Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Good News of Living in God's Kingdom

There are so many assumptions people make & so many assume the existence of paradigms that aren't there. You can rarely fruitfully discuss with someone who refuses to consider things outside of the paradigms (& doctrines) they believe in. People's paradigms are their perceptions of reality. Challenging someone's paradigm is like saying to them, "We've actually been living on Mars this whole time." It is a Truman Show/The Matrix scenario.

Jesus challenged people's perception of reality because He had to, He changed reality!

God offers us a new reality in the Spirit realm in a relationship with Him. It is a reality where there is no favoritism, everyone is equally loved. The very word that is mistranslated as "repent" actually means to "change your mind." God challenges us to change our minds about what is "real." Jesus said, "Change your minds about what is real. The kingdom of heaven is here in your midst." His kingdom is not of this world, it is of the spirit world. It is a kingdom we are born into to participate in just as we were born into the kingdom of this world. It is a spiritual kingdom that we can "walk in" if we "set our minds on the things of the Spirit."

The opposite of walking in the spirit is to cling onto this world by holding onto our identity as "in the flesh" & the consciousness of sin. If you think "we won't be perfect or free from sin until we reach heaven" you are setting your mind on the wrong kingdom, the flesh based kingdom of "the world."

Sadly the majority of Christians choose to walk almost exclusively in the wrong kingdom. Why? Because they haven't heard the "good news of the kingdom." The main news they've heard is that God loves you sometimes, He'll try to help keep you acting straight, & you get to go to heaven when you die.

Jesus proclaimed "the good news of the kingdom of God." How often have you heard that good news, that there is a new kingdom to live in & you get to hang with the king all the time?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"You can't serve God & money" was said to the poor.

"“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
(Always see what the therefore is there for).
THEREFORE I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Interesting that when Jesus said you cannot serve two masters he was talking to poor people about not worrying about money because God would provide for them. He wasn't talking only to rich people seeking more & more as we are always taught.

 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
If you're poor & serve money & God you'll hate money & love God, & you'll be devoted to God but hate money (because you always have to think about it & try to get more because you legitimately are always on the edge of not not having enough). Worry. You have it as a master because you depend on it. You can still serve money while not loving it!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Jesus' Victory Over Sin

Most think of sin as actions. Stealing is a sin, etc. But sin is not the actions themselves but the tally of those actions. A sin is a record of a negative action. Sins are scores & statistics that are kept. Sin is defined in both Hebrew & Greek as "a missing of the mark as in an archery contest."

2 Corinthians 5:19 says God is no longer charging anyone with sins. That means God is no longer keeping score. Jesus took away the sin of the world, meaning the score card, the record book. So people can still steal & lie, etc. but those things are no longer defined as sin because the game is over & Jesus has won for everyone! Because He won for everyone it was just for Him to throw away the record book. The consequence of the game was that the winner gets life & the loser gets death. Jesus just wants people to join in His victory party so they may live.

Do people still do bad things? Yes. Do people still sin? Only if someone other than God is keeping score. You do have the option to charge yourself with sin & feel like a loser or charge others with sin & make them feel like losers.

Adam lost the game for all mankind thus dooming their flesh & spirit to death. Jesus took Adam's place in the rematch & won eternal life for the spirit. One consequence for losing the first game still stands, death in the flesh for all. Since we ourselves didn't win & Jesus stepped in & won life for us we have to join in His victory party to receive life for our spirits. "Anyone who comes to God must trust that he exists and that He rewards those who seek Him." So getting saved is saying, "Hey Jesus where's the party? Auooo!" Remember the father threw a party for the prodigal son & angels party when someone is saved. "The Kingdom of God is at Hand" aka "It's Party Time!"

Game 1: Adam vs. The Serpent
Winner: The Serpent
Losers: Adam & all mankind after him
Stakes: The winner got control of the world. The loser dies physically & spiritually.

Exhibition Game: God's People, The Jews vs. The Law
Purpose: To exhibit, by keeping score, that mankind, on their own, cannot win back what Adam lost.
Winners: Those who realized the purpose of the exhibition
Losers: Those who defected to The Law's team
Notes: The only time in history score was being kept by God was while the law was in effect. Romans 4:15 says, "Where there is no law there is no sin." Romans 5:13 says, "Sin is not charged when there is no law." The law was the opponent, Colossians 2:14 & Ephesians 2:15 say the law was "against mankind" and "stood opposed to mankind."

Game 2: Jesus vs. The Serpent
Winners: Jesus & whoever wants to join in His victory party
Loser: Satan
Stakes: The winner can spiritually resurrect losers of the first game & give them eternal life in the spirit. The winner also regains control of the world when He desires to. The loser suffers forever.

Results for mankind of the 2 Games
Mankind can live forever in the spirit because of Jesus' victory if they join in His victory party.
Mankind still dies in the flesh because of Adam's loss.
Losers of the first game can still die spiritually in what is called "the 2nd death" if they never join in Jesus' victory party.

Clarification on what sin is.
Hebrew words tend to have one meaning but many applications. For example the word iniquity means twistedness. It can refer to a twisted personality/heart, twisted actions, guilt because of twisted actions, or punishment for twistedness. I presume sin is the same way. We typically know sin as: a spiritual condition, a fleshly condition, & sinful actions. I believe sin is also the record of those actions (as well as the burden/guilt/shame from those actions).

Scripture says, Christ took away the sins of the world WHEN He came in the flesh BY the sacrifice of Himself. He has already taken them away. We know people still perform actions that we would call sin & we know people still carry the condition(s) of sin. So the sense of sin that Jesus TOOK AWAY for THE WORLD is the record of sins. 2 Corinthians 5:19 says God is no longer charging anyone with sins (recording anyone's sins) & He has reconciled the world to Himself.

The word forgive in the bible does not mean "to stop being mad" or "to accept an apology." It is another word that means "take away." When you are experientially "forgiven" as you are when you are first saved (described in 1 John 1:9) God takes away the condition of sin from your spirit & you are given a new spirit/identity. He also removes the burdens/guilt/shame of sin, at least in the moment before you are tricked into believing it is still there by thinking God still charges you with sin. I remember feeling the burdens of sin months & months before I got saved & I remember feeling Him removed those burdens when I got saved.

God did take away the record of sins for everyone so there is no barrier to keep mankind from approaching God. God never takes away the actions of sin because that would mean He would override people's freewill. But because He no longer charges people with sin, He no longer identifies actions as sin.

God can't take away the condition of sin in the flesh because of the fall & the flesh is destined to die, though through the willful renewing of the mind the condition can be improved.

God will take away the condition of sin in the spirit from those who trust (have faith in) Him. He will separate them spiritually & in their identity from sin & the flesh, freeing or delivering them from sin. Thus they, in their identity, their spirit, are not able to produce sinful actions (1 John 3:6,9).

God still deals the people's actions. He isn't blind to helping us but He holds nothing we do against us. He only wants to work things to people's good. God is not keeping score. The game/war is over. God doesn't care about your performance, He only cares about your person. He knows that your actions can harm your person. Remember he is our "Father" & our "Wonderful Counselor."

The actions of sin point to the condition of sin which points to God as the solution. The good news is God is not counting your actions of sin against you & He is willing to remove the condition from your spirit by giving you a new everlasting spirit.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Meanings of Fear & Shame

Hebrew letters started as pictographs where each letter was a picture. Those pictures can give us insight into what Hebrew words mean.

The Hebrew word for shame (or ashamed) is represented by 3 letters picturing family, security, & destruction. Shame is "family security destroyed." Adam was a "son of God," and his shame destroyed the security he had felt with God. "The man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed" (Genesis 2:25). Their family security was not destroyed before the fall with God or each other. Shame also carries the idea of fear. Adam said in Genesis 3:10, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

The Hebrew word for fear is represented by 3 letters picturing work, man, & strength. Fear then is "work by man's strength." The first occurrence of fear in the bible has Adam & Eve picking fig leaves to cover their selves. Fear causes you to try to cover yourself by your works whether you need to or not.

These are some deep messages from God in only six letters!

 Each letter can have multiple meanings or synonyms. The positive fear of God would take the same letters & symbolize hand, head, & leader. God's Right Hand, the Head of the Assembly, Our One Leader Christ.

The literal meaning of the Hebrew word transl
ated fear is a "flowing of the gut," which can be applied to "fear" or "awe." Have you ever been so scared or been in the presence of something so amazing that you could feel it in your gut? This "feeling" is the meaning of this word. The bad feeling of fear makes you try to compensate for whatever you are feeling badly about. The good feeling of fear (awe) makes you stand still in awe, to where you can't do anything but focus on Jesus who is God's Right Hand, the Head of the Assembly, & Our One Leader!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Humble God of Rest

Most Altar Calls:
"You're in danger of hell. Repeat this prayer after me.."
Equivalent to
"The plane is going down. Take this Jesus parachute.."

"Now that you've prayed that prayer here is what God wants you to do/here is how you can get involved in our church/etc."
Equivalent to
"Now that you've got your Jesus parachute go fly the plane & save everyone else.."

Jesus' invitation to mankind was an invitation for Him to give us rest. Most altar calls stop offering you grace before the prayer is even over. "Here's the gift, now God wants you to get to work!" No time for rest. Jesus often told people he healed to not tell others what he had done. We need time to soak in the cure, to rest & be loved by Him, to learn His love for us by experiencing it. Scripture never calls us "God's missionaries" it calls us "God's children." Children aren't forced to work 3 seconds after they are born, likewise God's children as they are reborn are not commissioned by God to work but invited by Him to rest.

Jesus also described himself as "gentle & humble." For many God is rarely seen as gentle. Someone who needs to forgive all the time because he is perpetually offended & angry is not gentle. Even rarer & in opposition to all religion is a God who is humble. God is pictured as doing everything "for His own glory" & we are supposed to do likewise. Jesus who perfectly represents Our Father is humble, humble in His heart. God's mindset is not works based, sin based, or ego based. Yet He has been taught to be all of those things to the uttermost where almost all He thinks about is people's works & sins & how much he should be praised.

So if we view God as ungentle & unhumble we will not be able to rest. How could anyone rest thinking there is a harsh conceited egomaniac "lording" over them 24/7? If you are put off by me opposing the idea that the purpose of everything is to bring God glory consider that "Love is not self-seeking" & "God is love."

Here are some things you cannot rest with:
The need to be repeatedly forgiven
The call to constantly work or grow or improve or act "right"
The idea that sin has any power over you
The pressure to "get out of your comfort zone"
The command to be holy or perfect
The pressure or responsibility to change or save or evangelize the world
The idea that you have to constantly gain your Father's approval

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Fruit of the Spirit: God's Fruits

The fruits of the Spirit are fruits that God produces. He is the Spirit & His character will not contradict His Spirit's fruits.

If you ever feel like God doesn't love you He is not the source of that feeling.

God will never make you feel unloved by Him.
God will never decrease your joy. God is never the reason you lack joy.
God will never decrease your peace. God is never the reason you lack peace.
God will never be impatient with you nor will He cause you to become impatient.
God will always be kind & good to you.
God will always be trustworthy & loyal & faithful to you.
God will always be gentle & compassionate towards you. He will always be considerate, sympathetic, & empathetic.
God will always control Himself. He will never lash out at you. God will not seek to control or manipulate you.

You are believing something false about God or yourself or others if you feel God Himself does not live up to the fruits of the Spirit in His relationship with you.

Our Father's Love Decides our Infinite Worth

If you see human worth as a matter of behavior or works you are looking through the eyes of sin. Human worth is determined by our Father in heaven. His love is not based on conditions we meet or fail to meet. You are worthy & you are deserving because your Father says so. Never look down upon yourself & talk about how undeserving or unworthy you are of God's love, grace, or salvation.

No good parent wants their child to think they are unworthy of their parent's love. No good father or mother who saves their child's life wants their child to think, "I didn't deserve to be saved." God is the most loving parent of all. If we who are parents don't base our ultimate love for our children on their behavior why would we possibly think God does?

Friday, May 22, 2015

No Buts

I still haven't come across a bible verse that says, "God is love AND.." or God is love BUT.." I've heard plenty of people say it though.

"God is love BUT God is also just."
The words just & righteous in the bible are translated from the same word. Righteousness is defined by love. There is no but there.

"God is love BUT God is also holy."
What typically follows this statement are reasons why God is not loving or holy. As if holiness is a pass on love. They will say, "A Holy God must punish sin." But the bible says, "Love keeps no record of wrongs" (1 Corinthians 13:5) & "God does not count the world's sins against them" (2 Corinthians 5:19).

In their minds God's offer is this, "I love you BUT I hate sin so much that I need you to apologize to me for all of your sins. If you don't I will not forgive you & I will torture you FOREVER." They'll also say that 1 sin is worthy of eternal punishment by God. I can forgive someone of something without them even having to apologize to me by coming & asking for my forgiveness. But "HOLY" God cannot. He is so "good" & "righteous" & "holy" that he has to punish you FOREVER if you don't apologize to him. A good man wouldn't kill someone for not apologizing. This idea makes God out to be worst than a rapist. God says, "I love you." But if you don't say it back he kills you. That is one of the most loveless things imaginable.

But that is the "gospel" most Christians spread. "God loves you but he also hates you" or "God loves you but He hates sin EVEN MORE than He loves you." This supposed gospel's message is "HATE TRUMPS LOVE." In softer words, "your actions mean more to God than YOU as a person." Its message is God offers to "save" you from HIMSELF. In it God says, "Ask me for forgiveness or I'll burn you forever," "Love me back or die," "Agree to be my servant or suffer the endless consequences."

So to them God's holiness is defined as "God cares more about what people do than about the people themselves." That is how holy people live right? That is how God wants us to live right? To judge & shame & condemn & look down upon people.. oh & to torture them or murder them. That is how Christianity has played out for hundreds of years, killing & shunning & shaming & bossing.

Sadly for many people it is more important for them to feel like they've been right all along than it is for them to care an ounce about their idea of God not even remotely resembling basic love.

The truth is God doesn't save you from Himself, Jesus didn't save you from the Father. What sense would that make? What kind of good news is "God loves you by saving you from his hatred of you." Even if He saves you who wants to spend time with someone who wants to kill you to begin with?

God will never forgive you because God is love & He never kept a record of your wrongs in the first place. The word "forgive" in the bible has been mistranslated. It actually means God takes away your burdens & the weight sin has pressed upon you. It has nothing to do with a "holy" God being angry & needing an apology from us.

All these people seeking to "glorify God" by spreading the false gospel of "God is love but.." & the false gospel of forgiveness have been suckered into believing God is the greatest monster ever imagined yet claiming all of his monstrosities are actually his holiness.

"What a sorrow it is for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter" (Isaiah 5:20). And yes I've felt that sorrow & know many who have & still do feel the sorrow caused by believing in a false idea of God. One that we are forced to believe is good & holy because we've been told "the bible says.." But there is no "but" after "God is love."

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Infinite Love

We've likely heard, "There is nothing you can do to cause God to love you any more than He already does—and there is nothing that will cause God to love you any less."
Let's unfold that.

This is no way God will love you any less. Why? Because His love is pure love, real love, unconditional love.
His love is not based on what you have done or what you could do. His love is the perfect version of a parent's love for their child, a parent's love for their adopted child, a sibling's love for their siblings, a friend's love for their friends. You & Your Father's love for you are inseparable.

There is no way God can love you any more. Why? Because He loves you an infinite amount.
Jesus Himself said that God your Father loves you as much as He loves Jesus and Jesus loves you as much as the Father loves Him (John 17:23,15:9). That is an infinite amount. An amount beyond "amount." Ephesians 3:19 tells us that God's love surpasses all knowledge. That means if you literally knew everything about everything all of that knowledge would seem minuscule compared to the unlimited love God has for you, YES YOU!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I was quoted in a book

I was quoted as one of 23 identified "modern grace teachers" in Michael L. Brown's book Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message released January 2014. I found out about this over Thanksgiving & yes I am very thankful for it. I still stand by the 3 quotes of mine that he quotes (originally from my post "Hyper-Grace" is True!, February 19, 2013). I feel like God allowed 3 short megaton bombs of truth in a book that speaks against the fullness of God's grace.

Here I am being addressed on page 229 (footnotes included).

I said, "God is not blind to how the deeds of my flesh affect myself & others." After quoting this he then claims my concept carries the idea of, "God, You know that wasn't really me. It was just my flesh!" So I would like to be clearer.

Scripture teaches SELF-control. If our selves were bad, wretched, evil, or even our flesh God would not have told us to have self-control. Our selves, as the scriptures I cited above teach, are our spirits. Ephesians 4:24 says that our new self/man/creation/spirit has been created in God’s image & is truly righteous and holy. SELF-control is SPIRIT-control. Our spirits take responsibility for our flesh's actions.

In my post, Our New Creation in Christ & sin from October 4, 2012 I wrote,
The love of the spirit, through renewed parts of the mind, takes responsibility for the unloving actions caused by the flesh & makes amends with the parties harmed.

Our spiritual identity in Christ isn't a false excuse to "get off the hook" for how we behave. It is our reborn identity perfectly loved by God that, given the opportunity, flows out only good things. It is our true self, our eternal self. It is not self-centered nor does it make excuses for the flesh's behavior. It is one spirit with God (1 Corinthians 6:17 & Ephesians 4:4). It is God living in us, & with us, & through us. I will accept nothing less than the identity I know I was born into by the Spirit of God. I am not a sinner. I am perfected forever. I am perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. I am one with God because He wanted to love me & I let Him. The fact that nothing can separate you from His love means you are already in His love. Absolutely nothing ever stands between you & His love. Trust Him & let Him love you as He wants to love you.
I noticed that Mr. Brown said it was a "dangerous concept" to separate your actions from your identity. Which to me pictures God putting us "on the hook" when we misbehave. But that is not our Father. No good father is "dangerous" to his children. God is not looking to accuse us. Satan is the accuser, not our Father. If we feel like we even want to make excuses for something we've done we aren't understanding our Father & His love for us. Why would you want to pass the buck or make excuses or weasel out of something unless you fear punishment or abandonment or shame?

So I wasn't saying "here's my excuse to not take responsibility for how I treat myself & others." I'm really not sure why that is the conclusion that so many jump to. But I am also not on board with the idea of a Father we'd want to make excuses to being our true heavenly Father. If we have any trepidations regarding relating to God we are believing a lie about Him. Our true Father, in His perfect love, is never someone we'd want to avoid, His perfect love for us never inspires fear.

If you feel like it you can check out the book The Hyper-Grace Gospel: A Response to Michael Brown and Those Opposed to the Modern Grace Message by Paul Ellis.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Doctrine Trouble

Very few things people claim are true are explicitly stated in scripture in a single context.
"Look Jesus said this mysterious thing at the end of a parable & Paul briefly mentioned something that sorta sounded like it had something to do with what Jesus was talking about & bam! Now we have a doctrine that we can write 100s of books about & that we must hang our lives upon."

Even the idea of having doctrines is shady.
"Here is some prepackaged truth that makes you feel like you should get closer to God but in all practically prevents you from relating to Him because Jesus is The Truth means the truth is Jesus! You have no
use in knowing the Father. Just learn crap & try hard so you can feel better about yourself."

Jesus didn't hire scribes to write books for Him. Jesus wasn't coming to give us another religion of how to get to God. Jesus' message was essentially, "God our Father loves you. Trust me so you can experience His love from my Spirit." It was "Know God & his love for free!" It wasn't study & serve & strive to know God.

Friday, October 31, 2014

More Father than Lord

In the old testament God's personal name is replaced with the word "LORD." In the new testament the culture no longer said God's name but used the word "lord" in place of His name.

Jesus used the word Lord when quoting scripture or when quoting other people. But on His own if He ever referred to God as "lord" he would say His Father is the "lord of.." something. Jesus said in Matthew 11:5, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth."

Some have claimed that the only time Jesus called His Father "God" was on the cross while He felt forsaken. That is only true of the direct prayers of Jesus to God, though He does call His Father "the only true God" in a prayer in John 17. However Jesus calls His Father "God" many times while speaking to others. But He does not call His Father "Lord" in this same way.

Jesus wasn't referring to God as "Lord" nor did He teach people to pray to Him as "Lord." "The Lord's Prayer" doesn't even have the word lord in it, there God is called "Our Father." Perhaps this is because scripture would refer to Jesus as Our Lord. Acts 2:36 says, "God has made Jesus Lord & Christ."

It is clear that Jesus wasn't out to paint God as a demanding authoritarian lord, master, ruler, sovereign, boss, commander, controller, etc. Jesus came to reveal God as Our Father. But not just as a father but as a better father than anyone on earth, one who freely gives His very own Spirit to live within us (Luke 11:13), & who loves us as much as possible (John 15:9 & 17:23).

In John 17:26 Jesus said the reason He came to earth, what His mission towards all mankind is, "To make My Father's character known so that the same love My Father has for Me may be shown to be the same love He has for all of you. I have come so My Father's love for you & My love for you may be in you, known by you, & experienced by you."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Why We Can't Earn It

A father can deem his children worthy of gifts either because of works they do or simply because he loves them. Does an infant "deserve" his or her parents' love? The parents think so!

Likewise everyone deserves to be saved because God loves the whole world & is not judging the world by sin or works or law. Jesus took away the sins of the world. The reason people cannot earn salvation is not because they fall short of keeping commands. The reason salvation cannot be earned is because God will not accept payment for it. It is a gift!

You can reject His gift but the gift has already been bought for you, waiting to be unwrapped. WE DO DESERVE GOD'S LOVE but we can never earn God's love because love doesn't demand payment. God doesn't need to be bribed to love, His love is already there.