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Light and Darkness

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“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints…”  -Ephesians 1:17-18

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts…”  -Ephesians 4:17-18

Most of still today relate to God through law, believing that it is primarily our behavior/obedience that determines our relationship with Him, although we don’t have much of an explanation for why He seems so inconsistent in when and who He punishes and seems to reward.  I have elaborated on this issue before, but for this post, suffice it to say I believe we relate to God in this way because we don’t understand the radical change that took place in moving from the Old to the New Covenant – radical enough to change the definition of “obedience.”  In the Old Covenant, obedience was about keeping laws, about doing and not doing the correct things.  In the New Covenant, obedience is about having a renewed mind and walking in the light and Life of the Spirit within us – all of which are impossible when law is in focus, because law fuels self-awareness, fear, and sin.  I’m not making this up by the way, it’s in your Bible!1

At the top, I quoted two passages from the writings of the apostle Paul, who wrote powerfully about the New Covenant.  In Ephesians 1, notice what he says is the key to know the hope of the God’s invitation to us, and to experience the riches of His glorious inheritance: enlightenment of the heart.   Notice also what he says in Ephesians 4 is the one thing that alienates men from the Life of God: darkness of the understanding.  Both, as is obvious, are not outward behaviors, but inward perceptions and ways of seeing.  I believe that if we humble ourselves and genuinely seek the Spirit of God to enlighten the eyes of our hearts, being willing to let go of our precious doctrines and religious ways, it will happen.  Scripture says whoever humbles themself will be given grace and sight.  It is a renewal of the eyes/perception of the heart that constitutes “repentance,” which Jesus and the apostles said is the essential starting point to live within the kingdom (will, rule and reign) of God.  

The law, which empowered sin, is fulfilled and gone.  It was put away, nailed to the cross and ended in Christ.  Therefore, sin, as we usually think of it, doesn’t exist.1  As I’ve said many times, the issue now isn’t to avoid bad behavior, but to receive an enlightened heart and understanding so that we may knowingly and willingly participate in the things of God.  This is even more important when you realize that only what is Spiritual in origin will stand the purification of fire and the shaking which ALL people and things will undergo.  I’m writing more about this right now.  Again, this doesn’t mean we become better at stopping bad things and doing good things.  This means we become new creations according to a new identity and Life, which are part of the nature/Spirit of God Himself that dwells within us.  We walk in a different realm, with a whole new perception of things, so to speak.

The way of Christ is this: to abide in light/reality and overwhelm darkness/imagination, to walk in the spirit and deny the flesh, to receive grace and abandon self-righteousness, to see by faith and blind the eyes of flesh, to love and not to resist/demand/expect, to taste of death so that others might taste of Life.  As I’ve said before, it’s a much, much higher way than simply avoiding bad behaviors.  It’s actually MORE demanding and radical, but also much more life-giving!

I hope you’ll check back soon.   Bless you all.

 

 

  1. Colossians 2:11-15 ESV: “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, (12) having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. (All this already happened.  Your circumcision in Spirit, your burial and resurrection.  In Christ it’s all done, and you are in Christ).  (13) And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, (14) by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (15) He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

    1. Along these lines, you can see also Romans chapters 5-7.  Specifically you could look at 5:13, 5:20, 6:14, 7:5-8, along with 1 Corinthians 15:56.  Hebrews also says we were perfected forever (in God’s sight) by the one, single sacrifice of Christ, and that God remembers our sins and lawless deeds NO MORE.  This is the solid foundation for us to walk without consciousness of sin.  This is also in part because no law = no sin.  Sin as in the old covenant sense of “don’t do this or that.”  Just as sin was taken away, our “obedience” is different too now.  Obedience in the Greek language means “conformity.”  How can you conform/obey rules if there aren’t any?  In the New Covenant, obedience/conformity isn’t about adhering to a set of rules, but to one’s identity as a son of God, full of love and light, one who is enlivened by the Spirit and not the fear-based flesh. It’s all too easy to follow rules with a wicked heart.  The pharisees did it in Jesus’ day and many religious people still do the same today.  God has no desire for that.  He looks for those who walk as sons in love and in the light and power of His spirit, without worrying about their behavior at all.  

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Posted by on February 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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No More Children

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And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…”  (Ephesians 4:11-18 KJV)

I’ve heard it said that doctors can’t truly heal anyone; all they can do is to somehow help the body be able to heal itself. I think this is true, and it’s the same spiritually. One thing Paul writes in Ephesians 4 is that some healthy members of Christ’s body have been assigned certain functions by God, aimed at ensuring the body as a whole is functioning as intended.  The words “apostle,” “prophet,” 0r “pastor” aren’t special positions of leadership, they are functions of service to the body.  Their main role is to identify and remove spiritual trash, and prevent or heal spiritual disease, like a waste management system in a city, or an immune system in a body.  Paul said the goal is that the entire body of Christ become united and in harmony, building itself up in love and coming to the fullness of Christ, the spirit of God.

So what does spiritual trash or disease look like?  The New Testament actually answers this question over and over, including in the passage above, where Paul identifies some unhealthy or useless things that need to be eradicated: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive…”   That’s a bit wordy, but it just means that in order to be healthy and mature, the body of Christ as a whole must heed and taught by the spirit of God instead of the natural mind of man.  We must leave behind the multitude of religious doctrines which are taught as divine yet have been shaped in the minds of selfish men.  The shocking truth, which is strongly supported by the apostles and Jesus himself, is that the most trash-producing and disease-causing force among the body of Christ isn’t “sin” as we have been taught – it’s the multitude of doctrines and religious ways which have been formed in the mind of man!  Therefore, as I have said, I believe Paul is saying the primary role of apostles, prophets, pastors, etc. is simply to help remove or nullify these useless and damaging “winds (influences) of doctrine” from among God’s people, so that they can receive and live from the life of God (also known as “Christ”) within them.  That sounds easy or simple, but many people see their way and understanding as divine and/or find their identity in it, so as a result they strongly resist the idea that they have been deceived, and will shun or even persecute those who say so.  However, if we’re going to mature, we ALL have to face this fact: many things we have been taught and many ideas or “truths” we have held dear and defended, are false and distracting at best, or spiritually poisonous at worst.  It’s called humility, and it’s a prerequisite for true salvation.1

In the last verses of the passage above, Paul, as an apostle, pleaded and “testified in the Lord” that the members of Christ’s body “no longer(meaning at least some still did) walk like those who haven’t been awakened to the reality of Christ within them – living according to the darkness of the natural human mind, being alienated from the life of God because of ignorance and a calloused heart.  Do you see that the only fault Paul warned about was not “sin” or bad behavior, but to stubbornly live from one’s human mind and nature, without the light of spiritual revelation as the foundation of understanding? That is what is spiritually deadly, not cursing or drinking or looking at pornography or losing one’s temperTo live from one’s own mind and nature results in alienation from the life of God which is within and available all the time.  Religion is essentially darkness imitating light; it is formed when blind men (which is ALL men apart from the spirit), instead of admitting their blindness and waiting for the gift of sight in order to proceed on solid ground, instead pretend or convince themselves they can see based on doctrines they believe.  Religious men stumble in gross darkness, yet proclaim how wonderful what they see is.  They may be so blind they will spend their whole lives, even die, for an idea which has no existence in the mind or heart of God.

If you teach others – then please, please, for your own sake and for the sake of others, make sure first and foremost that you understand the new covenant, the basis of which is to live by the spirit/anointing of God (Christ) in you, and are pointing others to do the same.  I am becoming more and more convinced that spending time in quiet spiritual communion with God, away from the teachings of men and without any sense of obligation or agenda, is ESSENTIAL to begin to be taught by the Spirit of God and learn to recognize what is and is not of Him.  I honestly think this is how all spiritual knowledge is given, and it’s not usually easy or quick. The Bible can help inform you or keep you on track, but it is not “divine” itself, and even it is subject to the spirit. Sometimes, the natural mind just has to be made to shut up, to be quieted, so you can be aware of God’s presence, letting him minister to you in ways deeper than thought.  This can be done anywhere at any time, but the less distractions and noises the better.

Let’s realize that the spirit of God is very able to teach and lead us.  Let’s humble ourselves by being willing to see just how wrong and off-base we may have been, no matter how right it seemed we or others were.  Let’s shut up our minds in God’s presence, and let go of what we “think” and what WE “believe,” allowing His spirit and presence to minister to us, communing with Him spirit to spirit apart from any duty or agenda.  As we do, we’ll receive revelation, we’ll receive guidance, we’ll find the fruit of the spirit appearing in our lives naturally, instead of religiously trying to force things we really don’t find within.  This is my heart, and I hope I’m in some way serving the body of Christ in these writings.  God bless you.

 

1.James 4:6, Ephesians 2:8

2 Corinthians 5:14, 1 Corinthians 15:45

2. Romans 14:17

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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From, Through, and Into

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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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