hopes of connecting the Sacred festival with the secular festival that comes around at the same time of year. Easter is really a pagan practice that is connected with early Babylonian rituals which appear also in the Old Testament in Canaanite practices.
Another pervasive example of the King James translators going astray is their destruction of personal names. J and Z replace Y and TS. Yeshua becomes Jesus, Tsiyyon becomes Zion. This is a symptom of cultural insensitivity and scholarly negligence.
What has happened since Paul said “Christ our Passover [Paschal Lamb] is sacrificed for us” and today when we see Passover, the 14th of Nissan, and Good Friday are separated by a month?   We have mistaken the immutable with irrelevance. Since Christ died Passover is no longer a Jewish feast. The Lamb of God is a universal provision. Passover, the day on which our Lord died cannot possibly be on any day beside14th Nisan.
Our estrangement from the recognized foundations of Messianic Revelation has its roots in xenophobia, political allegiances, and religious animosity. Since Abraham is our avowed common ancestor we have some explaining to do about our drifting apart into our clans (religions and denominations). We seem to have ourselves resisted the developments that have defined both Jewish and Christian history.  The transitions from bondage to liberty, from pilgrimage to inheritance, the merging of priesthood and monarchy are all accompanied by covenants and pronounced shifts in divine revelation that require our repentance. Resistance to change can become a millstone around one’s neck.
In this regard it is helpful to note that a change of mind was what the Lord proclaimed as necessary if people wanted access to the kingdom of God. The record shows that Moses, Solomon, or Jeremiah would be shocked to see how their contributions have spiraled out of shape. Peter, Timothy, or 4th century church father would be likewise shocked to see how the glorious Way has been abandoned.
The Passover should remain grounded in the understanding that some things do not change. Passover is essentially a sacrificial monument in which blood is spilled as a means of liberation and identity.   When God ordered the death of the firstborn in Egypt He made provision so that Israelites would not suffer loss. The slaughtered lamb provided the cover a satisfactory substitute for the firstborn in every Israelite home.  It is to accomplish this very thing that Christ is Paschal Lamb.

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: (7) Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (8).  1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Try as we might, we cannot undo the fact that there is no resurrection song or litany that has the effect of significance as do the songs of the Cross. There is no resurrection celebration in the Lord’s table.  Easter Sunday does not compare to Passover.  Christ is Saviour by means of death, not by rising from the dead, so let’s put first things first.  This year,  let’s face the holiday with a new sobriety, laying aside the shallow and commercial intoxication of a feel-good Sunday and put our thoughts and trust in Christ our Paschal Lamb.

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The Life Hidden in Christ

Life in Christ comes with death and resurrection. Death is past but yet present, because the fullness of life comes later with a permanent and splendiferous transformation. Death is past because we were raised with Christ. Hence Paul writes about us as people who were raised with Christ to help us focus on the source of our life. Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Why?

πεθάνετε γάρ,

For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).

apethanete gar kai he zoe humon kekruptai sun to christo· Col 3:3

Properly, this is not a statement about a condition; it relates something that happened. Paul is saying you died; by which he means that no-one put you to death. We decided to accept Christ’s death. We died when we embraced the promise of life. “Died” is never the last word. Paul joins our death to “and your life” Your LIFE was hidden and remains hidden, with Christ in God. The dying and the hiding stand in contrast. The first is done, the second, begun, continues.

You died your life was hidden and remains hidden.

          O                            O ________________________

It is hidden not because of secrecy or unintelligibility. Our Father is the God of the mysteries unveiled. No sir. He has nothing to hide. If a city set on a hill cannot be hidden then neither can the glory of that city be hidden. Our life is not out of sight; God sees our life as it is both in heaven and on earth. We are in heaven WITH CHRIST now, He is WITH us here on earth, as He says, “Lo, I am with you unto the end of the age”. I have died, and I was raised to be with CHRIST! It is not for secrecy that he hides us! He hides us for our security and for secure communications.

The tokens of the hidden life do not always make sense to the observer. They are unusable by the outsider, just as the beeps and squawks on a debit or credit card reader as it communicates with your bank are unintelligible, even though you know it is saying “hi bank, can you process a 14.95 debit on the account of Mrs Fillup At-the-Pump. Please confirm that you receive this message and that Mrs Fillup At-the-Pump has the money in her account”.

Everyone can  hear those beeps and squawks, but only you and the bank know exactly what is being said. Those transactions are privileged even though they take place in the public arena. This is especially true of prayer since even when our prayer is public there are intercessory unutterable groanings to which no-one is privy. This is how our life is encrypted.

In the following sentence an encryption code is applied which unlocks the meaning, in this case an algorithm that uses the preceding letter of the alphabet, hence J=I.

The transmitted message reads:

J xjmm sjtf gspn uif efbe jo uisff ebzt

The decoded message reads:

I will rise from the dead in three days.

This hidden or unknown element – the algorithm – is the kingdom manifest in the water-born and the Spirit-born person (John 3:3-8).
3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The encrypted life is perceived; one hears the sound of it. The voice of the hidden life is not imperceptible. The departure station and the destination are not known. The source specifics and the goal details are not disclosed. They are kept undercover, classified, by God.

8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Everyone that is born of the Spirit BLOWS WHERE HE/SHE WISHES

YOU HEAR THE SOUND of everyone that is born of the Spirit

you do not know where the spirit-born is coming from

you do not know where the spirit-born is going

YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE FATHER IS DOING WITH HIS OFFSPRING

Because of this encryption we ought not sit in judgment over God’s children.

Christ is truly our refuge, a Safe Fold, a Place of Help and Comfort, and a Rock on which to build.

Mammon and Love Discarded

Love’s a thing and God’s the thing maker.  People are still scrambling to find an excuse to indulge their desires for worldly possessions, even though there is ample evidence that things we love are an obstacle to the kingdom.

It is the intelligent thing they say.  Go to school, marry who you love, get and keep a job, buy a home, have children, are all of this life and world even though having children (for example) is a divine command (part of the earliest commands).  More than money, education, and family is a master who has the whole world in his hands. Think not that you are being asked to choose between the world and God.  There is no comparison.  Think not that you are being asked to judge people who may seem to be putting the world ahead of God.

Beware that love like Yeshua’s does not scare you into the bondage of nothing.  His love is our love, poured into our hearts for our pouring.  That love can not be wasted on things.  

Growing up in Fertile Ground

Evil is here to stay.  Every day has its adversity and badness.  You have no doubt heard the very popular phrasemake sure this happens to no one else”.  It is usually what we hear from the authorities when something awful happens in our community.  So let’s take a closer look at the prevention of evil.

If there are 10 categories of immoral behaviour (as based on the ten commandments), then we have to label the whole body of legislation and all the inquiries and commissions as utterly ineffective.  They have not put a stop to any evil.  In fact evil multiplies.  How little progress we have made!

We are expected to abide by the law, no exceptions, and zero-tolerance is the high standard.   The law – any law – is not allied with grace or faith.  We comply or we violate.  So if it takes individuals a lifetime to grow up we know who benefits from an endless stream of regulations in a few months or weeks.  No-one.

Heading down that road of popular acclaim reveals a very broad road, and an unlikely destination which is obviously not maturity.  Rules are for kids.  Being genuine covers both speaking the truth and not covering up our journey with gold medals and awards. We are not there yet.  Growing up hurts, and calls for daily dying, and if it doesn’t, the odds are that we are like seaweed in a riverbed.

Doctor J

Reflections on preventing evil

The Prophecy of Ezekiel: a major prostitution exposé

Ezekiel is not alone in unleashing literary graphics of Israel’s abandonment of God and the badness in Israel’s neighbours.  Hosea (6:9-11) painted a picture of the priests as robbers, and Isaiah (1:2-4) wrote that the people of God had become worse than farm animals, and he is the only prophet to apply the evil nation label to Israel.  Izzy rails fearlessly against prostitution and it is the nation of Israel that earns the fire.   In addition to the drama of chapter 23, Two Slutty Sisters, the prophet is graphic and unrelenting. Topping the list are taunts like “donkey penis and horse semen load” and the divine admission that “the sisters were sluts before I made them mine”.  Ezekiel’s prophecy is an insider’s look at human waywardness.  He tells us about divine goodness and forbearance, and since the goodness was still hundreds of years away Ezekiel’s  prophecy is a major prostitution exposé of both his times and ours.

Whoring 101.  

He begins with this taunt of those who escape the destruction of Jerusalem.  Ezekiel 6:9

then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from me and over their eyes that go whoring after their idols. And they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations.

Whoring 102. 

He details Israel’s whoring ways. Ezekiel 16:15-17

A. Her beauty and fame owned by any passerby

But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his.

B. Her garments

You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be.

C. Her jewelry turned into idols

You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore.

D.  Her bedding.  Ezekiel 16:18

And you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them.

E.  Her dinner.  Ezekiel 16:19

Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with fine flour and oil and honey—you set before them for a pleasing aroma; and so it was, declares the Lord God.

F. Her devotion.  Ezekiel 16:20-21

And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?

G.  Her hookup places.  Ezekiel 16:23-25

And after all your wickedness (woe, woe to you! declares the Lord God), you built yourself a vaulted chamber and made yourself a lofty place in every square.  At the head of every street you built your lofty place and made your beauty an abomination, offering yourself to any passerby and multiplying your whoring.

H.  Egyptian dalliance.  Ezekiel 16:26

You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger.

I. Whoring activities that shocked the Philistines.  Ezekiel 16:27

Behold, therefore, I stretched out my hand against you and diminished your allotted portion and delivered you to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior.

J. Dalliance with the Assyrian. Ezekiel 16:28

You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied.

K. Dalliance with the Babylonians.  Ezekiel 16:29 

You multiplied your whoring also with the trading land of Chaldea, and even with this you were not satisfied. 

L. New dimensions of prostitution; the prostitute pays.  Ezekiel 16:32-33

Adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband! Men give gifts to all prostitutes, but you gave your gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from every side with your whorings.

Salacious writing? Yes.  Relevant?  Yes, and this is not Anti-Semitism.  The writer-prophet is a priest whose message was of critical guidance to the captive Israelites.  Izzy is not primarily personally outraged because he was a part of the cause of Israel’s exile.  He is saying what comes to mind, knowing what God has said and done.  Israel was no example of piety.  We will meet all the pious Jews of then and now and they all will confess that their ancestors were horrible disciples of Moses.  Prostitution is the antithesis of godliness.  This we know from the evaluation, conviction, and sentencing of modern Babylon.

A New Low

When a prostitute pays her johns the occupation is transformed into something unspeakable.  The merchandising that made the temple something other than what it was intended for is obviously much older than New Testament times.   A prostitute buying sex was a new low.  The Jewish leaders could say without compunction “We have no king just Caesar” when the choice between their long-expected king, the Messiah, and a Roman emperor was theirs to make.

The Business of Prayer and Business

We are aware that the love of money and power was at the centre of Jewish life in New Testament times.  If you were poor you were a nobody: God had cursed you.  This was the attitude that drove the people away from the temple services and into Yeshua’s arms.  There was a price for everything.  The modern saying “everything has a price” is not unfounded.  If an animal, bought with one’s own money could give atonement, the people were not buying that doctrine.  Yeshua was raising the dead, cleansing lepers, forgiving sins, and setting free the contrite guilty.  There was no evidence of any of these graces in the Temple services.  Prayer is not business.  We can understand how zeal for the House of Prayer swallowed up Yeshua when he took a close look at the extensive, heartless, and oppressive marketing that was taking place in the Temple.

People are engaged in pursuits by choice or compulsion.  Business has a place in our lives and the business we choose can clash with the kingdom of God.  Extricating ourselves from the rat race can be frustrating, but not to God.  One cry to him can set us on our way.  Life is our reality: not the clothes, or the jewelry, or the beauty, or the devotion, or the fine dinners, or the many lovers.  Life, beating in the heart, is the truth we face every second.  Life, renewing our minds, which God the Father gives to those He draws to the Saviour, is sudden, and as real as the change from mortal to immortal at the end of the age.  The Saviour is himself the Way, the very road for our journey into full stature.  So there is no room for any lover beside the Saviour.  He has a unique place in the girl’s heart and he is the king of jealousy.  Prostitution is heart-breaking to everyone.

With that in mind, let us be sure that we are not involved in any kind of selling of our not-for-sale and our not-by-sale gifts.  We know what those are.  We shudder to think of Yeshua with a whip, looking straight at us, saying “Get these things out of here”.   To the loaded and misguided 45(th president of the US) and the allies of the State of Israel we have to say it.  “Get your prostitution out of here”.   There is supposed to be room for everyone who comes to accept the grace of a very jealous God: no condemnation, only a loving and exclusive embrace.

Melchizedeq King of Salem – Messianic Revelation to the Front Page

Two years ago, on January 2, 2015, this writer was immersed in further research on the Palestinian Problem, resulting in the following essay with the above title.  This followed the approval of my doctoral thesis “Christ our high priest: post-sacrificial services” in 2012.

No-one would have guessed that this encounter between the King of Salem (MKS) and Abram was a door-opener much less a door that opens two critical roads to appreciating Messiah’s priesthood and reign. I dare say that no-one has imagined that these two avenues of divine intervention have anything to do with the current shameful turmoil over Jerusalem. Jews may wish to paper over the facts about the holy cities and the Gentile world may want to sympathize with either Jews or Gentiles but what’s to be will be.

Facts about Canaan’s Holy Cities.

There are two holy cities. Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Isaiah 64:10 (KJS)

God’s ruler will be both priest and king;Neither Moses nor Aaron have a future as authorities; The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Ps 110:4) If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? (Heb 7:11)

Salem, MKS’s city is not Jerusalem; Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. (1Kgs 8:1)

There is no Abrahamic greatness without Gentiles. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. (Gen 15:5And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. (Gen 32:12),

Misguided Passions

If ever there was a prophet in New Testament times, it was John.  However, when John the Baptist was murdered did any Jews rise in protest? There was only one act left to fill up the cup of Israel’s rebellion, deliver Messiah to the Gentiles (Mat 23:31-32). Like the plot against the patriarch Joseph, the execution of Messiah paved the way, despite human malice, for Abraham to get descendants like the stars of the sky and sands of the sea. Jews cannot have enough children to make this happen, so let us not waste any more time with temple mount and the land promise.

It is no surprise that followers of Moses and descendants of Ishmael are shedding blood like pouring water in the name of their most cherished traditions. Modern Zionist expectations have taken over the Biblical idea and resulted in all kinds of contradictions. We hear a great deal about the land promise but we see no embrace of the purpose for the Abrahamic promises in their widest application, namely the blessing of all of earth’s families.

Solomon’s Temple

The temple was built on land bought from a Jebusite (Salemite, Zionite)

And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people. (2Sam 24:21)

And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. (2Sam 24:22)

All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” (2Sam 24:23)

And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. (2Sam 24:24)

And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. (2Sam 24:25)

The temple’s location; not Zion, the city of David.

Let us follow David with his primary innovation: housing the ark. It really begins with David’s capture of Jebus-Salem-Zion, and his building of homes for his growing family.

Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion : the same is the city of David. 2 Sam 5:7

And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent. (1Chr 15:1)

Then he immediately turns his attention to the ark.

Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever. (1Chr 15:2)

And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it. (1Chr 15:3)

DAVID TALKS TO THE PROPHET NATHAN ABOUT HOUSING THE ARK

Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains. (1Chr 17:1)

David wants to see the ark housed in a residence suitably ornate and more so than his own residences.

And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death. (1Chr 22:5)

David’s primary preoccupation.

Remember, O LORD, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured, (Ps 132:1)

how he swore to the LORD and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob, (Ps 132:2)

I will not enter my house or get into my bed, (Ps 132:3)

I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, (Ps 132:4)

until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Ps 132:5)

Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar. (Ps 132:6)

Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!” (Ps 132:7)

What place was this?

For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place: (Ps 132:13)

This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. (Ps 132:14)

I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. (Ps 132:15)

Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy. (Ps 132:16)

There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. (Ps 132:17)

His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine.” (Ps 132:18)

The chosen place was the place from which David’s house would reign

It was to this place that our Lord rode on a donkey (Zech 9:9)

Zion receives the King, but Jerusalem puts up all kinds of resistance.

And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt 21:9)

And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? (Matt 21:10)

And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. (Matt 21:11)

David attempts to bring the ark to Zion-Salem

David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. (2Sam 6:1)

And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. (2Sam 6:2) And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, (2Sam 6:3)

So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. (2Sam 6:10)

And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness. (2Sam 6:12)

Here begins the Tent of David Tradition (Amos, not so much in competition with, but in primacy over the temple.

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: (Amos 9:11)

After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: (Acts 15:16)

From this citation of Amos in the Book of Acts we see that David’s tabernacle is central to God’s inclusion of Gentiles in the royal city. Gentiles and neighbours cannot reasonably be included in the Levitical institutions, hence Jewish temple mount interests and priorities are an anachronism and an affront to the reconstituted kingdom.

DAVID’S PLANS AND GOD’S DIRECTION

Then David said, This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel. (1Chr 22:1)

And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God. (1Chr 22:2) And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight; (1Chr 22:3) Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David. (1Chr 22:4) And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death. (1Chr 22:5) Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD God of Israel. (1Chr 22:6) And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God: (1Chr 22:7) But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. (1Chr 22:8)

We learn here that God rejected David as temple-builder because of his many homicides, however they may be justified, which leaves a great many of our 21st century leaders out of the short list as nation-builders.

THE TEMPLE AND THE ARK

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ houses of the people of Israel, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. (1Kgs 8:1)

The geography is quite clear here: “out of the City of David, which is Zion”, and the destination, temple mount, where David had purchased the property from the Jebusite, Ornan (Araunah).

The inclusion of Gentiles was authorized but never fulfilled due to strict Jewish adherence to Levitical conventions. Here is a portion of Solomon’s dedicatory prayer.

Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake (1Kgs 8:41)

(for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, (1Kgs 8:42)

hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name. (1Kgs 8:43)

A House of sacrifice confirmed by the Lord

Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. (2Chr 7:12)

A House of Prayer confirmed by the prophet Isaiah

And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— (Isa 56:6)

these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” (Isa 56:7)

The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.” (Isa 56:8)

Even after the Persian exile, Jews are stuck in kindergarten with their shocking exclusion of Gentiles (Ezra 9) and the priority of the temple in the conflicts between Judaism’s leaders and Yeshua’s disciples indicates no change. The diagnostic exchanges between Yeshua and the temple authorities shows that the temple had become something no-one but the perverse wanted.

John the Baptist set this conflict off with his announcement of Yeshua as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). John’s contemporaries had to read between the lines. If a man from Nazareth was the sin-bearer, then the countless animals whose blood was shed in the temple were irrelevant and symptomatic of the deep sleep into which succeeding generations of Jews were plunged. The temple was far from being what God intended. Matt 21:12-17

The Leaders were on the wrong side of history when Yeshua spoke about the demise of the temple and its services.

And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. (Matt 21:45)

But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet. (Matt 21:46)

Zion’s destiny

It is the king’s city. In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. (Ps 76:2)

See also Ps 2:6, Ps 48:2, Ps 132:13

The seat of perfection; Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. (Ps 50:2)

The divine rod comes from Zion-Salem

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (Ps 110:2)

Eternal life comes from Zion-Salem

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Ps 133:3)

SUMMARY

The pertinent intrigue is about the fate of East Jerusalem, with its typical and appointed population of Rahab[ites] (Egyptians), Babylonians, Philistines, Tyrians, and Ethiopians (Psalm 87). Temple mount is an irreversible embarrassment to Moses and Abraham. While today’s Zionist state claims descent from Abraham descendants they have over the centuries have rejected the prophetic focus on David and Messiah, and hence the MKS tradition. They want a holy city cleansed of Gentiles thereby opposing the inclusion of Abraham’s larger family.

For Christians the furor about Jewish and Palestinian rights miss the point of God’s plan for the most treasured piece of real estate on the planet. To reduce its importance to who has a building there is sheer blindness. The matter will be be decided when Messiah touches down.

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. (Zech 14:4)

And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. (Zech 14:9)

The Melchizedeqite priesthood of Christ must be the hub for the disposition of the sacred sites.  In the absence of an informed basis for discussion we will have to endure the revolving door of xenophobic rhetoric and violence.  In the absence of a Christian witness the world stands aghast at the interminable malice between Ishmaelites and Israelites. Any resolution of the Palestinian problem and the legitimate expectations of the Jewish people by civic intervention will be temporary and inadequate. Let us therefore stand with our great High priest, eagerly expecting the king and his ideals in the style of MKS, bringing forth bread and wine and blessing all.

Finding your Finest by Fiat Without Faith

God is known for his fiats.  Not the cute Italian cars that have become famous across the pond.  I am not talking about fists.   Fiat is not a  typo but fiats do have a Roman element.  When civic rulers want to get something new done, they create the rationale, convince their colleagues, write a law, and announce with some fanfare that the new situation exists, even when it really does not.  For example, a new citizenship provision may be announced and its procedures and intended outcome will not see the light of day until someone applies successfully.  Commands are like that.  “Do not take hot food items from the oven without mitts” is out there, nowhere, until until one gets burned and chooses to use mitts.  Even simple commands such as “Call your dad when you get a break”, “Please forgive me”, “Give me that”, or “Kiss me” may never hit life’s road.  This ilustrates the futility of thinking that human fulfilment can come from obedience to commands.  We only need to resist one command to be labelled as rebellious and stiff-necked; outside the stream of the divine will.  Do we find our finest by fiat without faith?
These following two verses from Genesis 1 each contains  a fiat.  The Latin (old Italian language) is the surce of our word FIAT.  It means “Let there be…”

  • Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
  • Gen 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

The Latin Vulgate (Roman version of the Bible) has for Genesis 1:3:

Dixitque Deus : Fiat lux.

and-he-said God: let light be.

When God said “Let there be…”  whatever he named jumped into reality.  Light, the firmament, the waters, and the sun and moon.  Christian life realities are also the subject of a fiat.  Life is tied up with light, both physically and spiritually.  The sun is the powerhouse of our galaxy just as Christ is of the universe and more specifically of those who are not hiding from his influence, unlike the plants and ecosystems, or people with little melanin in their skin.  We learn from 2 Cor. 4:6 that the light shining in our hearts is the outcome of a fiat. 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.David addresses the effectiveness of God’s fiats when he wrote and Ezekiel mediated in a fiat. Ps. 33:9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. Eze. 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them,  and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

Fiat power is not as widespread as some would like us to believe, even when the name of Jesus is used creatively and with appropriate intention.  Very often our fiats fall to the ground because we are improperly positioned: (a) we are not yet in the habit of loving as God has loved us (b)  our view of the situation is severely limited even when our intervention is aimed at relieving suffering and lifting the darkness.  If fiats were the stuff of Christian daily life why are we still tolerating the corruption that infects us, the roadblocks to enjoying our Father’s world, and why are we living as less than birds and lilies in the field?  Christ effectively touched lepers and coffins, spoke to dead and the deaf, and changed their conditions stat.

Those four verses are the fiats proper, but Genesis 1 also contains other orders that are equally effective.  Verse 9 has LET BE GATHERED the waters.  Verse 11 has LET SPROUT the earth.  Verse 20 has LET SWARM the waters.  Verse 24 has LET BRING FORTH the earth.  These are practically fiats too.

We have tried to associate fiats – speaking things into existence or position- with faith, and often a particular high level of faith.  In fact faith does not need to be big to upend a mountain into the sea.   Human fiats are related to faith in two ways.  God’s fiats stand alone and need no helper or intermediate.  Our frustration with not being able to speak things into existence is due to the absence of the One the who matters: He who gives faith (which is the only means that ensures God’s pleasure).  True faith needs no fiat because it copes with any situation by means of Spirit-fruit and speaking things into existence is not happening without unhypocritical love.  Fiats for us seem useless and finding our finest by fiat without faith is indeed a pipedream, because faith works by  love (joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness).

RECONCILING ALL THINGS THAT BELONG TO GOD IN CHRIST

Believers find newness in Christ. Old things pass away. They float by. There is newness in all things and this is not based on our sight or other sense. The new things, all of them, have come. They exist and this is where reality’s dimensions poke us. There is a brand new world in Christ and we will not see it if we are not in Christ. Reconciliation calls for new eyes.

To reinforce this new world, Paul asserts that

… all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (2 Cor. 5:18)

God is reconciling the world (same as John 3:16, kosmos) to Himself, so the all things are not (a) not as we would like them, that is, they are not our personal preferences (b) not as God wishes them, this is why all need reconciliation.

OUR PROBLEM WITH NEWNESS

  1. thinking that there are things (people, places, things, relationships) that were just fine before we entered Christ.

  2. not embracing the fact that all things are new once Christ becomes our refuge

  3. confidence that some part of our lives do not need Christ

Imagine the insult that “You all must be born again” represents to a Jew.  At least the Jew is in the dark because rebirth is not a Mosaic concept.  A child who has been subject to all his life to the Laws of Moses, Christian or Jew, is not a child of God.  Imagine the insult to Christ that “you must keep the law” represents when people proclaim that the purpose of salvation is obedience, or that the only way to be happy is to keep the Law.  Reconciliation with God calls for all things to be surrendered because what Christ offers is both new and incomparable.  New is to old what east is to west.  The new is not a remixed old.  If we have not believed that, alas.

Who is Moving to Jerusalem?

Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel. Says who? The Bible and secular history.  It is not the number of states with embassies in Jerusalem that decides the viable status of Jerusalem.  The area north of Bethlehem has always been the centre of the kingdom, right up to the division into the Northern Israelite (ten tribes) and and Southern Judahite kingdom (two tribes).  Within the State of Israel-Palestine we will find the centre of the globe! We will find the centre of the universe! The apple of Yahweh’s eye! These are not pipe-dreams or theories. Whether our list of is topped by spiritual beliefs or not it is difficult to conclude otherwise.   For the patriarchs of the Hebrew people Canaan was the land of pilgrimage so it is perfectly in order to find movement. The patriarchs lived in tents, and David honoured the pilgrimage theme as one of the finest Israelite traditions by building a tent for the Tabernacle’s highly-esteemed Ark of the Covenant.  In the best traditions too we find that Hebrews are expected to visit Jerusalem, the place of the Name, three times annually.  This makes any program to settle people by force in the sacred place highly questionable and antagonistic to Jerusalem’s peace, and a little late.  It is Zion, the veiled, princess, who God calls the apple of his eye, an eye that is being touched inappropriately by the apathetic and godless.

Jews are moving to Jerusalem. They come from everywhere: from Israel and abroad. Their interest is somewhat divorced from the realities which are the absence of a temple, no king and royal family. They want to assert Jewish priorities over what has never been a place of peace and has always had a Gentile component. Palestinians (and Arabs) are not strangers in Canaan. The world winked at xenophobia when the Balfour Declaration floated into view as a framework for the protection and perseverance of the Jewish people. In anyone’s name or for any cause, barriers to God is most obnoxious. The Bible condemns injustice to foreigners. It also holds up generosity to strangers as a noble and rewarding lifestyle.

We are past anger and rhetoric. Let us remember that people have died in defence of their attachment to Jerusalem. There is no politics or religion that has cornered the road-map for Jerusalem’s peace. Is that not why she sits bloodied and veiled? No great capital has withstood the follies of human inventions. Zion is a king’s city. Let that king decide, if we are willing to follow the evidence. A great capital awaits us because neither Jewish, nor Islamic, nor Christian statutes or maxims can furnish this royal city. All of our political models are useless. We can pray for her peace and know that both the unthinking and the deliberate people who have tried to lift the Zion-stone will not receive a slap on the back. There will be no medals or prizes for those who build with blood. Here was David’s coming of age. Bloody hands cannot build an adequate residence for God. From David’s tent of curtains and Solomon’s temple of cedar we get a glimpse of Zionite life. Only a glimpse, that tells us that human hands cannot craft either curtains or cedar that can contain the Holy One. That project is on a different scale and pallet.

And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent. (1 Chr. 15:1)

So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God. (1 Chr. 16:1)

David had compared with dismay his cedar residence with Yahweh’s curtains, and was most enthusiastic about personally building a cedar palace for Yahweh. David’s passion, his vow, his discovery of the chosen location, and his transmission of his discovery are all recorded in Psalm 132.

  • DAVID’S PASSION. Psalm 132:1 (KJS) A Song of degrees. LORD, remember David, [and] all his afflictions:

  • DAVID’S VOW. Psalm 132:2 (KJS) How he sware unto the LORD, [and] vowed unto the mighty [God] of Jacob; Psalm 132:3 (KJS) Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; Psalm 132:4 (KJS) I will not give sleep to mine eyes, [or] slumber to mine eyelids, Psalm 132:5 (KJS) Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty [God] of Jacob.

  • DAVID’S DISCOVERY. Psalm 132:6 (KJS) Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.

  • DAVID’S BROADCAST. Psalm 132:7 (KJS) We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.

Yahweh redirects the building project to Solomon, David’s son. At the inauguration of Solomon’s magnificent temple Yahweh explicitly puts his “Amen” stamp on the project with a glory display (fire and thick darkness) that physically disabled the priests. The temple has had two remakes and it is quite clear that the status of Jerusalem and Zion remains a scramble by Jews to put their fingers everywhere possible in order to dominate where only divine excellencies are of any consequence.

A massive cover up is in play and the sources, including theological commentaries, are woefully in the dark about the facts of how the facts have been manipulated in favour of Jewish priority. A dark cloud has descended on the simple truth: there is a place where God expects to be worshipped without barriers. The public needs to know and we will better understand who is moving to Jerusalem and be inspired with the prophecies regarding the heritage of the future capital of the galaxy.