WHAT ELSE CAN GOD DO? [556]

Short of coming down and grabbing everyone by the throat and ripping their sin out of them, what else can God do? What could he have done? what HAS he done? If man is to operate as a “free” individual, making his own choices, then all God can do is precisely what he HAS done, which is to remove the effects of sin by men deciding to trust in Him and His love which is precisely the alternative position to where they currently are.

Men have the free will to accept forgiveness of their unloving position which creates sin and strife, but they choose to refuse it, even after it has been plainly displayed on the cross, and stated to be THEIR sin payment to eternity. One died for all, therefore ALL DIED. God’s conveyed message to us is that He sent his son to take the burden of sin onto/into himself. “He himself bore OUR sins in his body on the tree”. By his death we WERE reconciled, it is up to us to RECEIVE [believe] this reconciliation, so that we then ARE RECONCILED.

It is a matter of trusting God, of believing who he is and believing in His integrity in the matter of him being desirous of a good outcome for us. God has said that in his Son, he has removed our sin, this is because both the Father and the Son ARE LOVE, and love continuously works to overcome non-love. To trust in Him, His love, is to trust that He has already done that which is necessary to remove from you the sentence of death, that He has used HIS resources (because you didn’t have any) to deal with the problem. So he showed you his love in action through his son, rendering sin’s capacity to hold us in guilt, to nothing. We have been pronounced guilty, but then released, yet we hang onto the guilt.

God’s love is a “fait accompli”, nothing can stand against it and nothing can resist it (eventually). The Father and the Son took away sin’s power to condemn, because it is all forgiven, because that is what love does, it forgives. We can only refuse his love by refusing to believe we have been forgiven, but it is impossible for us to NOT be forgiven, unless God is NOT love. This is the choice all men must make, and it is a life or death choice. They are directly choosing life or they are directly choosing death. If God were not love, then His action towards satisfying the problem would have resulted in us being struck dead. But instead He “struck” His Son, to show that love accepts the pain upon itself, so that man might be free of its effects, free to return to Him.

But if men are unwilling to be free of it, what more can He do? Sin and death have been completely nullified because He is more than willing to do precisely that, and in fact, it IS WHAT HE HAS ALREADY DONE because He IS LOVE. The “transaction” has already occurred in His heart, and in the heart of his Son, because they are “one”. HE has forgiven US, the very ones who transgressed against Him. The very ones who killed His Son. No matter what excuse, reasonable though it may appear to be, we produce, it does not alter the fact that WE ARE GUILTY. Yet He has declared us “not guilty”. And still we refuse Him!

God declares that the death that man is in and refuses to leave, has no power to hold him! Because his love removes sin and death, all we need is to accept that love that so suffered for us BECAUSE IT HAD NO CHOICE like men do. GOD HAS TO LOVE. He has to forgive. Sin and death have no power over love, over Him. And so they have no power over us, the objects of his love. As we believe, we are healed.

Advertisements

WHY DID JESUS SUFFER INNER PAIN [555] (following from “why do we suffer inner pain” (548,549).

The separation from God that is also called the “great gulf” in the story about the rich man and Lazarus, is actually the separation from love itself, from love Himself, which is the very heart of God.

There is meant to be a “connect” between His heart and ours, and this is where things went wrong, although in true context, is how it was always meant to be, because the raw material that we are, has to be tested and proved of value while it is in the process of being made.

So when we talk of God and His love, it is really that God IS love, and that His love, his very person and being, needs to be shared with us and integrated within us. In His life and death, Jesus showed us who God was and how He “works”. He also exampled what it meant for God to be in man and how man should operate, should live his life in response to God and this love that is His life blood and is His SPIRIT.

God IN MAN [“The Father in me does HIS works”] does not work independently of man’s will.  Regenerated man submits his own will to God, to be used by God to put into effect HIS WILL. The reason for this is so man can become like God, can exhibit and DO that which God also exhibits and DOES. The outworking of love in God and in man, so that man might then become like God, being “participant in the divine nature”.

What man does in the following of God’s will, is registered with God as something permanent which will be credited to that man on that day of ultimate reckoning. The “good works” that came as a result of God’s will being followed, being obeyed, led by the Spirit, will become a part of that man who was “obedient unto death”. But the good works were simply that which originated from God’s nature of love and were then followed through with in action.

The man had to first become a subject of God’s love, and then to recognise this and accept it and accept Him and his love. So it is the love (God) that is important, not the “works”, although James makes the point that the two cannot be separated. Love acts in love, TO LOVE, because it  IS LOVE, IT is GOD. So the presence of God in Jesus is all consuming of Him as a person, as a human being, Jesus gave his will over to God to the extent that his personality and his Father’s personality of love, became as one, became the one love , even as they were one in love. But they were still the Father and the Son.

Man who became disconnected from the love that God IS, lost all power and sense of rightness, purpose and worth. He retained his identity, but one which was a sad and sorry affair, and his heart became darkened with guilt and shame. He began to emit the works of that darkness, and to further embroil himself and others he came into contact with, in it. Man had to be extracted from this, and he could not do it of himself, by himself, he needed help.

Jesus completed the revelation of God and his purpose with man, once having demonstrated the power and mercy of the love that God is in his mission on earth, He continued by revealing the effect of Love on that which was not love and not OF love, by confronting in himself, that of His own human fleshly nature that did NOT conform to God’s likeness or image, and which was the result of Adam’s exploratory independence away from the God who was love. The products of Adam’s independent thinking away from God, themselves products of non-love, now in us whether it be by natural inheritance or be by learned behaviour, were things that were not of God and had no place in God’s world or his plan for it’s future. They were things of substance that were alien and foreign to the plan and purpose of God, which plan was to bear children to himself, who were the products of love and the replicators of that love in others.

The great gap or gulf, and the polarisation between man and God, is that man is not involved in or with love, has not love, and does not direct love towards others. The hardened heart has rejected love as being too painful to entertain in the natural human life, because their seems no alternative available to repair the damage done from the beginning. But Jesus dealt with it, repaired the damage done, so we could now bring love back into our lives and into our own renewed purpose for life, being Love itself, and all the good things that it could bring.

To do this, he had to enter into the great gulf itself, the separation of man from God, that was non-love, and to suffer the effects of the pain that arose from the conflict that now existed through the products of the Adam effect as passed on to us and then reinstituted IN us; and to feel the anguish that those products cause as they oppose being deposed from their inner seat of power, because in reality, the seat of OUR OWN IDENTITY is tied up in this. But because we have been subjected to some good moral influence, from whatever source that may be, [but “good” because it was morally “good”] our identity is able to move out of the primitive raw evilness of the flesh, but becomes a “fence sitter” because of enhanced fear brought about by that self same moral knowledge which increasingly reveals the depth and width of the gap between Him and us. And it is this same gap through which WE feel “moral” pain and the resultant desolation of it (the lack of love), that HE also, being “one of us”, now felt.

In recognising the inner components of death that are “alive” in us, He had to confront them with his own righteousness and enter into conflict with them. Not only the results of this “evil” that had permeated our inner being, but also the very source of those components, that which “created” this evil out of estrangement from love, was what he was now involved in combat with. I say “combat”, but it is really the force of love in combat with that which is not love, or not OF love.

Entering into this environment of ours, separated him from His Father, and entered him into the complexity of sin and the sin environment which we are so familiar with. He experienced separation from God, from his love, because his love perception had become contaminated by products which were anti-God, anti-love. He experienced what WE experience on a daily basis, although the depth of this is normally hidden by/from us, but can be somewhat felt in depression and fear and anxiety. Through this pain and suffering, He overcame and conquered all that was not supposed to be there, and totally perfected the human condition, although He was brought to the point of death through it all, and his anguish can be heard in His cry “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”, as the  temporary darkness of our sin condition blinded him into a non-understanding of what was going on.

So His love removed or converted all that was not of love, from his own body, it was burnt out of him, and having perfected the victory once and for all, he is willing and available to do it for us also, because although he was “reduced to ashes” by the action of his love on his own flesh [which was then transformed to spirit nature],  He can be returned to us in a form which works on the sin and not on the sinner. By trusting Him and his victory, the victory of love, our identity can be shifted immediately from the shame of sin, to the gain of Him, who took our pain within. FOR US because it was always for us that this nature of creative love was at work. [we willingly divorce ourselves from the identity of sin in the flesh].

His Spirit of love is now gifted to us freely because His love is free, always has been. And His love will give us life, will give us the Spirit of life, because by trusting him He will remove the Spirit of death, even as He has “abolished death”, has removed it on our behalf. He entered into the fray into which we could not, and defeated that which was not of his own nature, which again, we could not do. And now He is lovingly willing and able to come into us and live in us as our friend and saviour, freely giving us this life that He has won over death and its processes, and which by faith we can take part in this life, knowing His love, HE, is more than adequate and capable to do so. He fought the fight we were not equipped to do, and now he equips us with the victory that he obtained for us, and returns that victory to us as his own spirit, THE SPIRIT OF LOVE, of the living conqueror of sin and death, FOR US.

OUR POLARISATION [554a]

I have previously written about “polarisation” to do with the divinity and humanity of Jesus. I wrote how He lived his life in obedience to the Spirit, and kept the flesh, his humanity, firmly under control, and distanced from his identity, until he merged them for the purposes of dealing with the problem. Polarisation means the separation and isolation of two opposing or differing forces.

We also are involved in polarisation, but in a different way, from the opposite perspective in fact. We, through Adam, were polarised in separation from God, from the Spirit. We and our identity have resided in the flesh, and have been at one with it. Because of our complete slavery to the corrupt species that we are, we had to hide our sensitivities from God, the Spirit, and from ourselves.

Our hearts became corrupt because we had to hide our hurt and pain from ourselves and from others, in order to cope with the circumstances of our corruption. We had to harden our hearts. So our polarisation places us as opposed to God, and separated, isolated, from Him.

But now Jesus has dealt with the problem, and removed the barriers that kept us from Him, has defeated the reasons for the polarisation in which we were trapped and enmeshed. This means that the polarisation has to collapse, and once again the two forces merge, but this time it is our spirit, in the strength of His Spirit, that claims the ground He won for us, being the destruction of the flesh. More importantly though, it means the hardening of our hearts has to also collapse, and we regain our emotional sensitivity again.

Then our renewed spirit is able to see things as He does, and is able to enter into the contradiction between ourselves and the world, even while the world continues in polarisation, in contradiction of who we in Jesus, now are. The resolution of the confliction between us and God, now means there will be confliction between us and the world, just as it was so with Him. Our polarisation ceases to exist as we are reunited, reconciled, with Him, but then we are placed in the situation that HE had while He was in the world, because we have become at one with him also.

His strength, Him in us, will maintain the separation of the flesh from us, because the power of the flesh has been removed, and as we trust Him in this, we are empowered over it. We are now in polarisation with His victory, with Him, over his vanquished enemies. Our sensitivities, as we now operate from and out of, and with, HIM; can be re-established as we continue to journey through life with Him, discovering just what this polarisation means.

 

WHY DO WE SUFFER INNER PAIN [549] part two. (part one was 548)

Departure from the sensitivity of God would be a good place to start this. We live with fear, because we live in the unknown, except that what we do know is that we have made mistakes, we have failed the ultimate test, we have been less than that which we know to be “good”.

Romans 8-18. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious LONGING of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to FUTILITY…  22 For we know that the whole creation GROANS and SUFFERS

We find contradiction within us, and where there is contradiction there is STRESS.

Imagine a machine, say a computer, that is confronted with a dilemma caused by two opposite answers emerging from its computations. Given the right circumstances, it would be possible to design a computer that overheated, gave off smoke and went into a complete meltdown.

We are an organic creature who is subjected to various inputs of information that are either pleasing to us or displeasing to us. Some of that which is displeasing to us, may be because we know it is displeasing to others. Especially if we believe it to be displeasing to the creation, the power behind the throne, God himself, or just life itself.

The contradiction of two opposing states within us may result in an organic meltdown, where, far from the pleasure centres of the brain being evoked, we find that the opposite effect occurs. If we consider ourselves to be in the wrong, to be ostracized by others, and separated from the rest of the flock, the stress involved may make us ill.

Fear, anxiety, depression. It goes on and on, and it is all caused by mental processes which occur within us.

So it is the degree of importance we attach to these stimuli, or the degree of authority that we allocate it. Ultimately it is to what degree our comfort zone is threatened, and whether or not our “fight or flight” response is invoked.

Sometimes we just don’t know where we are, we only know that we are sad and fearful of past present and future. And we all want to be loved, even if it is to have another someone thinking highly of us. In Part one I was heading towards the reconciliation between ourselves and the creative instinct which the rest of creation is involved with, and to make the point that we have been operating in disharmony with creation and creator, and the ‘Great Spirit” as some would say.

Conflict with others and the frustration of being unable to obtain things which, for the most part, can be largely transient transitional and temporary, creates anger and disillusionment. Those in close relationship with you, if having the same difficulties, may add fuel to the fire of conflict.

If we look at the inner mental processes that accompany all these negative outcomes, on a rational basis, we discover that the things that affect us the most, are not necessarily of rational origin. In fact, we may very well find that it is more the irrational processes that are tied to the emotions that are the cause of most of the trouble. This is really a reflection on the reality that we are sensitive people who are capable of being “hurt” by others.

Rationally, we may be able to decide that a lot of things are really not all that pertinent  or relevant to our immediate state of wellbeing. But there is something that runs much more deeply within us, something we can’t always put our finger on, but which if we are honest, will point to an inner lack of the warmth of the assurance of love towards us. Rationality tends to be a cold mental process, but emotion is a warmth of our personalities, which, if denied or suppressed, creates in us a blockage of functionality.

We need to be accepted, to be wanted, to be loved. We need to be rejoined to the feelings of our early lives where we had a better appreciation of the kind of values that make life worthwhile. I realise also that many people do not have a good beginning, and in fact their later life may be better in this regard than their former.

When we examine the emotional processes which we attach to the “heart”, we find we are in hiding, because the past pain attached has driven us underground in an attempt to avoid further pain. Consequently we may harden our hearts against getting further involved in relationship commitments. And this cuts us off from the sensitivities of spiritual matters, which come attached to the “normal” flow of emotional material.

We have to become convinced of a greater good, a greater purpose, and that the creator who brought about this creation, would not have designed a creature who had such ability for self recrimination unless there was a rightful place for it in which to occur; unless there was also built in to the creation some means of resolving the issues of feeling alienated and separated from the purpose of creation itself. This brings us to the necessity for there to be a designer, instigator, and continuer of this present creation.

Pain within us is caused by the inner contradiction of life and death. We need to feel secure, we need to feel a secure environment in which to grow and flourish. We have to find assurance of a life worth living, and we can do so in the man Jesus, because we can see in him all that we are as well as all that we wish to be. In him we see life as it should be, and we see the unfairness of it all by normal standards, but we also see the inner conflict of mankind being resolved in his very being, in the suffering of his flesh. We recognise this suffering as our own, and yet we also recognise the justness of the suffering that was brought about by the departure from those conditions which were inherent in our creation, conditions which were meant to bring about love for all, a community of security and peace.

This one man was to make up for the failure of the first man, was to repair the damage done, and was to open a superhighway for us to freely return to the conditions of succour and comfort, to enable once more the release of our heart from its distress, because of the authority he demonstrated throughout his life, and in fact, also in his death. If anybody understood us and the human condition, he did. So he identified with us in his life and in his death, and called upon us to believe that he was the one who had been promised for thousands of years, who was to release man from his sorrow, his inner problem of ignorance of just exactly WHO HE IS. And who we are can be seen in him rising from death into a permanency of life that can be experienced in the here and now, by trusting Him.

Pain exists because of fear of our environment, but Jesus came to show us that the environment was actually one meant to grow us as in a garden, to be supplied with all the goodness necessary to flourish, to give us love and the emotional assurance that we are always considered lovingly, because love is the driving force behind the creation. Love is the “hidden” instinct that is a power so great as to change the future outcome of nations and their people. We need to gain assurance that such love does in fact exist, and it is there for us to take hold of and to be healed of our inner pain. We need to consider Jesus, and what he was really saying, and saying to us INDIVIDUALLY.

“Come to me, all you who are burdened and heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST. God exists in a form that is very real, even if invisible. The creation you can see, the creator you cannot. But we see Jesus as the focus of God’s message to us, to return to his softness, to throw away our hardness, and allow our heart to be free in expression of love and of life. Our inner pain can be turned to inner love and respect for ourselves and others, as being the objects of his unstoppable love. It is for us to consider the facts. If there is pain, the resolution of that pain being Jesus, means the opposite of pain will appear as new life in its intended form.

HE HAS TAKEN THE PAIN INTO HIMSELF for us to believe in Him. There were three men on crosses, all being treated as criminals. One criminal turned to Jesus and recognised his innocence, and recognised that he himself was worthy of death, but that Jesus was innocent, and was recognised for his acknowledgement . The third criminal cursed and refused to see that there was a truthful exposition of truth itself in progress, he missed the message, and died in his unwillingness to consider the circumstances of what was in progress around him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever should believe in him would not perish but have eternal life. John 3-16

Deut 9. 4-6.  Rom 8. 18-23.

We fear who and what we are, what we have done and what we have become.

OUR POLARISATION [554]

I have previously written about “polarisation” to do with the divinity and humanity of Jesus. I wrote how He lived his life in obedience to the Spirit, and kept the flesh, his humanity, firmly under control, and distanced from his identity, until he merged them for the purposes of dealing with the problem. Polarisation means the separation and isolation of two opposing or differing forces.

We also are involved in polarisation, but in a different way, from the opposite perspective in fact. We, through Adam, were polarised in separation from God, from the Spirit. We and our identity have resided in the flesh, and have been at one with it. Because of our complete slavery to the corrupt species that we are, we had to hide our sensitivities from God, the Spirit, and from ourselves.

Our hearts became corrupt because we had to hide our hurt and pain from ourselves and from others, in order to cope with the circumstances of our corruption. We had to harden our hearts. So our polarisation places us as opposed to God, and separated, isolated, from Him.

But now Jesus has dealt with the problem, and removed the barriers that kept us from Him, has defeated the reasons for the polarisation in which we were trapped and enmeshed. This means that the polarisation has to collapse, and once again the two forces merge, but this time it is our spirit, in the strength of His Spirit, that claims the ground He won for us, being the destruction of the flesh. More importantly though, it means the hardening of our hearts has to also collapse, and we regain our emotional sensitivity again.

Then our renewed spirit is able to see things as He does, and is able to enter into the contradiction between ourselves and the world, even while the world continues in polarisation, in contradiction of who we in Jesus, now are. The resolution of the confliction between us and God, now means there will be confliction between us and the world, just as it was so with Him. Our polarisation ceases to exist as we are reunited, reconciled, with Him, but then we are placed in the situation that HE had while He was in the world, because we have become at one with him also.

His strength, Him in us, will maintain the separation of the flesh from us, because the power of the flesh has been removed, and as we trust Him in this, we are empowered over it. We are now in polarisation with His victory, with Him, over his vanquished enemies. Our sensitivities, as we now operate from and out of, and with, HIM; can be re-established as we continue to journey through life with Him, discovering just what this polarisation means.

 

EDEN Another Perspective [77d]

By Guest Author John Davy.

It seems that through much of Earth’s history there has been a perception that God is interested only in obedience to him and his laws.

It is thought that all disobedience is to be punished and that the ultimate punishment is death.

The general philosophical position of crime and punishment has provided a foundation for the idea that all sin incurs a debt to God that must be accounted for by some intervention (in order for God to forgive) or by some form of retribution in order to satisfy God’s honour.

But there is another way to see the interaction between God and mankind and another way to understand the relationship between sin and death.

The Genesis account of events in Eden form the basis of these concepts and I believe that a skewed understanding of this narrative has lead to a poor grasp of the overall themes of scripture.

The Genesis record paints a picture in which God takes particular care of his son Adam. God provides him all that he needs – a garden to work in and to enjoy, and a wife to share the experience with. God loved Adam and Eve and cared for them.

The knowledge of good and evil

There are two notable (special) trees that God makes and plants in the midst of the garden. These trees are given names, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Somewhere in the mists of time, an idea that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was in fact only an apple tree, seemed to take the imagination of those who expounded scripture. This idea became fashionable and rather unfortunately stuck, so that most people even today have the impression that this tree could have been just any tree and not the special tree that God had made. But when we go back to the biblical text we can find no reason to consider this tree any less potent than its twin (the tree of life).

The clear understanding of the biblical text is that the tree of life extended life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil awakened the ability to discern between good and evil. This simple fact has a huge implication for how we interpret the whole of the Eden account, and in turn colours our understanding of scripture in general.

The knowledge of good and evil isn’t gained just by disobedience

All of Adam and Eve’s progeny, from their time to ours, grow into a knowledge of good and evil. This happens mostly from puberty onwards and continues till about age twenty.

They don’t gain this knowledge through disobedience but it is a natural part of growth into maturity.

Even state laws in most states and territories acknowledge this developmental stage and allow for minors up to about the age of twenty to have a diminished responsibility for offences.

When Solomon asked for ‘wisdom’ the text makes it plain that he was asking for the ability to discern between good and evil because he was young and he needed to judge moral issues. God granted him this wisdom at an early age. (1 Kings 3:6-12)

When Israel failed to cross Jordan the first time, God excluded the young (under 20’s) from responsibility because they had no knowledge of good and evil (Numbers 14:29 & Deuteronomy 1:39)

If a knowledge of good and evil was gained by disobedience then these children would have gained it before their second birthday. In Adam and Eve’s case this knowledge was gained through the potency of this special tree. Since that time all generations of their seed mature into this awareness.

God’s command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

As we read the Eden account we are faced with an enigma. Clearly God made both of these special trees  for a purpose and placed them in proximity of Adam & Eve. He did not forbid the tree of life but he forbade them the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It would be remiss of us to gloss over this disparity without questioning why.

Why would it be that God did not want them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and gain the ability to discern what was morally good from what was morally bad? Clearly God himself had this ability and there was no problem with God discerning right from wrong.

Did God just want to keep them in the dark so he could maintain a supremacy over them? Was it – as the serpent inferred – because God was trying to keep them down? Genesis 3:5

Tradition has it that God was setting a test for Adam & Eve for which failure would be punished by death. A somewhat trivial, pointless command with a threat of execution attached. Is this the picture of God that you have?

Was this to be the basis for the relationship between God and Adam (and all mankind)?

I am inviting you to see God’s command in a new light.

God in his love for his creation and in particular for Adam and Eve warned Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The warning was necessary because a knowledge of good and evil would cause them pain and bring about a death of innocence in them.

What pain and death did they experience then?

God created a physical universe (earthy and temporal). All creatures were programmed with survival instincts. These instincts were necessary for them to continue to exist in a natural world where the strong feed on the weak. There is no guilt in behaving this way when there is no ability to discern moral right from wrong. Mankind also needed these instincts in order to survive. But now that we can discern between right and wrong, the things that we do out of instinct we may also (on reflection) consider immoral. We then find that there is an inner conflict between what we are naturally driven to do and what we know to be right.

God who is eternal has no need for such instincts. He is not driven to behaviour that is self serving at the expense of others and his actions are always morally right, so an ability to discern between good and evil gives no rise to any inner conflict within him. But because man is mortal, an awareness of what constitutes moral or immoral behaviour will give rise to guilt and the pain associated with that guilt. Man becomes an injured creature.

Eve believed the inference of the serpent – That God was not on their side. The serpent’s lie was in what was inferred – that God was working against Adam & Eve trying to keep them down. God was being portrayed as unloving and not to be trusted.

Eve reached for a higher (Godly) awareness that could not safely be contained in the earthen vessel that she was. We see today that in practice this holy fire is either extinguished by the vessel, or the vessel is consumed by it.

So why did God put the trees there in the first place?

The tree of life, it has been supposed, granted eternal life – just one bite and you live forever. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to know that this is very unlikely.

God is not likely to make a tree that granted eternal life to anyone  who idly eats of it. It would be wrong to impart eternal life on someone without considering their suitability for eternity.

Rather it is more likely that this tree was designed to rejuvenate. It was a tree that kept Adam & Eve from aging. It was quite fitting for them to eat of this tree while they remained innocent – uninjured creatures without the pain of any inner conflict of guilt. However, once injured, they needed to be removed from the tree so that they would not suffer eternal guilt.

Why (if it were harmful to Adam & Eve) would God make the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and put it in their way? The effect of the tree was to awaken an awareness of Godly reality – this is not altogether bad. Without this ability to know right from wrong, how could anyone ever appreciate the righteousness of God and love him for it?

The knowledge of good and evil was something that every person needs in order to transition into the holiness that fits them for eternity – but it comes at the cost of the inner conflict between natural instinct and moral awareness.

But God could not make mankind in this imperfect way or we may rightly have accused him of the pain of guilt. This knowledge had to come by the hand of mankind against his warning.

Why did God punish Adam & Eve if they didn’t realise that what they were doing was immoral?

If God’s objective was to save Adam & Eve from pain and conflict and a death of innocence, why would he add to that outcome with further punishments?

The passage needs a closer examination and some reflection of the state of Adam & Eve (and the serpent) at the time.

We also have a preconception with relation to the concept of cursing. The law of Moses said that you must not curse the king. – what did that mean? Was it expected that people could bring down a supernatural curse – perhaps turn him into a frog?

The word for ‘curse’ in Hebrew simply means to detest or to view as despised. God doesn’t say that he is cursing anything – but that the serpent and the earth would be cursed (or detested)

God says to Adam “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

In paraphrase God says “The ground will be detested (by you) because it will be in sadness that you will eat from it. Your toil will return you thorns and thistles and the product of your labour will be only herbs. In your sweating and labour you will eat bread (the product of the earth) until you die and return to the earth.”

It may be difficult to see the connection here but there is significance in the labour of Adam and the failure of Israel to enter God’s rest.

Adam was now ashamed. And his natural response, as it is for all people, is to strive for self redemption. He will build his empire but it will be against a background of constant difficulties that the earth and nature seem to always throw at him, and he will always reap a poorer harvest than his efforts should return.

This is classic Jacob working for Laban.

To the woman he says “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”.

The Hebrew word for sorrow is the same as the Hebrew word for labour (Adam’s labour) and once again we see a woman ashamed and looking for self redemption – to regain self esteem. The woman would attempt to regain a sense of worth in childbirth. God was to increase Eve’s fertility (which was not necessary before when they ate of the tree of life) and Eve’s desire would be to her husband to have children and regain a sense of worth.

This is classic Sarah, Hannah, Leah and Rachel.

The serpent for the shame of its behaviour would be despised by all and metaphorically go on its belly and eat dust forever.

There was no punishment for Adam & Eve – all that befell them was a consequence of what they did.

Sin has always injured the sinner – there was never a need for punishment. Attempts at self redemption have always failed and God out of love provides redemption at his expense.

Jesus came to speak the truth

“To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice”.

It is a truth that counters the lie of the serpent that has echoed through all time.

God is not just concerned with obedience for the sake of it and is not vengeful. God’s laws and ways have always been for the benefit of mankind. God has always wanted to spare us the pain of guilt and return us to himself. God is not driven by natural insecurities. God is for you not against you. God loves you and all mankind. (John 3:16)

Israel endured a fearful life under the priests and scribes of Judaism as they promoted the image of an angry God for their own ends. But Jesus came to set free his people. Isa 61:1, Heb 2:15

It is only when we truly seize the import of this reality that we are able to draw close to God.

It is a truth that invites us to become one of his family. And when the change of relationship permeates our thinking it bears fruit in words and actions.

This is the truth that transforms us.

It is the truth that sets us free.

This is good news.

[crossroman note. While this particular author has taken a very literal view of some scriptures, it remains my view that they are largely symbolic or analogous and beyond literalisation within our understanding]

https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Present_Tense_Realities_Freedom_from_the.html?id=hZVRAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

THE MANUFACTURE OF SPIRIT BY THE FLESH [553b]

Exploratory theology.  I was going to preface this post with the words to the effect that I was sticking my neck out with this one, and that may be so, but I can’t now remember why, maybe it will become evident as it progresses.

There are three dreaded words in Romans chapter 7, which are, “I, of myself”. (Or, I, myself). To be “of oneself” is to be of natural human nature, of FLESH. Whenever we enter into religion, if we are not “of the Spirit”, then we are “of the flesh”, and our involvement with scripture and people and doctrine will be derived from the flesh.

If we claim to be the only ones with the truth, and we claim that it is only us who have the one true Spirit, then we are dismissing the bulk of Christianity as being lost and condemned. So it then is a matter of Spirit against Spirit, since there IS only one true Spirit, and there is only one true life that comes from that self same Spirit.

So we have the life that comes from THE Spirit, or we don’t. There are many “religious spirits” in the world, as evidenced by world religions, but also by denominations. While some of these groups may be operating within the “boundaries” of the one true Spirit, there are others who do not. Their spirit is self generated, from, by, the FLESH. This could be seen as idolatory, and Paul connects demonism with such spirits. The Catholic church appears to be idol ridden in terms of visual statues and icons, and is accompanied by what can only be described as superstition in many of their beliefs.

To deny the one true Spirit as evidenced in scripture as that which is the gift from God, as received at Pentecost, and which is forever then placed as that which becomes the believer’s means of life and access to life, through Jesus, is to deny life itself. The alternative is a spirit which is generated from that which is NOT of the Spirit, is NOT spiritual, and is earthly, demonic, of the flesh, from the unspiritual mind.

The SPIRIT is our connection with the supernatural God of Israel, who just happens to be LOVE. ‘Do not say in your heart, who will go down to bring Christ up, or who will go up to bring Christ down*’ (my paraphrase). in other words, do not try to rationalise spiritual things. Jesus said you cannot understand the way the Spirit comes, it is like the wind, you can feel its effects but you can’t work out how it happens. Nevertheless, we are to be LED by it if we want to live in LIFE.

So to be of self is to be of flesh, and sin, and law, and death. And the only other alternative is to be of the SPIRIT, or to be led by the Spirit.

The choice of just two, no others. We cannot be caught in “middle ground”, there IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.

Of the “ways” to “receive” the Spirit, one of them is simply to “make melody in your heart, singing spiritual songs to the Lord”. So, MUSIC. The God of love and sensitivity, of mercy and forgiveness, can take delight in the expression of MUSIC when it is in relation to Him and his wonder and his beauty. The ‘formal’ entry is stated to be by ‘baptism for the forgiveness of sin, and you shall receive the gift of the promised Holy Spirit’. (my paraphrase). We know him by the forgiveness of our sin, as the prostitute Mary who washed Jesus’ feet discovered. [the basic way to “receive” is to simply “believe”.]

Salvation is by REBIRTH, the renewal of our spirit by THE SPIRIT, and the symbolic death of our acceptance that Jesus died for us, for our sin, and virtually loved that sin away, absorbing the impact of it in his own body mind heart and soul. The acceptance of the necessary death of ALL flesh, so that the spiritual might dominate our lives.

God puts in us a new heart, one which is sensitive and caring, emotionally responsive. He takes out the hard heart of stone, and replaces it with a soft “fleshly” (not “flesh” heart) that is the very opposite of that which is described in “out of the heart comes…” and is the [natural flesh] “wicked heart of man”. Regeneration may be that which turns our judgement of right and wrong upside down, which takes all those wrong decisions we made, and the right ones we didn’t make, and reverses the process because we now have all the information available in terms of experience with that which is right and that which is wrong, and the Spirit is  able to take hold of all of these “ends” of the “strings” of our minds and hearts, and place them in their correct perspective in relation to relationship between us and God through Christ.

So to deny a brother or a sister who have accepted the sacrificial death of Jesus to cover our death, and his resurrection to give us new life; to deny fellowship with them because of some doctrinally based belief that you are superior to them, is to deny Jesus Himself. “Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these MY BRETHREN, you did it to ME”.

But none of this is through our logical thinking or rationalisation. It is through God’s mercy and revelation of who He is through Jesus, as we submit to Him, to His Spirit who works with us to perfect us in Him. “As we come to Him”. He is unchanging perfect love, who has no need of anything from us except our submission to him.

Be led by the Spirit, (listen to His desires) and you will not fulfil the desires of the flesh.

*[This passage also exibits strong evidence that the heart is in the forefront of salvation with its emotional response to the gospel] [Rom 10 6 to 13. Esp. 10 “..for it is with your heart that you believe..”]

Cchristadelphianism Ccatholic CJehovahs CJW

THE MANUFACTURE OF SPIRIT BY THE FLESH [553a]

Exploratory theology.  I was going to preface this post with the words to the effect that I was sticking my neck out with this one, and that may be so, but I can’t now remember why, maybe it will become evident as it progresses.

There are three dreaded words in Romans chapter 7, which are, “I, of myself”. (Or, I, myself). To be “of oneself” is to be of natural human nature, of FLESH. Whenever we enter into religion, if we are not “of the Spirit”, then we are “of the flesh”, and our involvement with scripture and people and doctrine will be derived from the flesh.

If we claim to be the only ones with the truth, and we claim that it is only us who have the one true Spirit, then we are dismissing the bulk of Christianity as being lost and condemned. So it then is a matter of Spirit against Spirit, since there IS only one true Spirit, and there is only one true life that comes from that self same Spirit.

So we have the life that comes from THE Spirit, or we don’t. There are many “religious spirits” in the world, as evidenced by world religions, but also by denominations. While some of these groups may be operating within the “boundaries” of the one true Spirit, there are others who do not. Their spirit is self generated, from, by, the FLESH. This could be seen as idolatory, and Paul connects demonism with such spirits. The Catholic church appears to be idol ridden in terms of visual statues and icons, and is accompanied by what can only be described as superstition in many of their beliefs.

To deny the one true Spirit as evidenced in scripture as that which is the gift from God, as received at Pentecost, and which is forever then placed as that which becomes the believer’s means of life and access to life, through Jesus, is to deny life itself. The alternative is a spirit which is generated from that which is NOT of the Spirit, is NOT spiritual, and is earthly, demonic, of the flesh, from the unspiritual mind.

The SPIRIT is our connection with the supernatural God of Israel, who just happens to be LOVE. ‘Do not say in your heart, who will go down to bring Christ up, or who will go up to bring Christ down*’ (my paraphrase). in other words, do not try to rationalise spiritual things. Jesus said you cannot understand the way the Spirit comes, it is like the wind, you can feel its effects but you can’t work out how it happens. Nevertheless, we are to be LED by it if we want to live in LIFE.

So to be of self is to be of flesh, and sin, and law, and death. And the only other alternative is to be of the SPIRIT, or to be led by the Spirit.

The choice of just two, no others. We cannot be caught in “middle ground”, there IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.

Of the “ways” to “receive” the Spirit, one of them is simply to “make melody in your heart, singing spiritual songs to the Lord”. So, MUSIC. The God of love and sensitivity, of mercy and forgiveness, can take delight in the expression of MUSIC when it is in relation to Him and his wonder and his beauty. The ‘formal’ entry is stated to be by ‘baptism for the forgiveness of sin, and you shall receive the gift of the promised Holy Spirit’. (my paraphrase). We know him by the forgiveness of our sin, as the prostitute Mary who washed Jesus’ feet discovered. [the basic way to “receive” is to simply “believe”.]

Salvation is by REBIRTH, the renewal of our spirit by THE SPIRIT, and the symbolic death of our acceptance that Jesus died for us, for our sin, and virtually loved that sin away, absorbing the impact of it in his own body mind heart and soul. The acceptance of the necessary death of ALL flesh, so that the spiritual might dominate our lives.

God puts in us a new heart, one which is sensitive and caring, emotionally responsive. He takes out the hard heart of stone, and replaces it with a soft “fleshly” (not “flesh” heart) that is the very opposite of that which is described in “out of the heart comes…” and is the [natural flesh] “wicked heart of man”. Regeneration may be that which turns our judgement of right and wrong upside down, which takes all those wrong decisions we made, and the right ones we didn’t make, and reverses the process because we now have all the information available in terms of experience with that which is right and that which is wrong, and the Spirit is  able to take hold of all of these “ends” of the “strings” of our minds and hearts, and place them in their correct perspective in relation to relationship between us and God through Christ.

So to deny a brother or a sister who have accepted the sacrificial death of Jesus to cover our death, and his resurrection to give us new life; to deny fellowship with them because of some doctrinally based belief that you are superior to them, is to deny Jesus Himself. “Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these MY BRETHREN, you did it to ME”.

But none of this is through our logical thinking or rationalisation. It is through God’s mercy and revelation of who He is through Jesus, as we submit to Him, to His Spirit who works with us to perfect us in Him. “As we come to Him”. He is unchanging perfect love, who has no need of anything from us except our submission to him.

Be led by the Spirit, (listen to His desires) and you will not fulfil the desires of the flesh.

*[ This passage also exhibits strong evidence that the heart is in the forefront of salvation with its emotional response to the gospel] [Rom 10. 6 to 13. Esp. 10 “..For it is with your HEART that you believe..”]

Cchristadelphianism Ccatholic CJehovahs

THE MANUFACTURE OF SPIRIT BY THE FLESH [553]

Exploratory theology.  I was going to preface this post with the words to the effect that I was sticking my neck out with this one, and that may be so, but I can’t now remember why, maybe it will become evident as it progresses.

There are three dreaded words in Romans chapter 7, which are, “I, of myself”. (Or, I, myself). To be “of oneself” is to be of natural human nature, of FLESH. Whenever we enter into religion, if we are not “of the Spirit”, then we are “of the flesh”, and our involvement with scripture and people and doctrine will be derived from the flesh.

If we claim to be the only ones with the truth, and we claim that it is only us who have the one true Spirit, then we are dismissing the bulk of Christianity as being lost and condemned. So it then is a matter of Spirit against Spirit, since there IS only one true Spirit, and there is only one true life that comes from that self same Spirit.

So we have the life that comes from THE Spirit, or we don’t. There are many “religious spirits” in the world, as evidenced by world religions, but also by denominations. While some of these groups may be operating within the “boundaries” of the one true Spirit, there are others who do not. Their spirit is self generated, from, by, the FLESH. This could be seen as idolatory, and Paul connects demonism with such spirits. The Catholic church appears to be idol ridden in terms of visual statues and icons, and is accompanied by what can only be described as superstition in many of their beliefs.

To deny the one true Spirit as evidenced in scripture as that which is the gift from God, as received at Pentecost, and which is forever then placed as that which becomes the believer’s means of life and access to life, through Jesus, is to deny life itself. The alternative is a spirit which is generated from that which is NOT of the Spirit, is NOT spiritual, and is earthly, demonic, of the flesh, from the unspiritual mind.

The SPIRIT is our connection with the supernatural God of Israel, who just happens to be LOVE. ‘Do not say in your heart, who will go down to bring Christ up, or who will go up to bring Christ down*’ (my paraphrase). in other words, do not try to rationalise spiritual things. Jesus said you cannot understand the way the Spirit comes, it is like the wind, you can feel its effects but you can’t work out how it happens. Nevertheless, we are to be LED by it if we want to live in LIFE.

So to be of self is to be of flesh, and sin, and law, and death. And the only other alternative is to be of the SPIRIT, or to be led by the Spirit.

The choice of just two, no others. We cannot be caught in “middle ground”, there IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.

Of the “ways” to “receive” the Spirit, one of them is simply to “make melody in your heart, singing spiritual songs to the Lord”. So, MUSIC. The God of love and sensitivity, of mercy and forgiveness, can take delight in the expression of MUSIC when it is in relation to Him and his wonder and his beauty. The ‘formal’ entry is stated to be by ‘baptism for the forgiveness of sin, and you shall receive the gift of the promised Holy Spirit’. (my paraphrase). We know him by the forgiveness of our sin, as the prostitute Mary who washed Jesus’ feet discovered. [the basic way to “receive” is to simply “believe”.]

Salvation is by REBIRTH, the renewal of our spirit by THE SPIRIT, and the symbolic death of our acceptance that Jesus died for us, for our sin, and virtually loved that sin away, absorbing the impact of it in his own body mind heart and soul. The acceptance of the necessary death of ALL flesh, so that the spiritual might dominate our lives.

God puts in us a new heart, one which is sensitive and caring, emotionally responsive. He takes out the hard heart of stone, and replaces it with a soft “fleshly” (not “flesh” heart) that is the very opposite of that which is described in “out of the heart comes…” and is the [natural flesh] “wicked heart of man”. Regeneration may be that which turns our judgement of right and wrong upside down, which takes all those wrong decisions we made, and the right ones we didn’t make, and reverses the process because we now have all the information available in terms of experience with that which is right and that which is wrong, and the Spirit is  able to take hold of all of these “ends” of the “strings” of our minds and hearts, and place them in their correct perspective in relation to relationship between us and God through Christ.

So to deny a brother or a sister who have accepted the sacrificial death of Jesus to cover our death, and his resurrection to give us new life; to deny fellowship with them because of some doctrinally based belief that you are superior to them, is to deny Jesus Himself. “Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these MY BRETHREN, you did it to ME”.

But none of this is through our logical thinking or rationalisation. It is through God’s mercy and revelation of who He is through Jesus, as we submit to Him, to His Spirit who works with us to perfect us in Him. “As we come to Him”. He is unchanging perfect love, who has no need of anything from us except our submission to him.

Be led by the Spirit, (listen to His desires) and you will not fulfil the desires of the flesh.

*[This passage also exhibits strong evidence that the heart is in the forefront of slvation with its emotional response to the gospel] [Rom 10. 6 to 13. Esp 10 “..For it is with your HEART that you believe..” ] 

Cchristadelphianism Ccatholic CJehovahs

CHRISTADELPHIANS WANT TO SET UP ANIMAL SACRIFICES AGAIN [550c]

From “Christendom astray” pages 193 to 195.  During what they believe to be a literal 1000 year reign of Jesus on the earth, with themselves established as the ruling priesthood, they would set up the rituals of animal sacrifices.

Quoting from their book – “But it will be asked, how can the sacrifice of animals be revived…”. “The answer to this must take a general form…”. “There can be no doubt of the fact itself, that sacrifices form part of the institution of the age to come…”

“Men and women who live as subjects of the Messiah’s kingdom will have to obtain a right to eat of the tree of life by faith and obedience…”.

“…A SYSTEM of  UNIVERSAL COMPULSORY RELIGION, which will require the presence of every man once a year at the centre of divine government and worship, and which, for every offence against THE LAWS, will exact the token of penitence afforded in the  SACRIFICE OF AN ANIMAL OF HIS PROPERTY.”

This speaks for itself of the kind of thinking that has brought about and maintained the Christadelphian religion. The rhetoric involved is reminiscent of Hitler, and sets people up for participation in any possible ANTICHRIST type system that may pop up in the future. (although perhaps it is also proof of its present existence).

This kind of fanatical theology is typical of their one eyed view of scripture and which pervades everything they teach, because it is man’s view, not God’s view. And the reason for it is because they DENY THE SPIRIT who is the teacher of the truth, being the Spirit of truth, having established THEIR OWN spirit. It is a bit like the Mormons having established their own scriptures from THEIR own version of the ‘truth.’

Christadelphians proudly call their religion “The Truth” but it is the very antithesis of truth, a travesty of truth, but one which is eminently suited to the process of setting up their OWN righteousness in denial of HIS.