Category Archives: christian soteriology

You are My Sheep, and I Pray for You

In these promises to each other the Father promises that Jesus is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. In summery, this means Jesus’ priesthood is before and different from the Levitical one. It is an eternal and permanent priesthood, that the Levitical one cannot override, which came later. The Levitical priesthood, particularly with the Day of Atonement, we see a teaching illustration to learn what the substitutionary atonement of Jesus will look like, who has the original and eternal priesthood.

In Jesus’ priesthood, we learn in Isaiah 53:12 that He both bore (like the escape goat) the sins but He also “interceded” for them. For example, the priest in Leviticus 16 on the Day of Atonement, only sacrifice and interceded for the children of Israel, and not Moab or someone else. The atonement is for Israel only, not other people. The priest only intercedes for Israel. As the next chapter says (17) the “life” of the animal is in the blood. This is like “life” currency. Jesus gives us the currency of His life in exchange for our currency (or debt) of death. The “intercession” is about telling the bank where you want the money to go. What would happen if you dropped off a briefcase of money without say where you want it? This is why Jesus intercedes, He is telling the Father where the life currency of His atonement goes.

In John 17 Jesus prays, “not for the world” but only for those whom “Father gave Him.” This means His sacrifice was only for those whom the Father gave Him, and not the whole world, as in every single person. If Jesus did not intercede for ‘x’ group, then Jesus did not die for them. We call this definite atonement. Jesus’ atonement was successful for a definite group and not universally for all.

John 10:26-27, Jesus says, “you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep! My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” The “you do not believe” is the conclusion, the “you are not my Sheep,” is the major premise for why we have this conclusion. If you are not already part of Jesus’ sheep, then it concludes you do not believe, and will not believe. Jesus is answering a question with a separate statement about metaphysics and its effects. The ones not believing Jesus, ask if He is the Messiah. To put Jesus’ statement into a syllogism, (1) if you are not my sheep, then you do not believe.” (2) You are not my sheep. (3) Thus, you do not believe what I say.” Also, Jesus in other places says there is only two options, sheep and goats. By saying they are not sheep He is saying they are goats.

If you are not part of Jesus’ sheep then you will never listen and believe what Jesus says. “And I have other sheep which are not from this fold. I must bring these also, and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock—one shepherd. (v.16)” Combining this with the above meaning we learn, if a future person is not already now part of Jesus’ sheep, then they will not believe. Jesus teaches if someone is a sheep now, even if they are not-born-again now, they will believe in the future. His sheep, including those who are “going to believe” (future), believe because they “are” (present) already His sheep. These are those who Jesus interceded for, therefore they will believe at God’s predetermined times.

Jesus says “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they will never perish forever (v27-28).” After saying those who asked if He was the messiah, are not part of His Sheep, He says straight to their face that He gives eternal life to His sheep, which excludes those He is talking to, because He said they are not part of His sheep. There is no teaching of TWO groups that receive Jesus’ “eternal life,” in the scripture. Therefore, the law of excluded middle applies here. If you are not part of this group, then you are a goat, a reprobate.

This also kills the very stupid teaching that says predestination, election, reprobation and God’s absolute sovereignty is an insider doctrine for mature Christians, and not outsiders. Jesus in a mixed audience, in the face of those He is calling reprobates, is teaching these doctrines. Jesus does this again, for example, in John 6, where He says only those the Father draws will come to Him to receive eternal life, and it is for these, that He gives up His life for. If Scripture is going to be your first principle for all knowledge, then get all those answers there, not from men.

The foundational we learn from this are two things about salvation. One is the decrees of God. God in His sovereignty plans and does all the saving of sinful man. Since we have already dealt with the overall doctrine of God’s sovereignty we will focus on this second important point. Jesus’ statements teach the foundation of salvation is about metaphysic, or reality that is. God decides ‘x’ is a sheep and ‘y’ is a goat. The sheep is in the category of a sheep and gets all the category realities that belong to it, and the same with the goat. The world is God’s playdough. He makes up categories from nothing, with all their attributes. He then creates individuals out of nothing, to put into these categories that He wants.

Jesus says for the sheep that He dies for them. He will give them eternal life and they will live with Him forever. This is the reality, the category of being a sheep. He is the only Potter. If God decides ‘x’ is a sheep, then it is so. No one, not even Satan, not even the ‘x,’ can stop it, not because the person will believe against their own will, but because the Potter molds their will to be a sheep, and thus they will believe. Salvation at its foundation metaphysics, not ethics or about man and his choice. Because it is metaphysics first, then therefore, choice and ethics, which are conclusions of epistemology and reality, will follow.

This is great news for all God’s chosen ones who have cried out to God to save them. They will not be disappointed. Despite their internal struggles (even besetting sins) and the attacks of men and devils, even all this cannot stop them from being sheep, cannot separate them from God’s love, and cannot stop them from inheriting eternal life. This becomes a cornerstone for the believers to correct themselves and mature their faith, knowing they are winners. Their faith has overcome the world, because they are children of God.

[this is taken from my Systematic Theology book]

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 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.

The Pinnacle of a Spiritual Life

Evil is when you talk against what God has said. Do not agree with wrong words. Cut off negative words quickly, say “all is well.”
 
Every obstacle in your life is now an opportunity. Faith filled words are the highest form of spiritual life.
 
Bill Winston. Twitter. July/04/2021
 
___________________
“For to us God has revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man that is in him? Thus also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order that we may know the things freely given to us by God, things which we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. Now the spiritual person discerns all things.” (1 Corinthians 2:10-15 LEB)
 
“Is anyone among you suffering misfortune? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the elders of the church and they should pray over him, anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins he will be forgiven” (James 5:13-15 LEB)
 
Bill is correct here. Faith filled word’s are truly the pinnacle of a “spiritual life.” Whether he realizes it or not, this is the high intellectualism that bible teaches. Being “spiritual” is being intellectual. As Paul teaches in 1 Corn. 2, to be spiritual is having the Spirit of God (who alone knows God) reveal to you, the premises that God knows and understands to you, so that you have these premises and that you intellectually understand them and agree with them. But there is more to it. Paul specifically focus on the premises that deal with all the free goodies God is giving to us in Christ. To know these premises of freely given goodies, understand them and agree with God that He has indeed given them to you here and now in Christ, is according to Paul, the height of being intellectual, spiritual, so that such a person has the “Mind of Christ.”
 
This is why obstacles are food for the elect to be victorious over.
And why, since epistemology is the starting point, the beginnings of evil starts there, before it gets into behavior. As James says, if you are suffering misfortune, then ask for prayer, and agree your misfortune will go away. To intellectually agree and speak that your “misfortune” is who you are, that it will persist, is to think and speak evil. James says to speak in faith, and make it go away. This is goodness, this is intellectual; this is spiritual.
James says the same with with sickness and sinning. You are not to intellectually agree and speak that your sickness, is who you are, and that it will persist and defeat you. That is evil, this is anti-intellectualism; it is unspiritual. James says faith “WILL” make the sick healed. This is good; this is spiritual. The same with sin. You are not to intellectually agree and speak that sin, is who you are, and that it will persist and defeat you. That is evil, this is anti-intellectualism; it is unspiritual. You are to pray in faith and intellectually agree that in Christ you are forgiven and will mature in your behavior. This is goodness, this is intellectual; this is spiritual.

The Love and Hate of God:

One might be prone to ask, why did you not start with “creation” in a section about God’s sovereignty over all reality. God’s power/ability is first, an intellectual ability. Creation or the material comes later as a consequence. Not only does creation come later, but in the ordering of reality, the decree of creation comes last in God’s ordered decisions. The intellectual infinite power of God is seen in His own mastery of His mind and in the relationship of the Trinity.

The supremacy of creation is Jesus Christ, as Paul says in Colossians 1. But right beneath, even included with Jesus as part of His body, are the elect sons of God. In this since, the world was made for man. The sabbath was made for man. This is why Paul says that “all things are yours,” to the elect Corinthians. It is also why Paul says that corrupted creation will be liberated into the valuable liberty of the sons of God, rather than just saying “God.”

As will be explained more in the section on the decrees, this means the elect would be the second decree for reality. The reprobate and then all other created things come after and to support these first 2 decrees. This shows that the love and hatred of God did not come after God created but was before. It was at the very beginning of His decrees.

The LOVE of God is a top-level order or policy,
and thus, it effects the rest of the decrees that follow.

Because God’s ordering of the decrees has a rule or policy of “LOVE” at the top level, it is important to talk about what the love and hatred of God is, before moving to other aspects of how God “uses” His sovereign power.

“[Love and hate] are policies of [God’s] thought and action. Since God is impassable, and his mind cannot be disturbed, it means that divine love is not a disturbance of the mind, but an intellectual disposition of favor and mercy. And hate is a disposition of disfavor and judgment.”[1]

Since God love’s Himself the most, His policy of thought favors Him above all others. He has exalted His Word and Name above all creation, not someone else’s. “For You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word and You have magnified Your word above all Your name,” (Psalm 138:2 AMP). “As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord,”” ( 2 Corin.10:17 NLT). “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations,” (Ezekiel 36:22 NLT).

In other words, I do not save you because I value you, but because I value my own Name above all things. The crucial point that saves the elect is that God has grafted them into His Name, by making them joint-heirs with Christ, by making them His very righteousness. God who knows in perfection how infinitely awesome He is, has rightly made a policy of thought the values Himself above all others. This is similar to a broad definition for what “righteousness” means, which is to “think and act that values God above all others.” The commands and precepts of God to man, define how man is to accomplish this.

The love and hatred of God to man is first an intellectual policy of thought about this group and the other group, it is not emotional. In Christ, God took His intellectual policy of thought of love to His elect and publicly revealed it in a blood oath contract, in the New Covenant.

God’s love as “a policy of thought and action,” to act “favorably to this group,” is similar to a contract, but with oneself, rather than between two parties.  Vincent Cheung describes God’s “Contract”[2] in the N.T. as having the quality that the two groups know how the other will always act under the stipulated conditions. Earlier Vincent said, “God’s mind is so integrated that He only does what He wills,” because of His lack of emotions and perfect knowledge and mastery of His Mind.  In this light, God’s contract with the elect is the public expression/revelation of His “eternal policy of thought about them.”  The new contract is a stipulated policy of thought and action to this group, that is made public. God is letting the elect know that He only does what He wills, and the eternal/immutable policy for the elect, has been revealed in the New Contract.  In the eternal Mind of God it is a “policy of thought and action,” in the public revelation it is a “contract of promise,” made in the blood oath of Jesus’ atonement.

One way to view this, would be to consider me as a person who extraordinarily likes chocolate. Chocolate is my favorite by a tremendous amount. Thus, every time there is a choice given me about what candy, or desert, I always, and I mean always, chose my favorite, which is chocolate. God is immutable, so that even with a chocolate lover like myself, there is always the chance I could change, even if slight, but not God.  God does not experience fluctuations. Thus, He is not changed by emotions. God only does what He wills to do. He has willed to love the Elect. He has willed to make you in Christ, His favorite. Every time there is a choice between the elect, reprobate, angels, or other created things, He always picks His favorite to favor them, which is you.

The application for this doctrine is for Elect to gain inner power and ability by renewing their mind on how great God’s love is to them.

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. 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. (Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT)

Paul says you grow stronger by understanding and having faith in God’s limitless love for you.

As in most things a “policy” might have a highest or lowest threshold that triggers the policy. Like a computer program, you might have thresholds that trigger a particular program to execute. However, the Scripture defines God’s policy of thought and action of favor for His elect as not having something, to small or to high that would escape His favor from being triggered and applied.

The death of God’s own Son, did not negate God’s policy of thought and action to give favor to His elect, to trigger and engage.

 “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners,” (Romans 5:8 NLT).

Paul argues from this that if God’s policy of favor triggers for such a huge thing, then how much more for the little things.

“Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else,” (Romans 8:32 NLT)”

Jesus also affirms this truth.

Thus, even the smallest things, like counting the your hairs, or giving you your daily bread, is not too small to trigger God’s policy of thought and action of favor to His elect.

What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin[k]? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows,” Math 10:30-31)

Thus, no matter what trouble of life today you find yourself in, if you cry out in faith to God, it triggers God’s policy of thought and action of favor. You realize you do not deserve such love? Great! It is unmerited. Your faith qualifies you. Your faith gives you direct access to heaven, to trigger God’s favor for you.

This comment about God’s grace, or spelled out in a phrase “unmerited favor,” is another point to see how God’s policy/disposition of favor triggered, even when God needed to give us this favor without us working or earning it. Also, we talked about God’s love policy triggering at the highest and lowest thresholds, however, Paul says something a little different when He says in Ephesians 1:6. Paul say the Father has put us into His “beloved,” or His beloved son. This is like saying, “highly loved.” The Father loves His only begotten Son, with the highest type of favor, or His greatest favorite. This was like the example of me saying chocolate was by far my greatest favorite.

This gives us three ways to define God’s love for us, so that we know how awesome it is.  God’s love is toward us:

First, God’s favor is an immutable thought policy; the threshold of this favof triggers at the lowest thing, and it triggers the greatest thing.

Secondly, this favor is an unmerited favor (grace).

And lastly, when this loyal favor triggers, the amount of favor that it triggers is not small or even medium, but a super abundant favor; yes, as much as God favor triggers when considering His Beloved Son. We have been part of His body. We are His righteousness. We are co-heirs with Him. We are made One with Him, and Jesus One with us (John 17). In fact, we are even called, “Christ-ians.”

A quick note about logic. The positive always comes first, not the negative. In logic this is said as, a negation; and this can only happen if there is a positive first. Take for example justice and injustice. Injustice has no intellectual understanding without the positive understanding of Justice first. Something can only be negated, or a negative form given, if the positive is first. Therefore James says that mercy triumphs over judgment. God’s love is first, not hatred. God has always loved Himself, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit for all eternity. There was no hatred there. The definition is all positive. A negation is not intellectual without knowing what it is negating. You must love first, then the negation, which is hate.

This will give some broad insight why the “end” or original intention of God’s decrees is positive, not negative. Love (to Jesus and the elect) is a higher top level decree compared to hate, (to the reprobate),( Romans 9:21-23).

This will also give us a quick/broad scope critique against such worldviews, where hating is the end result, or a higher top level ontology over love, (a world where hateful demons are hurting and hating everything). When one begins to examine how a situation ended up like that, it will be seen as saying a negation came first. However, saying the negation came first, is logically and metaphysically impossible. Its like saying “blue fives are faster than clouds predicates swimming panda seven’s.” Just because you can say something with your physical mouth, does not make it true, or intellectual. A story in anime or TV that makes such a premise is talking about something that is delusional and impossible.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?” Matthew 5:43-46.

But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” Luke 6:35

A quick note about other uses of the word “love” in the bible. Jesus says to “love” your neighbor and even your enemy, by doing them “good and blessing” them. Jesus is obviously not talking about the type of eternal, electing and saving love that is given to the Elect. Only God can do that. The love in this context is a pragmatic, practical or natural benevolence. God’s eternal, electing, and saving love is the fuller definition and scope for what love means. This definition of love in our present passages is about a narrow use of this bigger love. It is a smaller subset definition of what love is. It is about practical actions to another person that helps them, and blesses them with good things. In essence it is referring to the definition of good and evil, when it is about harm or blessing a person.

God is the foundation for defining value and definitions, not something else. If God wants to have a fuller definition of what love is within the Trinity, and extended to the Elect, and another narrower use of it, then that is His choice. He is the foundation, and there is no other beside Him. This narrow use of love is also more focused on the “here and now.” The fuller definition of love is about past, present and future; it is eternal love. The context will determine which definition of love we are talking about.

Jesus says to love, and then defines it as “good,” “blessing,” and “kindness.” This is how Jesus defines a narrow love given here and now to people. God then says, He shows this SAME TYPE of love, when He is “good” and “kind” to evil reprobates, by giving them rain, sunlight and many natural goodies. Jesus again reaffirms this love by the story of the good Samaritan. The question is what does it mean to “love” your neighbor. The Samaritan helps and gives blessings/gifts, such as paying for the medical and housing of the injured man. Jesus defines this as “love.” When God sends rain to the crops of a reprobate, and this rain helps the parched crops so that they produce, God helped and gave a gift/blessing by paying for the producing of the reprobate’s crops. God loved them. And yet, they were unthankful for it. God loved Judas, by washing his feet. Think about God Himself, washing your feet. His hands touching your feet and cleaning the dirt off. It was not an illusion. Jesus loved Judas, and Judas repaid that love with hate. After this example, Jesus again says, for the disciples to “love” each other, by the example He gave them.  The gospel says that Jesus “loved” the rich young ruler by telling an infallible truth concerning how the man can truly find salvation. Many businesspeople pay high dollar to receive special insight into the business world. Jesus gave this man insight, that is true and powerful. Jesus gave it free of charge. It was love and kindness. The young ruler returned this love, by rejecting it.

 

God’s HATRED is the reverse, it is a policy of thought to ALWAYS act in an unfavorable way, particularly in regards to eternity. It is an eternal hate. This love and hatred is always God’s policy to these groups. Take for example when Paul says in Romans 8 “He works all things for our good.” God plans for a big good, and so He gives temporary evil for the Elect to overcome, and then by this receive this big good. This can be seen in the story of Joseph. The same is for those who He hates. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” (Matthew 5:45 NIV). Jesus is referring to good benefits in the common sense, in basic pragmatic things like rain (etc.) and not spiritual or an intelligent working of all things for their good. And so, even when God is presently giving reprobates (love) natural blessings like rain or other circumstances, God is working out that they be fattened for the day of slaughter (Psalm 73).[3]

God is working all things for their destruction and suffering.  Their receiving the common pragmatic good of God, is God’s policy of thought of loathing to set them up for death. Their receiving of God’s pragmatic, common love, is designed to work all things for their bad and destruction. It is the reverse for the Elect children of God. God defines this pragmatic kindness as “love,” thus, their rejection of it, leads to their eternal damnation and hate. Even though this is the narrower definition of love, because God defines it as love, it is real and not imaginary. The eternal definition of love does not negate this presently applied pragmatic love; rather, it establishes it. Presently applied love is a subset or subcategory from the parent of eternal love. The reprobates receive this temporary love, use it, benefit from it, and then they discard it, ignoring the God who gave it to them. Paul says in Romans 2 that the goodness and kindness of God, (Jesus defines this as love) should lead you to repentance. The reprobates in addition to ignoring giving thanks to God for His love, ignore His command to repent and be blessed.

The gospel message, because it is God’s truth is valuable and good to pursue in and of itself. It is wrong to say, “we only study God’s Word to be better people.” This blasphemy tramples on God’s Word as if it does not have infinite intrinsic worth. God and the Bible are interchangeable. To diminish the Word, in any way, is to diminish God. To study the Bible is an infinitely valuable pursuit, in and of itself. Even though reprobates reject the gospel message, to give them God’s Word, is giving them something that is INFINITE VALUE in and of itself. Jesus defines neighbor and enemy love as “blessing them.” That is, blessing someone with gifts and things of value. To give a cup of cold water to your enemy, even if he later rejects it, is still a good gift. It is love. Their rejection of it does not negate the act as love. Giving a reprobate the message of Jesus is to gift them something of infinite value, their rejection does not negate the act as love. Their rejection of this gift, is designed for their destruction and hate. Even if you love your enemy so that God might later rain down coals of fire on them later, your love given in the present is still love, because Jesus defines it that way. The end result does not negate Jesus’ infallible definition of love given to your neighbor and enemy.

“Or does the potter not have authority over the clay, to make from the same lump a vessel that is for honorable use and one that is for ordinary use[pee pot]? And what if God, wanting to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And he did so in order that he could make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy that he prepared beforehand for glory.”
(Romans 9:21-23, LEB []-by author)

As Paul says about the twins, “before they were born,” and then to clinch the nail on the other side, to stop any possible rabbit trails of excuses Paul says, “before they had done good or evil,” “I loved Jacob and hated Esau.” Paul then repeats this doctrine by saying “from the same lump,” God then molded the clay forms of the elect and reprobate. A lump is about being neutral; it is like saying, “before they were born or had done any good or evil.” God did not start with a bad “chamber pot,” to then form some for honorable and non-honorable use. No. God started with a formless lump. This means God had an idea what He wanted them to be, before they were formed, and then molded them into that form.

This is talking about man, before Adam’s fall and all man were born evil. To consider a man as sinful, is not to consider them as neutral clay lump, but as already a chamber pot. However, Paul teaches God is deciding the outcome of men, when they are still an unformed lump. A lump is not already good or evil, righteous, or sinful. The next sentence deals with how God treats the chamber pots and vase’s after considering them in light of Adams fall. Because He already decided to make the Elect into a vases, He saves them in mercy. This mercy is used to show them how much He loves them. God demonstrates that His eternal, immutable love, is exactly that. Not even sin Satan and death and stop it. Likewise, the chamber pots left in their sinful state and are hardened even more to fatten them up for damnation; they are used to support His plan to make the Elect into beautiful vases.  

Some will want to resist this. However, if I wanted to express the doctrine that God is in absolute control and man’s choice is not free, I would say, “God decided to love this person and hate this other guy, before they made their own choices of good and bad.” Thus, the objection to say Paul meant something different is a smoke screen, because it makes what Paul says, which is the opposite of their (free-will) position, mean its opposite. For example, if I was against the idea that Johnny’s favorite food is a banana, and Johnny says, “Bananas are my favorite food,” and then I respond, this means Johnny’s favorite food is not bananas, it shows that I am intellectually broken and bearing false witness.  If you see your opponent making both the affirmation and negation of a doctrine mean the same thing, then you know they just exposed how rebellious, disobedient and stupid they are.

As with man, it first started as love toward the Elect, as those who were always with Christ. “Even before he made the world, God LOVED us and chose us in Christ,” (Eph 1:4 NLT).[4] Because man has no ultimate self-causality, God choosing them in Christ in love, is the foundation of their being and existence. It is their antecedent, and so the consequent for them means that love is always affirmed for them in all outcomes. Therefore, for this chosen group in Christ, even after the fall and sin, because love is their beginning and policy from God, mercy triumphs in them, and not the negative of hate and condemnation.

The reprobate group were created to give a backdrop for God to teach the Elect about His love to them, in Christ. The reprobate are the extras in the TV show to showcase God’s main actors, His beloved children. The reprobate are like a filler section in an anime/tv series to give the Elect a place to have character growth. The reprobates are the cannon fodder to provide a context for the elect to practice their kingdom power against; to practice their sword and magic skills. Just as Goliath was the context for God to showcase His love to David, by empowering David with faith to destroy the monster. Not all monsters are the giant type, for Paul says that our weapons are used to tear down arguments from the devil. But the devil uses the reprobates to propagate his arguments. The Elect use this in context, to tear them down by the Spirit and truth; by this they level up in Spiritual maturity and gain new spiritual skills and even temporary material treasures. By seeking His righteousness first, God promises to give the Elect, the material treasures and things that the pagans seek after; the pagans seek more than the bottom minimum. They conveniently store up material treasures for God’s children to unlock at the end of each boss fight, when they seek God’s spiritual treasure first. Furthermore, Acts 10:38 says the devil oppresses and victimizes by sickness and broken bodies. Jesus started the War by healing all those oppressed by the devil. After His departure He has now endowed the Elect with the baptism of the Spirit. They are to pick up Thor’s Hammer where Jesus left it, and now they are to start destroying the works of Satan. The reprobates are thus, the monsters in a video game that give opportunity for the Elect to level up in Spiritual strength, by demolishing the works of the devil, which manifest in the reprobate, who are his fodder spawn. God’s policy of thought and action of favor to His children, is seen in God making them victorious over the devil and the reprobates. By this God’s chosen ones, are made ready for the main story, which is heaven. Thus, the reprobate are first conceived in hate and created in hate by God, to help the Elect to see how great His love is for them.  

…Paul explains in Romans 9, “What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath – prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory…?” (v. 22-23). In other words, God keeps non-Christians alive and functional so that they can provide an environment for Christians to interact with, to learn and practice the word of God, and to witness God’s wrath against these people that refuse to believe in Jesus Christ.

Suppose a man wishes to preserve some beer bottles to use as targets when he plays with his rifle, and to show off his marksmanship to his children. He would collect these bottles, clean them, and preserve them in a safe place. He offers to these bottles a natural benevolence, but he has no personal concern for them as he does his children. And when the time comes he will line them up and shoot them to a thousand pieces without any remorse, while his children praise him and rejoice with him.

Does this mean that non-Christians are preserved and cared for by divine providence, just so they can be used and discarded? This is precisely what Paul 88says in his letter to the Romans. And he adds that God has “the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use” (v. 21). In those days, “common” vessels include receptacles for trash and feces. This is God’s estimation of non-Christians. It also offers a basis to illustrate God’s great mercy toward those of us who believe in Jesus Christ – it is as if we have been changed from toilets where people dump their excrements into spectacular vases through which God displays the beauty of his wisdom, power, and glory…[5]

———EndNote———–

[1] Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology. 2010. 78

I find Vincent’s definition of God’s love and hate is to be correct, and so I will use it. However, I am not claiming that I am using this definition just like him.

[2] Paraphrased from Vincent Cheung, “Our Contract with God.” See the book, Contract, 2020.

[3] “Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors.”

[4] Philippians 4:3 NLT, “… They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.”

Revelation 13:8 LEB , “And all those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name is not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.”

[5] Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology, 2010. Pg. 72-73

Announcing the Lord’s Death

1 Corinthians 11:23–26 (NLT)

For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”

For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.

Paul says in the Lord’s supper we are not announcing Jesus’ resurrection, but “His Death.” The other crucial point to mark is the emphasis on, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

The positive focus and command is for us to remember Jesus in the atonement, with an emphasis on HIS broken body, and HIS blood. Then both of these are to be focused in regard to “His death,” rather than resurrection.

What does this mean?

First, it is NOT mainly a focus on you. It is about Jesus. He is asking you, to remember Him!

Second, it is what Jesus’ “death” accomplished at that particular time and place.

After reading and watching some of the faith preachers, I have noticed an abnormal focus on “you” receiving healing when taking the Lord’s Supper. The mistake is not in that one is able to receive healing when they take the Lord’s Supper, but that it is not emphasized that way in the Scripture.

Below is a quick positive teaching on what the “broken bread” and “blood” mean, in light of Jesus’ “death.” One part will deal with Jesus’ body broken for our healing.

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (or Christ). Upon hearing the word of Christ, in the Lord Supper, it is more than possible for faith to rise up and receive the promises of God; however, the focus of the Lord Supper is about remembering Jesus’ body and blood, in His death. It is not mainly about you.

Jesus says to remember His broken body. The question then is simple. What does the Scripture say about Jesus broken body? What does the Scripture say about Jesus body and its death? The broken body of Jesus was about the substitutionary atonement. What does the Scripture say about this?

First, is the overall nature of God. God loved us. Jesus loved us.

The Body:

As to the details, Isaiah 53 says some specific things about the body of Jesus in the atonement.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. [Matt. 8:17.]

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. (Isaiah 53 4-5 AMP).

The fact that our sins were upon His body, is not disputed. In verse 12 it uses the Levitical word (the one used in Lev. 16 about the escape goat) for borne our sins. That is, our sins were transferred off us, and put-on Jesus, by the judgement of the Father. Thus, the Father, broke, beat and punished the “body” of Jesus, all the way to death, for the sin that it carried.

However, the same Levitical word is also used in verse 4, when it says, He borne our sickness and pain. That is, our sicknesses were transferred off us, and transferred to Jesus, by the Judgment of the Father. Then verse 4 concludes that the “body” of Jesus looked like it was “afflicted,” as if “with leprosy.” Thus, the Father broke the “body” of Jesus with affliction for the sickness it bore.

However there is more about this death of Jesus.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, for your sake he became poor, in order that you, by his poverty, may become rich.” 1 Corinth. 8:9 LEB

This passage cannot be spiritualized away. It is about money. When doing context and systematic theology we read Paul saying something similar about sin and righteousness in his second letter to the Corinthians, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” (2 Corinth. 5:21 LEB). And so, by the substitutionary poverty of Jesus, just as in His substitutionary sin, we become rich and we become righteous.

Jesus borne on His body, our poverty. His body was stripped naked. He was so poor, His body was naked in its death. Jesus in His ministry had so much money, that Judas was able to steal from the money bag and it not cause a problem. In His substitutionary death, Jesus was penniless and naked. He became our poverty so that, now in this place, in Him we might have an abundance to wealth, and in this have an abundance to give to the gospel ministry and poor.

However, there is more about this death of Jesus.

“But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, (1 Corinth. 1:30 HCSB)

Here Paul, sums up the substitutionary atonement of Christ as, “Jesus became righteousness for us.” In this list we hear of a new aspect, Jesus became our wisdom for us, in this atonement death. Since this atonement is already defined by Paul as a substitutionary death for all our negative things, when we know in order for Jesus to be our wisdom in us now, we know He was our ignorance on the cross for us first. Jesus did not fight back with words to His accusers. On the cross, Jesus’ body was silent to the mocking. Think about all the cruel things the mocked Him with, when He hung on the cross. The only time He spoke is when the high priest used his authority to make Jesus give an answer. He looked ignorant and stupid. He born that shame on this silent body, on the cross.  Jesus took on our stupidity and ignorance, so that in Him we might become the Wisdom of God.

Time would fail me to mention all substitutionary transfers His body borne for us, such as Jesus taking on our abandonment. His body borne the shame of abandonment. All forsook Him. His body did not have a friend hugging and clinging onto Him in love to comfort Him. No. His body borne our abandonment for us, so that in Him we become the children of God, with endless brothers and sisters!

The main aspect of the Lord’s Supper, about the “body” of Jesus, is not the positive aspect of what we receive; rather, it is about the negative aspect of all the negative things Jesus body received for us! The death focus of this Supper is about what died in the death of Jesus body. Our sin was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body. It died there, once and for all, at the Place of the Skull. Our poverty was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body. Our sickness was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body at that place and time. Our ignorance was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body. Our abandonment was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body.

All these negative things were taken off of us, and DIED in the body of Christ, once and for all. Your sins have already died. Your sickness has already died. Your ignorance has already died. Your poverty has already died, in the body of Jesus.  By announcing the Lord’s death, you are announcing all the negative things that was once yours, were transferred upon the body of Jesus, and died there.

The blood:

The blood of Jesus, as Paul says, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood.”

This phrase about “God being our God, and we His people,” is what God promises in the New Covenant.  Thus, it is not surprising to see Jesus making this phrase and connecting it to the new covenant and then to “His blood.” Why the blood? And what does this have to do with announcing His “death.”

“Now when someone leaves a will,[g] it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead. The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect.

That is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal.” (Hebrews 9:16-18 NLT)

The reason Jesus mentions us to remember His “blood,” and the New Contract, is that the “DEATH” (blood) of the tester makes the contract “active.” Whereas the body of Christ is purely a negative focus on all the negative things Jesus body borne, the blood is (although negative directly) more of focus on the positive aspect of the New Contract being “effective” in Jesus’ death. Jesus’ bloodshed, not ours, activates the new contract. God promises, in the positive, I will not remember your sins, I will write my Laws upon your heart, I will not stop from doing you good, I will be Your God, and you will be My people.”

The blood and death of Jesus makes this already active for us. We are to remember the blood that poured out of His body, for so many hours. We are to remember, out of love for us, He is letting His blood flow out, so that in His death the new contract of unmerited favor becomes active for us!

When we proclaim Jesus’ death we proclaim that,

In His blood, “God is our God, we are already His people!”

The Transcendence and Nearness of God

Transcendence of God:

Attributes that describe God’s existence (such as, Infinity, Immutability, Timelessness (etc.)), show God’s existence to be Transcendent to every other type. This is where the base idea of holiness comes from, in the broadest sense. Holiness means God is a cut-above all others in a said category. However, God’s transcendence is a step greater than this, in that God is all together different in these categories. To be cut-above the competition does not “necessarily” mean a whole new category; it might, but does not necessarily donate that. The context will define how to understand it. At the very least, sometimes God Holiness does refer to His metaphysical attributes in the transcendent way.

“For thus says the high and lofty One—He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin].”
(Isaiah 57:15 AMP)

At other times God’s holiness refers to His moral perfection, in Justice, Mercy and His ability to help. In this light God’s Holiness is the internal value of His nature. Glory, is this (internal) value, shinning out in the public (external).

He is holy.
…They called to Yahweh, and he answered them.
…you answered them.
You were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrong.
(Psalm 99:6-8 LEB)

Furthermore, this is like God being Ex Lex. Or that God is above all ethical laws. This is indeed true in a sense; however, God is more than merely above the law. God is categorically different (transcendent) from the laws even being applied to Him. Again, the idea of category errors come up. God’s laws are not so much below Him, as they are applied to the category of man. It is not so much that God is above moral laws commanded to man; they do not categorically apply to Him.

As said before God is the Foundation of theology, not something else. The foundation of how or if laws apply to God, is God; it does not start with man, inductively making up superstitions about it. No. God is the foundation. God is the foundation that gave laws to man. Not the other way around, despite how badly man wants it to be. God’s law is commanded to man, not to Himself. If man tries to say, “well this means, God must also behave this way,” is man starting with something not revealed in scripture. It is man starting with man, and using man’s induction to command laws on God. It is the height of rebellion and arrogance. God is the foundation for laws, not man.

Back to the point. Is the category of humans above the category of “subjects and predicates,” or do they have no necessary category relation to even ask such a question? Is red above the category of odd numbers, or is there no necessary connection to even ask such a question?

In a publication that I cannot presently find at Vincent Cheung’s website, called, Better than Ex Lex, he says something to the effect of, “my position is not merely ex lex; rather, the transcendence of God is that he doesn’t even have to be ex lex.”

If God has infinite wealth and supply, and owns everything, and even owns the persons who owns things, then God is categorically different from a billionaire, and not merely in degree.

If God has infinite propositions and infinite connections about these propositions, and understands them, not in a mutable linear way, but in an immutable all at the same time understanding, then God’s mind is not merely different in degree, but is categorically different from man’s mind.

The Nearness of God:

This doctrine of the Nearness or imminence of God is put right next to God’s Transcendence because the Bible often does so to show the value of God.

Though the Lord is exalted,

He regards the lowly [and invites them into His fellowship]; But the proud and haughty He knows from a distance,” Psalm 138:6. AMP

Although God is separate from His creation and Transcendent to it, yet, God has made man in a special way; namely, spirit and intellectual/rational. When you combine with this that in Jesus Christ, God has given us His very own Spirit, then you have an incredibly, special result. The Saints know God in the same way God knows Himself. This does not mean the saints are God, or become infinite and timeless; rather, it means that the way God knows Himself, intellectual and Spirit—by His very own Spirit—God causes the saints to know Him in this way. God is near to them, in the way God is near to Himself, that is, in a rational and spiritual way, even by the Spirit who knows Himself.

“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.

When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit.”
1 Corinthian 2:11-13

There are two main ways God is near to those who He favors/loves. Nearness in relationship (intellectually and spiritually), and nearness in participation in God’s supply (receiving all His benefits).

In both the section on Epistemology and Metaphysics we have already dealt in a broad way, definitions for how God and saints are close spiritually and intellectually. God is the original. God made man in His image. God in Jesus, truly makes man in His image, by giving them not only truth, but also His Spirit. By this man gets to know and communicate with God directly, in precision, immediately and intellectually.

The second part of God’s nearness, is something many churches have decided to make war against God. They wish to be the foundation of theology and dictate to God, what gospel accomplishments they want and others they wish to trample under their filthy feet. However, despite their protest, God is still the foundation of the gospel and Jesus’ victory from the grave is still available to those with faith. As with every war, this is one God will also win along with the saints, and those who oppose will be trampled under God’s foot as worthless trash.

Our passage says after being near to God in spirit and intellect (or the inner man), the result is another necessary nearness. It is a nearness of practical blessings and goodies (outer-man).

“..so we can know the wonderful things God has
freely given us.”

I will chase this point for a little bit, since it is denied. I will end up going over some points about salvation, which will be explored more in a later chapter.

Many at this point, foam at the mouth like demons, about a doctrine called, “already-but-not-yet.” They are correct in the strictest sense of the definition. There are some benefits of Jesus’ finished atonement and New Covenant that are available now, and some are later. For example, healing is for now, and a new transformed body, that does not need healing, is for later. So far, so good. However, I mostly see pastors and lay people use this doctrine to emphasize what we do not get now. The problem with this is that the Bible contradicts this emphasis. The prophets, apostles and Jesus Himself, used this doctrine to emphasize the super-abundance of what we get here and now! Thus I am in agreement with Vincent Cheung that this doctrine when mainly used, is a logical/exegetical fallacy.[1] It is sad to see the elites of orthodoxy, who boast of their knowledge and intellect, act like demons by turning a biblical doctrine into a convoluted fallacy.

The Psalmist said in Psalm 103 to remember how God gives you so much free forgiveness, goodies, blessings and helps. We are not to remember God’s benefits for person x over there, or remember them to be given to us in another place or another time; rather, we are to remember God’s benefits us now, in the land of the living, for us.  This is not a suggestion. These are precepts and commands; and thus, they are Christian ethics. God commands you to not forget all the ways He benefits you, today, in this place. He forgives you, He heals you, He provides prosperity to you, He delivers you, and gives you an abundance of good things. God gives to you freely and unearned. You do not give to God.

This is similar to how Jesus gives proof to John the Baptist that He is the Messiah who is bringing in the Kingdom of God. Not the Kingdom of God later, but now. He says, “healing, healing, healing, healing, resurrection and truth proclaimed.” That is, healing is a physical not invisible reality, such as forgiveness and a cleansed soul. It is a miraculous physical reality. As to resurrection, Jesus meant it, as a second time for a present tense physical reality.  Thus, Jesus’ Kingdom now is referred to by Jesus as “miraculous physical, miraculous physical, miraculous physical, miraculous physical, miraculous physical and truth (which is invisible/spiritual). Thus, those who overemphasize the now part of Jesus’ Kingdom as the invisible, spiritual realities are enemies of Jesus, because they are working against His Kingdom and command. They are rebellious and disobedient.

Vincent shows how even Jesus Christ Himself, rebuked this ‘already-not-yet’ fallacy, when people used this nonsense on Him.

When Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the dead, Martha said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” So the theologians tell us, “These things had happened in the past.” Jesus answered, “Your brother will rise again.” But Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” So the theologians tell us, “These things will happen in the future.” Jesus answered, “I am the resurrection and the life.” The sisters applied the “already / not yet” principle on Jesus, but rather than displaying their theological education, it revealed their unbelief and ignorance. They did not even know Jesus very well. For Jesus, it is always a good time for a miracle. In the theology of Jesus, it is not a matter of time, but a matter of faith. He said to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” And Lazarus was raised from the dead.[2]

The new covenant is active because, as Hebrews says in chapter 9, the death of the tester makes the testament active. The new covenant is active for you here, and now. This eating at the lord’s table, is eating the benefit that God is our God, and we are His people. God takes the tab for this table. You do not give to God; God gives to you. God want you to know about this. He wants you to know what a great benefactor He is to you in Christ, today, here in this place.  By Christ, in faith, it is freely given to you. It is already yours in Christ. Receive and eat.

God’s table of His best benefits is not given to the reprobates or even to clean angels; rather, it is only given the people He is nearest to. To you. To His redeemed, beloved children.

Hebrews points out in more than one place that the result of “God’s Will,” (for us to be holy), is for us to approach His throne of grace and receive what we ask of Him

The first mention is in Hebrews 4. What is the application for knowing our high priest has redeemed us? The idea of having peace with God is the ability and position to approach God, in His throne room of grace, to ask and then to receive the help we are asking for. There is no way to spiritualize this away. It is about receiving what we are asking for.

Jesus, when talking about prayer to God, teaches us something that opposes eastern religions like Buddhism (etc.). Such paganistic religions teach us that even if we do not change God’s will in our prayer, we have changed inwardly for the better, by seeking God. People who say such things are spiritual perverts. They are deceived and blind. Jesus contradicts this superstition about prayer and God, by teaching us that God gives a fish for a fish, and the Spirit for the Spirit. Let Buddha be damned, and Jesus and His teaching be highly valued.

“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.

Back to Jesus. He 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. It seems little has changed in 2000 years, for who can find a person who values and does prayer the way Jesus demands it? 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, It is God’s Will for prayer, 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 Him?

Back to the two passages in Hebrews.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most,”
(NLT Heb 4:16).

Next, after several chapters of doctrine and theology about how Jesus accomplished salvation, Hebrews 10, starting in verse 19 gives us the conclusion or result.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.

And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise,”
(Hebrews 10:19–23 NLT)

This is said as an application for learning how Jesus as the high priest of eternal power, has destroyed our sin and already made the New Covenant active in His blood.

In “context” of Hebrews 4 defining approaching God’s throne, as getting answers to our prayers for help, it therefore, does not mean the opposite in Hebrews10:19-23. The end says, “for God can be trusted to Keep His promise.” The promise that He will not remember our sins, and that He will be our God, who lovingly gives us help when we ask for it. The emphasis is on two points here by the preacher. One is the category fact or truths. You are holy in Jesus right now. You are beloved and stand before God, without Him remembering your sins against you.[3]

The second, is that you stand firm, believing these truths. You stand believing you are categorically holy, righteous and a child of God. That you believe you can boldly walk into heaven and push the door of God’s throne room open, and then you ask like a beloved son, for Him to help you. And that you stand believing He is the Good Father as He defined Himself to be in His word, so that He will indeed give you bread for bread.  The first part is always true, due to Christ’s finished work, whether or not a particular Christian has weak faith about it. However, if one has strong, unmoving faith about Jesus’ finished work, then truly you stand before God and He will answer your prayers.

The point is that Scripture makes the logical (or necessary) connection from Jesus’ atonement that makes us holy, to boldly going to God and getting “fish for fish, healing for a healing,” when we pray for help. Because the connection is not merely sufficient but necessary, then it is a “modus ponens” logical connection. If Jesus made you holy by His body, then you necessarily have access to boldly receive the things you ask for in faith.

If these two are necessarily connected, and they are according to Hebrews, Jesus and the apostles, then the logic of modus tollens applies. That is, if you deny the consequent you deny the antecedent. If you negate the application, you negate the foundation. If you negate getting our requests answered at God’s throne, then you negate being made holy by Jesus’ body. Novices play with the Bible like its play-dough. Their pet theories and traditions are not harmless when they make mistakes. They condemn themselves and turn the body of Christ into spiritual trash, in order to be fanboys of the past.

So to summarize, Hebrews knows no gospel that does not bring a person who is already perfected and “holy” to the throne of God, to ask and receive what they ask for. “God’s will,” is thrown around much today, but rarely do I see it used how the Scripture uses it. The preacher says it was “God’s Will,” to make us holy; however, we learn more. There was a pre-determined point why God desired to make us holy and perfected. The necessary result (or a previous in order Decree of God) is a person who by faith (who assents they have been made ‘holy’), stands at God’s throne, to ask and receive what they ask for. The conclusion is obvious, it is “God’s Will” for you to stand in faith, with your head held high, before His throne, to ask and receive a fish for a fish, mercy for mercy, son for a son, health for health, wisdom for wisdom, wealth for wealth, inner strength for inner strength, protection for protection in your time of need. To say this is “not God’s will,” is to logically say it is “not God’s will” for us to be made holy by the body of Jesus Christ.

Many educated people feel proud of their intellect and academia, but in their fanboy affirmation of the past—such things as cessationism and things like “only if it is God’s will” (negating God’s promises)—they expose themselves as plus ultra perverts. They think they know logic and knowledge; however, deductive logic, like math and truth, is not flexible. They try to bend the sword of truth to pervert it; however, they only end up impaled on it. Leave these voodoo practitioners, and return to standing firm in the truth that you are holy, and standing before the throne of grace. God made the world and defines His world as He wants. His Word defines you as already a holy child, who when you ask for help, then you will get the type of help you asked for. God is near to you, and you are near to Him. You are so near to God that you are sitting at His table. If you want some bread, reach for it. If you want some meat, then get a piece.

“In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”

For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
( Corin. 11:25-26).

What does this proclaiming His “death,” mean in relation to Jesus saying the New Contract is “an agreement confirmed in my blood”?

Think about Hebrews 9 where this connection is made:

Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead.  The will goes into effect only after the person’s death.

…Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you. (Heb 9;16-17, 20)

So, in the Lord’s supper we are proclaiming the new contract, by a death in blood, that is made active. Once there is death/blood it is active at the moment, not later. In the previous chapter, Hebrew 8, he says the new contract in addition to saying we are forgiven, says “I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Thus, this is already active by the death of the Tester, Jesus.

This phraseology in the Bible, is always about God blessing and prospering the inner and outer man.

Consider Lev. 26

“I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. 10 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! 11 I will live among you, and I will not despise you. 12 I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. 13 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.” (NLT)

The death of Jesus not only is a negative, where our sins, sickness, poverty, abandonment and stupidity were transferred off of us, and conveyed onto Jesus, where he carried them away from us to the place of the skull. Jesus death, because it makes active the new covenant is also positive. It makes God our God, and we become His people.  This is always defined as God blessing the whole man in all areas of life.  This is active now, not later.  Jesus’ death has already put the new covenant into play. God is already ours as our beloved God, and we are already God’s.

Reading how the Bible at the beginning defines terms is important. God first defines what “I will be your God and you My People,” to Abraham (Genesis 15:1 “… I am your shield, and your reward shall be very great.” Genesis 17:7-8,”…I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. …I will be their God.”). This promise to “be God to Abraham and his descendants” conveys spiritual blessings for being counted righteous for his faith, getting future promises, and much health, prosperity and favor in Abraham’s lifetime.

This will be explored more later, but Paul says in Galatians that miracles and the gift of the Holy Spirit (most likely referring to the baptism of the Spirit) is part of the Covenant of Abraham. Paul says, Jesus’ atonement grafts gentiles into this blessing of Abraham. Therefore, miracles, in the majority mode, is not to confirm Jesus (which is only a minority use of miracles) but God being faithful to perform the ancient blood oath to Abraham. Doing something to “prove” a future contract you intend to make (a sign), and performing an action that you are already bound by contract to perform, are two different categories.  For those who are savvy with logic, will see the implication of this. So what if the miracles for signs have ceased? Who cares? Miracles and the Power of the Spirit, (and the presupposition is that these are a common thing for the Galatian church, and those in Paul’s ministry) is part of the blood oath to Abraham. Has God negated His promise to Abraham? Then this majority mode of miracles and the power of the Spirit, as a common experience for Abraham’s descendants, is still active. Thus, if a church does not reflect what Paul teaches here, they are not spiritual descendants of Abraham. They do not have Abraham’s faith. They have not inherited Abraham’s blessing of miracles and the Spirit. They are damned and reprobates.

Leviticus 26 gives a summary of this same definition, as contained in the Mosaic Covenant; or as Paul says in Galatians, in the temporary covenant or tutor. The point to remember is that Jesus fulfilled this Mosaic covenant for us. In the gospel of Christ, we are unmeritedly and undeservedly credited as if we performed the stipulations of righteousness of Mosaic covenant.

This is a shadow of the New. That is, what you see here (lev.26) is much more so in the new blood oath, by Jesus Christ. The freedom from the slavery of Egypt in the New Contract, is about us being freed from sin. Freedom from the conscience of sin and from Satan’s oppressive accusations. God remembers them no more against us. So much so, we can march in the throne room of heaven to ask from God what we wish, “with our heads held high.” But that is just one part of “God being our God, and we being His people.” As being freed from Egypt is the foundation for the other blessings, so too within the New Covenant.

God’s promise is NOT blessing them with surplus crops in Egypt, but in the promise land. Their blessings awaited them in the promised land, not in Egypt. They needed freedom from the yoke of slavery first. Jesus does this for us in the New Contract. He frees us from sin and its guilt, so that He has a righteous foundation to lavish all His other blessings. Our promise land is not so much a place, for it is foundationally being brought near to God. The best land is nearest to God. There is however, a place for Jesus’ throne, and yet, the scripture says we have already (past tense) been raised and set with Jesus at God’s right hand. In 1 John 3 he goes so far as to command us to keep our thoughts where our lives are at, and our lives are not on earth, but are already hidden in Jesus, who is at the Power’s right hand. Thus, even if one wishes to make the promise land heaven, our lives are there. God is the foundation of theology and reality, and He considers us already with His Son. That is the only important point for us. So what, if you feel distant? What does that have to do with anything. Man is not the foundation of theology and reality; God is the foundation. He considers you as already with His Son, and therefore, you are.

John also says in chapter 4 that “as Jesus is, so are we in this world.” Jesus with awesome power, frees us from the law and Satan’s oppressive accusations against us. Now, He gives us a surplus of the Holy Spirit for miracles and healings; which is to say, since we are already in the promise land through Christ, Christ therefore, pours the promise land’s and kingdom’s power into us on earth, by the Spirit. Paul even says Jesus became poor for us, so that we might become rich, by His substitutionary death (in context it is decisively about money). Thus, Jesus multiplies our bank accounts and barns, because, in Jesus, our lives are already connected to the promise land. Our lives are even connected right up next to the Power, because our lives are connected to the valuable Person who sits at the Power’s right hand. If the blessings were so great in the Old Contract, then much more, when the Promise Land we are connected to now, is the true heavenly one! He pours over us an ocean of unmerited favor that is all for the taking by faith. How could someone be so depraved, so as to despise the oath of God, confirmed by the blood of His Son?

You cannot talk about “God’s Will,” and make it to be whatever you want it to be. If the Scripture makes certain effects as necessary connections, then the logic of modus ponens and modus tollens are now in play. Hebrews, as with other Scriptures make approaching God’s throne, to get the yes for your prayers, a necessary connection to God’s Will that made you holy. If you negate the consequence you negate the antecedent, which is the atonement.

“For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.”

MADE holy. This causality is God’s doing, and it is His promise. To be holy relative to or “before God,” is more than not being punished. In Ephesians 1 it says holy and “beyond reproach.” This means we are perfectly moral and flawlessly ethical before God, so much so, we are beyond even the hint of an accusation against the demand for absolute perfection. By the body of Jesus, this is now our reality, “BEFORE GOD.” Even if our sanctification is not perfect, it is a non-logical point, because God considers you holy and righteous before Him. And God is not fickle or emotional like man. He promised to treat you as holy and righteous, not something else. Thus, He interacts and treats you as perfectly and morally righteous. However, our holiness and righteousness by the body of Jesus, which we have now, is a God-level holiness, because it was performed by Jesus Christ and freely given to us. Our position with God is not us standing somewhere in the back corner of God’s throne room or somewhere even farther; rather, our position NOW, is with Christ at God’s right hand. Do you understand the position you have now in Christ and before the Power?

Christ being at God’s right hand, presently enjoys and partakes of the goodness that rightfully belongs to being in that position. Yet, we are now with Christ! Thus, to be made holy by Jesus, is to be a partaker of the holy God, now.

To be made holy is similar to how Paul said that we were made righteous in Christ in Romans 5:19.

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man,
the many were made sinners,
so also through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous (LEB).”

By God’s sovereign control over His own creation, He authored and caused Adam to sin, and then by this He caused all mankind to be made into sinners by His direct and absolute causality. But the reverse is also true, but much more. God sent His Son and by His righteousness (holiness) God caused the elect to be made righteous. God is sovereign. Man has no free choice relative to God’s control on the ultimate level. God without asking humanity, and humanity not being free from God’s causality, made them sinners. Then God made some of them into His righteousness. However, there is even more to this sovereign control of God. In the New Covenant, God, without our consent and without us not being free to do otherwise, also made Himself to “be our God” and “made us to be His people.”  This New Contract is a packaged deal. If you negate one part, then you negate the rest.

To see what this means, consider the woman bent over for 18 years. Jesus said, because she was a daughter of Abraham it was “necessary” for God to heal His daughter. God was God to Abraham, and Abraham was God’s people. This is why Abraham was victorious when he defeated the 5 kingdoms and was blessed by Melchizedek, and why the other non-people of God were defeated. To be a true child of Abraham, means God is your God. We are so today in Christ (Galatians 3). This is a categorical truth. Recall an earlier comment about logical connections. A logical connection is only about “necessary” connections; logic is not about sufficient ones, for there is no valid inference with only sufficient connections.  Thus, Jesus said it was “necessary” for God to heal this woman, and not merely a good or sufficient reason. If God promises to be your God and you are part of His family, it is “necessary” for Him to benefit you with the goodness He promised.

This is what it means for “God to be your God, and You His people,” in the new covenant; and if you are a Christian, you partake of this benefit now. This is how the Bible over and over, defines what nearness to God means. If you do not know this you do not have nearness to God, or you are just really bad at being a child of God.

Not in another place, or in a different time, but here and now, “God is our God, and we are His people.” Act like it. Receive from your Father’s table. If God put you at His table (i.e. in Christ at God’s right hand) then it is God’s Will for you to partake of the fatness of His table. God is not a demon. God does not put you at His table, and then make you watch others enjoy a good meal, while you starve. David did not bring Mephibosheth to his table to torture him, like a demon, by making him watch but not partake. Mephibosheth sat at David’s table to enjoy the free supply of David’s bounty. You have heard it said that God disciplines His legitimate children, and this is true; however, the other side of the coin is also true. Taking food from your Father’s table is necessary for you to prove you are His legitimate child. Illegitimate children cannot ask and get what they want from God. You, take and eat. This is what the sovereign God has done. This is the type of Being He is. These things already belong to you.  It is His will, that you ask and receive what you ask for, knowing God is your God and you are His holy beloved child.  It’s God’s will that you behave like legitimate children and receive from your Father, who is NEAR to His children in spiritual and material benefits.

Through the atonement of Jesus, God is near to us in power, supply, blessings, healings, and “yes” to all our prayers, made in faith.

We will sum up this section with our systematic theology maximum. God is the foundation of theology, not man, not something else. God defines His nearness as intellectual and (inward) spiritual, as much as He does material, with the whole life of man blessed with His benefits.

ENDNOTES——————-

[1] Vincent Cheung. “The Already / Not Yet Fallacy.” Found in TRACE. 2018. Chapter 2.

[2] Vincent Cheung. The Already not Yet Fallacy.  From, “Trace,” 2018, chapter 2, page 8-9.

[3] God is all-knowing, so and it is not that God has spiritual forgetfulness; rather, God has a policy of thought and promise not to apply the consequence against you. He already did that on His beloved Son, Jesus. That is, for all practical, not intellectually knowing, purposes, God does not remember your sins.

“God’s Will,” – Is, A Fish for Fish

If [animal sacrifices provided by the priest] could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared…

For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.

And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so.

For he says,  “This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day,  says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.

Then he says, “I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”

(Hebrews 10:2,10,12,14,16)

First we will discuss what “God’s will”[1] necessitates here, and Secondly, dive more into what it means for “God to be our God” and “we His people,” which is stipulated in the  new contract.

Hebrews points out in more than one place that the result of “God’s Will,” (for us to be holy), is for us to approach His throne of grace and receive what we ask of Him

The first mention is in Hebrews 4. What is the application for knowing our high priest has redeemed us? The idea of having peace with God is the ability and position to approach God, in His throne room of grace, to ask and then to receive the help we are asking for. There is no way to spiritualize this away. It is about receiving what we are asking for. Jesus when talking about prayer to God, teaches us something that opposes eastern religious like Buddhism (etc.). Such paganistic religions teach us that even if we do not change God’s will in our prayer, we have changed inwardly for the better, by seeking God. People who say such things are spiritual perverts. They are deceived and blind. Jesus contradicts this superstition about prayer and God, by teaching us that God gives a fish for a fish, and the Spirit for the Spirit. Let Buddha be damned, and Jesus and His teaching be highly valued.

“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 taught from demons. Some bark up like mad dogs that, “what if you ask for something bad?” Yet 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. Thus, if you ask you will get what you ask for, Jesus says, 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 wicked fools say, “you cannot judge without hypocrisy”; 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. It seems little has changed in 2000 years, for who can find a person who values and does prayer the way Jesus demands it? 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, It is God’s Will for prayer, 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 Him?

Back to the two passages in Hebrews.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most,”
(NLT Heb 4:16).

Next, after several chapters of doctrine and theology about how Jesus accomplished salvation, Hebrews 10, starting in verse 19 gives us the conclusion or result.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.

By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.

And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise,”
(Hebrews 10:19–23 NLT)

God being faithful to His promise is in context of the New Covenant. We will talk more about this later.

Here we are again seeing the same thing. Since in “context” of Hebrews 4 defining approaching God’s throne is about getting answers to our prayers for help, it therefore, does not mean the opposite here. The end says, “for God can be trusted to Keep His promises.” The promise that He will not remember our sins, and that He will be our God who loving gives us help when we ask for it. The emphasis is on two points here by the preacher. One is the category fact or truths. You are holy in Jesus right now. You are beloved and stand before God without Him remembering your sins against you. The second, is that you stand firm, believing these truths. You stand believing you are categorically holy, righteous and a child of God. That you believe you can boldly walk into heaven and push the door of God’s throne room open, and then you ask like a beloved son, for Him to help you. And that you stand believing He is the Good Father as He defined Himself to be in His word, so that He will indeed give you bread for bread.  The first part is always true, due to Christ’s finished work, whether or not a particular Christian has weak faith about it. However, if one has strong, unmoving faith about Jesus’ finished work, then truly you stand before God and He will answer your prayers.

The point is that Scripture makes the logical (or necessary) connection from Jesus’ atonement that makes us holy, to boldly going to God and getting “fish for fish, healing for a healing,” when we pray for help. Because the connection is not merely sufficient but necessary, then it is a “modus ponens” logical connection. If Jesus made you holy by His body, then you necessarily have access to boldly receive the things you ask for in faith.

If these two are necessarily connected, and they are according to Hebrews, then the logic of modus tollens applies. That is, if you deny the consequent you deny the antecedent. If you negate the application, you negate the foundation. If you negate getting our requests answered at God’s throne, then you negate being made holy by Jesus’ body. Novices play with the Bible like its play-dough. Their pet theories and traditions are not harmless when they make mistakes. They condemn themselves and turn the body of Christ in a spiritual casualty, in order to be fanboys of the past.

So to summarize, Hebrews knows no gospel that does not bring a person who is already perfected and “holy” to the throne of God, to ask and receive what we ask for. “God’s will,” is thrown around much today, but rarely do I see it used how the Scripture uses it. The preacher says it was “God’s Will,” to make us holy; however, we learn more.  There was a pre-determined point for why God desired to make us holy and perfected. The necessary result (or a previous in order Decree of God) is a person, according to Hebrews, who by faith (who assents they have been made ‘holy’), stands at God’s throne, to ask and receive what they ask for. The conclusion is obvious, it is “God’s Will” for you to stand in faith, with your head held high, before His throne, to ask and receive a fish for a fish, mercy for mercy, son for a son, health for health, wisdom for wisdom, wealth for wealth, inner strength for inner strength, protection for protection in your time of need. To say this is “not God’s will,” is to logically say it is “not God’s will” for us to be made holy by the body of Jesus Christ.

Many educated people feel proud of their intellect and academia, but in their fanboy affirmation of the past–such things as cessationism and things like “only if it is God’s will” (negating God’s promises)—they expose themselves as plus ultra perverts. They think they know logic and knowledge; however, deductive logic, like math and truth, is not flexible. They try to bend the sword of truth to pervert it; however, they only end up impaled on it. Leave these voodoo practitioners, and return to standing firm in the truth that you are holy, and standing before the throne of grace. God made the world and defines His world as He wants. His Word defines you as already a holy child, who when you ask for help, then you will get the type of help you asked for.

The “Will of God” is that He is your God, and you are His people.

We just discussed the connection of God’s Will to prayer in His throne room (in context of Hebrews), now we will further look at this connection within the new covenant.

Hebrews 8 when quoting the Old Testament about the details of the New Contract says,

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

(Hebrews 8:10 -quoting Jeremiah 31)

Hebrews 10 reveals it was “God’s will,” for us to be made holy by Jesus’ body. Then a few verses later it quotes Jeremiah 31 (the new covenant promise) as proof for this, “I will no longer remember their sins.” However, it is important to remember to read this in context. Hebrews 8 quotes the fuller promise of the God’s covenant with the Elect, from Jeremiah. It mentions that “God is our God, and we are His people.” The logical connection is the new covenant. It was God’s Will for us to be made holy by the body of Jesus; the way this is given is the promise of the new covenant. In other words, if it is “God’s Will,” for us to be holy, which is a new contract promise, then the new contract is “God’s Will.” Also, God is not under any pressure or obligation when He makes a promise. He is the only being who has intrinsic self-existence, self-freedom and self-definition. Thus any promise He makes is by definition “His Will,” because in total freedom and foreknowledge and power He made a choice. Also, the new covenant was stipulated by God and not man, thus, it is perfectly what He wants, or the perfect stipulation of “His Will.” This contract given in oath of Jesus’ blood, promises that God will be our God and we His people. What does that mean? This is important because it is “God’s Will” for Him to be this to us. And it equally, God’s Will, for us to be this to God.

Isaiah 41:10 says regarding God “being a God to His people,” which is a commonly quoted promise verse (as it should be) says,

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

About king Hezekiah it said in a more indirect way through king David, however, the point is the same, God is Hezekiah’s God, and Hezekiah is God’s people.

“Return; you must say to Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘Thus says Yahweh the God of David your ancestor, “I have heard your prayer and I have seen your tears. Look, I am about to heal you.” 2 King 20:5

However, the first major stating of this phrase and an explanation of its meaning is found in Leviticus.

 “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,
(Leviticus 26:9-13 NLT)

This is a foreshadow of the New. That is, what you see here is much more so in the new blood oath, by Jesus Christ. The freedom from the slavery of Egypt is in the, New Contract, about us being freed from sin. Freedom from the conscience of sin and from Satan’s oppressive accusations, because God remembers them no more against us. So much so, we can march in the throne room of heaven to ask from God what we wish, “with our heads held high.” But that is just one part of “God being our God, and we being His people.” As being freed from Egypt is the foundation for the other blessings, so too within New Covenant. That is, God’s promise is NOT blessing them with surplus crops in Egypt, but in the promise land. Their blessings awaited them in the promised land, not in Egypt. They needed freedom from the yoke of slavery first. Jesus does this for us in the New Contract. He frees us from sin and its guilt, so that He has a righteous foundation to lavish all His other blessings. Our promise land is not so much a place, for it is foundationally being brought near to God. There is however, a place for Jesus’ throne, and yet, the scripture says we have already (past tense) been raised and set with Jesus at God’s right hand. . In 1 John 3 he goes so far as to command us to keep our thoughts where our lives are at, and our lives are not on earth, but are already hidden in Jesus, who is at the Power’s right hand. Thus, even if one wishes to make the promise land heaven, our lives are there. John also says in chapter 4 that “as Jesus is so are we in this world.” Jesus with awesome power, frees us from the law and Satan’s oppressive accusations against us. Now, He gives us a surplus of the Holy Spirit for miracles and healings; which is to say, since we are already in the promise land through Christ, Christ therefore, pours the promise land’s and kingdom’s power into us on earth by the Spirit. Paul even says Jesus became poor for us, so that we might become rich, by His substitutionary death (in context it is decisively about money). Thus, Jesus multiplies our bank accounts and barns, because, in Jesus, our lives are already connected to the promise land. Our lives are even connected right up next to the Power, because our lives are connected to the valuable Person who sits at the Power’s right hand. If the blessings were so great in the Old Contract, then much more now when the Promise Land we are connected to  now, is the true heavenly one! He pours over us an ocean of unmerited favor that is all for the taking by faith. How could someone be so depraved, so as to despise the oath of God, confirmed by the blood of His Son?

“For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.”

MADE holy. This causality is God’s doing, and it is His promise. To be holy relative to or “before God,” is more than not being punished. In Ephesians 1 it says holy and “beyond reproach.” This means we are perfectly moral and flawlessly ethical before God, so much so, we are beyond even the hint of an accusation against the demand for absolute perfection. By the body of Jesus, this is now our reality, “BEFORE GOD.” Even if our sanctification is not perfect, it is a non-logical point, because God considers you holy and righteous before Him. And God is not fickle or emotional like man. He promised to treat you as holy and righteous and not something else. Thus He interacts and treats you as perfectly and morally righteous. However, our holiness and righteousness by the body of Jesus, which we have now, is a God-level holiness, because it was performed by Jesus Christ and given to us. And so, our position with God is not us standing somewhere in the back corner of God’s throne room or somewhere even farther; rather, our position NOW, is with Christ at God’s right hand. Do you understand the position you have now in Christ and before the Power?

Christ being at God’s right hand, presently enjoys and partakes of the goodness that rightfully belongs to being in that position. Yet, we are now with Christ! Thus, to be made holy by Jesus, is to be a partaker of the holy God, now.

To be made holy is similar to how Paul said that we were made righteous in Christ in Romans 5:19.

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man,
the many were made sinners,
so also through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous (LEB).”

By God’s sovereign control over His own creation, He authored and caused Adam to sin, and then by this He caused all mankind to be made into sinners by His direct and absolute causality. But the reverse is also true, but much more. God sent His Son and by His righteousness (holiness) God caused the elect to be made righteous. God is sovereign. Man has no free choice relative to God’s control on the ultimate level. God without asking humanity, and humanity not being free from God’s causality, made them sinners. Then God made some of them into His righteousness. However, there is even more to this sovereign control of God. In the New Covenant, God, without our consent and without us not being free to do otherwise, also made Himself to “be our God” and “made us to be His people.”  This New Contract is a packaged deal. If you negate one part, then you negate the rest.

To see what this means, consider the woman bent over for 18 years. Jesus said, because she was a daughter of Abraham it was “necessary” for God to heal His daughter. God was God to Abraham, and Abraham was God’s people. This is why Abraham was victorious when he defeated the 5 kingdoms and was blessed by Melchizedek, and why the other non-people of God were defeated. To be a true child of Abraham, means God is your God. We are so today in Christ (Galatians 3). This is a categorical truth. Recall an earlier comment about logical connections. A logical connection is only about “necessary” connections; logic is not about sufficient ones, for there is no valid inference with only sufficient connections.  Thus, Jesus said it was “necessary” for God to heal this woman, and not merely a good or sufficient reason. If God promises to be your God and you are part of His family, it is “necessary” for Him to benefit you with the goodness He promised.

Not in another place, or in a different time, but here and now, God is our God and we are His people. Act like it. Receive from your Father’s table. If God put you at His table (i.e. in Christ at God’s right hand) then it is God’s Will for you to partake of the fatness of His table. You have heard it said that God disciplines His legitimate children, and this is true; however, the other side of the coin is also true. Taking food from your Father’s table is necessary for you to prove you are His legitimate child. Illegitimate children cannot ask and get what they want from God. You, take and eat. This is what the sovereign God has done. This is the type of Being His is. These things already belongs to you. It is NOT God’s will that you do not take it. It is His will, that you ask and receive what you ask for, knowing God is your God and you are His holy beloved child.

Endnotes——————

[1] I will not deal with the teaching that “God’s Will” can categorically mean two things in Scripture, for I have done that elsewhere. For a quick read, then see Vincent Cheung, “Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11.” The problem I often see is that most make a category error by mixing these two categories up. Conveniently, this fallacy is most often made when people try to avoid Jesus’ demand for us to get what we want in faith.

“…I will Be YOUR GOD, & you will be MY PEOPLE…”

Hebrews 8 quotes Jeremiah 31, which is prophesying about the terms stipulated in the New Covenant, or contract. There are 3 basic points of this contract that God is making with the elect through Jesus Christ the mediator.

First, is the cornerstone aspect of forgiveness. “I will not remember their sins anymore.” Later the writer of Hebrews puts it like this, (paraphrased), “When I forgive you of your sins, there is no longer a need for a sacrifice.” This teaches the finality of the issue. To put this into an analogy. Imagine you have sinned again today in that besetting sin you are fighting.  What do you do? If you think to yourself, “I will not talk to God for a while today and just read my Bible, then I will feel better for God will see me trying, and then I will pray to Him.” The issue with this is that you just “sacrificed” to get back in reconciliation with God.  Our covenant or contract with God ensures there is no longer sacrifices for sin, so that you can be reconciled to God. It is final. What this means, is that from God’s part, He never sees us as apart or distant. If you feel this way, it is a lie and you are deceived by Satan.  Hebrews 6 says it is impossible for God to lie. This is stating a category error. Just as it is not possible for a circle to be a square, it is not possible for God to lie. He is truth, and all His revelation is truth, without blemish. God’s agreement is that He considers us reconciled, thus we are. Period. As Hebrews also says, this new agreement is the forgiveness/forgetfulness of sin, not the conscience of sins. One way to see if  you are mature in believing what this covenant means is when you sin, can you see yourself, in the next moment opening the doors to the majestic throne room of power and march boldly to God almighty (before the watching eyes of elders and angels) and ask not only forgiveness but also for prosperity and blessings. If not, then you are relating to God as if you do not have a covenant with Him.

Second, is about God being our personal teacher and tutor. Some people pay high prices to get the best tutor for their children, whether it be in math, music or sports, so that they might be the best by being trained by the best. How precious it is to see written into the new covenant that God will be our personal trainer! 1 Corin. 2 Paul says, “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.” God becomes our tutor, not by proxy, but by putting into our spirit, His very own Spirit. The one who knows God, is God’s Spirit. God gives us His Spirit. Paul later says in a category statement, “You have the Mind of Christ.” What is interesting is that Paul starts this section off by saying this is about maturity and mature wisdom in God. Then Paul’s main point about God’s teaching us, by having His Spirit put directly into us, is that the Spirit will help us know and receive all the unmerited goodies God is giving us.  What does it matter if you are poor or rich, talented or not, if God is your personal tutor, then there is no limit to how great you can become in the kingdom of God.

Third, which is the biggest part of the new covenant says, “I will be your God, and you will be my people.” This last stipulation in the agreement is huge! It includes all the promises of goodies, blessings, healings, heirship, sonship, helps and prosperities that cover the span the whole Scripture. Take for example the blessing of Abraham, which was based on God’s unmerited favor. Paul in Galatians 3 and 4 says this blessing is part of Jesus’ atonement for all those with faith. Therefore, it is part of the new contract. God is Abraham’s God, and Abraham is God’s people. This is seen vividly in the Exodus account. Pharaoh and the Egyptians where not God’s people and God was not their God. Rather, God was their enemy, and they were enemy to God. Israel was rescued and Egypt destroyed because God was God to Israel and Israel was God’s people. In fact, the last judgment was God killing the first born; this was the positive/direct action. The negative/indirect was God passing over those, to whom were His people, as He was on His direct action to kill His enemies.

Consider when Jacob admitted he was wrong, but then demanded, even physically fighting God, to bless him more. How can that be? God promised to bless; it is that simple. Without anyone influencing Him, God in total predestination and desire made the promise, because He wanted to. It is impossible for God to lie. God is not a man. He is actually faithful. Yet, the promise to bless Abraham was confirmed by the blood of animals, and the worm Jacob was able to fight God to bless Him more; however, in Christ, the blood of God was used to confirm His new contract with us! How much more will God bless us, when both the blessing of Abraham and Jesus is given to us, and confirmed by the blood of God?

Whether was King David or women like Hannah, they were all helped, blessed, healed and clothed in prosperity because God was their God and they were God’s people. All those promises they applied to them, are to be applied to us with even greater force. Psalm 103? Yes, it is yours in the new covenant with God. All your sins forgiven, all your sickness healed, all your needs met, and your youth renewed. David applied this to him under Abraham’s promise. How much more now under Christ’s atonement.

Vincent Cheung recently came out with an essay on our contract with God.[1] Vincent makes a point about this contract, that I had not considered in such clarity before.

He says,

To use marriage as an example again, whenever my wife asks for me she does not have to wonder if I would support her in that instance. Whenever we meet someone she does not have to wonder if I would prefer him or her over my wife this time. The act of forming the marriage covenant meant that, by this one motion, I had decided how I would treat her in every case in the future. If I had intended that I would decide how to treat her on a case-by-case basis, or on a day-by-day basis, I would not have formed the covenant, because it would be meaningless, and in fact there would be no actual covenant. It would be a contract that carries no terms, no conditions, and no promises. There would be no contract…

…The very point of a contract is to prevent decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis. The very reason for it is to declare the will of each party for future events. There is no need for a contract if one can discover the will of another only by observing what the other person does in each instance. By definition, a contract guarantees that one would know what the other person will do before he does it…

…God has a contractual right to approach us at any time to make demands on us. This is what it means to have such a contract. This is admitted without hesitation, but the reverse is also true. We have a contractual right to approach God at any time to make demands on him. Jesus said this in various ways to his disciples, repeating the teaching again and again. He said that if we would remain in him, or if we would ask in his name, then we could ask for whatever is our will, and it would be done for us, or given to us… If we do not believe that we can approach him like this, then we do not believe that he can approach us like this either.”[2]

Jesus on the night of His betrayal, in John 14-16 said, over and over and over and over and over, that his disciples are to ask for anything they wish in His name, and they will get it. In John 15 Jesus makes it clear, this includes all disciples because the point is about bearing fruit for the Father’s value. Those who do not remain are thrown into the flames of hell. As Vincent says, by contractual right, those who remain in Him are to ask and receive anything. By this the Father is publicly valued in the world. These are Jesus’ words and teaching. Thus, the context is for all disciples or followers of Jesus, who remain in Him. This is right before Jesus gives His famous high priest prayer. He is telling us the necessary outcome of His death, which in His blood, ratifies the new contract. Jesus is saying, you do not need to guess if I will answer your prayer on a case-by-case issue; rather, I am promising that I will always behave in this way with you. If you ask you will receive. If you seek you will find. The conditions of the contract are stipulated this way. As Vincent points out the obvious (which I had not myself considered carefully), a contract is about avoiding the whole situation of a “case by case” issue. In fact, that is how you treat outsiders. That is how you treat non-spouse. That is how you treat foreigners and aliens. That is how you treat those who are afar off.  This is like saying, “it’s a 50/50 chance.” A  contract is a guarantee that God will not treat you case-by-case; rather, its a promise that if these conditions are met (and in this case Jesus meets the conditions for us, as our substitutionary atonement), then you can pray for anything, and God will give it to you.

When I make a contract, let us say for a subscription, or house rental, I know how the other will react every month, and they know how I will react. I do not guess if Netflix might give me access to login, on a case-by-case issue every time I login. I also have no doubt, if they might or might not charge me, on a month-to-month case. The whole point of a contract is to know in precision and guarantee how the two parties will react.

Isaiah 53 says that Jesus bore (the same Levitical word in Leviticus 16 for the escape goat, and same word used in 53:11-12) our sickness. Our sickness was confessed on Jesus and then He bore them outside the gate to the place of the Skull. Thus, the necessary outcome in the contract is found in James 5:15 “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick…” Jesus says that the bread of Abraham’s blessings is healing and necessary for Abraham’s children. It is necessary, because it is bound in blood in contract.

God, apart from the fact He is the sovereign God, on the basis of the New Contract is able to make demands on us. We were purchased with a price. Our bodies and new souls are a temple of God, and God demands we treat them as such. God, on this new contract, made a demand for Peter to feed His people. Peter, along with the other disciples demanded that God would apply Psalm 2, (which was not directly about them) to them, and God, on the basis of the new contract with them, applied Psalm 2 to them anyway (Acts 4).

The 3rd stipulation of the New Contract

Jacob: Lord Bless me even more, despite that I am a worm.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Joseph: You meant me evil, but God meant me good.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Hannah: Lord give me a son and take away my reproach.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Samson: Sovereign Lord, remember me.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Elijah: Rain, stop. Rain come back.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

David: Lord give me strength to destroy my enemies.
God: I am your God, you are My people.

David: Forgive me.
God: I am your God, you are My People.

David: Prosper me and give me success.
God: I am your God, you are My people.

Jabez: Lord prosper me and protect me.
God: I am your God, you are my people.

Ruth: Lord, you will be my God, and your people my people.
God. I am now Your God, and you are now My people.

Blind man: Lord heal me.
God: I am your God, you are My people.

Woman bent over for 18 years: No record of her even asking.
God: I am your God, you are My people.

Roman Centurion, outside the timing of the New Contract: Lord just say the Word.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Canaanite woman, outside the timing of the New Contract: Lord, there are still crumbs.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Unnamed man healing in Jesus’ name: be healed in Jesus’ name.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Peter: get up little girl.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Peter: You have lied to the Holy Spirit, and so you will take your last breath.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Steven: I see God on His throne.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Paul: Fill these Gentiles with the power and baptism of your Spirit.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Paul to the Corinthians. Jesus became poor so that you can be wealthy and help those who need it.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Rahab the Harlot: God is not with my people, but is with yours; let me join you.
God: I am now your God, and you are now My people.

On the Day of Atonement the blood was brought in to be sprinkled on the mercy seat. Today, Jesus is on the right hand of God, and sits in a throne of power and a seat of mercy. It is as if God took His heavenly pen and dipped it in the blood of His Son (even the blood that came from “by His stripes we are healed”), and penned the New Contract with it.

This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—

an agreement confirmed with my blood,” (NLT 1 Corin. 11:25).

    1. I will not remember your sins
    2. I will be your personal tutor.
    3. I will be your God and You will be my People.
      (…those who are in this contract may ask anything in my Son’s name, in faith, and they will have it.)

Endnotes—————–

[1] Vincent Cheung. “Our Contract with God.” Web. July 2020. www.vincentcheung.com

[2]  Vincent Cheung. “Our Contract with God.” Web. July 2020. www.vincentcheung.com 
( https://www.vincentcheung.com/2020/07/21/our-contract-with-god/ )

You Qualify Here & Now

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
Fear comes by hearing the lies of the devil
.”
(Kenneth Copeland, Twitter, May 21, 2020)

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 NKJV)

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15 LEB)

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. (Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT)

“It has come at last—salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—the one who accuses them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10 NLT)

The King of Ages:

Satan (The limited god, of a limited age), “You sinned today, you know that, right? Did God say you are the righteousness of God? Really? Maybe at a time in the past, in a different place, but you sinned! You are not a child of God right now. You are not the “perfect righteousness of God,” here and now. You are a sinner saved by grace, because you are STILL a sinner, here and now. You are not in a position to ask and receive healing, supply and help from God, here and now. You need to repent and confess. And to be extra sure, do it again. You need to be righteous again, so that God can hear you again! So, let me give you some advice. You need healing, thus you should be afraid, because you cannot get it, here and now. You are not a child, here and now; thus, God will not help you, here and now. Your help is not here, its way over there. Your help is not now, its later. You should be afraid, because you don’t qualify now, and you don’t qualify until you get over there.”

Yahweh (The King of Ages), “You sinned today. Ok, so what? I will give you some advice: “Do not fear, only believe.”  You are, right now, a child of God. You are an heir of the King of Ages, here and now. You are a co-heir with my Beloved, here and now. You are my righteousness; you are STILL My righteousness, here and now. You need healing, right now and in this place? You qualify now, and this place is a good place. You get healing here and now. Oh, I almost forgot. If you have sinned, then I will forgive that next (James 5:15, healing, and then forgiveness!). I will do this because you are already My Child, already My heir, already My righteousness. You have direct access to Me now, not just later. You have direct access to me here, not just over there. I love my Son Jesus. You are part of Him, here and now. Guess how much I love You? You need righteousness to qualify for answered prayer? Great. I have already qualified you as My righteousness in My Son. My righteous Son is still here, and He is in this place right now. You are still in Him now, and with Him here. Do you understand now, why there was so much extra baskets left over?