Monday, December 31, 2012

What Do You Mean "How Do I Grow?"

The Christian life is better lived by God displacing than by our disciplining. The more we know God's love the more that love takes the place of our unloving ways. We live out of the overflow of His kindness towards us. Discipline forces us to use our own strength & own knowledge (which is often wrong) to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps to be Christlike. Truth is, the only way to be Christlike is to like Christ. The more time you spend liking Christ the more like Him you'll become. The more time you spend trying to be like Christ the more you'll become like any given person practicing any given religion.

"It is the loving kindness of God towards us that trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. The loving kindness of God towards us makes us eager to do what is good." (Titus 2:12)

Most change is effortless but almost no change is instant. When effort is required we've already been fully equipped by standing on the firm foundation of His love for us. That type of change will be hard but if we are equipped with His love we will not be afraid.

Most change is growth. What do you have to do to grow? Nothing, it is a natural process of life. God is Life. My baby daughter doesn't have to do anything to grow, her mommy & daddy take care of everything she needs to keep her growing. Oh that we would trust God our Daddy to do this for us! Babies & children grow by watching what their mothers & fathers do. How did Jesus live His life? In John 5:19-20 He said, "I only do what I see my Father doing." SURPRISE!

The problem with Christians today is that they've effectively been kidnapped by an orphanage (the institutional church). In that orphanage they are told that their Father will only show up if they are really good all the time & make almost no mistakes. If they do make mistakes they have to send Him apology letters (confess their sins to Him/repent). The orphanage blinds the children to their Father's presence & personality. They are taught that even when He does show up He only comes to "visit" for a little while. Don't believe me? Then ask yourself when the last time you've heard yourself or someone you know pray "God be with us.."

Jesus Freed Us from Guilt & Shame

In SEVEN places God promises, “Whoever trusts in Me will NEVER be put to shame” (Isaiah 28:16, Romans 9:33, 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6, Joel 2:26-27, Isaiah 45:17, 54:4). Shame literally means disgrace. It is the opposite of grace. Shame is also a synonym for "a feeling of guilt." God will never make someone who is saved feel guilty.

2 Corinthians 2:11 says to be aware of Satan's schemes. Scripture says that Satan is the accuser of God's family (Revelation 12:10 & Zechariah 3:1). Accuser means "one who charges with guilt." Thus one of Satan's schemes is to make you feel guilty.

"Convict" is a direct synonym of the word "condemn." Convict means "to declare guilty." Condemnation is a "pronouncement of guilt." Romans 8:1 says there is NO condemnation in Christ. God will not charge His child with guilt.

One definition of the word righteous is "guiltless." Romans 5:17 says righteousness is a gift we receive. Romans 3:22 says we receive that gift by trusting Jesus (getting saved). God pronounces us as guiltless not as guilty. No condemnation means no guilt, he never charges us with guilt. 2 Corinthians 5:19 & Romans 4:8 say God doesn't even charge us with sin.

If you feel accused, shamed, or guilty, it is either your flesh or Satan himself making you feel that way. You can feel compassion, sympathy, & empathy for someone you've wronged without feeling guilt or shame. Romans 2:4 says, "It is God's kindness that leads you toward changing your mind for the better."

Romans 12:2 says to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind." You cannot trust your so called conscious if your mind is not renewed. 1 John 3:2 says that "our hearts condemn us." Unrenewed minds will accept the accusations of Satan & the condemnation of their own hearts as the voice of God. I used to do it myself.

No Rehashing
God has never made me feel guilt or shame for my old sinful ways. I used to think He did but I found the truth & realized that it was my own self-centered sense of shame doing it to me. One of the word's translated as "shame" in the New Testament carries the idea of "a turning in upon oneself." Shame is a self-centered pity party that moves you away from wanting to interact with God.

God no longer remembers the sins of His people (Hebrews 8:12,10:17) so He certainly hasn't shown me something about my "old sinful ways." He forgot them & there isn't an evidence in the world that I have to confess or repent of them to get Him to continue to forget them as I go on in life. His forgetting is part of the New Covenant.

Why would God want me to dwell on old sins anyway? He told us to dwell on good & pure things in Philippians 4:8 so what makes us think there is any good in seeing the wretchedness of something we used to do, heck or even something we've done yesterday?

Loving without Guilt
I'll either be blind to loving someone
OR it will be a process of me understanding a person & how to love them
OR God will reveal a piece of their heart to me to where if I hurt someone it isn't about ME feeling bad about what I'VE done, it is about me caring for the person I've hurt & reconciling with them. I will hurt inside in that case but I will be hurting for them not for myself & my performance as a Christian.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Good News Hidden in the Hebrew Alphabet

From Aleph to Tav, here is the entire Hebrew alphabet translated from the symbolism of its ancient Hebrew pictographs.

Father's house gather at The Door. Look at the nails that cut off the separation caused by the serpent's work. A hand open with authority & blood that gives life supports you. He is watching you & knowing you. His words satisfy your needs for all time. The first & the second are united at the cross.

The first is Adam/mankind & the second is Jesus. They are united on the cross. The vertical bar of the cross is Jesus. The horizontal bar is Adam/mankind. The cross pictures Jesus taking mankind upon His back to save them. He has His arms nailed to us to represent His dedication to save & carry us. He has His feet nailed to show that He will still walk in His ways. The God who is love will not deny Himself in His loving us, meaning He will always work for our true best not for what we perceive to be our best.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Comparing The Law to Jesus

  • The law makes people guilty to where they owe God.
    Jesus paid everyone's debt & offers to remove everyone's guilt.
  • The law does not justify even with complete obedience.
    Jesus justifies regardless of our deeds.
  • The Law brings the knowledge of sin.
    Jesus takes away the consciousness of sin.
  • The Law brings wrath.
    Jesus brings peace.
  • The law charges people with sin.
    Jesus does not charge people with sin.
  • The law increases transgressions.
    Jesus turns people from their wicked ways.
  • The law makes sin your master.
    Jesus is your master through the loving-favor of His grace.
  • The law arouses our bodies to bear fruit for death.
    Jesus bears good fruit for God & others through us.
  • The law binds.
    Jesus frees.
  • The law brings sin to life & sin kills us.
    Jesus kills sin & brings us to life.
  • The law is too great a burden for any person to bear including the apostles, prophets, & Moses.
    Jesus' burden is so light you'll hardly notice it because His "burden" is His arm around you.
  • The law could not condemn or weaken sin in our flesh.
    God condemned sin in His flesh for us all removing its power over us.
  • The law empowers sin.
    Jesus condemned sin & broke its power over us.
  • The law cannot give you the Spirit of God.
    Jesus sends His Spirit into our hearts.
  • The law cannot produce miracles even if we obey it as hard as we can.
    Jesus is able to perform miracles when we trust Him.
  • The law curses you for not obeying every bit of it.
    Jesus became a curse for you so that you would never be cursed.
  • The law is not based on God's promises to us.
    Jesus has given us His very great and precious promises which allow us to participate in His divine nature.
  • The law was temporary.
    Jesus & His love for us is eternal.
  • The law cannot give life even if you keep all of it all of the time.
    Jesus gives eternal life freely to those who come to Him.
  • Law keeping blinds you to Christ & His grace toward you.
    Jesus illuminates your righteousness through Him & His loving-favor toward you.
  • Adherence to the law prevents you from being led by the Spirit.
    Jesus is the life giving Spirit who leads you.
  • Keeping the law is a reason to boast in the flesh.
    Knowing Jesus is a reason to boast in the Spirit of our Lord.
  • The law separated Jew & Gentile.
    Jesus abolished the law to make Jews & Gentiles into one new man.
  • The law charges us with guilt for our actions.
    Jesus sets us free from the guilt our actions may cause us to have.
  • The law only has power through the obedience of physical requirements.
    Jesus has the power of indestructible life.
  • The Law made nothing perfect.
    Jesus makes God perfectly satisfied & God's children perfect in Spirit.
  • The law appointed weak & mortal humans as high priests.
    The perfect Son of God Jesus is appointed as high priest forever.
  • The law's sacrifices & offerings were not desired by God, He took no pleasure in them.
    Jesus' sacrifice was God's desire before the world was made, it pleased God & pleases us too.
  • The law makes someone who keeps all but one law as guilty as someone who keeps only one law.
    Jesus removes our guilt & never charges us with guilt.
  • The law is based on human works.
    We know Jesus by trusting Him.
  • The law was a shadow of good things yet to come, not the things themselves
    Jesus is the reality of good things right now.
  • The law cannot free us.
    Jesus frees us from all things.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sacred Cow BBQ III: This One is for All the Ladies in the House

Preface
Commands found in the New Testament are not laws. Laws are burdensome obligations that have punishments for not keeping them. Jesus fulfilled the law & ended it by nailing it to the cross. Jesus' commands are not burdensome. If you have a command that every person is bound to keep every moment of their life regardless of how long or how well they know God that is burdensome, thus that command is a law not a new covenant command. If you have a command that God will punish you for not keeping that command is a law not a new covenant command. God will not punish His children. The idea that the apostles & authors of the New Testament created new laws that all Christians are bound to keep is false. There were over 600 commands in the old covenant law including one about not wearing clothing made from two specific types of fabric. If that law didn't have a command about it, as weird as they could get, there is no reason to believe that there is some new weird law that Peter or Paul wrote about women being silent, hair length, etc.

Lie:  Wives Must Be Quiet
In 1 Peter 3:4 Peter said, wives are to behave with a "gentle and quiet spirit." This context is written to Christian women who have husbands who don't know Christ. Peter tells them how to behave around such a man to "win him without a word but instead by behavior." In verses 1-7 Peter gets the following point across. "Trying to get your husband saved by an intellectual argument isn't going to work. You need to show Him the love of Christ. Don't be afraid, just serve him & submit to his wishes. Show him that same kind of selfless love Jesus showed us. Once He knows Jesus you will get to live with him as equals in grace. He will be understanding of you & honor you."

In 1 Timothy 2:2 Paul expressed that he wanted all Christians "to lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." He was saying, "Be kind & loving, not rude, manipulative, or forceful so that people will be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." Quiet obviously doesn't mean utterly silent. A "quiet life" is not a speechless life. Here it just means "Don't stir people up just to get a rise out of them. Instead love people & let God's love stir up people's hearts." If the word quiet doesn't mean utter silence for all Christians then we should not assume it means that for all women.

Lie:  Women Must Be Silent in the Assembly
1 Corinthians 14 verses 34-35 should be in quotations. The Corinthians wrote something to Paul that he quoted,
"The women are to keep silent in the assemblies; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in assembly."

Paul responded, "What? Was it from you (men) that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you (men) only?"

There is no old testament law that says women are to be silent. Paul was rebuking the men for being oppressive and arrogant thinking that only they (the men) receive and speak the words of God. Paul's outburst of "What?" and his following questions make no sense otherwise.

Paul had already stated in 1 Corinthians 11:5 that women pray and prophesy aloud in the assembly, so he couldn't be forbidding women from speaking in the assembly in the very same letter to the very same group of men & women. We will see in the next lie why Paul wrote "a woman must be silent" to Timothy.

Lie:  Women Cannot Teach Men
"A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." (1 Timothy 2:12)
Paul wrote this to Timothy in Ephesus where people worshiped a goddess called Artemis (also called Diana). They loved Artemis so much that Acts 19 says they once cried out "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" for two hours. Because of Artemis people in Ephesus regarded women as superior to men. It was such a problem there that Paul wrote what he did above. The women were teaching falsely, upholding authority over men. In the kingdom of God no person is to have authority over another person anyway. Jesus is our only leader & He has all authority (Matthew 23:10, 28:18). The teaching of one person (man or woman) having authority over another in the body of Christ is so destructive that Paul's advice against it is complete silence. It is such a strong poison that Paul tells the women who believe this to be utterly silent! Yet hierarchical authority is one of the most prominently promoted concepts in all of Church history.

If it were the men who were the problem in Ephesus, teaching women falsely & claiming to have authority over women, like conservative Christians do today, Paul would have said the same thing to them & told them to shut up. So on behalf of Paul, to those men who think they have the right to have authority over women, Shut up!

Lie:  The Husband is the "Spiritual Leader"
So much of this concept is based on the assumption that "head" in the first century implied authority like it does in today's English, but it didn't. The only time the word authority is used referring to the marriage relationship is when it says the man has no authority over his body & the woman has none over hers. Thus it is mutual authority not exclusive or hierarchical.

Just before the wife is told to submit to the husband it says for all of the assembly to "submit to one another." The word obey was not used here as it was for parents & children. Submit means "voluntarily cooperate," it does not mean "obey as master." If it meant obey it would be senseless chaos because "submit to one another" would mean "everyone must obey everyone else all the time."

You can relate to your spouse however is best for you, but there is no mandate that the man is the "spiritual leader." No one is commanded to lead & no one is subjected to follow yet all can lead & all can cooperate (submit). Submit in the bible means "voluntary cooperation." It isn't about roles. I can lead sometimes, my wife can lead sometimes. Neither is wrong but it is wrong to demand your own way. Husbands are to love their wives & 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, "love does not demand its own way." God didn't put husbands into roles where men are allowed & encouraged to demand their own way.

The bottom line with the case for "the man is the leader" is that he gets "final say," thus he can demand his own way, refusing to cooperate with his wife. That is not loving thus the entire construct of the husband as leader is false.

Lie:  Women Must Have Long Hair/Women Must Wear Head Coverings
In 1 Corinthians 11 we see Paul writing about hair length & head coverings. Paul was not teaching on the proper length of hair and head coverings. He was illustrating that Christ is the head of the assembly using as an illustration a custom that was prevalent in his day. These verses should not be used to argue the length of hair or the wearing of head coverings. He was simply making a point. In 1 Corinthians 11:16, he clearly stated that if anyone wants to argue about these things, there is "no such custom" in the assemblies of God.

Despite Paul's warning to the contrary, many people have become contentious about this issue of whether men and women should pray with their heads covered and what is the proper length of hair for each gender. Paul simply drew on a custom of the day to illustrate that he (Paul) was not anybody's spiritual head. They (men and women) were under submission to Christ, and women also should submit (cooperate without contention) to their husbands. That was it. That was his point. He was not trying to establish a dress code for all time.

Hair length or head covering doesn't make anyone any better or worse off. This was a custom of Paul's day that he used for illustration, not a commandment from the Lord. Christians are free to observe their own customs in these matters as long as they do not promote these customs to others as law. If they take it as law for themselves that will also put them in a law mindset. A law mindset makes God's approval of you as a person conditional. For example if you think God is more pleased with you or less pleased with you because of your hair length, etc. you have a law mindset.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

Monday, December 17, 2012

How Your New Creation in Christ Parallels the 7 Days of Creation

Day One
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
First God created your flesh. Heavens and earth picture physical life heavens=mind & earth=flesh. Your life is unfolded by God.

The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
Your life is an empty nothing (formless & void). Gloom & shame (darkness) is over the surface of your heart. Your heart is deep because God has made you to be wonderfully filled with His love. The Spirit of God moves over the surface of your heart.

Strangely Genesis doesn't give an account of God creating darkness. Isaiah 45:7 confirms He did create literal darkness. I believe the reason why this is missing is because God intended the story of creation in Genesis 1 to parallel our new creation in Jesus. God did not create the darkness in us, He did not give sin, gloom, & shame to our bodies & spirit. I believe this is also why God directly calling or seeing darkness as good, as He did with light and the many other things, is absent. Darkness represent sin & shame in Genesis 1 & those are not good.

Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
Let there be light means you have to let The Light transform you by trusting Him. If you do then light is created in you, you are joined with Christ who is The Light (John 8:12),. The heavens were made before light came, Isaiah 42:5,12 says God stretched out the heavens. The heavens represent your mind. He stretched out your mind so you could trust in His truth & become light.

God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
God judges you as good because of the light you are created as. He separates the light from the darkness. You are separated from darkness (sin). You are now in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7). Notice light existed before light was separated from darkness. It is because of God's work on the cross that light is separated from darkness. It is a work He had to do. The only way for God to separate your spirit from your sinful flesh was to condemn sin in His flesh & give you a new spirit. Your flesh is separated from your identity, light is now your identity. "You were formerly darkness (sinful flesh), but now you are Light in the Lord (spirit); walk as children of Light" (Ephesians 5:8). We are called "children of light," our rebirth comes from light (God).

God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. 
The darkness/night is your flesh. The day/light is your spirit. Your flesh was there before your spirit of light just as darkness was there first before God gave you light.

And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Strangely the Hebrew in Genesis calls this "one day" instead of "the first day" & is in contrast to the words meaning second, third, etc. used later in the chapter. Much debate has gone on because of this. However reading this text from the "you are a new creation in Christ" perspective gives incredible meaning. Day plural is "days" which refers to life. Day represents life. One day means "one life." You are One Life with God! "Jesus Christ is your life" (Colossians 3:4). You are one Spirit with God (1 Corinthians 6:17).

In your beginning God created your body & mind, your flesh. Your flesh was as nothing, with gloom & shame covering your deep yet empty heart. The Spirit of God was moving over the surface of your heart Then He said, "Let there be light; and there was light." God saw you as good; and separated your spirit of light from the darkness of your flesh. He called you spirit & life and the flesh He called sinful & dead. First there came darkness and then came the breaking forth of light. You are One Life with God.

Second Day
Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

Then God said, "Let there be a renewed mind in the midst of your heart & let it separate the fleshly heart from the spiritual heart." God made the renewed mind, and separated the fleshly heart which was below the renewed mind from the spiritual heart which was above the renewed mind; and it was so. God called the renewed mind the unveiled mind of Christ. First there was ignorance and then came enlightenment. A second life.

"Second life" & the ones that follow picture the abundant life of Christ. You are receiving renewing life from Him over & over again. You could call this process being "layered with life."

Waters also have the meaning of something short-lived. While we live on earth the depths of our fleshly hearts need to be filled. Our spirit is already filled with whatever we need. Once we pass out of this body into the full reality of the spirit we won't have to renew our minds because our minds of flesh will be gone & we will enjoy the fullness of the spirit.

Third Day
Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.
Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so.
The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a third day.


Then God said, "Let the heart below the flesh be gathered into one place, and let the clean flesh appear"; and it was so. God called the clean flesh body parts offered to righteousness, and the gathering of the fleshly heart He called body parts offered to sin; and God saw that the separation was good.

Then God said, "Let the body parts offered to righteousness produce fresh rest, healing coupled with truth, and fruitful love uniquely suited for each person with the truth of Christ in it"; and it was so.

The body parts offered to righteousness brought fresh rest, uniquely suited healing coupled with truth, and fruitful love uniquely suited for each person with the truth of Christ in it; and God saw that it was good. First there was dormancy and then love sprang out, a third life.

God said "it was good" twice on the third day. Why? Because this is the day when the new man begins impacting others. Clean flesh is one that lets love manifest through it. On this day God begins producing fruit, which is love that flows out of the abundance. Fruit (love) is only produced when a tree (person) draws more than it needs to survive. Also note that a tree never eats its own fruit, the fruit is for someone else. God loves blessing others through you, it is a double blessing for Him & a double blessing for you! The third day to the Jews is known as the "day of double blessing." Most Jewish weddings take place on Tuesday (third day) including the wedding Jesus went to (John 2:1,3).

The fleshly heart is the same spoken of on day 2. The waters/seas here picture the unhealthy emotions & actions produced by the fleshly heart. Revelation 21:1 says there are "no more seas" immediately after the judgment day. At that point fleshly hearts no longer exists. Vegetation is the same word used in Psalm 23 of "green pastures" thus it pictures rest.

With this parallel we can see why God "separated" things in creation because that is what He does in our walk in our new creation. First & foremost our identity is separated from the flesh. Second our minds & hearts (mindsets, beliefs) are separated from the flesh. Third our hearts (emotions, actions) are further separated from the flesh as well as our physical body parts which housed lusts & undisciplined behaviors.

Fourth Day
Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.
God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.
God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.


Then God said, "Let there be enlightenment in the mind of the flesh to separate the spirit of life from the flesh, and let the enlightenment be for guiding others and as a reminder of life & eternal life; and let the enlightenment be for showing others Christ, to renew the minds of their flesh & give them enlightenment"; and it was so.

God gave two great enlightenments, the greater to control the life flowing from the spirit, and the lesser to control the deeds of the flesh; He also gave multitudes of enlightenment placed in the mind of the flesh to give enlightenment to the flesh, and to control the spirit and the flesh, and to separate consciousness of the spirit from sin consciousness; and God saw that it was good. First there was shadowiness and then light prevailed over it, a fourth life.

Fifth Day
Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

Then God said, “Let the depths of your heart bring forth abundant swarms of life to others, and let peace fly to others who are open in the mind of their flesh." God created great love in your heart for life giving and heart moving. The depths of your heart swarm with uniquely suited love for each person, and uniquely suited wings of peace for each person; and God saw that it was good. God blessed the love & life inside of you, saying "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the depths of others hearts, and let peace multiply to all flesh.” First there was emptiness now there is abundant love, a fifth life.

Sixth Day Part 1
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let your flesh release life & love uniquely suited for others:  silent love, moving love, and energetic love uniquely suited for whoever would accept it"; and it was so. God made energetic love, silent love, and all kinds of love that can move a human being, uniquely suited for whoever would accept it; and God saw that it was good.

"Let your flesh release" means let your mind, which is made of flesh, release, allow, or bring forth goodness from your spirit. Actions & emotions manifest through your flesh.

Sixth Day Part 2
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.


Then God said, “We have made new men in Our image, according to Our likeness; they possess & can command the life in their hearts and the peace of their flesh, and the silent love, and the love that moves mankind."

God created new men in His own image, in the image of God He created them; separate but equal He created them. "Abound with love towards others, displace the flesh & control it. Command the abundant life in your hearts, command peace for your flesh, command all the life you have in your spirit to move hearts of flesh."

Then God said, “Look, I have given you all healing sown by truth for your hearts & flesh, and every bit of fruitful love which brings forth friendship & truth. Truth, healing, and friendship are your food. To all energetic love, all peace in the flesh, all moving love, to all things that have & give life, I have given every bit of naturally progressing healing to feed, sustain, & grow them”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and look at it, it was very good. And there was abundance and there was overabundance, the sixth life.

Here is meaning I received from the pictograph for the words 'green plant.' "I hand you who were once poor the ability to gather light through love. You know me & eat with me in my family."

Day Seven
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

The mind & the flesh came to an end, and all the things around them. By the seventh day God completed His work of making all things new, and He rested with His new creation on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it eternally holy, because in it He rested with His holy & completed children who He had created and made.

Evening has the meaning of "obscuration" & "mixture." In evening the flesh obscures the spirit & they outwardly seem mixed but by the morning, which has the meaning of "becoming distinguishable," the separation of the spirit from the flesh is more outwardly obvious than it was at the beginning of the day. On the seventh day there is no "evening & morning." The sixth day ends with a spiritual man with sanctified flesh but the seventh day is eternal glorification, a rest from the new creation because creation is complete. The spiritual creation, you becoming part of God's light, was complete on day one, but the mind/heart/flesh renewal is not complete until the body passes away. You are put to rest in peace as your consciousness now solely exists in the spirit & your spirit rests without the burden of the flesh. That is the seventh day.

A Note:
Below all 7 days are combined. The symbolism I used to translate not only comes from truth found in the New Testament about our new creation but I researched the symbolic meanings of words, root meanings of words, & even meanings culled from the Ancient Hebrew pictographs for the words. So writing this was not a matter of me plugging in what I thought sounded pretty but meanings hidden in the text itself, truth culled from the New Testament & the experience of living my life as a new creation in Christ regarding how He changes me. So please trust that my writing here is more than a poet in love with God, the depths and beauty of what is said is actually buried in the text.

The Seven Days of Your New Creation in Jesus
In your beginning God created your body & mind, your flesh. Your flesh was as nothing, with gloom & shame covering your deep yet empty heart. The Spirit of God was moving over the surface of your heart Then He said, "Let there be light; and there was light." God saw you as good; and separated your spirit of light from the darkness of your flesh. He called you spirit & life and the flesh He called sinful & dead. First there came darkness and then came the breaking forth of light. You are One Life with God.

Then God said, "Let there be a renewed mind in the midst of your heart & let it separate the fleshly heart from the spiritual heart." God made the renewed mind, and separated the fleshly heart which was below the renewed mind from the spiritual heart which was above the renewed mind; and it was so. God called the renewed mind the unveiled mind of Christ. First there was ignorance and then came enlightenment. A second life.

Then God said, "Let the heart below the flesh be gathered into one place, and let the clean flesh appear"; and it was so. God called the clean flesh body parts offered to righteousness, and the gathering of the fleshly heart He called body parts offered to sin; and God saw that the separation was good.

Then God said, "Let the body parts offered to righteousness produce fresh rest, healing coupled with truth, and fruitful love uniquely suited for each person with the truth of Christ in it"; and it was so.

The body parts offered to righteousness brought fresh rest, uniquely suited healing coupled with truth, and fruitful love uniquely suited for each person with the truth of Christ in it; and God saw that it was good. First there was dormancy and then love sprang out, a third life.

Then God said, "Let there be enlightenment in the mind of the flesh to separate the spirit of life from the flesh, and let the enlightenment be for guiding others and as a reminder of life & eternal life; and let the enlightenment be for showing others Christ, to renew the minds of their flesh & give them enlightenment"; and it was so.

God gave two great enlightenments, the greater to control the life flowing from the spirit, and the lesser to control the deeds of the flesh; He also gave multitudes of enlightenment placed in the mind of the flesh to give enlightenment to the flesh, and to control the spirit and the flesh, and to separate consciousness of the spirit from sin consciousness; and God saw that it was good. First there was shadowiness and then light prevailed over it, a fourth life.


Then God said, “Let the depths of your heart bring forth abundant swarms of life to others, and let peace fly to others who are open in the mind of their flesh." God created great love in your heart for life giving and heart moving. The depths of your heart swarm with uniquely suited love for each person, and uniquely suited wings of peace for each person; and God saw that it was good. God blessed the love & life inside of you, saying "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the depths of others hearts, and let peace multiply to all flesh.” First there was emptiness now there is abundant love, a fifth life.

Then God said, "Let your flesh release life & love uniquely suited for others:  silent love, moving love, and energetic love uniquely suited for whoever would accept it"; and it was so. God made energetic love, silent love, and all kinds of love that can move a human being, uniquely suited for whoever would accept it; and God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “We have made new men in Our image, according to Our likeness; they possess & can command the life in their hearts and the peace of their flesh, and the silent love, and the love that moves mankind."

God created new men in His own image, in the image of God He created them; separate but equal He created them. "Abound with love towards others, displace the flesh & control it. Command the abundant life in your hearts, command peace for your flesh, command all the life you have in your spirit to move hearts of flesh."

Then God said, “Look, I have given you all healing sown by truth for your hearts & flesh, and every bit of fruitful love which brings forth friendship & truth. Truth, healing, and friendship are your food. To all energetic love, all peace in the flesh, all moving love, to all things that have & give life, I have given every bit of naturally progressing healing to feed, sustain, & grow them”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and look at it, it was very good. And there was abundance and there was overabundance, the sixth life.


The mind & the flesh came to an end, and all the things around them. By the seventh day God completed His work of making all things new, and He rested with His new creation on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it eternally holy, because in it He rested with His holy & completed children who He had created and made.

Galatians 5 Paraphrased for us Gentiles

Christ Jesus set us free from laws. Laws are burdensome obligations that have punishments for not keeping them. Jesus set us free so that we could stay free. Stand firm, don't let anyone convince you to burden yourself by laws which shackle you & make you a slave. If you put yourself under laws the amazing experience of knowing Christ will be nullified. That's right, because even if you only try to keep one law you'll eventually feel compelled to keep as many as you can think of or as many as people tell you that you should. If you think you can make yourself approved in the eyes of God or make yourself feel righteous by keeping laws you've just about completely lost sight of Jesus & His love for you.

We trust Jesus through our spirits. The flesh, by itself, is valueless to God & us. The only thing of value is trust in God expressing itself through love. While the flesh is good for manifesting that love, the source of that love & trust is the spirit. Even thinking there are a few mandatory laws can mess up your whole life concerning your view of yourself & your view of God. You live in the true reality of knowing God when you walk by the spirit instead of by laws & fleshly desires. God will never persuade you to put yourself under laws. Someone doing that type of thing isn't doing it because God told them to. What happened on the cross is only offensive to those who tell you that you should keep laws. Christ nailed God's old law to the cross & left it there & He's not making any new laws.


Brothers and sisters, you were called to be free. But don't use your freedom to give the flesh the opportunity to control you; instead, serve one another humbly in love. While it is true that God's entire old covenant law is fulfilled by keeping the one command to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” remember, by the flesh no one could keep that law. So instead of being under laws & trying to keep the command to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” walk by the spirit. When you do that you will not gratify the desires of the flesh, one of which is to keep an external set of laws to make yourself feel better. The flesh & the spirit don't desire the same things. If you try to walk by both they will start a war inside you keeping you from doing anything you would want to do. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law & you aren't led by permanent universal rules that weigh you down. The flesh has a much harder time gaining ground when the law is not involved.

You are heirs to God's kingdom because you belong to Christ Jesus. He has separated your identity from the flesh & its deeds, passions, & desires. Instead you are in the spirit which bears the fruit of love. Love consists of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control. Love is so good no one can make laws against it. Love is unstoppable. The fruit of the spirit is love so if you want to love your neighbor forget about laws & rules. Instead walk by the spirit & watch God's love flow into your heart & back out of your heart into the world.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Knowledge of God's Will

Paul said to the Colossians (v1:9) "We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding." Our problem comes when we assume "the knowledge of His will" refers to "the knowledge of His will for our lives." It does not. Jesus said in John 6:40, "This is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and trusts in Him will have eternal life." So to be filled with the knowledge of God's will is to have a deep & unmixed understanding of the gospel & of God's love for mankind. God will gladly teach you that if you ask Him & if you don't try to teach yourself by referring to men/authors/preachers/commentaries. You want to trust the Spirit of God to teach you & lead you to all truth as Jesus promised He would. You don't do that by running to a man to give you answers. If you don't trust Jesus (especially to teach you) you won't learn from Him & you will be easily deceived by the falsehood out there in sermons & other things.

God speaks to us using truth found in the bible but just because we are reading the bible doesn't mean we are learning the truth. The bible is the easiest book to be deceived about because we put so much confidence in what it says or rather what we think it says. Believe it or not whether or not it is good for you to read the bible depends on where you are in your walk with God. Jesus never told anyone to read the scriptures. If we start with wrong perceptions of God & of ourselves, we will have wrong premises & wrong paradigms, we will twist the scriptures to our own destruction without even meaning to.

The main way to have God's voice clear from your side is to know the type of things God says & the type of things He wouldn't say (read Help in Knowing God's Voice for that). Ask God questions, not about your life but about truth He wants to teach you. His truth will impact your life. He has answered every question of mine regarding His truth.

If you spend more time thinking about your failures than you do your Father & His favor you need to know a lot more about how incredibly much God loves you. The same goes if you focus on other people's failures, you need to know a lot more about how incredibly much God loves them. God wants to reveal His heart for other people by revealing their hearts to you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Saved Through Fire?

"We are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

Which Works Burn?
Paul said He laid the foundation of Jesus Christ with the grace of God. People take grace to be interchangeable with the word power, thinking God's grace is God's power or allowance but the grace of God is actually God's loving-favor for us. The foundation of Jesus Christ was laid by showing that He is the perfect revelation of God's love towards mankind. So the works that build on this foundation don't picture sin vs lack of sin, they refer to how you present the character of God. If you build on Jesus by presenting the truth of His loving-favor your "works" are gold & so on. If you misrepresent the character of God your works will burn up.

Paul addresses in this chapter (v4, 21-22) people attaching themselves to Paul or Apollos. He says, "Let no one boast in men." Thus another type of works that burns up is when you displace or replace the importance of Jesus by promoting adherence to a human (leader, teacher, whatever). The context is about how people represent the character of God in what they say. We don't build on Jesus by being personally moral, we build on Him by speaking the truth of His love & who He is. We also build on Him by showing that love.

Saved Through Fire?
The idea that a Christian is "saved through fire" can bring up pictures of God punishing us because of our works. That itself is a misrepresentation of God's grace. When we see the word saved in the bible we almost always link it to salvation. But saved is a normal word that can apply to many things. So let's replace the word saved here with the alternate wording of "kept safe." "If any man’s work is burned up.. he himself will be kept safe, yet so as through fire." This doesn't picture God punishing us for our works. It pictures God's grace despite our works. First off it is the works that are tested by the fire, not the person. The bad works, the ways you've misrepresented or spread falsehood about God with good intentions, all of those works are the things that are burnt up. But the person is kept safe. The person is kept safe even though his works go up in flames. The person is completely kept safe through the flames as his bad works burn up. We are kept safe in Christ, saved, despite our bad works because of His great love for us.

God Will Destroy?
"Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are." People are easy to take this as a threat from God, as God threatening His children with punishment or destruction. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul tells us to honor God with our body (temple) & avoid sexual immorality. He makes no threat that God will destroy or kill a Christian for being sexually immoral with their body. If this is saying God destroys us because we destroy ourselves He would also have to destroy Himself because "anyone who destroys the temple of God will be destroyed by God." Paul is reinforcing the fact that God will not destroy His own people by stating that He defends His people so it would be clear that the flames someone is "saved through" is not punishment. God holds nothing we His children do against us but it says here He does reward our works that revealed who He truly is to people.

My Paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
"Don't you know that you're God's temple & that His Spirit lives in you? Your works going up in flames doesn't mean God is going to harm you or punish you because if any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy Him. God is not going to destroy His own temple nor will He destroy Himself. His temple is holy, you're His temple. Since you are holy your bad works cannot defile you but good works, letting people know who Jesus really is by telling them & loving them, bring good things.

Don't deceive yourself. The wisdom of this world makes God out to be a bad guy who would never love us like He did through Jesus. The so called wise are crafty in getting you to believe their views but God knows their "wisdom" is useless. So don't brag about how smart men are, not even me, Paul, because Jesus Christ is our wisdom from God & He has given us all things. All things belong to you, Paul, Apollos, & Peter, we're yours. You don't have to be ours, we can all be each other's. You don't have to put yourself under someone to get things, you already have all things. Use what you have. You have life, power over death, victory over the world, all things present & all things to come; they all belong to you and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Good News

"If a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law." (Galatians 3:21)
People say that the reason people aren't saved is because they aren't acceptable to God because they fall short of God's standard of holiness, referring to the law. But this tells us that even if you kept all of the law all of the time your whole life you still would die because obedience to the law could never give life. You see mankind's problem is the condition of sin, not the actions of sin. The disease of sin leads to death. Mankind got infected by sin.

God only held people's actions against them under the law to help people become aware of their disease so it would not kill them sooner. God didn't hide from Adam & Eve when they sinned, Adam & Eve hid from God. Sin was never about you being "unworthy" in God's eyes to approach God. Sin was about you being too shame-filled to see God & too sick to make it in the next life & dying forever as a result. The God of life wasn't sitting in heaven too stubborn to forgive impure people. He was doing everything He could to preserve them. It was never about God holding our actions against us. How do we know that? Because Jesus doesn't hold anything against us when offering us the cure for sin.

In the New Testament to "be saved" means to "be cured." Jesus took our disease (sin) on the cross & became the cure. He was injected with our sin to bring about the antidote because He was the only one who had immunity to it. We've been taught that "our sin killed Jesus" & that we should feel really bad about that. But neither is true. Jesus said He would willingly lay down His life. We saw this happen on the cross when Jesus willingly announced the giving up of His Spirit from His body & breathed His last. Jesus defeated sin on the cross. Jesus did not die because sin had the power to kill Him. He died so that He could raise again to life to defeat death. He broke the power of sin & death, sin on the cross, death while coming out of the grave.

If the reason we face death is because God holds our actions against us why would Jesus suffer so intensely & die? If God was just saving us from Himself, instead of suffering He could have just saved Himself the trouble & changed His mind to choose to forgive us. The word forgive in the bible is a poor translation. The word in the bible does not mean "stop being offended" as the English word forgive does. It actually means "to take away." So in today's sense of the word forgive, God never forgave a single person living today. We were all born after the law ended & after the cure had been introduced. God has never counted a single sin against us, blamed us, or been mad at us. God took away our sins on the cross meaning He took away the spiritual barrier that sin created between mankind & God. He also took away the law which charged us with sin. Only by trusting in Him do we take the cure. Taking the cure of Christ makes God able to take away our burden of sin (guilt/shame) & the condition of sin from our spirit which cleanses us from all unrighteousness by giving us a new eternally living spirit that is united with God.


Related Posts
Lifted Up to His Glory:  Talks about how "falling short of God's glory" doesn't picture falling short of some kind of standard.

God Treats You With Humility

When Jesus invited people to come to know Him in Matthew 11:29 He said, "I am gentle & humble in heart." What else did Jesus say about the heart? "What you say flows out from your heart" (Luke 6:45). That means Jesus speaks to us with gentleness & humility. What!? God is humble in how He treats us? Yes. God respects you. What!? God respects me? Yes, just as it is loving for you to respect another human being & not treat them harshly or burden them God treats us that way too. Remember God is love.

This was Jesus directly describing His character & communication. If you think God has treated you without gentleness & without humility you've mislabeled something else as God (probably your own shame). Jesus also promised here to give us rest. God does not make you restless or discontent.

Related Posts:
Yoked or Unyoked is The Issue of Mankind
Help in Knowing God's Voice

A Brick Wall at the Starting Line

Jesus only told us one thing that could ever render his word, his truth, ineffective. Most would readily say, "Well it must be sin" or "It must be disobedience." No, Jesus said the one thing that could render his truth ineffective is the traditions of men (Mark 7:13).

Every church has been based on the traditions of men for nearly 2,000 years. The entire church system is based on the traditions of men. Men took what Jesus said "stops the truth of God" & used it to create what is supposed to be the main place where people get the truth of God. That is like designing a race track with a brick wall at the starting line. Either people go nowhere or they crash. God is with His people whether there is a brick wall or not so people can connect with God & learn from Him no matter where they are or what they are doing. Still every building that people go to supposedly get closer to God in is already stopping at least some truth of God based on their mere existence.

Jesus wants to teach you all truth but your belief in traditions of men stop His truth from clinging to your heart. Even if you don't rely on or believe in them very much the fact that they are practiced in your presence stops the truth of God & gives you certain perceptions about yourself, others, & God.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Why so few Believe John 3:16

It is amazing how John 3:16 is the most well known verse from all of the bible yet so few people, Christian & Non-Christian alike, believe that God loves them or that God loves the world.

It takes a TON of unloving religious garbage to distort & invalidate something so simple for so many people. Visible Christianity, historically & presently, has not only misrepresented God.. it has presented Him with the very character of Satan. It says Jesus only saves you to "use you" as His "slave" for "His own glory." It pictures God the Father as the most double minded, demanding, immature, & offendable being to have ever existed. To be honest, most atheists have a better idea of who God should be than Christians do. Many atheists don't believe in God because the "Christian god" they are presented with is not loving. You see "God is love" is so universally true that those who don't see God's love reject His existence. Where they see no love they see no God.

Christians saw God's love at least the day they were saved but every day after that their religion has condemned them by teaching them that sin is the focal point of the Christian life & is something powerful enough to separate us from every aspect of the love of God. Therefore Christians ultimately believe the lie that God is not love or that His love is conditional to our obedience & lack of sinning. So to the Christian God couldn't possibly love the world because He barely loves His own children thus they go on threatening nations & individuals with God's wrathful judgment.

Without God's love for the world there is no good news. When the world doesn't see love & Christians don't feel loved what kind of news is that?


Related Posts
The God & The World of John 3:16

The Relationship is The Freedom

You have to know the truth to be experientially set free. That is the only thing that works. Know the truth & live in freedom in a relationship with God.

If you take the truth & use it to apply principles or as inspiration to keep rules you've missed freedom & the relationship. The freedom is the relationship. When you are set free you walk with God & whatever happens during that walk is unique to you & Him. Don't try to apply truth to your life, instead walk out the discovery & usefulness of that truth with God.

The line between dead religion & living in a relationship with God can be easy to cross. While you can teach people the truth about God's love you cannot teach people how to lived loved in their relationship with God.

You can be taught all about God but until you engage with Him, walk with Him, & hear the truth from Him what you hold as truth is nothing but a treadmill, a knowledge that gives you the illusion of walking in a relationship with Him. The treadmill will stop working for you in the right circumstances. When it stops working you're left wondering what you did wrong & questioning your relationship with God. God was with you the whole time & getting involved in your life where He could even though you walked on a treadmill. The problem was that you were tiring yourself out & getting nowhere. You weren't on a journey with Him, a journey where you walk, rest, & relate. The treadmill never stops & your beliefs set the constant speed but a journey with God is relaxing, fun, & includes rests.

 Jesus knew that everyone is different & that people would live in different times & in different places. That is one reason why He gave His Spirit. One size fits all at all times for all time instructions on living that work don't exist. Jesus gave us His spirit to walk with us, relate to us, & teach us tailored to all of the uniqueness of who we are. God is love, His Spirit is love so He will always guide us in love. He is the living constant. He is the only universal ingredient in the Christian life. BECAUSE HE LIVES WITH US we can face anything. Not because He said.. or because you should.. but BECAUSE HE LIVES WITH US!


This post inspired by this God Journey Podcast Episode

Friday, December 7, 2012

"This is love for God: to keep His commands" Uh oh! ...there goes grace!

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and His commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 5:2-3)

Right off the bat people make an assumption about which commands John was talking about. They assume it includes either all of the commands of the old covenant, or the 10 commandments, or the 2 greatest old covenant commandments Jesus identified, or every command Jesus ever spoke (regardless of who He spoke it to), or every command in the New Testament, or even every command in all of scripture.

1 John 5:3 says, "his commandments are not burdensome." This tells us right away that John is not including the commands of the old covenant. How do we know this? From what happens in Acts 15.

Some of the sect of the Pharisees who had trusted stood up, saying, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” The apostles and older men met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them:
“Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and trust. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by trust. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We trust it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:5-11)

Here in the narrative of Acts Peter clearly says that Gentile Christians are not required to keep the law of Moses (including the 611 commands in it which includes the 10 commandments & the 2 greatest commandments). Peter points out that neither the Apostles, prophets, nor any Jew in history was able to bear the yoke of the law. Peter also said that it is testing God to require people to keep the law.

John was almost certainly there when this happened in Acts 15. Peter said all of the law of Moses was burdensome (unbearable) thus the commands John refers to in 1 John 5 could not have included any of those laws, 2 of which are the "love God with all that you are" & "love your neighbor as yourself" commands. Colossians 2:14, Ephesians 2:15 say the old covenant commands were "against us" & "stood opposed to us." Galatians 5:1 calls the law a yoke of slavery that Christ set us free from.

What Were the Commands?
John tells us earlier in his letter what the "commands" he speaks of in 1 John 5 are. In 1 John 3:23 he says, "This is God's command: to trust in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us." "As he commanded us" is "To love one another as He has loved us" (John 13:34). The commands he speaks of in 1 John 5 are "Trust Jesus" & "love one another as Jesus has loved us."

But John says, His commands aren't burdensome. He doesn't say the commands are unheavy burdens or light burdens. He says they aren't burdensome at all. How can that be? Are we supposed to "be good Christians" by pretending that they don't burden us? The mere fact that something is a command makes it burdensome. Well they are burdens but the burdens are carried by Christ not us! These commands are based on His love & His trustworthiness not upon our performance. While they are burdens, so to speak, they are not burdensome because the easiest thing ever for God to do is to be trustworthy & loving.

Galatians 5:6 says, "The only thing that counts is trust being expressed through love." The only thing that counts is trust in Jesus being expressed through loving actions by God in you. This is the natural product of trusting Jesus thus "His commands are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3). Our trust in Him naturally expresses love because He is the vine, He produces the love and love comes out of us as we trust Him. We don't need commands to tell us to love. We have LOVE HIMSELF living inside of us.

In John 6:28-29 some people asked Jesus, "What do we do to perform God's works?" Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you: Trust in the one he has sent." This is deeply true. Trust is the only thing you have to do, everything else is done by God through you because you trust Him! Why do we trust Him? Because He loves us! How much does God love us? John 17:20-23 & 15:9 tells us The Father loves us just as much as He loves Jesus! Jesus loves us just as much as the Father loves Him!

Related Posts:
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments † I Will Love You So You Will Trust Me
Trust and Love, Everything We Need
Love God?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Great Scriptures for All Christians & Christian Groups

God is Love. God is not self seeking. (1 Corinthians 13:5/1 John 4:8)
Jesus says, "I reveal Myself to you so that in knowing Me you may have peace." (John 16:33)
God has stopped counting people's sins against them. (2 Corinthians 5:19)
God the Father loves you as much as He loves Jesus. Jesus loves you as much as the Father loves Him. (John 17:23,15:9)
Since God is for us God cannot also be against us. (Romans 8:31)
The Lord says, “I promise to never be angry with you or offended at you.“ (Isaiah 54:9)
Jesus says, “I do not call you my servants. I call you my friends. You are not God's servants. You are God's children.” (John 15:15/Galatians 4:7)

Nothing, including yourself, can separate you from the love of God. (Romans 8:35)
Jesus says, "I will never leave or forsake you. Look for me in your life because I will always be with you." (Hebrews 13:5/Matthew 28:20)
There is no fear in love. Love gets rid of fears. Fear involves punishment. Love does not punish. (1 John 4:18)
Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows He has made us innocent. (1 John 3:20)
Jesus says, "I will treat you with gentleness & humility. I will not make you feel like a slave & I will not make you fearful. I want to give you rest, wisdom, & ease." (Matthew 11:28-30/Romans 8:15)

Whoever trusts that Jesus is the Christ is born of God & is one spirit with Him. (1 John 5:1/1 Corinthians 6:17)
Because we have trusted in Christ Jesus who rose from the dead we are not in our sins, we are in Christ instead! He has perfected our spirits forever & is purifying our flesh by renewing our minds with His kindness. (1 Corinthians 15:17/Hebrews 10:14/Romans 12:2,2:4)
Because the Spirit of God lives in you, you are never in the flesh, instead you are always in the spirit. God will never identify you by the flesh. (Romans 8:9/2 Corinthians 5:16)
Your new spirit has been created in the likeness of God. You truly are right with God. You were made righteous, pure, guiltless, innocent, faultless, and holy. (Ephesians 4:24)

By his divine power, God has already given us everything we need for life and godliness. All we have to do is discover and enjoy those things. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
Do you want the riches of God's glory? Well the riches of God's glory is Christ in you! Jesus fills us with the hope of seeing God's glory unfolding throughout our lives. (Colossians 1:27)

Jesus abolished the Law of commandments contained in written rules. Those commands were against us & stood opposed to us. He took them away and nailed them to the cross (Colossians 2:14, Ephesians 2:15)
You cannot become righteous by keeping the commands in the scriptures. If you could then Christ died for nothing. Righteousness instead comes as a gift you receive from God by trusting in Christ. (Galatians 2:21/Philippians 3:9)
Trying to keep the law is like slavery & it is a burden too great for any person to bear, even the apostles & prophets of old. Christ set you free so you could stay free. Don't make yourselves slaves of the law by trying to keep the law. (Romans 7:6/Acts 15:10/Galatians 5:1)
You cannot be trying to keep the Law & be led by the Spirit of God at the same time. (Galatians 5:18)

Jesus says, "This is the will of God, that you trust Me so you can know Me forever." (John 6:40)
Jesus says, "The only work God wants from you is to trust in Me. Everything else flows from that." (John 6:28-29)
Love doesn't happen by us trying to love God. Love starts with God loving us & ends with us loving one another. (1 John 4:7-11)
Listen to God & value Him. You can be secure if you stop trying to make yourself feel secure. Instead of trusting yourself to bring about your own security know that it is God who works in you to desire & to act according to His heart's desire. His heart desires the best for you. (Philippians 2:12-13)

Do not let anyone condemn you by insisting on self-denial in the name of humility. (Colossians 2:18)
Rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, strict self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in stopping the harmful desires of the flesh. (Colossians 2:23)
You'll be happy if you don't condemn yourself by choosing what you think is good to do & bad to do. Trust God & then don't doubt yourself. If you doubt yourself you'll feel guilty. (Romans 14:22-23)
God's kingdom is not a place of demanding & forcing. God is a giver who rules over us by giving to us. He gives us freedom, purity, peace, & joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)
Satan cannot touch someone who is born of God. (1 John 5:18)

God does not live in buildings made by people (Acts 17:24)
We are God's House (Hebrews 3:6)
Jesus says, "You do not need to go anywhere to worship. If you do go somewhere to worship it is irrelevant because true worship is done in spirit and truth." (John 4:23)
Each person should give what he has decided in his own heart to give. He should neither give reluctantly nor give because he feels forced. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

The Lord God declares, "I myself will shepherd my sheep and give them rest." (Ezekiel 34:15)
Jesus says, "Do not be called leaders because you only have one leader, Christ." (Matthew 23:10)
Jesus says, "You shall not have authority over one another. You are all equal brothers." (Luke 22:25-26/Matthew 23:8)
Do nothing to seek an office for yourself but with humility of mind regard others as more important than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
All who are in Christ are equally in Him. (2 Corinthians 10:7)
You do not need anyone to teach you. The Spirit teaches you about all things. (1 John 2:27/John 16:13)
No person is to act as your judge in regards to what you do. God accepts all of His children. He died for all of them. Don't judge your brother, only be careful not to stand in his way or cause him to stumble. All of you have been made complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10,17/Romans 14:13,15)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

God is Not All Knowing & God is Not in Control

The dilemma comes up often, "How can an all knowing God allow evil?" I suggest to you that God is all knowing minus evil.

Jeremiah 32:35 says, "They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they would do this abomination." This clearly says that the evil they did never entered into God's mind. Why? Because God is good. He does not harbor knowledge of future evil. He does not fill His mind with knowledge of the sins of the world.

1 John 3:5 says, "In Jesus there is no sin." Jesus also made clear that thinking about murder, adultery, etc is sinful like doing those things. So then does God think about evil if there is no sin in Him? Is there sin in His head? No. God doesn't dwell on evil nor does He retain it in His knowledge. God deals with evil as it happens or after it happens.

God does not allow evil because He does not foresee evil. He is too good to have knowledge of evil within Him. He knows the difference between good & evil as Genesis 3:22 says because He participates in all good & refuses to be involved in any evil (James 1:17).

God is love & love does not demand its own way (1 Corinthians 13:5). God does not override people's freewill. Sure we think this is a good idea when it comes to evil deeds because we think the best way to protect someone is to control them. But it is not. Love never controls. In our hearts & minds we know that is true, unless of course we are doing the controlling because we feel as though we need to protect someone or guide someone "in their best interests." God does know what is best for us but love still never controls. God does not break what love is under the guise of "doing it for your own good." If He did somewhere in our hearts we would know it is not love. If God is not love He is unworthy. If God has not love then God is nothing & that is why so many don't believe He exists, they've never been presented with a God who is truly Love.

God is not in control. He has not been in control since day 6 of creation just before He created mankind with freewill and dominion over the earth. God is the most powerful & knowledgeable being but God is also love & love does not demand its own way. As God Himself tells us in Jeremiah 32:35, quoted above, God does not foresee evil. He does not retain evil in His knowledge. He does not remember sins either.

In the name of protecting the omniscient & sovereignty doctrines people will paint God as loveless, evil, & even the source of sin. But the truth is God is eternally omniscient minus evil. You can either view God as a self-centered being playing the world like a video game or as a Father of many children who never controls but fully loves. He is a Father, His first born Son told us so! Is your God a programmer who ran a simulation with AI? Is your God a gamer who plays us like a video game? Is your God a careless father who pays no attention to his family? None of those, though they are the dominant views of God in the world, represent the Father Jesus revealed to us.

God is a Father. Think about what a father is. Even the most manipulative father cannot control every aspect of all his children's lives. He can lock them up, distort their beliefs, force their hands but none of those things make someone believe they are loved nor do they inspire love. Love requires freedom. The freedom sin, Satan, & shame stole from mankind Christ again offers back to us & then some! Fathers provide, protect, guide, & most of all love. God works to love & protect mankind in ways we have no idea about.

Religion has sold us an all knowing God who is in complete control because it thinks that is what makes people feel secure. But the fact is that the only view of God that really makes people secure is the true view of Him, God is love & God is good. He doesn't have to be in complete control & He doesn't have to know all things for us to be confident in Him. All we need to know is He is with us & He loves us. If we think we need more then we don't grasp His love or presence in our lives.

"The Lord is upright! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!" (Psalm 92:15)

Since we all know God exists & evil exists ask yourself, which of these makes God seem the most loving?
God controls everything thus He is responsible for all evil.
God knows about all evil ever for thousands of years in advance but chooses not to stop it before it happens.
God doesn't care about people so He lets evil occur.
God only cares about certain people so He protects some from evil & not others.
God does not foresee evil so He can't stop evil before it happens but He does His best to help those affected by it.


Related Posts
God's License to Sin?
3 Doctrines That Really Don't Believe God is Love

The Devil Has the Power of Death

Hebrews 2:12-15, "Since God's children live in flesh & blood Jesus Himself became flesh & blood, that through death He might render powerless the one who holds the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives."

How People Were Protected from the Power of Death in the Old Testament
Here it says, "the devil holds the power of death." This text means that the devil also had the power of death before the cross, in Old Testament times. God tried to protect people from Satan by offerings, sacrifices, & obedience. If we take Satan having the power of death very seriously & the fact that he made people fear for their lives we can see God's motivation in the OT change from looking like a selfish God who demands obedience to a loving, protecting God who advises His children against things that lead to death. Because Satan had the power of death people had to be protected from him. So if they did not cooperate with God they refused his wise protection & they died.

Cain & Abel
Before the law Cain & Abel gave offerings that God regarded or disregarded. This suggests that they were told that they should do this. So the idea of sacrifices & offerings did not start with the law. God did not have "regard" for Cain's offering of fruit. The word regard there carries the idea of "a shepherd who inspects and watches over his flock with compassion and protection." Most seem to take God's disregard to Cain's offering as arbitrary or mysterious. But what happened is Cain's offering didn't allow God to protect Cain from sin. He gave fruits instead of blood. Satan craves blood & death.

Cain was angry & his head fell because his offering was not good enough but God said to Him, "If you do well, will there not be a lifting up?" The word for "lifting up" is the same word often translated as "forgive" that means to "lift up" or "carry away" a burden. God then said, "If you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” This is the first use of the word "sin" in the entire bible. Sin is described as something that wants to follow Cain & ambush him. God says Cain must control/master/rule over sin. How? By offering the appropriate blood sacrifice, that is what "doing well" means. Cain could have the oppression of sin lifted off of him by giving the right sacrifice. This then doesn't describe God playing arbitrary favorites. Instead He is seeking to protect these brothers but His protection requires their cooperation because sin is a spiritual force, the devil, who God is aware of but they are little aware of. God's regard & disregard for the sacrifices is essentially God saying, "Abel your metal shield is great protection. Cain your grass shield is going to be useless."

Cain then Goes on to kill his brother. Why? Because the burden, guilt, shame, oppression, & influence of sin causes the action of sin. We also know there was something wrong with Cain's heart already because he didn't give the appropriate sacrifice. Satan seeks to kill. One way he does this is by convincing humans to kill one another. The only way for Satan to kill a protected man is by using another man to do it.  But next is one amazing thing God does. Cain says to God that he fears death. God then marked Cain to where no one who found him would kill him. God protected Cain, a murderer, from being murdered. We see that even though the law would some day judge Cain as worthy of death God saved his life & protected him from death. God is a God of life!

Most translations have Cain say, "My punishment is greater than I can bear." But the word punishment is actually the word for "twistedness, wickedness, unrighteousness." Cain was actually saying, "My twistedness is greater than I can bear." He was broken up about what he had done. Additionally the meaning of the names of the people in Cain's family were godly, also suggesting that Cain regretted what he had done. God was somehow able to mark Cain as protected from murderers because of this. (Side note: Cain is taught to be the first murderer yet Cain fears "whoever finds me will kill me"). God was able to sometimes protect men from being murdered, men such as Cain, Job, & the armies of Israel.

The Law
God's goal is to protect life despite sin, not to take life because of sin. The curses of the law weren't only a revelation about how God feels about sin or to be punishments from Him. They were also the reality of what Satan can seize through sin. God said in Deuteronomy 6:2 that keeping his laws prolonged people's lives & breaking them & worshipping false gods lead to death. Paul also said that obedience to the law can preserve life but it cannot give life & certainly cannot give eternal life.

Hebrews 7:18-19 describes the law as weak & unprofitable. The law could not add anything. It could only keep & weakly defend. It says the reason why is because "the law made nothing perfect." Yes God would bless people for obedience because obedience was safety for them. The law is performance based & sin is performance based, God is not performance based. Because sin, which is Satan who holds the power of death, is performance based God had to make a performance based law to protect mankind. The law was "safety rules." This is one reason why some of the laws seem so strange. Satan would take the smallest drop of impurity & use it against people.

God's covenant with man that started with Abraham was based on trust & promises not on performance. Galatians 3:17 says, that covenant was still in effect while the law was in effect. Righteousness & life never came through the law (Galatians 3:21). People were always saved by faith/trust. If people could never be given life or righteousness through the law then why did God give it? Paul says God gave it to make people aware of sins so they would know that everyone is imprisoned under sin. Another way to make this imprisonment obvious was by the law being a burden itself which made the even greater burden of sin obvious. That is the other reason why there are strange laws, strange yet detailed laws are more burdensome.

Jews never forgot about Abraham so trusting in the promise that was given in his covenant was always an option. The law was given to preserve people's lives, help people treat one another better, & most of all point people to God to trust in Him & His promises. People weren't to fight for themselves (self-righteousness) but to trust in the Lord who wants to be their protector. Many of the descriptions of God in the OT described Him as someone strong & safe. The covenant of Moses, the law, was to get people to realize their need for God which can be fulfilled by the covenant of Abraham, faith/trust & promise, which pointed forward to the New Covenant of the Blood of Christ.

The Sin Offering
In the old covenant there was a "sin offering." It wasn't an offering to God to appease Him. Instead it was an offering toward sin (the devil) to keep him from killing people because of sin. Satan had the power of death, the power to kill anyone he wanted to. Jews had to give sin offerings to protect themselves from Satan not from God. God is always about life & saving lives.

Those sacrifices "covered" sin. Why did sin need to be covered? Because Satan demanded payment for sin, which is death. Covering sin threw Satan off the scent of people's sin (notice OT offerings had scents). In Psalm 40 & Hebrews 10 God said that He took no pleasure in sacrifices & offerings & in fact He did not desire them. That means they weren't for Him. Hebrews 10 says sacrifices could not clean people from sin & that it was impossible for them to "take away sins." If you can't get clean & you have a scent then you must cover up the scent. Satan is described as a lion seeking to devour. While it is easier for lions to hunt by sight & sound they can also hunt by smell. Thus someone who had sinned but was not openly sinning at the moment still "smelled" like sin. God wanted to take sin away so people could be clean & perfect. He eventually did so with Jesus' sacrifice.

Protected from The Power of Death by Christ
Jesus didn't cover sin, He took sin away. Jesus was a sin offering but not one to appease God or to throw off Satan (like the OT one) but to defeat Satan & "render him powerless" & "free those who feared death because of him!" Why would the devil enslave people to fear death? Because he holds the power of death. Jesus said that Satan "seeks to kill."

"Christ Jesus, the savior of the world, broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News" (2 Timothy 1:10). The power of death is broken because the way to life is illuminated. It is like saying the power of your enemy in war is broken because Jesus has laid out a bunch of rocket launchers. The enemy is still there but if you use what has been given, in this case the life offered by Christ, the enemy is powerless & you have no reason to fear him killing you. The life of Christ has hopelessly outgunned the power of death, sin, & the devil. Jesus overpowered death through His resurrection & provided a way out.

Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life; everyone who lives and trusts in Me will never die" (John 11:25). God allows our flesh to pass away because it is a sin wrecked vessel of weakness. He gives eternal life to our spirit so when we trust Him there is a sense in which we Christians never die.

"For those who have trusted in Jesus the fact of sin & death has been replaced by the new reality of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. You are free from sin & death. You have been released from the reality of sin & death and born into a new reality of the spirit, the reality of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2).

With sin taken away Satan "cannot touch the children of God" (1 John 5:18). We are cleaned of the scent of sin, made perfect, & hidden with Christ in God. Everything God wanted to do for us to protect us from Satan has been accomplished. Satan only has the influence of deception in regards to Christians & his deception is only powered if we believe his lies.

Under the law Satan would take the smallest drop of impurity & use it against people. God is not a stickler anymore about what kind of fabric we wear because Christians are protected from Satan & God is offering perfect life to all mankind through His Son, the Savior of the world. Our actions no longer condemn us because God has broken the power of sin & death. God has no reason to charge people with sin because the solution to sin has been given (2 Corinthians 5:19). The law was a defense against Satan but he managed to use it to produce more sin & death & condemnation (Romans 7:8). But Jesus is only good & only love, Satan cannot tempt God or twist Him to do evil (he tried in Job & he tried with Jesus in the desert). Today the old dead law is used by Satan to distract people from Jesus & to make people fear death (people who believe they can "lose" their salvation fear death based on their performance).

It is clear that Satan has the power of death & it is God's character to save & give life. I believe God gives people a second chance to trust Him on judgment day as evidenced by Romans 14:10-12 saying Isaiah 45:18-25 occurs on judgment day. Thus I believe God has killed people in the flesh (such as the flood, see 1 Peter 3:18) to save them from the second death. Death is His final enemy. He doesn't let death win the first time when we die in the flesh. We have a second chance to choose life.

God has not yet ended the existence of death but He has broken its power. Satan still seeks to kill but God has offered imperishable life to all mankind for free. Satan may still be able to grab hold of unsaved people's actions & produce death but there is an easy escape. It is not an escape route, it is a Savior offering to take our hand.

Related Posts
Second Chances & Why God Killed
Satan is Not God's Attack Dog 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why Having Leaders is Harmful

Notice how the bad things Jesus said in Matthew 23 about the Pharisees virtually make up the job description of pastors today. (In parenthesis are the modern equivalents). Jesus said,

They lay oppressive burdens on others (guilt, sin focus, laws, fear, tithing, serving the church).
They make themselves look good (they must dress up, smile, & act friendly).
They welcome honorary titles which makes others feel inferior to them (leader, pastor, reverend, etc).
They kept people from the kingdom of heaven by making human traditions and human religious rules more important than God’s words (you have to attend church services, listen to sermons, confess your sins, give money to the church, & loads of other falsehoods that have been formulated over the centuries).

In this same Chapter Jesus tells His disciples to "not be called leaders." We can see why. People are compelled to trust leaders because of their position or title regardless of whether or not the leaders speak the truth. Thus people will accept burdens & falsehood from leaders more readily than from anyone else because the mere existence of their position & title makes people consider them to be superior & more knowledgeable. People trust the "experts" thus leaders are the perfect people to spread & convince people of falsehoods unquestioned.

Jesus said He is our One & Only Leader. He said that we don't need anyone to teach us because the Holy Spirit will lead us to all truth. Yes the Spirit can use people to teach us but God did not set up in the New Covenant any Christians over any others to be official leaders. If you believe He has you are either fooled by mistranslations, reading into scripture what is not there, assuming it to be so because that is how it is now, or believing what you've been taught by self professed church leaders.

Other posts on this topic that will answer most questions.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Help in Knowing God's Voice

Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice." He did not say, "My lambs know my voice." You can be unsure about God's voice. You can even be deceived into thinking the voices of "hired hands" (self-professed leaders) or the wolf (Satan) is God. Those things don't have to mean you are not saved, they can mean you are a lamb. Jesus does not condemn you or reject you for being a lamb.

Scripture says 7 times, “Whoever trusts in God will never be put to shame.” Shame means disgrace. It is literally the opposite of grace. God will never make you feel shame or guilt. (By guilt I mean guilt that is self-centered. It lacks compassion, empathy, sympathy, & love for whoever you harmed. It has self-pity.) Scripture also says that Satan is the accuser of God's family. Both accuse & convict mean "to charge someone with guilt." They are both synonyms for condemn. Remember scripture says, "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." If you feel accused, convicted, or condemned it is not from God.

Learning His Voice by Seeing How God Tells Us to Talk to One Another
I believe that God will not command us to do good things that He Himself does not do for us. So I have taken some scriptures that tell people how to speak to one another (other scriptures also) and extracted how God speaks to us.

God's voice is honest, kind, compassionate, encouraging, beneficial, helpful, humble, gentle, gracious, grateful, joyous, & delightful.
God speaks love, favor, affection, encouragement, wisdom, grace, life, fulfilment, nourishment, giving, guidance, direction, blessings, sweetness, & good will.
God tells us of Jesus, His good news, His desires, His trustworthiness, Jesus's resurrection, & His love for us.
God's voice is free from anger, wrath, shame, condemnation, accusation, arrogance, complaint, fault finding, abuse, grumbling, self-centered flattery, contention, harassment, impurity, bitterness, ill-will, desire to hurt you, falsehood, mudslinging towards others, & deceit.

He wants you to know, feel, & experience His love for you more.
He seeks to love you, benefit you, build you up, & teach you.
He makes the most out of what he says to you. He knows exactly how to respond to you.
He stirs us to love one another & do good things for one another.
He does not lower one person to raise another.
He speaks from His heart.

The Lord God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. I draw you to myself with lovingkindness."
(Jeremiah 31:3)

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