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The Judgment of Eternal Life

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(John 5:19-22 NKJV): “Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.  For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.  For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son…”

(John 12:31-32 NKJV): “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.  And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

In this post, I would like to look closer at the idea of “judgment,” which is one of several concepts men have understood and taught from a place of shallowness, fear and self-focus rather than from the peace and wisdom of the Spirit.  We have to understand that in the Greek language, the word “judgment” means “to separate, to choose, to decide, to make a distinction.”  Today, we tend to associate judgment with condemnation and punishment, but while God’s judgment can include these things, it’s still different than what we typically think.  In John 5:19-22, when Jesus says the Father has committed all judgment to the son, he wasn’t saying the Father was commissioning His son to condemn or punish the world.  In fact, Jesus said he came to do the exact opposite! (John 3:17).  Look again – Jesus said that he only does what he sees his Father do.  He then says the Father “raises the dead and gives life to them” and that the son does the same, because the Father has “committed all judgment to the son.”  The Father’s judgment, the way He makes a distinction among people, which He has administered through His son, is to “raise the dead and give life to them.”  That is what happened at the cross.  Now, this raising from death to life is isn’t primarily a physical one, but a spiritual.  Generally speaking, death = the mind and life of natural man/Adam, and life = the mind and life of the Spirit of God.  

Here are a couple examples:

  • 1 John 3:14 ASV: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not abideth in death.”

  • Romans 5:17 ASV: “For if, by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; much more shall they that receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, even Jesus Christ.”

  • Romans 8:6 ASV: “For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace…”

In the passage from John 12 at the top, Jesus knows he is about to go to the cross.  He says that in his crucifixion and resurrection, the “judgment of this world” would be made, the “ruler of this world” cast out, and “all peoples drawn” to himself.  So, the judgment of the world took place at the cross, 2,000 years ago.  Then and there, God rendered His judgment of life toward mankind, going both forward and backward in time.  God’s judges the world by ending death and pouring out His Life through His son.  Now, it’s true that not all will receive or walk in this new Life while in these mortal bodies, and I’m not even sure all are able to.  But those things are another subject.

I think it’s also important we understand that this eternal life which God has judged upon us is not primarily eternal in the sense of “never-ending,” but eternal in the sense of quality and nature.  John 17:3 (MLV) records Jesus saying this: “And this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you did send.”  Eternal life is knowing the Father and the Son – not in a mental sense, but in the sense of receiving and participating in their life and union.  Remember in John 4, where Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well?  As they sat by the well together, Jesus said this to her: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”1  This eternal life is to be springing up from within, right now, and is found in a current knowing of the Father and Son.  These and other scriptures make it clear that whatever this eternal life is, it’s for now, not just the future.  

Finally, let’s briefly think about what is meant by “life.”  I think, at its core, life is about having consciousness and the ability to use energy.  Jesus famously said that to gain this eternal life, we must lose OUR life.2  I believe he meant this: “in order to partake of and abide in the life of God, we have to be willing to let go of the death we have called life – all the beliefs and pursuits that have their foundation in fear, selfishness, and ignorance.  (This speaks more about letting go of our previous religious beliefs and practices than anything else!)  Really, this isn’t that controversial.  It only makes sense that light and darkness, love and selfishness, spirit and religion cannot co-exist.  As we embrace this eternal life and allow it room to spring forth from within us, we will find ourselves freely wanting to love and serve others, difficult as it may be.  We will begin to let go of what hinders the expression of this eternal Life within us – not out of guilt or obligation or fear, but freely, because our very nature wants to.  Our walk with God won’t be about “seeing results” so much as it will be about being faithful and walking in the Spirit.  And although this new Life is often difficult, it’s also full of glory, hope, and beauty.  We also have the promise that as the Reign of God comes to earth, pain and crying and tears will pass away, forever.  I think this is a long way off in human years, but the only way it’s coming is through the sons and daughters of God walking in the Spirit.  Not just in “miracles” but in wisdom, insight, love, and truth.

I’ve often thought that if I’m going to suffer, it better be for something worthwhile, and to me, nothing is more worthwhile than helping establish the reign of God on earth, partaking of and ministering His grace, truth, reconciliation and love to the world.  I still feel I’m just getting started and I still have days I feel far from these things…maybe I’ll always feel that way, but I intend to keep going!  God bless you.

 

  1. John 4:13-14 NKJV

  2. Mark 8:35

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Judge Not Lest Ye Be…Blind?

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“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”1 -Jesus

I recently re-read this parable, and purely as a gift I was able to see it from a new angle that amazed me. I always thought this parable was basically about being careful of judging others because I’ll be judged in the same way (which is true and amazing on its own). But what I saw is that the real issue Jesus is discussing here is much bigger; what he’s really discussing is sight. Judgment becomes a blockage to the bigger issue of our ability to “see,” as well as our ability to help our brother to see (perceive spiritual reality as it is in Christ, without filter or distortion).

According to the greatest prophet who ever lived, if a fellow believer has something hindering their spiritual perception/vision, you cannot help them if you approach them with an attitude of judgment, condemnation, or criticism. That very attitude becomes a greater hindrance to your own sight than the one you’re trying to remove in your brother. I think this is why Jesus referred to those who try to help others while judging them as hypocrites. It becomes another scenario of the blind leading the blind, and both of you will end up wandering off the way and into a ditch.

An attitude of judgment and criticism comes from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This tree/source makes one more aware of natural things such as the law, sin, and self; things that the religious people whom Jesus called “sons of hell” are very aware of and fond of talking about, but things that God doesn’t deal with. We need to start eating from and leading others to the Tree of Life once again, where there’s no condemnation, but grace, mercy, truth and Life. One of my favorite scriptures is John 1:4, which says:  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Jesus was full of LIFE, and it’s only that life that dispels and conquers the darkness and death that are within us and which often cover themselves with religion.

Again, the “plank” in the eye that Jesus talked about is an attitude or heart of judgment. The main lesson in this teaching isn’t that we have to quit sinning before we can confront the sin in someone else, it’s that if we confront someone in an attitude of judgment, we become more blind than they are and cannot truly help them to see reality in the spiritual realm (in light of the cross).  Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. He said he judges no man, but came to seek and save the lost.2  Certainly, Jesus was far from the emasculated lovey-dovey figure many have made of him, and he often stressed the need for repentance and the severity and hardship of being his disciple. Nevertheless, he didn’t come telling the world how terrible they were (he saved that for the religious hypocrites). Instead, he came declaring truth and made a way, the way, for reconciliation with God. Paul wrote “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them.”3 This is good news to those who love God, because the way has been opened – not the way to get to heaven and have a pleasurable existence, but to have the honor of knowing God and participating in building His kingdom as a son or daughter.

 

  1. Matthew 7:1-5, NKJV
  2. John 3:17, 8:15; Luke 19:10
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:19
 
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Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Judgment

I want to look at one aspect of God’s “Judgment.”  Which would be more harsh and grievous for God to send or allow:

1.) Famine, economic ruin, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, government oppression, etc.

2). The spread of spiritual deception on a large scale.  This results in many being convinced they know God and follow Him, but it’s all false.  In reality, they have been cut off from perceiving spiritual Truth and are thus prevented from genuinely knowing God.

In reality, it’s #2 that is far more scary and perilous, and is exactly what has been happening.  Being shut out from knowledge of God is far, far worse in an ultimate view of things than anything that could happen in the physical realm.

In John 14:26, 15:26, and elsewhere, Scripture declares that the holy spirit is sent to, among other things, bring to mind the words of Jesus, testify of Jesus, and to guide us into all truth.  So, if we lose our ability to connect with the Spirit of God, a connection that can only be made spirit-to-Spirit, which bypasses the mind, then it follows that we will not be mindful of Jesus’ words, won’t receive a true testimony about him, and will be led down any number of paths except the one path of Truth.  This isn’t to say the mind is to be inactive or is useless.  It’s to say Truth ultimately isn’t acquired by the mind.  ANY doctrine, path, or concept that is not Truth revealed by God’s Spirit to a human spirit is carnality, and I assure you, most of what is believed and taught in the church today is nice, spiritual-sounding, soul-pleasing carnality.

(Romans 8)  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.  Carnality originated at the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  It is based on logic, reason, and rationality, although it certainly may use spiritual language and promote religious activities.  The Spirit, however, doesn’t make sense to the carnal mind.  Therefore, reason and spirit are opposed and will always be opposed.  To follow God in spirit, you have to let go of the doctrines and supporting arguments you’ve gathered and be taught all over by God Himself through His Spirit.

(1 Corinthians 3) And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal.  (Those who are carnal are unable to receive or digest “solid food,” which is simply spiritual truth, and never will be.  The carnal mind always goes back to and defends what it knows and has been taught, and the reasonable arguments for its belief).  For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?  (This reminds me of the many denominations of Christianity.  Carnality leads to divisions and titles).

Please think on these things.  God bless you.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Jesus’ Advice to Laodicea

(Revelation 3:18-19)  “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.  (19)  ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.

(1 John 2:27):  “And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

 It’s critical to keep in mind that Laodicea, who Jesus speaks to, is a “church,” a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ.  As I discussed last time, Laodicea means “righteous people,” referring to their self-perceived righteousness.  These “christians” believe in their heart they are “rich” by believing in Christ, have “abundance” by their good works, and have “need of nothing” because they are saved and on their way to heaven.  However, Jesus exposes their true condition as deplorable, pitiful, and bankrupt.  Keep in the forefront of your mind that Jesus is speaking of their spiritual condition.  It’s a grave and common mistake, especially with Jesus’ words, to read scripture in a “natural” sense all the time.  He said he spoke in parables and his words were “spirit” and “life.” He also reminds Laodicea that his harsh rebuke and discipline is a sign of love, and he encourages them to zealously repent, which literally means to zealously reconsider their belief systems and to begin to perceive on a deeper level. 

Jesus first counsel is to get “gold refined by fire.”  This refers to gold that has undergone intense fire, which melts the gold and allows the impurities within it to be seen and removed.  Once Laodicea has this refined gold, Jesus says they will truly be “rich.”  The gold Jesus speaks of is simply that which is precious and leads to increasing wealth in the kingdom of God.  In scripture, gold is compared with wisdom, but wisdom is said to be far superior and God alone knows where it is hidden.  Wisdom and understanding are the “gold” of God’s kingdom

When you are taught by Jesus Himself, through the Holy Spirit (see 1 John 2:27 above), you can access this gold (wisdom) and become rich in the sight of God.  God doesn’t regard much of what men do, including religious men.  The gold Jesus counsels Laodicea to buy is imperishable and has been purified not with physical fire, but with the fire of God’s judgment which consumes and separates every spiritual impurity.  If this comes to our life, it can be painful and a cause for “fear and trembling,” but it’s also a cause for great rejoicing, because it means God receives us as His children. (Hebrews 12): “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”  …But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”  And as Jesus reminded Laodicea: “those whom I love, I reprove and discipline…” 

When we undergo this fire, that which is not from God is consumed or separated from the truly precious “gold” of all which was from Him.  I believe this primarily takes place within our heart, which is the core of our thoughts and beliefs.  In 1 Timothy 1:5, Paul says the goal of his teaching is “love from a pure heart…”  What “pure heart” means is one’s core of thought and belief (mind) which is untainted by the traditions, teachings, religious ideas of men and is therefore “purely” of God.  It isn’t having no desire for sinful things – that would be better called a “clean” heart.  I believe many well-established religious ways of thinking and their resulting “good” works will be burned up in this fire, because they were not based on God’s mind, but the minds of men.  We can only access God’s mind by Spirit-to-spirit revelation of truth and wisdom.

The second thing Jesus says to buy is “white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed…”  The purpose of a garment is to be a covering.  What needs covered?  The natural realm mirrors the spiritual realm.  In the natural, the shamefulness of our naked flesh is covered by our clothing.  In the spiritual, the shame of our “flesh” is also covered by spiritual “garments.”  Flesh in this case speaks of the focus on and obedience of SELF.  When self is the focus and is served, self is god and king.  Self/flesh is permanently opposed to God and must be crucified.  (Romans 8): 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,  7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so…  13 … for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die…”  (Galatians 5)17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh…”  24 Now those who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” 

I believe the “white garments” here represent the righteousness and purity of Jesus Christ Himself.  Jesus became radiantly white when he was transfigured.  Angels who appeared to men were brilliantly white.  The “overcomers” (of self) in Revelation 3:4-5 are said to be clothed in white.  Once the pride of self in its good or its knowledge (see: the Pharisees) is humbled and the flesh is crucified, then one can receive the white garment of Jesus Christ himself.  God recognizes nothing else, as everything good that is of man is, according to scripture “wood, hay and stubble,” “filthy rags,” and worthless. 

Finally, Jesus counsels Laodicea to buy “eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.”  Our natural eyes give us sight and perception of the physical realm.  We also have “eyes,” or faculties of perception, into the invisible realms of soul and spirit.  Paul spoke of the “eyes of your heart” in Ephesians 1:18, which he prayed would be “enlightened” by the Spirit of God.  In  Matthew 6:22-23, Jesus spoke of the singular “eye” (referring to one’s perception of the spiritual realm) which gives light within, which can be “clear” or “bad.”  Jesus says this “eye” should be “single” (KJV).  The word “single” is the Greek word haplous.  It literally means “without folds or braids,” in the sense of whole, single, uncomplicated, simple.  I think Jesus is saying that one’s spiritual eyesight/perception needs to be without any mixture of darkness caused by the traditions and teachings of selfish, fearful men, which causes confusion.  Jesus then warns that if the “light” (truth and understanding) we claim to have is actually darkness (error and confusion), then this is the most extreme darkness there is.  This is why saying one has “need of nothing” is so dangerous.

The “eye salve” Jesus counsels them to buy and to “anoint” their eyes with is the Greek word kollourion.  It actually comes from a base word meaning “glue,” and refers to a thick glue-like paste that would be applied to eyes to soothe them.  “Anoint” is the word egchrio, has some interesting possible meanings, but likely just means to “rub in” with the idea of “receiving.”  Priests were “anointed” with oil as a symbol of their intended function before God.  I think a literal translation of Jesus admonition here is to buy “eye-glue to rub in your eyes, that you may see.”  The idea is our natural, carnal eyes (human perception, often based on fear, tradition or confusion) being covered or glued shut, with the presence of the Holy Spirit covering them.  Again, 1 John 2:27, which I quoted at the beginning, says: “you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie…”  To perceive spiritually based on the “sight” of this anointing, which John spoke of, requires first that “eye-salve” be applied to glue shut or negate one’s natural, carnal perceptions.  If this is not done, then the carnal, religious perception will remain the “light” within, which Jesus calls the most extreme darkness.  God forbid.

So, Jesus says to Laodicea, the self-righteous and spiritually satisfied and complacent, that if they want to have anything of spiritual value, they need three things:  1). Wisdom which is set on fire and requires a process of burning and separating impurities, 2). the righteousness of Christ himself which requires true humility and self-abasement, and 3). spiritual perception which requires the “gluing shut” of one’s carnal eyes.  My counsel for us all is to take Christ’s counsel earnestly, and to desperately cry out for wisdom, true righteousness, and clear sight.  Let us be still before God to learn of and be equipped by Him.  God bless you.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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