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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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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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Reconciliation Before Salvation

“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.” 1

I think about Christianity quite a bit, the way it thinks and works.  I grew up in it and my thinking was greatly influenced by it.  Over the past several years, I’ve been re-learning and coming to fresh understandings by being taught by the Spirit of God Himself.  1 John 2:27, quoted above, is therefore a verse that means a lot to me.  It’s been a delicate and amazing process.

My observation is that Christianity has stopped pursuing truth and therefore been unable to change, grow, and follow God.  Change is often uneasy and costly.  For example, in many cases, if a pastor of a typical church were to make a significant or fundamental change, even if this change were toward the truth, it could very well result in the loss of the only livelihood he has ever known.  For others, turning toward the truth could mean being ostracized or persecuted by their own family.  These things are too costly for many to accept.  As a result, the average Christian who is content to follow his/her pastor  is rarely exposed to new, deep or uncompromised truth, and if they are, it seems foreign and strange.  Thus, many christians live their entire lives in a largely stagnant state.

As I’ve said before, probably the primary doctrine of focus in all of Christianity, one that is incessantly proclaimed, is “salvation.”  At it’s core, the common teaching of salvation is that through Jesus, we can be rescued from eternity in hell, promised eternity in heaven, and enter into “relationship” with God.  Salvation is said to be what all the “lost” people in the world need.  In the interest of brevity, I want to look at only one scripture that gives a better understanding of what salvation truly is.

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” 2 

There are two main concepts here: reconciliation and salvation.  Tragically, concepts like these are all too easily glossed over as vague “christianese” terms, and their sharp distinctions are lost in the gloss.  In reality, these concepts are incredibly important, being purposes and results that intertwine with both the death and life of the Son of God!  

Allow me to point out a few things from this verse.  What the “lost world” needs is reconciliation, not salvation.  The enemies of God were reconciled to him by the death of Jesus Christ.  The word reconciliation has to do with an exchange; in this case an exchange from being an estranged enemy to being part of the “household of God” and at peace. 3  Reconciliation, at least in potential, is what was accomplished by the death of Jesus Christ at the cross.

It’s believers, who have already been reconciled, that need to be saved!  The agent of our salvation is the life of Jesus Christ.  How so?  We are progressively saved as the life of Jesus Christ, his spiritual nature, grows and matures within us, and our natural life diminishes.  That is salvation.  Multitudes of scriptures allude to this, and once you understand more of what salvation is, they make more sense. 4 Salvation is not an entirely future event or something you have right now, it’s a present unfolding process wherein the life of Christ grows within you and the influence of self, your natural life, diminishes.5  Isn’t that something you need?  No matter how good your behavior, it’s something we all need.  God doesn’t desire well-behaved believers, He desires wise sons who are filled with the same life that His only begotten son was filled with.  Without that life, the best-behaved among us are simply “whitewashed tombs;” nice on the outside, but spiritually dead inside.5

  • 1: 1 John 2:27
  • 2: Romans 5:10
  • 3. Ephesians 2:19
  • 4. Colossians 3:3-4, 2 Timothy 1:1, 1 John 5:11, 2 Corinthians 4:11, 2 Timothy 1:10…
  • 5. 1 Corinthians 1:18, Philippians 2:12, Matthew 24:13…
  • 6. Matthew 23:27
 
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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Gnats and Camels

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!  -Jesus

I think few come close to realizing what a fearless warrior Jesus was for God’s kingdom! Do you know how much it cost him to obey his Father and speak truth so forcefully? It cost him just about everything that most believers hold dear. Stop and think about it; by saying what he did in the way he did, he lost: the opportunity for a large ministry platform, legitimacy in the world’s eyes, an opportunity for a prosperous or “quiet and peaceful life,” the loyalty of many of his closest followers, and his very physical health and safety. He lost just about everything men hold dear in this life by confronting the perpetrators of religion so harshly. We should honor him for that, because He did this in honor and obedience of his Father, the same Father we have, and his words remain as a foundation for us today.

Jesus says something memorable in Matthew 23 that I believe is a key part of the Pharisaical heart: “you strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”  This is a simple but profound idea he is getting at.  He was essentially saying they emphasized and were meticulous in the minor details, i.e. the “gnats,” such as giving a tenth of their spices and produce, but they neglected or cast off the weightier, more important issues such as justice(meaning judgment and examination), mercy, and faith.  

I heard a popular Christian teacher say on the radio recently that the Greek word translated “religion” means “observer of outward righteousness.”  It’s root is pride and self-focused fear.  With the Pharisees then and the religious today, external observances are emphasized to the neglect of the inward constitution of the heart, because external things are easily regulated and don’t require one to deny selfSelf can be very religious.  Internal qualities such as mercy and faith, which accompany love, require spiritual substance and denial of self.  These are actually harder to attain and more costly than restraining your flesh or giving of your income or possessions.

I have more respect and honor for someone who is seeking God but still dealing with issues of their flesh than I do for one who is outwardly righteous but prideful or cold towards God’s heart.  I think God feels the same.  Make the inward, “weightier” things such as love, mercy, compassion, and self-denial your focus.  Seek God’s heart, seek to know Him and to do His will out of honor.  His grace will change your heart as you diligently seek and encounter His presence and hear His voice, speaking present Truth.  Amen.

 

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Honesty

Something I’m realizing is it’s important to simply be honest.  Religion and fear tempt men to hide their faults and sins, fearing judgment or condemnation, but this is itself a fault.  I believe the dynamic that keeps men full of pretense – PRETENDING to be holy and Christlike, is pride.  Pride won’t allow a negative perception of self.  Jesus called the Pharisees and religious folk of his day “hypocrites.”  This word carried the idea of an actor in a play, who wears different masks and performs different roles.  Hypocrisy is pretending to be something one is not.

(Matthew 23):  27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Don’t be a hypocrite.  Refuse to let fear keep you from being “real.”  This isn’t to say that you should give in to any desire you may have, or say anything that comes to mind.  No, there are competing natures within a believer – the flesh and the spirit.  The spirit must conquer the flesh, and the flesh must remain crucified and in a position of death.  To speak or act from anger, compulsion, fear, etc. is to speak or act from the flesh – the corrupt, selfish nature.  I’m simply saying be real in regards to your weakness, failures, and struggles.  Don’t put on a “mask” and pretend to be righteous or wise or strong or whatever – this is hypocrisy when in reality you have places within that need to be cleaned out, or areas of confusion in your mind.  Be real, be honest, humble yourself before God and men, and if you are God’s child and desire righteousness, you will see and be a recipient of God’s discipline and His grace to change you and conform you into His image.  As a disciple of Jesus Christ, you should have no greater honor or desire.

(James 4): Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

(Titus 2): 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age…

God bless you.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Sin, Self, and God’s Kingdom

I noticed and found this very interesting this morning: sin is called deceitful and is subtle, but the “works of the flesh” are evident and obvious.

Sin is characterized by deceitfulness.  It’s often undetected, even by those who are looking for it.  It’s subtle and crafty.  Satan’s primary activity appears to be that of deception.  Deception is simply perceiving things differently than God without acknowledging so.  I believe that sin, wickedness, and evil, as God sees them, don’t really look like what we would call “evil” or “sinful.”  Sin and evil are subtle, that’s important to keep in mind.

Starting in Matthew 16:21, Peter tells Jesus that he shouldn’t go to the cross.  Rather than acknowledging his concern, Jesus  rebuked Peter and actually referred to him as Satan!  Peter, in his great distress and concern, was just trying to protect Jesus’ flesh, but Jesus immediately rebukes him, stating Peter was using a natural, human perception of things rather than a spiritual view of things, and that one has to deny himSELF and take up his cross to follow Jesus. Peter was trying to protect Jesus’ self, and Jesus saw this as evil, as a hindrance to God’s will.  Jesus had to die, this was his mandate from God.  We too have to follow in his example.

I believe the primary meaning of sin is to “miss the mark” of God’s will and guidance, which, if yielded to, will lead to inward purity and the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth.  In that sense, something we might call “good,” if not done in obedience to God, is actually “sin,” because God had no part in it – it originated in our own mind or heart, not His.  In a similar way, the word “wicked” in scripture comes from the idea of twisting, as in the “wick” of a candle being made from twisted-together strands.  Thus any sort of perverted or misapplied understanding or mindset is wicked, as are the actions that may result.  Scripture declares: “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”  ONLY as we understand in our heart and apply what Jesus and the apostles really meant, can we be righteous, meaning “in a right standing and relationship,” before God.  Wickedness is empowered by deception.

(Hebrews 3) 12 “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

(2 Timothy 3) 13 “But evil men and impostors will proceed to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

(Revelation 19) 20 “And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image…”

(Revelation 20) 7 “When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations…”

Many things we call “sin” are really what scripture calls “the works of the flesh.”  In contrast to subtle, deceptive sin, the works of the flesh are “evident,” meaning they are obvious, easily seen and recognized.

(Galatians 5) 19 “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality…those who practice such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” 

The reason practicing the works of the flesh will keep one out of the kingdom of God is simple – the flesh, or your SELF, is opposed to God, and to follow it is to establish the kingdom of SELF and to make SELF your God.  Everything labeled as a “work of the flesh” is aimed to gratify oneself.  There is no consideration of God, no self-denial in sexual immorality, anger, strife, divisions, envy, drunkenness, divisions, etc. Sin has to do with independence from God – acting from or for self rather than God.  When we establish the kingdom of self rather than God’s kingdom, we commit treason, mutiny.  This is sin, this offends Him.  More than watching a bad movie or kicking the dog, establishing self is the real offense. Salvation, which we are told to “work out,” has to do with being delivered from the influence of self.

Conclusion:  If you want to be righteous, free from wickedness or evil, then completely let go of all that YOU have acquired in terms of your beliefs and understandings, and let God’s spirit teach you.  If you want to be pure and without sin, then do nothing from yourSELF, but learn to discern the Father’s will and follow Him.  Seek God, get quiet and still, ask Him to reveal Himself to you, TRUST Him to do it, look for His guidance, rely upon Him.  1 John 2:27 is a confirmation of this.  Remember this – if you humbly, before God, acknowledge that you lack sight and clarity, you cannot be deceived.  I believe God gives grace to the humble.  Grace is the influence of the spirit of God which will teach you.

Galatians 5:19-21  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,  (20)  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,  (21)  envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Laodicea Summarized

(Revelation 3, ESV):  14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.  15“I know your works (labor): you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.

It’s critical to keep in mind that Laodicea, who Jesus speaks to, is a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ.   Laodicea means “a just/righteous people,” from the Greek words laos (a people) and dikaios (right or just).  As we will see, Laodicea’s righteousness was only in their own eyes.    

Interestingly, Jesus tells them exactly why he sees them as “lukewarm.”  (Revelation 3): 17 Because you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing…”  Laodicea is seen as lukewarm and nauseating, because they say in their heart that their condition is one of wealth and they need nothing.  Again, this is a congregation of believers which God recognizes.  I believe Laodicea says in their heart they are “rich” by believing in Christ, have “abundance” by doing good works, and “lack nothing” because they are saved and assured of going to heaven.  This is lukewarmnessJesus literally says in reality they are:  “undergoing a testing, pitiful, thoroughly destitute, blind, and naked.”   He then gives them counsel to repair their utterly destitute state.  The theme of his counsel is toward repentance from tainted understandings.

Jesus first counsel is to get “gold refined by fire.”  Here and everywhere else, he is speaking spiritually.  This “gold” represents that which in the kingdom of God is precious and leads to increasing wealth.  In scripture, gold is compared with wisdom.  Wisdom and understanding are the “gold” of God’s kingdom.  The fire that refines (purifies) this gold is the judgments of God.  I believe this primarily takes place within our heart, the core of our thoughts and beliefs.  When we undergo this fire, things based on men’s false wisdom are either consumed or made visible and then separated.  What remains is the precious “gold” of everything in our heart which is based on wisdom from God.  I believe many well-established religious ways of thinking and acting will be burned up in this fire.  We can only access God’s mind and heart by Spirit-to-spirit revelation.

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…”  Garments cover naked flesh.  In the spiritual, our “flesh” reprents our SELF, the “me, myself, and I” part that always cries out to be catered to.  Self can be very religious, but it always opposes God.  It must be crucified and covered.  I believe the “white garments” here represent the righteousness and purity of Jesus Christ Himself.  As self is daily put to death, then one can receive this white garment.  God recognizes nothing else.  Many things we see as “good” have been tainted by self and God sees them as ”wood, hay and stubble” to be burned or disgusting, “filthy rags.”  Self is the filth that stains our spiritual covering.

Finally, Jesus counsels Laodicea to buy “eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.”  In  Matthew 6:22-23, Jesus spoke of the singular eye” (spiritual perception) which gives light within, which can be “clear” or “bad.”   The word “clear” is the Greek word haplous, essentially meaning an unmixed, sound whole.  Jesus is saying that one’s spiritual perception (eye) needs to be without any mixture of the false teaching of men or unclean spirits, which Jesus calls darkness.  An “eye” that has this mixture is called “bad” and results in total darkness.  Jesus warns if the “light” (truth and understanding) we claim to have is actually “darkness” (deception and confusion), then this is the most extreme darkness there is.  This is why the Laodicean attitude of “no need” while in darkness is so dangerous.

“Eye-salve” is the Greek word kollourion, which comes from a base word meaning “glue.” “Anoint” likely just means to “rub in.”  Our natural understanding is the “eye” Jesus said in Matthew 6:23 is bad and results in total darkness.  The “eye-salve” Jesus offers will glue shut this bad eye and cover it with the presence of the Holy Spirit.  1 John 2:27 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 is the “clear” eye that Jesus says will produce a body full of light (truth).  But first, the “eye-salve” must be applied to glue shut or negate everything else.  If this is not done, then the natural, carnal understanding/perception will remain the “light” within, which Jesus calls the most extreme darkness.  God forbid.

 
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