Friday, March 29, 2013

The Gospel Hidden in the Gospel! Names from Matthew 27-28 Translated.

I was listening to scripture & felt God lead me to translate all of the names in Matthew 27-28 which tells the story of the death & resurrection of Jesus. Here is the awesomeness that ensued (only the words in brackets were added by me).

Yahweh saves out of the sea.
Armed with a spear, He shall be praised.
[The] Potter Yahweh has appointed, God, [is] victorious.
The Lord, Yahweh saves. The King shall be praised.
Yahweh saves, armed with a spear.
Son of the father, armed with a spear.
Son of the father, Yahweh saves.
The anointed one, Son of the father, Yahweh saves.
Son of the father, armed with a spear, the anointed one.
Armed with a spear, [the] Son of the father Yahweh saves.
The King shall be praised.
Hear with acceptance, "Yahweh saves!" The King shall be praised.
God, the King, God [is] victorious.
God God God, My God My God My God My God..
My God is Yahweh! My God is Yahweh!
Yahweh saves! Yahweh saves!
God Yahweh saves.
Rebellion, rebellion, take hold of the heel.
Yahweh has given [His] gift.
Yahweh has given, Yahweh saves.
Armed with a spear Yahweh saves.
Armed with a spear Yahweh has given.
Rebellion, rebellion, separate!
Armed with a spear, armed with a spear..
Rest wished for child.. wished for child..
The Lord Yahweh saves!
Yahweh saves!
Yahweh saves!
He shall be praised!
Yahweh saves!
Yahweh saves!
Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Very interesting that the name Barabbas means "Son of the father."
"The sea" is known to represent sin. Yahweh saves us out of sin.
God wields the spear that pierced Jesus' side. Blood (life) & water (sin, because He became sin) flow out of Him. Just as out of the side of Adam Eve came so out of the side of Jesus His bride came.
The heel spoken of is the heel of Jesus that crushes the head of the serpent (disempowers sin & Satan) as foretold in Genesis 3. The rebellion (mankind) is told to "take hold of Jesus' heel," when they do He "separates" them from sin, & at the end of it they are told to "rest." Men are told to take hold of the heel & that Yahweh has given His gift & that He saves. Then He takes up the spear to purge (separate) the sin out of them. When His work is done men are told to rest.
I translated the name Mary two different ways, first as rebellion, then after the separation, as "wished for child." Contextually they aren't the rebellion anymore so that is why I made the switch. I added ellipses to "wished for child.." to signify that each & every child is being told to rest.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sin makes you self-centered. Sonship makes you secure, satisfied, & sympathetic.

Shame is when you have a self-pity party after you've done something bad to someone instead of caring about that person's heart. If you make your negative behavior more about how good of a person you think you are, about your growth or lack of it, or about how much you sin you have utterly missed love. The very concept of having sin & sinning causes you to look at yourself more than you look at those your actions affect. That is why sin consciousness (counting your sins, counting other people's sins, labeling actions as sins) is a terrible thing. It makes you beat yourself up, beat others up, & believe that God wants to beat everybody up.

Sin consciousness is living by the knowledge of good & evil. If you live that way you beat yourself up with guilt, shame, hatred, & fear for what you think is wrong. You abuse others verbally, you dehumanize them & maybe even demonize them because you think they are "wrong" & anything that is "wrong" is evil regardless of how small or unimpactful it is. You believe God does the same thing. You, whether you'd admit it aloud or not, believe God wants you to hate yourself & hate others for doing wrong & believing wrong things. Here's a Good News Flash for you! God doesn't count anyone's sins on this entire planet, He doesn't charge a single one of us with sin. He does however, like a loving father with his child sitting on his lap, count every hair on our heads.

Yes there are still harmful things out there, of course it is still possible to be wrong about things & do wrong things. Go to Jesus, the tree of life, to know what to believe & do. Most of the correction that people offer is based either in pride or in fear. If you're angry at a person you're correcting in pride. If you're angry at what is harming the person, hoping to free them from it you're correcting in love. Just because someone is wrong doesn't mean now is the right time to correct them. Ask God what to do. Better yet start off by asking God if you are wrong.

Father's want their children to know how to live life, to be safe, successful, & satisfied. Look through the lens of life, the spiritual lens of Jesus. You can be wrong about what is wrong & even wrong about what is right. Throw out your piece of paper that lists everything that is good & bad. Ask your Father to teach you the truth about life. We love playing genius & idiot at the same time. Playing the genius who needs to teach everyone else how to live then playing the self-pitying idiot when we screw up. Throw away all of your labels for yourself & others & just BE a son or a daughter. Trust that your Father is awesome. Not the religiously scary awesome that has been shoved down our throats, or get real, willingly chugged by ourselves. No, I'm talking true awesomeness. Trust that your Father is awesome at being YOUR Father.

Should we look at King David as an example of how to live the Christian life?

Old King David with Harp
King David wasn't a Christian. He wasn't born again by the spirit & blood of Jesus. David was a man of faith who trusted God & yes he will be in heaven. But David didn't have a new born spirit, he didn't have the Holy Spirit living inside of Him, he didn't have the wonderful promises and realities of the new covenant of Christ. We shouldn't take his shame laden, old covenant psalms and aspire to live like he did or view everything as he did. Christ made a HUGE difference when He died for us.

David's shame & brokenness over his sins, his confession of sins, his fears of God leaving him, his prayers against his enemies.. none of these things should be things we look to when we look for ways to live the Christian life.

See my Psalms in the Light of The Messiah series for more.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hate Sin?

Again & again it is taught that "God hates sin because He is holy." But scripture never makes something close to that statement. Neither does it ever associate His holiness with anger, wrath, or offense. While there are times where God gets angry and severe in scripture nowhere does scripture say "God was offended" or that "God's holiness was offended." Scripture never uses the word "offended" to describe God at all! It only says that we are the ones who get offended at Him. Jesus said, "Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me” (Matthew 11:6, Luke 7:23).

God hates sin because He loves humanity. He hates that which harms or kills the people He has created. God sent His Son because He loves the world, not because He selfishly hates sin because it offends Him.

How different are these two messages?
1. God is willing to save you despite the fact that He thinks you are scum because He can "use you" for His own selfish glory.
2. God is willing to be hated & killed in order to save you because He selflessly loves you.

I hated my sin & felt shame for it for over 10 years & all it ever did was make me set my mind on the flesh & my failures instead of My Father & His favor or Jesus & His victory on my behalf.

God said to Adam "if you eat of the tree you will surely die." He did not say, "If you eat of the tree I will surely kill you because you disobeyed me." God didn't "hide his face" from Adam & Eve when they sinned. He went looking for them because they hid.

Is hating your sin really a way to grow & change for the better? Maybe for a few macho men but for most of us hating our actions makes us feel shamed, depressed, & worthless or of little value. The idea that we must hate our own sin destroys us, has us focus on sin instead of Jesus, & anyone with an ounce of common sense outside of religion would tell you it is a terrible idea to focus on your faults in such a way.

Related Posts:
Forcing Hate
God Never Wants His Children to Feel Shame

Jesus or Traditions?

That's strange... I don't remember Jesus ever talking about pastors, preachers, reverends, sermons, or seminaries.
But I do remember Him saying, "Do not be called leaders because Christ is your only leader & you are all brothers." (Matthew 23:10)

Hmmm.. I don't remember Jesus ever saying anything about church services, church buildings, offering plates, classes, or sunday school. I don't even remember Him telling anyone to read the bible.
But I do remember Him saying, "The traditions of men stop the truth of God." (Mark 7:13)

I know Christians today talk about these things all the time. It seems like if these things were essential Jesus would have talked about them ALL the time too. It seems like if these things were important Jesus would have said SOMETHING.

See our Leadership page for related posts

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What Kills You Doesn't Make You Stronger

The false doctrine of "dying daily" is legalistic. Any idea that excludes the Spirit's interaction & guidance is legalistic. Thus any "daily" requirement, including reading your bible daily, is legalistic.

I HATE this "death to self" concept. It is biblically unfounded, based on a bunch of out of context scriptures. It boils down to "I'm so bad I need to die, not just die but die every single day!" That doesn't even make sense. What kills you doesn't make you stronger unless there is a resurrection afterwards. Where is the resurrection language in this doctrine? Where is life language in this doctrine?

The truth is you are good! You don't need to "die" you just need to realize God's goodness, your goodness, & the goodness of those around you. Follow the Spirit of love & you'll know how to prefer others without it "killing you" to do so.

I mean really, this doctrine teaches us that preferring others' wishes & making choices to deny certain desires we have IS DEATH. That is severely messed up! It makes doing those things insanely harder when you have that mindset. Who wants to kill themselves? It makes even tiny acts of love sound like suicide. That is not only counter productive but it is sick. It makes loving God & others seem brutal & joyless. Of course loving others can be hard but to equate it with "killing yourself," come on. I had suicidal thoughts & depression before coming to Jesus. I've seen loved ones pass on. If you think about what real death is.. to call things like not eating certain foods or helping someone when I don't feel like it "death" is not only stupid but it is childish & DEEPLY disrespectful.

Even if you mistakenly label the flesh as your self Romans 8:11 says, "God will give life to your mortal flesh through His Spirit, who lives in you." What's that? God wants to give life to your flesh instead of death? YES!

We "put to death the deeds of the flesh" (Romans 8:13), deeds. That means we stop them from happening. When those deeds have been stopped they are dead because they cease to actively exist. Your flesh needs to be renewed, your mind (brain) is part of your flesh. Romans 6:19 says, "Present your body (flesh) parts as servants to righteousness because that results in the purification of those parts."

What father says to his child who wants something, "Sorry, you can't have it. You need to die to yourself.." well? Understand that calling a child bad for doing bad things leaves the impression that you think they are bad instead of just what they've done is bad. That is a very damaging thing. Our behavior is not who we are. Our desires are not the whole of who we are. To think the way your Father views your "self" in such a way that He wants you to die repeatedly is a very damaging thing. As someone who Christ freed from self-hatred at salvation & has also freed from shame I know this garbage doctrine of "death to self" makes you devalue yourself. Jesus did not come to give us a requirement for daily death! Jesus  came to give us ABUNDANT LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Death is the opposite of life. CHOOSE LIFE!

If you feel like arguing that scriptures do teach "death to self" first please read some of the posts on my Life from Self page. It addresses those scriptures in context & show many that go against the doctrine as well (like the two quoted above).

Friday, March 22, 2013

Two Sides of the Same Graceless Coin

Those who fear too much grace guarantees sinful behavior, thus it must be balanced with something, & those who use the word or an idea of grace to live self-centered & destructive lives both have two things in common.. Neither are walking by the Spirit & both have a very limited understanding of what grace is. The first group isn't walking by the Spirit when they fear & misunderstand grace & the second group isn't walking by the Spirit when they are harming themselves & others.

Twice in scripture the Holy Spirit is called the "Spirit of grace." If you walk by the Spirit you are walking under grace. Grace is God's love for you. What does love do? Does it make you sit back & think, "Oh that's nice. I'm glad I'm loved by God," or does love make you think, "I want to engage & know the God who loves me." You want to relate to people you love & people that love you. Real grace (not a false idea of grace or freedom mislabeled as grace) makes you want to relate to God. Knowing God loves you makes you want to relate to God.

If you know true grace you will never fear it & you will never believe that God's super-abundant grace needs to be balanced with anything, you'll never speak a word against it. If you know true grace you will want to engage God. You won't let the concepts of sin or obedience make you feel like you cannot engage Him. You will never think or act as if "God doesn't care if I harm myself or others." You won't see God as someone who simply opened your cage to set you free. You will see God as a loving Father who guides you & protects you as well as His other children.

Grace gives you the freedom to relate to God with no strings ever attached. If you attach strings or if you disregard the opportunity of relating to God in favor of living free to the point of harm, you aren't enjoying God's grace. The first group lives under law & walks by the flesh. The second group lives free from the law but still walks by the flesh. The purpose of love is to have a relationship. Don't limit the relationship by putting conditions on God's love or fearing His anger. His love is limitless & He promises no anger towards His children. Neither say, "So long pops I'm free" & walk away from the relationship.

Both are what happened in the story of the prodigal son. The son that left walked away from His Father & the son that stayed refused to believe in the extent of his father's love for him. The son that embraced his father's freedom & riches, even though he lived destructively, came to know his father's love first. The son that stuck around the father that, even though he was rich, worked like a slave for him... well the story never even says he came to know his father's love. The free man living like a fool will come to God's love much faster than the man who slaves away for God & believes in doctrines that limit & put conditions on God's love. Don't be either son. Know that limiting grace is limiting God's love for you, it is limiting & putting conditions on your relationship with God. Know that your Father loves you & embrace Him!

"You are in Me and I am in you." -Jesus

Christ In You
The Helper is IN YOU & with you forever. The Helper is the Spirit of truth. You know the Spirit of truth because He lives with you and is IN YOU. I live & so do you. Know that I am in My Father, and you are IN ME, and I am IN YOU. (John 14:16-20)
Because the Spirit of God dwells IN YOU, you are not in the flesh but IN the Spirit. Christ is IN YOU. Your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. But the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells IN YOU. He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells IN YOU. (Romans 8:9-11)
Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is IN YOU. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
You are a temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells IN YOU. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
God is the one who works IN YOU, both to desire and to do the good & loving things He desires. (Philippians 2:13)
Little children you are from God and have victory over the spirits of antichrists; because greater is He who is IN YOU than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
The glory of this reality is super-abundant, Christ is IN YOU! He gives you hope that you will see the riches of His glory unfold in your daily life. (Colossians 1:27)
Jesus Christ is IN YOU! (2 Corinthians 13:5)

You In Christ
By God's doing you are IN CHRIST JESUS. Jesus became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and purification and restoration of value. If you're going to rejoice, rejoice in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
You are IN CHRIST! you are a new creature! The old things passed away! Look at the new things that have come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
There is no condemnation for you because you are IN CHRIST JESUS! (Romans 8:1)
Consider yourselves dead to sin in the same way Jesus is dead to sin. Consider yourselves alive to God IN CHRIST JESUS in the same way Jesus is alive to God. (Romans 6:11)
You were formerly darkness but now you are Light IN THE LORD; walk as children of Light. (Ephesians 5:8)
Your life is hidden with Christ IN GOD. Christ is your life. (Colossians 3:3)
We, who are many, are one body IN CHRIST, and we are each members one of another. (Romans 12:5)
We are all equally one IN CHRIST JESUS. (Galatians 3:28)

You being in God & God being in you is like a bag in the ocean.
It is in the ocean, & at the same time, the ocean is in it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Children, The Sin Nature, & The Nature of Good & Evil

1 Corinthians 4:21 says, "What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?" Paul said that a rod (a rod you rule with or strike with) is the opposite of a SPIRIT of gentleness & love. Perhaps if someone comes to you with a rod it is not done by the leading of the Spirit of God.

The reason why the Old Testament talks about using a rod on your child was because sin was infinitely more powerful back then & much more dangerous. Extreme measures had to be introduced to prevent the destructiveness of sin. That is also why the law had harsh punishments. Jesus broke the power of sin on the cross. Only those who put themselves under law or believe sin still has power over them will see themselves overcome by sin. Letting sin shame you or direct your actions is like giving your wallet to a man using his fingers under his coat as a fake gun. While we all have behavior patterns that can be improved by walking with God sin itself is unarmed. You have to believe it is armed or, as many do, put the gun in its hand in order for it to have power over you.

"Christ died for all, therefore all died" (2 Corinthians 5:14). The old sinful spirits (what you could call sin natures) that reigned in mankind from Adam to the cross all died at the cross. The next verse however suggest that only some people live. Those who live are those who have trusted Christ & have been reborn, they live in the spirit. So children don't have a "sin nature" but they do have free minds that will learn from the good & the bad in this world. We are not sinful from birth like David was, but we are humans from birth. Our flesh will sin & is bound to die.

Jesus took sin away from the world. The whole world had sinful spirits & he took them away. The whole world had records of sin but he put them away. The flesh of mankind is just as free as Adam & Eve's were. They were the first people on earth, they didn't have mountains of religions, institutions, traditions, & falsehoods. They had one serpent lie to them. Liars & deceived people are everywhere today & the serpent is still out there. But every child has a fresh start in a fallen world.

Christians have unrenewed flesh called the "old self" or "old man," because our new man, our new identity is our spirit. But all people have unrenewed flesh. All flesh is corruptible but a Christian's spirit is incorruptible (1 Peter 1:23). Ephesians 4:22 says that the flesh gets corrupted by "the lusts of deceit." This means natural & positive desires, tendencies, & emotions of the flesh are stirred up by falsehood & the lies misuse these desires bringing corrupted thoughts & destructive actions. But only when you believe in the deception is it able to bring harm into your life.

Children are blank slates of believe. They will learn & believe things as they grow. Their beliefs will come by what they observe others doing (by example) & by what ideas they are presented. They don't have a tendency to "sin," an infant does not try to manipulate you. There are easy, natural answers to this supposed manipulation if you just put yourself in their booties. If you believe your child has a sin nature & is a "wretched & sinful human being" the minute they come out, like many Christians are taught to, you're going to screw their life up & never see them through the true eyes of God.

How do you respond to being controlled? How do you respond to rules with punishments tied to them? Now think about how your kids might feel similarly to you regarding those things. Mankind was made to be loved & be free. And of course that doesn't mean we just throw up our hands and forget about guiding, instructing, & protecting our children. That is love. God's goal is love & freedom. Even God had a command for Adam & Eve to protect them in the garden before sin entered into the world. What so many miss is that God wasn't protecting them from punishment for disobedience, He was protecting them from a consequence. He said "if you eat of the tree you will surely die" He did not say "if you eat of the tree I will surely kill you because you disobeyed me."

Good & Evil
The Hebrew words for "good & evil" mean "functional & dysfunctional." Good works, good is lasting, giving, & free. Evil doesn't work, evil destroys & enslaves. Several times scripture says "the Lord gave an evil spirit." It wasn't a sinful or wicked spirit, it was a "spirit of dysfunction" to make the wicked plans of men not come to pass, to make what they were doing no longer work. The "evil spirit" was stopping what we would call evil. In Isaiah 45:7 the Lord says, "I make peace, and create evil." That does not mean He creates sin or causes wickedness. It means He limits or stops (makes dysfunctional) the wicked plans that men devise. Essentially He was saying, "I make peace & I throw things into disarray" (the Tower of Babel is a perfect example of this.) But it also means He decided what works & what doesn't work. The wisdom of His love determined what works & what doesn't work.

God created the tree of the knowledge of good & evil. Genesis 3:22 says God knew & knows good & evil. Does this mean God has sinful thoughts swimming around inside of Him? That He had an eternal repository of disgusting & wretched wickedness & sin in His mind? No! God is good. In Him there is no sin. Jeremiah 32:35 says, "They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they would do this abomination." This clearly says that the abomination they did never entered into God's mind. So what "knowledge of evil" does God have? God has the knowledge of dysfunction, of what doesn't work, of what limits, stops, decays, or destroys what is good. God never knew the gory details of every sin ever committed. He is good! He works!

While evil can succeed in coming to pass it will destroy or take people captive. Evil doesn't work because it ultimately wrecks things. Good never destroys good unless good is destroying itself for the benefit of someone else. Good does destroy evil. Evil destroys whatever it can & will eventually destroy itself. A dysfunctional car, say with a flat tire, will do more & more harm to the car as it is driven on. Things that don't work break & harm & waste or they just leave you stuck.

Now back to the lusts of deceit. Deceit takes what is good, truth, & twists it or denies it thus creating evil. Truth works because truth is reality. Deceit doesn't work because it is based on falsehood & unreal things, deceit is dysfunctional. The deception of evil is that some seems to work for a time. That is why deceit is the ultimate evil, it covers over & makes excuses for the dysfunctionality. Deceit is self-justifying. The results of evil range from immediate to ultimate. Evil decays, it is not perfect or lasting.

So the choice of mankind is to know God, the personification of good, & walk in a trust based relationship with Him or to know good & evil as concepts, to find out what works & what doesn't work through suffering on your own without a loving Father to guide you with His perfect knowledge. "The lusts of deceit" make it impossible for mankind to know evil without choosing it. One example is the idea that "I want to do good.. but faster." "Good" intentions can be "evil" intentions because they seek to use short cuts & exploit people in the name of "doing good." But exploitation doesn't work, it corrupts & decays people. God is good. Love is good. God is love. Love works! Let's live loved, live free, & love freely.

Related Posts:
Why the Knowledge of Evil is Dysfunctional 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Myth of "Making an Idol"

Lie:  If you spend more time on something or more time with someone other than with God it is an "idol."

First off sleep and work take about 40 hours a week each and no one would call those idols because of it. Secondly and more importantly, in the bible an idol was a "false god," something, usually physical, that people worshiped. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:4, "We know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one." The word "idol" was never used in the figurative sense. Idols were always things people literally treated as a god in place of God or in addition to God. The word "idol" was never used to refer to something you "focused on more than God." Using the term in that way is unbiblical legalistic tradition. The idea that a Christian can "make an idol" of something is a man made doctrine.

Is anything you spend time on more than God considered an idol by God? No!
Is anyone you spend time with more than God considered an idol by God? Absolutely not!

The sickness of this teaching is evident when people are taught that their husband, wife, children, or anyone they love deeply can be "idols." That is a sick SICK godless idea. God is love. God wants you to love others. When you love others God is loving them with you. Yet this doctrine says there is a line you can cross in not just love, but in TRUE love, to where you can love too much.

God is not exclusive. He does not exclude people from your relationship with Him. God is inclusive and relational. He is love and you share His love with your family and friends when you love them. You loving others is you loving God. He'd rather you spend time loving someone than he would you reading the bible & doing the other "spiritual" things that people spend their time doing away from their families. Untold harm has been done to wives and children in the name of working for or spending time with God. God wants you to love people and spend time with them. God is always with you and you can recognize His presence at any time, with anyone, doing any thing.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Gospel Revealed by Translating Genesis 1:1-8 from Hebrew Pictographs

Family in the beginning, the Father with Jesus in His two arms.
Family in the beginning, the Father & the Son yoked together, tied together.
Behold the mighty work of the Father & Jesus.
Behold two mighty hands mightily tied together of the Father & Jesus.
Behold the Father in the beginning desiring to add.
Look at the Father in the beginning desiring.
Behold the hand of Jesus. Look at Jesus add.
Look at Him add & add to the family. Adding, looking at the people, & adding & adding more.

But a separation is added by eating, allowed by heeding & giving control.
The Word of Life thrown. Jesus looks at the chaos added to the people that added separation.
The Father's protection and breath thrown into chaos.
Chaos for the people, separation from the Word of Life, Jesus, by heeding & giving control.
The opening of life thrown.

Behold, blood from two hands, blood from a nail in the hand nailed by the Father.
Blood in the beginning. The Father's protection given.
Behold the bloody hands. Behold the hand of the Father nailed in the beginning.
The nailed hand, behold the hand of the Father nailed in the beginning.
The nailed hand in the beginning of the Father.
The Father's power adding breath by the bloody hands of the Father & Jesus.

Behold the Father nailed from the beginning.
His foot throwing away what the serpent added to His family.
Giving to the hand of the family the entrance to authority.
The Father's authority given to the people who look at Him.
The hand of blood for the family becomes the hand of life.
Behold the Father giving at the beginning, giving His family His hand of life.
Behold the separation that was added cut off by His foot.

Giving His two hands the Father brought light in the beginning.
The Father's authority is given to the people who look at the hand of blood.
Authority from the Father given to people.
His hand nailed & bloody, nailed to give security from the separation He securely cut off.
Now there is light for people from the Father, protection by His hand & guidance to those beholding Him.
They are secure in His hand, beholding His works.
They know the Head of the family.
They are secure in His hand, beholding His works.
Family tied together, coming together around the Head.

The hand that took the nail & shed blood is the Father yoked with the Door.
The nail in the hand, the nail in the Father, blood from the Head.
Look at the blood of the Father & the Lamb from the nailed hand.
The hand behold the hand of the Head, come together around the hand & look.
The family of Jesus nailed in the hand also.
Behold the blood of two hands, blood from the nail in the hand, behold the hand of the family.
The Door has been made yoked with His family working life through the blood of their two hands.
The blood is the yoke, the blood of two hands bleeding together now make one nailed hand seen as pierced.
The Father yokes & combines..
Behold one bloody hand..
The Father & Jesus identified with those who looked at the Head coming together as one hand for the world to see, the nailed hand of the full family moving under one yoke.
The family's hand is life.

Behold the blood of two hands, the blood of the God of two Heads.
By the mighty work of Jesus, inside of Jesus the power of the Head comes together into one visible hand of the combined family, the hand of life.
Behold the blood of two hands, the blood of the God of two Heads. The blood seen coming out of the Lamb.
The Lamb rises like the sun. His hand was the one we saw nailed.
The hand, behold the hand, the open hand of life.

We are supported by the two hands of light, the Head:  the Father & His Son.
He guides us & gives us security while we look at Him & His mighty works.
We are guided by the Head's light, hand, & eye.
Consume the blood of two hands, the blood of the nailed hand.
Behold the hand & you will see the Head of the family who gives His hand, look at His hand.
We the family are united with light, we are the people of the bloody nailed hand.
That which was two now lives with one hand.

This story starts at the beginning & even pictures the lamb slain by God taking the nail "in the beginning." It tells us of the fall of man, the cross, & even the resurrection. This story goes into great detail of the oneness of the Father, the Son, & the rest of the family. It refers to Jesus as the Head, the Lamb, the Door, & as Light. It also described God's heel crushing the serpent's head.
Notice that it doesn't say the "separation" took place "in the beginning." But it does say that the blood of God was given in the beginning. This indicates that the lamb slain before the separation took place thus "before the foundation of the world" & it was not in response to the separation. I personally believe that Christ would have been slain before the foundation of the world for all mankind regardless of how things played out whether Adam ate from the tree or a descendant of Adam or no one ever did.
It even makes mention of God's will in relation to mankind's freewill. It says, "The Father's authority (power) is given to the people who look at Him." Jesus said in John 6:40, "This is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks at the Son and trusts in Him will have eternal life."
The hands of the Father & the Son are tied together in the beginning so they take the nail together. We were crucified with Christ & we are also pictured as taking the nail with Him.
The nail pictograph itself symbolizes adding, giving, & secureness. Nails were tent pegs, tents were homes, His nails give us a secure home.
The name of Jesus appears in place of the letter Tav. Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet which is equivalent to the Greek Omega & Jesus referred to Himself as the Omega. Not only that but the pictograph for the Tav is a cross.

Related Posts:
Yoked or Unyoked is The Issue of Mankind
How Your New Creation in Christ Parallels the 7 Days of Creation

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fear of Freedom

People that criticize "grace teachings" in reality aren't criticizing grace. If they understood what the word grace means they would never speak a word against it. Saying you can have "too much grace" is the same as saying you can have "too much true love." God is love, too much grace would be too much God! If someone says you need to in some way "balance grace" that is a less direct way of saying "too much grace."

So what they really fear is not grace but freedom. What does a revelation of God's grace free His people from? Sin, the law, & the power of death. But for some reason people tie freedom to sin. We all have free speech in the US but how many of us go around "abusing" our freedom by intentionally hurting others with our words? These people think too much freedom or even any freedom at all guarantees sin. But freedom from what in their minds? Most are afraid that freedom from the perpetual obligation to keep the laws, commands, &/or principles of scripture guarantees sins. But all of them are afraid of the idea of God "no longer charging us with sin, Him no longer counting sins against us." They think things like, "How will someone know how to act right without having their faults called out" & "How can a holy God not blame me for my sins?"

It is a damaged mind that instantly fears freedom guarantees sin. It is a mind that demands to manipulate & be manipulated because no one can be trusted with freedom. Even more damaged is the mind that thinks a loving father must charge his children with sin & keep a record of His children's sins, only tearing out pages from the record as they apologize for what they've done. Those who attack freedom are not free. They don't believe in freedom, they believe in control. Yes they will quote scriptures about freedom because they feel obligated to agree with what they think the bible says but they are clueless about freedom or refuse to believe that God is good enough to set people free. They think, "If God sets people free from sin people will run back to sin rather than run to God." When someone is set free from a torturous prison by someone who loves them the first thing they'll do is hug & thank the one who rescued them. The last thing they'll do is grab their shackles & reattach them.

The law mindsets of those who oppose "grace teaching" however will attack anything a free man does that they can possibly label as sin as a way to further embrace their fears & mental bondage. Even things that scripture never says is wrong they will slap the label of sin on such as drinking alcohol, not frequenting a church building, not being under the authority of a church leader, confident speech, & of course saying/teaching things they don't agree with. They'll say, "see I told you too much grace & freedom leads to sin, see." They stand in the shoes of the devil & "accuse the brethren" of whatever they can think of so they can keep people from trusting in the extreme or hyper grace & freedom God actually provides.

If someone does instantly equate freedom to resulting in more sinning they are hyper sin conscious. It shows you that sin is the first thing on their mind, the first thing they associate with every Christian topic. They often start sentences with "You better be careful.." They are terrified of sinning. But that fear has made them focus on sin 1,000x more than they focus on God & His love unless again it is related to being grateful for feeling his forgiveness after sin confession. Thus what was supposed to be all about Jesus & the Father enjoying us as Their family because They have taken care of our sin problem, instead becomes almost totally about our sin problem. A problem, that in reality, we no longer have. He removed it at the beginning of our walk with Him but so many think He doesn't remove it until the end of time. That's hyper-backwards thinking.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

1 John 1 in Light of the Gospel of John

The word "forgive" in the bible does not picture a meaning of "God was mad at you but you apologized so He decided to stop being mad at you & stop holding what you did against you." The word "forgive" actually means to "take away, carry off, remove the burden, to free, to deliver."

1 John 1:8 says, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." But look at the gospel of John, Jesus Himself talks about it being possible for people to "have no sin."

John 9:39-41 "Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains."

"Having none" is the opposite of "remains" in this verse. How do you stop something from remaining? You take it away. So Jesus makes those who were blind see. What do they see? Their sins taken away by Jesus to where they, in Jesus' own words, "have no sin." So Jesus says those who see by the miracle of sight (righteousness) that He gives "have no sin," yet those who see on their own (by self-righteousness) have "their sin remain." "Seeing" in reality means you have no sin because you saw Jesus, trusted Him, & He took your sin away (forgave you). But claiming to see while actually being blind, as the Pharisees did, means to "say you have no sin" by self-righteous practice or doctrine instead of by Jesus taking your sin away.

Remember John wrote the gospel of John & the letter of 1 John. He wrote down John 9 & knew what Jesus had said there when writing 1 John 1:8. So who then is 1 John 1:8 talking to? Those unsaved people who claim that they see on their own, they claim they "have no sin" apart from the work of Jesus. 1 John 1:9 then says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us (taking away) our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness." To confess sins isn't to recite & recount them but to agree that you (an unsaved person) have them unless God takes them away from you.

1 John 1:5b-10 is John recounting what he calls in 5a, "the gospel message we have heard from Jesus and announce to you." Because he was recounting it John was writing with inclusive language on how to be saved (using "we" & "us"). John wasn't writing this to Christians to get them to make commitments about confession but to give them confidence in the outcome (sins taken away & cleansed of all unrighteousness) of the only confession of sins they ever needed to make. This becomes even more evident when we look at the end of the letter (v5:13) where John says he wrote the letter so that those who trust in Jesus "may know that they have eternal life." What better way to help them know they have eternal life than to start off talking about how we receive eternal life in the first place?

In v2:21 John says he also wrote the letter "concerning those who are trying to deceive you." Those people (known as the Gnostics) were trying to say that there was no sin to be taken away from people in the first place. John also wrote chapter 1 so that if there was anyone among them who "does sin" v2:1 they can know how to take the cure so that they "may not sin" anymore by getting "born of God" into a Spirit & identity that v3:9 says "is not able to sin."

The gospel of John helps us interpret the letters of John. We can see him expounding upon what Jesus said as recorded in his gospel. Jesus said it is possible for people to "have no sin" if they trust Him to give them sight, to give them righteousness. Christian Jesus has taken your sins away "as far as east is from the west" so if we Christians "say we have no sin" it is because Jesus has taken it away from us (if it is away you don't have it anymore) & cleansed our spirits of all unrighteousness. If He cleansed it all that means there is no unrighteous desires left in our spirits to produce future sin so John says in V3:9, "your born of God spirit cannot produce sin, it is not able to sin." "Walk by the spirit & you won't carry out the unrighteous desires of the flesh. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. The flesh is no longer a part of who they are (Galatians 5:16,24).

"The flesh counts for nothing, what counts is the new creation, the spirit that gives life. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit & life. You have been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed, through the living & enduring word of God. You yourselves are My words, My letter, written on My heart. Clearly, you are a letter from Me. You are not written with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. You are not carved on tablets of stone but on the tablet of My own heart."
(John 6:63, Galatians 6:15, 1 Peter 1:23, 2 Corinthians 3:2-3)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Reality check: Is sin your god?

Sin is the focal point & primary topic of the religion of Christianity. Sin is the god of Christianity. Sin is the ultimate false god that people will do anything they can to hold onto. By "hold onto sin" I don't mean they'll keep doing immoral things. I mean they'll keep condemning themselves & others for sin as if Jesus never existed.

The church loves sin more than it loves Christ. But not sin in the sense that they love to steal & covet. What they love is the power of sin. They love to believe that it has power over them & God holds it against them. They will ignore & outright deny everything Christ accomplished on the cross & every drop of God's blood & loving character, if necessary, to hold onto the idea that sin has power over them & God charges them with sin. They will paint God as weak, petty, & immature all to desperately clutch onto the very idea that is destroying them. Hanging onto the concept of sin having power over you & being charged against you is the equivalent to hanging onto cancer in the face of being offered a cure. It is rejoicing over the destructive radiation treatment while refusing to be free from cancer by the true cure. I've seen it time & time again over the past 2 years.

What kind of mindset must a child have to defend & rejoice over the idea that their father holds every conceivably wrong thing against them, that he guilt trips them by pointing out every one of their faults repeatedly, that he punishes them because of his anger over what they've done, that he takes what he has freely given away from them, that he refuses to relate to them whenever they do a single thing he doesn't like? Your average child of God has that mindset because they believe so many lies about their Father. They believe that sin is more powerful than His love.

What would your child have to do for you to stop talking to them & utterly ignore them until they apologize? According to the doctrine of "broken fellowship" God will do that to you if you so much as have a crude thought enter into your head. Thus it is taught that God cares more about how you behave than who you are as a person, than who you are as His child. But the complete opposite is true!

The power of sin is the law. The law brings consciousness of sin. Sin is powerless against those who are not under the law, those who are under grace & know they are cleansed thus they no longer have a consciousness of sins. They are simply alive to God in Christ Jesus, they are LOVE conscious.

The real God has already taken care of sin to where we need not think about it ever again. If we just live loved by Him in this world His love will flow out to this world.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

God Never Wants His Children to Feel Shame

Isaiah 6:4-7, "The house filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away and your sin is blotted out.""

People use this passage from Isaiah to say that we should be broken over our sin or hate our sin or feel shame for our sin. But notice these things that speak to the contrary.

The house filled with the smoke of the coals before Isaiah said anything. God had the coal ready for Isaiah before he even got there. God had the removal of sin & guilt ready for Isaiah. It wasn't dependent upon what Isaiah said or felt about Himself.

God didn't call Isaiah an unclean man or tell Him to feel ruined. I repeat, despite the fact that Isaiah had sin God did not call him out for it or even address what Isaiah said. God didn't condemn Isaiah instead He cleansed him. He immediately took His sin & guilt away. This is the same way Jesus treated Peter when Peter said, "Depart from me because I am a sinful man, Lord." Jesus ignored Peter's sin & simply said to him, "Do not fear. Come with me." The father in the parable of the prodigal son did the same thing as well. The son said, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son." But the father ignored the sin and feelings of shame and immediately said, "Quick let's celebrate because my son is now with me!" God did not command or endorse what Isaiah felt about himself thus there is no reason at all for us to say we should feel like Isaiah did here. The opposite is in fact true. God doesn't need you to feel bad about your sin He just wants to heal you & move on.

Once Isaiah's sin was blotted out he didn't continue to feel guilty or speak in shame. Christ has already forever taken away our guilt & our sin thus we have no reason to ever feel woeful, ruined, sinful, or unclean because of things we have done. Our spirits have been united with the King.

An unsaved man need only know that he is sick & ask God for the cure, he doesn't have to beat himself up about how sick he is for God to cure him. A saved man has already been cured. Saved actually means cured/made whole. There is no sense in wallowing in a sickness that is already gone. God refused to be conscious of the guilt of Isiah's & Peter's sins even while they tried to confess them. He loves them & sought only to save them, not to shame them. Likewise Jesus pictured the Father in the prodigal son story as treating everyone without ever using a moment of shame or guilt. Let that sink in..

Psalm 51:17 says, "God will not despise a broken & crushed heart," it doesn't say He delights in it. The word "saved" also means "healed" or "made whole." "God heals the brokenhearted" (Psalm 147:3). The other half of Psalm 51:17 says, "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit." This was written before God provided His own sacrifice. Of course God will not despise us for feeling bad about ourselves but the sacrifices of God are no longer a broken spirit. Jesus broke Himself & felt our shame so He could give us an unbreakable spirit, His own! GOD WILL NOT COMMAND YOU TO BREAK YOUR OWN HEART! "A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones" (Proverbs 17:22).

Sin makes unsaved men feel guilt & shame, that is a fact God has to live with but He'll do all He can to not give aid to those feelings for even a moment. Jesus felt our shame on the cross & He despised it (1 of only 2 things the NT says Jesus hates). He despised the way shame made us feel far from Him & unloved by Him. His heart was broken & crushed feeling empathy, pity, & compassion for our shame.

God already condemned sin on the cross. God doesn't demand you join in on His sin hating party, He's not having one. He instead invites you to celebrate in His victory party. The victory that freed us from having to be conscious of sin & freed us from having to feel guilt & shame.

How Satan Steals the Truth

Religion basically says our whole relationship with God is based on us being filthy & Him cleaning us. Where would religion be without sin? It wouldn't exist. Since God is not charging us with sin & Christians don't need to be sin conscious who is pushing the concept of sin in religion? The deceiver, the accuser, Satan himself. As Jesus said he does, Satan steals the truth. With the truth out of his way he can destroy our perceptions of God, ourselves, others, & all of life.

I honestly believe the #1 way Satan steals the truth is by sermons presented by self-professed leaders. When you perceive someone as "above you" because of a title in front of their name or a position they hold you are utterly opening yourself up to believing falsehood. This happens when you either let them do your thinking for you or you assume they are more apt to receive & understand truth than you are.

The truth is Jesus forbade the existence of official leaders & He told us that He'd teach us Himself by His Spirit living in us. But Satan stepped in & said, "You must have official leaders in every group of Christians. You cannot trust your heart to hear God's voice, always doubt yourself if you think you've heard Him. You should trust the leaders to tell you what God says in the spirit & in the scriptures." The church system is Satan's substitute for living in & with the family of God. Regardless if the person is aware of it, has a great character, or even preaches the truth church leaders (pastors etc) are Satan's substitute for Jesus & the Holy Spirit of God.

The Idea That the Bible Replaced God

There is a widespread teaching that God only speaks to us through the bible. It or similar teachings say, "the bible is the primary way God speaks to us" or that "the bible is God's chosen thing to speak to mankind." Does the bible itself actually back this idea up? Let's look to Jesus first.

  • While Jesus quoted scriptures & taught from them (Luke 24:27) Jesus never told anyone, including his disciples to read, study, or meditate on the scriptures. Obviously John was familiar with scriptures because in His gospel he often pointed out how Christ fulfilled scriptures. Still the absence of this command should really make us think.
  • Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead Christians to ALL truth. He made no mention of scripture leading people to truth.
  • Jesus never told his disciples to teach or preach from the scriptures.
  • In Matthew 26:54-56 Jesus said He fulfills the scriptures.
  • In John 5:39 Jesus said that the scriptures themselves do not contain eternal life but they do testify of who can give us eternal life, Jesus Himself. This lets us know that eternal life is not something to be obtained by intellect or belief in scriptures but by encountering Jesus & trusting Him. In short the purpose of the scriptures are to point to the living God, not to replace Him & His voice as if He were dead or absent.
  • Jesus nor anyone else ever prophesied that the New Testament would be collected.
  • Paul only used the scriptures in evangelism with people (Jews) who already knew the scriptures because they valued the scriptures. Paul did this to the Berean Jews to convince them from the scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah (Acts 17:11).
  • Paul, Apollos, & Phillip were described in Acts as only using the scriptures to prove that Jesus is the Messiah to Jews.
  • The meeting of the Assembly in Jerusalem to address the Gentiles came up with 3 things for them to keep, with Paul saying later that one of those doesn't even matter. They did not say "give them a copy of the scriptures & have them read it."
  • Most of the times Paul quotes old covenant scripture he does so pointing to Jesus as the Messiah or to show that we are made righteous by trust. Paul does quote scriptures a few times to make other points.
  • Paul wrote, "All scripture inspired of God is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16).
    • So scripture is a good & beneficial thing. He does not suggest however that all scripture is profitable to all people in all situations. Peter said of Paul's writings that people can & do twist his writings to their own destruction.
  • Peter taught from scripture in 1 Peter 2.
  • Peter said that, "no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation" speaking of how scripture prophesied about Jesus. He said the the prophecies of scripture were written by "men moved by the Holy Spirit speaking from God" (2 Peter 1:16-21)
  • In 2 Peter 3:16 he said, "The untaught and unstable distort all of the Scriptures to their own destruction (referring to the Old Testament as well as Paul's writings)."
    • Who teaches us? Jesus said it is the Holy Spirit
    • Who makes us stable? God
    • So the people Peter was talking about used the scriptures without trusting or learning from God. God will never teach you to destroy yourself. Satan is the one who seeks to destroy & Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:1 that there are indeed "doctrines of demons" out there.
Wait.. Who is Lord again?
Again & again we see scripture say that Jesus Christ is our Lord, yet again & again I hear Christians say that the bible is our final authority. What a contradiction! Those who take scripture as "final authority" contradict the scriptures themselves because the scriptures make it very clear that "Jesus is Lord." It is easier to lead someone into falsehood by saying, "the bible says.." than it is by saying, "God told me.." Even the scriptures tell us to "live & walk by the spirit." After the Spirit has come scripture doesn't say, "live & walk by the scriptures."

How can you have Christianity without Christ? You take a book that points to Christ & you make the book point back at itself. In short you call the bible the "word of God" as if the bible itself did not say "the Word of God is Jesus who came to earth in the flesh." When you claim the book speaks for God you can then use the book to play God. You can manipulate people with the book by pointing to what you claim "God said" & regardless of the context people will believe you. Jesus said he is our ONE leader, if you call yourself a Christian leader, whether you realize it or not, you are playing God, period.

Most churches are in fact "Satan's School for Christians." They teach you & lead you to believe more lies about God & yourself than you would ever believe if you sat at home your whole life & never picked up the bible once.

Learning from Scripture
 Seeing one statement in a book that has been split into hundreds of verses and that book being only one book in the bible it is going to be hard to know what is going on. The bible was never meant to be used the way people use it. People are supposed to learn by the Spirit. When someone replaces the Spirit with the bible they won’t learn anything.

Some translations suck but Peter also said that Paul wrote in a way & about things that were hard to understand. The letters were only written to certain people & many people at the time couldn’t even read. So there is nothing wrong with not approaching or reading scripture, Jesus never commanded it & while scripture was upheld as profitable it is the truth of scripture that is important & impactful however you learn it.

To be part of relationships &/or a community where some gather insight from scriptures and others don't is ok because those who do can pass it on. The difference between this and a church where a pastor preaches is that it is never my job to pass things on, it is my joy. And no one is obligated to listen to me or submit to me. They are allowed to make assessments about what is true themselves with the guidance of God. They never have to give up their rights to think & relate to God themselves. A fruit of the Spirit is joy so God uses the joy of the truth you find to invite you to share it with others.

Some say, "the Spirit won't contradict the scriptures." I wholeheartedly believe that the Spirit will contradict your wrong interpretation of the scriptures. The challenge for us is to decide whether we've got it all figured out & interpreted correctly or that we could be wrong. That is one reason we ultimately must walk by the Spirit. Walking by the scriptures relies on our interpretation of the scriptures & has certainly kept countless people from truth & freedom. Walking by the Spirit relies on our living God Himself to teach us. And of course God can & almost certainly will use the teachings of others & the scriptures themselves to teach you. But the question is.. Who do you trust more, you, your interpretations, & what other people have taught you OR Jesus the living life-giving Spirit? The answer affects every aspect of your life. If you trust yourself & other people more than God your life will be overflowing with hatred, pride, shame, guilt, & unrest. If you trust Jesus more your life will be overflowing with love, peace, & joy.

"I will remember the works of the Lord. Yes, I will remember the amazing things you did long ago! I will think about all you have done; I will reflect upon your deeds! O God, your deeds are extraordinary! What god can compare to our great God?" (Psalm 77:11-13)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Christian, Your Heart is Not Deceitfully Wicked

Old Covenant
The heart is deceitfully wicked (Jeremiah 17:9)

New Covenant
God shined in our hearts to give us the light of the glorious knowledge of God in the person of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, who cries “Abba! Father!” (Philippians 4:6)
God is pouring out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5)
God writes His instructions on our hearts. (Hebrews 10:16)
God cleanses all people's hearts by trust. (Acts 15:9)
We have had our hearts sprinkled clean from a wicked conscience. (Hebrews 10:22)

Monday, March 4, 2013

3 Doctrines That Really Don't Believe God is Love

1. Some Are Predestined to Hell
This says God only chose to save a few thus God created most people just to send them to hell & torture them forever. What kind of parents plot to have a child with the intent to torture the child for his or her entire life?

2. A Christian can lose his or her salvation
This says if you meet a certain criteria, usually too much sin, unrepentant sin, unconfessed sin, God will murder you by taking away your eternal(?) life & sending you to hell. This says God murders his own children. It says He throws them back into the burning building after saving them from the flames because they did some things He didn't like. What kind of father throws his children back into a burning building he just saved them from?

3. God is in Complete Control
This paints God as giving you sickness or crippling you for your own good. What parent would do that to their own child? When did Jesus give sickness instead of take it away? It also makes God out to be in control of Satan & using him as an attack dog of sorts. Scripture says "Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil" yet this doctrine says the devil is on God's team. This doctrine also 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?

Those who clutch to these doctrines will fully ignore the character of Jesus, who scripture says is the exact representation of God. They will paint God as the utter opposite of recognizable love.

Related Posts
Free & Fearless: The Truth Behind God, Humanity, & The Law
God is Not All Knowing & God is Not in Control
Satan is Not God's Attack Dog
The Devil Has the Power of Death

How to "Put God First" for real this time

Some call distrusting their ability to hear God, learn from Him, & understand the scriptures humility. Most who do that thus deceive themselves into putting themselves under human teachers who will lead them into falsehood. Jesus said His sheep would know His voice but the sheep never feel confident enough to even listen for his voice so instead of the Shepherd they listen to the "hired hands."

Jesus said, "Learn from me" (Matthew 11:29). If we feel inadequate in our ability to directly learn from the Spirit of Jesus we ultimately believe God is inadequate to teach us Himself. And if we go to others to teach us before we go to Christ We believe well studied men (many of which we haven't even met) are more reliable than God Himself who lives in us. Of course these men are the first to tell you that you cannot trust your heart, you don't have enough formal education, you haven't studied enough, you haven't been a Christian long enough, you don't know the original languages, & that you have to behave a certain way or live flawlessly to hear from God. They even go so far as to claim authority over you in God's name rejecting the written words of Jesus, "You shall not have authority one over another" (Luke 22:25-26).

So who will you foremost put your trust in to teach you, a man with a doctorate or our Father the Deity, a professional preacher or the prince of peace, a well studied author or the author of life who wrote the book?

If you want to "put God first" or "seek Him first" this is where to start. Putting God first isn't "making sure God's #1 in your life" as if loving others is inferior to loving God when in fact loving others is part of how we love God. God is not on a self-centered ego trip as He is often painted. He's not demanding first place in your life. When you love, everyone you love is in first place & God as love is right there with them. "Seek first" is practical instruction not affection abduction. Putting God first is putting Him first in line. He's the first one you turn to, the first one you talk to, the first one you ask questions to, the first one you trust. Learn of Him from Him. Seek His guidance first. Seek His knowledge first. Seek His love, comfort, & security first.

Related Posts
Seek First † Already Found

Friday, March 1, 2013

Better to Be Single or Married? OR Why I Don't Believe Much of 1 Corinthians 7

Get ready to shoot me because in this post I criticize something written by Paul the Apostle & challenge the idea that everything in the NT is true. Time to crack the head of the whole 'Paul said it was better to be single' thing in 1 Corinthians 7. Several times Paul says he is only expressing his opinion on the matter.

V6 Paul said, "I say these things by permission" Meaning God gave him the freedom to say them but did not command him to say them.
V7 Paul says, "I wish that all men could be single as I myself am."
V12 Paul says, "I'm saying this, not the Lord.."
V25 Paul says, "I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion.."
V32 Paul says, "I want you to be free from concern.."
V40 Paul says, "In my opinion a woman is happier if she remains unmarried"

I'll be honest, in this chapter Paul uses some very non-relational language particularly in verses 23-25. Those of us who are happily married & have children may find what he says distasteful, upsetting, & sad. At the end Paul says, "this has been my opinion but I think that I also have the Spirit of God." You sure do Paul, that's why God had you make it clear that you were expressing your opinion rather than His. God loves marriages & children. He loves us through them & even pictures His relationship with us as both the Father's children & Jesus's bride.

In verse 7 Paul says His singleness is a "gift from God" & that other people have different gifts from God. Of course a good wife or a good husband is a gift from God as well (Proverbs 18:22). Romans 12:6 says, "We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us." Grace means "favor." Grace is God's love for you. "We have gifts that differ according to the love given to us by God." This means God looks at who we are & what we like. As a lovingly wise Father He gives gifts to His children according to their personalities. Because God's children are not all the same He loves each one of us differently for our benefit & enjoyment. So it is not better to be single but neither is it better to be married. What is best is what is best for you & your Father knows what is best for you. Despite the insistence of religion God doesn't force you to be something you don't want to be. If you trust God you'll get what you want whether to stay single or get married..

If you're a romantic that wants to ruffle some one's feathers, next time someone asks you if you believe in the whole bible or that the whole bible is inerrant just say, "No. I don't believe in parts of 1 Corinthians 7." I sure don't. So while this is a portion of scripture not written by the Holy Spirit at the same time it, to me at least, verifies that the Spirit wrote through Paul at other times. Why do I think this? Because Paul on his own had a very low opinion of marriage making it sound as if loving your spouse was somehow not also loving God at the same time, or that it limited how much you could love God. Yet later on in Ephesians 5 Paul writes by the Spirit about the eternal parallel of marriage & the relationship & love Jesus has with His people. Regarding that relationship He speaks of self-giving love, seeing each other as perfect & pure, voluntary cooperation, healing, respect, regard, rejoicing in the truth together, caring for one another & cherishing one another.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35, "One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord."

Surprisingly Paul gets super religious here. Paul was wrong. He was short sighted, perhaps because he wasn't married at the time he wrote this. It DOES please the Lord for you to please your wife or your husband. Pleasing the Lord & pleasing your spouse aren't two separate things, they aren't divided into different categories. In chapter 13 Paul writes "love is not self-seeking." We know that God is love. Thus "things of the Lord" regard loving people. His #1 desire is that we trust Him & love one another. That is why Jesus repeatedly prayed for us in John 17 to be one as He & the Father are one. In marriage two become one. It is the ultimate relationship to accomplish the mutual love for one another that Jesus desired we have.

Paul makes it sound like it is impossible to be as "devoted to the Lord" while being married. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 gives us many reasons why "Two are better than one" & that "a cord of three strands is not quickly broken" referring to two people & the Lord. "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17). Marriage itself & loving your children are ways to be devoted to the Lord. Your family is not distractions to the Lord as Paul so inappropriately says they are. They are an avenue to His fatherly heart. I'm very surprised that, at this point in his life, Paul thought that people we love stand in the way of our devotion to the Lord. The fact is devotion to the Lord is devotion to people.

In V34 Paul even seems to suggest that a married woman's body is "less holy" than a virgin's. Wow.. Thankfully God only let Paul's opinions loose in this one place & by considering that fact we can learn a few things.