Wednesday, 26 November 2014

metamorphoō and lambano!










Charitoō

It is time that we accept, or rather receive (lambano) the beauty, the righteousness, and gloriousness - the absolute Grace that has been given onto us ... shed abroad from before the foundation of the earth.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Law of first mention or first mention of law?

Imagine perfection.

Imagine you have more than what you'd ever, ever need. Imagine no danger ever. Imagine the feeling of beauty, tranquility, peace, love and life, health and super-contentment in all of your being. Imagine the perfect love relationship with Someone who couldn't love you more. Imagine the cool of the evening. Imagine just being. This is paradise. This is Eden!

Would you stay?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pray? How? Beg? Demand? erōtaō and aiteō


Much of what we regard as prayer is actually nothing but lamenting ...

... and complaining, and listing and begging, and fighting a dead fight of unbelief.

How much of what we pray is in fact going on and on about ourselves?

Do we ever take dominion and fight the good fight of fait)?

Praying and begging and crying out to God and petitioning Him is the way I prayed for many years. Later on I prayed more like a Charismatic or Pentecostal.

I considered myself an intercessor for many years

We prayed and bound and prevailed and lamented for hours as intercessors. Sometimes we would go on through the night. Sometimes we would go to specific locations (we had to be there). Sometimes would would encourage each other to press-through (that's what we were taught in church). Sometimes we would follow a ritual or pattern or prescribed way that we have seen from someone somewhere before. Sometimes we were visited by powerful lead intercessors and sometimes we would lead as powerful intercessors, warring and fighting and pressing on and on and on ...

Until a few years ago when Abba Abba spoke to me.

Then, one day

I was the head of intercession in the church at the time. But the Lord seriously spoke to me just by saying What are you doing? Where is the finished work of Jesus in your prayer?

And He reminded me and taught me.

I became increasingly aware of the wondrous Love and Grace of Jesus as He revealed more and more of His perfect completed work of the cross to me.

Intercession would never to be the same again.

I came to understand

I came to understand and learn many things contrary to what I was taught, like:
  • Jesus IS our Intercessor.
  • I can not force anything on anyone through intercession.
  • Asking the way I did was almost always from a position of unbelief, especially when now I was looking at the finished Work of the cross and His ultimate Provision.
  • Begging is unbelief and blasphemous.
  • Lamenting as I was was blasphemous considered against the finished Work of the cross.
  • Pressing in and praying until there was a break-through the way I was was blasphemous considered against the finished Work of the cross.
  • Prayer in any prescribed, doctrinal way is nothing but law and contrary to what Jesus taught 
  • Impressing onto other people how to pray was nothing but my own self-centered indulgence and pride.
  • Fighting a war in prayer, the way I used to, was total unbelief in light of what Jesus did on the cross and in His resurrection - I fought a finished battle and ignored the battle that was won for me.
Who has to do something?

I came to realize that mostly when we are done praying our traditional prayers, God has a long list of tasks we require Him to do - take away the sickness. Bless. Protect. Provide. Forgive. Save. Be with. Help. Fight evil. Send angels. Go with. Change. Bring. Take. Give. ... as if He did nothing on the cross! In many cases these are things He gave me authority over to rule over because of the cross ... and I come to Him to ask for it ... ? I abandoned my god-given dominion.

But Daniel, how can you say these things?

Not me.

The Spirit of Truth and the Word of God!

There is a different way to pray

Jesus explained the difference between an old covenant prayer and a New Testament prayer in John 16:23:
And in that day ye shall ask (erōtaō) me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask (aiteōthe Father in my name, he will give it you.
Hitherto have ye asked (aiteōnothing in my name: ask (aiteō), and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

What?

Jesus says to pray in that day, doesn't He?

What day?

The day that the full price was paid completely and forever! 

Jesus was answering his disciples when they asked Him concerning what is this that he saith, A little while we cannot tell what he saith.

Rewind to verse 18 and you will see that Jesus was explaining to them what would happen with Him going to the cross.

He explained both his death and resurrection as well as His purpose. That He who was the One born from above, that He would come and abide in us as soon as we receive Him, and that He would give us His Spirit to empower us and work through us making our joy complete.

... and the asking part?

Then follows verse 23 quoted above that is so significant.

In the Greek there exist at least five to ten words for ask (prayer). These words depend on the context and they portray a different way of asking in every situation.

So, let's look closer.

Ask one - When Jesus uses the first ask it is the word erōtaō which, coming from the root Greek word according to James Strong, means in this context to ask a favour, beg, beseech, desire, intreat, pray; to question, ascertain by inquiry (as a matter of information merely) - the way old covenant people used pray. He says in that day we will beg Him nothing ...

Ask two - The second ask that Jesus uses in this sentence, saying that following that day we shall ask, is a different word altogether. He now uses the word aiteō with an all together different meaning. The meaning now is: strictly a demand of something due! Instead of begging in the old covenant way, following that day we shall now demand something already there for the taking!

He talks about restored, New Testament, dominion authority!

Can you see the finished work of the cross there?

In that day ... in this day?

Le me pharaphrase into simple English.

Jesus says in this day (today) you will no longer beg Me, but as an absolute truth I tell you, when you will demand whatever is due (provided for by My finished work on the cross and beyond), the Father, in My Name, He will give to you.

How can we demand from God?

You see, It's like a 10 year-old. When the scullery is stocked to the roof with sweets and candy and all sorts of nice things, she asks knowing fully well that it is there ... in fact she goes about declaring it, proclaiming it, confirming it.

Her asking is different.

She knows it is there for her. In an instant she would fling the door wide open and receive and take hold of what is already provided right there.

That is quite different from begging and asking and pleading for something not yet provided.

It is the same with Jesus.

That is why we come boldly to Him. Not asking for a favour. He has already blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings and favours. He Who gave His only begotten, beloved Son, how will He then not also give us all things?

There is no need for me to do all sorts of silly prayers.

I am His beloved and He, the Beloved is in me!

I am a Kingdom heir!

I am the recipient of His unmerited Favour, His Kindness, His Goodness, His Prosperity and Abundance.

It is due.

I can demand what is already there!

So, now asking changes

When Jesus continues from verse 24 onward He no longer uses erōtaō but aiteō instead.

We can lay hold of it. Demand it. It is given. It is finished!

Blessed be His Name!

What follows?

Again Jesus explains in verse 24:

Hitherto have ye asked (aiteōnothing in my name: ask (aiteō), and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full

Using the word aiteō He explains how that if we demand what is done (finished), we shall receive (lambanō). Click here and here for more on lambano.

Lambanō is that beautiful Greek word explaining what we need to do most of all:

to take 
to obtain 
to hold 
to take hold of 
to open your hands and receive 
to embrace 
to be amazed 
to make it your own

... and not only that. We get yo apply and appropriate what we have received!

Isn't His Grace just tooooo much for you to ever fully comprehend?

Praise Jesus!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Does God allow evil? How do we read the Bible?

Friends,


A few days ago I received an email from someone asking for an opinion on an essay by Richard Murray titled: Satan: Old Testament Servant Angel or New Testament Cosmic Rebel?

Let me start by saying that I enjoyed this essay tremendously and what follows is my opinion based on what I have experienced firsthand from a loving Father.

Let me try to summarize the essay:

Richard argues the point that there exists a problem in the body of Christ to differentiate, distinguish and discern good and evil from each other. He cites the old testament writers as the main culprits in that they did not have a clear understanding and revelation of God's goodness. In an effort to explain evil things that happened in their lives, they attributed it to God who either permitted satan to execute these evil actions or committed these atrocities Himself. The devil functioned as a sort of a "Luca Brasi figure to the Godfather"  to them. Richard takes a firm stand against these ideas and promotes that "EVERY TIME YOU READ THE WORDS "GOD" OR "LORD" IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, MENTALLY ADD THE FOLLOWING BRACKET RIGHT NEXT TO IT-- [JESUS OR SATAN]. Then apply the New Testament light and love you know, along with inner Holy Ghost promptings, combined with the sweet stirrings of a sanctified conscience, all bolstered by the mind of Christ which all Christians now freely possess. THEN, look at THE BRACKET and discern whether the act, event, or statement recorded in the Old Testament is more consistent with the nature of Jesus OR the nature of Satan. Make your call, insert the right name, AND THEN you will rightly understand the Scripture in question.".  

To this I say:

I am in agreement with most (if not all) of what he writes. Not many people are prepared to say what he is saying these days for a number of reasons, but mostly because of confusion and deception in the body of Christ. This is the work of the enemy, to deceive and lie and confuse and I'm reluctant to say that the institutional church allowed much of this. Interestingly, the Bible uses the picture of Babylon for confusion. Babylon literally means confusion by mixture. The Hebrew pictograph for בָּבֶל or Babylon is even the more interesting and depicts: the whole of the house controlled.

The bottom-line is that God is good and that God is good all of the time. When God revealed His character to Moses in Exodus 34:6 He said who exactly He is, that He is who He is: merciful and gracious, patient and abundant in goodness and truth. Nothing bad. Nothing remotely bad. Anything contrary would certainly be the characteristics of the adversary. We see the fullness of God's character manifested in Jesus who perfectly reveals the heart of the Father. And so I agree with Richard.

A lot of what Richard says makes sense in terms of the old covenant concept of good and evil. Much what he says can be substantiated from the Word itself. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. Even on this statement a whole variety of beliefs and doctrines have been formed over the years. I will, however, not go into these save to say that everybody has his or her own interpretation on what exactly he or she understands by inspired Word of God.

My own position has been formed and reformed by the teaching of the Holy Spirit and in spending time with Abba Abba through the years in this regard. I am currently at a place where I take the Word as a fundamental Truth, as God's Word penned by man, as Father's heart (Jesus) revealed to man and to be guided always by the Spirit of Truth as explained below. So, I am at a point where, if the Word says it was evening and morning, I take it that it was evening and morning exactly and the Holy Spirit will always provide additional revelation pointing to Jesus. If God says that He annihilated the Assyrians and send an angel to destroy 185 000 of the enemy (satan) in one night, then that is exactly what He did. And I would know that there exists a deeper meaning that the Spirit of God will reveal to me some way or another.

What about so-called contradictions in the Bible?

When ever you come across one of these contradictions, you should know that the contradiction does not come from God but is likely to be:
  1. A translation error - because of inaccurate translation from the original text (this is why you should preferably study the Word from a direct translation and stay away as much as possible from any interpreted translation); 
  2. Interpretation error because of language and cultural specific circumstances or merely out of ignorance (see case below);
  3. Punctuation error - original text did not have punctuation;
  4. Human error - the word was correctly given by God, but humans still had to write it and even the writers of the books of the Bible could err. It is for this reason that it is not good enough just to know what the Bible says, instead it is wise to know what the Word of God also says. The Word of God reads like a holograph and you are bound to have a take on the matter from a different angle in another verse somewhere else in the Bible. Take the example of Jesus when he was tempted in the desert. The devil tempted Him by quoting from the scriptures, but Jesus responded in every instance saying that the scriptures also says ... (here the argument of Richard Murray is very relevant); or
  5. The crux of the matter is much deeper than what appears at surface level -  this will require you spending more time with God asking His Spirit (of Truth) to reveal the fullness of the matter to you.
In each of the above cases it is the best for you to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the matter as you dig deeper.

Let's take one case-in-point of such apparent contradiction:
And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2Sa 24:1
Against:
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 1Ch 21:1
Both these verses from two different books in the Bible describe the same event. In the first instance we read that the anger of the Lord was kindled, which is a separate part of the sentence from he moved David. The translators even inseted a comma between the two parts of the sentence. However, it is often interpreted in this way: the anger of the Lord was kindled and the Lord moved David. But that is not what it says. Looking at he moved David we should understand that the word "he" is in unspecified (unidentified) form here. We can not automatically assume the he refers to God. So we need to know what the Word also says and read 1 Chronicles 21:1, which clarifies it perfectly.

Who moved David?

I like the bracket idea that Murray comes with when reading the old covenant. I do the same, but my bracket says: always orientate yourself to where Jesus and the cross stands in relation to the part you are reading. The cross changes everything. It is the place where God did satisfy All of His wrath. The cross is the definitive point between the old covenant and the new testament, between death and life, between darkness and light. Not the white page in the Bible separating the two.

I also agree that the old covenant does not contain a full doctrine on satan because people living in the old did not have the ways and means or power to resist him, whilst we do! I wrote on this in my series Inherited Authority to Rule Part-1Part 2 & Part 3. I do believe that, even today, we need a fuller revelation and more time spent on the goodness of God rather than giving much time to any doctrine of the devil.

There is something, though, about goodness and evil that we need to also understand. Goodness (and evil for that matter) is a very, very subjective matter and depends fundamentally on where I stand and where (with whom) I position myself. Remember Jesus said those who are not for us are against us?

I want to explain something that I learned from the Father's heart. The best I know how to do this is from a childlike perspective. So, here goes: 

My Father is good and always good. He is the strongest Daddy there is. He always wins. He always loves me. He will do anything for me (and He did so by even sacrificing His only begotten, beloved Son, Jesus so that He could adopt me). He is all powerful. He is almighty. He is the best Daddy ever. He is the loveliest. He is a very fair Daddy. He is always just. He is always right. He always protects me. He is a Mighty Warrior. He is always victorious. He always gives me the best gifts as much as I want. He always comforts me and secures me. He is Perfect. He is always the same. He always stays with me and never leaves me. He is the BEST DADDY for ever and always!

In order to look after me, my Daddy will not think twice to thump the enemy. He will bash him up good. And He did. He will do anything to comfort me, to protect me and provide for me. He hates those who hate me. He destroys whatever rises up against me. My Daddy has anger and wrath against whatever wants to hurt (kill) me, whatever wants to take away (steal) from me, whatever wants to destroy in my life. As His child, He has given me His power to take action against these when He exposed the enemy at the cross through what Jesus did. This is His goodness towards me!

Do you see my position? If I was in the camp of the enemy, I'd be afraid of my Daddy ... very afraid!

From where I am standing (in Christ) God is good, always, no doubt. From where anyone is standing outside of Jesus, in other words either working on his own or with the devil, this is bad news and what God does will considered by those as bad, not good, evil, etc. That is why, as a Christian, as a son of God there is no other way - you can only and will only proclaim God's goodness. But looking from the other end it is difficult, if not almost impossible to see and experience God's goodness. 

I say 'almost' because God has made a way. It is called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Gospel is the power of God onto Salvation (Jesus). It changes ones vantage point entirely and forever, if received. This is the good news. The goodness of God (Jesus). And it is by the Goodness of God that repentance comes Rom 2:4. The verse says: Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 

Repentance?

To be of the mind of God Who says I no longer see your sins and transgressions and inequities, who says He sees you holy and sanctified and washed clean before Him, justified (just as if I never sinned). Outside of this I move in what is called the law and I am ultimately responsible for my own fate. The law requires judgement. It requires justice. It requires a verdict. The verdict is either punishment (even if you transgressed in one offence) or acquittal (if ever you would be able to succeed and be compared with Jesus and that is impossible) - all this comes about tough our own making, our own choice and of our own decision as to with whom we take a stand. 

At Sinai the Israelites did choose not to have a personal relationship with God. Rather, they chose to have Moses to be a mediator between them and God. They also chose the law instead of a personal relationship of love and grace. What they did not consider was that the law (any law) demands justice. Before the law people committed all kinds of sins, even killing one another without consequence. 

Shortly after making this choice for the law ... shortly after the law was given, there is an incident where these people of the law put the law to the test. A man collecting firewood on the Sabbath was brought to Moses for judgement. Moses inquired from God and the LORD [you see Richard's bracket wont work here because we know exactly who the LORD is here. It is יְהֹוָה identified by His very personal, and to the Jews unspeakable, Name] said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. Num 15:35. God did not kill this man. He merely stated the obvious demand from the law. The law always demands a verdict. It demands conviction. It has no mercy. The law operates by invoking fear!

But Grace is the very free gift that makes us righteous and in Jesus God says: For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. Heb 8:12- 13

The only way we can ever fall from Grace is when: Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Gal 5:4

You see, we can not deny that the law demands judgement (on sin). If we do, God will not be a just God! God had wrath against sin. God dealt with sin on the cross! His full wrath came on sin. It came on Jesus, our Substitute! If we deny Jesus, we embrace the law and make ourselves wide open for a justified wrath against sin that Adam brought into this world. If we embrace the law instead of Jesus, we demand justice by our own acts of righteousness.

In Jesus ALL sins, all afflictions and curses and punishments were dealt with completely, utterly and forever. He made us forever righteous!

Aren't you so glad and grateful we are in Grace and not under the Law?

Following through on verse 16 that Richard Murray quotes, I just love the way that John, the beloved disciple who laid his head on Jesus' bosom, declared our position in Christ: 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. There is no fear in love [Jesus]; but perfect love [Jesus] casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1Jn 4:17 - 18

So, yeah, I agree Jesus showed us exactly what we were up against when He destroyed the works of the devil. Yet, He went all the way to restore onto us the power to have dominion on earth and to take authority and rule over our circumstances and in the earth as such ... and to have a holy wrath ourselves against sin - proclaiming His Gospel, casting out demons, healing every sickness, mending every relationship problem, etc.

I like the way Richard Murray sees God and His true nature towards us, who not only believe, but also walk in His power, stay in His Rest and allow Him to complete the perfect work that He began in us. HalleluYAH!

u r blessed!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Listen and hearken

Charitoō,


As a child I was told on many an occasion that if I don't have ears I'll have to feel, implying that should I not listen to the guidance given by my parents, I'll have to bear the consequences of my action (whether commission, omission or just my own plain mission)


In addressing the seven churches in Revelation, Jesus at every instance utter these exact same words:
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13 & 22
Seven times. 

The Greek word for hear is akouō meaning to hear; give audience; understand; or to listen attentively.

It is this very last explanation from James Strong's concordance that awakened my hearing. Because sometimes, like a child, we hear but do not listen. To listen is to hear with understanding. This is the way God wants us to hear ... or listen.

This is alluded to in Isaiah 48 and 49 where God says that He will, in His great mercy and goodness, defer his anger even though 
  • Yea, thou heardest not
  • yea, thou knewest not; 
  • yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: 
  • for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. Isa 48:8

The only scripture where both the Hebrew words for hear and listen are found in one sentence (also in light of the previous chapter in Isaiah) is Isaiah 49:1 where it says:
Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
In the Hebrew listen is שָׁמַע (shâma‛) meaning to hear, listen, obey, hear with attention, hear with interest, proclaim. The pictograph: consume (or take in) the flow of what is revealed.

The word for hearken is קָשַׁב (qâshab) meaning to be attentive, heed, pay attention, attend, give full support. The pictograph: back of the head take in the house.

Both words appeal to our understanding, to really hear with attention and desire what it is that flows from God's heart and not to be far-off. It follows in verse 2 that from the very first day, being formed in the mother's womb, He called us to speak His Truth, his Word - Jesus, not denying Him.

Jesus also used the very same phrase every time following the key parable of the sower when he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Mar 4:9, Luk 8:8 and talking about salt gone stale in Luk 14:35

When Paul says So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:17 this is exactly what he is saying. To hear God and what He has to say about Himself and let Him be true and everyone else a liar Rom3:4. At the mount of transfiguration Peter was told not to hear Moses or the prophets, but the Father answered: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. Mat 17:5

Jesus addresses the seven 'churches' ekklēsia which can be better translated as those who are called (together, supposed to be assembled in His truth). He appeals to them to hear what the Spirit saith unto them. He points out, as a loving God, where it is that they go wrong ... to guide them. He even shows them where to go, just as Jesus, before He ascended, promised when He said that He will send us His Holy Spirit Who will teach us all things. Isn't this just awesome?

Who is called?

You and I, from the bowels of our mothers, when He formed us Isa 49:1.

And then, in three instances in Rev 2 He reveals His promise to the overcomer, nikaō, those who prevail in Him:
  1. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. verse 7
  2. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. verse 11
  3. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. verse 17
How then do we overcome?


By receiving and giving (testifying) what He has already done for us. By hearing (experiencing) our Faith so attentively that we'll never be able to deny His goodness. By placing our trust ... and  being in the rest of the One who overcame death on our behalf!

Jesus says exactly how we overcome:
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.Rev 12:11
Only one of those ekklēsia in Revelation is not criticized by Jesus. We'll do good to take example from it. This is the called, the assembly of Philadelphia (meaning brotherly love). Let's check it out:
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name....


Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.


Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.


He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev 3:7-13  
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