Once upon a time a very normal person walked into a pet store to buy some very ordinary fish. But to his surprise, he saw some very strange things with an equally strange explanation.
“Good day, Sir. Can I help you?”
“Yes, I’d like to buy an Angel Fish.”
“Oh, right over here in this tank.”
“Hey! These fish are dead!”
“Ah Ha! They fooled you, too! These fish are not dead at all. They only look dead. In reality they are a very rare fish called Amazon Free Floaters.”
“You must think I’m a fool! Don’t you think I know the difference between a dead fish and a live fish?”
“Surely, you don’t think I could have been in this business so long if I sold dead fish, do you? These fish might look dead but they’re Amazon Free Floaters, I tell you.”
“But wait a minute! These aren’t the only dead fish. All the other tanks in here are full of dead fish, too!”
“Mister, not one of the fish in my tanks is dead! These over here are Siamese Free Floaters. And over there are Australian Free Floaters.”
“Look here … a whole tank of fish that are barely alive!”
“Barely alive! How dare you! They’re a rare breed of side-swimmers called Catfish Floaters.”
“This is the most outrageous fish story I’ve ever heard!”
Some people will try to sell you anything, even dead fish. Every day people believe in the absurd, the ridiculous, and even stand in line to buy the foolish. It’s even more amazing how many people believe in something that they know in their conscience is nothing more than a dead fish. But selfishness rules the heart in this abnormal society, so the masses go along with anything that gives them pleasure.
But our Master Yahshua is no dead fish. He is alive, risen from the dead. His spirit causes people to love in a radical way… the way He loved when he lived on earth. His life and his love is what makes you cry, makes you surrender to it once your eyes are opened to see, really see. If you are tired of fish stories, you are probably ready to hear about Yahshua, experience his love, and enter into his life in his people, the Twelve Tribes communities.
Bought any dead fish lately?
So which fish stinks? Isn’t it the dead fish that stinks? Isn’t it the one that is as unpalatable as a leftover Nectar’s french fry in a bowl of cold gravy? The dead fish is out of the water of a true spiritual life — far away from the life-giving oxygen of a vibrant, coordinated, warm body that is alive. Yes, there is a dead, stinking body walking around by the power of a counterfeit spirit who is deceiving the whole world. This stinky fish has been smelling up the world for a very long time.
For two millennia a fish has been the symbol of the people who are supposed to know Salvation, be cleansed of their sins, and therefore share the true alternative life of love and unity that the human heart longs for. It used to be a life together that could be seen by the whole world, a life that could be experienced on a daily basis. This fish was alive and thriving in the first century communities in Jerusalem. They lived in the water of community, their natural environment, and they were empowered by the spirit of forgiveness.
Just as a fish begins to stink when it is out of its natural environment of water, so human beings created in the image of God cannot love the way they were created to love without the environment of living together. As soon as people who claim the fish as their symbol of life stop living together, forgiving one another, and experiencing forgiveness for their wrong ways, they start to stink. This stinky fish is what resulted when the early church rotted away and became the putrid institution of Christianity. It became polluted by the cares and comforts of the world. It compromised by becoming an integral part of the society around it.
As these things crept into the environment of living together, many bacteria appeared in the water. This bacteria multiplied and completely quenched the life-giving Spirit out of the communities. Fish today are no longer breathing the Spirit, but they are breathing the pollution of the world. Since the oxygen is out of the water and the Spirit is out of the church, all that is left for those who desperately want life is to seek another fish, one that doesn’t stink, but offers a life and not just a myth or a dream or a fantasy. People need a life, not just a show. Everybody offers a show, a scene, entertainment, but it all enhances self-life, living for yourself, instead of living for others.
No matter how you cut it, no matter which (ph)fish you follow, the answer is a life of love. There is an Emancipator, one who has the power and authority to rescue us from a selfish existence in a selfish society. There are many voices, some singing in beautiful harmonies, which can bring to light the futility the world faces. But the Emancipator, the Liberator, is the awesome one … the King we need to follow. His name is Yahshua. He is the one who rules a society of people who share everything to meet the needs of others. Those who make him their king are the ones who have his love, his spirit to empower them to demonstrate this love in unity to a world order that is passing away. Can’t you smell the stench? Yahshua’s way is the living way. It is the only way. It is the hope of the world.