Hear Him The One Hundred Twenty-Five Commands of Jesus
As a lifetime military man, I can see a distinct parallel between the commands of our Commander and how the Army works. Nothing new here: Cornelius the Centurian said as much in Acts - I say 'come' and he comes; 'go,' and he goes. Pastor Wittstock has divided the commands of Jesus in the same manner as the Army distinguishes between two types of lawful orders: General and Special. Of the former, there are three, always in force, i.e., "I will guard my post and everything within the limits of my post, until properly relieved." Special orders, like, "Take Hill 203 by 1100 hours," are intended only for the moment. Separating the 125 general orders of Christ from ones relating to time and place helps tremendously in clarifying which specific commands are still in force. 125 commands may seem like a lot, but they are generally simpler than the corpus of Mosaic Law given in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Of critical importance, with very few exceptions, the 125 commands identified here restate, clarify or otherwise support the Old Testament laws. In a few instances - divorce, dietary laws - Jesus modifies received law, and in the case of the former, goes back to the Creator's original intent. This book, in closing, is like a Christian soldier's field manual, spelling out the Commander's general orders in an explicit way that leaves little, if any, room for doubt, shading or wiggle. To carry the military metaphor one step fathers, it acts as a compass, bringing the reader back on bearing. For what the author set out to do, it would be hard to see how this work could be improved upon. This is a very timely work to have in hand in an era of Scriptural ignorance, doctrinal error and of cheap grace abounding.-Lloyd A. Conway
August 31, 2006
I really enjoyed Hear Him! The One Hundred Twenty-Five Commands of Jesus. I must say, however, that as one who is not a formally trained Biblical scholar, much of the material contained in Hear Him proved to be of little interest to me personally. I am confident, however, that others will much appreciate the detail given to analysis of the finer points of Greek interpretation and the detailed explanation of the methodology used in selecting the 125 commands to receive further attention. In fact, omission of that level of detail would be considered as evidence of insufficient rigor by many who will choose to use the book as a scholarly text for academic consumption. My suggestion would have been that the weightier elements of the book be placed in appendices or footnoted as appropriate. Also, Appendix A, concerning the prophecy on the events of September 11th could have been published elsewhere. Still, these minor quibbles do little to detract from the value of the work for either the scholar or the Christian seeking a better understanding of commands which constitute such an important component of Jesus' ministry. To me the greatest relevance of Hear Him is that it effectively combats the aberrant theology and doctrine growing form the rampant misapplication of the teachings related to grace and eternal security unaccompanied by the type of life change expected to be reflected in the conduct of a "Kingdom" subject. Is it possible to love Jesus and disregard or disrespect His commands? As demonstrated by Hear Him, how you answer that question and act upon it will have eternal consequences. So, Hear Him! <><
November 8, 2005
Unique and inspired, "Hear Him!" is a scholarly work that will be appreciated by anyone who wants to understand in depth what Jesus told us, and by following those words, implement them to make the most of our earthly lives. The introduction is lengthy, and explains how this book came about, the author's view of the modern world, and how best to live in it as a Christian. The introduction also has the "criteria for inclusion" the author used when choosing the commands that are part of the 125 in the book, explained with graphics, and includes a list of the commands that were excluded. The 125 commands of Jesus are written in bold type (the New Revised Standard Version Bible is used), often with a Greek translation for better understanding, and then analyzed with great clarity by Peter Wittstock. His knowledge is equaled by his insight, and I was inspired as well as illuminated by his penetrating wisdom. There are many books on the market that analyze Scripture, but I found this one to be exceptional in its lucidity and purpose. Whether one simply reads one of the commands and meditates upon its meaning, or takes in several at one sitting, one will invariably gain discernment, and more invaluable than anything, the commands will bring one into a closer relationship with the Lord. The writing is profound, yet simple and easy to understand, and the book itself is of fine quality, with a nice large font size. There is much of value in the back of the book, with a glossary, bibliography, command category index, and much more. Of very special interest is appendix A, a poetic revelation received by the author on the morning of September 11, 2001. It is intensely moving, with a searing reality that some would rather not face. I applaud the author for his courage, and for putting a lamp of truth in a dark place.
November 8, 2005