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Friday, November 17, 2017

We become what we receive

"We become what we receive."  Wise words from Jason Upton  here...  https://vimeo.com/222541491

As I listened to this message, I repented of not loving people.  1 Cor. 13 sits right there in the middle of the chapters on the giftings because the giftings can very easily become points of pride and arrogance.  Jesus loved Peter, when speaking to him about his denial he immediately spoke of his restoration and the importance of Peter going onward from the dark night of his soul. 

I repented of not valuing people in whatever stage of the process they are in.  Step back and let Jesus show you how He sees them, with eyes of love, that hopes all things and believes all things. 

How often do expectations lead to frustration and death is the result.  Choose love, choose life.

I found myself expressing gratitude to God for a friend who understands that love and people are all that matter.

Lastly, I feel He spoke that true intercession is not being okay with anyone being left behind.  The Shepherd wants to gather all back into His flock.  Come Home.  It really doesn't matter what all you did, God loves you and He is waiting to throw you a party upon your return.

Yeshua loves, get out of the way and let Him do His thing!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The true foundation

"So we have come to know and to believe
         the love that God has for us." 1 John 4:16

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Perish means perish. Eternal life is given to His sheep only. Humans are not immortal.

John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.


Ezekiel 18:Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.
Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.


Amazing how when you see something, you begin to see it everywhere.  Here is a great article on why it matters.  Simple clear and concise.


http://www.afterlife.co.nz/2006/theology/articles-c-i/why-is-conditional-immortality-important/

Saturday, November 4, 2017

2 pages of early conditionalists

As far as we have been able to determine, Athenagoras was
the very first Christian writer to teach the doctrine of Natural Immortality -- some 75 years after the death of the Apostle John!
77
Considering his background (before his conversion), it would seem appropriate
to conclude that the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul was literally “imported” intoChristianity from Platonism, rather than being any part of ancient Christian theology, as the doctrine of Conditional Immortality evidently was.” Page 52 of this document

And, “souls and spirits... endure as long as God wills that they should have an existence and
continuance” since “life does not arise from us, no
r from our own nature; but it is bestowed
according to the grace of God. And therefore he who
shall preserve the life bestowed upon him,
and give thanks to Him who imparted it, shall
receive
also length of days forever and ever. But
he who shall reject it, and prove himself ungrateful to his Maker, inasmuch as he has been
created, and has not recognized Him who bestowed [the gift upon him], deprives himself of [the
privilege of] continuance forever and ever” (2 Heresies
34:3).
85
This is a pretty clear statement of
the conditional nature of human immortality. “ Page 54 of the same document quoting IRENAEUS OF LYONS

Thus, both in Eusebius’
history, and in Origen’s own writings, there is preserved a record of the fact that in the middle of
the third century AD, both Natural Immortality and
Conditional Immortality were being taught in
Christian churches, and there was an active, ongoing debate between the proponents of the two positions” Page 69 same document. So this has been an ongoing debate and it is those who side on the soul being inherently immortal who are the new kids on the block. Those who believed that immortality is a gift conferred by God who alone is immortal were the orthodox, and this other belief in immortal souls and eternal conscious torment were the ones proclaiming something “new”.

Arnobius
makes it clear where he stood in the debate, saying, “We have been taught
by the greatest teacher (i.e., Jesus) that souls are set not far from the gaping jaws of
death; that they can, nevertheless, have their lives prolonged by the favor and kindness of the Supreme Ruler if only they try and make an effort to know Him -- for the knowledge of
Him is a kind of vital leaven and cement to bind together that which would otherwise fly apart”
(2 Disputations 32:1). page 79


The second, and next most important, thing we have
learned is that, during the period
under study, Conditionalism, and not (as it is today) Naturalism, was the more prevalent view of the writing Fathers of the Church. This fact can be demonstrated by a simple enumeration, as follows:
Conditionalists:
16 definite, 4 probable
-- total, 20
Naturalists:
8 definite, 1 probable
-- total, 9
Unclassified: 1
So Conditionalism was favored over Naturalism by approximately a 2/3 majority of the
thirty Fathers we have been able to classify. “ page 81

It is clear from this chart that Conditionalism was the original doctrine of the Early
Church (AD 95-177), and that Naturalism was first introduced by Athenagoras of Athens, and
popularized by Tertullian of Carthage, after whose time it rapidly became the predominant view, though there continued to be an outspoken minority of Conditionalists. “ Page 84

Later on “John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, John Milton, and John Darby” are listed as conditionalists. Page 84

We have seen that there are two radically different opinions on the question of human
immortality: we have come to know them as Naturalism and Conditionalism. We have also seen that throughout most of Christian history a “debatehas raged between proponents of the two positions. Furthermore, we have discovered that almost all of the Church Fathers who wrote before AD 200 were Conditionalists, and that most of those who wrote between then and AD 310 were Naturalists. We have concluded that Conditional Immortality was the original, and predominant, doctrine of the early Church.” page 85

Monday, October 30, 2017

Who told you that you were immortal? Considering Hell.

Once upon a time a man was very sure of himself and thought he had all the answers.  Then he started to read the scriptures and just let them speak for themselves and it turns out there are a lot of things that can be shaken!
My 12-year-old daughter posed the question, How could we be happy in heaven, knowing people we love are burning in hell?
 (I understand that God is just and no consequences or punishment that He hands down could ever be unjust, what I am questioning here is, does the Bible support the idea that humans are immortal? and does the scripture which says eternal life is found only in the Son, support eternal conscious torment for humans who rejected the Son?)
 I had already been wrestling with scripture and seeing the amazing-ness of salvation more and more with our friend Julie.  Then the question was posed on Facebook, What do you believe about hell?  My heart was prepared to really look at scripture and consider what God has revealed.  My approach was simply, What has God said?
Humility is the key, we must stay humble and teachable.  I took the time to listen to those whose thoughts concerning scriptures related to hell were quite different from what I thought I knew.  We cannot afford to cut ourselves off from brothers and sisters with differing views.  The community of the Messiah (the body of Christ) has much to give us, God will not drop all of His wisdom on one group, we need each other.
What was clear was that there were a few go to scriptures for those who believe in an eternal conscious torment (ECT).  I never questioned that, it was the prevailing view, so I accepted the arguments for it, and even taught at least once that it was an example of progressive revelation.  Progressive revelation (the idea that God is over time giving a greater, deeper or fuller picture of a truth) is a principle that works for some things in scripture, but it is beyond cruel to use it in this case.There is no basis for eternal torment prior to Matthew, but that is because God was unfolding it over time no that is not a good argument.. 
   It is like being told you are being sentenced to 90 days in jail and then on the way into the courtroom, your lawyer gets a text message and says, "Oh sorry it isn't 90 days, it is eternity!"

John 3:16 was one of my turning points, "perish" means perish, not be eternally tormented, and then  the example of how the noun can completely change the scope of the adjective was another turning point.  So "unto the age" when it is talking about God should be translated eternal, but "unto the age" when it is talking about men who are being punished by God, cannot be eternal because at no time does scripture say our soul is immortal.  I know, that was a shock to me too, because it is an idea that has become ingrained in our thinking, but it is not something we learned from the Bible. Augustine, who was influenced by Plato, and who influenced Dante brought the concept of an immortal soul into Christianity, not the actual scriptures.   Eternal Life is a gift from God, His punishment or our consequences are to perish, and there will be some form of punishment in hell, but it will be just and fair and it will have an end.  1 Timothy 6:16 "He alone is immortal and dwells in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen Him, nor can anyone see Him. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen"  He alone is immortal. 
For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you.  1 Peter 1:24-25 
Over and over the scripture teaches, perish, destroy, destruction when it comes to mortal man, over and over comparisons are made to vapor, dust, worms, but there is never an intimation that man is immortal. 
1 John 5:6-12  6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. 11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.


I think the only proper way to come to a scriptural understanding in any area is to take the scriptures that people say prove you are wrong and look closely at them.  So here goes.


Isaiah 66:22-24
For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the LORD,
so shall your offspring and your name remain.
From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the LORD.
And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

This is the portion of Isaiah Jesus quotes, but notice the bodies are dead.  The bodies are being burned and the worms are eating them but  they are dead.  The wages of sin is death.


Daniel 12:1-2
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Everlasting contempt is not the same as everlasting conscious torture.  My father died in the 1973 I had contempt for him well into the 1980's when God changed my heart, having contempt is simply not the same as being tortured in flames.  The meaning seems to me to be, there is no turning back, the judgment has been spoken by a God who does not change His mind, and so it will never be withdrawn.


Matthew 18:6-9
Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

The logic is simple, it is better to lose one limb than to lose your life.  Again the fire is "to the age" of the punishment for the mortal being.  This is our first time seeing the Greek word (Strong's G166) which is often translated eternal, but I have to go with Young's literal translation and say it is more properly "age-during".  This is a key point and it applies to the next verses also, so I will address it there.

Matthew 25:31-46
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” . . . Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. . . .  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 Ai┼Źnios is the infamous Greek word in question it is being used as an adjective and it literally means "age-during", well if you are talking about God, His "age-during" is indeed eternal, but if you are talking about mortal man our "age-during" is mortal, we have an end, hence the use over and over again of perish, destroy, destruction when it comes to telling us what is the punishment for sin.  The fact that it is the same adjective does not mean it will play out the same way with different nouns.  If I take a small car to a small baseball stadium, the adjectives are the same, but the amount of people each can hold is determined by the noun, not the adjective.  So our loving eternal God can give us eternal life in the Son and that is His "age-during", but the punishment for a mortal man outside of the son is a mortal "age-during".  (I hope that makes sense.)  Also it should be noted this is speaking of punishment, not punishing, which is more what one would think would have been used if the action was to be eternal and on-going.


Mark 9:42-48
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”

Unquenchable is a statement that no one can stop the consequence/punishment that God imposes from being carried out to its full end, but it does not have to imply that it never goes out, just that nothing can put it out.


2 Thessalonians 1:5-10
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

Again the concept of "age-during" destruction fits a lot better than eternal destruction.  How could something be eternally destroyed.  Destruction and destroy and perish all strongly tell us there is an end.


Jude 7
Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Already covered this.
 
Jude 13
[These people are] wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

Again God's judgment is determined and will not be turned back.  The result is indeed permanent but that does not mean that the action has to be continuous.


Revelation 14:9-11
If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.

This verse doubles the ages of ages, so it leaves room for a longer punishment to be given to those who knowingly rejected the Lamb and took the mark of the beast.  The concept of varying degrees of punishment and condemnation is handled a lot easier in the thinking that the punishment has an end, longer or shorter depending on God's righteous judgment, than it does if everyone goes to eternal torture.


Revelation 20:10, 14-15
And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. . . . Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

If the devil is an immortal being then his punishment may never end, but we are never spoken of as immortal, the access to the tree of life was prevented when man was in a fallen state...thank God!


Hell is real, consequences for those not covered by His blood are real, eternal consequences are not  because we are not immortal, until we are united with the immortal life of the Son.  So my view at this time is called Annihilationism or Conditionalism.  

 


The question of varying degrees of punishment.....
Luke 12:46-48
46the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

How do you give more stripes if everyone is there for eternity?

The second death is called the second death and so is like the first death.  It is not called the resurrection for eternal torture.  If fear of an eternal hell is what drives you to be saved there is a lot of room for mixture there.  The kind of thinking that I need to be spared from such pain, can lead to lies like the pre-trib rapture position. Eternal hell and torture also go against this section of Romans 2:6-12  " who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;"  ---  God will judge fairly according to their deeds and then they will perish.

 
Because all of the Bible teaches that the wicked will one day cease to exist and they will be as though they had never been; We know that the wicked will not suffer forever and ever. But rather, they will suffer until they die in the flames. So they will be tormented and they will have no rest day nor night until they die. The smoke of their torment will ascend up until their bodies are consumed. This is the death of judgement, the second death from which there is no return, when they are cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.
Since the meaning of the word "age" can either be "forever" or it can be "for just a lifetime", Revelation 14:11 and 20:10 can now agree with the rest of the Bible in our understanding. The fire will not be put out nor will it be quenched until the wicked will be totally consumed.
Since the compound phrases: "unto ages of ages" and "unto the ages of the ages" were used in the description of the punishment, because of the multiplied ages definition; It probably means that the time will be metered out, for longer periods of time, so that the wicked will get their just reward as dictated by the judgement. Some might burn longer, while others might burn a shorter period of time.
So, once they are consumed by the flames like an oven, they will be stubble because they were burned up. And they will be ashes under the soles of your feet. This will be the end of the wicked! After they are burned up, there will not be a fire to sit before, nor even a coal to warm yourself. This is the complete end of the wicked.

 
Here is a collection of scriptures that teach the fate of the unbeliever. Please tell me if any of them teach that the unbeliever suffers and is tortured night and day forever and ever in the burning Hell fires. Definition of Perish: to become destroyed or ruined: cease to exist. Definition of Destroy: to ruin the structure, organic existence, or condition of; to put out of existence. 1. For the wages of sin is DEATH. Romans 6:23 2. Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies; your right hand will seize your foes. At the time of your appearing you will make them like a fiery furnace. In his wrath, the Lord will swallow them up, and his FIRE WILL CONSUME THEM. You will DESTROY their descendants from the earth. Psalm 21:9,10 3. But the wicked will PERISH: the Lord’s enemies will be like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish-VANISH LIKE SMOKE. Psalm 37:20 4. But all sinners will be DESTROYED. Psalm 37:9 5. Those who are far from you will PERISH. You DESTROY all who are unfaithful to you. Psalm 73:27 6. May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they PERISH in disgrace. Psalm 83:17 7. The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand, that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, THEY WILL BE FOREVER DESTROYED. Psalm 92:6,7 8. He will repay them for their sins and DESTROY them for their wickedness; the Lord our God will destroy them. Psalm 94:23 9. A false witness will PERISH, and whoever listens to him will BE DESTROYED FOREVER. Proverbs 21:28 10. As wax melts before the fire, may the wicked PERISH before God. Psalm 68:2 11. Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. And His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering the wheat into the barn and BURNING UP the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:12 12. Broad is the road that leads to DESTRUCTION. Narrow is the road that leads to life. Matthew 7:13,14 13. Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body; rather be afraid of the one who can DESTROY BOTH BODY AND SOUL IN HELL. Matthew 10:28 14. Whoever believes in him shall not PERISH but have eternal life. John 3:16 15. Whoever rejects the son will NOT SEE LIFE. John 3:36 16. Whoever hears my words and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24 17. What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known bore with great patience the objects of his wrath- prepared for DESTRUCTION? Romans 9:22 18. The one who sows to please the sinful nature, from that nature will reap DESTRUCTION Galatians 5:8 19. They will be punished with everlasting destruction. 2 Thes. 1:9 20. And in every sort of evil that deceives those who are PERISHING because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 2 Thes. 2:10 21. But we are not of those who shrink back and are DESTROYED, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10:39 22. but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging FIRE THAT WILL CONSUME the enemies of God. Hebrews 10:27 23. For you have been born again, not of PERISHABLE SEED, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 Peter 1:23 24. By the same word the present Heaven and Earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and DESTRUCTION of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:7 25. He who has the son has life; he who does not have the son of God does NOT HAVE LIFE. 1 John 1:12

Other stuff that I found...

From Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202 AD):
Wherefore also he drove him out of paradise and removed him far from the tree of life, not because He envied him the tree of life, as some dare assert, but because He pitied him and desired that he should not be immortal and the evil interminable and irremediable.
It shocks me to hear people argue that the doctrine of Hell has been the definitive belief of Christendom since the days of the New Testament. Such a claim demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of Church history and is a testament to how extensively St. Augustine’s doctrine influenced the orthodox church.
The idea of eternal torment comes primarily from Greek thought – a merging of mythology and the ramification of belief in an immortal soul.
For 5 centuries, Christian doctrine remained unaffected by Hell until St. Augustine forcibly inserted it into orthodoxy, using a combination of power and violence to ensure it’s survival. Since that time, we’ve seen the gradual evolution of Christian doctrine in and around this concept, until today, the average believer has no idea that the concept of eternal torment isn’t even Biblical.”




Aionios specifically
Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in
Modern Speech (p. 657),  “Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages:  Etymologically this
adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, “during” but “belonging to” the aeons or ages.”

Dr. Marvin Vincent, in his Word Studies of the New Testament (vol. IV, p. 59):  “The
adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time.  Neither the noun nor the adjective IN THEMSELVES carries the sense of “endless” or “everlasting.”  Aionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time.  Out of the 150 instances in the LXX (Septuagint), four-fifths imply limited duration.” (Editor’s note: the rest of the time aionios takes on a greater meaning from the noun to which it is connected, usually God Himself or heaven.)
________
The word "zoen" in Matthew 25:46 has given the word "aionian" a greater value, so to speak. It is exegetically false to assume the same value must be applied to the word punishment (kolasin) simply because the adjective “aionian” are used with both phrases.



So here we have the same adjective being used with a different noun which could very easily change the “amount” of whatever associated with the adjective. Example, “We traveled to the small baseball stadium Fenway Park, in a small Subaru.” Same word, small, but one holds thousands of people and one holds four. The noun determines the length of the adjective, so, to the age-abiding of God is indeed eternity, that is the eternal life we are promised, but to the age-abiding of a lost person, it is simply until they perish. There are varying degrees of condemnation spoken of in scripture and this makes more sense if God is determining a length of time until they perish, as opposed to if everyone is tortured for all eternity, how is there a varying degree of condemnation?



Another thing to note about adjectives is that they often take on some of their meaning from the noun they are describing. For example, one would NOT expect a "small" ring to be the same size as a "small" house even though the same adjective is used to describe the nouns “ring” and “house.” The adjective “small” gets some of its force from the noun to which it is connected. Why then should "aionian" punishment have to be of the same duration as "aionian" zoen (Divine life)? Aionian may take on a greater force because it is connected to "zoen" which is “God-life.” It is as incorrect to assume that “aionian punishment” must be as long as "aionian zoen" as it is to force a house to become the size as a ring simply because they are both described by the same adjective, “small.” The Bible plainly tells us that God's anger WILL come to an end. “Aionian” punishment is NOT eternal.
God's anger/wrath will come to an end.

 

Psalm 59:13Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

 




"Depart from Me I never knew you."  Spoken by God to man, in the very presence of God.  I don't think we can assess the weight of that. 




Sunday, October 15, 2017

Simplicity

Praying this morning.
Praying with the simplicity of a child.
Praying that those on my heart would know that the Sovereign, powerful, faithful God holds their face in His hands, looks into their eyes and says, "I love you, I forgive you, come home!"

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"The I, the me, and the the my have to go."

A simple statement of truth.

 Like all truth, it is true this morning, it was true yesterday and it will be true tomorrow.

John 5:30 "I am not able of myself to do anything; according as I hear I judge, and my judgment is righteous, because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me."

later on this leads to this statement, what was true for our Rabbi is true for us His talmidim

John 15:5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

The point is if I shows up in a sentence on your lips like, "I can eat the watermelon and spit out the seeds better than anyone I know."
That same I is in your heart and it is the fruit on the root of pride that needs to be cut off, pulled out, destroyed or it will lead to a fall and great will be the fall.

So in a very delayed sense, I am grateful today for whatever instrument is used to expose such darkness to the Light, and I ask the Light to pluck up, cut off and destroy that root before it grows another millimeter.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Levitical Town

Confirmation doeth the heart good!
A visit from friends brought confirmation that God has a very good plan and purpose for our little town.
The Levitical towns of the Jewish people were strategically placed villages where "accidental man-slayers" could run to to get away from the avenger of blood.
Guess what, we are all accidental man-slayers. 
In a very real sense we don't know our left hand from our right hand, and we truly don't "know what we do."
So, "Father forgive them." is the all encompassing power filled prayer/cry that we hear vocalized from the cross from the Son of Man who has yet to have a prayer of His go unanswered.
The openness, the hunger and the love that God has planted here has to be poured out eventually.
Encouraging each other more and more as we the day approaching!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

When?

When will the reality of His life in me, crush the head of flesh with its evil uprising in me?
Change happens as I behold the beauty of the Lord.
Draw me after You and let us run together.


This simple song, brought heaving, sobbing out of my very soul.
Deeply grateful for His faithfulness, love and power.


You Can Fill Me!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A742LJl6zs8

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Should I Not Have Compassion?

"Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"  Jonah 4:11
Continuing the theme, that we have no clue as to how amazingly filled with compassion and forgiveness our God is.
The prophet is sent to the enemy and he goes where he is sent after God compels him to go there.
He arrives with a message and he delivers it with and angry heart.
God causes a message that was given in a mean way to bear fruit.
But this is a story that is actually about the messenger, not about the greatest recorded revival ever.
God pushes Jonah, with a question.  Why are you so angry?  Why don't you have compassion?
Jonah knew God well enough to know that He would have compassion, but he did not know him well enough to share in that compassion.
The only goal worth having is to be one with the Father.  Caught up  in the love relationship between the Father and the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
As Metallica would say, "Nothing Else Matters." 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dimly Burning Wicks

The simple fact that God states very clearly that when it comes to compassion, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,  neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.  (Isaiah 55:8) should be enough to cause us to be very slow to open our mouths about other people.
But wait there is more...
We serve a God who says we are to love our enemies.  How often do we let fear overcome love?
We are vessels of the God who will not put out a dimly burning wick. 
He pays the guy who shows up late to work as much as the guy who worked all day.
He speaks harshly to a Gentile woman and when she responds in humility, He praises her actions above His chosen people.
Eternal souls have great value in His eyes.  Nothing they are doing or saying would cause Him to cut them off. 
His sacrificial love is always reaching across the divide. 
 He is always wanting to keep the lines of communication open. 
Brokenness for the people is the mark of true prophet.
Jeremiah 8:21  "21 Since my people are crushed, I am crushed;
    I mourn, and horror grips me."

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Beyond Toleration to Love

Psalm 110:3  "Your people will be a freewill offering in a day of your power...."  Tree of Life version.

I am treated unjustly, rudely, and I put up with it.  That is not the way of love, that is toleration and maybe just a little martyr's complex.

I am treated unjustly, rudely, and I reach out to the unjust  with mercy and love that covers and seeks to heal whatever is the reason they reacted so.  That is the way of love.

This translation which makes a people a freewill offering, speaks of a people who love not their lives unto the death.  Not seeking a way to defend themselves or protect themselves, but looking for ways to get out of the way and allow ultimate Love, the very life of the Messiah who came to seek and to save to flow through them.

That is the way of love.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

God's Four Dimensional Love and Suicide

Paul's prayers were so simple and true, that we would grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus the Messiah, that we would come to know the height, the width, the depth the breadth of God's love.

Wayne Monbleau pointed out years ago that is a four dimensional love and we are 3 dimensional beings, so there is an aspect of God's love that is totally alien to us, beyond us.

Suicide cuts us off from the ability of God to restore and heal in this life.  As my friend Malory accurately states, suicide stems from hope dying and giving way to despair.  A person can have faith and love but their hope can crash and burn and in a moment of time.

Now the fourth dimension of love comes in, the dimension that goes beyond and is separate from this life.  The dimension that speaks to dry bones.  The dimension that is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and mocks those who do not trust in the resurrection power of God.

Suicide leaves a gaping hole in this life, but once again our call is not to trust in what we can see, but in what we cannot see.  The wounds in His hands and His side lead me to a place of accepting whatever cup the Father chooses for me.  A cup that promises healing, grace and restoration for the lost and hurting world.  A cup that releases grace and mercy to brethren, that the world will see as true love.  Attraction not promotion.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hopeless

Jesus is driving a bus and the title in the little window that shows the destination is "HOPE", but the ticket to get on the bus is marked "Hopeless".  
Until we come to that place and it is totally grace that brings us to that place, we are not in a position to fully and totally receive all that Jesus has for us.  
Isaiah 57:10  "You were tired out by the length of your road,
Yet you did not say, ‘It is hopeless.’
You found renewed strength,
Therefore you did not faint."
 
Our own strength gets in the way of being in a place of hopeless, where
we can receive from the Lord, His hope.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Moses and Me

A dear friend states the truth, "I think we have it mostly backwards and out of order."
In discussing the story of Moses and the two tablets, God brought us to the conclusion that Israels failures were at least partially about changing the heart of their leader Moses.  The first time he came down from the mountain they were worshiping an idol and in anger he destroyed the tablets.  He made the people "drink" melted down idol gold, he saw himself as separate from the people, but over time God did a deep work in him and he began to see himself as one with the people and when God gave him an opportunity to take up the offer, "I will destroy this people and start over with you." He complete,y rejected that idea.  It would not be the glory of God to destroy them, He instead fervently requested that God go with "THEM" marking a key transition in his heart, he was one with them now, not a superior leader getting angry at their failures....
and now for something a little closer to home....
If I react to the behavior of other people in my life as if they are somehow separate from me and in need of punishment for their behavior, if I justify my anger in whatever form then by the grace of God that behavior will continue, because God is doing a work in my heart and that is the method of choice that He is using.  Praise God for this revelation, and for awakening my heart to love.  "Lord Your Presence must come with US, for Your glory!"

Daniel learned the same lesson, in fact it is the same lesson God has had for His people forever, it is a part of His Plan A.  Make the people aware that when one hurts we all hurt, His unity will flow from a revelation of "family" that brings in a life changing dose of humility.

In this light 1 Cor. 14:16 "Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying?"
God identifies here people who fill a place of great humility.  They are the "ungifted" in the midst of a people who have put such a great emphasis on the gifts that they are now fighting over them and using them in a self-exalting way.  So the "gifted" are given an opportunity to love and pull back their gifting long enough to bless someone who is being pushed away from an encounter with God because they don't know what is going on.

What a gigantic seismic shift it would be in my life simply to see myself as a part of the whole and to hurt when they hurt, especially when that hurt shows up in a way that hurts me.. Oh God such things are impossible for the flesh, fill and fill and fill us with Your Spirit!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

"Christian love will show itself in a believer's readiness to bear evil as well as to do good. It will make him . . .
patient under provocation,
forgiving when injured,
meek when unjustly attacked,
quiet when slandered.
It will make him bear much and forbear much, put up with much and look over much, submit often and deny himself often--all for the sake of peace. It will make him put a strong bit on his temper, and a strong bridle on his tongue.
True love is not always asking, "What are my rights? Am treated as I deserve?" but, "How can I best promote peace? How can I do that which is most edifying to others?"  J.C. Ryle

Holding to the task of this blog to be an honest open view into my life.  I was not at all loving yesterday.  Not at all helpful, kind etc.  
Asking for forgiveness, apologizing is something Jesus never had to do.  Because He did not sin even when he arrived a day late to help Lazarus, He did not apologize to Mary or Martha.  So this having to ask for forgiveness and apologize is one aspect of our humanity that He never experienced, and yet, I guarantee it is His life in us that moves us to apologize and ask for forgiveness, because it is supremely uncomfortable and would be so much easier to just sweep it all under the rug.  

Anyway, God is merciful and when I had purposed in my heart to apologize, He graciously revealed this truth.  The three stranded cord in Eccl. that is not easily broken is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and as we are in that love with them, they keep together, what the world would positively love to tear apart.  That thought came from the idea that if I am one of those cords I am going to break pretty quick and then it will only be two.  Humans can't be the cord, we suck.  God is good, I would rather He be all three strands, wouldn't you?

Monday, August 14, 2017

The only true sign of the end times

The setting up of the abomination of desolation in a temple structure in Jerusalem, is the beginning of the final 3 and 1/2 years of this age.  This is the only true sign of the end times.  Period.

If you can keep this in mind you will be saved from a whole bunch of deception that is out there related to a generation which is 20, 40, 70 or 100 years depending on what the salesman is selling.

You will be saved from blood moons and eclipses and any number related to 1948 or 1967.

I have nothing to sell you.

This information is available in the book of Daniel chapter 9 through the end and Matthew 24 where Jesus refers us back to Daniel.  

Mercy Reveals Truth and Calls Us Home

The truth is, those who do not know the Lamb are broken, hurting, and cut off from receiving love.


Satan has two tactics for those who have not yet come to believe, designed over the centuries to keep people in this state; 1) Overwhelm them with amusement or addiction in all its various forms, so they never consider their innermost cry 2)Blame God for the feeling of brokenness, hurting and being cut off and get them to despair of anything ever changing. 


The battle a disciple of, the Lamb who was slain, is entering into is 1) to be willing to pray and live in such a way that God can use them to remove the veil of amusement and addiction and in true, ultimate mercy reveal the desperate cry of the human heart. 2) Be willing to have self so crushed that a sacrificially loving group of people exists that can be seen to care less about their possessions and who instead are laser focused on living in love, choosing to never exclude anyone from the circle of love and mercy that they have been drawn in to by the invisible nail scarred hand.  The nail scarred hand that says, "I have cleared the way for you to come home", turn around and you will be greeted by the God who runs to you and lavishes you with kisses!


If we are willing to peer into the burning bush, here is the real problem with the modern "gospel", it saves you and never sends you.  You are saved, now isn't that a nice little addition to your already blessed life, tuck it away with your life insurance policy as something that makes you feel good about yourself but really is not useful until you die.  Now gather together with other people who are saved and sing about it once or twice a week.  Lather, rinse, repeat, but don't stare at the Lamb too long because you might come to realize that worship is not worship without sacrifice.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

See the Stars

A new and deeper awareness that as someone has wisely said, "I cannot reach the stars, I cannot take you to visit the stars, but I can point them out to you, I can point to them and we can gaze together at them."  The truths of scripture are life changing, relative and powerful.  As we gaze upon His beauty we are changed into His likeness.  The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart.  To know Him and make Him known, by being the message, by welcoming the fire to burn away the dross, to rest, to trust, to cry out for forgiveness when fellowship is offended.  Onward!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

God's one and only plan A

We use the word "church", it sounds like something separate from God's plan A, the chosen people of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to reach the world, but it is not, we are grafted in to their vine.  The so called New Testament affirms this many times. 
Enjoyed a Bible study with friends tonight and felt that this is a good definition for the gathering we mistakenly call the "church", A group of broken people, caught up in the union of the Father and the Son, and because of the life that flows from that union, willingly, joyfully, lovingly, serving others.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A weaned child, Psalm 131

 O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.  Psalm 131 NASB

I used to come to those breasts for what they could supply me with, but now I just want to be with the Person. I am weaned from seeking for provision, I just want to be with Him. From this blessed place of being weaned from a utilitarian, (what can I get from you) approach to God, from this place of just leaning upon His breast and hearing His heart beat, I look around me and I proclaim, "Hope in the Lord", in the Person of God, He is Mercy, He is the Everlasting Covenant, He is our Hope, start here and now in Him and go out into eternity! Amen and Amen!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The One Thing

Those who name the name that is above all names cannot, must not, toss aside the need to daily spend time focused on Him.  It is in that focus that we are changed into His likeness.  In beholding His face, our face is changed.  Time is required.  Time has to be carved out.  Did you get alone with Him today?  Did you choose to take time to look into His transforming face?  You must, or you risk shipwreck.  May His love draw us to His presence.  My dear friend calls it, effortless union with the Godhead.  It is a high calling.  Acknowledge your deep, desperate need of His transforming power and seek the One Thing that brings about transformation. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Expectations Kill

"All my hope is in You, God"  great lyrics to a great song.
But
No one I know is actually living that out.

If all my hope is truly in God, I would have no expectations on others, and I would live from a place of faith and trust in the God, who I know to be, faithful and true.

No expectations, I don't expect you to treat me fairly, or nicely, or courteously.  I don't expect my day to go the way I planned or hoped.

I don't expect you to meet my needs.

You are set free from my expectations and I am set free because I don't live with any expectations on you.

Love, unconditional love can finally grow.  It cannot grow with the choking, light stealing, nutrition stealing vine of expectations curled tightly around it squeezing out freedom and joy.  Expectations can always find a way to feel, let down, disappointed, discouraged, angry, and depressed.  Each one of these is centered on self, how they treated me, made me feel, hurt me.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Be Still, Cease Striving, Drop Your Hands,

Day 5 at camp.  God kept it very simple, by referring to Psalm 46, and taking us to a place of rest.  Maintain the relationship with God at all costs.  Rest and trust in Him to work through your yielded vessel.  Micah 6:8 clearly states what God expects.  "do justice" only He knows all the background and history of any situation, only His life can do it.  "Love kindness" His love flowing through us, "walk humbly with your God".  The beginning, middle and end of the answer to the question, Now what? for the person who is newly born again is, maintain your close relationship with God.  From that place of relationship, His life will flow through you. 


Day 6, my last day, because God had me give away Friday to a woman who is working on staff who has been specifically named, by at least 3 other staff in their testimonies as a person they relied on during a hard time. We looked at the ways that Satan works in his kingdom as contrasted with how things work in the Kingdom of God. 
The Loser rules through, power/control, threat and manipulation.
The Kingdom of God is about weakness, surrender and trust.  Deut. 32:36, "When He sees that their strength is gone".  Daniel 12:7, "When they come to the end of their power."  Rev. 12:11, "They love not their lives unto the death." 
It is a blessing to come to the place, the knowledge of our absolute weakness, because it is from that place and only that place that God can work.  Refusing to use our own power, and by faith connecting to/trusting in His power and life, all the glory goes to our faithful God.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

From Gomer to chosen, holy, and dearly loved!

Day 4 at camp, 2nd part of the series, Who is God?  Who are we?  Now what?
Who are we?
We started with words you almost never here in Sunday School, "Turn to the book of Hosea."
We reviewed what God called Hosea, whose name means salvation, to do.
Go and marry a prostitute!
We saw that this was God giving a living, breathing picture of His amazing love!
Gomer, the prostitute, has one child to Hosea, one child to another man, and another child, 3 in all.
Then Gomer runs away and returns to her old lifestyle.
In Chapter 3 God says to Hosea, go get her and buy her back.  Gomer is his wife, he never divorced her, she ran away, why does he have to buy her back?  Amazing love!  Salvation is all of Him and none of us!
We turned to Chapter 14 and read the end of verse 3 and verse 4.  "For in You the fatherless finds mercy.”
I will heal their apostasy,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from them."                                             
God promises here to heal their apostasy, which is a full turning away from God.  Amazing Love

Lastly we looked at Col. 3:12 in light of the fact that before salvation we are Gomer, what are we after salvation.
We are Chosen By God, Holy-set apart for Him, and Dearly Loved!

Amen and Amen.
Pray that God takes these truths deep into the hearts of everyone at camp!