The old and the new

I heard some guy spouting off the other day, about how he was “lukewarm” and that God was going to “spit him out of his mouth”. He was really quite worried and he was going to all these prayer meetings and charismatic meetings in order to “find his first love” so he could be “on fire” again.

Now, I’ve been there, and I know, it’s quite scary. The reality is though, that is not what Jesus is saying to the Church in Laodicea. 

The problem is, taken out of context, the whole bible context, it can be made to mean that, but the author of revelation is carrying on a very vivid exodus theme through out his visions, and to divorce it from the OT is a travesty.

From Genesis 3, sin is spiralling out of control. One murder becomes murder for just touching someone (lamech). One wife, becomes many wives. When the relationship between God and humanity breaks down, so does relationships between humans. The consequence of Adam and Eve ceasing to rely on God for everything is that they begin to try and dominate each other (your desire is for him (to master him), and his is to master you). By the time we get to babel we have got to such a bad point that God has had to destroy people with a flood because of this. The nephilim are despotic rulers (liek gilgamesh) who take and do what ever they want because they are so powerful they seem godlike – recall the emperor in the movie 300?

By the time Babel comes around there are 2 distinct groups, those who “call upon the name of God” (there is a play with the name seth), and those people of “reknown” – people making a name for themselves. These people have come so far they make their own Ziggurat – we have records of such things from other ancient stories and they are always a pathway to heaven… a man made one. To make it worse, the people of babel dont have any natural resources to use, so rather than God supplied stone and wood, they use kiln fired bricks made with bitumen. They have so completely abandoned God they believe they can build their own resources and make their own way to heaven.

Likewise in Laodicea. The people of Laodicea are not “lukewarm” because they only kind of believe in God, in fact, they have abandoned God. They were known for their fine clothes made of wool from black sheep, and also for a special poultice which was used to treat eye ailments. The city was destroyed by an earthquake, and rebuilt by the wealth of its inhabitants. This city was known for its self sufficiency. The story is told that they had no natural water supply, so they built an aqueduct system. By the time the water got to the city it was lukewarm. Look at the text:

Rev 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: 
Rev 3:15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 
Rev 3:16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 
Rev 3:17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 
Rev 3:18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 
Rev 3:19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 
Rev 3:20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 
Rev 3:21 ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

 

Clearly, Laodicea is being told that if they continue to rely on their own wealth, skills, knowledge, etc, they will not find their way into heaven. One gets to heaven by being reliant on God. Eden, the first heaven, is a place where God provided for his people, where they lived as God’s governors. All too often we (I) rely on our own skills/wisdom/knowledge/money/etc. But the faithful, recognise that there comes a point where this is futile, and place their trust in God.

Lawyer Dola Indidis sues Israel, Italy, King Herod and Emperor Tiberius over Jesus Christ’s trial and crucifixion

 

A LAWYER lawyer has filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice to overturn the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Kenyan lawyer Dola Indidis argues that the trial was unlawful and is demanding that Israel and Italy be held responsible, The Christian Post reports.

Mr Indidis, a Roman Catholic, and former spokesperson for the Kenyan Judiciary, filed the lawsuit regarding Jesus’ death with the International Court of Justice, the primary judicial branch of the United Nations based at The Hague in the Netherlands.

He filed the lawsuit against Pontius Pilate, several Jewish elders, King Herod, Tiberius (Emperor of Rome 42 BC-37AD), the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel.

“I filed the case because it’s my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth,” Indidis told the Nairobian in a recent interview.

“His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice.”

The International Court of Justice has reportedly created a preliminary panel to consider Indidis’ case, but there is a small problem.

“The ICJ has no jurisdiction for such a case,”  an ICJ spokesperson told website Legal Cheek.

“The ICJ settles disputes between states. It is not even theoretically possible for us to consider this case.”

Mr Indidis has tried to file this case before.

In 2007, he submitted his case to the Kenyan High Court in Nairobi, but it was rejected for not having enough legal standing, especially since parties Indidis wishes to prosecute have been dead for 2,000 years.

 

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world-news/lawyer-dola-indidis-sues-israel-italy-king-herod-and-emperor-tiberius-over-jesus-christs-trial-and-crucifixion/story-fndir2ev-1226691860692#ixzz2bK8ivBcf

 

Well, it certainly would be interesting were he able to do this – it would set a legal precidence for the life and death of Jesus, that is, if anyone doesnt believe he was a real person.

However, I call crackpot. Good on him though.

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What American’s believe about conspiracy theories..

The Square and Compasses. The symbols employed...

The Square and Compasses. The symbols employed in Co-Freemasonry are mostly identical with those in other orders of Freemasonry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some poll results on what americans believe about conspiracy theories. 12.6 Million Americans believe shape changing reptilians run the worlds governments.. Put that in perspective, that’s 3 times the population of New Zealand. I’m keen on a good conspiracy theory myself, but I prefer the truth.

  • One in five voters (up to 66 million Americans, if the results can be extrapolated), believes that the U.S. government is covering up a 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico. This situation is not helped by the fact that H2’s America’s Book of Secrets made this exact claim last Friday night, just the latest in an endless media campaign that primes the public to believe in UFOs. Oddly, more conservatives than liberals believe in the UFO cover up.
  • More than one in four voters (as many as 88 million Americans), believes that a secret society such as the Freemasons is conspiring to take over world governments. This situation is not helped by Scott Wolter’s America Unearthed, which proposes a 2,000-year conspiracy by Freemasons to restore the goddess-worshipping Grail Kings as the true owners of America. More conservatives believe in the secret society takeover than disbelieve (35% to 32%).
  • Seven percent of voters (as many as 22 million Americans) believe the moon landing was faked, a claim that has appeared more than once on Ancient Aliens, though, to be fair, in competition with other ideas that the astronauts actually went to the moon to explore alien archaeological sites.
  • Four percent of voters (up to 12.6 million Americans) believe that shape-shifting reptilian creatures are running the governments of the world. This idea comes from David Icke, who simply replaced “Jews” with “lizard people” in adapting anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic world government conspiracies, the same conspiracies Scott Wolter attributes to a Templar-Freemason cult and Ancient Aliens attributes to an alien-Freemason alliance.
  • Fifteen percent of voters (up to 47 million Americans) believe that the government embeds mind control waves in television signals. Presumably these are not the same people who watch H2, unless the mind control waves only exist in over-the-air signals.

(from http://www.jasoncolavito.com/1/post/2013/04/cable-tv-and-belief-in-conspiracy-theories.html - everyone should read his stuff)

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/04/conspiracy-theory-poll-results-.html

On our national poll this week we took the opportunity to poll 20 widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories.  Many of these theories are well known to the public, others perhaps to just the darker corners of the internet.  Here’s what we found:

-          37% of voters believe global warming is a hoax, 51% do not. Republicans say global warming is a hoax by a 58-25 margin, Democrats disagree 11-77, and Independents are more split at  41-51. 61% of Romney voters believe global warming is a hoax

-          6% of voters believe Osama bin Laden is still alive

-          21% of voters say a UFO crashed in Roswell, NM in 1947 and the US government covered it up. More Romney voters (27%) than Obama voters (16%) believe in a UFO coverup

-          28% of voters believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order.  A plurality of Romney voters (38%) believe in the New World Order compared to 35% who don’t

-          28% of voters believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.  36% of Romney voters believe Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, 41% do not

-          20% of voters believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism, 51% do not

-          7% of voters think the moon landing was faked

-          13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, including 22% of Romney voters

-          Voters are split 44%-45% on whether Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 72% of Democrats think Bush lied about WMDs, Independents agree 48-45, just 13% of Republicans think so

-          29% of voters believe aliens exist

-          14% of voters say the CIA was instrumental in creating the crack cocaine epidemic in America’s inner cities in the 1980’s

-          9% of voters think the government adds fluoride to our water supply for sinister reasons (not just dental health)

-          4% of voters say they believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power

-          51% of voters say a larger conspiracy was at work in the JFK assassination, just 25% say Oswald acted alone

-          14% of voters believe in Bigfoot

-          15% of voters say the government or the media adds mind-controlling technology to TV broadcast signals (the so-called Tinfoil Hat crowd)

-          5% believe exhaust seen in the sky behind airplanes is actually chemicals sprayed by the government for sinister reasons

-          15% of voters think the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry “invent” new diseases to make money

-          Just 5% of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966

-          11% of voters believe the US government allowed 9/11 to happen, 78% do not agree

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Shameless plug for cash

Hi

Some of you will know that I work for a radio/tv/media broadcaster in New Zealand.

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If you have some money spare, or would like to become a regular supporter please go here: http://www.lifefm.co.nz/supportdrive/

Just remember, if you are a non-NZ’er your dollar is worth more – $10USD is worth something like $12NZD – so every dollar counts.

 

To find out more about our organisation: http://rbg.co.nz

Some commments from NT Wright on LUKE

The real slave master, keeping the human race in bondage, is death itself. Earthly tyrants borrow power from death to boost their rule; that’s why crucifixion was such a symbol of Roman authority.

We need to remember this..

 

People often think that resurrection means “life after death” or “going to heaven”, but in the Jewish worldview of the first century it meant an embodied life in God’s new world; a life after “life after death” so to speak.

 

By embodied, we mean “in a body” – not floating about in the clouds nebulously playing a harp.. In the end, “heaven” and earth will be the same place, that is, the earth will be renewed. We aint “going away” – we WANT to be left behind.. creation is our inheritance, not “nowhere”.

Why do you call me good?

Luke 18:18 Now  a certain ruler  asked him“Good teacherwhat must I do to inherit eternal life?   18:19 Jesus  said to him“Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone. 

 

The suggestion in some commentaries is that Jesus is pointing them in the direction of his true nature – that is, “you realise that you are calling me God, because God is the only one who is good?”

But I wonder.. is he saying in fact, “I am not “good”, I am human just like you.. only God is perfect”.

Note that there is a difference between “sinless” (in relationship with God) and being “good” (upright and honourable). It seems to me Jesus is actually saying, look, I understand its hard, I’m not perfect, I find it hard too.. but it can be done, and I am doing it, follow me.

Just sayin…

Who were the Pharisees?

A lot of people think of them as a bunch of.. sort of pastors, or bible teachers.In reality, they were more like a political party that used scripture to support their political agenda.

If you were a Pharisee, its a bit like saying you belong to a political party (like say, Republicans) with conservative christian views (In NZ we have actual Christian political parties, which is even more closely what a Pharisee is like).

If you were a Pharisee, you may  have been a Rabbi (teacher) (probably not), or a Scribe (lawyer, “theologian”) (probably not).

They were no more a pastor or religious leader than anyone aspiring to change the political world view around them because of their belief system, than anyone else. Typically of politicians, they were probably largely power, money, and prestige hunters..

 

anyway, food for thought.

Awesome Slippage..

 14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit, and stories about him spread all through the area.15 He began to teach in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

 16 Jesus traveled to Nazareth, where he had grown up. On the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue, as he always did, and stood up to read. 17 The book of Isaiah the prophet was given to him. He opened the book and found the place where this is written: 
    18 “The Lord has put his Spirit in me, 
       because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. 
    He has sent me to tell the captives they are free 
       and to tell the blind that they can see again. — Isaiah 61:1 
    God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly — Isaiah 58:6 
    19 and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness.” — Isaiah 61:2

 20 Jesus closed the book, gave it back to the assistant, and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue was watching Jesus closely. 21 He began to say to them, “While you heard these words just now, they were coming true!”

 22 All the people spoke well of Jesus and were amazed at the words of grace he spoke. They asked, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

 23 Jesus said to them, “I know that you will tell me the old saying: ‘Doctor, heal yourself.’ You want to say, ‘We heard about the things you did in Capernaum. Do those things here in your own town!’ “ 24 Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, a prophet is not accepted in his hometown. 25 But I tell you the truth, there were many widows in Israel during the time of Elijah. It did not rain in Israel for three and one-half years, and there was no food anywhere in the whole country.26 But Elijah was sent to none of those widows, only to a widow in Zarephath, a town in Sidon. 27 And there were many with skin diseases living in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha. But none of them were healed, only Naaman, who was from the country of Syria.”

 28 When all the people in the synagogue heard these things, they became very angry.29 They got up, forced Jesus out of town, and took him to the edge of the cliff on which the town was built. They planned to throw him off the edge,30but Jesus walked (Slipped) through the crowd and went on his way.

 

All the people were amazed at the words of grace.. no, not that Jesus was a great speaker, but that He was talking about Grace, and most importantly, not grace for Israel, but for everyone, as he goes on to point out how Elijah was sent to a non-Israelite woman, and Elisha was healed an enemy general. This would be a bit like someone (claiming to be a prophet) standing up in America and saying that God was going to save Al Queda.

It would be shocking, and outrageous. God’s grace is for everyone, and He, the Messiah (these words about the Messiah are fulfilled before you today, he says), has not been sent to save Israel – the healthy do not need a doctor – but to save the Gentiles.

So they try to kill him. Ironically, Jesus did not test God to save him when the accuser tested him a little before, and now, miraculously, Jesus slips away through the crowd. “On his way” generally means, in Luke, some form of divine direction or leading, “a path set out before one by God” – so to speak.

Lance Armstrong and the Doping Scandel.

I’ve been reading and listening to all sorts of tripe about Lance and all the others who have been done for doping, particularly from Marc Watson last night on Newstalkzb.

He was of the opinion that you could never trust Armstrong again, that his livestrong organisation is just a sham to make him look like an angel.

Honestly, what a load of tripe. Firstly, Armstrongs fit with cancer and subsequent creation of livestrong would have happened regardless of his cycling career. Anyone who doesnt think Armstrong is the kind of guy who is motivated to win, and would not have been in a place to do what he did does not understand people like him.

Secondly, Armstrong still had to win 7 tour de france’s to get where he was. Bradly Wiggins pointed out today that if you wanted to award the victories to the next person down, you would have to go downt he list A LONG WAY before you found someone who was not doping. To win, Lance still had to ride for 20 days, up mountains, at huge speeds, to the point of exhaustion. Sure he was “supercharged” but so was the guy behind him, and the guy behind that, and the guy behind that..

It is not the same as, say, Valerie Adams in the olympics, where there was just her and someone on steroids who won. EVERYONE was on dope, and so the playing field amongst the top 10 or 20 was even.

 

Steven Swart, the New Zealander who rode with Armstrong, and admitted doping, himself, said that even if Armstrong had not been doping, he would still have been an amazing athlete (and he still is as his triathlon performances show – right up there with the world champs), and that everyone was doping and there was no way to compete if you were not.

 

I dont condone doping, for sure. I’d prefer that it never happened, and yeah, its sad that they needed to do it. However, some how negating the performance itself because he was on dope is just stupid. He still had to perform to a level beyond that of a mere mortal regardless of dope. Ok, yes, he did it. Slap his hand, change the sport, make it clean.. all good.. but dont ever say that he still didnt have to earn those wins. Never.