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His Winnowing Fork is In His Hand

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Here’s what Jesus said about John the Baptizer: “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptizer” (Matthew 11:11).  

Here’s what John said about Jesus: “…He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11-12). Nothing about Jesus is as it seems at first glance, but let’s look at John’s words closer.

Here’s how the process of harvesting grain worked in Jesus’ day: When the grain is ripe, the stalks are cut and gathered. Then, in a process known as threshing, the stalks are placed on a hard, level surface known as a “threshing floor,” where they are beaten or rolled, which detaches the kernels of grain from the useless stalks and husks (chaff). Next, the mixture is “winnowed:” using a fork-like tool, the mixture is thrown into the air, where the wind blows away the lighter chaff, leaving only the desirable kernels behind. (You can watch a short demonstration of this process here, and see an actual winnowing fork being used here).

Jesus plainly stated in Matthew 15:24 that at that time, he was only sent to the house of Israel.  Israel was Jesus’ “threshing floor.”  The two prongs of Jesus’ winnowing fork, with which he separated the wheat from the chaff, were his authoritative words and his demonstrations of power.  Wheat and chaff represent states of the heart.  The wind that blows the chaff away from the grain is the Holy Spirit of God Himself.  Wheat represents a heart of humility, which has been given ears to hear the radical truth Jesus proclaims and eyes to perceive the reality of what Jesus is doing.  The humble wheat-heart doesn’t fear or resist change.  Chaff represents a heart of pride, which always opposes unfamiliar spiritual things which it doesn’t understand.  Prideful chaff-hearts, found most prominently (but not only) among religious leaders in elevated positions, have hard hearts (resist new truth), refuse to acknowledge their spiritually blind eyes and dull ears, and persist in the prideful way of religious tradition, human understanding, and self-righteousness.  Chaff can’t/won’t see that revelation from the Spirit, not doctrine and knowledge of the mind, is what counts.

Jesus said the pure in heart will “see God.”  This means it will be given them to see and perceive God’s heart and His hand at work among them.  When John said Jesus would “clear” his threshing floor, the word “clear” is related to the word “pure.”  This is basically what John meant in his statement above: Jesus will come boldly proclaiming new Truth and will powerfully demonstrate His divine origin and the heart of his Father.  By so doing, there will be a separation made between the pure and impure, righteous and unrighteous, humble and proud.  The humble will recognize God at work and forsake their old ways to follow His son.  The proud will resist the reality behind Jesus’ words and deeds, and will reject the way of Jesus and thereby dishonor his Father.  These will be cast out of God’s presence and suffer terrible and irrevocable destruction.   We can read in Acts that for a short time, as John had predicted, the church in Jerusalem was fully purified, walking in power and authority.  On one level, the process of gathering the wheat into the “barn” and burning the chaff culminated with the siege of Jerusalem and the total destruction of its temple in AD 70.  Jesus discussed and prophesied much of this in places like Matthew 24 and Luke 21:20-24.  Read the historical account of that time and you’ll likely agree.  Once the temple was torn down, Judaism was torn down with it. 

While that is interesting, there is a deeper fulfillment of Johns words, which is more relevant for us today. Jesus told his disciples, representing the church, that it was better for them if he left to go to the Father,1 because he would then pour out the Holy Spirit, who is not bound to one time and place.  Jesus is no longer a physical man on earth, but has become a “life-giving spirit”2 which vitalizes a corporate body consisting of many members (the “Church”), and he is the head of this body.3  I could say much more about that, but I believe once connection to the head is restored, the body of Christ will once again do the same works as Jesus, threshing and winnowing what Paul referred to as “all Israel;”4 both Jews and Gentiles who by faith are inheritors of the promise which was given to Abraham and his descendants long before Israel was a nation or the law put into place.5  The winnowing fork will be the same, but the scale will be worldwide.  Many will once again not recognize Jesus Christ at work before them, but some will.  

I don’t fully know what all this will look like or how it will all work. But I do know that right now, God’s prophets are telling people to flee to the mountains OUTSIDE of Israel, like Jesus warned natural Israel to do.  In the spirit, this means to leave one’s “house” and “possessions” behind, meaning the familiar and comfortable ways and understandings of Christianity, to be taught by the spirit of God Himself.  The “chaff” of Christianity will be destroyed like Judaism was.  Jesus didn’t promote Christianity, He said to FOLLOW his WAY, which was one of seeking and following the words of His Father. So let it be with us. Let’s go to Jesus outside the camp, bearing his reproach,6 because that’s where we’ll find him.  It’s not about a physical location, but a spiritual one.

  1. John 16:7 
  2. 1 Corinthians 15:45
  3. Colossians 1:18
  4. Romans 11:26
  5. Romans 4, Galatians 3:14
  6. Hebrews 13:13
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Posted by on October 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Restoring Sonship – White Garments

Genesis 2: 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. This is much deeper than what’s on the surface.  The two things we learn about Adam and Eve here are that they were “naked” and “not ashamed.” Prior to their eyes being opened by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the nakedness of Adam and Eve seems to essentially mean “bare” or “without clutter.”  The word “ashamed” can mean “confounded, hindered, obstructed.”  Thus, I believe the deeper meaning is this: in their original state, Adam and Eve were without any self-awareness (which clutters one’s heart with guilt, shame, fear, etc), and were not hindered in their communion with God. I have heard it put this way: Adam and Eve were “full of wisdom and without any confusion.” I truly believe this is the deeper meaning here.

Genesis 3: 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.  21…Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them-Adam and Eve were “naked” before they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet notice they are “naked” immediately after they eat. A drastic change took place upon eating, and it’s important to know the word “naked” is slightly different before and after they did so.  After they ate, the word “naked” seems to refer primarily to a state of being, essentially meaning “destitute.” Eating from the TOK caused their eyes to open (natural/carnal/selfish perception to begin), and only then did Adam and Eve see themselves as naked (spiritually destitute).    They then made their own loin-coverings to try to cover up their destitute state, but God gives them a covering of “skin,” a symbol of their “nakedness” – their destitution.  This seems tragic, and it is, but thankfully it doesn’t end there…

Adam and Eve were “unashamed” before their eyes were opened by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It makes sense when you think about it. Once they ate, a self-focused, carnal, natural perception of everything took root in their heart, bringing guilt, fear, shame and causing them to hide from God. The work of Jesus was and is largely about undoing and reversing what happened in the garden of Eden; restoring man’s spiritual perception, fellowship with God, authority, and providing a new garment for men to wear instead of the “skin” (nakedness, spiritual destitution) that God clothed Adam and Eve in, which all men since Adam are born clothed in. With the new garment of Christ, one can again commune with God, with an awareness free of guilt, shame, condemnation, and fear!

Revelation 3: 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments…                  

18 I counsel you to buy from Me…white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed…

Revelation 16  NKJV:15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”

Galatians 3:27: For you are all sons of God (similar to Adam before the fall), through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. The garment of Christ restores and IS our sonship.

Romans 13:14: But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. -“Putting on Christ” leads to or is a form of “making no provision for the flesh.” They are connected.

Colossians 3:9-10 “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with its practices and have put on the new man, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” –God Himself is the creator of the “new man.” In a sense, Adam is the father of the corrupt, blind “old man.”   The cross of Christ put to death the old man, and this is progressively being made real in our experience as the reality of this is revealed within us.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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“Revelation is like breaking chains.” This is something the spirit of God spoke to me a while back.  I’d like to share a few things about this, firstly about “revelation”. 

I’ve probably said this before, but it’s important: “revelation” in scripture literally means “to uncover, to reveal, to make manifest.”  I believe revelation is the only way Truth comes to mankind.  Genuine Truth is spiritual, and can’t be “obtained” or “earned.”  It’s a gift, bestowed.  Jesus said Peter’s famous declaration of Christ as the messiah and God’s son was Truth, revealed to Him by God the Father.1  God uncovered something, and Peter saw it. Jesus himself lived this way.2 

The “agent” or force empowering revelation is referred to as “light.” All through the New Testament, light is emphasized (click here).  In the physical realm, light enables one to see the reality of his or her surroundings, making it possible to go where you want and avoid obstacles and dangers. It’s the same idea in the spiritual realm – light enables spiritual reality to be seen and related to correctly.  The NT states this as well.3 

As I’ve been writing about, I think one of THE biggest spiritual pitfalls is an attitude in which one claims the ability to see, but is without the revelation of light. This is the essence of pride, and is FAR more dangerous spiritually than what many tend to focus on, like watching bad movies or going to a casino or losing your temper. Anyone can read the Bible or listen to teachings and come up with ideas about God’s heart or will, but without spiritual light, every idea and doctrine of the most devout and brightest men is nothing but darkness. 

Here’s an illustration of the state mainstream Christianity is in today: if you were to put ten people in a pitch dark room, they would soon form ten different ideas about what the room contains and looks like, but none would be accurate. If you flipped the lights on for a few seconds and then turned them back off, there would initially be a great increase in true perception and agreement about the room, but if enough time went by in darkness, different opinions would form once again and reality would fade. 

From concern only I say that I see a lot of errors and problems within Christianity.  I believe Christianity has been given glimpses of light in places, but has not continued to rely on light for its spiritual progress and beliefs.  If it had, it would not be so divided.  The few who do truly rely on and follow the light have been marginalized by or ostracized from mainstream Christianity (there are several reasons for this, not the least of which is these people expose its blindness and pride). Things that truly have been revealed and seen in the light are often made into a “golden calf” of sorts – people camp around them, dancing and worshiping day after day, instead of continuing to follow the light. Others wrongly assume that because they or someone else have seen something in the light, everything else is illuminated as well.

As a result of these presumptuous errors, division and blindness have prevailed in the visible church, leaving only the spiritually-blind human mind as a means of perception and relation to God.  However, God is a living, spiritual being, and you absolutely cannot know Him by the mind – by reasoning about spiritual things, theology, or whatever else.  God MUST be known in spirit, in the light, by revelation and communion. 

I am working on a parable of sorts that I wrote illustrating these things, specifically focusing on revelation being like breaking chains.  I may post it sometime.  : )  Thanks for reading.

 

  1. Matthew 16:17: “And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon [a]Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
  2. John 5:19: “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”
  3. Ephesians 5:13: “But all things become visible when they are [a]exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”
 
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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Father’s Good Pleasure (Rich Toward God pt. 3)

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“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”1  -Jesus Christ

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”2

Jesus and the first apostles said often that God’s children are not to fear.  The ultimate reason behind that exhortation is always the love of God the Father I believe fear and love are opposites.  Fear is a driving force of the blind soul (mind, life) of man, while love is a driving force of man’s divine spirit.  Fear is rooted in insecurity and leads to self-focus of a million different forms.  Love is rooted in being secure in God and is absent of self-awareness. 

*Note: You can skip this paragraph if you’re familiar with the parable I examined in parts 1 and 2 of the “Rich Toward God” blogs.  If not, here’s a quick refresher: a man has fields that produce a harvest larger than his barns can hold.  He reasons within himself and decides to build bigger barns, store up all his produce, and take it easy for years to come.  God then visits him and tells him he’s foolish, because his life is being taken and all he planned or worked for will not benefit him at all.  Jesus says this is how it will be for everyone who stores up treasure for themselves and are not “rich toward God,” meaning to have an abundance of the spiritual things God finds valuable. 

The verses immediately following this parable (22-34 or so) are probably more well-known to most Christians, but many (like me until just recently) don’t seem to realize they are a continuation of the train of thought which began with the preceding parable.  It’s important to note that while the parable was given to the crowd that gathered around Jesus, the teaching that followed is said to be given exclusively to his disciples; to the few who truly and consistently followed him.  Therefore what he said doesn’t necessarily apply to those on the “broad way” who claim to follow Jesus but in reality just want their needs supplied.

In these verses, the first thing Jesus instructs his disciples is to “take no thought” or “do not be anxious/worried/preoccupied” regarding physical needs such as food and clothing! He then reminds his disciples that life goes beyond what is sustained by physical food, and the body goes beyond the physical shell we clothe.  Jesus said that though we are worth much more than birds or flowers, His Father yet provides food for the birds who have no barns (unlike the rich man) and He beautifully clothes the flowers though they don’t toil (unlike the rich man again).  Worrying about and trying to prolong or benefit our natural life (like the rich man did) is contrary to the way of a follower of Jesus, and storing up earthly treasures for ease or security will actually tie down one’s heart (awareness, devotion) to the earth.  That’s “no bueno” for a someone seeking to follow the spiritual path of their master.

Here’s Jesus conclusion: 

“For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”3

It’s interesting, there are two different Greek words used for “seek” in this passage.  The nations of the world “epizeteo” selfish needs such as food, clothing, ease and security.  Epizeteo means to seek selfishly, in order to satisfy a desire or craving.  Jesus said that instead, or differently, his followers are to “zeteo” the kingdom of God, which means to seek with no strings attached, simply for the worth or beauty of the thing sought.  Zeteo is actually a form of worship.

Again, God is well aware that His children have physical needs, and His kingdom (rule, dominion) includes them.  Therefore, Jesus can say this next:  “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.4

Isn’t that beautiful and exciting?  God found it good and fitting to give the kingdom to the “little” flock that followed Jesus.  In the first chapters of Acts, we can see some of what the spirit of Christ in them began to do, under his headship.  There are two types of seekers: needers and worshipers.  I think still today it is God’s “good pleasure” to give the kingdom to those who seek it as worshipers, as those who want God to be glorified regardless of their own ease or security.  Those who seek the kingdom and righteousness of God in order to know and worship Him don’t need to fear or worry about their physical needs. 

Do you ever find yourself, with no ulterior motive, stirred to know, worship and give glory to God?  Do you have even a small desire or inkling to be free of religion, pat answers and bland doctrines?  If so, I pray that desire is fanned into flame.  However small or weak your desire may seem, use it.  I think the “flock” of true disciples today is still relatively little, but I also hope and believe this flock will grow.  It will require a revolution, though.  Come, Lord Jesus.   

 

  1. Luke 12:32 NASB
  2. Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV 
  3. Luke 12:30-31 ESV  
  4. Luke 12:32 ESV  

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Plato’s Cave

Many of you may not know this, but I find metaphysics and quantum physics very interesting.  That doesn’t mean I understand them terribly well, but they are fascinating fields.  I may write more about some of my thoughts on these subjects sometime, but here I just want to present you with a classic allegory from ancient philosophy. 

Maybe you have heard of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, or his allegory of the cave?  Published around 380 A.D., it is one of the most well-known allegories from all of philosophy.  I think it parallels in many ways the message of Jesus and the apostles, and is worth checking out.  Instead of writing about it, I included a YouTube video which summarizes the allegory in under 3 minutes, using old Nintendo “sprites.” It’s like watching ancient philosophy played out in a 1985 video game  : ) 

Consider it’s message in light of Jesus’ teaching that the kingdom of God is within, that life is not found in possessions, and especially the teaching in Colossians 2:16-17 and Hebrews 8:4-5 and 10:1 that the rituals and laws of the old covenant are just “shadows” of the true and real things themselves in Christ.  Romans 5:14 even indicates Adam serves as a representation of Christ who was to come later.  It’s an interesting thought, for sure.  I would have enjoyed hearing some of Paul’s debates and conversations with the Greek philosophers, as in Acts 17.

Anyway, here’s the video.  Enjoy:  Plato’s Cave

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Rich Toward God, pt. 2

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I believe all Jesus’ parables are given to believers, and each time a man is spoken of, he represents a group of people.  This rich man represents a “church” which is carnal, or led by her darkened mind.  Immediately after making up his mind to build bigger barns to store up his grain and goods, God addresses him directly: You fool! (literally: “one without perception!”) This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’  To be seen as a fool by the God you claim to worship is truly sad. 

Jesus concludes this parable by contrasting two ways of life, which I believe are mutually exclusive:  “So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”  The foolish rich man planned and labored to “lay up treasure,” i.e. to get ease and security, for himself.  As I mentioned before, it’s possible to, by all appearances, be very good in doing this, but the real issue is the SOURCE of the plan and action.  In this case, the source was this man’s own mind/soul. 

Being “rich toward God” is entirely differentRich toward God” literally translates “rich toGod,” meaning to be rich in God’s sight, or: “to possess and be that which God finds desirable.” The “rich toward God” have an inward ownership of spiritual riches such as wisdom, understanding, and fruit.  They are those who have been given eyes to see, ears to hear and have used these senses.  They have nourished the seed of God’s Word and life in them, and are producing a crop of spiritual fruit.  The independent soul of man cannot and will not value the things God finds desirable. No amount of success in any plan or goal which came from one’s own reasoning will survive the testing fire of God, thus the result will be “poverty toward God!”  We have to be so careful and diligent on this issue, because the transition from soul to spirit/Adam to Christ is not instant or easy, and many in their blindness continue to walk foolishly and will lose everything they worked for.

If we want to follow Jesus, we MUST NOT live from and according to that life and realm which is done away in Christ,1 which God has no desire for or dealings with.  Again, this can be called many things with fair accuracy: the old man, the carnal/fleshly/natural mind, the Adamic nature, soul, ego, self, natural life. This is the realm which in Christ has been done away, and what we must continue to reject.  It’s this we are to be set free from.  There is no other option – to follow Christ’s way requires rejection of self/flesh/Adam/soul/carnal mind/”reason.”  Jesus said so himself.  To persist in blindness and carnality, no matter one’s behavior or beliefs, will result in the loss of everything.

I think everyone is either storing up treasure from and for themselves, or coming to possess spiritual wealth in God’s eyes by seeking His word, heeding it, and humbling themselves (in other words, by following the way of Jesus).  If you sense truth in this, sincerely ask God to lead you to true wealth and seek Him diligently.  Repentance is always step #1, and it’s simply changing your mind to conform to what God is showing you by revelation.  I am leaning towards making a part 3 sometime in which I look at the famous teaching Jesus gave immediately following this parable, which makes more sense when you keep this parable in mind.  Maybe I’ll do so in a video.  I hope this blog is something the Spirit of God can use.  God bless you.

 

1. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Rich Toward God, Pt. 1

 

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The words of Jesus are unparalleled, just as Jesus is unparalleled.  They are the foundation for those who would follow him. Everything else, including bible verses, must be filtered through his teachings.  If we are building our walk and understanding on the teachings of Paul, Peter, popes, pastors, presidents, preachers, or anyone else, we’re mistaken.  I would like to look at one of Jesus’ parables.

Luke 12:15-22 NAS77 And (Jesus) said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (16) And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man was very productive. (17) “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ (18) “And he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. (19) ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”‘ (20) “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ (21) “So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (22) And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on.

I am convinced every parable of Jesus has an ultimately spiritual meaning and application. Therefore, I don’t think he is really concerned with whether people store grain up or not.  His concern is much deeper – where our awareness is and the source of life we are drawing from.  (More on that in a bit).  It’s very important to notice the very first thing this man does – he begins reasoning to himself.This literally translates he reasonedwithin himself.” Then, he begins consulting his own “soul” (self) for guidance. These two actions underlie the whole meaning of this parable.

I realize that reason and self-consultation may seem harmless enough in the eyes of man, but spiritually, these things are absolutely fatal. Remember, in Romans 8 and elsewhere, Paul taught that the carnal mind (our natural, rational, non-spiritual mind) is hostile to God, and can’t know Him.  Consulting his non-spiritual, carnal mind for guidance was this man’s fundamental error, leading directly to his demise.  What’s scary is he seemed to think he was being wise, having no idea he was off track at all. 

Because God sees spiritually and men see fleshly, many who profess to believe in Christ have been occupied with the wrong problems and ignorant of one of the fundamental problems, which is fairly simple: our fleshly mind and natural life, whatever form they take, are at enmity with God, period.  Behavior and correct beliefs are secondary issues at best. What matters to God is the substance being presented to Him; flesh or spirit, Adam or Christ, shadow or reality, tradition or truth, reason or revelation, pretense or humility.  Jesus makes it very clear the rich man is aware of and living from his blind carnal mind and soul, which is the “old” God now has no dealings with.This man’s wealth reminds me of Revelation 3:17, where Jesus summarizes the Laodicean church’s attitude as: “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing…”  But where man sees wealth, God sees destitution.

Immediately before telling this parable, Jesus gives a warning which also has to do with this parable’s meaning: Beware, and be on your guard against all covetousness; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”  Here’s an alternative translation: Be seeing, (requires spiritual light/revelation and rejection of the fleshly mind) and be guarding against all covetousness, because abounding life doesn’t come from the things one possesses.” Covetousness = a desire to have more. In verse 18, this man decides to build bigger barns to store up his “grain” and “goods.” I think these represent whatever our soul takes pleasure or finds security in. Perhaps “grain” specifically represents material possessions (food, money, houses, etc), while “goods” represent the good works we do which we feel endear us to God and ensure our place in heaven. The human soul is very fearful. Consulting his soul brought a fear of lack, leading to covetousness, leading to blindness, which led to a hard heart and being cut off from God’s spiritual, eternal, vibrant life.  What is more valuable than that?  This is why Jesus warned not to connect possessions and “life.”  In reality, they have nothing to do with each-other. 

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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