Saturday, June 5, 2021

Stop Listening to Our Fathers--and Start Listening to The Father

  We have to get past the knowledge of our parents and go to the wisdom of God the Father.

For the longest time, I vacillated between the opinions of my mother and my father. I have only recently learned how wrong they BOTH were, on so many issues.

Unlike many people, I have no problem looking past the two options which are usually placed before us on a number of issues.

I have gotten more accustomed to recognizing that whatever ideas are presented in an either/or fashion, there is often a great way to come up with other options in the midst of them, or outside of their scope entirely.

I don't feel the need to be bitter toward my parents. I realize what they did not know about the Gospel of Grace, and what I have learned today because I have learned so much from the preaching of Pastor Joseph Prince and Pastor Bob George, among many others. So grateful for their work in restoring the Gospel of Grace, that Jesus has finished the Work and given us Himself.

Amen!

We need to seek not the wisdom of our fathers, but the Father. We need the love of the Father, not just the love of our earthly fathers. This is not to disparage the work and the witness of the men and women who raised us. 

But no matter what we are facing, not matter what we have learned, we need the love of THE Father!

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)



The wisdom of our earthly fathers cannot compare with the Wisdom of the Father. In fact, let us never forget that "Christ is our wisdom" (1 Corinthians 1:30)

One final thought ...

I have listened to so many older men talk about their convictions and beliefs, and many of them acknowledge that their beliefs come from what their fathers told them. "I know that William F. Buckley was a racist, because my father said so, and my father would never tell a lie."

Perhaps your father did not lie to you, but what he said was not true. 

Consider also what my father used to say about lying: "My father told me not to lie, because you are too stupid to keep track of your lies."

But what does the Bible say about lying?

"Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another." (Ephesians 4:25)

and

"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;" (Colossians 3:9)

We don't tell lies because they are not commensurate with our new nature, our new identity, our new creation as Christ's own, adopted into the Family of God.

We need to stop listening to our fathers, and start listening to the Father!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Revelation About Faith vs. Facts and Feelings

 Faith is the evidence of things hoped for. It's not something that we still hope for.

It's something that has arriced.

Faith is the substance of things unseen. It's the recognition and reality of things that we do not see.

How did Moses survive and then thrive?



"By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27)

We see by faith! Faith is not a feeling, and it is not based on unstable facts.

Faith is about seeing what is invisible, for what is invisible to the human sense is eternal in the most important sense:

"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18)

For a long time, I kept confusing feelings and the flesh with faith. My parents taught me to walk by flesh and sight rather than faith and spirit. They were so focused on themselves they didn't see a living Savior caring for them.

They really believed that they were all alone in the world, or that praying to God was something that they did as an exercise, an activity to earn some favor or support. But for most matters in their life, they lived as though they were on their own.

It's a tough life, that kind of self-imposed hardship. It's remarkable how I was able to get through the earlier years of my journey. Both my parents did not have the full and working knowledge of God's grace and peace at work in their lives.

God is real! Christ is Alive! We are not stock on this rock called Earth trying to live our own lives in our own effort. We have Him who has been from the beginning (1 John 2:13) and we are not alone in this fight:

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)

Faith is about recognizing divine reality apart of our limited senses. Faith is about recognizing truth based on God's Word, not man's world.

Consider the first example of faith in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11):

"3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Hebrews 11:3)

God's Word spoke the worlds into existence. Before the world, there was the Word.

John could not have said it more plainly:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

Let's hear God's Word and believe that God has all the power that we need to get thorugh and thrive in this world. It's not about ourselves. It's about Himself. Christ Jesus died for us, rose for us, and lives for us after the power of an endless life at the right hand of His Father--and our Father!

Self-effort, man's striving, man's attempts to keep the law are NOT of faith:

"And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them." (Galatians 3:12)

Right before this point, writes clearly how the righteous live:

"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." (Galatians 3:22)

This verse is the Gospel in a verse, one of the most oft-repeated verses in the entire New Testament, and for good reason.

Faith is all about seeing Jesus, and seeing that He has Finished the Work. Self-effort, self, works, tiring and toiling under law, is all about man looking at his thoughts, his feelings, his efforts, his world, his own words and works -- and always coming up short. We cannot save ourselves. Man seeking to make himself wise became a fool, convinced that God was holding out on him, and thus partaking of a tree which was not good for man to eat.

The knowledge of good and evil, the knowledge of the law, does not make us live good and godly lives. The Tree of Life, the Gospel of Grace, seeing Him who is Invisible by faith based on His Word, that is how we live and reign in life.

Now more than ever, everyone in the Body of Christ needs to stop focusing on their feelings and the facts before their senses, and start seeking greater revelation, to see Jesus at work in their lives and around their environs, based on faith, not our feelings, not our fantasies, not our make-believe attitudes.

It's time for us to make these prayers our priority, that we would see more, not try to do more; that we would believe more, not achieve more. For the more that we believe in Him, the more that we can receive from Him, and the more that He can achieve through us! AMEN!



" [I] cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints," (Ephesians 1:16-18)

and

"That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Righteousness as a Never-Ending New Status

  "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

In 2008, I received a massive revelation of great joy. I thank Joyce Meyer big time for this revelation, since she first pointed to me the verse quoted above.

In Christ Jesus, we are not just righteous, but we are made THE righteousness of God. We have His standard of righteous standing. We can never be condemned, for now we stand in the same blessed joy and favor of God's own Son!

Where I began to have problems, however, was that I felt that I had to hold onto this status of righteousness. I was believing that I had to do certain things in order to "maintain" this status of righteousness.

I also did not understand how I could be righteous, even when I was struggling with sins, bad habits, dark secrets, etc.

Righteousness is an identity, a new identity. In fact, Paul made that abundantly clear four verse prior:

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

When you are a new creation, you are no longer an old creation. You cannot go back to being that old creation, either.

Other voices, other contentions that I struggled with included:

1. How am I supposed to live?

2. What if I am doing the wrong thing?

3. What will happen to me tomorrow? 

4. What is the point of being alive, since everything is taken care of?

The real problem was that I was halting between two opinions. I did not understand the Gospel of Grace one bit. I did not understand that all of my sins are forever forgiven AND that I receive His life, Jesus, in myself:

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:4)

Jesus provides everything for me. I am not alone in this life. I do not have to figure things out on my own. Even if I fail, fall, or frustrate, I know that He is taking care of me.

Today, those questions no longer bother me. There is no worries about tomorrow, because who I am is not going to change. I am in Christ, and as He is, so am I in this world. (1 John 4:17). He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5), and therefore there is nothing that I can or cannot do that will change my status in Him.

Yet another question would often pose itself to me: "What is to stop you from doing the wrong thing?"

The answer has been abundantly provided to me through the blessed ministry of Pastor Joseph Prince. Here are the verses:

"11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:11-14)

Grace is a teacher. In fact, Grace is The Teacher, for Jesus is Grace Personified:

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

And Christ is my righteousness, too (1 Corinthians 1:30)

This is not a life of striving and toil. Indeed, this is a life of resting and receiving. AMEN!

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)

I am not trying to live this life on my own. This life is His life in me, and I reign in life with Christ Jesus!

All of this was not clear to me for so many years, because I had received so much terrible baggage and bad ideas from my parents. They were both under law, they both did not know the Gospel of Grace, they were so seeped in "I do my part, and then God will do His part." How wrong they were.

This mixed message "Gospel" is not the Gospel truth, and no one should fall for it. No one.

Either we are saved by grace, or we are saved by works. Either Jesus did it all, or He did nothing at all. He does not play second fiddle to our efforts, and we do not get to claim any pre-eminence in our part to keep ourselves.

The status of righteousness is something that He gives me, that He is in me and for me, that no one can take away. Thank you, Lord Jesus! Amen!

The problem was that I had all kinds of mixed messages and messaging. It's only recently that I have understood that there is not one thing that I must do or maintain or anything else.

My Daddy God is a God to me, because His Son has paid for all my unrighteousness. and therefore God does not remember my sins or inquities any longer.

AMEN!



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

More Than Adding or Submitting: Jesus Gives Us His Life

 Two days ago, the pastor at my church shared a statement about the role that Jesus is supposed to play in our lives.

"Some of us want to add Jesus to our lives. We see people saying things like: 'Oh, let's bring our kids to the local church. We want them to learn good moral values on how to live.'"

"But Jesus is not someone you add to your life. You need to surrender your life to Him. You need to submit your life to Him!"

But even here, this is wrong, too.

Jesus said to the Israelites of His day, and this promise resonates with all of us:

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

Jesus didn't just come to make our lives better, or show us how to live.

He came to give us life! 

We therefore have to accept the corrollary before this, that we don't have life on our own:

"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." (Romans 5:14)

and

"1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." (Ephesians 2:1-3)

We were dead, and Jesus brings us to life!

We do not submit our lives to Jesus, we submit so that Jesus can give us His life!

"Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:19)

The Gospel is about so much more than adding something to our lives, or submitting our lives to Jesus: He is our Life! (Colossians 3:4)



Our New Identity in Christ -- As He Is, So Are We

  Thank You, Father, for your patience with me.

It has taken me so long to understand how fundamental, how unshakable is my new identity before You, in Your Son Jesus.

This has taken me a long time to understand.

For the last few months, little by little, You have guided me to be set free:

"9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

"10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:" (Isaiah 28:9-10)

As I quote the verse, I notice the key element for those who understand doctrine: those who have been weaned from milk.

This metaphor indicates those who understand righteousness as a gift, not as a work:

"12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." (Hebrews 5:12-13)

When we understand that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), we are able to understand more and more from the LORD, here and there and here and there!

That is where I am now! 

I am less and less hung up on this false notion that I have to think and feel a certain way to know that God is with me. I am no longer deceived by the falsehood which implies that if I feel bad, or get fearful, or something else happens, that somehow God may or may not be there for me.

It all now rests on the more profound understanding of this basic revelation: God is my Daddy, and I am His child.

I am indeed His Son, and that does not change, no matter how I feel or what I am going through. 

He was still my Father, and I was still His child, even when:

1. My mother left me at the airport when I was 14 years old.

2. My father did nothing about the abuses perpetrated by my mother.

3. I struggled with all kinds of perversions in my flesh. 

4. I walked off of so many jobs in my life, and wondered many times how I was going to pay the rent, or get through the month.

5. I got arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced.

6. A corrupt judge wanted to place me in contempt of court on a flimsy pretext, just to defend marauding Black Lives Matter bigots.

No matter what I am feeling, no matter what I am thinking, no matter what I am doing, and no matter what I am going through, I am a child of God. That is not going to change, diminish, or disappear in any way. 

This is truly wonderful for me. For the longest time, when things would get difficult, or I faced challenges of some kind, or I would get fearful.

Yes, especially when I would get fearful ... I often felt that I had done something wrong, or that God was automatically displeased with me when I would get afraid.

Now, I understand this verse very well:

"The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass." (Proverbs 19:12)

A number of pastors have discovered that Satan's trick is to give the impression that God our Father is mad at us:

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" (1 Peter 5:8)

However, we can rest assured that our Daddy God will never be mad at us again, because of all that Christ Jesus has accomplished on the Cross:

"For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee." (Isaiah 54:9)

Jesus took all the pains, hurts, punishments that we deserve. There is discipline, because our Loving Father cares for us, but He will never again be angry with us or rebuke us. AMEN!

So, I am more settled and resolved than ever, in the full knowledge that I am a child of God, that no matter what I feel, what I think, I am in Christ, and I am God's child.

In light of this increasingly profound revelation, God expounded to me this verse in a very important light:

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)

I was so focused on "The Love of the Father", and that's right and proper.

But there was something else to this. We can understand God's love for us best when we understand that we are His children!

Why do we long for the things of this world? Why do the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life overtake us? We don't see ourselves as God's beloved sons and daughters!

Yet, if we want love perfected within and among us, then we need to rest in this solemn, wonderful promise:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)


As He Is, So Are We In This World!

It's amazing, wonderful, and remarkable how often I hear and receive continued, ongoing revelation from this verse! At the outset, I had started my Christian blog based on this revelation.

To this day, I am still learning so much from this verse!

For the longest time, I would get so caught up in how fearful, unhappy, or angry I would feel, and thus sense that I had to do something about those feelings in order for God to be present to me.

Now I am realizing an even greater revelation: God is for me, and He is for me so clearly and unshakably because of my new identity in Christ. I cannot be separated from my Savior. There is no way that I can be separated from my Father!

It's so simple, it's so amazing, and yet it has taken so long to get this wonderful, sovereign revelation to be established in me.

Then again, I should not feel bad about this. After all, Paul wrote:

"38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

"I am persuaded" ... it took Paul time to understand this revelation that we can never be separated from the love of God, and that this love is toward us as we are in Christ Jesus.

Furthemore, Paul prayed to the Ephesians:

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love," (Ephesians 3:17)

The Ephesian church was the most mature when it came to the revelation of God's love for them, and yet even then Paul prayed that they would be rooted and grounded in His love.

That's where I am today! Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Made the Righteousness of God in Him


"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

For the last three days, I have been meditating on my new identity in Christ.

For everyone who believes in Jesus, they are members of a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD (1 Peter 2:9).

Not just priests, but kings and priests, like wonderful Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness who was also the Priest of God Most High.

This is who I am. I am in Christ, and as He is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17).

It's amazing how often I was still tying my identity to how I felt, or what I was thinking.

It's very trying, and tiresome, that I have to revisit and repeat this challenge for myself, but as I continue to see Jesus, I do find that indeed, I am transformed from glory to glory, beholding Him! (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).

It's no longer about correcting or changing my thoughts or feelings. It's not about me. It's all about Him.

Jesus, it's all about You!

I get it now! There is no more "I have to do my part", and it was so insidious, since for years, I was constantly fighting all the noise and nonsense in my head. 

Who I am in Christ, has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with Him!

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Jesus became sin, that we might be made, not become, not transition slowly. We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ.

We are in Christ, we are complete in Him. He is our life. He is our new identity, our new self, if you will.

This revelation, I have written about, posted about, talked about for a long time, and it amazes me that yet still this new knowledge takes so much time to become full realized within me.

My standing as a righteous person has nothing to do with me. Our righteousness is a gift, a perfect standing, a new identity which does not go away.

But the struggles continued, and the question would come up: "Why do I still sin (verb)? Why are there still bad habits in my experience?"

Paul Ellis gave the perfect answer: "We are learning to walk in our new identities. It's no longer about our efforts, but His effort." 

It's such a temptation in our experience, in our walk on this earth, to think that we need to "do something more". That temptation has gotten in my way so many times. When I would have negative thoughts, feelings, emotions, recriminations. When I would remember bad people doing bad things to me, since memories will come and go in that fashion, I would get set off kilter, if you will, lose my balance, feel compelled to do something to get back to the stable station which I had enjoyed before.

But you cannot "go back" to what you already ARE. That confusion creates more pain. There is nothing more that needs to be done, in order to be righteous, or more precisely, to be made the righteousess of God.

Over the past few days, the sense of a golden crown around my head has become more apparent. I know that I am using a metaphor, but honestly, this is completely in line with what I was studying in Scripture yesterday. It started with this verse:

"She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee." (Proverbs 4:9)

"She" refers to Wisdom, but we see more importantly a pre-incarnate type of Jesus, who is our Wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30)

That word "ornament", or wreath comes from the word "to join", from which the name Levi is derived. Levi was the priestly tribe. Here, we see an excellent type for our royal priestly status through Christ Jesus. Amen!

There is no need to go back and forth in one's mind to be safe and settled about who we are in Christ. For too long, far too long, I was convinced that my identity was tied up in my thoughts, my feelings. What madness, I know, but that is what I had believed.

Today, by the grace of God, I am what I am (1 Corinthians 15:10)

I am a king and a priest, after the order of Melchizedek, just like Jesus, because:

"As He is, so are we in this world!"


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

This Incredible Peace

It's really amazing.

I don't feel overwhelmed anymore. I don't feel unhappy or lost anymore.

I no longer wonder what they future will hold for me. I know who my Father is.

There is no longer any sense of guilt. There is no longer any sense of shame.

I am not living in any kind of condemnation.

Romans 8:1 is a reality for me:

"There is no therefore condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

Amen!

I no longer fear what will happen to me. It's no longer about myself at all!

It's all about Him!

Jesus, it's all about YOU!

I see you so much more strongly than I ever have before.

I know that You live! No longer do I feel pushed, prodded, abused, bullied by my flesh, by my feelings. No longer do I worry about what is going to happen to me, based on my thoughts and feelings.

This is truly amazing.

All my cares, You have taught me to cast them on You! (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Truly, this is amazing!

There is no reason to panic at all. There is no reason to worry at all.

I consider the promises that you laid out in Isaiah 54:

"For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee." (Isaiah 54:10)



Mountains and hills are longstanding physical features on the planet. Yet even those large mounds will move at some point. However, God's covenant of grace will  never leave us. His kindness, His covenant of peace will never leave us. Amen!

So Quiet on the Inside

 


"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10)

This has been a real transformation for me.

I have never felt so quiet, so cleansed, so clear, so clean on the inside.

I spent so much of my time thinking that I had to think, feel, do, act a certain way in order to have a clear connection and full revelation of all that my loving Father wanted to do through me and in me.

The torture, the pain, the strife was so great in my life. It was very difficult to get through life from one day to the next, as I was convinced that I had to make sure that I was quiet, or rather quieted inside.

Now I understand that my identity is fully in Christ, and no one can take that away.

It does not matter how I feel. It does not matter what is going on around me, or in me, or through me.

For the longest time, I was not aware of my solid, and unrelenting identity in Christ Jesus.

For the longest time, I was convinced that God would come or go in my life, depending on what I was thinking, what I was feeling, or what I was doing.

There was no stable data, no stability in my life. Was God happy with me? Would God be happy with me, sad with me if I did this or that?

This was the challenge that I faced for so long in my life. Today, I am happy to report that I both know and believe who I am in Christ Jesus.

I am the righteousness of God in Christ!



I am accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6)

Who I am and His life flowing in my has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with how I feel. It makes no difference how I may feel tomorrow. It makes no difference if the police pull me over, or if a corrupt judge lies about me and tries to put me in jail.

I don't stop being God's child just because bad things happen to me. That is a very important lesson for everyone of us to learn, and what we should all have derived from the experience of Joseph. He knew that he was his father's beloved son, even if he was kidnapped, sold into slavery, and for all intents and purposes dead to his own father.

The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man (Genesis 39:2). We need to identify with Him who has been from the beginning, not with ourselves, with our thoughts, feelings, or circumstances.

It's all about what Jesus has done, not what we need to do!