The Real Revolution
History’s Most Profound Moment
We live in an age of oppression — physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. We are oppressed from without and within. Screaming out for justice in an age of supreme injustice on all sides spawns the revolutionaries who strain every fiber to make a blow to the system. Everything is dark and twisted: poverty, genocide, generations under medicated tyranny, political corruption, endless war, pollution, and ecological nightmares.
Although one could choose from a million different causes, the loyal heart that is yearning for truth and justice will stop at nothing short of the true solution to this age of sadness and chaos, heartache and brokenness. The ultimate act of revolution is to respond to the call that strikes right to the core, to the very essence of the world system itself. This call was presented and articulated in detail and clarity by Yahshua, the Son of God.
Important Note: Yahshua is the original Hebrew name of the Savior; see the article “Comet” for an explanation of who this radical is and the effect He has on those who believe in Him. (http://twelvetribes.org/dylan/comet)
What would such an authentic revolution look like in reality? What would be its tangible manifestation? Simply Acts 2:44 — “All who believed were together and shared all things in common.” That is history’s most profound movement, yet it has remained hidden to most. It is the way the disciples of Yahshua lived in the first century. They were actually called The Way in verses such as Acts 9:2 and 16:17. They were devoted to learning, producing, and preserving an emerging culture. A brand new culture is the only way The Way can be. It’s not a set of doctrines, but a way of life, based on love for your brothers and sisters. That is how The Way was when it was called The Way.
Just as an apple seed, by its nature, must grow an apple tree, faith must produce a set-apart life. Saving faith is the Holy Spirit dwelling in a people, pouring out the love of God. It is in the genetics of the seed of the true gospel, that it will always produce a set-apart people living together — not just together, but a people sharing all things in common. The life described in Acts 2:44 was the first fruit that was meant to grow to maturity. That mature “tree” was the Kingdom of God filling all the earth with the life of Messiah. There “birds of every feather would flock together” (Ezekiel 17:22-24). This metaphor means all kinds of people living together in the harmony of love and a good conscience.
Acts 2:44 tests covenant love to the core, proving its quality and glory. Love comes from internal motivation, not external compulsion. Only a love that is greater than man’s faulty natural love will endure the testing that is coming upon the earth in these last days. It must be divine love, poured into the hearts of redeemed men and women.
The commandments of Yahshua, the Son of God, set forth the supreme challenge to the human soul, and connect you to the source of that divine love. You must begin by walking away from every self-centered agenda to embark upon the most noble endeavor: establishing the Kingdom of God here on earth just as it is in the very heart of our Creator. This is the very same call that Abraham obeyed so long ago.
Leave, Enter, Become
First, you must leave your old life and occupation. Second, you must enter into a covenant with all those who also believe. Third, you become a new person, progressively being transformed into the likeness of the Messiah Yahshua. Remember, all true covenants are “till death do us part,” as marriage was always meant to be.
The result of obeying this gospel is Acts 2:44 — “All who believe live together and share all things in common.” This is the exemplary life that is the light of the world in the midst of a dark and decaying society. The gospel calls us on a pilgrimage back to establish a set-apart holy nation, a society that is held together by the Creator Himself. The holy nation is made up of those who were once not a people, but were made into a people through their obedience to the gospel. They are called out of the darkness that fell upon the world when the early church fell (John 9:4-5), into the light of His holy, set-apart people. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
So it must be leave, enter, and then become all that He needs us to be. Only a society with this integrity can endure until the end. Only it can be the Creator’s voice pleading with modern man to turn from the flood of deception that the evil ruler of this age is unleashing upon an unsuspecting global generation. Divided we fall. Only fiercely united will a people be able to stand up in the face of these final days of corruption.
Now is a time of spiritual warfare. The only force that can stand up to this supreme spiritual oppression is true community. Nothing else can — not intentional community, or alternative energy, or sustainable agriculture, or cooperative housing. It takes true community: those who love with all their heart, soul, and strength.
The “church” is not a building, as everyone thinks. It is a family, a people, a confederation. It’s composed of volunteers who willingly live a life of self-sacrifice after the same pattern as the One they follow. It is a tribal life: families, clans, and tribes, in stark contrast to the suburban loneliness of the world. There God can truly relink Himself to man and man can relink to God. In this place God is pleased to dwell. All other revolutions will continue to spin round and round and accomplish nothing till man’s heart is made one. First, we must be one with the ancient call, its mission, and the purpose of the One who fashioned us; and also we must be one with one another.
The most radical movement that history has ever recorded was the church of the first century. It was established by the apostles — those who had intimately learned from the Savior Himself. They were a people of one heart and one soul, a body of believers not in doctrine alone, but in the practical, experiential, daily reality of love and care. Sadly, it didn’t endure long, but it left a plumb line, a standard for all to see. It has burned as an ember of hope in the hearts of many, waiting for a people who would pick up where they left off so long ago. In them, it would catch fire to fulfill all that is in the ancient writings of the Law and the Prophets.
Fulfilling the Law and Prophets
Acts 2:44 is the only context in which the Law and the Prophets can be fulfilled. Apart from this foundation, all that is left is warped doctrinal gnosticism, and no fruit. Our Creator has always longed to see the fruit of His love, the crop of His planting, the outcome of His word. He has always wanted a people who are together.
All who believe can’t help but be together. God does not need and cannot use scattered, independent people, but only those who are together. Only they can cause love, justice, and mercy to triumph over evil. That is what began in Acts 2:44, and that is what is being restored on the earth in these last days.
It is the only spark of hope for liberation from the oppressor. Please come see what has begun. You will find a people devoted to the truth that only love, such as the Savior spoke of, can actually fulfill all that is the Law and Prophets:
And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
The gospel is good news to the humble, willing heart. This is the hope, the gospel, and the way of life we have to offer a hurting world. If these words have stirred in you the same revolutionary call we heard in our hearts, you can find this article in its entirety in several papers on our website. One is the Revolution paper, and one is called The Radical Life of Acts 2:44.
Please read it and come and speak with those whose entire life’s aim is to see love, justice, and mercy triumph over evil. Visit us at one of our cafes, delis, farms, or homes. Come for a day or to stay!
First published as Newsletter 17 on April 19, 2013.
How many of us know where to look for the truth? Who do we trust to tell us the truth, and why do we trust them? Probably a lot of us would rather not ask such questions of ourselves, but just go along with everyone else… at least until some bitter disappointment causes us to stop and think. Even then, we may end up conformed to society around us. This is dangerous if we are concerned about truth – about right and wrong – because the values of that society are constantly changing.
Sometimes our private thoughts lead us to to seek for truth, for something more objective than what seems right. What is right? Could anything be more objective than the Word of God? If we believe that, what will cause us to align our lives with the Word of God? After all, how many people have ever really done that? Oh, so many settle for much, much less…
Many writers and politicians commonly make Biblical allusions. This comforts “Bible believers” and helps them accept what is happening, or even just continue to go along with “the way things are.” That satisfies most worldly leaders nicely. If they pick their words well, such leaders can comfort Jews and Christians alike. Most people don’t want to look any deeper — to whether the lives of their leaders conform to that Word — because then they would also have to consider whether their own lives do.
Still, we’re drawn to the uncomfortably honest ones, aren’t we? Because if they are willing to face what we fear, then maybe they have an answer, or at least a hope that we don’t have about life… not really. One of the most famous singers of our times spoke the following somber words about life. It was Bob Dylan who wondered deeply about the “night of death” that… has come? will come? is coming?
A lot of the songs were written after the sun went down. And I like storms, I like to stay up during a storm. I get very meditative sometimes, and this one phrase was going through my head: “Work while the day lasts, because the night of death cometh when no man can work.” I don’t recall where I heard it. I like preaching, I hear a lot of preaching, and I probably just heard it somewhere. Maybe it’s in Psalms, it beats me. But it wouldn’t let me go. I was, like, what does that phrase mean? But it was at the forefront of my mind, for a long period of time, and I think a lot of that is instilled into this record.1 ~ Bob Dylan (1997)
Fifteen years later, the gloom hadn’t risen, as he noted in another interview: “Me, I was born in 1941 – that’s the year they bombed Pearl Harbor. Well, I been living in a world of darkness ever since.” (Rolling Stone, 2012)
What can we make of his words? Just more doom and gloom? Or is there hope somewhere (as Dylan spoke of another time) that, maybe, the night is over? That a real light is shining again on planet earth? If it were, that would be the place to find the hope that does not disappoint (Romans 5:5). So many hopes disappoint.
One thing no one has to wonder about, though, is where what he heard came from. It came from the Son of God Himself (Yahshua is His Hebrew name):
We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (John 9:4-5)
Yahshua’s words about nightfall were not warning of the end of the age, as the preachers words, “the night of death,” implied. No, Yahshua warned of the end of the Holy Spirit’s illumination on the earth. No man could work the works of God once night fell, once the churches had no light. They all abandoned their first love. Then Yahshua, the Savior, was no longer embodied in His people. Love had no home. His last act was to blow out the candles…
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:4-5)
It was about 1,900 years ago when Yahshua “was no longer in the world,” that is, no longer embodied by what continued to call itself “the church.” Then night fell.
The “light of the world” that shone in the first churches was their life of love. Because of love they obeyed the One they loved. (Read John 14:15,21,23 and see.) Because of love, He commanded them to give up all their possessions. His radical commands resulted in the radical life you can read about in Acts 2 and 4. That was how it was in the beginning, when the light first shone.
All who believed were together and had all things in common. (Acts 2:44)
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. (Acts 4:32)
You can read all about their story in the Book of Acts, and all about their decline through the epistles and the Book of Revelation. Alongside Yahshua’s prophecy of the night coming when no man can work, are His prophecies of the restoration of all things. They are in the parallel passages of Mark 9:11-12 and Matthew 17:11-13.
And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? (Mark 9:11-12)
What we want to tell you here is that those who are called out of the darkness of John 9:4-5 are a people set apart for His own possession. They live together and love one another as He loved them. They are outspoken in the their gatherings (having no professional clergy to do the speaking) and they live as He lived in this world.
But you are: a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
We hope the same desire to receive mercy that burned in us also burns in you. And what we discovered is that His Salvation is truly great — our entire lives changed. We started living as the early church lived. We now have a hope that hasn’t disappointed us. We invite you to come and see. The life that is the light of men is on the earth again.
Looking for the Peacemakers, Part 2
So if you are in the one of the cities hosting the Bob Dylan tour this April and May, look for our big maroon-and-cream-colored Peacemaker bus. We will be there. Beginning April 5 in Buffalo, New York, and ending May 5 in St. Augustine, Florida, you can meet the people behind the freepapers, the same ones who build our buses and run our Yellow Delis. We will be there to meet people like you!
April 5 ~ Buffalo, NY; April 6 ~ Amhearst, MA;
April 8 ~ Kingston, RI; April 9 ~ Lowell, MA;
April 10 ~ Lewiston, ME; April 12 ~ Newark, DE;
April 16 ~ Richmond, VA; April 18 ~ Bethlehem, PA;
April 19 ~ Akron, OH; April 20 ~ Kalamazoo, MI;
April 21 ~ Bowling Green, OH; April 23 ~ St. Louis, MO;
April 24 ~ Springfield, MO April 25 ~ Champaign, IL;
April 27 ~ Murray, KY; April 28 ~ Louisville, KY;
April 30 ~ Asheville, NC; May 1 ~ Charlotte, NC;
May 2 ~ Raleigh, NC; May 4 ~ Charleston, SC;
May 5 ~ St. Augustine, FL
Later, our bus will be joining our Peacemaker tall ship at each port of an epic tour of the Great Lakes, by land and by sea. For the itinerary, see:
For the Communities of the Twelve Tribes,
1Jon Pareles, “A Wiser Voice Blowin’ In the Autumn Wind” — interview of Bob Dylan in the New York Times, September 28, 1997.
First sent out as Newsletter #16 on April 5, 2013.