Friday, April 30, 2010

Suffering Sucks!

So I want to just quickly touch on two more points about suffering. We have talk about the idea of tolerance being an endurance and that endurance being a form of suffrage. {Click here and here to read those posts.} We live in a world that we are no longer citizens of is always going to be strange and uncomfortable. We learned that to suffer means to be affected by people. How do we respond to the people that affects us? Are we part of the remedy or part of the disease? Are we Christ like--always loving, always forgiving, always tolerating? So I would say tolerance is an indirect suffering . Basically it goes with the territory of being a Christian. We are commanded to tolerate and love one another.

The other more direct suffering we are commanded to do is "suffer the flesh". Now this is a phrase that I personally believe has been grossly misinterpreted. We must get one thing straight when it comes to suffering and that is...God does NOT cause suffering. If you want to believe in a God that is the author of suffering there are a bunch of other religions out there that have malevolent gods. God does not cause death, disease and misery just so He may be glorified. He doesn't cause death, disease and misery to test us. He doesn't cause death, disease and misery to purify us. I've never heard anything more twisted in my life! God's plan for you always has been and always will be fullness and life. Anything that happens in your life that is not life and fullness is NOT from God. God has NOT called you to a life of pain!

"The Lord said, "Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose; surely I will make your enemies plead with you in times of disaster and times of distress." Jer 15:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness{prosper,welfare} and not for evil{harm,calamity}, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

What God does do is work existing suffering as a result of being now strangers on this fallen planet, for his good and glory{Rom 8:28}. There is a huge difference. Sin, evil and the devil are the author of suffering, God is the facilitator for working a good result from the suffering. In that way he is glorified because the plan of the enemy to destroy has been defeated. Warfare! That is why we are called to rejoice in suffering because in doing so we are thwarting the devils plan. He has no hold over us.

When we read in the famous suffering book of 1 Peter he is talking about three different types of suffering. {read the whole book for an interesting take} One is the tolerance that we have already discussed. Two and three is to suffer the flesh. There are two types of suffering flesh...1}we do to ourselves 2} others do to us. So lets start with the first; another command in suffering.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Furious Love-The Movie

DVD Release scheduled for May 4, 2010.  Click for website link and purchase.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not Of This World

"If we discover a desire within us that nothing in this world can satisfy, also we should begin to wonder if perhaps we were created for another world." CS Lewis

“Paradise is our native country, and we in this world be as exiles and strangers”  Richard Greenham

"Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight...You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." John 18:36-37

So I started into another word study yesterday after doing my post on "tolerance".  I started thinking about how tolerance can be a little uncomfortable sometimes.  I think that is exactly for the quotes above.  Once we as Christians experience Jesus we have a totally different worldview.  In a way we do become strangers on this finite planet because we now live with an understanding of the infinite and eternal.  We have an understanding of absolute truth in a world where truth is always changing.  For this very reason how can we hold someone who has not had this experience accountable to our worldview?  We can bear witness and testify the truth, but not all will hear the voice of truth.  Jesus was OK with this, as should we be.  Remember not fighting, only making known.

The concept that we looked at yesterday is that of endurance.  To tolerate people that are different from us is sometimes a test of love and endurance.  We discussed how Jesus was extremely tolerant as he walked among us here on earth.  The almighty God in the flesh most holy and pure made it a point to interface with the most sinful and lost.  At no time condemning or judging{he saved that for the religious leaders that should have known better...why?...because their experience of God should have changed their worldview}.  To the lost and unclean Jesus always had compassion and ministered to them regardless whether they followed him or not.  The Greek word for minister is diakoneo meaning "to attend to anything that may serve anothers interests"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In a World of Tolerance

"Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men."  Voltaire

We hear so much of the word "tolerance" these days.  The 60s and 70s were all about "love".  The 80s were all about "me".  The 90s were "whatever" and now in 2010..."Tolerance".  Is it possible for Christians to be tolerant without compromising the truth?  I say yes.  I also say that we are  commanded by God in His word to be tolerant of one another; not only of fellow brothers in Christ but for non-Christians as well.  We as Christians should at least know the golden rule and that is to love one another.  Jesus even went so far to say that we should love our enemies.  But Christians seem to be the worse at this because they think that it will compromise their faith.  I did a post not to long ago on what I personally believe God meant by commanding us to love our here to read that post.

I want to take this post a little further and look at the word "endure".  If you read the definition above you will see that much of it centers around the idea of endurance.  I chose to use the definition of "tolerance" from Webster's Dictionary of 1913 {see above}since it lacks the "political correctness" of the present day definition which says..."sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own."  See the difference?  We need not indulge sin, but we must tolerate it and endure it in others.

Now in everything we should look at the life of Christ to be our guide as to how we should conduct ourselves while still here on the earth.  What I want to focus on is how we are to interact with non-believers.  How are we to tolerate them?   How did Jesus tolerate them?  It is well noted in the gospels that Jesus did not come to condemn or judge the world he came to save it.  Jesus allowed everyone to approach him.  His door was always open and he went through every open door.  Though he never sinned he was a friend to sinners, broke bread with them and ministered to them.  Some followed and some walked away.  Did Jesus stand there and yell "How dare you deny the truth of the living God!"? No, he let them walk away.  There was much wisdom in this because even though not all accepted him, the door always remained open.  He didn't burn any bridges with anyone.  Instead he let his love and righteousness plant the seed.  Sometimes it bore fruit and sometimes it didn't, but at all times He was tolerant as to the choice of the person.

Eye On the Ball

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Heart In Photos {1}

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Justice vs Righteousness

So after reading George MacDonald's {unspoken} sermon on Justice in spurned me to do a little research of my own. His view that mercy and justice are one in the same has spoken volumes to me personally.

I found it interesting that the more modern bible translations seemed to have lost the righteousness and mercy of God. Meaning that those two words aren't used as often in the text. On the other hand in the KJV the word "justice" is used only 28 times in the whole bible; all of those times being in the Old Testament. {The picture on the left is the breakdown of each word and how many times it is used in each version respectfully.} What I am wondering is that if we start to leave out righteousness and instead use justice it can give the wrong connotation of who God is in His character. Not that He isn't just, He is. But His justice is in the midst of several other attributes.

When I think of the word justice I always think in terms of judicial or criminal; earthly law. But when I think of the word righteousness I think in terms of Divine virtue. I don't think of the righteousness of God to be one of His characteristics; I think it to be the umbrella that defines who He is in all His characteristics and attributes. I have always believed one of the most powerful verses in the bible to be when Moses asks God who he should say is sending him, God responds "I AM who I AM" {Ex 3:14} Meaning God is who He says He is all the time and in all fullness.

What makes the Godhead righteous is that HE IS "merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin..." {Ex 34:6-7} That HE IS "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." {Gal 5:22-23} These are His righteousness, this is what makes Him who HE IS. So anytime anyone of the Godhead has told us who HE IS, it should tell us He has always been that way and will always be that way. God is infinitely and eternally righteous.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


"George MacDonald (10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S. Lewis that wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I began to read. A few hours later," said Lewis, "I knew that I had crossed a great frontier." G. K. Chesterton cited The Princess and the Goblin as a book that had "made a difference to my whole existence."

"I firmly believe people have hitherto been a great deal too much taken up about doctrine and far too little about practice. The word doctrine, as used in the Bible, means teaching of duty, not theory. I preached a sermon about this. We are far too anxious to be definite and to have finished, well-polished, sharp-edged systems - forgetting that the more perfect a theory about the infinite, the surer it is to be wrong, the more impossible it is to be right." from a letter George wrote to his father

The following are some exerps from George MacDonald's {unspoken} sermon on Justice. {link for entire sermon at the bottom of post}.I just read it yesterday for the first time and was totally blown away. I keep reading it over and over and am still blown away. MacDonald was known in his time for thinking outside the theological box of his day. Instead he focused more on what the scripture said to him personally and how it spoke of his relationship with Jesus. Sounds like my kind of guy.

"'Mercy may be against justice.' Never--if you mean by justice what I mean by justice. If anything be against justice, it cannot be called mercy, for it is cruelty. 'To thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy, for thou renderest to every man according to his work.' There is no opposition, no strife whatever, between mercy and justice. Those who say justice means the punishing of sin, and mercy the not punishing of sin, and attribute both to God, would make a schism in the very idea of God. And this brings me to the question, What is meant by divine justice? "
"God is one; and the depth of foolishness is reached by that theology which talks of God as if he held different offices, and differed in each. It sets a contradiction in the very nature of God himself. It represents him, for instance, as having to do that as a magistrate which as a father he would not do! The love of the father makes him desire to be unjust as a magistrate! Oh the folly of any mind that would explain God before obeying him! that would map out the character of God, instead of crying, Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do? God is no magistrate; but, if he were, it would be a position to which his fatherhood alone gave him the right; his rights as a father cover every right he can be analytically supposed to possess. The justice of God is this, that--to use a boyish phrase, the best the language will now afford me because of misuse--he gives every man, woman, child, and beast, everything that has being, fair play; he renders to every man according to his work; and therein lies his perfect mercy; for nothing else could be merciful to the man, and nothing but mercy could be fair to him."

"'Mercy is a good and right thing,' I answer, 'and but for sin there could be no mercy. We are enjoined to forgive, to be merciful, to be as our father in heaven. Two rights cannot possibly be opposed to each other. If God punish sin, it must be merciful to punish sin; and if God forgive sin, it must be just to forgive sin. We are required to forgive, with the argument that our father forgives. It must, I say, be right to forgive. Every attribute of God must be infinite as himself. He cannot be sometimes merciful, and not always merciful. He cannot be just, and not always just. Mercy belongs to him, and needs no contrivance of theologic chicanery to justify it.' "***

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why the Blood? {Part Two}

Here I am thinking out loud again. Not paying attention to what theology or orthodoxy says but only to what the word of God is saying to me personally through the knowledge of His son Jesus.

"Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." Hebrews 9:12

So in the last post we talked a little about why there was a need for blood sacrifice. We talked a bit about what happened on the Day of Atonement each year. The Day of Atonement was a day of corporate repentance and atonement of the Israelites. It was also the only day of the year the the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies. Once the appropriate sacrifices had taken place the High Priest could boldly approach the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat there of to make reconciliation for the nation in the presence of God. He also sprinkled blood on the ark to symbolically bind for another year the relationship of the people to God. Remember the ark contained a gold bowl of manna{symbol of God's provision for his people}, the law{symbol of God's justice and call to righteousness} and Aaron's budded rod{a symbol of God's authority through the priesthood}.

Now fast forward to the time of Jesus in New Testament and the great temple in Jerusalem. The day of Atonement was still the most holy of days to the Jewish people. But one very important thing was missing. The holy of holies was empty. There was no ark of the covenant, there was no bowl of manna, there was no ten commandments, there was no rod of Aaron. When the priests entered to sprinkle blood on the Day of Atonement it was sprinkled onto a stone. I can't image that it had the same meaning as when the ark and the mercy seat were there. So what does God do? He sends his Son to make atonement by the shedding of blood and a new covenant by the sprinkling of blood.

"And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." Hebrews 9:15

Now this portion of Hebrews also gives a great analogy of why Jesus had to die to mediate this new covenant. The author uses the concept of a last will and testament. A will is defined as "A legal declaration of how a person wishes his or her possessions to be disposed of after death." Therefore a will is not exercised until the the person making the declaration has died. Think of the covenant in the ark...provision, justice, righteousness, authority. BTW justice and righteousness are the same word in both the Hebrew & Greek. These are the things that God came in the flesh to mediate to us. He had to die so that we may receive our inheritance. Our only access to this inheritance is through the atonement of the blood shed on the cross and the sprinkling of blood on the new covenant.

"For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood." Hebrews 9:16-18

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why the Blood? {Part One}

Here I am thinking out loud again. Not paying attention to what theology or orthodoxy says but only to what the word of God is saying to me personally through the knowledge of His son Jesus.

I was spending some more time on why the cross was needed to save us. To a non Christian it seems silly that God would in a sense need to kill himself to satisfy his own wrath. I came across this comment on a YouTube video...

"I'm not going to worship a god who had to sacrifice himself to himself in order to appease himself."

This is an honest concern. So I started doing a little research into the Levitical law about sacrifice and what the Jewish community thought. It was interesting that on almost every Jewish website or blog they seemed to have the same concern. But from a more biblical perspective. I think just about every site had disagreement the Jesus was the Messiah and that He is the only forgiveness of sins based on this verse.

"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." Hebrews 9:22

I was happy to see that so many of our Jewish brothers were reading the New Testament and thinking about a book that really was addressed to them. But it also challenged me to look a little further into how to explain WHY we need the blood of Christ to be forgiven. Because we most certainly do. Now the problem that the Jewish community is that this verse in Hebrews does not gel with what their Torah says, namely the book of Leviticus. Leviticus is the book on sacrifice and the goings on of the Old Testament tabernacle. Here is the verse they use to nullify {in their minds that blood is needed for forgiveness}. From the book of Leviticus specifically talking about the "sin-offering".

"If, however, he cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, he is to bring as an offering for his sin a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering. He must not put oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering." Lev 5:11

So according to the Old Testament law people could have remission of sin without blood sacrifice. To top that off there are several verses in the Old Testament that God himself says he does not want blood sacrifice.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What The Hell?

Some interesting thoughts on Hell...

"I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside." C S Lewis

"The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul." John Calvin

"How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man." Johnny Cash

"The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions." A. W. Tozer

"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." C.T. Studd

"Heaven is full of forgiven people. Hell is full of forgiven people. Heaven is full of people God loves, whom Jesus died for. Hell is full of forgiven people God loves, whom Jesus died for. The difference is how we choose to live, which story we choose to live in, which version of reality we trust. Ours or God's." Rob Bell

"Denial of hell is one hell of a mistake." Mark Driscoll

"God’s justice and mercy unite in condemning the wicked to extinction. He justly punishes their sin and forbids them a place within the Kingdom. And he eventually mercifully annihilates them precisely so they will not endlessly endure what the traditional view says they endure." Gregory Boyd

"We can set no limits to the agency of the Redeemer to redeem, to rescue, to discipline in his work, and so will he continue to operate after this life." Clement of Alexandria

"Why were a few, or a single one, made at all, if only to exist in order to be made eternally miserable, which is infinitely worse than non-existence?" Immanuel Kant

"Hell is empty, And all the devils are here." William Shakespeare

"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell chose it." C. S Lewis

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wrath of Man

This is a comment from a reader on facebook that I would like to share with you. Here was my post...

"It's interesting to me that the people that are so hell bent on preaching the wrath and vengeance of God do so out of a spirit of wrath and vengeance. Let's not forget..."For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." James 1:20"

And here was his response...

"Insisting that when the NT says "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from GOD'S WRATH through him!" the authors of the NT meant it, isn't the equivalent of doing so "in a spirit of wrath and judgment." Paul wouldn't be enthused about people revising what he taught about Jesus' death; the one that was "cursed" by God for us (Gal. 3:10-14). Consider it a good thing to be corrected for teaching unbiblical concepts; you make it out to be a character flaw in the person correcting you.

The verse you quote in James isn't about condemning getting angry; it's about condemning getting angry at something without listening and doing so in arrogance, elitism, "filthiness" and "wickedness." James' book was VERY angry. Being angry is a good thing. It means you're awake.

When people taught a different message of the cross, Paul called them "dogs," "swine" and "fools" as well as telling them to "emasculate themselves" and "be accursed." Point being, strong rebuke is necessary in light of strong resolve to deviate from NT teaching. Denying that Jesus quenched the wrath of God or saved us from the wrath of God is unbiblical and in need of correction.

It may be worth reading the whole book of James in one sitting instead of misapplying 1:20 outside the context of James' sharp shooting of compromise in the church. The recipients of James' book got much more of an earful than you have I'm sure. He was a heavy hitter.

Cherie, your blogs are serious deviations from the NT teaching on wrath, God's nature and character and the cross."

Well...I have never claimed this blog to be orthodoxy or theology. In have never been to seminary or taken any formal theology. I have done a 6 month discipleship training, a 3 month biblical studies course and a 3 month worship, intercession and spiritual warfare course. That's it. That is why this is a personal blog of my thoughts and questions that I feel I am being humble and open in sharing with you. I have never claimed to have all the answers and don't believe a person has ever walked the earth that has. With exception to my personal Lord and Savior Jesus.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Christus Victor

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

God's Wrath is Not For You {Part Two}

To read part one click here.

Here I am thinking out loud again. I want to begin this post with a few verses to keep in mind...

“Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand." Dan 12:10

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail."
Lam 3:22

"In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it— one from the tent of David— one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness." Is 16:5

“So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty."Mal 3:5

So my personal view is that Jesus was sent to die for the world out of God's frustration or wrath against the enemy, the Destroyer. He was sick of seeing his little ones perish and so He sent Jesus as sacrifice to cover us in His protective blood. Remember the blood of the passover was to protect from the Destroyer, not from the destruction of God. God is not a destroyer! The devil is the Destroyer. And so the blood of Jesus protects us from the destruction of the enemy. If we don't accept the blood we are handed to the enemy for destruction. God's judgment is righteous because we have chosen our own destruction. So the judgment from God is separation from His protection by our choice not His.

"By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them." Heb 11:28

"...nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer." 1Cor 10:10

"To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." 1Cor 5:5

Now lets look a little closer at the concept of wrath and judgment in the New Testament. The word judgment in the Greek is krisis meaning to separate, to approve. So again the cross and the blood are the point of separation. Those who choose the blood are protected, those that don't are "approved" of their choice and "separated" given to the destruction of the enemy. Then both are separated.

Monday, April 12, 2010

God's Wrath is Not For You

I was reading in the book of Jeremiah the other day when I found myself glancing to the opposite page. This is the verse that caught my eye...

"Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?" Jer. 9:7

One of the things I have been thinking about lately is the concept of sin, punishment and judgment. I talked a little about this a few days ago {click here}. What also seems to always play a role in that is the concept of the wrath of God. So these are some of my thoughts on the whole thing. I haven't totally worked it all through, so consider this post as me thinking out loud.

I have always been of the mind that sin is and of itself the punishment. That God is not the one punishing but instead is allowing the sin to punish on its own. Sin in the Hebrew mean "to wander from the way" the way being God's way. So when we sin we go our own way contrary to God's way and that just so happens to be the Devil's way. There in lies the punisher, the one who seeks to kill, steal and destroy. The other side effect from sin is separation from God. So the destruction and separation the sin causes is the punishment. But that destruction and separation isn't caused by God it is caused by the person teaming with the enemy.

"Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with Death, and with Sheol we are in agreement." Isaiah 28:15

I still don't understand how people get in their minds that our God is a God of destruction and death. That God seeks destruction or separation for any man. A God of war yes, a God of justice yes. But the war has always been and will always be against sin and the Devil, NOT THE PERSON! That is his justice and that was the cross!  He took the wrath of the enemy that was intended for us. He stood in for us so that we wouldn't have to be separated from God.  He was separated from God for us.  He took the death that was intended for us. But he conquered death! He took the control over death from the enemy so that all my have the choice of redemption and everlasting life. That we never have to be separated from God.  What I still am trying to figure out and have questions about is this...Did Jesus have to die to appease God's wrath for us or or was his wrath for the sin that separated us from him? Yes, God is totally indifferent to sin and hates it.  But Jesus who was God in the flesh had indifference to sin but never the sinner.  I guess that is why there is a few different views of atonement {penal substitution view, ransom view and Christus Victor}.  Still trying to work those  Ok...getting off track...back to the Old Testament.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Refiner's Fire {my photography}

Some of my photography...

To see more of my photography click the "my photography" label below.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm a Sheep Too.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sheep,Goats and Wolves

So I have been looking at the things that Jesus said after his victorious resurrection to prepare his disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the last post we talked about Jesus being clear that he died for ALL mankind. That he forgave ALL mankind. That every man has a contract signed with the blood of Jesus that now awaits the agreeing signature. We discussed how Jesus told his disciples to do the same...FORGIVE!{John 20:21-23} That especially now given the power of the Holy Spirit we have the ability to both bind and loose. We should be binding no man that has already been forgiven. What we should be doing is feeding and tending. Feeding and tending who?

"He said to him, "Feed My lambs."...He said to him, "Tend My sheep."...Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep." John 21:15,16,17

This is a famous set of verses spoken to Peter by Jesus after the resurrection. John 21 tells us that one day the some of the disciples were all back doing what they had done before they met Jesus. They were fishing, but not catching any fish. So a man{Jesus} yells from shore to cast on the other side. They caught a huge net full of fish and the net didn't even break. {Remember when they first met Jesus did the same thing but the net broke}. Anyways the men come to shore with their catch and there is Jesus with a fire going, bread and fish already cooking. See Jesus didn't need their fish to eat, but he needed them to catch for themselves. He told them to bring the fish that they had caught to the table as well. Then the famous conversation between Jesus and Peter. Three times he asks Peter if he loved him. Just as the three times that Peter had denied. So Jesus said if you love me then this is what you are to do...feed and tend my lambs and sheep.

Now I think it is hilarious that there are Christians out there who think that these verses only pertain to the church. That anytime it talks about sheep that means Christians. First of all when they were spoken to Peter there was no church and there were no Christians. For all intents and purposes all mankind was on an even playing field. All mankind had just been bought by the blood of Jesus. So now the job for the disciples was to tend and feed all mankind to bring them into relationship with the Shepherd and teach them to follow his voice. To act as shepherds on behalf of the Shepherd.

"As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." John 10:15-16

"But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd." Matt. 9:36

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


"Truly I say to you, that all the sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men, and evil speakings with which they might speak evil, but whoever may speak evil in regard to the Holy Spirit hath not forgiveness..." Mark 3:28-29

These were the words of Jesus prior to what he accomplished on the cross. "It is finished" or "completed" or "accomplished" or "fulfilled" were the words that he spoke on the cross just before he gave up his spirit. I believe that Christ's death on the cross was for all mankind. I believe that he stood in as sacrifice for all mankind. Jesus was sent to die not to satisfy the justice of God, but to satisfy the death wish the enemy has for all mankind. He took our place so we wouldn't have to suffer and die as he did. Therefore the justice of God is grace. That by His blood any man may have forgiveness of sin and everlasting life. For Jesus even said that he came not to judge the world but to save it!{Jn 12:47} The only judgement ever given by God{in the OT} was exile and separation. Death and disease etc was the judgement of the enemy{the devil}. On the cross Jesus opened the door so that no one had to be separated, both during our time on earth and for eternity. He paid the price for every mans freedom once and for all. That door remains open so that anyone who chooses to walk through may do so. Final judgement is only up to God and will not come until we enter eternity. I have a feeling he will be far more gracious than any human on the planet!

{After the Resurrection} Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." John 20:21-23

Now, we know for sure that this verse does not mean that any man can absolve any other man of sin; only the blood of Jesus can do that. So what does it mean? Well I think in light of the verse above it means FORGIVE! In light of the verse above we know that Jesus forgave all mankind their sin on the cross. The atonement for all mankind's sin lays waiting for them, but each man must choose to accept it. Each man must agree for himself that the only way to the Father is through Jesus. But that doesn't mean that those who haven't accepted it aren't forgiven. That is to say, a contract has been drawn up for every man and has been signed with the blood of Jesus. Now every contract awaits the agreeing signature of each man.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Victory Over Death

"And He placed His right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and of Hades." Revelation 1:17-18

{keys κλείς kleis} {of death θάνατος thanatos} {and of Hades ᾅδης hadēs}

What are the keys of Death and Hades? How would the people of the Greco-Roman world understood what this verse said? I believe they would have taken this very literally and assumed that Jesus did in fact descend to the underworld as they knew it. I believe they would have had understanding of what this meant from a spiritual warfare point of view. I believe they would have assumed this verse meant that Jesus actually fought and won the keys in the underworld. The Greco-Roman world had an acute understanding of "who" held power in the underworld. I want to share with you a few of the principle characters, namely Thanatos, Hecate, Hades and Persephone.

I believe the people of that time would have been keenly aware of what Jesus had accomplished by stating that he had "the keys of Death and Hades". What a wonderful testimony of the power of the cross, resurrection and life everlasting. What hope for people to know then and now that Jesus holds their lives in the justice of the cross and no longer in the curse and injustice of these gods{the Devil}. That no man will enter the realm of Hades without going through Jesus first. He now decides in grace and perfect justice.

Thanatos is the Greek word for death. But in Greek mythology Thanatos was an actual god that was the personification of death. He was usually depicted with wings and a sacrificial sword{see picture above} and was the priest of Hades. Looks a little familiar doesn't he? The angel of Death, that is the Devil. The picture is from a relief that was in the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

"I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly...

I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Remember Me

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