What is a “Naked Relationship”? It is a relationship where there is no fear of the destruction of that relationship because of something you might say, do or think. In other words it is a relationship based on unconditional love i.e. God’s love. A Naked Relationship with another human being is impossible without God. The very foundation of a naked relationship is the triune nature of it, Adam-Eve-God. The denial of any aspect of our being is a denial of our very being.
The vast majority of human relationships are mental and materially based. They are mental because they incorporate your belief systems, what you like or dislike, what you judge to be good and evil. They are material because they are based on physical connections such as a brother or sister, Mother or Father.
In order to move beyond materially based relationships we must begin to know ourselves. There can be no knowing of ourselves without knowing God who is the source of all life.
Knowing God is not knowing an image of Him but to know Him as He is right here and now. To often we look to past expressions or images of God and miss what God is right here and now. Paul talked about this very thing when he wrote: From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him like that. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 2Cor.5:16-17 (HCSB)
It is often man’s way to judge things according to their belief systems instead of what is. Jesus pointed this out in his parable about the good Samaritan. He asks the question: “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Lk. 10:36-37 (HCSB)
It was the Jews who pre-judged the Samaritan as a sinner because of their understanding of God’s laws. Their belief system kept them from seeing what was true in the here and now. Jesus was trying to open their eyes to what was through his story.
Almost of all Jesus parables do this exact thing – remove you from your belief system and place you in the here and now to see love.
We will choose our belief system over love in other words we will choose our image of God over God Himself.
This exact fact was demonstrated in the life of Jesus on earth. It was the Jews who choose their understanding of the Laws of Moses over the Life of love Jesus lived before them. If we are ever able to live naked and unashamed we must not be ones who hold on too tight to our understandings of God, doctrines and belief’s. As the scriptures say: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths. Prov.3:5
There is a difference between relying on your own understanding and meditating on the Lord as you walk daily in your life. One comes from a remembering of the past the other is found within us in the moment of need. One from Law the other from the Spirit of Love.
A Belief system is like clothing we put on. We think it looks good? We trick ourselves into believing that it defines us. Two Christians meet and often one of the first conversations might go like this: “Where do you go to church? I go to First Baptist, Oh your Baptist I am a Methodist.” What does that do except bring about separation. No one is a Baptist or Methodist – at best these are words to describe a belief system you adhere to or at least try to appear that you adhere to. We do this because we don’t think Christ is enough. For a church or a people to say I am of Christ is not good enough. For someone to show love is not good enough, I need to know what you say you believe. I need to know that you cloth yourself with the same rags I use (Isa.64:6).
Paul wrote in the very first letter of the NT: There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal.3:28 (HCSB)
In Genesis we find recorded: This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame. Gen.2:24-25 (HCSB)
When there is only one there is no shame to be just as you are, no need to add anything. It is to look through the material world and see what is. What is? An eternal spirit manifested in many forms but still only one spirit. This is how two are one and how Christ brought about peace. In doing away with the law (the belief system) the Jews would be able to love the Samaritan and see them as they are, children of God just like the Jews. No longer to be judged according to the fleshly laws, (there clothing) but to be accepted just as they are.
For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He did away with the law of the commandments in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. [He did this so] that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. Eph.2:14-16 (HCSB)
How many laws or belief’s of yours to you put on others?
Do you accept people who don’t believe like you?
Do you allow others to explore in ways you don’t think is right and proper?
Can people tell you things without fear of you judging them?
The other day a sister shared with me in private a book she was reading. She shared it in private because she knew that if some of her friends found out that they would judge her.
It was the Pharisees named Nicodemus that came to Jesus at Night (Jn.3:1-21) so that none of the other Pharisees would know.
Can you be Naked with the group of Christians you meet with?
Or, Like Nicodemus, do you seek out and explore Christ in the middle of the night where none of your friends can see you?
Nicodemus was not wrong, he was seeking truth. He knew that if he did it in the open he would be persecuted by those who claimed to love God and follow his ways.
Do the people you gather together with unconditionally love you i.e. love you with God’s love? Or do they like you because they think you are like them in your belief system, your clothing?
Its a little odd that in today’s Christian Church in order to be considered a member you must agree on certain beliefs, that Christ’s acceptance of you and your expressed love for Him is not enough.
Do you have “Naked Relationships?” if you don’t you will never know intimacy or experience the joy of oneness.
The first step is to follow the words of Jesus when he said “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Lk.6:37 (HCSB)
Are Christians like Jesus or the Religious Jews?
Then the elders and pastors brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. The Bible says: (Matt.5:27-29 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. … For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.) So what do You say, is she going to hell?” They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw her into hell.” Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, ” Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”Jn.8:3-11 in today’s language.
This was a woman caught in the very act of adultery, she was probably brought to crowd naked and yet Jesus accepted her as she was, he did not need to know what she believed, or if she was guilty or not – he did not judge her or condemn her he simply forgave her without her even asking.
If we cannot accept others exactly as they are do we really believe that God accepts us as we are? If we can’t accept others nakedness it means we can’t accept our own. We like Adam and Eve before find the leaves of belief’s (the knowledge of good and evil) to cloth ourselves rejecting both the message and blood of Jesus Christ.
Can you be naked, unashamed and intimate with God and all your brothers and sisters?
Do you have or want Naked Relationships?
Is the Jehovah Moses speaks of the Heavenly Father of Jesus?
One of Jesus main teachings and actions, something that made Jesus stand out among Teachers was his teaching and demonstration of love not only for friends but also of his enemies.
Jesus said in his famous Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
Was this Love of enemies demonstrated by Jehovah in the books of Moses?
The Flood, here it seems we see Jehovah taking care of the ones he likes
Gen.6:5-13 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth…..The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, ……I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, …..But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. ……Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.
Sodom and Gomorrah, here it seems Jehovah takes care of his friends but what about his enemies?
Gen.19:13-24 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city ” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting. …….Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven,
Mt Sinai and The Children of Israel, here it seems a very angry God who needs a man to talk him out of destroying even his friends.
Deuteronomy 9:13-14,18-23“The LORD spoke further to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed, it is a stubborn people. ‘Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’ “I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you had committed in doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke Him to anger. “For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the LORD was wrathful against you in order to destroy you, but the LORD listened to me that time also. “The LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him; so I also prayed for Aaron at the same time. ….”Again at Taberah and at Massah and at Kibroth-hattaavah you provoked the LORD to wrath. “
Joshua and the Promised Land, here it seems Jehovah is a God who hardens hearts so the people would fight and be destroyed.
Joshua.11:19-20 There was not a city which made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites living in Gibeon; they took them all in battle. For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
The words in the books of Moses do not seem to display the Heavenly Father that Jesus displays.
The Command of The Lord is –
Lev.24:17-23 ‘If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. ….. fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so it shall be inflicted on him. …… for I am the LORD your God.'” Then Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, and they brought the one who had cursed outside the camp and stoned him with stones. Thus the sons of Israel did, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
The expression of the Father through Jesus says – “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42
Did Moses or whoever wrote Leviticus misunderstand or misquote “The Lord” ? Jesus is quoted as saying “You have heard it was said” “But I say” then he also says he only speaks his Fathers words not his own.
Was Jesus correcting a misquote?
So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. John 7:16
The disciples of Jesus agree with Jesus
Peter writes – “Do not return evil with evil, or insults with insults. Instead, pray for blessing. You were called in order to inherit blessing,” 1Peter 3:9.
Paul writes – Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Rom.12:17
Now “The Lord” says – Mal.3:6 “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
Now if Moses followed the Lord Jonah interacted with I don’t think we have any conflict. The “Lord” of Jonah (as recorded in the book of Jonah) is a loving and forgiving Lord that seems more in line with the Father that Jesus expressed.
It does not seem that the “Lord” described in the 5 books of Moses always depict or express the non changing Heavenly Father of Jesus.
Some may say “It was a different time or dispensation” that may be true for man but not for God. God is not affected by time – He is the same yesterday, today and forever. At least this is true of “Jesus Christ Heb.13:8.”
The turn or burn message sometimes preached today seems appropriate to the Lord of Moses but not the merciful Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ. Moses himself seems to display more the attributes of the Heavenly Father of Jesus than the Lord of Moses does.
Jesus said “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” John 14:7
The Father of Jesus was not well known when Jesus walked the earth. It was the Law that was read, studied and known.
Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! John 9:28
Of the Law Jesus said: Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me. John 7:19
Notice he says “Moses gave you the Law” not “My Father gave you the Law”
In the recorded words of Jesus written by John you can feel the desperate exasperation of Jesus toward a people he loves that simply won’t listen. Here is a people who search the writings of other men instead of receiving the Father’s Love. These people simply refuse to know the Father for themselves they fight among themselves about the meaning of different prophets words and refuse to have an encounter of their own.
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. “Your approval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God. “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” John 5:39-47
Jesus knocking on the door of a Bible study
So, Is the Jehovah Moses speaks of the Heavenly Father of Jesus?
My answer is NO and Yes. Moses in some ways knew and expressed the Heavenly Father but at other times, like many of us, he expressed the “law and thoughts of Moses” not the Law of the Heavenly Father. Jesus expressed his Fathers Law in these words ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt.22:37-39.
So when reading Moses rejoice when he writes about your Heavenly Father but remember just because Moses says “you have heard it said” it does not make it the words or actions of your Heavenly Father.
For Ron! – The biggest stumbling block for the mystic way is our thoughts – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isa.55:8
This is Spiritual warfare and it is one that is waged inside of all Mystic’s – Most Religion goes the way of the Mind which is doctrine, teachings and traditions. It is the Mystic that goes the way of the Spirit – “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Christ Jesus – John 3:8) So the way of the Mystic is in Spirit and it drives those who need doctrine, proof texts, and traditions crazy. Just see how the religious reacted to Jesus the Mystic.
Mysticism (from the Greek μυστικός, mystikos, an initiate of a mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Wikipedia’s Definition
Ps.46:10 Be still and know that I am God
What I have been doing or practicing is a move from my mind and thoughts about God, Jesus, the Bible to my knowing Spirit. Spirit is not flesh it is the “Heavenly Treasure in Earthen Vessels” To study or focus on the Vessel is not very productive to living by the Spirit. One passage of Paul’s really struck me when he said:
(note: I find only one real purpose for the scriptures – To help remove any and all stumbling blocks that keep you from going within and having face to face intimacy with God – that’s it! The scriptures were not written to teach you but to point you within – it is inside you that the knowing already is – you just go within and discover or become conscience of what is.)
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him like that. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
Over my life I have spent way to much time studying about the human Jesus Christ and not enough time getting to know the Christ within me. Now I thought I was getting to know the life within me by studying about Christ, his nature and ways but in reality I was reading and trying to act like what was in me instead of living by what was in me. Big difference! Doing something because you think you are supposed to and doing something because everything in you wants to is like night and day. Getting to the point of trusting the spirit within your heart over your thoughts is the difference.
Col.1:23,27…This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a minister of it….. this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Following Jesus (the human vessel that contained Christ) I discovered was not where I needed to place my hope but in following the gospel of Jesus I discovered something different. We seem to always look to things outside of our-self’s for guidance even though we all know the counselor was given to live within us. It seems may just think of the Spirit as the interpreter of the Bible for us instead of the voice and guidance of the Lord to us.
18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me
to proclaim freedom to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
…….”Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.”
“I must proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because I was sent for this purpose.”
* My Spirit has been captive to my fleshly nature i.e. ego (what I think of things)
* My Spiritual eyes and ears have not been used much (spiritual eyes and ears are found and can be physically felt within your heart and at your forehead)
* I as Spirit have not been able to function because of the fleshly nature
(the fleshly nature is one of judgment – what is right and wrong, good and evil – right doctrine- wrong doctrine)
* The kingdom of God is not anywhere in creation but within me. (Its not in this church, that church, this group, that group – it is an individual thing between you and God)
The quest for me was not to try and act like Jesus in so many ways, but one – to see and listen to the voice of the Father within. This is the “Way” he showed mankind to live. This is why he told his disciples that they know the Way – they had watched him do it for 3 years.
Jesus said: So the things that I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” Jn.12:50
Jesus said: I do nothing on My own. But just as the Father taught Me, I say these things. Jn.8:28
Jesus said: because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. Jn.5:30
All we really know of Jesus was that he did the Fathers will. Everything we read that he said or did was from following the Father.
When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray he taught them to say: “…..Thy kingdom come they WILL be done on earth as in heaven.”
Doing the will of the Father was the life Jesus lived out before man and it is what he asks us to follow.
Instead many have made him the Savior God who has come down to save us little helpless humans and not Son of man who came to show us how to live a victorious life in relationship with the Father by doing his perfect will. Jesus said: Be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect – we say: He is not speaking literally.
Paul goes on to say:
Col.2:2-8 have the knowledge of God’s mystery – Christ….all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden… walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, …..Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.
Christ is the Spirit within you speaking the words and will of the Father. (Scripture does say that the same Spirit that dwelt in Jesus now dwells in you – not a similar one-the same one – If Jesus the man was able to hear and walk in the will of the Father why can’t we – unless you don’t think that Jesus was really a man as most Christian don’t)
Why are you doing what you are doing – If because of doctrine, the Bible says…., human tradition, religious tradition – if it is not from within you then it is from without in other words it is from the world.
What I discovered was that what I really know to be real is what I have experienced for myself – just because someone told me or I read it in a book means nothing. If my relationship is based on what I have read or what someone else has told me it means I don’t really have a active relationship with the one I claim to love and follow.
Real knowing is intimacy not the accumulation of information and facts.
Having Intimacy takes spending time together.
How do I practice this intimacy?
Here are a couple of basic ways
Silence and Stillness I have found to be a wonderful environment for the operation or moving of the Spirit. I have a room that I have made where I can go and spend 20-30 min in silence or with sounds like a crystal singing bowl or meditation tapes with sounds.
I also practice the 15-20 sec every hour where you close your eyes and just listen to your breathing, or the ringing in your ears (also know as the song of the Lord) Still yourself and your thoughts. In stillness this you create space for the Spirit within yourself. You will always be filled to the capacity that you can hold.
If you take a way candle and light it you will see that over time it creates a cavity and the light can be seen burning through the wax. The same is true of the Spirit operating within man.
I like to describe this time (the 20-30 min) with the Lord as “on the couch snuggle time” – its not necessarily a time where we are being taught or talking but simply a time spent together, just enjoying each others presence. In these practices you will begin to notice your awareness of the Lord increase – You will begin to see Him, hear Him and find Him in places you never thought possible.
Mind renewal is not accomplished through study – that’s like trying to fix the mind with the mind. Mind renewal takes place as your mind is allowed to observes what the Spirit reveals through spiritual eyes that begin to see God everywhere and ears that hear Him speak through everything. Its not a discovery of something new its a seeing of what already is but in light and not darkness. Our fleshly mind is dark but the Spirit is light walk in the Spirit, walk in the light and you live like never before.
To begin to intimately know God as He is and not as our minds conceive is a mind blowing experience that changes the way you see everything. The Mystic is the one called to this kind of knowing. Like Moses he ventures up the mountain where other fear to go and like the children of Israel other desire to hear from what he has experienced. The Mystic’s life is not for every Christian but for those who have to its a call for face to face encounters with the Lord of Love. The experiences are life changing and ones that take you from the depths of despair to the heights of a knowing love that fills to abundant overflowing.
A book that might help some or might not is called Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer by Gregg Braden. Its a small book that gives an interestingly real perspective on Prayer.
“There are beautiful and wild forces within us.” With these words, the mystic St. Francis described what ancient traditions believed was the most powerful force in the universe – the power of prayer. For more than 20 years, Gregg Braden has searched for evidence of a forgotten form of prayer that was lost to the West following the biblical edits of the early Christian Church. In the 1990s, he found and documented this form of prayer still being used in the remote monasteries f central Tibet. He also found it practiced in sacred rites throughout the high deserts of the American Southwest.
Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to. Don’t try to see through the distances. That’s not for human beings. Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move. – Rumi
Its been little over a week since we got back from our trip to South India. During our two week stay we met a lot nice sweet people who live in terrible bondage. What do I mean by “terrible bondage” Well you see the people we met in India live by the traditions handed down to them. These traditions include men and women never touching in public, men and women never sitting together in public, women wearing a sari whenever leaving the house, the cast system (a system by which you are born to a certain status in society), arranged marriages, the family of a daughter getting married paying a dowry to the husbands family (you don’t want a lot of girls if you are Indian). These are just a few of the traditions that the Indian people we met live by. As American we have our traditions that we live by. Privacy, not showing up to someone’s house expectantly, boys and girls dating, public displays of affection, the weekend for entertainment, driving everywhere, shopping malls, lots of church buildings, watching TV. Traditions in and of themselves are not necessarily wrong so what makes a tradition evil?
Matt.15:6-9 he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
8 ‘BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
9 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”
As an American in India it was fairly easy to spot some of the “precepts of men” that were being taught as Doctrines of God – but seeing the same thing in America is a little bit harder. In India one of the Pastors was rewarding some of the older women in the church because of the scarred knees that they had – the scarred knees were a sign of their dedication to God in prayer – this is obviously a “precept of men” who think that God wants you to suffer while speaking Him. One pastor, during the cold winter in the north had taken a blanket form an elderly gentleman that he was discipling. He told the disciple “You should only need the Fire of the Holy Spirit to keep you warm” the older man’s son begged for the blanket from the pastor but the pastor refused saying “We need men who are dedicated and on fire for the Lord.” This old disciple died the following week from illness. “All we need is the fire of the Holy Spirit” – Doctrine of God or precept of man?
The American Dream is to have a good job, own a nice house, have a nice car and a wife or husband and maybe 2 children one boy and one girl. This is American Tradition but is it “The Doctrine of God or precept of man?” The foundation of our nation is build upon a document called “The Declaration of Independence”. And we are a very independent people but is our independent culture invalidating the word of God for the sake of our tradition. As Christians we say we are “One in the bond of love” but do we really live this reality out. If I read about the early church I read about Oneness not just in word but in action – they shared everything they had with each other. Our culture calls that kind of life-style a cult. Is our American independent, capitalistic culture, Christian? Or is it a precept of man that is opposed to the very nature of God? I know many Christians who link Republican with Christian – Is the Republican platform a precept of man or the doctrine of God, not just parts of it, all of it, remember that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.
In India it was easy to see Traditions that were against God because I was coming for a different tradition but the challenge for me is to see the equally harmful traditions that are right here at home. I don’t want to be one that Isaiah was talking about when he says: ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”
This is a T.I.P. Thought In Process
Love, One of the most powerful feelings and emotions a human being can experience. Love is unique in that only God and humans can operate from it. Haven’t you felt love in a way that welled up from within you. A love that you felt for someone or even a pet, where all you could say was – I love. Why do I love this person? I can’t really explain the totality of why – I just do, it is something I feel toward them. It is this exact experience, this feeling and the source of this feeling or Love that I am wanting to explore.
1Cor.13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, Love is kind and is not jealous; Love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; Love does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
Love is God Love is Jesus Christ – Love is not an attribute of Christ – Christ is the personification of Love. Its is this Love that has now found a dwelling place within man. The dwelling place of Love is not the mind, the dwelling place of love is in the heart of man.
Eph.3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
Can we know God/Love? Can we know His voice/love? Can we be assured that it is Him? This was a cry from the saints of old.
Ps.51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me.
Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
And the Lord answered in a very personal way.
Rom.5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
God has been poured within our hearts and the result of this pouring out of God onto us is…
Eph.1:17-18 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
Deut.8:5 Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.
In the days of Old, people did not have this pouring out in their hearts and had a difficulty in knowing God.
Ps.95:7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, 9 “When your fathers tested Me,
They tried Me, though they had seen My work. 10 “For forty years I loathed that generation,
And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways.
Ps.40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
But today this is not the case – We can and do know God. His law is within our hearts – We have been made one with God. God is now made know to us not through stone tablets or external laws – God is manifested or made known within us.
1John 4:7-21 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
We now have a source to go to. A sure source that we can live by. A sure way to know God, to know His voice and to be able to live from His life. To live from the fruit of the Tree of Life that NOW lives within us.
2 Cor 5:-16 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.
The external rules and laws that have been the source for knowing God are no longer the way. Our way is now internal – it is the Love that has been poured out in our hearts. This is now the way we know God and abide in Him – Abide in Love. Apart from Love we can do nothing. Is this what we REALLY believe? Do we really believe that if what we are doing is not coming from the Love that dwells in our hearts – it is nothing?
John 15:4-5,9 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing. Even as the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you: abide ye in my love.
It is Love that has been poured into us that we PUT on the outside of us. This is the clothing that we have been given to cover our flesh – to cover that which is temporal. How do we PUT ON this love that has been poured within us? Listen to, live by and follow the unexplainable knowing of that which is in your heart, I.e. the Love of God.
John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”
It is our belief in Him in Love that RELEASES the Life giving water to flow out from us. Belief in the Love/Jesus within us, thinking, acting and moving from this place puts on Christ/Anointing.
Col.3:12-15 Put on therefore, as God’s elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye: and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.
These are my thoughts – they are still in process – For the past 2 years the Lord has been opening up to me the place of the heart and this is what I am begining to see.
I am posting this from a conversation I had on another web site.
Chris said: In the Garden God offers man two choices “Life” or “Knowledge about Good and Knowledge about Evil”. Jesus is quoted in John 5:39-40 (The Message) “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.
Something in the middle of ths gives me pause. It’s not becaues ot the arguments presented. It’s because of a reference: “The Message”. Perhaps nothing significant hinges on it in this instance . . . not sure on that. In principle it’s the use of interpretive paraphrases to support one’s case instead of what the scripture actualy says, from the texts. We ak “like” a certain rendition but is that what it actually means, according to the Spirit of God? J.B. Phillips? Good News for Modern Man? The Living Bible? These may have a limited use for the beginnings of the faith. We don’t limit God in what he may use. But toward maturity I think we face a problem in the use of these sorts.
I say this on the premise that God’s word is precise and not subject to what people feel they like.
You say “I say this on the premise that God’s word is precise”
By God’s word I am taking it that you mean the scriptures. The scriptures say that God’s Word is Jesus Christ and I am amazed with the way Jesus speaks. It seems that for those who are open and listening can hear and even understood Jesus. But for those who are full, and who’s eyes are dull, even God coming in the flesh and raising a man from the dead would not convince them that God loves them. Even when a person takes God, beats and tortures Him and God says I forgive you because I know that you don’t understand what you are doing. Even this will not cause some people to believe that God loves Him. If God in the flesh cannot get some men to believe why do we think a book about Him will? If Jesus when he spoke in the flesh was misunderstood, and they even spoke the same language, why do we think it is so important to translate properly a letter written about Jesus. Those who have ears hear Jesus and those who don’t, don’t. I really not that interested in what a person means I am really interested in what God is speaking to me. I remember this one message a brother spoke where the Lord really ministered to me though it. He opened my understanding to some things in a great way. Now the brother speaking the message did not intend or was not trying to communicate what I got out of it but it is what the Lord spoke to me though this brothers words. Again those who’s ears are open WILL HEAR JESUS SPEAK even if they are reading the book of Mormon (that one will get me in trouble). For those who don’t get what I mean, I am not saying that the book of Mormon is truth I am saying that if God can communicate to man through a donkey it is not beyond Him to communicate to one seeking Him though any book or movie or anything, He even uses the Bible sometimes. Isn’t it really the voice of Jesus that we want to hear not the meaning of scripture. We read the scriptures not to understand them but to somehow hear His voice in the words of brothers who have come before us. What they meant we may never know but what Jesus wants to communicate to us though them is what we can hear today.
I am not one who follows the Bible I follow Jesus. I don’t believe in the Bible I believe in Jesus. The Bible is not my God, Jesus is and the Bible speaks about Him and points to Him and it is a wonderful book. I want to follow Jesus not Christianity, not Bibleology but the Person of Jesus Christ my God, my Master, my Teacher, my Brother and my Friend.
So what about the pause? Christopher