Just a word to invite everyone to my most active site, where I’m just beginning a series called: “A Warrior sat under the Willow Tree”. Hope you will “click” and join us there. willowtreewisdom.home.blog
I have known for a long time, the Old Covenant, the Old Testament in our Bible, is darkness to man, not salvation. And because it is full of a lot of good laws by which to conduct society, and the ungodly, we do not realize its death to us.
From the very beginning, the first covenant was meant for man to fail, and God to fulfill!
How many times have you asked someone if they are a Christian, and they answer by saying they try to live by the 10 Commandments? This only reveals their lack of understanding of God, God’s Word, and God’s way of salvation; for the Covenant of the Laws only prove us guilty! Worthy of judgement! No man has ever successfully kept the Old Covenant save Jesus Christ Himself, God Himself! Which He did in order to save us from the judgement our failure deemed us worthy of! And that judgement is based upon the First Covenant, with all the “thou shalt nots”, and “thou shalts”!
Please consider this scripture as a first step in understanding this very important biblical concept: “So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron? And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it.” (Hebrews 7: 11-12 NLT)
Jesus is the beginning of a different priesthood, which the Bible describes as a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, a very mysterious person who shows up for Abraham way back in Genesis 14! Jesus begins a different priesthood because he established a very different Covenant, which we enter into through Him! And whereas the first Covenant was based on 10 Commandments, our Lord’s Covenant is based on only 2! And we will look at the very different nature of the 10 and the 2, for there is great purpose and meaning in that difference!
As a first step in understanding this difference, please note our scripture speaks of a “perfection” God intended in that first covenant. As every human well knows, we do not do well with that word, “perfect”. In our world there is no such thing as perfect, especially in the behavior of man!
Jesus spoke of this perfection in his famous Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5: 48, when he said, “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
But how are we to achieve such perfection? It certainly cannot be done by way of the First Covenant. That was why Jesus was here. To fulfill that Covenant and that perfection for us, and establish a new order of priesthood and a New Covenant, powerful enough in “His” perfection and “His” blood to save a true Believer! Wow! Is that awesome or what! But this also means the First Covenant is only failure for us! It is defeat, judgement, darkness, no hope, no light, no heaven! Only hell!
It did bring the One who is Light to us. Praise God! And that was God’s plan from the beginning. It does save us in a round-about way, if we realize that First Covenant is pointing towards Christ the whole time! It is meant to be as a school master teaching us the way to salvation, but it is not the salvation we need in itself. It announces the salvation to come, and gives us many lessons and warnings as to why we should not neglect the great salvation to come, for we do not want to die in the Covenant of Law! The Covenant of Moses! But we rejoice in the coming of God’s Covenant of Grace in Christ Jesus!
“There is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Man always seems to think he can do it himself. That is our own logic and our natural way, unless we understand how defiled we are, and how far short of perfection we fall. The Bible teaches if you break even one of the Commandments, you are guilty of breaking all! And Jesus added to the difficulty of the challenge when again, in His Sermon on the Mount, he said if you even look at a woman with lust, you are guilty of adultery! If you are angry with someone, you commit murder! The mark of perfection is so high, man was without hope!
Now that we have established the basic understanding of how the Old Covenant is not life to us, but death; I can now begin explaining how I came to call the First Covenant, the “Covenant of Darkness”. I never called it this, nor did I even think of it in this way, until one day I realized by the time Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden, it had to be dark! Once I realized this, I became curious if all the major moves of the Old Covenant had darkness involved, and it did! I was amazed! And I realized that once again God was showing us more truth! It was more than my own curiosity, but the Holy Spirit was leading me.
So… you can begin looking at it yourself if you like, but next episode (P-2) we will look at Adam and Eve’s expulsion, and every major move of the Old Covenant thereafter, clear up to Jesus completing the Old Covenant Himself, on the cross. You might recall God brought three hours of darkness in the middle of the day in that event! And three hours is no simple eclipse!
And why is this so important? Because Jesus brought us the Covenant of Light. You will also see that every major move of the New Covenant, such as Christ’s resurrection, is performed in light! These cannot be mere happenstance! And so… if we try to pull anything from the Covenant of Darkness and force it into the Covenant of Light? Are we not guilty of forcing darkness into God’s light? But who does that, you might ask.
Well… our modern church does not even realize the love of money they are guilty of, which is the root of all evil! The New Covenant in Christ is based on two very different commands than the original 10. We are to LOVE God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And we are to LOVE our neighbor as ourself. The early church established by Christ functioned on LOVE OFFERINGS. Even the Pastors lived off LOVE OFFERINGS. When did tithing come back into things? Is it possible it was drug from the old and forced into the new because of the greed of man? We do not even realize how many ways we may be bringing law into God’s love and liberty.
I have pondered if this is even a slap in the face of Jesus as he hung on that cross paying the price for us to live in liberty and Spirit. I fear to answer that with a yes, but I see the possibility. We have a warped version of Jesus and as a result, we create warped disciples. Jesus said an easy yoke and light burden, and yet we make church a heavy thing, full of lifeless programs, boring repetitious routines, and very little true liberty and relationship.
Once upon a time I was excited when God revealed all this to me. But today I had to force myself to obey God and begin the work of putting this out there, because I have already shown this to others, only to find they are so programmed they can no longer look at scriptures for themselves and actually see what they say. Either that, or they just don’t care that much. I usually encounter one of the two.
So… I’m making this effort because I believe this is way more important than the reaction I usually get, and someone has to keep shouting that the “King Theology” has no clothes! Laodicea has no clothes! We should be looking to Smyrna! It is a very dangerous time to be Laodicean! But can the programmed ever see?
There is much more to show in the proving of this message. I know I have only begun to give you solid evidence of what I have said. I hope you realize the importance of this enough, that if you still have doubts, you will come back to examine all the evidence. But for now this is enough of the elephant for any person to eat in one setting. Chew on the fact Jesus changed the priesthood and the laws, because the First Covenant was never intended for us to succeed, but only fail. It is not based on LOVE, but LAW and PERFECT FULFILLMENT. This meal is to be continued…soon. Comments welcome.
I discovered a treasure hidden away in the midst of congested streets, traffic jams, stress, and rising blood pressure. Its been there for years and I never knew, it is so well hidden. Evidently few people have found it because every time I go there, it is void of people! I enjoy it all to myself. Whoever owns it must be always working and never able to enjoy his hidden treasure. It is as a Garden of Eden in the midst of a concrete jungle.
This place inspired me to start a second blog site. “Path Without End” has always been a place to go deep into God’s Word, and we’re about to start a series called “Covenant of Darkness”. However, the new site is meant to be more light-hearted and fun. A place about dreams, and for dreamers. It is meant to inspire a life full of the joy of the Lord, peace, and spirit. It has a subtitle of “Simplicity, Serenity, Spirit, – and growing older”.
One of my dreams is to travel America (on the cheap) and ride my bike in many places while visiting Salt Churches. I have a plan and it is already in operation. We write of these things on the other site I named: “Sitting Under the Willow Tree”. I hope you will visit under the willow tree. Here is a link to the site, followed by a few pictures:
The wind still blows under the willow tree, but who today ever takes the time to sit and listen? Let us be one of the few.
Black Elk Speaks > Chapter 10 > “Walking the Black Road” >
“Wherever we went, the soldiers came to kill us, and it was all our own country. It was ours already when the Wasichus (white man) made the treaty with Red Cloud, that said it would be ours as long as the grass should grow and water flow. That was only eight winters before, and they were chasing us now because we remembered and they forgot.”
Do we think we’re different now? White man found yellow metal in those hills, and nothing, not their word, not laws or right or wrong would stop them. Are we saved today by the teachings of Jesus? Then why do I see the same in the Church!? Have we forgot? Have we forgot what Jesus said and did? Hey Preacher living in your wealth! Have you forgot? Have you distorted what Jesus said and did? Have you distorted his Word? Have you twisted the truth until it is true no more?
These are but a few of the things that drove me out of of our modern Churches to begin a simple path in which two joined me. One had been a devout Catholic all his life, and never baptized in the way the Bible actually says. He asked me to baptize him, and we did. It was simple, meaningful, and my great honor to do so.
So we started a small group of three, called it a “Fellowship”, and named it “Fellowship of the White Path”, because Jesus walked the red path of his own blood, so that we might walk the white path of his own righteousness.
We also began having a proper Passover every year, according to what your Bible still says, and I believe God is very pleased in our effort to do the best we can with what we have learned as we study early Church, those first 300 years, of which man seems to have tried to muddy the waters of history, so it can be difficult to see. But once the maze begins to open up, a lot of light begins shining in very rapidly, even as a flood!
How much of what we did to the native American Indian is still in us? We try to deny it, but what do our actions so plainly reveal? Our actions betray us! They betray our words to be nothing but lies! When will our hands be clean? Not till we actually live what we profess, and flee those leaders who do not!
I see so much greed in the Church where it should never be! But it is. Where are the Pastors living on faith and love offerings today? Where are the Pastors developing disciples ready to split a group and multiply, for the sake of keeping it as family, and the sake of Gospel Propagation as the early Church did? No group should be bigger than what a Pastor can properly pray for, and a family atmosphere can maintain. We are the family of God, not a copy of worldly ways who love money, numbers, and an image of success.
As mentioned before, I am working towards starting a Podcast on this subject, as someone suggested I should do. We have our equipment now. We have downloaded “Audacity” and hooked up to it. We slowly progress, but I still have things to learn before we achieve this goal, and these technologies do not come easy for me, but if God’s will is in it, it shall be done.
I think it’s pretty obvious now how my trip to the Black Hills seeking God, and God leading me to a book by a very wise man named Black Elk, has helped confirm many things to me about a path I was already seeking, and had begun, without even knowing, and how I eventually discover we are very similar to what is now being called Micro Church. I need not write more on this at this time. It was a strange path perhaps, by what would be modern standards, but it has led here, nonetheless. It amazes me.
I have it in me to begin a series called, “The Covenant of Darkness”. It’s about the Old Testament and how from the beginning it was designed for man to fail, and God to fulfill, so that we might have a covenant actually bringing salvation. Jesus not only saves us from our sin, but also the judgement of the Old Covenant, an eye for an eye. For us to drag anything of law from that covenant is as a slap in the face of Christ, and what he died for, to bring us the New. It is as if we practice Judaism, rather than Christianity, and this includes the teaching of tithing. Drug from the Old, it can not be supported from the New, unless you are a Pharisee.
We live in a day when the love of money has twisted much. More Churches are like Laodicea than Smyrna. And Smyrna holds a great key to unlocking the man-made-Maze! We need to get back to our early Church fathers. We need to get back to the disciples of the disciples. We need to get back to the Apostles and what our Bible actually says. We need to get back to Jesus!
“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:16)
Black Elk > Oglala Sioux Medicine man.
“But now that I can see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man to weak to use it;…”
As I shared in episode #1 the great vision set before me, my mountain to climb in my old age, I so feel the words of this Indian wise man. I am so excited about the growing move of God in this spiritual wave we have given a label of “Micro-Church”. I see a growing wave still far out at sea but rolling this way, and I want to be a part of it! It’s building as it rolls. It’s growing into a fresh move of God. It can be called a 2nd Reformation for surely that is how it feels to us who have become sickened with a prosperity message, a “king theology”, and traditions of man! We’re coming out!
But at the age of almost 64, how much of this wave can I still ride? Is this a vision given to a man to weak? And yet, I have to believe, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD!
As I write these words we just got very bad news on my sister who is three years younger than I. It was only supposed to be one artery 70% blocked. A simple stint was supposed to fix it. She would be out of hospital next day. But as we drove to visit her and celebrate a successful procedure, my phone rang. Her husband gave me the new report. 5 blockages! Main artery 90%. Another artery 70%. Transferring to a different hospital. Major open heart surgery. We wait for a doctor and surgery date.
I’ve been aware my whole life how heart disease, diabetes, and colitis runs in my family tree in a big way. We do seem to escape the “C” word for the most part. My only sibling developed the type 1 diabetes very young. And now the heart disease. I’ve had the colitis most my life, but very mild compared to my mom. Still… our days are numbered and how well we know. Most my grandparents died in their sixties. We do not live in denial, but we trust God in all things. So yes, at my age the vision God has given me looks quite large, like a huge mountain, but life would be so much less interesting without it!
I was 61 as I hiked that mountain path that day, the one now called Black Elk Trail, and I didn’t even know who he was, but I knew I was going to find out. I had been 41 when I hiked it before, twenty years ago, and believe me, I noticed a slight difference, but the joy was just as great!
It was just me and the Lord that whole day. I asked him how his Church had become such a place about money, and more business like than family oriented, when He had been so against hoarding money, and was totally non-materialistic! How do rich pastors preach from luxurious platforms about the man who had nothing, and called us to lay aside our kingship for a time, and be servants!? To live a life rich in love and sacrifice! How do we justify all this? I could make no sense of it.
I hiked all the way up Black Elk Trail to that small mountain fortress at the top. I was there earlier than the normal tourist season and had the whole place to myself. The weather was awesome! It was a shifting swirling thing! Bright sunshine and warmth for a few minutes, then clouds and snow blowing for a few! It was totally inspiring as I ate my food at the top, shared some of it with 2 ground squirrels and a Jaybird of some sort. And God spoke to me as only he does, and gave me a strange phrase: “The path of the white feather.” I have kept those words in my heart ever since. I pondered those words as the elements shifted back and forth around me.
I spent an hour or so at the top. Offered up prayer and worship. Came down out of the mountain and drove back to town where I found an old bookstore. They had a very nice copy of “Black Elk Speaks”. I was very excited as I bought it!
When I got back to the hotel I did not waste any time opening it up, and soon found this man before my time, speaking of the “darkness in men’s eyes”. I was amazed at how simple and true his words were, and wondered why our preachers today seem to lack that? The words of Jesus are simple and true, too. The path of the white feather. I had come to South Dakota to get away in nature, seek simplicity, hear God, and God was showing me a path I would never leave.
I may have left the Black Hills, but my feet had been set to a spiritual path leading to a move of God I was unaware of. Little have I known. (To be continued.)
It’s strange how my story of Church would go back to this guy, Black Elk. I mentioned in my last article how “once upon a time” I left the modern Church system in spiritual frustration at the complexity of it all and took a nine day vacation to the Black Hills to pray and listen for the leading of God. I needed clarity and direction. I needed some answers from God.
I did not know what to expect on that trip, as to how God would give me those answers. But now, what I received there, has led to a vision I began pursuing then, and still pursue today. That vision has become development of a Micro-Church, this Blog site, a prayer garden and free laundry mat from my home, a spiritual retreat in the country, and now the challenge of developing a Podcast to share our Fellowship.
In this continued journey, many words of a native Indian I never knew, or knew of, until those nine days, has become more and more meaningful to me. Today I would like to share this quote from him, from a book called: “Black Elk Speaks”. It is a “partial” quote because I want to focus on a certain “point” of his statement, and I wonder how many of you might feel the same way he did, in the words he spoke. I know I do.
“But now that I can see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man too weak to use it;…” Black Elk
We may slowly share the rest of his words eventually, for they are so rich, and fit our spiritual drama of this modern day. When I left the religious system to go searching, I knew nothing of Micro-Churches, but my soul was very hungry for something, and as I sought God for answers, I began following those answers one step at a time. Soon we developed a small Fellowship around what we began to see as obvious in God’s Word, and early Church history. Then further down the road I began hearing of Micro-Churches and discovered that was basically what we had already become, without even knowing!
How God led me to the book containing the words of this man is interesting, and as I look back on it, it happened just the way I have learned to be aware of God’s voice. Our nine day trip to South Dakota only had time for so many things, as it is in this mortal world. I had a rough idea of places I wanted to go, as we had vacationed there once before, like twenty years before. I wanted to revisit some places, and explore some new. But one place that was special to me did not fit the schedule, no matter how I tried to work it.
It is called “Harney Peak”. The highest point in South Dakota. A beautiful trail climbing into the mountain leads to that peak. I went there twenty years ago and wanted to do so again, but there was no time if my wife and I were going to reach a point farther west we had picked out. I can’t even remember the name of it now.
We never reached that westward point, because we revisited “Crazy Horse Monument”, only planning on spending a couple hours, but got so caught up there that we both did not want to leave! We spent several hours there, and a town close to it. We both realized we were sacrificing our plan, but we also realized God had a plan and that was the real reason we were there! God was speaking!
So as it were we gained an extra day in the Black Hills and I suddenly realized I could use that day to go alone, up that lonely path, to the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains. It’s elevation is 7,244 feet. But the weird thing was, every time I tried to find information on the path leading to the peak, I kept finding something called “Black Elk Trail”. This is not what it had been called twenty years ago. As a matter of fact, I learned the name had been changed just before I got there! And who was Black Elk? Why did God have this trail name changed just before I would arrive seeking answers? My brain began whirling with possibilities. And I knew early the next day, I was headed to hike that trail and relive a climb I made twenty years before, but what would that path speak to me now? And continues to speak more and more loudly each day?
I want to do justice to who Black Elk was, and also my experience that day, and where it leads me today. So we will continue our story next episode. To be continued.
King Solomon said: I have watched the way our world works.
A poor, wise man knew how to save the town.
But afterwards no one thought to thank him.
Those who are wise will be despised IF THEY ARE POOR.
Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king.
Highlights of Ecclesiastes 9:13-17
God still speaks highly of the poor, just check the Beatitudes, but do we? Is it possible to be poor, and wise? Is it possible that in the eyes of God, the poor are more wise? Let your moderation be known in all things. And remember Lot’s wife.