They (let’s call them the modern day pharisees) incessantly focus on the notion that Jesus was sent to die for our sins. True enough the greatest prophet sacrificed HIS life for us. But the constant preaching of why he died takes the focus off who killed him. Why do they do this, why barely talk about the hateful souls who crucified Yeshua (His real name for Jesus was not His name). It’s simple, if we only talk about why he died the focus gets taken of the reason why the pharisees murdered Yeshua.
His death sentence was signed the minute Yeshua threatened the hustle of the powerful who were pillaging the people. Yeshua talked against the evils of usury (money), he talked against trading blessings for money, and he talked against the people who elevated themselves by oppressing the masses. Does all this sound familiar by the way, Yeshua was standing against the 1% and with the 99% of the people who were getting oppressed by the cunning of moneyed and power lusting elites. The more things change, the more they stay the same don’t they?
By mythifying the life of Yeshua and turning His message into a bed time story instead of the fact that Yeshua was rebelling against authority, the essence of his message is destroyed. Thus we go right back into the abyss, preachers trading blessings for money, worshiping the dollar (usury) and the religious neo-pharisees oppressing the masses as they lord over us. Let me take a quick departure by the way, to me most powerful part of Yeshua’s life was not that he was God here on earth. He was here as a man just like us and it was his compassion for the lepers and the invisible people society ignored that made his story so powerful. I used to say a long time ago that Yeshua healed people more with his feet than he did with his hands. What I mean is that Yeshua walked with the people and healed them with the power of love in his heart—it was his natural power of love that made him the true servant and child of God.
But over and over again we disregard this aspect of Yeshua, that he lived with the homeless and resided with the broken, and instead focus on his supernatural powers. This is done for a purpose, if we understand that the love Yeshua had resides in us too, we would stop asking “what would Jesus do” and instead actually do it. Alas we are led by muggers and bible thumpers who use His teachings not to edify us but to enrich themselves. And this is why they barely talk about who killed him and only focus on the fact that he died for our sins. It was our sin of coveting money, of ego and pride and above all not loving our neighbor that was every much the nail in his hands and his feet as much as the rusted iron that bled him. After all, the people and very neighbors who Yeshua loved and gave to over three years were as complicit as the pharisees who murdered him. Is there really that much of a difference between malice and indifference when countless thousands of people refused to stand up for a man who was wrongly condemned and more over fed them?
See associated video, which is a bit less “fire and brimstone”, at the bottom of article.
The pharisees are back at it again, from politicians to pundits to plutocrats and preachers, all of them telling us to wait for our manna in heaven as they unleash hell on us here on earth. But God does not tell us to submit to evil nor to suffer abuse by the powerful. Just as the Jews rebelled against Pharaoh, we too have every right to resist tyranny if the powerful insist on making our lives unbearable. Giving to Caesar taxes us one thing, but our God does not expect us to give away our freedoms and right to be free. We are born free and have a God given right to pursue a life unencumbered by oppressive governance that keeps taking from us and transferring wealth to the godlessly wealthy. It is time for us to stop being the base of this pyramid scheme and let the foundation be the top instead of letting the top 1% be the capstones that kneecaps our opportunities and collective dignity.
So next time a preacher focuses only only why Yeshua died for our sins, humbly ask the preacher “but who killed Yeshua and why?” See there is a reason why they don’t talk about why Yeshua was murdered. If we focus on the fact that Yeshua went to the temple and overturned tables because they were trading money in church and that he spoke against trading blessings for money (tithing) well then you will learn to question the hustle of neo-pharisees who crucify Yeshua at this present moment by worshiping money instead of teaching HIS message. I mean they are right back to raising money in church and temples and we look the other way because they keep using the teachings of a prophet who once lashed out money peddlers from His father’s house by inverting His teachings to justify their money lust. Who told them to build multi-million dollar churches as they take money from the poor, especially when the church and the body of Christ all along is the people not the dead bricks that make up the building.
The cunning among us, the ones we too often put on pedestals, have brilliantly inverted the teachings of Yeshua and made it about glorifying themselves as they pretend to be glorying God. The art of the double speak is astounding, the Vatican is the richest “country” in the world on a GDP basis as the “pope” goes trotting around the world in private jets and having people kiss his ring. This is a perversion of Yeshua’s life and lessons, Yeshua was effectively homeless and lived among the impoverished, he was not being chauffeured around in the most expensive chariot, he did not wear expensive robes and he definitely did not take from the people. Yeshua fed 5,000, he gave what he had to other people and edified them with love. Modern day pharisees though from Francis to Crefto Dollar and Osteen are millionaires living in mansions as they feed themselves by taking from the masses. We went from an honorable prophet who fed five thousand to dishonorable profit counters who feed themselves at the cost of endless thousands.
Think these things I say are misplaced? Don’t take my word for it, let me do as the pharisees do all the time and quote scripture and Yeshua himself to prove this point, except at the end of this message I will not be asking you to depart from your money:
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are experts in the Law of Moses. So obey everything they teach you, but don’t do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else. They pile heavy burdens on people’s shoulders and won’t lift a finger to help. Everything they do is just to show off in front of others. They even make a big show of wearing Scripture verses on their foreheads and arms, and they wear big tassels[a] for everyone to see. They love the best seats at banquets and the front seats in the meeting places. And when they are in the market, they like to have people greet them as their teachers. But none of you should be called a teacher. You have only one teacher, and all of you are like brothers and sisters. Don’t call anyone on earth your father. All of you have the same Father in heaven. None of you should be called the leader. The Messiah is your only leader. Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored. You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You won’t go in yourselves, and you keep others from going in. You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You travel over land and sea to win one follower. And when you have done so, you make that person twice as fit for hell as you are. You are in for trouble! You are supposed to lead others, but you are blind. You teach that it doesn’t matter if a person swears by the temple. But you say that it does matter if someone swears by the gold in the temple. You blind fools! Which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also teach that it doesn’t matter if a person swears by the altar. But you say that it does matter if someone swears by the gift on the altar. Are you blind? Which is more important, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Anyone who swears by the altar also swears by everything on it. And anyone who swears by the temple also swears by God, who lives there. To swear by heaven is the same as swearing by God’s throne and by the one who sits on that throne. You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your garden, such as mint, dill, and cumin. Yet you neglect the more important matters of the Law, such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the important things you should have done, though you should not have left the others undone either. You blind leaders! You strain out a small fly but swallow a camel. You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You wash the outside of your cups and dishes, while inside there is nothing but greed and selfishness. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of a cup, and then the outside will also be clean. You Pharisees and teachers are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You’re like tombs that have been whitewashed.[c] On the outside they are beautiful, but inside they are full of bones and filth. That’s what you are like. Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good. You Pharisees and teachers are nothing but show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You build monuments for the prophets and decorate the tombs of good people. And you claim that you would not have taken part with your ancestors in killing the prophets. But you prove that you really are the relatives of the ones who killed the prophets. So keep on doing everything they did. You are nothing but snakes and the children of snakes! How can you escape going to hell? I will send prophets and wise people and experts in the Law of Moses to you. But you will kill them or nail them to a cross or beat them in your meeting places or chase them from town to town. That’s why you will be held guilty for the murder of every good person, beginning with the good man Abel. This also includes Barachiah’s son Zechariah,[d] the man you murdered between the temple and the altar. I can promise that you people living today will be punished for all these things! ~ Matthew 23: 1-36
Imagine that, everything that Yeshua was talking against could be applied to the time before us. See, the powerful (pharisees) kill prophets then they own their narratives. Since the time they murdered Yeshua, time and again they keep murdering and silencing prophets who speak of love and unity and who speak against the excesses of authority who oppress the masses in the name of power. This is the playbook of pharisees who pretend to be following laws when they rule above the very laws they are supposed to be administering. The wolves always come at people dressed in the guise of sheep, they pretend to be shepherd when they are really the slaughter house managers. Think about that for a second, we are following the powerful when the powerful are lording over us the same way they lorded over the people during the time of Yeshua.
Maybe, just maybe, we should do less worshiping of the pictures of Jesus (which Yeshua preached against and talked endlessly about fulfilling the laws and not worshiping idols) we should bow before less icons (which is not even the true likeness of Yeshua trust me most of the pictures of the long flowing locks is not what He resembled based on purely historical evidence and common sense of the people who lived in that area back then), and instead follow his teachings. There is another reason that we should stop bowing before paintings of Yeshua besides the fact that those pictures look nothing like him. The minute Yeshua is presented as a picture instead of the words he preached, we let the divisive nature of identity be injected. We argue of his skin tone instead of atoning for our sins, we insist on making him look like us when in reality Yeshua was for all of us. Let me say that again, stop idolizing Yeshua and FOLLOW his teachings! Chief of his teachings was to love each other as we love ourselves and to forsake greed, envy and the evils of those who use their power to oppress the children of God (all of us are children of God).
So tomorrow, instead of giving money to church, go give the true tithing of kindness to someone who needs it and spend time with someone broken. God does not want your money, that is of this world and has nothing to do with spirituality. Just be kind to each other and follow the teachings of Yeshua and don’t let pharisees who use God as a hustle crucify Yeshua yet again by making a mocking of his teachings so they can pay off their car notes. Maybe the key is to be less religious thinking that ours is right while the rest is wrong and while we are at it focus on the lessons instead of trying to prove points. Or else we also become pharisees who know how to quote scriptures instead of living the essence of Yeshua’s teachings.
There is a reason the last book of the bible is called Revelations. People think it’s only about fire and “end of days” but in reality revelations is exactly what it means. A time will come where the treachery of snakes who go about doing the work of Satan as they pretend to be doing good works will be revealed for the fraudulence that they are. In that time we will finally see it is better to take the grace that is provided through God than it is to partake in the offerings of devils in our midst. Until then, the world will keep on turning and burning because our egos makes us think that “we too can be God” and it is that hubris which opens the doors for dark souls wearing expensive suits and fancy titles to run roughshod over us.
For those of you who are atheists or who don’t believe the way that I do, I hope you don’t think I wrote this to somehow convince you that my way is right or to “convert” you. There are plenty of other people out who evangelize with the aim of gaining new followers and some do so with severe judgment in their hearts. My aim is no such thing, I wrote what I wrote to speak against the excesses of those who oppress the masses by using religion to subdue the masses. Whether or not you believe is your story and your journey, if you ask me about my experience with God I will gladly share testimonies of the blessings I’ve been through. But beyond sharing stories and testimonies, I have no desire to get you to “know God”. Who am I to point at the splinters in the eyes of others when there are copious planks in my own I need to remove from my pupils.
Regardless of your beliefs, I hope more people do actually read the lessons that Yeshua was speaking for he was standing up for the masses and against the powerful who oppressed them. Yeshua was a revolutionary but in the most loving way, his mind and his heart was the revolution that we all have been waiting for. This is why organized religion keeps inverting his teachings, Yeshua aimed to free the people from the chains of oppression, the establishment (organized religion, politicians, and corporations) aim to enslave us to their system. I understand why some rebel against Jesus Inc for I too grew very disenchanted at the ways some leverage the pains of people and the bible to enrich themselves. But Jesus Inc is not Yeshua, Yeshua and his life was radically different than the Jesus we are presented in order to keep us in the bondage of closed organizations. See, this is why they killed Yeshua, he was pointing to the open circle that is God which threatened the closed organizations of the pharisees and the powerful.
The point of this article is not to disavow the significance of Yeshua or to somehow take away from the fact that He did sacrifice his life for us and to fulfill a prophecy. But focusing on that part only takes away from the part that we, as people, play in the welfare of this world. While we are sanctified by Him, we still have to do our part for faith without works is dead as it says in the bible. We must not judge but surely we must not let immorality fester and pretend like we are powerless to do anything about it. Let equal parts kindness for the least among us and condemnation for those who commit horrors against them be the guiding principle. But fight evil not with evil or with hatred, fight hate with love for the only way to defeat malice is through love the way Yeshua did. #YeshuaLivesInUs
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.~ Matthew 21:12-14
The True Tithing, It’s Love and Giving Kindness
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.