Category Archives: Christian Axiology

Think On These Things: Think on Healing & Miracles

“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are pleasing, whatever things are commendable, if there is any excellence of character and if anything, praiseworthy, think about these things. And the things which you have learned and received and heard about and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you,”
Philippians 4:8-9 LEB.

Thoughts of sickness are a lie against the promise of God; thoughts of sickness are not honorable, not right and they are not pure of heart. Thoughts of sickness are not pleasing, and not commendable. They are not excellence of character and or praiseworthy.

Thoughts of Healing are an agreement that the promises of God are true. They are honorable. Thoughts of healing are right, are pure and pleasing. Thoughts of healing are commendable, and they are excellence of character. Thoughts of healing are praiseworthy.

Does this sound strange to you? If it does you are out of touch with reality; you do not know God, the gospel or scripture.

Healing is part of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, (Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:17); it is by biblical definition part of the gospel. The gospel is good, it is trustworthy, praiseworthy, excellent, and so forth.

Sin is not good, not praiseworthy, not excellent and so forth. For a Christian forgiveness of all their sins by Jesus’ finished work is a stepping stone; a doorway into the next life. To stay at this doorway, means you do not believe you are forgiven, which is why you never enter into or believe the gospel. The only correct way for a Christian to think of sin, is being already judged and buried in Jesus’ death. Sin, death and judgment are behind the Christian. Value, unmerited favor and joy is before the Christian. Hebrews 10:2-3 says that the Old Testament yearly sacrifices reminded the minds and thoughts of the practitioners of their sin. The writer of Hebrews says this was not a good thing for the mind to be reminded of our sins. To be reminded of ones sins, if you are indeed forgiven, is not excellent or praiseworthy. They were reminded of their sins, because Christ had not yet come. Hebrews later states that Jesus once and for all removes our sins from us. The pragmatic implication is that our minds and thoughts are not reminded about or sins; rather, we are reminded of our new identity in Christ. We are the righteousness of God and co-heirs with Jesus. By His great love we are children of God.  Thus, it is not a good thing to be mindful and dwell on your sins. You are to be renewed by thinking about Jesus, and who are “presently” in Him. This is praiseworthy and excellent.

Paul says in Romans 6 we are to assent that we were buried in Jesus’ death. Our sin, by His atonement, was dealt with and buried. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, that we at one time knew Jesus from a human point of view, but we do NOT know Him this way any longer.  He is on the throne, ruling and pouring out the baptism of the Spirit. Our thoughts are to be on this present reality of Jesus. Paul extends this to us. The old man is gone, with all our sin and judgment for that sin. Our new creation is our present reality, and this is where our thoughts ought to be. Thus to “think on these things,” is not thinking about our sin, but how righteous God sees us as. God interacts with us, as the righteousness of God.

The pragmatic application is if your circumstances or Satan tries to remind you of your sins, you are not indulge this temptation by thinking about your sins; rather, you are put off this old-man way of thinking, and put on the new-man, who thinks about how completely forgiven he is and how boldly he can march into the throne room of God and ask and receive.

The same is true for healing and sickness. Sickness is part of curses of Adam and of the Law (Deut. 28). Jesus, by substitutionary atonement, became our curses. Jesus was nailed to our curses of sickness. Even when leapers who needed to be healed, under the Law, a blood sacrifice was given. Healing is shown under the Law, that a substitutionary sacrifice is needed. Jesus was our substitutionary sacrifice to redeem us from all sickness.  Isaiah 53:4 says Jesus “bore” (same word for the substitution atonement for the escape goat in Lev. 16) sickness and pains.[1]

Curses are not honorable, excellence, praiseworthy, etc. And yet, sickness is a curse.

Sickness is a curse; it is not excellent. Sickness is a curse; it is not praiseworthy. Sickness is a curse; it is not honorable. Sickness is a curse; it is not “true” regarding what God has promised.

When tempted by circumstances and the devil to keep rehearsing your sickness over and over in your mind, do not sin by doing this; rather, be obedient and put on the new-man who thinks on the finished work of Jesus who bore all your sickness and pains, who was nailed to your sickness and how these died with Him, on His body, so that you are freed and released from all of them. God is for your body, so much so, He made it part of the gospel. He is the God who heals you.

To indulge on thoughts of your sins or sickness is in direct disobedience of the Scripture commanding us to “think on these things.” Rejoice! You are commanded to think on righteousness, healing, blessings, miracles, peace with God, Joy and unending unmerited favor upon you.  Rejoice.

[1] For more see, Christ our Healer. FF Bosworth.

The Spirit tells our spirit about the …..?

 The Spirit tells our spirit about the …..?

“No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the
wonderful
things
God has
freely given us,”

(1 Corinthians 2:11-12 NLT)

For sake of context, what are some “things” Paul mentions in his letters to the Corinthians about the things God has freely given us? Paul says, Jesus became our sin so that we are freely given God’s righteousness. Paul also says the Holy Spirit freely gives us gifts, such as healings, miracles, prophecy and tongues etc. Paul says that Jesus became our poverty so that God freely gives us money so that in an abundance of wealth we can freely give to the ministry. Paul says God has freely given us Christ’s mind so that we have the Mind of Christ. Paul says God has freely given us all things, even the past, present, future, heaven, eternal life and all reality.

This is why, even though we study theology and doctrine, we also keep focusing on devotions and faith, because the Spirit is relentless in directing our hearts to all the good and free things available to us in Christ. This is why fanboys, become lost in theology and especially of men and tradition, because that is where their hearts are directed; to the things “men” give them.

If your thoughts and mind are not constantly turned to these freely given things by God such as healing, wealth, righteousness, citizenship in heaven, spiritual powers, then what spirit is in you? How can you rationally claim it is God’s Spirit? Not having your spirit moved by God’s Spirit to freely receive such things as health and wealth means you must be an illegitimate child; you are and outsider to the love of the Spirit. But for us who do have God’s Spirit we are overwhelmed with love of God as the Spirit directs our thoughts to all the freely given things for us to receive. And after receiving them, we give in the same free manner that it was given to us.

I Reserved 7000 Who Have Not Bowed to Empiricism

They only problem with handling adult doctrines like God’s Sovereignty, predestination, election, reprobation is if you are a child you will end up hurting yourself and those around you. I remember Vincent Cheung saying something like this several years ago and it keeps repeating itself to be true in my encounters with church people.

When knowledge does not increase a person’s faith, it only increases his ability to pretend. Just because someone takes it upon himself to handle an “adult” doctrine does not mean that he is mature spiritually and intellectually. You can let an infant drive a car, but he will probably crash it. Putting him in the driver’s seat does not make him an adult. Likewise, most theologians are spiritual kids, although they handle adult doctrines. They are just pretending. They play around with divine sovereignty, the covenants, the history of redemption, and so on, but when they drive — when they formulate, teach, and implement these doctrines — they wreck faith. [1]

I had another brief conversation with person (we will call them Billy) about faith and healing. I was sharing some verses about faith and healing and encouraging them to grow their faith. I specifically commented on the fact that faith in God’s promises (whether for salvation or healing) always guarantees you will receive what you ask for.

I was quoting from John 15:7-8,

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you,

ask whatever YOU want and it will be done for you.

My Father is glorified by this:

that you bear much fruit,

and prove to be MY disciples.”

Not only does it say you will get what “YOU” want (it does not say what GOD wants but what “YOU” want), but Jesus Christ says answers to prayers (for the things “YOU WANT”) is a test of orthodoxy. Jesus says it “proves” you are a disciple if you pray for what “you” want and God gives this to you.

Why is this? Because only insiders of the Covenant can do this. Outsiders do not have this access to the Father. Jesus Christ gives a test of orthodoxy that cannot be mimicked or faked. Only children are able to ask for anything they want, and the Father give it to them.  Reprobates and outsiders to the covenant do not have this precious access or life.

It is the same type of proof that Jesus gave for Himself as the Son of man. The religious fakes and fanboys would wash the outside of the cup, and thus fake this aspect to give proof they are part of the Elect. However, because they are in fact reprobates, they cannot do the true proof of orthodoxy, which is faith. Faith gives direct access to God and proves you are part of the Elect. Jesus gave proof that God heard His prayers, and by this He proved He had the Father’s approval. This proof was not something He did by His own power, but God gave Him the fullness of the Spirit (which we are also commanded to receive) and gave Him the things He asked for in prayer. Jesus therefore, gave proof that the insider status He had with God was of the closest type. Jesus said more than once we ought to believe He is who He claims to be, because of His miracles. And guess what, God commands that we also do something similar to prove we are insiders. He commands His followers, receive answered prayers for miracles as proof they are Elect and not reprobates who are thrown into the fire. He demands a type of proof reprobates cannot mimic.

Apart from this “proof” of discipleship, the precious truth we see is how intimate our Contract insider status is. God so loves us, so considers us as children who sits at His table with Him, that we can ask for what WE want and God will gladly give it to us. The Father sent His only begotten Son, to be crucified in agony and torn apart with scourging; He points His finger at Jesus’ bloody corpse and says, “I will do what I promise.” He goes beyond all measure to give extra assurance that He will do what He promises. He promises to give us what we ask for. Think about how loving and kind God is to us. How loyal is His unmerited favor for those whom He loves!

Billy responded with this:

“Where are all these miracles?
I do not see them.
If what you are saying I true,
then no one is saved.”

In my mind the first thought that came up was, “you David Hume Empiricist prostitute, you spiritual adulterer and spiritual pervert. You have whored yourself to the world at the most fundamental level of your worldview, and rejected God.”

Knowing this person considered themselves “Reformed,” I responded with how God Himself dealt with a similar accusation. First Paul says in Romans chapter 9 that when calculating what we can observe humanly (i.e. empiricism and induction) it could infer that God has failed to save His people. But Paul says God has not failed, because He only promised to bless those who are part of the promise by election, and not by natural birth of being a Jew.  An excessive amount of reprobates does not negate God’s promise to save those whom He elected.

Paul then brings up the example of Elijah and God, as an example. Elijah is a major player in Israel. He is well known. He has been around. He seen and done much in Israel. After all he has been through, he becomes discouraged and says to God that he is the only believer left in Israel.  Like I said, Elijah isn’t some small farmer who has never been anywhere. He as known and see many things in Israel. Thus, from a human evaluation standpoint, he has more credibility than most to make an inductive, albeit irrational conclusion from his observation. He concludes that he is the only one left who believes God. He asserts this conclusion, based on his empiric observation and inductive conclusion to God as a fact. God turns around and rebukes Elijah. God tells Elijah that He has kept for Himself 7000 people who have remained faithful to Him. This is in context of Romans 9, where God says before people are born, or do good or bad, He choses to hate one or love the other, in accordance to His own free choice of election and reprobation.

 “God has not rejected his people, whom he foreknew! Or do you not know, in the passage about Elijah, what the scripture says—how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have torn down your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life!” But what does the divine response say to him? “I have left for myself seven thousand people who have not bent the knee to Baal.” So in this way also at the present time, there is a remnant selected by grace,” Romans 11:2-5.

This same answer God gave to Elijah, Paul says it true in his day, and is also true for today.

Thus, when someone says, “I do not see all these miracles and answers to prayers (like Jesus stated and commanded, John 15:7-8)), thus, there are none, and yet I know God will save people, thus what Jesus said cannot mean what it obviously means,” they are acting just as irrational, arrogant as Elijah. God’s rebuke to Elijah is applicable here to. God has reversed for Himself 7,000, or 70,000,000 million for Himself who have not bowed their knee to empiricism (Baal) and rejected Jesus’ command for answered prayers. Despite what Elijah can observe and calculate, what God says is the only starting point for knowledge. God is true when He says there is a remnant according to Election, and Elijah was a liar and false witness against the truth. His false witness against the truth was based off his human empiricism and inductive conclusion.

So what if you do not see and overabundance of answered prayers and miracles? Even if it means there are an excessive amount of reprobates in the church, just like with Paul and the Jews, it does not mean God as failed. It means the reprobates failed to be insiders because of their lack of faith, and the rest, probably because you are a reprobated yourself, you are not around enough to see God’s power working.

Religious fanboys and reformed like to use the doctrine of election and reprobation, but this doctrine is an adult doctrine and so is wasted on children like themselves. This doctrine of reprobation is pointed at their face like a gun, which they are holding. They will hurt themselves and those around them when they use it. Maybe the reason they use the word reprobate so much is because they are reprobates and simply like the word, by God’s providence.

I love God’s providence, because I do not reject have the bible. As Vincent Cheung points out in “Predestination and Miracles,” I am predestined for miracles. But you outsiders of the Covenant, just because you narrowly understand some aspects of God’s sovereignty and reprobation, does not save you from being one.  Just because Satan can teach you about some aspects of Hell, does not save him from being imprisoned there. Maybe he knows about it because he is understands first hand what it is be God’s enemy and under His punishment.

If you are a true disciple, you will whole heartily have faith for all of God’s commands, promises and sovereign faithfulness. Those who have been
“born from above” do not make excuses for their lack of faith if they struggle; rather, they cry out like the father seeking deliverance for his son, “help my unbelief.” The Elect will seek and find stronger faith. They are real disciples, who grown in faith, rather than in unbelief. They progress forward, rather than shrinking back.  They are true insiders; therefore, the Spirit speaks in their souls, “you are a child of God, and so ask! and you will receive. Approach your Father, for He loves you.”

Starting Point for Knowledge.

The other aspect of this person’s response is rejection of God at the deepest level of one’s worldview.  That is, when dealing with the ultimate question of knowledge (I am using knowledge here as truth), what is the STARTING or first principle where you get this knowledge? Every other ultimate question, whether about existence, causality, ethics, value, history, man salvation etc., will come from this starting point of knowledge. To say it is important is an understatement.

The Reformed like to mock the Catholics for boasting about their dual starting point for knowledge with the addition of the Pope. But what is the Pope? He is a man. When the Pope gives additions to the Scripture it is from empiricism (which is a logical fallacy) and then mostly will have addition fallacies of induction in other forms. The terms for these are speculation (for empiricism) and superstition (for any form of inductive logic).  The key point for both is a “man,” starting point for knowledge. In this epistemology man does not start with God’s revelation, but with man. Man, through fallacious empiricism, somehow miraculous get knowledge from observation. Man then uses superstitious induction to formulate a premise to then deduce from. But sense this premise is formulated by speculation and superstition, then applying the logic of deduction cannot rescue it from being non-knowledge. It is a “man” starting point of knowledge versus a God starting point of knowledge that is revealed and not sensed. As Jesus said to Peter, “flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father has.”

Just by the simple calculation of logic, empiricism is demonstrated as irrational. And so, as a starting point of knowledge it is ontologically impossible.[2]

However, since the Scripture is my starting point, what does this infallible epistemology say about empiricism? Vincent Cheung, first brought these verses to my attention.

Commenting on 2 Kings 3:16-24[3] he says,

“What did the Moabites see – blood or water? The Moabites thought they saw blood, but their senses deceived them. We know that they saw water that looked like blood because this is what the infallible testimony of Scripture says. Thus the passage points out that the senses are unreliable, and shows that we depend on divine inspiration to tell us about particular instances of sensations.”[4]

Vincent also lists John 12:28-29, Matthew 14:25-27, and Matthew 28:16-17.

Even though these are only a few instances of a Divine testimony of empiricism (knowledge starts with sensation) being wrong, it is enough to trash the whole thing into skepticism.

To show the importance of this, then consider if I were able to show just one instance where the Scripture was false. For example, what if it were false that Jesus was born in Israel, but rather born in South Asia? The issue is that it would cast doubt on the rest of the premises in the Scripture. The problem is not that any premise would definitely be wrong; rather, there would be no infallible mechanism to demonstrate how any given premise of Scripture is true. It would trash the whole bible (as a starting point for knowledge) into skepticism. The issue here, is that skepticism denies the law of non-contradiction; and thus, ontologically impossible.

If invisible knowledge comes by sensation is true, then where is the justification? Where is the sound argument to prove it?

To have a picture in the mind of Mt. St. Helens is a copy of it(2); it is not the actual Mountain(1). That is one category, and then another. In addition to this is another categorical leap; that is, to think propositional thoughts about(3) the indirect copy(2) of the real Mt. St. Helens(1). There is no logical justification for these 2 categorical leaps between premises and conclusion. In essence, the syllogism is like saying, “All dogs are mammals. All blue things are color. Therefore, All humans are clouds.” There is no more justification for that syllogism than saying the propositional thoughts in an invisible mind, about the picture copy in my physical brain, is knowledge about the real Mt. St. Helens. Both are playing with categorical reality as if it is play-dough. That might work to sell Fantasy novels, but not so much when asking questions about the reality we live in.

This has been said to demonstrate that our only starting point for knowledge is God. Any starting point that starts with “man,” leads to skepticism, but skepticism is logically impossible and does not exist. All human starting points of knowledge does not exist, except in delusion and fantasy.

Most Christians know this without me having to go into all this technical explanation of it. But when reprobates infiltrate the Church, and deceive people, we need to give a detailed and harsh rebuke to them.

Most will say something like, “the Bible is our final authority.” But what I am saying here is a more foundational statement. I start with the Bible as my only public first principle for knowledge, and only the bible. If you ‘say x’ is knowledge, and cannot show it came directly from the bible or deduces from it, then it is by definition not knowledge you can prove.

Therefore, when the Bible says if I have in God’s only Son to save me from my sin and confess it, then it a truth claim about reality. It is not a probability. It is a truth that will always be sure, and reliable. If Billy says, “well I have seen some Christians who have renounced their faith and now worship Satan. Therefore, the bible is wrong, or people do not understand what the bible says. What the bible really means is that one can have faith in God to be saved and God will still reject them hell.”

The problem with this is at the foundational level. Billy used a “human” starting point to produced so-called knowledge. Then uses this as a higher authority against the Bible, by making the Bible adjust its meaning to this knowledge produced by a human starting point of empiricism and induction. The problem with this that all human starting points to produce knowledge is nothing but speculation and superstition. No knowledge is produced when starting with a human epistemology, not even with things such as what is “tree” or what is a “dog.”

Most Christians hearing what Billy did with this aspect of faith and salvation would be alarmed; they would at least, have a vague idea Billy is using a human starting point to reject what the Bible clearly says about faith and salvation. But when it comes to faith for answered prayers and faith to be healed, then suddenly many Christians revert to using a human starting point for knowledge as if they are a 50 year grand master chess player. They revert to using of empiricism and induction as if they were world champions. They would make David Hume and the Pope blush in envy. If only they could stand on human starting points as reflexively as some Christians do, then maybe they could have brough more over to the side of Satan.

If falling on empiricism to produce knowledge is sooooo natural and reflexive, then it is a good chance, it is your true master and foundation. If you do not start with God for knowledge, how do you suppose you will conclude with His revelation? You will not of course.

If you read Jesus saying that if His words abide in you and you in Him, then you ask whatever you wish and God will give it to you, and you must start with this knowledge and no contradict it. Obviously you cannot just the Scripture to contradict this because it and Jesus say over and over if you have faith, (whether for salvation, healing or whatever you wish), you will have it. Jesus says it is what “YOU” want.

If there is a wrong place for YOU, then it starting with YOU when producing knowledge. If you use YOU to produce the knowledge that “what Jesus says over and over is not what He means, but what Jesus meant is you can ask in faith and God will still reject it,” then you are a reprobate, or at least on this point you are playing the part of one. To revert and say, “I do not see.., or I observe.., or the church fathers did not see or observe,” then you are nothing less than a plagiarized rehashed Pope. You are a spiritual pervert that the foundation level of knowledge. You do not start with God to get truth, you start with YOU. You have used speculation and superstition no less in proportion than some shaman observing the moon and concluding ‘x’ or ‘y.’

Why do people do this. First, this is now reprobates think. They are only doing what is natural for then. Apart from the Scripture as a starting point, all others (including all non-Christian religions) revert to using a human starting point is some way.  Thus, it is natural for reprobates to show their true human foundation when they find things in the Bible they do not like or makes they feel uncomfortable. Secondly, to hide their human starting point they will mock other obvious reprobates with human starting points such as the Pope. They do this to hide their human starting point in the shadow of the more obvious ones. They say solo Scriptura, but this is just a slight of hand to say, sola empiricism. Thirdly, like human approval and because it is natural for reprobates to start with a human epistemology other reprobates will be attracted to them and give them praise, approval and money.

If you are truly not a reprobate, but are only playing the part due to spiritual immaturity, then repent now while you still have a chance.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed. God is willing to forgive and restore. He will do what He promise. If you ask in faith for God to forgive, He will. If you are an insider to His love and covenant, then ask and receive, because He wants you to. He commanded that you do it, because He wanted the situation where you ask and He gives. God wanted this. You do not have beg.

Because of God’s promises, which He sovereignly wanted to make, and the Contacts He made in blood, God willfully made it so that it is necessary for Him to hear your prays in faith and give you what you want, whether spiritual or material. Jesus said it was “necessary” for the daughter of Abraham, (who was bent over for 18 years) to be healed on the Sabbath. The word for “necessary” here is like saying 5+5 necessarily equals 10. That is, 5+5=10 is not just a sufficient or good reason, it is a necessary one. Jesus says because she is an insider to God’s love and covenant it is “necessary” for God to heal her.

Jesus with perfection stood on God’s Word as His knowledge, and those who follow Him will do the same.

And this woman, who is a daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan bound eighteen long years—
is it not necessary
that she be released from this bond on the day of the Sabbath?”
(Luke 13:16 LEB)

Endnotes

[1] Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. From the ebook, Sermonettes Vol. 9. 2016.

[2] Even the secular philosopher David Hume admitted as much about his starting point of empiricism leading to skepticism.

[3] While the harp was being played, the power of the Lord came upon Elisha, 16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! 17 You will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. 18 But this is only a simple thing for the Lord, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab! 19 You will conquer the best of their towns, even the fortified ones. You will cut down all their good trees, stop up all their springs, and ruin all their good land with stones.”

20 The next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere.

21 Meanwhile, when the people of Moab heard about the three armies marching against them, they mobilized every man who was old enough to strap on a sword, and they stationed themselves along their border. 22 But when they got up the next morning, the sun was shining across the water, making it appear red to the Moabites—like blood. 23 “It’s blood!” the Moabites exclaimed. “The three armies must have attacked and killed each other! Let’s go, men of Moab, and collect the plunder!”

[4] Vincent Cheung. Presuppositional Confrontations. 2010. Pg 70. www.vincentcheung.com

Scripture Uses God’s Transcendence to Shove His Nearness In Your Heart

I was re-reading this essay from Vincent below. It struck a chord in my mind because I had recently read a passage of Scripture in Ephesians 3 that said and concluded the same thing.

First the quote from Vincent,

“Those who claim to provide a God-centered theology are often proud of their theological prowess, but in reality their solution is superficial… For this reason, they seem to think that God-centered religion usually stresses God’s transcendence. God himself does not think so. That is not how he presents himself in Scripture. That is not how he tells his own story. A God-centered theology listens to what God says about himself, and in his narrative, he stresses both his transcendence and his immanence.

He could be aloof, but instead he is closer than your own heartbeat. He could forget about you, but instead he counts your hairs. He could let you fend for yourself, but instead he feeds you and heals you, and works miracles for you. He could be too important to have anything to do with you, but instead he wants you to have faith in him and ask from him. He is so spiritual that he does not even have a body, but he promises he will strengthen yours. He is so transcendent that he created the world, but he is so immanent that he walked and talked with Adam. He is so transcendent that he could destroy Sodom, but he is so immanent that he engaged Abraham to negotiate with him. He is so transcendent that he could wipe out Israel, but he is so immanent that he allowed Moses to stand in his way and stop him. This is how he wants you to know him. This is God-centered theology.

I do not say that we should find the right balance, because it is not a matter of balance. It is not a matter of finding the right point on a scale, but a matter of right or wrong doctrine. Jesus was the most God-centered person who ever walked the earth. He was God himself, but more than anyone in Scripture, he was also the one who told us to pray for our needs and ask God for what we want. The “God-centered” people declares, “God is not Santa!” and they think that this is God-centered theology. It is true that God is not Santa, but this is because he is far better than Santa. Jesus said he is our Father, and it is his pleasure to give good gifts to his children. He does not bring us gifts only once a year, but Jesus told us to ask for our daily bread. They say, “God is not a cash machine!” It is true that God is not a cash machine, but this is because you only withdraw your own money from a cash machine. Paul wrote that God supplies all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. This is God-centered theology, because it listens to what God says about himself, rather than shoving divine transcendence back in his face no matter what he says.”
(Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. Sermonettes 9. 2016. Pg. 9-10)

It is obvious that when the Scripture reveals propositional truths and premises about His Transcendence, Sovereignty and Power it is directly revealing truths about them. There is no higher spiritual activity than theological reflection. We are to reflect on the truths about God’s divine nature, including His transcendence.

However, what I wish to focus on is a mistake people make when thinking about His transcendence, and that is the emphasis.  When the bible reveals or emphasizes His Transcendence (and here is the IMPORTANT PART) to His chosen ones, and to those seeking Him in sincerity, what is a common or if not the most common application or consequence or command given in light of this? Think carefully about it.

As Vincent points out in general, God’s interaction and teaching with His children has a focus on His transcendence and nearness. Likewise, even when God speaks of His transcendence to His chosen ones, the emphasis leads to a conclusion of God’s nearness and love.

Paul in Ephesians chapter 3 does exactly this. After talking about the transcendent God who uses His church to show off how manifold His wisdom is to all the powers at be, Paul’s first conclusion is “come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” Then Paul’s next reaction is “when I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray…,” and Paul prays that they will be made strong by His Spirit and love, and they both understand His and also experience His love greatly.

This is how Paul used the doctrine of God’s transcendence in relation for the saints.

And if that was not enough, Paul concludes a third time with this famous statement, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

So, after theological reflection on God’s predestination and grace (chapter 1) and His secret plan revealing how God uses the Church (now made up of gentiles) to show off the transcendent great wisdom of God (for His glory), the application is not to fall on our faces and beg or say self-deprecating statements to impress God with our humility; rather, we are given a true application of humility which is to boldly approach God’s throne and ask, knowing not only will God give us what we ask for, but super abundantly more than that, even beyond what we can image.

This is like Jesus’ teaching on the sermon on the mount but on steroids. Jesus kept commanding us in that sermon to pray and expect to get what we ask for. A fish for a fish, and bread for a bread. Now we are told we will get the bread we ask for and even more bread, not something different, but more of the good things we asked for. God uses His transcendence to shove His love into our hearts, which causes us to trust in His love more, and cause us to have more boldness in asking for what we want.

It is demonic for the religious fanboys to mostly emphasis God’s transcendence to highlight self-deprecation and farness, when Scripture regularly uses God’s sovereignty and transcendence to highlight His nearness to His children and their bold access to Him. If you see God’s transcendence and then feel hesitation to approach God you are acting like an outsider, as if you have no covenant with God. For God’s contracted insiders and children, His power and sovereignty is a motivation to approach boldly, quickly, constantly and with their heads held high.  God’s transcendence for God’s children is motivation to receive what they ask for and then even much more.

“I was chosen to explain to everyone[c] this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.  So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen,”
Ephesians 3:9-20

I Am your Exceedingly Great Reward, Righteousness

I Am your Exceedingly Great Reward, Righteousness

[This is a first draft on the introduction to my Soteriology section, from my up coming systematic theology book.]

Let me introduce you to the doctrine of righteousness, as the Scripture introduces it, and not how tradition does it. There is some historical reasons why “justification by faith,” is stated as it is, but that is just it, it’s not stated how Scripture does it. Let that sink it. Because of this, the doctrine is often distorted, sometime beyond recognition.  The Reformed are found of their doctrine, justification by faith, but this is a narrow doctrine—in scope of the whole gospel—albite a very important one. Their fanboyish love for man and the past, has led them to take this doctrine, which is like a priceless beautiful rug, and soiled like a dog using it to marks its territory. Let us rather, learn this doctrine how the bible itself introduces it, and expands on it. Let us not define such important doctrines such as the gospel, by man’s love for man, and history; rather, through submitting to the scripture as our only starting point for knowledge, let us learn the definitions of reality. “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path,” (Psalm 119:105 NLT).

Romans 4 (NLT)

The Faith of Abraham

4 Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? 2 If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. 3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

4 When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. 5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. 6 David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous[1] without working for it:

7 “Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sins are put out of sight.
8 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

9 Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith. 10 But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised!

11 Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. 12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, [but on God declaring one righteous because of their faith].[2] 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

Let us review what God promised to Abraham, when God “declared him righteous.” Paul, uses the principle of first mentions here in this passage, by bringing up the account of Abraham. He does something similar in Galatians by reminding us that Abraham’s promise was before the law, and that Jesus’ substitutionary atonement grafts us into this promise of Abraham. What did God promise Abraham that when he believed, the doctrine of God declaring people righteous by faith is established?

Paul in this passage mentions a portion of this promise, by saying God promised to multiply his children (starting with his own) as the stars. Paul also states that God promised to give the world to him and his descendants. The whole world! Well, that escalated quickly.

(Genesis 12:1–2 LEB).

“And Yahweh said to Abram, “Go out from your land and from your relatives, and from the house of your father, to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great. And you will be a blessing.””

Genesis 15 NIV

1 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield, your very great reward.”

… 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

14 “…But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.”

Genesis 17 NLT

… 4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! 5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. 6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!

7 “I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”[3]

Paul says the Scripture recorded this as an example for the gentiles, because we are declared righteous and receive the same blessing on the basis of faith in God.

There are 3 main places God promises to Abraham. The first is rather man-centered and not God centered.  God does NOT promise to establish Himself a with great name, no, He promises to make Abraham’s name great. Moreover, God does not promise to make Himself a blessing, but to make Abraham a blessing. Furthermore, God does not promise to make Himself a great nation, no, God promises to make Abraham a great nation. Lastly, God does not promise to bless Himself, no, He promises to bless Abraham. This is said without any mention of sin, salvation or forgiveness.[4]

In the second encounter, which is still a continuation and reaffirming of the first, God promised to protect and to be Abraham’s exceedingly great reward; lastly, God promises to make his descendants as abundant as the stars. There is no mention of sins, salvation or forgiveness. Abraham believed God would do what He promised, in that God would protect him, bless him, make him wealthy, favor him and give him super abundant children and give the world to him. God then declares Abraham righteous in His sight.

The third, God promises again to give super abundant descendants and then we hear for the first time the phrase “I will be your God,” and also to his descendants. In the temporary covenant with Moses and then again restated in the permanent covenant in Jesus’ blood we get further insight what “I will be your God means.” However, here in the first mention of the doctrine, it is defined as God giving Abraham incalculable descendants, the world (as Paul says), blessings, favor and rewards.

Summary:

God: “Abraham, I will bless you, I will make you wealthy and prosperous, I will give you supernatural health, I will highly favor you in all things, I will exalt your name before the world, I will give you a son and love your children as I loved you.”

Abraham: “OK, I believe You are able.”

God stands up in Heaven, points His finger at Abraham and declares:
Righteousness.

This is the biblical doctrine of God declaring His chosen ones Righteous in His sight. There is a presupposition behind this, and that deals with the connection that Abraham was not declared righteous by God, but now is. The presupposition deals with the doctrine of our standing before God.[5] If we are not righteous in God’s sight, then we are unrighteous in His sight. Since God is the Almighty, and the source of all things, then for Him to declare someone righteous in His sight is very important.

However, as said before, Christianity is a positive doctrine, not negative. Therefore even with being declared righteous, the first mention of it is a positive one. God promises an over-the-top, excessive abundance, wealth, health, protection, blessings and even the world, then God declares a man righteous in His sight, because he believed God would do it. Because our sin was in the way, then sin must be dealt with, but sin is not the focus, God’s good promise of blessings and faithfulness to do it, is. This is where many make mistakes in how they focus on parts of the bible and what they focus on when they preach. Those who mock the health and wealth preachers are far more guilty of super-abundantly focusing on sin, sickness and death to the point of being satanic masochists. Their focus on sin, makes sin more central and foundational than God Himself, and more foundational than His promise of blessings for His chosen ones.  They do such things to affirm their unbelief and to appear humble in the eyes of the people they want to receive praise from. They have their reward.

God is the foundation for declaring man righteous in context of giving super blessings and rewards; not mand, and not man’s sin. God is the foundation for everlasting contracts; not man, and not man’s sin. God is the foundation for super abundant blessings, health and wealth; not man, and not man’s sin.

Vincent Cheung on this subject says,

“God promised that Abraham would have a son, and that his descendants would become numerous like the stars. He promised that he would make his name great. It was not presented as a promise of salvation or justification as such, and it was not a call to suffering discipleship. It was a promise of healing, prosperity, and glory for Abraham. And Abraham was justified by believing in this promise. The sort of message that false teachers call heresy today has been the foundation for the calling of Moses, the coming of Christ, and the salvation of Christians. Abraham recognized that his own body and his wife’s body were old and barren, but because God said that he would have a son, natural circumstances became irrelevant. He believed that God was able to perform a miracle of healing.

It would have been redundant to believe that God was willing to do what he said. Of course he was willing — he said it. God said, “Abraham, I have made you the father of nations. You are going to have a son. I will make your name great.” Imagine if Abraham had said, “I know you are able, but are you willing to do it?” This would have made no sense, but somehow it has become a pillar in Christian reasoning. “Well…I just said you are going to have a son.” “Right, I heard you. But are you willing to do it?” Should we treat God like a child? It is even more absurd to focus on the will of God for healing given all that the Bible says about the nature of God, the work of Christ, and the ministry of the apostles and the believers. Even the attempt to demonstrate the will of God for healing seems redundant and ridiculous. Abraham believed that God was able to do this thing that was impossible for human power to accomplish. And that was faith.”[6]

The scripture teaches the doctrine of being declared righteous in God’s sight, not in the context of sin or salvation, but of faith to believe God will be faithful to His promise to bestow us with over-the-top blessings, health, wealth and fame. It is interesting how the Scripture in Romans 4:13 interprets its own gospel blessing to Abraham as a promise to give the “whole world” to him! Two important things need to be said here.

One, this remark about the “gospel blessing,” was intentional. This again, will likely be a surprise to some, particularly those obsessed with sin more than God Himself. Paul in Galatians 3 says the promise “blessing” to Abraham was the “scripture” preaching the “gospel,” not only to Abraham but to the gentiles. This means that like the doctrine of God declaring people righteous was first introduced without sin or context of salvation, but in context of abundant favor and goodies, it is also with the doctrine of the “gospel.” It is true that what God promised Adam and Eve in the Garden, although vague, is about deliverance and in this sense was a promise of “good news”; however, in referring to the “gospel” in context to how the Scripture interprets itself “directly,” it is with Abraham the Scripture introduces “the gospel.” The reason for this, is that the children of faith and unbelief are publicly and historically made known with God’s promise to Abraham.[7] Also, not only does the Scripture directly call this blessing the gospel, but it is also in this context that the Scripture uses the principle of first mentions, about the doctrine of God declaring someone righteous in His sight.

Thus, the scripture introduces the doctrine of the “gospel” to Abraham, not in context of sin or justification or salvation, but of God giving extraordinary blessings, wealth, health and fame to humans. Let that sink in.

The gospel is “good news” that is “reported” and announced. The gospel, like with everything else about God and His chosen ones, is first and foremost a positive doctrine. It’s first announcement is of extraordinary good things for God’s chosen ones. Abraham believed this report of good news of blessings, and God declared him righteous for it. For this reason, when the gospel is “mainly” announced to be about sin and forgiveness or only forgiveness, it distorts and even slanders the way the scripture teaches the doctrine. Therefore, the gospel will be defined in this book as, “all the good things that the death and resurrection of Jesus accomplished at that place and time.” More will be explained later about this, but you will see how this definition will give proper place for sin and forgiveness (as a free gift blessing), but also strongly focusing on God’s super abundant blessings (health, wealth, help and powers), which are freely given to us, not only for the next life, but for this one.

From the beginning the gospel was foundationally an announcement of all the good things God is giving us, which like Abraham, by faith we receive today, and not just for the next life.  What if Abraham said, “well, I will receive a child in the next life, so it will be ok.” No! If Abraham thought this, there would have been no Isaac. Do not be deceived. To receive these good promises of miracles today in faith, are so important that if you do not receive them, then there is little hope you will find any good thing in the next life. If you are a true child of Abraham, a true child of faith, you will receive your miracles in this life, and then you will have proof that in the next life you will receive heaven itself.

“So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?

So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.

Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the GOSPEL in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”

So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith,”
(Galatians 3:5–9 (NIV)[8]

Because this “blessing of Abraham” (Galatians 3:8) is called by scripture the “gospel” let us read that in the text and see how it reads. Remember a few verses later “the Spirit,” was put together with “miracles.” Having the Spirit (most likely the baptism of the Spirit) and miracles, Paul says, is proof the Galatians began in the “message of Christ.”

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”

in order that the “gospel” might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus,

so that we might receive the “gospel” of the Spirit through faith,”
(Galatians 3:13-14 LEB).

Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, sums up “the gospel” preached to Abraham as receiving the blessings of the Holy Spirit and miracles. Let that sink in. God promising to be Abraham’s exceedingly great reward, according to Paul, means we get the gift of the baptism of the Spirit and miracles, and the Scripture calls this “the gospel.” This is not how most define and preach the gospel. But who is more God-centered, and who is more gospel-centered, some famous theologian or the scripture itself? Interestingly, Paul does not refer to Christ being our curse for us on the cross, as directly the gospel, but as something that makes the gentiles receive the gospel of the Spirit and miracles. It is true that the “gospel” is used in other places as incorporating the whole aspect of Jesus’ substitutionary death and resurrection; however, I point this out to show that even the Scripture at times narrowly uses the “gospel” as only its positive blessings, just like it was originally preached to Abraham. That is, the scripture interchanges “the gospel” with “God’s abundant favor.” Here, the “message of Christ”[9] is about the substitutionary atonement of Christ, particularly the negative aspect of Jesus becoming our sin, curse and sickness. The “gospel” here is referred to as the positive blessings of God giving the Spirit, miracles and the world to us.[10]

This teaching on the gospel also condemns cessationists 1000x over. Paul narrowly uses the “gospel” to only refer to the blessing of the baptism of the Spirit and working miracles. Therefore, those who resist the baptism of the Spirit (as defined by Acts) and working miracles, are those who fight the gospel itself. Cessationist rather than being gospel-centered, are gospel enemies and blasphemers. They are gospel haters.  The gospel is not even in the picture for them. They are centered on something, but it is not the gospel. However, as I think about it, there was a group in the New Testament, of spiritual beings and men who tried to stop this gospel of the baptism of the Spirit and miracles. They were “gospel-centered,” but only in the sense they were centered on destroying it. So in a sense cessationists are “gospel-centered,” but not the way they think.

Two. The second point that needs to be addressed is Paul summing up the blessing of Abraham, as God “giving him the world.” So, in Galatians the blessing of Abraham is called the gospel, and Paul boils it down to receiving the baptism of the Spirit and miracles. Here in Romans 4 Paul boils down the promises of God to Abraham as God giving the “whole world” to him.  Both are true, correct, and together they broadly incorporate the favor of God given to His chosen ones. As for the gospel of the Spirit and miracles, we see God being our Exceedingly Great Reward in the spiritual sense. Recall an earlier doctrine, we went over how man’s image is intellectual and spiritual. We discussed this from 1 Corinthians chapter 2. Through the Spirit, who alone knows God, we who are given the Spirit, have the “Mind of Christ.” In the baptism of the Spirit and miracles, this intellectual and spiritual image becomes so infused with God like power, that is becomes more than an internal spiritual reality, it becomes an outward world effecting power. God’s internal intellectual and Spiritual glory is overflowing with power so much that it effects reality so much, that it is the sole cause of all reality. As image bearers, we also reflect this image of God in us. God is such an exceeding great reward for His chosen ones, that He spares no expense. He gives us the “Mind of Christ,” and unlike Zeus who would never let a person even borrow his lighting bolt, God gives us His lighting bolt to wield as our own.  Jesus overcame the world, and with our faith in Him, “we” wielding God’s power overcome the world. This is the legacy of God’s children. The same love the father loves the Son, the Son asks the Father to love us with. We are made one with God, by His unmeasurable favor that He has for the Son, He pours in and all around us. Thus, whether it is the image of God internal glory of intelligence, God gives it to us, or whether it is God’s power, He gives it us to. The is no one who gives like God. If He gave His Son to saves us from our sins, then how much MORE will He freely gives us all things in Jesus? Who can measure such lavish and generous giving?

In addition to our spiritual image and spiritual power that effects reality, Paul sums up Abraham’s blessing as God giving the whole world to Abraham. This is not the first time we have seen this. Recall our earlier circle diagram from 1 Corinthians 3. Paul says the world belongs to God but so do the saints; yet God puts “the world,” as a smaller category inside the larger category of “His children.” The world, the past and present, the future, and all things belong to God’s children. Understanding God’s immeasurable giving nature, why should any saint have any hesitation to affirm and believe that God would create and give the whole world to His chosen ones? Who could doubt this but the unbelieving and wicked? As said before, this was how Satan tempted Eve; as if God was somehow holding back on her. To disbelieve and not enjoy the good things God has so graciously given us, is what led man into sin to begin with. If you have the smallest hesitation to believe and receive all the great things God has given to you, in this life, is at the same time leaving the door open for Satan to tempt and destroy you. God as given you His Mind, His Power and the wealth of reality, and if you disbelieve it, Satan will come along and say, “look at all the things you don’t have, and all those things you can’t have.” He will tempt you to acquire God’s freely given things, by a malfunctioned and intellectually delusional way. You will live a lie, a fallacy and become wicked. Do not allow yourself to be such easy prey. Rather, receive from God all that He has given you, and expand the Kingdom of God with truth, power and resources. Become Jacob who possess his possessions. “And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions,” (Obadiah 1:17 NKJV)

Considering what God promised Abraham in being his exceedingly great reward (giving the world to him), Abraham became financially filthy rich, had a wife so physically beautiful that kings wanted her (70 years old) for their Harlem, defeated 4 kingdoms and their armies, supernatural had children beyond what natural bodies can do and prospered in all that he did. This is what it meant for God to be Abraham’s God, and Abraham to be His son, in relation to reality. Reality is freely given to Abraham to bless and prosper him. It is true the “fullness” or completeness of this promise is realized after Jesus’ second coming; however, the point here is to state what is available in this life, which is the life we are currently existing in.

The temporary contract with Moses in the law, also restated what this blessing of “God being our God, and we His people,” looks like, if the law if perfectly kept. Of course, in Jesus Christ, the law is perfectly kept. Thus, we who are Christians receive the blessings of that law; although what is really happening, is that this favor is originally the unmerited and eternal blessing promised to Abraham from ancient times, which the atonement of Jesus grafts us into.

“I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword.

“I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you.  You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest!  I will live among you, and I will not despise you. I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.  I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high,”
( Lev. 26:6:13 NLT)

Jesus, under the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and perfect faith in the word of God, asked and multiplied five loaves of bread to feed 5,000 men (not including women and children). There was such a “surplus” of food, they had to gather large baskets, in order to hold all the surplus of food. There was such a surplus of the power of the Spirit given to the church that people would try to let their shadows touch them, so that they might be healed of sickness and demons.  “The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade.  But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women.  As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by, (Acts 5:12-15 NLT).” But even table bearers, such as Phillip, had such a surplus of power and favor, that he was bodily transported by the Spirit to different locations, which is not recorded that even Jesus experienced.  Paul said that Jesus was a wealth atonement substitute on the cross for us, so that the Corinthians will live in financial abundance (because Jesus took on their poverty), so that in this “surplus” of money they can freely give to the cause of advancing the gospel and helping the church (2 Corinthians 8:9 & 9:8).[11]

Melchizedek, the eternal priest—without beginning or end—and an architype for Jesus, brought Abraham bread and wine in Genesis chapter 14. The context was God blessing Abraham with a victory in defeating 4 kings and their armies who had take Lot as a captive. In returning from this victory, Melchizedek meet Abraham, bringing him “bread and wine.” The connection is obvious. This high priest of God is giving bread and wine, as an archetype for what Jesus, the true high priest, was going to do.  This again was without the context of justification or salvation, but of granting Abraham a military victory over his enemies. God promised to be Abraham’s great reward, and therefore, even in military conflicts God favors Abraham. God even blesses Abraham with a high priest and gives him the bread and wine. Thus, those grafted into the blessing of Abraham, have victories over their troubles and enemies. Likewise, the true high priest gave us His body to be broken and His blood to be spilled out, in order to both save us and favor us with blessings. I could go on and on about his, but the point is made.

This ties into our previous teaching on the decrees. The original intention God had toward the Elect was all blessings and glory and love. It was a purely positive intention to create a chosen people to share in the love He has for His Son, to be freely given in and over them. Therefore, after the introduction of the Garden and God’s promise of salvation, God singles out Abraham and introduces the major Christian doctrines in a exclusive positive way, without the context of justification or salvation. Abraham is blessed, favored, declared righteous in God’s sight and is God’s “friend.” In this Abraham is a type of architype of how God saw all His chosen ones, at the beginning of His decrees. After Abraham, we see in Scripture how God designed to get all His chosen ones to this overabundant blessed position. Thus, God after Abraham brings in the temporary law of Moses to teach about man’s sinfulness.  “This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise.  For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise. Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins,” (Galatians 3:17-19 NLT).

This will end the scripture’s basic introduction of Soteriology and how it introduces major doctrines of salvation. The next section will deal with the specifics of the atonement of Jesus Christ and its accomplishments.

Abraham/gospel promise – You are highly favored and blessed.

Moses/Law – You are sinful.

Jesus/It is finished – I save you from your sins (the doorway), and I give you Abraham’s blessing (at seat at My Father’s table).

——- Endnotes ——-

[1] Boldface mine.

[2] [] my translation, since I felt the NLT paraphrased too far on this part.

[3] Boldface is mine in these 3 passages.

[4] Although I have heard other people mention the importance of Abraham, such as Oral Roberts (mentioning Abraham’s promise means healing as bread in the example of the gentile women), but it was Vincent who help me the most to understand this doctrine, and must give credit to him. I would recommend his essay, “Edge of Glory.”

[5]  “You are nothing but a Canaanite! Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.  On the day you were born, no one cared about you. Your umbilical cord was not cut, and you were never washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in cloth.  No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were unwanted, dumped in a field and left to die.

But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘Live!’  And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field,”
Ezekiel 16”3-7 NLT.

[6] Vincent Cheung. “Healing: the Will of Man.”

[7] Before Abraham, the children of faith were more random and spread out. There was no definite line or place to show a strong heritage of faith.

Even though Israel was marred with unbelief, there was always the remnant of faith in him, as opposed to every other nation on earth that did not even have a small public remnant of faith.

[8] Boldface added by author.

[9] In 3:1-2 the message Paul referred to was about the “crucifixion of Jesus.”

[10] I can count on one hand how many times I have heard preachers use the terms gospel and message of Christ the way Paul uses them here.

[11] I will not long deal with the stupid objection that says, “the church in Jerusalem was poor to whom they were giving the money too,” because the main context of this was the “persecution” for the sake of the gospel. As said, many times, that is a different category other than everyday troubles. Thus, if you are not under direct persecution, for the sake of being a true Christian, then this objection is a point of non-relevance.  Green is 7 therefore blue is 7. Please think like adults and do not annihilate categories like children playing imaginary games.

With that being said, even under persecution, we are not without weapons, and ways to gain victories, and if death for the gospel’s sake is truly our end, then the Spirit will make this clear, and not irrationally inferring it form mere circumstances. Only those under the power of the Spirit and filled with mountain moving faith, are those qualified to make such distinctions, which means those who make such stupid and wicked objections are not qualified.

Love Never fails – To Heal by Miraculous Power

Paul says this famous premise in 1 Corinthians 13. This love chapter is sandwich between the chapters on Paul’s teaching on the gifts of the Spirit. I remember Vincent Cheung saying something to the effect of, (as I paraphrase from memory) “if this chapter is read at a wedding, it is only proper to have a healing and miracle service afterwards, because that is the context of Paul’s teaching on love.” I agree.

It is odd that pastors and theologians who scream the loudest for “context” only do it on their few pet doctrines, but ignore it on everything else. The context for this doctrine of love is about God’s people having overwhelming spiritual power. Paul’s instruction is for God’s people, who have great power, is to use this great power in love, toward each other.

This next statement might be a shock for some, but it needs to be said. For those who do not have great heavenly powers of the baptism of the Spirit, Spiritual Gifts, Faith to move mountains, and are practiced in manifesting the Anointing Presence of God, this chapter of love is not applicable to them, or at the very least, it is mostly not applicable to them.

Paul starts the chapter by presupposing the audience does have faith to move mountains, give prophecies, speak in tongues, give to the poor and sacrifice themselves for each other. Those who do not fit the above presuppositions are those Paul is not addressing. He is addressing those who have spiritual power. This does not mean if you do not have spiritual power you are free from obeying God’s command to love your neighbor as yourself. What it does mean, is that for the Christian, love (like with the Sermon on the Mount) is elevated to a higher standard. There is no such thing as Christian love, that is not favoring others as yourself with healing, miracles and prophecies. A love that is without spiritual power is not a Christian love, by definition. Such a definition of love might the standards of non-Christians, but we are not non-Christians.

Jesus showed compassion and love over and over and over in the gospels, and it was always with the power of healing and miracles. Love without miraculous power is an anti-love, it is a love that Jesus does not know or lived. It is a love the apostles did not know or live. It is a love the New Testament church did not know or lived. Non-Christians live this type of love, but we are not non-Christians, unless you really are.

Love is to favor. Loving your neighbor is to favor them, the way you want to be favored. Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit for ministry, had power. When He saw a sick person, He favored them by using power to heal them and remove their suffering. This means, if I was sick and in pain, and I had power, I would favor myself by removing the sickness and pain from me. This is how Jesus favored those around them. This is how the apostle favored those around them. This is how the New Testament favored those around them.

Jesus commanded we pray in His name and get whatever we wish so that God is glorified, and we are filled with joy (John 14-16). Love others by praying for others to receive whatever you want for them, so that by Jesus giving this to them, God makes their joy full. Jesus was filled with the Sprit for ministry, and so commanded His followers to be baptized in the Spirit for power.

The gospels take the time to repeatedly show that Jesus demonstrated love and compassion by healing and using heavenly power to help people. Jesus then commands us to do the same. Then for extra measure Paul used the chapter on “love” in context of using spiritual power in church to help people. This is how the Bible defines Christian love. God’s love is not a powerless love. Before creation and after creation God’s love is not a powerless love. The Godman Jesus Christ, who the saints are imaged after, did not and does not love with a powerless love. The love that Jesus commanded the saints to use was not a command to have a powerless love.

God’s love is using power to favor others with help and salvation. Jesus’ love is using power to favor others with help and salvation. God commands us to love in the same way. We are to love the way God loves, which is to use heavenly power to favor others.

Remember when the Israelites went in to take the Promise Land? Do you remember that “they failed” to completely eradicate all the inhabitants? Did they fail or did God fail? God in the ultimate sense decrees everything; therefore, even their failure to obey His command to completely eradicate all inhabitants, was by God power and decree. However, the “failure” was theirs not God’s. “God’s command,” which is what “He wants for them,” is to completely take the Land and enjoy it. Both the moral accountability, and the failure to bring God’s desire for their good, was their failure and accountability.  God is not the objects He creates, thus, God’s command to man, does not categorically apply to Him, just as blue does not apply to the number 7. They failed to fully enjoy all the goodness of the Promise Land, because they failed to obey God. That failure is their accountability and responsibility, not God’s. That is, their failure is not God’s failure. The public failure of God’s people to fully enjoy what Almighty God promised, was on them.

The same with this phrase “love never fails.” If the saints are truly empowered and full of faith, the way “God commanded” them to be, then indeed “love never fails.” Love will see the need for a revelation, miracles, healing, truth or resurrection and because it has power to support all this favor surging in their hearts, then the blind see, the lame walk, the prisoner is set free, the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. However, if the saints are not in obedience to God’s command to have mountain moving faith and crowned with Spiritual power, so that they fail to love each other in miraculous power, then that accountability and responsibly is on them and not God’s definition of what love is. In such cases, God’s definition of love did not fail; rather, a person failed to obey God commandments, just like with the Israelites.

The Corinthians were prideful, however despite this, at least people were being healed and miracles were performed so that God’s people were favored with help and deliverances. If I were sick and in pain, I would pick a prideful Corinthian who has power to heal me, 1 million times over a so-called saint who was humble but lacked God’s power, and thus, lacked the ablity to love me by removing the pain. Neither, is a true definition of love, but the Corinthians were at least able to relieve suffering saints with the Spirit of God. That is, the Spirit of God did not leave the Corinthians, even though they had some selfish intentions. Paul corrected them and told them to seek even more power. The finger of God, was still moving to help those around them with power, despite some of their faults. However, without this power, then the finger of God does not break in with power, because the power is not there to begin with.

Let God’s people not repeat the mistakes that Israel committed in desert and Promise Land. Let us be filled with faith and the Spirit for heavenly power. Let us love like Jesus. Let us love by the definition revealed in the Scripture. Let us love like God. Let our favor be with power, so that “love never fails.” Let us favor our fellow saints as much or more than ourselves, and with this desire, let us be filled with faith and power. Let us fulfill our desire to help by wielding the power of God as our own, which is our rightful inheritance. Let our actions be the Finger of God that expands His Kingdom with love that never fails.

Cannot Throw a Hammer at God’s Face…

What is humility before God? What is confidence before God? Good questions, but unfortunately such easy questions for Christian masochist’s become a den of demons.

I will protect the person behind this comment below and just call them Billy.

You can read at the end of this the original post, where Billy read and then gave this response to it.

4 Blessed [are] those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed [are] the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Matt 5:4-5.

You might want to get your intellect around the fact that Jesus does not promise these blessings to the confident, but to the humble. Consider the story he told of the Pharisee and the tax collector. It was the super humble tax collector who went home justified
“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:14

If you read my original post used I the term “super humble,” to refer to those who think and act in false humility. I said, “super-humble people never receive God’s salvation, let us leave them to their religious masochism.”

The usual fallacies of ambiguity and non-relevance hide a doctrine of demons in this short comment.

Let us define humility. Humility is submission to God. We are told to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He will lift us up” (1 Peter 5:6). Humility is not a feeling or an emotion. Humility is an intellectual understanding of yourself relative to God. You understand God is big and you are dependent on Him. God’s hand is mighty and yours is not. But in this command to humble ourselves we are told to do it so that God will “exalt us.” Think about that. In this command to humble ourselves it is commanding us to seek our self-desire to be exalted. The command is not seeking God to be exalted, but us. We desire our own exaltation, but we are weak in and of ourselves, so we are commanded to submit ourselves to God’s so that His power will exalt us.

Again, super humble people have a problem with this, which is why they do not receive salvation or any other promise form God.

Let us define “confidence.” I mean the word the way it used in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see, (NIV).

The term “confidence” is a relative word, like big or small. Confident in what? Confidence in self is obviously both stupid and wicked. The Scripture tells us we are created, and are dependent, and are weak. Non-Christians, and Christians before they were Christians, were intellectually blind and morally darkened. Thus, to have confidence in the self is a delusion and sinful.  When Christians are saved and renewed in the Spirit, are not intellectually blind anymore and the state of their soul is not darkness, otherwise they are not Christians. This does not mean they are perfect, but that their new-creation is radical transformation.

Since I am addressing Christians, I will deal with it from this position. Even though our minds are renewed and we are filled with God’s truth, and (hopefully) are baptized in the Spirit with powers from heaven, we do not have confidence in ourselves because every positive thing just stated is given and continually supplied by God’s power to us. This is something so painfully obvious that I wonder why I need to even say this. Therefore, our confidence is in God. He sent His Son for us, even when we were sinners to be a wrath appeasing atonement, simply because He favored us so much. He caused us to be born from above, with the washing and renewing of the Spirit. Jesus from the throne of David, at God’s right hand, pours the baptism of the Spirit to endowed us with heavenly powers and weapons. Every morning His tender mercies are new; His rod and staff comforts us as we walk in the valley of death. He is so faithful; the sun’s daily rising looks like a cheap copy.

I say this because any Christian can see this. They have read Hebrews 11:1 about faith is confidence in what God said. They understand some terms are relative. Even preschool unbelievers know this. Thus, why is it when I write about a confidence in Jesus, so-called Christians try to rebuke me by saying confidence is bad? What? Why is it when I write about God promising to give me the “mind of Christ,” and “the Power of Spirit,” and that I am confidence God works this in me so that “I have Mind of Christ” and “I have the Power of the Spirit,” I am publicly attacked by Christians by saying confidence is bad?

Ok, let me try this out. Confidence in God’s promise is good, except all the times it is not? I remember Vincent Cheung saying something to the effect of, “welcome to this mad-house called Christian theology.” Indeed, it truly is.

When I deal with some “Christians,” I feel like I am dealing with the most ridiculous stupid, bottom of the barrel insane people. Can you fault me for this? First they are not Christians. They are reprobates. You cannot actively attack God’s Word, which is attacking God over and over, without giving proof of your reprobation. You cannot keep attacking God and claim you are with Him at the same time. It doesn’t work that way.

Super humble people like to emphasis that “confidence” is only or mostly relative to man’s confidence in himself. However, this not the emphasis in Scripture. It is true, the Scripture mention at times how some have confidence in themselves, and by doing so they condemn themselves to burn in hell.

Scripture has a positive and not a negative emphasis. The Scripture’s positive message is God, with all this power and grace, and the message that for those with “confidence” in His many promises they will not be disappointed. The Scripture’s focus on confidence is a positive one, as it repeatedly highlights those with confidence in God.

In fact, our passage in Hebrews 11 is all about this focus. Jesus in the gospel does condemn those with confidence in themselves, but it also underscores repetitively those with faith (i.e. confidence) in God to heal them.

Thus, faith and confidence in God are referring to the same thing. To rebuke confidence is to rebuke faith. This is why I said the above is demonic. It is the job of demons to rebuke faith, ..well, and those who follow them. Since my topic was faith/confidence in God, to rebuke me, even if using a sleight of hand fallacy and make it “relative” to self rather than God, is to still rebuke faith by a sleight of hand fallacy. You cannot rebuke God, even by proxy, even by fallacies that put you one step back from directly slapping God and be in delusion that you will escape condemnation. You cannot throw a hammer at God’s face and claim the hammer did it.

And this brings us back the other term, “humility.” Humility is also a “relative” word. I have made this point before, and it bears repeating. Humility starts with Christian epistemology. Humility starts by submitting to the Word of God. Humility is acknowledging that you do not produce truth, you cannot obverse truth, you cannot calculate truth from science, and you do not have truth inherently; rather, God is truth, and the only starting point of knowledge for mankind.  You are exchanging your human starting point for knowledge with God’s promise and definition. This is where humility starts, and without this no action you do can intellectually or spiritually be defined as humble.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding. How do you expect to obey without understanding Him? Take your human speculation and submit yourself to God as your starting point for all knowledge.  Do this and we can at least start to talk about humility. If I do not see this from you on any one topic in Scripture, then humility is no longer part of the picture, at least on that topic.

Thus, if you want truth, you submit yourself to God and God will exalt you with His truth, His understanding and His intelligence.

This will be another painfully obvious point, but super humble people seem to miss this. Thus, to submit yourself under God’s command to repent and be saved is humble. “You” want to be “exalted” so high up that “you want” to be at peace with God and boldly approach the King of Kings, thus you submit yourself under God’s command for repentance and then God exalts you to be His son and even a co-heir with Christ forever.  You are not seeking to exalt God, but you are seeking for God to “exalt you” with salvation. Of course, this in the larger context exalts God. Here is the main point, this act of humility is also true for EVERY COMMAND and PROMISE, no matter how awesome and grandiose the promise is.

Jabez praying for God to enlarge his tent and give him peace, is an act of the most holy and debasing humility as defined by God’s word. Let that sink deep into your soul. To seek God to heal you based on His promise in James 5:15, is humility at its finest. Why? Because you are trading in your human speculation (my body is sick, and seems to want to stay this way for the future) and you are lowering and debasing yourself, by giving up your observations and your conclusion from them and bowing to submit to God’s definition (that says Jesus already took your sickness and if you ask in faith you will be healed). It is hard to lower oneself, greater than this.

I know some are thinking about the phrase, “in His own time,” from 1 Peter 5:6. But again, this is also defined relative to God’s own definitions and promises. The promise in James 5:15 is referring to a “miraculous” healing. That is, if not in the very moment, at least soon. Thus, to submit yourself under God’s mighty promise in this context means His timing is quick by definition, the whole new testament shows this. Any promise that conveys an immediate or fast response has the same definition to “God’s timing.” God’s timing for healing is fast; there is no way to remove this context out, unless you remove the Scriptures, or that is to remove God. The same for faith in the gospel and being born again. Stop letting excuses keep you out of healings and heaven. You only have one life.

If you are looking for God to exalt you by submitting your faith and confidence in God’s mighty promises, you are the pinnacle of humbleness. Do not let anyone steal this from you. Do not let Satan or those sided with him steal God’s definition from you. Be humble and seek God’s mighty hand to faithfully do all the things He promised. Be a Christian.

If you find it humble to ask God for forgiveness, knowing that if you ask in faith God will absolutely exalt you with forgiveness and adoption, but not humble to do the same with healing you or prospering you, then you are very definition of arrogance and pride. You have sided against God. You are a legacy of pride.

Be humble and seek God’s mighty hand to faithfully do all the things He promised. Be a Christian.

——————-

Original Post:

This foundation of Jesus is important, because He is head of the church; He is the Image that God’s chosen ones are created in. Everything else the saints gained from their new creation in Christ is built on this “Logos” foundation. We have already discussed, in the doctrine of man, what intelligence means. We learned the foundation of the Spiritual aspect of man is in this intellectual foundation. This foundation is to have true premises from God’s revelation and logically apply them to the world and oneself.

Jesus’ ability to think in this spiritual and intelligent way, is freely given to the saints, so that Paul even says we “have the mind of Christ.” Christ’s ability to be Spiritual and intelligent becomes the Saints’ ability to be Spiritual and intellectual. This is made reality by the Spirit of God poured into the saints and the “truth”; however, there is a particular emphasis on the “truth” of all the good things freely given them.

This theme we will see more and more. God’s ability becomes the Saints’ ability. The realm of impossibilities that are possible by God’s ability, becomes the saints’ realm possibilities. The power of God becomes the saints’ power. As Jesus was anointed by the Spirit with power to do His ministry, the saints’ have the same Spirit given to them to minister in the same power of Christ, with the one exception that Jesus promises they will have even greater power for miracles than Him. Super humble people have a problem with this, but since super humble people never receive God’s salvation, let us leave them to their religious masochism, for it is all they will receive in this life or the next.

This Logos of intellectual light and wisdom that made and logically decreed the whole future of the reality, is the logos that John says became flesh and stepped into the world He made. John says He was full of “truth” and “unmerited favor.” These themes of truth and grace will repeat themselves in John’s gospel, and the conclusion John gives is for us to believe in God’s Son and be saved.

 Desire vs Faith

We can define “desire” as one of two main ways, as “feelings / emotions,” or as “a want or wishful hope.”

Both of these definitions have the same non-relevance in regards desire being non-intellectual and having no necessary connection to faith, or no necessary connection to receiving the promise.

Faith is simply a mental assent to God’s truth. Having a desire or wishful hope to be saved, and mentally assenting to the gospel propositions as truth, is not the same thing.

The bible does speak of a “sound mind” and that we are to renew our minds. This is in two ways. The first and foundational meaning is to know the propositions of Scripture and assent to them, and deductively apply them to yourself and to decisions of good and evil about reality. You remove false propositions and replace them with true propositions from Scripture, and you remove invalid reasoning with deductive reasoning. The second part is what we call the psychological state of the mind. A renewed/mature mind will experience a more stable state of joy, and without even trying will keep gravitating towards wanting or desiring to please God rather than the self or man. However, as John says in 1st John 3, our hearts or that is, our irrational emotions and thoughts can condemn us, even when it is not true. Thus, you never base what is true or false by your emotions or by your up and down desires. You base what is true on “faith.” You do not base truth by sight for sensations is no truth or produces truth. Or simply put because we live by faith alone, and since sight is not faith, we do not live by sight. By the same reasoning, we do not live by feelings and desires, because these not faith. To go from sight to a proposition is invalid; however, it is just as invalid to go from desire/feelings to a proposition. In both case one is making a category error and denying the law of identity.

A wishful hope for healing is not faith. A wishful hope is not a mental assent to the fact that in Christ’s atonement “you” are already healed (Isaiah 53); that is faith. To desire to be healed, is on one hand something Jesus presupposes that people want; however, because desire to be healed is a command then even if you do not “feel” the desire to be healed, you can be obedient, if by nothing else, by pragmatically seeking to be healed by faith, in how the bible says to grow faith.

The desire would and often should be there, but it is not faith, and it is not needed to obey God’s commands. We should desire and seek for a sound mind, both in the intellectual, spiritual aspect, and also for a constant state of joy and desire for God. However, we do not start off with a mature mind when we are born again. We renew our minds by the means God has given us. If we do not start off with a perfect state of mind when born again, and having such a mind is required for us to ask and obtain our requests from God, then it would never happen. Think about the examples of faith in the Bible? Samson, when his eyes were stabbed out and bound in chains of slavery, was his mind in perfect joy? All he did was believe God would be faithful to His promise to use Samson. His faith was so great he is mentioned in Hebrews 11 with David, Moses and Abraham as a man who the world was not worthy to have utter Samsons’ name on their filthy lips.  It is true that having a joyful and peaceful state of mind for good things is able to help, so that even prophets asked for music to be played, and David would retreat and quietly meditate on God’s goodness; however, with or without the perfect desire, only one thing is needed, a mental assent that God will do what He said, without doubting it. When this is done you can ask for 100 mountains to throw themselves into planet Saturn and it will happen.

Also, like assenting to the fact that bananas are your favorite fruit, it is either mental assent that you do, or if they are not and you still affirm, “bananas are my favorite fruit,” you mentally assented to a lie or a delusion. A mental assent does not merely mean you affirm something like (2 plus 2 equals 4), if the context demands it. It is one thing to assent that figs exist, and a different thing to assent that figs are “my” favorite snack. This is either true or false; if false and you say it in your mind anyway, then all you have done is indulged in a mental delusion.

When we realize our faith is not where it should be we are told to renew our minds. We take off the old falsehoods and replace them with the truth. We “confess” them, even when we know we have doubts, not because we are delusional, but because the promise of God is that we can renew our minds and that the Spirit will help to strengthen us. We confess God’s promises, knowing God will be faithful to sanctify our minds so that soon, we can assent to them without doubts. Because the “foundation” is not us, but GOD, we have the confidence to read God’s promises, and confess them knowing God will renew and strengthen us, so that soon the doubts will be gone and an indomitable faith remains.

Jesus: “You Have Heard it Said…”

Jesus: You have heard it said,

“if you ask, you might or might not get it, depending on God’s will.”
However, I say to you, “If you ask you will receive, if seek you will find, and if you knock the door will be open.”

Jesus: You have heard it said,

“If you pray God will answer with a ‘yes,’ ‘maybe’ or a ‘no.’”
However, I say to you, “for everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Jesus: You heard it said,

“If you keep asking, and God has not given it to you,  God has answered your prayer with a no.”
However, I say to you, “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.” [1]

Jesus: you have heard it said,

“Even if God answers your prayer, because God is looking out for you, He will often give you something different, but better.”
However, I say to you, “what man is there among you, if his son will ask him for bread, will give him a stone? Or also if he will ask for a fish, will give him a snake? Therefore if you, although you* are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?”

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives,

and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you, if his son will ask him for bread, will give him a stone?

Or also if he will ask for a fish, will give him a snake? Therefore if you, although you* are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him? Matthew 7:7–11 (LEB)

Since it is God’s, and not man’s definition that a “good” God gives you the very thing you ask for, anyone who teaches otherwise is spouting a doctrine of demons. Some bark up like mad dogs that, “what if you ask for something bad?” So what? What does this logically have to do with what I am saying? This is not a relevant point, because James says if you ask God for evil things (“God help me murder this person”), then you are God’s “enemy,” and so prayer is the least of your concerns. Since I am addressing Christians or those who at least claim to be so, and not sworn enemies of God, I will ignore logically non-relevant points.

Jesus says, if you ask in faith you will get what you ask for. Jesus even says this in more than one way, in case we missed it. What Jesus is doing here with prayer, is the same He is doing throughout the “Sermon on the Mount.” You have heard it said “do not murder your brother, but I say to you, do not do it, even in your heart.” When Jesus teaches on judging people, His point presupposes that you are able to judge your brother, and to do it without hypocrisy. You do this by removing the wood from your own eye first. Some morons say, “you cannot judge without hypocrisy or bias”; yet, Jesus contradicts this in His sermon. He teaches the true ethical standard God demands for judging, and He expects His disciples to do it. It is good news to see in the new covenant, God promising to give us ethical power, “I will write my laws in your hearts.”

In this context of Jesus repeatedly correcting the low opinion of people’s thinking on God’s commands and standards, Jesus talks about “prayer and faith.” Thus, when we see Jesus saying, “if you ask God in faith, you get the very thing you ask for,” then we can infer the presupposition behind it, at least in the broad sense; and so, Jesus’ teaching is in opposition to the people’s low opinion of what they think prayer and faith should accomplish. The Jews had a perverted and low view of prayer. From the Mount, Jesus corrects their error and describes the true ethical standard that God commands about faith. Whatever the low valuation of prayer the Jews had, it was not to the standard of, “if you ask in faith, you will get what you ask for.”  Jesus is expecting and demanding, (just like He demands us to not even lust in our hearts after another woman), to pray and get what we pray for.  Jesus in essence says, “You have heard it said, if its God’s will, then you might get what you pray for. But I say to you, if you ask in faith, you will get the very thing you ask for, because God is the good Father.” This is the type of Being we are dealing with. You must deal with Him and not someone else.

Do you know this Jesus?

[1] Luke 7:5-8

Obedience Proves you Understand the Scripture

All who follow his precepts have good understanding,”
(Psalm 111:10 NIV).

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit, and prove to be my disciples,
(John 15:7-8 LEB).

 Ethics are the conclusion of one’s worldview. Without knowledge, there is no knowledge of ethics. Without a reality, then there is no reality for ethics to exist in. Without man, there is no man to command. Thus, on the major premises of epistemology and metaphysics, ethics conclude from this.

We read something interesting Psalm 111:10b. We are told that by obeying God’s precepts (i.e. Ethics) it “proves” that a person has good understanding or intelligence. Since obeying God is Christian ethics, it means obeying God concludes from “understanding” Christian epistemology and metaphysics. This is why the greatest test for exposing if a so-called Christian pastor, or historically famous theology is truly intelligent and understanding can be seen in their obedience of God. In obedience they prove they have understanding of Christian epistemology and metaphysics. However, like the religious hypocrites in Jesus’ day, some Christian ethics can be outwardly mimicked, at least to a degree. However, some ethics cannot be mimicked by hypocrites. For example, one such ethics is mentioned by Jesus in John 15. Jesus’ presupposes that bearing fruit for the Father is a command or precept. It is a Christian ethic. Jesus says by doing this ethic you “prove you are His disciples.” The ethic mentioned here is having faith to ask God for anything and then God give you this anything.

Even Jesus said it was more difficult to speak healing to the sick than speaking forgiveness of sins, because if you say, “get up and walk,” there is an immediate point of verification. False Christian converts do not have faith, thus, they cannot ask for God for anything and then get it. They cannot do the miracles that Jesus did, because they do not have faith or understanding.

The more difficult ethics that cannot be mimicked by false converts (such as healing, miracles and answered prayers), are ethics that give greater proof of greater understanding of God’s truth and greater Christian intelligence. It means you need to understand more of God’s sovereignty and Christian epistemology, and to believe them, in order to do such ethics. These ethics prove, you truly believe what the bible claims about God.

Thus, the real proof for a persons claim to ministry is not a degree, which is mere human approval, but doing the more difficult ethics. These prove such a Christian has great understanding of Christian epistemology and metaphysics. It does not mean they are perfect in their understanding, but as the Scripture says, it does prove they understand God. If your pastors and favorites theologians do not have such ethics in their life, they do not give Scriptural proof they understand God’s sovereignty, or biblical epistemology as well as they claim.

Do not let such disobedient weaklings be your instructors, in particular, if they directly teach against such ethics, or merely hold them back.