Claim We Can Believe In

Have you tried out claims that promise a change for the better and then found that they fall short of their ballyhooed benefits? Have you tried, say, using tooth whitening strips and gels and find that your teeth didn’t whiten as advertised? Did you lose the weight promised through a much-hyped weight reduction program? Has the COVID vaccine proven to be “safe and effective” and a protection against COVID as claimed by the CDC, Anthony Fauci and the media?  

Have you given in to high-pressure sales such as the latter? Did you act without sufficient information as to the risks and benefits? According to the FDA, when drugs are advertised A product claim ad names a drug, says what condition it treats, and talks about both its benefits and its risks. An ad must present the benefits and risks of a prescription drug in a balanced fashion. Balance depends on both the information in the ad itself and how the information is presented. In this ad, the benefits and risks are presented to give a balanced impression of the drug. Did you see any of the required FDA ad information for the COVID vaccine crusade?

Have you voted for the ostentatious claims of political campaigns? A few recent examples include “Change We Can Believe In”, “Hope and Change”, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”, and “We can Build Back Better”.

If you are into audacious claims and a Claim We Can Believe In, then here’s one:

“I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the end.” -Jesus, The Revelation of John 22:13

Before this claim is made by the risen-from-the-dead Jesus and before any of the seven “I am” claims stated in John’s gospel account, Jesus revealed empirical proof to eyewitnesses and taste-witnesses that would substantiate his incredible claim.

The revelation came about during a wedding feast. Without much ado (Jesus didn’t blow smoke about himself like so many have done to draw attention to themselves.), Jesus revealed himself to be the first and last of any sequence. The account is recorded in John’s gospel chapter 2:

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’s mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.

The wine ran out.

Jesus’s mother came over to him.

“They haven’t got any wine!” she said.

“Oh, Mother!” replied Jesus. “What’s that got to do with you and me? My time hasn’t come yet.”

His mother spoke to the servants. “Do whatever he tells you”, she said.

Six stone water-jars were standing there, ready for use in the Jewish purification rites. Each held about twenty or thirty gallons.

“Fill the jars with water,” said Jesus to the servants. And they filled them, right up to the brim.

“Now draw some water out,” he said, “and take it to the chief steward.” They did so.

Biblical vector illustration series, Jesus turns water into wine

When the chief steward tasted the water that turned into wine (he didn’t know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawing the water knew), he called the bridegroom.

“What everybody normally does,” he said, “is to serve the good wine first, and then the worse stuff when people have had plenty to drink. But you’ve kept the good wine till now!”

This event, in Cana of Galilee, was the first of Jesus’s signs. He displayed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

-The gospel according to John (the Elder) 2: 1-11

Water into wine. The first and last of a sequence and the transubstantiation of one substance into another. The sequence bypassed grapes, sunlight, soil, a winepress, and fermentation. We logically expect the process to explain things. How could science explain this? H2O changed from a simple formula into a complex mixture of chemical compounds in an instant.

John records empirical proof substantiating Jesus’s first-last claim – the wine-tasting done by the chief steward. We learn from the steward that the wine Jesus produced wasn’t the “worse stuff”. It wasn’t sour grape water. It was, in fact, “good wine”. The chief steward had no idea the “good wine” was sourced from the First and Last Vineyard.

“Ask any winemaker and they’ll tell you that winemaking is a complex business. . . the chemical profile of the grapes can also vary depending on how much sunlight and water they are exposed to, how quickly they ripen, their ripeness when picked, and on conditions such as the climate and the soil.”

Scripture gives insight to Christ’s threefold claim Alpha and Omega, first and last, beginning and the end. Psalm 91:1 is an example of the parallelism used in the claim.

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
    who abide in the shadow of the Almighty

The coupling of words deepens and expands the meaning of the words. “Abide” has a deeper sense of belonging than “live”. “Shadow” has a greater sense of comfort than “shelter” and “Almighty” has a greater sense of omnipotence than “Most High”.

Jesus claims to be A to Zed and more. Jesus claims to be the first and last of any sequence and not just what is a readily known sequence. Jesus claims to before the beginning as the beginning and after the end as the end. He claims to be the arché and telos. Jesus claims to be the source of a sequence and the goal of a sequence. The most extraordinary deed ever recorded substantiates his claim.

John wants the readers of his gospel account to know that this most extraordinary deed of Jesus is archetypal of what Jesus will do and is sourced in who he is.

This event, in Cana of Galilee, was the arché of Jesus’s signs.

Colossians 1:15-17

Now Christ is the visible expression of the invisible God. He existed before creation began, for it was through him that everything was made, whether spiritual or material, seen or unseen. Through him, and for him, also, were created power and dominion, ownership and authority. In fact, every single thing was created through, and for him. He is both the first principle and the upholding principle of the whole scheme of creation

The first and last sequence, the beginning and end, the sustaining principle and destiny of all things is a person. The arché and telos of every level of reality is a person. Living water and new wine is a person.

NB: John opened this account with “On the third day . . .”, a reference to another extraordinary sequence completed in Christ – the resurrection.

More than a Claim to Believe In was confirmed at the Cana wedding. I see the love of Christ demonstrated. Without calling attention to himself, Jesus acted to bless the wedding and keep the bride and groom as the focus of the celebration. He acted behind the scenes to uphold the whole scheme of creation.

*****

‘Atheism too lives by an indemonstrable faith; whether it is faith in human nature (Feuerbach), or faith in the future socialist society (Marx) or faith in rational science (Freud). The question then can be asked of any form of atheism whether it is not itself an understandable projection of man (Feuerbach), a consolation serving vested interests (Marx) or an infantile illusion (Freud).’  Hans Kung, Why I am still a Christian (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1987), 229-30.

*****

Informed Dissent:

Dr. Birx Praises Herself While Revealing Ignorance, Treachery, and Deceit ⋆ Brownstone Institute

Send in the HHS clowns – by Robert W Malone MD, MS (substack.com)

“An accomplished litigator, Kennedy seeks to persuade jurors who purchased his book that the “real” Anthony Fauci is a “serial liar,” a “corrupt,” “vindictive,” and “disingenuous” “fraud,” who ingratiated himself to a “servile” press as well as all seven presidents who took his public health advice. According to Kennedy, Anthony Fauci remains the undisputed “ringmaster” presiding over a “Ministry of Fear” whose “tentacles” now reach into almost every powerful organization in the world.” 

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Takes on Fauci in ‘Most Important Book’ of our Times – UncoverDC

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has been pushing forward with preparations for an agreement to create a global health governance. Although it has been referred to as a “pandemic treaty,” it’s been openly discussed that the agreement should cover much more. . .

Nowhere has this been described as an agreement that would only be in effect in case of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), but it would instead set up standing surveillance methods in attempts to prevent another pandemic.”

Read this article – WHO Update | Stand for Health Freedom – and see the steps you can take to ward off WHO intrusion into our lives.

Fully vaccinated account for 91% of COVID deaths in one country (wnd.com)

W.H.O. declares Monkey Pox a ‘global health emergency’… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Monkeypox:

Don’t dare call them groomers…. 98% of cases are among gay or bisexual men and 95% of cases are suspected to have been transmitted during sex. Now children are infected.

CDC Reports First Two Cases of Monkeypox in Children, Both ‘Adjacent’ to the Gay Community (thegatewaypundit.com)

Monkeypox or Moneypox? – by Robert W Malone MD, MS (substack.com)

Marxism:

Carrying Water For The Revolution – by Sam Faddis (substack.com)

Courage Update:

Pastor Artur Pawlowski at Rebel News

Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 on Twitter: “🚨BIGGEST ALBERTA NEWS STORY OF 2022. The Alberta Court of Appeal just destroyed Jason Kenney’s two-year persecution of Pastor Artur Pawlowski. They ruled that the injunction against him, his arrest, his jail time, the censorship order and fines against him were illegal.” / Twitter

“A scared world needs a fearless church.” – AW Tozer

Jan 6th political prisoners:

Climate Change in the Dock:

Don’t mess with the man from MIT… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Watershed at the Well

 

This day began like all other days in Sychar. The man that stayed with me last night left my side early, while it was still dark. I turn over and wait. I go out when the sun is highest over Mount Gerizim so as to not rankle the locals.

You see, I have a reputation in this town. It has to do with the men who have come and gone from my life. I keep going back to the well for a different man. Those I’ve been with have been dull, uninteresting and not satisfying at all. The one I’m with now: ehh! I could do better …

No matter. I am supremely self-reliant, like my people the Samaritans. We don’t need the Jew’s affirmation. We have our holy mountain, our Pentateuch and the true religion of Israel. And, I have my ways …

It is time for me to go for water. There is a spring way off in that direction, but I much prefer the water from the well of Jacob our patriarch. Come with me and I will tell you about my people. Cover your head, for the sun is scorching, and carry this water jar. We will fill two water jars today …

My people remained in the land of Israel and were not carried off to Babylon like those of Judah. We are the true remnant of Israel. We are guardians of Israel. We have preserved the true religion of our fathers. Our ways were not altered and distorted by the Babylonian captivity. When the Judahites returned to Israel, they presumed their ways to be true Israel. They presumed their own holy place …

Look at blessed Gerizim. Mount Gerizim is our holy mountain. It has been the true holy place for Israel since the time Joshua conquered Canaan … It is the mountain designated by Moses for our place of worship …

There, at its base is Bir Ya`qub, the well of Jacob our patriarch. That is where we are headed. It is near a crossroad for those traveling north or south … that well is where our father Abraham sent his servant to find the future wife for his son Isaac. The servant was to ask for water. If offered water by a woman there then that was the sign that she would be Isaac´s future wife …

Those who returned from Babylonian captivity despise us. According to the Jewish polemic Ben-Sira, we are “the foolish people that dwells in Shechem” and an enemy of Israel. Over one-hundred years ago a Jewish king, John Hyrcanus, destroyed our holy city of Shechem and our temple on Mount Gerizim. I suspect that the Jewish authorities didn’t like us trying to stop their rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem when they returned. They also don’t like that we married foreigners and took on their ways. They call us half-breeds! …As you can imagine, there has long been religious and ethnic enmity between us and the Jews …Why, they even have hatred against their own people and prophets. They kill them! … So, I want nothing to do with them …

The well is to the right of the road where it bends from the great plain of Makhneh into the pass of Shechem. The well is deep. The water is clear and pure. You must taste it ….

If you haven’t realized it yet, I am fiercely independent like my people, the Samaritans. I support myself. I own property, earned through my dealings with men. I am fiercely independent like my people, the Samaritans. And we are an open-minded people. We have welcomed criminals and refugees and the excommunicated – the violators of the severe Jewish laws. They have found safety with us from the Jewish authorities … I am comfortable living as I do among the rejected …

It is good that we go to the well now, while the sun is hot and the chatter cooled. The women of Sychar have all drawn water early this morning and have returned home. We will be left alone …

I am not only a Samaritan but also a woman of the world. When the Greeks came and conquered Samaria, we took on many Greek ways while keeping our traditional ways. We called our sanctuary Zeus Hellenios to honor God in the language we became familiar with. And, why shouldn’t we acknowledge their gods as being the same as our God. We are open-minded and not like those uppity Judeans who returned from exile with their Judaism. They refuse to associate with foreigners and us Samaritans. They keep their distance and we keep our distance. They have their land and we have ours. They have their ways and we have ours. And when the Messiah comes, he will put things right. The Messiah will show those Judeans that we were right all along …

Just a little further. I can almost taste that cool water …wait! Who’s that? A Jew? Why is he alone? Is he a running from the Jewish authorities? One doesn’t come through these parts alone for fear of being robbed and left to waste. Remember those men we passed earlier? Maybe he is with them. He must be passing through … Look! This ‘foreigner’ has nothing to draw water with. We will ignore him and pretend that he isn’t there in our space. Those Judeans have nothing to do with us Samaritans. They think we are all demon possessed. We will have nothing to do with them….

Give me your water jar. I will lower it into the well … there, water cool and clear.

“Give me a drink.”

(Whispering: This is odd. Why is he asking me for water? He is not my husband. Doesn’t he know that women and men don’t keep company? Doesn’t he know that Samaritans and Jews don’t associate? He is crossing a line. I’ll deal with him.)

“What! You, a Jew, asking for drink from me, a woman, and a Samaritan at that?”

“If only you’d known God’s gift and who it is that’s saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you’d have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

“But sir, you haven’t got a bucket! And the well is deep! So how were you thinking of getting living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, with his sons and his animals?”

“Everyone who drinks of this water will get thirsty again. But anyone who drinks the water I’ll give them won’t ever be thirsty again. No: the water I’ll give them will become a spring of water welling up to the life of God’s new age.”

“Sir, give me this water! Then I won’t be thirsty anymore, and I won’t have to come here and draw from the well.”

“Well then, go and call your husband and come here.”

“I haven’t got a husband.” (Whispering: Where is he going with this?)

“You’re telling me you haven’t got a husband! The fact is, you’ve had five husbands, and the one you’ve got now isn’t your husband. You were speaking the truth!”

(Whispering: Hmmm. This guy is perceptive. Let’s see what he does with this!)

“Well, ahem…Well, sir, I can see you’re a prophet …Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain. And you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

“Believe me woman, the time is coming when you won’t worship the father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You worship what you don’t know. We worship what we do know; salvation, you see, is indeed from the Jews. But the time is coming – indeed, it’s here already! – when true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and truth. Yes: that’s the kind of worship the father is looking for. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

(Whispering: OK, I’ll try this.)

“I know that Messiah is coming, the one they call ‘the anointed’. When he comes, he’ll tell us everything.”

“I’m the one – the one speaking to you right now.”

(Whispering: Did you hear that? Did you hear him tell me everything about my life? He told me what was true about me and did it without patronizing me. How can someone know me who doesn’t know me except if he is from God? Could he be the ‘anointed One’? …Now, who are these guys? Judean Jews? They must be with him. They are looking at us and whispering. C’mon let’s go back home. I want to tell everyone and bring them here …What’s that? The water jars? Leave them. They will draw water and refresh themselves. They will be here when we come back with everyone. C’mon. Let’s hurry! …I forgot to ask his name! I’ll call him Joshua. C’mon! Let’s run. My community will want to meet him! This man has a new way of looking at things! A new reality we need to hear more of! My people know me well enough to know that I am no fool! ….

… … …

“Everyone! Everyone! C’mon everyone! Come and see a man who told me everything I did! You don’t think he can be the Messiah, do you? …I hear what you’re saying …you’re saying that you already know everything I have done. But listen. He doesn’t know me and yet he told me everything about me. You don’t have to believe me. Come and see for yourselves! He has a different way of looking at things, things you need to hear for yourselves! Come! Hurry, before they leave the well!”

… … …

My friend, thank you for coming with me this day. This day began like all other days in Sychar but ended like no other. My people were amazed at Yeshua’s words. They believed in him, some based on what I had said and others on hearing him for themselves. Now they want to be baptized by his disciples in the Jordan river.

I must go. We have invited these Judean Jews, the ‘anointed One’ and his disciples, to stay with us before they head to Galilee. We created space for them in our homes. Yeshua has much to teach us … We are learning how to love God and our neighbor with “spirit and truth” righteousness. I thought I was clever, but I’ve had to rethink many relationships today …. I am abandoning my pluralistic and sectarian ways. I am embracing Yeshua and his ways. There is no one like Adonai among the gods. Those old ways now seem foolish and childish and full of carnality and resentment. I was like the Dead Sea, always taking and never giving. Now, I want “living water” to flow through me, to refresh and satisfy those who ask me for water.

Before today, my people had no use for the Jewish prophets. But now, because of the anointed One, I will quote his reciting of Isaiah the prophet:

“And the LORD will continually guide you,

And satisfy your desire in scorched places,

And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden,

And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”

 

 

 

 

… adapted from the Gospel According to John, chapter 4