The Father of Mercies revealed Himself to me at age 40, after a lifetime of wickedness and demoralizing personal failure, both as husband and father, in the quiet hopelessness of a correctional facility. There He brought me to Himself and in a tender gentle manner showed Himself to be the exact opposite, of all I believed Him to be.
Growing up as the disowned son of an alcoholic, “the streets” were a mindset, not just my home. Those years left me with a disdain for the titles of “husband and father” and clueless of the Supremacy of God, the Love of a Father and His call to Holy Living.
Rabbi Paul in his letters to Timothy and Titus describes the standards and qualifications of an Elder and Pastor. Let us just say, I disqualified myself by failing all those tests very early in life. However, teaching informally as a volunteer in the State Prisons allowed me to tell of the God that was to save the world….and proclaim Him as the answer, the reason, the purpose and the end of all our lives.
God has always been able to fulfill His purpose in the lives of those He has called to His service. Certain scriptures like Is 61 v 1 held special meaning to me while volunteering in prisons….
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called trees of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of His Glory.
God is still planting “trees of righteousness” as felons now serve in their local congregations long after their release. Yeshua did not come to make “bad” men good – He came to make dead men live.
I have been blessed to see that transformation happen in the lives of the men we served. Streetwise and very skeptical of anything incarcerated men said or claimed to believe – I had to take notice when their relatives started to call to find out what we taught, and why their husbands/family members were so different.
It is our families that now testify to healed relationships as God replaces their mourning with joy and we exchange Satan’s ashes for Gods beauty. That should satisfy and humble any man, but our duty does not end there. Conversion is not the end goal – it is only the beginning.
Our High Priest Yeshua commissioned us to take the Gospel to the world….a mission we are failing at. God’s people are beginning to realize that society has gotten worse, not better, despite our missionary efforts and church growth schemes. Contemporary worship, expositional preaching, the New Perspective challenges to Reformed tradition, the growing Hebrew Roots movement, and the embracing of social media has not slowed our slide into hell.
So this website will be used to teach and write about:
- The inevitable conclusions of Christianity (Evangelical and Reformed) must come to once they accept N.T Wrights New Perspective on Paul, is that he remained a Torah observant Pharisee.
- Covenantal nomianism as set forth by E.P. Sanders and others with a new understanding of the consistency of God dealing with Israel and the church that flies in the face of Luther’s Law-Grace paradigm and Dispensationalism.
- The Hebrew Roots//Messianic movement and the acceptance of a First Century understanding of a Jewish Yeshua in His Hebraic context.
This understanding will take us back to the Church/Assembly Yeshua left behind. Not the Church we have become. Our gospel must be relevant as it plays out in a media-driven world of broken homes – fractured families – as we apply Ancient Paths to a post-modern world.
“Getting saved” and “living our best life now” does absolutely nothing for a broken world. We live in a world made up of millions of refugees from the Middle East nations, which we have destabilized. Our news is filled with cholera victims of Yemen, the starving of Ethiopia, the sex trafficked, the 60,000 that died last year of an opioid (Heroin) overdose in a U.S.A. that is $21 Trillion dollars in debt. The world needs a Gospel that will touch all their lives – otherwise – what is the point of our impotent and ineffective Christianity?
Soon the people of God will realize what we in prison already knew – Only God can save us. Then the church will finally look up in prayer and once again “turn the world upside down” as she did in Acts. Our gospel will be the call to repentance to the “saved” and a sharp warning to the wicked.
Facing death, Jesus prayers were for us that night in Gethsemane….and in sharing His only recorded personal prayer with us….He gave us the secret and the answer to the task ahead.
John 17:20-23 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — 23 I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know (Great Commission completed) that you sent me and have loved them, even as you have loved me.
It was the unity that birthed Pentecost as the words “ in one accord” is echoed seven times (7 x) in the books of Acts. It was Gods Power that enabled a handful of men to turn the world upside down. God will awaken a people to realize that that is what is needed and it will cut across all denominations and toss out all creeds and barriers…..so that Jesus returns to the Church which He left behind……not the church we have become.
We are the generation that will see “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness (John 17 v 21 Then the world will believe and know that you sent me)) to all the nations, and then the end shall come.” (Matthew 24:14)
The soon coming Kingdom of God does not begin, nor does it end with men being “saved.” The Gospel is that the King will soon return to rule all the Kingdoms of this world. In that Son of David lie the hopes and dreams of all the brokenhearted. Only He can save us…He is not coming to open a prison, but He is coming to liberate a planet and to free all creation. Of His Kingdom and of His Government there will be no end. We are ambassadors and heralds of that reality.