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From, Through, and Into

CSIRO_ScienceImage_2933_Nautilus_shell

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of (from) whom are all things, and we in (into, for) Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by (through) whom are all things, and we by (through) him.”  –1 Corinthians 8:6

What this verse says is essentially this:

  • There is one God, the Father, from whom are all things.
  • There is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things.
  • Our life and being is directed into the Father, through Christ.

That’s so amazing I could end this post right now.  The more I seek God without agenda or preconception, the more I see that the authors of the Bible, the first apostles of Christ himself, were all what we would call today “mystics,” who taught union with God, just as people of other belief systems have done for centuries!  There are differences too of course, the primary one being the apostles emphasized that life and union with God are only made possible through Christ.  Nevertheless, union with God and being made spiritually alive are central themes of scripture that are often neglected.

  • “Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit…”  -1 Peter 3:1.  Tobring us to God” doesn’t mean taking us to heaven.  It means awakening our spirit to connect with God’s spirit, right now…
  • “Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also.  In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”  -John 14:19-20.  Again, our life is from God, in Christ, and Christ is our way into the Father.
  • “When all things have been subjected to him (Jesus Christ), then the Son will also himself be subjected to Him (the Father) who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.”  -1 Corinthians 15:28.  “That God may be all in all.”  That’s the culmination I think.  There’s a mystery to it, but it’s amazing.
  • He (God, the Father) made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings, that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live, and move, and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’  Being then the offspring of God…”  -Acts 17:24-29.  Wait, so we are God’s offspring?  We live and move and have our being in Him?  These are all truths that are ours in Christ, right now.  Nothing needs to be or can be added to them.
  • “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”  -Colossians 3:3.  You’re dead.  That’s repeated many times in scripture.  You were crucified with Christ.  If there’s one thing you and I need to see as a starting point, it’s that.  Our own life and everything it produces, good or bad, is dead in God’s sight.  Our life now is in Christ, and nowhere else.  Something being “hidden” means it’s concealed, buried.  Our new life is so concealed, buried, and intertwined within Christ that we’ll never find it apart from him.  Our life, which is with Christ, is found in God.  We are one with God right now, through Christ.  We aren’t God Himself, but we are joined to Him in a way far beyond what we see outwardly.

All but one of these verses in some way mentions both life and union with God.  Our natural tendency is to think of life and death in physical terms, but the Bible is speaking spiritually – being “alive” is to be connected with God, while to be dead is to be alienated from Him.  Scripture is clear that our life is in Christ, therefore Christ is our conduit of access to and union with God.  The Father deemed it that way.  The good news of the gospel is that we HAVE BEEN, ALREADY placed in Christ, thus made at peace with God and spiritually alive.  By virtue of being “in Christ,” we are spiritually seated in heaven right now, are adopted into the Father’s family right now, and are partakers of God’s divine nature, right now!  We lack nothing, because Christ, our life, lacks nothing.1  God sent Christ to be the first to enable and embody a new, spiritual life for all mankind, thus bringing union with God again (which Adam gave up by following Eve).

Again, these thing are realities now and forever.  The only thing that prevents access to them is the blinded, prideful human mind and soul.  Jesus referred to the inability of ALL men (Christians included) to apprehend truth apart from divine revelation as “darkness.”  Sin is taken care of.  What we need to fear and diligently seek to avoid is perceiving darkness as light,2 by taking things that originate in the mind of man as good and spiritual, and refusing to consider otherwise (repent).  I honestly believe the first step for a disciple of Jesus Christ, who will fulfill their call by the power of God as he did, is to see that since you and I are in Christ, we are also in the Father, and lack nothing, but have authority over our sphere of influence, NOW!  Glory to God!  Whatever you or I knew or valued before Christ, good or bad, let’s forget it and just be aware of God’s presence of peace, love, and joy within us, now.  Our soul might have turmoil, but our spirit is in Christ and at peace.  Amen!

 

  1. Ephesians 2:6, Romans 8:15, 2 Peter 1:4, Colossians 2:10.
  2. See Matthew 6:23. The New Living Translation reads: “But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!”  -That’s not a literal translation, but I believe the idea is correct.  Darkness posing as light and proclaimed as light by influential men is the greatest, most dangerous darkness of all.
 
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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Last Adam

In my last post (found here), I focused on Adam, attempting to show that Adam was a type of Christ.  He was formed separately from natural mankind and uniquely walked in fellowship with God, was God’s representative on earth, and was the steward of His kingdom.  Adam’s fall set in motion the loss of the kingdom of God on earth and the total reign of death and darkness in the hearts of all men. 

In 1 Corinthians 15:45,47 Paul refers to Jesus as “the last Adam” and “the second man.”  Paul directly compares Jesus with Adam because they are actually very similar, being the only two who God chose to be the “archetype” and firstborn of those who would establish His kingdom on earth.  The first man “died” spiritually, but regarding Jesus, Hebrews 5:9 states: “And having been perfected (by steadfast faithfulness to his call), He became the author (cause, source) of eternal salvation to all who obey (hearken to) Him…”  This salvation is founded on being born again, as part of an entirely new creation.

Paul goes into great detail about Adam’s fall and Christ’s victory over it in Romans 5:12-21.  Here are parts of this passage:

12 Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned… 17 For if by the one man’s (Adam’s) offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ18 Therefore, as through one man’s (Adam’s) offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  20Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.  21…as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  In Adam, sin reigned through offended law unto death.  In Christ, grace reigns through imputed righteousness unto eternal life

Paul also wrote this: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”1 There is no way to avoid being born “in Adam” and therefore dead.  Please understand, it’s very possible to spend a lifetime being religiously active or outwardly good, but still in Adam and spiritually dead.  Like I wrote before, true death, as God sees it, is simply the absence of His spirit and mind, which is the only source of true life.  The wellspring of “death” on the earth is the natural human mind2, the darkened mind of “Adam,” which is separated from God and incapable of connecting with Him.  Thus, we must be born again, individually and corporately, under Jesus Christ, the last Adam and the second Man.

Maybe you’ve read in scripture of the “old man,” in passages like these:

  • “…Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”
  • “…That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…”
  • “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds…”3

The “old man” is Adam, and for you and I personally, the old man we are to put off is the darkened mind and corrupt nature which all of us inherited from him, which we have known as our “life.”  Just as important, we are to put on the “new man,” the mind and life of Christ:

  • “…Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
  • “…And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,  where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
  • For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”4

The process of putting off Adam and putting on Christ can be hindered, and it’s plain to see that by and large, it has been.  In Jesus’ parable of the seed and sower (Matthew 13), he reveals that a heart/mind of understanding, a lifestyle/values which allow room for communion with God and spiritual growth, and a deep-seated commitment are all essential for the seed of the word of God, Christ himself, to take root and grow in us.  As it does, the new man’s spiritual wisdom, zeal for the house of God, and unquenchable love for the Father’s glory are produced within us effortlessly.  If this takes place, it’s an inevitability that light will begin to shine and the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

I hope this made sense and was helpful. I esteem the Lord Jesus Christ and beg the Father to give us grace to see Jesus, to bear our cross every day and follow him. Not for our sake, but for the Kingdom’s sake.  Amen.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:22
  2. Romans 8: 6,7
  3. Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:9
  4. Colossians 3:10, Ephesians 4:24, Galatians 3:27
 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Transformers

Gray_scale

 

Greek: “metamorphoō:”  Meta = with, after, behind.  Morphoo = to form. To re-form, to change into something new.

A genuine “disciple” is one who is devoted to their highest aim in life: conforming to way of their master.  To be a “Christian,” one merely needs to change beliefs and behavior.  The dangerous thing is, this can be done with ZERO spiritual influence or connection with God. True discipleship is not based on improvement, but on transformation by death and rebirth – the death and destruction of the old man (our Adam nature), and the birth and growth of the new (Christ nature).  That might sound strange, but I hope you’ll keep reading, because this is what Jesus and the apostles taught

To understand this more fully, I’m finding the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 very helpful: 

“And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven…And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.”

Notice two of the titles given to Jesus: “the last Adam,” and “the second man.”  These are hugely significant.  Elsewhere Paul wrote: “…we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died…”2  Strange as it may be, try to understand this: in God’s mind (and thus in a reality beyond the physical realm), when Christ died on the cross, all of Adam’s descendents died as well.  Christ became the representative of the Adamic race; of all those who by birth inherited Adam’s selfish, blind nature.  As their representative, when Christ died and was buried, all of those descended from Adam (you and I!) died and were buried.  But when Christ rose, the old Adamic creation stayed dead, and a new, eternal creation rose and began in him.  Thus, Christ is the “last Adam;” the firstborn, sole ancestor of a new eternal, holy, spiritual race.  (Even if you or I can’t see this, it is true.  God can give eyes to see to those who are willing). 

In speaking of Adam and Jesus, Paul wrote: “the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.”  In God’s mind, everything which originated from the first Adam is “dead” and has been totally done away with.  A relationship of external works/law is the “natural” way which came first, but is null and void since Christ.  The second and final way is spiritual – the life of Christ, which we received in our “rebirth,” is to grow in us, and the life of the old Adam, received in our first birth, must be put off.  Just as natural birth starts with a “seed” and under the right conditions gradually grows into a mature adult, so it is with our spiritual Christ-life.  The process of salvation and spiritual growth is a process of transformationnot improvement.  Again, this transformation takes place as everything of Adam is put off and Christ is put on.  However, it’s not about us doing something, it’s about having our eyes opened to the present reality of our Adamic nature being dead and our spirit being made alive by union with the life of Christ, and conforming to what’s already accomplished and finished.  This isn’t easy or automatic.  It requires seeking God for Truth and sight, and it requires our “death,” negating everything we valued, obtained, earned, or believed, and letting the new nature of Christ be the source of our values, beliefs, actions, and everything else.  I still feel as if I’ve barely begun this process, but I’m seeing it. 

In the verses below, the same rare Greek word, metamorphoo, is used for “transform” and “transfigure.”  The meaning is very similar to the English word metamorphosis – a radical change from one form to another.

  • “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.”3 
  • “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”4  
  • “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”5  -We are being transformed; a process of seeing, agreeing with, and yielding to God’s view of all things in Christ Jesus.

The seed, containing all the potential for complete transformation, is already within true believers.  It’s the implantation of the word of God, the life of Christ, in our heart.  We allow that seed to grow, from glory to glory, as our mind comes to see and agree with Truth, the reality of Christ in us as our life, the deadness of Adam/our old life, and as we see and understand more and more of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  This process is our salvation, deliverance, hope, change, duty and sacrifice.  Transformation from Adam to Christ is what a disciple will devote himself to.  Amen.

 

 

  1. Luke 2:52
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:14
  3. Matthew 17:2
  4. Romans 12:2
  5. 2 Corinthians 3:18
 
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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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True Insight on Transformation of the Soul

“Knowing the truth with true spiritual light transforms
the soul because it puts out of your heart what God has
already put away from Himself through the cross. In His
light, what is dead to God becomes dead to you, and what
is alive to God becomes the only life that you know.
 
To illustrate, imagine that you are locked in a completely dark
room where you are constantly tormented by a fear of
crocodiles. You have obviously never seen a crocodile
because there is absolutely no light in the room, but you
have heard suspicious sounds and once or twice thought
you felt something brush up against your leg. Days, weeks,
perhaps months go by, but your fears will not subside. You
continually reason with yourself saying, “Don’t be silly,
why would there be a crocodile in this room?” Or, “If there
were really a crocodile in this room, it would have eaten
me by now. I’m sure I’m quite safe.” But all of the self-talk
and intellectual reasoning has little effect on your
emotions. Logical or not, you think what you think and
you feel what you feel. One day, however, as you are
curling up in a ball on the floor to escape an indistinct
crocodile-like noise, your hand happens upon a box of
matches. You frantically pull out a match, strike it on the
side of the box, and a flame lights for a second and then
goes out. For just one second you see the room in the dim
light of a single match, and a wave of joy and relief strikes
your heart. You couldn’t see clearly, or for very long, but in
that one flash of light there was definitely no crocodile in
sight. Still fearful, but now at last with hope, you reach for
the box and light another match. This one stays lit long
enough for you to discover a shelf on the wall filled with
candles which you excitedly light one by one. After only a
few minutes, all the candles are lit and the entire room is
flooded with light. It was true what you thought you saw in
that initial flash of light – there are absolutely no
crocodiles in the room and there apparently never have
been. After so many months of fear and trauma it takes a
while for your nerves to settle. But after sitting in the light
for some hours and examining every square inch of the
room, your emotions begin to calm, the fear fades away
and becomes meaningless, and your heart at last begins to
rest.
 
This analogy is helpful in a couple different ways.
First, it illustrates to some degree what seeing or knowing
the Lord feels like to the human heart. It is not an external
light, an angelic voice, or a prophetic vision. It is like a
new and foreign light that shines in our heart and brings
something real into view. That is what all light does – it
shows us what is real. Natural light has this immediate
effect on our natural senses. In a flash of natural light we
become conscious of our surroundings; we become aware
of what is there. Like a flash of lightning on a pitch black
night, suddenly the world around us comes into view.
Spiritual light does very much the same thing, but it shines
“in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory
of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”9 As the light of life
flashes in our soul, we are brought to an ever increasing
awareness of what is spiritually real. It’s not like a dream
or vision that uses symbols or words to represent spiritual
realities. There are no figures that need to be interpreted
or words that can be misunderstood. It is as simple as
seeing in the Lord’s light what is true in Him. It is like
waking up from a long adamic dream, rubbing our eyes,
and slowly recognizing what is real.
 
The second thing that this analogy illustrates well is
that the natural byproduct of seeing what is real in Christ is
a progressive liberty from all that is notreal. Just as the
light made it impossible to continue fearing a crocodile
that was not in the room, so too it becomes impossible for
us to feel, think, and hold onto the fruits of darkness that
have no place in Christ. Light shows us where we are, what
God has done in Christ, and all ideas and feelings contrary
to the truth begin to fade away and lose their meaning.”

 

-The above is quoted from “Not I, But Christ” by Jason Henderson, pages 290-292.  Full text can be found at http://www.marketstreetfellowship.com/static/assets/books/not-i-but-christ/Not_I_But_Christ.pdf   There are many more free teachings, including a fuller teaching on sanctification which I look forward to reading, at marketstreetfellowship.com

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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God’s Greatest Enemy? Not What You May Think…

“…And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

 “For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace: because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be…” (Romans 8:7-8)

These two passages are companions, speaking of the same thing. In Genesis, you have the serpent and his “seed” (descendants, offspring) at enmity with the woman and her seed.  Thousands of years later, Paul, who knew the Old Testament thoroughly, wrote of the fleshly mind being at enmity with God and the spiritual mind.

As I’ve discussed at some length recently, the mind of the flesh (also called the carnal mind or the natural mind), which Paul warns against, came into being in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  You can immediately see it’s effects; in an instant they go from walking with God intimately and innocently to hiding from Him and covering themselves.  The mind of the flesh has been the prevailing and “default” mindset of all mankind since that time, leading to all kinds of wickedness, blindness, and religious foolishness. 

The serpent’s “seed,” meaning his descendants and offspring, are those who are filled with and led by the “mind of the flesh,” which again, is essentially just the natural, human mind.  In fact, I truly believe the “antichrist” is a corporate body composed of religious people who are ruled by the carnal mind, just as the body of Christ are those filled with the mind and life of Christ.  “Antichrist” refers to being opposed to Christ by a deceptive counterfeit anointing, not necessarily that which is blatantly or obviously opposed to Christ. Many think of the serpent as “evil,” but the scripture doesn’t say that.  It simply says he was crafty, cunning, and subtle. In fact, his temptation was to become aware of evil as well as good! In the same way, the mind of the flesh isn’t “evil” as we often think of it.  “Fleshly” or “carnal” simply refers to that which is 100% natural; to things that are human or earthly in origin, being non-spiritual and temporal. Physical things such as money, food, appliances, etc are fleshly, along with everything intangible that has it’s origin  in the heart and mind of man, not God. This would include all of man’s thoughts, ideas, motives, and desires.

So we see that much of what Christianity values and advocates is thoroughly fleshly. Three or four times in the first four verses of 1 Corinthians 3 alone, Paul referred to the Corinthian believers in Jesus as fleshly.  This is the very same Paul who wrote that the fleshly mind is enmity with God and the spirit!  The truth is, although the fleshly mind can be very religious, occupied with good, and believe in Jesus, it is and cannot be other than the enemy of God. God’s ways are not at all like our ways, nor His thoughts like our thoughts. As He sees, from a spiritual point of view, the fleshly, human mind is blind, rebellious, stubborn, and ignorant. It’s opinionated, devoid of wisdom, proud, and confident. It’s everything the spiritual mind isn’t. The fleshly mind is the primary, if not the only, enemy of God.  Even Satan has to answer to God as a tool He uses, but the fleshly mind is not so.  It was forbidden in the garden, brought death when inherited, has permeated all of mankind, and only in Christ can we be freed from it. The death that we are told we must experience in order to abide in Christ is, at least in part, the cessation of the fleshly mind as our means of perception and relation to God.

The “seed” or descendant of the woman is Christ and his body. In the garden, God referred to this seed as a “he;” an individual man who was to come. In God’s time, Jesus Christ came! and indeed bruised the head of the serpent. No longer did the serpents seed, the fleshly mind, have legitimate authority over mankind. But, the serpent’s seed wasn’t immediately or entirely eliminated, because God has in mind an entire group of people filled with the very life and spirit of Christ, constituting a corporate, worldwide body of Christ, who will inherit the Kingdom of God.  Paul said Christ is to be the firstborn among many brethren, that we are all members of his body, that we are to be filled with the life and spirit of Christ himself. 4  These are those called to be part of the true ekklesia, or church.  Christ’s body doesn’t consist of those who are called Christians or intellectually believe in him, but simply those who are filled with the spirit and life of Jesus Christ and being conformed to his image, regardless of title or creed.  May becoming spiritual and following Christ be our focus and goal, nothing else.

 
3). Genesis 2:17 
4). Romans 8:29, Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 12:27, 2 Corinthians 4:11, Colossians 3:3-4, Romans 8:9-11, 1 Corinthians 6:17.
 
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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Covering of Fig Leaves, Pt. 2

Thousands of years after the events in the Garden of Eden, as recorded in Mark 11, Jesus encounters a fig tree, a symbol of God’s people.  Jesus was hungry and desired fruit, but all he found was leaves, because “it was not the season for figs” (fruit).  So we see something very interesting.  Jesus found the fig tree (God’s people) entirely covered in fig leaves, the very same thing Adam and Eve made to cover their loins with after their eyes were opened by the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and they realized their own nakedness.

The meaning of this story is that Israel, and now the Church have not produced fruit (established the Kingdom of God on earth), but instead have chosen to cover themselves in “leaves.”  Fig leaves represent the myriad of ways God’s people use to try to dress up self to be presentable to God – an impossible task.  Fig leaves are manifested among God’s people today as self-improvement programs or means, behavior management, self-examination, determination, motivation, etc.  Fig leaves remain the covering of choice since the garden, because since that time mankind’s natural state is to have the carnal, soulish eyes opened, causing God’s people to have a perception of self-awareness and fear.  This is utterly destructive to the spiritual life.  The first thing God says to Adam after he ate was: “who told you that you were naked?”  In other words, who caused you to see yourself?  This was God’s primary concern, and in the right season, he sent His son to undo this.

I do believe the current season of leaves is ending, and I see signs of this.  A remnant of God’s called people are beginning to see how completely pathetic and unnecessary “fig leaves” are now that Christ himself has been offered as their covering (Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:24, John 15:4).  Christ’s covering enables a restoration of innocence (unawareness of sin or self) and spiritual perception.  Law, rules and regulations meant to control the flesh were never satisfactory to God and never intended to remain.  Freedom from the mind of  flesh (carnality) is increasingly becoming a reality for more and more of God’s children.

When Jesus cursed the tree, what he actually said was “no one during this age will eat fruit from you again.”  He was speaking to Israel and the Church, both.  He was saying that until the season of leaves ended, leaves were all that could be produced by God’s people.  The Bible says that in “the fullness of time” (the proper season), Jesus successfully came to regain the spiritual sight that Adam lost, and then some.  The body of Christ on Earth is going to do the same, worldwide.  The result will be as far beyond what we know of as Church or Christianity as Jesus’ life and ministry was beyond that of the Scribes and Pharisees.  There will be no comparison, but many will reject it, just as many rejected Jesus in his day.  I believe our call right now is to seek the Kingdom of God, His will being done on earth.  Seek it daily.  Ask the Father to give you spiritual sight, and be willing to abandon everything you’ve known for that.  Cry out and seek this diligently and desperately, just as Jesus taught us to do in his parables.  For the remainder of this season, it will be a struggle to enter the Kingdom.  But it’s worth it.

I’m with you in this struggle and walk, friends.  May true peace, the peace of the Spirit, be upon you.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Clarifying the Call

(16)For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling in them and walk in them…  (17)Therefore go out from their midsttouch no unclean thing, then I will welcome you…” (7:1)”Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit…”  (2 Cor. 6:16-17, 7:1 ESV)

“But you are…a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”           (1 Peter 2:9)

The word “church” is an interesting one.  It’s a poor translation of the Greek word ekklesia, which is a combination of the words ek meaning “out from,” and kaleo, meaning “to call.”  It essentially means “a special, called-out assembly of people.”  Christians assume and teach that this refers to being those called out of the world.  Therefore, to varying degrees we separate from the world (or think we do) by shunning bad movies and TV, drugs, casinos, extra-marital sex, blatant lies, etc.  Some take extreme measures such as living in a convent or monastery.  Is this improvement of behavior all that God wants from His people?

What if the “calling out” of the ekklesia is deeper than merely shifting away from the world’s ways and valuesWhat if we are called out in order to be called to?  If this is so, shouldn’t that change our focus tremendously?  To focus on avoiding something (such as the world) is still focusing on that thing.  What was it that Jesus frequently warned of, railed against, pronounced doom upon, and generally despised?  It wasn’t the evils of the world, it was the influence of religion among God’s people; the outwardly good, self-righteous, self-preserving, tradition-following, prideful, blind religious system of Israel, along with its leaders.  Jesus spoke incredibly harshly against this influence, calling the leaders and perpetrators of it sons of hell, a brood of snakes, blind guides, under the power of darkness, unclean, and more.

In the scriptures posted at the beginning, we see God has called His people out of darkness and desires them to have no contact with that which is unclean.  Now look this small sampling of Jesus’ words to the religious:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”  (Matthew 23:27, 15)

Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against him, “…this hour and the power of darkness are yours” (Luke 22:52-53).

You (religious Jews) are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. (John 8:44)

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites…you make (your converts) twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. (Matthew 23:15)

God sees things totally differently than men do.  Jesus’ awareness wasn’t on evil in the world, it was solely on the spiritual realm and His Father’s will.  Being good, kind, or knowing scripture well have nothing to do with possessing spiritual insight, which is of a different realm.  Instead, God’s true ministers are spiritual men, who know God’s voice unusually well and point you to the Spirit of God alone to be your ultimate teacher.  Jesus, Israel’s messiah, succeeded in his mission to fulfill the law Israel was under.  He then called Israel to abandon their law mentality and religious traditions in order to follow Him in the new and better way of the spirit, which leads to sonship.  Jesus himself enabled and modeled this way.

The true “ekklesia” today consists of believers worldwide, who God has primarily called out from the “uncleanness” and “darkness” of RELIGION, in order to follow His Son’s way.  Christianity is today’s dominant religion over God’s people, and like Israel, Christians have been seduced by its familiarity and good, not realizing it has long been spiritually barren and ignorant of God’s heart. 

I’ll keep stressing this – Jesus’ call, only given to God’s people, is: “follow me.” To answer this call is to be “called out” from every other way, including Christianity, to follow Jesus’  way of spiritual communion with and submission to the Father.  We must first deny SELF – primarily our own understandings and desires – then follow the spirit of God into new territory every day.  Following Jesus’ way is difficult and takes time, so be patient, diligent and SEEK, just as he did.  The reward is to know God and His Son.  God bless you.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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