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How to Block Faith and Prevent Righteousness

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“I have come in my Father’s name and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, who receive glory of one another and the glory that comes from the only God, you do not seek?” -Jesus                      (John 5:43-44 MLV)

As I first learned from Jason Henderson of http://www.marketstreetfellowship.com, there really aren’t separate words for “believe” and “faith” in the Greek language, which the Bible was originally written in.  In the Greek, the word usually translated “believe” is pisteueo, which is just the verb form of the Greek noun pistis, which is translated “faith.” These words are so similar because they both come from the same Greek root verb, peitho.  So, in scripture, to “believe” is nothing more or less than to use faith.

Perhaps in part because the Bible uses both “faith” and “belief” to translate the same basic word, we have come to think of “faith” and “belief” as the same thing, defining them roughly as: “a mental confidence that something is true or reliable.  Of course, everyone has such a belief and puts it to use on a daily basis.  This is fine, but we need to realize that mere belief is both unreliable and spiritually inadequate.  While genuine faith INCLUDES a “mental confidence that something is true or reliable,” scripture makes it clear faith often includes something more, a spiritual component.  While everyone has belief, scripture says faith is given by God in various portions, and some have none at all.  In a nutshell, faith could be defined as “a divine gift of perception and insight, allowing one to agree with and walk in line with spiritual truth and reality.”  (See footnote 1 at the bottom for more scriptures).  In this way, faith enables righteousness, because without faith, we cannot perceive the ways of the Spirit and cannot walk according to the Father’s heart and will.

Understanding that faith involves using the gift of spiritual perception changes the meaning of many scriptures.  For example, in the passage at the top of this post, Jesus isn’t saying that those who “receive glory of one another” instead of God cannot “believe” in the sense that they cannot mentally agree with certain facts about God.  Instead, those who receive the glory of men cannot receive and have FAITH, and therefore cannot receive the grace of God or walk in righteousness.2  What Jesus actually said is this: “you cannot perceive and walk in the path of divine truth, when you selfishly receive and give glory and esteem to one-another, but do not seek the glory and honor of the only God, the source and object of faith.”

So, if you want to ensure that you are not able to walk in faith and righteousness, then make sure you are more concerned with receiving or giving esteem to other men than you are with seeking the esteem of God alone.  The lesson here, to me, is that if I want to continue to be granted faith and walk righteously with God, I must be sure that I am not in any way occupied with giving OR receiving glory/praise from men.  If men esteem you, fine.  If they don’t, fine.  But what is NOT fine is to in any way seek to be praised or esteemed by anyone but God, or put someone else in the place of esteem which God alone should occupy.  If we do, then according to Jesus we will be prevented from walking in faith and maintaining righteousness.

I know that “righteous by faith alone” is a central tenet of Christianity, and it’s true, but righteousness is not the same thing as justification!  We are justified and sanctified once and for all, by the death and resurrection of Christ, but one can be justified and sanctified without being righteous, because righteousness is a state that is maintained by faith, in which one is seeing and walking according to God’s heart and will in the present moment!  We will not face God’s wrath or end up in an eternal hell, period.  But we’ve got to move past the purely selfish focus on where we end up, and focus on the far bigger matter of God’s Kingdom!  If we want to walk with God and establish His Kingdom on earth, we must maintain righteousness by continually walking in faith. 

As I’ve said before, I believe humility is the prerequisite for just about everything of spiritual value we can receive or be a part of. 

“But don’t you be called ‘Rabbi,’ for one is your teacher, the Christ, and all of you are brothers. Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Matthew 23:8-12 WEB (R))

So, my aim is to humble myself before God, to acknowledge my weaknesses and propensity for error, and seek to be taught by Him alone.  As I rest in the fact that my Father is good and loves me, regardless of what happens in my natural life, as I rest in the fact that He will never leave or forsake me and dwells within, I can begin to let go of the beliefs and religious obligations I have accumulated out of fear and regard for men, and start the walk of faith and righteousness.

Bless you!

 

 

  • Footnote 1:
    • Romans 12:3: “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
    • 1 Corinthians 12:7-9:  “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit…”
    • Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…”
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2: “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.”
    • Hebrews 11:3: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
 
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Posted by on October 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Steer Clear of the Law, Son

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This post is a little long, though I think it’s enlightening, thought-provoking and well worth reading.  However, for those who don’t have the desire or time to read it all, I’ve made a “TLDR” summary.  If you want to know more, you’ll have to read on. 

(TL;DR) Summary

  • Jesus’ primary purpose was to reclaim the Father’s Kingdom on earth, not to get us to heaven.
  • Living by law will prevent one from following Jesus in sonship and should be avoided just as we should avoid following the flesh.
  • Jesus didn’t just free us from Moses’ law, but from any and all forms of a law-based relationship to God, because…
  • …a relationship of law creates servants, while love-empowered faith creates sons.  God delights in sons and earth needs them.  
  • Sonship is the higher calling.  Like on earth, sons are intimately involved with their Father in running His Kingdom, while servants just thanklessly tend to it.
  • Love empowers faith and enables grace, which are elements of sonship.  Law prevents them.

 

Ok.  Here’s a big question, which someone I really respect posed recently:  Which scenario honestly makes more sense and is more God-honoring?

  1. The son of God came to earth, lived a life of suffering, and died in agony in order to get us to heaven.
  2. The son of God came to earth to reclaim his Father’s Kingdom, which Adam lost.

Although almost all of Christianity is focused on scenario 1, I am convinced the answer is scenario 2, and scripture proves it.  The thing is, the tendency toward self-focus in the heart of man is so strong that unless it’s displaced, all scripture or other testimony of God’s will which don’t involve self in some way will be pushed aside.  The Father’s purpose in sending Christ was not for you or I personally, it was for His Kingdom.  Everything else, including our salvation, is secondary and merely a part of that bigger purpose.  Our primary value and honor lie in participating in the Kingdom of God as a son (or daughter – sonship in this sense is gender-neutral).  For us to truly follow Christ (which is all he asked) as a son, inheriting and participating in their Father’s Kingdom, some radical changes must take place, transitioning the church from servanthood into sonship and darkness into light (one could also say Adam into Christ).  One of these changes is coming to avoid law as much as or even more than avoiding the corrupt, sinful flesh.  Maybe that sounds strange or flat wrong, but bear with me and it might be more convincing.

The issue of “law” is really interesting.  Jesus mentioned it more than once and Paul wrote about it extensively, but I still don’t think we really understand it.  Many times in scripture when “the law” is being discussed, the original text simply says “law.”  This is actually a big point, because it demonstrates that we’re not just freed from THE law, as in the law of Moses which all of Israel was familiar with around Jesus’ time, but from law entirely – free from a law-based relationship with God – and freed to a relationship of sonship!  

If you or I follow our flesh, we will be cut off from the Kingdom of God (though this doesn’t mean we burn for eternity).  Likewise, if we embrace and follow law, we will be cut off from Christ and separated from grace.  This essentially means believers who persist in a relationship of law, though their sins are atoned for, will never rise from the status of servants to sons and will thus never be able to intimately co-operate with God.  I don’t know about you, but I want to avoid both of those outcomes. Law produces servants, not sons, because it only deals with flesh and external behavior.  Faith and love deal with the spirit, affecting the heart and producing a relationship of sonship.  Law and faith are forever opposed, just as flesh and spirit are opposed.  I could probably give a dozen or more relevant scriptures supporting these statements, but don’t have room.  Here are just a few:

  • (Gal 5:19-21 MLV): “Now the works of the flesh are apparent, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, carnal indulgences, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, selfish ambitions, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelings and things similar to these; which I told to you beforehand, also just-as I did say to you beforehand, that those who practice similar things– they will not inherit the kingdom of God!”
  •  (Gal 3:10-12a MLV): “For as many as are out of works of law (“out of” is the literal Greek translation, meaning works of law are the basis of relationship) are under a curse; for it has been written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not remain in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’ (If you break one commandment one time, you are irreversibly guilty as a law-breaker.  See James 2:10).  Now it is evident that no one is justified by law (not only “the” law, but law generally) before God; because, ‘The righteous will live by faith.’  And the law is not from faith…”  There is no right relationship/standing with God from law, only from ongoing faith. Law is “do this, don’t do that, or else.”  Faith is a moment-by-moment walk in the spirit by divine revelation.
  • (Gal 5:2-6 WEB (R)): “Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law (a relationship of law is all or nothing). You are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace. For we, through the Spirit, by faith wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but (all that really matters or has importance in the spiritual realm is what comes from) faith working through love (literally: “faith which is energized by love”).
  • (Php 3:9 WEB (R)):  “…and be found in him (Christ), not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith…”
  • (Rom 10:3-8 ESV):  For, (Israel) being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness (righteousness in God’s eyes isn’t connected to law). For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). (In this sense, Christ as the word of God, isn’t “up there” or “down there.”  The word is a spiritual reality within you.  “Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory,” Paul wrote).1  But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim)…”

Law is very familiar to our thinking, and it’s influence can be very subtle.  The minute our walk with God becomes based on do’s and dont’s, we are relating by law and cut off from Christ.  It’s not that doing bad or following the corrupt desires of the flesh is acceptable – I already mentioned that doing so will get you shut out of the Kingdom of God (which is as terrible as a burning hell for someone who loves Him).  It’s that do’s and dont’s are the basis of law, and faith and love never enter the equation, thus grace is prevented and sonship is thwarted.  For us to walk as a son, love, faith, and grace aren’t optional, they’re essential.  Grace is God’s influence on our heart, and faith is a divinely-given sight and conviction, given to the spirit.  Love empowers faith and enables grace, so above all, seek to love one-another with love that is generated from the divine presence within you and around you.  Amen.  

 

1.  Colossians 1:27

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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God Is

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(Elihu speaking to Job): “Surely you (Job) have spoken in my hearing, And I have heard the sound of your words, (saying): ‘I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent and there is no guilt in me.’ Behold, He (God) invents pretexts against me; He counts me as His enemy. ‘He puts my feet in the stocks; He watches all my paths.’  –Behold, let me tell you, you are not right in this, For God is greater than man.” (Job 33:8-12 NAS77)

A thought occurred to me earlier today, pretty much out of the blue. It’s basically this: If there is an invisible, spiritual/supernatural realm, distinct from the natural/physical world, why do we expect the supernatural to follow the very same “rules” as the natural world? If God and the spiritual realm are truly different, we should actually expect them to not operate the same way as the natural realm does. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised or even perplexed if the spiritual realm doesn’t follow laws or a logical “cause and effect” relationship like things do in the physical world.

Let’s remember that God isn’t a man, and he doesn’t have a human mind or brain like you and I do. According to the new testament scriptures in the Bible, there are three “God is ____” statements that are true: God is light, God is the Spirit, and God is love.1

I know many are struggling to see God or understand Him, especially in the midst of doubts and hardships of all kinds. I guess what I’m getting at is to remind us that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so not understanding His ways doesn’t mean He isn’t real or doesn’t care. Because He operates on a different level than our natural minds and natural world do, His ways and the ways of the spiritual world in general won’t often make sense to our natural minds and logic.

I DO believe God is good, and I DO believe His nature is love and light and spirit. Let’s get in tune with Him, learn to commune with Him “in the spirit” like John and Paul and Peter (and so many others) have, instead of wasting time waiting for the spiritual realm to conform to our natural desires and expectations (that will be a LONG wait). God doesn’t cater to OUR expectations or even OUR desires, and He never will. God simply IS, and ONLY when and to the extent that His spirit enables us to share in His mind and view, can we begin to know and understand Him. Don’t be discouraged, keep seeking and don’t be afraid of new territory – that may be where God is.

1. 1 John 1:5 , John 4:24, 1 John 4:8

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Living in Spirit Means Quenching the Soul

We all can think of things we’ve read without any contemplation or understanding.  I think for many, a prime example for this from the Bible are verses which mention things pertaining to “spirit.”  For years, read about “spirit” and without much thought just took it as a vague concept that concerned God or people a lot more holy than I.  While I still don’t have full understanding, I do realize that the spiritual realm is the realm of God Himself and that to know God requires one to be able to relate to him there.

I’ve written about this before, but the spiritual realm is deeper than the oh-so familiar realm of the soul – the realm of human feelings, will, and thought.  For most people, including highly religious people, their entire sphere of life and awareness is in the realm of the soul.  This is worthless in God’s eyes.  Religion often mislabels as spiritual things that are in reality just “good” things of the soul, such as unusual or profound feelings, deep or new doctrines, or various other experiences.  These things are all sourced in the human soul.  This is why after the experiences are over and the novelty is worn off, there is no lasting change.  The soul in and of itself is unstable and ever-changing.

I want to look at one idea that is fairly common in the Christian sphere; the notion of “walking in the spirit.”  Galatians 5:16 says: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”  Many of us have read that, but I’d guess much fewer of us have taken the time to genuinely meditate, study, and seek God for what that truly means.  Without understanding, which is given by the spirit of God, information is useless.  

I want to look more specifically at Galatians 5:25, which states: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”  Paul is saying that living and walking by the spirit are connected; if we are to do the first, we must do the second also.  I believe this verse literally means: “If we are to live in the realm of the spirit, we must follow and conform to the spirit’s direction moment by moment.”  Our comfort-loving flesh wants things to be automatic and easy.  But nothing in the Kingdom of God is automatic.  We must daily fight and struggle to follow and conform to the leading of the spirit, if we are to be those who live in the spirit, as Jesus did.  He set us that example for us to follow.  

What must we fight and struggle against?  Christianity would have us believe it’s our bad behavior, our “sins” that make us unspiritual and that we must fight.  But that has nothing to do with it.  Primarily, our struggle is against our own soul, which is influenced by our flesh and our various religious indoctrinations.  These are the things that oppose the walk in the spirit which is our inheritance. 

How does our soul oppose the spirit?  To be able to follow the spirit, it’s obvious we have to be sensitive to and aware of the spiritual realm.  But the spiritual realm is deeper and very different from the soulical.  It often doesn’t make sense to our soul, which is based on reason and logic.  To access the spiritual realm, we must be willing to learn to quench the dominance of our soul by silencing the chatter of our minds, stilling or choosing to ignore the raging of our own thoughts, reasonings and feelings.  When the human soul is subdued, we can begin to be aware of what the Spirit of God is revealing to us, Spirit-to-spirit.  If we don’t, then the human soul’s various doctrines, gathered over the years from unspiritual men, and the cacophony of our own thoughts and feelings will dominate our awareness, and we’ll remain carnal and soulish – little different from the world other than being better-behaved. 

Quenching our soul is somewhat akin to turning down a loud stereo in order to hear and focus on the underlying voice of a loved one, which is quieter but more important.  Food for thought, I hope.  God bless you.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Selfish Religion

It seems to me the primary goal of all religions is selfish. Buddhists seek Nirvana, Muslims seek heaven and in some cases perpetual sex, Mormons seek Godhood, Christians seek heaven, etc. Maybe this seems obvious or trivial at first, but after a little thought one can see any system that ultimately serves self does not honor another, (i.e. God). Doing or speaking good for an ultimately selfish end is not true love and makes everything a servant of self. Religions glorify and praise God(s) in word, song, and feeling. They advocate various forms of self-denial or hardship in order to please God, as well as advocate helping one’s fellow man. But when it’s all boiled down, the ultimate goal of each is a selfish one, and this totally prevents any true honor of another. Thus we see religion DOES NOT honor God.

I am coming from the perspective of a Christian, having been raised in the Christian world most of my life, and still near it and familiar with it in many ways. I can truly say that the goal of most Christians is to get to heaven and to avoid hell. Many Christians might deny this is their primary goal, but it is. Though this is impossible, if ALL promise of heaven and threat of hell were removed, most of Christianity would crumble. You see, only in freedom does one’s true nature come forth. Only when restraints and fear are removed do you see the true nature of the heart reflected in one’s actions.

Here’s a small example. Lets say a man owned two dogs, who he kept chained on the front porch while he went to work during the week. One Monday morning, after a long weekend, he put the dogs on the porch but forgot to chain them down. When he returned, one of the dogs had stayed right where he was left, and the other had run away. The owner was surprised, because the dog that ran had for years acted just as affectionate and loving as the one who stayed. But by running away, this dog showed that all along, he was loyal to his master only because he essentially had no choice. The other dog showed that his loyalty was from the heart, being proven by the test of freedom.

Freedom could be said to be a test. Only when one is free do you see the true motives of the heart come forth in the actions. Someone might object that there’s not freedom in Christianity, because of the constant threat of hell or judgment. Well, Christianity might teach that, but Jesus himself and the apostles taught that in Christ, we are free. Free from condemnation (Romans 8:1), free from law (Ephesians 2:13-19, book of Galatians), free from fear (Romans 8:15), free in God’s love, as a son (John 8:32-36). One thing we’re not freed from automatically is ourSELF. Salvation is a process which involves being freed from the influence of self, which is opposed to God.

It is very freeing to know God has adopted you into His family, that you have been cleansed by a once-for-all sacrifice, and that He isn’t watching over your shoulder to wait for you to sin so He can smite you. There’s many old-testament minded Pharisees today that will tell you otherwise, but this is the truth. For some, if they believed this, they would start pursuing the desires of their flesh/self. To do this is essentially to be your own god. But if you desire to be a disciple of Jesus, if you love the Father simply for who He is, you’ll follow and obey Him from your heart, from love no matter what you may get out of it or what happens to you. This was the attitude of Jesus – to do His Father’s will and to deny himSELF. It wasn’t and isn’t easy. The real goal of a follower of Jesus is to build and establish the Kingdom of God on earth – not to go to heaven. Examine your motives, and I pray we see that the glorious God is greater than we’ve ever known, His love is beyond our comprehension, and living for Him is the highest pursuit of all.  Amen.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Parable of the Vineyard, Pt. 3

At the end of this parable, Jesus switches and begins to speak in future-tense, of something to come later.  Jesus says “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you (religious leaders) and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.”  Allow me to answer a few questions here:  1). What is this fruit?  2). Has the vineyard exchanged hands yet?  3). What or who is this nation that will bear the fruit of the seed the landowner planted? 

Regarding question 1:  The book of Genesis says all seed produces offspring of the same kind as itself.  Therefore, the fruit that comes from the seed God planted is sons of God – those who think like Him and have His spirit.  If this sounds far-fetched, it’s because you’ve probably not been exposed to the plans of God, which are much bigger than religion realizes.  Consider these scriptures:  (Hebrews 2:10): For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory…”  (Romans 8:29): For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren.” 

Regarding question 2:  For many reasons I can’t expound on here, (but you can just look around and see it), I do not believe the faithful nation Jesus spoke of, who will will bring the seed to fruition, has shown up yet.  The vineyard was taken from the Scribes and Pharisees, to be sure.  But as prophesied in this parable and elsewhere, Christianity itself has followed the path of the Pharisees.  It’s done this by exalting tradition (thus nullifying the seed – God’s word), silencing His prophets, and rendering the worldwide church, i.e. the body of Christ, immature.  Christianity wants the inheritance (heaven) selfishly.  They don’t truly care about the landowner or His vineyard, only what they can get from Him. 

This is going to change.  The church was prophesied to follow the path of religion and blindness for a season, so this is no surprise or accident.  But we are at the beginning of th third 1,000 year day since Christ, and the 7th 1,000 year day since Adam.  Prophesied to come is the arrival of a people, with no religious identity at all, who will bring God’s word to maturity, repair the hedge, begin making new wine in the winepress, and man the watchtower.  They won’t be religious, but they will follow God in spiritual ways that don’t make sense to many.  Jesus will be their Lord – not in word, but in reality.  They will walk as he walked – devoted to their Father, attentive to his voice, and concerned with truth rather than morality or self-improvement.

If you want to be a part of that people, I believe the surest way is to deny yourSELF (including all the religious knowledge you’ve gained) and seek desperately to hear God’s voice, develop intimacy with Him, and follow Him on a daily basis.  The standard of a follower of Jesus is not ANY religious ideas or Bible verses, but God’s present voice.   He speaks today, Spirit to spirit.  Get your mind quiet and free of pre-conceptions and begin to let Him teach you in the spirit.  Amen.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Parable of the Vineyard, pt.1

(Mark 12, NKJV): Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some. Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.“Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
11 This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.

If you didn’t read all that, I’ll summarize the parable.  A man built a vineyard, leased it out, and went away on a journey.  He sent some servants to check on the fruit of his vineyard, but the tenants watching the vineyard either beat or killed them, and left them with no fruit to take back to the master.  Finally, the master sent his own son in hopes the tenants would treat him better.  But the tenants saw this as an opportunity to kill the son and obtain his inheritance, which they did.  The master, upon his return, will destroy these tenants and give the vineyard to others.  In Mark 12:12, we actually are told that Jesus spoke this parable “against” the Pharisees (the religious establishment).

I am becoming more convinced all the time that Jesus’ earthly mission was as much anti-religion as it was pro-kingdom.  The two go together.  To build a new house, the old house must first be torn down and removed.  Learning a new habit often requires un-learning of an old habit.  Unlearning may be more difficult than learning, in fact.  To establish a new way of relating to God in spirit, rather than by law, the old way based on law and self-focused fear, which is the essence of religion, must be removed. 

As I type this, I remember that Jesus himself said this:  (Luke 5, NKJV)  37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”  Jesus wasn’t trying to sell some new wineskins for a little spending money.  I believe he was making a point about revealed truth.  If you try to put new wine (new revelation) into old wineskins (old mindsets and systems of belief), the new, fresh revelation will “burst” the old mindset and be “spilled” (lost).  It won’t work, and even the old mindset will be ruined.  First, you must get a new mindset (a process called repentance, see my previous blogs), and then the new revelation can be kept and used.

In my next post, I plan to look closer at the fuller meaning of the parable of the vineyard.  But believe it or not, the essence of this parable, which was spoken from the mouth of Jesus himself, is that religion, (no matter how “dressed up”), always focuses on self, always opposes spiritual growth and always hinders the expansion of the kingdom of God.  I’ll demonstrate this from Jesus own words next time.  Please check back, it’s an important message for the church today.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Immortality Road

Going Out to the Sons and Daughters of God

New Mystic Mother

A Mother :: Falling Into the Hands of Grace :: The Journey

Entering the Promised Land

by walking in the Spirit

SEE withyour HEART

I am a citizen of heaven...Phil 3:20

Spiritual Abuse Sanctuary

Exposing Spiritual Abuse

The Straight Way Church Blog

Making the Way straight for the scattered Remnant of God

Freedom ARC blog

Sons of Issachar - understanding the times

Done with Religion

Written by Jim Gordon - Living with God Outside the Walls of Religion

plucked out of the fire

Passionate about Christ being revealed in and through his people!

Ephesians 4

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

My utmost 4 His garbage can

we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus. 2 Cor. 4:5

The Voice of One

To know and preach nothing but Christ....

notesfromthebridge

Most would rather endure comfortable bondage, than experience uneasy freedom

Escape to Reality

Exploring the wide open spaces of God's amazing grace

Life of Yan ♥

My Name is Yanira Vargas. I am a Senior at Washington State University. I love all things expression and creative. I was in a relationship with my childhood best friend of 4 years, who happens to have had passed away with stage 3 brain cancer. I still believe in God, and in the beauty of mircles. Join me and embark on this journey with me.

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips)