Category Archives: christian soteriology

“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?

God’s Will Failed, Because of Non-faith

“But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him,” (Luke 7:30).

Sometimes when reading, “faith and or, health and wealth,” preachers I notice their complete lack of talking about God’s power and causality on the ultimate level. This goes so extreme at times it becomes an excommunicable offense. They will say things like “God does not give sickness, “ONLY,” the Devil.” They are referring to passages like Acts 10:38 when Peter said Jesus healed all those oppressed by Satan. This is indeed true; however, it is only regarding relative level ontology, not ultimate level causality. What they have correct is that Jesus mostly speaks on this level. Jesus says if you have faith, then the mountain will OBEY YOU. Your, faith saved you. Your, faith healed you. And let us be honest here, Jesus was and is, more God-centered than you. And he mostly speaks on this relative level ontology.

This divide over what “the Will of God,” means is a similar issue. It can mean 2 things. It either refers to God’s decrees (or causality, either by direct force, or to the ordering of what God causes, i.e. “ontology”) and to what God commands (ethics).  Luke refers to the will of God as His commandments. And let us also be honest again, Luke is also more God-centered than you. Luke is not saying the Sovereign God made a decree and the Pharisees used their own self-existence-power (ontology) and overpowered God’s causality (ontology) on the ultimate level. Rather, Luke is saying God has commanded all to repent and be reconciled to God, but the Pharisees “rejected God’s Command.” Ethics (i.e. God’s Commandments) is especially important because the Bible says so. Thus, talking about, ‘the Will of God,’ as His commands is a common and important part of Christian theology.

Thus, when a faith preacher says, “do not reject God’s Will,” or “do not miss out on God’s Will, by unbelief,” or “you will miss God’s Will,” or “you need to accomplish God’s Will,” he is correct in this. Jesus Christ, the most God-centered man who ever lived, spoke on this (ethics, relative ontology) level more than ultimate causality. Let that sink into your thick skulls.

Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God.” Thus, on this level God’s Will Failed, because of unbelief. There is nothing wrong in saying it this way. OR better said, God’s command failed to produce obedience in minds of unbelief.  It is saying the same thing.

I would recommend Vincent Cheung’s essay, “ “Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11.”[1]

Below is a small excerpt from that essay. Notice the “will of God,” is used differently.

1 Samuel 2:25

His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, [precept] for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death. [decree]…

Mark 3:35, For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother. [precept]
1 Peter 3:17, For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. [decree][2]

Paraphrasing Mark and Peter with a more direct meaning of the term “will of God.”

Mark, “Whoever obeys God’s commandments is my brother.”

Peter, “It is better if God causes you to suffer for doing good rather than evil.”

Obviously, the doctrine of God’s sovereign causality over all things, and His commandments revealed to man are quite different categories. To make an equivocation here is a huge category fallacy. It would be like saying my invisible thoughts and rocks are the same category; therefore, all rocks are invisible. It would directly violate the basic laws of logic. It would make all inferences from scripture to be invalid.  If categories were to be violated like this, then it would thrust knowledge into skepticism. Yet, skepticism denies the law of non-contradiction. To be true, it must be false.

Look, what happens if we mix categories up?

If God caused(ultimate ontology) the Apostle Thomas to not believe Jesus’ resurrection, then it is right(ethics) for Thomas to not believe what Jesus commanded to.

God did indeed, referring to ultimate level causality, cause Thomas to doubt. However, to infer an ethic from God’s causality like this, is voodoo, witchcraft divination. It is David Hume empiricism in full display.

Or,

“If God caused(ultimate) Elijah to fail 6 times in his prayer (or your prayers) for rain, then it is not God’s Will (ethic) for Elijah to pray for this miracle and receive it (or yours).” Right?

Or,

“If God caused (ultimate) the disciples to not have enough faith to heal the father’s boy (or caused you to), then it is God’s Will (ethic) for God not to heal the boy (or heal you).” Right?

God did cause the disciples to have a lack of faith, in the ultimate sense, but to act like a voodoo witch-doctor and conclude, it must not be God’s Will to heal the boy, is superstitious rebellion, because Jesus turned around and healed the boy anyway.

OR,

“If God caused (ultimate) Satan[3] to temp David to take a census and God caused David’s heart to be weak (ultimate) to this temptation, then it is God’s will (ethic) for David to take it.” Right?

Or,

“If God caused (ultimate) the leaders of Israel to give a bad report of the Promise Land, then it is God’s will (ethic) for them not to take it.” Right?

Or,

“If God said No, and God gave the Canaanite woman a correct theological reason for not answering her prayer, then it is not God’s Will (ethic) to answer her prayer (or yours).” Right?

You realize how dumb that is, right? You realize if the saints in the Bible where to play this witchcraft, empiricist-superstition with God’s Word, they would have never become heroes of faith.

It is always God’s Will to heal, (it is part of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus, Isaiah 53), because it is His standing “commandment.” James 5:14-15, “Are any of you sick? You SHOULD … pray … in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.”[4] The word “should,” is an ethic. You should or ought to do this or that. Thus, it is the Will of God, for you.

Stop playing satanic witchcraft, and start obeying the Will of God; start accomplishing the Will of God, in your life.

 

———Endnotes——–

[1] It is also found in his book, “Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 4.” 2015. Pg, 22-32.

[2] Vincent Cheung’s essay, “Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11.” (www.vincentcheung.com). It is also found in his book, “Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 4.” 2015. Pg, 22-32.

[3] I am not talking about allowing here, for there is no such thing with God, relative to Him directly causing all things by His own power. There is no such thing as secondary causation, relative to God’s direct causation.

[4] Emphasis added by author.

Lift Up Your Heads, O Gates: Starts with Metaphysics

1 The earth is Yahweh’s, with its fullness, the world and those who live in it,
2 because he has founded it on the seas, and has established it on the rivers. (Psalm 24, LEB)

This famous Psalm, depicting the Father’s announcement of Jesus’ triumphant entry into heaven with, ‘Open up You Gates,’ starts off with an introduction of metaphysics and ontology. That is, before we ask the question about, “ascending the mountain of Yahweh,” or why is this prophecy so important regarding the “ancient Gates” to open to a “Victorious King of glory,” we are given the foundation. God created all things, and thus He owns all things. This is value without end. It is riches without measure. This value of Yahweh is immeasurable when compared to all things and so-called gods. All reality itself, is owned by Him.

The argument is rather simple. If you created all the seas and rivers, and all things, then you own it. It belongs to you. God is this person.

There is a reason why the Scripture starts with Genesis and the creation account. If owning a penthouse and a billion-dollar company is valuable, then how much more is God, who ultimately owns this person, owns his penthouse, and owns his company; but in addition, God owns all other persons and owns all other things?[1] Yet, God also owns all spiritual reality; He owns all invisible propositions and thoughts. He owns the past and He even owns the future itself. How do you put a price tag on that?

That is, the Scripture’s position is that metaphysics matters. It is the foundation, which other big questions of life stream from. And so, I do not need to read some old Greek philosopher to understand the importance and priority of metaphysics, as an ultimate question. The Scripture tells me so. As a quick side point, even things like Jesus’ atonement is a subcategory of metaphysics. It is how God has created new creations by His Son, and how God creates and relates to the reprobates designed for damnation.  Reality is important. I remember a non-Christian woman asking me, “Oshea, you are so talented, why then do you choose to be a Christian.” My response was a short one, “Because, I actually believe, Jesus created the worlds in 6 days.”

Going back to our Psalm. The context of asking ‘who may ascend the hill of God,’ is predicated on that fact, this God is the very one who created reality and owns all of it. Or that is, since Yahweh is the most valuable, richest, exalted person in all reality, then if you are able to ascend to His penthouse and get help and supply from Him, then this would be the best of all outcomes for a created creation like us. Since I do not own the world and am so limited, then if I could approach Him and get help from Him, then I would be in a much better place.

Next, the Psalmist asks a question about ethics, which is really a statement. God’s penthouse in the sky is a holy place. If you are not holy, then no entry to see Him.

It is here in the Psalm the flow is interrupted, as God the Father serenades the heavens, with a call to have the ancient Gates to His kingly palace opened for a person. This person is Jesus Christ ascending the Hill of mount. Zion, after His resurrection. The scene is of a hero in the ending of the movie, with his cape flowing in the wind, with a sword in his right hand, and the severed, bloody head of death in His left. The Father sees Him from afar, scaling the clouds in splendor and says, “Open the doors, Open the Gates, here comes my victorious Son, with value of triumph surrounding Him like the sun bursting forth in its rising from the night.”

In Christ, God does not count men’s unholiness against them. Rather Jesus substitutes Himself in our place and became our sin for us. Then in addition, under Yahweh’s plan, Jesus’ holiness is credited to our accounts. Thus, by Jesus new covenant—an agreement verified by His blood, we are innocent and even righteous in sight of the Person who lives in heaven’s penthouse. Isaiah 53 (Matthew 8:17) puts healing of the body in this category of Jesus substitutionary death and life from the grave, as a mediatory between God and man. The central idea of substitutionary, is that Jesus mediates our sins upon Himself, so that WE DO NOT. Isaiah puts our sickness there. In blood, Jesus mediates our sickness upon Himself, so that WE DO NOT. Jesus ratified this oath in His precious blood, of the new covenant.[2]  We can now approach God for all our needs and help. We can in love, and without fear, give Him true thanks and gratitude for all His benefits toward us. The Psalmist says such persons receive from this infinitely valuable Person, salvation, and blessings. Let us not overly spiritualize what blessings are. Both in the Old and New Covenants, they refer to receiving both spiritual and natural goodies. They are certain on the demand of faith, which always gives you access to this God of salvation and blessings.

 

Who may ascend the mountain of Yahweh?
And who may stand in his holy place?
4 He who is innocent of hands and pure of heart,
who does not lift up his soul to falseness,
and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from Yahweh,
and justice from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the sort of those who seek him,
those who seek your face, even Jacob. Selah
7 Lift up your heads, O gates,
and rise up, O ancient doorways,
that the king of glory may enter.
8 Who is the king of glory?
Yahweh, strong and mighty;
Yahweh, mighty in war!
9 Lift up your heads, O gates,
and lift up, O ancient doorways,
that the king of glory may enter.
10 Who is the king of glory?
Yahweh of hosts,
He is the king of glory! Selah

 

——EndNotes——

[1] I say this on the ultimate level. However, on the relative level ontology, it is proper to say, as Jesus taught us, “give to Caesar what he owns, and give God what God owns.” Thus, if you did not receive a miracle, but the medicine help you, then on this same level as Jesus taught us, Medicine is credited with the glory, not God, because ‘give to medicine what it owns.’ If you do not like this, then grow in faith, and make healing part of your common experience.

 

[2] Vincent Cheung, commenting on this topic says,

The Bible teaches that deliverance from damnation is not the only benefit of the atonement, but among many other things, it also offers healing for the body. Matthew 8:16-17 says, “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.'” This applies Isaiah’s prophecy about the atonement to the healing miracles of Christ. Thus it is certain that the atonement offers healing for the body, and that this benefit is manifested in miracles of healing, and not in natural remedies. Since verse 16 also mentions the “demon possessed,” this means that verse 17 – the atonement – applies to both those who are afflicted by physical sicknesses and those who are afflicted by demonic powers. Anyone who denies this doctrine makes himself an enemy of the atonement, and holds the blood of Christ in contempt…

If someone says, “Since faith for salvation is a sovereign gift, I will not come to Christ, but wait for faith. If God wills, he will save me.” We would realize that he is making an excuse for his unbelief, uncertainty, and rebellion. We would answer, “Now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30), and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21). Likewise, although God is sovereign over healing as he is sovereign over everything, this is not an excuse for unbelief, uncertainty, and rebellion. We relate to God on the basis of his precepts, not his decrees. He says, “The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up” (James 5:15), and “Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23).

Vincent Cheung. Biblical Healing. 2012. P 8,12

 

Comments on Justification

Jack: The reformed accuse me of being Catholic[1] for not focusing on Justification enough. Yet the devil can make us weak if we focus narrowly on this one issue.

Oshea: Absolutely. Paul (Galatians 3) says Jesus became a curse for us, so that (not merely to be forgiven) we “are” now part of the blessing of Abraham. In context, this blessing includes the Holy Spirit and miracles, according to Paul. Jesus also referred to this blessing as a necessity for healing, for now and here. More could be said about all this blessing gives us now, but time is short.

Also, think about “who” the Holy Spirit is? Paul says (quoting the O.T.) that it is only God’s Spirit knows Him. God’s own advice is His own Spirit.  However, He has already put His Spirit in us, so much so, “we have the Mind of Christ.” We are indeed a new creation. With new rules. With new authority. In a new family.

Also, the reformed forget the doctrine of predestination, such as in Acts 2:38, is mostly about the baptism of the Spirit, not forgiveness of sins. Acts 2:38-39, “Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. THEN you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” NLT. That is, predestination is about all the goodies we get “now” as part of Abraham’s blessings and filled with God’s Spirit. Jesus mentions this aspect of predestination and answered prayers in John 15 (see Vincent Cheung. Predestination and Miracles.) The reformed’s pet doctrine of predestination, will be used against many of them on Judgment Day.

Justification is a doorway into the next life. But it is also a doorway “now” into all of God’s good blessings. We enter in the Kingdom now by Jesus’ justification, so that we now have access to Abraham’s blessings and the promise of the Spirit. A person who focuses on justification too much, is like a man who is invited to dinner at the king’s house. However, upon entering the doorway, he stays there admiring it. The invitation seems too great for someone like himself. He just stands there talking about how awesome it is that he is even able to just see this great doorway. He starts to debate about it with other guests as they come in, and has plans for a book about it. However, because of this, he never enters in; He never sits down to eat with the King who invited him in. The table (the Spirit, healings, health, wealth, miracles) seems too good to be true; and so it is for him. It is unbelief of the invitation (justification). It is a dishonor and disobedience to the host.

Think about justification as the father receiving the prodigal son back. The proof that the son has received his father’s mercy, is when he puts on the best robe, ring and sandals and marches in the house as if he belongs there! If the son would not do those things, would not enter in the main doorway, to sit down with the signet ring on finger, and order a servant to prepare him some food, then it would mean he did not believe his Father’s word, that He accepted him as a true son, (justification).

Many reformed wrongly feel humble when they refuse “now” to put on the baptism of the Spirit (best robe), put on healing (sandals), and put on the ring (faith for all sorts of miracles and prosperity). They feel unworthy to put on the Father’s best robe, and enter the house, with their face held high, as a true son. And so, as a slave they are still sitting with the pigs behind the father’s house endlessly debating things. (Oh, and the pigs are winning the debate). They have not received the Father’s justification, and those who dare put on the ring, robe and sandals, (as if these things belong to them), they mock and persecute. They are blind to the fact it is about the Father; the Father accepted them; it was the Father that decreed they have the best robe. Because their focus is on men, and they still view themselves as mere men, they cannot understand how someone (like themselves,) could dare put the Father’s best robe on and march in God’s throne room as if they belong there like a prince.

 

———EndNotes——-

[1] I will only deal with this as a footnote. But this is rich, seeing that the Reformed are halfway Catholics (as Vincent Cheung labels them) themselves. But I digress.

God Rekindles Smoldering Wicks

QUEST.

 “ [Since you had to deal with your twin’s death, may I ask how you dealt with it? See, I have been through something recently, and] I’ve had some [issues] with anxiety, depression (etc).”

ANS.

[Disclaimer. This a testimony. Vincent’s advice helped me (which I will mentioned later); however, I do not wish to convey, that I am Vincent’s personal student, or that I represent him.]

FIRST. A few years before my twin brother passed I was suffering from severe depression to the point of being suicidal. I did not even wash my clothes for a very long time, for I did not even care anymore about hardly anything. The depression dove me into an abyss of utter pain. At the end, the mental pain of the depression became a crippling physical type pain. It was like I had knives and swords stuck in my body and just moving would cause them to slice into me. I had suicidal thoughts. I was in a very dark place.

I received instruction from several people. A pastor I meet with, helped the depression to stop, but I was already at the bottom. Reading Martyn Lloyd Jones’ book on Spiritual Depression helped a little.  However, then my friend Vincent Cheung consoled me.[1] I was instructed to defeat it with standing on God’s promises and faith–particularly the right promises for victory. I was taught to be like David and Daniel in going over these promises and God’s Word night and day. I did this. This advice was the only counseling that helped me. That is, I did not need to read a long book on how to defeat depression. What I needed was my faith to be strong so as to overcome my trial and hardship. Jesus said that we would have trials, but to cheer up, because He has defeated the world. In the context of Jesus saying this in John 16, He commands us over and over, and over and then over again for us to pray for what we want, and prove we are His disciple by receiving the very thing we pray for. Thus, if the context defines Jesus words, and not your superstitions, then Jesus defeating the world for you, means asking in faith and receiving the exact type of victory over the trials you pray for.

The Invincible Word of God.

And so, since faith comes by hearing of the word of God (Romans 10), then what I needed was passages of Scripture that directly addressed facing hardships of life and defeating it. I remember reading some promise verses in Lloyd Jones’ book, but I need more than a few. I was like the disobedient Israelites looking over the promise land. I saw depression as a giant and I was like a grasshopper. The Jericho walls of pain were just too big. My mind was made defective by depression, and the fruit of it was the sin of unbelief in the promises of God.  It is never good to disbelieve God, because God has commanded us to believe every proposition He has revealed, even the magnificent promises of good and deliverance. Yes, promises of victory of sin and sickness, of physical and spiritual. This what Jesus did day and day out in His ministry.[2]

Did you know there is no limit to being Spiritually minded? There is no limit; there is no doing it too much. Colossians 3:2–3 (LEB), “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Therefore, those who are the most earthly good are the most Spiritually minded. David said he praised God 7 times a day (Psalm 119:164). Daniel, he prayed 3 times a day (Daniel 6:10). Looking at the unscalable wall of depression, was indeed unscalable for the old man. However, we are a new creation in Christ, and so things are different now. This new man is renewed in the knowledge of Christ (Colossians 3:10). This knowledge tells us that by faith in Christ, we can ask and receive what we ask for.

Thus, “with my God I can scale a wall,” (Psalm 18:29). In fact, I an run right through it, because God is able.

We are identified with Christ. If the wall is scalable for Him, then it is for us. We know the Father accepts Christ in perfect love, but we are now part of Christ! Is something to big for God, then it is not for us. Is making the sun stands still, too big for Jesus Christ?  Then it is not to big for Joshua, who was a mere mortal like you are. Of course, you are to measure yourself by Jesus’ power and righteousness. No, wait. You are to measure yourself as more, for Jesus said you would do greater things than He did. The table bearer Phillip was spiritually transported to a different physical location, but this is something not even recorded that Jesus did.

Vincent, in his initial email to me, sent a paragraph of promise verses directed for faith to not only endure with character, but also overcome it! Faith comes by the hearing of the word of God (Rom 10). I took this and expounded on it.[3]  I made this my food night and day.

[You may also listen to the audio version of these promise verses, or download them to listen to them again throughout the week: Download them here, or listen here,

.]

Jesus tells us there will be trouble, but to cheer up, because He has defeated the world for you (John 16:33). He tells us that if we ask anything in His name that He will do it so that the Father will be Glorified, Jesus also tells us it is the Father’s will that we bear much fruit, and in context this include asking and obtaining what we ask for,—it is a command, (John 14:13,14 and John 15:7, 8). Jesus says He has left us his peace (John 14:27). 

The Bible says God is for us, and no one can be against us, (Romans 8:31). We are told that Jesus –the author of our faith– is sanctifying us whom He has already Perfected, once and for all, (Hebrews 10:14 ). That, on the account of the blood of Jesus, the Father has declared us righteous in His sight, (Roman 5:1,9).  That where there is forgiveness of sin, there is no more sacrifice for sin, (Hebrews 10:18). That because we have been adopted and are sons of God, the Holy Spirit has been sent into our souls and makes us cry out, “Dear, Father,” (Galatians 4:6).  There is no fear in God’s perfect love for us through Christ, which gives us bold confidence in God’s throne room, in the day of Judgment, (1 John 4:17-18).

That because we are already sons, we are thus already heirs of God through Jesus, (Galatians 4:5-7).  That, we have been seated in the heavenly places, at the right hand of God with Christ, (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1). That we are coheirs with Jesus Christ, (Romans 8:17). That we are a new creation, and that all things have become new, (2 Corinthians 5:17). That we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, (2 Corinthians 5:21).  That by the one man, Jesus Christ, God has recreated us in new realities and ontologies, so that, by the free gift of righteousness and the gift of abundant grace, we have justification of life, we have victorious life and eternal life by the power of Spirit, (Romans 5:15-21).

God promises us to always provide a way of escape from every temptation, (1 Corinthians 10:13). That, Jesus author of our faith, is able to heal broken limbs, and rewrite besetting sins into stories of victory, (Hebrews 12:1-2). That in face of fighting sin, Jesus commands us, to not let our hearts be troubled, but rather, to believe in Him and the Father, and to remember that He is preparing a room for us in Yahweh’s house, (John 14:1-3). That, the law of the Spirit of Life, has freed me from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). That the Father has delivered us from the power of darkness, and He has conveyed us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, (Colossians 1:13). That greater is Jesus who is in you, than he who is in the world, (1 John 4:4).

 That when Satan says, “did God really say,” from any foreign epistemology, that with a single shield of faith, we are able to stop every arrow of temptation and every deception from Satan, (Ephesians 6:16). That we are able to destroy every thought, and every argument raised against the knowledge of God, (2 Corinthians 10:5).  That to think any ethic or ought, and or, to use any logic or intelligence, we must presuppose God’s written law on our hearts and His revelation; however, we cannot do this without dealing with the whole Scripture that says only it is true and all others are false, (Romans 2:15, and Romans 1:18, 1:20).[**]

When the fire has brunt away the works of straw, then, whatever silver, gold and precious stones remain, will endure with you for eternity (1 Corinthians 3:12). God is your Helper, so be courageous and never be afraid, ( Psalm 118:6, Hebrews 13:6).  That, God will not forsake you; He will be with you for victory, whether it is spiritual, mental, demonic or physical troubles, ( Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). That, whoever is born again by God’s Spirit, so that they have faith, are those who overcome all things; indeed; they are victorious over the world, with all its troubles, (1 John 4:4-5).

That we receive the Holy Spirit, miracles and the endless fountain of blessings from Abraham, by faith in Jesus, (Galatians 3:2,5; 4:29). That if you will abide in him, and if his word abides in you, you will ask what you want, and whatever you ask will be done for you, (John 15:7). That if you have faith, you can command a mountain to throw itself into the sea, and it will obey you, (Matthew 21:21). That if you ask for anything in prayer, if you believe that you receive it, you will get it, (Mark 11:24). That we commanded to pray and never give up, because we will have what we as for, (Luke 18:1-6). That it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom, (Luke 12:32). That if you ask, you will receive, and if you seek, you will find, (Matthew 7:7). That God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him, (Hebrews 11:6). That, all things are yours through Jesus Christ, (1 Corinthians 3:22-23). That we can approach the throne of grace, for help in time of need, before our High Priest and our Father, (Hebrews 4:16). That Jesus is our Priest who already bore our stripes for our healing, and He has already bore our sickness and pain on the cross, so that the healing is already ours, (Matthew 8:17). That the Father has qualified us to be partakers of the rich inheritance of the saints, (Colossians 1:12). That when we ask for a fish we receive a fish, and not something else because God is our Good Father; and, when we ask for a son, we get son, and when we ask for healing, we get healing, and when we ask for the powers of God’s Spirit we receive God’s power and not something else, because God is our Good Father, ( Luke 11:11). That because God did not spare His Son in order to save us, the Father will much more freely give us all things through His Son, (Romans 8:31); and on and on and on. Look at all those extra baskets, left over!

Therefore, Maturity is not you giving to God, but rather, as sons, receiving from God all His endless, awesome blessings, (1 Corinthians 2:6-12). Maturity is having the strength of soul, to not merely leave the pig pin and go to ask forgiveness; but rather, by God’s Spirit, to have the power of mind to receive the signet ring, and receive the BEST robe, and receive the sandals from the Father, and then march into the house with joy, with your head held high, because you belong there like a son, like a prince (Luke 15:22-23).

That, we are commanded to cast all our cares upon our Father in heaven, because he cares for us so much, (1 Peter 5:7). Because our life is already hidden with Jesus Christ, who sits in God’s presence, at His right hand, therefore, our thoughts are to be constantly there, with Yahweh and our beloved Lord, (Colossians 3:2-3).  That, just as Jesus is at God’s mighty right hand, so are we now, hidden and seated with Him there, even while we are in this world, ( 1 John 4:17 ). That, we are commanded to use our reconciliation and our bold access to Yahweh’s throne room, by constantly opening the doors to our Father’s throne room and seeking His face for all the things and help we need, and by this, we fulfill the command to love God with all our souls, (Hebrews 10:19-22).

It is both a direct promise of God and a revealing of His Divine immutable nature that He forgives all our sins, He heals all your diseases, He delivers you, and He crowns you with kindness and goodness (Psalm 103 and James 5). Therefore, as many as are the promises of God, in Jesus they are “yes”; therefore, also through Him, is the “Amen,” to the glory of God through us. (2 Corinthians 1:20.)

In about 2 years I went from severe depressed to numb, to then ok and then to a more constant state of peace and joy.

 

What to Emphasis when Depressed?

The issue with a mental sickness, is that you already know how bad, sinful and pathetic you are. I surely knew it. At this point to over emphases your sin is both misplaced and could be a sign you do not really believe it. The emphasis is on God’s victory. If you read God’s word and walk away feeling ok where you are at in your depressed position, then you will stay there in your unbelief.

Watch your spiritual diet. Avoid teachings that tend to make people more depressed, often disguised as manifestos on God-centeredness, holiness, repentance, suffering “for the glory of God,” and so on. Avoid teachings that merely comfort you in your unbelief and defeat. They will not get you out of the pit. There are teachings that focus on repentance in a way and in a proportion that ironically make it into a meritorious thing. An improper emphasis on repentance is destructive, because it is in fact unbelief toward the blood of Christ. If you have repented, you are forgiven through Christ. You can march into the throne of grace without fear and without shame, not to beg like one without a covenant, but to talk and ask like one who belongs there – like a son, like a prince.

You already know that you are unworthy. This is an elementary doctrine of Christ, an entry point for this life. Now is the time to acknowledge the surpassing excellence of Christ — credited to your account by grace[4]

I was that bruised reed Jesus spoke about. I was that smoldering wick almost ready to go out. I am sure if the doctors would have looked at me, at my worse, they likely would have found some chemical imbalance in my head, or it could have been something else. I do not care. It does not matter. The Bible teaches the root cause is a non-relevant issue.  What is important is faith in God’s word that is victorious over demons, defective bodies and broken minds. God’s victory is a whole victory. He is the God of the hills and valleys.

God did not break me.

He healed me and strengthened me.

I say this to indicate when my only close friend, my twin brother passed, I was able to deal with it, with little to no anger/depression, because God had already renewed my mind (put on the new man) with faith in His promises. I know I will see Josh again –and as 1 Thess. 4 says—this is a comfort to me. Also, I do believe Josh passed too early in his life, partly due to bad teachings that influenced him—more than he knew I think: such things as “if its God’s will.”[5] I have decided to vindicate his honor by doubly going over such teachings to help others have the doctrine and faith to overcome the world, sickness, death, sin and all things.

 

Oh Boy, the View from up here is Awesome

SECOND I still go over the same verses almost every day. Sometimes I get irritated in that I don’t want to go over them again, but I press on anyway and I find God’s promises renew my thinking. In this, I put off the old man and put on the new, who is renewed in the knowledge of the one who created me. God’s Word destroys doubt and fear. It imparts a joyful courage for the future. Immediately after Jesus told Peter he would deny him 3 times, (people have forfeited their souls for less) Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions… I go and prepare a place for you.(NKJV John 14:1-3).”

Jesus commanded His disciple “not to be troubled” in his heart, right after telling him about his sin. Rather his focus should be on believing in the Father and Him.  But then goes on to say I am preparing a place for you in God’s valuable House. That is, not only is Peter commanded not to worry about his trail of sin, but he is commanded to look forward to victory over the trail. Yes, even commanded to think it is not too great for him to dwell in Yahweh’s house, who is the Lord of angel armies.

Jesus said after he experienced his own victory, that he should encourages others. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, was endowed with supernatural power. On that very day, he encouraged thousands of souls, into the Kingdom of God.

Smith Wigglesworth in a similar note of counsel says, “We have a Jesus that heals the broken-hearted, who lets the captives go free, who saves the very worst. Dare you, dare you, spurn this glorious Gospel of God for spirit, soul and body? Dare you spurn this grace? I realize that this full Gospel has in great measure been hid, this Gospel that brings liberty, this Gospel that brings souls out of bondage, this Gospel that brings perfect health to the body, this Gospel of entire salvation. Listen again to this word of Him who left the glory to bring us this great salvation, “Verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, . . . he shall have whatsoever he saith.” Whatsoever!” (Ever Increasing Faith)

Vincent addressing his own testimony about overcoming his depression says, “ I was trapped in a dark well, looking up through a tiny hole, but Jesus Christ dragged me up and placed me on the mountain of God, and displayed before me the whole panorama of divine promises and intentions. Then he told me to join in, and to be a co-worker with God. To me, this is what it means to have his words[6].”

Like the people in the Samaritan village in John 4, I know this now, not because I heard it from someone else, but because God’s Word has also dragged me up. His Word heals the physical and the mental and drags them both up into victory. Christ’s imputed righteousness is the bedrock to being a child of God, and an inheritor of Abraham’ blessing. It is the solid granite layer upon which the Mountain of God’s promises stand. God drags me up upon this mountain top and displays the vista of all that is available. He says, “if my Son died for you, then All things are now freely given to you.” His Spirit causes me to cry out, “Father.” It is now part of my own DNA, my own metaphysics. He throws His hands out and says, “look! do you see all that I have given in my promises? Is it now you understand why there were so much extra baskets left over from the feeding of the four and five thousand?” God teaches me to view everything differently through His Word. Christ sees the world from up top. Jesus sees the world from the right hand of God, in perfect love and blessing of the Father. The Father tells me the same power He used to raise Jesus from the dead, He uses to set me above the world. And oh boy, the view from up here is awesome! There is no panorama on earth as great as seeing realty from mount Zion, while sitting next to the Lord Jesus Christ. God opens endless opportunities through His mighty promises. While bound in the kingdom of self, it really was a dark well. But now I am a new creation, in a new location and in a new Kingdom of love.

Oh, Christian do you not know, that we see the world as Jesus does! Yet, Jesus sees the world from the right hand of God. “As Jesus is! so are we,” now in this world (1 John 4:17). Now we have the Mind of Christ.

 

God Thinks So, Point of View

God is the source of all knowledge. God controls all metaphysics and ontology. God is the only lawgiver. God is the only one who gives definitions to His own creation. The Logos continues to uphold His creation faithfully in His definitions of it. Thus, why is it a correct definition that all people, born after Adam, were born created with a sinful nature and death, when they did not do the sin themselves? Because God thinks so. Why is it a correct definition that sinful people are credited with Christ’s righteousness, life, health, wealth and inheritance, when they did not do it themselves? Because God thinks so. Why is it correct for God’s adopted children, to have the privilege to ask for anything and then get this anything they desire from Almighty God, from the LORD of Angel Armies? Because God thinks so. Why is it a correct definition that adopted children have bold access to the very throne room of heaven, to the only Immortal, Invisible King of Ages, to ask for help and ask for blessings? Because this Eternal Lord of Ages think so. Why is mercy defined as both a spiritual help, and as a natural help of “double health and wealth”? Because God thinks so. Why is it correct, that God’s children have all their sicknesses and diseases taken away? Because God thinks so, and He has written this definition in stripes upon the back of His only Son.

Think about it, why does a tree today still ontologically behave in the category of a tree? Because God thinks so. God is faithful with His revealed definitions about His creation. God has defined us in the category of co-heirs with Christ, as part of Christ’s body. This has irrevocable metaphysical properties. Set your mind on how God defines the world. Think how God defines you in Christ. This is the essence of faith. It is the essence of maturity and of a renewed mind. It is the essence of spiritual warfare. It is not about how you think or feel about such things; you simply agree with how God defines you and all things; think about this point of view day and night. See the world from the top of mount Zion with your Father. From up here above the clouds, it is total victory and triumph over the world. The Father as given you the world and all things in Christ.

God’s Word & Not Experience

THIRD. If I were to preach my experience I would not be a servant of Christ. If I were to truly preach out of my own strength I would be a reprobate. In fact, if you are a normal Christian from your own strength, then are not a Christian at all. You can only be a Christian, if you are so by God’s strength. “If I minister out of myself or if I preach myself, I would not be a servant of Christ. He saved me. Now I work for him. And he owns the whole world. So when I am doing the King’s business, I am bigger than any professor or president, any corporation or denomination. I will rebuke Satan himself.”[7] Christ is my knowledge. He is my righteousness. He is my strength. As my faith looks through the promises of God I see truth, strength, joy and endless triumphs. If I speak from of the imputed righteousness of Christ and His strength, then it is not too small a thing to think I can rebuke kingdoms and ask for the rain to stop for 3 years. If I speak from myself, then not only am I a reprobate, but I do not even have the authority to correct myself, let alone anyone else.

God heals broken reeds and He rekindles smoldering wicks. I know this NOT because of my own experiences tell me. Rather, because God’s word says so! I do not need experience to know promise x, or promise u, or promise h will hold, for All the promises are yes and “so be it,” in Christ. I do not see by my eyes, but by faith in God’s Word. Vincent Cheung, in his own faith in God’s word, encouraged me saying, “You can do this too. You need to talk to yourself, rebuke yourself, encourage yourself, with the word of God. He said, “In this world, you will have trouble,” and some perverts only preach this far. But he continued, “Cheer up! I have overcome the world!” He has given you his joy. You can be happy by the power of Christ, when you are facing trouble, and when you are not facing trouble. This is true piety.”[ibid]

As Jesus said to Peter, “And you, when* once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.[8] You can do this to. You can rebuke yourself, correct and encourage yourself. And when you have been rekindled by God’s promises, you can help rekindle others. You do this by not preaching yourself or experience but by preaching Christ. That is, by pointing others to God’s Word. It is a revelation that is true and that will not fail. The preacher of Hebrews did not preach himself in his epistle; rather, when his audience needed a reason for how they will overcome covetousness and adultery, he preached the promises of God to them. He took promises (ch.13) given to Joshua and King David and gave(moralized) these same promises for the audience to place their faith in; that is, to obtain victory by faith in His promises.  You can do this too.

It is good to have a church to help you. It is good to have a pastor or deacon who can console you in the truth to overcome depression and anxiety. However, what happens if you must move? What if this person or persons who seem so important to your help are no longer there? Do not depend on a person. They will not always be there for you. What if you are like Peter in a prison, all by yourself? The secret to joy and peace, and the secret to endless ontological power is faith in God’s Word. You can take God’s revelation with you anywhere. God’s Word will not leave you, nor will it diminish. Because God does not change, His promises do not change. Rich or poor, black or white, smart or dumb it does not matter. Faith in God’s promises will always give you direct and instant access to God. This access is not that God will “give you an answer.” This bold access to the throne room of God means—as Jesus says in John 13-16, that God will give you (not an answer) but the very thing you ask for. This is what it means to be child of God, who is a co-heir with Christ, who have been raised with Christ and seated with Him at God’s right hand.

Do not appeal to human speculations of what God’s will is, by divining one’s current experiences. To do so, is logically invalid (i.e. superstitious).  It is not resting on Scripture as one’s epistemology. Elijah prayed for rain 7 times. During the failed 6th prayer could not Elijah have said, “because God has not answered me 6 times in a row, then it concludes that rain is not His will?” How many saints in the Bible, if they did that would have failed and never been recorded! To do so is a false form of humility. It tramples on God’s sovereignty as a cheap thing, by using it as a stepping stone to glory the kingdom of self, and its starting point, and its experience and its observations.  Also, to do so is to make one’s “own speculation” from inductive experience on equal grounds with Scripture–as a first principle for knowledge. This proceeds from a stupid mind and a heart of witchcraft. Why bother criticizing the Pope as a dual epistemology with Scripture if one makes their own speculative experience greater than God’s Word? Why even bother asking a witch to divine your life, or star charts, if you use own inductive speculations to find out God’s secret decrees?

 

 Crossing over Jordan with a Sword in Your Hand.

The first stage was liberation from their masters in Egypt. The second stage was eviction of their enemies from Canaan. They would not be escaping, but they would be attacking. Under Joshua’s leadership, the people would have to fight. It was not to liberate their friends, but to exterminate their enemies. They would not be fighting for survival, but for prosperity. In fact, this was the reason they were taken out of Egypt in the first place (Exodus 3:8). Freedom was never the final end. They would take possession of God’s promises, of the “milk and honey.”

The Christian experience mirrors Israel’s history. If crossing the Red Sea was like baptism into Christ for freedom (1 Corinthians 10:2), then the distinct and subsequent experience of crossing the Jordan could be taken as baptism with the Holy Spirit for power (Acts 8:14-16, 19:1-2). Centuries later, John the Baptist announced at the Jordan, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:8). This is no longer about salvation in terms of the forgiveness of sin. The blood of the lamb was applied back in Egypt. And it is no longer about maintaining a self-sufficient life, or the sanctification of the individual. They lived in this sufficient condition for forty years in the wilderness. Salvation in this sense was never intended as the final end.[9]

As God delivered the Israelites from Egypt(baptized them in the red sea), God has delivered me from sin and death—all by Himself with no help from me. However, just as with Joshua and the Israelites I was also Baptized in the Jordan river; and upon doing so God placed a sword in my hand and told me to take the land–He told me to overcome depression, demonic strongholds, arguments raised against the knowledge of Christ, confusions, besetting sins, physical and mental defective areas, and all sorts of troubles by His mighty and invincible Word! Hebrews said Joshua entered because of faith. Only faith in God would overcome the insurmountable troubles ahead of him. That is, by faith Joshua would overcome; without it he would fail just like the millions of dead corpses of the Israelites laying in the desert proved. Joshua did not look at the high walls and strong people as a burden—the only real burden was dealing with 40 years of the unbelief that surrounded him—rather, with a shout of triumph in the promise of his God, he overcame all things.

NLT 1 Corinthians 10:13, “When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”

When I realize that I did not find the escape from sin today, the issue is my unbelief in the promise of God. “There is always a way to escape temptation. There is always a way to avoid sin. However, I would not say to a preacher, “If God promises to change us, and if he promises to always provide a way out when we are tempted, then why do you still sin sometimes? The doctrine must be false!””[10]

When I fall into temptation it is not that the promise of God failed; rather, it is my faith. It is not a burden for me to realize this! Some spiritually defective thinking might ask, “How then, is faith not a burden?”

Hebrews 12:1–2 (LEB), “Therefore, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of faith.” My faith is not perfect; however, the Perfect One and the author of my faith, is with me to mature and strengthen my faith. I rebuke myself and in the promises of God—take my stand—knowing Jesus will improve and mature my faith. I do not see burdens; I see hope. I see many triumphs and victories through the imputed righteous of Jesus credited to my account by grace, even in healing, miracles overcoming depressions, and defeating temptations. I see a promise land–filled with enemies, that will fall by my sword of truth and shield of faith. I see joy in overcoming all things. When the battle seems to grind to a halt—when Moses’ hands fell—I see peace, knowing the Victory is still mine through faith, for the “Author of my faith” will strengthen the feeble hands that hang low.

Hannah a Hero of Faith.

FOURTH. Hannah knew what to do when she dealt with the pain of not having a child -(which God caused, ontologically it was “His Will”). She asked for a miracle and received one – a gift. She did not like the pain and wanted it to go away. God gave her a son, as a reward for her faith. The pain stopped. God has commanded us to believe in His promises. Christian ethics is obeying God’s commands. Christian ethics is not an inductive conclusion taken from some speculations of what one thinks God’s causality is doing at a given moment.

Hanna was a hero of faith and ethics. After speaking of God’s sovereignty (“God kills and makes alive“) she proclaims that for the humble who believe in Him: (1 Sam. 2:9,8) “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.”

Hannah, therefore, was a faithful steward of the promises of God by believing in them – and giving glory to God as a “GOOD” Father by receiving the very thing she asked from Him—a fish for a fish, bread for bread, an egg for an egg, and a son for a son.

 

Matthew 12:20 (NIV)

A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.

 

———ENDNOTES———–

[1] The email Vincent originally wrote me, he expanded on and published on his website (wwww.vincentcheung.com) as “Depression: P is for Pervert.”  Also, found in Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 7. 2015.

Some of the basic counsel I received there I put into practice, and now I encourage you to do the same. In fact, the basic scriptural promise list that Vincent wrote me to think over, I expounded it and have read these verses to myself almost every day for years.

Some other essays from Vincent that have helped me and to which some of his explanations bleed out in this testimony since I put them to daily practice for years are (1) The Edge of Glory, (2) “Energized by righteousness, peace, and joy…”, (3) Faith Override, (4) All Things are Yours

[2] I can use my headphones at work, and so, for years I have listened to the 4 gospels of Jesus Christ so many times that I cannot count. Not only was this the heart of Jesus’ ministry, but He commanded that we follow in this same ministry. Do people suppose to willfully disobey God’s commands and not expect to reap what they sew?

[3] See Vincent Cheung, “Depression: P is for Pervert,” for the original list.  Found in Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 7. 2015.

[**] The basis of this apologetic method I got from Vincent Cheung. See Vincent Cheung, Ultimate Questions.

[4] Vincent Cheung, Depression: P is for Pervert. Found in Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 7. 2015.
The Reformed might criticize the charismatics for over-emphasizing things like health and wealth, but they are not better than the people they criticize, for they over-emphasize sin and forgiveness while negating the other half of the core gospel.

[5] See my essay on the Logic and Scripture: Romans 9:11-18, Why Is Pharaoh Punished.

[6] Vincent Cheung. Two Views on God’s Word. (https://www.vincentcheung.com/2016/06/15/two-views-on-gods-word). Also found in Sermonettes Vol. 9. Chapter 18. 2016.

[7] Vincent Cheung, Depression: P is for Pervert. Found in Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 7. 2015.

[8] LEB Luke 22:31

[9] Vincent Cheung. The Edge of Glory. (www.vincentcheung.com)  2016. Also, Sermonettes Vol. 9. Chapter 19.

[10] Vincent Cheung. Where There is a Promise there is a Way. 2016. (https://www.vincentcheung.com/2016/06/15/where-there-is-a-promise-there-is-a-way)

Joshs_Glowing_Mushrums_Words_003