Thursday, December 26, 2013

If WHO loves Him? They will keep WHAT commandments?

Many have heard people quote Jesus as saying, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" But what did Jesus say next? He said "and.." That means the oft quoted "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" isn't even a quote of the full sentence Jesus spoke! Here it is with the "and" in tact:

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments AND I will ask the Father, and He will give to you another Comforter, that He might be with you forever the Spirit of truth. He will be in you." (John 14:15-17)

Seeing this together causes us to beg the question of who the "you" Jesus is speaking to is. It cannot refer to us today because:
1. The Spirit of Truth has already been sent/given.
2. The Spirit of Truth is already in us who know God.
3. We are not saved by keeping commandments (works) we are saved by trusting in God.
4. Salvation occurs not because we loved God but because He first loved us.

If this were to us today it would mean Jesus only sends to Holy Spirit into us after we first love Him & work to keep His commands. That is the total opposite of the gospel! By now it should be obvious that we now have no business throwing this broken sentence around trying to get people to keep commands.

But this still makes no sense because Jesus did say this to someone yet it seems to be against the gospel itself. Now let us consider the greater context. Jesus said this to His disciples shortly before He was arrested & sent to the cross. This was a short & unique time in history were Jesus could be known before He finished redemption.

Jesus was saying "Do you love me Peter? Do you love me John? Do you love me Matthew?... If you love me you will keep my commandments.." Jesus had even just specified the commandments. In John 14:1 Jesus says, "Trust in God. Trust also in Me." This was Jesus' appeal to the human relational love they had for Him which was built in the time they were with Him so they would trust Him through the devastating time where He goes to the cross and even to the grave. Jesus foretold them of His death and resurrection numerous times. John 13:1 says that everything Jesus did this night was to love His disciples because He knew He was going to be arrested and die soon. Jesus wanted His disciples to trust Him so they would see Him risen & receive the Holy Spirit of Truth.

He did still love them first. They just lived in the unique time where they could love Him before they were redeemed. They were still saved by trust (faith/belief) & not works because Jesus' commands were to "Trust in (have faith in/believe in) God. Trust also in Me."

So be free my friends. God does not require us to prove our love for Him by our works. Continue to trust in Him & His love for you. When you know His love for you then you'll never doubt your love for Him.

Related Posts:
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments † I Will Love You So You Will Trust Me
"This is love for God: to keep His commands" Uh oh! ...there goes grace!
Trust and Love, Everything We Need

Monday, November 25, 2013

We've Been Holy for a While Now..

It is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." So be holy also in all your behavior (1 Peter 1:15-16).
Peter was quoting a prophecy, "you SHALL BE holy," that is fulfilled by our new birth. He is essentially saying "since you are already holy, live like it." God's children are all called "saints" which literally means "holy people." It is a lot easier to make a million when you are already a millionaire. Likewise it is a lot easier to "be holy in all your behavior" when you know you are already a holy person. You live from abundance rather than scratch for sustenance & acceptance.

We are "holy and dearly loved" (Colossians 3:12).
"Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God. God's temple is holy, and you are that temple" (1 Corinthians 3:17, 6:19-20). You are holy!

Live holy but don't live to become holy. Live holy because He has made you holy, because you are grateful for the gift of His Life, because that is who you are..

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


When scripture is our foundation instead of Christ & being rooted & grounded in love then it isn't about knowing our Father but about knowing a book & working to become an academic expert instead of resting as a son or daughter.

With scripture as the foundation in place of the living indwelling God we live as if we are children left at home while their parents are out, always telling each other "Dad said you have to do this.." "Mom said don't do that.." We may do this because we see "being right" as comparable to being in charge or being superior. So people fight to be right about the book because with it as their foundation that is how you "know God" or even "have a relationship with God." But a relationship with a book is impossible so we insecurely try to earn favor points (when in reality favor & grace are the same thing) by gaining knowledge.

We don't believe that Daddy's home. Love is the perfect bond of unity but we can't put on love if our beliefs tell us that the Holy Spirit only delivers our letters to the Father (& helps us keep laws to get daddy pleased with us) & that we're waiting on Jesus to return as if He weren't here now in the Spirit. When being right about the bible, agreeing about the bible, or even learning the bible is our goal then being in each other's lives & loving one another falls off the page.

Many people are playing "make believe daddy" & know next to nothing about God our Father. And how could they? They are told that the "purpose" of our lives is to "know what God said in scripture" & "know what God wants you to do." The Father of love is pictured as nothing more than a self-centered slave owner. To God be all the glory? Jesus shared His glory with us. Giving God praise doesn't make you righteous or humble. God's righteousness makes you so grateful you're humbled. You praise Him because of the love He's already given & continues to give. God does not demand praise, He earns praise. When we experience His love our hearts rejoicing in praise is a natural reaction just like any child rejoicing over their loving father or mother.

Friday, September 20, 2013

..Make Believe..

I've joked that I never learn the references to the scriptures I know because the references weren't inspired. But its true, by no stretch of the imagination are bible chapter & verse separations inspired by God. Adding chapter & verse separations took away the story of scripture & made it into a reference book, similar to modern law code. The mere existence of references gives people the impression that the bible is a legal moral code book. Thus many christians act as lawyers, simply comparing bible references. Jesus didn't speak kindly regarding lawyers (aka "teachers of the law"). "Turn your bibles to Luke 11:46."

Even when stories are being read preachers must insert a principle or moral or way to avoid sin into them. So even the structure of how the bible is taught & studied is done in a legal way. Let's teach our kids to memorize the 10 commandments, lets memorize verses. It's all Godless religion & it's stupid.

Christian "debate," discussions, & apologetics are often people acting as lawyers trying to prove the other guilty, guilty of being wrong. They are being devil's advocates because the devil is the accuser & an accuser is DEFINED as someone with the goal of charging others with guilt or error.

Sure Jews did the same things in Jesus' time & before that but at least they read the whole thing. Many verses are simply sentence fragments. People will quote a verse without even quoting an entire sentence. The ever popular "forsake not the assembling of yourselves" is 1/3 of a verse & that verse itself is already a sentence fragment.

I'm sick of playing scripture tag & seeing legal style biblical arguing. Of course it is right to love. But love either has to be the sole goal or the natural course of life. The goal preached of always being right & doing right seems like a good goal but it is self-centered & makes an enemy out of all who we view as wrong. When you are always seeking to be right a single wrong idea or wrong action from anyone (including yourself) demonizes or at least stains that person in your mind. This leads to inner turmoil or outer disrespect & combativeness.

One thing seldom realized is that "earning righteousness" can not only be attempted by our behavior but also by our knowledge, by trying to "believe" all of the "right" things. Of course people want to know & believe truth but to box yourself or others into an imaginary expectation of no mental error is a terrible goal because it cannot be real. None of this was even supposed to be academic to begin with.

Jesus came to introduce us to our real loving Father. Instead of relating to our Father & receiving His love many of us seek to have all of our intellectual questions satisfied. Let me tell you I didn't set up a classroom in the hospital when my daughter was born to teach her everything I know. Why should you expect the same from God when you're reborn? A baby needs to understand trust, love, & security before anything else. Why would it be different between you & God? And when do our needs for trust, love, & security leave our lives?

We want God to be Quiz Master G the host of The American Bible Challenge on GSN & give us all the answers regarding what the bible says & means. A good father wants to be with & enjoy His children & he will teach them as their lives go on.

How most of Christianity teaches a "relationship with God our Father" boils down to learning the bible & trying to act perfect. Thus No Real God Interaction is Necessary. So all this self-righteous intellectual bull crap that church teaching squeezes us into leaves us living as abused orphans so traumatized that we're always getting into fights with one another regarding who is right about the facts regarding our daddy who is nowhere around. Feeling smarter & morally superior to others is our replacement drug for actually knowing our real Father with our bible knowledge & bible obedience being how we take the dosages.

I've heard several Christian authors admit that their "belief in God" or the reason they "follow Jesus" is because the bible has the most logically viable worldview or that Jesus had the most loving ideals or moral code. There is nothing spiritual or personal there.

This Spiritless religion that is out there is based on "Make Believe" in 3 different ways.
1. It is false, it is made up, not true.
2. It requires us to imagine its descriptions of God such as viewing our feelings of guilt & shame as "the Holy Spirit's conviction" or viewing our sense of obligation to "biblical" teachings as "God's guidance."
3. Its main goal is for you to MAKE yourself believe & MAKE others believe. Often "believe" means nothing more than to mentally agree.

The image of God we've been sold has almost nothing spiritual or fatherly about Him yet those were the aspects Jesus emphasized. I hate that churches have turned so many head thinkers into orphan lawyers fighting about the book of their make believe father & heart thinkers into children that are manipulated into being convinced that their perfect father abuses them for not meeting his expectation of flawlessness.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wondering About How We Relate to God...

Here are 3 concepts I've dropped from my life since June:
1. Learning or contemplation about God = a relationship with God.
2. Reading about God = relating to God.
3. Enjoying ideas about God = intimacy with God.

I had great joy & peace when doing those 3 things but there is something inauthentic about them, something I can't stand.

You can enjoy a person by learning about them, thinking about them, reading about them or from them, & enjoying ideas about them, but it is not direct. It is not a relationship. You don't have to know them. The closest is reading something from them, particularly if it is to you.

God is in us & always with us so..
When we learn about Him we can be learning from Him if we're learning truth.
When we enjoy thinking about Him it is sorta like talking to Him. Though I can attest that there is a big difference in thinking about God & directly thinking to (talking to) God.
You can take things in scripture as written TO you but that can get muddy fast. Obviously IF it is written to you in the bible it is to you in a universal sense, ie God loves all His children. There is nothing personal personal. Only the Spirit can introduce such a thing.

So a relationship with God can easily be imaginary for these reasons.
You can use the bible &/or facts/truth/ideas about God as a replacement for knowing God personally.
You can think about God without talking to God.
God is integrated with our spirits so the manner in which He relates to us is deeper, more frequent, & more complex than that of how we relate to other people. Because of this & God's invisibility/inaudibility we usually end up imagining a god who fits into our ideas about God. We try to create a relationship on our terms & thus end up with an imaginary friend with the real God breaking through to us whenever He can manage to. God sometimes breaking through & our imaginations about Him tend to be enough for us to minimally satisfy our qualifications for a relationship with God.

So to some degree, as far as I can figure, a "relationship" with God is like a relationship with ourselves. He is one with us, there for all of our thoughts, feelings, & experiences. While God is a person, "God is love" describes Him even better. "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us" (1 John 4:12). God is the giver of & a participator in every bit of love & joy & peace we ever experience.

It is Jesus the light who shines into our hearts allowing us to recognize God as the giver of all good things. But we have the option of closing our eyes. God won't open your eyes for you. And the complexity of what these figurative eyes are is staggering. God is the power of love & you have to let love. But love is patient & does not demand its own way thus you can't rush God's love or force it to come to you in a certain way. Learning to relate to God is personal & while there are necessary similarities our Father relates to His children differently. But that is when you get to the other side of the circle again. If He is different with all of us then we can easily justify our imaginations of Him. Having previously lived in confinement, shame, & fear thinking it was God's will & way for many years & seeing so many still do it I can easily say that you can imagine 99% of your god & never think once about that being a possibility.

Thus some say you have to have the bible tell you who God is. But twisting of the scripture is how most people end up knowing nothing about who God is. And the bible never claims that it will help you know God. Jesus said the Spirit would lead us into all truth & Jesus never once commanded or even promoted the reading of the scriptures.

Where does this all leave us then? As Jesus said, we become like the wind, blowing wherever we want to, being heard by those around us but never being pinned down. People cannot tell exactly where we've been & even we ourselves cannot tell where we are going. The wind concept Jesus taught is as far from the curriculum based, goal making, oath taking, charted out Christianity we've always known. Typical Christians are taught to have predictable routines that turn "relating" to God into a religious practice of "pray at this time & study this much." These hallowed practices are hallowable. They require no actual God or sense of reality, just a belief in a god & a perception of reality. Yet the wind is different every single day. So I guess this isn't something to "figure out."

Jesus essentially says, "You're free to do whatever you want, even lock yourself up, but staying free removes predictability. Staying free means the Spirit teaches you all things with limited use of men & books. Our Father is not hiding or pushing a grand goal. Yeah you'll learn to be loved & to love but this isn't about the learning, it is about the loving. If learning to feel my love & learning to give my love is your goal then you're missing the love altogether. You're trying to become something more when you are already everything to me. Our Father just wants to love His kids. That's not complicated, so don't complicate it. We're together, let's BE together. It's love. Love's free.. & so are you."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Imagination or Illumination

When is there darkness?

When it is cloudy at night.
When you are inside of something that blocks light.
When your face is covered.
When you have your eyes closed.
When you are blind.

God delivered us from the power of darkness & transferred us to the kingdom of the Son He loves. Through Him our value is restored & our sins are removed (Colossians 1:13-14).
Jesus said in John 12:46, "I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who trusts in me will not live in darkness."

Darkness steals beauty from even the most beautiful things. If you can't see it then you can't see its beauty. How do you quickly restore value to something that sits in darkness? You shine a light on it. We were never rotten or despicable. We were just in the dark. We couldn't see ourselves, we couldn't see each other, we couldn't see God who is light. People are afraid the light will expose them as evil but this is only because they've never seen themselves in the light.

The dark deeds we've done disappear in the light because light replaces darkness. But as long as we want to hold onto our deeds, our dos & don'ts, we will hold onto an idea of darkness by closing our eyes or covering our faces. Those things which we struggle to obtain, maintain, or throw away.. the light sorts it all out in an instant.

Those who know God are not blind, they are not imprisoned in darkness. But so many who have seen the light willingly close their eyes or cover their faces. In the light you can go anywhere & see anything. The longer you have your eyes open the more there is to see as you spend time looking around. 

But when we who are in the light, who are children of light, close our eyes we embrace artificial darkness. There is light all around us & in us, but all you have to do to block out light is to close your eyes.

So we close our eyes because we've chosen to believe what we've read or heard about God. Things like "you can't have fellowship with God when you are walking in darkness" & then being told that "walking in darkness" is based on behavior. Ephesians 5:8 says, "You ARE light in the Lord!" You can never walk in darkness again!

But sadly you can choose to believe in darkness by closing your eyes to the light. And when you close your eyes that is exactly what you do. You believe in darkness, you make believe in darkness, you trust in darkness rather than light. You ignore the light of love that HAS set you free because you still WANT TO believe in darkness, your darkness, their darkness, even God's darkness, though you'd never word it that way. And it is make believe. We pretend that we're "good" while we believe we are dark & evil to the core. But the truth is we are good to the core & inherent darkness & evil are pretend.

I'm not saying evil or dark deeds don't exist. I'm saying we believe darkness wins, that one dark deed extinguishes light. But it is so obviously the opposite. Light extinguishes darkness at the speed of light. If Christianity hasn't been based on ingesting bible trivia more would have realized this. But the message of churches are "open your ears only to us &  keep your eyes closed at all times." Religion is a fairy tale that you have to use your imagination with because it does not exist in reality. If you close your eyes & reject reality nothing can be done for you.

God only exist in reality because He is truth. If you look for a fake God in pretend darkness you should expect to find nothing! It is no wonder atheists & others reject the idea of a god because the bulk of Christians & Jews have rejected the real God by accepting a fake god in a pretend darkness. This is easy because they spend their time arguing about who is best at reading a book. It is seriously a "Who's better at living without the Spirit of God" contest!!

Open your eyes. "The love of Christ surrounds us" (2 Corinthians 5:14).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The world isn't partying, the world is performing.

The world isn't partying, the world is performing. Religion is the worldliest thing to ever exist.

Friendship with the world is in reality friendship with religion, with rules, with systems, with paradigms. They make you see God as your enemy. Friendship with the world is taking its substitutes in place of real friendship with God. It is doing what leaders & religions & books & businesses & cliches & cultures tell you to do.

I hate this "world." The world was never the people or the party but the performances, pains, precepts, & poorness we're being sold everyday from almost everywhere. So instead of seeing ourselves for who we really are, prodigious people with a prodigious God, we see ourselves as paltry pawns, puppets, or property. The world is a lie & Jesus is The Truth. Everything that steals your life is the world & everything that gives you life is God.

Friday, August 9, 2013


While Jesus was in the flesh He feared death to the point of praying to God with "strong crying & tears." The Father heard His fears. Though Jesus was already God's Son He learned by His suffering.

What did he learn? Most translations say "obedience."
So God calmed His fears by putting Him to work? I don't think so. The word translated as obedience means to "hear/listen under."
So I believe what Jesus learned by His suffering in the flesh was the same thing we learn, how to listen to God, not in the "hear his orders" sense but in the sense of listening to His comfort, letting Him quiet our fears & give us joy. The Father did this for His Son to the point of taking Him from being terrified of death to seeing the cross as "joy set before Him."

His Father "made Jesus perfect." He "made Him complete," thus Jesus became the source of eternal salvation to all who trust Him.

Jesus is not incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses because He has been through all of the harrowing experiences we have. Therefore we can confidently approach the throne of God's loving favor to receive loving-kindness and find God's love for us whenever we need help.

And that is what Jesus learned, to trust in His Father's love for Him, let His love drive away His fear, & enjoy knowing His Father. Jesus was intensely human.

We still want God to be the Lord of Hosts, the God who commands armies. But Jesus said, "He's our daddy, & if you learn to listen to Him you'll know it." Jesus did away with the law in part because it foremost pictured God as the supreme commander to obey.

Scripture says, "to obey is better than sacrifice." Remembering what obedience means I take this to convey,

"To draw near & listen to your Father is better than anything you could do for Him, give to Him, or give up for Him. He is the giver. He delights most in you being with Him in the moment. He doesn't give you a to-do list because everything that matters is done in the moment with Him.

You can have lists without ever experiencing love. Love is not made of deeds you can check off of a list. Love is part of living. Once you know you're loved that's when you start to really live & love in return.

God doesn't burden you, make you worry, or cause you fear. So if you're worried about your relationship with God then you are trying to relate to something else. You can list & learn all the names of God in scripture but without a doubt people regard Him as THEIR GOOD Father the least. They'll believe in every kind of god imaginable except the one Jesus knew.

John 1:18 says, "The law was given through Moses BUT the love of God for us & the truth CAME THROUGH Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time without His Son Jesus making Him known. Jesus knows God the because as His beloved Son He has rested on His Father's chest." This wasn't talking about seeing God physically. It was saying no one before Jesus ever SAW God. They never authentically knew the real Him. Today we take the testimonies of people recorded in the Old Testament & say, "There is God! Look at Him!" Scripture says even we who know Jesus now only see Him through a dark glass. Even worse it says of them that they looked through veils at an unreal shadow that had no substance.

So instead of letting God Himself reveal Himself to us through His Son Jesus, because we, like Him, are God's children, we've outsourced this to the bible, to religious leaders, & to man made traditions & doctrines. Thus most of us are left with "never SEEing God at any time." Instead of the living Spirit of God we've chosen to trust in the 2,000+ year old translated testimony regarding a shadow seen by people who were wearing veils. Don't forgive me for saying this, but doing that is like locking yourself in your house & googling your long lost father's name to learn about him while he lives next door with your older brother. Oh, & occasionally talking to the mailman about him. While the bible offers a lot of "fun facts" those "facts" alone will never connect you to your fun Father.

Life with Daddy blows. It blows your mind, it cools your heart, & it gently takes you to the places that are best for you. It blows the veil away. Just trying to gain knowledge ABOUT God is like chasing the wind. Stop chasing the wind & start being the wind.

Monday, August 5, 2013

What do you want to be... no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

We have a habit of asking kids & teens, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
I'd like to hear one say, "Do you mean what do I want to do? Because I still want to be me when I grow up."
We're apt to take our identity from so many things:  our jobs, our hobbies, the entertainment we enjoy, our religious affiliation, our spiritual beliefs, our political beliefs, & even our family & friends. A lot of this comes from insecurity or fear.

We are given artificial flavorings, artificial identity. It is meant to imitate the natural but it is not natural. The world just sorta makes us fall in place that way.

You can't be content until you are willing to be yourself without fear. But people will either love you for who you are, hate you for who you are, or not care about you, not care about the real you. They'll hate you because you refuse to take your identity from what they take their identity from. They'll stop caring about you because you refuse to be afraid of them & their opinion, no longer needing their approval. Those who love you for who you are are the hardest to find.

While you could say young adults & teens are selfish the ultimate truth is that most adults don't end up being selfish. They end up having a type of "team" mentality. They give up their identity for an affiliation or role within business, religion, family, or any paradigm. The mentality is, "I'm gonna let this thing tell me who I am" or even worse, "Who I am not & thus who I should be. I'm not who I should be so I need this system to tell me who I should try to become." Obviously that's religion & marketing 101. Tell people they are missing something & then offer them a way to get what they are missing. Systems get people to work for them or buy from them. They exist to take & not to give, they are artificial flavors & they've got just enough preservatives for you to not blame them.

The difference between me seeing myself as "a dad" or "Melody's dad" is colossal. You can be a parent & forever leave your kids in the dark because you are trying to be "a parent," you're trying to fit the role, meet the cliches, meet others expectations, fall within the grace of others' opinions & the acceptable norms. Doing this sets you up as someone who's goal is to control & manipulate your child instead of know your child. And it is no wonder because doing things like this sets you up as someone who's goal is to control & manipulate yourself instead of know yourself.

So the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" implies "I stopped being me & became this thing," & "what you are now has to go."

This all relates to the idea of being "in" the world but not "of" the world. Being of the world means you take or strive to take your identity from it. And let me tell you, the religion of Christianity is perhaps the most "worldly" thing in existence. It is the ultimate bait-and-switch.

Jesus saying, "Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it" refers to our false life, that which was given to us by the world to strive to keep or improve. I claim this because Jesus immediately went on to say, "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?" Think about His question.

Whoever wants to save their world-made-life will lose it. It will be destroyed because God will not keep that false life for us. Whoever abandons the world-made-life for Jesus, The Life who gives the God-made-life, will save their true life. The world-made-life "seeks to conform you into its image" until you are no longer you. The God-made-life seeks to renew you. When you are renewed you know God's desire has been to give you abundant life, abundant real life with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Monday, July 8, 2013

When Ideas Oppose Identities

Instead of relating to people we relate to ideas of people. This causes us to either want to fix people (get them to believe or behave in a manner we think is "right") or pity people (either heartfelt pity with inactive concern or prideful comparative pity). We not only box others in but we box ourselves in as well. "He's a this. She's a that. I'm a this. I'm a that.." Instead of getting to know ourselves & others we choose ideas & ideals we like (or are told to like) & conform ourselves to them. Whoever doesn't conform to what we choose to believe is evil/wrong/needs to be fixed/is to be pitied. So we end up living in a shadow of the world where we are always comparing & calculating others instead of learning about them & embracing them.

People aren't selfish because we are inherently evil or because we have a "sin nature."  People are selfish because they feel (whether true or not) that, "I am the only one who values me."

The less loved someone feels the more likely they are to be grabby & self-centered. However there is a part we'd rather not realize because it would expose our beliefs & institutions as ineffective. The less loved someone feels the more likely they are to be giving & apparently selfless because they are always trying to earn love from others (love cannot be earned or it ceases to be love). So many of the kind & gentle are actually the least well adjusted people. They strive to protect themselves from rejection because, unlike the first group, they are unable to love themselves thus they end up attaching their value to the opinions of others.

They run into brick walls when doing things for people who do not appreciate what they do. It is worse to serve ungrateful people than it is to do no serving at all because ungrateful people will make you bitter & angry. But being a "people pleaser" results in people being grateful for what you do for them instead of appreciating who you are thus you end up feeling just as rejected & alone as the selfish thief or the thug.

Don't put your ideas into other people's heads. I suggest that you have to stop caring about people in order to see the people who care about you, you have to stop USING yourself & just start BEING yourself. You may end up mostly alone but you can stop presenting yourself as an idea of a person & instead be a real person. The problem is others have to do this too. And very few of us want to simply be. Most of us want to achieve, strive, grow.. in other words go in the opposite direction of what will really change us for the better. In order to truly "get better" you have to realize you are good to begin with. Not that your job is good, your ideas are good, your ideals are good, your beliefs are good, your knowledge is checked, correct, & good, but that YOU are good. Not even the person who loves you most in this world can make you believe that if you don't want to.

God knows you're good but most of the people who claim to know God will tell you that God only wants to know you so He can FIX you & USE you for HIS glory. If you embrace those ideas you'll just believe in an idea of a god & still live fatherless. Everyone can be replaced by an idea, by beliefs. This happens when the heart that longs to be known is led by the head that longs to know, whether true or false it doesn't care it just wants to breed certainty to "puff" itself up. It puffs up because inflation is temporary. Love builds up because love never ends, love is permanent. If knowledge is your means to receive love you'll just end up with dead facts, beautiful as they may seem.

Reality is not an idea alone, it is reality. Participate in reality instead of postulating about reality. Stop puffing up your beliefs about people & start being WITH people. Stop postulating about A god & just sit with your daddy.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

About God & Beliefs

I think the media, politics, & religion have led to us buying into the idea that we need to form opinions on things & have stances on things & have beliefs about things which typically never affect our day to day lives nor the lives of anyone we know. I'm not saying this as in "you should act on what you believe" I'm saying this as in "stop talking about beliefs you never act upon." So many opinions are pointless. We go around being mad at or hating people (such as politicians) who we'll never meet. People rile themselves up by following the news & thus intentionally alienate themselves from others who disagree with them. Or it puts them in bad moods or in arguments with people who are actually in their lives.

The labels we put on ourselves by our "stances" might as well say, "Devalue me because I think differently than you do." Because all it takes is for me or you to say ONE thing that is too religious or not religious enough, or too caring or not caring enough for us to be seen in a different light, as if that ONE thing were the whole of who we are or is so weighty that it makes us someone to pity, combat, or ignore.

We live in the multimedia age of "put yourself in a box & label yourself so others can judge you without even knowing you." Normally this would be a rant about labeling others but honestly most people label themselves first, opening themselves to arguments & prejudice. We instigate others by clinging to so called values, values that are seldom more than ideas we hold about things that never affect our lives (which is actually a legalistic mindset).

So many people never get to know themselves because largely there is no more "self." Instead we have distractions from self & IDEAS about THINGS occupying our time when we're not monkey punching the clock at our jobs. Religion intentionally destroys self & rallies against it. Anti-religion conforms people to its ideas & its mold of thought which also destroys self. To be clear, self is a good thing. Self is the best thing!

It is true that few people really change, they just change sides because now life is ALL about the SIDES you take. This is the bandwagon, mold-fitting nation. While I won't surmise about people's personal lives & relationships with God (though much of mine is mixed in here) I will say what I think are the possible effects of movements. Take the "grace movement" for example. You go from learning verses that are commands to verses about freedom & grace. Both sides are about having the right beliefs ABOUT (ABOUT!) God. Knowing the truth can set people free but what do free men do? The fenced in city dog wants to be free but the free country dog stays on the porch. It is exciting to change sides or be set free but often once the excitement dies down you just fall back into your same patterns of bible study & God postulating, you've just changed sides. So you know a lot more, now legitimate, truth ABOUT God & that truth gives you peace of mind but when it comes to actually knowing God personally as YOUR Father there is little difference. You talk ABOUT Him instead of TO Him.

Orphans having information about their father can give them hope but the "hope that lies inside of us" isn't supposed to be an orphan's gathered information about a distant father. The hope in side is the Father inside. While we can rejoice in the idea that He never leaves us.. when do we enjoy any more than that idea by interacting with Him?

Beliefs while necessary & sometimes beneficial weren't what Jesus came to give us. He came to give us Himself. He asked us to believe IN HIM, trust IN HIM. He didn't ask us to have the right beliefs about Him. Those are supposed to come by knowing Him, but we've traded knowing Him for knowing things about Him & He is such a good God that we can even get by on that. Well I'm through with just getting by on thoughts, ideas, beliefs, stances, labels, opinions, & facts. Jesus said, "I have come so people may have life & have it abundantly. I am life! I came so people could have me AND LOTS OF ME!"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ecclesiastes Excerpts

You don't see many people intentionally taking Ecclesiastes literally. Here are some excerpts to prove it. Keep in mind this is from the bible the so called "infallible & perfectly breathed word of God" & that its also written by the same guy who wrote the beloved book of Proverbs. Anyway, I think these are all worth a look at to see the real mindset Jewish people had before Jesus came to clear things up. There are also thought provoking things here.

The eye never has enough to see, and the ear is never filled with what it hears.

I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun. And see, it is all for nothing. It is like trying to catch the wind.  I set my mind to know wisdom and to know what is crazy and foolish. I saw that this also is like trying to catch the wind. Because in much wisdom there is much trouble. And he who gets much learning gets much sorrow.

My heart was pleased with all my work. This was my reward for all my work. Then I thought about all that my hands had done, and the work I had done. I saw that it was all for nothing. It was like trying to catch the wind, and there was nothing to get for it under the sun.

The wise man will not be remembered forever any more than the fool. All will be forgotten in the days to come. The wise man dies just like the fool! So I hated life. For the work which had been done under the sun brought sorrow to me. Because everything is for nothing and is like trying to catch the wind.

For what does a man get from all his work and trouble under the sun? For his work brings pain and sorrow all his days. Even during the night his mind does not rest. This also is for nothing.

God has put thoughts of the forever in man’s mind, yet man cannot understand the work God has done from the beginning to the end.

I know that everything God does will last forever. There is nothing to add to it, and nothing to take from it.

To be a man is no better than to be an animal. Because all is for nothing.

Then I saw all the bad powers that were ruling under the sun. I saw the tears of the people who were suffering under these powers, with no one to comfort them. Those who made it hard for them had the power. But the people had no one to comfort them. So I thought that those who are already dead are better off than those who are still living. But better than both is the one who has never been, who has never seen the wrong that is done under the sun.

I have seen that all the work done is because a man wants what his neighbor has. This also is for nothing, like trying to catch the wind. The fool folds his hands and has no food to eat. One hand full of rest is better than two hands full of work and trying to catch the wind. [Solomon uncharacteristically says the fool is better off than the working man!]

It is work that brings sorrow.

Do not hurry to speak or be in a hurry as you think what to tell God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth. So let your words be few.

He who loves money will never have enough money to make him happy. It is the same for the one who loves to get many things. This also is for nothing.

Man comes from his mother without clothing, and he will go as he came. He will take nothing from his work that he can carry in his hand. what does the man get who works for the wind? All his life he eats in darkness with much sorrow, sickness and anger.

If a man becomes the father of a hundred children and lives many years until he is very old, but he is not happy with good things, and is not buried as he should be, then I say that the child who dies before it is born is shown more favor than he. For this child comes for nothing and goes into darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. It never sees the sun and it never knows anything. It is better off than he. Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not find joy in good things

All a man’s work is for his mouth, and yet his hunger is not filled.

The more words there are, the more they are worth nothing. What good is that to anyone? For who knows what is good for a man during his life, during the few years of his living for nothing? He will spend them like a shadow.

Do not say, “Why were the days of the past better than these?” For it is not wise to ask this.

To have sorrow is better than to laugh.

In the days of my life I have seen everything, but my life has been worth nothing. There is a right and good man who is destroyed while he is right and good. And there is a sinful man who lives long in his wrong-doing. Do not be too right and good, and do not be too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? Do not be too sinful, and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

There are sinful men who have the same thing happen to them that happens to those who are right and good.

So I say a man should enjoy himself. For there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and drink and be happy.

The living know they will die. But the dead know nothing, and they will receive nothing further, for they are forgotten.

Drink your wine with a happy heart.

Time comes and goes and things happen for no reason to everyone.

A wise man’s heart leads him toward the right. But the foolish man’s heart leads him toward the left. [Ha ha Why aren't conservatives using this verse?]

The fool speaks many words. [Haha, Think of a preacher monologuing for an hour while everyone else is silent.]

Food is made ready to be enjoyed, wine makes life happy, but money is the answer to everything.

Do not curse a king even in your thoughts, and do not curse a rich man in your bedroom because a bird of the heavens will carry your voice and an animal with wings will make it known.

If a tree falls to the south or to the north, wherever the tree falls, there it lies.

Let an old man remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that comes is for nothing.

Young man follow the ways of your heart and the desires of your eyes.

The dust will return to the earth as it was. And the spirit will return to God Who gave it. “It is of no use,” says the teacher, “It is all for nothing!”

My son, be careful. There is no end to the writing of many books and reading many of them makes the body tired.

The teacher (Solomon) looked to find pleasing words and to write words of truth in the right way.

Some Favorites:
There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and find joy in his work. I have seen that this also is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can find joy without Him? For God has given wisdom and much learning and joy to the person who is good in God’s eyes.

When a face is sad, the heart may become strong.

Not giving up in spirit is better than being proud in spirit.

For sure a bad power makes the wise man angry.

I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the work which has been done on the earth, not sleeping day or night. And I saw all the work of God and knew that man cannot even think of all that is done under the sun. Even if man tries hard to find out, he will not be able to. Even if a wise man says he knows, he does not.

Why should God be angry because of what you said, and destroy the work of your hands?

God has already been pleased with your works.

Monday, June 24, 2013

God is not omnipotent. God is not omniscient. God is not omnipresent.

God is not omniscient.
According to scripture God is not omniscient (all knowing). For those who know Him God promises to "never again remember their sins and lawless deeds" (Hebrews 10:17). Thus He doesn't "know" those things anymore.

Jeremiah 32:35 talks about people doing something evil that God says "It never entered My mind that they would do this abomination." This clearly says that what they did never entered into God's mind. I suggest to you that other evil is like this as well. God is not sitting back for thousands of years knowing something horrible will happen to us while doing nothing about it. God does not have knowledge of future evil within Himself. "There is no evil or sin in God" (Psalm 92:15, 1 John 3:5).
See this post for more:  God is Not All Knowing & God is Not in Control

God is not omnipotent.
Is God omnipotent (all powerful/disallows freewill)? Jesus said, "O Jerusalem, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but YOU were not WILLing" (Matthew 23:37). Jesus wanted something multiple times but the people's lack of WILLingness prevented Him from doing it. Why? Because God is love. The scripture itself says in 1 Corinthians 13:5 "love does not demand its own way." In other words "love allows free will."
See this post for more:  God's License to Sin?

God is not omnipresent.
Is God omnipresent (everywhere)? Almost. In God we live & move & have our being (Acts 17:28). God's spirit has been poured out ON all people (Acts 2:17) but He is not IN all people. So God is everywhere except inside of those who have not been reborn by trusting in Him. Being good, God does not enter a person without their permission.
See this post for more:  "You are in Me and I am in you." -Jesus

The 3 oms depersonalize God & didn't seem to be something Jesus was concerned with convincing people of. For some reason people think the 3 oms glorify God more than if He weren't those things. But these concepts taught in Sunday school aren't even true according to scripture. These ideas are foremost in the minds of many philosophers & theologians. Sadly these 3 concepts replace in many's minds what Jesus actually came to reveal about God. Jesus said, "I made The Father's name (character) known and continue to make it known so that the love with which the Father has loved Me might be in people, and I be in people" (see John 17:26).

So to me these are 3 integral questions about God:

Is God a good Father as Jesus described?

Is Jesus the exact representation of the Father as scripture says He is?

God is love, but is God love as scripture describes love (1 Corinthians 13)?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Why Equality is a Weak Concept

Human value is not comparable to numbers. 1 is equal to 1. 2 is not equal to 1, 2 is greater than 1. Humanity is not like that. Humanity is more like the alphabet. No letter is greater than another. They all look different & sound different yet they are always intersecting to make something great together.

This is why recognizing diversity is the key to valuing people rather than the idea of equality. Equality can remove identity & genericize humanity to where we end up making nothing out to be special. But when we see the diverse attributes of one another then we can value people for the excitement of who they uniquely are. So instead of looking at people as math equations, 1 human = 1 human, you can look at me & I can look at you & say, "YOU are awesome!"

Being REAL

A lot have talked about what it means to be a real MAN with the emphasis always being on man. But a real man is a REAL man, someone who is willing to be honest with himself & with others. In his honest understanding of others he seeks first to protect & promote others because of their reality rather than protect or promote himself. He seeks not to carelessly express his feelings but he instead seeks to express his feelings with care. A real man is real, not at the expense of others, but for their benefit so all involved can live in an open honest reality free of fear.

Roles can work against reality. Many try to manipulate reality to fit themselves or others into roles. Instead of getting to know one another we impose one another into roles that have been defined by our culture, media, religions, & the families we grew up in. So instead of seeing OTHERs' needs & desires we see OUR role or their role as fulfilled or unfulfilled. Instead of preparing with wisdom & learning by experience we impose a template. The templates are supposed to be universal (or at least societal) but in being so the templates genuinely fit no one.

You only know yourself when you stop trying to become someone else. You only know others when you stop expecting them to be or become someone else. So instead of TRYING TO BE a "good" man, woman, wife, husband, parent, child, brother, sister, christian, neighbor, person etc. just BE yourself. As long as you respect others enough to let them be themselves too you'll have few problems. And if you choose to get to know others for who they are (rather than what they do or could do for you) that is when life gets interesting.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

No More Shadows

Here are 3 ideas I am done with:

Learning or contemplation about God = a relationship with God.
Reading about God = relating to God.
Enjoying ideas about God = intimacy with God.

While I still may do it if I feel like it, I have no more plans to write or post anything I've already written regarding God.

Here's some poetry/lyrics expressing my feelings. It also regards how "friendships" often work.

Not Even The Faded Prize of Yesterday -written by Michael Reyes June 17, 2013

Have you heard? Oh there's another exciting word
There's good news old news bad news..
Have you heard? Knowledge is gossip, its a way to chew the fat, chit chat
Everything I know made me a brat

So let me tell you what to do
Let me cut you with truth
Because its good to cut right?
Don't cuts usually start a fight?

I saw through the holes in our plans
I saw through the lies, the pretense, the pretending & now no one can stand
If I put everyone on a pedestal then I don't have to talk to them or listen to them from down here

C'mon man let's pool our fear
Let's be victims instead of being angry
I'm tired of thinking what I feel.
I'm tired of feeling what I think.
I'm tired of finding all the links.
Didn't you know that knowledge is gossip to thrill the mind to pass around until it has passed its time & you're looking for something new, something out of the blue
If it isn't true we'll make do by bashing everyone who is wrong, as if we'd been right all along

Cry me your proof
Or I will not move
Show me your face or I will refuse to participate
I know you're not hiding you're just lonely
We're not all riding still you won't take me to show me
You won't take me at all

The fact is facts get in the way
They bring us together yet hold us an arm's length away
What you do & what you like & who you know are not who you are
It'll take 15 seconds to throw everything away & throw it far
And no one will care because none of us were ever really there
Today we are even farther away
So all we'll have left is to hold onto the faded prize of yesterday

Related Posts
The Bible: Inspiration & Intimacy

The Bible is the Greatest Antichrist in All of History

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. Laws were "safety rules."

The law wasn't God's desire, His character, His will, or His required standards. Galatians 3 describes the law as a guard at a prison. It was something God used for a few people for a limited time to protect them from Satan before Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, free us from the law & sin, & give us life.

The law was given because of Satan. It was the idea that people should wear bullet proof vests because you're going to be shot with bullets. The vests (laws) are good but you don't need a vest if you aren't going to be shot at. The law left people on the battle field with the armor of obedience. Jesus won the war & then invited us to the victory party.

To put yourself under laws is to go back to the battle field & pick a fight instead of resting in the victory. You battle for obedience (to written commands), you battle against sin. When you pick a fight you're going to get hurt. When you try to fight when there is no war only innocent people get hurt. When you try to kill (die to self) when there is no war you go to prison (self imposed guilt, shame, & dissatisfaction).

Jesus said the law & prophets were only to be proclaimed UNTIL John. For the vast majority of people it does more harm than good to read the old covenant scripture. The letter kills yet the letter is read & examined & forced upon people in churches everywhere, people trying to get to know God through a book instead of through the spirit. Trying to learn God's character in scriptures that the New Testament calls a "shadow" & a "veil" with "weak & useless" commands. David repeatedly prayed that God would kill his enemies. Yet we claim 100% of his psalms are the perfect words of God.

Jesus regarded John to be the greatest of all the prophets yet Jesus said of Himself, “I have testimony weightier than that of John” (John 5:36). Thus Jesus' testimony of the Father is weightier than all of the old testament scripture. Jesus is the perfect representation of God & did & said only what the Father told Him to.

Bottom line, today most believe in scripture as God & God's perfect representative rather than His own Son Jesus. People will defend the accuracy of the bible & its infallibility far more fiercely & far more often than they will defend the truth that God is love. They will actually use the bible against the idea that God is identifiable love. It is more important for them for the bible to be right than for God to be righteous.

The bible is the greatest antichrist in all of history. It utterly replaces the risen Jesus & the living God without anyone even noticing.

Monday, June 10, 2013

What is the Greatest Command?

Even people who claim to walk under the new covenant & its grace still point to old covenant commands as the most important things in life.

The Greatest Old Covenant Commands (Luke 10:27):
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, & all your mind.
Love your neighbor as yourself.

The Only Universal New Covenant Command (1 John 3:23, John 13:34-35, 14:1):
Trust in God. Trust in Jesus. Love one another as God has loved us.

The old covenant is by the letter of the law. The new covenant is by the spirit.
The old covenant is external. The new covenant is internal leading to external.
Under the old covenant everything must be up to you. Under the new covenant everything is freely done WITH God.

Old covenant:  Love.
New covenant:  Be loved & love together.

This is where all religions fall short, including Judaism & atheism. They all tell you to love but none of them let you be loved first. They all leave you unloved & alone. But Jesus' message was, "You have a Father who loves you & wants to know you."

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

Friday, June 7, 2013

What's Your Focus, Trust or Obedience?

The noun obedience appears 13 times in the New Testament. 4 of those times refer to "obedience of faith" which means to have faith in Jesus, have faith in the gospel. 7 of those times refer to other human obedience, 1 of which could contextually be applied to us today.
The noun faith (trust) appears 282 times in the New Testament.

The verb obey appears 23 times in the New Testament. 6 of those times refer to "obeying the gospel" which means to believe in the gospel, to believe in Jesus. 7 of those times refer to other human obedience, 3 of which are commands we could contextually apply to ourselves today.
The verb believe (trust) appears 221 times in the New Testament.

The adjective obedient appears 9 times in the New Testament. 2 of those times refer to being "obedient to the faith" which means to have faith in Jesus. 6 of those times refer to other human obedience, 3 of which could contextually be applied to us today.
The adjective faithful (trustworthy) appears 54 times in the New Testament.

Final Tally:
Obedience:  7
Trust:  567

Of course this is just based on these 6 words & without examining the contexts believe, faith, & faithful appear in, but still this should get us thinking. Our Father is more concerned with having a relationship of trust with His children than with having obedient servants.

We are however called to be obedient children (1 Peter 1:14), but obedient to the highest command of God which is "Trust in Me" (1 John 3:23, John 14:1). Trusting is obedience & trusting results in further obedience. The bible clearly communicates trust as most important. The difference between trust & obedience should be recognized. Therefore trust must come first. Trust has to be more important because everything is wrapped in trust. Many attempt to obey without trust. You can obey (ideas of God, the law, traditions of men, self-professed human leaders) without trusting God but you cannot trust God without obeying Him. Start with trust & you will have everything. Start with obedience & you may never get to trust.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Lawless Gospel or: The Lost Gospel to the Gentiles

Many have scoffed at me for suggesting the idea that we could or should present the gospel without referencing the law or 10 commandments. Yet Paul did this very thing. The gentiles were never under the law. Most of us today are gentiles. On top of that the law has been over since the cross. Paul didn't present a law based gospel to the gentiles. Us doing so today confuses people about the love & character of God. Paul didn't use the law at all to tell gentiles the gospel. There is no mention of the old covenant, of the Law, no mention of God's commands, not even a mention of sin! How utterly foreign is this to today's evangelistic messages!!! Here's what Paul said to gentiles in Acts 17:24-31,

"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should change their minds to trust in Him, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Why isn't this gospel being proclaimed in churches? Because it is utterly anti-religion & churches are built on man made religion. Here are ways the true gospel to the gentiles does not agree with today's "Christian" religion, churches, & gospel(s).

1. "God does not dwell in temples made with hands." Churches claim to be the "house of God" & that His presence is only there or greater there than elsewhere.
2. "God is not served by human hands." All of the serve the church, serve God religion goes out the window. Gone also is the idea that God is more concerned with His egotistical glory than He is with His children. His glory is for His children, Jesus His Son said so in John 17:22.
3. "God doesn't need anything. He is the giver of all things." Religious obligations to "do God's work" & "pay God back" fall apart, so does the idea that we have to earn things from God.
4. "God determined when & where people would live so that they would seek Him. God is everywhere. He is all around us." The idea that we have to go somewhere like a church or to someone like a preacher/priest/pastor to meet God is nullified. God had us born at the right time in the right place to make us most likely to seek Him.
5. "We are all God's children thus we know God is a person, not a thing." There is more here than I can comment on. Most important is that we should think of God as OUR Father more than we should think of him as a god. This also shows us that Jesus & the bible are not one & the same. God is a Father, not a thing, not a book.
6. "God overlooked the ignorance of those before the cross." Compare to what Paul says in Romans 3:25 which says Jesus passed over sins committed before the cross. "Jesus held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past," "Jesus had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished." That throws most doctrine in the garbage about their worldview & view of God & sin.
7. "God declares all people should change their minds to trust in Him." The word repent does not mean "turn from sin" but to "change your mind" from ignorance, disbelief, or mistrust to trust. God doesn't require commitment or surrender (neither word appears in scripture). You just have to change your mind to choose to trust Him.
8. "God has set a day in which He will judge the world." God is not judging, punishing, or condemning the world in any way right now. He has set up a SINGLE DAY when He will make judgments about people. (See this post for more).
9. "God will judge the world in righteousness." The word judge means to determine. It does not picture God imposing His will but God determining what the wills of men have chosen. He does it in righteousness, in loving accuracy with integrity.
10. "Jesus raising from the dead is proof enough to get us to engage God."

My Rewording of Paul's Gospel to the Gentiles:
God is the creator. God cannot be contained in buildings & religions. He is not looking for servants or slaves. He gives all things to us. He decided when & where we would be born to make us most likely to seek Him. He is all around us, everywhere we go. We are His children & that means He is our Father, a person & not a thing. He is not an idea made up by humans. He does not hold our ignorance or actions against us. Choose to trust in Him. He will give you what you choose. He will allow you to embrace Him as your Father or choose to be an orphan. He has raised his Son Jesus from the dead to prove Himself to us all. Trust Him.

In short:  God is your Father & He wants to know you & protect you. He sent your older brother & raised Him from the dead to prove His love & His life giving protection.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Is The Law of Moses The Law of God?

I checked every place in the New Testament Moses, the Law, & commands are mentioned. Interesting that in the New Testament the law is always credited to Moses. The law of Moses.. Moses wrote.. Moses said.. It is called The Law, The Law of Moses.. We call it God's law & in the OT narrative it comes across that way but does the NT ever say it is God's law or the Lord's law or the Father's law?

Twice the law is said to have been "ordained by angels" it never says it was ordained by God.

In Romans Paul seems to call the Law of Moses "the law of God." However the only place He does this is at the end of chapter 7 which is immediately followed by Him talking about "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." In 1 Corinthians 9:21 Paul confirms that the law of Moses is not the "law of God" he spoke about saying, "I too live apart from that Law (of Moses) so I can bring the Gentiles who are not under the Law (of Moses) to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ." The law of Christ is the law of God, it is "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." Thus Paul never calls the Law of Moses the Law of God.

Luke 2 is the only place in the entire New Testament, including the rest of the book of Luke, that the Law of Moses is called "the Law of the Lord." Contextually it only speaks of ceremonial law. Also of note is the fact that the Marcionite Gospel, which is likely an earlier version of Luke, does not contain the first two chapters of Luke. Luke 2 this is the ONLY place in all of the NT that calls the law the "Law of the Lord." There are times Jesus confirms commands as "of God" but He, nor any other NT person label the Law of Moses (as a whole) as the Law of God. Of note is that sometimes Jesus said "Moses commanded," other times He said "God commanded."

Perhaps most interesting of all is what Jesus says in John 15:25, "They have done this to fulfill the word that is written in THEIR Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’" Jesus calls the Law THEIR LAW, not His law, not His Father's law. Jesus never calls the Law "God's Law," "the Law of the Lord," or "my Father's Law."

Something to think about..

Related Posts
Did God Desire for All of His Laws to Be Obeyed?
The Truth Behind God, Humanity, & The Law
The Devil Has the Power of Death

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Bible: Inspiration & Intimacy

Peter said, "No prophecy of scripture was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." This tells us the prophecies in scripture were not fabricated by humans & that they were accurately recorded. Very interesting is the fact that Peter only says the prophecies of scripture are accurate. He makes no such claim regarding the rest of scripture.

Paul said, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable.." But there are translations of this that read this way, "All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable.." The verb for "is" before the word inspired does not appear in the original Greek. Therefore the 2nd reading is actually more accurate.

Some will point out that the word inspired actually means "God breathed." Well God breathed into Adam but through the freedom of his flesh he did not maintain perfection. Jesus breathed into His disciples but through the freedom of their flesh they still made mistakes. Scripture is also said to be God breathed yet it had to pass through the hands of free flesh to be physically written down. Did God suspend the way He relates to all of mankind by violating the freedom of those men who wrote the scriptures when "inspiring" & "moving" them?

Scripture Inspiration Possibilities:
1. God only flawlessly inspired about 40 men in all of history. God gave us the same Holy Spirit the New Testament authors have & an even better relationship to the Spirit than the Old Testament authors had. However God will never ever inspire anyone as perfectly as He did those who wrote the scriptures therefore we must rely on the superior scriptures over His inferior living Spirit inside of us despite the fact that Jesus told us to rely on the Spirit to lead us to all truth & made no command to rely on the scriptures. God also ensures that we will all always have inferior communication with Him despite the new covenant declaring us equally given His Spirit "without measure."
2. God never flawlessly (robotically) inspires anyone but He does inspire them & they write & speak freely from His inspiration. Like any human they can flawlessly record something someone else told them but may not always do so.

#1 strikes me as God violating free will, treating the New Testament writers as His all time favorite people, & as honestly unscriptural.
#2 strikes me as God maintaining free will, loving all of His children the same, & as scriptural based on God's character & dealings with people as recorded in scripture itself.

Jesus wanted us to trust Him. Yet I think there is no doubt that most Christians read scripture & trust in the validity of it more than they interact with God & trust Him, trusting Him to speak to them accurately. We are all seen as having been given a smaller measure of the Spirit than those who wrote the scriptures when scripture itself says that we have the Spirit without limit. We all, including the writers of scripture, always have the freedom to walk by the Spirit or by the flesh, to speak & write from our renewed mind & to realize not all of our mind is renewed.

Some will argue that following the Spirit over the scripture is dangerous. To them I say it is easier to get someone to follow you into falsehood by saying, "the bible says.." than it is by "God told me.."

Jesus never prophesied about a perfect book being compiled to teach us about God & guide us in our lives. He prophesied about the Holy Spirit described many times as THE gift of God to guide us to ALL truth & relate to us like a friend & a father. HIS Spirit is HERE & NOW!

The Letter Kills...
"The letter kills & the Spirit gives life." Why? because the letter is dead & the Spirit is living. The letter has truth but that truth is not alive without the Spirit. But here is the big question..

What does the letter kill?
The answer...

Your relationship with God.

Instead of being real & talking to God ourselves & asking Him for answers, allowing Him to point us to scripture if He so chooses, we instead choose to go to a book & read it, honestly often hoping we won't encounter Him there. It is like having the chance to interview someone you admire but instead you blow him off & just study his autobiography. It is like reading love letters from your spouse on the edge of your bed while refusing to be intimate with him or her. Just as those who begged Moses to relate to God for them, we beg the bible to relate to God for us. The scriptures kill intimacy with God. They don't always do this & can aid in knowing Him better but it is beyond easy to make the bible God & live without ever even touching the hem of His robe. What we want is to believe the bible, to believe things ABOUT God. We don't want to believe IN God, we don't want to trust Him. We like ideas about God because we want to know ABOUT HIM without KNOWING HIM.

We, in our shame, our fear, our laziness, our apathy, we don't want God to really know us. So the bible is the perfect solution. I don't have to talk to God. I don't have to be honest with God. I don't have to love God. God doesn't get to really love me.. I just treat Him like a text book maybe because I'm trying to get a grade in a class, maybe because there is just something uncomfortable about us getting to know each other more.

So in the name of a "relationship" with God we reject relating to God. We pick up a book about Him & say, "oh that's cool.." "boy I should get on doing that.." Inside we think, "I've gotta remember this." We fight for our idea of TRUTH for our WAY of LIFE without ever getting to know The TRUTH, THE WAY, THE LIFE.

So are we going to let the bible be our safe & sterile substitute for the man Christ Jesus? Are we choosing book over brother, facts over Father?

I don't care if you claim to walk under grace. Grace is A GIFT. HE IS THE GIFT. Until you engage God you're just walking under a religion, gathering facts, feelings, & forewarnings. The "facts" make you feel right & smart & superior ready to shut down anyone who disagrees with you. The feelings are a fact, they are fun, they are peaceful but are you partying alone? Are you resting WITH God or resting to get away from relating to God? The forewarnings could be used for wise compassion or they could just be facts+fear.

So do you just want the love letter or do you want the love?
Would you rather open a book about THE Father or fall into YOUR Father's open arms?
Why not decide now?

Scripture is NOT the Living & Active Word of God, Jesus is

Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

The Word of God this scripture is talking about is not the Bible but Jesus. Simply look at what it says all together..

"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. AND there is no creature hidden from HIS sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of HIM with whom we have to do."

The very context points out that this is referring to Jesus because it is speaking of the word of God as a "Him" in the very next verse. Read this chapter & you will see Scripture isn't being spoken about here. The chapter is about Jesus. Jesus is elsewhere identified as the "Word of God" in John 1 & Revelation 19:13.

Certainly Jesus is living and active. 1 Chronicles 28 says, "The Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts." To think that quoting scripture to someone is guaranteed to pierce to their soul is a false idea. The living God is the one who does this, you can not force it. It is His job to do. Jesus is the sword of the Spirit spoken of in Ephesians 6:17. Jesus is a life giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). The Word of God is Jesus who speaks to our hearts lovingly & in the present tense.

Related Posts
The Idea That the Bible Replaced God

Monday, June 3, 2013

We are the church... Well not really..

When everyone on earth calls church a building, including most Christians, that is what it is. It is the bibles that are translated wrong. A church is a building, it is an organizational entity. The ekklesia, the assembly, is the people. Churches were buildings before the bible was translated into English and they still are today. 99.9% of Christians that say "we are the church" still call buildings churches. It is historically, literarily, & biblically less accurate to call church "people" than it is to call church "a building." The word church never belonged in the bible. So instead of trying to do the impossible & reclaim the word, a word we never should have claimed to begin with, let's just be honest with language & history & admit the bible was mistranslated & in this case intentionally. Then we can say screw religion, screw church, lets talk about Jesus.

Related Posts
Why use the word "Assembly" instead of "Church"
Why use the word "Assembly" instead of "Church" II: The Body of Christ

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Knowing Others & Being Known by Them...

A problem with society:

We want information instead of answers because that way we don't have to ask anybody any questions. We just spend our time pretending to know things instead of getting to know one another.

This is why we love entertainment & celebrity. We want to know about people without having to know them. We want to be famous so people can know about us without actually knowing us. We still like the "idea" of people so we love watching fictional characters & even having them be a primary topic of conversation but we don't like actually relating to people. So we live in a synthetic world where we know without knowing & are known without being known.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

God's License to Sin?

Some people say teaching grace is a license to sin. Well I say teaching God is in complete control is a license for God to sin.

It credits all of the evil in history to being under "God's sovereignty" picturing God standing at a door choosing to open it for some things & close it for others. It pictures God opening the door allowing all rape, molestation, pedophilia, murder, & abuse that actually happens to happen. He doesn't try to stop it because He opens the door & "allows" it. It "passes through His hands." God signs all the permission slips to allow for all of your suffering & every sin someone else commits against you. What loving parent would sign off on such things?

In Jeremiah 32:35 God says, "They sent their sons & daughters to pass through the fire to Molech. IT HAD NEVER 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. So God did not "allow" them to do this. It didn't "pass through His hands." This is true of all evil. God has nothing to do with it. He comes alongside & comforts or fixes the damage it causes.

Sadly it is more important for some people to believe that God is "all knowing" & "in control" than it is for them to believe that God is love. Some will even water down love until it is unrecognizable to protect these beliefs. With the idea that God orchestrates everything, every tragedy, people can feel like they trust God by believing He is in control without actually having to relate to Him. When you treat Him as He is, your Father, your friend, & your older brother instead of as a puppet master God bent on teaching you lessons so you conform to His will, that is when you walk with Him experiencing His companionship, comfort, peace, & guidance. You can rest in God being there to relate to you in real life instead of trying to figure out how He is trying to fix you. Yes He teaches us as bad things happen to us just like any good father would but He didn't orchestrate those things because He is a good Father. No good father brutalizes & manipulates their child's life to "teach them a lesson."

God doesn't give you sicknesses or medical problems, God doesn't make your car wreck, God doesn't cause people to shun you or treat you badly. If you think He does & you have kids ask yourself if you would do those things to your child. Jesus didn't do those things to anyone & He is "the exact representation of God." If you believe God does those things you've given Him a license to sin. You've given Him a pass on love. I was told straight up by someone that, "Yes God is love but God is not the bible's (1 Corinthians 13's) definition of love."

Here's the double/triple minded teaching I've heard my whole life put into honest language, "God is sinless & God hates sin but He is allowed to do things we would call sin if a person did them because He is God." Just & righteous are the same word. So those who say, "God is love but God is also just" have shot themselves in the foot because love defines righteousness. God is love & love does not demand its own way. What God "allows" is total freedom & in freedom there are still consequences for choices made & things to be learned from those consequences.

So what do you want? A "God" who manipulates everything to "conform you" to "His will" or the Father that Jesus revealed who gives it His all to love you & be with you?

Related Posts
But God is also just...
Real Talk: God is Just, Calling a sin a sin
God is Not All Knowing & God is Not in Control
3 Doctrines That Really Don't Believe God is Love

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

He who the Son sets free is free indeed

I've heard this a million times, "He who the son sets free is free indeed." But free from what? This comes from what Jesus said in John 8:34-36, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."

He was talking about freedom from sin!
Oh but there is something incredibly deep here.
He says if you commit sin you are a slave of sin. Do you commit sin?
If you do that would mean you have to constantly go back & forth between slave to sin & free from sin. How is that possible if Jesus says when you are set free you are free indeed? If your freedom depends on you not committing sin how free can you really be?

John recorded the words of Jesus above. Let us look at something else John wrote in 1 John 3:9, "Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because God’s seed resides in him, and thus he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God." Our flesh is not born of God but our spirit is. God identifies us by our "new creation" which is our reborn spirit. That spirit cannot commit sin. Twice Paul says, "It is no longer I who sin but sin living in my flesh that sins" (Romans 7:17,20). Sins still come through our bodies but we, in our true spiritual identity, are not the source.

Does your flesh commit sin? Yes.
Are you your flesh? No.
Does your spirit commit sin? No.
Are you your spirit? Yes.
Is your flesh responsible to prevent your flesh from committing sin? No. That just makes things worse.
Is your spirit responsible to prevent your flesh from committing sin? Yes.

"You have been called to live in freedom. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Walk by the spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." (Galatians 5:13-14,16)
Your flesh is something you carry around that you have power over by your spirit. You are not a sinner, you are not a slave to sin, you cannot commit sin. You are a powerful child of God. Self-control is spirit-control. When we renew our minds to the truth we lace our brainwaves with the spirit.

You've been set free by Jesus! You are free indeed! And you've got the right to bear arms to put to death the deeds of the flesh & fight off the lie that sin can be your master. People quote Romans 6:16, "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?" They say this means you as a Christian can be a slave to sin but they fail to quote anything after it. Let's see it all together, "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? BUT thanks be to God that though YOU WERE slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and HAVING BEEN FREED from sin, you BECAME slaves of righteousness."

This is saying that once you believe the gospel you will never be a slave to sin again. The "form of teaching" was the truth of the good news. It says if you present yourself to obedience it results in righteousness. Obedience to what? Obedience to the gospel which is trusting in Jesus to be saved. If you are saved you've already made your choice. With this scripture in context we see that it isn't talking about a back & forth 'slave to sin, slave to God, slave to sin, slave to God,' type of life. It clearly says once you obey the gospel you are free from sin. How free? As Jesus would put it, FREE INDEED!

Here is another explosive part. When we offer ourselves as servants & slaves God instead makes us sons & daughters. This is what happened to the prodigal son. He offered himself as a servant & his father received him only as a son. Jesus said, "The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever." You are indeed free forever because you are a son not a slave!

For more posts on this see our Sin? Forgetaboutit! page

Monday, May 20, 2013

Entertaining Angels Unaware

"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it" (Hebrews 13:2).

People tell stories related to this verse about doing something for someone in need & thinking that person may have been an angel. They suspect this usually because the person "disappears" within a short time. Disappears as in they cannot find them though they were just very close. I'm not going to say this sort of thing doesn't happen but I do have some thoughts on this.

Thought #1
This word doesn't have to be translated as "angels." It could be translated as "messengers." This could mean that the stranger they have been hospitable to may have a word from the Lord for them or be a traveling evangelist.

Thought #2
I had this sort of thing happen to me once before. I did something for someone & soon after she seemed to "disappear." My wife was with me & we were wondering if it was something like the verse above describes. These were my thoughts at the time, "I don't want to help angels. Angels don't need food. Angels are fine. I want to give to real people with real needs, not waste it on well fed angels." Angels receiving money, food, rides, etc in place of real people who need those things seems like a jerk move. These don't seem like good angels to me. I've also gotten the impression that people take doing something for angels as more of an honor than helping a human being.

What do you think about this whole thing? Your thoughts & stories are appreciated.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Filthy Rags Myth

"All our righteous acts are like filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6)

Isaiah 64 is an obvious old covenant scripture when we read the whole chapter, yet we use part of a verse from it (above) for modern day evangelism. We take what one group of people said about themselves, it is not even God speaking, & apply it to all of humanity. It does not even say their view of themselves is accurate.

This does not refer to all of mankind. If God viewed all of mankind's righteous acts apart from Him as filthy rags He'd be unjust. On top of that this is never the way the Old Testament pictures God. There are countless places where God loves people's righteous acts in the Old Testament.

"How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags (garments); we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away." (Isaiah 64:5-6)

Why do we need clean garments of righteousness? Is it because God is a stickler & will murder anyone who doesn't meet His standards? No! No! NO!
"The devil holds the power of death" (Hebrews 2:14). "The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). When people are unclean the devil catches their scent. In the old covenant there were many scent based offerings to throw Satan off. We need righteousness to protect us from death. Sin has earned us death (Romans 6:23) but righteousness earns us life (Proverbs 10:16).

We don't need righteousness to approach God. Jesus is God & even prostitutes approached Him. It wasn't God's choice to blind men because they failed to meet His high standards. Sin was what blinded mankind to God. Jesus came to restore sight to the blind. If He was the one who made them blind in the first place He is double-minded & cannot be trusted.

The universal truth of the opening verse is that we cannot, by our deeds, clean ourselves of unrighteousness. We cannot clean ourselves of unrighteousness at all. People's righteous acts are like filthy rags, NOT in the eyes of God, but because they cannot cleanse us, they just rub the dirt around. When we are saved our spirits are "cleansed of all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9) & Satan can no longer touch us (1 John 5:18).

The world view of "God demands we live up to a standard & you don't measure up" IS FALSE. Many people reject God because they can plainly see what Christians are really saying while the Christians have no clue. They reject Him because Christians have presented Him as a self-centered worship demanding maniac who will torture you if you don't join his side. He's pictured like a ruthless dictator who doesn't really care about human life at all, that he literally values nothing about us except what we can do for him! That he not only sees us as valueless but he sees even the best things we do as filthy as bloody menstrual rags! Where is the good news there? This is essentially what the "our righteousness is filthy rags" gospel says, "You make God want to barf but he'll slowly clean you up so he doesn't have to smell your rank butt for all eternity."

It is true that our deeds cannot clean us, they cannot save us. But please stop using this scripture to define how God views humanity. This is not right, especially after the cross! Righteousness is necessary for safety from sin, Satan, & death. God loves righteousness, even that done by those who don't know Him. On judgment day it says God will judge people by their deeds, it does not say He will judge them by their sins (Revelation 20:12).

If we truly believe that men choose death, rather than God condemns men for rejecting Him.. If we truly believe that God loves the whole world, God is love & love keeps no record of wrongs.. maybe we'd see things like this..

God "stores up wrath for the day of judgment" for the sake of justice (Romans 2:5) so that those who hate Him, even after He offers them one more chance on that judgment day, can justly have the second death (which is annihilation) that they have chosen. Why does Revelation 20:12 say God judges by deeds? Why oh, why wouldn't it say He judges them by sins? Because He has already taken the sinful deeds of the world away. "The sting of death is sin" (1 Corinthians 15:56). God wants to take away that sting as much as He can, even for those who reject Him! He judges them by their deeds to ease the sting of death that their sinful condition has earned them.

Long standing doctrines have caused us to be blind to the plain texts & contexts of scripture seeing only the details, assumptions, & interpretations of those doctrines when we read scripture. This is true for those who believe the doctrines & many of those who don't. Those who embrace the doctrines are blind to the truth. Those who reject the doctrines often reject the scriptures too. But there is truth in the scriptures & it is good news. The good news of freedom, salvation, love, & mercy.

Related Posts
God Never Wants His Children to Feel Shame (Looks at Isaiah 6)
For more posts on the second chance God gives mankind on judgment say see this page

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

God NEVER Forgave You

English definitions of the word forgive:
To let go of anger or ill feelings against; To cease to blame or hold ill feelings against

That is what most view God's forgiveness as, God was angry at you but Jesus made it so the Father would accept your apology by suffering under the Father's anger in your place. If what we needed was forgiveness then that means God was the one causing the problem. He refused to forgive us unless He was appeased by a sacrifice. I don't have to do anything to be forgiven, it is the forgiver that does all of that. If forgiveness is what I needed why did Jesus go through all the pain & suffering if He could have just decided to forgive me? If God is love & love keeps no record of wrongs why does God have to forgive me? If God has to forgive us that means He is unloving because He chose to hold things against us in the first place. But friends, this is not what the word "forgive" means in the Old or New Testament.

Excerpted from the Ancient Hebrew Research Center Website:  "From a Hebraic perspective, the forgiveness of sins is the same as lifting sin off and removing it just as we see in Micah 7:19, 'You will tread our iniquities under foot & You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.'"

What has been mistranslated as "God's forgiveness" actually means that God takes hold of your sin, lifts it off of you, & takes it away. Translating the Hebrew pictographs we get this meaning, "Sin has grabbed you. The Father pulls sin off of you & out of you then yokes you with Himself."

The issue was never any of these things, Our sin offends God, We fail to meet God's holy standard, etc. Sin was never about God vs. man. It was about sin vs. man. Man loses & is dying. God comes to man offering to give Him eternal life & protection from sin. Sin is the problem, sin is the crushing burden that we need removed. We never needed God to forgive us. God loves the world & love does not take an account of wrongs suffered. The gospel of forgiveness is anti-gospel. It starts off with the bad news of "God has a problem with you" instead of the good news that God wants to solve your problems through loving you.

On the cross God wasn't getting rid of His list of your sins, He was getting rid of Sin's (Satan's) list of your sins. He was removing all cause for accusation against us. When you first trust in Him God removes the spiritual burden & condition of your sins off of you. I felt intense burden before I was saved & when I was saved I immediately felt lighter because He removed my sin. That is what 1 John 1:9 talks about. It refers exclusively to entrance into salvation but because the English word "forgive" has been placed in there people have thought & taught that it means we must continually "ask God to forgive us." How can someone who doesn't hold anything against you to begin with forgive you? He can't because HE LOVES YOU TOO MUCH TO LET ANYTHING COME BETWEEN YOU! He will take your burdens, He has taken your burden, He has taken your bullet.

For those of us born after the cross the truth is GOD NEVER FORGAVE YOU because He never held anything against you in the first place.

"If you kept a record of sins, Lord, who could ever stand? But You lift us up out of sin & we stand in awe of you for it." (Psalm 130:3-4)

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!