Friday, August 17, 2018

True Tabernacle

The tabernacle built by Moses was a copy of the real tabernacle established in the spiritual realms.

Jesus sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being (Heb 8:1-2).
The true tabernacle was set up by the Lord in the heavenly places at the right hand of God. Moses tabernacle was a copy. It was a,
copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain” (Heb 8:5).
When he was on the mountain, Moses was given a vision of the spiritual tabernacle. God required him to build a tabernacle on earth according to the pattern shown to him.

Jesus ministry made a tabernacle or temple on earth unnecessary. He entered the true tabernacle which is in the heavenly realm at the right hand of God.

He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. (Heb 9:11).
The true tabernacle already existed in the heavenly realms.
Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself (Heb 9:24-26).
Jesus’ perfect sacrifice dealt with all the problems that arose as a consequence of human sin.
  • When he entered the heavenly tabernacle he had already obtained eternal redemption by his blood.

    He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption (Heb 9:12).
    He had already paid the ransom to set us free from the spiritual powers of evil.

  • His blood cleansed our consciences.

    How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we can serve the living God (Heb 9:14).
    The blood of Jesus offered in the heavenly tabernacle cleansed our consciences. This enables us to move from dead works to serving and worshipping the living God.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

God's Economy

A carton of my latest book has now just arrived in New Zealand. Readers living in New Zealand can purchase the book for $NZ12.00 including postage from Kingwatch Books. Go to the following link and choose the option for New Zealand customers.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Trade Wars

Donald Trump thinks like a businessman, when it comes to trade. One wins at the expense of another. This struggle between direct competitors is real. If another hotel chain lures away some regular patrons of Trump Hotel by undercutting the room rate, Trump Hotel loses. The other hotel chains win. If one building contractor undercuts another to get the contract to build Trump Towers, the former wins and the latter loses.

However, most trade does not work like that. Most other businesses are not direct competitors, but are suppliers and customers of each other. Trade between businesses that are suppliers and customers of each other benefit the entire community (while the few that are direct competitors win and lose against each other).

Donald Trump seems to take his win-lose business experience over into international trade. He assumes that if China has benefited, the US must have suffered. Consequently, he assumes that if he can make China lose, America will win again. This flawed thinking.

International trade is not a zero-sum game. All nations can benefit from an expansion of trade. When trade expands, a few suffer, but most people get richer. Expanded trade means bigger markets with more competition, with more specialisation, more choices, gains from scale, more innovation and more investment.

Businesses in different nations are good at doing different things. Nations have different resources, knowledge and skills. Trade between nations usually makes people better off.

It is true that the people of China who have moved from rural areas to work in manufacturing have benefited hugely from more open trade. However, many American businesses have made immense profits by getting their manufacturing done in China. People employed in dying American industries have suffered, but most Americans have benefited by being able to buy cheap consumer goods imported from China (phones and televisions) that they could not afford if they had to be manufactured in the United States.

Donald Trump assumes that America can win a trade war. Unfortunately, no nation wins a trade war. The problem is that all nations export and import. One nation’s imports are another nation’s imports. If a nation’s exports are reduced by trade sanctions, its capacity to import is goods and services is also constrained. This means that any change that limits a nation's exports also limits its ability to pay for the exports of other nations. Some smaller nations may be affected worse than others.

The American companies that are protected from competition by tariffs on imports will benefit. Those that have invested in manufacturing capacity overseas might lose. Many Americans will be worse off because they have to buy more than they consume.

Donald Trump believes that the US can win a trade war. That is mistaken. Everyone nation loses in a trade war. The best that Trump can hope for is to suffer less than other nations. Given that the US is a large market and depends on exports less than most nations, that could be the result.

But the fly in the ointment is that the US is running a massive budget deficit. In the past,, it has been able to fund this deficit by borrowing (selling treasury bills) from trading nations that needed US dollars for reserves. Most this funding from nations that Trump is fighting the trade war against. If a trade war goes too far, this source of cheap funding might disappear, with serious consequences. The US might lose more in a trade war than it expects./p>

The leaders of the EU, US, China and Canada are incredibly stubborn. I do not see any of them backing down. They are more likely to up the ante and get into a tit for tat struggle by the raising tariffs and imposing financial penalties. Each one hoping that one more hit will win if for them. This is what I call a trade war./p>

In a world that has not recovered from the GFC, but just papered over the cracks, that would be high risk. The US would be hurt the least, but it would be painful for the world.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Big Picture - My Books

My book called God’s Economy is the last in a series of five books that all fit together to tell God’s plan for his people and his earth.

Being Church Where We Live explains how a group of people who have chosen to follow Jesus can support each other in a neighbourhood church by giving and sharing. By living close together, they will establish a place where the authority of Jesus is acknowledged and the spiritual powers of evil are squeezed out.

Each neighbourhood church will be led by a team of elders with complementary and balanced giftings: one will be prophetic, at least one will be an evangelist and several will have a shepherd gifting. They will be bound together by love and submitted to each other for spiritual protection. They will watch over those who have chosen to follow Jesus.

Neighbourhood churches grow and multiply by sending apostles into a new neighbourhood to establish a new community. These communities of love are the essential foundation that makes possible everything described in subsequent books.

Kingdom Authority describes God’s plan for getting back the authority lost to the spiritual powers of evil and establishing his Kingdom on earth. Human politics are an obstacle to the Kingdom of God because they use Imposed Authority which empowers the powers of evil. Government-spirits have leveraged their feeble power by controlling political and military authorities. In contrast, God refuses to impose his authority on earth using force and coercion. He rejects all forms of political and military power. Instead, he calls people to serve him and freely submit to his will because they love Jesus. This is Free Authority.

Times and Seasons describes how human governments seize more and more power to deal with the economic and social crises that their mistakes have created. They will collapse under the weight of their pride and hubris, which will provide an opportunity for God’s people who are prepared. During a season of distress, they will work with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel and bring in the Kingdom of God.

Government of God explains the perfect system of government that God gave through Moses when he was leading the children of Israel into the promised land. This alternative system of justice, welfare and defence relies on Free Authority. It does not need the coercion and force of Imposed Authority. The book describes how God’s people can prepare for the collapse of
human government by applying these principles within Kingdom Communities.

A neighbourhood church becomes a Kingdom Community by providing everyone living in their neighbourhood with the services that governments promise, but fail to deliver. They will provide social support, justice and protection for everyone in their neighbourhood, regardless of whether they have chosen to follow Jesus. When people submit to the wisdom of the elders of a Kingdom Community to obtain these benefits, they are part of the Kingdom of God even though they have not chosen to follow Jesus.

The Kingdom of God is the goal of everything, but there are no kingdoms left on earth, so the word “kingdom” is not very helpful to modern people. The best way to understand the nature of a kingdom is to think of it as a “government”, so I often refer to it as the “Government of God” to make its role and nature clear. This explains the title of this book.

God’s Economy is the final book in this series. Everything on earth belongs to God, so all our economic activity is part of his economy, whether we acknowledge him or not. This book describes the Instructions for Economic Life that God gave through Moses. Jesus confirmed this guidance and adapted it for people who are loving one another in a Kingdom Community.

All economic and business activity is part of God’s Economy. Applying the Instructions for Economic Life will completely transform our economic behaviour and business activity.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Good Question

I grew up on a farm, so I left school early to work in farming. After a couple of years, I realised that I did not have the strength and stamina that farming needs, so I decided to go to university. While working with sheep and driving the tractor, I had plenty of time to think about the poverty and suffering that were rampant throughout the world. The problems seemed to be economic and political, so I enrolled to study economics and politics.

After four years of study, I realised that I was digging a dry well. The assumptions that economists have to make to ensure their models work are so unrealistic that their theories are irrelevant to the real world. It seemed that during the first three years of economics, they told you all the solutions, but in the fourth year, they explained why they would not work. (I noted that my fellow students who went into politics, often only did the three-year course, so they went out boldly assuming they had effective policies).

While growing up, our family had gone to church every Sunday, but for me, it was just a habit. When I reached university and encountered modern philosophy, I gave up my religious habit. However, just when I became disillusioned with economics, I heard the gospel of Jesus clearly for the first time. I surrendered to him and committed to living by his word and Spirit.

A few months later, I had an exam for a post-graduate course on comparative economics. The lecturer was a staunch Marxist. Full of my new-found faith, I wrote in my paper that Marx has no solution to human problems and that Jesus is the answer. I gave a similar response in a paper on macroeconomics.

Surprisingly, I passed the course with first class honours. However, at the beginning of the following year, one of my professors asked to meet with me. He disclosed that he was an atheist, but acknowledged that my faith seemed to be genuine. He told me that it was not enough to say that Jesus is the answer. I needed to explain how he could be a solution to the problems that concerned me. He concluded with a telling question: “What would the economy and society look like if everyone was a Christian”.

I could not answer his question, but I knew that I had to find the answer to it. I did not know enough about God, or his solutions to economic problems, but I made it my goal to find out.

I went to seminary for three years and studied theology and New Testament Greek. Later I studied Hebrew for two years to get a better understanding of the Old Testament. While employed as an economist, I read every book and article that I could find that is relevant to economics and the gospel. Forty years later I believe I am ready to provide an answer.

My new book God's Economy describes the changes to economic activity that will occur as the Government of God comes to fullness. It seeks to answer the following question: “What would an economy look like if most people chose to follow Jesus and the Holy Spirit was able to establish the Government of God?”. This is the question my economics teacher asked me back in 1975.

Monday, August 06, 2018

God's Economy

My latest book God’s Economy is now available on in both paperback and Kindle versions. (A paperback version will be available for sale to NZ readers later in the month.)

I have attempted to write a book on economics that ordinary people can understand. Anyone who thinks about economic issues will gain useful and challenging insights for living out their daily life in obedience to Jesus.

The book also provides wisdom for God’s people who want to be prepared for the collapse of the global economy, should that occur.

At the same time, I have written about the issues that concern economists. The book deals with poverty, debt, trade, economic development, money, banking. By drawing on the wisdom of God, I have some fresh insights on these issues.

And of course, Gods Economy all about the Kingdom of God.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Outside the City

Jesus prophesied that he would be handed over the Gentiles and killed (Luke 18:32). If he had to die to satisfy God’s anger, he would have been arrested and killed by the priests on the altar in the temple in Jerusalem. That did not happen, because God did not need to be appeased.

Jesus was handed over to the Gentiles and killed outside Jerusalem, where the spiritual powers of evil were in control, because they were the ones that demanded his death. They needed to be propitiated, because humans had given them authority on earth and they demanded death and blood to be satisfied.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Salvation in Jesus

In Romans 3:24-25, Paul summarises the achievements of Jesus’ death on the cross. There four main points.

  • Declaring those who trust in him to be righteous. This is a gift.
  • Redemption that is in Jesus the anointed (setting us free from the bondage of the spiritual powers of evil).
  • God set forth Jesus as a propitiation (not for himself, but for the spiritual powers of evil who demanded death and blood for sin).
  • In forbearance, God passed over sins previously committed (passed over, not punished).
God did these things to demonstrate his righteousness. He was generous and forgiving.

In contrast, the powers of evil were cruel and unforgiving.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

God's Economy

My latest book is nearly complete. I have some final corrections to make and it will be ready for publication.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Sacrifice (9) Moses and David

Moses and David were able to go close to the covenant box and hear God speak.

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as to a friend.

The LORD would speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend (Ex 33:11).
This happened before any sacrifices had been offered.

David was able to draw near to the covenant box once it had been placed in a tent in Jerusalem (Ps 84:1; Ps 15:1).

Let us go into His tabernacle;
Let us worship at His footstool.
Arise, O LORD, to Your resting place,
You and the box of your strength (Ps 132:7-8).
David was able to be close to the covenant box, even though no sacrifices had been offered. How was this possible.

David answers this question in a couple of his Psalms. He explained that God did not really need the sacrifices.

You do not delight in sacrifice and offering;
you open my ears to listen.
You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering…
I delight to do your will, my God,
and your law is within my heart (Ps 40:6-8).
God does not delight in sacrifices. He looks for the person who delights to do his will.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise (Ps 51:17).
A broken and contrite heart is more pleasing to God than sacrifices.

Moses had a broken spirit. He had grown up in the palace of Pharaoh and was educated to be a leader. His mother and sister had taught him that he was put in a privileged place so he could rescue his people. His dreams collapsed when he killed a man, and the people threatened to report him. He fled to another land and spent forty years watching the sheep of his father-in-law. Moses thought he was someone special, but his spirit was broken as his talents were wasted on ungrateful sheep. When God came to the burning bush, Moses was able to draw near, because the had a humble and contrite heart. He was not harmed in the presence of God.

This continued in the wilderness. Moses was able to continue meeting with God in the tabernacle of meeting.

As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses (Ex 33:9).
This was possible because Moses remained humble.
Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth (Num 12:3).
A humble heart does not need sacrifice.

As a young man, David had an amazing trust in God. He had been put down by the harsh treatment of his older brothers. He became overconfident when bringing the covenant box to Jerusalem and did not follow God’s instruction for moving it (1 Chron 15:13). As a consequence, Uzzah was killed by Wrath. A man died, but David humbled himself and got an answer from God. He took responsibility and admitted that he had was the cause of the accident.

David made many mistakes during his life, but he knew that God was merciful. He relied on God’s mercy because he knew that he needed it.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin (Ps 51:1-2).
God’s mercy can cleanse a humble heart.

Moses and David were men with humble and contrite hearts. Both were broken by their failings, but they had discovered the mercy of God. They received the forgiveness of God. Because they were forgiven, they also gained spiritual protection. The spirit of Wrath was not able to attack them. They were safe in the presence of God at the entrance of his Tabernacle because their spirits were broken and they had discovered God’s mercy. God’s mercy is the safest place in the world.

God does not need sacrifices. He is able to forgive those who are humble and contrite

  • Sacrifices were needed to satisfy the demands of the Accuser and the other spiritual powers of evil. They demanded blood for sin, so the sacrifices silenced their accusations and condemnation.
  • Sacrifices were necessary for human guilt. Guilt causes shame, which makes it is impossible for us to relate to god. We cannot hear God speak when we are weighed down with guilt and shame.
Moses and David had experienced God’s mercy.
  • God’s mercy wiped away their guilt and shame. This allowed them to stand in his presence and hear him speak.
  • God’s mercy silenced the accuser, so the spirit of Wrath could not attack them. Their spiritual protection was strong.
The rest of their people were not broken in the same way, so they did not understand the depth of God’s mercy. They continued to be afraid of him.
  • The people had to rely on sacrifices to deal with their guilt. Even then, they were mostly afraid to go into his presence, and they rarely heard him speak.
  • The people had to rely on sacrifices for spiritual protection.

This full series can be found at Kingdom Watcher.