Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Radical Deathstyle

When Jesus died, his suffering was not so much about pain as about rejection.  He became sin, the outcast, the reject, in order to open a new way of acceptance before God.  The ultimate price in rejection is death.  But every rejection for Jesus’ sake is a small death, a small cross one carries for the place one holds before God.48

It is a death to be whispered about, to have hateful gossip spread about ourselves, but never to defend.

It is a death to be kicked out of one’s living situation for the love one gives to others, but not give in to a hateful action back.

It is a death to be stolen from, but to never sue for the return of one’s goods.

It is a death to be threatened, but to accept it with joy.

It is a death to love those who hate you.

It is a death to be punished by the government for doing good, but never suing back.

It is a death to be declared guilty when you are innocent.

It is a death to repent for one’s small sin, when the large sin of the other remains unrepented of.

It is a death to go to jail for doing good.

It is death to be kicked out of a church because one’s good works has caused “harm” to the church.

It is a death to be misunderstood and so punished for what one did not say.

It is a death to be yelled at by a cop or security guard for caring for the needy.

It is a death to be hated from a distance because of those you love.

This doesn’t happen everyday. It usually isn’t something you can plan.  The key is this: when it happens, accept it.  Don’t lash back.  Don’t express your hated. 

Just stand for love.  Accept the rejection.  And thus allow God to accomplish justice.

48. The fourth law of justice, and the meaning of Jesus’ death is based on Jesus’ own words in Mark 12:1-12.  Ultimately, Jesus died to take over the rule of the kingdom of God.  He was cast outside of the kingdom, and so when the Father raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus was freed to establish a new kingdom of God, free of the corrupt priests, governors and kings.  A kingdom of justice, ruled by the poor may be established.

Why Remember?

"Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief cornerstone…? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust."
An ancient teaching by Yeshua, the rabbi from Nazareth, aka Matthew 22:42-44

Yakov: This board of elders of the town of Zorah is now convened.  We will now consider the statements made against Adoniyah, son of Azaliah.  Who saw the crime?  (Silence in the courtyard.)  Well?  Rehebiah, did you not see the crime?

Rehebiah: (Head bowed, voice soft.) Yes, elder.

Yakov: Why do you not speak?  The security and survival of Zorah is at stake!  By the Most High, speak of what you saw!

Rehebiah: What do you wish me to speak of, elder?

Yakov: (Exasperated) Of the crime you saw Adoniyah do!44

Rehebiah: Yes.  Well.  I saw Adoniyah walk onto your property, elder Yakov.

Yakov:  (Angry) I do not know why you force me to pull every word out of your mouth!  What did you see him do while on my property?

Rehebiah: I saw him harvest some of your grain, place it in his cart and drive it away.  But, honestly, elder, it was not much.  Perhaps it was a cartful, but it was only a small amount compared to your great fields.  And it was only at the edges of your fields…

Yakov: What does it matter the amount?  Or where the grain was originally placed?  Was the grain not in my property?

Rehebiah: Yes, elder.

Yakov: And did Adoniyah go into my property to take this grain?

Rehebiah: Yes, elder.

Yakov: And didn’t Adoniyah steal this grain and take it away?

Rehebiah: I do not know, elder.

Yakov: What do you mean, you do not know?  Didn’t you see him steal it?

Rehebiah: I saw him walk on your property and take grain.  But I do not know what he did with that grain, whether he had permission from you, or what circumstances there were for him to take the grain.  Perhaps he did not steal it.

Yakov: But you suspected that he stole it, didn’t you?

Rehebiah: (Blushing) Yes, elder.

Yakov: I can tell you now, with my own mouth, that Adoniyah did not do this with my permission.  He stole my possession from me.

Rehebiah: (Silent)

Yakov: Next witness!  Habazziniah, come forward!

Habazziniah: Yes, elder.

Yakov: Can you speak of the crime of Adoniyah which you witnessed?

Habazziniah: Yes, elder.  I saw Adoniyah blithely stroll onto my fields and steal my grain. 

Yakov: When did this happen?

Habazziniah: Two weeks ago.

Yakov: And does it matter to you where or how much grain it was?

Habazziniah: Well, it is true that it is a minor part of my whole harvest.  I might have ignored it if he had done it at night, as a common criminal would have.  But he did it in open daylight, before my eyes.  He had no shame in his eyes, but stole in front of me.

Yakov: Did you confront him about his crime?

Habazziniah: Of course I did.

Yakov: And what did he say?

Habazziniah: He told me that the Lord had need of the grain. 

Yakov: Did you try to stop him?

Habazziniah: Well, no.  I am not a young man and I feared.

Yakov: Why did you not call your workers to stop him?

Habazziniah: They were a distance away, at the house.  By the time I could collect them, Adoniyah would have been gone.

Yakov: Very well.  Thank you, friend Habazziniah.  Now, Adoniyah, come forward!

Adoniyah: Yes, lord Yakov?

Yakov: The proper title is elder, not lord.

Adoniyah: Are you sure, Yakov?  Then why do not any other of your elders, sitting beside you, ask questions or make comments.  They are barely able to show their faces, here.

Yakov: I am the lead elder, here.  Who are you to question our proceedings?  Are you Adoniyah, son of Azaliah?

Adoniyah: Yes, I am.

Yakov: You were seen, in two separate occasions, stealing grain.  What do you say to these charges?

Adoniyah: I did not steal.

Yakov: Oh yes?  Did you enter my field and take my gain?

Adoniyah: I did enter your field, but I did not take your grain.

Yakov: But we have a witness who says you did!

Adoniyah: Your witness spoke the truth.

Yakov: And that witness said that he saw you steal my grain!

Adoniyah: No.  He said he saw me walk onto your property and harvest grain that was on your field.

Yakov: What game of semantics are you playing, Adoniyah?  That is stealing.

Adoniyah: Not if the grain was not yours.

Yakov: But my men planted it.  It was growing on my property.  It was mine.

Adoniyah: Not according to God’s law.  For it is written: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest, nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you pick the fallen fruit of your vineyard, you shall leave them for the needy and the stranger.”45  That grain was in the corner of your field, even as the grain I picked up at Habazziniah’s was at the corner of his field.  That grain did not belong to you, but to the poor, according to the law of God.

Yakov: What law is this?

Adoniyah: It is the law of God, as given to Moses, the servant of God.

Yakov: We recognize no such law here.

Adoniyah: That is obvious.  But the governor, Zerubbabel does. 

Yakov: This is not Zerubbabel’s town!  Nor is it Moses’!  It is mine!  I built this town, and I determine the law!

Adoniyah: Is that right?  That should be as much a surprise to Zerubbabel as it is to the ears of your elders who sit beside you.

Yakov: They all owe me!  I paid for them to come to this place!  I paid for the building of all the homes in this town!

Adoniyah: Even were that true, the money that you did use to pay for these travelers and their buildings you took from those weaker than you.  You have stolen from the anawim, while I have only taken that which belonged to the poor! 

Yakov: Shut up, shut up!  I gave to these lackeys!

Adoniyah: Yes, so you might have them in your pocket when you came to the restored land of God!

Machir: Excuse me, elder.  Perhaps I can question the accused for a bit?

Yakov: (Waves his hand, too angry to speak properly.)

Machir: Thank you, elder.  Adoniyah, we are not here to accuse elders.  You would have to gather at least two more witnesses to support your claim.

Adoniyah: And so I would, if elder Yakov would allow Yohann to return to Zorah. 

Machir: He who threatened elder Yakov years ago when we first settled the land?  I think not.  Just answer my questions, Adoniyah.  Were you not already condemned for theft?

Adoniyah: Yes, in this very court.

Machir: And what was your punishment?

Adoniyah: This. (He holds up his right arm, which is missing its hand). 

Machir: Yes.  So we can all see that you have already been branded a thief. 

Adoniyah: So I was, wrongly.

Machir: Is that right?  How is this?

Adoniyah: Because I was only taking that which belongs rightfully to the poor, according to the law.

Machir: So you say.  What poor do you speak of?  Yourself?

Adoniyah: No, the stranger to our land. 

Machir: Are these the lazy immigrants you allow to inhabit your land?

Adoniyah:  They are not lazy, for they have built my land up to be the richest in the town.  They have built their own houses and have planted and harvested my fields.

Machir: Yet, this is not enough for you. 

Adoniyah: No.  Every family has children, and on my land are twenty families—perhaps a hundred souls all together.  That is just shy of being half of the population of the rest of the town.  My fields are not large enough to feed all of these.  So I take what belongs to these poor, to feed their children.

Machir: Why do you have these foreigners on your land, in any case?  It is none of your business.

Adoniyah: I take them on my land because the town would persecute them if they would settle anywhere else.  They are forbidden to settle within two miles of the town.

Machir: And why should they?  They are not even Judeans.

Adoniyah: Because our Lord God says, “You shall not oppress a stranger in your land, for you were once strangers in the land of Egypt.”46  We are to remember the fact that we were immigrants, and that not long before.  As God provided for us, and delivered us from the oppression we experienced in the land of our sojourn, so we should deliver the immigrant from oppression.  Even as we were once homeless and poor, we should help the homeless and poor in our midst. 

Machir: We give all praise to God, but you must realize, Adoniyah, that it is Cyprus who delivered us from our oppression, and he gave us the responsibility to provide for our own security, our own provision, our own help.  Yes, the Most High delivers us, only in the amount that we deliver ourselves.  Right now, the oppression we face is not that of being homeless or made slaves, but rather impoverished and made hungry because of theft.

Adoniyah: Not a single person went hungry because of the grain I took!  Rather, many would be left hungry if that food was not delivered to the poor!

Machir: Guards, please silence Adoniyah.  (Machir waits while five young men, waiting for the command of the elders, hold Adoniyah and hit him in the face repeatedly.)  There, now I can speak without interruption.  Dear Yakov, and the rest of the elders, the true threat against Zorah is Adoniyah himself.  Not only has he stolen from some of the most important and respected members of this community, but he has done it even after punishment.  And he has done it in order to feed these foreigners who threaten to overrun our land.  As you have heard him speak himself, these foreigners are now a third of our population, and they have all been brought in to our town because of Adoniyah.  As it is clear that Adoniyah has no shame for his crimes, yet continues to threaten our way of life and our freedom, because he provides an example of rebellion to our young, I suggest that another simple punishment would not suffice.

Yakov: What is your suggestion, elder Machir?

Machir: Elder, I fear that if we simply banished Adoniyah, then he would return with his foreigners, and perhaps more from another land, and take over our town.  He would destroy all that we have built, and enslave us all to these foreigners.  To truly deal with the threat of Adoniyah, we must kill him. 

Rehebiah: Adoniyah would harm no one!  He has never hurt anyone in this town!

Machir: Rehebiah, are you an elder?  I must insist upon your silence, or else you will receive the same as Adoniyah.  If Adoniyah is set aside, then his land would be forfeit, as his sons are too young to run them properly.  Until they come of age, the eldership would take possession of the land, and the land could be used for the benefit of the town, instead of it’s detriment.  We would not harm the foreigners, just tell them to leave.  And all the grain found on the land would be returned to Yakov and Habazziniah.  What say you, elders?

Yakov: (Looking around at the elders.)  I think I can speak for all the elders that your plan is excellent, Machir.  Is there any objection?  (The elders remain silent, some looking askance).  Excellent.  Then I command, on the authority of the elders, for Adoniyah to be killed by stoning, immediately.  Guards, take him outside of the town.  Every elder and member of the town of Zorah, please follow. 

Adoniyah is dragged outside the town, with the elders following.  All but a few citizens remain behind, not wanting to throw a stone, nor even to see the evil proceedings.  The accusers and condemners surround the servant of God, picking up stones.  He cries out, “God, grant justice!  Judge between me and my accusers!”  Yakov throws the first stone, and bloodlust falls upon all of them, picking up as heavy stones as they can, casting at the head and body of the servant.  Bones crush and blood flows.  Overlooking the execution stands Isaiah, proclaiming God’s word:

Isaiah: “My servant will prosper.  He will be exalted above you.  You may be astonished at his appearance, how he is marred and malformed. But he will cleanse those from other nations.  Kings and governors will be silent before him.  He had no majesty that we should look to him for leadership, nor charisma that we should follow him.  He was despised and forsaken by men,  and we did not speak out for him, for we did not honor him.  Yet he bore our sorrows, he carried our grief.  We called him cursed by God and forsaken by our Lord.  He is being pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities.  But we are made well by his wounds.  We have all gone astray like sheep, but the Lord has laid on him all of our sins.  He is oppressed and made one with the anawim.  Like a sheep before the shearers, he is now silent, not saying a word.  But the Lord is pleased to have him crushed, to make of him a guilt offering.  Because of this oppression, the Lord will grant him children to rise up in his place.  Because of the anguish of his soul, the Lord will give him prosperity.  The Lord will set aside the evil in this land, due to this oppression.  And He will restore it to the oppressed.  Therefore I allot him a portion with the great.  He will be of the mighty because he allowed himself to be poured out to death.  He was numbered with the transgressors, and bore the sin of many.”47

Isaiah took word of this tragedy to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judea.    Zerubbabel tore his cloak and mourned for this good man, Adoniyah, who died for obeying the word of the Lord.  Then he took five hundred men and had them travel to Zorah, eight miles away.  All the elders were put on trial and killed for their injustice.  And the widow of Adoniyah was granted rule, in the stead of her children, and all the foreigners, once restricted to the land of Adoniyah was all granted the land of the elders, as well as land surrounding the town.  Thus, the town remained peaceful for a hundred years.

42. To recall the history of Yakov and Adoniyah, you might want to glance over their first story in chapter 2.
43. Leviticus 19:9-10
44. 22:21.
45. Isaiah 52:13-53:12.

Law #4- The Oppressed Who are Raised

“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
An ancient axiom of Jesus, aka Luke 14:11

When an authority is an oppressor, God looks for those who will replace the evil authority.  Ideally, God looks for a person who is oppressed to take over the authority position.  God looks among the vulnerable for those who support justice.  The vulnerable are those who will stand with the weak and poor, for they are weak and poor.  God looks also for the oppressed who are innocent, or at least seeking repentance.  Those who both support true authority and have been hurt by authority.  These are God’s leaders.41

            Jesus uses the term “humbled” for those who are oppressed.  These could be oppressed by their own decision and be intentionally poor, such as his disciples.  Or they could be poor because of others’ oppression.42  Jesus uses the term “raised” to speak of being placed into a position of authority.  The ultimate humiliation is being murdered.  The ultimate raising is the resurrection from the dead.  God looks not only among the living, but among the martyred for those who would do justice.43

            The final utopia is when the dead are raised in order to accomplish justice on earth.

41. I Samuel 2:1-9; Luke 1:46-55; Luke 6:20-26; James 1:9-11; 2:5.
42. Mark 10: 28-30; Luke 14:7-11; Luke 12:21-34; Matthew 5:11-12; 10:24-39; John 15:18-16:
43. Matthew 19:27-29; Romans 8:17; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Daniel 12:1-3, 13; Mark 12:25-27; Philippians 2:5-11.


“I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer... Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
An ancient prophecy of Jesus to his church in Smyrna aka Revelation 2:9-10

“It’s coming—sooner than you think!  An end that you don’t expect, even if you were told about it.  People have read about this end for years, but they still won’t expect it when it happens!”30

“Joanne, Joanne?  Hi, it’s me, darling.  It’s Lindsay, from church.  What are you doing out here?  You are talking so loud, I’m sure that you’re disturbing someone.  Joanne?  Can you hear me?  Are you in some kind of trance?.... Joanne?” 

“There’s no rapture for you—no ecstatic lifting up to the heavens.  It matters not about deserving.  It is a law, the laws of justice.  You think that people who worship blindly and give no thought to justice or suffering will just be lifted up?  Will the comforted be rewarded for basking in their comfort?”31

“You don’t have to be yelling at me, I’m right here.  And I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I haven’t stolen from anyone.  I haven’t hurt any poor folks.  I have immigrants working in my home.  They’re nice women.  They don’t speak English, of course.  But they work hard.  Very good workers.  We pay them what we can and they’re very grateful.  They are so happy to get what money we give them.  And this way we don’t have to work through an agency.  Agencies are so expensive!  It’s much better to hire someone from the street.”

“Never was a matter of sinning.  We all screw up, seriously.  Repent!  Repentance is the key!  We got to do right by God else God won’t do right by us!  But no matter how much you repent, you still don’t get a rapture.  No purple pie in the sky that delivers you from the suffering that you ain’t got yet.”32

“Dear, you are yelling so loud.  It hurts my ears.  I’m right here, really!  If you want to talk theology, we can do it more politely than this.  I go to a woman’s Bible study.  Perhaps you’d like to join me.  We’re doing a study on the book “The Goal Oriented Life”.  It’s wonderful!  So comforting, really.  I’m sure you’d like it.”

“I saw it!  I saw the future!  I saw the Beast!  The chaos Beast that looks like order!  Only one order, that’s God’s.  But the Beast comes and makes an order that is chaos!  At his birth was the epitaph: ‘Chaos on earth and destruction to men of God’s will!’”33

“Oh dear, Joanne.  Are you having those visions again?  You’ve stopped your medication haven’t you?  You have such awful dreams!  You’re dreaming of beasts?  Perhaps you’ve been watching the wrong movies.  I saw one secular film that scared me like that—“Maze of the Faun” or something like that. That gave me nightmares, I’m sure!  I swore that I wouldn’t watch another secular movie.  Except Hallmark features.  They’re wonderful.  You should watch more of those. That would give you pleasant dreams.”

“It’s true, I saw it all!  The Beast is the supporter of the church, the lover, the seducer!  ‘Join me and you will be strong, you will never be weak, no, not ever!  Join with the wealthy and you will never be poor.  Join with the violent and you will never be weak.  Join with the popular and you will never be hated.’  This evil I saw in a vision—but it happens!  It happens everyday!”34

“What happens dear?  What do you think you see?  You should really come to church more often, darling.  This last week we had a special speaker, the chief of police!  She was so pleasant.  Sometimes we get the image of the police as being so gruff, but she was nice!  I sat with her at the potluck, and we chatted.  Did you know that my son goes to school with her daughter?  We teased him that he might like her, but he denied that he even knew her.  It was so much fun!  Joanne?  Hello?  Maybe we could go to a coffee shop and get off of this terrible street…”

“Your church is the apostate church!  The Baptists, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Catholics, the Mormons—you are all the heretics, all the haters of the Truth!  You have all joined to the Beast, the seducer of that which seems good.”35

“That isn’t polite at all, Joanne!  What would Reverend Stein think of such gossip?  He works so hard for us.  And the church has done so much for us!  Why, you know when I was having a tough time after Richard left me they gave me a job as secretary to get us through!  I was able to meet so many people.  The mayor, the local army recruiter, a number of important writers, and even a presidential candidate.  Republican, of course.  It is such a shame he lost, he would have been wonderful.  I feel so much more secure with a Republican in office.”

“And so it must be!  The Beast, the Empire, will draw in the church by becoming friends with it.  It will pay salaries, it will offer protection, it will be the strength of the church—and then it will make demands.  Demands a good Christian should never pay!  The Empire will demand worship for itself—flags in every church with allegiance being given to the Beast.  Every church who receives the Beast’s money must worship the Beast.  The worship of God, and living for Jesus will be set aside for the salute of the Beast and obeying the Beast’s laws.  All this will happen—until the Beast pulls out their last trick.”36

“That is enough, Joanne!  You must stop this immediately!  First of all, I believe that you are speaking some treasonous speech.  Are you calling our country this horrible beast?  That is terrible!  I love our country, and so should you!  If it weren’t for all they’ve done you’d have no freedom to speak your terrible speech.  Or to worship in church.  But most of all, Joanne—Joanne? Are you listening to me?  Look, you are disturbing people—look at the children there!  You are scaring them, Joanne!  I think that you need to go home and take your medications.  What you are saying is just horrible.  Joanne!  You aren’t listening to me at all, are you?  Well, I need some help.  I can’t drag you where you belong.”

“I saw that the Beast will demand that every citizen worship the Beast—raise their hands and pledge allegiance to the Beast, and sing their praises to the Beast—or else they are not citizens.  And if not citizens, says the Beast, then no food, no buying or selling of anything. Everyone who is a worshiper of the Beast, the ‘true citizen’ will receive a tattoo—the Mark to show their true worship.   It will seem so reasonable, so logical—but the real worshipers of God, the true citizens of God’s kingdom will refuse.  They will refuse to offer worship to the Beast, refuse the tattoo, refuse citizenship of the Empire.”

“Hello, ma’am.  I’m Officer Gordon.  We received a call that you were disturbing the peace.  I’m going to need your ID.  Ma’am?  Look, I don’t want to have any trouble here.  I just need you to move along.  Ma’am.  I need you to leave this street.  Hello?  Hey, Tom, come here for a sec, will ya?”

“The Beast will then lash out and attack the true believers in Jesus.  They will die by the thousands, the hundreds of thousands.  Millions will bow down to worship the Beast, but millions will be killed for refusing to take the Beast’s mark.  These martyrs will be the key to bringing in the final age of God.  In their death, they will cry out to God for justice from the Empire.  And God, being true to the faithful martyr, will hear their cries.  He will step down and destroy the Empire—all man-based empires—from the face of the earth.  He will visit upon the Beast plague after plague—such as Egypt of old—and the Empire will be destroyed eternally.  In this way, Satan himself will be defeated by the martyrs.”37

“I think she’s in a trance, Gord.  I don’t think she can hear us at all.  I know, I know, it looks like she’s staring right at you, huh?  But look at her eyes.  No, I don’t think she’s on drugs.  Just loony.  I think she’ll break out of it eventually.  I don’t think she’s dangerous, but you never know.  I think we should put her in the drunk tank overnight and she’ll come out of it, I bet.  Yeah, let’s call for back up, just in case.  Doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere.”

“After the great martyrdom, the true church will be but a shadow of it’s current self—only a hundred and forty four thousand spared from compromise and the sword.  These shall be given the True Mark—that of faithfulness. But those who pledge allegiance to the Beast will be marked with the dark mark of God’s judgment.”38

“There they are.  I’ll go talk to them.”

“She’s bolting!”

“You are already there!  You are already worshiping the Beast!  Dare you to raise your hand across your heart to worship that which is less than God?  Dare you sing worship to the Empire?”

“Hey, get her!”

“Grab her, don’t let her get away!”

“Stop—Stop!  This is the police…”

“What you doing little lady… hey, ow!  You piece of shit, take this! Do you like it?”

“The great mark, though, is choosing to do violence for the Beast… oh…”

“You think you could get away?  When I say… stop… then.. you stop.”

“He who is destined for captivity, to captivity he will go…. uh…  But you—you are destined to kill by the sword and by the sword you will die! …oh…  You will die by your own hand—your own actions will condemn you!.....  Let him who does evil do evil still—but you who do what is right, do not fail to…”39

“Stop it!  Stop it Rick!  What are you doing?”

“She was trying to get away.  And she twisted my finger!”

“Tom, how is she?

“I’m not sure.  I can’t get a heartbeat.”

“Look, I was just protecting myself.”

“Shut up, Rick.  Let’s get some of these layers off.”

“Rick, call 911.”

“She’s not hurt.  I barely kicked her.”

“Rick, shut up!  I saw you kick her, hard maybe fifteen times.”

“It’s not my fault.”

“Just call the paramedics, would you?”

“She doesn’t need it!”

“Damn you… hello, we need medical attention at 35th and Roberts…”

“Forget it.”

“What is it, Tom.”

“I can’t find a heartbeat.”

“Just keep trying.  Revive her, something.”

“She’s dead, Gord.”40

30. Habakkuk 1:5; Joel 1:1-2; Amos 5:18.
31. Amos 5:18-24; Luke 6:24.
32. Luke 13:2-5; Acts 14:22.
33. Revelation 13:1-8.
34. Revelation 3:17-19; Luke 6:24-26.
35. Revelation 13:11-17.
36. Revelation 13:10.
37. Revelation 6:9-11; 12:10-11;18:24. Revelation 8:1-9:21.
38. Revelation 7:3-10; 14:1-5; 14:9-11.
39. Revelation 13:10; 22:11.
40. In 2008, James Chasse, a man diagnosed with a mental illness, was urinating in public in Portland, OR.  The police found him and he ran because he was fearful of all police.  A group of officers chased him, tackled him to the ground and kicked him.  He died on the way to the hospital.  His autopsy found a number of bruises and cracked and broken ribs.  The police officers received no discipline for their actions in this case.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Law #3- Those Oppressed by God

“He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.”
An ancient proverb, also known as Proverbs 17:5

The purpose of an authority is to enforce the law with equity.28  God declares that the main point of authority is to create a system so that the vulnerable of society might receive the justice that all should have.  Every society has their weak, the vulnerable.  Authorities exist to grant the weak equality.

Not all authorities are focused on the weak.  They spend too much time trying to retain their power or to expand their power.  Thus, authorities all too often ignore the weak, allowing them to suffer under the ravages of the greedy and powerful.  Authorities might convince themselves that the suffering of the weak and poor is their own fault.  Then an authority is only a step away from oppressing the poor themselves, considering them a burden on society.  The very worst sin of all is for an authority to do evil against the weak for their own profit. 29

Should an authority do the opposite of what God has intended them to do—crush the weak—then God takes it into His own hands to take that authority apart.  If an authority destroys the weak, they will be destroyed by God.  Whoever stands with that authority to destroy the weak will be destroyed by God.

28. Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17; II Chronicles 19:7; Proverbs 24:27; Romans 13:3-4; Psalm 82; Jeremiah 22:3.
29. Psalm 82; Exodus 23:7; Deuteronomy 27:5; Proverbs 1:10-18; Jeremiah 22:17-19; Joel 3:19.