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Into and beyond all heavens Heb 4:14, 12:22

Discussion in 'House Churches & Cell Groups' started by ~Cassia~, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Devoted to Truth Supporter

    Restorative justice and peacemaking (an overview) Ambassadors of reconciliation ~

    2 Corinthians 5:16-6:13
    From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    6 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says,

    “In a favorable time I listened to you,

    and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

    Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

    11 We have spoken freely to you,[c] Corinthians; our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. 13 In retureasarsn (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.

    Probing the meaning of ‘ambassadors of reconciliation’
    Cheap grace is grace w/o discipleship, the cross or Jesus Christ. The fight today is for costly grace. A ministry of reconciliation is a vocation of restorative justice and peacemaking. The argument revolves around what is true righteousness — Christ’s or Caesars? What gospel has the power to make the world truly peaceful? These 2 regimes stand fundamentally opposed to each other.

    Romans 1
    16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,[e] as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”[f]

    God's Wrath on Unrighteousness

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    In comparison to

    1 Corinthians 2:6
    Wisdom from the Spirit
    6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass
    1 Corinthians 2:8
    8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

    Ministry of reconciliation is a theology of radical inclusiveness w/o ethnocentrism (Jewish) or ideologies of superiority. (Hellenistic)

    2 Corinthians 5:17
    17 So if any one [be] in Christ, [there is] a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new:

    From now on we are to regard no one from a human point of view, iow, minus the socially conditioned worldview we inherited from our upbringing, and deeming it deforming to the biblical interpretation of what it means to be human. The flesh cannot dictate what and how we ‘know’ because it constrains the imagination and locks us into habitual enslavement.To reject the flesh is indeed liberation from the dominion of Pharaoh. “Let My people go” The new creation eclipses those things that have passed away.

    The message ‘given’ and the ministry ‘entrusted’ is not w/o responsibility.

    The theological assertion of
    1) All this is from God who reconciled us to Himself in Christ
    2) that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself (not counting their transgressions against them)

    Becomes the practical assertion
    1)and has given us the message of reconciliation
    2)and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us

    With the responsibility being
    We are ambassadors therefore for Christ, God as [it were] beseeching by us, we entreat for Christ, Be reconciled to God.
    Him who knew not sin he has made sin for us, that *we* might become God's righteousness in him.

    Divine realities are waiting to be realized in our lives but the balancing of the books is demanding because it predicates making peace with not just ethnic divisions but political ones also. Ambassadors are needed to facilitate the challenging social vision, one that excludes divisions.

    Christ took on the debt system in order to liberate us from it’s totalitarianism.

    Romans 8:3
    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent his own Son, in likeness of flesh of sin, and for sin, has condemned sin in the flesh,
    2 Corinthians 6:1
    But [as] fellow-workmen, we also beseech that ye receive not the grace of God in vain:
    2 (for he says, I have listened to thee in an accepted time, and I have helped thee in a day of salvation: behold, now [is the] well-accepted time; behold, now [the] day of salvation
    Isaiah 49:8
    8 Thus saith Jehovah: In a time of acceptance have I answered thee, and in the day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the land, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
    Luke 4:19
    19 to preach [the] acceptable year of [the] Lord.
    21 And he began to say to them, To-day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.

    For all accounts that is the jubilee message carried out to usward.
    Paul adds the cost of nonviolent discipleship in 2 Corinthians 6:3-13
    1)inevitable distress/hardships 6:4b
    2) political persecutions 6:5a
    3) physical wear and tear 6:5b

    And a self-portrait of the ambassador 2 Cor 6:8b-10

    It is in fact the lack of solidarity with God’s restorative mission that inhibits them.
    2 Corinthians 6:11-13
    The reality check is that such work requires a discipleship of nonviolence that can prove costly in the real world of empire and it's discontents.
  2. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Devoted to Truth Supporter

    continued from last post

    A House Divided Cannot Stand ~~The Gospel vs Caesar

    Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospels was an anointed man who ministered to the poor, relentlessly challenged the rich and powerful and was executed as a political dissident .

    Luke 11:47-54
    47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. 48 So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”

    53 As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say

    Yet the call of the gospel was to a vocation of advocacy for the oppressed, of love for adversaries, and of non-violent resistance to injustice played out inside the matrix of subjugation of the Jews under the Roman Empire.
    We need to go back to 1 Samuel 8:5-7 to realize that they had first rejected God in finding themselves at this outcome and had been warned of the consequences 1 Samuel 8:11-17. The moral of the story: a people freed from slavery had re-created Pharoah’s society of domination.
    But the Jubilee proposed was not for some distant heaven because He has said “the time is now, the Kingdom is here” hence the empirical rule of Caesar was on it’s way out by all intents and purposes.
    Fishers of mankind would bring them to the good news from on high. Not to be overlooked however is the Hebrew root that the metaphor refers to; the Lord God said at the time of Israel’s restoration from captivity, that the wayward of His people will also be captured by Him.

    Jeremiah 16:16-17
    16 “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes.”

    We can see that in this Jesus of Nazareth “the same prophet who ‘disturbs the peace’ of the political status quo in order to advocate for ‘true shalom with justice’ also demands His followers to embrace a deeply personal nonviolence based on transformation and reconciliation, communally, that leaves no conflict unresolved. Matthew 5:21-25
    And He had a strident warning against behaviour that objectifies or exploits. Matthew 5:27-32
    Also in His words for victim responsibility, beginning with an exhortation to ensure one’s testimony be truthful Matthew 5:33-37 because a perjurer is no longer a victim but a violator who must be exposed. Matthew 5:38-42
    Culminating His instructions on restorative justices in its love for enemies. Romans 12:20

    The adversary must be held accountable, but never dehumanized, never hated and certainly never killed. An ethic predicated on the character of God ..

    Romans 5:10
    For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

    Be mature as your heavenly Father is mature Matthew 5:48 for the intended purpose for which we were created in love must ultimately include our enemies.
    Specifically like God in this way.
    It’s the reliable foundation on which our ‘remodelled’ house must stand Matthew 7:24-27 with the least (victims) and the lost (perpetrators) at the centre of community concerns.

    *notes from Ambassadors of reconciliation ` Chad Myers & Elaine Enns

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  3. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Devoted to Truth Supporter

    The case of the crippled Israel is reminiscent of the movie 'The Secret Garden' :)

    In the study of Phronesis we find the scarlett thread weaving around and past the time of Judges to land in Ruth with the generations of Pereez (descending from Judah)

    Ruth 4:18-22, Genesis 38:28-30

    accumulating in the birth of David (one who, because of ancestry, would not have been allowed in the Levitical temple)

    In fact the scarlett thread began with Pereez’ birth but was accredited to the twin left unnamed. Thoughts on Grace

    Salmon was one of the spies that became the wife of Rahab (also of the scarlet thread) that is found in the genealogy of Christ.

    The name Jesse means God’s Grace. And of course Boaz is representative of the Kinsman redeemer.

    Ruth 4:18-22
    18 Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19 Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, 20 Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, 21 Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, 22 Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.

    Imo the structure given is repeated at Ruth and begins again with Hannah's answered prayer of the 'anointed'

  4. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Devoted to Truth Supporter

    Body soul and spirit of biblical translation can be viewed within the structure of the tabernacle in the wilderness quite simply. Outer court, Holy Place and Holy of Holies comparatively with the historical, moral and mystical of the writings. Circumcision of the flesh, with the protective covering of the moral code, ultimately protecting the spirit of the law and then the ideal with it’s circumcision of the heart which contains within the germ of life.

    We are 3-fold in our existence, as the Godhead is:
    -sinner in the world
    -priest in the Holy Place
    -glorification in Eternity (from glory to glory)

    As a sinner we offer ourselves a living sacrifice daily, as a priest to worship and intercede, then in glorified resurrected power growing from glory to glory.
    Picture the Tabernacle as an Xray of Yourself
    In fact a good read of this (not too long) old thread can explain it best

    Foundational is the historical sense , while those seeking wisdom must understand the moral content within the words written (Book of Proverbs) recognizing that one must leave behind the vain things (Ecclesiastes) to hasten on to the eternal lasting things of oneness with the Great “I Am’ (Songs of Solomon) clothed in the images of love.

    Scripture is made up of the seen and the unseen things. 2 Corinthians 4:18 what can be seen is temporary and what can not be seen is eternal. Scripture consists of the body which is the visible letter, the soul which is the meaning found within it, and a spirit which has something of the heavenly within it. They serve as the copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary. Hebrews 8:5 In seeing this let us not seek out the letter but the soul and in doing so we will ascend to the spirit.
    Body, soul and spirit of the biblical account of the fall of humankind:

    The historical (fleshly) aspect of the fall is a condition of cause and effect. Cain is told how to deal with flesh (sin nature) that the fall produced. (Meant for both the male and female aspect of the human creature.) The connection is the serpent that s given dust to eat and the (old) nature obtained from the fall as bottom of satan's food chain. He is as a roaring lion looking for whom he may devour. The only safety is in the new creation.

    Looking past that to the moral of the story (using reasoning of the soul) , God has lost the key element (death of the spirit of humans that is connection to God). For that there are consequences to pay.

    When relating God to morality we can see that giving birth to new creations has become difficult and painful stemming from the fact that another husband (referred to as old nature) now has dominion over the creature. For God that is the consequences that He has had to absorb into Himself but with the safeguard to Himself that protects against that contacting Himself directly.

    Cain points to the spiritual solution but which was unobtainable for him, could never be because it comes from the old earth. Only death to the old nature in the form of a substitute could save him. But the cost becomes obvious when seen what ‘natural’ man (old adam) tend () toward. Death to Abel (the ability to do good?)

    Spiritually, morally and factually Jesus Christ came thru the fog of reasoning to present the real substitute to give back to God that which had been usurped from God. His work in the heavenliness is for the new creation's benefit. Like a household that is without the head (kingship) present the Old Testament representatives were faithful stewards. The new testament presents the bride waiting on His return.

    Like any household today the mature are perfectly capable of running the household while the Husband is away but when He returns home the weaker gives place to the stronger. The stronger is the spiritual, the soul gives place to the spiritual (which is our reasonable service) so the body is correctly ruled. Jesus wondered Himself if there would be any faithful at His return, whether the church would step down to receive Him.

    Therefore, Christ’s rule in one’s heart is the correction of the fall that is represented in His finished work. Morality cannot be found in the flesh, but the spiritual can be found in the morality when placed at Jesus' feet.

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  5. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Devoted to Truth Supporter

    1 Corinthians 2:12
    Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
    Romans 8:15
    For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    Binding and Loosing

    To bind means to condemn, and to loose means to forgive. Binding satan’s influence over self looses the freedom of forgiveness provided at the cross Matthew 6:10, Revelation 11:15, Matthew 4:17, Romans 16:20 and is the meaning of the power of dominion. ‘For greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.’

    Matthew 18:18
    Truly I say to you, Whatever you bind on the earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on the earth shall have been loosed in heaven.
    John 20:23
    Whosever sins you forgive, they are forgiven them; and whosever sins you retain, they are retained.

    The Lord's way of condemning allows for one's own words and thoughts to do the condemning. Genesis 38:26, Ezekiel 36:31, Matthew 26:25

    The sinless Lord only was fit to condemn the woman caught in adultery and He refused to. John 8:1-11, Jeremiah 17:13. It makes me wonder if the power to bind and lose won't end up being a test upon the church and us as individuals because of being a test of Jesus' authority when He forgave the man lifted down thru the ceiling. The Pharisees sought to condemn Him because "only God can forgive sins" Luke 5:17-26

    John 16:8
    And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning …

    In conviction people condemn themselves. But it is God who forgives thru the accepted work of Christ Jesus. The bible says to basically forgive everyone everything or we will not be forgiven ourselves. That includes forgiving oneself for our own safekeeping. On earth as it is in heaven.

    1 Corinthians 4:5
    So then do not judge anything before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and make manifest the counsels of the hearts, and then there will be praise to each from God.
    1 John 3:20
    Because if our heart blames us, it is because God is greater than our heart and knows all things.

    Directly following the verse of sins forgiven or retained, Jesus made the point of saying ’blessed are they that believe without seeing' referring to Thomas's confession of 'my Lord and my God' John 20:24-29.
    Can there be salvation apart from that belief I wonder?
    "Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
    Belief that leads to a glorious life. Not w/o trials but is of the inheritance 1 Peter 1:4, 7 The spiritual world of the invisible is as real as any material thing. In fact that which is seem is merely a shadow of reality.
    1 Peter 1:8
    Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

    In the final analysis my stand must be with that which took place outside the camp, where the innocent, the neglected and those silenced by death are gathered together. ..Where Jesus suffered and died. Hebrews 13:12-16, Exodus 33:1-11
    Hebrews 13:10
    We have an altar from which those who serve at the tabernacle have no right to eat.
    Joshua 22:28
    And if they will say so, they shall answer them: Behold the altar of the Lord, which our fathers made, not for holocausts, nor for sacrifice, but for a testimony between us and you.
    As the red heifer that purified outside the camp so is Christ Jesus. Hebrews 10:12

    Moses was not a prophet but he was one to whom God spoke with face to face. Speaking against him brought about a leprose condition for His Holy Name’s sake Ezekiel 36:23 After all prophets merely heard from God in dreams and visions and not in face to face encounters where God shone on him in transformation glory. God dealt with him directly as Moses was beholding and reflecting God. Numbers 12:8, Hebrews 3:5, Revelation 21:11, Revelation 21:23-24, Proverbs 25:12

    The first healing performed by Jesus was to heal the leper, “Lord,”he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” The unclean outside the camp are willingly brought nigh to Him. Lepers knew that the willing Jesus could cleanse them but the priests wouldn’t have thought so. Them, as professional diagnosers, declaring the leper clean was giving an expert eyewitness account to the authenticity of the miracle. Romans 12:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17
    Matthew 10:8
    Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.
    2 Corinthians 7:1
    Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God

    With the image of God exercising dominion over the enemy of God, God Himself completes His rest, we find our rest, and the rest is yet to come. Hosea 2:21-23, Matthew 6:33

    2 Corinthians 3:18.
    "And we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit."
    The Lord Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, There are some of those standing here who shall by no means taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. And after six days Jesus takes with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brings them up into a high mountain apart. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as the light."

    Simply, beholding and reflecting ‘as in a mirror’ at the transformative figure of Christ , heaven finds it’s way to earth and death and the grave are swallowed in victory in a new creation’s life.
  6. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Devoted to Truth Supporter

    I'm leaving this forum and ftr I believe that the first post of this thread and this last one to be God's word that He has passed on for the saints. No others will I claim to be the word of God except these because other people have influenced the understanding of the rest. But not these two. IMHO they are "And God said" I believe my mission to have only been to the saints and not to unbelievers and hopefully I have been able to help. God bless you saints and sinners alike with the Presence of Himself in your lives. Sianara once again.

    As members of one body the Father has bestowed gifts to all for the purpose of edifying one another .. and .. all are to bring their gifts to the table. 1 Corinthians 14:26, Romans 12:5-18

    Being confident in His care and His love, growing from infancy to maturity in moral character, 1 Corinthians 14:20 we're at the same time being fitted together as living stones building up His temple, knowing that our own care for each other spiritually establishes the other great commandment of one heart toward each other Jeremiah 32:38-40, Ezekiel 11:19-20, Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35, Matthew 6:21 in all heart, soul, mind and strength. Romans 15:1, 1 John 2
    So vertically and horizontally the cross is doing it's work. Peace becomes established when we don't take on His Name in vain. Exodus 20:7, Isaiah 29, Matthew 15:7-9

    In deed that is vanity. Being aware that the battle is not against flesh and blood, flesh and blood needs also be aware that the alternative is fighting against God. John 3:17-19, Jeremiah 7:4-11, Hebrews 3:8, Hebrews 3:15
    As people separated to the Lord we reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son together in making ourselves ready for His return Ephesians 4:13-14, Revelation 19:7, Matthew 5:14-16 while the Savior fights the battle against the world/satan and self for us. 2 Corinthians 2:15-17, John 8:12.
    In always keeping His return in sight we can't slack off but be vigilent as keepers of the house that awaits in faith. Luke 18:8, Matthew 5:13, 2 Peter 1:10 “He spoke a parable to them that men ought always to pray and not to faint.” Matthew 25:29, 1 Peter 4:10, Titus 2:11-14

    1 Peter 1:17-21
    Psalms 2 Is the key here that may not seem obvious to some.

    There's an attribute of God as to His mercy and justice that is carried thru-out the prophets and psalmists and given a different emphasis of meaning to each as it has related to their own experiences. Nahum 1:2-3 in vindication. Or repentant community Joel 2:13 In fact Jonah used it in a prayer motivated by anger to accuse God! Jonah 4:2 Others used it for hymns such as Psalms 111:4, Psalms 112:4, Psalms 145:8 or a song of thanksgiving Psalms 103:8 and as an individual lament in Psalms 85:5 Psalms 86:15. The same attribute used in prayer Numbers 14:18; Jeremiah 32:18 and in supplication Nehemiah 1:5 and used to sustain even the guilty Nehemiah 9:27-28, 31.
    All of which shows forth God’s care for each individual that comes to Him as well as for His inclusive care of His Family.
    Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 5:9-10; Exodus 20:5-6; Deuteronomy 5:3; Deuteronomy 7:9-10
    In all it shows a balanced picture that entails scripture itself revealing multiple levels of interpretation of itself that involves a process of understanding.

    But I especially love how God Himself drew the picture of His own hermeneutics of Mercy and Justice, offering the interpretative clue within the text, in the form of shelter, shade and wind to bring it into present context. (re: Jonah 4:5-11) In this can be seen (individually) how His ways are so much higher than our own while also (nationally) how the Jews were shaded by the law but tribulation came from the wind of change to those who didn't accept Gentile/Jewish/bond/free/etc inclusiveness of the new covenant as seen in the destruction of temple, sacrifices and priesthood (the book of Hebrews). Jonah would rather have died than see Nineveh saved.

    The old covenant only had the shadow of good things to come, protecting them in the land of promise from temporal evil, but emptied out and faded away in captive dispersion. Jonah only enjoyed the shade for one day before the caterpillar came and ate it gone. Then came the heat of the east wind. Jonah’s values were backwards. He cared more for the plant life than he did for the higher forms of life of animals and human beings. He was being fleshly and not of soul or spirit. Thankfully God is nothing like that and cares about all of our life and salvation. So in the final analysis, like Jonah it doesn’t necessarily follow that the church of God can build it’s own little shelter to watch the walls of our own little Nineveh tumble down.

    Elijah also had extreme despondency but his was in zeal for the glory of God, Isaiah 33:16 while Jonah mourned the loss of his own glory. Philippians 2:21

    God provided both the whale and the worm just as He provides for both the huge and little things in our lives. Our own shelters, built with human hands, do nothing against God's other provisions of wind and scorching sun. Raining fire upon Nineveh isn't always a part of His plan no matter how much we think it should be. Jonah 1:12, Jonah 4:3, Jonah 4:8 Jonah lost the vine for protection but he still had God. And from that picture we can see God and humankind reasoning together to come to the fuller understanding. Ephesians 4:13-14

    Once again, in the final analysis, conformity to His Divine Will, by continuing or ceasing from a work, as the Lord’s servant, is compared to the vanity of doing things in vain without His blessing. We can’t all make the sun stand still. Instead we look to the Captain of Salvation and realize (the reality of) where our post did began and on what He says it ends. according to our posts as ambassadors of Christ with a ministry of reconciliation to show forth His manifold wisdom to the principalities. Ephesians 3:10-11 not to mention the great cloud of witnesses. In this we must not forsake gathering together.
  7. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Devoted to Truth Supporter

    I was born as bad off as I could get. I couldn't stop doing things totally wrong and I knew that before I'd really lived, I knew I was condemned to die. That old wicked one that ruled this world had me rocked to sleep in his arms. I had no idea how lost I really was. I mean, I lived in the material world and my whole self moved in the physical, yet half of me was dead. I couldn't have pleased God if I'd tried b/c I was totally unable to. I was not only spiritually dead, but I was accountable for sins of mine and also sins I'd inherited. But the most fearsome thing of all was that I was under the control of Satan. I needed help desperately

    It was at this time that I looked up and saw Jesus standing there, reaching His hand toward me. He said he wanted to show me the way to safety and this way was now mine. It made me feel so good when He said that in this "gracious state" He would be with me to supply all my needs.

    REGENERATION (Born again)
    I began to wonder how all of this was possible and must have asked out loud b/c Jesus said that He would tell me of "our Father's" plan. He actually said that He's my Father, too. Am I awake? Anyway, our Father has a plan to bring His children home. Jesus called it a "new birth". He said our Father had made the plan for us and Jesus made it happen by laying aside His heavenly power to come live among us. Then when the creation (in actuality) killed the creator, God rose Jesus up, along with His human body, up from the dead. And the Holy Spirit carries on the work Jesus began. (This Holy Spirit is apparently also responsible for the wake-up call on my spiritual self) (I'm beginning to see how important that is)
    But for the most it was getting way over my head. And being a wee baby christian, over my head was not high up.
    So, He continued on, in His loving voice, to tell me that to have a new nature I needed to have a new father. (What! Satan gets the boot from my life?) My Father wasn't giving me a new body, but He was giving me a new life.
    The Holy Spirit awakens new areas in my life as God speaks His Word into it. He says it's like a soda pop that grows larger as bubbles are blown into it. I think I actually understood that.
    And so, know what I did? I just looked at Jesus and reached out my hand to Him. And He did the most amazing thing! He put my hand in my Father's Hand! I couldn't believe my ears when my Father said "On the basis of Jesus' shed blood on the cross, you may now call me Father."

    Then, as I stood open-mouthed, God took a huge book marked "accounts" and said He was going to record our transaction. I didn't understand what He meant but as I peered at what He was doing it began to make sense. First I saw that my account had a huge debt going all the way back to Adam and Eve. Then I saw Him cross off all my debts and transfer them into Jesus' account. Jesus is now responsible for all of my debts!! And if that isn't amazing enough, He also transferred all of Jesus' credit into my account!! I knew that gave me the right to get into heaven itself! I couldn't believe it!! Me, a nobody, and here's this Jesus saying to the Father " She has sinned. I don't plead for leniency. I don't ask you to ignore her sin. But" Jesus said to Him "I offer you a full and complete payment. Charge it all to my account" And the heavenly Father accepted. I must be in heaven!!!

    When the shock of this most amazing thing had worn off I was left with only one question. "WHY?" I was then led to understand (thru the Spirit, I guess, I don't know, but I suddenly just knew) the necessity of accepting payment from Someone else. From Someone like me, yet unlike me, sinless, as a substitute for my debt. Because if He didn't pay for them, then I was going to have to pay for them myself and the price was beyond description.

    Suddenly I was standing face to face with the truth. My thoughts began to move in a different direction. I realized what my former status was; that thru accepting help I had accepted God's offer to meet the need in my life. I no longer saw things in the same light. Once I was lost and didn't know I needed a Savior. I hadn't known how guilty and helpless I was. Thank You God, Jesus has found me. Thank You God that You found me Jesus.

    You know, I really see Jesus as a kinda big brother to me. I'll be honest with you. I was on the slave-block of the world. Now I know a purchase was necessary. Big Bro accomplished that for me. And it wasn't so easy for Him to make it so that I never see that slave market again. The price was blood and the method of payment was thru death. He's my redeemer and He says the destination He's bringing me to (and my body as well, in a better form) is a glorious inheritance. Can you believe this? All for free!

    Oh this is weird. I could hear someone speaking to me in the Spirit. God was saying that according to him the world is out of balance and needs to conform to the standards He has set. So, what did that mean to me? Well, I knew that Adam had provoked ALL my privileges originally and Jesus had given them back to me...so...I listened carefully. He was saying that He'd been right all along and that now I was back on His wavelength, not Him on my wavelength. I knew this was a new dimension brought on by what Jesus did. People need to be told about this or how will they know that's it's here. God has the way for the world to return to Him. He didn't need to return to me but I needed to return to Him.

    OK, so let me get this straight
    Jesus redeemed me: brought me out of sin ..
    I'm reconciled to God: Jesus opened the door to God ..
    God is free to act on my account:
    I know now that I can't change God's attitude toward me because i know inside He is loving and merciful
    ( He's not like those heathens whose form of good sport is spearing fish in a bucket, who take verse out of context to hang their dirty pool doctrine on and who are repelled by goodness in others)
    I only need to speak softly to Him for Him to hear me. The concern He has for my needs and the delight He has in meeting them has found a home in my heart.

    So what is the logical conclusion of all this? Is it just that a Holy and Righteous God accepts me, a sinner, into His Presence? There had to be more. And He mentioned "glorification" and said that was yet to come. For now all I could figger out was that God's saving work takes place instantaneously upon faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no logical procession. IT JUST IS.
    In God's sight I am righteous and complete, thanks to Jesus. And there is nothing that belongs to Him that He has not shared with me, apart from His essential diety. It's all so overwhelming and amazing. Outside of Christ and His work I'm guilty and condemned to God's wrath. Yet to be with Christ I stand equited.
    My oh so imperfect mind finds it hard to wrap around these facts. I mean, ..what God is doing...to think I needed..needed... Jesus' blood.
    It's now so easy to believe. And i feel that I'm no longer alone. I'm still in this the world but the material and the physical aspects of life are now under the control of the spirituality within me. I feel whole now, I find myself wanting to do good b/c of the place of high esteem I find myself.


    But how could I be sure? Had He really saved me or had He only provided a chance to be saved? I mean, does He do this healing thing for me? or am I supposed to contribute something on my part? How could I find out? I decided then and there to test this "coming to our Father thru Jesus Christ thing."
    I screamed out "Will this always be mine?" I was so afraid I would mess it up. Jesus said" Some people use me as if by my death they inherit all I stand for, but reject that I am alive and full of power. Have truth behind your convictions and you will not lose rewards. That is your work.
    This is the work of God for you; The Father's work is basic to your security, b/c He is able to keep and save you. His only offer being eternal life. His offer of love is the basis of security. My work," Jesus continued " is to provide a payment no enemy can ever challenge to your being at home in God's presence. And the Holy Spirit's work is to permenantly construct a temple within you placing God's seal upon you. As I am to the Father so also are you to Him. Do you understand now that now I would never leave you" Yes, I thought perhaps I did.

    But having adventured thus far into conversation with the great "I AM" now I asked if He could possibly explain to my limited mind all about the infinite God. Why am I here? Am I a part of the purpose and the plan? What, where, and when and how and all of it? Please tell me Lord, I need to know.
    "You cannot possibly know it all, " He answered me, "yet listen to this. God settled upon one plan, in the beginning, and He had one purpose. He established an irreversable decree - that is based on the law of love. In doing so He limited Himself to a specific course of action. He knew the events that would take place and no human will can ever set limits on them. God also knows who will be included in His plan and who will fulfill His Divine purpose. He elects those based on His will and not on whether they are good or evil, from amongst all of the lost. All humans are cursed, but election is of grace ; to conform you to My glory. Our Father's will, will be accomplished.
    And thru the ministry of the Holy Spirit, He will give you the power to respond. No one can come to Me unless the Father has sent him. All are rendered savable yet all are not called. You could not be here unless He had enabled you to respond. And He did that b/c it suited His purpose to do so."

    "But" said I, "what is the final outcome for me then?" I knew I was pushing it but, well, "could you be more specific? Like where do I fit into this cosmic plan? I know it's in relationship to what You did, but, like, how?" My brain was stalling for time so I could think, but hey, really, where were we going with this? I suppose what I really wanted to know was, what about death? How do I get from here to there?

    Amazingly He picked up exactly where my thoughts left off. "My purpose" my Lord began " was foretold from the beginning of mankind thru Words spoken by God's chosen people. The prophesies were fulfilled when I came for the purpose of giving life (I knew He meant the awakening of the spiritual life) (I was catching on!) to those who believe that I lived on the earth and that I died and that our Father has given a powerful new life in heaven, having the same body as before death. All this was done for the purpose of giving you gifts in this life and also the gift of eternal life.

    All those who believe this is true will join Me. I Am the proof that God can do this for you also. I, Jesus, was the first to show you where death leads. When i arose from the dead I gave you power in your life and I will maintain that for you. That same power is what carries you heavenly, your spirit first and your body to follow, after physical death, to be with Me forever. Trust Me for it. This is My work."

    I do trust you Jesus. Thank you