Thursday, April 3, 2014

Watching Over His Word

'Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven.' [Psalm 119:89]
'Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it."' [Jeremiah 1:12]
"So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." [Isaiah 55:11]
Put these verses together and you get WOW!!
First, the Hebrew word translated word in all three of these verse is dabar...which means both word and thing! God's word is the thing He intends it to be when it comes out of His mouth! [Hint: read Genesis 1...]
We also know from Hebrews 4 that God's works were finished from the foundation of the earth, and that He has, in fact, rested from His works.
Put all of this together and you can see what Isaiah saw in 40:8...'The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.'
His Word stands forever...and by the way, the word word in this verse is dabar, too! Word, thing...all the same to God!
Past or Present...I'm Confused
What's really interesting is that, even though His Word is settled forever and His works are finished from the foundation of the world, in both Isaiah 55:11 and Jeremiah 1:12, He uses an active present tense to describe His watchfulness over His Word or thing. What does this mean?
The key is in the two passages in the Gospels where Jesus gave us the power to bind [forbid] and loose [allow]. He said what you bind/loose [present tense] on earth shall have been bound/loosed [past perfect] in heaven. [Matthew 16,18]
These are quantum verses! They demonstrate the time lag between what's already finished in heaven and what is coming to pass in real time in the earth.
Earth is time-bound because of the reality of her physical nature. She orbits the sun, producing repetitive seasons; she rotates on an axis, producing repetitive days. In this physical plane, or reality, time exists.
But heaven is a different plane of existence! We see the two planes intersect often in the Bible, the curtain pulled back for a moment...Hagar's well, Jacob's ladder of angels, Elisha's heavenly army, the mountain of transfiguration and so forth. We see the heavenly realm exposed on a grand scale in the book of Revelation.
And in that place, on that plane of existence, God's works are finished and He has entered His rest! In that place, His Word is settled forever...in that place, we are already seated with Him in Christ Jesus! [Ephesians 2:6]
That's Great, But I Live on Earth...
Not exactly. As Christians, we exist on two planes. We live in a physical, time-bound, earth-based body; earthen vessel, temple of God, etc.
But in heaven, we exist in Jesus, seated at the right hand of God The Father!
The Father is watching His Word to perform it in the earth, because it's already finished in heaven. It is settled forever, and that's a fact...but it is coming to pass in the earth, and He has promised that it would not return to Him without accomplishing what He desires and without SUCCEEDING in the matter for which He sent it!
God said that His Word is His desire and that it WILL succeed in the matter for which He sent it. Hallelujah!
A Tale of Two Cities
So here we are, on earth, and in heaven, at the same time. His Word for us—every promise—is already accomplished in heaven. And, we have the promise of 2 Corinthians 1:20 in the earth: 'For as many as are the promises of God, in Him [Jesus] they are yes...'
In heaven, you are already healed, rich, perfect, according to His precious and magnificent promises. In the earth, He is watching over His Word—His thing, His promise—to perform it. But how?
The how is how He accomplished everything else in the earth...He had people speak His word and it came to pass in the earth.
One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 68:11,12.
'The Lord gives the command; the women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host: "Kings of armies flee, they flee, And she who remains at home will divide the spoil!"'
Get the picture. The men have gone out to fight...the Lord gives the command, or word, of victory to the women, and the women proclaim it! And they become a great host--a great, strong, abundant army behind the army! Talk about the woman behind the man! They proclaim—announce or preach—the word, and it comes to pass through the physical actions of the men fighting!
So much for the great debate about women preachers! Ha!
We see this again and again...we call it fulfilled prophecy, but in layman's terms, it's really simple. God says a word [thing], man speaks it into the earth and it comes to pass.
Good News
The good news is that this doesn't just work on the grand scale of prophetic history. It works every day, individually and corporately, in the lives of men and women who will obey and speak—announce or proclaim—His Word into the earth!
For example, He said in Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24 that by His stripes—His scourging or wounds—we were healed. First, this is already settled in heaven, already finished. Second, He is watching over that Word to perform it in the earth.
What's our part? To see it as done—finished—and speak it out! To proclaim or announce it into the physical earth to bring to pass what is clearly His finished will! Jesus prayed "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." [Matthew 6:10] And don't forget 'For as many as are the promises of God, IN HIM THEY ARE YES; therefor also through Him is our AMEN—so be it—to the GLORY OF GOD through us.' [2 Corinthians 1:20, comments mine]
The Greek word for done in this passage is ginomai, which means to come to pass or to be made or finished! He intends for His Word—ALL OF IT—to be finished in the earth as it is already finished in heaven!
Start seeing His work as finished and speaking it over your life today. Walk in the victory of His finished work, on earth as it is in heaven. Hallelujah!

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Jesus: Quantum Master

Did Jesus live easy or hard?

Think about that for a moment. We know the crucifixion was hard—a diabolical, horrible death. But we also know that submitting Himself to that death was His choice, as there were several attempts on His life before that appointed time when He just turned and walked away, unharmed. They did not kill Him...He exercised the power of life and death, which is in the tongue [Proverbs 18:21]

'And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into Your hands I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." Having said this, He breathed His last.' [Luke 23:46]

"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I LAY DOWN MY LIFE so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."

Even the very first attempt on His life came to nought. Herod sought to kill Him as a baby but couldn't. As an adult, murderous mobs tried to throw Him off cliffs and stone Him...the Bible reports that He either turned and walked away or 'hid Himself.' During one attempt, the Bible says He 'eluded their grasp.' [John 10:39]

Was this hard or easy? From the natural viewpoint, getting away from an angry mob intent on killing you is impossible. But from the Word we see that Jesus just walked away, with a sort of 'Yeah, I don't think so' kind of attitude.

How about feeding huge crowds in the middle of nowhere with no apparent source of food or preparation facilities? He did it at least twice that we know of...just decided to feed them, and then did. Even when they ran out of wine at the wedding of Cana, His mother knew to go to Him...I wonder how she knew to do that? He just turned water into wine, no problem.

What about money or other material needs? Did He struggle financially? The Word says that there were many who contributed to His support out of their private means. [Luke 8:3] In fact, the only officer named among His disciples was treasurer!

When Peter asked Him for money to pay the taxes, He told Peter to go get it from a fish! When He needed transportation to enter Jerusalem, He told His disciples where a colt was and told them to get it. When He needed a place for His last Passover, He told them where and how to get it.

How about His ministry? Was that easy or hard? Did He fast and pray and wail for days at the tomb of Lazarus? No...He just called him out, and out he came! Every healing, every time He raised someone from the dead, He just did it, without a lot of banging around and fanfare.

Even when He was tempted by Satan, Jesus just told him to pound sand...and then angels came and ministered to Him!

I'm sure it was hard for Him to have to deal with all of the unbelief He encountered, not to mention His not-to-swift companions on a daily basis. He did get angry a few times—at the disciples, at the temple, at the Pharisees, at the fig tree.

But for the most part, He just did what He wanted to. When Satan tried to kill Him with a storm on the water, He just told it to hush. Even when it was time for Him to sacrifice Himself, He allowed it to happen in such a way as to fulfill Scripture.

What can we learn from these things?

First, we see that for Jesus, life was not hard but easy. He knew Who He was and He knew how the system worked. He stayed in contact with His Father and exercised authority over the physical, natural world as well as over Satan. He knew all things already belonged to Him, and He spent His time trying to teach His disciples how things really worked.

Second, Jesus understood eternity. He understood that God's works were finished from the foundation of the world [Hebrews 4:3]. He understood Ecclesiastes 1:9,10, which says 'That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, "See this, it is new?" ALREADY IT HAS EXISTED FOR AGES which were before us."'

'Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, BEFORE ABRAHAM was born, I AM."' [John 8:58]

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth SHALL HAVE BEEN bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth SHALL HAVE BEEN loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:19]

"Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth SHALL HAVE BEEN bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth SHALL HAVE BEEN loosed in heaven." [Matthew 18:18]

As He is, so also are we IN THIS WORLD! [I John 4:17]

Hallelujah!

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vessels of Power

The Holy Spirit, through Paul, prayed that we be '...strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might...' [Colossians 1:11] and that He would grant us '...according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through the Spirit in the inner man...' [Ephesians 3:16]
Remember—we are one Spirit with the Lord [1 Corinthians 6:17] and the Word multiplied [Acts 12:24]—the Spirit of HIm Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells within us [Romans 8:11]
Keeping those facts in mind, let's look at Hebrews 1:3 '...He [Jesus] upholds all things by the word of His power.'
His power is so great that it UPHOLDS ALL THINGS—all things—by just the WORD of His POWER! And He is in us, making us whole, making us complete...'For in HIm all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in HIm you have been made complete...' [Colossians 2:9,10]
Yikes
Now I realize that this truth is too big, too wonderful to completely wrap our brains about...the same power that upholds all things is in us...we have this treasure in these earthen vessels! [1 Corinthians 4:7]
Okay, I can hear you out there...put down the pitchforks and torches! This is the Bible I'm quoting, and it's about time that we found out what's really in it.
Jesus said in John 14 that He, the Father and the Holy Spirit—all 3 persons of the Trinity—would come and make their abode with and in us. This is echoed throughout the New Testament, but somehow we've missed the enormity of this spiritual fact. Yes, those of us who are old enough have seen the flannelgraph of the throne in our hearts that either self or Jesus sits upon....we've heard that when we accept Christ He comes to live in our hearts, whatever that means. Is He living in my blood pump?
At best we've seen Him as some kind of spiritual hitchhiker—along for the ride, there to help us if we're really good and earn it somehow. A kind of living compass, to make us feel guilty when we says a bad word. We completely miss the truth that we died on the cross with Jesus, were buried with HIm in baptism, raised up and seated together with Him in heavenly places [Colossians 2:12, Ephesians 2:5,6]. As Paul said, we were crucified with Him, and now He lives in and through us.
We are indeed new creations—real sons and daughters of God, sisters and brothers of Jesus, the Firstborn of Many Brethren.
So What?
What does this mean to us? Who cares, really?
God cares—He's equipped a powerful race of God-inside men and women to administer His kingdom on the earth—to enforce Satan's defeat and fill the earth with His glory—the glory that dwells in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. But instead of walking in power and authority on the earth, we've been crippled by heresies and error. Be poor, stay sick, live in false humility, be politically correct, etc. Don't expect too much, spiritual gifts and weapons are optional, everything's passed away, blah blah woof woof.
NO!! NO!! Now is the time for the fulfillment of Isaiah 60:1..."Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you." Jesus said "You are the light of the world...let your light shine before men in such a way that they ay see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven." [Matthew 5:14,16] John 1 makes it clear that He is the light...He is the light shining in us! The Word multiplied!
It is time to realize who we really are in the earth—the Body of Christ—which is spiritual reality and not just a nickname for believers. We are vessels of power—the same power that just the word of it upholds all things—vessels of the glory of God, full of love, created in righteousness and holiness of truth [Ephesians 4:24]. Meditate on these truths until you see yourself like Jesus...and realize that that was the point all along.
Hallelujah!

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas...God Loves You!

I was in the unfortunate circumstance of having to brave the supermarket on the day before Christmas. I normally avoid this at all costs, but not this year.

I got my cart and wheeled into the fray. It was chaos...jaw-clenching, wild-eyed, fierce women with anxious children trailing behind. Everyone was rushing, rushing, rushing with that get-out-of-my-way-or-else look in their eyes.

Feeling a little testy myself, I plugged in The Three Tenors Christmas album. As the beautiful music filled my ears, I began to relax and really look at the people around me. And I started to feel the stirrings of Christmas! Impatience was replaced by what I can only describe as love! Surely this was not from me...I felt like Scrooge after he awakened from his dream. I was about a minute away from leaping in the air...and I am definitely NOT one to leap.

And when José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and  Luciano Pavarotti, in heavily accented English, began to sing Amazing Grace, I immediately understood evangelism. I wanted to jump up on the self-serv checkout and cry "God loves you! God loves you! Christmas is good news!"

I'm not talking about the angry, red-faced men screaming-about-hell type of evangelism, but the kind of evangelism where people just can't help telling others about Jesus.

Really, it was a transformational moment. I found myself wandering around the store with what I'm sure was a goofy, it's-a wonderful-life grin on my face. 

I had a great time at the supermarket on the day before Christmas. Of course, the Three Tenors helped. But mostly I think it was the Holy Spirit, whispering "I love you."

God so loved the world, so LOVED THE WORLD, that He GAVE His only Son. And He loves me! And He loves you, too!

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pragma

'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' [Hebrews 11:1 KJV]
Over the last couple of years, I've written several pieces on faith as the substance of things hoped for, focusing on the Greek word for substance, or hupostasis, as being that which has actual existence, a substance, real being. [See SubstancePull Back the CurtainEnter His Rest TodayWhat Faith IsTap the PowerIf It Looks ImpossibleWalk by FaithYou Can't Get What you Don't SeeI Have It NowOh, I Get It! to mention a few]
Keeping that in mind, what's really interesting about this verse is the Greek word for things, or pragma. Obviously we get our word pragmatic from this word, meaning to deal with things sensibly and realistically.
But the Greek word pragma means that which HAS BEEN DONE, a deed or ACCOMPLISHED FACT; that which is being done or being accomplished; that WHICH EXISTS; a thing.
Sounds like Ecclesiastes to me.
'That which HAS BEEN is that which WILL BE, and that which HAS BEEN DONE is that which WILL BE DONE. So there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one might say, "See this, it is new?" ALREADY IT HAS EXISTED FOR AGES WHICH WERE BEFORE US.' [Ecclesiastes 1:9,10]
'That which is has been already and that which will be HAS ALREADY BEEN...' [Ecclesiastes 3:15]
'Whatever exists has already been named...' [Ecclesiastes 6:10]
Hebrews 4:3 tells us that His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
thing is real. An accomplished fact or something that already exists is real. It's different than a want or dream or wish, which is usually how we interpret Hebrews 11:1, largely because of the word hope in the verse. But hope doesn't mean the thing or object of our hope doesn't exist! If our hope is based on the forever settled Word of God, it is real.
We've interpreted not seen as not being real. But we can't see God yet we know that He is real. We can't see Jesus yet know that He is real.
We can't see heavenly places but we're seated there in Christ just as real as we're sitting here in the earth.
Spiritual things are real. The well of Hagar or Isaac's ram or Elisha's army were real. They just weren't revealed to the natural eye. [See Pull Back the CurtainThe Quantum Table]
I was so busy looking at faith being the substance or title deed [AMP] that I didn't really pay attention to the what—the object of faith.
Pragma isn't the kind of thing we usually think of when we read this verse. We usually think of this kind of thing as something not real yet—it is, after all, not seen. So we just unconsciously translate that as some kind of hope or dream...a desire, maybe. A sort of oh-I-really-hope-I-can-get-this...
Pragma is an ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED thing, that which is already done, that which already exists, an accomplished fact. This verse is telling us that faith is the substance/title-deed/assurance of things that already exist!
Faith is the SUBSTANCE—that which has actual existence, a substance, real being—of THINGS—that which HAS BEEN DONE, a deed or ACCOMPLISHED FACT—hoped for, the EVIDENCE or proof of THINGS NOT SEEN.
'For as many as are the promises of God, IN HIM they are YES; therefore also through Him is our AMEN [so be it] to the glory of God through us.' [2 Corinthians 1:20]
Hallelujah!

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

God is For Us!

God is for us.

Try to remember that.

The next time your hear a fear-based word in your ear [or screamed from a pulpit] that tells you why He may not help you this time, why it may not be His will to heal/deliver/bless, why sometimes the answer is NO, try to remember what the Word says.

‘Therefore there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.’

‘What then shall we say to these things? If GOD IS FOR US, who is against us?

‘He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?

‘Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

‘Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."

‘But in all these things we OVERWHELMINGLY CONQUER through Him who LOVED us.’ [Romans 8:1,2, 31-37]

Please note: God did not cause the tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or sword…He made us conquerors over these things! He just knows that the enemy will bring them against us to try to destroy us and then get us to blame Him. This is a warning, people! But we are the victors.

God loves us! Did you know that Jesus said the Father loves us, even as He loved Jesus? And gave us His glory! [John 17:22,23]

Victory 
I’ve got news for you…that’s why He sent Jesus. The plan of salvation and deliverance is His idea!

‘But by HIS DOING you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."’ [1 Corinthians 1:30,21]

‘But thanks be to God, who ALWAYS leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.’ [2 Corinthians 2:24]

‘For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.’ [2 Corinthians 1:20]

‘Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond ALL that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.’ [Ephesians 3: 20,21]

‘For WHATEVER is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?’ [1 John 5:4,5]

Need More Proof? 
For those who have been brainwashed to believe that God is bringing calamity upon us to teach us, think about these things:

  • He gave us His Name [Mark 16:17; Luke 10:17; John 14:13,14'; John 15:16; John 16:23-26; John 17:11; Acts 3:16; Acts 4:30]
  • He gave us the right to become children of God, joint heirs with Jesus [John 1:12; Romans 8:17]
  • He gave us triumph, ALWAYS [2 Corinthians 2:14]
  • He gave us His armor [Ephesians 6:10-17]
  • He strengthened us with all miracle-working power [Gr: dunamis]in our inner man [Colossians 1:11; Ephesians 3:16]
  • He gave us His mind, His wisdom [1 Corinthians 2:12,16; 1 Corinthians 1:30]
  • He made Jesus become to us righteousness, sanctification, redemption…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 8:1]
  • He set us free from the law of sin and death…we are redeemed from the curse of the Law [Romans 8:2; Galatians 3:13]
  • He gave us healing [Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24,25; Psalm 107:20; 3 John 2]
  • He blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ [Ephesians 1:3]
  • He seated us in heavenly places, in Christ…ALREADY! [Ephesians 2:6]
  • He gave us wealth, all things richly to enjoy [2 Corinthians 8:9; 3 John 2; Psalm 57:2; 1 Corinthians 3:21,22; Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 6:17; Proverbs 10:22; Proverbs 8:21]
  • He has decreed that all things are possible, nothing is impossible, for us [Matthew 19:26; Mark 9:23; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27; Matthew 17:20; Luke 1:37; Philippians 4:13]
  • He gave us angels to protect and serve us [Psalm 91; Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 103:20; Psalm 24:7]
  • He gave us His glory [John 17:20; Hebrews 2:10]
  • He gave us His Word…we are the Word multiplied! [John 1; Acts 12:24; Acts 6:7; Acts 13:49; Acts 19:20]
  • He gave us His Spirit…in fact, He dwells in each believer, Father, Son and Holy Spirit—we are one Spirit with the Lord [John 14:16-26; 1 Corinthians 6:17; 1 John 4:15]
  • He made us more than conquerors [Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15;57; 2 Corinthians 2:4; 1 John 5:4,5]
  • He gave us His favor [Psalm 5:12; Psalm 30:5; Proverbs 8:35]
  • He answers our prayers [John 14-17; 1 John 5:14,15; 2 Corinthians 1:20]
  • He blessed with the blessings of Abraham [Galatians 3]
  • He has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness through His promises [2 Peter 1:3,4]

And that’s just a few of the blessings bestowed on us in Christ…it is by no means an exhaustive list!

John 10:10 [Again!] 
Let me ask you this…if we are one Spirit with the Lord, why would He try to destroy us?

Judge everything against John 10:10…

‘"The thief comes only to STEAL and KILL and DESTROY; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly [or have abundance].”’

These words are in red, my friend. It was as if Jesus knew we’d be lied to and deceived, so He summed it up for us, His not-so-bright brothers and sisters, in one verse…

Good God, bad devil.

Try to remember.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Lesson [re-post]

I spent yesterday with an extremely negative person. Apart from leaving with a whopping headache and stress that took hours to release, I came away with some interesting observations.
First, I realized how connected we are. I woke up this morning still reeling from the stress, feeling darkly anxious and hopeless.
I also realized, once again, that we are only limited by our vision and our words. When we say 'I can't' it is because we see that we can't, and it prophesies that very thing.

I watched it happen! Every time she said she couldn't do it, she'd screw up and break down in frustration. This happened time and time again..."I can't do this" or "This isn't me" or "I hate this" coming to pass in real time.

I understood that this was her inner vision--the cell she created for herself by her own self image. She believed impossible—she saw impossible, she spoke impossible—and impossible came to pass. Living in a tiny box, walled in on every side by great walls of impossibility.
This friend is a Christian, so I tossed a couple of scriptures at her, sort of how one would toss a life preserver to a drowning man. "James says the tongue is the rudder of the body...all things are possible for her...God can do more than you even think according to the power that works in you..." etc. etc.
But she couldn't even see herself grasping for the life preserver. She just kept walking 'round and 'round in that little cell, building greater and greater walls with her mouth. Every time I spoke peace and possibility, she became angrier and more upset. She just wasn't having it.
The Lesson
Yesterday, I was angry at her. Angry at the years of so-called Christian teachings that left her powerless and frantic.
Today, I am filled with sadness. A sort of compassion turned inward.
The Father has told us, again and again, that all things are possible for us. [See PossibilitiesQuantum PossibilitiesAnything?All Things—just search the blog, there's lots.]
Why don't we know this? I mean really know it? See it, say it, believe it?
We believe in the life and resurrection of Jesus? We believe that the Bible is the written Word of God...we believe that Moses split the Red Sea and that Sarah was rejuvenated in advanced years to bear Isaac. Why can't we believe that these types of impossibilities can be ours, as well?
Jesus told us to speak to trees and mountains, to heal the sick and raise the dead. We see Him, our Brother and examples, doing these very things. Walking away from out of control mobs set on killing Him, providing wine for a feast and money for taxes—and then He turns around and tell us to do greater works than these!
Because everything but the Word says it can't be done. Religion says it's passed away, culture mocks those who believe it, our own damaged self-speak say it couldn't be true for us.
But we are believers! And we can choose our beliefs! Believe the lie or believe the truth...
When we see that, in Christ, all things are possible to us, and say it, it becomes a prophetic utterance. Job 22:28 says 'Decree a thing and it will be established for you.' In reality, there is nothing that has been accomplished by anyone on earth that we cannot accomplish as well.
Learn the lesson. Choose life.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Think Like God

[A warning...this is a long one, but oh so good!]

I was whining to God a few days ago...why does it seem that one day, I'm full of faith, the next I'm down in the dumps, racked with anxiety and fear? Why can't I just be stable, full of faith, all the time? After all, I'm full of God—I'm one Spirit with the Lord, I have the Mind of Christ and I'm sanctified spirit, soul and body. What's the deal?

In a flash, I heard "You don't think like Me. You need to think like Me." [refer to related post Think Like Jesus]

I understood exactly what He meant. Right now I'm just overlaying things I see in the Word over my still unrenewed [stinkin'] thinking! The key is to make a conscious decision to make the paradigm shift...to think like God!

What???
Is this even possible? Are we supposed to? Isn't this heresy?

A couple of passages come immediately to mind:

'But just as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him."

‘For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

‘For who among men knows the thought of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

‘Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thought with spiritual words.

‘'But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

‘But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

‘For who has know the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him: But we have the mind of Christ.' [1 Corinthians 2:9-16]

'...and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.' [Ephesians 4:23,24]

'Have this attitude [or mindin yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus...' [Ephesians 2:5]

‘As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. [1 John 2:27]

We are told in Romans 12:2 'And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you mayprove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

It would seem, then, that it is God's very purpose that we think like Him, to prove His good and acceptable and perfect will!

How then, do we think like God?

I'm convinced that the Mind of Christ is in the Spirit...it is not in our natural minds. Jesus said His words were spirit and truth—His mind, the will of God—all are contained in the Word and in the Spirit.

Obviously, God's thoughts are limitless. But I believe we can look at specific ways that He thinks and adopt them. Or, as Ephesians 5:1 says, 'Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.'

It is Finished
Jesus said it on the cross..."It is finished."

There are speculations as to exactly what He was referring to...the old covenant, the work of redemption for all mankind...possibly His immediate suffering and imminent triumph over satan. Maybe all three, maybe lots of other things that we haven't seen yet.

But God thinks this way too. Jesus is called the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world! [Revelation 13:8] From the foundation of the world, God's works were finished [Hebrews 4:3] and we were chosen in Him [Ephesians 1:4]. The kingdom was prepared for us from the foundation of the world! [Matthew 25:34]

"I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'" [Isaiah 46:9,10]

I think this is what Jesus meant when He told us to believe we receive when we pray. In this same passage [Mark 11:22-24] He tells us to believe that what we say will happen and not to doubt in our hearts. In other words, it is finished when we speak it! Job 22:28 tells us to decree a thing and it is established—it does not say itmight be established—it will be established!

The Hebrew word amen has been transliterated into every language. That means the word and its original meaning has passed untouched into other languages. The original meaning of the word amen is so be it! Or, to put it in God-speak...it is finished!

God calls the end from the beginning. This is faith power undiluted—it is the power of 'it is finished,' seeing the end from the beginning. It's one powerful way that God thinks, and we are told to think this way as well.

But thinking this way requires a complete shift. If we just overlay these thoughts from time to time, reverting to unbelief and doubt when circumstances don't change immediately, we become what James describes as double-minded, unstable in all our ways, receiving nothing from the Lord! [James 1:6,7]

Love
God doesn't have love, He is Love! Therefore, His thought are thoughts of love.

1 Corinthians 13 tells us that it doesn't matter what we do, or don't do...without love, it means nothing. In other words, legalism [or the law] has been superseded by love.

Faith, or the spiritual power that brings spiritual things to pass in this natural world, works by love [Galatians]. That's why faith based on the wrong motives doesn't come to pass. God is love—therefore faith works by God!

God's thoughts are love thoughts. So if we are to think like Him, our thoughts must be love thoughts, too.

Mediate on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It describes love succinctly.

‘Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all thing, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...'

Now we know that, in our spirits, we are one Spirit with Love...filled up to all the fullness of Love! Believe it, proclaim it over your life.

Think like God thinks! Think Love!

Beautiful Thoughts Only...No Ugliness Allowed
This is a no-brainer. Philippians 4 summarizes nicely...

‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 

‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

‘Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

‘The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.’ [Philippians 4:4-9]

God thinks beauty...loveliness, health, wealth, peace, angelic protection, favor, power, wonder. No ugly thoughts allowed!

He created babies and sunsets and flowers...young love, the stars and moon...waterfalls and mountains...kittens and puppies! Friendship, families, kindness, goodness—all His creations.

I know we've been taught that He kills babies and destroy houses and burns down churches...the Christian-speak for this is 'His unsearchable will' or 'takes for His purpose' or 'sent to teach us' but let's call a spade a spade. John 10:10 says it all: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly [or have abundance]"

That's Jesus, telling us straight who's doing what. If it's beautiful, it's God. If it's ugly, it's the thief. 

Unfortunately, we're told from most pulpits that we can't ever understand His ways...which is directly opposite many scriptures that tell us Jesus is MADE unto us wisdom and that we have the mind of Christ. Or that wisdom accompanies righteousness [and we've been made the righteousness of Christ].

What's really interesting is that some those false beliefs come from 1 Corinthians 2:9-11...the 'eye has not seen' scripture. But IN THAT SAME CHAPTER there are a couple of  very big BUTs...

 'For to us God revealed them [the things not seen or heard] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, EVEN THE DEPTHS OF GOD.' [1 Corinthians 2:10]

'For who has known the mind of of the Lord, that He will instruct him? But WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST.' [1 Corinthians 2:16]

Hmmm. 

All Things Are Possible, Nothing is Impossible
God thinks limitlessly, without restriction of any kind. Do a word search on the phrase 'all things' and you will be surprised how many times it appears in the Bible. He is an 'all things' God, and He told us that all things are possible for us, as well. [Mark 9:23]

Jesus said "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." [Matthew 21:22] He expanded on this concept in John 14-17, repeating it several times in different ways, as if to a large group of slow learners. God doesn't think in impossibilities, only in all-things-possibilities. And we should, too.

In fact, the only restriction of any kind placed on New Testament believers is the law of love. Faith works by love, and it should be our only motive. Think like God—all things, all possibilities, all the time!

Power and Authority
God knows who He is. He thinks from a place of complete power and authority. Satan knows who He is, too...and he knows that he is completely defeated.

I've got news for you. Both God the Father and Satan the Adversary know who we are...we're the only ones who remain clueless.

They both know that we're in Christ Jesus, one Spirit with the Lord, strengthened with all power in our inner man. They both know that we have authority over all the power of the enemy. But as long as we don't know it, we're no threat to anyone!

God thinks power. Hebrews 13 says that Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power! Not by His power...just the word of His power! And He's in us, and we're in Him! 'You are from God, little children, and have overcome them [evil spirits, v. 1-3]; because greater is He Who is in us than he who is in the world.' [1 John 4:4]

Think power! Think authority! Think like God thinks!

Favor
God's will for us is favor. Favor is a big theme for God, particularly in the lives of the patriarchs. Noah found favor...and Joseph and Abraham and David and Solomon...this is obviously HIs will for His people. David said it wonderfully in Psalm 5:12: 'For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield."

We can tell by their lives that favor from God is a good thing. Every blessing, including favor with those in power.

God obviously believes that His own should have favor, with Himself and with others. Think like God...think favor!

No Doubt, No Fear
God doesn't doubt, and we are told not to doubt. Doubt is the anti-faith, and since faith is the spiritual force that accesses all things, doubt is not a God thought.

Some of us see doubt as an option, an intellectual choice. Others see it as some kind of internal thought pattern that we just can't help. Still others see it is our Christian duty...to be realistic, intelligent, rational. These are deceptions.

We see this clearly in Mark 11:23.

"Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him."

Got it? No doubt.

Fear isn't a God thought, either. There is no fear in love, and God is love. We are told throughout the Bible to 'fear not.' Why? Because fear has torment.

‘There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.’ [I John 4:18]

Hebrews 10:14 tell us that by His one offering, He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified...so we know that we've been perfected in love in our spirits. Our reborn spirits are one with Love, so this must mean that if we fear, we are not perfected in love in our minds or in our flesh. We don't understand that we are perfected in love, and we don't understand the fullness of what that mean. So, we fear.

We fear, even though Jesus has already born the all of the punishment for every offense. We fear because we don't know what the love of God—true salvation—means.

Neither doubt nor fear are God thought...they shouldn't be your thoughts, either! 'As He is, so also are we in this world.' [1 John 4:17]

An aside here...in the Old Testament, we are instructed to fear the Lord. This word actually means to revere, or reverence Him. I wonder how it got translated this way? Hmmm...

The Creative Function of Words
God knows that words create. Wisdom is the sum of this one thought...read Proverbs 8.

He knows how the system works, and He told us how to work it. Read the entire book of Proverbs, the Psalms...and every other book, while you're at it! He knows that He created the physical earth through Words, and He told us in Proverbs that we create our life through words, too. Remember Job 22:28: 'Decree a thing and it will be established for you.'

Commanding physical reality by the power of words [the yad or hand of the mouth] is a God thought. For more background, read YadThe Yad of God and The Yad of God 2.

Eternally
God thinks eternally. God knew, from before the foundations of the world, that He would make a covenant with Abraham to bless His descendants, both natural—the Jews, and spiritual—Christians.

So He placed a well in the desert so that when Hagar needed water for Ishmael, it was there...all the angel had to do was reveal it! SeeQuantum Possibilities and Believe You Receive 2.

He placed water in rocks for Abraham's descendants in the wilderness so that when Moses struck them water would flow. He knew that, in Christ, all things belonged to us, richly to enjoy! They are already there, waiting to be revealed. How are they revealed? When we use the power or hand of our mouths to bring them from the spiritual plane into natural existence.

Everything is made by and for Him—Jesus, and we are one Spirit with Him, His body in the earth. All things are possible to us when we believe—they are standing at attention, our servants, waiting to be commanded.

This is why Jesus was always so bold—He did nothing in secret! His boldness and authority came from His thinking like God!!

He told His disciples He needed a room for Passover, and He told them to go and get it. He knew it was there, because someone built it for Him, because He knew His words were eternal, both backwards and forward. He knew every need was already met, and that when He gave the word it would be manifested!

What about the colt He rode into Jerusalem on on Palm Sunday? In Matthew 21, He tells His disciples...

"Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them, and immediately he will send them."

'This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'"

This is a prime example of God calling the end from the beginning. He knew from the foundation of the world, where Jesus was slain as a lamb for the redemption of mankind, that He would need a donkey to enter into Jerusalem on. And, in the words of Captain Picard [Star Trek, the Next Generation], He declared "Make it so!"

[Well, to be technically accurate, Picard was quoting God...the Hebrew word Amen means 'so be it.' I just threw that in for any trekkies that might be reading this.]

So, we see that this need was met before the foundation of the world. He had the prophet Zechariah speak it into the natural, to get the ball rolling, so to speak. Once again, He is thinking eternally...calling the end from the beginning!

He looked across the ages and saw a man who would 1) have the donkey and colt, and 2) give it to Jesus without question. [He probably saw lots of men with donkeys, but knew which one would obey...yikes! I don't even want to go there...]

In fact, Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Covenant! Every spoken or written word of the first covenant was fulfilled in Jesus, and then, in us! Jesus was the Word—all of it! And we are the Word multiplied! Romans 8:4 says that '...the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit!'

We know that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law [Galatians 3:13,14] so that we might receive the blessings of Abraham! In other words, He bore the curse that came with breaking the law, so we could have all the blessings! All the blessings, no curse! 2 Corinthians 1:20 puts it this way: 'For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen [so be it] TO THE GLORY OF GOD THROUGH US.'

Please note: this verse does not say, 'sometimes the answer is no.'

What is the glory of God? The heaviness of His goodness...honor, abundance, riches, splendor, dignity. His glory is all things, given to us richly to enjoy!

In fact, the first use of the word 'glory' in Genesis meant physical wealth!

To sum it up, God thinks eternally—all things, all the time. Every need, every desire, already met from before the foundation of the world. Isaiah had a lot to say about this, but no where more beautifully than in chapter 25, verse 1:

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. [Isaiah 25:1]

God had Zechariah declare it for Jesus, and Jesus has declared wonderful things to be fulfilled in, by and for us! Read John 14-17 and then put it into this eternal perspective! Read all of Ephesians and Colossians, and Romans and I John...read ALL of it! It has been declared for us that nothing shall be impossible for us! That we should speak to trees and mountains and wind and they will obey us! Hallelujah!

Think eternally! [Read Keys of the Kingdom]

Holiness
God thinks holy...He is holy. Holy means sacred, set apart, sanctified, undefiled by sin, free from wickedness.

We know God is holy and we are not. Some of us try really hard to be holy, while others don't want anything to do with holiness because they think they won't be allowed to have any fun and will have to dress weird.

Listen to this...we are referred to repeatedly as His saints. The Greek word Hagios means saint...a most holy one.

We are the most holy ones of a most Holy God! Not just kinda holy, or the least holy...His most holy ones And I don't even have any weird clothes from the 1800s!

God thinks of us as His most holy ones. Think like God, about yourself and about your brothers and sisters.

Are We Done Yet?
Probably not, but I need to stop. The moral of the story—think like God. It's His will, and it is wisdom. Remember, Jesus became to us wisdom from God [1 Corinthians 1:30] and the anointing we have from Him teaches us ALL THINGS [1 John 2:20,27]

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Partakers of the Divine Nature

We've all heard lots of teaching about 2 Peter 2:3-4, most of it good—there's really no bad way to translate this passage. Read if for yourself:

'Grace and peace by multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His Divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him Who called us by [to] His own glory and excellence. For by [Through which] these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.'

In fact, there's so much here that it's hard to know where to start!
Grace 
Grace, or charis [Gr] means good will, lovingkindness, favor. We usually hear it taught as 'unmerited favor,' meaning that, before we are reborn into the family of God, it is unmerited.
After, of course, we are One Spirit with the Lord, the Body of Christ. And He deserves everything.
Peace
Peace, or eirene [Gr] means many things. From a personal nature, these are the most relevant...security, safety, prosperity, felicity.
Remember—Peter was a Hebrew, which meant that the word 'peace' to him meant shalom [Heb]. As we've seen in earlier articles, shalom means the following:
  • completeness
  • soundness
  • welfare
  • peace
  • safety
  • health
  • prosperity
  • quiet
  • tranquillity
  • contentment
  • friendship of human relationships with God, especially in covenant relationship
  • peace (from war)
It is unlikely that Peter thought in Greek. When he said 'peace' he was thinking in Hebrew, no matter how many languages his writings were translated from/into. 
Multiply
Plethuno [Gr], meaning to increase, or multiply.
So far, this is pretty wonderful! God's good will, lovingkindness and favor, and His shalom peace—completeness, soundness in every area of life—increasing in our lives!
How do we access all of this wonderfulness? In the [true] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!
Read on...
His Divine Power
'Seeing that HIS Divine power...
Let's stop here for a minute. Power, or dunamis [Gr], means miracle-working power, strength, ability, even the the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth, or power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts. This is BIG power, the power of God Himself! Colossians 1:11 says that we've been strengthened with ALL very miracle-working power! 
And this Divine power '...has granted [past tense] to us everything pertaining to life and godliness...'
Everything, or pas [Gr], meaning each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.
Life—zoe [Gr]—the life of God, or the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God.
How has this marvelous wonder been granted to us? '...through the true knowledge of Him who called us by [to] His own glory and excellence.'
Glory
These wonders have already been granted to us, and we access them through the knowledge of Him Who called us to His own glory and excellence! We're called to glory, and not just any glory...His OWN glory!
Sounds great...what exactly is the glory of God?
The Greek word is doxa, which means a lot of things...
  • opinion, judgment, view
  • opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone
  • in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory
  • splendour, brightness, of the moon, sun, stars; magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
  • majesty
  • a thing belonging to God
  • the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
  • a thing belonging to Christ
  • the kingly majesty of the Messiah
  • the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ
  • the majesty of the angels as apparent in their exterior brightness
  • a most glorious condition, most exalted state, of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
  • the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour's return from heaven
And of course, all of the things that glory means are too wonderful for us to comprehend with our minds. These things must be perceived with our reborn spirits, which are one with the Lord. Called to glory...
But wait, we haven't even gotten to the good part yet!
Precious and Magnificent Promises
'For by [literally through which...which what? Through these
His own glory and excellence, or virtue] He has granted to us His PRECIOUS and MAGNIFICENT PROMISES so that by them [the promises] you may become partakers of the Divine nature...' [2 Peter 1:4]
He has granted us, THROUGH HIS OWN GLORY AND EXCELLENCE, precious and magnificent promises, by which we become partakers of the Divine nature.
PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE! Yes, you read it correctly, right from the scripture. Through the wonderful promises He has already granted us, we become partakers of the Divine nature.
Called to His glory—His Divine power has granted us a way to partake of His Divine nature—through the knowledge of Him and through His Divine promises.
What promises? Pick one...they're all magnificent and precious, and they all belong to us! 2 Corinthians 1:20 tells us 'For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the GLORY of God through us.' And, good news for us...there are no curses attached to these promises, as there were in the Old Covenant. Jesus bore all of the curse of the law for us! [see Galatians 3]
[A small digression...Amen is a great word. Transliterated directly from the Hebrew into Greek, it probably had no real Greek meaning of it's own until it was used in the New Testament. Paul, in this instance, was a Hebrew speaker and scholar, and would have surely thought 'Amen' in the Hebrew sense, which means 'so be it.' So be it...it is done.]
It's True...
Yes, we're partakers of the Divine nature—not a sin nature, barely excused from hell, but one Spirit with the Lord! We died with Christ and were made alive with Him: He is the only Spirit in these earthen vessels, and He has come with the through the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. [John 14:16-24]
Get over all the old false doctrines that explain how worthless we are. We were purchased, redeemed, with a great price, recreated in the very image and nature of God.
See it, confess it. It's who you are in Christ.

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