Tag Archives: Love

Empowered by the Spirit to Shine God’s Salvation to THE END OF THE EARTH

“And he says,
“It is trivial for you to be a servant for me,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel.
I will give you as a light to the nations,
to be my salvation to the end of the earth.””
(Isaiah 49:6 LEB)

Notice the last phrase, “THE END OF THE EARTH.”

This passage is directly about Jesus, God’s servant who would redeem and save His people. However, take special notice how both the apostle Paul and Jesus Christ use this passage of Scripture. They both quote it in the book of Acts, and both use it to refer to the church and not merely about Jesus. That is, Jesus through His redeemed church, will shine the Father’s salvation to the end of the earth.

First Paul.

“For so the Lord has commanded us,

‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles,
That You may bring salvation to THE END OF THE EARTH.’”
(Acts 13: 47 LSB)

Paul says that God commanded him and his ministry team, on the basis of Isaiah 49:6 to preach the gospel to all who will listen. How can this be, if the passage was about Jesus. The church is one body with Jesus. Jesus prays in John 17, in more than one way, that as the Father and Jesus is one, that the church be made one in Jesus. Jesus working through the Church, is Jesus working.

Next, we will see how Jesus command this passage for all disciples, and then ‘how’ this will happen.

“But [Jesus] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set by His own authority;
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to THE END OF THE EARTH.”
(Acts 1:7-8 LSB)

Jesus say it is by the baptism of the Holy Spirit that his followers will fulfill His command to expand His light to the end of the earth. In the next chapter, when the Baptism of the Spirit arrived, the Apostles only made up a small percentage. Thus, we are shown His baptism and command extends to all Jesus followers.

Three things. One, this gives proof that baptism of the Spirit is for all, for Jesus connects TO THE END OF THE EARTH kingdom expansion to the baptism of the Spirit.

Second, as long as this command stands, to obey God by expanding His salvation to the ends of the earth, the baptism of the Spirit still stands.

Third, without the baptism of the Spirit, one cannot obey this command to shine God’s salvation to THE END OF THE EARTH.

Matthew 4 shows something similar. Isaiah 9 is quoted about a light shining in Capernaum. Well, what happened in Matthew 4 and in Capernaum? Jesus is led by the Spirit to be tempted and filled by the Spirit for ministry. Jesus started His ministry only after He was empowered by the Spirit. Jesus said that He cast out demons by the “power of the Spirit” and not merely by His Son of God authority.  After this anointing of the Spirit for ministry, Jesus goes to Capernaum to (1) preach repentance and to (2) heal the sick. It is in this context that Isaiah is quoted by saying a “Great Light has Dawned.”

Thus, Jesus Christ “great light shining” is summed up with being empowered by the Spirit, preaching and healing the sick. Jesus’ command for His redeemed followers is the exact same thing. They are commanded to be baptized in the power of the Spirit, to preach and heal the sick.

The same thing He did, and the same way He did it.

Scripture: Sufficient to Condemn John MacArthur & Justin Peters

Justin Peters recently had an interview with John MacArthur. They touched on the subject of faith and miracles.

The first thing MacArthur says about the Charismatics is that their miracle seeking is “doubt looking for proof” and “looking for a sign to validate it.”

This is calling good is evil, and evil is good. It is saying black is white and white is black. This is a slight of hand fallacy to shift blame from oneself to something else. In the bible it was not those doing miracles and seeking to do more miracles, that Jesus said, “an evil generation seeks a sign,” it was said against those who did believe or do miracles and were asking Jesus and His followers to perform more signs for them. MacArthur and Peters are the same Pharisees today. They do not believe, and they are the ones who keep asking for a sign, (which is empirical evidence) to give proof if a doctrine is true for false. The Charismatic already believe, they do not seek signs, just as much as Jesus and the New Testament church did not seek signs, because they already believed. Paul said that Jesus was raised, not on empirical evidence, but because the Scripture’s say so. Empirical evidence can never give proof if any biblical doctrine is true or false; it cannot give a truth claim about any aspect of reality. People who ask for a sign, not only show them selves to be spiritual perverts and unbelieving, it shows they commit spiritual harlotry with empiricism as a starting point of knowledge over Scripture. Thus, when they say, “solo scriptura” what they really means is “solo empiricism,” or “sola David Hume.”

I would recommend these essays by Vincent Chung for more reading on this issue of who is really seeking a sign, and who is not. (I am not affiliated with Cheung, only recommending his material). The reformed have it in reverse order. Their doctrine is a 180 contradiction to scriptural doctrine.

The Sign of Jonah

Signs of an Apostle

The Miracle Majority

Behold, I Give You Power

Another issue brought up was the sufficiency of Scripture. I agree it is an important issue but for the opposite reason they state.  Peters said, “a growing battle today is not inerrancy of the Bible but the sufficiency of the Bible.” MacArthur then responds, “The bible gives you everything.” Other things don’t give you this such as, “philosophy or politics, or waiting around for a prophecy.”

Interestingly, considering how sufficient the bible is, the remark is then given by Peters, “the charismatic prophets do not have a good track record.” Yet, this is an appeal to a human starting point (empiricism)(& the fallacy of attacking the person not the argument). What it is not, is an appeal to the “sufficiency of bible,” and the Bible as their epistemology. Like I said before, ‘solo scriptura’ really means, ‘solo empiricism.’ It is a natural reflex for them to be stupid and sinful by appealing to empiricism rather than the Scripture, because they are reprobates. This is who they really are. They are men centered on men.

With a straight faces similar people have asked me, “why do we not see so many miracles today, unless God does not want it?” They are like the people from Jesus’ hometown who said, “This is Joseph’s and Mary’s son,” and then in unbelief demand He prove by miracles who He claims to be. But their unbelief made that impossible. These peers did not start with God’s revelation; rather, their starting point for knowledge was their human observations. Scripture records it was due to their lack of faith, and not the lack of Jesus being willing and able to heal. With such people I am asking myself, what happen to starting with God’s revelation for knowledge? Where did God go? Why is it so automatic for them to start with a “human” speculation and “human” superstition?

If they only mean to do a personal attack (a logical fallacy) by saying, “Oshea (or Johnny), how many miracles have you done,” then why do they default to argumentation that the politicians use?  Is it because politicians are such good examples for how to argue for truth?

They are like the religious leaders who slapped Jesus and demanded He prove His claim as God by prophesying. They harlot themselves with David Hume’s empiricism in the open streets, and then march back in their pulpits, and after wiping off their sweaty faces, they say with a straight face, “solo scriptura.”  Maybe if they could stop humping on empiricism for just a few seconds, they might wake up and realize the disgrace they are committing against their own souls, and against those who hear them.

For a detailed explanation for how Scripture is sufficient to condemn Peters and MacArthur read the following essays.

Scripture: Sufficient Against Cessationism

Prehistoric Orthodoxy

Lastly, MacArthur responds with this,

If God gave miraculous gifts, why would He give it to people with such bad theology?”

I remember a quote from Vincent Cheung that gives a reason why God does such things.

“Christian ministers who teach this are often far from perfect, and subject to many criticisms, but this does not invalidate the point. Why do you think God allows many of these teachers to be so flawed and unrefined? He places a stumbling block to trip up those who walk in religious pride, who thumb their noses at those who do not present the promises of God in the way they like. God will put his blessings right in front of them, and they will fail to receive. This is his way to withhold the gospel from the unbelieving and hard-hearted.”[1]

——END NOTES——-

[1] Vincent Cheung. “God’s Extravagant Blessings.” Fulcrum. 2017 pg.33

God will boast about you!

I do not know you and so I will keep my thoughts on a basic level.

I will pray for you.

I am glad to hear you know your wrongs and desire to correct them. This self-awareness and disposition of your soul, about your mistakes and seeking God for help and restoration is something you must not lose, at all costs. This is a must have for proof you are saved.

If you read my essay, “God Rekindles Smoldering Wicks,” you know I once struggled with deep depression and came close to suicide. I know what it is to have a battle within the soul. I talked about having a relentless focus on God and His promises and His positive definition of me as a child of God in His Son. I still go over the promise verses listed there, almost daily. I make them my daily food. This was Vincent’s basic advice to me and it was great advice. I also take the Lord’s Supper almost daily in worship. I read faith devotions and materials, a few times daily.

And this brings me to my next point. Although I quote Vincent Cheung often, what got me out of my pit, had nothing to do with being a good little Clark or Cheung. Your statement about being a “good little Clark,” concerns me. It seems you being centered on “men” rather than “God,” is more natural for you. You might want to disagree with me on this, but in my experience people who say what you did, are in fact centered more on man than God. I am not saying you are unsaved by this, but that, at the very least, the natural tendency of your mind is not going to God first. If you want out of the pit, you must put off this old man, that thinks of man, and put on the new man, that is renewed by putting a mind that first thinks and sees yourself as a child of God standing in the very throne room of Yahweh. It must become secondhand nature for you to see yourself as a prince who belongs in the throne room of God your Father.

When I was getting out of the pit, I did not think of Vincent or Clark or any man. I pounded my mind with the word of God, and from this foundation began to pray in line with who God says I am, and all the good things He has blessed me with. Also having spiritual strength and faith to command demonic attacks and oppressive thoughts to leave is important, if that is how the evil one is attacking you. I could have memorized all that Vincent Cheung has ever wrote, but when I approach God in prayer, it means nothing. What matters are the promises of God and taking an immovable stance on them. When I approach the holy throne of God, what matters, is that I see myself as the righteousness of God, in Christ, so that this throne is a throne of grace and favor for me. Vincent, Clark, nor any man can help me or do this for me; they cannot do this for you either. When I approach God, I am clothed with the precious righteousness of Jesus Christ, who loves me. This is my faith, my hope and my shout of victory as I stand in the presence of God, asking for help. You should get to a point when standing in front of God, in His majestic throne room, before the elders, saints and angels, is more natural and reflexive than approaching any man.

Both in a divine trance/vison God gave me, and from advice from Vincent Cheung, I had to make a change to study more faith-based materials and devotionals and less theology. I needed to work on inner Spiritual strength more than going deeper in theology. I still study theology (and everyone is commanded by God to pursue theology), but my greater focus is inner strength now.

Systematic Theology is easy. Seriously, is it super easy! (This doesn’t mean there is no single point where it can be a little complicated). The older I get the more I realize this. Once I got it, I know it, and no one or demon can take it from me. God’s absolute and direct sovereignty over all things, is a child’s doctrine. Men ought not to boast about understanding it, as if it is a big accomplishment.

Faith is another issue. If you have faith to move mountains, then like the people mentioned in Hebrews 11, you are a man whom the world was not worthy to have known. That is worth boasting about! Like the gentile woman (or the Roman Centurion) who had with faith when Jesus sad it was not God’s will to heal her, but she took it anyway, God will publicly praise you! With faith, God will boast about you! Think about that. Rather than you wasting time boasting about men, with faith, God will use His time to boast about you. If you truly want God’s praise more than men, take an indomitable stance on faith. God’s approval, is the only type of praise that you should seek. Be a hero of faith.

Everyday I read devotions from those infamous health and wealth (word of faith) preachers, that everyone makes fun of. I obviously do not recommend them for overall Systematic Theology (for that see Vincent Cheung), but for basics of faith in God’s promises, I would recommend them to all. They are the only ones out there who obey and respect God by taking those promises of faith, deliverance, healing and material blessing with any kind of seriousness.

Vincent recommended me to leave my Reformed church, focus on spiritual strength with God’s word and faith-based devotions, and this was in addition to a divine vision I received from God about this. I encourage you to do the same. Even though this is not directly about how to deal with the immoral sin you committed, broadly speaking, it will be the way out of the pit. It will keep you out of the pit. It will even thrust you on top of the mountain of God, where God takes you by the hand and delivers you from all your troubles. God wants to do this. He said so. He promised it. He made all those wonderful promises and in blood ensures us He will always perform them, because He wanted to.

The promises are your definition. Listen carefully to me on this. God’s promises are not suggestions, they are in essence a technical definition of God’s children. They are you!

If turn your mind to this, so that these promises (definitions of you) are second nature to your thoughts, you will find yourself standing beside God on mount. Zion, looking down on all your troubles.  Turn you mind to the Jesus Christ in the gospels and book of Acts. He never left. He is waiting for you there.

-from email

The Human Ministry of Jesus Empowered by The Spirit

In this video ( Why We Won’t Sing Bethel Music in Our Church ),[1] Costi Hinn and friends accuse Bill Johnson of heresy concerning the incarnation or humanity of Jesus.

They quote Johnson saying, “laid His divinity aside,” “as a man,” and “did these miracles.” They say from this Johnson and other Charismatics like him teach the false doctrine we are to be like Jesus, by being filled with the Spirit and working miracles like Him.

Costi Hinn (along with Dale Thackrah Kyle Swanson) concludes that Johnson’s statements mean, “Jesus was not God, when He did these miracles,” and therefore it is “heresy to say Jesus was not God.”

I will not stay long on this point, other than to say, from what was quoted, (not regarding the totality of what Johnson says, for I have not read the book) Cosit slandered and bore false witness against Johnson. The phrase “laid His divinity aside,” could as easily mean, Jesus was still God, but did not chose to use all that was available to Him as God. For example, “Jesus grew in knowledge and wisdom,” does not mean Jesus “was not God”; rather, it means Jesus as a man, laid His infinite knowledge/wisdom aside, (i.e. chose not to use it), while the eternal Son of God still had His infinite knowledge (more on how this works later).

Jesus said that He “cast out Satan by the Spirit,” and not His own power. It was the Spirit who empowered the man Jesus Christ, for ministry, it was not Jesus’ own power that empowered Him for ministry. Jesus chose to use the power of the Spirit for ministry. This does not mean Jesus never used His own authority or power, in any way whatsoever, but that Jesus born as a man, under the Law, chose to operate in that limitation, and so was anointed by the Spirit (Isaiah 61) to do ministry and miracles. Jesus grew in knowledge like a normal man would; and this does not mean Jesus was not God or stop being divine. Example, I can choose to not use my right arm, without my arm ceasing to exit.

I do not know what all Johnson teaches on this, and I have no reason to care. What I care about it that these men claim to be intellectually and morally superior, and they are not; they are intellectually broken and morally wicked. They are slanderers.

For a more detailed look into what it means for the Son of God to be clothed in humanity, look at Vincent Cheung’s Systematic Theology (2010) pages 140-142.  Here are some selected quotes from this book.

“…In a similar way, the doctrinal formulation for the personhood and incarnation of Christ states that he is one in one sense, and two in a different sense. That is, he is one person who possesses two natures. To ensure the clarity and coherence of this doctrine, we need to define the terms and relate them to the doctrine of the Trinity. The way “nature” is used in the doctrine of the incarnation is similar to the way “essence” is used for the Trinity. They refer to the definition of something, and the definition of something refers to the attributes or properties of something. A “person” is again defined by the consciousness or intellect.

In the incarnation, God the Son took up a human nature, or human attributes. The divine and the human natures did not combine or mingle, so that both sets of attributes remained separate. His divine nature was not diminished by his human nature, and his human nature was not deified by his divine nature. Since the divine nature was not modified by the human nature, as indeed the divine nature cannot be modified, this doctrinal formulation reaffirms the immutability of God the Son. And indeed, a human nature cannot be deified, and neither can deity be conferred. Since deity is eternal, if a person is not deity to begin with, he can never become deity.

God the Son took up a human nature, and a human nature must include a human soul or mind. Although a “person” is defined in terms of the mind or intellect, the doctrine is that Christ remains one person even though he possesses two natures. This is so because of the definition of a person as a system of consciousness, and because of the nature of the relationship between the divine mind and the human mind.

First, we must insist that Christ is one “person,” because the Bible never refers to him as “they,” as it sometimes does the Trinity. Based on the way that the Bible refers to him, the way that he refers to himself, and the way that he behaves, there is no reason to think that he is not one person. Thus there is a need to arrive at a formulation that retains the view that Christ is one person even though he has two centers of consciousness. This need is not arbitrary, but it is necessitated by the biblical data.

The proper formulation is to state that God the Son took up a human nature, including a human mind, in such a manner that the human mind is contained by the divine mind, although the two are not in any way mingled or confused. Whereas the divine mind has complete control over the human mind, the human mind does not have free access to the divine mind, but it receives special information and capabilities only as granted by the divine mind…”

The important point of Vincent’s formulation is this, Jesus’ “human nature was not deified by his divine nature.” This doctrine is immune to contradiction. It still affirms the full deity of the Son of God and that His deity never stopped existing in all its fullness.

Thus, I can say, in context of the explained doctrine, “Jesus put aside His deity,” and “as a man, was filled with the Spirit, and did miracles as a man empowered by the Spirit.” Jesus commands us to be men (albeit born-from-above men), filled with the Spirit, and work His same miracles. Jesus says He did His whole ministry by the Spirit, quoting Isaiah. Peter says in Acts 2 that Jesus has given us this empowerment of the Spirit, as a promise of the Father. Paul says this Spirit and miracle power for us, is part of the ancient promise to Abraham. Jesus our forerunner, showed us how to be men born-from-above, filled with faith and the Spirit of power.

“Third, since that time the promise of the Father — the Holy Spirit — has been poured out. The effect of this baptism of the Spirit (Acts 1:5) is to infuse the followers of Jesus with the same power to work miracles (Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49) that Jesus himself possessed (Luke 4:14, 8:46, Acts 10:38). This power could heal the sick and cast out demons (Acts 10:38, Matthew 12:28), and it also produces visions, dreams, prophecies, and speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4, 2:17-18).”[2]

Even if some Charismatics do not explain the incarnation in perfect precision, I couldn’t care less, and it does not matter. Tradition is not as great as they think are in their statements about the humanity of Jesus; therefore, tradition is less than unimportant to me. Seriously, if I cared any less, I’d be dead. And despite some narrowly correct statements about the incarnation by the Reformed, any Charismatic, with their less precise doctrine, but who works miracles in faith and power of the Spirit, 10,000 more times apply a correct doctrine of the incarnation than all the Reformed tradition and books, and churches combined. This is the legacy of faith and shout of value to the Spirit, which the Charismatics have (as imperfect as they are).

The issue is this, the Bible explains the doctrine. Those who criticize the Charismatics either slander them, or make non-relevant personal attacks, while ignoring the Biblical doctrine that is clearly taught by others, like Vincent Cheung. Because the Bible correctly explains the incarnation, and the human ministry of Jesus, and Jesus’ own command for us to do His works (even doing greater works) the Reformed’s attack on the Charismatics (despite some of their sloppy or undetailed explanations) is ultimately an attack on the Bible itself. This is the Reformed’s legacy and damnation.

————–Endnotes————

[1] Why We Won’t Sing Bethel Music in Our Church ep. 10.

[2] Vincent Cheung. Behold I Give you Power. From the ebook, Hero. 2022. pg 89

You are My Sheep, and I Pray for You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[this is taken from my Systematic Theology book]

The Spirit tells our spirit about the …..?

 The Spirit tells our spirit about the …..?

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

(1 Corinthians 2:11-12 NLT)

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

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

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

God Wants To Exalt His Elect

 Luke 18:9-14 NLT

“Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.””

 The direct meaning is clear. If you have confidence in your own righteousness and works God will humble you. If you have confidence in God to declare you righteous by His own mercy, then God will exalt you.

The Pharisee knew of his works and had confidence in them so much that he boosted of them before God, and on this foundation was asking God to bless and exalt him.

The tax collector knew his own sinfulness and asked God to have mercy on him. He had confidence in God’s faithful kindness and love to forgive him and on this foundation to bless him.

God wants to be the one to show off His good works. God wants to exalt Himself by showing off how great His works are. He wants to put His mercy and unmerited favor on exhibit. He does not want man to steal this weighty value from Him. Think about how great God’s works of mercy and love are. He wants to show off to you how great they are. Because of God’s nature and covenant, we have unmeasurable confidence to rely on God’s working mercy and love for us.

God wanting to exalt His works of grace and love, exalts us when we seek Him to lavish us with His grace and love. In exalting us in love and grace, God also exalts His good works.

We do not have to beg. God likes it when we ask God for such things. In sovereign freedom He made the promises of grace and love. He wants to do this. He is looking for those who will lean hard into His faithful mercy and love. He is not annoyed when you do. He is the Father sees you from afar and runs to you. He puts the best robe on you, with sandals and a signet ring. He wants to do this. Have confidence to run to Him. He is faithful; He will do all the good things His promised. God exalting you with grace and love is His plan. Do not doubt, only believe.

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

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

First the quote from Vincent,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love Never fails – To Heal by Miraculous Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus: “You Have Heard it Said…”

Jesus: You have heard it said,

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

Jesus: You have heard it said,

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

Jesus: You heard it said,

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

Jesus: you have heard it said,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you know this Jesus?

[1] Luke 7:5-8