Tag Archives: new testament

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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Kingdom of God

People have their own thoughts on what it actually means when we say “Kingdom of God”.

But what does it mean? If we just start with the face value of the statement, we should get a pretty clear view of what it is. Let’s start with the first word, Kingdom. What does ‘kingdom’ mean? Dictionary defines it as “(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a territory, state, people, or community ruled or reigned over by a king or queen”. This by definition is what we are talking about when we discuss the things of the old testament and the new testament.

In the old testament, the paradigm of a kingdom was that of the gentiles was the ruling military or political party that controlled the land by setting the laws and ideals for everyone. It was different for the Jewish people of Israel, their Kingdom was that of a ‘City’ Kingdom with their God as their King and their ways were of their God. It was like a microcosm of a larger model of the whole earth.

It was a reproduction of shadow from times past, one from the beginning of time, ‘Garden of Eden. It was a time of innocence and beauty of the creator and his creation. It was the paradigm of God’s ultimate eternal purpose.

Now, for the second word, God. Kingdom of God, this is possessive phrase of someone’s possession, a Kingdom. Kingdom of God, a kingdom which God rules, with His paradigm of rule. It is his right, by the mere fact of his creating the said world and putting all things below him. God’s desire for a people to be His people that would be of Him, and He in them. It is the true fulfilling of Love and Life.

Where should this lead us?

It is the acclamation of God’s creation. How then should we be doing or saying or living because of this? What is it that we should do? If we are to be apart of this ‘Kingdom’ we shall be apart of it. We shall be apart of it thru the ‘being’ which created it in his image of all things made of Love and Life.

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Following the signs

As in the real world we need signs to get us where we want to go.

It is the same for us in the following of God’s plan for us in His eternal purpose.

God has designed his plan with specific wonders and detail. God uses his son to achieve his goal to rein in his creation. The embryo of his people the Israelite’s, was the beginning of this journey. God’s people,the people of the land of Canaan, was the ideal of God’s people in the sense that He was their God, and they were God’s people. This was the simplicity of His Kingdom.

Israel was connected to God by the institution of a Temple and it’s ways. The institution of precise rules and regulations thru a mediator of a High Priest connecting them to God. It was a institution that could not be followed by the people of Israel, or any man. It was a model that couldn’t be fulfilled to God. Man was unable to follow the law, the law of man or God.

But it wasn’t true of God or his Son, Jesus Christ. Christ being man and of God, was the perfect symbol of what one was to fulfill God’s ways came on the scene to be the example of the ‘One’ to be a follower of God. If we are really understanding of God’s ways and wonders, We will ‘see’ what God was telling us in this example of allegiance.

Man is incapable of following God, by himself. It is when we allow God to be apart of Him, and Him in Us that we are able to be with our creator. This was the example that Jesus set for us, He was of his Father, yet he was of just a man of the world. His showing us that it is possible to be with our creator and also be in the kingdom that He created for us, should be more enough to prove that He is God of all His People.

I bring these points out to show us that it is this scenario that has changed the blueprint of the New Testament(I prefer to use the New Covenant most of the time, but use it here to emphasize that it is in the N.T. that this is what is being said) God is telling us that the institution of the old covenant is over, the New one is not the one of a high priest in a temple in Jerusalem, but that ‘We'(all people) are now the High Priests of the Temple(the World). This is the exact picture we see in Genesis 1-2, and also the reality of this ‘not yet’ that is told to us in Revelation 21-22.

This is the sticking point of christianity that has stifled the ‘ekklesia’ of God. We are still imitating the model of the institution in Jerusalem as we go to the ‘High Priest’ or ‘Pastor’, or ‘Pope’, or ‘Rabbi’ to ‘try’ to get to God. This is just WRONG. God has given us the example to ‘come’ to Him in the reality of Him in us and us in Him. It’s just that simple.

God’s ‘Ekklesia’ will not be the ‘Ekklesia’ not only until we ‘see’ this but until we are actually in Him, and He is in Us!

Shall we strive to be the Ekklesia today!

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‘One’ in Christ

Our understanding of what it means by being one in fellowship with one another is looked at in the wrong way. It is this that has lead us down the wrong path.

We use this as our ritual of going to the building for the ‘being one with the Lord’, It is our logic to say that because we are going to this building where ‘the Holy Place’ where God is located. This concept is a holdover from the old testament that was cancelled in the new testament of ‘being in Christ’. Christ’s presence in the world was not in the temple, but was united with his creation, man.

There are two things here that work hand in hand together that will bring us to being the body of Christ. One of these things is that our perception of ‘where God is, is skewed, in that we ‘only’ see him in a building, called ‘church’. God’s desire for his people is bigger than this for one, and two, He wants to be be ‘in’ everyone of His creation. Our use of this very limited perception has hampered our awareness of ‘Our Awesome,Majestic, All Mighty, Omnipotent, Fatherly, Lovingly, God that wants to be with us in everyone and everywhere.

Secondly we must realize that the concept that God is in Us, as the image of God is never to be forgotten, or to fully understand this. We are one, we are in Christ. This is why in Eph 4.6, God tells us that He will be ‘all in all’ when we are gathered together, In Christ’s name. It is this that we must ‘see’ to know that we ‘In Christ’ when we are together, wherever we are It is in this paradigm that we can be the light unto the ‘nations’ to bring them to God.

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What language is that?

We all have said that to someone we are unfamiliar with that has come from a different country.

Either we didn’t understand the dialect or just was unfamiliar with the language.

This is exactly what happened in the New Testament, when Jesus arrives on the scene talking to his followers, not of a different dialect but by different language from a different world. This language from Jesus was from God himself in the government(Heavenly) that he ruled. God’ life is different. (John 18:36) God’s language is different and it was God’s people were to understand it to be different than the world’s.

Jesus started talking to the ones that supposedly ‘knew’ Jesus and could understand his meaning. But it wasn’t to be. Jesus talked to the disciples in parables, not specific stories to get across his meaning from His world, the heavenly realm. This dialogue was made for the disciples to ‘work out’ what Jesus was saying to them and to all his followers. It is also our job to ‘see’ the vision that Jesus was putting out there to his followers to not only understand but to illustrate it in their daily lives. Jesus always communicated to people in parables, even to the ones who were in power of the Jews and also to Rome.

It is at this time we should understand that this ‘language’ is of a ‘Higher’ more spiritual or Holy verbiage to all that were concerned. It was if the disciples needed to be tuned in to the right frequency to understand him. And to a point I guess that is what it would be. First, and it shouldn’t be in our native language of human, but it should be of a higher Holy speech and hearing. God talks to us, we must free ourselves from this world of everything in it including our understanding of human speech. God talks to us thru Him and His speech.

It is with the understanding that it is our ‘hearing’ and ‘seeing’ that has to be fine tuned to understand God’s voice. It happened multiple times in the New Testament that the worldly leaders did not understand what Jesus was saying, let alone the Jewish priest or pharisee and Sadducee’s.

The ‘language’ that God speaks is of His Kingdom. Father,Son, Holy Spirit are the founders of the speech. It is when we become ‘in Christ’ that we inherit this speech to ‘hear’ God and all the people of God’s Kingdom. Remember this ideal next time you are reading the New Testament and notice that the disciples or the earthly powers are beside themselves to understand What Jesus is meaning.

Our thoughts are not His thoughts. It’s no wonder that we don’t understand God if we don’t know what language He is speaking. God and His kingdom is unique and wonderful if we only let it. God has designed us to be an image of Him….and speaking the same language!!

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The story that christianity missed

It seems that christianity got off on the wrong foot.

It’s like they jumped into the story right in the middle of the story telling. They missed the beginning. The reason for the story.

Christianity has jumped into the middle, even as the story was being told thru the eyes of Israel which even they didn’t understand.

What was it that made them start in the middle? Was it the feeling that this was when the story really gets interesting? Was it the just the part of the ‘New’ Testament(covenant) that brought them in? Or was it the part of the story that they thought the answer was coming to light, according to them. The middle of anything can always cause trouble when you start there.

The middle of a story, either being told to you, or you telling the story is neither good for anyone. I believe that the most harmful,devastating, outcome of starting in the middle is you don’t know the plan, outline,plot, subjects or motives of the story. With one outstanding missing question in the whole storyline that can be missed, Is who is directing the story.

Christianity has started from the middle of the book, or what is actually the beginning of Christ’s ministry and has assumed the reason on why ‘the Messiah’ is doing what He is doing. We have taken things for granted,assumed, misread scripture because of not knowing the beginning of the story and knowing the strategy that God was doing his works with his people and his kingdom. It is because of this starting in the middle of story, that we seem to be in the situation that we in now. The message has been wrong, for us and to all the world that we have presented ourselves to be.

We are God’s image. We belong in His Temple. We are to be his people. He is to be Our King.

This is what God was describing in Genesis 1,2. It hasn’t changed. This is all that God wants to do, to walk with us in the garden in the eternal purpose.

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It has been fulfilled,only once needed.

Man has tried.Woman has tried. Mankind has tried.

But to no avail, century after century it has been engaged to fulfill the law.

Jesus was the one and only one that could.

The law, being the covenant between the pre- Jewish nation led by Moses, and totally fulfilled with Abraham and his covenant with God. It was a journey, more than the 40 years that Moses led, more than the time of Abraham, more than Jacob’s time. It was never meant to be. It was like something was keeping these great leaders from accomplishing their goal in God’s covenant, God was keeping his end of the covenant, but why was man struggling, or just plain failing on his end of the marriage.

Man was never meant to achieve this goal. Say what? Think about this, if man was to eventually accomplish this goal of keeping this side of the covenant, there would be a totally different ending to this story. Jesus would of never had to arrive on the scene at all. No birth, no disciples, no ministry, no cross, no resurrection, no eternal life. Different story altogether.

Jesus’ fulfilling the law of Matthew 5:17 was the action of a God that ‘knew’ that his creation was unable to fulfill this great goal. Man was not created to do this, for it was not designed to accomplish this heavenly request. Mankind’s actions on it’s own would not be a match for the ‘law’ for it was created for only a communion of man and God to fulfill. It had to be so. It only could be this combination. Not just man, not just God, but God-man.

Think on this. God’s desire was not for us to accomplish this on our own but for us to see that it was designed for the only marriage of God and man together; Jesus.

Our vain attempt to do this on our own thru the centuries from the time of Paul, was always going to be fruitless, until we ‘saw’ that we as the union of God and man, thru Jesus was this very communion. It was not realized thru the entire old testament, and even thru the new testament there was only a crack of light that was coming thru to Paul and the christians. It is here, in the new testament that we must see that it is now the marriage of God and man that has shed some spotlight on what God’s new Kingdom was.

It is to be our desire for us to just see that the old testament’s covenant was going to be a failure on man’s side, from the get go. But it was to be known that God was in it for the long haul, he had a plan. His son, Jesus was going to be the true example of the ‘man’s side of the equation to be God’s image of his creation.

It is in the new testament that we see that our goal is not to continually try and accomplish these laws or to be perfect or to worry about if we fail in one or all of them, it is for us to ‘see’ that we are the perfect example of God’s creation, His new creation, for his new Kingdom.

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Is it ‘me’ or ‘us’?

For those that are unaware of things in the christian realm in theology of our day, there are two prevalent thoughts that are being talked about in churches and out of churches(authors,teachers,theologians).

The two that are being discussed and preached are what we could call the ‘Heaven and Hell’ story which has been the prevalent storyline that christianity has been telling for centuries and the one that is in great discussion in and out of christianity which is the ‘Kingdom of God‘ story.

One question that I have had for over 10 years in my journey that I am on now, is the problem of christianity’s changing the emphasis of the scriptures of the old testament to the new testament in it’s emphasis from ‘a people’ to ‘me’. I’ve asked alot of people this question without any answers or understanding.

Maybe, just maybe this is how we have come to the theology of the concept of ‘heaven and hell’. The old testament is all about ‘the people’, our changing of the emphasis to ‘me’ in the new testament has changed the message of the scriptures to take us down the wrong road which has taken us to this ‘me’ approach of the new testament.

Because we have changed the emphasis of ‘the people’ of the old testament story, and jumped to the new testament for whatever reason to the ‘me’ aspect of the audience that the ‘gospel’ is for, is that this is the outcome that we get.

But if we stay with the emphasis of ‘the people’ of the old testament to the new testament we come up with the theme of the entire new testament of ‘Kingdom of God’. This completes the story from start to finish, Genesis to Revelation, Alpha to Omega.

Something to think about, or study further don’t you think!

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Is it time?

Do we need to go back in time to see if there is anything that has or is tainting our belief’s? Are we on the right track, is christianity being authentic thru our journey of God’s design?

Pagan influence

God’s separate people,different,Holy,uninfluenced. Have we been changed into something that we were not designed to be, is it because of being conformed to our surroundings, our friends, our own ways,to pagan ideas? Is this what God said us to be?

We are to be different!

Let’s get to maybe a issue that maybe is affecting our path to God and his eternal purpose. Our pagan ways! I will tackle a big one first, then to some others.

This is, I believe is the most decisive and the most relevant one in the christian community that has steered us in the wrong direction. It is the ‘church building’!

To tackle this one, we must go back to the old testament and to see what the ‘building’ actually stood for. Who was it for, what to do there, and why.

I’m afraid that we actually have to go back to genesis 1 to get the whole picture, but this is good in a alot of ways. We might even see somethings that we have never seen before.

God designed the whole universe! Genesis chapter 1 God put all the participants in the picture of his creation. Exactly in the right place, at the right time, the right objects, the right people to portray his creation. It was perfect! It was actually God putting himself into his own creation, his desires, his wants, his world was surrounding himself with himself. This is key to the way that we understand God’s creation. He was designing his essence, his being into a outward brilliance of himself. After all, it was to be where he laid his head. (Mat 8.20) To walk among his creation(Gen 3.8)

So if we can see this actually in our mind of what was going on, we can see that God created a place for him and his creation to be, to walk, to sleep together in a world together.

Let me interject here that a fact needs major clarification to understand, this world was designed,made and designed for man(mankind), This fact is key to the scriptures in so many ways, using the hebrew language as who or what God’s ‘people’ were is in the understanding who ‘Adam’ was, Mankind. All of eternity of his kind, this was or never was supposed to individualize God’s creation.

Now, let’s fast forward to many years later after his creation has went a separate way from his creator, but the creator is still connected to the creation and cares for it, and that his desire is to be apart of him, but it won’t be in the same way as before, man has not the same love for it’s creator. So God has instituted his partial connection to man by although not fully as before, but in someway still connected to him he institutes a connection by creating a spot on his creation where God is still God of his creation, The Holy of Hollies. This place is just not anything or anywhere, it is special to his people. But it is with conditions, it will have to be with sacrifices to his people, it will be a ritually rough life of sacrificing to God for the life that they chose to go. It will be them coming to him in a remorseful way of knowing that they were wrong.

This is describing the Temple in Jerusalem. It was the ‘only place God was in all his creation’! Wow, how the storyline changed. From all of creation to just little room 20 cubits by 20 cubits by 20 cubits, a perfect cube. That’s not big at all! Where they went once a year.

This continues today with the jewish world today, the protestants have copied this scenerio for the most part by confining God to a building with a room that is usually bigger(some places believe bigger is better) It is where God is, he lives in there, this is when and where we feel him, see him, and hear him. This is the allusion that we see when compared to the days of the ages. We have and are not giving God Glory for bringing us back to his Glory of His Creation.

By God’s giving over his son Jesus the Messiah(Lord)(King) that he may be the example of the image of God that his creation was meant to be, he is now a NEW CREATION, not like the one before, a new,different one, a holy one, One that was created in the beginning to be God’s walking mate, talking mate, and living mate. just walking in a garden.

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Context

My studies  have given me alot of insight into the scriptures over the years, but it occurs to me, this latest insight maybe the most eye-opening one of them all.

Reading a story we are usually set up first with what is called the ‘back story’, this will usually include some or all the things that you need to know  for the story to make sense to the reader. This is true with the bible and with God’s setup of it.

Without going into all the detail of genesis, there is alot of back story there to process, we even have issues now to what it still means, (which does affect a story, one way or another) but the storyline is basic in that God created a place(universe), a people(children of Israel), and himself(their God). Remember, this is really basic, but it gives you the jest of the story, but then he lets the story go in motion to let things play out.

It is this storyline that is used throughout the whole bible I mean whole bible, there is not another story introduced in the middle, or end, or anywhere else. It is all the same story.

Paul, a main character in the last part of the story, has an epiphany that what had happened a few years earlier with the appearing of ‘Jesus’ on the scene was what the scriptures(mainly the prophets, and even in the Old Testament) was in fact talking about in the future. Paul had taken the scriptures from the old, and had matched them up with the history of the day to see that this was what they(prophets) were describing of the ‘Messiah’ to come. It was not of what the Jewish people had in mind, but it was what the God of Israel described for them.

This is, in so many ways tells us that we must stay in context of anything that is being told to us, read to us, or in belief. It was Paul that connected the dots from the old covenant to the new covenant, that what it was and what it would look like.

It is when we as believers are led away from the ‘context’ of the story that it is a in a wild tangent, that makes us need to go back to the first of the story, to get our point of reference back again.

This would be a good thing to do every once in a while to re-read genesis and to really see what God’s storyline is, and to know what the back story is.

God, God’s world, God’s people.

The basic, Context.

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