Tag Archives: Wholeness

Cheapened Grace

Don’t let a cheapened message of God’s grace rob you of your inheritance.

As many people are hearing and receiving the message of God’s grace there are also teachings that cheapen it and in the end devalue not only the message, what Jesus accomplished and his sacrifice but also the person who God ultimately desires to be the benefactor of His grace. God created man in His image and the true and pure characteristics and values that God breathed into man are direct reflections of our inherit nature from God. Anything that is not a part of our inherited nature then is from an outside influence and can never increase our experience in life but only detract from it. Being free from these outside influences is the power of God’s grace in our lives.

With this being said first let me state that in understanding God’s grace if your relationship with God is not based 100% on the grace He shows towards you, then any deviation will encourage you to experience life in a way that will inhibit you from the quality of life Jesus gave his for in your place and that our Father desires for you. You can choose to not be honest with yourself but it is clear that God created Adam and Eve out of love and they existed in a state where they never tried to test or alter the boundaries that defined them. At least not until an outside influence encouraged them to devalue themselves by perceiving their value as coming possibly from another source outside of God. Namely themselves which we know is pride.

The bottom line is then anything that influences us to not live according to our inherit natures will inhibit us from experiencing the quality of life that God desires for us and as an outside influence it is in opposition to God. It is this outside influence then that Jesus overcame so that through Jesus the wholeness that comes through salvation reveals to us our unadulterated identities enabling us to experience reconciliation to our Father. This is one thing that I really get grieved about when I hear those who have been given influence into the lives of others and they try to attach God’s love and acceptance of that person to the very thing that is influencing them to not experience what God has given them.

Allow me to use a hypothetical scenario to elaborate on what I mean. We almost all know something of cancer. Either we, or someone we know, have been under its influence. In fact this is a close subject to me because at the time of this writing my father was diagnosed with cancer only the week prior. Not let’s say that this motivates me to find a cure for cancer and though by the time I do my father passes away. I create a cure where a simple drop of this medicine will destroy the cancer and restore any damage it did. Now after this discovery I have a child who ends up being born with cancer. I have the cure but others intervene and say that because I love the child it is okay that they have cancer. They can keep the cancer because I will accept them just as they are.

Now the claim made is a true statement in that I would love the child unconditionally and accept them regardless of the cancer, but that is not the whole truth. In fact the whole truth in that though my love for my child is unconditional and that I would accept them no matter what is because I could make them whole, then to truly express my love, I would give them the medicine to heal them and enable them to experience the best quality of life possible. If I had made it possible for my child to be free from cancer and it was in my power to make it so then to not do it would question whether I really loved the child or not.

Hopefully this clearly conveys why I have such a strong discontent when people try to cheapen the grace of God by devaluing it with some of the messages that are taught. I understand that a person’s value and identity are not to be wrapped up in the things they do or the influences in their life which are contrary to what God desires. Our identity and value to be totally healthy needs to be derived totally from God. Yet when we choose to say that because God loves you and accepts you just they way you are, which is half of the truth, without encouraging them to receive the wholeness and restoration of their identities free from influences outside of God, then we are conveying a message that it is okay to remain the way they are. In other words yes Jesus opened the way for you to receive the full benefits of salvation but because God loves you an accepts you it is okay if you remain under the influence of death and destruction. There is no gray area is this matter. We should not ever accept falling short of experiencing the fullness of God’s provision by allowing ourselves to become content and try to use God’s acceptance and love as a means to justify our complacency in our flesh or worldly influence.

It is true that our actions and outside influences against us cannot separate us from God’s love. Nor can it undo what has been done by faith in Jesus in experiencing salvation. But to say it is acceptable for anyone to remain in a state that is contrary God’s desire is just cold-hearted and unloving. No matter what the sickness, disease, behavior or anything else is we are to be as Jesus and provide total restoration to every person in every way. To accept the influence in a person’s life that is a result from a fallen state is in no way representing the love of God, because it is approving of something that is contrary to God’s desire and the finished works of Jesus.

Never once in scripture did I see anyone come under the influence of God’s grace who in choosing to receive it, came short of being restored. We see beliefs and behaviors changed as well as physical healing and demonic influences removed. And again never once do we see any message conveyed that it is acceptable to choose to tell someone it is okay for them to keep living their lives in ways that do not glorify what God has done for us to make us whole. Perhaps that is a part of the equation which is not understood so well. I can remember growing up in church culture, and if I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times, where the pastor or teacher will start praying and repeatedly say, “We glorify you Lord, we magnify your name.” Really? Yes there are many just that clueless in that they have no idea what it truly means to glorify God. When we are receiving and experiencing the benefits and fruit of God’s love and His sacrifice then we are glorifying God. To say we glorify God by literally saying the words is as superficial as telling someone you love them without ever expressing it.

Remember God’s grace does not enable us nor gives approval for us to experience a quality of life contrary to what God desires for us and Jesus died for. But grace empowers us to not remain under any influences that come from sources outside of God which try to inhibit us from experiencing our inheritance. We should never allow our values and identities to be determined by any sickness, disease, beliefs, behaviors or any other influences, but the quality of life that we experience should glorify God. So as you read scriptures if there is something that you see God move against or disapprove of in any way, in knowing that God never changes, it is clear to say that if these things have influence in your life then seek God’s grace. There is nothing that has an influence in your life, which is contrary to God, that Jesus did not make possible for you to receive restoration in.

In writing this I had to stop and question the motivation behind why people are taking the message of God’s grace and perverting it? The justification that comes to mind, and I would not say that this is the only reason, is that there are possibly areas in their lives where restoration through God has not taken place yet. And if this is the case they are allowing that or those circumstances to influence their value and identity. Instead of continuing on then and receiving restoration and healing in all aspects of their lives they choose to justify their circumstances by teaching others that it is acceptable to not experience change as a result of the gospel in their lives. This justification allows them to experience a form of acceptance and contentment in their own situations. Of course this whole line of reasoning is one that is solely influenced out of pride and is a false representation of God’s acceptance. It is true God accepts everyone and as evidence of this acceptance He freely gives complete healing and restoration in all situations.

When I speak of healing I am not only talking about only the physical aspect, which is included, but much of what we see in the physical is the fruit of beliefs in our hearts that are corrupt and the emotional healing is also included. Almost all behavior contrary to God is a result of an emotional influence which creates a belief that one lives by. These emotional stresses can also produce side effects like physical ailments in the body as well. So in receiving total healing I am not just talking physical, because if the physical is a result of an emotional issue and we receive a physical healing only, the influence of the emotional issue will continue to try to destroy the body.

As I said in the title, don’t let yourself be robbed of your inheritance. Don’t let people sell you on something which is clearly contrary to the context of what you read in the bible. If God was against it there is nothing that was done to make Him change His mind and now accept it. You can earn nothing from God, so no religious routines will justify you to be able to receive anything from God. God freely gives to all who ask and this is the heart of His grace on all to all so that all may experience the quality of life that He longs for us to. There are things of this world that we try to allow, justify and incorporate into our relationship with God, which He has always disdained and always will. He does love us unconditionally and has proven His acceptance of us in spite of our shortcomings, but He has also made it possible for us to no longer be under the influences of this world so we can experience the true liberty we have in Christ Jesus.

We should also never feel guilty, ashamed or condemned about those things that have influence in our lives which are not from God. Again think of it as a disease, and we can choose to live with that disease but God because of His love for us has come up with the cure and desires for us to receive it. As I said before there is nothing that will cause God to ever cease loving us, we can only choose not to receive His love nor participate in the quality of life He desires for us through total restoration and healing.

With all this being said there are some who teach that because of Jesus everything is already ours no matter what. In some ways I agree because there is nothing for us to do but to believe and receive it as you would a gift, which is said over and over throughout the New Testament. What I do not agree with is the teaching that states that all of mankind is saved whether they believe it or not. Though I wish this were true it was not God who caused man to reject Him in the first place, but has made an effortless way to assure us that reconciliation is something that everyone and anyone can freely experience.

When people say that everyone is saved, and in some cases they add that they just do not know it yet, then I see this clearly as a statement that would say God is incompetent. After all everyone Jesus made absolutely no distinction in being saved between the forgiveness of sins and healing. Therefore the overwhelming evidence would distinctly conclude that everyone, everywhere, for all time is not already saved because as a part of experiencing the fullness of salvation that is available one would also have to experience freedom from sickness, disease or any other infirmary that is a result of sins influence in this world. To say that salvation is not something we must receive in order to participate in its benefits then means only one of two things. First either God is not capable of keeping His word or the other being Jesus is a liar.

I really do not think people understand that damage done when they teach such nonsense. To put in context would go along the lines of something like this. Imagine walking up to someone who has been crippled all their life and in a wheelchair. They have been suffering day in and day out in pain for over 30 years and just wish in many cases that they never existed. Then you say the following. “Why are you in a wheelchair all crippled up and in pain. Don’t you know that you were saved by Jesus and you are not crippled.” After all my point here is to keep this in context you can’t show the mercy that is shown scriptures because you cannot offer salvation but must demand that they are saved. To offer salvation or pray for healing like in the bible would mean that it is in fact not something that has been thrust upon all of humanity.

I do believe that most who teach this way and in others that are not the gospel of grace, do in most cases desire for people to experience what God has for them. There is an honest effort being put forth to in some quasi fashion to help others become aware of their relationship to God. But it does border insanity to say that you already have everything and you cannot receive anything even though your experience is not in agreement. Is it available? Absolutely yes and freely it has been given to us, but it is quite evident that it is something we must choose to be a participant of to experience any benefit.

There is also one other question when we really look at this from a big picture view, or at least has big as we can see, and that is what is the point. If God alone without our involvement can rectify the situation that we are in, why would He allowed it at all. Obviously God knows everything through His eternal existence. So in creating man with free will to at least allow sin to enter into the physical realm but then say that God can and has overrode everyone’s free will to save them, why would God who is love permit suffering such an atrocity to begin with? If man’s input or participation is not required why not express mercy and grace on mankind by eliminating the situation all together prior to man’s existence? My personal answer is because no matter how great the love, if it one can not let go then the relationship has gone from love to pride and greed.

Since God is love He allows us to be who we are, for better or worse, and is always willing to receive us back with open arms when we come to the realization that we were never able to produce life on our own but freely receive it as part of our relationship with Him. The focus always ends up on being our relationship with God and do we trust and believe He only desires and has provided all things for us to experience the quality of life He desires for us.

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Forgiveness

Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:23)

I have heard some say that this is speaking of the ability for believers to have the power/authority to either permit someone to be forgiven or remain under judgment for their sins. With the context being that the believer is representing God’s position to the sinners. This has never set well with me for a few reasons but the greatest of all is sin towards God has been forgiven through the blood of Jesus. It is true that many have not received forgiveness and therefore it is not beneficial to them, but none the less God has forgiven us of all sin.

What I have come to understand is in this saying Jesus is telling people that they need to forgive others so that they can be free from the power of the trespass against them to have influence in their lives. If we retain the sins of those who have trespassed against us, this lack of forgiving has the ability to manifest negatively in many ways in the believer’s life. I have heard testimony after testimony of when someone has forgiven someone else in their past about something that hurt them, how physical healing afterward has taken place. In forgiving others it is also easier to receive forgiveness from God and to believe it is so, which empowers us to live free from guilt, shame, condemnation and negative judgment. I have also seen people who struggle with addiction and other personality disorders, who upon forgiving people for the offenses committed against them, have received total healing and deliverance from these circumstances.

Forgiveness, or the remission of sin, is not something that actually takes place only on an intellectual level. Meaning that even if a person is aware of what happened and knows they are harboring ill will because of a circumstance, there is more than just saying someone is forgiven for the trespass, in order for it to truly be an act of forgiving and receive the benefits of forgiving others. Forgiveness must come from the heart, out of a genuine compassion for the other person, realizing the fact that in most cases they are just acting out of their hurts as well. Though it is also totally possible for one to feel trespassed against merely out of their own delusion, with the supposed offender being totally innocent.

Regardless of the source it is necessary to forgive others out of the same motivation as God, who has forgiven us, in order to truly experience the benefits of living a life free from the bondage of an unforgiving heart. Jesus is a prime example of this in that no matter how much he went through during his ministry, and especially just prior to going to the cross, he always had compassion towards those who persecuted him because he understood the influence in their lives which was driving this distorted perception of themselves. Stephen also in his last statement as he was being stoned to death, cried out for our Father to not hold this sin against them.

The ability to truly forgive someone, to separate a person’s value and identity from their actions, is an inherited trait from our Father. I believe this is why unforgiveness is so destructive because it enforces the perverted belief we have about ourselves causing us to have a corrupt perception of our values and identity. I truly believe that we can only experience the fullness of our relationship with God once we are totally free from the bondage of unforgiveness.


Grace Does Not Equate To Complacency

     Grace does not equate to complacency nor does God’s unconditional love mean that God accepts us living lives contrary to His intentions. The more the acceptance of the message of God’s grace grows the more I hear of groups perverting this position by devaluing the quality of life the God desires for every single person to experience. For anyone to continue in a lifestyle which is contrary to God’s desire for us as His children and to say that it is acceptable because God loves me and Jesus took away sin, is total foolishness. I have never met a parent yet, who truly loves their children, say to them, “It is okay to live a life of sexual promiscuity, drug addiction, alcoholism or anything else that would inhibit you from experiencing the best quality of life I desire for you because I love you.” With God when it comes to us, His children, there is no toleration of acceptance for us to experience anything less than His total provision. This is what Jesus died for in reconciling us unto our Father so that we can for all eternity experience a perfect union with God. In his sacrifice then Jesus also made it possible to experience total wholeness so that being free from anything that would influence our lives to consider choices contrary to God’s design for our lives, we would have liberty to experience the fullness of God’s desires for us.

     This does not mean that God gets angry with us when we fall short of experiencing what he desires for us because many of the things that influence us to desire less than what God has for us come from such things that are demonically driven. Many people have repressed memories of events or circumstances that inhibit them from believing that they are loved and valued and deserve everything God has to offer. In cases like this it is the healing process that removes these influences from our hearts and replaces them with God’s love so we have full, healthy lives where the fruit of the Spirit, righteousness peace and joy, are a part of our daily lives. No one deserves anything by earning it from God because our Father unconditionally loves us He and gives us this quality of life as an expression of his love. Therefore to settle for something less than Papa desires for us is in a sense to reject Him.

     I do realize that all of us fall short of experiencing the fullness of His provision. Some more than others. But just because we fall short does not give us the right to become complacent with where we are at. In my personal opinion I believe that complacency is of a demonic nature because it’s influence detours those under it to from seeking out healing and wholeness in order to experience the quality of life that God desires for us. When someone says that it is acceptable for someone to live their life in a way which is contrary to God’s desire because of love and forgiveness, then they are missing the point all together. Jesus did not go through what he did so that we could remain in a lost state of mind and still have a relationship with our Father. He suffered so that we could be delivered and set free from all things that would keep us from experiencing the fullness of our Father.

     There are many who try to use the grace of God to justify any need for accountability and therefore say that because of His grace we are allowed to go through life doing whatever gives us pleasure because Jesus made everything acceptable. When I talk about this subject I am not saying that one is disqualified from “going to heaven” because of what they do since salvation is a gift from God which is received in faith, but the reality is Jesus said that eternal life is intimacy with our Father. If our beliefs, thoughts, actions, desires etc. are not in agreement with God, then we are not fully able to experience eternal life now to the degree that we can due to a lack of intimacy. Not a lack on God’s part but on our part. By God’s grace we can not earn anything from God, for we are innocent in His eyes, but grace does not mean that we will experience intimacy or His quality of life for us independent of participating with God in it.

     We see the grace of God manifested through Jesus in that only through being in union with Jesus can we be found righteous, for no one can be found righteous through their own efforts in trying to obey the Law for righteous requirements. By God’s grace then there exists a way, which is effortless on our part, to experience eternal life through Jesus. God’s grace then is not the empowerment to live at a sub-par standard, nor to help us even keep the commandments of the law, but the ability for us to receive His quality of life experientially in living a righteous, holy, loving, peaceful, joyful, fulfilled life by receiving healing in areas of our lives where we need it and living intimately with God. Where the focus of our lives ceases from what we do and how good we can be through our own efforts, solely unto our relationship with God.

    Again though even as believers if we allow situations and circumstances to influence our lives or accept ways of living our lives contrary to those in which God created for us to experience, then no matter how good we may feel about it or how happy we are, we are cheating ourselves out of God’s love and desire for us. To say that in living a complacent life we are experiencing the fullness of God is an erroneous statement at the least. It devalues God’s love for us, his desire and gifts for us as well as ourselves.


Nothing Is Unlawful

Nothing Is Unlawful

 

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

The reality to Paul’s statement is this, that in Christ Jesus the is no such thing as an unlawful action towards God for the simple fact that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law for righteous requirements and we are the righteousness of Him whom we believe in by faith and not of works. That being said then there is nothing that one can do to either earn this status of righteousness through any works and therefore there is nothing one can do to lose this status by ones own efforts. However in this statement or this type of though there is also a truth that when we do things or allow our hearts to be persuaded to existing a state of disbelief about our true identities, and do or continue to do things that are contrary to God’s will and purpose for humanity then there are natural consequences.

The truth be known then if someone is constantly or regularly thinking about something they either do or believe, which prior to experiencing the benefits of salvation they know was contrary to the Law, and every time they have this thought or action which was contrary to the Law they justify this thought or action by thinking it is now ok because the Law does not exist for me, then they are a Law unto themselves. They know something is not right because it is written on their hearts, so the Law still has an influence in one’s life. Now just because we are not fulfilling the Law for righteous requirements does not mean the Law is bad, it is just that the Law has a purpose outside of righteous requirements and that is so one can experience the best quality of life possible. when we live contrary to the Law then there are also natural consequences to the decisions. If one steals then at some point they will get caught and prosecuted. If one is adulterous then they are going to have could contract diseases and experience social relationship issues.

What one does contrary to the Law which God has written on the hearts of all of humanity comes out of a wrong belief or understanding of ones true nature and identity. In other words God created us to live and experience life in specific ways and when we try to go outside of these boundaries it is because there is something in one’s life that is driving them to do so. Usually this is a result of an experience that has produced a wrong belief in their heart but can also be a result of the fact that this world has been influenced by fallen man and God’s original design became corrupt so even by birth there can be irregularities or abnormalities. This does not justify ones motive or actions but actually on the contrary in understanding this simple fact it enables one to realize that though there is something existing in one’s life contrary to original design or intent it can be corrected by believing God and experiencing the salvation of Jesus.

Another way of looking at this is if one is wanting to live a life that in some form or fashion is contrary to our intended design then usually it will build a wall up, or a stumbling block, in their relationship with God. In many cases it produces fear, guilt, shame, judgment or condemnation all of which usually drive one into seclusion in trying to cut off all forms of communication with God. One the opposite side of the spectrum I have also witnessed people who become delusional that their relationship with God is just fine because since there is no Law for righteous requirements God is always pleased with everything I do in my life. But this is basically telling God that even though you created me to experience life in its fullness one way you were wrong and I can do it my way. Paul sort of addresses this in Romans 9 when he asks the question, “Has the thing formed have a right to say why have you made me this way?” None of these things change God’s view and opinion of the person nor do they inhibit Him from reaching out or cause God to end the relationship from His end. His arms are always open and should the person realize what has happened when they change their minds to believe the truth in their hearts they are always welcomed.


Healing / Health / Quality of Life

Healing / Health / Quality of Life

 

It is interesting to note that after Jesus healed a man once He told him to sin no more less something else happen to him. (John 5:14) We now know that sin is not an issue but what we believe about sin still has a major influence in our lives. Many times I have heard of people being healed and then at some point in their lives either something similar once again tries to destroy them or possibly even something totally different. Why is this? It is usually because though they received healing, and this usually through someone else releasing it, their heart was never persuaded to believe the truth in that they are part of the body of Jesus, one with Christ, in fellowship with God and in Him there is no lack. Because there is no lack, no weakness, in Jesus then as we gain revelation and persuasion in our heart to the truth of our unity with Him we walk as He is and not as man was. We died with Christ, not Him as us or in our place, and we rose with Him as well. (Rom 6:4-8, 2Ti 2:11-12) In just these few of many scriptures we see this union as noted “with Christ” or “with Him” and not “as us”. He took the physical part of this for us but this does not nullify we were with him in spirit. Just like Eve was one with Adam and then God separated them so they could fellowship together as one, we were in Jesus the whole time through all He went through so that once He defeated death we were born again and taken out of Jesus in a renewed spirit to fellowship with Him as one being. Many find this hard to understand or perceive how because they relate to their physical bodies and this world, but what I am referring to is in the spirit. We focus too much on our physical bodies and let that which is temporal define us when the truth is that it is our spirits that our true nature and the body is just a housing to enable us to interact in this seen or physical world. For us to allow our bodies to have so much control over our lives is wrong. It is almost as crazy as us getting in a car and the car telling us where it wants to go and refusing to go where we want to. Or a closer to home analogy is it is like when the food we eat controls our lives. Food is necessary to sustain life but was never meant to be in control of the life it sustains. Our bodies are necessary to sustain our existence in this world but were never meant to be the controlling factor in our lives.


Communion

Communion – The Lord’s Supper

There is no doubt that over the centuries what know as communion or the Lord’s Supper has lost the impact in the very essence of its meaning. In observing this promise we have from Jesus, a covenant of sorts, we as believers are to experience the love that lies in what was accomplished to fulfill this promise. The best place to learn about this is by going back to where it all started. Now if you think this started the night before the sacrifice of Jesus then this is probably part of the problem right there. No this wondrous event started many centuries before that in the time when Israel went from dwelling in Egypt to being slaves prior to their exodus.

Exodus 12:1-11 “And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,  2  Let this month be to you the first of months, the first month of the year.  3  Say to all the children of Israel when they are come together, In the tenth day of this month every man is to take a lamb, by the number of their fathers’ families, a lamb for every family:  4  And if the lamb is more than enough for the family, let that family and its nearest neighbor have a lamb between them, taking into account the number of persons and how much food is needed for every man.  5  Let your lamb be without a mark, a male in its first year: you may take it from among the sheep or the goats:  6  Keep it till the fourteenth day of the same month, when everyone who is of the children of Israel is to put it to death between sundown and dark.  7  Then take some of the blood and put it on the two sides of the door and over the door of the house where the meal is to be taken.  8  And let your food that night be the flesh of the lamb, cooked with fire in the oven, together with unleavened bread and bitter-tasting plants.  9  Do not take it uncooked or cooked with boiling water, but let it be cooked in the oven; its head with its legs and its inside parts.  10  Do not keep any of it till the morning; anything which is not used is to be burned with fire.  11  And take your meal dressed as if for a journey, with your shoes on your feet and your sticks in your hands: take it quickly: it is the Lord’s Passover.”

The important element that I want to point out here is the lamb. Almost everyone who has heard this account or about Jesus, has heard him called the lamb of God, and this is a reason why. Note the lamb had to be perfect because it was to be a symbol of Jesus and there is more that we can go into but I want to keep this simple. Once the lamb was slain the blood was placed around the door posts and the lentil, which is the top of the door frame. This would provide the barrier so that death would not enter into the house. We reap the benefits of the blood of the lamb of God now because of another sacrifice of  a lamb for the atonement of sins. As believers we know that the blood of Jesus was an atonement once and for all for all sins and because of his death and resurrection we know that as believers we will never experience death. But I want to stay on this symbol of Jesus in the Passover. The part of this that many never think about is that the Jews were to eat all of the lamb and not leave any of it for the next day. Why was it so imperative that they eat the lamb?

Had it not been for a Psalm we may have never known, but because of Psalms 105 we have a record of what took place. Verse 37 reads “He took his people out with silver and gold: there was not one feeble person among them.” This is a recollection of the event that took place right after the Passover known as the Exodus. Notice that out of all the millions of people that left, because they ate of the lamb there was not one feeble among them. Everyone left Egypt in good health.

Many do not realize that this is only one of several ways the God provided health to those who were still under the old covenant. Every year as the Jews would eat the Passover they were able to receive restoration of their health. But lets continue on to help us understand how this evolved into the Lord’s Supper.

Our next revelation comes about again in Exodus just shortly after the Jews left Egypt. Exodus 16:4   “Then the Lord said to Moses, See, I will send down bread from heaven for you; and the people will go out every day and get enough for the day’s needs; so that I may put them to the test to see if they will keep my laws or not.” Now in and of itself we may not understand the full impact from just this verse, but when you study the lives of the Israelites during there time in the wilderness one settle thing starts to stand out. None of these people were ever sick or died prematurely from a disease.  Under normal circumstances they died of old age only. Jesus himself hints to us as to why.

John 6:31-35 KJV Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.  32  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.  33  For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.  34  Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.  35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

The bread, or manna, that they ate from heaven was a symbol of who was to come in Jesus. And just as Jesus would give life they bread being a faithful symbol also gave life.

John 6:48-58, “I am the bread of life.  49  Your fathers took the manna in the waste land–and they are dead.  50  The bread which comes from heaven is such bread that a man may take it for food and never see death.  51 I am the living bread which has come from heaven: if any man takes this bread for food he will have life for ever: and more than this, the bread which I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.  52  Then the Jews had an angry discussion among themselves, saying, How is it possible for this man to give us his flesh for food?  53  Then Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, If you do not take the flesh of the Son of man for food, and if you do not take his blood for drink, you have no life in you.  54  He who takes my flesh for food and my blood for drink has eternal life: and I will take him up from the dead at the last day.  55  My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.  56  He who takes my flesh for food and my blood for drink is in me and I in him.  57  As the living Father has sent me, and I have life because of the Father, even so he who takes me for his food will have life because of me.  58  This is the bread which has come down from heaven. It is not like the food which your fathers had: they took of the manna, and are dead; but he who takes this bread for food will have life for ever.

In this passage Jesus is reinforcing the symbolism of the bread, manna, which was from heaven which gave health and life to all who ate of it as being himself. We also have already seen then that Jesus is known as the lamb of God which was symbolized in one way at the Passover meal and now known as the bread of life which was the manna from heaven.

Bread was chosen by God to be a symbol of health and life and in understanding this we can see how God as made it so anyone who believes can walk in health. Jesus expounded upon this idea with a Canaanite woman who came seeking his help. Matthew 15:21-28 (Mark 7:24-30) “And Jesus went away from there into the country of Tyre and Sidon.  22 And a woman of Canaan came out from those parts, crying and saying, Have pity on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is greatly troubled with an unclean spirit.  23  But he gave her no answer. And his disciples came and said to him, Send her away, for she is crying after us.  24  But he made answer and said, I was sent only to the wandering sheep of the house of Israel.  25  But she came and gave him worship, saying, Help, Lord.  26  And he made answer and said, It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs. 27  But she said, Yes, Lord: but even the dogs take the bits from under their masters’ table.  28  Then Jesus, answering, said to her, O woman, great is your faith: let your desire be done. And her daughter was made well from that hour.” Jesus called healing the children’s bread, something that they were all to experience in their lives as just a basic component to sustain life.

Matthew 26:26-29 (Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:17-20) “And when they were taking food, Jesus took bread and, after blessing it, he gave the broken bread to the disciples and said, Take it; this is my body.  27  And he took a cup and, having given praise, he gave it to them, saying,  28  Take of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the testament, which is given for men for the forgiveness of sins.  29  But I say to you that from now I will not take of this fruit of the vine, till that day when I take it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” It is at this point that all this symbolism starts to come alive. Jesus clearly states that this bread represents his body and when we eat the bread we are partaking of his body. Now many still may not, in these scriptures alone, fully understand what it means when we eat the bread but let us look at this same account from Paul’s perspective.

Right off the back the most interesting thing to me about the Lord’s Supper is how important this is to God. Jesus said that he was looking forward to the day he would get to eat this meal, though he had partaken in the Passover all of his life from childhood. In fact it is so important that Jesus himself described it to Paul. Remember that at the time this communion took place Paul was known as Saul and he saw Passover from a different perspective. He was no where near Jesus or the disciples during this time or he would have been trying to rid the world of them. Here is the account as noted in Paul’s first letter to Corinth. 1 Corinthians 11:23-30 “23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.  27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

So Paul learned of this straight from Jesus, it was not something he caught wind of from the Big 12 on a visit to Jerusalem. And Jesus expounded upon one point when He said that the bread that was eaten was a symbol of His body broken for you. At the time this meal was eaten this had not yet been fulfilled. To me personally this is something that we as believers do not embrace enough and I really think that comes from not being as thankful as we should be. Really take a moment and try to envision what Jesus physically and mentally went through for you. Jesus who was without sin could not physically die because of that very reason. Death came through sin and one who has never sinned is immune to death. Jesus himself said that no man could take his life but that he would lay it down. He was not making an arrogant boast like many think, but he was emphatically stating a fact. Jesus knew the degree of suffering he would endure so that you would be whole and knew just as well that no matter how much torture he went through they could not kill him. Not because this would mess up the overall plan of God, but because it was impossible. There comes a point in being tortured that one makes a transition from just wanting to be free from it by it stopping to being free from it by simply ceasing to exist and this is a point that Jesus could never cross over too.

In this sacrifice then of himself prophecy was fulfilled. Most know this one because they have heard it so many times. Isaiah foretells of this event in Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” and then Peter confirms of this taking place in 1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Because of this fact is the reason that not only should every believer walk in total health, but why even those who are not believers can be healed. The reality of this matter is that sin has been done away with in Jesus through his blood being shed as an atonement once and for all for sins. But the effects of sin that have manifested in the lives of people also have been redeemed through the body of Christ. What this means then is simply put as a believer the effects of sin should never have influence in your life going forward because you are walking in the benefits of the finished works of Jesus through his blood. You are to be no more sin conscience but life or Christ conscience. However the effects of sin which have already manifested in  ones life also have been removed and replace with total restoration through His body so life’s experience going forward should be just as if one had never sinned ever. There are no scars from sins past and no influence from sin in your future. The minute we start to believe or think contrary to this then we are saying what Jesus did was incomplete or not good enough, which is not the case because scripture tells us through Paul that what Jesus did was much greater than what sin could ever do.

Romans 5:10-20 “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  11  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.  12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  13  (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.  15  But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  16  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.  17  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  19  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

The reality is quite simply that anything which resulted from sin God overcame in great abundance to not only rectify the situation but to so overshadow it with His goodness that it is engulfed in such a vastness that one could not even tell anything had ever occurred.

Understanding though that Jesus is the bread of life and that by His stripes, the scourging that would have killed any other man, we were healed is not the end of this. Because of this Paul was able to give us even greater revelation.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 “16  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?  17  For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

Paul states something here that many do not take to heart or quite grasp. The reality is that when we eat of the body, the bread, we are recognizing the fact that we are part of the body, a single body that is the bread of life, which is Christ Jesus. In this we fail to see that if we are part of his body then we are whole as he is whole. No one who knows Jesus can honestly say they can envision him being sick or left to live an inferior quality of life then what our Father desired for Him, yet we easily turn on ourselves and say that we are not like Him. And this is where we are as wrong as we possibly can be. There is not doubt that we are not each Jesus himself but we are like him as sons of God, just not the only begotten Son. Too many think we are to strive to become like Jesus when in reality Jesus reveals to us who we already are. When you see the Father in Jesus as though it were a reflection in a mirror, you are also looking at yourself. The essence of who Jesus is is the same essence that identifies you. So when we correctly perceive Jesus we should identify ourselves with that perception. If we cannot imagine Jesus in lack or need then we should acknowledge this is how we are also. Not because of anything we have done or could do but because Jesus has accomplished all things for us and in him we were reconciled unto our Father and restored just as if we had never doubted God to begin with.

Our experience and quality of life are a direct result of trusting in God and solely resting in Him. Think of Adam, what did he do or create? Was he not given all things by God? He could not add anything to improve his life and yet when he tried it was considered rebellion against God because Adam was declaring that God could not or did not meet all his needs.

Luke 24:28-31  “And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.  29  But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.  30  And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.  31  And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.


Jesus Is A Reflection Of Us

      “Every human life is equally valued and represented in Christ. He gives context and reference to our being as in a mirror; not as an example for us, but of us.” Every since I read this quote by Francois du Toit I have had to reevaluate the way I look at things in my relationship with God. I have really been  blessed in that I have had the privilege this past year of doing nothing other than studying the Word and listening to others. Thankfully this path started out in a message of grace and God’s unconditional love, which I have come to realize that is the only way  love can truly exist or it is a counterfeit. In retrospect month after month the revelation that God really loves me and there are no strings attached has continued to grow and now after 14 months of experiencing this growth I finally think that my heart has been prepared to not only hear but to start believing the truth. It seems like it has either taken this long to finally hear something that caused a paradigm shift in what I thought or that my heart was finally softened to be able to agree with what my mind and ears were hearing; quite possibly both worlds colliding for just such a time for this.

 I can honestly say that in these past 14 months I have spent well over 3,500 hours just reading, praying, and listening to teaching that has helped condition the soil of my heart. In all that time I have learned that God is love, in fact it is the very essence of his existence, and all throughout the bible this love manifests in pointing to his Son Jesus. In these past months the religious theologies and doctrines I grew up with have been challenged, debunked and purged out of my belief system. I would not say 100% of them as there were things that I believed to be true which still remain true and very foundational basic concepts. Occasionally in this process something that I was not aware of still pops up, but in these cases there is not much of a struggle because it was usually hard for me to believe much of the things I had originally learned seeing that it did not bear the fruit of Christ. Yesterday was one of these days, when I read that quote. I had known from reading and hearing that we are complete in Jesus yet even with everything I have come to believe in just being a son, just existing in the way God desires for us to walk for the maximum fulfillment of life, I had not realized I was still trying to become like Jesus. But when I read, “…not as an example for us, but of us.” I had to change my focus and beliefs about myself and just like Adam quit trying to become who I am already.

 The first scripture that I thought of when I had this shift was Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” I will not debate this but the simple fact that God predestined us means that it was his will or desire for us and not something where we have no choice in the matter. After Jesus went to the cross everyone from that point going forward became a new creation and here is a simple why. Adam made a choice to try to become like God and in doing so sin entered into the world through his unbelief. I think we are missing something here because even though man could not keep the law for righteous requirements, as Adam instantly proved, we know that is was not impossible to do because Jesus did. My point is that it was not impossible because of the law itself but because of man. With that said now as a new creation the law cannot come into play at all because Jesus removed the law, so if in ignorance we try to fulfill it in some capacity, it has no bearing on our righteousness. We also have a born again spirit. Some debate on when this occurs and personally I think this was a one time event that occurred already at the cross. Personally my opinion, and that is all it is, is that just like being born through the womb in that we had no choice in being born again spiritually we had no choice. Some think that being born again is equated with believing on Jesus for eternal life and no where in scripture does it state that. Jesus said that unless one is born of a woman and Spirit they cannot enter in the kingdom of Heaven and Jesus in fulfilling prophecy made this possible. The reality is though whether it was at the cross or if it occurs when one believes does not matter as long as it did  and because until one believes nothing is going to change in their lives anyhow.

 O.k. so I know I said a few things on this one scripture but I still did not say why this scripture stood out first. The reason it did is like I said I was inadvertently trying to become like Jesus or as the scripture here says conform to his image, and though this is a way of interpreting this scripture it is correct to say that God designed us to be like his Son, remember we were created in his image and likeness. So we are not becoming like Jesus, we are like Jesus and Jesus made it possible for us to live like him. In this being predestined to conform or as I said designed to be like Jesus, we know Jesus coming was a part of the overall process for us as sons to be able to be who God designed us to be. We know that Jesus played a part in this overall process of mankind’s design because he was the lamb slain from the foundation of this world, meaning that he was to be sacrificed before man was even created. In that Adam failed, because he could fail, Jesus came and by removing sin, fulfilling the law for righteousness and destroying the works of the devil making it impossible for mankind to fail, because our quality of life and our relationship with God have nothing to do with what we can or cannot do but solely on the fact if we believe on Jesus. Our works have no bearing on our identity and the only thing they can do is reflect what we believe to be true in comparison to the truth.

 Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This made me wonder if this great revealing was based on our unbelief in the fulness of our identities. What if I choose to believe and am fully persuaded in my heart that Jesus and I are one in union and walking in that understanding choose to believe that Christ in me is the hope of all glory, the physical manifestation of the goodness of God. Col 1:25 Under these circumstances could this glory that is to be revealed actually reveal itself now and not in some distant time? I guess the point that is so important for me to understand and to make to you is Christ is an example of who we already are and that by simply believing we can allow who we are to surface. We have Jesus as our example, not to become like him by changing what we do, but he is our example of who we already are and has we believe in the truth and walk in it we by default will conform to his image, which is God’s desire for all of us.

 Paul said in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” I have heard many teach on this saying that we can attain three different levels of God’s approval and I never agreed with that, even if they say they are preaching the grace of God. I really believe Paul is trying emphasize the point here in by changing what we believe about ourselves, specifically our identities, so that in simply being who we are created to be we will prove not only to ourselves but to others the entire will of God for our lives. Looking at Jesus we all know he faced persecution and scripture tells us that as believers we will, but this is not supposed to influence our identities and I always see Jesus just being Jesus. He isn’t trying to be a healer as he is healing. He is not trying to be loving as he is love. These are attributes that just because he is in the room they are going to flow out of him and these same attributes along with others are the very essence that make us who we are because we have become one with Jesus. The same Spirit that dwells in Christ dwells in us. 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”

 I read some details on the life of John G. Lakes, which probably many of you know who he is, and the one thing I noticed was the transformation in his life over the years in going from one who did not necessarily believe in healing to one who understood that there is no excuse for not being whole. I think this renewing of his mind came about in seeing time after time the finished works of Jesus take effect and manifest in the lives of others regardless of what they believed or where they were at in the circumstances of their lives. There is the reality that Jesus took sin out the equation so the effects of sin have no place manifesting in the life of a believer, but also just as importantly Jesus bore the effects of sin upon himself so that whatever has manifested in the life of anyone, whether they believe or not, has been redeemed in his body broken for us so they are whole. We are God’s only limit because of what we choose to believe. Jesus plainly said that these signs will follow those who believe and just after that the statement was made the scripture continues on by saying that they went forward preaching the Word with signs following. Mark 16:17,20

 I wanted to bring this up because as believers we tend to think that because we intellectually accept something as true then we believe it. This is part of the equation but what we believe in our heart is really what matters. If I say that I believe that by Jesus stripes we are healed and I am not walking in total health then I have to humbly accept the fact that my heart is still be persuaded of that fact. Jesus said if we have faith the size of a mustard seed and we say to that mountain move then is will move. Mat 17:20 Point being the evidence of faith is not in commanding the mountain to move but that it went. I also therefore think just as Mr. Lake grew in the revelation that wholeness and life is a part of our identity in Christ we too need to grow in our identities.

 It is quite possible that most of us deal with what we call the chicken or the egg debate. We can dwell for eternity on the debate of which came first, though I did find it amusing that a while back I saw something that “scientifically” that had proven the chicken itself did. Anyhow it is quite possible in how we relate to faith that we stumble across a barrier. I am not giving justification to this issue just pointing it out. In many cases we find faith never becomes active in the life of a believer until they see faith in action. And there may be something to this in that this may just be how some people function in their learning. Jesus did several acts of faith before sending out his disciples. There are also a handful of scriptures that basically saying that upon seeing they believed. This does not mean that everyone who sees something will believe it, but that is their choice to make. And in the relationship aspect of things between us and God the sooner one believes the truth the better off they will be because if they have to wait till they see a miracle to believe then they are just existing in life and not living it in the quality that our Father has created for them. Basically no matter how good one who does not believe thinks they have it, it cannot compare to the quality of life we can have from God.

 God has designed all things in this world with us in mind so that to whatever measure is possible in its fulness we could continually walk in and experience the goodness of God. I have heard many say that I am just living in a dream looking for some imaginary utopia or Garden of Eden but I know that there is a reason behind all of humanity seeking such things. God designed us to live in an environment like this and as part of our design to exist in a state of just being which is basically a normal life from God’s perspective for us, otherwise why would we all desire something similar. We only seek after something that is lost, and if something was never a part of our life to begin with, that is also not there now, we would never desire to seek it.

 In writing this and thinking about the what this means to me I noticed something that stood out. Every time we do the works that Jesus said we would do in His name and not through our effort, it affirms our identity as sons of God. Fruit is produced out of simply being a son and believing on Jesus which continuously grows the bond we have between us and our Father. So everything that manifests as a byproduct in our lives of just being a son of God reinforces our relationship with God and everything we try to do out of our own effort starts tearing down this relationship. When we lay hands on the sick and heal it is a way of receiving affirmation that we are sons. I am not stating that this is the point of healing nor even a desire from God in any way but just stating it as a fact.

 Hopefully this has inspired you to think about your life from a different perspective. I know it has caused me to start looking forward in life from a different point of view and caused a new desire for me to clean off the mirror I have of Christ so I can see more and more each day who I am already in his reflection of me.


Life Through Our Daily Bread

     O.k. So I just had one of those Doh moments (Homer Simpson for those of you who don’t know, not even sure if they still exist) Anyhow I was looking at the Matthew 15:26 (also found in Mark 7:27) where Jesus told the woman that it was not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs, talking about healing. Then instantly I was taken to what is referred to as the “Lord’s prayer” where Jesus in teaching his disciples how to pray states give us this day our daily bread. I really have not thought about this outline for prayer too much because of all the perverted teachings I have heard about it. I had been taught that this part was praying for our daily needs like food or any other provision, even including financial. But these teachings always conflicted with me because they conflicted with Jesus who had said to take no thought for these things but to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things, our needs, will be added unto us. But the Holy Spirit as usual put the connections together (He is just so awesome) in that we need to pray for our daily bread because we daily need to receive the health or quality of life that Jesus provided through his body broken for us daily. We are still existing in a mortal body that is subject to attack in this fallen world so we have the opportunity to daily receive the benefits of being a son of God in making sure this temple is kept healthy. There is no excuse for us as believers to live as victims in this fallen state since Jesus had sacrificed himself to ensure that we do not remain subject to the effects on sin. We are not sinners but saints and we are not to be sick but whole.

     BreadI know of some who daily take communion and though I had no real opinion about that one way or another I now see that this is a really neat way of actually honoring the Lord’s provision through his sacrifice and receiving this day our daily bread. Jesus the bread of life…. if I get any more excited thinking about it I just might explode


Our Daily Bread Is Jesus' Body

     O.k. So I just had one of those Doh moments (Homer Simpson for those of you who don’t know, not even sure if they still exist) Anyhow I was looking at the Matthew 15:26 (also found in Mark 7:270 where Jesus told the woman that it was not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs, talking about healing. Then instantly I was taken to what is referred to as the “Lord’s prayer” where Jesus in teaching his disciples how to pray states give us this day our daily bread. I really have not thought about this outline for prayer too much because of all the perverted teaching I have heard about it. I had been taught that this was praying for our daily needs like food or any other provision, even including financial. But these teachings always conflicted with me because they conflicted with Jesus who had said to take no thought for these but to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things, our needs,will be added unto us. But the Holy Spirit as usual put the connections together (He is just so awesome) in that we need to pray for our daily bread because we daily need to be reminded or focused on the health or quality of life that Jesus provided through his body broken for us. We are still existing in a mortal body that is subject to attack in this fallen world so we need to daily receive the benefits of being a son of God in making sure this temple is kept healthy. There is no excuse for us as believers to live in a fallen state since Jesus had sacrificed himself to make sure that we do remain subject to the effects on sin. We are not sinners but saints and we are not to be sick but whole.