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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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Go and Learn

“Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ (Matthew 9:13, ESV)

In the gospels, Jesus or his disciples often violated the customs and laws of the Jews. In Matthew 12:1-2, Jesus’ disciples flagrantly violate the sabbath law.  The Pharisees, enraged, confront Jesus about this, but he defends them.  I believe Jesus’ response to their accusation holds a key to the new covenant, to understanding God’s heart, and to avoiding the immaturity, blindness, deception, divisiveness, and judgmentalism the law brings.  He quotes from Hosea 6:6 (in bold): “And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”  What a beautiful statement. They clearly broke the law, yet Jesus said they were “guiltless.”

I know a man who said: “God is love, not law.” That is so true. Law was always intended to be temporary, useful for showing man his weakness and sinfulness, and as a “foreshadowing” of the law’s fulfillment – Christ himself.1  Christ, not law, is the revelation of the Father’s heart. But how were the disciples guiltless while clearly breaking the law?  The answer is too deep for me to elaborate or see fully, but consider this: you can’t break a law which doesn’t apply to you. According to United States federal law, if I buy and drink a can of beer at age 20, I break the law. Once I turn 21, that law doesn’t apply to me anymore, and I can drink the very same beer without being a law-breaker. True believers are “in Christ,” have died and risen with Christ, and the law does not apply.  As well, in Christ the law is fulfilled, done away, and supersededYou can’t break a law when in the presence of the one who fulfills and supersedes that law, and walking according to his heart.  This is partly what Jesus meant when he said he is “Lord of the Sabbath.”2 

In Matthew 9:13, Jesus actually tells the Pharisees to “go and learn” what God truly desires, as stated through the prophet Hosea.  This is the only time in scripture Jesus tells the Pharisees to “learn” anything, implying he is pointing out something essential for religious, law-minded, fearful people to understand if they are to mature. Here’s the full statement Jesus quoted from: (Hosea 6:6, NKJV): “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”  Like Jesus, I encourage you to “go and learn” what this means from the only true and trustworthy teacher: the Holy Spirit of God.

Remember, God is love, not law. I believe God has spoken to me, more than once, that He is grieved by the way religion has represented Him; as some sort of unmerciful tyrant who will either eternally torture or severely punish those who slip up.  That’s not His heart.  Look at Jesus’ life. He refused to condone or allow the stoning of a woman caught in adultery, though the law said that was the punishment. He refused to attribute any wrong to his disciples, though they clearly broke the Sabbath. He welcomed various “sinners” into his presence.  He taught love for enemies, doing good to those who mistreat you, loving one-another as he loved us, to honor the Father, to deny self, take up your cross, and follow him. He shows us the Father, as he and the Father are one.  Jesus’ life and way were spiritual and free, being of an entirely different sort than the common Christian way of trying to act good, “stop sinning,” and acquire correct beliefs.  Change can be scary and hard, but He’s worth it.

 

  1. Galatians 2-4, Ephesians 2:15, Colossians 2:17, Hebrews 7:18, 8:5, 10:1, Rom. 3:21, 4:14-16, 7:4, 10:4
  2. Matthew 12:8
 
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Posted by on May 22, 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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The Source of Corruption and Source of Love

“…He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” (2 Peter 1:4)

“The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)

I noticed something striking as I read the passage from 2 Peter above.  In it, Peter actually tells us the source of the corruption in the world and how one can escape it!  I’m not claiming to fully understand or explain everything contained in that verse, I just want to show you some things that became clearer as I looked at this passage closer, some things I think will be quite helpful.  Understanding, I believe, is a prerequisite of manifestation. 

The corruption in the world has come, we are told, by means of “lust,” which is translated from the underlying Greek word epithumia.  Today we often associate lust with sex, but epithumia is more broad, essentially meaning “craving or passionate desire.”  It usually, but not always, refers to a craving for something forbidden or self-serving.

“Corruption” in scripture broadly refers to everything outside of God’s kingdom, because ultimately, everything outside of God’s kingdom will be destroyed.1  (I think that in a very real sense, even now God only “sees” those things that are part of His kingdom, but that’s another issue).  Everything of this physical world, as well as everything that has it’s origin in the heart and mind of man, apart from the spirit of God, is corruption.  It is all passing away.

In 2 Peter 1, I believe corruption is referring specifically to the nature of man, which has been fearful and self-preserving since Adam’s disobedience, and which violates Christ’s law of love.   This corrupt nature gives rise to all variety of self-serving desires (lusts) within man, and these desires lead to all sorts of wickedness, oppression, deceit, inequality, fraud, callousness, and abuse. 

The opposite of this corrupt nature is the divine nature of love, which is entirely unselfish.2 Love is the antidote for the corruption that manifests in our lusts.  If one is walking in love, one won’t be craving things that are outside God’s kingdom.  The good, useful, and pleasant things of this earth which the world lusts after are seen by those with God’s love as tools to be used or gifts to be enjoyed with thankfulness.  Walking in the love of God leads to one’s awareness set on  God and the spiritual realm, one’s desire to further His kingdom, and one’s heart to delight in the beauty and worth of spiritual things of God Himself such as love, mercy, faith, hope, peace, glory, kindness, and truth.  True love brings contentment in serving God in spirit, no matter what one’s situation is on earth. 

So, if love is so important, the question is: how does one get love?  There’s never a “do this” answer to spiritual questions, and spiritual things are never owned or possessed like some commodity.  Genuine love is always produced naturally, meaning without effort (though not without suffering).  Love is produced within you only as the one who is love manifests in you.  As your selfish, corrupt “Adamic” source of life diminishes (you die), by grace (God’s influence upon you), through faith (revealed truth), you are able to possess and express more of the new source of life, which is Christ himself and full of love (you are saved).  Love becomes your nature when Christ is revealed in you, and it grows progressively as his life is progressively revealed in you. 

This process happens as in our spirits (not our minds) we come to truly know, see, and apprehend what God has done in Christ and how God now sees us – having died and risen with Christ.  I believe God grants this “knowing” and “seeing” to those who are humble and desperate.  Scripture refers to the power that makes spiritual reality known as “light.”  This light, scripture says, is to dawn and shine in our hearts,3 making the promises of God real in our experience.  Peter rephrases this same idea in 2 Peter 1, stating we are to become “partakers of the divine nature,” i.e. the nature of love!  To partake of the divine nature actually means to have the same nature as God, to share in His life, to be one of His very kind, in the same vein as Jesus Christ himself.  Being separated (“having escaped,” 2 Peter 1 puts it) from the lust and corruption found in the lusts of our Adamic nature is simply a byproduct of this process.  In this season, this is what it’s all about.  

 

  • 1. 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, Hebrews 12:26-27
  • 2. 1 Corinthians 13:5
  • 3. 2 Peter 1:19, 1 John 2:8
 
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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Moses to Christ = Shadow to Substance

“Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”  -Hebrews 3:5,6

I’d like to expand on the meaning of this passage a bit.  Warning!  Rabbit trail immediately ahead, skip the portion in parenthesis if you wish.  (I realize that to some, it seems  pointless to examine the Greek meanings of Biblical words and phrases, but this isn’t always the case.  When I look at the Greek, I do so for one simple reason – I want to know the meaning that was being conveyed by the author!  There are many great English translations, but none are without any deficiency.  I prefer more literal translations, but I have also learned that a strict, literal interpretation from Greek to English might not make much sense unless you approach the text spiritually, which many translators didn’t.  In reference to the King James Version, I’ve heard it said that those who translated the text were “more interested in translation than in truth,” and priority number one for most translations is to make the text readable.  While this is understandable, it is also a problem if an awkward or strange literal meaning was conveying a spiritual truth.  This is just one example of why looking at the Greek can be useful). 

Notice that Moses was a faithful servant (meaning attendant) in God’s house.  It’s hard to overstate the importance of Moses’ role in regards to God’s plan for the Israelites of his day.  In Hebrews, Moses is basically being considered as the old covenant equivalent of Christ. Moses was THE go-between for God and all of Israel.  The Israelites actually said to Moses: “speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”2  Moses carried out this duty very well, and in Jesus’ day, Moses was still given the highest place of honor short of God Himself.

This is well and good, but Moses is long dead and most believers know (to an extent) that we aren’t under the law of Moses anymore.  So why would the author of Hebrews, who understood the new covenant very well, give such attention to Moses?  The reason is stated in the passage above: Moses’ ministry was for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later…”  This means God had a greater purpose behind Moses’ ministry.  All the laws, regulations and commands God gave to and through Moses were intended primarily to be a “testimony” – a physical, earthly representation – of this greater, ultimate spiritual purpose and reality which was to come thousands of years later in Christ.  In fact, all of the Old Testament stories, laws, and rules, (many of which seem strange and pointless), served this purpose in one way or another.  Amazing, isn’t it? 

Here’s the main contrast: Moses = attending servant in God’s house. He had no claim to rulership or authority over the house, he just was a faithful servant in the house. Jesus = son over God’s house (which consists of true believers!) Jesus had authority and rulership over God’s household which Moses never had.  Remember, Moses = servant, Jesus = son.  In a household, a servant, no matter how faithful and valuable they are, can never reach a status higher than a guest.  A son (or daughter) are and will always be a part of the household, an heir, an equal.  Jesus came to bring this transition; bringing carnal, law-aware servants into adoption as God-aware, spiritual sons.  He came to bring those who followed the shadow (the physical law of Moses) to those who possess the substance (spiritual reality).  It’s as stark a contrast as that between a reflection of an object and the object itself, or a drawing of a house and the house itself.  With the exact same thing in mind, John wrote: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”3  Paul wrote of this also, at length.4

Having laid this foundation, our passage states we are members of, participants in, and the very building materials of the house of God, “if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”  There always seems to be a pesky “if,” and we better not ignore it.  Having looked closely at the Greek, here’s what this means: “We are of God’s house if we seize and refuse to let go of the truth of the (radical) freedom of our sonship as well as the glorious rejoicing we have in the expectation of all that is given and promised, until these things fully mature within us and we take ownership of them.”  Amen!  I encourage you to re-read and meditate on these things, and look at the scriptures I referenced.  God bless you. 

  1. Hebrews 3:5,6
  2. Exodus 20:19
  3. John 1:17
  4. Primarily in the book of Galatians. Perhaps most clearly in 4:1-7.
 
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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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