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Body of Christ

What is it??

There have been alot descriptions that I have heard coming from the pulpit, from people, from books, and from just weird analogies.

I believe that we have used some normal tendencies of what we would try to call the physical one of using the human body as the model of Christ. But this somehow seems to be deficient in its actual example of Christ. I think this is because we use the example of the body having so many parts to it to coincide with our quoting a favorite verse in Ephesians 4:11 “And his gifts were that some should be apostles,some prophets,some evangelists, some pastors and teachers.”

What we have to remember is that this statement is coming from a ‘human,flesh’ way of our ‘being’ in the world. Is this what God is trying to do in our world? Is He trying for us to be ‘good’ christians, to be the answer to everyone’s problems? Or is there something more, different, or Spiritual?

What we also must ‘see’ in this statement when it is used, is it’s context. There are only three words in this phrase. But if we look at it ‘let’s say back words’ we might ‘see’ it. Christ is not only the ‘Head’ of the Body, He is all the Body!! Colossians 3:11 says “Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian,Scythian,slave,free man, but Christ is all and in all.

Christ is all and in all. Just trying to put a picture to this, it would look like to me that Christ’s Body’s essence is also Him. We are to be Christ. Of the Spirit.

What I see in God’s portraying of his ‘renewing’ of man in our pews or speaking,teaching, or portraying in our mission statements, is not what is said in the scriptures. It was the spirit, that was changed in the garden, therefore it is the Spirit that God is restoring in man at the Cross. All things are new, in Christ’s Resurrection, Man’s Spirit is not only New But it is Christ’s Spirit, the Creator of the World.

By understanding this Epiphany of Christ, we should or we have to shed alot of the same things that hold us back from this picture. Nothing else matters, God wants us back in the fold, his child, his heirs, his people!

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Brother, lend me your ear

I find it worrisome, that many of our brethren(sisters,too) are afraid of being,talking, or discussing theology, if it is not of the same theology as theirs.

Any bible reading person knows that this is so wrong in so many ways.

But my question is “Why”?

Are we not led to ‘listen’ to our fellow man,christian, or non-christian for wisdom to their ears?

I find this sorta ironic when someone is stern with the coming of the christians to a building to discuss God, but you cannot on the ‘outside’ of the walls of the building!

It is in this “Evangelical” crowd(which seems to be fading, good!) that has always pushed the ‘witnessing’ of people to the inth degree, that has baffled me, in their earnestness of accomplishing this knowledge.

I am, I think one of very few(at least, around me) that loves talking bible,God, eternal purpose with anyone, anytime, and anywhere. I have picked this ‘fun’ thing to stimulate me in the ways of the Lord in the past 20 years. My thirst for ‘wisdom’ has been thru the bible, videos,talks,lectures, blogs, in-person, youtube, and alot of books(the # changes weekly,lol)

I sometimes wonder, if the average christian is thinking,searching God on a daily basis? I do not see it as a burden or stupid or just weird, I see it as “getting to know my God as personally as I can”.

How often do you spend with God?

How do you spend time with God?

Can your friends tell you are different in asking,searching, studying or reading about God?

Give me some feedback on how and what you do to get closer to God?

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Every Generation

I follow alot of people, either by email,blog,websites, text,facebook,youtube,authors, or video. One that I follow is N.T. Wright, that I have alot of his books. I also watch alot of his talks,sermons, or Q and A sessions.

One of the things that I have always remembered from a talk he had was that “Every person,christian or not, will evaluate his present condition, and decide if it is the one that he is content in”(paraphrased) This is what every generation of people are faced with when they stand up to their life and life beliefs.

I had not even thought about this, until it was happening to me. I started to questioning my beliefs, my institution, my lifestyle, and my faith. When this came about, my “reconstruction” was with the institution of the “Church”, what was it, what does it look like, what does it do? and was it what I was experiencing.This was my starting point. Biblical exegesis is what I started to delve myself into over 12+ years ago. It has not let up in my studying,reading, and soaking everything in thru reading the Word. Recently I have expanded my portfolio of reading by reading the Apochrapha, Pseudepigrapha,Old Sea Scrolls, and Josephus, with the near future will starting the adventures of Jewish literature.

What we must realize in reading the scriptures is that the more we understanding not the ‘stories’ but the theme or more importantly the “Paradigm” of the Bible,God’s Word for His Eternal Purpose. We sometimes forget to ‘See’ the forrest, because we are in front of a 90′ Redwood, that we think is the entire forrest. Nope. God’s story is the whole forrest. It is a narrative from Genesis thru Revelation.

I have personally witnessed people that are still standing in front of that Redwood and think this is all there is of God and they are proclaiming that ‘tree’ is God, or that tree is what God wants us to believe in, and only that tree. This is so wrong. At so many levels.

Maybe, Just maybe this is what the problem is in christianity, everyone is standing in front of their own Redwood proclaiming that the answer to God is their redwood! Oh My! We need to step back, way way back to see the whole forrest and God’s design of His World for His people, and His place of Rest and come to the realization that it is bigger than they thought!

I will almost say that it is actually easier than everybody thinks it is. What if we just did the verses below:

2 Corinthians 13:14 (RSV)
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Galatians 2:20 (RSV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Nothing else matters.

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Time for the “Book Review”

The book most recently read was entitiled “The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism” by Jason A. Staples.

I would highly recommend this book for the clarity of the terms for “Israel”,”Jew” and “Hebrew”. I would also recommend any book about this subject, you would be surprised by how some things in the scriptures will clear up for you when reading things.

This is another example, where we can get ourselves going down the wrong road with our ‘asuming’ definition of something and you find out the statement you say, is not factual. There are many things as christians that we mean to go back and do some research on terms, definition, stories, paradigms, allegory,literal, types, metaphors, and parables! I recommend that we all do it!

Staples does a very good job of detailing what the people, inside and outside of ‘Israel’ , What prophets meant by their usage of each word, and when it changed to a subset of one, or vica versa. It was very informative to the understanding of even within the ‘Jewish’ community in which they were apart of. Within these three definitions of this said ‘group’ it would change when an event happened to one or all of the group. Depending on when the word Israel was used in could be meaning just the northern tribe, or it could mean both the northern and southern tribe, Judah. This was used in knowing of the original setup, but also of the reuniting of them both in the eschatology of Israel, and their prophets.

A added bonus of this book, was a subset of a theme that was carried out in the telling of the story of these three terms. It was the underlining story of the “Covenant Theology” laced throughout the telling and believing ‘Israel’ that they would ‘all’ be brought back together as one. It is this, that brought me even more assured on what covenantal Theology of God’s desires for All to be “ONE”.

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Where is God?

This is not the story of searching, where you see God in the World, but something different.

The relevance of this piece is rather unique in that it will show us what the ‘Temple’ is, and all the story behind it.

As an ‘after the fact’ observer when we read the beginning of the creation of the World by God, we really don’t understand the nuances of what God is doing. Sure, he is building this big blue marble with water, land,sky,trees,birds,animals,rivers,lakes,grass,sun,moon,planets surrounding it in the sky. What is the significance of it? God makes it for some people that he will create to live on the planet. It is what we would now call it “Heaven on Earth”*. We will come back to this later.

If we follow the story of Genesis 1-2, we will also notice that God’s creation is perfect for man and for God. So much, that God lives with Adam and Eve, walking, talking with each other all day long. They are in the Garden of Eden, Where man and God are together.

Now, let us fast forward a little ways in the story, we know the transgression of adam and eve, that creates mankind to go astray. It is when God brings together His people called “Israel’ and unites them together as one and then gives them instructions to help them stay God’s people by setting up a place for them to give their sacrafices for their transgressions to God as individuals, and as the group “Israel”, and even the High Priest sacrifice was given in this ceremony.

The High Priest was ‘one of one’ that could even be ‘Holy’ enough to ‘be’ with God in this room called ‘Holy of Hollies’, This was the only place in the entire world that God was touching in his ‘being’ and presence on the earth. It was because of man’s transgression, that God was now only a pinpoint in the world, instead with his creation in a garden.

Although this setup of a Temple, for the Israel kingdom was one for just Israel, It was actually a microcosm of the original one that God had created in the beginning of time. This was/is the blueprint of God’s Kingdom. But let’s clarify something here, before some get lost in their thinking. What God is showing us very special. Even tho I have described this large, glorious and splendid Temple that was in Jerusalem at one time. The majority of the Temple was used for giving of sacrifices and all that went with it.

There was a Portico, a place for semi-large congragating to talk and discuss religious things before going into ‘Holy of Hollies’ , which only the High Priest was able to go into. This “Space”, is actually the space that we can compare or use as the illustration of the ‘Temple’, the ‘place’ where God abides. Another illustration would be the use of ‘Clouds and Fire’ to lead Israel on their way for a journey. He was ‘with’ His people. Their are many examples of this in the scriptures, to show the Lord’s presence with man.

This space in the temple, was limited in size and people, one person in a room of 20 cubits squared. Small and limited to say the least in where God was.

It wasn’t until Christ resurrection that things changed. Christ’s New life and Kingdom was now established, albeit in different and totally new way. The curtain was rent from Heaven, signaling that ‘All’ would be able to be in the same place with Him, for He is now in the world for all mankind. God would not only leave this small and confining space but He would ‘go’ and be with man again in his creation. This is the story of a ‘full circle’ paradigm, that God does not change his plans for anything.

This plan of creation for his creatures, ‘all of his creatures’,man,animal,creation,heavens’ will again be back together. This scenario is one that is lost in our process of ‘learning’ things of the scriptures, but it is a major one to ‘see’ what God is doing.

God’s ‘picture’ of the Garden of Eden is one of Creator and Creation together as One.

If you can, try watching a short video by ‘The Bible Project’ group that shows this exact paradigm in a video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k&t

God’s ‘church’ or people are one and the same. We are God’s. We are one, in Spirit,Mind and Truth.

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My Top Ten List

I have not put out my top list in awhile, since I have read a few more books since last time! LOL That goes without saying! Ha.

So Here Goes-

  1. From Eternity to Here by Frank Viola
  2. Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright
  3. Love Wins by Rob Bell
  4. Paul and the Faithfulness of God by N.T. Wright
  5. Kingdom through Covenant by Peter J. Gentry/Stephen J Wellum
  6. Paul and Palestinian Judaism by E.P. Sanders
  7. The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle by Albert Schweitzer
  8. Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet/Frank Viola
  9. Galatians(Commentary) by N.T. Wright
  10. A Larger Hope? by Ilaria L E Ramelli

So, What do you think? Have you read any of these? What is your Top Ten Christian List?

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I had a revelation.(Again)

Well, I have been on a hiatus of sorts. I have been busy with a vacation, a motherly visit from mom and a ponderace of what my desire is, in the last three weeks. But I am back and a ready to go again.

Revealations are funny. They can be good or they can be bad. And sometimes they just come to you by the most awkward time, make you just sit there and let you just talk to yourself, and I would be just in amazement, in my revelation.

I have talked and written the same old things and told people that I read. Alot. My library is full of books of all kinds of topics of Christianity. But what else I have in my library, are bibles, different sizes, colors, shapes, and versions. I have read the whole bible thoroghly maybe 5 times. Now I don’t know if this has any barring on my revelation, but it might.

I am a product of a pastor’s life and home. I am a preacher’s kid. I have heard the “Word” all my life. Either on purpose, or just hearing it throughout my childhood. My ‘learning’ the bible has I think for me has been an ‘internal’ one. What I mean by that, it has been one where I have put the pieces together of everything biblical understanding in my head. I never ‘preached’, talked, or whispered my beliefs per se to anyone. Until about 15 yrs ago.

It is when at this time, I noticed what I had in my head, was not what the ‘local’ church was ‘preaching’! It was something different. There was no meaning to it. No direction. No life. I had questions, more than answers to the message that had shared with me. I was questioning everything with my response of “Why”?

I had queries of the local ministry, of multiple subjects and of even more importantly were the answers that they were giving. I then expanded my questioning of not just the ‘local’ church, but also to the denomination of said church, to see if it was adhering to ‘their’ beliefs. It was a journey to see that the last two ‘denominations’, which were very much alike in their beliefs, were very much ‘saying’ and ‘preaching’ the same thing. I had one of those ‘aha’ moments. It was then that I even expanded more to ‘other’ denominations of christianity to see what ‘they’ were ‘preaching’. It was then, that things or ‘beliefs’, or understandings of the Bible story started to unravel for me, it was an eye-opening moment(not my newest revelation) to realize that there was an different ‘format’ which everyone was using to ‘preach’ the quote ‘message'(gospel). This intrigued me.

It was then, that I realized that not only the message was off, but it was being done in the wrong format. The ‘format’ that I had swirling in my head, did not match the things that I was seeing at the local or denominational level. It was a cookie-cutter model in which it was obviously not working in which it was to be designed.

Let me explain something that might be confusing in what I said. What I was ‘hearing’ and being ‘preached’ to me in my early years of youth and the early adulthood, was my hearing and understanding the ‘storyline’ of the bible was ‘not’ what was being explained or ‘preached’ from my pew seat. Even tho, most of my life’s pew sitting was with my father in the pulpit. I was not ‘seeing’ what most people were ‘hearing’. It was being stored up in my knowledge bank for a complete expounding at a latter time. It was about 15 yrs ago that it finally came out.

I believe that thru all this ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ things from various viewpoints that I have seen various things in the scriptures that just don’t add up to the ‘Message'(Gospel). It is then, that I felt like I needed to start saying things to people, thru blogs and random thoughts on social media, to get things rolling with people(christians) to double check their beliefs and their structure in the bible and God. What was the Bible really about? I have had my desenters in my take on my ‘seeing’ things different, than their views, but this was to be expected. The rut that christians have been in, is the cause, and the effect, of being ‘a sunday christian’.

The bible doesn’t say that.

It is so much more. It is a story. It has a storyline that is told in a narrative of God’s people, and their journey thru the annals of time. What is key to this story is the beginning, and the end! They are the same. This should be a clue to us! Every mystery book reader knows this!

It is in this storyline of God’s plan that has befuddled christianity(IMO) and it is not just coming from me, their are other people or groups that are ‘preaching’ this. Narrative stories are designed to ‘tell a story’, ‘tada’! LOL. In this narrative, God is not only telling an historic story but a story of everlasting meaning. This is where I will use a statement that always needs to be said. “The Bible is not written ‘for’ us, but ‘to’ us.! So what this should tell us is that these scriptures from God have to have meaning for alot of generations of people and years of social change to understand it.

It is here that we have change our ‘understanding’ of the scriptures. To express God’s eternal purpose, he has to change it so ‘everyone’ will ‘see’ the meaning and ‘truth’ of his desire. God uses different methods of doing this. God uses ‘types’, ‘symbols’, ‘imagery’, ‘foreshadowing’, ‘metaphors’ and ‘Allegory’.

It is allegory that has been missed in the ‘churches’ hearing in the scriptures.

This is where ‘one’ of my latest ‘revelations’ of the christianity’s downfall has been a glaring feeblemindness. Not ‘seeing’ Allegory in the scriptures. Maybe, just maybe it will come to us, when we have the ‘mud’ wiped off of our ‘eyes’ that we may see it.

The ‘revelation’ that I am saying is that the ‘story’ of the Israelites of being God’s people of Israel, and their subsequent disobedience of ‘worshipping’ Him, by being banished to ‘Egypt'(Babylon,the world), is the allegoric story of mankind as a ‘whole’ that has ‘left’ God for their own ways(worldly), and are now slaves to it. It is then that God pulls his people back to him so that ‘they'(mankind) can worship ‘their’ God.

Exodus 9:13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ” Let my people go, that they may serve Me.

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Kingdom

:a country,state, or territory ruled by a king or queen. 2. the spiritual reign or authority of God.

The above are the definitions of the said ‘Kingdom’. It can be either a physical area of various sizes to be ruled by a king or queen. Or it can be a ‘spiritual reign or the authority of God.

Do you ‘see’ the difference?

There are two main ones that we will discuss. The first one is the ‘location’ or the physicality of the ‘kingdom’. One is an kingdom on earth of a small or large land mass of an kingdom authority by one has the ability to rule over the area. It is one of a human king being self elected or by ruthlessly taking over land with subjects in them to rule over them. It will most deniable going to be in either case not a good king if he had to force his way into the position.

The other kingdom is of the Spiritual realm in which a deity is seen as the one of Kingly rights. In this case God is the one that is touting his reign of authority and supremacy over the whole earth. It is foreshadowed in the ‘God of the Creation’ that has built the Kingdom before time was time. This reign is not of this world, considering that it per-existed before time and creation, so it was of another matter. One of a ‘Spirit’.

Now for the second difference. The first one is a place where there has been conquered land, that has been won by an army of a king, and his announcement that as the king of this army and conquest of this land, He is the king of all of it. It is one of a seen land, a place of human form of the essence of a human’s accomplishment. The end of all things to accomplish, the height of all things to be or want. It is an organization of humanity to bring it together as one. But is it?

Spiritual reign, now this is different. This is from an outside source, not of his own ability, but of one of higher power or of a God, or both. God’s reign is of Him. Every piece of his fiber of God is what he stands for and is, is being represented in his Kingdom and His image of a King. It is what the Kingdom is also. Everything. Every part of the Kingdom oozes the Spirit of God in his Kingdom.

Now, when we use these illustrations of a ‘kingdom’ it almost seems like we want a ‘kingdom’ but we want to build it they way we want to in our image of a human kingdom? but why? Isn’t the ‘Kingdom God’s’, and did he not say that He will build it!, mainly he makes it in His own essence and Spiritual way, and not of the way of man and his ability to crudely make an ‘kingdom’ and everything that comes with it.

Man cannot rule by a Spiritual Authority, only God can.

God’s Kingdom, is designed for an ‘Eternal Purpose’.

Man’s Kingdom, is designed for ‘sinful humility’.

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Life after Death

I am sitting on my patio tonight, in a swing with my feet up, and just relaxing and enjoying the best day of ‘spring’ of the Colorado season. We have had some un-springlike weather thru this early spring, so our spring like duty of bringing in those bright and colorful flowers that you are obligated to put out from your friendly box store of flowers has not come yet.

The only thing that has so-called life in our yard are the Perennials of the shrubbery or the ‘wild’ flowers in our yard. Which if you think about it seems rather amazing that these flowers and shrubs could die and then come back to life, is nothing short of a miracle. I looked at these plants during our ‘winter’ and I am sure that they were dead, they had no life, they were not what they were designed to be or show in their fullest glory. They were dead.

So how did they ‘become’ alive again? What happened during that season of death? What was happening to make it ‘dead’? But happened under the soil that would spurn on the ingredients of bringing something back to life? Did it do something on its own? Did someone come along and do something to revive it? Or was it something bigger that happened that only He could only do to bring life back from the grave?

Oh Yeah, the Creator, the maker, the Gardener, The Man upstairs, My God, My Lord and Savior. All things are possible. God brings back life to the things that I see every year, all our trees lose their leaves in the fall, but they come back to life in the spring with bigger and better life of leaves.

Now I don’t know how those trees, flowers, shrubs, or wild things were in their age of sprouting or dying, whether they were trying to be what they were designed to do or not, but they came back to life, either way that they acted. God gave them life every spring for 25 yrs.

Life comes After death.

Always.

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“Your Kingdom come. Your will be done,On earth as it is in Heaven”

I wonder if maybe we have forgotten about this statement in the bible.

I think we have gotten all wrapped up in this ‘church’ thing that we have forgotten that God’s Kingdom is here now, and is coming to its fullness in the future.

I believe I know why Christ said what He said in His profound statement “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Matt. 16:18

We have tried to move in on Him to do his work of his kingdom, When it is the King of the said Kingdom that builds the Kingdom. I have alot of issues with people in discussing this with the understanding of what this means.

A Proclamation, an announcement, a invitation, a phone call, an email, a letter, are ways that exactly the same as what the ‘Gospel’ is. It is a notice that something is new, different, or worth shouting about. The Gospel is proclaiming that God is King! God has stepped into his creation, in the middle of time, of man and his ways to say that “His Kingdom is starting”, it is building to a crescendo to make it full of Him.

We have missed out on what the scriptures are and were telling us as we read it the first time. I have told multiple people that I converse with that the bible is a narrative, a story that God is telling about his creation and his image in that creation. Read the scriptures from front to back, take your time and ‘eat it'(this is what is called eating ‘Christ’) chewing each thing 6 times(lol), it is a narrative, a story, to be told in this specific way so that we will know the character and mind of God and his purpose, his eternal purpose.

The story is NOT about a building(church) that we need to worry about, it is the mind and heart of all his images(his people) to be in Him and Him to be in Us. We are to be one. We are to be an Image of God.

God’s kingdom was in the first few pages in the bible. It is characterized in a more plain and bare example of what it was, but it was an illustration of what it is. We revolted. We wanted our own version of a kingdom. Let’s look back at history and see how that has worked out?! lol

God again gives his special images of God, Israel, as another example of ‘the Kingdom’ in the first of what we always think of a kingdom in our minds and our drawings. It is this that we need to keep in mind when we now continue reading the scriptures of the narrative for us to get the right picture. God is faithful. Yes, He is, He has created a ‘New Covenant'(Kingdom of God), and He is going to have it. He will build it, He will build with his son helping him. Jesus, Christ and Savior will be the catalyst for the dawn of the Kingdom.

Matt 6:10 “Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”. This verse I could use as a major screw up in christian theology in it’s usage over the last 400 yrs. “Where did we see in this verse that we were going “To Heaven” at any time? This thought process has been used for the evangelical’s in their message with out any understanding of it!! I don’t understand it!!

But now that we know that the “Kingdom has started, and has started here on earth, and it will continue into it’s fruition. We can finally ‘see’ and ‘hear’ what the “Gospel” is and enjoy God’s Kingdom to its fullest!!

Praise God, Hallelujah, and Amen.

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