Monday, March 4, 2019

Signs and Wonders

“Tomorrow is another day that I get to show you how much I Love you.”

The following is a voice recording of a sermon from The Dwelling Place church group on Sunday, 03 March 2019--meeting at Hope & Light. The subject is Signs and Wonder. I have included Bible verses below that correspond to the sermon, and some supplemental notes and scriptures (although not all were used in the sermon).

Mark 16:15-18
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

When the Devil convinces Christians that it's him doing the healings, signs, and wonders; you will not only reject them and the Holy Spirit doing them, but also blaspheme those who perform them.

Signs and Wonders from the Lord

The Signs and Wonders Jesus and the Disciples performed all brought glory to God the Father. Jesus only did what He saw the Father do which gives us a precise definition of what are Signs and Wonders from God. None of which caused harm or condemnation to whom they were ministering to. Jesus even rebuked John and for wanting to call down fire from heaven (Luke 9:51-56).

Acts 2:21-22 KJVS
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.

Acts 4:29-31 KJVS
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Acts 6:8 KJVS
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

2 Corinthians 12:12 KJVS
Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

Hebrews 2:3-4 KJVS
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Kingdom Divided

We should never confuse what is of the Lord and of Satan. Jesus, too, clarified that for us. And moreseo, He let us know that God’s Kingdom cannot do what Satan’s kingdom does; nor can Satan’s kingdom do what God’s Kingdom does. For Satan to heal would divide His kingdom. And for God to bring sickness would divide His Kingdom.

Luke 11:14-20 KJVS
And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others, tempting him , sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

False Signs and Wonders of the Devil / Satan

Satan cannot do the same signs and wonders as God does. This means Satan cannot heal or perform the Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Signs and Wonders of God did not die away with the Disciples, they are for today—God’s Word is living and active; if they died away, His word would be dead too. Any sign and wonder by Satan will not bring Glory to God, but be a deception against the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 KJVS
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come , except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let , until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him , whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Matthew 24:23-25 KJVS
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.

Works of the Father

As mentioned above, Signs and Wonders of the Lord bring Him Glory and are to bring people to Himself through Christ. The Will of the Father is that all come to Him (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

John 4:34 KJVS
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

John 5:17-21 KJVS
But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them ; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

John 6:29 KJVS
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

John 9:3-5 KJVS
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 10:25-30 KJVS
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

John 14:8-14 KJVS
Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then , Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Heart of God - Part II


One thing the Lord laid on my heart in my studies over the years is the topic of the point of me having to answer the question, "Who am I?"

Let's start with God's original Creation. He set into motion a governing Law of Design. Firstly, He Himself created every plant, every animal, and every human at the beginning. From the 7th Day of creation, He has been resting, no longer creating anything more. Having, from those days instructed each plant, each animal, and each human to "reproduce after its own kind."

So, as human, we are the by-product (offspring) of the first humans: Adam (that is both male and female). And from that beginning, all mankind are offspring of them: the resulting product (child) reproduced after its own kind (their parents). And we can see this result in the appearance of the child representing both the male and the female parent whom created the child. The child bearing the image of their creator (their parents).

Genetics, biology, and science has confirmed this Law of God's Creation. Trees reproduce trees, cats reproduce cats, dogs reproduce dogs, fish reproduce fish, birds reproduce birds, etc. And humans reproduce humans. Quite simple.

Because we are created by our parents, we identify ourselves with them. Even the nature vs nurture upbringing defines that identity, engraining positive/negative nurturing and positive/negative DNA. Instilling habits, iniquities, beliefs, physical characteristics, and more, from parent to child. We, in that sense, become our parents.

But here is where we confuse our identity and are often deceived in it, both as children and as parents. Our identity is not who bore us or who raised us, our identity is and should always be the Lord! For it is the Lord (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) that said at Creation that we humans are, "made in THEIR Image". Something we have lost in those thousands of years since Adam.

Since that time, history has shown that humanity loses or forgets this Identity in the Lord. They are our True parents, representing all the characteristics of humanity in gender and race. Even our existence as Spirit, soul, and body makeup (as triune beings) is represented by the Trinity of Father, Holy Ghost, and Son (Jesus Christ): Father the Spirit, Holy Ghost the Soul, Jesus Christ the Body. They are our source of existence; and from that one source we have all variety of human, but all humans have their identity in the Lord.

It is humanity in their fault and deception that lose this Truth that the Lord is their Parent. So much so, that from Adam walking in the Garden with the Lord to Noah, humanity lost their relationship with the Lord. Adam walked with God (relationship). Noah walked with God (relationship). But by that time of the Flood, Noah was the only one who maintained that Parent/Child Identity towards the Lord.

The Lord had to restore that Identity into humanity, starting over again; grieving Him that His children (humanity) lost their identity and relationship with the Lord. And thus, He brought about the Flood to start again to have that one and only desire of relationship back with His offspring.

Yet, once again, humanity repeated their distancing from the Lord and their Identity in Him, rejecting relationship. So instead of another Flood (which He swore would never happen again), He built on the relationship with those who still Identified with Him: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the like. And to help protect (in separation) a group of people after Him, brought about the great nation of Israel; establishing through Moses a covenant and set of Laws that helped them avoid the deception of sin that mentally and figuratively robs a person’s identity in the Lord.

Yet what was meant to keep sin from deceiving them in their relationship with the Lord, the Law became their deception. Israel (in general) became so obsessed with obeying the Law and Laws of Moses, they let it become their identity over their relationship with the Lord. Misunderstanding the purpose of the Law, many hardened their hearts because they sought out the Lord in the scriptures, not in an openness of heart and relationship with the Lord. But not all hardened their hearts.

Yet, because so many did, the Lord once again made a plan to be able to restore relationship and identity with all humanity—Israel (the Jews) first, then everyone else (the Gentiles). And not through a Flood, or through a Law, but now through a Saviour (Christ Jesus).

Though, time and time again (even now), humanity creates identity division, the Lord unifies. Humanity first creates a divide between gender and race; and from that the divide of status, culture, economics, religion, etc. Yet God demonstrated through Christ a unity in all those things; Christ embodied the original Adam (both male and female) and the original Identity we must see ourselves as; and raise our children as.

Whatever your surname or title is; or whatever your historical, paternal, natural, physical, mental, or genetic "identity" is, it should never usurp your True Identity as a child and direct offspring of God (the Lord). This is the biggest understanding of what it means to be Born-Again: your own personal identity you have known, being rejected in an instance; and taking to heart, mind, and soul your new True Identity as a child of God and twin sibling to Christ Jesus.

Matthew 23:9
Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

This is Christ telling us not to make our identity that of our dad (parents)—making our lineage or surname who we are. For we must always see ourselves and raise our children as Children of the Father in Heaven!

And from that new positional Identity, we are instructed to renew our minds! Which is putting aside all we had learned and held onto before as our identity, our personality, our thinking, our believing, our actions, our reaction, and our own defined way-of-life; into His way of Life (Kingdom Ways) of who we really Truly are--accepting what HE says we are instead of what WE think we are. Accepting our new nature as His Child. This is what He has always wanted and the reason He created us! “For as Christ Jesus is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

Gender and Racial Equality

When God created Adam, He was made whole and perfect. When, from that male, God created female, she too was whole and perfect. They existed as one, having come from one. Unified. Before they ate of the wrong tree, they were both called Adam. It was only after the Fall that they had two separate names: Adam and Eve. Unity broken.

When Jesus Christ came, He was created as Adam (the second Adam) and imbued all the characteristics of both male and female. Made perfect and whole. He was the unified genders once again as God created and as God has always seen--God never saw or sees male and female as unequal; He only sees them as HE created them.

And though, in humanities own imagination, inequality was created, Christ came to demonstrate what God holds true. We must never treat as unequal what God has always held as one and the same. Marriage is that demonstration of unity...not two halves making a whole, but two equals unified into one. Just as The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three wholes unified as One (not three "thirds" making one).

But moreso, in our individual lives, we must reject the notion that males and females have separating strengths and weaknesses when it comes to emotions, personality traits, wisdom, gifts, and the like. Since male and female are of the same created clay mould, we all have the same characteristics of life. Jesus demonstrated exactly that...this imbued male and female "persona" (for lack of a better word).

So, whether you are a male or a female, Christ is your representation of who you are. The same emotions. The same personality. The same love languages. All those things we tend to classify in this world. And without striving to acquire all that as ONE in you, He has made you that already.

Let go of the world's definitions and divided restrictions to humanity (whether it be male/female, Jew/Gentile, or slave/free); we are all unified by Christ. Thus, look at Him and all He did, and see yourself. Because as He is, so are we in this world! And each of us have the same Blessings, Holy Spirit, Gifts, and all!

Never see yourself as lesser, incomplete, lacking, or unequal. We are all made equal from the same ONE!

Yet it still amazes me how so-called God-loving or Christian people falsely use God in their rhetoric for their belief that racism and gender discrimination are acceptable. I don't know that god that they proclaim supports them or "their country". The God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Ghost I know, created all humans in their own gods (John 10:32-38). Thus, if we firstly all stemmed from the same God the Father through Adam, and secondly, now moreso, from the same God the Father through Christ Jesus, how cannot all be equal (one of the same)? God treats us all the same—same Grace and same Mercy. So, I’m saddened by what a person or a church falsely believe about their god and their own twisted justification for racism or gender discrimination. I will always hold true to my God the Father that truly proclaims:

Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile), there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Every human being falls under the blanket of Christ and His accomplishment through the Cross. The word 'Greek' in that verse encompasses every single human being in all tribes and nations not of the Jewish nation. So, no matter what nation you come from, what gender you are, and whether you are a free person or tragically made a slave (which is not approved by God!), we are ALL EQUAL TOGETHER. Christ broke down the dividing barrier of the Law between Jew and Gentile!

Ephesians 2:14-18
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace; indeed, completely reconciling both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

It is this treatment of equality that demonstrates the heart of God, allowing any person at any time to come to Him in belief for Salvation. Since we have already been reconciled to the Father by Christ, there is no hindrance and no need for any self-justification to accept Him as a Loving Father (YOUR Loving Father). And as He demonstrates that equality of Love to us, so are we to others. God is Love (Agape Love), and we are to Love Him, Love others, and Love ourselves in and with that same Agape Love He Loves us with. And this is what that kind of Love looks like from Him and what it should look like from us:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love suffers long, and is kind; Love envies not; Love boasts not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hops all things, endures all things. Love never fails!

How Jesus Loved Everyone (His Heart as God's Heart) – The Details

Matthew 5:43-46
You have heard that it has been said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.” But I (Jesus Christ) say unto you, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”; that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

God’s Love pours out like the sun and rain on every human being on this earth. He treats every person with the same Love; for He is “no respecter of persons”: He cannot be to one and not to another—He is the same for everyone.

As I said previously, He does not hold us to higher standard than He holds Himself. Thus, this passage from Matthew can read: “God Love’s His enemies, blesses them that curse Him, does good to them that hate Him, and prays for them which despitefully uses Him, and persecutes Him”. This is His character, Jesus’s character, the Holy Ghost’s character, and our identifying character as His children (“that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven”). This is what Jesus preached, and this is what Jesus did.

The general mindset of humanity did not (and does not) see God as a Father. This is what threw off the religious types, and even (I feel) shocked the Disciples and others. The Pharisees could not fathom how Jesus could associate with “sinners and tax-collectors” because they had an “us and them” mentality to life. Jesus even accused them of holding back the Kingdom of Heaven:

Matthew 23:13
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

They (as some Christians do) judge and live by appearances. Holding against others, people’s fleshly sins, and masquerading themselves as without any faults, as a means to demonstrate themselves as self-holy (not God-Gifted Holy). Even trying to parade sin out to the world as something they don’t do through the dragging out and judging of the “woman caught in adultery”:

John 8:1-11
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.
But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

Yet, when it came to her and other “sinners and tax-collectors” (an identity label given by the Pharisees), Jesus saw and treated them as one’s not with a sin-identity, but as Children of the Father in need of them seeing themselves as Children of the Father. Not admonishing their sins, but bringing them into freedom from sin through Love—healing them, not judging them!

And this is how we must always treat and see others!

Jesus saw through the Pharisees and accosted them throughout Matthew 23 and the Gospels. The Pharisees did not want to let go of their identity in themselves, the Law, and their own self works of false-righteousness; as well as their identity as children of Abraham and Moses, not as a Child of their Father. And in their deception, became children of the devil (John 8:37-59).

Yet, even in this day and age, we have self-righteous churches and “Christians” who play the same role the Pharisees did: accusing others before God of sin. This was the role of the Devil as seen in the story of Job when Satan appeared before God to accuse Job (Job 1:6-12).

Yet Christ utterly stripped Satan of his power; casting this “accuser” him out of heaven!

Revelations 12:7-10
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Since Satan cannot accuse us before God, we are free from judgement. Yet, sadly, some Christians have now become the replacement accuser—pointing out sins of others and labelling people just as the Pharisees did. There is only one Sin that matters, not taken at the Cross, this is the sin of unbelief. All sins of the flesh were dealt with once-and-for-all at the Cross for every human being. There are thus no differential sins (no sins greater than others)—for they all have been eliminated on the Cross!

Hebrews 1:3
[Christ] being the brightness of [God's] glory, and the exact reproduced image of His nature and being, so upholding all things by the word of His power; when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down by the right hand of the Majesty on High.

Our role as believers is not to point out sin, but to point to God as a Father. To show others what Christ has done for them personally as well as all of humanity. To demonstrate relationship with the Father. To imbue LOVE! This is what Christ did, and He is who we are.

Jesus didn’t accuse or judge others in sin, He embraced and Loved. He was upset, not at those “sinners and tax-collectors”; but upset at religion that kept people out of relationship with the Father. Jesus, even going so far as chasing out the money-changers in the Temple twice (John 2:13-17 and Matthew 21:12-13). Everything that Jesus got angry at had to do with anything that stood in the way of people coming into relationship with the Father—a direct identity with Him, not through ritual or the religious leaders.

Additionally, the Samaritans, whom the Jews rejected, Jesus embraced. He treated the “woman at the well” with as much Love and compassion as anyone else; offering her Life.

John 4:7-10
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

Even though the woman herself had accepted the identity of a rejected Samaritan—not able to think highly of herself—Jesus accepted her. Religion separates, but as we read earlier, Christ unifies!

Likewise, Jesus cared for the Roman Centurion—of which the Jews at the time were in conflict with and rule under (the Romans). Jesus healed his servant and proclaimed he hadn’t seen such “great faith” in all of Israel. (Luke 7:1-10).

Jesus used this term of “great faith” with a Canaanite / Greek (Syrian of Phoenicia) woman as well, when He healed her daughter with a demon:

Matthew 15:21-28
Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Jesus was sent first to the Jews with a desire to “gather them under His wing like a hen” (Luke 13:34). But their rejection allowed Him to bring all humanity (Jew and Gentile) to Him that they would believe. All these that the Jews rejected, Jesus cared for as His own. The Jews did not want to be “identified” with any of them as they felt their religion (and the Law) separated them above anyone else.

Yet we too can fall into the trap of identifying ourselves with religion and not the Father. We often say as Christians, “I am a Baptist / Methodist / Protestant / Catholic / Calvinist / etc.” This is division. And placing that as your identity can usurp one’s identity with the Father—as we can hold true to ourselves a doctrine of man rather than the Truth of the Holy Spirit.

This religious trap is what Jesus scolded the Pharisees of, and what Paul also warned about!

Mark 7:6-9
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

Colossians 2:8
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

1 Timothy 6:3-5
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Galatians 1:6-9
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

These last verses from Galatians is Paul criticizing others who are falling back into Jewish customs. This includes him speaking to Peter who got caught in it; showing how easy it can be to become a “people-pleaser” instead of holding true to the Lord.

Galatians 2:11-16
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compel thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Poor Peter had a difficult time with the Lord’s Grace. Jesus marked Peter’s identity at the time as Jonah, calling him “Bar-Jonah”. And we can see similarities between Jonah and Peter. Jonah didn’t want the Ninivites to be in God’s Grace; likewise, Peter not realizing that God’s Grace was also poured out to the Gentiles (as Peter was called to spread the Word to the house of Cornelius). Jonah didn’t have the want and confidence to do what the Lord asked him to; Peter didn’t have the confidence either, denying Jesus three times. And Peter was in Joppa where Jonah tried to flee to. But we can see a change in Peter’s identity. We saw this same timid Peter, later filled with the Holy Spirit, boldly preach to thousands of people.

Yet, Peter faulted when confronted by other Jews to conform to some of their religious customs—Peter went into Cornelius’s house, but later separated himself from eating with the Gentiles. All for the sake of pleasing others. This is what we must avoid ourselves.

Anything that is a religion of pleasing others or pleasing God, is not the Gospel and is not Christian. There is nothing we can do to please or displease God; it is through His Grace and Faith of Jesus Christ. And because they did this for all humanity, it is a Gift! He redeemed all to Himself through Christ; Jesus Christ also bearing through His Stripes our sicknesses and diseases.

Our Identity as Healed

Our identity with Him includes health and healing!

Luke 13:10-13, 16
Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”

Sickness, disease, and infirmity has no place with God! The Lord does not, and cannot, bring upon anyone sickness, disease, or infirmity. It is a result of this current world, our choices, and Satan—never of the Lord. And because it is not of God, it should not belong to us. We must reject it upon our life; even if that identity of sickness, disease, or infirmity is placed on us by others!

With the man born blind, everyone knew him as the “blind man from birth”. They could not comprehend that this man, whom was healed by Jesus, was the same person. They rejected his identity with the Father because they could not let go of his identity as blind.

John 9:1-9
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

Even, in this instance with the “man born blind”, the disciples had a Pharisaic attitude by identifying the man with sin. Yet, Jesus confirmed it had nothing to do with sin. Likewise, also that the sickness had nothing to do with God—only the healing of Him. It does not and cannot glorify God—healing glorifies God. We must never let sickness, disease, or infirmity be our identity. And it should not matter if we develop it in life or are born with it; it is not who we are as children of the Father.

So does God work with Satan to bring misfortune on people to “teach them a lesson”? NEVER. To do so would divide His Kingdom as Jesus explained:

Mark 3:20-26
Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.” So, He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end.

One cannot work for the other (Satan for God / God for Satan); to do so would violate everything each kingdom stood for: Satan for destruction, God for Life. In that way, neither can God make sick while Jesus heals. Sickness is never a punishment from God (He only corrects with His Word); for Christ bore all our punishment at the Cross, and bore all our sickness by His Stripes.

Isaiah 53:4-5
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

1 Peter 2:24
Whom, His own self, bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Christ cleansed us of sin, unrighteousness, and sickness through agreement with God the Father. As such, we can never accuse God, Christ, or the Holy Ghost of bringing sickness into our lives or to others.

And since He bore all our transgressions, neither is God, Christ, or Holy Ghost bringing natural disasters to us. We cannot be judged at anytime in our life—judgement is reserved only for unbelievers upon Christ’s return. They are not sending floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, or the like upon this earth or upon anyone (whether a believer or not). We have been redeemed and set free!

How beautiful is it that we never have any means to fear God! To see God as Christ, and the Love they bring is to see all who the Father is! Christ removed any and all barriers in our lives for us to freely come to the Father through believing in Him. We truly have no excuse of sin, shame, or unworthiness. We have been deemed worthy to Him—so much so, that God the Father sent His only Son to die for us! That is how much you and I an all humans are worth to Him!

Conclusion – The Details

What is the heart of God towards humanity then in detail—especially in a world where we see strife, sickness, disease, turmoil, hate, love, kindness, generosity, greed, pain, suffering, and joy? Does He even care about our well-being, or is He just sitting back laughing at our misfortune (mocking us in our pain)? Is He angry with us, pouring wrath on us when we don’t meet His expectations? How can He be a Loving God when there is evil in the world—are Him and the devil a team to bring confusion on us?

Everything from these two posts covered the context of these questions. But the real detailed answer is to see what Christ did. This is the counter-question then to ask: Did Jesus treat anyone different than anyone else (show favoritism or rejection to any person or group of people—whether believers or not)? NO. Jesus demonstrated redemption to all people. He never brought sickness, strife, disease, pain, etc to anyone. He brought healing and Life! And to each and every human He interacted with, He demonstrated reconciliation (even to the stubborn Pharisees whom so oft rejected Him)—John 8 being my favorite example of Jesus interacting with those Pharisees that could not accept Him or the notion of reconciliation.

It is these Pharisees that witnessed Jesus healing (even in the Sabbath), engaging with Romans and Samaritans (non-Jews), and hanging out with “sinners and tax collectors" (going into their homes)—Jesus Himself even accused by the Pharisees of being a drunk and glutton because He ate well and drank wine (Luke 7:34). This frustrated Jesus, who angered at the religious rules and regulations that kept people from the Father. Yet, in that frustration and anger, He demonstrated all-peoples reconciliation and right-standing with God; not based on self-works, self-righteousness, or the Law—all of which the Pharisees were trapped in.

Thus, when we let go, ourselves, of religion (even Christian Religion), we can do as Christ did—treat everyone with Love and sameness. He never focused on sin, He focused on Life, Forgiveness, and Relationship with God as the Father. When we learn to let go and Love, we demonstrate Christ in us—because that is WHO WE REALLY ARE as believers:

1 John 4:17
Because as Christ is, so are we in this world.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Heart Of God - Part 1

Question:            What is the Heart of God?
Answer:               Jesus, and everything we saw Him do for the World.

Here are the explanations:

Too much of our take on humanity in this world is an “us and them” mentality. We form factions, clicks, and groups that define who we are; and relate to whom we want to relate to. We divide people up into gender, race, color, religion, region, age, and more. We never see equality and never treat everyone the same. Yet Jesus did: treat everyone the same!

This boils down to one starting fact: we are created in His image and are always that image. From His pure creation of Adam (as male and female), we have always maintained that same image. Humanity has never evolved out from God’s image. We are and will always be His children! So even though mankind through the ages (and now) reject and deny this family-image of our Creator and Father, He never rejects us as a child of His. We cannot ever not be His children—no matter if you believe in Him or not. God is not, and cannot be, a “respecter of persons”: which means that He cannot treat anyone different from anyone else [that He shows no partiality between people].

So even though some people do reject Him and turned from Him, He united again what humanity divided. He unified us through Christ! He didn’t come to rescue and bring to Himself a select (pre-selected) group of people—He came and rescued the whole entire world to Himself…you, me, everyone. This is God’s Heart for all humanity through all of time. And we see this as a both a whole (Part 1), and in all the details (Part 2) that were demonstrated by Jesus Christ in His personal ministry on this earth.

Part 1 – The Whole Picture

I want to hammer away at something that I feel the church sometimes misunderstands or misses: “for God so Loves the WHOLE world” (John 3:16). This verse is so widely known and advertised, yet we miss the meaning of it, rejecting the notion that God really Loves all humans, regardless of who they are, what they have done, or when they exist. GOD proclaimed His Peace towards all of mankind at the heralding of Jesus’s birth. ALL OF HUMANITY IS A PEACE WITH GOD!

Luke 2:10-14
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all [EACH AND EVERY] persons. For unto you is born, this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest! And on earth: peace and goodwill toward mankind.”

Even before Christ went to the Cross, all of Heaven was proclaiming that God is at peace with every single person. He wants peace because He treasures and values us beyond comprehension—to the point that He chose to destroy (sacrifice) His Own Son in exchange for us!

Matthew 13:44-46
Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; which when a man has found it, he hides it, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he has found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

This is the exchange God did for us. He sold all He had (Jesus Christ, His Son), and exchanged His own Son for us [we are the treasure and the pearl]. This exchange is what reconciliation means (katallassō, G2644):
  • ·      to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value
o   to reconcile (those who are at variance)
o   return to favour with, be reconciled to one
o   to receive one into favour

God used this exchange of His Son for the world (all humanity). Because through Jesus Christ, God was reconciling the whole world to Himself! Bringing the divide of humanity (Jew & Gentile, Slave & Free, Male & Female) to an end. Restoring what was lost through Adam, now unified once again through Christ! No longer living in the Fallen World of Adam, but living in the Redeemed World of Christ.

Romans 5:10,18
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

2 Corinthians 5:14-21
For the love of Christ constrains us; because we have made this absolute declaration: that if One (Jesus Christ) died for all, then were all dead. And that since He died for all, that they which are alive should now not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them; and rose again. Insomuch, that henceforth, know we no person (no one) after the flesh. Yes, though we perceived Christ according to the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Wherefore, whoever is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are (every single thing is) of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the entire world (all people) unto himself, not imputing (not taking into consideration) their trespasses (sins and misdeeds) unto them; and hath committed unto us this word: that all are reconciled. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did encourage you by us. So, pray in Christ’s behalf, as one reconciled to God! Because He made Jesus Christ to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ.

Before we believe on Him (while we were still sinners / enemies), He has reconciled us to Himself. And He did it through Christ, even before the Cross:

Matthew 5:23-24
Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remembers that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Jesus spoke this both to others, but also as what the Lord Himself does. He will not give us instruction to do that He Himself does not do—for He doesn’t require us to be “more holy” than Him. And thus, before God the Father sacrificed His Gift of His Son, He went and reconciled the world to Himself. And at the Cross, then finalized that statement. He removed the enemy that was sin, removing the sins of the flesh from each and every human being. Remember, He Loves the WORLD so much, that He gave His only begotten Son as a once-and-for-all-time sacrifice for those sins:

Hebrews 10:12,15-18
but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts [the Law of Love], and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

1 Timothy 2:3-7
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 John 4:7-10
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not, knows not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Romans 5:6-19
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one-man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so, death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (for until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

We did not do anything of ourselves to gain right-standing with God, He did it out His Love for us—out of His Heart! For just as sin passed to all human through Adam, righteousness passed to all humans by Christ. We did not have to believe in Adam for his sins to pass to us; likewise, we don’t have to believe in Christ for His righteousness to pass to us!

Romans 3:20-26
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 10:9-13
if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, “Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed”. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

This righteousness (right-standing) was given to us before we did anything to receive it (or means to claim it for ourselves). Christ’s act of full Faith gifted righteousness to all people before anyone believed for righteousness.

A “type and shadow” of this gifting before doing anything was demonstrated with Abraham:

Romans 4:7-13
Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Does this blessedness come then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith, which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

It wasn’t after his circumcision that he was made righteous, but he was given righteousness by faith (and that faith by the Word of God to Him). He was gifted the righteousness before he was the “father of all them that believe”. It was because of this gifting that he became that father. Just as through the gifted faith and righteousness of God given to and through Christ, God becomes the Father to them that believe. And although God is the Father to all humans, a person only accepts Him as a Father (Father-Figure) to them when they believe (just as those who believed for Abraham as their father).

We cannot come to God (into His throne room) until we are cleansed from all iniquity—as is signified in the Temple Sacrifices related to the Law. But this cleansing is not something we can do on our own to make ourselves right to come to Him—hence why the Temple Sacrifices never truly sufficed, because they never made the person truly clean.

Hebrews 10:1-4
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices, there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

So, in order for us to be able to come to Him, He had to make us right (clean) beforehand. And this is what Christ did, sacrificing Himself once-and-for-all-time for every person! And thus, Christ made everyone in right-standing with God so that they could come to Him; and moreso, receive every single benefit from God.

Here’s an analogy of what that looks like: For any tax-payer to be able to receive a refund on their taxes, they have to be in right-standing with the IRS (Tax Office). If you have neglected to file the necessary taxes, or have defaulted on your taxes in the past, or owe money to the IRS, you cannot receive any monies from them. But what if someone came along and resolved any missing tax filings, restored any defaults, and paid off any monies owed; then you would be able to receive monies available to you from the Tax Office. You could then go and claim that monies as your own.

This is exactly what Christ did. He resolved any and all of your errors in life, corrected all the defaults, and paid the price for all that you owed to God. He made you in right-standing (righteous) before God—before you did anything to deserve it; and before you did anything to accept it. Yet, this pre-given right-standing makes it possible for you to now go claim what is rightfully yours, and use what is fully made available for you—in this case, ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS!

This Forgiveness, Righteousness, and Reconciliation are free gifts to us—so that it is not by our own deeds or through the Law! Because we are not saved by our grace or by our faith, but by God’s Grace through Christ’s Faith—His Grace and His Faith also free gifts:

Ephesians 2:4-9
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by [God’s] grace you are saved through [Christ’s] faith; indeed, that not of yourselves, they are gifts of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

Does that mean all humans have been saved by God through Christ? NO! But it is gifted out to everyone for their acceptance. This is the demonstration of how much God Loves us—that He gave it all to us! Yet, never violating our free will, it will always be a person’s individual choice to accept this salvation—in this life before we die on this earth (or witness His Second-Coming).

Here’s another analogy: God, through Christ, has debited to everyone all this (including healing and health). As a believer, you use this debit in thanks and gratitude, accepting where and whom it came from. As a non-believer, you still use the debit, but not in recognition of where and whom it came from—in a sense, abusing the gift of Christ!

This is the parable of the ‘prodigal son’ (Luke 15:11-32) where the father had two children who inherited their father’s fortune. One son was a believer and stayed with his father. This son stayed with the father as a believer, yet was criticized for not knowing what he fully had inherited. For the inheritance is FREE for all to use—both to the believer and the non-believer. Each son being treated the same and receiving the same.

The other son was not a believer and went off using up the gift of inheritance. Yet what that ‘prodigal son’ did do that not all do, is he came to the end of himself, changed his mind / reasoning, and returned to the father. And the father never questioned the son, never asked him of his sins, never accused him, and didn’t condemn him—the father embraced him as a son before he even made it home, never recognizing him as anything but a son (a child).

Likewise, this inheritance given by the father of both sons, is the inheritance God our Father gave—the inheritance being Christ and all Christ did. The ‘prodigal son’ (non-believer) used up all that gifted inheritance. Yet, even then, the father did not come looking for him to point the finger, or to punish him in his sins. He couldn’t, because there are no strings-attached to the inheritance.

This abuse and failure of recognition of all that God did through Christ is what sends a person to Hell. This is the reality: that it is not a person’s sins (plural) that send you to Hell, but the one Sin of not believing in Christ and all that He did for YOU personally! His Gift to you is so great and so final, that Hell is the most reasonable / evenhanded / justly / rightful place for that rejection of Him. You are rejecting EVERYTHING He did out of His Love and Sacrifice—rejecting His Identity as yours! We have the choice to either accept ourselves as His, or not. This is why it hurts Him so much to see people go to Hell, because of how much He did to keep people out (His own Creation). It is His Will for all to come to Christ and be Saved (1 Timothy 2:4); but not all do.

Yet, whether we believe on Him or not, He treats us the same, because Christ accomplished all He did for all the world, not just believers. No sins of the flesh are counted against either believers or non-believers. This is why Paul writes that he cannot and will not see anyone (any person) in the flesh anymore.

2 Corinthians 5:14-16
For the love of Christ constrains us; because we have made this absolute declaration: that if One (Jesus Christ) died for all, then were all dead. And that since He died for all, that they which are alive should now not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them; and rose again. Insomuch, that henceforth, know we no person (no one) after the flesh.

This too, is why the Holy Ghost cannot convict us of sins. The only Sin He convicts of (which is the world) is the Sin of not believing on Him: the only sin not covered through the Cross. All other sins are of the flesh, this only Sin being convicted of is the one of the spirit to be Born Again.

John 16:8-11
And when he is come, he will reprove (convict) the world of Sin (because they believe not on me), and of righteousness (because I go to my Father), and of judgment (because the prince of this world is judged).

The Holy Ghost was poured out to every human being on this earth to minister and bring non-believers to Christ, but to also assist believers in their walk with the Lord. At Creation, the Holy Ghost hovered over the face of the earth; and now because of Christ, came back to all the world at Pentecost (which lost Him because of sin; then previously only upon select persons in the Old Testament).

Acts 2:17
And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh.

With the removal of the sins of the flesh for every human being, and God’s reconciliation with mankind, He can now be with every human being.

Jesus here explained what the Holy Ghost does:

1.       Convicts (convinces) the whole world of the Sin of not believing on Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will testify the Truth of Christ Jesus to everyone, trying to convince every person of that Truth to believe in Jesus Christ. There are no other sins the Holy Ghost (nor Father nor Son) can convict us of—none whatsoever! And is the only sin called for us to “repent” of.

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me.

John 16:13
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

1 John 5:5-11
Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

And no matter what sin a person commits, even the Sin of Not Believing, God cannot punish anyone in the here-and-now. For an unbeliever (the unjust), their punishment of only the Sin of Not Believing (not their sins of the flesh) is reserved until the day of judgment.

2 Peter 2:9

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.

2.       Convicts (convinces) the whole world of righteousness, because Jesus went to His Father. He is not saying He will convict believers of their righteousness, but convict the whole world that Christ’s righteousness is unto all (Romans 3:21-22)! This is His demonstration of Love to the whole world, speaking the Truth to every human being, that they are in right-standing with God—that God is not angry with them (Romans 5:1), and is not (as part 1 above), convicting people of their fleshly sins. That because Jesus Christ went to the Father, means He accomplished all He came to do on this earth to make amends for all human beings, now at the Right Hand of God the Father.

Hebrews 1:1-3
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Romans 4:7-8
Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Romans 10:5-10
For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law: That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise: Say not in thine heart, “Who shall ascend into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down from above); or, “Who shall descend into the deep?” (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For us to say someone is going to Heaven or going to Hell is denying the accomplishment of Jesus—we become the choosers of who “ascends” and who “descends”; making Laws and rules for righteousness in lieu of righteousness by the Faith of Christ. But remember, righteousness is separate from salvation—just because He has gifted out righteousness unto all, does not mean everyone is automatically saved; nor does it mean everyone benefits from that righteousness. It is “unto all”, but only “upon all” that believe. And furthermore, we must believe to be saved!

3.       Convicts (convinces) the whole world of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged! The whole world is being convinced by the Holy Ghost that the devil has been found guilty and cast out from Heaven like lightning:

Luke 10:17-19
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

And the proof the devil has been defeated and judged is our given authority over him through Christ Jesus! We do not have to succumb to his wiles, but can stand above all he can throw at us. The devil comes to destroy, but Christ came to bring us life more abundantly (John 10:10).

We get to show God’s Love by healing the sick, casting out devils, and breaking strongholds—and we can do these to/for non-believers (Just as Jesus did) to demonstrate the Father’s Power and Love; using the healing as a testimony to bring them to believe in Christ.

And this is where we get into the details of how God’s Love is demonstrated through the actions / inactions of Jesus Christ during His ministry on earth. Everything we see Jesus Christ do/not do, is the exact representation of what God does/cannot do.

To Follow at A Later Date: Part 2 – The Details