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Dec 11, 2010

Beating The Rock

There’s a story in the Old Testament where Moses and the newly liberated Israelites are fresh in the wilderness just after having escaped the Egyptian army through the Red Sea. The Israelites are thirsty and immediately they start complaining. God tells Moses to take his

mosesstaff and strike this rock in the middle of the desert and water would flow from it. Moses obeys, and water springs forth; enough to quench the thirst of over a million people and their animals.  

Later on, the Israelites find themselves right back in the very same place and in great need of water. Like clock-work the people begin complaining and Moses goes to God for answers. God brings Moses back to the same rock as before, but this time He tells Moses to take the staff, gather the assembly together, and SPEAK to the rock before their eyes instead of striking it.  

Moses, in his anger and frustration at the faithlessness of the people, gathers the assembly together in front of the rock, takes his staff, and strikes the rock two times rather then speaking to it as God had comanded. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.  

Moses pays a great price for this little episode. God takes from Moses the honor of being the guy who gets to lead the people into the Promise Land. He was only allowed to stand upon a mountain and see this land from a distance, but he couldn’t personally lead the people into it.    

For the first ten years of my Christian walk I shook my head at this story. It didn’t seem fair. In fact, it angered me because Moses was the most obedient guy in the bible, and God held him back from entering the Promised Land for something as stupid as this. The godpunishment just didn’t fit the crime in my opinio n. If THIS is what it takes for God to strip His promises away from us, I thought; then we’re ALL screwed. I eat this kind of disobedience for breakfast. Moses made this one little mistake after giving his entire life to God, and the Lord takes away the very thing Moses worked his entire life for. So much for the word “PROMISE.” What’s up with that anyway? What kind of a God would PROMISE you something and then not give it to you for getting pissed off at the same people God Himself wanted to wipe off the face of the earth just one book earlier?? 

You’d think that God would be even more understanding with Moses when it came to being upset with these particular people. Moses does something as simple as striking a rock instead of speaking to it and God takes everything away from him in an instant?   

Years later, as I began to know the true Heart of God for relationship, this story took on a completely different meaning for me. I began to see the purpose of the two incidents being recorded in Scripture and what was really taking place in this story.   

The first time the people needed water, God told Moses to take his staff and strike the rock in front of the Israelites. This is a picture of Christ being stricken. It’s also a picture of LAW. Moses is given exact directions on how to get the water and he follows them to a “T”. It’s almost caveman like. He strikes the rock with the same magic wand he struck the Nile with, and water gloriously springs forth. All he’s got to do is follow the formula and the magic happens. It’s heartless. It’s mindless. Even a monkey could do it.  

The next time around however, God instructed Moses to SPEAK TO THE ROCK. This is an entirely new covenant!!!!! This is a picture of the very essence of the New Covenant.  It’s a picture of RELATIONSHIP. Can you see how this story goes from following rules andrelationship formulas to trusting in intimacy? Scripture later explains that this “Rock” was Christ, or a picture of Christ. He need not be stricken twice. He was crucified once, for all mankind. It is not rules and regulations that bring us closer to God at this point; it’s simply believing and trusting.  

The reason why this is such a devastating story is because Moses insisted on doing things THE OLD WAY. He was presented with the quintessential spirit of the Promise, and he rejected it in front of the very people he was supposedly leading towards it. The lesson learned here is NOT that Moses should have obeyed God’s instructions, but that NO ONE can enter into the New Covenant realm through Old Covenant formulas. You cannot have it both ways.  

The Promised Land wasn’t withheld from Moses because he disobeyed God. It was withheld because he embraced law-mindedness over intimacy. His “Believe” was put in the wrong thing. In fact, the Promised Land or the “Kingdom realm” is hidden from anyone who rejects its essence and relies on law to find it. It remains invisible to the man who attempts to obtain it through obedience, ritual, or formula. In fact, the law itself becomes the blinders that make such a person stumble around in darkness, unable to behold the Kingdom. Paul once said that, “... for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.” (2 Co 3:14-15) 

Whether we want to admit to this or not, the sad fact is that modern day Christianity HAS subscribed to Old Testament beliefs and because of it, we have not witnessed a damn thing! This is precisely why the vast majority of Christians in every denomination DON’T WITNESS. It’s not because they don’t care and they don’t want the Gospel message spread to the ends of the earth. People are not witnessing BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T WITNESSED ANYTHING!!!! 

In essence, God was saying to Moses, “Put down the stick.” It’s time to lay down your little sacred tools and start trusting in something entirely from the heart; RELATIONSHIP. This must have been a difficult request for Moses. He had come to rely on his staff. He had come to believe in all the tools, objects, and utensils that he personally supervised while they were being overlaid with gold and silver. We always associate the Pharisees with those who loved and relied on the law, but remember it was Moses who actually wrote it. Thewand Pharisees even referred to the law as, “The law of Moses.” Imagine how difficult crossing over from the Old to the New must have been for Moses.   

In this particular Testament-Taste-Test, Moses favored the Old wine over the New. He was the first in a long line of people who would make the very same choice. Christ Himself said, “No one after drinking Old (Testament) wine wants the New (Testament), for they say, “the old is better.” This was true for Moses and it’s true for most of modern day Christianity.  

Sadly, the very heart of this story with Moses is being played out week after week in churches throughout America and the rest of the world; and just like Moses and the Israelites of his time, I see millions of frustrated Christians with their staff in hand, striking this rock, and that for all they’re worth trying to get a drink of water. They’re dying in the wilderness without getting so much as a glimpse of the Kingdom that was promised to lawthem. Our leaders lead us towards it, and even right up to its edge, but they themselves never enter because they choose the old over the new.   

Sadly, because Christianity today does not want to give up Old Testament thinking, we have done our best to weave both covenants together in a way that makes them void each other out completely. We’re safe, and then we’re not safe. We’re loved, and then we’re not loved. Salvation is free in one moment, and then in the next it’s not. We’re forgiven, and then we’re not. We’re paid for, and then we’re in debt. We’re not under law, and then we are. God will never leave us, and then He does. We’re set free, and then we’re caged again. We’re given a guarantee  of what is to come, and then we’re told there’s no guarantee. It’s all free, and then we’re charged for it.  

Christianity has become a deadly roller coaster of contradictions and confusion at every turn. We take people to the top, give them just a glimpse of the Kingdom, and then we go into a nose-dive into a world of fear, insecurity, confusion, and condemnation, followed by a series of loops and turns that actually make you believe you’re going somewhere. The problem is that when the ride is over, you’re right back where you started, and there’s a guy ushering you off the ride and pointing towards the exit sign until next week.  

This is a picture of what happens when we refuse to let go of the Old Testament and fully embrace the New. We simply cannot have it both ways. It’s like watching a guy get married, but still maintain a “single-man” mentality in his heart. He destroys himself, his wife, and their children. Marriage only works when you give yourself over to it fully and let go of the single life forever. The difference between Old Testament and New Testament is that now God is married to us. Though HE has not changed from one covenant to the next, THINGS have changed. The intimacy that He desires to share with us now, is a thousandkingdom times greater than it was then. There’s NO room for the Old covenant in our hearts anymore because we're married now. In the Old Testament, we dated Him. He kissed us good night at the end of of the date, and we waited until the next time He showed up. Today, He lives inside of us. We sleep together and are ONE in every respect. To intentionally bring back the Old Way is a betrayal to the very heart of what we have with Him now. 

The more I speak with Christians from all over the world, the more convinced I’ve become that this generation has absolutely no idea what was accomplished on the cross. I think people are trained to just say, “Jesus died for our sins” without having any depth of understanding beyond that. Amazingly, I’ve found that even pastors and teachers are almost completely ignorant of the changes that have taken place because of the death and resurrection of Christ. 

I honestly believe that this is more than just a theological misunderstanding. 

There is something hypnotizing and alluring about the law. Pastors literally get a high when they go through Old Testament passages concerning the temple rituals and the law. They’ll memorize the priestly procedures and go over and over them in their mind like an obsessive compulsive person. Even the mere mention of grace sets them off and causes an inner panic. They despise the freedom brought on through the cross because it threatens to strip away the very thing that we humans are addicted to - CONTROL. 

Every area of a modern day Christian’s life is so saturated with Old Covenant residue that I honestly wonder if Christians today would even choose a New Testament relationship if it were offered to them point blank. Most Christians have no comprehension of what that
means. It quite possibly wouldn’t even be attractive to the average churched person in America because their introduction to the Gospel was based on carnal promises rather then relational possibilities. 

Most of us have been raised in a world where Old Testament thinking is the dominant mindset. Every single principle in Christianity has been poisoned with this thinking. 

When we worship, we believe that God shows up because we’re told, “He inhabits the praises of His people,” so we do our best to lift Him up so He’ll show up. When we pray, we do so with a God-is-not-IN-us mentality. We throw out fleeces, pray the prayer of Jabez, and listen for an audible voice from the sky like Moses did. We even focus our eyes on the upper right-hand corner of our bedroom as though He’s somewhere out there looking down on us. 

When we give, we sit around and wait to receive something back because we’ve been taught if we give freely, we will receive freely. We read our bibles because we think we’re still in the same predicament as King David was thousands of years before Christ. We think we have to meditate on it night and day or we won’t ever know God. We even refer to our bible as “The Word” as though the Word never became flesh and dwelt among us. We go to church thinking we’re still in the Old Testament Era when God’s temple was a tent or a building that people come to in order to meet with Him. Rather than embrace that WE are now the temple of God, we prefer it the old way. When we do show up to church, we do so with the same Old Testament mindset that people had in Moses’ day. We wait for our leader to go to the mountain top and get the revelation from God for us. Rather than know and hear God as individuals, we have traded New Covenant intimacy for the way it was before Christ. 

Several years before I ultimately resigned from being a pastor, our church took part in the National Day of Prayer. This is a time when all denominations come together and set aside our differences just to ban together and pray for our nation. The key verse for this particular event was 2 Chronicles 7:14 

“ If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

This bible passage was plastered on billboards, canopies, brochures, and flyers all over the city. This passage completely negates the cross! It puts us right back in the pre-Christ time period when everything was based on works and law. Amazingly, I don’t recall one single Christian in my group of almost thirteen-thousand saying a single word about this. They all bought it hook-line-and-sinker. Today’s Church has eliminated the works of Christ altogether. Is it any wonder why we show up to these events with our staff in hand, striking any rock within reaching distance in an effort to get just a drop of water? We are a generation of women at the well who politely refuse Christ’s offer to give us living water that will spring up within us. We don’t want that. We like drawing water every day because It puts us in control. 

I honestly believe that the only difference between the Old Testament lifestyle and modern day Christianity is that today, we don’t sacrifice bulls and goats. There is no doubt in my mind that if given the opportunity, many churches would go as far as to resurrect the whole sacrificial system again. According to the theology of a great number of Christian people today, the only ones who benefited from the death of Christ where the cattle and the sheep. Because of what Christ did, they get to live. We no longer sacrifice them, but other than that; NOTHING else has changed.  

This mentality is what I referred to in my book, The Misunderstood God as an “Anti-Christ mentality.” At any point where we hold to Old Testament principles, we are embracing an Anti-Christ position. We are rejecting what was accomplished through Christ on our behalf. Our religion proudly proclaims the death of Christ on the cross, but we routinely deny the resurrection. Oh, don’t get me wrong; we pay it lip-service, but when it comes to what we teach and preach every week; we don’t believe a word of it. 

We are infatuated, enthralled, enchanted, enamored, and hopelessly in love with Old Testament thinking. At the risk of sounding offensive or off color, I want to define exactly what the spirit behind modern day Christianity’s obsession with the Old Covenant is allstick about. This generation detests intimacy and prefers to do things manually. They actually enjoy “beating the rock” if you will. It’s SO MUCH EASIER than having to actually have relationship and involve another person. The “manual” way gives us all the control we crave, and make no mistake about it; our infatuation and attraction towards Old Testament principles, coupled with our complete disregard for the intimacy required in the New Testament relationship, is without question, a perfect picture of spiritual masturbation. It’s a way to avoid the intimacy of and become one with ourselves. 

If that offends you, let it, because this is the state of Christianity. Our religion is afraid to commit to the New Covenant completely because it knows the moment it does, people will be set free and they won’t continue to serve the system. Eventually everyone gets tired of the sticks and stones game and they want something everlasting. As long as we continue to vacillate between law and grace we will never experience the spring of living water from within that Jesus spoke about. Our generation spends Sunday after Sunday beating the rock, in an effort to get another sip of something that was promised to us fully and naturally through Christ. Christ's words to the woman at the well are just as perplexing to us today as they were to the woman he was speaking to. We haven't found this water because we refuse to put our staffs down and speak to the rock!


Darin Hufford

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  1. Gravatar
    James B

    Loved it all but especially the part about witnessing. I can recall during most of my years in the church reading several books and even going to classes at on "How to witness" yet never getting any better at it. I punished myself over the fact that I could easily tell friends or total strangers about the latest movie I had seen but was afraid to mention Jesus. Then, in my most private moments, I would wonder if I really even knew Him. This would lead to fear and guilt, but in the end I would never fully get honest with myself and God. Instead I would put on my Christian smile and simply try harder. What a vicious cycle. This was always made worse by the fact that certain people were great at witnessing. I'm now convinced that most of those people simply had a natural gift for selling. Yet they were all looked up to as models to emulate.

    Thanks again for saying what most people would be afraid to say. I foresee a ton of flack from this post, but it needed to be said.

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    Michael A Bartolone

    Darin, it sounds like another book is in the making. Please do write more and share more about your insights about the finished work and Union in Christ. Believing your health is good. Is there anyway I can get a copy of this via email, I would like to send it on to a few friends of mine. Again thanks for the Words of Life!

  3. Gravatar
    Michael Wilson

    Great post! I am just now beginning to understand how much I have been living under Old Covenant mentalities. For me obeying the rules seems so much easier than living by grace. I know that grace is better than law but rules define my boundaries. And unfortunately enables me to establish the boundaries of others.

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    It is fun to manual shift and it makes you think your doing something to help move you along. But how nice and simple the automatic shifting of love and grace is in your life. We know that grace is true and love is the key but we were led astray by some religious know it all that had the answers at that time. Real freedom comes with the knowledge and maturity of the truth. Darin, your in my thoughts and my heart cries out for health and peace for you and your family!

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    Eric Childress

    LOVE IT!

    Thank you for letting Jesus shine inside!

  6. Gravatar

    This is just what me and my friend was just talking about a couple of days ago, I think though you may have bugged our conversation in you description of how people just love the Law over the New Testament relationship that we have with Christ! You have hit the nail right on the head! Dude, much blessings and love to ya! Keep rocking out the podcasts and articles!

  7. Gravatar

    Darin , I have no comment on this , it is absolutely mindboggling material!! I just hope a lot of christians get to read this , and I will sure do my best to get this out to as many as I possibly can ....Thanks !!!!! Be blessed

  8. Gravatar

    I like when you said, "I honestly believe that the only difference between the Old Testament lifestyle and modern day Christianity is that today, we don’t sacrifice bulls and goats." So true. I wonder if the "church's" obsession with the "Lord's Supper" or "communion" is the modern day equivalent of spilling the sacrificial blood every week (or month, or however often a particular group chooses to do it).

    I know people who treat it like the confessional system; each time they partake all the sins they've committed since the last time they ate/drank are being removed and their slate is clean again... at least for a little while. The "lord's supper" is often just one of many ways the modern day "church" keeps "beating the rock".

  9. Gravatar

    Brilliant! So are we ready to receive even more ??
    Please search for divine truth .com and also search for Aj miller and universal secrets , it maybe confrontingto some but as it contains amazing truth based on scripture please suspend judgment until you.have heard the message

  10. Gravatar

    ^ What Rita said! It is mind boggling stuff and I am just not sure who to send it on to..! I know it would just incense some and do nothing, but I know some are so ready for it.. Hmm help me Lord!
    Seriously couldnt agree MORE with every word of it..

  11. Gravatar

    Right on, Brother. I really love the roller-coaster analogy. I remember that ride too well! You are right, church folks are afraid of this message because it threatens the status quo. Those in control of things always fear individual freedom.

  12. Gravatar
    loaded for bear


    I've often been criticized by my peace=bondage loving brethren for saying, "Sometimes, the best way to deal with a conflict is to escalate it."

    I love hearing the kind of language I just read. Take up the donkey's jawbone, brother. It is a blunt instrument. It has only one purpose. It is necessary.

    Thanks bro

  13. Gravatar
    Janis Morris


  14. Gravatar

    Darin, Thanks for speaking truth!

  15. Gravatar

    Thanks for this very timely article...We're coming to the end of 5 years of getting together in houses and enjoying the Freedom lifestyle...There's change in the air and I think it's cause we unconsciously sneak back and Beat the we're wondering where to go from here...It confirmed to us the need for change and truly letting go of all the old and let God smother us in the New...whatever may come out of it,wherever He may lead... Breath of fresh air..Keep it comin Darin... :)

  16. Gravatar
    John Coroy

    AMEN! The teaching of the Law "troubles", puts a "burden on" and "subverts the soul" of the believer! The believer becomes "bewitched" by the tyranny of the law and is thereby blinded to the work of the cross of Christ. Sadly this doctrine is taught every Sunday in most "churches" and it is a tragedy of biblical proportions, no pun intended.
    Your example of Moses and his decision to strike the rock on the second occasion is spot on and I have even heard this before in the IC. But they just don't get the full impact because they still revert right back to the law by placing "burdens" on the saints by teaching OT doctrines like the tithe. This is a poisonous leaven to the souls of the precious believers who have been taken captive by it.

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    The story of the bible is the same throughout. People in the Old Covenant are saved the same way as the New Covenant...and that’s only through faith in Jesus. There have never been “two” ways of being in a relationship with God. It has always been through faith. And has always been grace.

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    Tony Prince

    Darin, another ball hit outta ballpark! Amazing ... and you hit it, you really hit it head on, I'm borrowing this one! Kudos to you!
    I also minister to some who are still stuck in the IC, and this might help one of them (one in particular) ... anyway, awesome word, Thanks!!!

  19. Gravatar

    Thanks for another great post. I think Moses' example is also an insight to systematic / institutionalised thinking. We see this in our political processes, corporations, government bureaucracies and even academia.

  20. Gravatar

    "Ya big bunch of spiritual wankers." - that would be so funny if you weren't being so serious.

    I agree that speaking to the rock was representative of a new way of doing 'it' - oh dear debbie - and I think that in the fullness of Love (the promised land) there is no law, so Moses wasn't going to lead the people in anyway or how unless he left the law outside.

    I also like what Andy said - I think he is on to something there. Old and New - separate - but they truly are one. And maybe we will never know this to be true until we stop dividing and step into the uniting. From that mountain maybe we will finally accept that Law and Grace are the 'works' of God - not us - we are the children. Only the second gen entered the promise land - the child heart - maybe a child heart knows God has a 'work' and they just enjoy Him in relationship. And also the Law (Truth/Life) and Grace are united in The Son - go figure? Well thats how I see it anyway.

  21. Gravatar

    Good thoughts. Very similar to thoughts from more and more believers, which is very encouraging. I have some online booklets that approach the OT/NT thing from two angles, which you can read here:

    Nicolaitan is a technical Bible study showing why the love of power and control is not what God wanted, while Reconciled is a short look at why Jesus came and what that means.

    I've often tried to get people in message boards and blogs to stop and think about the many things they believe that contradict either each other or scripture, but most are unwilling to hear it.

  22. Gravatar

    A very insightful post, Darin. I've never heard it put quite this way, and I love your freedom to speak directly. I think your analogy is right on. While the law was meant to bring them to Jesus, it was instead used as a substitute. Religion, after all, is all about following the rules and formulas to appease the powers that be (and often the "self" as well). Love is different entirely.

  23. Gravatar

    Moses seemed to have a good relationship with God; spoke to Him face to face as a friend. The Israelites in their fear rejected a direct relationship when they asked Moses to speak to Him on their behalf. Maybe things would have been different if they would have gone for the relationship instead of choosing rules dictated to them by pastor Moses. Paul noticed that the Rock that followed them was actually Jesus. Possibly Moses may have started heading toward an IC mentality (we are all human and #&!*-up). Maybe the main take home OT message for us looking back at the cross event is that Christ was prophesied well in advance and so was the day of the New Covenant heart. Today the OT may be more valuable for starting campfires (unless you like history texts), and this will leave a bit more time for the relationship.

  24. Gravatar

    Well my brother you have hit a homerun with this one. Right in the heart of the issue. I think like Michael Bartolome: looks like a new book very soon. I preciate this. And I want to say that your book has encouraged me and others around me. Thanks

  25. Gravatar

    Thanks for sharing these good Christ-centered insights, Darrin.

  26. Gravatar

    Awesome post Bro! So much in there that God has been showing us the past couple of years. You really said a mouthful with your insights about our love for the law and our addiction to control. Keep preaching truth.

  27. Gravatar
    Heather Grey

    Blown away and need to read and reread to make it all sink in . Revolutionary and I thank God that you have had the courage to lay it all out there .

  28. Gravatar
    Seth Cole

    Darin, There are a lot of good insights in this piece. However, I think you have to be more specific when you are speaking about letting go of the Old Testament or "Old Testament thinking". What do you mean exactly? Should Christians not read the OT if they are to be truly relational and intimate with God? Everything in the New Testament itself is saturated with the Old. After all, Jesus and the disciples were zealous, orthodox Jews. Culturally everything in the New Testament is Jewish, and I believe it's an ongoing mistake of the Church and believers everywhere to point the finger at Judaism and the Law for Christian Pharisaism or the theological and doctrinal mistakes of the Church. I dare say that the "Old Testament mindset" you are referring to - if I am understanding you correctly - is 100% the fault of the Church. It is based on a constant Christian misunderstanding of the OT. Which OT principles are you contrasting with NT intimacy and relationship? You have to be more specific

  29. Gravatar
    Seth Cole

    Sorry to harp on about this, but I can't believe what I'm reading. Are you people seriously saying that the OT is camp fire material??!!! I consider myself a "free-believer" in the sense that I am not part of the IC, but it is not living in freedom to think you can throw out the OT as if God only wished for us to read the NT. Or are you saying that living in relationship with God is a matter of dispensing with one's brain or sound knowledge? This is why I asked Darin to be more specific. Because if you're simply stating that OT = BAD and NT = GOOD, then I think you have to rethink your supposed free state of faith. At least it seems implicit in Darin's post that he simply considers the OT either bad or irrelevant. Did Jesus, Paul or Peter consider the OT rubbish? Hmmm... Does anyone have to think about that for more than half a second? I'm sorry Darin but I can't agree with you or share any of the above sentiments.

  30. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Seth how can you make the decision that you can't agree with me or share any of my sentiments when you haven't even heard my answer yet?? You asked me a question and you haven't even given me a chance to answer. You seemed to have answered for me. Keep in mind that ONE person used the phrase "campfire material" and you interpreted it as "you people." SLOW DOWN.

  31. Gravatar

    I said they are two but one Seth.
    I understand your 'fright' at the thought of someone burning their OT, it jumped out in your words, lets just wait to hear what Darin has to say hey.

  32. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Obviously if you think rationally you can't come to the conclusion that I'm against the Old Testament because this entire post is based on an OT story. If I wanted to throw out the entire OT, I wouldn't have used the two stories of Moses and the Rock. You are looking at the term Old Testament and thinking of it from a modern day American Christian perspective. In other words when you think "Old Testament," you obviously are thinking of "the book." In the 11th paragraph of this article I made it pretty clear as to what I was talking about. I stated.........."The Promised Land wasn’t withheld from Moses because he disobeyed God. It was withheld because he embraced law-mindedness over intimacy.".........This article isn't about the book we call "The Old Testament." It's about the OT Law. I touched on that over and over throughout the article.

  33. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    The Old Covenant was based on following the LAW. The temple rituals and rules that were followed were things the people had to do back them in order to reach God. The mentality that He is reachable through these things is what I'm talking about. You have to look at the spirit of what I'm writing about. This is Law-mindedness verse grace-mindedness. It's the difference between trying to know God through our head and knowing Him through our hearts.

  34. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    There's also a big difference between the book we refer to as the Old Testament and the Old Covenant. I use the term Covenant all throughout this article so that the reader will know that it's the Covenant that I'm referring to and not the book.

  35. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Also I want to say in Jim's defense concerning the "camp fire" statement. I think it's obvious that his isn't suggesting that we burn our Old Testament bibles. He's making a point that the OT was a shadow of what was to come. The reality is found in CHRIST. We have Christ now. Now that the word is living inside of each of us we aren't as needy for the OT as the people of that time were.

  36. Gravatar
    robert underwood

    Rush Limbaugh loves tweaking the drive by media! You Darin, seem to love tweaking the IC! I love it!

  37. Gravatar
    robert underwood

    Rush Limbaugh loves tweaking the drive by media! You Darin, seem to love tweaking the IC! I love it!

  38. Gravatar
    Seth Cole

    Okay, forgive me. I was a wee bit reactive to some of the comments made. And please forgive the "you people" remark. I wasn't trying to be rude - just a little emotional. Though I will say that I think it is too often assumed that the New Covenant is entirely different from the Old. This is not the case. In Jeremiah, God speaks of the New Covenant in terms of His Torah/Law being written on the heart of His people. That is the difference. We follow God's law through what has been written on our hearts. Also, in the Hebrew text of Jeremiah, the word Torah is used. It's quite specific actually. This, in my opinion, is why the New Covenant is first of all emphatically relational, and second of all why the Old Testament (meaning the OT scriptures) is vital to our understanding of the NT scriptures. So, in fact, I think we are in need of the OT. Also, you assume that I am coming from a "modern day American Christian perspective". If that's so, what perspective are you coming from?

  39. Gravatar

    I find it good to read widely ... a single post can seem inflammatory however if you allow yourself time to research some of the other materials here then a broader context can be found. Many of the questions you ask have already been answered in other posts. It takes time to have an informed opinion but I've found it time well spent.

  40. Gravatar
    Seth Cole

    Also, Debbie, please forgive me for not acknowledging that you mentioned that the two are one. And yes, Darin, I did notice that you based everything on an OT story. However, from my perspective as a reader, it seems to me that, in spite of that fact, the general air of your article is that the OT or Old Covenant is irrelevant, null or void. This is what I disagree with based on what I have learned through my own study and walk with Jesus. I think you would find the issues of law and relationship with regard to modern Jewish spirituality a little less black and white if you brought an orthodox Jewish perspective into the discussion.

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    Seth, it is remarkable that you want to bring an orthodox perspective into the discussion. The most orthodox Jew of his time, Saul of Tarsus, after falling from the height of his position as a leader asked Jesus who He was. After hearing the voice of Jesus he made himself fully dependant on what Jesus would speak to him next and for the rest of his life. He left behind living out of his own sense of the Torah for the living water of an intimate relationship with Jesus. If he never got to read the Torah again he knew he would be alive to the One who loved him.

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    Sorry Seth I’m a pyromaniac (just a habit) and my views are not necessarily the views of any of these awesome FBs. I think that Darin’s blog was loaded with insight and the standard Christian interpretation of the OT has undeniably damaged our relationship with Him. This happened to the Galatians who were again becoming entangled with a yoke of OT bondage. Regarding Jeremiah’s comments on a new heart, I had been taught by the IC for years that this new heart would help you keep the law better. Now I see more clearly what the writer of Hebrews meant by stating that Jesus made the first (Old Covenant) obsolete. If you are Jewish or even if you like studying history leading up to the NT, the OT is a valuable document. But Christianity has turned it into a holy writ similar to that of another famous religion, when all along God wanted us to turn to Him since day one in the Garden. The result has been bondage as a substitute for relationship with Him. Hope this covers both of my cheeks.

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    Since Jesus was born from the line of Judah and not Levi, could this have implied that a covenantal shift was in the wind? Also He and His disciples were born under the Old Covenant, and Jesus didn’t come to start a political revolution so it is natural that He would have followed many OT customs/mandates. He did however get under the skin of the Pharisees (who have their origins from around Ezra’s time). I also need to apologize for using OT & NT interchangeably with Old & New Covenant respectively. In mid-Eastern culture a covenant was initiated upon death (i.e. Heb 9:17), so the New Covenant actually began at Jesus’ death (blood of the New Covenant). Finally back to Moses, I’ve found it much easier to let it go now that Chuck (Heston) is gone.

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    Terrific! Darin really nailed it!...the problem comes in when we do

    "our best to weave both covenants together in a way that makes them void each other out completely".

    Thank you Darin!

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    Let’s say someone found a nano-fragment of the OT containing only Isa 53 (sorry for QS – Quoter’s Syndrome but it saves tons of space), and let’s say the person made the link with Col 1:27 and really got this in the depths of their heart, the need for the OT and even NT would be what?

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    Ooops, "their" need for the OT and even NT would be what?

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    God promises to be merciful and gracious and forgive iniquity and transgression and sin. Exodus 34:6–7 are among the sweetest gospel words in the Bible. The fact that they come from Mt. Sinai and not Mt. Calvary, the fact that they preface the ten commandments (34:28) and not the book of Romans shows that the message of Christ and the message of Moses are one harmonious message of grace. "The Lord passed before Moses and proclaimed, 'The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.'

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    Isn"t it great when you get a real good pure dose of grace!!!!!

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    Darin Hufford

    Andy, the difference between the OT and the NT is that now we have the Spirit of God living inside of us. We have the Word alive in our hearts. Though the message was and is really the same, it had not been consummated yet so in the OT they were forced to do things manually in steps and rituals (kind of like dating someone how we spend time in courtship). In the NT everything happens naturally because we are one with Him. You are right that the message is one harmonious message of grace. The difference today comes in how it's applied and lived out. We are taught today to live out this grace as though we were not indwelled by the Spirit of God. That's where we get screwed up.

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    mike fitzpatrick

    This post was a letter of the heart! Thank you for love's freedom and genuine plain-speaking! I am a deputy sheriff here in Pilot Mountain, N.C. and KNOW there is no life in the law..*smile Daddy has seen it all through for us and through us! THE LAW was MAGNIFIED as the good ole on-purpose whuppin, it was supposed to! What a good DADDY! He said: sure son, go ahead XP90 yourself and then jump the moon...From Nimrod on down, SELF-rightness is but the default antichrist mode that sin's religious controlling joystick always tries to win the game....shucks, religion is a condom- it prevents any life from happenin...peace and grace to all!!!! mikeee

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    mike fitzpatrick

    This post was a letter of the heart! Thank you for love's freedom and genuine plain-speaking! I am a deputy sheriff here in Pilot Mountain, N.C. and KNOW there is no life in the law..*smile Daddy has seen it all through for us and through us! THE LAW was MAGNIFIED as the good ole on-purpose whuppin, it was supposed to! What a good DADDY! He said: sure son, go ahead XP90 yourself and then jump the moon...From Nimrod on down, SELF-rightness is but the default antichrist mode that sin's religious controlling joystick always tries to win the game....shucks, religion is a condom- it prevents any life from happenin...peace and grace to all!!!! mikeee

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    Darin, your blogs are such a breath of fresh air; you're a brilliant gifted writer with a heart of gold. When I read them, Jesus' words about a little child come back to me again and again. Thank you :-)

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    the O .T. are the basis for all the oldtestement realities and the letters that contain them ; they are much more then good campfire start ; why not use all you colonizers home cars and other ripped off stuff for your own fires and truly reconcile with God by reconciling with the Native people and the Jews. then maybe outside of all your words and cyber space real doings of real Freedom could be know .Hopefully this article directs its points and the colonizers religion of mind and heart you call the IC ;for surely we all only see in part even the best thoughts are only that; But Love in action that's is transcendent and keep us in the unity of the brethren in the bond of peace ; we still have to run the race and put off every weight and the sin that so esayly entangles . the shape , the face , the way western "christian" does things will be changed in one generation !! when you have the real freedom in The Messiah you can handle the Law the Prophets and Feasts the Psalm aslights if

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    Darin Hufford

    Thanks lionwoman. I love you!

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    Joey you are ahead of your time - white folk are still catching up. It is gonna get real sweet real soon, it is my hope anyway. Eyes to see and ears to hear make hearts that burn to learn to love.

    May we both live to see it!

    @Seth - you are a beautiful person with great passion, it shines in your words.

    Andy - I'd so love to have a conversation with you - I think it would rock!

    Darin - thank you - I am sure you know what I mean. I wasn't letting go till I 'got it'. haha! Thanks dude for your heart that burns.

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    Hope I don't get too off-topic here, Darin, but your post makes me think of something I pondered the other day. Why was it that Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon seemed to do so many things contrary to what was right and yet it seemed God made sure they lived blessed lives (yeah, I know, God punished them, but kind of really indirectly)...but Moses hits the rock instead of speaking to it, and NO SOUP FOR YOU, MOSES! You have presented a point that I never had, or would have, figured out. As always, thumbs-up, Dude!

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    Better yet what about the 11 commandment Luke18:22 If the Messiah is the same yesterday ,today for ever If you knew Him you would be in relation with His sameness Ot and Nt the big Mystery revealed is that Gentiles could know and be apart of the promises and covenants ;aka being in grafted into the root ( not the other way around) seems every generation of colonizers come up with a new way to say and think the same old things ; maybe this way they can excuse there ways. Here's a ? for some if God was not that interested in the old way the significance of the feast of tabernacles in the Millennium, sacrifices restored. the centrality of the city of Jerusalem and its end times battle ; I think you are seeing the truth of intimacy and mixing it up with some "Great" new thoughts ;that are not that new at all.hopefully we all look deeper into all the Word and see the interlacing layers of truth and meaning so in relation with this Beautiful One we are changed ! @ Debbie see ya in the tipi!

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    Joey I think the New Cov was really the first covenant - a deal with Abraham (not Jewish; some of his grandkids were). The text you refer to indicates “all people” - spiritually all who are in love with Jesus are Abraham’s kids. A lot of Old Cov stuff including Sabbaths/Feasts pointed to the Anointed One who tabernacled (John 1:14) with us. The 7 day Feast of Tabernacles was a time of fun & relationships with family. Jesus The High Priest gave it up once for all then sat down at the right hand of God. OT priests were not allowed to sit down while on the job - Jesus (by His own choice before the world began) finished it because God loves all humans, then He sat down. I think that the future stuff you refer to is mostly meant to be figurative. There’s a lot of context that we don’t understand in the OT, yet the IC takes many phrases literally (and out of context) and uses them to beat people. Do to ass-kiss Darin once more, he wrote a highly 3-D blog. Your thoughts Joey?

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    jean thebeau

    Woooo Hoooo. freedom, freedom, comes only through that intimacy with god, not with O.T. or N.T. but with god alone: god within us . So simple a child can catch it, but adults ? seldom! My grandkids get it : sometimes better than i do , but i'm coming along .It all boils down to trust doesn't it? We just can't trust that He works in us, and that we can actually understand what is going on. argghh!!!

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    No doubt, the ego gets high when it starts to delude itself into seeing itself as a judge. Judges have power, influence, and best yet.. judges don't get judged, they DO the judging. We judge things, and get high off sharing standards to judge each other by.. Weird huh?

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    As I read through these posts, it seems to me that some people are trying very hard to explain away a very simply put and powerful truth: God is love. His will is love. His grace is the the most amazing expression of love. The point here, as I see it, is that living in the The Law is not the total picture. The Lord's love shown by Grace is everything. The question is not 'should we hold the OT as important as the NT or not?', that is a Church doctrinal question (be very wary of those). The question is this: will God love us more if we follow OT laws? Ponder that a bit.

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    Felix, you make a great point. 'judge not, lest ye be judged yourself'. Grace and Love people.

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    "We are taught today to live out this grace as though we were not indwelled by the Spirit of God. That's where we get screwed up"

    Darin, I understand what you are saying, but I don't see that in most evangelical churches. Or at least in the conservative ones. I do see quite a few evangelical preachers telling people that if the "ask Jesus to come into their hearts" they will be saved. I have no idea where they get that. Since when do we obligate God with a prayer and how many people put their faith in that prayer instead of His grace and mercy. Some of these preachers should go get real jobs.

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    Hey Andy, I'm no theologian, but I do believe that the scriptures say that it takes only the request for Jesus to enter you, aka "come into your heart", and you will be saved. It's a simple request for, and acknowledgment of, a personal relationship with God. And a prayer, aka a personal conversation (as in any relationship) with God is a great thing.

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    I am in love with love. And love is in love with me. That is what I know to be true, but what my heart is trying to experience.

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    When I am"hitting the rock" I feel insecure about that love, but when I trust in... Hmm... " grace" (Jesus), that's when I experience love on a real and honest level. It is intamit and effortless.

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    It as easy to see the expression of love in Jesus. And jesus said if you have seen me then you have seen the father. I always saw god and Jesus as a good cop - bad cop team, but you are right chris, god (the father) is love. One danger in reading the ot with a "staff" mentality is that it makes it impossible to see god as love. In lip service maybe, but not seeded in the heart and known personally. If we do not know god as love, we may never actually experience god or love.

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    I was brought up on a tradition where there were four spiritual laws were used to encourage folks to become Christians (e.g. But to me it looks like a construction of grabbing a few texts and stitching together a home grown method. What concerns me about this is that it is too much about me: my standing before God, my eternal destiny, my escaping judgement. It's all about me ... which is precisely the problem. Precious little about loving others in practical and humane ways. I think it is more important to be and act as a peace maker, to be gentle, to care for others, to act courageously and to esteem others as we share a common experience of our humanity - you know the fruits of the spirit stuff - than to make a simple statement.

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    well again the sound ness and prophetic reality of the Ot coupled with the Nt precieved by the Grace and living Spirit of God leaves no doubt to the light shinning in a dark place. to look at the Ot realities as just figurative is the essence of replacement theology and other misguided conclusions. many people gave there lives to keep the integrity of the OT to this day the Messiah quoted from it as do all the NT writers .what we see is the same as my native ancestors; the colonizers make up there religion as they go ;when you have Grace and the Spirit's anointing His commandments are not burdensome; again this communion with the Anointed One allows us to handle the feasts the prophecies ,the Sabbaths as lights;not as burdens or by compulsion .again you are either ingrafted into the common wealth of Israel or? People can talk about grace but if the children of the colonizer ,repents and reconciles with the land and the people in this grace ,real light might shine into these winds +

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    Sincerely appreciate your comments Joey – they are making me think and my brain is starting to hurt. From what you are saying, Paul would be a replacement theologist because he thinks “These [OT observances] are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” This is also where I am at; the Holy Spirit living in us is the reality, and one of the tell tale outward signs is the I Corinthians 13 type of love that flows out from us that is generated by the Spirit.

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    Paul could not be a replacement theologian because replacement theology is the notion that the covenant and promises for the Jews/Israel were taken away from the nation of Israel and given to the Church. Paul never preaches this. Read Romans 9-11 and that will settle the issue. The whole purpose of the grafting analogy is to demonstrate that the gentile church has been grafted in to the inheritance of Israel and not the other way around. God cannot break His covenant with Israel because it was God who walked through the pieces of animals in Genesis 15. The concept of walking through the pieces means that the same should happen to Him if He breaks covenant. It is impossible for God to break His covenant with the nation of Israel and Paul knew this very well - Jeremiah 33:19-26 and Romans 11. Their stumbling with regard to the Messiah is only temporary for the gentiles to be grafted in.

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    I can't speak for Joey Jim yet what I hear him saying is that we don't necessarily have actual feasts and such, because of The Holy Spirit dwelling inside when we read the OT it lights up the shadow - the israelites were not asked to keep the law to become God's people- they were given the law because God had made them His people - God had already shown them Grace - they refused to 'relate' to Him or hear His voice so they told Moses to speak to God on their behalf and then he can tell them what they must do. Every israelite heard God speak the Ten Commandments - only Moses saw God write them down. Anyway - the law wasn't meant to be a burden - it was Life God said, and when He is in us the law is Life as well - we keep it because we are God's children - how? Because the One who fulfilled them ought to be fulfilling you. The relationship is within and flows without - like water from a rock. Like light. It is Love. The temple dwells in each heart. Reading the Bible as One is discovery

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    @ Seth: Thanks for your clarification. Somehow I was stuck on the idea that supersessionism/ replacement/fulfillment was a bit of a spectrum ranging from fulfillment to displacement, even potentially all the way to abrogation. I was sitting more on the fulfillment/completion bandwidth. Goes to show that I would have failed Seminary if they would have let me in; but be confident that I would have held my own at the Frat house on beer nights.
    @ Debbie – thanks for your awesome post; tremendously helpful.

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    Oh my! If only our former organization of rule's and formula's would understand this!!! They are so proud of the fact that they 'do all in His name', yet they have no intimacy with the man who bears that name! If they would only 'get in' Christ..develop an intimacy with Him, then, as Paul said, the veil would be taken away!

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    replacement = a man made calender with names of false gods for months and days instead of the new moon to new moon Sabbaths of God and the evening as the start of the day. = man made concepts and cultural preconceptions of truth .= intellectual assent to love instead of the action of. the challenge is still open to the colonizer and His children ;reconcile with the First nations people and the land ;and reconcile with the Jewish people with and in the love ;faith without works is dead so also love ! let us be like the Boreas who studied the Scriptures Only was the OT at that point; let us study to show ourselves approved,only was OT when that was. Let us no be as concerned in the errors of the IC as much as the things ,prayers and worship we need to live as lights not hidden pursuing love and hunting after the spiritual gifts and using them as if our lives deepened on them. So The Messiah aka Christ is the substance and He in us then when we we participate in His Feasts, Sabbaths and

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    all the depths of truth and lite in the Ot they become the realities of the Kingdom of God the kingdom of heaven the kingdom of the Beloved Son on the Earth and in us ;In the new and living way in the freedom we are set free for.not under the curse of the law yet also free to worship as the gentiles when they are no longer darkened in there minds, but in response in doing all things to glorify the Highest One ( Gitche Mani-to),Great Spirit replacement= doing pagan rituals with no scriputual reality instead of the richness of the root from which He is out of. So I agree lets love rule in our hearts as we sing to one another in PSALMS, Hymns,? ,SPIRITUAL SONGS MAKING MELODY IN OUR HEARTS TO yAWAY Father of all Heavenly Lights !! and the more as we see the day approaching...

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    Joey, I have actually kept the Feasts (all seven in the three seasons; spring, summer, fall)in the past. Also, although I'm not Jewish they threw away the best part of me just over a week after my arrival here on earth. Maybe I've just done one too many bongs (by accident), but relationship beats all of these "shadows". It's the way of the future.

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    Darin, this post is awesome and HIGHLY theological. I am still amazed at how we get so bogged down in fruitless theological discussions. Frankly... I see many theological debates much like Gang Wars, people finding their identity and security in their theological affiliations and THEIR understanding rather than the PERSON OF CHRIST so they protect "their turf". Without fail ALL of the people I personally know that do this have a DEEP brokenness and insecurity and a need to believe what they believe. We are afraid to engage Christ in his Person so we debate doctrine but never let him touch the areas of our heart that need healing. It is entirely possible to win a theological point and be light years away from manifesting anything that resembles the aroma of Christ. To me it's a sign of something that needs to be healed in a persons heart when they spend so much energy defending their theology, engaging a lord who wants to reveal us to us then heal us is to frightening.

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    Hi Jeff, what you say is right on for those who "get it" right away. However for those of us who have eaten a few to many IC meals in the past, there is nothing like a good doctrinal scrap to burn off some calories.

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    Hi Jim, very cool brother, I probably should have clarified that the only reason I know that is because it was (and still is to some degree) true of me :) I served in varying degrees of leadership in the IC and use to love the fight. many cases the fight is a good thing, heck often walked right into the fight and in some cases started it !

    Thanks brother

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    no theological fite or argument; just fact. kinda like the person who knows they go through the red light and argues with the cop that it seemed to be a shade of orange!Paul says he put himself under the law to them that where ? again a practical to the challenge: Go to a Jewish synagogue or center or write them and ask forgiveness on behalf of the church yourself and this counrty ; go to a native res. or write and ask for forgiveness for all the broken treaties and the clutural domination the church and this nation put , puts on natives, or as the love in your hearts move you to good works in these arears. There are also many resourses. Even as Frank Viola wrote in his where did the pastor come from on this site, replacement theology ; the drift from the Hewbrew roots left the void open for many of the nonsense in the IC and in the many spin off cults and sects even now . remember we should not love in word only but in fruitfull action .so lets continue to spur each other on ..

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    carlos the wetback

    Intellectual saints :)

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    yes indeed there not the ' clueless conditioned"

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    Darin, this is another great post. Your podcasts and blogs continue to help me shake off that ole' religion -- THANK YOU!

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    David Joseph

    I always thought Moses got to go to the true promised land. God having something better for him. God being better himself. David

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    Darin, may you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

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    Doug from Denver

    Darin, what an awesome post--one of your best. The whole idea of not being under law and legality is extremely fundamental. But why is it so hard for us to grasp? We as people are a very works oriented people. Certainly there has to be something I am to do in the plan of redemption we think. There is no way it is a free gift from the Lord our inner soul silently speaks to us. The NT is full of the concept that the Law of Moses is fulfilled. Jesus said it and Paul exhaustively declared it, but because of our desire to control we have gotta have it. Let us be free. Lord, deliver my soul from religion and the erroneous teachings about you.

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    awesome blog

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    A lot of Christian's that I'm around with go from one extreme, i.e. "make sure you are not left behind' and "Grace? what! then if everyone goes out and do whatever they want!" to.. "yippie, I can do whatever I want, then?" Sad to say I was in there somewhere. Now, some 6 yrs later, I know He lives inside of me and now I'm convinced that it's truly control that the church is afraid of losing. I now find myself sharing more heart issues in Bible class and often looked at as "ahh, ok, that's nother way of seeing it." I don't care. I'm more confident and the Holy Spirit doesn't get tired of reminding me to let go. Beautiful. Refreshing blog. Darin keep listening to the God's heart.

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    Laurie Jackson (L.J.)

    This was a breath of fresh air! One of my favorites... thanks Darin... I love this part among many: "The reason why this is such a devastating story is because Moses insisted on doing things THE OLD WAY." Bring in the New with the New Year!!! I praise God for you Darin!

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    Jeannine Metzger

    WOW! This makes so much sense to me. This is the God I know - not the one I was told about! Thanks Darin for putting it into words.

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    Ruthie, isn't it crazy how the IC loves invoking the word "grace" and yet seems to so doggedly resist the implications of grace? Back when I would listen to nothing but a Christian talk radio station (one of my ways of "rock-striking" i.e. not listening to anything that would offend God, like Pink Floyd, Nirvana, or anything enjoyable), one of the daily programs had the word "Grace" in the title and was presented by a very well-known pastor, at least well-known to fundamentalist Christians. What always seemed so confusing to me was the absolute lack of grace in his messages! What did I get out of this program that really gave me a lingering feeling of hopelessness in my relationship with God? Grace may be unmerited favor but you still have to earn it, most people never will earn it, and of those who do earn it most will lose it anyway.

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    odukwe Ebere

    Sir this is a great insight. it blessed me so much-its not by our power truly ,its grace just God's grace

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    Dale C

    Isn't it interesting that when you read something that resonates with your heart there is a profound "yes" that cannot be denied. I love your writing Darin. This is a gem.

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    This article opened my eyes to what really happened in this example from Moses' life. Thank you.

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    Hi darin, my brother in the Lord through Christ's finished work. I praised God that I was really freed from the real gospel. I'm a Filipino pastor and majority of our church has been set free from the "Christian Religion" we received and the move is going on. I have some Filipino friends here who are also operating in this grace message and i'm so happy to know and get acquainted with grace preachers. Nice to see you in even in the internet alone. I like your articles and hope to be in partner with you. In Christ, Robert

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    I really appreciated this article, I never did get it when I read the story of Moses hitting the rock and then God punished him. I also "still" dont understand why god took moses up to the top of the mountain and made him look out over the promised land far far away - and then took his life- It almost seemed like he was taunting him for his screw up.any thoughts

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    Hi Bob, my thoughts on Moses' death are those of grace. He just completed 40 yrs of bringing Israel to this point, and even though he was personally not going to enter in; God allowed him to see what he had been laboring for. There is a type of hunger in us that only seeing can satisfy. God was meeting his need in allowing this last mercy in his life. Moses had long made peace with his judgement, so there was only a ting of regret in the experience. He had seen God kill others in absolute judgement, and he understood he lived in grace. I'm sure this was a very intimate experience between God and Moses, that lasted a long time and covered much of Israel's future. That's how my relationship with God interprets this passage. Shalom

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    Wow, Darin. I always understood in this story that Moses shouldn't have struck the Rock twice, since the Rock was Christ, who was crucified (struck) only once, but I never connected it as being an illustration of the Old Covenant versus the New Covenant. Thanks for the new light.

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    Loved it!!
    Loved this part: According to the theology of a great number of Christian people today, the only ones who benefited from the death of Christ where the cattle and the sheep.

    ha ha

    A must read for many 'Christians'.

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    That was fantastic Darin. What you said came into my soul like a ray of light. As I read what others said to you (especially 'emotional' Seth) and your loving calm reply I could feel God's love and grace creeping into my darkness and hurling out the rubbish I believed for over seventy years. I cannot get enough of your teaching. Thank you so much.

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    Amanda Cherie

    This was definitely a great article. It's amazing how, when I think about it, most of our culture (Christian and unChristian) is obsessed with performance and staying busy. I have never looked at that, in the light of salvation by works, as I have now. When I consider the times that I have been really close to the Father, when I am encompassed with His peace, and when I can hear His voice, I recall Him softly telling me where to go and what to do. And there is a part of my heart knowing that it was He, my Father, the Creator of All, who was talking to me. And then my head interrupts and I usually convince myself that I was just talking to myself because I am not holy enough, not like Moses or Abraham, to actually be hearing the voice of Yahweh.

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    Amanda Cherie

    I can also recall feeling a sort of discomfort when I determine to pursue a "good" work simply for the sake of doing a “good” work. And at some point, I lose that peace and His voice fades as I am determined to pursue this "great" idea. So, that brings me to this question, “Before Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, did we even have a “head” knowledge of good? Or, before the fall, was our knowledge of Him and His goodness only a “heart” knowledge? If so, how can we reconcile that we now have both and they must both have a good purpose when properly managed?”

    I feel like this is one of the greatest spiritual wars that we experience. While it is a war, maybe it can be more productively understood as a growing process.

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    Amanda Cherie

    Speaking of growing, it is kind of like how our body ages and our head is aware that our body is dying and becoming less “attractive”, but our heart knows that our soul is alive and becoming more beautiful by the minute: external (physical) beauty versus “internal” (spiritual) beauty. The physical self is to the spiritual self like head knowledge is to heart knowledge like salvation by works is to salvation by faith. Is that an accurate parallel?

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    Darin, I couldn't possibly agree more with this blog. I just had a similar conversation with a co-worker this morning, only your words are more eloquent than mine! As I've listened to the podcasts and read The Misunderstood God, I'm amazed at the unique parallels you and I have with our lives. We're the same age, you were in a rock band, I raced cars. You've done some unique and interesting things (i.e. being a chef), I was in law enforcement for 8 years. And the scariest part of all, we think so much alike it is indeed scary! :) Take care my brother. Keep bringing these messages. Love ya! Kimball

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    Tom Schultz

    It is a relief to one who was removed from leadership due to openly expressing belief in the security of the believer to find positions I had reached myself expressed in print--tithing, security, misapplying OT passages. Very encouraging

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    Thank you Darin this just fleshed this story out more fully for me. Some years back Jamie Buckingham, after visiting the Holy Land talked about how the rains and melting snow would gather in the crevasse of the rocks, minerals would build up and seal the water in. The Nomads showed him how to find them and then beat off the built up minerals releasing the water. Talk about make something clear, strike the rock, like the Law gets done by you, speak to the rock, well that's a God thing. So reading your post just rounded this whole thing out beautifully for me. Thank you :-)

  108. Gravatar

    "The first time the people needed water, God told Moses to take his staff and strike the rock two times in front of the Israelites.... He strikes the rock twice with the same magic wand he struck the Nile with, and water gloriously springs forth."
    Can you share the scripture that you refer to where Moses is told by God to strike the rock twice? I don't see it in Exodus 17.

  109. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Roger you just got snagged on an insignificant point and you've missed the heart of the whole article. Your desire for preciseness has caused you to miss what's being said here.

  110. Gravatar

    I am sorry if you read this as a challenge or as a criticism. The overall thoughts were powerful that caused me to go back and re-read the story with fresh eyes. As I read this it was just something I noticed. Since you mentioned it twice and then made the point that Jesus didn't need to be sacrificed twice (a not insignificant thought). I figured there may have been some other reference (New Testament maybe) that may have mentioned this event in passing that I couldn't find. Again I apologize if my question was offensive.

  111. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Not offensive. It just sounded like you got caught up on whether it was two strikes God commanded or one. So often people get snagged on little insignificant points because they are so insistent that everything be quoted exactly as it is in the bible and they miss what's being said in the article. It came across like that's what you were doing. I see now that you were seriously asking.

  112. Gravatar
    kathi hatten

    Heard you speak on the God Journey podcast and checked out your website. WOW WOW WOW.....I have had these free thinking thoughts for years and tried squelching them but like trying to keep a beach ball underwater, they kept popping up! Glad to know I'm not crazy just free!!! Loved the article and used it for fuel for my campfire to keep my heart ablaze with the love of Christ in me and for me. Keep them articles coming Darin! I read all the comments and we are a stubborn lot when it comes to changing mindsets, I see the "want to change but don't know how to think outside the box" people and I know Papa will not leave them confused just as He has and is reavealing himself to me He will do for them too. Afterall this is Papa's ride not ours.

  113. Gravatar

    great article loved the insight...i need to start striking less..trying please God with my profoundly pious and religious efforts and just listen and obey whats imprinted in my heart and not reverting back to all my old default settings.

  114. Gravatar
    rochelle sherman

    This is an outstanding discussion about the Old Testament versus The New Testament mentality.One of the most interesting statements or insights that were made is that we tend to cling to the Old Testament mentality, because we are still in control, we don't want to lose that control, if we really adhere to The New Testament Mentality we have to become intimately involved, almost to the point of marriage, this is a total commitment, and we are afraid of that. The true belief that Christ is our Savior will have to come from the heart, not from the law. That is about all I will commment at this time. A Jewish reader with slight leanings toward Christianity. The man I Love is a Christian minister.

  115. Gravatar
    Kevin C

    Darin, your comparison to masturbation is exactly what I thought about a month ago: excessive Bible reading and meditating on the "Word" - trying to force some kind of spiritual experience - is in a sense spiritual masturbation.

  116. Gravatar
    Kevin C

    Darin, your comparison to masturbation is exactly what I thought about a month ago: excessive Bible reading and meditating on the "Word" - trying to force some kind of spiritual experience - is in a sense spiritual masturbation.

  117. Gravatar

    Awesome! I'm having a feast reading your articles and comments for the first time today. God bless..

  118. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    That's great Marie. Did you know that we are in the process of publishing a book that will be made up of about 30 of my most popular articles. This particular one will be included:)

  119. Gravatar

    I heard you last night preaching (the dream center) with a friend, we were just blown away!!! We learned so much, rejoiced twice as much, and I came here to listen to it again :D That's great news!!! (new book) Congratulations!

  120. Gravatar

    Good word Darin and true, but how many people on this site look to you as their "Moses?" As a pastor mysef I try to be carefult to push people to the Lord and not my words.

    As you look at the commnents on "spoke/struck" the Rock living water flowed and yet you are exalted by the people, here, read the above posts. You are glorified over Christ.

  121. Gravatar

    Darin,my above post seems to come across with a harshness, not what I wanted. My concern as leaders is inside the "instiution of church" or outside the institution, peole latch on to us like a hamster locked in it's cage does to the water bottle tip that pokes into it's cage. What's the best way to avoid that?

  122. Gravatar
    Tripp Campbell

    I didn't read all of the postings but....funnel the OT through the Cross/Jesus, and it points to the same conclusion, relationship/In-Christed Life!

  123. Gravatar

    Your articles are really setting me free, Darin. Thank you beyond words. God is love.

  124. Gravatar
    jean thebeau

    I love it when someone can put in words , what i am thinking ; better than i can write it . Thanks Darren. I'ts not very funny that people choose to want to be spoon fed , rather than allowing the spirit to feed them ; and there are lots of pastors willing to do it for them. So sad . 4 years into the wild and loving it .

  125. Gravatar

    Excellent, concise, to the point. From where we are living it has been our observation that in the years since 9/11 much of "christianity" left Jesus and the NT behind quoting more and more OT . . . it seems people want their pound of flesh, justice, and control. And tho they may not sacrifice animals, they certainly "sacrifice" people groups making scapegoats of those they see as "the problem". When I have questioned "christians" about where in the world is Jesus in all this anger and hatred all I get is a blank stare and . . . more anger. It's gotten so bad we avoid calling ourselves christians. I long to share the love, intimacy, freedom, peace that is available in relationship with our God but often people are so turned off by their perception of "christianity" it makes it hard. The best witness seems to be, exactly, just BEING God's girl, BEING the church, living this amazing love, reveling in grace, and not worrying about doing or saying anything unless God arranges it.

  126. Gravatar

    So refreshing to see people with minds like my own and with a spiritual hunger like my own :)

  127. Gravatar

    Thanks for the truth, and for sharing it without bitterness. I left church after nearly being destroyed by control. Afterward, I began to spend time with God, alone, just the two of us, and discovered what true Grace is! (No law.) All of what you entioned is what I was able to discover when left alone with God! Every teacher and pastor I tried only muddied the waters and left me defeated, depressed and disillusioned. Not anymore. I love my early mornings with God, just the two of us, and would never go back to that public place of worship. What for?

  128. Gravatar

    Wow I have never thought of it that way. I've been finding myself growing agitated with certain "Christians" the past few years and even straying away from my faith no matter how hard I tried. This has shown me that I have been reading the Bible wrong and how my mindset is Old Testament. Thank You for this! You have no idea the impact this blog and your book has had on my life. Everyday gets better and better and closer to Jesus :)

  129. Gravatar

    Darin, it has been a year since you last blogged and we miss your blogs... we love them. If you feel inspired to write again. Just sayin. :-)

  130. Gravatar

    OK then- intimacy is the point. I want intimacy- but reading my bible every day won't necessarily produce this. Maybe I hear God best when I'm taking a shower, or stilling my mind somehow. In place of what I feel is a lack of intimacy, I insist I'm hearing His voice nearly subliminally, as a natural by-product of simply living my life. I continue to be entertained by the podcasts and thoughts of how wonderful it would be to feel close to Him, in spite of what my everyday life looks like, but I'm not doing anything amazing. Any attempts to share where I'm at with relatives is squashed by my ineptness at diplomacy and their own dis-interest since I'm no longer considered a card-carying individual. I DO see how this gospel is divisive in that way. I'm misunderstood & almost not even given a chance to share the deeper things, & therefore isolated from intimacy from members of my family who carry the card "Christian".

  131. Gravatar


    Their disinterest in u may not b because u r no longer a card-carrying individual. Shallow people hide, & they can't relate to your depth of experience of life. U r probably not misunderstood; but understood to be someone with a lot more guts than they have. If u want intimacy, care about them passionately, explore why they r who they r, & don't try to fix them. Use what you learn to weep for their captivity. Only God can resurrect the dead, no matter what type of grave they r in. Love turns captivity. Then you will have a growing tribe of people wanting to know you. Enjoy the rest of your road trip!

  132. Gravatar
    Patti Blount

    Interesting what you see in the rock striking episode with Moses. I will definately let the Spirit of God in me search this and either confirm of deny it.
    Yesterday I joined in with an outreach, and sat and mingled with the people who came to receive. As I sat with this group of ladies, and then another, I finally hit a love connection.(Planned, and directed by the Spirit) We talked as friends, as the Holy Spirit opened it up to sharing Jesus with each other, and how He has moved in our lives. When leaving I was moved to hug the 3 ladies, and on the last hug, Jesus in me said, "I love you," to her. Later, as I was thinking about our fellowship, I thought that I "should" have prayed with one of them who was having a problem with drug usage,but she had come along way receiving God's touch and help. Then, I realized this was my flesh's thinking and not from the Spirit, or, if you will law over grace. Old habits of thinking and the Old Covenant dies hard in us, but praise God it is dying!

  133. Gravatar

    It is beauty full!
    I only wish it is al so in dutch!

  134. Gravatar

    After at least 5 readings of 2 Chron. 7:15, I couldn't get why that was OT. It fits with what I hear on many Sundays in church - "repent"! Shaking off the wrong idea that I need to do something to get God to like/listen to me seems to be long term business. Just when I think I've come a distance, a scripture verse like this pops up. That's why I'm reading the bible less lately. I get confused. That's OK. The more I take in truth from other sources and pay attention to what resonates inside me as being authentic, the safer it will be to read the bible.

  135. Gravatar
    Stephen Smith

    I'm a retired pastor just becoming familiar with your website. I really like this inspiring article. I'll be reading some more. Yes indeed, God is love and relationship.

  136. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Stephen I'd love to get to know you more. What kind of church were you the pastor of? How long were you in the ministry? Why did you leave that position? I'd really like to be friends with you. If you're interested in becoming friends please email me personally at

  137. Gravatar
    john sebreros

    A comment about the event, l like what Jim detmer said, that Moses did not see God as Holy or different from his abusers

  138. Gravatar

    I just read a related post, that ties this incident in Moses' life to part of Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount.

  139. Gravatar
    Susan C

    I just wanted to thank you for writing your latest book, The Misunderstood God. It was a blessing that I needed for so long. I was raised just like you, in a fire and brimstone church. Went through childhood wondering, "Why is God so mean all the time?" I couldn't understand if he loved us why was he always taking his love away. I grew up with that confusion, and it created a confused person. I was never comfortable, always thought I was a bad person no matter what I did.

    Today I am a truly free individual the way God created me. I am no longer "tormented" by Dogma or any trappings of the church. My relationship with God is glorious, personal, and very loving. The most important 3 words in your book..."God is Love". It's all so simple, we never see what's in front of us the whole time. Thanks Again and keep on keeping it real;).

  140. Gravatar
    Janet Ross

    Christianity is taught out of a bible which is held up as all we have left from a God that used to be so involved. Knowledge has replaced love & with that why would anyone continue to get beat up ON PURPOSE @ church when they can get it for free (no tithing required) day to day. Love this site.

  141. Gravatar
    gabriel barbosa

    Man i really appreciate your work, i'm from Brazil and i found your book here in a library and for some reason i decided buy it, i never heard about you before, and never heard about your book too, i just bought that because i liked the cover,is not the same cover that is showing in the website,not even the translation is the same, but i bought it and i gave to my father as a birthday's present, 2 weeks ago i decided read your book , but i'm loving, i work for the church here, and i had notice a lot of misconceptions but my LOVE for GOD and PEOPLE kept me going to the church, and your words are helping me man, you should come to Brazil, i would love meet you man, THANKYOU and GOD bless you

  142. Gravatar
    gabriel barbosa

    the cover's translation isn't the same, but the book is the same*

  143. Gravatar

    This is a great article Darin, too bad I might be burned at the proverbial stake by my friends and family if I shared it. ;) I haven't read all the comments so forgive me if I'm asking something that has already been asked. My biggest issue (to not being law-minded) is Paul. It seems that he has guided us into this back and forth delusion of "Salvation is free in one moment, and then in the next it’s not. We’re forgiven, and then we’re not. We’re paid for, and then we’re in debt. We’re not under law, and then we are."

    When I focus on Jesus I feel empowered to live free. But when I read Paul's writings I start getting bound up again. What gives?

  144. Gravatar
    Bob Romanelli

    This is one of the most profound truths I've ever heard. It is absolutely the case that contemporary Christianity has turned its back upon intimacy with Christ and has chosen religion in its place. May God open our eyes to the truths you teach before it is forever too late. Thank you and God bless you.

  145. Gravatar
    Ron M

    Darin, your work is immense and quite interesting, and may be right on, I’m not certain I know that yet, but thank you for the challenge. I have always had a somewhat different take on this incident here as well, and it seems to be different (not better) than any of those so far expressed in this post.
    I’d like to begin with what God said to Moses. He said "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them."
    To me this implies 3 things that led to God's anger.
    1) Moses was told to speak to the rock...not to the people. As he spoke to the rock...the water would gush forth. However Moses spoke to the people, thereby taking on the role of God's authority... which is admittedly a stretch for the man who would later be called the most humble man to walk the earth. Moses however did not speak to the rock...he spoke to the people.

  146. Gravatar
    Ron M

    Secondly, though I am certain it is unintentional, and is likely the most telling of these Scriptures it seems He was placing HIS authority over God's when he said, "Must WE bring you water out of this rock?" As though this was a task that he and Aaron were about to do instead of it being God's doing.
    I could be wrong, but I think this is why God said Moses did not honor Him in the sight of the people....
    And thirdly Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it. Given the circumstances I don't think I could blame him for doing so. He was working with a hostile mob, a fact that likely increased his own anger.
    God had assured him that the water would come forth, so it was likely that he was in a hurry to make it happen. Plus, they had once before been instructed by God to make water come from a rock by striking it with Aaron's rod. (Remember that God told him back in VS 8 of this text to take the rod of Aaron WITH him when he went to perform this miracle.)

  147. Gravatar
    Ron M

    Finally, this makes for a great teaching for leaders on the importance of
    1) Not getting ahead of God...
    2) Fully trusting in Him...
    3) Making sure we do exactly as we are told...
    4) Being sure that we do not to take matters into our own hands...and
    5) Being absolutely certain that He alone gets the credit for what we do for God.

    Just my 2 cents worth, thanks for the opportunity.

  148. Gravatar

    Write more blogs man.
    I understand but at the same time can't understand why people don't see these Truths.
    Blessings man.

  149. Gravatar
    Ann Knudsen

    I always wondered about that text like you. Thank you for all you're doing in Christ to get us out of the bondage of religion.

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