Brian D. McLaren: The Secret Message of Jesus

The Secret Message of Jesus By Brian D. McLaren

Remembering that Jesus identified the Pharisees as hypocrites meaning "speakers, singers and instrument players" and commanded us NOT to pay for the free Word (Isaiah 55), Here is a message hidden from the foundation of the world (Matthew 13) for those who would corrupt the word (sell learning in the marketplaces) to make their most applauded effort.

MUST READ: Brian McLaren: a Prime Example of Diaprax
Because Biran thinks the old MAP called the Bible needs updating, you will discover that Biblical and other references are not and do not NEED to be true.
What are the issues that make your approach to Christianity different than the others?
I would say there are maybe three significant differences that come to the top. The first is an understanding of the Gospel that centers on Jesus' teaching of the Kingdom of God. I think just about everyone agrees the message Jesus proclaimed is the message that the Kingdom of God is at hand. I grew up in the church, and I never heard about that.
        When I heard about the Kingdom of God it was always interpreted as going to heaven after you die.
        So the message that the Kingdom being at the center of the Gospel is just staggeringly important,
        in my opinion. We're not unique in emphasizing that, but it’s important.

Do you envision the day when people will write their own version of the Bible in the manner of, say, Wikipedia?
I don't know. I imagine they will. That’s a fascinating question. This is one of our problems, whether people rewrite it in print or not, we do tend to rewrite it in our own thinking, so, for example, the difference between Fox News and Aljazeera — two different ways of telling the same stories. I think we have that kind of diversity in telling the Biblical story.

That is why the command was to PREACH the Word by READING the Word: the only pattern from the Church in the Wilderness (synagogue) onward.

"What if Jesus' secret message reveals a secret plan?" asks Brian McLaren in his new book, The Secret Message of Jesus. "What if he didn't come to start a new religion--but rather came to start a political, social, religious, artistic, economic, intellectual, and spiritual revolution that would give birth to a new world?"[1-page 4] 1. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that could change everything (Nashville: Thomas Nelson's W Publishing Group, 2006), page 4.

Sometimes when you SEEK MESSAGES beyond the sacred pages, we are told that "evil spirits of a grosser nature steal in."  The SECRET is apparently so embedded in Scripture that theologians still cannot grasp it and needing something to say contradict it:
Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, 
        when the kingdom of God should come,
        he answered them and said,
        The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!
        for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
The Kingdom of God within US does not seem to match "all religious people being IN some kind of organization." This happened when the elders  demanded SET A KING OVER US.  God abandoned them to a national KINGDOM which invited all of paganism into it but God had abandoned them to go into captivity and death.
Luke 17:22 And he said unto the disciples,
        The days will come, when ye shall desire to see
        one of the days of the Son of man,
        and ye shall not see it.
Luke 17:23 And they shall say to you,
        See here; or, see there:
        go not after them, nor follow them.
And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 1 Samuel 8:7

According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Samuel 8:8
Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet
protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. 1 Samuel 8:9
John 18:35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew?
        Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
John 18:36 Jesus answered,
        My kingdom is not of this world:
        if my kingdom were of this world,
        then would my servants fight,
        that I should not be delivered to the Jews:
        but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Looking for Secret Knowledge is GNOSTIC and SELF-seeking

God does NOT  reveal Himself to the WISE.  John calls them sorcerers in Revelation 18

2 Pet 1:15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease 
        to have these things alway in remembrance.

2Pet. 1:16  For we have not followed cunningly [sophizo]  devised fables,                   
Fables are myths from MUO [to shut the mouth: music forces the lambs to be silent before the slaughter]
Muthos   2. fiction (opp. logos, historic truth)
Pind. 0. 1 From there glorious song enfolds the wisdom of poets,1 so that they loudly sing [10] the son of Cronus, when they arrive at the rich and blessed hearth of Hieron, who wields the scepter of law in Sicily of many flocks, reaping every excellence at its peak, and is glorified [15] by the choicest music, which we men often play around his hospitable table. Come, take the Dorian lyre down from its peg, if the splendor of Pisa and of Pherenicus placed your mind under the influence of sweetest thoughts,

Yes, there are many marvels, and yet I suppose the speech of mortals beyond the true account can be deceptive, stories adorned with embroidered lies; [30] and Grace, who fashions all gentle things for men, confers esteem and often contrives to make believable the unbelievable. But the days to come are the wisest witnesses.

embroidered lies Poikilos
2. of Art, p. humnos a song of changeful strain or full of diverse art, Pi.O.6.87; “poikilon kitharizōnId.N.4.14; “dedaidalmenoi pseudesi poikilois muthoiId.O.1.29; of style, “lexis poiētikōtera kai p.Isoc.15.47 (Comp.); “skhēmatismoiD.H.Is.3.

 Fables are myths from MUO [to shut the mouth: music forces the lambs to be silent before the slaughter]

Sophis-tês ,A. master of one's craft, adept, expert, of diviners, Hdt.2.49; of poets, “meletan sophistais prosbalonPi.I.5(4).28, cf. Cratin.2; of musicians, “sophistēs . . parapaiōn khelunA.Fr.314, cf. Eup.447, Pl.Com. 140; sophistē Thrēki (sc. Thamyris) E.Rh.924, cf. Ath.14.632c: with modal words added, “hoi s. tōn hierōn melōn

II. from late v B.C., a Sophist, i.e. one who gave lessons in grammar, rhetoric, politics, mathematics, for money,

goēs     A. sorcerer, wizard, Phoronis 2, Hdt.2.33,4.105, Pl.R. 380d, Phld.Ir.p.29 W.; “g. epōdos Ludias apo khthonosE.Ba.234, cf. Hipp.1038; prob. f.l. for boēsi Hdt.7.191.
2. juggler, cheat, “deinos g. kai pharmakeus kai sophistēsPl.Smp.203d; “magos kai g.Aeschin.3.137:
Rev. 18:22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters,
        shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be,
        shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone (prostitutes)
        shall be heard no more at all in thee;
Rev. 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries [Pharmakeia, Pharmakeus], Veneficium Cantio] were all nations deceived.  [Planao ,  
Rev. 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Euripides, Cyclops, Chorus

No Dionysus is here, no dances, no Bacchic worship and carrying his wand, [65] no ecstatic noise of drums by the gushing springs of water, no fresh drops of wine. Nor on Mount Nysa can I join the Nymphs [brides] in singing the song 'Iacchos Iacchos' [70] to Aphrodite, whom I swiftly pursued in company with white-footed Bacchants. Ah me, lord Dionysus, where are you faring without your companions, [75] shaking your golden hair? I, your attendant, serve this one-eyed Cyclops, a slave in exile, [80] dressed in this wretched goat-skin cloak and deprived of your friendship

566.  numphios, noom-fee´-os; from 3565; a bride-groom (literally or figuratively): — bridegroom.

Numph-io A. bridegroom, paidos oduretai ostea kaiōn phiou Il.23.223 ; “ton men akouron eonta bal' . . numphion en megarō mian oiēn paida lipontaOd.7.65 ; “harmozōn kora n. andraPi.P.9.118, etc. ; “zēte numphiōn bionAr.Av.161 ; opp. numphē, Pl.Lg.783e : in pl., tois neōsti numphiois to the bridal pair, E.Med.366, cf. A.Th.757 (lyr.) ; numphioisi parthenois occurs in Ps.-E.IA741.
2. son-in-law, LXXJd. 15.6.
II. as Adj. numphios, a, on, bridal,trapeza numphiaPi.P.3.16 ; “lektraEpigr.Gr.373 (Aezani).

Numph-ē  II. Nymph or goddess of lower rank, “theai NumphaiIl.24.616, cf. Hes.Th.130, Fr.171.5, al., IG12(8).358 (Thasos, V B.C.) ; N. “kourai Dios aigiokhoioOd.6.105 ; N. “haliaiS.Ph.1470 (anap. ; cf. Naias, Nērēis)

3. in mystical theology, “Zeus ambrotos epleto n.Orph.Fr.21a4.

Brian D. McLaren: The message of Jesus is not what most Christians assume it to be: information on how to go to heaven after you die. Instead, it is a radical message about the possibility of a new social and spiritual order available and possible here and now, evoked in the pregnant yet elusive phrase kingdom of God

That is true: The New World Order is the old world order free fo charge: only those who have been baptized for the remission of sins are given A holy spirit or A good conscience (1 Peter 3:21).

Col. 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us
        meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness
        and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
You see, THE secret of the kingdom is that only those who have been baptized into Christ have their spirits translated into the heavenly Kingdom which not even Brian can capture and repackage for resale.
Col. 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col. 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth,
        visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities,
        or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col. 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col. 1:18 And he is the head of the body,
        the church: who is the beginning,
        the firstborn from the dead;
        that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col. 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col. 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross,
        by him to reconcile all things unto himself;
        by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Col. 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works,
        yet now hath he reconciled
Col. 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death,
        to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
So, you see, you have been declared to be fit for HEAVEN when you die here and now because you have been TRANSLATED into that heavenly kingdom.  Only that FITTING OUT to become a disciple in the School of Christ in the Word, you are PERMITTED to know all that there is to know written down for our "learning."

Brian D. McLaren: If this is the case, why do so few see it? Why is it taking so many of us so long to "get it"? 

There are reasons to believe that this kind of reading simply could not have arisen previously

Those reasons do not include any arrogant or naive notions that we in the twenty-first century are somehow better or smarter or more enlightened than our sisters and brothers from times past. 

But they do include considerations like the following:

ALL theologians have missed it: that is their job, that is what they do. Jesus said they "take away the key to knowledge."  This is as astounding as to claim to SUDDENLY have discovered that when you toss a rock up into the air it almost always falls down!

Matt. 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matt. 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, 
        Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matt. 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We Bible STUDENTS always knew that!

Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
        All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, 
        baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Matt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things
        whatsoever I have commanded you:
        and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
While the priestly preachers and mushy musicians were performing WORSHIP to lead us into the presence of God as we WORK REALLY  HARD to make sure that WE appease God so we can go to heaven, from the wilderness onward the church was a School (only) of the Word (only).  It did not extend KINGDOM RULE out into people's private lives.

A kingdom needs a king: Jesus Christ has already taken the job so that if you convert the church into a theologians KINGDOM then, like the elders of old, demand that they set A King over us so HE can make sure that the kingdom is ruled.

Before we fall into the folly of charging the early Christians with being anti-semites, we might be aware that ALL nations have two threads: the spiritual people attended the Church of Christ ordained by the ROCK as the Qahal or synagogue.  It had no purpose but to teach the Word of God.  The ekklesia or Church Christ built has NO OTHER function.

The Qahal, Synagogue or church in the wilderness was a School of the Word of God.  The godly people attended synagogue each REST day and were quarantined from the sacrificial system operated by the tribe of Levi.



Gen. 49:5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
Gen. 49:6 O my soul, 
     come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly,
     mine honour, be not thou united:
     or in their anger they slew a man,
     and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
Gen. 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

"Dan," he says, "shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse-heels, so that his rider shall fall backwards (i.e., he will teach candidates black magic)
Gen 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels,
        so that his rider shall fall backward.
Gen. 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise:
---thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies;
---thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
Gen. 49:9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up:
---he stooped down, he couched as a lion,
---and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
Gen. 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,
---nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
---until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Gen. 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine;
---he washed his garments in wine,
---and his clothes in the blood of grapes
Dan and the Temple Builder God had not Commanded

2Chr. 2:13 And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding of Huram my father’s,

2Chr. 2:14 The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan [Naphtali 1Ki 7:14], and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.

2 Samuel Chapter Eight DOOM of the Evil kingdom

And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king. 1 Samuel 8:10

And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 1 Samuel 8:11

And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 1 Samuel 8:12

And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him,

Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by y9our tribes, and by your thousands. 1 Sam 10:1

Gal. 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal. 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal. 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal. 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants;
---the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal. 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Christ's Kindom is Spiritual

Gal. 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal. 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal. 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal. 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal. 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal. 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the fre

Coffman: "We are aware that it is popular among many able commentators today to make apologies for Israel's monarchy and to apply what the Scriptures plainly say about it to some specific monarch, Saul, for example, as did Dummelow, or to the kings of Northern Israel as did Hailey;

but it is the conviction of this writer that
Israel was
totally and completely wrong in asking a king and that this rejection of God (that is what the text calls it) contained embryonically all of the later sorrows of the Chosen People.

Throughout the whole history of Israel, there were very few monarchs who even tried to serve the Lord. Solomon was to be blamed for the division of the kingdom under his son, because the people simply rejected the excesses of Solomon; and yet, even after God took the monarchy away from them, the nation wanted nothing in heaven or on earth as much as they wanted the restoration of that scandalous Solomonic empire.

It was this, more than anything else, that motivated their rejection of God Himself,

finally and irrevocably,
in their rejection of God's Son, Jesus Christ the Holy One.

Because of musical idolatry at Mount Sinai God turned the national system over to worship the starry host. When God abandons you to worship the starry hosts WHAT do you think you worship.  The Law of Moses was written after the national leaders fell from grace. It was to legislate for the legalists until they could be carried "beyond Babylon."


It was much to early to think about "every talkin bout heaven ain't going there." All Bible readers know that Christ promised to build His EKKLESIA.  Everyone knows that ekklesia or synagogue is a SPOKEN WORD only. The synagogue from the wilderness was to TEACH the Word of God.  It spoke about people saving themselves FROM the Crooked Race of people.  The only way to escape the Crooked Race of animal sacrificers--which God did not command--was to be QUARANTINED in the School of the Kingdom of God.

Matt. 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee,
        teaching in their synagogues,
        and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,
        and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
Matt. 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,
        teaching in their synagogues,
        and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,
and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.


Matt. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world
        for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Matt. 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.


Brian D. McLaren: If this is the case, why do so few see it? Why is it taking so many of us so long to "get it"? 

There are reasons to believe that this kind of reading simply could not have arisen previously

One might suggest that they had never read the Bible before?  Otherwise, any literate person would know that Jesus continued the Qahal, synagogue or Church of Christ in the wilderness.  It was a GIVEN that one had to be baptized FOR the remission of sins before Christ would "translate them into a heave

John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?
        Why go ye about to kill me?
John 7:20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
John 7:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

John 7:25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?
John 7:32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him;
        and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.  

Those translated INTO the kingdom of Christ are  saved FROM the Crooked Race or the Race of Vipers John refused to baptize.

Mark 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Mark 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
Mark 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
Mark 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Mark 1:12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
Mark 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, 
        and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. 

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Is. 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Is. 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Is. 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Is. 61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations


Matt. 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matt. 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Matt. 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matt. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
        shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; 
        but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

"Jesus seems to say, 'The kingdom of God doesn’t need to wait until something else happens. No, it is available and among you now.... Invite people of all nations, races, classes, and religions to participate in this network of dynamic, interactive relationships with God and all God’s creation!" [1 - page 74]


"...the kingdom of God will be radically, scandalously inclusive. As we’ve seen, Jesus enjoys table fellowship with prostitutes and drunks.... He affirms and responds to the faith of Gentiles—Romans and Syrophonecians and Samaritans."[1 - page 94]

Matt. 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
1 Cor. 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
        Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate,
        nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1 Cor. 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners,
        shall inherit the kingdom of God.
The only ones to be fellowshipped AS IN the Kingdom is to be converted:
1Cor. 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified,
        but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus,
         and by the Spirit of our God.
Gal. 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
        Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal. 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal. 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:
        of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past,
        that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God
Matt. 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matt. 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Matt. 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Matt. 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Matt. 13:11 He answered and said unto them,
        Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Matt. 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Matt. 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables:
        because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Matt. 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

Matt. 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:


Matt. 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death,
        till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

No one had kingdom fellowship without REPENTING and being baptized to be ADDED by Christ to the kingdom: Brian is too young to usurp that role

Brian D. McLaren: The First-Century Church: Separating from Jewish Roots

First, early in church history (by the end of the second century, for sure), the Christian faith took a fateful turn. It went from being a Jewish sect, 

committed to maintaining complete continuity with historic Judaism, to becoming a Gentile religion with persistent anti-Semitic tendencies. 

Justin, Trypho a Jew Chapter XVIII.-Christians Would Observe the Law, If They Did Not Know Why It Was Instituted.

"For since you have read, O Trypho, as you yourself admitted, the doctrines taught by our Saviour, I do not think that I have done foolishly in adding some short utterances of His to the prophetic statements.

Wash therefore, and be now clean, and put away iniquity from your souls,
as God bids you be washed in this laver,
and be circumcised with the true circumcision.

For we too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined you,-namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your hearts. For if we patiently endure all things contrived against us by wicked men and demons, so that even amid cruelties unutterable, death and torments, we pray for mercy to those who inflict such things upon us, and do not wish to give the least retort to any one, even as the new Lawgiver commanded us: how is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us,-I speak of fleshly circumcision, and Sabbaths, and feasts?

The National Jewish system was the Worship of the Starry host: why would Christians continue with pagan idolatry. The baptism of WIND and SPIRIT was to separate the tiny remnant of Jews who had not "bowed to Baal."  The Jews sought to kill Jesus even though they could not deny that He was their Messiah.

John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, 
        because the Jews sought to kill him

John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?
        Why go ye about to kill me?
John 7:20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
John 7:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. 

Stephen repudiated the Jewish system which every Bible student 

Acts 7:41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol,
        and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
Acts 7:42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven;
        as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel,
        have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
Acts 7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan,
        figures which ye made to worship them:
        and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
Acts 7:44 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed,
        speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.
Acts 7:45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers,
unto the days of David;

Acts 7:46 Who found favour before God,
        and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob
Acts 7:47 But Solomon built him an house.
Acts 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
        as saith the prophet,
Acts 7:49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool:
        what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
Acts 7:50 Hath not my hand made all these things?
Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears,
        ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?
        and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One;
        of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
Acts 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and
have not kept it.
Acts 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart,
        and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven,
        and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God


However, Paul preached the TRUTH which the Jews had repudiated beyond redemption.  This REPUDIATES the false claim that the Christians were just baptized Jews and that the Christians were anti-semitic.

Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, 
        and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
Acts 18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia,
        Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
Acts 18:6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed,
        he shook his raiment, and said unto them,
        Your blood be upon your own heads;
         am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
Acts 18:7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus,
        one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
Acts 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue,
        believed on the Lord with all his house;
        and many of the Corinthians hearing believed,
        and were baptized.
Acts 18:9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision,
        Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
Acts 18:10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
Acts 18:11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.


Brian D. McLaren: It pains me to say this, but any church historian must admit this is the case. That anti-Semitism tended to blind Christians from the uniquely Jewish dimensions of the story of Jesus and of his teaching--the very dimensions that have enriched our story.

Perhaps then, the anti-Semitism all too common in church history prohibited readers 
from understanding Jesus's secret message 
because it is a radically Jewish message. 
Christ speaking through the Prophets repudiated the Jewish system: Why not since they had been first abandoned because of musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. This was STAR worship from Egypt or Babylon. NO.
Hos. 2:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease,
        her feast days,
        her new moons,
        and her sabbaths,
        and all her solemn feasts.

Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers,
he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Col. 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you
        in meat,
        or in drink,
        or in respect of an holyday,
        or of the new moon,
        or of the sabbath days:
Col. 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
A shadow is NOT God's old, failed plan of salvation: the Law including the Sabbaths were imposed BECAUSE of transgression to PREVENT people from going to pagan worship services on the Sabbath considered an evil day.

A Shadow is something truly Evil:

G4639 skia skee'-ah Apparently a primary word; “shade” or a shadow (literally or figuratively [darkness of error or an adumbration]):--shadow.

2. reflection, image (in a bowl of oil), Sch.Il.17.755.
3. shade of one dead, phantom, Od.10.495,  A.Th.992,
of worthless things, that phantom at Delphi, of the Amphictyonic council, D.5.25; hai tou dikaiou s. mere shadows of .
4. evil spirit, Hippiatr.130, PMasp.188.5
also, of one worn to a shadow, A.Eu.302;
The only use Paul made of the Sabbath was to go teach the Word in the synagogues which was NOT a worship center and had no "praise service" which is distinctly legalistic and pagan.

No Christian kept the Sabbath. No Christian offered Animal Sacrifices. No Christian could enter INTO the holy places. No Christian observed ANY of the holy, festival days which were specificially military musters for the military aged Jews. Jesus fulfilled ALL of the types or shadows of the Law.  Because Simon had heard the Spirit's message in Scripture, he understood that the Gentiles did not have to become Jews or be circumcised.
Acts 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them,
        which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols,
        and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city
        them that preach him,
        being read
                in the synagogues every sabbath day
Brian D. McLaren: Anti-Semitism would also lead to disinterest in and ignorance of the first-century setting in which Jesus lived and taught. That ignorance would make this kind of understanding unlikely if not impossible. (It may be too much to hope that this reappraisal of Jesus and his message by Christians like myself could make possible new common ground for Jewish-Christian dialogue. Realistic or not, this is my hope.)

On the contrary, we have shown that Paul taught in the synagogues and it was the Jews who put them out of the synagogues.  They were ANTI-Christian and ready to murder to prevent the Christians from preaching the Gospel which was consistent with Christ's teachings in the prophets: the prophets, too, by the Spirit OF Christ were ANTI the Civil-military-clergy system abandoned to worship the starry host and called robbers and parasites.

The Hebrew Roots people use the curse of the sacrificial systemas their PATTERNISM and increasingly people want to JUDAIZE especially by imposing the sacrificial or exorcism "music" connected with the slaughter of innocent animals.

Is. 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God,
        ye people of Gomorrah.
Rev. 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Does Brian think that the Christians offered animal sacrifices? Or circumcised their children or did ANYTHING connected to the JEW'S RELIGION: they were devoted to the PROPHETS who called the sacrificial system robbers and parasites.
Is. 1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
Is. 1:12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
Is. 1:13 Bring no more
        vain oblations;
        incense is an abomination unto me;
        the new moons and sabbaths,
        the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with;
        it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

Is. 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth:
        they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
Is. 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands,
        I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers,
        I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
Does Brian McLaren think that the Christians continued any of these Jewish practices.
Is. 1:16 Wash you, make you clean;
        put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
Is. 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Is. 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:
        though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
        though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Is. 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Is. 1:20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword:
        for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Jer. 7:3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel,
        Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
Jer. 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD,
        The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these
Jer. 7:21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel;
        Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
Jer. 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them
        in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt,
        concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
Jer. 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
Jer. 7:24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
Does Brian McLaren think that the Christians continued any of these Jewish practices.
Josephus records (Antiquities 8.5.3), following Menander the historian, concerning King Hiram IHiram I was king of Tyre from 969 BC to 936 BC. During his reign, Tyre grew out from a satellite to the more important city of Sidon to the most important of the Phoenician cities and the holder of a large trading empire. Hiram allied himself with king So of Tyre (c. 965– 935 BCE):
He also went and cut down materials of timber out of the mountain called Lebanon Mount Lebanon is the mountain range that extends across the whole country of Lebanon about 160 km (100 mi) parallel to the Mediterranean coast and rising to 3,090 m (10,131 ft). Lebanon is historically defined from the mountains, which have provided for p, for the roof of temples; and when he had pulled down the ancient temples, he both built the temple of Heracles and that of Astarteand he was the first to celebrate the awakening (egersis) of Heracles in the month Peritius.
Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John,

That the Pharisees puffed up unto strange boasting,
        were wont to pretend that the Divine Word was with them and in them,
        and therefore foolishly affirmed that they had advanced to marvellous wisdom, 
        the Spirit Itself will testify, 
        since Christ says by the Prophet Jeremiah unto them, 
                How do ye say, WE are wise, and the word of the Lord is with us?
                For nought to the scribes became their lying pen;
                the wise
men were ashamed, were dismayed and taken;
                what wisdom
is in them? because they rejected the word of the Lord.

For how are they not taken rejecting the Living and Hypostatic Word of God, receiving not the faith to Him-ward,  but dishonouring the Impress of God the Father, and refusing to behold His most true Form (so to say) through His God-befitting Authority and Power?

So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. Neh 9:24

And they took , and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance:
so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat,
and delighted
[became soft, lived voluptuously]
themselves in thy great goodness.
Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee,
          and cast thy law behind their backs,
          and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee,
          and they wrought great provocations. Neh 9:26

Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. Neh 9:34

For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works. Neh 9:35

Behold, we are servants this day, [and so are you]
and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof,
        behold, we are servants in it: Neh 9:36

And it

        because of our sins
  also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle,
        at their pleasure
        and we are in great distress. Neh 9:37

Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, 
        they have trodden my portion under foot,
        they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness
Jer. 12:10  

       They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns
        they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: 
        and they shall be ashamed of your revenues 
        because of the fierce anger of the Lord. Je.12:13

The Second- and Third-Century Church: Engaging Greek Philosophy

Brian D. McLaren: Second, the church's early divorce from Jewish roots was accompanied by a corresponding love affair with Greek philosophy. Greek philosophy--especially in the Neoplatonic stream in which many early Christian thinkers were immersed--was more interested in universal concepts than particulars, more focused on timeless truths than timely ones. This mind-set would predispose readers of the Gospels to interpret Jesus's message in light of timeless abstractions and miss the historically particular references to contemporary political realities and social movements. (1)

When Israel rose up to play in musical idolatry at Mount Sinai God abandoned them to worship the starry host: this was the Dionysus type worship common in Egypt and Greece.  On the contrary, any one who had read the OLD plato would understand that he REPUDATED all that is common to the modern church especially connecting religious music to homosexuals and therefore rejected for honorable men.


Under "Star Worship" the Jewish Encyclopedia states:

"Star Worship" is perhaps the oldest form of idolatry practiced by the ancients. The observation of the stars in the East very early led the people to regard the planets and the fixed stars as gods. The religion of the ancient Egyptians is known to have consisted preeminently of Sun-worship. Moses sternly warned the Israelites against worshipping the Sun, Moon, stars, and all the hosts of heaven (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3). The Israelites fell into this kind of idolatry and as early as the time of Amos they had the images of Siccuth and Chium, 'the stars of their god' (Amos 5:26); the latter name is generally supposed to denote the planet Saturn. That the Kingdom of Israel fell earlier than that of Judah is stated (II Kings 17:16) to have been due, among other causes, to its worshipping the host of heaven.

But the Kingdom of Judah in its later period seems to have outdone the Northern Kingdom [Israel] in star-worship." Of Manasseh it is related that he built altars to all the hosts of heaven in the two courts of the house of YHWY, and it seems it was the practice of even Kings before him to appoint priests who offered sacrifices to the Sun, the Moon, the planets, and all the hosts of heaven. Altars for star-worship were built on the roofs of the houses, and horses and chariots were dedicated to the worship of the Sun. (II Kings 21:5; 23:4-5, 11-12) Star-worship continued in Judah until the 18th year of Josiah's reign (621 B.C.) when the King took measures to abolish all kinds of idolatry. But although star-worship was then abolished as a public cult, it was practiced privately by individuals who worshipped the heavenly bodies, and poured out libations to them on the roofs of their houses (Zephaniah 1:5; Jeremiah 8:2; 19:13)  Jeremiah, who prophesied in the sixth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin (591 B.C.) describes the worship of the Sun as practiced in the court of the Temple (Ezekiel 8:16) and that even after the destruction of the Temple the women insisted on continuing to worship the Queen of Heaven.

"The ancient Hebrews, being nomads like the Arabs, favored the Moon, while the Babylonians, who were an agricultural nation, preferred the Sun. But, as appears from Ezekiel 20:7-8 the Moon-worship of the Israelites, even while they were still in Egypt was combined with Sun-worship."

How could those promoting paganism have missed Acts 7:

Acts 7:42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?

Brian D. McLaren: Contrast the flood of man-hours spent by the church debating esoteric theological/philosophical issues with the comparative trickle of attention paid to understanding and applying Jesus's kingdom ethics; the difference is staggering--and in light of our exploration here, heartbreaking. Some might argue that the esoteric arguments were necessary; otherwise, Christian theology would have lost its doctrinal integrity and become a subset of some other ideology. But if it did indeed succeed in saving its doctrinal integrity, one wonders if it lost its ethical integrity in the process, and one wonders what profit there is in saving the former while losing the latter.

The Fourth-Century Church: Fusing Church and Empire

Third, in the early fourth century, Christianity was embraced by the emperor Constantine (whether sincerely or manipulatively for political expediency, we can only speculate). After its divorce from Judaism and affair with neoplatonic philosophy, Christianity now entered a lasting marriage with Constantine's empire. Now as the official religion of the Roman Empire, how could it read the teachings of Jesus as being critical of the empire? No wonder the scholars of the church would drift into "safer" abstract readings that didn't question the status quo--since they now were so thoroughly affiliated and deeply wedded to the very "principalities and powers" that Jesus and his apostles said the kingdom of God had come to overturn.

Aphrahat 4th century

19. Now thus is faith; when a man believes in God the Lord of all, Who made the heavens and the earth and the seas and all that is in them; and He made Adam in His image; and He gave the Law to Moses; He sent of His Spirit upon the prophets; He sent moreover His Christ into the world.

Furthermore that a man should believe in the resurrection of the dead; and should furthermore also believe in the sacrament of baptism.

This is the faith of the Church of God. And (it is necessary) that a man should separate himself

from the observance of hours and Sabbaths and moons and seasons, and divinations and sorceries and Chaldaean arts and magic,

from fornication and from festive music, from vain doctrines,

which are instruments of the Evil One, from the blandishment of honeyed words, from blasphemy and from adultery.

And that a man should not bear false witness, and that a man should not speak with double tongue. These then are the works of the faith which is based on the true Stone which is Christ, on Whom the whole building is reared up.


People continued to practic historic "church" which was like the synagogue in the wilderness: it was to observe the Lord's Supper and read and discuss the Word of God. There ware a host of religious groups any time oral memory or a portion of Scripture existed. The National Roman church, like the national Jewish system was not of, by or for the common people. The clergy performed religious rituals--learned from the pagans--and a large crowd just got in their way.

Any reading of the host of church "fathers" proves that few in the outlying nations had any connection to Rome: the African church was at times most powerful.

Brian D. McLaren: No doubt there were certain advantages--and perhaps even inevitabilities--to this liaison of church and empire. Taking into account all of the historical dynamics, it's hard to imagine other better storylines that any of us could have created without unintended negative consequences of their own; it's hard to imagine what we could have done differently, even knowing what we know. But the fact remains that much was lost through this unhappy marriage.


Plutarch: what god is worshipped by the Jews: ; for that which they call the Fast they celebrate in the midst of the vintage, furnishing their tables with all sorts of fruits while they sit under tabernacles made of and ivy; and the day which immediately goes before this they call the day of Tabernacles.

Within a few days after they celebrate another feast, not darkly but openly, dedicated to Bacchus, for they have a feast amongst them called Kradephoria, from carrying palm-trees, and Thyrsophoria, when they enter into the temple carrying thyrsi.

What they do within I know not; but it is very probable that they perform the rites of Bacchus. First they have little trumpets, such as the Grecians used to have at their Bacchanalia to call upon their gods withal.

Others go before them playing upon harps, which they call Levites, whether so named from Lusius or Evius,--either word agrees with Bacchus.

And I suppose that their Sabbaths have some relation to Bacchus; for even now many call the Bacchi by the name of Sabbi, and they make use of that word at the celebration of Bacchus's orgies.

And this may be discovered out of Demosthenes and Menander. Nor would it be out of place, were any one to say that the name Sabbath was given to this feast from the agitation and excitement [Greek omitted] which the priests of Bacchus display.

So in the nocturnal ceremonies of Bacchus (as the fashion is amongst us), they make use of music, and call the god's nurses [Greek omitted].

High up on the wall of their temple is a representation of the thyrsus and timbrels, which surely suits no other god than Bacchus.

Brian D. McLaren: The Middle Ages: Converting People by Force

Fourth, as we have seen, with this alliance between church and empire came an endorsement of the use of violence in the service of the kingdom of God. It's hard to imagine getting anything right about Jesus's secret message when the church itself concluded that heretics could be justly tortured using many of the most horrific methods ever invented--evisceration, stripping of the skin, burning, and the like. Add to this tragedy the repeated incursions of violent "barbarians"--Huns, Goths, Vikings, and so on--along with repeated wars with Muslims, and it's clear that the church was so desperately fighting for survival that it was unlikely to consider alternative understandings of Jesus's teachings even if they were proposed. In fact, it's easy to imagine how alternative understandings proposed in wartime would be equated with treason. And since literacy during these dark times was rare, there wouldn't be a surplus of scholars with time on their hands to explore out-of-the-box understandings of the message of Jesus.

After the Reformation: Forming a New Civil Religion

Fifth, after the Middle Ages, when Protestants broke with the Western church, most new segments of the church simply created new alliances with the secular state, so that instead of one Holy Roman Empire, we had many church-state liaisons. Christendom in these contexts metamorphosed into various new forms of civil religion, each a willing servant of nationalism. 

Considering Jesus' words about the impossibility of serving two masters, none of these options would prove compatible with the secret message of Jesus. In these contexts, proclaiming the secret message of Jesus as we have considered it here would not only be judged unorthodox; it would also be condemned as unpatriotic--and therefore largely unthinkable. (Some readers may have felt this very objection as they read these words, because civil religion is still alive and well in many quarters.)

The word Apostolic means that the church attempted to base everything on the Apostolic commands.  After the Reformation Calvin called his a Restoration Movement of the Church of Christ.  Whatever the connection with the civil authorities, the Church did not base it's restorationism on public opinion.  There is absolutely noting about the church is a School (only) of the Word (only) which would offend the protestant princes.  While the Catholics would burn you for possessing or reading or teaching a Bible, the princes protected the churches in every respect. There was nothing about the restored church which posed a threat to civil government.

Brian D. McLaren: The Twentieth Century: Discovering Ancient Documents

A sixth important factor: it wasn't until recent decades that new documents from the ancient world were discovered and translated, including the Dead Sea Scrolls. These documents have given us more and more insight into the religious, political, and social times in which Jesus lived. Without those documents and the scholarship surrounding them, it was too easy to assume that conventional understandings had taken everything into account and left no room for rethinking. 

Meanwhile, there have been several intensifications of the "quest for the historical Jesus" in recent centuries. True, these quests too often created a Jesus cast more or less in the image of those doing the scholarship: a rationalist Jesus, a romantic Jesus, and so on. It takes time for bad or biased scholarship to be sorted out from good and for the slices of good scholarship to be in some way integrated with one another--and most importantly, with the biblical text itself. This process is ongoing and suggests that the vision of Jesus' message we've considered here will need continuing revision in the years to come.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were a wonderful defense of the Historic Jesus and His Teachings in the prophets.  An ancient Isaiah scrool was intact and probably the same one the eunuch was reading when he REQUESTED the right to be baptized.  Psalm 41 proves that the Jews would first identify Jesus as Beliar or Beelzebul so they could attack Him in a military sense using the Levitical Warrior Musicians.

The Witness of the Dead Sea Scrolls: The War Rules

Everyone understood that the "musical" instruments were instruments of warfare and triumph over the enemy. In connection with the "annihilation of the Sons of Darkness" the Levites served as guards:

DSS: "After them the chiefs of the Levites serve continually, twelve in all, one to a tribe. The chiefs of their courses shall serve each man in his office. The chiefs of the tribes and fathers of the congregation shall support them, taking their stand continually at the gates of the sanctuary

In Battle:

"The priests shall blow the trumpets of massacre, and the Levites and all the blowers of the ram's horn shall sound a battle alarm,

and the foot soldiers shall stretch out their hands against the host...
and at the
sound of the alarm they shall begin to bring down the slain.
All the people shall cease their
........... but the priests shall continue to blow the trumpets of massacre."  - War Scroll

"And on the banner of the ten they shall write, "Songs of joy for God on the ten-stringed harp," and the name of the chief of the ten and the names of the nine men in his command."


Ruwa (h7321) roo-ah'; a prim. root; to mar (espec. by breaking); fig. to split the ears with sound, i. e. shout (for alarm or joy): - blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout for joy, sound an alarm, triumph.

By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy (Judas) doth not triumph over me. Ps.41:11


DSS: And they, teachers of lies and seers of falsehood,
have schemed against me a devilish scheme,
to exchange the Law engraved on my heart by Thee
for the smooth things which they speak to Thy people.

For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. Isaiah 32:6

The instruments [sword or psaltery) also of the churl (withholding instructions) are evil (afflicting): he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying (sham) words, even when the needy speaketh right. Isaiah 32:7

Instruments: Keliy (h3627) kel-ee'; from 3615; something prepared, i. e. any apparatus (as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon): - armour ([-bearee]), artillery, bag, carriage, / furnish, furniture, instrument, jewel, that is made of, one from another, that which pertaineth, pot, / psaltery, sack, stuff, thing, tool, vessel, ware, weapon, / whatsoever.

DSS: And they withhold from the thirst the drink of Knowledge, (Amos 5, 6, 8, Isa 5) and assuage their thirst with vinegar,that they may gaze on their straying,

on their folly concerning their feast-days (Jubilee, Feast of Tabernacles) on their fall into their snares.

That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; Amos 6:5

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: Am.8:11

And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts:

but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands. Is.5:12

DSS: They come to inquire of Thee
from the mouth of lying prophets deceived by error (Eze 13)
Who speak with strange lips to Thy people,
and an alien tongue,
That they may cunningly turn
all their work to folly.
DSS: They have overtaken me in a narrow pass (gap) without escape
And there is no rest for me in my trial.
They sound my censure upon a harp
and their murmuring and storming upon a zither." Ps.41:11


DSS: I will groan with the zither of lamentation
in all grief-stricken mourning and bitter complaint
until iniquity and wickedness are consumed
and the disease-bringing scourge is no more.
An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. Ps.41:8
DSS: Then will I play on the zither of deliverance
and harp of joy,
on the tabors of prayer and the pipe of praise
without end.

Brian D. McLaren: The Twenty-First Century: Learning from Our Mistakes

Seventh, until recent decades, the Christian church may not have acknowledged enough mistakes to do any serious self-examination. (No doubt it had made plenty of mistakes, but it had not acknowledged very many.) During the period of colonization, the Western church in both its Protestant and Catholic forms was energized by an expanding sense of mission (mission too often hybridized, sadly, with colonization itself). Like a team in the middle of a winning season or a rock band ascending to superstardom, a religion expanding in partnership with colonization does not find itself in a highly reflective mode, especially about the injustices associated with colonization itself.

When Brian says THE CHURCH he is speaking of the large or small holdings using the believers as serfs.  The Church of Christ as the INVISIBLE KINGDOM continues to serve under Jesus Christ prophesied by Christ in Zecharian as both KING and PRIEST on ONE throne.  The kingdom is His rule over a SECRET ARMY who, like Job, are used by  God in Christ to prove that Satan can be defeated solely with the offensive and defensive weapons of the Sword of the Spirit. The weapons are not CARNAL or "lifeless instruments."  This invisible kingdom is embedded everywhere and its testimony can and will defeat the mercinaries AMONG the FEW chosen out of all who are CALLED out to "church" as institute.

But when failures mount and when some failures rise to the level of scandals and atrocities (the conquest and genocide of First Nations, the global slave trade, American slavery and segregation and South African apartheid, environmental degradation, two world wars, the Holocaust, the death toll of Japanese noncombatants when the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, pedophilia scandals, and so on), organizations tend to become more reflective.

We believers do NOT blame the invisible kingdom but the institutes: Christ promised AND PAUL SHOWED that by absolute will of Jesus Christ there will be no Canaanites in the House of God: Jesus cast them out of the temple grounds and tore down the "church house" for the third time.  See 1 Corinthians 1 for the pledge.

Declining numbers can have a similar effect. "What went wrong?" becomes "What's wrong with us?", which in turn can lead to "What's wrong with our message?" Pride goes before a fall, and perhaps proud organizations need a fall before they are open to repentance or rethinking.

Brian D. McLaren: The Time-Release Capsule of the New Testament

There's at least one more reason that must be considered in answer to the question we're considering here: every religion including Christianity can become an opponent to the secret message of Jesus. A leader in the Bruderhof Communities, Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (1842-1919), understood this danger: "Nothing is more dangerous to the advancement of God's kingdom than religion. But this is what Christianity has become. Do you not know it is possible to kill Christ with such Christianity?"

The great Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard offered a similarly provocative diagnosis:
The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But
we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be
unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we
understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the
New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act
accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be
ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?
Brian could have heard Christ in the wilderness, in person defining the ekklesia and Paul by many direct commands:

Eph. 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise,
      but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Eph. 5:18 And be not drunk with wine,
    wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Col. 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Col. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
Eph. 5:19 Speaking to yourselves
      in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
teaching and admonishing one another
     in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Eph. 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Eph. 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God
Col. 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Col. 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

Both SPEAKING and TEACHING are done with the voice the "music" concept was always understood as "sacred violence: making the lambs dumb before the slaughter. The priest who lifted them up to cut their throats were called heretics and the musical exorcists were called PARASITES:
Eph. 6:12 For we WRESTLE not against flesh and blood, 
        but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
        against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

Eph. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, 
        that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 

We do NOT wrestle against flesh and blood:   

Pale (g3823) pal'-ay; from pallo, (to vibrate; another form for 906); wrestling: - / wrestle 

Pallô, poise, sway a missile before it is thrown, sway, brandish, she drove it furiously, tripped on the shield-rim, quiver, leap, esp. in fearII. Pass., swing, dash oneself, Pi.N.5.21; vibrate, of strings, Pl.Phd.94c (psalloito ap. Stob.);  leap, bound, quiver, quake, phrena [heart] deimati [fear] pallôn S.OT153 (lyr.); dash along, of horses, E.El.477 (lyr.).  spring upon ephallomai, leap, bound E.El.435
Psalloito Psallo.   
Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian
scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself
against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good
Christians without the Bible coming too close. Dreadful it is to fall
into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be
alone with the New Testament.
Jesus called the Scribes and Pharisees, hypoctires by naming speakers, singers and instrument players.  Jesus said that they took awa the key to knowledge.


How would you prove that Brian is NOT both a Scribe and as preacher a Phariseee who REWRITES the Words of Christ.

A Christian like myself can't help but read Blumhardt's and Kierkegaard's words with a feeling of bitter shame--and with immense gratitude for the New Testament! As Walter Wink has said, "Nevertheless, the story was there for all to read in the Gospels, and it continues to work, like a time-release capsule."


Brian D. McLaren: What was true for Jesus' contemporaries--that they could miss the kingdom while those from "east and west and north and south" would come in and enjoy the feast--could certainly be true for adherents to the Christian religion today. 

Wouldn't it be fascinating if thousands of Muslims, alienated with where fundamentalists and extremists have taken their religion, began to "take their places at the feast,"  discovering the secret message of Jesus in ways that many Christians have not? 

"...many Hindus are willing to consider Jesus as a legitimate manifestation of the divine... many Buddhists see Jesus as one of humanity’s most enlightened people....  A shared reappraisal of Jesus’ message could provide a unique space or common ground for urgently needed religious dialogue—and it doesn’t seem an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet may depend on such dialogue. This reappraisal of Jesus’ message may be the only project capable of saving a number of religions."[1. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that could change everything (Nashville: Thomas Nelson's W Publishing Group, 2006), page 4. 1 - page 7]

Jesus is not speaking of the CHURCH but of the Jewish National religion: that which Brian McLaren wants the church to snuggle up with:

Lk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

75.  agonizomai, ag-o-nid´-zom-ahee; from 73; to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavor to accomplish something): — fight, labor fervently, strive.

73.  ag-one´; from 71; properly, a place of assembly (as if led), i.e. (by implication) a contest (held there); figuratively, an effort or anxiety: — conflict, contention, fight, race.

Lk 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

Lk 13:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.

Lk 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Lk 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

Lk 13:29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

Lk 13:30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

Lk 13:31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

Lk 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Lk 13:35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Brian D. McLaren: Could it be that Jesus, always recognized as one of the greatest prophets of Islam, could in some way be rediscovered to save Islam from its dangerous dark side? 

Jesus in Islam 

In Islam, the Prophet Jesus (Arabic: عيسى عليه الإسلام`Īsā Alleh Islam) is considered to be a Messenger of God who was sent to guide the People of Israel (banī isrā'īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel.[1] In sharp contrast to Christianity, Islam emphatically denies that Jesus was the Son of God, or that he was divine in any way. While accepting his Virgin Birth, Islam denies that Jesus was ever crucified or resurrected, or that he ever atoned for the sins of mankind; it especially scorns any notions that Jesus is to be worshipped or prayed to.

Similarly, wouldn't there be a certain ironic justice if Jesus's own kinsmen, the Jewish people, led the way in understanding and practicing the core teaching of one of their own prophets who has too often been hijacked by other interests or ideologies? 

Or if Buddhists, New Agers, and even former atheists and agnostics came "from east and west and north and south" and began to enjoy the feast of the kingdom in ways that those bearing the name Christian have not?  

Brian D. McLaren: Of course, because we have the "time-release capsule" of the New Testament, there is always hope that we Christians will not be the last to rediscover the truth that could change everything. 

It would be a certain Time Release Laxitive if Brian McLaren understood the meaning of the ekklesia or synagogue or Church of Christ. There is no time-dependant statute of limitations for the Word of God which is the ONLY RESOURCE for the Church.  If Jesus just now is turning loose those surplus words the Spirit and the church could not cram into the Bible (Rubel Shelly -- John York) will He CONTRADICT what He THOUGHT was adequate to be taught until the end of the Age as the Great Commission demands.    You really have to call Jesus Christ a liar:

Matt. 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

John 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly,
        and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
John 3:32 And what he hath seen and heard,
        that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.  [Directly]
John 3:33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.

John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God:
        for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:
        and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;
        but the wrath of God abideth on him.

The Father WITHIN has the Words; He breaths (spritit) as invisible, inaudible power; the Visible Son articulates those Words. 

John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?
        he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
John 14:10 Believest thou not
        that I am in the Father,
        and the Father in me?
        the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:
        but the Father that DWELLETH IN me, he doeth the works 

2Pet. 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you
        through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
2Pet. 1:3 According as his divine power
        hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
        we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us,
        that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
        and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Note that Jesus made MORE CERTAIN His own Prophecies about His Spiritual kingdom.
It is UNLAWFUL to cut N paste either the ORIGINAL prophecies as our TEXT BOOK or what Jesus expounded about them.

Justin Chapter VII.-The Knowledge of Truth to Be Sought from the Prophets Alone.
""Should any one, then, employ a teacher? 'I say, "or whence may any one be helped, if not even in them there is truth? '

""There existed, long before this time, certain men more ancient than all those who are esteemed philosophers, both righteous and beloved by God, who spoke by the Divine Spirit, and foretold events which would take place, and which are now taking place. They are called prophets. These alone both saw and announced the truth to men, neither reverencing nor fearing any man, not influenced by a desire for glory, but speaking those things alone which they saw and which they heard, being filled with the Holy Spirit. Their writings are still extant, and he who has read them is very much helped in his knowledge of the beginning and end of things, and of those matters which the philosopher ought to know, provided he has believed them. For they did not use demonstration in their treatises, seeing that they were witnesses to the truth above all demonstration, and worthy of belief; and those events which have happened, and those which are happening, compel you to assent to the utterances made by them, although, 
        indeed, they were entitled to credit on account of the miracles which they performed, 
        since they both glorified the Creator, the God and Father of all things,
        and proclaimed His Son, the Christ [sent] by Him:
which, indeed, the false prophets, who are filled with the lying unclean spirit, neither have done nor do, but venture to work certain wonderful deeds for the purpose of astonishing men, and glorify the spirits and demons of error.

But pray that, above all things, the gates of light may be opened to you; for these things cannot be perceived or understood by all, but only by the man to whom God and His Christ have imparted wisdom.

2 Pet 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Here is what you CANNOT do:  see Second Peter 1 Marking Brian D. McClaren

Epilusis (g1955)ep-il'-oo-sis; from 1956; explanation, i.e. application: - interpretation.
Epiluo (g1956) ep-ee-loo'-o; from 1909 and 3089; to solve further, i.e. (fig.) to explain, decide: - determine, expound.

Epi-lusis  A. release from, e. phobôn [fear] didou A.Th.134 (lyr.): abs., exemption from banishment, [purgatory?]. The word dissertio also carries the idea of trying to REMOVE fear by explaining away any worry about keeping laws.

2. . solution, “sophismatōnS.E.P.2.246; explanation, 2 Ep.Pet.1.20,
3089 luō loo'-o A primary verb; to “loosen” (literally or figuratively):—break (up), destroy, dissolve, (un-) loose, melt, put off.
2. solution, sophismatôn  explanation, 2 Ep.Pet.1.20,  2 Pet 3

4.  spell, Magic:
g4486 rhegnum to sunder by separation of the parts,  a shattering to minute fragments; but not a reduction to the constituent particles, or disrupt, lacerate; by implication to convulse (with spasms); figuratively to give vent to joyful emotions
Peter left only the written "example" and marked anyone who went beyond it as a false teacher.
2 Peter III. This is now, beloved, the second letter that I have written to you; and in both of them
        I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you;
[2]  that you should 
        remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophet s,
        and the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior:
[3]  knowing this first, that in the last days mockers will come, [Magikos, magi]
        walking after their own lusts,

Empaig-ma , atos, to, A. jest, mocking, delusion, LXX Is.66.4; magikês empaigmata technês
Magikos , ē, on, Magian,
A. logoiPlu.Them.29: Magikos, ho (sc. logos), title of work by Antisthenes, Suid. s.v. Antisthenēs, or Aristotle, D.L.1.1.
II. magical, “bibloiPs.-Phoc.149; m. tekhnē magic, LXX Wi.17.7; “ m.Ph.2.316.
2. of persons, skilled in magic,
Paig-ma , atos, to/, A. play, sport, lōtos hotan . . paigmata bremē whene'er the pipe sounds its sportive strains, E.Ba.161(lyr.); “Ludia p. luras
Ludios A. of Lydia, Lydian, “auloiPi.O.5.19; “sukina

Pind. O. 5 [15] Always, when it is a question of excellence, toil and expense strive to accomplish a deed that is shrouded in danger; those who are successful seem wise, even to their fellow-citizens. Savior Zeus, high in the clouds, you who dwell on the hill of Cronus and honor the wide-flowing Alpheus and the sacred cave of Ida! I come as your suppliant, singing to the sound of Lydian flutes, [20] entreating you to adorn this city with glorious hosts of noble men;

Brian D. McLaren: Perhaps the blandly moralistic traditionalism of some of our churches and the angry, fearful, militant arrogance of others have become sufficiently distasteful that we are closer to a rediscovery than we might realize.

In order for Paul to be able to be an Apostle guided into ALL truth, he had to SEE and HEAR THE VOICE of the risen Christ.  Brian does not tell us where he got the TIME RELEASE CAPSULE hidden fo 2,000 years.

Excerpted from The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything, by Brian D. McLaren (Nashville: W Publishing, April 2006

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