Mirror Study Bible FAQ

Explaining my use of Etymology in the Mirror Study Bible

Etymology is the study of the origin of words in order to help understand their history and original meaning.

The word etymology is the Greek word, ἐτυμολογία etumologia. It too, like most Greek words, have various components, ἔτυμον, etumon, true, and λογια logia, words. Thus, the study of the true meaning of words.

Obviously, the meaning of many words have evolved over the centuries in their use, and have in time departed from their original meaning. Especially in modern languages we have ample examples where the accepted word today, bears no relevance whatsoever to the meaning of their individual components.

However, many still do. My passion therefore, as a treasure hunter, is to uncover and unveil these gems, always bearing in mind the ultimate relevance found in context.  

Etymology is the study of the origin of words in order to help understand their history and original meaning.

The word etymology is the Greek word, ἐτυμολογία etumologia. It too, like most Greek words, have various components, ἔτυμον, etumon, true, and λογια logia, words. Thus, the study of the true meaning of words.

Obviously, the meaning of many words have evolved over the centuries in their use, and have in time departed from their original meaning. Especially in modern languages we have ample examples where the accepted word today, bears no relevance whatsoever to the meaning of their individual components.

However, many still do. My passion therefore, as a treasure hunter, is to uncover and unveil these gems, always bearing in mind the ultimate relevance found in context.

The context of this conversation is beautifully reflected in John 1:1-3 and 14, as well as Hebrews 1:1-3. And powerfully endorsed in Paul’s focus in his writings.

Also, the fact that in human conscience, we have the invisible written logos fully preserved and recorded to reflect in the “Aha!” resonance-echo, within us! We are compatible by design to hear with “inner-ears”. Rom 1:19  God is not a stranger to anyone; whatever can be known of God is manifest in man. God has revealed it in the very core of our being which bears witness within our conscience.

Paul writes two thousand years ago…Eph 3:4, “When you read this, you will perceive my insight.” RSV

And in the Mirror,

Eph 3:4  In 1pondering these words you will 2perceive my 3insight into the mystery of Christ. (The word, 1anaginosko, suggests an upward knowledge; to know again, to recognize, to read with recognition. You will comprehend, νοιέω 2noeoo, to perceive; thoughtful understanding. [This is also the word connected with the preposition meta [with] in μετανοέω metanoeoo, to awaken in your understanding. It does NOT mean, to “repent!” See Luk 5:32].

Paul anticipates the impact of his own insight in his audience! The word, insight, 3sunesis, from συνίημι suniemisun + eimi, together with my “I am-ness”, to resonate; which means a flowing together as of two streams – a seamless merging; a fusion of thought; a joint-seeing; to sync together in order to form a mental picture. It suggests the grasp and comprehension that happens from comparing and combining things. A word only Paul uses; also his colleague  Dr Luke , in Lk 2:47, as well as another disciple of Paul, Mark who uses it in Mark 12:33, “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself; this is more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”)

Eph 3:5  In no previous generation has there been a more comprehensive and detailed knowledge [of the full consequence of grace] as it has now been uncovered in the Spirit to his ambassadors who brought the prophetic promise into full view! Mankind [the sons of men] may now realize that the prophetic word is fulfilled in them. Everything the Prophets saw is now declared. Both the Prophets [who saw this in advance] and the Apostles [who now proclaim this] are sanctioned in Christ.

Eph 3:6  The essence of what I see reveals the fact that the multitude of humanity are joint participants in the same inheritance. We are all part of one and the same body in Christ. The Good news is that God’s promise is equally relevant and applicable to all.

Eph 3:7  This Gospel defines my ministry; I am supercharged by the gift of his grace!

Eph 1:17  I desire that you will draw directly from the source; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory kindles within you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the unveiling of his 1Master Plan. I long for you to know by revelation what he has known about you all along. (1His intent, doxa, glory. In the words, en epignosei auto, Paul suggests that we might find our source in God’s knowledge – in what it is that he knows! See 1 Cor 13:12 – to know even as we have always been known.)

Eph 1:18  I pray that your thoughts will be flooded with light and inspired insight

And Luke interviewing the two men who encountered Jesus as a “stranger” along their journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus,reports,

Luke 24:32  They erupted in an avalanche of words, Was our hearts not set ablaze – even while he was speaking along the way and opening the Scriptures to us. (οὐχὶ ἡ καρδία ἡμῶν καιομένη ἦν – ὡς ἐλάλει – διήνοιγεν) The Authorized Version, as usual, pays no attention to the graphic Imperfect Tenses here. They are speaking of something which was in progress: “was not our heart burning [finite verb and Participle] while he was speaking, and was opening the Scriptures?” [Marvin Vincent.]

Jesus could easily have just tapped them on the shoulder at the beginning of their journey and immediately told them who he was! But he reveals himself in their familiar language, the Scriptures, knowing that the entire context of the Incarnation is grounded in these profound, prophetic writings. Also, this beats any “angelic visitation” hands down! It pleased the father, Paul later recalls, to unveil his son IN me! The fire now kindled in their hearts, would become a mirror-encounter where the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations would gush out from within them. Col 1:27.)

In the study of the ancient languages of Scripture the etymology of very many words in Koine Greek as well as the meaning of individual letters of the ancient Hebrew alphabet, carry significant relevance.

See my introduction to Luke chapter 3 in the Mirror Bible…

Notes on the Hebrew Alphabet

With the Babylonian exile, 586 BC, the Jews gradually stopped using the Paleo-Hebrew script, based on ancient pictographic letters, otherwise known as the Phoenician alphabet and instead adopted a square letter form of the Aramaic alphabet.

Koine Greek LXX Old Testament and the New Testament

Koine Greek evolved from the spread of Greek following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC and served as the lingua franca of much of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East during the following centuries.

Koine is the language of the Christian New Testament, of the Septuagint LXX (the 3rd-century BC. Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible), and of most early Christian theological writing by the Church Fathers.

I believe that, just like gold-containing ore, so the Bible contains the Word. Though the ore is a most important pointer to the gold, it cannot be confused with the gold. Jesus is the Word unveiled – He studied scripture with a different intent; he knew that he was reflected there! Familiar with the text, he brought context! Psalm 40:7 and Hebrews 10:7; also, John 5:39.

During my 3-year studies at the University of Pretoria [1975-1977], I was triggered with the intrigue of the richness of the language, and how so much of the nuances and early meanings of words have remained hidden and were ultimately lost in many translations over the years.

I remember one day in the Assembly of God church, which we joined just after we got married [January 1979], we attended a Bible-study meeting. I excitedly shared from John 14:2, The word, μονή mone, is only used here and in verse 23. The verb form, meno suggests a seamless union. [John uses meno more than anyone else.] As in the next chapter, John 15:4. …the branch abiding in the vine. So, Jesus was not about to become a building contractor in heaven. He is not in the mansion building-business, as some translations will imply! He is standing on the threshold of the cross; in his death and resurrection he would prepare a place for us of restored, intimate oneness with himself and the Father in Spirit and in truth. Now we may be where he is, wrapped up in the same, inseparable union. See verse 20.

Our pastor [the head of the AOG at the time], immediately stopped me saying, “If the King James says it’s a mansion then that’s what it is!”

This early encounter inspired me even more on my journey of regularly referencing the Hebrew and Greek text in studying the Bible. During our Acts team days [Dec ’85 – Jan ‘91] I translated several of the Pauline Epistles which were never published; although printed along with other booklets which I wrote and distributed amongst our students.

Oh, how I love the word!

Just look at the first word in the Hebrew Bible, [“in the beginning”] Bereshet, be, (in) rosh (head)

Thus, you are God’s idea!

Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. By an extension, the term “the etymology of [a word]” means the origin of the particular word.

My point is, the words that I pursue in the Greek components are not to contradict the character of God but to rather discover how the context is endorsed in our understanding of the word.

I have been diligent over the years to seek out these treasures.  Some of which you will not find in a lexicon or a dictionary.

I will give you a few examples:

1/ The word χαρακτηρ charakter from χάραγμα charagma – to engrave – translated “mark” of the beast, in Revelation 13:16,17.

Heb 1:3 The Messiah-message is what has been on the tip of the Father’s tongue all along! Now he is the crescendo of God’s conversation with us and gives context and content to the authentic, prophetic thought. Everything that God had in mind for mankind is voiced in him. Jesus is God’s language. He is the 1radiant and flawless mirror expression of the person of God. He makes the 2glorious intent of God visible and exhibits the 3character and every attribute of Elohim in human form. His being announces our redeemed innocence; having accomplished purification for sins, he sat down, enthroned in the boundless measure of his majesty in the right and of God as his executive authority. He is the force of the universe, 4upholding everything that exists. This conversation is the dynamic that sustains the entire cosmos. (The word απαυγασμα 1apaugasma, only occurs here, and once only in the Greek Septuagint, LXX, in the book of Wisdom 7:26 “For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.” [The book of Wisdom 7:26.] The word,  δόξα 2doxa glory is the expression of the divine attributes collectively. It is the unfolded fullness of the divine perfections. Vincent. The word χαρακτηρ 3charakter from χάραγμα charagma – to engrave – translated “mark” of the beast, in Revelation 13:16,17. Either the character of the Father or the character of the fallen mind will influence our actions (hand) because it is what engages our thoughts (forehead).

“Having accomplished purification of sins, he sat down …” His throne is the very endorsement of mankind’s redeemed innocence! See Eph 1:20-23; LXX Ps 109:1.

The words, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα – 4upholding all things, are not static, but “They imply sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement; as Weiss puts it, “with the all in all its changes and transformations throughout the aeons.” Vincent.

More than two thousand years ago the conversation that had begun before time was recorded—sustained in fragments of thought throughout the ages, whispered in prophetic language, chiselled in stone and inscribed in human conscience and memory—became a man. Beyond the tablet of stone, the papyrus scroll or parchment roll, human life has become the articulate voice of God. Jesus is the crescendo of God’s conversation with mankind; he gives context and content to the authentic thought. His name declares his mission. As Savior of the world he truly redeemed the image and likeness of the invisible God and made him apparent again in human form as in a mirror.)

2/ The keyword in Peter’s powerful illustration in 2 Peter 1:1-10 is the word, epichoregeo which was traditionally translated, to ‘add to’. The etymological values of this word clearly describe a conductor of music!

In 2 Pet. 1:5, by saying, “Add to your faith virtue, etc…”; unfortunately our Authorized Bibles all repeat the same mistake, which has kept multitudes of sincere believers trapped in the treadmill-mode of striving to become; instead of discovering who you are and what you already have!

This is after Peter clearly states in verse 1 that, to begin with, we already are equal shareholders in a faith of exactly the same, priceless value.

Then inverse 3, that by God’s divine engineering, we are gifted with all that it takes to live life to the full.

One cannot add to something that is already complete.

However, one can engage the adventure of a limitless discovery.

I often use an 8-piece Babuska doll to illustrate that there is so much more than just the outer image. This is a traditional Russian doll, beautifully carved out of wood and painted with a colorful image. The outer image is repeated again and again in smaller, identical inner pieces – each one fitting perfectly into the other. Until it almost seems impossible that, yet another piece could follow the little figures that emerge. Our 5-year-old granddaughter, Nicola calls this, the Reflection Doll.

Faith unfolds into these amazing attributes that each person is equally gifted with:

1/ Faith; 2/ Elevation; 3/ Spiritual insight; 4/ Inner strength; 5/ Patient perseverance; 6/ Meaningful devotion and worship; 7/ Genuine fondness for others and finally, the heart of faith is 8/ the Agape of God.

Now, acquaint yourselves with these.

The keyword here, in Peter’s illustration is the word, epichoregeo which was traditionally translated, to ‘add to’. The etymological values of this word clearly describe a conductor of music. The word, 1epichoregeo has three components: epi, a Preposition of position, over, in charge, indicating continuous influence upon, + chorus, choir, orchestra, or dance + agoo, meaning to lead as a shepherd leads his sheep.

3/ The Greek verb ἀγαπάω Agapao to love, or noun, Agape, has two components, agoo, meaning to lead as a shepherd guides his sheep, and pao, to rest, like in Psalm 23, ”he leads me beside still waters where my soul is restored; by the waters of reflection my soul remembers who I am. Now I can face the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil.”

It does not derive from the Hebrewענב Agab as the dictionaries would imply – Agab is a word that Ezekiel uses 6 times and Jeremiah only once; and every time it is used for lust as in whoredom! The Hebrew word for love, closest to Agape is the word, אהב ahabh which is used 207 times.

See my use of the word agape here,

John 14:23 Jesus answered him, “This is so much more than a mere casual, distant and suspicious, or indifferent observation of me; this is about someone’s 1passionate, loving desire, finding its rest in me; they will treasure my words and encounter my Father’s love reflecting in them, and my Father and I will 2appear 3face to face to them, and make our 4abode 5with each one individually.” (To love passionately, 1agapao from agoo and paoo, to lead to rest [Ps 23 in one word] – this word also links to the Hebrew word for love, אהב ahabh, to love with passionate desire; like a beating heart or breathing chest. Gen 22;2 Abraham’s love for Isaac. Jer 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn you.”

Then the word for hamartia

The root of sin is to believe a lie about yourself. To be out of sync with the life of your design.

The word sin, is the word 1hamartia, from ha, negative or without and meros, portion or form, thus to be without your allotted portion or without form, pointing to a disorientated, distorted, bankrupt identity; the word meros, is the stem of morphe, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18 the word metamorphe, with form, which is the opposite of hamartia – without form. Sin is to live out of context with the blueprint of one’s design; to behave out of tune with God’s original harmony. See Deuteronomy 32:18, “You have forgotten the Rock that begot you and have gotten out of step with the God who danced with you.” Hebrew,  חול  khul, also means to dance, as in Jdg. 21:21.

And the word Hades which is the opposite of the word Paradise,

The word paradise from para, closest possible union, and eido, to see; thus, to see from a place of our union.

The word Hades – means, not to see.

Here’s what Jesus says about Hades:

He asks the most important question in the Bible “Who do people say, that I, the son of man, am?” No, I’m not a reincarnate prophet. I am the Incarnate Word in whom all things exist – I gave you birth.

Luke 9:19 They replied, “Some think that you could possibly be John the Baptist re-incarnated, or even a re-appearance of Elijah or another of the ancient prophets resurrected.”

Luke 9:20 “And you; who am I to you?” Jesus asked them; Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”

Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah. [Bar Jonah, his surname identity] Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father. I say, you are Rock, a chip [petros] of the old Block [petra]. And upon this revelation, that the son of man is the son of God, I will build my Ekklesia, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I shall give you to the keys of the dominion of the heavens, and whatever you bind upon the earth shall be, 1having been bound in the heavens, and whatever you loose upon the earth shall be, 1having been loosed in the heavens. ([Matthew 16:13-19.] Ekklesia from ek, origin and kaleo, to surname; original identity. Hades, from ha, negative particle, and eido to see. In a walled city, the gates are the most strategic point – if the gates are disengaged, the city is taken. Thus, the blindfold mode of mankind’s forgotten identity, will not prevail against your advance. The Perfect Passive tense used in both, having been bound and having been loosed, clearly reveals what Jesus accomplished once and for all in his triumphant mission. The keys Jesus refers to here, are the same keys John recorded in Revelation 1:18.)

See also,

Rev 1:17 Observing all this, I fell at his feet like a dead man. Then, 1kneeling down, he ordained me with his right hand upon me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the origin and the 2conclusion of all things.(See Isa 44:6. The word 1tithemi from theo, to kneel down, lay down, to ordain, purpose, put, set forth. See John 15:16, I have ordained you – I have strategically positioned you. Also1 Tim 2:7 I am an “ordained” preacher.

The word, 2eschatos; Jesus, as the Alpha and Omega, defines eschatology.)

Rev 1:18 I am also the Living One; I died and now, see, here I am alive unto the ages of the ages and I have the keys wherewith I have disengaged the gates of Hades and death.

1 John 3:10 There is a very visible and vast difference between living one’s live from your God identity, or from a fallen mindset; the 1diabolos-fruit has nothing in common with 2righteousness; neither does it know anything about brotherly love. (The children of the Devil; here translated the 1diabolos-fruit; the typical fruit that the fallen mindset bears. Righteousness, 2diakaiosune, from dike, two parties finding likeness in each other.)

1 John 3:11 Our love for one another was the topic of conversation from the start. God had nothing less in mind than a loving family.

1 John 3:12 Cain’s 1killing of his brother Abel, is in such contrast to this. His motivation was clearly 2sourced in the 3poneros tree-system; his idea of Divine 4favor was to count on his own works as being superior to his brother’s faith righteousness.  (Immediately after the fall, [Gen 3:20] Adam named the woman Elohim gave him, Eve, [in Hebrew çåÆä Chawah, Life. In the LXX Septuagint in Greek, Zoe.] He thus co-echoes and reinforces the prophetic word that Elohim gave him: Life in the face of death. “The seed of the woman, shall crush the deceiver’s head.” The fallen mindset shall be destroyed. So here, in their two sons, we have the first generation of fallen mankind confronted with their personal pursuit of a lost identity and a lost sense of value and favor. Cain’s motivation was clearly sourced [2ek, out of, origin] in the diabolos [cast down], which is so typical of the 3poneros tree-system. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil [poneros] represents mankind’s lost sense of identity and righteousness, where the global pursuit of mankind would now be their constant effort to achieve righteousness by means of their own works. This inevitably leads to disappointment where shame replaces innocence, and union and fellowship are lost. The word evil, poneros, suggests being full of hardships, labors and annoyances. Gen 3:19; “In the sweat of your face shall you eat your bread.” The sacrifice of Cain is exactly that. It represents his trust in the fruit of his own toil to gain him a 4favorable [charin] standing with God.

We have the prophetic picture of a scapegoat repeated here in Genesis 4. Not only in the sacrifice that Abel brought; but also in him being murdered by his brother. Just like we would one day murder our brother Jesus. In Genesis 3, Elohim did not clothe Adam with the skin of an animal because of a divine need to be appeased, but because of their unconditional love for Adam; they spoke the language of Adam’s own judgment: Adam, not Elohim, was embarrassed about his nakedness. The clothing was not to make Elohim look at Adam differently, but to make Adam feel better about himself. And ultimately it was to prepare Adam for the unveiling of the mystery of mankind’s redemption in the incarnation. Here Deity would clothe themselves in human skin in a Son, and the Lion of Judah would become the Lamb of God in order to free our minds to re discover his image and likeness in our skin. Revelation 5:5,6.

Only John uses the word, 1sphatzo, which speaks of a slaying. Four times in the book of Revelation he employs this word in the context of the slain Lamb of God.

See also Hebrews 11:4, “It was faith that made the difference between the sacrifices of Abel and Cain and confirmed Abel’s righteousness. God bore witness to righteousness as a gift rather than a reward. Even though he was murdered, his faith still has a voice today.”  

Philo a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher says, that in the dispute between Cain and Abel, Abel attributed all things to God, and Cain ascribed everything to himself; so that the controversy was about grace and works. [Philo lived c. 25 BCE – c. 50 CE]

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents a fallen identity; the thought that likeness with God could be earned through good intentions, rather than realizing the gift of life that already defines his image and likeness in us.)

The Greek goddess Dike (pronounced, dikay, justice) holding the scales in her hands.

The word dikia from dikay, means, to provide substantial evidence of innocence.

Strong’s and Thayer’s are easily accessible dictionaries. I also have several Lexicons that one can only access with some knowledge of the Greek alphabet, I am also fortunate to have the printed book, The Greek Lexicon by Grimm which was translated and enlarged by Joseph Henry Thayer.

The word unrighteousness, 1adikia, from a, negative or without and dikia, indicating two parties finding likeness in each other; thus, relationship in conflict.

Rev 19:8 She 1was given the finest linen to clothe herself; there she stands, wrapped in radiant white – dressed in 2spotless, saintly innocence. (The verb, edothe from didomi, was given, Aorist Passive Indicative. The word innocence, 2dikaiōma stems from the word dike, two parties finding likeness in each other. Dike is also the root for the word dikaiosune, righteousness. Sadly, many translations have it completely wrong here. This is not the righteous “deeds” of the saints. This innocence gives testimony to the merits of the Redeemer. Paul says in Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but what is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Zech 3:4  And the celestial messenger said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with righteousness.” Aramaic Targum. See my extended notes on the City-Bride at the end of Rev 3.)

1 Cor 2:10  These profound 1mysteries of God’s eternal resolve are now unveiled in us; nothing is hidden from Holy Spirit, who explores the innermost thoughts of God. (“In early ecclesiastical Latin 1mustērion was rendered by sacramentum, which in classical Latin means the military oath. The explanation of the word sacrament, which is so often founded on this etymology, is therefore mistaken, since the meaning of sacrament belongs to mustērion and not to sacramentum in the classical sense” Vincent).

People often ask me how we got started in this wonderful mirror message. There are many moments of reflection and impression that triggered our awareness and appreciation of God’s love initiative. My parents and others have laid such a sure foundation in demonstrating the simplicity of the love of God and his desire to bring about closeness and friendship. I will briefly mention four outstanding encounter-moments, which were my early awakenings to this message:

The first was in October 1978 during a devotional time. I remember how it dawned on me that we cannot even begin to understand the cross until we realize Genesis 1:26. We were made in the image and likeness of God. It was not our pitiful state that moved God to pay such a ridiculous price for humanity’s redemption; it was his love knowledge of our likeness that persuaded this act. My mother used to say, “The lost coin never lost its original value!”

Imagine how your mind changes about the value of something when you hear what price it was sold for at an auction!

At first you cannot understand why someone would pay such an absurd price, until you learn that it was an original painting by Vincent van Gogh!

You are worth exactly what God has always known to be true about you!

You are God’s priceless authentic Masterpiece!

The man who redeemed the hidden treasure sold all that he had to buy the entire field! Math 13:44. I began to see that while we reduce the cross of Christ to a mere historic and sentimental reference, the amazing mystery of what actually happened there, remains veiled from us.

I was reading systematically through the Bible at that time, doing two chapters daily from both the Old and the New Testaments. Part of my reading one morning, was from 1 Kings chapter 6. Verse 1 was certainly God’s way of powerfully arresting my full attention! Lydia and I were dating exactly 4 years and 2 months that day which I realized with a shock when I read, “In the fourth year, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD!” (And I was thinking that maybe I should be like Paul and don’t marry!)

My mind was still spinning with thoughts about Lydia, when suddenly verse 7 jumped off the page! “When the house was built, it was with stone, cut to perfection in the quarry; so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the temple, while it was being built.” What struck me was the thought, that something happened to the stone in the quarry, to cut it to such precision, that no further chiseling was needed! How do we define the quarry in our theology? So much of our sincere Christian doctrine encourages us to believe that God has to employ the ‘hammer and chisel’ method to continually chip away little by little of our characters and traits, to hopefully, eventually prepare us for heaven one day! We believed that God would use anything, such as your spouse, your boss, a neighbor or even the neighbor’s dog!

If our perfection and sanctification depend on how many years we spend in some wilderness, domestic, financial or perhaps some human crisis we are facing, then sanctification would be reduced to the law of works and human experience again, and we would have to pray and play for time! We would need to grow as old as possible, because this will take at least a lifetime!

The finished work of the cross is the quarry! Not your marriage or job or any size crisis for that matter!

In the light of the finished work of Christ, I became convinced that any doctrine that distracts from the success of the cross is a waste of time to pursue. The only possible way we can delay the glory that follows the cross is to underestimate what happened there, when Jesus died and cried: “It is finished!” If it did not happen in the death and resurrection of Jesus it is not going to happen anywhere else! In God’s economy Jesus died humanity’s death, once and for all! None of the rulers of the religious system of the day understood this mystery; if they had, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory! 1 Cor. 2:8, 1 Cor. 1:30.

While the cross cannot be reversed, our understanding of how included we were in his death and resurrection can be veiled; yet this ‘veiling’ can only happen with our permission! Paul says that the minds of the ‘unbelievers’ are blinded from seeing the light of the gospel, which is the glory of God, unveiled in the face of a man, as in a mirror! 2 Cor. 4:4 and 2 Cor. 3:18. Unbelief simply means to believe a lie about oneself, just as Israel did. (Num. 13:33)

I was in a mission at that time where inner-healing, with an emphasis on back- tracking emotional hurts, spiritual warfare and deliverance were very popular teachings; I began to see how many of our pet doctrines and interpretations clashed with the simple, but most powerful and liberating message of the success of the cross.

In the genius of God, the body of Jesus on the cross was the document of humanity’s guilt; by taking guilt out of the equation, God disarmed every definition of accusation and forever cancelled the devil’s claim to blackmail human life! Col. 2:14,15.

Sadly, from many pulpits, it has become fashionable to preach a defeated devil back into business, almost as though Pharaoh had not been thoroughly defeated in the prophetic picture of Israel’s deliverance! Israel did not die in the desert because of an inferior deliverance out of Pharaoh’s hand! Ex. 14:13 “And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.” Israel wasted forty years living a neutralized life in the wilderness and that entire generation except two died because they believed a lie about themselves and underestimated their salvation! Num. 13:33; Josh. 2:11; Heb. 2:3. The supernatural is proof of God’s mercy and not proof of faith; Israel witnessed miracles on a 24/7 basis for forty years, yet, they died because of unbelief.

The next passage in my reading that day was from 1 Pet. 2, and I quote v 2-5 “Like newborn babies, [born anew in his resurrection! 1:3] crave the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. Come to him, to that Living Stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourself built into a spiritual house.” (Haha! Two months later this verse was on our wedding card!)

Jesus is the Living Stone and we are like him! Even as newborn babies we share his perfection; no chiseling required, only nurturing! We grow up by our addiction to the undiluted milk of the pure gospel that proclaims how Jesus fulfilled and perfected the prophetic word of our salvation. Peter says in the previous chapter that we were born anew when Jesus was raised from the dead!

What God spoke prophetically about the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory is the living and incorruptible seed of the Word. This truth realized, awakens in us newness of life! Col. 1:6. In the calculation of God we died with him and were raised together with him! Hosea 6:2, Eph. 2:5. Notice that Peter writes, “You are built into a spiritual house.” Peter doesn’t tell us to first get chiseled and shaped in order to eventually become something useful to God! The language of the Old Testament was, “Do, in order to become”, while the language of the New Testament is, “Be, because of what was done!” We do not grow in completeness; we only grow in the awareness of our completeness!

It is interesting to note that it is Mr. Rock himself (Petros) who writes about us being living stones! When asked who he thought Jesus the Son of Man was, it was revealed to Simon, that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Immediately Jesus introduced Simon to the fact that even he, the son of Jonah, was hewn from the same Rock! Deut. 32:18 “You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.” Isa. 51:1 “Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance, you who seek the LORD; look to the Rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.” It is upon this same Rock that God builds his ekklesia and the gates of hades (ignorance) shall not prevail against his ekklesia’s claim! Jesus has come to introduce humanity to themselves again, because they have forgotten what manner of person they are! “By the waters of reflection my soul remembers who I am!” Ps. 23:2,3.

The second memorable encounter was during our honeymoon in January 1979. In the Bourke’s Luck area in Mpumalanga, Lydia and I met a nature conservation officer who told us the remarkable story of how they had released a Black eagle that had been caged in the Pretoria zoo for ten years.

This incident happened about a week prior to our visit.

She told us how excited they were when the bird finally arrived from Pretoria in its wooden crate. They knew that this was the day for the eagle to return to the life and environment of its design. It would never need to waste another day in a cage.

Their excitement soon turned to frustration when, after opening the cage, the bird just sat there with blank eyes, not at all realizing that it was free to fly! This continued for several hours; ten years of caged life had trapped this poor creature’s mind in an invisible enclosure! What could they do to get the eagle to realize that it was indeed free? Then, after several hours, the eagle suddenly looked up, and in the distance the call of another eagle was heard; immediately the zoo-eagle took off in flight!

No flying lessons are required when truth is realized! This story gives such clarity and content to the fact that Jesus came to the planet not to upgrade the cage of Jewish or any other religion by starting a new brand called, ‘the Christian religion,’ but to be the incarnate voice of the likeness and image of God in human form! He came to reveal and redeem the image of God in us! His mission was to mirror the blueprint of our design, not as an example for us but of us! Col.1:15, 2:9-10.

James, the younger brother of Jesus says, we have forgotten what manner of people we are. In God’s belief, mankind was always associated in Christ even before the foundation of the world. Jesus died humanity’s death and when the stone was rolled away, we were raised together with him! Every human life is fully represented in him! “After two days he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up!” Hosea 6:2. See also Eph. 1:4, and 2: 5-6 “While we were still dead in our sins he made us alive together with him and raised us together with him!” If the gospel is not the voice of the free eagle it is not the gospel.

The third vivid memory that molded this message in me, happened a few years later. In 1983 I was asked to pastor a church in White River, Mpumalanga. Until that time I was preaching in the schools of Kangwane along the border of the Kruger National Park. I would speak only once or perhaps twice a week to the same audience. But now, as a pastor I was concerned at the prospect of having to address the same group of people almost daily. One morning I was specifically praying about this when God reminded me of the miracle of the five loaves and two fish. I realized that Jesus just continued to multiply the same five loaves and two fish! He did not at some point run out and then had to ask for a few more fish or another loaf of bread! The numbers two and five somehow prompted me to read 2 Cor. 5. My eyes were drawn to verse 16; I have read through the Bible many times by then but never saw this scripture before! “From now on therefore, I no longer know anyone from a human point of view!”

I remember reading it over and over and just weeping with a revelation that flooded my whole being!

How could we have missed this for so long, I cried!

I then read Paul’s previous statement in verse 14, For the love of Christ constrains us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died! Also verse 15, Now if all were included in his death, they were equally included in his resurrection. This unveiling of his love redefines human life! Whatever reference we could have of ourselves outside of our association with Christ is no longer relevant!

Suddenly verse 17 made new sense! It already was a favorite scripture of mine for a long time, and the only one that I had underlined in the chapter. Paul never wrote “If” anyone is in Christ he is a new creature! Instead he began the sentence with “Therefore!” If we discover what the therefore is therefore it changes the “If” from being a condition to being a glorious conclusion! From a question mark to an exclamation mark! Good news cannot get any better than that!

Our ministry immediately transformed, people began to respond to the gospel like we’ve never witnessed before!

So to now have people warn me about including too many in the good news, is too late!

If the gospel we preach does not begin with the fact that every person on the planet is equally valued and included in Christ, well then our good news is just not good enough!

The danger was never to exaggerate the gospel, but always to underestimate it! Something happened to mankind in Christ, which is by far superior to what happened to mankind in Adam!

And it happened without our permission!

While we were still dead in our sins and trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ and raised us up together with Christ and seated us (fallen humanity) again together with Christ! Nothing could elevate us more than that. Eph. 2:5,6; Col. 3:1-3.

Truth is already true long before anyone but God believes it! We wouldn’t have anything worthwhile believing if it wasn’t true to begin with! Belief doesn’t make a mathematical equation true! Discovering the truth certainly makes it true for you!

This is why we urgently and passionately proclaim the gospel!

Many are living in blindfold mode and suffering the judgment of the DIY tree, while Jesus already brought that judgment to an end! “When I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw all judgment unto me!” Behold the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world!

I always say that the best test to true teaching is to see how the fruit of it fulfills the whole law! We knew how impossible it was to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our minds and all our strength, never mind loving our neighbor as we loved ourselves! The guilt and duty-driven law of willpower could never do it!

This gospel ignites romance with our Maker like nothing else does! And equal to that, not inferior to that, we find ourselves passionate about people!

There is no more beautiful gospel!

In the most dramatic fashion God persuades Peter to no longer call any one unholy or unclean! In Acts 10:10-16, 28 Peter is hungry and ready for another home-cooked meal; then, he is shocked out of his appetite! What he sees could be a horror movie to his delicate Kosher mind! Haha! Every unclean bird, reptile and animal is announced clean by God! This is not after they’ve been killed, cleaned and chopped up into little blocks; then, camouflaged in herbs and spices, and slow-cooked into a stew. No! They are still parading around in their skins, scales, warts and feathers! On the outside nothing seems to have changed, but they’re about to become part of Peter’s menu!

The Lamb of God has taken away the sin of the world! It is about time that the good news of great joy is proclaimed with bold clarity!

Mankind is the property of God, both by design and redemption! “The earth is fully the Lord’s, the world and those who dwell in it!” Psalm 24:1.

It is so important to ponder the Genesis of it all; where did we begin? “Let us make man in our image and likeness!” What an amazing thought to consider that Elohim knew us before they even formed us in our mother’s womb. Our brief history on this planet did not introduce us to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! We are their love dream; how easy it becomes then, to understand the gospel and why our Father paid a non-negotiable price to redeem his own. He bought the whole field because only he knew the treasure it holds. Jer. 1:5, 2 Cor. 4:7 and Matt. 13:44.

Fourthly, the mirror message became a very prominent ingredient of our ministry focus in the next few years. It dawned on me that James, the younger brother of Jesus, also once knew his brother merely from a human point of view; John 7:5 “For even his brothers did not believe in him!” But after the resurrection, Jesus specifically also appears to James. 1 Cor. 15:7.

The enormous impact of this encounter prompted James to discover and write that God birthed us by the Word of truth, and to hear this word is to see the face of your birth as in a mirror! James understood that what was veiled from us in the Law of Moses was now redeemed in us in the law of perfect liberty! We are no longer window-shopping. While the Old Testament represented a display window of promises, the New Testament unveils mankind’s redeemed likeness and innocence as in a mirror. The one  who gazes deeply into this law of our perfect liberty discovers the freedom of their redeemed identity!

James shows how contradiction attempts to veil a person’s mind in unbelief and give one a ‘valid’ excuse to walk away from the influence of the mirror word and thus immediately forget what manner of person they are.

James 1:23 Anyone who hears the word, sees the face of their birth, as in a mirror! The difference between a mere spectator and a participator is that both of them hear the same voice and perceive in its message the face of their own genesis reflected there;

James 1:24 they realize that they are looking at themselves, but for the one it seems just too good to be true; this person departs [back to the old way of seeing themselves], and immediately forgets what manner of person they are; never giving another thought to the one they saw there in the mirror.

James 1:25 The other is 1mesmerized by what they see; 2captivated by the effect of a law that frees a person from the obligation to the old written code that restricted one to their own efforts and willpower. No distraction or con- tradiction can dim the impact of what is seen in the mirror concerning the law of perfect 3liberty [the law of faith] that now frees one to get on with the act of living the life [of their original design.] They find a new 3spontaneous lifestyle; the poetry of practical living. (The law of perfect liberty is the image and likeness of God revealed in Christ, now redeemed in human form, as in a mirror. Look deep enough into that law of faith that you may see there in its perfection a portrait that so resembles the original that he becomes distinctly visible in the spirit of your mind and in the face of every person you behold. I translated the word, 1parakupto, with mesmerized from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection, and kupto, to bend, stoop down to view at close scrutiny; 2parameno, to remain captivated under the influence of; meno, to continue to be present. The word often translated as freedom, 3eleutheria, means with- out obligation; spontaneous.)

One day I had the pleasure of taking a famous photographer on a scenic boat trip in the bay of our hometown, Hermanus South Africa. I could tell by the size of his camera lenses and equipment that he was not your average tourist.

He explained to me that he needed to sell only two photographs a year to cover his budget! I was impressed to say the least and felt privileged and delighted to watch the artist at work. With fluent skill he would exchange lenses and film and go about his work.

After about two hours with the wonderful Southern Right whales we were on our way back to the harbor when we witnessed a flock of a few hundred Cape Cormorants.

The next moment they all took off in flight; the rhythm and unison of their wings were like a ballet reflecting on the water.

Our photographer friend was happily clicking away when suddenly he shouted, “I’ve got it! I’ve got it!”

It was amazing to witness the joy in the man’s face. He knew that he had captured a moment that would be worth more than all the equipment in the boat. He immediately proceeded to pack away his expensive gear and carefully zipped up the waterproof bags. I then watched him relax and sit back, glowing with delight.

I couldn’t help but reflect on what must have been the greatest moment when, for the first time in the history of the universe, the invisible Creator witnessed their image and likeness on display in fragile, tangible human form. And God saw everything that he had made and said, “Behold, it is very good.” And God entered into his rest.

The Sabbath was a celebration of perfection, rather than a break from a busy and exhausting schedule, to observe a religious ritual. God did not rest because he was exhausted, but because he was satisfied. (Gen 1:31; Zeph 3:17).

I became absorbed with the thought of photography; magic moments of light, shape, color and movement arrested and stored on film or in memory to be reproduced in a million glossy magazines or framed in art galleries. These exhibitions would be appreciated in any culture or language for countless years to come. I imagined how the artist would document these gems in a way that no virus would flaw the original detail, regardless of what would happen to the prints, whether they be framed, forgotten or destroyed— like words storing images of rare beauty to be repeated at any time in any language or thought.

 

You do not need to congratulate the shopkeeper for the great design of your mobile phone – it did not begin there or in the factory where it was assembled!

It began in someone’s mind. It was someone’s idea! You did not begin in your mother’s womb, You began in God. You are the most magnificent idea that the Engineer of the Universe has ever had! We are not the invention of our parents.

It is not our brief history on planet earth that introduces us to God; he knew us before he formed us in our mother’s womb! Jer. 1:5.

To consider that God imagined and knew me before time began is the most intriguing and liberating thought! It immediately gives substance to faith and relevance to the gospel. I matter to my Maker! He is mindful of me!

The gospel beautifully frames the picture that God painted and exhibits it in the grand gallery of our own reflections.

When Elohim imagined you, they thought of you on equal terms as they would of themselves; a being whose intimate friendship would intrigue Father Son and Holy Spirit, for eternity. Humanity would be partner in God’s triune oneness! Elohim’s image and likeness would be unmasked in human life. Every invention begins with an original thought; you are God’s original thought; you are the greatest idea that God has ever had!

Human life was fashioned in the same mold; we are the expression of the same thought. Our Author’s signature and invisible image is nowhere better preserved or displayed than in our inner consciousness. Our origin traces the very imagination of God.

God is head over heels in love with you! They cannot get you out of their mind! Their thoughts are consumed with you from before time began!

They fashioned you in your mother’s womb when they wrote the three billion-character script of your DNA, mirrored in each of your seventy five trillion cells!

The first Hebrew word in the Bible, translated, “In the beginning…”, is the word, ְּבֵראִׁשית bereshet, from be, in and rosh, head, literally means “in the head.” You are his work of art; you are the most amazing idea of God. We do not invent God; Elohim invented us! Gen. 1:26,27.

Eph. 2:10 We are engineered by his design; he molded and manufactured us in Christ. We are his workmanship, his 1poetry. We are 2fully fit to do good, equipped to give attractive evidence of his likeness in us in everything we

  1. (God finds inspired expression of Christ in us. The Greek word for workmanship is 1poeima. God has done everything possible to find spontaneous and effortless expression of his character in us in our everyday lifestyle. The word, 2proetoimatso, translates a notion that God has prepared a highway for us to lead us out like kings, just like the Oriental custom, where people would go before a king to level the roads to make it possible for the king to journey with ease and comfort. Isa 40:3-5.)

Every single person is equally valued, included 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.

We are not merely Christ-cloned; we are individually crafted to give display to the image and likeness of our Maker within our own person, our fingerprint, our touch, our smile, and the cadence of our voice.

The mandate of Jesus was not to begin the Christian religion but to reveal and redeem the image of the invisible God in human form.

Col. 1:15 In him the image and likeness of God is made visible in human form in order that everyone may recognize their true origin in him. He is the firstborn of every creature. (What darkness veiled from us he unveiled. In him we clearly see the mirror reflection of our original life. The Son of his love gives accurate evidence of his image in human form. The incarnation means that God can never again be invisible!)

The Christian calendar celebrates the moment when human history was forever divided into a before and after Christ. The Creator stepped into our planet in a human body; his mother’s womb was his passport. Had he arrived in a “superman suit” his life, death and resurrection would be irrelevant. He came to prove that God did not make a mistake when he made you.

Heb. 4:15 As High Priest he fully identifies with us in the context of our frail human lives. Having subjected it to close scrutiny, he proved that the human frame was master over sin. His sympathy with us is not to be seen as excusing weaknesses, which are the result of a faulty design, but rather as a trophy to mankind. (He is not an example for us but of us.)

As head of the human race he represents every human life; he represents the original blueprint of the life of our design.

The most labeled sinners in society were irresistibly attracted to him; what the prostitutes and publicans witnessed in his life mirrored the redeemed integrity of their own; they knew that what they thought to be their life was a lie.

In all three parables that Jesus told in Luke 15, the word “lost” immediately implies ownership. You cannot be lost unless you belong! The lost coin never lost its original inscription and value! “Show me a coin; whose image and inscription does it bear? “Return to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” Luke 22:24, 25.

In Matthew 13:44, Jesus tells one of my most favorite parables! “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he went and sold all that he had and bought the entire field. (Greek, agros; an agricultural field.)

The fact that it is an agricultural field means that it already has a calculated, historical value. It has been cultivated for many years and valued accordingly.

But now, the presence of a hidden treasure immediately brings a new dynamic to the table – there is much more to the field than what meets the eye!

Imagine how intrigued his Jewish audience were! They themselves were farmers and businessmen – and here’s a man, who has discovered something that no one else knew about!

This puts him in a most unique position to buy a farm for a ridiculous bargain! And if, in this narrative, the field represents the world, then it is in a bad shape! Overgrown with thorns and thistles, and certainly one could point to many flaws that should influence the seller to settle for a much-reduced price; they must have reasoned! But, Jesus shocks them out of their wits when he reveals, that the man who found the treasure hid it again, and goes away and sells all he has and buys the entire field!

This doesn’t make any sense! Why would this man be prepared to pay such a ridiculous and most extreme price, knowing that no one else had a clue about the treasure!?

Who did he it buy from? I mean, a thief surely never gets ownership; so, God did not buy us back from no “devil”.

The man who discovered the treasure is also the original owner of the field! Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. There is only one legitimate Father!

Herein lies the crux of the story! Jesus very intentionally tells this in a language that will awaken us to the most amazing discovery about ourselves! The mystery that was hidden for ages and generations is unveiled! He was about to ransom us from our own ignorance; our fallen mindsets [diabolos, thru the fall], and the lies we believed about ourselves! See Heb 6:17; he desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable, non- negotiable character of his resolve – so he swore by himself!

How was it possible to interpret Math 13:44 any other way!? Who bought whom from whom? Law-language cannot comprehend gift language!

He sold all he had and bought the entire field to persuade mankind that they belonged to him all along! The “field” is all he has! God has no other interest in the universe but you!

The whole of the gospel is to persuade us of our original, and now redeemed value; the scapegoat concept was only a pointer to the Lamb of God, commissioned to the planet to be slaughtered by man for man! God spoke the language of our scapegoat-mentality. 1 Pet. 1:18 It is clear to see that you were ransomed from the futile, fallen mindset that you inherited from your fathers. This was not concluded by the currency of your own labor, represented by the fluctuating values of gold and silver, and the economy of your religious efforts;

1 Pet. 1:19 but you were redeemed with the priceless blood of Christ. He is the ultimate sacrifice; spotless and without blemish. Jesus completes the prophetic picture! (In him God speaks the most radical scapegoat language of the law of judgment and brings final closure to a dead and redundant system! In Psalm 40:6,7, it is clearly stated that God does not require sacrifices or offerings! Jesus is the Lamb of God! He collides victoriously with the futile sacrificial system whereby offerings are constantly made to the pseudo, moody, monster gods of our imagination! This is the scandal of the cross! God does not demand a sacrifice that would change the way he thinks about mankind; he provides the sacrifice of himself in Christ in order to forever eradicate sin-consciousness from our minds and radically change the way we think about our Maker, one another and ourselves! [Sin-consciousness is in essence a works- based consciousness.] God did not clothe Adam with the skin of an animal because of a divine need to be appeased, but because of their unconditional love for Adam; they spoke the language of Adam’s own judgment: Adam, not God, was embarrassed about his nakedness. The clothing was not to make God look at Adam differently, but to make Adam feel better about himself! And ultimately it was to prophetically prepare Adam for the unveiling of the mystery of mankind’s redemption in the incarnation. Here Deity would clothe themselves in human skin, in a Son; and the Lion of Judah would become the Lamb of God in order to free our minds to re-discover his image and likeness in our skin! See 1 Peter 1:2.)

I tell the following true story more than any, since it so beautifully illustrates the essence of our message.

A dear friend, Mr Dolf Naude told me this amazing story many years ago, about his grandmother, who was engaged to marry one of the wealthiest farmers in South Africa. This was during time of the Ostrich Feather Boom, in the Oudtshoorn district, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. They had a gold plated horse-cart and mixed only with the high society of the day. During their engagement, she had an encounter with God and apparently her fiancé felt that it couldn’t be good for business, to now have her talk so freely and openly about God. So, he promptly broke the engagement and sent her back to the Free Sate. There, she fell in love with a Bywoner. This was the Dutch name for someone who would give their labor in exchange for the right to occupy and work a portion of someone’s farmland on their own account. After seven years [1904] they were able to buy the farm. Several years later, the first gold in the Free Sate was discovered on their farm!

Her great granddaughter told us that she wrote a document at the time, celebrating the incredible find! And how the same land was historically only cultivated for its maize while the gold was there all along! And, said she, “One day, ordinary people will discover the gold they carry!” Oh, how my heart danced with joy when I heard this! We could not have asked for a more appropriate illustration to reinforce the message that burned in our hearts!

The mystery that was hidden for ages and generations is now revealed! It is Christ in you! See Col 1:26, 27 Within us, God is delighted to exhibit the priceless treasure of this glorious unveiling of Christ’s indwelling in order that every person on the planet, whoever they are, may now come to the greatest discovery of all time and recognize Christ in them as in a mirror! He is the desire of the nations and completes their every expectation! (He is not hiding in history, or in outer space nor in the future, neither in the pages of Scripture, he is merely mirrored there to be unveiled within you!)

There is so much more to you, than what meets the eye!

God’s love is based on real value, not pity. In the incarnation, he “found” the treasure where it was hidden all along, in the earthen vessel.

“We have this treasure in earthen vessels,” says Paul in 2 Cor. 4:7; but in verse 4 he says that the religious systems of this world have blindfolded us with unbelief to keep us from seeing the light of the gospel! The gospel reveals the glory of God, mirrored in the face of the man Jesus Christ.

Every human life is an individual masterpiece; a self-portrait of God, hidden in their innermost being! This is what Jesus came to reveal and redeem; the image of God in human form; not as in a display window, but as in a mirror!

The theme of prophetic scripture pointed to the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. The glory of God is his image and likeness, redeemed in human form.

The heavens declare his glory, night-to-night exhibits the giant solar testimony that is mathematically precise, revealing that God knew before time, the exact moment he would enter our history as a man, and the exact moment the Messiah would expire on the cross!

Seven hundred years BC the prophet Isaiah saw Jesus’ slaughtered body on the cross as the redemptive love of God; Jesus is the Scapegoat of the human race:

1 Pet. 1:10-11 “The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation; they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory.” RSV

Isa. 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isa. 53:4 Surely he has borne our agony and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. Isa. 53:5 But he was wounded by our transgressions, he was bruised by our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes, we were healed. Isa. 53:6 The Shepherd never forsook the sheep! All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. The horror of humanity’s sin was laid upon him. Isa. 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

In Psalm 22 David dramatically prophesies the detail of Jesus’ death on the cross, and concludes in verse 27, “The ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord”.

2 Cor. 3:16 The moment anyone 1returns to the Lord the veil is gone! (The word, 1epistrepho means to return to where we’ve wandered from; “we all like sheep have gone astray.” Jesus is God unveiled in human form. [Col 1:15] Also 1 Pet 2:25 You were completely vulnerable, just like sheep roaming astray without direction or protection, but now you have returned and are restored to the shepherd and Guardian of your souls! And 1 Pet 1:17. Then, Hebrews 8:1, “The conclusion of all that has been said points us to an exceptional Person, who towers far above the rest in the highest office of heavenly greatness. He is the executive authority of the majesty of God. 8:2 the office he now occupies is the one, which the Moses-model resembled prophetically. He ministers in the holiest place in God’s true tabernacle of worship. Nothing of the old man-made structure can match its perfection. Heb 8:10 Now, instead of documenting my laws on stone, I will chisel them into your mind and engrave them in your inner consciousness; it will no longer be a one-sided affair. I will be your God and you will be my people, not by compulsion but by mutual desire.” See James 1:23 Anyone who hears the word, sees the face of his or her birth, as in a mirror! The difference between a mere spectator and a participator is that both of them hear the same voice and perceive in its message the face of their own genesis reflected there; James 1:24 they realize that they are looking at themselves, but for the one it seems just too good to be true; this person departs [back to the old way of seeing himself] and immediately forgets what manner of person they are; never giving another thought to the one they saw there in the mirror. James 1:25 The other is 1mesmerized by what they see; 2captivated by the effect of a law that frees a person from the obligation to the old written code that restricted one to their own efforts and willpower. No distraction or contradiction can dim the impact of what is seen in the mirror concerning the law of perfect 3liberty [the law of faith] that now frees one to get on with the act of living the life [of their original design.] They find a new 3spontaneous lifestyle; the poetry of practical living. (The law of perfect liberty is the image and likeness of God revealed in Christ, now redeemed in human form, as in a mirror. Look deep enough into that law of faith that you may see there in its perfection a portrait that so resembles the original that he becomes distinctly visible in the spirit of your mind and in the face of every person you behold. I translated the word, 1parakupto, with mesmerized from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection, and kupto, to bend, stoop down to view at close scrutiny; 2parameno, to remain captivated under the influence of; meno, to continue to be present. The word often translated as freedom, 3eleutheria, means without obligation; spontaneous.)

2 Cor. 3:17 The Lord and the Spirit are one; his Lordship sanctions our freedom. A freedom from rules chiselled in stone to the voice of our redeemed design echoing in our hearts!

2 Cor 3:18 Now, we all, with new understanding, see ourselves in him as in a mirror. The days of window-shopping are over! In him every face is 1unveiled. In 2gazing with wonder at the 5blueprint of God displayed in human form, we suddenly realize that we are looking into a mirror, where every feature of his 3image articulated in Christ is 2reflected within us! The Spirit of the Lord engineers this radical 4transformation; we are led 6from an inferior 5mind-set to the revealed 5endorsement of our authentic identity. (The word, 1anakalupto; from ana, a Preposition denoting upward, to return again, and kalupto, to uncover, unveil. The word, 2katoptrizomai, means to gaze into a reflection, to mirror oneself. Paul uses 4metamorphumetha as a present Passive indicative from metamorpho; meta, together with, and morphe, form. [The word commonly translated sin, 1hamartia, from ha, negative or without and meros, allotted portion or form; thus, a distorted form, which is the opposite of metamorphe; with form. The word meros is the stem of morphe.] Now, with unveiled faces we are gazing at the glory of the Lord as in a mirror and metaporhe happens – image and likeness awakens within us!

The word, 3eikon, translates as exact resemblance, image and likeness; eikon al- ways assumes a prototype, that which it not merely resembles, but from that which it is drawn; 5doxa, glory, translates as mindset, or opinion from dokeo, authentic, blueprint-thought. Changed ‘from glory to glory’, apo doxes eis doxan; eis, a point reached in conclusion; 6apo, away from, meaning away from the glory that previously defined us, i.e. our own achievements or disappointments, to the glory of our original design that now defines us. Two glories are mentioned in this chapter; the glory of the flesh, which is the veiled, fading kind represented by Moses and the unfading, unveiled glory of God’s image and likeness, mirrored in the face of Christ and now redeemed in us. See also 2 Cor 4:4 -7.

[Note, the Greek word translated “from” in this verse is not the same as the word translated “from” in Rom 1:17 Paul says the unveiling of God’s righteousness is from faith to faith. Here he does not use the word apo, away from, but the Preposition, ek, which always denotes source or origin.]

Some translations of this Scripture read, “we are being changed from glory to glory.” This would suggest that change is gradual and will more than likely take a lifetime, which was the typical thinking that trapped Israel for forty years in the wilderness of unbelief! We cannot become more than what we already are in Christ. We do not grow more complete; we simply grow in the knowledge and awareness of our completeness! [See Colossians 3:10] How long does it take the beautiful swan to awaken to the truth of its design? The ugly duckling was an illusion! Whatever it was that endorsed the ‘ugly duckling’ mindset, co-died together with Christ! In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God did not redeem a compromised replica of you; he rescued the original, blue- print you, created in his radiant mirror likeness! Any other ‘self’ you’re trying to find or esteem will disappoint! See Romans 6:11, Reckon your ‘DIY-law of works-self’ dead, and your redeemed self co-raised and co-seated together with Christ! This is freedom indeed! Galatians 2:19,20; Gal 2:20 So here I am dead and alive at the same time! I’m dead to the old me I was trying to be and alive to the real me which is Christ in me! Co-crucified, now co-alive! What a glorious entanglement! I was in him in his death; now he is in me in my life! For the first time I’m free to be me in my skin, immersed in his faith in our joint-sonship! He loves me and believes in me! He is God’s gift to me! [The verb συνεσταυρωμαι from sustauroō, is in the Perfect Tense, indicating that not only was I crucified with Christ in the past, but I am existing now in that present condition. How can any human effort improve on this! See Hosea 6:2 and Eph 2:5 also Romans 7:6 But now we are fully released from any further association with a life directed by the rule of the law, we are dead to that which once held us captive, free to be slaves to the newness of spirit-spontaneity rather than age old religious rituals, imitating the mere face value of the written code. The moment one exchanges spontaneity with rules, the edge of romance is compromised!])

The “ugly duckling” saw reflected in the water, the truth that freed the swan!

Ps 23 says, “He leads me beside still waters, and restores my soul”; or this can be translated as, “by the waters of reflection my soul remembers who I am”.

James 1:17 Without exception God’s 1gifts are only good; it’s perfection cannot be flawed. They come from 2above (where we originate from); proceeding like light rays from its source, the Father of lights, with whom there is no distortion, or even a shadow of shifting to obstruct, or intercept the light; nor any hint of a hidden agenda. (The principle of a 1gift, puts “reward-language” out of business. The word, 1anouthen, means, from above. John 3:3, 13. The Father’s resolve stands in total contrast to the perverted passions of sin, claiming it’s illegitimate parenthood of mankind. Js 1:2; Js 1:12-16.)

James 1:18 It was according to the Father’s delightful 1resolve that he 2birthed us; giving 3authentic, incarnate expression to the Word. [The face to face-ness of the Logos that was before time was. Jn 1:1] Just like the first-fruits mirror the harvest, so we mirror the 4conclusion of his 4workmanship in the core of our 5being. (The word, 1boulomai, means the affectionate desire and deliberate resolve of God. Only James uses the word, 2apokueō from apo + kuma; from kuo, to swell with young; bend or curve. [same word in v 15, where sin’s passion parented death, vs God’s passion parented authentic life in us!] Truth, 3alethea, from a, negative + lanthano, meaning hidden; that which is unveiled; the Word [logos] of truth is the 3unveiled logic of God. The Preposition 4eis, points to conclusion. The word, κτίσμα 5ktisma meaning, creation with reference to the the proprietorship of the manufacturer – God owns the idea of our invention – he holds the copyright! The words, εἰς τὸ εἶναι ημας ἀπαρχήν – einai hemas 5our beingness from eimi, I am. See Rom. 8:29, He pre-designed and engineered us from the start to be jointly fashioned in the same mold and image of his Son according to the exact blueprint of his thought. We see the original and intended pattern of our lives preserved in his Son. He is the firstborn from the same womb that reveals our genesis. He confirms that we are the invention of God. Also, John 1:1-18; 1 Pet. 2:9,10.)

John 1:1 To go back to the very 1beginning, is to find the 2Word already 3present there; 4face to face with God. The Word is 3I am; God’s 2eloquence echoes and 4concludes in him. The Word equals God. (In the beginning, 1arche, to be first in order, time, place or rank. The Word, 2logos, was ”with” God; here and again in verse 2 John uses the Greek Preposition 4pros, towards; face-to-face.

Three times in this sentence John uses the Active Indicative Imperfect form of the verb 3eimi, namely aen [ἦν] to continue to be, [in the beginning ‘was’ the Word etc…] which conveys no idea of origin for God or for the Logos, but simply continuous exist- ence, “I am.” Quite a different verb egeneto, “became,” appears in John 1:14 for the beginning of the Incarnation of the Logos. The Word ‘became’ flesh. The incarnation is not the origin of Jesus. See the distinction sharply drawn in John 8:58, “before Abra- ham was [born, genesthai from ginomai] I am.” The word eimi, I am; the essence of being, suggesting timeless existence. See my commentary note on 1 Pet 1:16)

John 1:2 The beginning mirrors the Word face to face with God. (Nothing that is witnessed in the Word distracts from who God is. ”If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” [John 14:9] The Word that was from the beginning was not yet written nor spoken; it was simply face to face with God! The beginning declares the destiny of the Word, image and likeness would be mirrored and redeemed in incarnate human form!)

John 1:3 The Logos is the source; everything commences in him. He remains the exclusive Parent reference to their existence. There is nothing original, except the Word! The Logic of God defines the only possible place where mankind can trace their origin. (All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. KJV See Colossians 1:16.)

John1:4 Hislifeisthelightthatdefinesourlives.(Inhislifewediscoverthelightoflife.)

John 1:5 The darkness was pierced and could not comprehend or diminish this light. (Darkness represents mankind’s ignorance of their redeemed identity and innocence [Isa 9:2-4, Isa 60:1-3, Eph 4:18, Col 1:13-15].)

John 1:6 Then there was this man John (Jesus’ cousin) commissioned by God;

John 1:7 his mission was to draw attention to the light of their lives so that what they witnessed in him would cause them to believe (in their original life redeemed again).

John 1:8 His ministry was not to distract from the light, as if he himself was the light but rather to point out the light Source.

John 1:9 A new day for mankind has come. The authentic light of life that illuminates everyone was about to dawn in the world! (This day would begin our calendar and record the fact that human history would forever be divided into before and after Christ. The incarnation would make the image of God visible in human form.

In him who is the blueprint of our lives there is more than enough light to displace the darkness in every human life. He is the true light that enlightens everyone! [Col 1:15; 2:9, 10; 2 Cor 4:6])

John 1:10 Although no one took any notice of him, he was no stranger to the world; he always was there and is himself the author of all things.

John 1:11 It was not as though he arrived on a foreign planet; he came to his own, yet his own did not 1recognize him. (The Jews should have been the first to recognize him! Revelation 19:12. Also Ps 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell in it [RSV].” The word, 1paralambano, comes from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, a thing proceeding from a sphere of influence, with a suggestion of union of place of residence, to have sprung from its author and giver, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection; and lambano, to comprehend, grasp, to identify with.)

John 1:12 Everyone who 1realizes their association in him, 6convinced that he is their 2original life and that 7his name defines them, God 5gives the assurance that they are indeed his 4offspring, 2begotten of him; he 3sanctions the legitimacy of their sonship. (The word often translated, to receive, 1lambano, means to take in hand, to comprehend, to grasp, to identify with. This word suggests that even though he came to his own, there are those who do not 1identify with their true 2origin revealed in him, and like the many Pharisees they behave like children of a foreign father, the father of lies [John 8: 44]. Neither God’s legitimate fatherhood, nor his ownership is in question; mankind’s indifference to their true 2origin is the problem. This is what the Gospel addresses with utmost clarity in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus has come to introduce the individual to themselves again; mankind has forgotten what manner of person they are by design! [James 1:24, Deuteronomy 32:18, Psalm 22:27].

The word, 2genesthai, from ginomai, means to generate; to become; John employs this verb in the Aorist Infinitive tense, which indicates prior completion of an action in relationship to a point in time. Greek Infinitives could have either a present or Aorist form. The contrast between the two forms has more to do with aspect than with time. The Present Infinitive is used to express progressive or imperfective aspect. It pictures the action expressed by the verb as being in progress. The Aorist Infinitive however does not express progressive aspect. It presents the action expressed by the verb as a completed unit with a beginning and end. This is an important point since many translations of this verse suggests that God’s ability to make us his sons can only be in response to something we must first do in order to trigger God into action! Our grasping [lambano] is simply the awakening to the fact that our genesis is already completed in the Logos. [See John 1:3] The Logos is the source; everything commences in him. He remains the exclusive Parent reference to their genesis. There is nothing original, except the Word. We are his offspring. [see also Acts 17:28]. “He has come to give us understanding to know him who is true and to realize that we are in him who is true.” [1 John 5:20].)

The word, 3exousia, often translated “power;” as in, he gave “power” to 2become children of God, is a compound word; from ek, always denoting origin or source and eimi, I am; thus, out of I am! This gives 3legitimacy and authority to our sonship; 4teknon, translated as offspring, child.

“He has given,” 5didomi, in this case to give something to someone that already belongs to them; thus, to return. The fact that they already are his own, born from above and that they have their 2beginning and their being in him is now confirmed in their realizing it! Convinced, 6pisteo; 7his name onoma, is mankind’s family name. [see Eph 3:15]. “He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.” — The Msg.)

John 1:13 These are the ones who discover their genesis in God, beyond their natural conception! This is not about our blood lineage or whether we were a wanted- or unwanted-child; this is about our God-begotteness. We are his dream come true and not the invention of our parents. You are indeed the greatest idea that God has ever had! (See Jer. 1:5; 29:11; John 3:2-7)

John 1:14 Suddenly the invisible, eternal Word takes on 1visible form – the Incarnation, on display in a flesh and blood Person, as in a mirror! In him, and now confirmed in us! The most accurate tangible exhibit of God’s eternal thought finds expression in human life! The Word became a human being; we are his address; he resides in us! He 2captivates our gaze! The glory we see there is not a religious replica; he is the 3authentic begotten Son. The 4glory (that we lost in Adam) returns in fullness! Only 5grace can communicate truth in such complete context! (In him we discover that we are not here by chance or accident or by the desire of an earthly parent, neither are we the product of a mere physical conception; we exist by the expression of God’s desire to reveal himself in the flesh. His eternal invisible Word, his Spirit-thought, 1became flesh, 1ginomai, as in be born and 2theaomai, meaning to gaze upon, to perceive. We saw his glory, 4doxa, the display of his opinion, the glory as of the original, authentic begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He is the “only begotten,” 3monogenes; begotten only by the Father and not of the flesh; in him we recognize our true beginning, as in the authentic original mold. He is also the “first born from the dead”, declaring our new birth. [Colossians 1:18, 1 Peter 1:3]. He is the revelation of our completeness.

And out of [ek] his fullness have we all received! The Preposition, ek always points to source/origin. Grace mirrored in grace, 5garin anti garitos. For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. He who is in the bosom of the Father, the only original, authentic begotten of the Father; he is our guide who accurately declares and interprets the invisible God within us. Interesting that the revelation of the Incarnation in verse 14 doesn’t follow verse 2 or 3, but verse 12 and 13! Genesis 1:26 is redeemed! See 2 Corinthians 3:17,18.)

John 1:16 He is the 1source of our completeness. Everyone may now realize their own completeness as evidenced in him. This is 2grace mirrored in grace! (It reminds of Col 2:9,10 The fullness of the Godhead embodied in Christ, reflects our own completeness! Out of [1ek] his fullness have we all received! The Preposition, ek always points to source/origin. His fullness is the source of all that grace communicates as our portion. Grace mirrored in grace – 2garin anti garitos. The word anti means over against – thus, mirrored in.)

John 1:17 The law was given through Moses; grace and truth have their genesis in Jesus Christ. Against the stark backdrop of the law, with Moses representing the condemned state of mankind, Jesus Christ unveils grace and truth! (Moses represents the system of performance as basis to one’s standing before God; Jesus Christ is incarnate grace and truth! He is the life of our design on display in human form, as in a mirror.)

John 1:18 Until this moment God remained invisible; now the 1authentic, incarnate begotten Son, the blueprint of our design who represents the innermost being of God, the Son who is in the bosom of the Father, brings him into full view! He is the 2official authority qualified to announce God! He is our guide who accurately declares and interprets the invisible God within us. (Begotten only of God, 1monogenes. Official guide, 2eksegesato, from ek, Preposition denoting source, and hegeomai, the strengthened form of ago, to lead as a shepherd leads his sheep; thus hegeomai means to be officially appointed in a position of authority.)

Eph. 4:6 There is only one God. He remains the ultimate Father of the universe. We are because he is. He is present in all; he is above all, through all, and in all. (He is not far from each one of us; in him we live and move and have our being. We are indeed his offspring. Acts. 17:24-28.)

The father of lies is not the father of the human race!

God is not the product of our best guess; he is bigger than religion’s biggest blunder or eloquence in our attempts to define him. He is beyond extinction or threat and can never be reduced to either our clever or clumsy expression of philosophy or art.

Jesus reveals God as Father and Redeemer of the human race.

The New Testament is the revelation of God’s initiative and grace gift to humanity. While the law-system addresses mankind in Adam, grace reveals and addresses the same mankind in Christ.

1 Pet. 1:14 Your 1accurate hearing is what distinguishes you as the resurrection generation; the days of being driven by every 2desperate, distorted passion of your former ignorance are over! The 3fashions and patterns of a redundant system are no longer relevant! (The word, 1upoakoo is often translated, obedience, from upo, meaning under, as in under the influence of, and akoo, to hear. In the context of this chapter, Peter urges us to hear accurately what was communicated in the prophetic word concerning the life of our design, now rebooted into newness by our joint resurrection with Jesus Christ! The word, 2epithumia, translates, desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust. The word, 3suschēmatizō, from sun, union, and schema, pattern; a typical template.)

1 Pet. 1:15 The one whose 1idea you are to begin with, designed you to radi- ate their image and likeness; as the true pattern of your being! So, 2be who you are in realizing the exact detail of your genesis! You are 3whole and in perfect harmony; seamlessly one with God! (The word 1kaleo, to define by name; to surname. The word 2genethete, referring to genesis, or birth, is in the Aorist, Pas- sive, imperative case; the distinction between the Aorist Imperative and the Present Imperative is one of aspect, not tense. Thus, to get something over and done with! The word, 3hagios, holy, separate from common condition and use. See Hebrews 10:14-16 Mirror Bible)

1 Pet. 1:16 On the very account that what is 1written in prophetic Scripture, [and echoed in your innermost being], already mirrors the life of your design, you are free to 2be who you are. As it is written, “I am, therefore you are! I am wholly separated unto you, and invite you to explore the same completeness of your being in me!” (The word, 1grapho, to engrave, often refers to the prophetic writings, Old Testament Scripture. The appeal of truth is confirmed in the resonance within us due to the echo of that which is already written in our innermost being by design! “Did not our hearts ignite within us while he opened to us the Scriptures! Luke 24:27,32,44,45. The Textus Receptus uses the word genesthe, instead of 2esesthe, from eimi, as in the Westtcott & Hort text. This makes a massive difference! So, instead of ginomai, to become, it is the word, esesthe “be!” from eimi, I am! See note in John 1:1 Three times in this sentence John uses the Active Indicative Imperfect form of the verb eimi, namely aen [ἦν] to continue to be, [in the beginning ‘was’ the Word etc…] which conveys no idea of origin for God or for the Logos, but simply continuous existence, “I am.” Quite a different verb egeneto, “became,” appears in John 1:14 for the begin- ning of the Incarnation of the Logos. The Word ‘became’ flesh. The incarnation is not the origin of Jesus. See the distinction sharply drawn in John 8:58, “before Abraham was [born, genesthai from ginomai] I am.” The word eimi, I am; the essence of being, suggesting timeless existence. You did not begin in your mother’s womb. You began in God’s I-am-ness! You are the most magnificent idea that the Engineer of the Universe has ever had! “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb!” Jer 1:5. In him we live and move and have our being! Acts 17:28.)

1 Pet. 1:17 Now since you are defined in your Father, who does not judge anyone on face value, but always only according his work; (his finished work in Christ) wherever you find yourself located geographically or emotionally, 1return to your ‘at home-ness’ in him, with a deep sense of God-consciousness; you are not defined by your circumstances. (The word 1anastrepho, suggests a radical returning; literally a turning upside down! Actually ana, means upward- so, it’s actually a turning downside up! See 2 Cor 3:16.)

BEGOTTEN   –    Does the rain have a Father?

Who begot the drops of dew —  Who birthed the morning —   Caused the dawn to know its place? 

 Have you comprehended the expanses of the earth?

Have you comprehended their origin?

He knows you by name   His design is his claim

 He boldly declares, “Measure me”

 Have you measured your heart?

Have you measured the volume of your being?

 He has chosen you to accommodate the fullness of his dream

 Have you comprehended? He is at home within your heart,

 A dwelling built within you without walls.

 Take my love to its conclusion.

Take my love to every man,

 Count the stars, count the sand

Measure the nations in my Hand,

 Come on now, measure Me

 I fulfill your eternity.

(This song was written by Anthea, she was part of our ministry called, the Acts Team in the eighties; she was only 19 years old then.)

 

What is the summum bonum—the supreme good?

You have life before you. You can only live it once. What is the noblest object of desire, the supreme gift to covet? [The Greatest Thing – by Prof Henry Drummond]

Imagine a love that exists with no other agenda but your good!

2 Cor 3:18 Now we all, with new understanding, see ourselves in him as in a mirror. The days of window-shopping are over! In him every face is unveiled. In gazing with wonder at the blueprint of God displayed in human form, we suddenly realize that we are looking into a mirror, where every feature of God’s invisible likeness, articulated in Christ, is reflected within us!

If Paul is right in saying what he does, here in 2 Cor 3:18, then, reading his love poem in 1 Cor 13, takes on a brand new dynamic! Love is not wishful thinking; love is who you are!

1 Cor 13:4 Love is large in being passionate about life and relentlessly patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others, with kindness. Love is completely content and strives for nothing. Love has no desire to make others feel inferior and has no need to sing its own praises.

1 Cor 13:5 Love is predictable and does not behave out of character. Love is not ambitious. Love is not 1spiteful and gets no mileage out of another’s mistakes; it bears no record of wrongs! (The word, 1paroxuno, translates as spiteful, it has no sharp edges.)

1 Cor 13:6 Love sees no joy in injustice. Love’s delight is in everything that truth celebrates.

1 Cor 13:7 Love is a fortress where everyone feels protected rather than exposed! Love’s persuasion is persistent! Love believes. Love never loses hope and always remains constant in contradiction.

We have said in our previous chapter that, when Elohim imagined you, they thought of you on equal terms as they would of themselves; a being whose intimate friendship would intrigue Father Son and Holy Spirit, for eternity. Humanity would be partner in God’s triune oneness!

The plurality in Elohim immediately brings a relational emphasis in the entire creation narrative. God’s oneness is not compromised in their relationship – mankind is fully included in this oneness! See John 14:20.

Gen. 1:26-27 Then Elohim [God plural] said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; so God created man in their own image; male and female they created them.

Gen. 1:31 And Elohim saw everything that they had made, and behold, it was very good.”

God’s image and likeness would be unmasked in human life. Every invention begins with an original thought; you are God’s original thought; you are the greatest idea that God has ever had!

The central theme and revelation of the Bible celebrates a relationship between God and man of the highest order; an inseparable union of absolute integrity, with no hint of distance, inferiority, guilt, condemnation or suspicion. The sacred moment, when for the first time in the history of the universe, the invisible Creator reflected their image and likeness in a fragile vessel of flesh. This moment would be the reference of a presence and purpose in the earth that would dominate human history and destiny. It would continue to reflect the deepest quest and longing within the human heart, to be realized in their every relationship.

The origin of humanity is forever imprinted in the mind of God. Mankind is the God-kind by design.

An inseparable association exists from before the foundation of the earth that locates and defines us in Christ. Nowhere in the universe is mankind more comprehensively included and fully represented than in their in- Christ-ness! The idea of association has been a thought that I have often pondered and mentioned in my teachings over the years. It so happens that this morning, while I’m continuing with the revision of this book, it is indeed the 25th of August 2020. I met Lydia exactly 45 years ago, today. People who know us immediately associates us. The one brings the other to mind, naturally!

It is impossible for God not to immediately and naturally have you in mind at the very thought of Jesus! The words, “in Christ”, are indeed the key words that unlock the mystery of the ages!

We have so underestimated the enormity of the implications of an association that goes back to before time was!

2 Tim. 1:9 He rescued the integrity of our original design and revealed that we have always been his own from the beginning, even before time was. This has nothing to do with anything we did to qualify or disqualify ourselves. We are not talking religious good works or karma here. Jesus unveils grace to be the eternal intent of God! Grace celebrates our pre- creation innocence and now declares our redeemed union with God in Christ Jesus.

In Christ we see the original mold and intended shape of our lives, not as in a display window but as in a mirror.

Rom. 8:29 He pre-designed and engineered us from the start to be jointly fashioned in the same mold and image of his Son according to the exact blueprint of his thought. We see the original and intended pattern of our lives preserved in his Son. He is the firstborn from the 1same womb that reveals our genesis. We are God’s idea. (We come from above [See John 1:13;

also John 3:3-13] We were also born anew when he was raised from the dead! [1 Peter 1:3] His resurrection co-reveals our common genesis as well as our redeemed inno- cence. [Rom 4:25 and Acts 17:31] No wonder then that he is not ashamed to call us his siblings! The word, often translated, sibling is 1adelphos, with a as a connective particle and delphus, the womb. We share the same origin [Heb 2:11 ek [origin; source] henos [one] pantes [everyone], and, “In him we live and move and have our being, we are indeed his offspring!” [Acts 17:28].)

Eph. 2:10 We are engineered by his design; he molded and manufactured us in Christ. We are his workmanship, his 1poetry. We are 2fully fit to do good, equipped to give attractive evidence of his likeness in us in everything we do. (God finds inspired expression of Christ in us. The Greek word for workmanship is 1poeima. God has done everything possible to find spontaneous and effortless expression of his character in us in our everyday lifestyle. The word, 2proetoimatso, translates a notion that God has prepared a highway for us to lead us out like kings, just like the Oriental custom, where people would go before a king to level the roads to make it possible for the king to journey with ease and comfort. Isa 40:3-5.)

Col. 1:15 In him the image and likeness of God is made visible in human form in order that everyone may recognize their true origin in him. He is the firstborn of every creature. (What darkness veiled from us he unveiled. In him we clearly see the mirror reflection of our original life. The Son of his love gives accurate evidence of his image in human form. The incarnation means that God can never again be invisible!)

Col. 1:19 The full measure of everything God has in mind for mankind indwells him.

(“So spacious is he; so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.” (The Message)

Col. 2:9 In him, all the fullness of 1Deity 2resides in a human body! He proves that human life is tailor-made for God! (The word, 1theotes, godhead/ deity, is feminine. Jesus exhibits what the Father, Son and Spirit is like, in human form. The word 2katoikeō means to dwell in, to inhabit. While the expanse cannot measure or define God, their detailed likeness is displayed in human skin. See Col 1:19, God is fully at home in him. Jesus is God’s happy delight to be human.)

Col. 2:10 And since we are in him, there is no shortfall in us! Jesus mirrors our completeness and 1endorses our true identity. He is “I am” in us! (God packaged completeness in “I am,” mirrored in you! The word, 1exousia, is often translated authority; from, ek + eimi, originating out of “I am.” The days are over where our lives were dictated to under the rule of the law of performance and an inferior identity. It’s not about who I used to be or who I’m striving to become; we are celebrating I am! Any teaching that leaves one with a sense of lack and imperfection rather than completeness is a distraction from the truth.)

“Your own completeness is only realized in him.” (Phillip’s Translation)

The revelation of the Gospel shows how God preserved the blueprint of our design in Christ in spite of humanity’s fall into sin. Our eternal association in Christ from before the foundation of the earth was redeemed.

Eph. 1:3 Let’s celebrate God! He lavished every blessing heaven has upon us in Christ!

Eph. 1:4 He associated us in Christ before 1the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about us! He always knew in his love that he would present us again 2face-to-face before him in blameless innocence. (The implications of the fall are completely cancelled. Paul uses the word, 1kataballo, meaning “to fall away, to put in a lower place,” instead of themelios, meaning “foundation” [see Eph 2:20]; thus, translated “the fall of the world,” instead of “the foundation of the world.” The entire “Fall” was a falling away in our minds from our true identity as image and likeness bearers of Elohim. Just like Eve, were we all deceived to believe a lie about ourselves, which is the fruit of the “I-am-not-tree”. We all, like sheep have gone astray. [Isa 53:6]) God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam! We are presented in blameless innocence before him! The word, 2katenopion, suggests the closest possible proximity, face-to-face!

Your in-Christness is not the result of a lucky draw! Calvinism lied to you! Neither is it the result of your “choice” to follow Jesus! Something doesn’t become true by popular vote! Or by our beliefs! If it wasn’t true to begin with, we’re wasting our time trying to “believe” it true! Faith happens to you when you encounter the good announcement! Of God’s doing are we IN CHRIST… (1 Cor 1:30) For “evangelical theology” to miss the meaning of mankind’s inclusion IN CHRIST before they knew it or believed it, is to completely miss the point of the death, descent into hell, resurrection and ascension of Jesus! This would make Jesus irrelevant and reduce the salvation of the human race to their own fate managed by institutionalized religion, attaching mere sentimental value to an historic Jesus who died and rose again. By dying our death as fully God and fully man, once and for all (not for a “select few!”), death became the doorway, whereby Jesus would enter into our hell and deepest darkness and sense of lostness and loneliness as a result of the lies we believed about ourselves – to triumphantly lead us out as his trophies and relocate us face to face with the Father of the universe! Eph 4:7,8 and 9 See Mirror Bible! All this happened while we were still dead in our trespasses and sins! Eph 2:5,6 Co-quickened, co-raised, co-seated in his Executive authority [his right hand] Now ponder Colossians 3:1-3 and engage your thoughts with throne room realities!)

Eph. 1:5 He is the architect of our design; his heart dream realized our 1coming of age in Christ. (Adoption here is not what it means in our Western society. It is a coming of age, like the typical Jewish Barmitsva. See Galatians 4:1-6, “ … and to seal our sonship the spirit of his Son echoes Abba Father in our hearts.” This is 1huiothesia.)

Eph. 1:6 His grace-plan is to be celebrated: he 1greatly endeared us and highly favored us in Christ. His love for his Son is his love for us. (The Gospel is not about telling people how lost they are, but reminding them of how loved they are!

See Luke 1:28 only other use of the word, χαριτόω 1charitoō.)

God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam! Much has been made of Adam’s fall, while something of far greater implication deserves our undivided attention.

The message of reconciliation emphasizes the initiative that God undertook and reveals how God succeeded to restore fallen humanity to him in absolute innocence.

1 Cor. 1:30 1Of God’s doing are we in Christ. He is both the genesis and genius of our wisdom; a wisdom that reveals how righteous, sanctified and redeemed we already are in him. (The Preposition, 1ek, always denotes origin, source. Mankind’s association in Jesus is God’s doing. In God’s economy, Jesus Christ represents us; what mankind could never achieve through personal discipline and willpower as taught in every religion, God’s faith accomplished in Christ. Of his design we are in Christ; we are associated in oneness with him. Our wisdom is sourced in this union! Also, our righteousness and holiness originate from him. Holiness equals wholeness and harmony of a person’s spirit, soul, and body. Our redemption is sanctioned in him. He redeemed our identity, our sanity, our health, our joy, our peace, our innocence, and our complete well-being! [See Eph 1:4]. The Knox Translation reads, “It is from him that we take our 1origin.”)

2 Cor. 5:14 The love of Christ constrains us and 1resonates within us; leaving us with only one 2conclusion: when Jesus died; every individual simultaneously died. In God’s logic, one has died for all, 2thus all died. (The word, 1sunecho, to press together; to squeeze; from sun, meaning together with and echo, meaning to echo; to embrace; to hold; also, to resonate. The word αρα 2ara, means conclusion. Jesus didn’t die 99% or for 99%. He one hundred percent died humanity’s death! If Paul had to compromise the last part of verse 14 to read: “one died for all therefore only those who follow the prescriptions to qualify, have also died,” then he would have had to change the first half of the verse as well! Only the agape of Christ can make a calculation of such enormous proportion! The religious mind would question the extremity of God’s love and perhaps prefer to add a condition or two to a statement like that!)

2 Cor. 5:15 Now if all were included in his death they were equally included in his resurrection. This unveiling of his love redefines human life! Whatever reference we could have of ourselves outside of our association with Christ is no longer relevant.

2 Cor. 5:16 Therefore, from now on, I no longer know anyone according to the flesh! I no longer see people from a human point of view! This is a radical and most defining moment! No label that could possibly previously identify someone carries any further significance! Even our pet doctrines of Christ are redefined. Whatever we knew about him historically or sentimentally is challenged by this conclusion. (By discovering Christ from God’s point of view we discover ourselves and every other human life from God’s point of view! Paul sees by revelation that, what Jesus redeemed in every person, brings final closure and death to any other reasoning and judgment we may have had of ourselves or anyone else for that matter! This is Paul’s ‘metanoia’ moment! Note, the Greek word, metanoia, from meta, together with and νοιέω noieo,̄ to perceive with the mind. It describes the awakening of the mind to that which is true; a re-alignment of one’s reasoning; it is a gathering of one’s thoughts, a co-knowing. Faith is not a decision; it is a discovery. It has nothing in common with the Latin word paenitentia – where the idea of penance and repentance stems from!)

2 Cor. 5:17 Now, in the light of your co-inclusion in his death and resurrection, whoever you thought you were before, in Christ you are a brand new per- son! The old ways of seeing yourself and everyone else are over. Acquaint yourself with the new! (Just imagine this! Whoever a person was as a Jew, Greek, slave or freeman, Boer, Zulu, Xhosa, British, Indian, Muslim or American, Chinese, Japanese or Congolese; is now dead and gone! They all died when Jesus died! Remember we are not talking law language here! The ‘If’ in, “If anyone is in Christ” is not a condi- tion, it is the conclusion of the revelation of the gospel! Mankind is in Christ by God’s doing [1 Cor 1:30 and Eph 1:4]. The verses of 2 Corinthians 5:14-16 give context to verse 17! For so long we studied verse 17 on its own and interpreted the ‘if’ as a condi- tion! Paul did not say, “If anyone is in Christ,” he said “THEREFORE if anyone is in Christ …” The “therefore” immediately includes verses 14 to 16! If God’s faith sees everyone in Christ in his death, then they were certainly also in Christ in his resurrec- tion. Jesus did not reveal a “potential” you, he revealed the truth about you so that you may know the truth about yourself and be free indeed! In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God did not redeem a compromised replica of you; he rescued the original, blueprint you, created in his radiant mirror likeness! Any other ‘self’ you’re trying to find or esteem will disappoint! Reckon your ‘DIY-law of works-self’ dead, and your redeemed self co-raised and co-seated together with Christ! This is freedom indeed! Ga- latians 2:19,20; Rom 6:11. See 1 Pet 1::3 We are reconnected with our original genesis through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead! This new birth endorses and celebrates the hope of the ages; God’s eternal love dream concludes in life!)

2 Cor. 5:18 The idea of mankind’s co-inclusion in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is entirely God’s doing! To now realize that God has indeed brought final closure to the old and for us to see everything and everyone in this new light is to simply see what God has always known to be true about us in Christ; we are not debating human experience, opinion, or their contribution; this is exactly what God believes. In Jesus Christ, God 1exchanged equivalent value to redeem us to himself. He went to the highest extreme in this act of reconciliation to persuade us of our original worth! This God has given us as the mandate of our ministry. (The word, 1katalasso, translates as reconciliation; it is a mutual exchange of equal value. This transaction was not to buy us back from “the Devil”; a thief never becomes an owner; it was God redeeming our minds from the lies that we believed about ourselves – reconciliation is the bold unveiling of the value of the hidden treasure in everyone! See 2 Cor 4:7 and Math 13:44.)

2 Cor. 5:19 Our ministry declares that Jesus did not act independently of his Father. God was present in Christ when he reconciled the total 1cosmos to himself. Deity and humanity embraced in him; the fallen state of mankind was deleted; their trespasses would no longer count against them! He now announces his friendship with every individual from within us! (The incarnation did not separate the Father from the Son and the Spirit. In him dwells the fullness of God in a human body. Col 2:9. As a human person, Jesus felt the agony of fallen mankind on the cross when he echoed Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me! Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?” But then in verse 24, David declares triumphantly: “He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.” The word, 1kosmos in the NT refers to the entire human family.)

2 Cor. 5:20 The voice God has in Christ he now has in us; we are God’s ambassadors. Our lives exhibit the urgency of God to 1persuade everyone to realize the reconciliation of their redeemed identity. (The word, 1parakaleo, comes from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, a thing proceeding from a sphere of influence, with a suggestion of union of place of residence, to have sprung from its author and giver, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection, and kaleo, to identify by name, to surname. In Luke 15:28, 31, His father pleaded with him, “My child, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.” “Be reconciled” could not be translated, “Become reconciled!” “Do in order to become” is the language of the Old Testament; the language of the New Testament is, “Be, because of what was done!”)

2 Cor. 5:21 This is the divine exchange: he who knew no 1sin embraced our distortion; he appeared to be without form; this was the mystery of God’s prophetic 2poetry. He was disguised in our distorted image and marred with our iniquities; he took our sorrows, our pain and our shame to his grave and 3birthed his righteousness in us. He took our sins and we 3became his innocence. (The word sin, is the word 1hamartia, from ha, negative or without and meros, portion or form, thus to be without your allotted portion or without form, pointing to a disorientated, distorted, bankrupt identity; the word meros, is the stem of morphe, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18 the word metamorphe, with form, which is the opposite of hamartia – without form. Sin is to live out of context with the blueprint of one’s design; to behave out of tune with God’s original harmony. The word, 2poema, often translated “made” like in, “he was made to be sin.” However, because of its context here I have translated poema to read prophetic poetry. As the scapegoat of the human race, he took on the distorted image of fallen mankind, he did not become a sinner, but the official representative of mankind’s sin. Then Paul uses the word 3ginomai, he birthed his righteousness in us since we were born anew in his resurrection from the dead. Hosea 6:2, Eph 2:5, 1 Pet 1:3.

Isaiah 52:10 “The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” Isaiah 52:14-15 “Just as many were astonished at you—so was he marred in his appearance, more than any human and his form beyond that of human semblance—so will he startle many nations. Kings will shut their mouths because of him; for what had not been told them, they will see and what they had not heard, they will understand.” Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely he has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But surely he was wounded by our transgressions; he was bruised by our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on him and by his stripes we ourselves are healed.”

Note: He was not bruised by God but by the very mankind he was about to redeem! You may ask, “But what about Isaiah 53:10!?” [It pleased the Lord to “crush” him!] Translators of the New Revised Standard Version say in their footnotes to this verse: “Meaning of Hebrew uncertain.” The Septuagint – Greek version of this verse – written between 300BC and 250BC, by 72 Hebrew scholars, with access to older manuscripts than what we have today, have rendered the Hebrew text as follows: “and the Lord desires to purify him of the plague!” Also translated, “The Lord desires to cleanse his wounds!” The word, plege means a wound.

Deut. 32:5, 6 “They have corrupted themselves; they did not behave as his children, they have become a distorted generation of people, twisted out of their true pattern; they are a crooked and perverse generation.”[Paul quotes this verse in Phil. 2:15.]

Deut. 32:18 “You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you and have forgotten the God who danced with you.” [Hebrew, חּול khul, also means to dance, as in Judges )].21:21

Romans 8:30 Jesus reveals that mankind pre-existed in God; he defined us. He justified us and also glorified us. He redeemed our innocence and re- stored the glory we lost in Adam. (Romans 3:23, 24: the word, prohoritso, means pre defined, like when an architect draws up a detailed plan; and the word, kaleo, to surname, identify by name.)

Titus 2:11 The grace of God shines as bright as day making the salvation of mankind undeniably visible.

Rom. 1:16 I have no shame about sharing the Good News of Christ with anyone; the powerful rescuing act of God persuades both Jew and Gentile alike.

Rom. 1:17 Herein lies the secret of the power of the Gospel; there is no good news in it, until the righteousness of God is revealed! The dynamic of the gospel is the revelation of 1God’s faith as the only valid basis for our belief. The Prophets wrote in advance about the fact that God believes that righteousness reveals the life of our design. “Righteousness by his (God’s) faith defines life.” (In David’s dramatic, prophetic account of the crucifixion in Psalm 22, he concludes with verse 27, “All the ends of the earth shall remember and return to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.” And in verse 31, “…they shall declare his righteousness to a people that shall yet be born; that he has done it.” The gospel is the revelation of the righteousness of

God; it unveils how the Father, Son and Spirit succeeded to put mankind right with themselves. It is about what God did right, not what Adam did wrong. The good news reveals how God’s righteousness rescued the life of our design and redeemed our innocence. Mankind’s futile efforts to justify themselves, have failed them miserably. [Rom 7] The Good News shifts the emphasis away from our failure and condemnation to highlight what it was that God accomplished in Jesus Christ on humanity’s behalf! “Look away [from the law of works] unto Jesus; he is the 1Author and finisher of faith.” [Hebrews 12:1]. It is God’s faith to begin with; it is 1from faith to faith, and not our good or bad behavior; we are not defined by our performance or circumstances. The Greek word translated “from” is the Preposition, 1ek, which always denotes source or origin. The language of the old written code was, “Do in order to become! The language of the new is, “Be, because of what was done!” Instead of do, do, do, it’s done, done, done! Paul refers here to Habakkuk 2:4, “The just shall live by his [God’s] faith.” Habakkuk sees a complete new basis to mankind’s standing before God! Instead of reading the curse when disaster strikes, he realizes that the Promise out-dates performance as the basis to mankind’s acquittal. The curse is taken out of the equation! Galatians 3:13. Deuteronomy 28 would no longer be the motivation or measure of right or wrong behavior! Instead of righteousness as a reward to mankind’s efforts to obey the law, Habakkuk celebrates God’s righteousness based on God’s belief, in the face of apparent disaster, represented in the evidence of all the curses mentioned in Deuteronomy 28! He sings, “Though the fig trees do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like hinds’ feet, he makes me tread upon my high places.” [Habakkuk 3:17-19 RSV]. It is interesting to note that Habakkuk – חבקוק chăbaqqûq, was possibly the son of the Shunammite woman and her husband who hosted the Prophet Elisha. They could not have children, until Elisha declared that in a year’s time she would embrace – חבק chabaq – a child! When the child grew up to be a young man he died of sunstroke and Elisha stretched himself over the boy and חבקוק .mirror-embraced the dead child, face to face and the boy came back to life Chabaqquq is a double embrace – it is the prophetic picture of our mirror- resurrection together with Christ! If anyone knew that righteousness was not by works but by God’s faith, it was Habakkuk!

The word righteousness comes from the Anglo Saxon word, “rightwiseness;” wise in that which is right. In Greek the word for righteousness is dikaiosune, from dikay, that which is right; it is a relationship word and refers to two parties finding likeness in each other. Righteousness points to harmony in a relationship. See 2 Corinthians 6:14. Faith-righteousness has nothing in common with the pagan philosophies of karma and performance-based approval; they could never balance the scales or be evenly yoked together in any context. [The word heterozugeō, an unequal or different yoke; from the Hebrew word, zugot, ז ּוג ֹות indicates pairs of two identical objects; a yoke or a teaching; the yoke of a rabbi or philosopher represented their doctrine; reminds of the Hebrew word for righteousness, tzedek, צדק which also includes the idea of the wooden beam in a scale of balances. “He that judges his neighbor according to the bal- ance of righteousness, or innocence, they judge him according to righteousness.” [T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 127. 2.]

It is interesting to note that the Greek goddess of Justice is Dike, [pronounced, dikay – the stem of the word dikaiosune, righteousness] and she is always pictured holding a scale of balances in her hand. See also 2 Corinthians 6:15. In Colossians 2:9-10, “It is in Christ that God finds an accurate and complete expression of himself, in a human body! He mirrors our completeness and is the ultimate authority of our true identity.”)

It is interesting to note that the Greek goddess of Justice is Dike, [pronounced, dikay – the stem of the word dikaiosune, righteousness] and she is always pictured holding a scale of balances in her hand. See also 2 Corinthians 6:15. In Colossians 2:9-10, “It is in Christ that God finds an accurate and complete expression of himself, in a human body! He mirrors our completeness and is the ultimate authority of our true identity.”)

“I say you are gods, all of you are sons of the Most High, why would you die like mere men?” Ps. 82:6, 7 RSV

“You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.” Deut. 32:18 RSV

In Psalm 22, David prophesies the death of the Messiah-Christ and sees the triumphant outcome in verse 27: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and return to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before Him!”

In the Incarnation, every possible excuse we could have, to feel separated and distanced from God, was erased! Jesus is the highway in the wilderness that Isaiah saw: every high place was brought down, every valley filled up, every crooked place made straight; even the rough places were made smooth!

“And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.” Isa. 40:3-5.

In his death on the cross he prepares a place for us so that we may forever be where he is, embraced in the bosom of the Father. And all mankind will see salvation from God’s point of view!

Luke 3:4 John here, most significantly mirrors the words of Isaiah; this is the moment! He lifted up his voice with great strength and cried out, 1“Turn the wilderness into a highway! Make the ancient, 2trodden out paths, 3beautiful!” (This is the unfolding of the prophetic moment which Isaiah saw 700 years ago! Isa 40:3-5. The word, ἑτοιμάζω 1hetoimazō, meaning to prepare the way – from the oriental

custom of sending persons before kings on their journeys, to level the roads and make them passable. Here in the Aorist Imperative case – ετοιμασατε etoimasate. According to the Greek scholar, Wallace, most Aorist Imperatives can be placed in one of two broad categories: the Ingressive, and Constative. The Constative stresses the urgency and the solemnity… “make this your top priority”. The word, τρίβος 2tribos, a track or rut that has been worn-out over time through much use. Thus, the maize of mankind’s futile, criss-cross and cul-de-sac attempts to escape the clutches of the wilderness of their lostness in their trodden out paths of traditional beliefs and philosophies, are finally over! The word εὐθύς 3euthus, from eu, good; well done; beautiful and tithemi, to set in place. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; every crooked place shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.)

Luke 3:5 The Engineer of the universe will do this, with meticulous attention to detail! What seemed an impassible 2chasm, will be seamlessly bridged! Every valley shall be filled up! Also, every mountain and hill be levelled out and every 1crooked curve shall be straightened out! Even the rough places shall be made smooth! (A seamless union is announced! The 1question marks shall become exclamation marks! The word φάραγξ 2pharagx is an abyss; a chasm; a rift or ravine hedged in by precipices. Every possible excuse mankind could ever have to feel separated from God is addressed! Every definition of distance is cancelled and every single obstacle and obstruction is about to be removed! The Judaean desert has many ravines, most of them deep, from 1,200 feet in the west to 600 feet in the east. It is an area with a special morphological structure along the east of the Judaean Mountains.)

Luke 3:6 And this saving act of God shall be fully 1realized by every individu- al. All flesh shall see and celebrate it together! (The word, οψεται from 1horao, to gaze upon; to see for oneself; to discern and perceive with the mind.

“This phrase aptly describes Luke’s Gospel which has in mind the message of Christ for all mankind. It is the universal Gospel.” Says A.T. Robertson, [1863 – 1934] New Testa- ment and Greek professor of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.)
John 14:2 What makes my Father’s house home, is your place in it! If this was not the ultimate conclusion of my mission why would I even bother to do what I am about to do if it was not to prepare a place for you? I have come to persuade you of a place of seamless oneness where you belong. (See John 8:35 The difference between the slave and the son is that the slave only works there; for the son the father’s house is home! 8:36 With the freedom found in sonship there is 1no pretense! [Free indeed! The word, 1ontoos, indeed is the opposite to what is pretended.] What Jesus is about to accomplish in his death and resurrection will forever shift the idea of religious works and pretense and performance from the typical slave-mentality to the freedom and reality of sonship!)

John 14:3 The proportions of what I will accomplish are astonishing! I will 1prepare a highway for you, just as in the Oriental custom, where people would go before a king to level the roads to make it possible for royalty to journey with ease and comfort. Then I will personally come to escort you on this royal highway, guiding you to be where I am, in seamless, face to face oneness in the Father’s embrace. [v 20] By 2fully identifying myself with you I have mirrored you in me so that you may be completely at home where I am! (Jesus sees the full scope of his work: by submitting himself to our judgment and hellish fury, he would enter our death and gloom and thereby strip every principality and dominion of its judg- ment and power-play over the human race. Colossians 2:14,15. The word 1hetoimazō suggests a levelling of the road to make it passable for kings! [Isaiah 40:3-5] The word 2paralambano, carries two components, para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, a thing proceeding from a sphere of influence, with a suggestion of union of place of residence, to have sprung from its author and giver, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection; and lambano, to comprehend, grasp, to identify with. He would lead us in his triumphant procession on high out of our darkness into his marvellous light, where we may now participate in the union of the ages – “and take you to myself so that you may be where I am, face to face with the Father!“ Hosea 6:2; Ephesians 4:8; Colossians 1:13. John 1:1,2. See John 1:18 Until this moment God remained invisible; now the authentic, incarnate begotten Son, the blueprint of our design who represents the innermost being of God, the Son who is in the bosom of the father, brings him into full view! He is the official authority qualified to announce God! He is our guide who accurately de- clares and interprets the invisible God within us.)

John 14:20 In that day you will know that we are in seamless union with one another! I am in my Father, you are in me and I am in you! (The incarna- tion does not divide the Trinity; the incarnation celebrates the redeemed inclusion of humanity! Picture 4 circles with the one fitting into the other – The outer circle is the Father, then Jesus in the Father, then us in Jesus and the Holy Spirit in us! This spells inseparable, intimate oneness! Note that it is not our knowing that positions Jesus in the Father or us in them or the Spirit of Christ in us! Our knowing simply awakens us to the reality of our redeemed oneness! Gold does not become gold when it is discovered but it certainly becomes currency!)

Col. 1:20 He initiated the reconciliation of all things to himself. Through the blood of the cross God restored the original harmony. His reign of peace now extends to every visible thing upon the earth as well as those invisible things which are in the 1heavenly realm. (The heavens, 1ouranos, a place of elevation, from oros, a mountain, from airo, to lift, to raise, to elevate, “Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe, people and things, ani- mals and atoms, get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death.” — The Message.)

Col. 1:21 Your indifferent mindset alienated you from God into a lifestyle of annoyances, hardships, and labors. Yet he has now fully 2reconciled and restored you to your original design. (The word, 1poneros, is described in Thayer’s Lexicon to mean, annoyances, hardships, and labors, often translated as evil. [See Septuagint: tree of knowledge of good and hard labor!] To reconcile: 2apokatallasso, fully restored to the original value. [In Thayer Definition: to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value.] “You yourselves are a case study of what he does.” Msg.)

Col. 1:22 He accomplished this in dying our death in a human body; he fully represented us in order to fully present us again in blameless innocence, face-to-face with God; with no sense of guilt, suspicion, regret, or accusation; all charges against us are officially cancelled.

Col. 1:23 Remain under the influence of what your faith knows to be true about you, firmly consolidated in the foundation of your belief so that nothing can distract you from the expectation of the Gospel; a hope that is consistent with what you have heard. Just as I, Paul, am in the ministry to proclaim the one and only message that rings true with resonance in all of creation under heaven. (The dimension of the invisible spiritual realm. “You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.” —The Message.)

Col. 1:24 This is why no form of suffering can interfere with my joy. Every suffering on your behalf is just another opportunity to reinforce that which might still be lacking (in your understanding) of the affliction of Christ on behalf of his body which is the church. (The inconvenience that Paul might be suffering on behalf of the believers is not to add to the sufferings of Christ—as though the sufferings of Christ on our behalf were insufficient but it is to further emphasize and confirm the principle of unselfish love that constrains New Testament ministry.)

Col. 1:25 I am an administrator in God’s economy; my mission is to make his word known to you with utmost clarity.

Col. 1:26 Mankind’s most sought after quest, the mystery which has remained elusive and concealed for ages and generations, is now fully realized in our redeemed innocence.

Col. 1:27 Within us, God is delighted to exhibit the priceless treasure of this glorious unveiling of Christ’s indwelling in order that every person on the planet, whoever they are, may now come to the greatest discovery of all time and recognize Christ in them as in a mirror! He is the 1desire of the nations and completes their every expectation! (He is not hiding in history, or in outer space nor in the future, neither in the pages of Scripture, he is merely mirrored there to be unveiled within you. Mt. 13:44, Gal 1:15, 16, 2 Cor 3:18, 2 Cor 4:4,7. This is huge! What God was now able to disclose in the saints is immediately equally relevant in the nations! Christ in the nations is the hope of glory! This is the mystery of the ages! This is what we were waiting for. 1Haggai 2:6,7.)

Col. 1:28 This is the essence and focus of our message; we 1awaken everyone’s mind, instructing every individual by bringing them into 2full understanding [flawless clarity] in order that we may 3prove (present) everyone 4perfect in Christ. (Translating 1vous + tithemi as to re-align every mind with God’s mind. The word, 2sophos, comes from sophes meaning clear, clarity. The word, 3paristano, comes from para, sphere of influence, closest possible association, and histemi, meaning to stand, to exhibit with evidence. The word, 4teleios, means perfect, without shortcoming and fully efficient.)

Col. 1:29 1Your completeness in Christ is not a remote goal, but your immediate reference! My labor now exceeds any zeal that I previously knew under the duty-driven law of willpower. I am laboring beyond the point of exhaustion, striving with intense resolve with all the energy that he mightily inspires within me. (1eis, a point reached in conclusion.)

Col. 3:3 Your union with his death broke the association with that world; see yourselves located in a fortress where your life is hidden with Christ in God! (“In that day you will know that I am in my father, and you in me and I in you.” [John 14:20] Occupy your mind with this new order of life; you died when Jesus died; whatever defined you before defines you no more. Christ, in whom the fullness of deity dwells, defines you now! The word, “hidden” can also be translated, secret; the secret of your life is your union with Christ in God! [See Col 2:9, 10]

“Risen, then, with Christ you must lift your thoughts above where Christ now sits at the right hand of God, you must be heavenly minded; not earthly minded, you have undergone death, and your life is hidden away now with Christ in God. Christ is your life, when he is made manifest you are made manifest in his glory.” — Knox Translation.)

2 Cor. 5:18-19 “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” RSV

Paul expresses his boundless gratitude towards God for the believers at Corinth whenever he considers the full implication of their faith-union in Christ. He sees them established in favour and grace, and able to communicate spontaneously in order to equally impact others.

1 Cor. 1:4 I am always so happy for you when I consider how greatly advantaged you are because of God’s grace unveiled in Jesus Christ.

1 Cor. 1:5 Your knowledge of Christ is based on so much more than hearsay; every aspect of your life gives eloquent expression to the rich reservoir of your union in him.

1 Cor. 1:6 You certainly have the testimony of Christ evidenced in you. (You possess full knowledge and give full expression because in you the evidence for the truth of Christ has found confirmation. — NEB. “Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you.” KJV)

Paul encourages us to embrace with confident expectation the full revelation of Christ in us. We may now know beyond doubt that everything we would ever need is already part and parcel of this grace-gift. The testimony of Christ confirmed in you will not leave you stranded half way, but is able to sustain you guiltless in his presence to the end of days. Jesus is the guarantee of your acquittal; his life and testimony is the receipt and documented proof against all accusation and suspicion. “He is the guarantee of your vindication; he is your warrant against all accusation or indictment.” (Amplified Bible)

In this light Paul pleads with every believer to be mutually persuaded in the same opinion; he exhorts each and every one of us to speak the same language, because we share the exact same reference.

Ps. 36:9 “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” RSV. God’s point of view is the only light that dispels the illusion of distance and division.

1 Cor. 1:7 In 1receiving the 2revelation of Jesus Christ as the principal influence in your life (his Lordship), you prove that you lack nothing and that his grace gifts fully compliment you. (This is in such contrast to those days when under-achievement was the rule; when you felt that you were never good enough and always lagging behind. Note: 1apekdechomai is not “eagerly waiting for,” but “eagerly accepting” or to welcome with hospitality; 2apokalupsis is the unveiling, disclosure. I don’t know why most translations always want to postpone what God has already unveiled!)

1 Cor. 1:8 He establishes you from start to finish; to stand 1vindicated in your identity in the light of day as evidenced in the Lord Jesus Christ. (The word, 1anegkletos,from ana, upward, en, in and kaleo, to identify by name. Jesus gives evidence to our original identity. Compare anoche from ana + echo in Rom 3:26.)

1 Cor. 1:9 We are 1surnamed by God; this is our true lineage; he is faithful and fully persuaded about our joint participation in the fellowship of sonship; we are included in everything that our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father enjoys. God’s faithfulness is the basis of this union. (The word 1kaleo, means to call or identify by name, to surname.)

1 Cor. 1:10 Friends, because we are surnamed and identified in the name of our master Jesus Christ, I 1urge you to speak with one voice; we share the same source as our reference; the idea of division is an illusion. We are a perfect match; accurately joined in the same thought and communicating the same resolve. (The word, 1parakaleo, is from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, and kaleo, to surname.)

1 Cor. 1:11 Some of the believers in Chleo’s fellowship told me about the controversy in your ranks; this is most disturbing!

1 Cor. 1:12 What I was told is that you are divided into groups, where some side with Paul, others with Apollos, still others with Cephas, and even some who say, “we are the Messianic group”!

1 Cor. 1:13 This is really ridiculous: can Christ be cut up into little relics? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into Paul’s name?

1 Cor. 1:14 Baptism is not my business or emphasis; I am glad that I only baptized Crispus and Gaius amongst you. (Crispus was his neighbor and leader of the synagogue [see Acts 18:8]. Gaius resided at Corinth. Paul stayed with him when he wrote the Epistle to the Romans [Rom 16:23]; he was also a travel companion of Paul’s [Acts 19:29].)

1 Cor. 1:15 I distance myself from the idea of employing baptism as a means of branding my ministry with my name! Somehow baptism has become a snare to some who wish to win members to their denomination! Rom. 12:18 You have within you what it takes to be everyone’s friend, regardless of how they treat you. (See Rom. 1:16, 17. Also Matt. 5:44, 45.)

If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Rom. 12:18. RSV.

Eph. 4:21 Truth is defined in Christ! It is not possible to study Christ in any other context; he is the incarnation; hear him resonate within you! The truth about you has its ultimate reference in Jesus. (He did not come to introduce a new compromised set of rules; he is not an example for us but of us!)

Eph. 4:22 Now you are free to strip off that old identity like a filthy worn- out garment. Lust corrupted you and cheated you into wearing it. (Just like an actor who wore a cloak for a specific role he had to interpret; the fake identity is no longer appropriate!)

Eph. 4:23 Be renewed in your innermost mind. [Ponder the truth about you, as it is displayed in Christ; begin with the fact of your co-seatedness.] This will cause you to be completely re-programmed in the way you think about yourself! Notice that Paul does not say, “Renew your minds!” This transformation happens in the spirit of your mind, awakened by truth on a much deeper level than a mere intellectual or academic consent. We often thought that we had to get information to drop from the head to the heart; but it is the other way around! Jesus says in John 7:37, “When you believe that I am what the Scriptures are all about, then you will discover that you are what I am all about, and rivers of living waters will gush out of your innermost being! The spirit of mankind was never contaminated; just like the watermark in a paper note. The lost coin never lost its original inscription and image [see also James 3:9]; it was the mind that was veiled by darkness; we were darkened in our understanding! Our thoughts were reduced to the soul realm reference, knowing ourselves, and one another merely after the flesh. Isa. 55:8-11 There is nothing wrong with our design or our redemption; we were thinking wrong! In order for our thoughts to be rescued from the dominion of darkness, Jesus as the incarnate image and likeness of God, has gone into our darkest hellish nightmare, and faced our cruellest judgment and fears, and died our death! This is the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations, for our glorification! We were co-crucified, to bring absolute closure to every reference we have had of ourselves as a result of Adam’s fall! And while we were dead in our sins and trespasses, God co-quickened us and co-raised us, and co-seated us in Christ! Now, we all with unveiled faces may behold the glory of the Lord as in a mirror! And be radically transformed in our thinking in order to rediscover his image and likeness fully redeemed in us!)

The love dream of God provides the platform for unhindered friendship.

The eye of the fountain preserves and secures the original undiluted thought of God; he is the Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. He is our origin; all our springs of joy are in him!

The Gospel holds the ingredient of the most powerful influence that we could ever encounter. Nothing known to us presents a greater wealth of wisdom than the love of God realized. This great revelation is not only his love for us but also his love in us for others!

We are designed for friendship. Any measure or definition of hostility, distance or loneliness is foreign to our makeup.

“A human being is like a work of art; the more it is admired the more beautiful it grows reflecting the gift of love like light back to the giver” Elizabeth Goudge.

The most tragic consequence of the fall of man was the loss of man’s conviction of his true identity. A new dominance was introduced, and man became subject to the judgement of the sense realm. An environment ruled by chance, change and temporal values became man’s reference.

The greatest distraction and contradiction to man’s true identity and destiny is to live a life subject to an inferior opinion. We have inherited and adopted a set of values and prejudices that crippled relationships on every level of our society.

Somehow in our efforts to reconcile or rehabilitate, all the energy is spent on targeting the cobwebs instead of killing the spider. Crime, juvenile delinquency, drug addiction, and alcohol-abuse, the abuse of women and children, the divorce-rate, the break up of the family, corruption and war make a mockery of our social, religious and political structures.

Paul declares, that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, which takes man out of the equation. No human can qualify to be an enemy again. The focus of our ministry is, “to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, that through the church (ekklesia, from ek, a preposition denoting origin, and kaleo, to identify by name, thus the revelation of man’s original identity) the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly realm. This was according to the eternal purpose, which He realised in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph. 3:9-11. What God was able to communicate in Christ, is now made visible in man to be communicated in spirit realm. The mystery is ”Christ in you.” Col.1:25-27.

Law-inspired behavior reduces the impact of your life to the natural realm, while faith realities realized, has an immediate impact in the spirit realm.

Nowhere has life become more worthless than in the context of war. Violence as a voice, whether it is a minority such as al-Qaeda or the Boeremag or a majority such as the Bush and Blair-administration, says the same thing: we have a sick society with a sick self-image. To ignore the value of the human spirit is to insult the integrity of our design. [At the time of writing these thoughts.]

This becomes such a complex thing; we are prepared to spend millions to save life and at the same time we spend millions to destroy life. We have failed in our basic education when we fail to appreciate or respect life. Should our mutual respect for one another be challenged, our highest moral value is at risk.

No man can live happily who regards himself alone,

Who turns everything to his own advantage.

One must live for another if one wishes to live for oneself.

True fiends are the whole world to one another,

And he that is a friend to himself is also a friend to mankind.

Seneca 4 BC – AD 65 Roman Philosopher

We are designed for friendship. Any measure or definition of hostility, distance or loneliness is foreign to our makeup.

A man was carrying a very ill person over a long distance when someone asked him if the load he carried was not too heavy for him. ‘He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’ came the prompt reply. This man’s attitude is the theme of the law of liberty. The law of love liberates one into a different level of life. Its language is not ‘have to’ but ‘want to’. There is a distinct difference between willpower and willingness. This law governs the will of man, not through a sense of obligation but inspiration and passion, with a love that desires to please. Faith-inspiration is the purest energy of the soul. This level of inspiration is fuelled not by reasoning, but by revelation. God’s faith in you declares your value; realized value ignites passion. Routine living takes the edge off passion; routine dulls passion; taking yourself or others for granted does the same.

In your every relationship begin to discover and declare the value of the other. God desires closeness, not distance. You are designed to live a totally fulfilled life. Sustained, intimate and total pleasure is not an illusion but meant to be the focus of your faith.

One of our most basic human rights is to feel appreciated. We long for recognition. Nothing harms a relationship or self-image more than to feel neglected and taken for granted. Love and friendship blossom in an environment of appreciation. It is in the nature of love to admire without prejudice.

Yet, love can afford to be misunderstood, ignored, face conflict, injustice and war, and still conquer. Love is designed to conquer.

Every contradiction becomes an opportunity for the reinforcement and confirmation of the truth, rather than a distraction from it. Truth realized makes of faith a fortress!

To appreciate means to express and communicate value. But value must have a realized, realistic reference; a reference that goes beyond our best, or poorest performance. Christ in his Person and work of redemption is that blueprint reference. Oh that we may know, even as we have always been known! 1 Cor. 13:12.

Let us consider these 5 vital ingredients to meaningful friendship:

1/ The Agape agenda: Unconditional love sets the pace, 2/ Uncluttered belief
3/ Innocence: forgiveness, no suspicion, blame or guilt, 4/ Oneness of mind ~ sharing the same reference,

5/ Living happily ever after Long-term, sustained friendship.

Unconditional Love – Agape is the only agenda!

He loved us first!

The revelation of God’s love initiative to reconcile himself with humanity distinguishes true Christianity from every other religion. Grace takes Karma out of the equation! Religion needs paying and returning customers. In Africa, no witch doctor would make any money were the ancestors not always portrayed as unhappy or angry. The moodier the ancestor seems, the more expensive the scapegoat.

The mission of Jesus was not to change God’s mind about us but to change our mind about God! He shocked the Jews with statements like, “No man knows God! The Son reveals him! If you have seen me you have seen the Father!”

Jesus didn’t come to persuade an angry God to be nice towards mankind; he came to persuade an indifferent and hostile humanity about the goodness of God!

True Christian faith is not about humanity attempting to win the favour of deity, or trying to influence the mood of a bad tempered god; it is the revelation of the love of God reconciling a hostile world to himself.

Rom. 5:10 Our hostility and indifference towards God did not reduce his love for us; he saw equal value in us when he exchanged the life of his Son for ours. Now that the act of 1reconciliation is complete, his life in us saves us from the gutter-most to the uttermost. (Reconciliation, from 1katalasso, meaning a mutual exchange of equal value. Thayer Definition: to exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value.“)

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”RSV

It is not about a sacrifice that we bring; the gospel reveals God’s love initiative: John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” RSV

Gen. 22:7-8 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

Gen. 22:13 “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” RSV

God will himself provide the lamb….and behold, behind him was a lamb!” Jesus is the same YESTERDAY, today and forever! Heb. 13:8.

 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet. Rev. 1:10

John 8:56-58 “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” RSV

Isa. 53:7 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” RSV

Acts. 8:30-35 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: “As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth.” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus. RSV .See Luke 24:27, 44, 45, John 5:39, 40.

I wrote in the margin of my Bible next to Acts 8:35, when you study or teach scripture, get to the point.”

Rom. 5:8-9 Herein is the extremity of God’s love gift: mankind was rotten to the core when Christ died their death. If God could love us that much when we were ungodly and guilty, how much more are we free to realize his love now that we know that we are declared innocent by his blood? (God does not love us more now that we are reconciled to him; we are now free to realize how much he loved us all along! Col. 2:14, Rom. 4:25.)

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 RSV

If sin could separate us from the love of God then redemption would be impossible. Paul declares to the Greek philosophers in Acts 17, that the Creator is “not far from each one of us!” God is not closer to some than what he is to others; in the incarnation he is equally Immanuel to every person.

God takes pleasure in mankind. His reference exceeds anything that could possibly disqualify us. In Christ he has broken down every wall of hostility and every excuse we have to feel distant from him.

Eph. 4:7 The gift of Christ measures the extravagant dimensions of grace; where everyone is equally advantaged. (Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the gift of Christ. One measure, one worth! Our worth is defined by his gift not by a reward for our behavior.)

1 Pet. 1:18 It is clear to see that you were ransomed from the futile, fallen mindset that you inherited from your fathers, not by the currency of your own labor, represented by the fluctuating values of gold and silver, and the economy of your religious efforts;

1 Pet. 1:19 but you were redeemed with the priceless blood of Christ; he is the ultimate sacrifice; spotless and without blemish. He completes the prophetic picture! (In him God speaks the most radical scapegoat language of the law of judgment and brings final closure to a dead and redundant system! In Psalm 40:6,7, it is clearly stated that God does not require sacrifices or offerings! Jesus is the Lamb of God! He collides victoriously with the futile sacrificial system whereby offerings are constantly made to the pseudo, moody, monster gods of our imagination! This is the scandal of the cross! God does not demand a sacrifice that would change the way he thinks about mankind; he provides the sacrifice of himself in Christ in order to forever eradicate sin-consciousness from our minds and radically change the way we think about our Maker, one another and ourselves! [Sin-consciousness is in essence a works- based consciousness.] God did not clothe Adam with the skin of an animal because of a divine need to be appeased, but because of their unconditional love for Adam; they spoke the language of Adam’s own judgment: Adam, not God, was embarrassed about his nakedness. The clothing was not to make God look at Adam differently, but to make Adam feel better about himself! And ultimately it was to prophetically prepare Adam for the unveiling of the mystery of mankind’s redemption in the incarnation. Here Deity would clothe themselves in human skin, in a Son; and the Lion of Judah would become the Lamb of God in order to free our minds to re-discover his image and likeness in our skin! See 1 Peter 1:2.)

Job. 7:17 “What is man that you should magnify him, and that you should set your heart on him?” Literal Translation of the Holy Bible LTHB.

“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care so much for him?” Ps. 8:4.

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How impossible to calculate their sum total; were I to count them my years would have to equal yours!” Ps. 139:17, 18. REB. It will take eternity to calculate the full extent of your thoughts towards us!

God’s faith sees the fruit of the labor of his love, and feasts upon the thought of our redemption and reconciliation to him. God’s faith feasts on the knowledge of mankind’s restored union and oneness with him!

Isa. 53:3-6 “ He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isa. 53:11 “He shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make the multitudes to be accounted righteous; because he shall bear their iniquities.”

Zeph. 3:17 God rejoices over you with gladness, he renews you in his love; he exults over you with loud singing and spins around in joyful dancing!

Titus 3:2 Gossip is out! Never have anything bad to say about anyone! Don’t try and be the 1macho man, having to win every argument; instead, avoid quarrelling, be appropriate, always show perfect courtesy to one and all. (The word, 1amachos from a as a negative particle and mache, a brawler, to be controversial, striving. You don’t have to wait for people to change before you are nice to them. There is a big difference between “fake politeness” and perfect courtesy!)

Titus 3:3 Do not be harsh on others. Remember that we, too, were typically foolish; we were stubborn and indifferent to spiritual things, our addiction to the sensual and sexual kept us running around in circles, we were en- gaged in malice and spiteful jealousies, we were bored and lonely, often utterly disliking ourselves and hating one another! (The only difference in who we are now and who we were then is in what we now know to be true about ourselves.)

Titus 3:4 But then, oh happy day! It was the generosity of God and his fond- ness for mankind that dawned on us like a shaft of light. Our days of dark- ness were over! Light shone everywhere and we became aware: God rescued the human race! (See Titus 2:11. )

“I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me; I said, “Here I am, here I am! I spread out my hands all day long to a rebellious people.′′ Isa. 65:1, 2. RSV

Be God′s ‘pop-ups′ in society. Live God′s initiative! Make known his patient fondness for mankind.

Love sets faith in motion. Gal. 5:6. (It is easy for love to believe!)

Love fuels belief.

The same God who engineered the sunrise engineered our salvation.

The redemption of humanity is beyond dispute. God himself guarantees the integrity of this union: 2 Tim. 2:13 Our unbelief does not change what God believes; he cannot contradict himself. (What we believe about God does not define him; God’s faith defines us. God cannot be untrue to himself.)

Rom. 3:3 The question is, how does someone’s failure to believe God affect what God believes? Can their unbelief cancel God’s faith? (What we believe about God does not define him; God’s faith defines us. See the RSV translation, “What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means!”)

Rom. 3:4 God’s word is not under threat! In fact if all of mankind fails, truth remains intact. Truth is defined in God; it is neither challenged nor vindicated by human experience. Contradiction does not intimidate or diminish God’s belief. Scripture records that God stands justified in his own word; it confirms that God’s promise and purpose are not compromised through mankind’s failure; neither is God’s reputation threatened by our behavior. (Truth does not become true by popular vote. It is already as true as it gets because God believes it; it is from faith to faith, says Paul [Rom 1:17]; there is no gospel in it until the righteousness of God is revealed; “we can do nothing against the truth!” [See 2 Cor 13:5 and 8]. David’s sin did not cancel God’s promise. “But my mercy I will not take from him” and “his house shall be made sure, and his kingdom for ever before me, and his throne shall be set up forever.” [2 Sam 7:15-16].)

God desires to persuade us beyond all dispute about the transparent integrity of his eternal purpose; (in our human affairs we would swear an oath by the highest authority in order to add conclusive weight to our intentions.) God employs a similar method in order to drive home his unwavering conviction concerning us; so he swears by himself, there being no higher authority than his own Throne; by implication God’s being becomes the immediate guarantee to his word.

Heb. 6:13 Since God had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself. He could give Abraham no greater guarantee but the integrity of his own Being; this makes the promise as sure as God is.

Heb. 6:16 It is common practice in human affairs to evoke a higher authority under oath in order to add weight to any agreement between parties, thereby 1silencing any possibility of quibbling. (The word 1peras, means the end of all dispute; the point beyond which one cannot go.)

Heb. 6:17 In the same context we are confronted with God’s eagerness to go to the last extreme in his dealing with us as heirs of his promise, and to cancel out all possible grounds for doubt or dispute. In order to persuade us of the unalterable character and finality of his resolve, he 1confined himself to an oath. The promise, which already belongs to us by heritage, is now also 1confirmed under oath. (The word 1mesiteo is used, interposed or mediated. Compare mesites, mediator, from mesos, midst. In the incarnation, God has positioned himself in the midst, of his creation.

See Galatians 3:20 With Abraham there was no middleman; it was just God! [The Mosaic law sopke the language of “the fallen mind” and required mediators – the Levitical priesthood – because it was an arrangement whereby mankind had a part and God had a part. God’s covenant with Abraham was a grace covenant pointing to the man Jesus Christ, in whom God himself would fulfil mankind’s part and therefore needed no mediator apart from himself.]

The Word is the promise; the Incarnate, crucified and risen Christ is the proof. He desires to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose. RSV .

God did not buy us back from the Devil; a thief never becomes an owner; neither did Jesus do what he did to change his Father’s mind about us! It was our minds that needed persuasion! God was not to be reconciled to his creation; God was in Christ when he reconciled the world to himself! 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.)

Heb. 6:18 So that we are now dealing with two irreversible facts which make it impossible for anyone to prove God wrong; thus our persuasion as to our redeemed identity is powerfully reinforced. We have already escaped into that destiny; our expectation has come within our immediate grasp! (The promise of redemption sustained throughout Scripture and the fulfillment of that promise in Jesus. See John 8:13-18 That should settle it for you since it is written in your law that the testimony of two, is true! [This combined witness of two is not true just because they agree, unless true in fact separately. But if they disagree, the testimony falls to the ground. Deuteronomy 17:6; and Deut 19:15. – Robertson. Also Rev 10:6 See notes on the Oath at the end of Rev 10 also the Notes on the Testimony of Jesus at the end of Rev 20 in the .])

Heb. 6:19 Our hearts and minds are certain; anchored securely within the innermost courts of God’s immediate Presence; beyond the (prophetic) veil.

Heb. 6:20 By going there on our behalf, Jesus pioneered a place for us and removed every type of obstruction that could possibly distance us from the promise. In him we are represented for all time; he became our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. We now enjoy the same privileged access he has. (He said, “I go to prepare a place for you so that you may be where I am. On that day you will no longer doubt that I and the Father are one; you will know that I am in the Father and you in me and I in you!” John 10:30, 14:3, 20.)

Mankind’s redemption is not in the balance neither is it at risk!

The heavens declare his glory, night-to-night exhibits the giant solar testimony that is mathematically precise, revealing that God knew before time the exact moment he would enter our history as a man, and the exact moment the Messiah would expire on the cross!

Jesus is God’s eternal and final yes mankind; in his own person he became the guarantee and fulfillment of every promise God had in mind for humanity! 2 Cor. 1:18-22. God cannot lie. Jesus is God’s mind made up about you!

Heb.13:8 Take your lead from Jesus. He is your reference to the most complete life. In him yesterday is confirmed today and today mirrors tomorrow. What God spoke to us in Christ is as relevant now as it was in the prophetic past and will always be in the eternal future! (Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever; there is a history to our salvation that carries more authority and relevance than anything that ever happened in our past, or anything present in time or still to happen in the future. Imagine the enormity of eternity in his sameness before time was; and we were there in him all along! See Rom 8:34 What further ground can there possibly be to condemn mankind? In his death he faced our judgment; in his resurrection he declares our innocence; the implications cannot be undone! He now occupies the highest seat of authority as the executive of our redemption in the throne room of God. See Rom 8: 1, also Rom 4:25. The heavens declare his glory, night to night exhibits the giant solar testimony that is mathematically precise, revealing that God knew before time was the exact moment he would enter our history as a man, and the exact moment the Messiah would expire on the cross and be raised again from the dead!)

Titus 1:3 “In the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago but at the proper time manifested.” RSV

Titus 1:2 This is the life of the 1ages which was anticipated for generations; the life of our original design announced by the infallible resolve of God before 2time or space existed. (Mankind’s union with God is the original thought that inspired creation. The word, 1aionios, speaks of ages. Paul speaks of God’s mind made up about us, before the ages, which is a concept in which eternity is divided up into various periods, the shorter of which are comprehended in the longer. The word, 2xronos, means a measured duration or length of time; kairos is a due, or specific moment of time. This was before the ages or any measure of calendar time existed, before the creation of the galaxies and constellations. There exists a greater dimension to eternity than what we are capable of defining within the confines of space and time! God’s faith anticipated the exact moment of our redeemed union with him for all eternity!

This life was made certain before eternal time. [BBE 1949, Bible in Basic English]

Hebrews 13:8 Take your lead from Jesus. He is your reference to the most complete life. In him yesterday is confirmed today and today mirrors tomorrow. What God spoke to us in Christ is as relevant now as it was in the prophetic past and will always be in the eternal future! [Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever; there is a history to our salvation that carries more authority and relevance than anything that ever happened in our past, or anything present in time or still to happen in the future. Imagine the enormity of eternity in his sameness before time was; and we were there in him all along! See Rom 8:34 What further ground can there possibly be to condemn mankind? In his death he faced our judgment; in his resurrection he declares our innocence; the implications cannot be undone! He now occupies the highest seat of authority as the executive of our redemption in the throne room of God. See Rom 8: 1, also Rom 4:25. The heavens declare his glory, night to night exhibits the giant solar testimony that is mathematically precise, revealing that God knew before time was the exact moment he would enter our history as a man, and the exact moment the Messiah would expire on the cross and be raised again from the dead!])

Titus 1:3 My message announces the completeness of time; God’s eternal moment realized the logic of our salvation. (But then the day dawned; the most complete culmination of time! [Gal 4:4] Everything predicted was concluded in Christ!

John 1:14 Suddenly the invisible eternal Word takes on visible form! The Incarnation! In him, and now confirmed in us! The most accurate tangible display of God’s eternal thought finds expression in human life! The Word became a human being; we are his address; he resides in us! He captivates our gaze!

Heb 1:1 Throughout 1ancient times God spoke in many fragments and glimpses of prophetic thought to our fathers. Now, this entire conversation has 2finally dawned in sonship. Suddenly, what seemed to be an ancient language falls fresh and new like the dew on the tender grass! He is the sum total of every utterance of God. He is whom the Prophets pointed to and we are his immediate audience! (The word 1palai, meaning, of old, ancient; from palin through the idea of oscillatory repetition or retrocession; anew, afresh. See Deut 32:1 “Give ear, Oh heavens, and I will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. Deut 32:2 May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distil as the dew, as the gentle rain upon the tender grass, and as the showers upon the herb…. Deut 32:18 You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth. Like in James 1:24, we have forgotten what manner of people we are – we have forgotten the face of our birth! Jesus successfully rescued the real you, not the pseudo, make-belief you! God has never believed less of you than what he was able to communicate in the sonship that Jesus mirrored and redeemed!

Heb 1:2 In a son, God declares the Incarnate Word to be the heir of all things. He is, after all, the author of the ages. (See John 1:2 The beginning mirrors the Word face to face with God. [The beginning declares the destiny of the Word, image and likeness would be mirrored and redeemed in incarnate human form!] Also John 1:2, All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Sonship endorses heirship! See Heb 6:16-18.)

Heb 1:3 The Messiah-message is what has been on the tip of the Father’s tongue all along! Now he is the crescendo of God’s conversation with us and gives context and content to the authentic, prophetic thought. Everything that God had in mind for mankind is voiced in him. Jesus is God’s language. He is the 1radiant and flawless mirror expression of the person of God. He makes the 2glorious intent of God visible and exhibits the 3character and every attribute of Elohim in human form. His being, announces our redeemed innocence; having accomplished purification for sins, he sat down, enthroned in the boundless measure of his majesty in the right and of God as his executive authority. He is the force of the universe, 4upholding everything that exists. This conversation is the dynamic that sustains the entire cosmos. (The word απαυγασμα 1apaugasma, only occurs here, and once only in the Greek Septuagint, LXX, in the book of Wisdom 7:26”For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.” [The book of Wisdom 7:26.] The word, 2δόξα doxa glory is the expression of the divine attributes collectively. It is the unfolded fullness of the divine perfections. Vincent. The word 3charakter from charax – to engrave – translated “mark” of the beast, in the book of Revelation. Either the character of the Father or the character of the fallen mind will influence our actions (hand) because it is what engages our thoughts (forehead).

“Having accomplished purification of sins, he sat down …” His throne is the very endorsement of mankind’s redeemed innocence! See Eph 1:20-23; LXX Ps 109:1.

The words, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα – 4upholding all things, are not static, but “They imply sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement; as Weiss puts it, “with the all in all its changes and transformations throughout the aeons.” Vincent.

More than two thousand years ago the conversation that had begun before time was recorded—sustained in fragments of thought throughout the ages, whispered in pro- phetic language, chiselled in stone and inscribed in human conscience and memory— became a man. Beyond the tablet of stone, the papyrus scroll or parchment roll, human life has become the articulate voice of God. Jesus is the crescendo of God’s conversation with mankind; he gives context and content to the authentic thought. His name de- clares his mission. As Savior of the world he truly redeemed the image and likeness of the invisible God and made him apparent again in human form as in a mirror.)

2 Tim. 2:9 I might be in bonds, but the word of God is not. (It might seem to some that my suffering contradicts what I preach, but it cannot! My ministry is measured by the word not by my circumstances. See Colossians 1:24.)

2 Tim. 2:10 This gives me more than enough reason not to quit. I desire for everyone to discover the fact that the life of their 1design is redeemed in Christ Jesus; this is the timeless intent of God. (The word 1eklegomai, ek, source, origin, and legomai from logos, word, thus the life of our design.)

2 Tim. 2:11 The logic of God endorses our faith: we were included in his death and are therefore equally included in his resurrection.

2 Tim. 2:12 Sufferings do not distract us; neither do they contradict our joint position with him in the throne room , the Christ-life rules. If we 1contradict ourselves (behave unlike ourselves), he will contradict us and prove us wrong! (The word 1arneomai means to contradict.)

Heb. 10:23 Our conversation echoes his persuasion; his faithfulness backs his promises. (His integrity inspires our confession. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.)

Abraham showed no hesitation or doubt at God’s promise, but drew strength from his faith, confessing God’s power (Greek, doxa, opinion) fully convinced that God was able to perform what he had promised. His faith was thus reckoned virtue. Rom. 4:20, 21 (Knox)

Rom. 4:20 While he had every reason to doubt the promise, he did not hesitate for a moment but instead empowered by faith confidence, he continued to communicate God’s opinion. (His name was his confession: in the Hebrew language, “Abraham” אברהם was not a mere familiar sounding name, but a meaningful sentence, a confession of faith authority, against the odds. He did not become embarrassed about his name; he did not change his name to “Abe” for short when there seemed to be no change in his circumstances. Every time he introduced himself or someone called him by his name, it was a bold declaration and repetition of God’s promise, calling things that were not as though they were. I would imagine that Sarah spoke his name the most! In fact, every time they addressed one another they spoke the promise, “Mother of nations, kings of peoples shall come from you!” [Gen 17:5, 16]. Abraham, “the father of the multitudes.”)

Rom. 4:21 Abraham’s confidence was his 1dress-code; he knew beyond doubt that the power of God to perform was equal to his promise. (1plerophoreo, from plero to be completely covered in every part, + phoreo, to wear garments or armor; traditionally translated to be completely persuaded. His faith was his visible identity and armor; he wore his persuasion like he would his daily garments.)

Rom. 4:22 The persuasion of God rubbed off on Abraham and became his personal conviction. This was the 1basis of his righteousness. (“Righteousness was 1reckoned to him,” this means that God’s faith pointed Abraham to an invisible future where mankind’s innocence and identity would be redeemed again. Greek, 1logitsomai, logical conclusion.)

Rom. 4:23 Here is the Good News: the recorded words, “It was reckoned to him” were not written for his sake alone.

Rom. 4:24 Scripture was written with us in mind! The same 1conclusion is now equally relevant in our realizing the significance of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. (By raising Jesus from the dead God proclaims his belief in our redeemed innocence. Isaac’s birth from Sarah’s barren womb prophetically declared the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb! Abraham’s best efforts could not produce Isaac. Sarah’s dead womb is a picture of the impossibility of the flesh to produce a child. This underlines mankind’s inability to redeem themselves under the law of willpower. Jesus said, “Abraham saw my day!” Mankind’s most extreme self-sacrifice offered in an attempt to win the favorable attention of their deity could never match the sacrifice of God’s Lamb to win the attention of mankind! When Isaac questioned his father about the sacrifice, then Abraham announced, “Jahweh jireh!” יהוה יראה Jahweh sees! And he lifted up his eyes and behold behind him was a ram caught in the thorn bush by its horns! Note, “Behind him!” Faith sees the future in past tense-mode! The resurrection is the ultimate proof and trophy of righteousness by God’s faith. [See Rom 6:11] 1logitsomai – logical conclusion. “Consider [logitsomai] yourself dead indeed,” compared with 4:19, “Abraham considered his own body dead.” We can only study Scripture in the context of Christ as representing the human race; God had us in mind all along [John 5:39].)

Rom. 4:25 Here is the equation: He was handed over 1because of our 2short falling [our fallen mindset]; he was raised 1because we were declared righteous! His resurrection is the official receipt to our acquittal. (His cross = our sins, his resurrection = our innocence! His death brought closure to our short falling; his resurrection is proof of our redeemed righteousness. Why was Jesus handed over to die? Because of, 1dia, our transgressions. Why was he raised from the dead? Because of, 1dia, our righteousness! His resurrection reveals our righteousness! If mankind was still guilty after Jesus died, his resurrection would be irrelevant! This explains Acts 10:28 and 2 Corinthians 5:14 and 16.

1Tim. 4:9 The word is certainly true and worthy of our undivided attention.

1Thes. 2:13 When you first heard us preach the word, you did not pass it off as just one more human opinion, but you took it to heart as God’s true word to you, which it is, God himself at work in you believers! [The Message.]

Heb. 12:2 Look away from the shadow dispensation of the law and the Prophets and fix your eyes upon Jesus. He is the fountainhead and conclusion of faith. He saw the joy [of mankind’s salvation] when he braved the cross and despised the shame of it. As the executive authority of God [the right hand of the throne of God] he now occupies the highest seat of dominion to endorse mankind’s innocence! (Having accomplished purification of sins, he sat down. Heb 1:3, Isa 53:11.)

2 Cor. 1:18 God’s certainty is our persuasion; there is no maybe in him!

2 Cor. 1:19 The Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom I, Paul, Sylvanus, and Timothy boldly announced in you, is God’s ultimate yes to “you-manity”. Jesus is God’s Yes to you! Human life is associated in all that he is. In God’s mind there exists not even a hint of hesitation about this! (Note, Paul and his team proclaimed Christ in them, not, “to”them! See Gal 1:16; and Col. 1:27. Also 2 Cor 3:4.)

2 Cor. 1:20 In him the detail of every single promise of God is fulfilled; Jesus is God’s yes to your entire well being! In our union with him the Amen that echoes in us gives evidence to his glorious intent through us.

2 Cor. 1:21 God himself authorizes our oneness with you in Christ. He is our anointing! (The word, χρίω chriō means to smear or rub with oil, to anoint.)

2 Cor. 1:22 His personal signet signature is the official stamp that sanction the integrity of our ministry to you; this is the seal of the Spirit in our hearts.

God’s faith is the fountainhead of our faith. We do not need to conjure up our own faith when we can have God’s; we only need to know what God believes.

Paul says “The joy of the Lord is our strength” We do not need to manufacture our own joy if we can have his. If the joy of the Lord is to our advantage then his joy must be based on something he knows to be true about us! We are God’s joy!

What we believe about God does not define him; our doctrines do not even define us, even though they may label us. What God knows to be true about us as demonstrated in Christ alone defines us. Agree with God about you!

Jesus is what God believes about you!

Anything you believe about God that is unlike Jesus is not true about God; Jesus is the image of the invisible God, if you have seen him you have seen the Father.

Any attempt to understand God apart from Jesus Christ isn’t theology but mythology. Jesus is the benchmark from which every truth about the Father must be measured and evaluated. If it doesn’t line up with Jesus, “it ain’t God.” (Steve McVey)

The Bible is all about Jesus; Jesus is all about us!

The Gospel announces that Jesus is what God believes about us! The truth, as it is on exhibit in Christ. The truth about you has its ultimate reference in Jesus. Eph 4:21. Whatever is true of Jesus, is equally true of you! 1 John 2:7,8; As he is, so are we in THIS world! 1 John 4:17.

Truth persuades naturally!

Something doesn’t become truer because a person believes it; it’s already as true as it gets because God believes it; otherwise there is nothing for a person to believe, if it wasn’t true in the first place; it is from faith to faith says Paul.

Rom. 1:17 Herein lies the secret of the power of the Gospel; there is no good news in it until the righteousness of God is revealed! The dynamic of the gospel is the revelation of God’s faith as the only valid basis for our belief. The Prophets wrote in advance about the fact that God believes that righteousness reveals the life of our design. “Righteousness by his (God’s) faith defines life.” (Habakkuk 2:4] “Look away [from the law of works], unto Jesus; he is the Author and finisher of faith.” [Hebrews 12:1]. It is God’s faith to begin with; it is from faith to faith, and not our good or bad behavior; we are not defined by our performance or circumstances. The Greek word translated “from” is the Preposition, ek, which always denotes source or origin.)

Because mankind is the god-kind we are designed to be persuaded; we are faith-compatible; 2 Cor. 4:13 We 1echo the exact same spirit of faith David had when he wrote: “I 2believe and so I speak!” We too believe and so we speak! Our persuasion is our conversation. (The word, 1echo, means to hold or to embrace. Paul quotes David here in Psalm 116; sometimes one’s soul wants to gallop away into distraction like a wild horse; then, David reminds himself, “Return to your rest, oh my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you! I believe, and so I speak!” God’s bountiful dealing with us in Christ is our only valid rest; Sabbath celebrates perfection! “Behold, it is very good!” Gen 1:31,2:2 And remember God does not employ circumstances to teach us something! The finished work of Christ אמן ,teaches us; his work on the cross rescued us! Ps 116:7,10 I 2believe; I am sure aw-man, with the root meaning, to build up, or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render [or be] firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; to be true or certain; to go to the right hand: – hence assurance, [relocate yourself mentally where you are co-seated together with Christ in God’s right hand!] Also, the word, amen, so be it.

Hebrew word to speak, ּדבר dabar, to arrange words in such a way that their effect is to subdue. [Like a lawyer’s letter; using legal language.]

Then David uses the word, ענה anah, which was translated, ‘afflicted’, but the same word is also used to respond; by extension to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce: – give account, which is a much more appropriate rendering of this word in con- text! The Hebrew actually says: I will sing loudly! Remember Paul sang in prison!

Let faith speak. Let faith break out in song!)

The context of this statement is the mirror principle:

2 Cor. 4:1 Having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.

 

2 Cor. 4:8-9 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; [RSV]

The Mirror reads: 2 Cor. 4:8 We often feel completely hemmed in on every side but our inner space remains unrestricted; when there seems to be no way out we escape within! 2 Cor. 4:9 says At times we are persecuted to the extreme but we are never abandoned. We are knocked down but not knocked out.

Every contradiction becomes an opportunity for the reinforcement and confirmation of the truth, rather than a distraction from it. Truth realized makes of faith a fortress!

No contradiction has what it takes to persuade otherwise.

Paul says emphatically in 1 Cor. 9:17 If this was a mere career choice, then surely you could hire or fire me! But I am not for sale; I am employed by the economy of persuasion!

The inscription and image of Caesar distinguishes the piece of metal as legal tender; in the same way, the gospel reveals the inscription and the image of God in the face of Christ as legal tender to redeem mankind. He mirrors every person!

The lost coin never lost its original value.

The younger brother of Jesus, James, discovered in the resurrection of Christ his own as well as the face of every person’s birth. The Father of lights brought us forth (Greek, egeneto) by the Word of truth! To hear the word of truth is to see the face of one’s birth as in a mirror, he says.

Then, in James 3:9 We can say beautiful things about God the Father but with the same mouth curse a fellow human made in his mirror likeness. (The point is not what the person did to deserve the insult. The point is that people are image and likeness bearers of God by design! True worship is to touch someone’s life with the same devotion and care you would touch Jesus himself; even if the other person seems a most unlikely candidate.)

Sinners were attracted to Jesus not because he introduced a compromised set of rules; something like, “It’s all right to sin just don’t get caught; or, try and do it less!” Instead he revealed in his person the mirror-reflection of their true origin, their original identity and the integrity of their innocence! Sinners knew that the lie they lived as their identity had no power against the resonance of their own conscience. Jesus didn’t say to the prostitute, “Go and sin less,” he said to her “Go and sin no more!” Jesus knew something about the life of our design that we have lost sight of! What he revealed, he also redeemed!

Sin-consciousness is what empowers religion. Gift language disarms reward language. It always amazes me how Simon felt more comfortable with the fact that he had caught nothing the previous night because, “I am a sinful man”! He accepted his fate as his due because his mind was educated under the law of blessings and curses. (Deuteronomy 28) When he witnessed the word and the miracle of the catch, he slotted back into his familiar ‘karma’ mode! “I am not worthy!”

Luke 5:8 Witnessing this, Simon fell on his knees and began to beg Jesus to leave! “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Religion over the years has majored on the subject of sin-consciousness. The moment something goes wrong, guilt trips are empowered. Simon’s response surprises after he witnesses the teaching and ministry of Jesus, and a catch that he could not claim any credit for! “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” He apparently felt a lot more familiar and comfortable to account the previous night’s toil and no success to his own sinfulness! Karma makes so much sense to a religion that makes its money out of paying and returning customers!)

Thank God! Jesus didn’t pick disciples on their performance! It wasn’t Simon’s skill or reputation as a good fisherman that qualified him to become a fisher of men!

Sin-consciousness empowers the law of performance and contradicts what grace reveals; it inhibits any ground for meaningful friendship. A relationship based upon accusation, inferiority, guilt, suspicion or condemnation, has no future. For friendship to be worth anything, innocence is a non negotiable. The innocence Adam walked in before the fall is the same innocence that Jesus enjoys in union with his Father, and is now the restored privilege of every human. Every accusation against mankind has been cancelled; humanity stands fully vindicated and acquitted. The prodigal son was not out on probation; he stood justified in his father’s love, just as if he had never sinned!

Rom. 4:25 Our sins 1resulted in his death; his resurrection is 1proof of our righteousness. Here is the equation: He was handed over 1because of our

63 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

2short falling [our fallen mindset]; he was raised 1because we were declared righteous! His resurrection is the official receipt to our acquittal. (This is one of the most important statements in the entire Bible. His cross = our sins, his resurrection = our innocence! His death brought closure to our short falling; his resurrection is proof of our redeemed righteousness. Why was Jesus handed over to die? Because of, 1dia, our transgressions. Why was he raised from the dead? Because of, 1dia, our righteousness! His resurrection reveals our righteousness! If mankind was still guilty after Jesus died, his resurrection would be irrelevant! This explains Acts 10:28 and 2 Corinthians 5:14 and 16.

See Young’s Literal Translation, Rom 4:25 “who was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised up because of our being declared righteous.”

The word 2parapiptō has two components, para, closest possible proximity of union, and piptō, to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall; to be thrust down; from petomai, to fly. Thus to stop flying! Losing altitude! This speaks of mankind’s short falling, or their fallen mindset. See Col 3:1-3.

In Acts 17:31, Paul explains to the Greek philosophers that according to the Jewish pro- phetic word, “God had fixed a day on which he would judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given proof to all mankind by raising him from the dead.” God’s declaration of your redeemed innocence is his most urgent invitation to you(manity) to encounter intimate oneness!

See also 1 Peter 1:10-12 “This salvation which you now know as your own, is the theme of the prophetic thought; this is what captured the Prophets’ attention for gen- erations and became the object of their most diligent inquiry and scrutiny. They knew all along that mankind’s salvation was a grace revelation, sustained in their prophetic utterance! (Salvation would never be by personal achievement or a reward to will- power-driven initiative! The law of works would never replace grace!)

1 Pet 1:11 In all of their conversation there was a constant quest to determine who the Messiah would be, and exactly when this will happen. They knew with certainty that it was the spirit of Christ within them pointing prophetically and giving testimony to the sufferings of the Christ and the subsequent glory. (Whatever glory was lost in Adam, would be redeemed again in Jesus Christ!)

1 Pet 1:12 It was revealed to them that this glorious grace message that they were com- municating pointed to a specific day and person beyond their own horizon and genera- tion; they saw you in their prophetic view! This heavenly announcement had you in mind all along! They proclaimed glad tidings to you in advance, in the Holy Spirit, commissioned from heaven; the celestial messengers themselves longed to gaze deeply into its complete fulfillment.”)

Rom. 5:1 The 1conclusion is clear: our blameless innocence has absolutely nothing to do with something we did to qualify ourselves; it is what happened to us, solely because of our Lord Jesus Christ’s doing. Faith,

Innocence Redeemed – 6 64

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

and not reward, is the only valid 2basis for righteousness! Let us now fully 2engage this seamless union in our 3face to face 4friendship with God! (In one sentence Paul sums up the previous four chapters. “Standing then acquitted as the result of faith, let us enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Weymouth NT. The word 1dikaiothentes is an Aorist Participle, which translates, “having been justified by faith.” See previous verse, Rom 4:25 “…who was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised up because of our being declared righteous.” Young’s Literal Translation. The Preposition 2ek confirms that faith is the source or basis of our righteousness. Let us have [2echo, engage/resonate] peace with God – eirēnēn echōmen pros ton theon. This is the correct text beyond a doubt, the Present Active Subjunctive, not echomen (Present Indicative) of the Textus Receptus. One has only to observe the force of the tense to see Paul’s meaning clearly. The mode is the Volitive Subjunctive and the Present Tense expresses linear action. [Vincent] The Preposition 3pros means face to face; see John 1:1. The word, 4eirene, means peace, from eiro, to join, to be set at one again, in carpentry it is referred to as the dove-tail joint, which is the strongest joint. Peace is a place of unhindered enjoyment of friendship beyond guilt, suspicion, blame or inferiority.)

Rom. 5:2 Jesus is God’s face to face grace 1embrace of the entire human race. So here we are, 2standing tall in the joyful bliss of our redeemed innocence! We are God’s 3dream come true! This was God’s 4idea all along!

God bore witness to our redeemed innocence when he raised Jesus from the dead. (Acts 17:31) “God appointed a day and a person, and on that day in that person he would judge the world in righteousness! He gave proof of this, by raising Jesus from the dead!

Tenses in the Bible can be most confusing unless we understand the logic of Gods faith! “Before Abraham was I am! The Lamb was since the fall of the world! Our redeemed innocence is the central theme of scripture and the very foundation of God’s throne. “Having made purification for sins he sat down!” Jesus is the executive authority of God; seated in the boundless measure of his majesty where he occupies the highest seat of dominion to endorse humanity’s innocence! Heb.1:3.

Consider the Greek word μετάνοια metanoia, from meta, together with, and, noieō, to perceive with the mind; which describes the awakening of the mind to that which is true; a re-alignment of one’s reasoning; it is a gathering of one’s thoughts, a co-knowing. It has nothing in common with the Latin word paenitentia, where the word pennance stems from; meaning, payback and punishment inflicted on oneself. Then they added the “re” to get even more mileage out of sin consciousness. Re-penance. This gross deception led to the perverted doctrines of indulgences, where naive, ignorant people were led to believe that they needed to purchase favor from an angry god. Most cathedrals as well as many ministries were funded with this guilt money.

English translations do little to help us understand what repentance truly is. Until Jerome’s Latin Vulgate translation, the word metanoia was commonly

 

65 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

used. For instance, Tertullian wrote in 198 A.D. “In Greek, metanoia is not a confession of sins but a change of mind.” But despite this the Latin fathers begin to translate the word as “do penance” following the Roman Catholic teaching on doing penance in order to win God’s favor.

In 1430, Lorenzo Valla, a Catholic theologian, began a critical study of Jerome’s Latin Vulgate and Valla pointed out many mistakes that Jerome had made. Sadly, the “Vulgate-Only” crowd of Valla’s day forced him to renounce many of the changes that he noted needed changing in the Vulgate including the poor translation of metanoia.

Everyone who drinks from the wells of religion will thirst again! The business of religion desperately needs paying and returning customers! Religionists crucified Jesus for this reason because their entire system of keeping people dependent on their hierarchy was challenged and condemned! It was mankind’s sin consciousness and their sense of failure and inferiority that empowered religion for centuries.

Isa. 55:8-11 gives meaning to metanoia: your thoughts were distanced from God’s thoughts as the heavens are higher than the earth; but just like the rain and the snow cancel that distance and saturate the soil to awaken its seed, so shall my word be that proceeds from my mouth. (The authentic word from the “eye of the fountain.”)

Genesis 1:26 redeemed! Col. 1:15, 2:9-10. In the incarnation the earth was saturated with the ultimate evidence of the image and likeness of God unveiled and redeemed in human form.

The authentic thought, the mind of God, is realized again; the distance caused by Adam’s fall, (heaven higher than earth), is cancelled in the incarnation. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isa. 1:18. RSV

Paul says categorically that he refuses to tamper with God’s word: “With the open statement of the truth, (the unveiled mirror likeness, 2 Cor. 3:18) we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience!” Greek, suneido, to see together, to co-know, which is the opposite of Hades, from ha + eido, not to see.

2 Cor. 4:2 We have renounced hidden agendas [employing a little bit of the law in an attempt to “balance” out grace]; we have distanced ourselves from any obscure 1craftiness to manipulate God’s word to make it mean what it does not say! With truth on open display in us, we highly recommend our lives to everyone’s 2conscience! Truth finds its most authentic and articulate expression in human life, 3mirrored in the face of God. (It is our passion for all to see what is so completely obvious in the mirror of our redeemed likeness and innocence; this beats any doctrinal debate! The word translated craftiness, is the word 1panourgia from pas and ergon, all manner of wearisome labor! 2Conscience in

Innocence Redeemed – 6 66

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

Latin means to know together; in the Greek, 2suneido, translates as joint seeing; which is the opposite of Hades, from ha + eido, not to see. πρὸς πᾶσαν [every individual] συνείδησιν [seamless-seeing] ἀνθρώπων ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ pros [face to face] The word for the human species, male or female is anthropos, from ana, upward, and tropos, manner of life; character; in like manner. )

Your belief in God does not define him; his faith in what he knows to be true about you, defines you.

In Mark 11:22 Jesus says, “have the faith of God.” Unfortunately many translations say, “have faith in God”; there is a vast difference. God’s belief in you gives substance to your faith. Jesus is what God believes about you! Faith is to the spirit what the senses are to the body; while the one engages with fleeting and fading moments, the other celebrates perfection.

If our point of reference is not God’s faith in the finished work of Christ we have no valid gospel to preach! If our faith is not sourced and sustained in him as the mirror image of God revealed and redeemed in us we are deceiving ourselves with yet another religious disguise, called Christianity.

Acts 17:30-31 “He overlooked the times of ignorance and now urges all people everywhere to awaken in their understanding to that which is revealed in Christ; mankind was judged righteous in one man’s death, and co-raised in his resurrection as the trophy of innocence redeemed! Having made purification for sins he sat down! His throne authority is established upon our redeemed innocence.

God’s work in Christ on humanity’s behalf has done so much more than the mere forgiveness of sins; He has broken the dominion of sin in our lives! See Eph 4:8-10 and Col 2:14,15.

Isa. 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Rom. 8:1 Now the decisive conclusion is this: in Christ, every bit of condemning evidence against us is cancelled. (“Who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.” This sentence was not in the original text, but later copied from verse 4. The person who added this most probably felt that the fact of Paul’s declaration of mankind’s innocence had to be made subject again to a person’s conduct. Religion under the law felt more comfortable with the condition of personal contribution rather than the conclusion of what faith reveals. The “in Christ” revelation is key to God’s dealing with mankind. It is the PIN-code of the Bible. [See 1 Cor 1:30 and Eph 1:4].)

Rom. 8:2. The law of the Spirit is the liberating force of life in Christ. This leaves me with no further obligation to the law of sin and death. Spirit has superseded the sin enslaved senses as the principle law of our lives. (The law

67 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

of the spirit is righteousness by faith vs the law of personal effort and self righteousness which produces condemnation and spiritual death which is the fruit of the DIY tree.)

Rom. 8:3 The law failed to be anything more than an instruction manual; it had no power to deliver us from the strong influence of sin holding us hostage in our own bodies. God disguised himself in his Son in this very domain where sin ruled us, in flesh. The body he lived and conquered in was no different to ours. Thus sin’s authority in the human body was condemned. (Hebrews 4:15, As High Priest he fully identifies with us in the context of our frail human life. Having subjected it to close scrutiny, he proved that the human frame was master over sin. His sympathy with us is not to be seen as excusing weaknesses that are the result of a faulty design, but rather as a trophy to mankind. He is not an example for us but of us.)

Rom. 8:4 The righteousness promoted by the law is now realized in us. Our practical day-to-day life bears witness to spirit inspiration and not flesh domination.

Rom. 8:5 Sin’s symptoms are sponsored by the senses, a mind dominated by the sensual. Thoughts betray source; spirit life attracts spirit thoughts.

Rom. 8:6 Thinking patterns are formed by reference, either the sensual appetites of the flesh and spiritual death, or zoe-life and total tranquillity flowing from a mind addicted to spirit [faith] realities.

Rom. 8:7 A mind focused on flesh (the sensual domain where sin held me captive) is distracted from God with no inclination to his life-laws. Flesh [self-righteousness] and spirit [faith righteousness] are opposing forces. (Flesh no longer defines you; faith does!)

Col. 2:11 You were in Christ when he died; which means that his death is your true circumcision. This is 1not hypothetical; this is the real deal. Thus, sin’s authority in the human body was stripped of its control over you. (ἀχειροποίητος 1acheiropoiētos; not made with hands.)

Col. 2:12 In the same parallel [your co-circumcision in his death], your co-burial and joint-resurrection is now demonstrated in baptism; your co-inclusion in Christ is what God’s faith knew when he powerfully raised him from the dead. (Hosea 6:2.)

Col. 2:13 You were once spiritually dead, as confirmed in your constant failure, being bound to a lifestyle ruled by the 1distorted desires of the flesh; but now God made you alive together with him and thus 2graciously restored our innocence and dignity, having forgiven us all our 3short falling. (1The uncircumcision of the flesh, i.e., in the Greek, a life controlled by the sexual organs. God 2graced us in Christ. The word translated, forgiven, 2charisamenos from charizomai means he graciously restored our innocence and dignity! The word, 3paraptoma, comes from, para, close proximity, sphere of influence and pipto, to stop flying, from petomai, to fly; thus, to fall from flight or to lose altitude.)

Innocence Redeemed – 6 68

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

Col. 2:14 His body nailed to the cross hung there as the 3document of mankind’s guilt; in dying our death he 1cancelled the detailed 2hand-written 3record which testified against us. Every 1stain on our conscience, reminding of the sense of failure and guilt, was thus fully blotted out. (The word, 1exaleipho, comes from ek, out of, and aleipho, with a, as a particle of union, and liparos, to grease, to leave a stain; guilt, as well as all hurtful memories were like grease stains upon the conscience. In N.T. only here and Rev 3:5; 7:17; 21:4 and in Acts 3:19 “Be awakened in your minds and fully converted to face the fact of your redeemed innocence – your sins have been thoroughly blotted out!” Plato used it of blotting out a writing. The word, 2cheirographon, translates as hand-written. The word, 3dogma, comes from dokeo, a thought pattern; thus thought patterns engraved by human experience of constant failure to do what the law required. In his personal handwriting mankind endorsed their own death sentence. The hands of fallen mankind struck the body of Jesus with the blows of their religious hatred and fury when they nailed his bloodied body to the tree; they did not realize that in the mystery of God’s economy, Jesus became the scapegoat of the entire human race! [Isaiah 53:4, 5] See notes on Heb 8:12.

“The slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant cancelled and nailed to Christ’s Cross.” —The Message.)

Col. 2:15 In him dying mankind’s death, he 1defused every possible claim of accusation against the human race and thus made a public 2spectacle of every 3rule and authority in God’s brilliant triumph, demonstrated in him. The 4voice of the cross will never be silenced! (The horror of the Cross is now the eternal trophy of God’s triumph over sin! The cross stripped religion of its authority to manipulate mankind with guilt. Every accusation lost its leverage to blackmail the human race with condemnation and shame! The word, 1apekduomai, is translated from apo, away from, and ekduo, to be stripped of clothing; to disarm; the religious facade that disguised the law of works as a means of defining a person’s life, was openly de- feated. Same word used in Col 3:9. The dominance of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil [poneros, hard work and labor] was ended. The word, 2deikmatizo, means to exhibit in public. See 3commentary below of the words arche, rule and exousia, authority. The word, 4parresia, comes from pas, all and rheo, outspokenness, pouring forth speech.

“He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.” — The Message

See commentary for 1 Corinthians 15:24, The complete conclusion in his work of re- demption is celebrated in his yielding the full harvest of his reign to God the Fa- ther, having brought to nought the law of works which supported every definition of dominion under the fall, including all principalities, all authority and every dynamic influence in society. [He brought to nought the law of works, katargeo, from kata, meaning intensity, and argos, meaning labor; thus free from all self effort to attempt to improve what God has already perfected in Christ. All principalities, 3arche, or chief ranks, i.e., kings, governors; this includes any governing system whereby one is ranked

69 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

above the other on the basis of their performance or preference. All authority, 3exousia, comes from ek, denoting origin and eimi, I am; in this case, because of what I can do I am defined by what I can do better than you; therefore, I have authority over you. Every dynamic influence in society, dunamis, means power, in this case, willpower. Every government structure in society will be brought under the dominion of grace where the Christ-life rules.]

In 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, We voice words of wisdom that was hidden in silence for time- less ages; a mystery unfolding God’s Masterful plan whereby he would redeem his glory in mankind. Neither the politicians nor the theologians of the day had a clue about this mystery [of mankind’s association in Christ]; if they did, they would never have crucified the Lord whose death redeemed our glory!)

God used Christ’s body to condemn sin. (Contemporary English Version) Rom. 8:3. He has signed the death warrant of sin. (Knox)

1 Cor. 1:22 The Jews crave signs [to confirm their doubts] while the Greeks revel in philosophical debate! (Both groups are addicted to the same soul realm.)

1 Cor. 1:23 The crucified Christ is the message we publicly proclaim, to the disgust of the Jews while the Greeks think we are wacky.

1 Cor. 1:24 The dynamic of God’s wisdom is the fact that both Jew and Greek are equally included and defined in Christ.

1 Cor. 1:25 It seems so foolish that God should die mankind’s death on the cross; it seems so weak of God to suffer such insult; yet their wisest schemes and most powerful display of genius cannot even begin to comprehend or compete with God in his weakest moment on the cross.

1 Cor. 2:2 My 1mind is fully made up about you! The only possible way in which I can truly 2know you, is in the light of God’s mystery, which is 3Christ in you! Jesus died mankind’s death on the cross and thus brought final closure to any other basis of 1judgment! (The word, 1krino, to judge, to determine, to deem in a forensic sense, here, in the Aorist Tense, ekrina, which suggests a once and for all completed act. The Aorist tense presents an occurrence in summary, viewed as a whole from the outside, almost like a snapshot of the action. Paul makes a very bold and radical statement, confining his ministry focus to “know” the full scope and consequence of the revelation of mankind’s redeemed innocence as communicated in the cross of Jesus Christ! This is the essence of the mystery of God! “For I determined to 2know [- 2eido, to see, to perceive] nothing in you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Nothing else! Not the latest gossip or popular news events! He says in 2 Cor 5:14,16, The love of Christ leads to this conclusion, one has died for all – therefore all died! From now on therefore, I no longer know ANYONE from a human point of view!

Paul continues to unfold the mystery of our redeemed oneness! In the previous chapter, he concludes that we are in Christ by God’s doing; here he clearly points to 3Christ in us! [As Jesus declared in John 14:20]

Innocence Redeemed – 6 70

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

See 2 Cor 3:4 Christ is proof of our persuasion about you before God. Also 2 Cor 1:18 God’s certainty is our persuasion; there is no maybe in him! 2 Cor 1:19 The Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom I, Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy boldly announced in you is God’s ultimate yes to mankind. Human life is associated in all that he is. In God’s mind, there exists not even a hint of hesitation about this! Also Gal 1:16 and Col 1:27.)

Heb. 8:10 Now, instead of documenting my laws on stone, I will chisel them into your mind and engrave them in your inner consciousness; it will no longer be a one-sided affair. I will be your God and you will be my people, not by compulsion but by mutual desire.

Heb. 8:11 Knowing me will no longer be a Sunday-school lesson, or something taught by persuasive words of doctrine, neither will they know me on account of family tradition or door to door evangelism [each one telling his neighbor]. Everyone, from the most unlikely to the most prominent people in society, will know me inwardly.

Heb. 8:12 This knowledge of me will never again be based on sin-consciousness. My act of mercy, extended in Christ as the new Covenant, has removed every possible definition of sin from memory! (God’s memory of our sins was not what needed to be addressed in the redemption of our innocence. God did not have a problem with sin-consciousness, we had! He wasn’t hiding from Adam and Eve in the garden; they were hiding from him! What needed to be addressed were our perceptions of a judgmental God, which were the inevitable fruit of the I-am-not tree system and mentality.

Revenge, judgment, guilt, condemnation, inferiority, shame, regret, suspicion etc. could not be treated lightly; they are the enemies of romance! If rules could do it, then the law would be our opportunity to save ourselves, simply by making the correct decisions! If willpower could save us then Moses would be our savior! But, alas! “The good that I want to do I cannot!” See Rom 7.

The scapegoat system would be introduced to somehow address and attempt to manage the consequences of sin. The typical “eye for and eye, tooth for a tooth” scenario would be substituted with the idea of a scapegoat. And so, every system of sacrifice carried some significance, but only as far as it pointed to its weaknesses in dealing with the root of the problem, and the need for a better solution! We needed more than forgiveness of our sins; we needed a savior who could rescue us from our sinfulness! This was not merely a means whereby we could get rid of the cobwebs; the spider needed to be killed! The “pay now, sin later-system” had a very real sell-by date!

See Heb 10:2 & 3 Had it been possible to present the perfect offering that had the power to successfully remove any trace of a sin-consciousness, then the sacrificial system would surely have ceased to be relevant. But in the very repetition of these ritual sacrifices the awareness of guilt is reinforced rather than removed.

God does not demand sacrifice; he provides the sacrifice! The ultimate sacrifice for sins would never be something we did, or brought to God, to appeal to him; but the shocking

71 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

scandal of the cross, is the fact that mankind is confronted with the extravagant, embarrassing proportions of the love of their Maker; he would go to the most ridiculous extreme to finally convince us of his heart towards us! In order to persuade us of our worth to him, he speaks the most severe scapegoat language: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” This completely disarms religion! Suddenly there is nothing that we can do to persuade God about our sincere intentions; this is God persuading us of his eternal love dream!

God did not clothe Adam with the skin of an animal because of a divine need to be appeased, but because of their unconditional love for Adam; they spoke the language of Adam’s own judgment: Adam, not God, was embarrassed about his nakedness. The clothing was not to make God look at Adam differently, but to make Adam feel better about himself! And ultimately it was to prepare Adam for the unveiling of the mystery of mankind’s redemption in the incarnation. Here Deity would clothe themselves in human skin in a Son, and the Lion of Judah would become the Lamb of God in order to free our minds to re discover his image and likeness in our skin! Mankind is tailor- made for God!

See also 1 Peter 1:19 but you were redeemed with the priceless blood of Christ; he is the ultimate sacrifice; spotless and without blemish. He completes the prophetic picture! (In him God speaks the most radical scapegoat language of the law of judgment, and brings final closure to a dead and redundant system! In Psalm 40:6,7, it is clearly stated that God does not require sacrifices or offerings! Jesus is the Lamb of God! He collides victoriously with the futile sacrificial system whereby offerings are constantly made to the pseudo, moody, monster gods of our imagination! This is the scandal of the cross! God does not demand a sacrifice that would change the way he thinks about mankind; he provides the sacrifice of himself in Christ in order to forever eradicate sin-consciousness from our minds and radically change the way we think about our Maker, one another and ourselves! [Sin-consciousness is a works-based consciousness which is the currency of religion.]

Also John 5:28 Do not be alarmed by this, but the hour is coming when those in the 1graves will hear his voice! (No-one who ever lived will escape the extent of his righteous judgment! Those who have 1forgotten who they are will hear his incarnate voice! The word for grave, 1mnēmeion, memory, suggests a remembrance! Like David prophesies in Psalm 22 when he sees the cross-crisis [krisis – judgment] a thousand years before it happens! His conclusion in verse 27 sums up the triumph of God’s resolve! “All the ends of the earth shall 1remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him!” See 1 Corinthians 15:21,22 The same mankind who died in a man was raised again in a man. In Adam all died; in Christ all are made alive.))

Heb. 9:9 The tabernacle pattern of that time was an analogy of the hitherto imperfect system in which the gifts and sacrifices presented failed completely to cleanse the conscience of the worshipper.

Heb. 9:10 All these external rituals pertaining to food and drink and the various ceremonial baptisms and rules for bodily conduct were imposed

Innocence Redeemed – 6 72

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

upon them until the anticipated time of restoration; the foretold moment when 1all that was crooked would be made straight and restored to its natural and original condition. (This word, 1diothosis, is only used in this one place in the New Testament; what was crooked will be made thoroughly straight, restoring to its natural and normal condition something which in some way protrudes or has gotten out of line, as broken or misshapen limbs.)

Heb. 9:11 But now Christ has made his public appearance as High Priest of a perfect tabernacle. The good things that were predicted have arrived. This new tabernacle is not a compromised replica of its shadow type, man- made one. This is the real deal! (The restoration of God’s original dwelling place in human life is again revealed!)

Heb. 9:12 As High Priest, his permission to enter the Holy Place was not secured by the blood of beasts. By his own blood he obtained access on behalf of the human race. Only one act was needed for him to enter the most sacred place of grace and there to institute a ransom of perpetual consequence. (The perfection of the redemption he secured needs no further sacrifice. There are no outstanding debts; there is nothing we need do to add weight to what he has accomplished once and for all. The only possible priesthood activity we can now engage in is to continually bring a sacrifice of the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his Name; no blood, just fruit, even our acts of self-sacrifice, giving of time and money, etc. are all just the fruit of our constant gratitude!)

Heb. 9:13 The blood of beasts and the ashes of the burnt sacrifice of a heifer could only achieve a very temporal and surface cleansing by being sprinkled on the guilty. (The word for heifer, is damalis, from damatzo, to tame; this was the most dear and expensive sacrifice. She was a strong, pristine, spotless female calf, she was raised as a family pet; “A Little Princess!” This was the best that the law-system could present; yet, no inner purging of conscience was possible; only the sense of temporal relief; whilst knowing that the entire process would have to be repeated again and again! In this arrangement, God addressed the dilemma of our sin consciousness; the deep- seated stain that it had left needed to be thoroughly exposed, and then brought to closure. The shadow system with its imperfections, as a possible means of obtaining a lasting and meaningful sense of innocence, had to be exhausted; ultimately proving that no sacrifice that anyone can bring at any expense of their own, could possibly match the sacrifice of God giving himself as scapegoat to the human race in order to persuade us that his love for us would go to the scandalous extreme, where we are finally confronted with the fact that it is not in a sacrifice that we bring where God’s mind is favorably influenced towards us; but in the shocking sacrifice of himself, where he forever, in the most radical language, impact our ideas and thoughts about the Father, Son and Spirit’s estimate of us. There is nothing dearer in the universe to them, but our redeemed innocence and our individual value realized! See Colossians 2:14,15 in the Mirror Bible.)

Heb. 9:14 How much more effective was the blood of Christ, when he presented his own flawless life through the eternal Spirit before God, in order to purge your conscience from its frustration under the 1cul-de-sac

73 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

rituals of the law. There is no comparison between a guilt and duty-driven, dead religious system, and the vibrancy of living your life free from a sin-consciousness! This is what the new testament priesthood is all about! (Dead works, 1nekros ergon. A dead, religious-routine system can never compete with the resurrected Christ now realized in you.)

1 Pet. 4:1-2 Death brings a final end to sin, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh. (He died your death; you were on his mind throughout) Consider the implication of your co-inclusion in him; thus reinforce your mind to stand fully armed against any onslaught. You may confidently live the rest of your time in the flesh inspired by the determined purpose of God with no further obligation to perverted human lusts.

Col. 3:1 See yourselves co-raised with Christ! Now ponder with persuasion the consequence of your co-inclusion in him. Relocate yourselves mentally! Engage your thoughts with throne room realities where you are co-seated with Christ in the executive authority of God’s right hand.

Col. 3:2 Becoming affectionately acquainted with throne room thoughts will keep you from being distracted again by the earthly [soul-ruled] realm. (“Set your minds upon the things that are above and not upon the things below!” RSV. Whatever you face in your daily lives, acquaint yourselves with the greater reality! The things that are above! Do not engage the energy of the things that are below! Also note Romans 1:18, where the word katecho is used – to echo downwards is the opposite to anoche, to echo upward- Romans 2:4 and Romans 3:26. Also 2 Corinthians 4:18 “We are not keeping any score of what seems so obvious to the senses on the surface; it is fleeting and irrelevant; it is the unseen eternal realm within us which has our full attention and captivates our gaze!” A renewed mind conquers the space previously occupied by worthless pursuits and habits. See my notes on Earthbound vs. Heavenly Dimension Realities at the end of Revelation Chapter 16.)

Col. 3:3 Your union with his death broke the association with that world; see yourselves located in a fortress where your life is hidden with Christ in God! (“In that day you will know that I am in my father, and you in me and I in you.” [Jn 14:20] Occupy your mind with this new order of life; you died when Jesus died; whatever defined you before defines you no more. Christ, in whom the fullness of deity dwells, defines you now! The word, “hidden” can also be translated, secret; the secret of your life is your union with Christ in God! [See Col 2:9, 10] “Risen, then, with Christ you must lift your thoughts above where Christ now sits at the right hand of God, you must be heavenly minded; not earthly minded, you have undergone death, and your life is hidden away now with Christ in God. Christ is your life, when he is made manifest you are made manifest in his glory.” [Knox.])

Col. 3:4 The unveiling of Christ, as defining our lives, 1immediately implies that, what is evident in him, is equally mirrored in you! The exact life on exhibit in Christ is now repeated in us. We are included in the same bliss and joined-oneness with him; just as his life reveals you, your life reveals

Innocence Redeemed – 6 74

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

him. (This verse was often translated to again delay the revelation of Christ to a future event! The word, 1otan, often translated as “when” is better translated as “every time.” Thus, “Every time Christ is revealed we are being co-revealed in his glory.” According to Walter Bauer Lexicon, otan is often used of an action that is repeated. Paul declares our joint-glorification in Christ! We are co-revealed in the same bliss. [See 1 Cor 2:7-8, Rom 3:23-24, Rom 8:30, 2 Pet 1:3.] In him we live and move and have our being; in us he lives and moves and has his being! Acts 17:28.)

Col. 3:5 Consider the members of your body as dead and buried towards everything related to the porn industry, sensual uncleanness, longing for forbidden things, lust and greed, which are just another form of idol worship. (Idol worship is worshipping a distorted image of yourself!)

Col. 3:6 These distorted expressions are in total contradiction to God’s design and 1desire for your life. (The word 1orge, associated with wrath or punishment is from oregomai, to stretch oneself out, to reach out, to long for, to desire. The sentence, “upon the sons of unbelief” [Greek word, ἀπείθεια Lit. without faith]; or as the KJV translates it, “sons of disobedience”, was added later in some manuscripts.)

Col. 3:7 We were all once swept along into a lifestyle of lust and greed.

Col. 3:8 But now, because you realize that you co-died and were co-raised together with Christ, you can flush your thoughts with truth! Permanently put these things behind you: things such as violent outbursts of rage, depression, all manner of wickedness, 1slander and every form of irregular conversation. (The lifelong association with sin is broken; the dominion of the character of God is revealed again in ordinary life. The word 1blasphemos means any attempt to belittle someone else and to cause someone to receive a bad reputation.)

Col. 3:9 That old life was a lie, foreign to our design! Those garments of disguise are now thoroughly stripped off us in our understanding of our union with Christ in his death and resurrection. We are no longer obliged to live under the identity and rule of the robes we wore before, neither are we cheating anyone through false pretensions. (The garments an actor would wear define his part in the play but cannot define him.)

Col. 3:10 We stand fully identified in the new creation renewed in knowledge according to the pattern of the exact image of our Creator.

Col. 3:11 The revelation of Christ in us gives identity to the individual beyond anything anyone could ever be as a Greek or a Jew, American or African, foreigner or famous, male or female, king or pawn. From now on everyone is defined by Christ; everyone is represented in Christ. (In seeing him not just recorded in history but revealed in us, we discover the face of our birth as in a mirror! Jas 1:18.)

Heb. 10:1 For the law presented to us a faint shadow, outlining the promise of the blessings anticipated in the coming of Christ, even detailing its future significance. The mere sketch however, could never be confused with the actual object that it represented. The annual sacrificial rites as shadow of the

75 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

eventual object would always leave the worshipper feeling inadequate and be a reminder year after year of the sinfulness of mankind. (Barnes Notes on Heb 10:1, “For the law having a shadow: That is, the whole of the Mosaic economy was a shadow; for so the word “Law” is often used. The word “shadow” here refers to a rough outline of anything, a mere sketch, such as a carpenter draws with a piece of chalk, or such as an artist delineates when he is about to make a picture.

He sketches an outline of the object which he desires to draw, which has “some” resemblance to it, but is not the “very image;” for it is not yet complete. The words rendered “the very image” refer to a painting or statue that is finished, where every part is an exact representation of the original. The “good things to come” here refer to the future blessings which would be conferred on mankind by the Gospel. The idea is, that under the ancient sacrifices there was an imperfect representation; a dim outline of the blessings which the Gospel would impart to people. They were a typical representation; they were not such that it could be pretended that they would answer the purpose of the things themselves which they were to represent, and would make those who offered them perfect.

Such a rude outline; such a mere sketch, or imperfect delineation, could no more answer the purpose of saving the soul than the rough sketch which an architect makes would answer the purpose of a house, or than the first outline which a painter draws would answer the purpose of a perfect and finished portrait. All that could be done by either would be to convey some distant and obscure idea of what the house or the picture might be, and this was all that was done by the Law of Moses.”

The Gospel is no longer a future prediction; it is a now and relevant revelation. We are talking good news, and not just good predictions! News already happened! Every definition of distance or delay is cancelled in Christ.)

Heb. 10:2 Had it been possible to present the perfect offering that had the power to successfully remove any trace of a sin-consciousness, then the sacrificial system would surely have ceased to be relevant.

Heb. 10:3 But in the very repetition of these ritual sacrifices the awareness of guilt is reinforced rather than removed.

Heb. 10:4 The conclusion is clear: animal sacrifices failed to remove anyone’s sinfulness or their sin-consciousness.

Heb. 10:5 So when Jesus, the Messiah, arrives as the fulfillment of all the types and shadows, he quotes Psalm 40:6-8, and says, “In sacrifices and offerings God takes no pleasure; but you have ordained my incarnation!” (Adam Clark writes the following commentary: A body hast thou prepared me – The quotation of this and the two following verses by the apostle, is taken from the Septuagint, with scarcely any variety of reading: they are widely different in verbal expression in the Hebrew. In the Hebrew text David’s words are, oznayim caritha li, which we translate, “My ears hast thou opened”; but the writer of this אזנים כרית לי

Innocence Redeemed – 6 76

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

Epistle quotes, soma [body] de katertiso moi; which I translated as, “You have ordained my incarnation!” How is it possible that the Septuagint and the Apostle should take a meaning so completely different from the sense of the Hebrew? Dr. Kennicott has a very ingenious conjecture here: he supposes that the Septuagint and Apostle express the meaning of the words as they stood in the copy from which the Greek translation [LXX – Septuagint] was made; and that the present Hebrew text is corrupted in the word aznayim, ears, which has been written through carelessness for az gevah, then, a body… The first syllable אז, az, Then, is the same in both; and the latter, נים nyim, which, joined to az makes oznayim, might have been easily mistaken for geviah, ּגו ּיה body; the letter נ nun being very like the letter ג gimel; and י yod like mem; especially if the line on which the letters were written ם he like final ה vau; and ו in the MS. happened to be blacker than ordinary, which has often been a cause of mistake, it might then have been easily taken for the under-stroke of the mem, ם and thus give rise to a corrupt reading; add to this, the root of כרית carah ּכרה signifies as well to prepare, as to open, dig, etc. On this supposition the ancient copy translated by the Septuagint, and followed by the apostle, must have read the Hebrew text thus: az geviah charitha li; and therefore wrote the Greek text thus, soma de katertitsoo moi Σωμα δε κατηρτισω μοι. Then a body thou hast prepared me: thus the older Hebrew text, the version of the Septuagint, and the Apostle, will agree in what is known to be an indisputable fact in the Christian faith; namely, that Jesus Christ is the incarnate prophetic word; he is the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world!

It is remarkable, that all the offerings and sacrifices which were considered to be of an atoning or cleansing nature, offered under the law, are here enumerated, to show that none of them, nor all of them, could take away sin; and that the grand sacrifice of Christ was that alone which could do it. Adam Clarke)

Heb. 10:6 None of the prescribed offerings and sacrifices, including burnt offerings and sin offerings were your request.

Heb. 10:7 “Then I said, I read in your book what you wrote about me; so here I am, I have come to fulfill my destiny.” (Ps 40:7, Lk 4:17, Lk 24:27, 44.)

Heb. 10:8 Having said what he did in the above quote, that the prescribed offerings and sacrifices were neither his desire nor delight, he condemned the entire sacrificial system upheld by the law.(These only served to sustain a sin-consciousness and was of no redemptive benefit to anyone.)

Heb. 10:9 Also by saying, “I am commissioned to fulfil your will,” he announces the final closure of the first in order to introduce the second. (Grace replaces the law; innocence supersedes sin-consciousness.)

Heb. 10:10 So, by this fulfilled will, in the mind of God and by his resolution he declares mankind immediately sanctified through one sacrifice; the presentation of the body of Jesus Christ.

77 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

Heb. 10:11 Every priest continually repeats the same daily rituals and sacrifices, knowing that they have always proved incapable of removing sins.

Heb. 10:12 But now we have an exception. In complete contrast to the previous priesthood, this priest offered a single sacrifice of perpetual efficacy for sins.

To celebrate the perfection of what was attained through his single sacrifice, he sat down as the executive authority of God. (God’s right hand [Heb 1:3]. He occupies the highest seat of dominion to endorse mankind’s innocence! “Having accomplished purification of sins, he sat down.”)

Heb. 10:13 His seat of authority is established upon 1the fully realized, prophetic expectation that all his enemies 2would be subdued. He would most certainly stand in triumph with his feet on their necks. (See Heb. 1:13 “You are the extension of my right hand, my executive authority; take your position and witness how I make your enemies a place upon which you may rest your feet.” [Mt 22:42-45.] The neck supporting and turning the head suggests that the mindset of every hostile influence is thus conquered. This act was done symbolically, as a token, not only of the present complete victory, but of continued and sustained triumph over all adversaries. The word, εκδεχομενος 1ekdechomenos, [to accept from the source] is the Present Participle Passive. Participles are verbal adjectives. [Nearly a third of Greek verbal forms are Participles.] For the Present Participle this implies that the action of the Participle is going on at the same time as the action of the main verb in the sentence, which is the verb in the previous verse where the sentence begins, ἐκάθισεν ekathisen, the Aorist Indicative Active, he sat down having offered a single sacrifice of perpetual efficacy for sins… Then the word, τεθωσιν 2tethoosin, to be subdued; the Aorist Subjunctive Passive – a definite outcome that will happen as a result of another stated action. See 1 Cor 15:25 His dominion is destined to subdue all hostility and contradiction under his feet. (“The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” [Ps 110:1] Jesus is Lord of Lords; in his victory mankind is restored to lordship; “I say you are gods, all of you are sons of the Most High” [Ps 82:6 RSV]. See Rev 3:11.)

Heb. 10:14 By that one perfect sacrifice he has 1perfectly 2sanctified sinful mankind forever. (The word, 2hagiazomenous, means sanctify, the present Parti- ciple describes an action thought of as simultaneous with the action of the main verb, “perfectly;” 1teteleioken, in the Perfect Tense denotes an action which is completed in the past, but the effects of which are regarded as continuing into the present. [See Heb. 2:11] For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin.)

Heb. 10:15 This is exactly what the Holy Spirit now endorses in us having already foretold it in Scripture. (Jer 31:33, 34.)

Heb. 10:16 This is my covenant that I will make with you during those days, says the Lord; I will greatly advantage you by 1giving my laws in your hearts and engrave them in your inmost thoughts. (The word, 1didomi, means to give someone something to their advantage.)

Innocence Redeemed – 6 78

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

Heb. 10:17 This is final: I have no record of your sins and misdeeds. I cannot recall them. (Nothing in God’s reference of mankind, reminds him of sin. See Heb. 8:12.)

Heb. 10:18 Sins were dealt with in such a thorough manner that the idea of future offerings would never again be considered. Nothing that we can personally sacrifice could add any virtue to our innocence.

Heb. 10:19 So, fellow family, what the blood of Jesus communicates, seals our immediate access into this ultimate place of sacred encounter, with unashamed confidence.

Heb. 10:20 This is the official inauguration of a brand new way of life. The torn flesh of Jesus opened the veil for us. Our own flesh can no longer be a valid excuse to interrupt the expression of the life of our design from within our innermost shrine.

Heb. 10:21 We have a High Priest in the house!

Heb. 10:22 We are free to approach God with absolute confidence, fully persuaded in our hearts that nothing can any longer separate us. We are invited to draw near now! We are thoroughly cleansed, inside and out, with no trace of sin’s stains on our conscience or conduct. The sprinkled blood purges our inner thought-patterns; our bodies also are bathed in clean water. (1 Cor 6:19 Do you not realize that your body is the sacred shrine of the Spirit of God, echoing within you. You do not own your life! 1 Cor 6:20 You are bought and paid for. All of you are his. Live your life conscious of how irreplaceably priceless you are. You host God in your skin.)

Heb. 10:23 Our conversation echoes his persuasion; his faithfulness backs his promises. (His integrity inspires our confession. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.)

Heb. 10:24 Let us also think of creative ways by which we can influence one another to find inspired expression in doing things that benefit others. Good actions give voice and volume to the love of God. (Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” RSV.)

Heb. 10:25 In the light of our free access to the Father, let us extend that embrace to one another. Our gatherings are no longer a repetition of tradition but an essential fellowship where we remind one another of our true identity. Let us do so with greater urgency now the day has dawned in our understanding. (The prophetic shadow has been replaced by the light of day.)

1 Pet. 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in flesh but made alive in spirit.

Rom. 6:6 We perceive that our old lifestyle was co-crucified together with him; this concludes that the vehicle that accommodated sin in us, was scrapped and rendered entirely useless. Our slavery to sin has come to an end.

79 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

Rom. 6:7 If nothing else stops you from doing something wrong, death certainly does.

Rom. 6:8 Faith sees us joined in his death and alive with him in his resurrection.

Rom. 6:9 It is plain for all to see that death lost its dominion over Christ in his resurrection; he need not ever die again to prove a further point.

Rom. 6:10 His appointment with death was 1once-off. As far as sin is concerned, he is dead. The reason for his death was to take away the sin of the world; his life now exhibits our union with the life of God. (The Lamb of God took away the sin of the world; 1efapax, once and for all, a final testimony, used of what is so done to be of perpetual validity and never needs repetition. This is the final testimony of the fact that sin’s power over us is destroyed. See Hebrews 9:26, “But Jesus did not have to suffer again and again since the fall (or since the foundation) of the world; the single sacrifice of himself in the fulfillment of history now reveals how he has brought sin to nought.” Thus, in this context [of everyone’s appointment with death], Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice. What the first, shadow-dispensation merely prophetically pointed to, he fulfilled once and for all, when he was presented as an offering, to take upon himself the sins of the entire human race! Now, with sin no longer on the agenda, he appears a second time, out of this death, to be clearly seen in everyone’s whole-hearted embrace of him as Savior! [Heb 9:28].”)

Rom. 6:11 This reasoning is equally relevant to you. 1Calculate the cross; there can only be one logical conclusion: he died your death; that means you died to sin, and are now alive to God. Sin-consciousness can never again feature in your future! You are in Christ Jesus; his Lordship is the authority of this union. (We are not being presumptuous to reason that we are in Christ! “1Reckon yourselves therefore dead to sin” The word, 1logitsomai, means to make a calculation to which there can only be one logical conclusion. [See Eph 1:4 and 1 Cor 1:30].

“From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.”— The Message.)
Rom. 6:12 You are under no obligation to sin; it has no further rights to dominate your dead declared body. Therefore let it not entice you to obey its lusts. (Your union with his death broke the association with sin [Col 3:3].)

Rom. 6:13 Do not let the members of your body lie around loose and unguarded in the vicinity of unrighteousness, where sin can seize it and use it as a destructive weapon against you; rather place yourself in 1readiness to God, like someone resurrected from the dead and present your whole person as a weapon of righteousness. (Thus you are reinforcing God’s grace claim on mankind in Christ; 1paristemi, to place in readiness, in the vicinity of.)

Rom. 6:14 Sin was your master while the law was your measure; now grace rules. (The law revealed your slavery to sin, now grace reveals your freedom from it.)

Innocence Redeemed – 6 80

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

Rom. 6:15 Being under grace and not under the law most certainly does not mean that you now have a license to sin.

Rom. 6:16 As much as you once gave permission to sin to trap you in its spiral of spiritual death and enslave you to its dictates, the obedience that faith ignites now, introduces a new rule, rightness with God; to this we willingly yield ourselves. (Righteousness represents everything that God restored us to—in Christ.)

Rom. 6:17 The content of teaching that your heart embraced has set a new 1standard to become the 1pattern of your life; the grace of God ended sin’s dominance. (The word, 1tupos, means form, mold. The Doddrich translation translates it as, “the model of doctrine instructs you as in a mold.”)

Rom. 6:18 Sin once called the shots; now righteousness rules.

Rom. 5:18 The conclusion is clear: if one offence condemns the entire human race; then in principle, the righteousness of one vindicates the entire human race. (Phillips translation: “We see then, that as one act of sin exposed the whole race of humanity to condemnation, so one act of perfect righteousness presents all humanity freely acquitted in the sight of God!”)

John 12:27 My soul is exceedingly perplexed right now! What shall I say, “Father! Rescue me 1out of the clutches of this hour!” No! This hour is the very culmination of my destiny! [Greek Preposition, 1ek, out of; source; origin.]

John 12:28 “Father! Glorify your name!” And immediately there came a voice out of the heavenly realm saying, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!”

John 12:29 The crowd heard the voice and said that it had thundered; others thought it was the voice of celestial messenger.

John 12:30 Jesus replied, “This voice was not for my sake but for yours! (Signs are for unbelievers. 1 Corinthians 14:22.)

John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; this is the moment where the ruler of the world-system is 1conclusively cast out! (The serpent’s head is about to be crushed! Genesis 3:15; Colossians 2:14,15. This is what the Holy Spirit will convince the world of! John 16:11. John uses a double-barrel word here, ekballo ekso – completely thrown out! Thus, taken out of the equation! Luke 10:18.)

John 12:32 When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all judgment unto me! (He would be lifted up on a cross, descend into the depths of our hell, then, according to the prophetic word in Hosea 6:2, after two days, the entire human race he represents, will be co-quickened and on the third day, be co-raised, out of the lowest parts of the earth and elevated to the highest heavens! Ephesians 4:8,9; see also Ephesians 2:5,6 and Colossians 3:1-3. ‘All’ includes all of mankind and their judgment. The subject of the sentence, as from the previous verse, is the judgment of the world – thus the primary thought here is that in his death, Jesus would draw all judgment upon himself!

81 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

John 3:14; John 8:28; Act 2:33. 1 John 3:5 We have witnessed with our own eyes how, in the unveiling of the prophetic word, when he was lifted up upon the cross as the Lamb of God, he lifted up our sin and broke its dominion and rule over us! John 1:29 “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away [airo] the sin of the world! The word airo means to lift up.”)

John 12:33 This he said to point to the way in which he would die. (See John 19:15 – Lift him up! Lift him up! Crucify him!”)

Rev. 12:8 The Dragon’s influence was totally demolished and rendered powerless – not a trace of its presence was found in the heavens! (Principalities and powers were completely disarmed on the cross! Col 2:14,15 “And their place was not found” see Daniel 2:35 – the little stone against whom the Gates of Hades shall not prevail – the Chip of the old Block demolished the pseudo man-made identity. There are numeral references to the same “once and for all war” in the heavens! It is however the same hour; the same event! Rev 16:13,14; Rev 17:13,14; 19:19; Rev 20:8.)

Rev. 12:9 So the great Dragon, the 1ancient 2ophis [serpent], also known as the Devil or Satan – whose sole mission was to lead the entire inhabited world astray – was cast down to the earth-dimension, together with all his cohorts. (The word 1archaios, ancient, of old; from arche, from the beginning. As Jesus said that the Devil was a murderer “from the beginning” The Greek word, 2ophis is translated serpent and comes from optomai, to gaze, in this case, to present a visual idea through illusion. John 8:44. He was stripped of his pseudo rank of authority see Col 2:14,15 he was made a public spectacle! Luke 10:18 And Jesus said to them, I saw Satan falling out of heaven like lightning! These all represent mindsets that have blindfolded mankind since the fall of Adam.)

Rev. 12:10 Then I heard a very loud voice in the heavens announcing, “This is the moment which the entire prophetic word pointed to and culminates in; it is the realization of mankind’s salvation. The power of the kingdom of our God and its authority is endorsed in the I-am-ness of his Christ. The business of accusation is bankrupted. The 24/7 industry of condemning the brotherhood of mankind before the face of God has been annihilated.” (The word 1kategoros, a name given to the Devil by the Rabbis, the one whose business is accusation, from kata, downward and agora, to trade; a word used for all kinds of business in the public arena. See John 12:27-30)

Rev. 12:11 Mikael and his celestial messengers conquered the Dragon because of the blood of the little Lamb and the word of their testimony! They did not believe that the agape of life discovered in Christ can be threatened or 1terminated in death! (The blood of the Lamb brought closure to every possible accusation against the human race. This is the testimony of the prophetic word an- nouncing the Good News throughout the ages. The word 1achri – the end; the idea of terminating. Mikael and his messengers represent the entire host of heaven – including all the multitudes previously mentioned. See Extended Notes on the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ at the end of Rev 20.)

Innocence Redeemed – 6 82

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

Ps. 103:1 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

Psa 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, Psa 103:3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

Psa 103:4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

Psa 103:5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psa 103:6 The LORD works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.

Psa 103:7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.

Psa 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Psa 103:9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever.

Psa 103:10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor requite us according to our iniquities.

Psa 103:11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

Psa 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. RSV

Zec. 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.

Zec. 3:2 And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”

Zec. 3:3 Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments.

Zec. 3:4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with rich apparel.”

Zec. 3:5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments; and the angel of the LORD was standing by.

Zec. 3:6 And the angel of the LORD enjoined Joshua,

Zec. 3:7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here.

83 Innocence Redeemed -6

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

Zec. 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men of good omen: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.

Zec. 3:9 For behold, upon the stone which I have set before Joshua, upon a single stone with seven facets, I will engrave its inscription, says the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day. RSV.

1 Cor. 5:8 Our daily life is now the extension of the Passover celebration; feasting on sustained innocence! The old sin conscious-system, the leaven-mind set (always anticipating and tolerating sin), is replaced with an understanding of our unleavened innocence, just like when a diamond is 1scrutinized in the rays of the sun to confirm its flawless integrity. (The word, 1elikrineia, translates as scrutinized in the rays of the sun.)

Having just healed a blind man at the entrance to Jericho,

Luke 19:1 Jesus then entered the city with the intention to just pass through.

Luke 19:2 There he a man who was known as Zacheus; he was the com- missioner of taxes and wealthy. (The city was close to the fords of the Jordan, on the frontier of Peraea, and on the richest plain of Palestine, abounding most in the choicest productions, especially balsam; and was, therefore, an appropriate seat ז ּכי for an officer of superior rank to preside over the collection of revenues. Zacheus untainted; transparent/innocent, pure; a chief tax collector.)

Luke 19:3 He was 1very keen to see for himself who this Jesus was. This was almost impossible, since he was short of stature and Jesus was swamped with people. (He obviously learned that Jesus was in town and was doing his best to see him; εζητει 1etzetey, the Imperfect Active Indicative – searching continually.)

Luke 19:4 So, he ran ahead and climbed into a sycamore tree to make sure he sees Jesus when he passes by.

Luke 19:5 As soon as Jesus was under the tree, he looked up and said, Zacheus, come down quickly and take me to your house, I would really like to spend time with you. (peusas katabēthi. Simultaneous Aorist Active Participle, speusas, with the Aorist Active Imperative. “Come down in a hurry. ”I must abide with you!”)

Luke 19:6 He was down in a flash and welcomed Jesus into his home with great joy.

Luke 19:7 The crowds were rumbling with disgust, like a hornet’s nest disturbed; how dare he lodge with such a notorious sinner!

Luke 19:8 Zacheus stood his ground in an effort to defend himself and said, Lord, I give half of my income to the poor and even if anyone accuses me falsely for over-charging them, I restore to them four times more than what they accuse me of! (Clearly Zach’s keenness to encounter Jesus was due to the fact

Innocence Redeemed – 6 84

INNOCENCE REDEEMED~ Chapter 6

that he was plagued with accusation, as can be clearly seen in the people’s reaction when he hosted Jesus! He’s own efforts to justify himself failed him; the people still continued to accuse him vehemently!)

Luke 19:9 Jesus responded, Today, salvation has come to your home! Mr. Innocent, you too are a son of Abraham! (Jesus shifts the conversation from the crowd’s accusations and Zacheus’ futile efforts to justify himself according to the law of works, and engages him with the meaning of both of their names! Jesus – means salvation and Zacheus means, untainted, pure, blameless, innocent! Abraham’s seed is the blessing of righteousness by faith – “Abraham saw my day!” See John 8:39, They immediately responded with, “But Abraham is our father!” To which Jesus replied, “If you were con- ceived by Abraham’s faith, you would mirror his persuasion! Jesus commends Zacheus’ faith by connecting him with the faith lineage of Abraham. See Gal 3:7 The conclusion is clear; faith and not flesh relates us to Abraham! [Grace rather than law is our true line- age. Ishmael represents so much more than the Muslim religion. Ishmael represents the clumsy effort of the flesh to compete with faith; the preaching of a mixed message of law and grace.])

1 John 2:28 So now, just like an 1infant in a mother’s embrace, 2abide in this place of innocence where his 3manifest appearance is meant to be fully realized and echoed in unashamed utterance! In his 4immediate presence there exist no sense of shame or any form of 5separation! (1Teknion, diminitive of teknon, an infant. The word, 2meno suggests an uninterrupted abiding, a seamless oneness! The word, 3phanerothe is an Aorist Passive in the Subjunctive mode, expressing the hypothetical, expected result of the completed action; from phaneroo, to appear; to fully realize, to manifest.

The word 4parousia speaks of the immediate presence of the Lord! From para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, a thing proceeding from a sphere of influence, with a suggestion of union of place of residence, to have sprung from its author and giver, originating from, denot- ing the point from which an action originates, intimate connection; and eimi, I am! There is not even a hint of judgment or punishment in this word! Sadly this word has often been translated to yet again point to a future event suggesting the coming of Christ! While there are great and accurate definitions in Strongs, please do not believe everything you read there! “G3952 parousia from the Present Participle of G3918 [pareimi]; a being near, that is, advent; often, return; specifically of Christ to punish Jerusalem, or finally the wicked.”!? [This is blatant nonsense!] The Greek word parousia, occurs 24 times in the NT, and 22 times it wrongly implies a 2nd coming or coming judgment! Only twice it is translated as presence! 2 Cor 10:10, Phil 2:12. Of all the English translations that I have checked, only the Young’s Literal has it correct! What a shame that this word has been so dramatically twisted over the years!)

 

Separation is an illusion!

Oneness does not come in degrees – only our awareness of it continues to be a wonderful unfolding!

When Jesus prays, “I in them and you in me, that they may be perfectly one.” He uses the word eimi to be – [osin] – and not ginomai to become. John 17:23

It is not just what we are redeemed from, [our waywardness and rejection of the life of our design] but what we are redeemed into, that is most exciting – we are redeemed into rediscovering the most amazing life entwined in the Father, Son and Spirit and one another.

The degree of our lostness is not the equation – the length of stay with the pigs is not the highlight of the story in Luke 15!

If realized sonship is the equation then both brothers were equally lost!
In Christ every single person is equally found!
In his essay on The Mediation Of Jesus Christ, Dr. C Baxter Kruger writes,

“The assumption of separation between Jesus and us is, in my opinion, one of the fundamental failures of Western Christianity. The blind spot of separation begets and perpetuates a multitude of ‘us-them’ divisions, including and especially religious divisions that are destroying our lives and the planet.

Moreover, this assumption necessarily makes our faith a work we do that relates us to an absent Jesus, rather than a mind-boggling, liberating, hope- begetting discovery of the reality of his union with us and with all creation.

The apostolic Jesus is the Father’s eternal Son, and the One anointed in the Spirit, and he is the One in and through and by whom all things were created and are constantly sustained. These three fundamental truths about Jesus Christ have rarely been held together with the incarnation. And failure here has fueled the oppressive racial, relational, sexual, ecological, environmental, religious, and political and social hell we find ourselves in today.

We stand before the beautiful mystery of the very being of God. Three divine persons completely dwelling in one another in indivisible oneness without loss of distinct personhood— perichoresis [the divine dance]. Every act of God is therefore a trinitarian act, arising out of and involving the relationship, the indivisible oneness, of the Father, Son, and Spirit.”

John 17:20 I do not pray for them exclusively but also for those who would come to believe in me because of their word.

John 17:21 That they all may be one, exactly as you Father are mirrored in me and I in you, that they also will be exactly mirrored to be one in us – then the entire world will believe and be persuaded about your mission upon my life!

17:22 And I, [the Incarnate word] have endued them with the same glorious esteem that you have given me so that their oneness may mirror ours.

17:23 I am in them as you are in me, and on this basis their seamless oneness may be entirely concluded. Thus the world will acknowledge your commis- sion upon my life and know that my love for them mirrors your love for me. (When Jesus prays, “I in them and you in me, that they may be perfectly one.” In all 3 these above verses, he uses the word eimi to be – [ωσιν osin] – and not ginomai to become. See my commentary on 1 Pet 1:16)

In the Incarnation, every possible excuse we could have, to feel separated and distanced from God, was erased! Jesus is the highway in the wilderness that Isaiah saw: every high place was brought down, every valley filled up, every crooked place made straight; even the rough places were made smooth! “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.” Isa. 40:3-5. See Luke 3:4,5 Mirror Bible.

In his death on the cross he prepares a place for us so that we may forever be where he is, embraced in the bosom of the Father. And all mankind will see salvation from God’s point of view!

2 Cor. 3:18 The days of window-shopping are over! In him every face is unveiled. In gazing with wonder at the blueprint likeness of God displayed in human form we suddenly realize that we are looking at ourselves! Every feature of his image is mirrored in us! This is the most radical transformation engineered by the Spirit of the Lord; we are led from an inferior mind-set to the revealed endorsement of our authentic identity. Mankind is his glory!

Isa. 55:10-11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but saturate the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh! In him God lavished every blessing heaven has upon us! Eph. 1:3. God owes us nothing! Imagine how this revelation would change someone’s prayer life!

In the incarnation God cancelled every definition of distance. He cannot saturate the soil of human life more than what he already has. All the mineral wealth is already deposited in the earth! The word was made flesh in every human life! We have this treasure in earthen vessels! 2 Cor. 4:7.

God is not closer to some than what he is to others! He is equally Immanuel to every individual on planet earth! Paul speaks to a pagan, idol worshipping audience in Acts 17 and makes this remarkable statement: The God who created the universe is not far from each one of us! Paul understands that in Christ God already reconciled the world to himself! The world cannot be more reconciled to their Maker than what they already are! In Christ there can never again be an “us” and “them”.

Jesus is what God believes about you; Jesus is God’s mind made up about every human life!

John 14:16 In my prayerful engagement with the Father, he will give you 1another 2close companion to be with you – in such an intimate way that 3my immediate presence will continue to be 4inseparably one with you in 5timeless ages to come! (The word allos is used here. The words 1allos and heteros are both usually translated as “another” in English. Yet allos means “another of the same kind” and heteros means “another of a different type”. The word, 2parakaleo, alongside, closest possible proximity of nearness; and kaleo, to identify by name, to surname. Also, kinsman; intimate companion. See Rom 12:8. “…just be there alongside someone to remind them of their true identity.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Continue, as you so eloquently do, to edify one another by cultivating the environment of your close association in your joint-genesis. [The word parakaleo is here translated as our joint- genesis] The words, ina he meth [meta] umoon eis ton aiona he – ινα η μεθ υμων εις τον αιωνα – the verb 3he from eimi, I am, is in the Present Active Subjunctive form, to continue to be; 4meta, with, inseparably one with you in 5aiona, the timeless ages! )

14:17 Your eternal companion is the Spirit of truth, whom those trapped in the sense-ruled world, just cannot 1get to grips with! Their visual horizon is veiled, and they are unable to understand what they cannot see. But, [in your acquaintance with me], you are familiar with this 2seamless, intimate un- ion, and the Spirit’s continued presence within you. (The word, 1lambanoo, to grasp; to get to grips with. The following 3 verbs are all in the Present Active Indicative tense, which is the timeless present tense, and indicates continued action, something that happens continuously or repeatedly, or something that is in the process of happen- ing: to know, ginosko; to abide meno; and to be eimi. Thus, 2ginooskete, a knowing that is extended beyond the moment. The “absence” of Jesus will not interrupt this know- ing. [See verse 20!] Then, ὅτι παρ ̓ ὑμῖν μένει hoti because, para, closest possible nearness and intimate acquaintance, and 2meno – to abide in seamless oneness; and is present in you! καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστίν kai en humin estin– the Spirit already resides in you. In the Incarnate Word, spirit dimension is not a foreign place, neither is the Spirit a foreign person to you!)

John 14:18 At no time will you be orphaned or abandoned by me; I come to abide 1face to face with you. (I come to be no less face to face with you, than what I’ve always been face to face with the Father, from the beginning and for all eternity. The Holy Spirit does not replace, but reinforces the presence of Jesus and the closeness of the Father. Again, John uses the word 1pros, face to face. See John 1:1)

John 14:20 In that day you will know that we are in seamless union with one another! I am in my Father, you are in me and I am in you! (The incarnation does not divide the Trinity; the incarnation celebrates the redeemed inclusion of humanity! Picture 4 circles with the one fitting into the other – The outer circle is the Father, then Jesus in the Father, then us in Jesus and the Holy Spirit in us! This spells inseparable, intimate oneness! Note that it is not our knowing that positions Jesus in the Father or us in them or the Spirit of Christ in us! Our knowing simply awakens us to the real- ity of our redeemed oneness! Gold does not become gold when it is discovered but it certainly becomes currency!)

James 1:26 Meaningless conversation is often disguised in religious eloquence. Just because it sounds sincere, doesn’t make it true. If your tongue is not bridled by what your heart knows to be true about you, you cheat yourself.

Paul sees that oneness in Christ inspires the fine-tuning of our every conversation:

1 Cor. 1:9 We are 1surnamed by God; this is our true lineage; he is faithful and fully persuaded about our joint participation in the fellowship of sonship; we are included in everything that our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father enjoys. God’s faithfulness is the basis of this union. (The word 1kaleo, means to call or identify by name, to surname.)

1 Cor. 1:10 Friends, because we are surnamed and identified in the name of our master Jesus Christ, I 1urge you to speak with one voice; we share the same source as our reference; the idea of division is an illusion. We are a perfect match; accurately joined in the same thought and communicating the same resolve. (The word, 1parakaleo, is from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, and kaleo, to surname.)

1 Cor. 1:11 Some of the believers in Chleo’s fellowship told me about the controversy in your ranks; this is most disturbing!

1 Cor. 1:12 What I was told is that you are divided into groups, where some side with Paul, others with Apollos, still others with Cephas, and even some who say, “we are the Messianic group”!

1 Cor. 1:13 This is really ridiculous: can Christ be cut up into little relics? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into Paul’s name?

2 Cor. 4:13 We 1echo the exact same spirit of faith David had when he wrote: “I 2believe and so I speak!” We too believe and so we speak! Our persuasion is our conversation. (The word, 1echo, means to hold or to embrace. Paul quotes David here in Psalm 116; sometimes one’s soul wants to gallop away into distraction like a wild horse; then, David reminds himself, “Return to your rest, oh my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you! I believe, and so I speak!” God’s bountiful dealings with us in Christ is our only valid rest; Sabbath celebrates perfection! “Behold, it is very good!” Gen 1:31,2:2 And remember God does not employ circumstances to teach us something! The finished work of Christ אמן ,teaches us; his work on the cross rescued us! Ps 116:7,10 I 2believe; I am sure aw-man, with the root meaning, to build up, or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render [or be] firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; to be true or certain; to go to the right hand: – hence assurance, [relocate yourself mentally where you are co-seated together with Christ in God’s right hand!] Also, the word, amen, so be it.

Hebrew word to speak, ּדבר dabar, to arrange words in such a way that their effect is to subdue. [Like a lawyer’s letter; using legal language.]

Then David uses the word, ענה anah, which was translated, ‘afflicted’, but the same word is also used to respond; by extension to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce: – give account, which is a much more appropriate rendering of this word in context! The Hebrew actually says: I will sing loudly! Remember Paul sang in prison!

Let faith speak. Let faith break out in song!)

Phil. 1:6 The acknowledging of every good thing that is in us in Christ, ignites the energy of faith in our fellowship with one another!

Gal. 5:10 In spite of the interference of those “law-church” people, I remain convinced about our like-mindedness in the Lord. It does not matter what high profile position anyone may occupy, do not let their title disturb you! The very law they promote, is their judgment! (The fermentation process is unavoidable when you host a legalistic mind-set.)

The entire gospel reveals our co-inclusion in Christ. No wonder Paul says that for us to compete with one another or even to measure or compare ourselves with one another is to be without understanding.

2 Cor. 10:12 Not that we venture to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. RSV

And in the Mirror, 2 Cor. 10:12 We are not contesting with those who desire to commend themselves! While they compete and compare with one another they completely miss the point; they fail to 1comprehend our joint I-am-ness! (The word, 1suniemi, means a joining together like that of two streams; a fusion of thought.)

This concludes that no personal differences, preferences, or prejudices can be tolerated above the wonderful truth of God’s work of grace and reconciliation. We are entrusted with world peace! Our ministry is the ministry of reconciliation. God already reconciled a hostile world to him and now urgently pleads through us and appeals to every person’s conscience, in order to make us all see and realize its consequence.

Paul reminds Titus, “To avoid gossip, to speak evil of no one, to quit quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Remember how foolish and hard of hearing we ourselves were; not knowing the truth about ourselves we were led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy. We existed only for our own selfish interests, hated by others and hating one another. But when God overwhelmed us with goodness and his fondness for mankind dawned on us in the gospel, he rescued us, not because of some righteous deeds done by us, but by his own mercy demonstrated in Christ.” Tit. 3:2-5. RSV

Titus 3:2 Gossip is out! Never have anything bad to say about anyone! Don’t try and be the 1macho man, having to win every argument; instead, avoid quarrelling, be appropriate, always show perfect courtesy to one and all. (The word, 1amachos from a as a negative particle and mache, a brawler, to be controversial, striving. You don’t have to wait for people to change before you are nice to them. There is a big difference between “fake politeness” and perfect courtesy!)

Titus 3:3 Do not be harsh on others. Remember that we, too, were typically foolish; we were stubborn and indifferent to spiritual things, our addiction to the sensual and sexual kept us running around in circles, we were engaged in malice and spiteful jealousies, we were bored and lonely, often utterly disliking ourselves and hating one another! (The only difference in who we are now and who we were then is in what we now know to be true about ourselves.)

Titus 3:4 But then, oh happy day! It was the generosity of God and his fondness for mankind that dawned on us like a shaft of light. Our days of darkness were over! Light shone everywhere and we became aware: God rescued the human race! (See Titus 2:11. )

Titus 3:5 Salvation is not a reward for good behavior. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything that we have done. God’s mercy saved us. The Holy Spirit endorses in us what happened to us when Jesus Christ died and was raised! When we heard the glad announcement of salvation it was like taking a deep warm bath! Our minds were 1thoroughly cleansed and re-booted into 2newness of life! (The word 1paliggenesia suggests a complete restoration to the original, in modern terms, rebooted. The word 2anakainosis, from ana, upward, and kainosis, newness, speaks of a fresh upward focus; a re-engaging with heavenly thoughts. See Col 3:1-3; also 1 Thess 1:5. We realized that we were indeed co-included, co-crucified, and co-raised and are now co-seated together with Christ in heavenly places! [See 2 Cor 5:14-21; Hosea 6:2; Eph 2:5, 6; and 1 Pet 1:3.])

Titus 2:11 The grace of God shines as bright as day making the salvation of mankind undeniably visible.

Rom. 12:17 Two wrongs do not make a right. Never retaliate; instead, cultivate the attitude to 1anticipate only beauty and value in every person you encounter. (1pronoew, to know in advance.)

Rom. 12:18 You have within you what it takes to be everyone’s friend, regardless of how they treat you. (See Romans 1:16, 17. Also Matthew 5:44, 45.)

Rom. 12:19 Do not bother yourselves to get even, dear ones. Do not let anger or irritation distract you; 1that which we have in common with one another (righteousness) must set the pace. Scripture confirms that the Lord himself is the 1revealer of righteousness. (1ekdikeo, from ek, a Preposition denoting origin, and dikeo, two parties finding likeness in one another. That which originates in righteousness sets the pace in every relationship.)

Rom. 12:20 “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.” These acts of kindness will be like heaping coals of fire on his head and certainly rid him of the dross in his mind and win him as a friend. (A refiner would melt metal in a crucible and intensify the process by heaping coals of fire on it [Prov 25:21,22]. This is good strategy; be sensitive to the needs of your enemies. God sees gold in every person. Hostility cannot hide our true value. He won us while we were hostile towards him [see also Rom 5:8, 10]. His kindness led us to the radical awakening of our minds! [Rom 2:4].)

Rom. 5:8 Herein is the extremity of God’s love gift: mankind was rotten to the core when Christ died their death.

Rom. 5:9 If God could love us that much when we were ungodly and guilty, how much more are we free to realize his love now that we are declared innocent by his blood? (God does not love us more now that we are reconciled to him; we are now free to realize how much he loved us all along! [Col 2:14, Rom 4:25].)

Rom. 5:10 Our hostility and indifference towards God did not reduce his love for us; he saw equal value in us when he exchanged the life of his Son for ours. Now that the act of 1reconciliation is complete, his life in us saves us from the gutter-most to the uttermost. (Reconciliation, from 1katalasso, meaning a mutual exchange of equal value. Thayer Definition: to exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” RSV.)

Rom. 2:4 Do not 1underestimate God’s 2kindness. The wealth of his 2benevolence and his 3resolute refusal to let go of us is because he continues to hear the echo of his likeness in us! Thus his 4patient passion is to 5Shepherd everyone into a 6radical mind shift. (The word translated, underestimate is the word, 1kataphroneō, from kata, down, and phroneo, to think, to form an opinion; thus a downcast mind, to despise or take for granted. It is the revelation of the goodness of God that leads us to 6repentance; it is not our “repentance” that leads God to goodness! The word “repentance” is a fabricated word from the Latin word, paenitentia, which became penance, and to give religion more mileage the English word became re-penance! That is not what the Greek word means at all! The word, 6metanoia, comes from meta, together with and noieo,̄ to perceive with the mind. It describes the awakening of the mind to that which is true; a re-alignment of one’s reasoning; it is a gathering of one’s thoughts, a co-knowing. Faith is not a decision; it is a discovery. [See Isa 55:8-10] The word, 2chrestos, kind, benevolent, from xeir, hand which is also connected to the word xristos, to draw the hand over, to anoint, to measure; see also the Hebrew for Messiah, משיח to anoint; to measure, from mashach, to draw the hand over, to measure! [Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, B משח Davidson.] In Jesus Christ, God has measured mankind innocent, he is the blueprint of our design! The word 3anoches comes from ana, meaning upward; ana also shows intensity and the word echo, to hold, or embrace, as in echo. He continues to hear the echo of his likeness in us! [See Rom 3:26.] The word, 4makrothumias, means to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others. Literally, passion that goes a long way; from the stem thuo, to slay a sacrifice. The word, 5ago, means to lead as a shepherd leads his sheep.)

2 Cor. 5:14 The love of Christ constrains us and resonates within us; leaving us with only one conclusion: when Jesus died; every individual simultaneously died. In God’s logic, one has died for all, thus all died.

1 Cor. 2:7 We voice words of wisdom that were hidden in silence for timeless ages; a mystery unfolding God’s 1Masterful plan whereby he would redeem his glory in man. Our glorification has always been God’s agenda, even 2before time was. (Paul employs the words, 1prohoritso, predesigned and 2pro aion before the ages, in order to emphasize the certainty of God’s persuasion concerning their determined intent to rescue and restore their image and likeness in us. Our redemption existed upon the inner-horizons of God before the ages. The word, prohoritso, from pro, before and horitso, horizon; means pre-defined, like when an architect draws up a detailed plan. See Romans 8:30 Jesus reveals that we pre-existed in God; he defines us. He justified us and also glorified us. He redeemed our innocence and restored the glory that we lost in Adam.)

1 Cor. 2:8 Neither the politicians nor the religious leaders of the day had a clue about this mystery; if they did, they would never have crucified the Lord whose death redeemed our glory! (Time witnessed and recorded the death and resurrection of an individual; eternity witnessed the death and resurrection of the human race!)

Acts 10:15 The voice spoke to him again, “Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.” Good News Bible

1 John 1:7 We are invited to explore the dimensions of the same light that engulfs God; when we see the light in his light, fellowship ignites! In this light, we understand how the blood of Jesus Christ is the removal of every distortion and stain of sin! (Sin [hamartia] is a distorted identity. From the words, ha, without and meros, form. To walk in the light as he is in the light means to see your life and everything that concerns you, exclusively from your Father’s point of view. Ps. 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. 1 Pet 1:18,19.)

2 Cor. 1:18 God’s certainty is our persuasion; there is no maybe in him!

2 Cor. 1:19 The Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom I, Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy boldly announced in you, is God’s ultimate yes to “you-manity”. Jesus is God’s Yes to you! Human life is associated in all that he is. In God’s mind there exists not even a hint of hesitation about this! (Note, Paul and his team proclaimed Christ in them, not, “to”them! See Gal 1:16; and Col. 1:27. Also 2 Cor 3:4.)

2 Cor. 1:20 In him the detail of every single promise of God is fulfilled; Jesus is God’s yes to your entire well being! In our union with him the Amen that echoes in us gives evidence to his glorious intent through us.

Job 22:21 “Agree with God, and be at peace.” RSV

Eph. 4:2 Meekness and tenderness are the fabric of your make-up; this enables you to show compassion even in seemingly impossible situations, eagerly bearing with one another in an environment where love rules.

Eph. 4:3 Being alert to treasure our oneness in spirit; encapsulated in peace.

(The word sundesmos from sun, a primary Preposition denoting union and deo to bind in agreement like in a marriage. The word 1eirene, means peace, from eiro, to join, to be set at one again; in carpentry it is referred to as the dove-tail joint, which is the strongest of joints. Peace is a place of unhindered enjoyment of friendship.)

Eph. 4:4 There is only one body and one Spirit. We are inseparably one, in the same hope; there is no plan B. We bear the same 1surname. (Called, 1kaleo, to identify by name, to surname.)

Eph. 4:5 There is only one legitimate Lordship; one faith and one 1baptism; we are all immersed in the same oneness! (There is only one faith! Not what we believe about God but what God believes about us! Our faith does not invent God; God’s faith defines us! Jesus is what God believes! See my commentary on John 1:33; John’s baptism announces the incarnation; yet it communicates a mere prophetic pic- ture of what Jesus’ spirit baptism will fully interpret of mankind’s co-inclusion and joint immersion into his death, resurrection and ascension. In the incarnation we have the prophetic word on exhibit, intercepting human history by assuming human form; thus we see divinity immersed into our humanity and declaring that there would be no stopping him from entering into our hell and deepest darkness. In dying our death, God would bring closure to every destructive mindset and futile fruit we inherited from Ad- am’s fall. Just as he was raised out of the water in his baptism, we would be co-elevated together with him in his resurrection into newness of life! Hosea 6:2; Ephesians 2:5,6. The word 1baptizo from bapto, to immerse, to overwhelm.)

Eph. 4:6 There is only one God. He remains the ultimate Father of the uni- verse. We are because he is. He is present in all; he is above all, through all, and in all. (“He is not far from each one of us; in him we live and move and have our being. We are indeed his offspring.” Acts. 17:24-28. The father of lies is not the father of the human race!)

Eph. 4:7 The gift of Christ measures the extravagant dimensions of grace; where everyone is equally advantaged. (Grace was given to each one of us ac- cording to the measure of the gift of Christ. RSV. One measure, one worth! Our worth is defined by his gift not by a reward for our behavior.)

Eph. 4:8 1Scripture confirms that he 3arrested every possible threat that held mankind hostage! [“he took captivity captive”] And in his resurrection, he led us as trophies in his triumphant procession on high. Consider the genius of God, in the incarnate Christ, he 2repossessed what belonged to us by design, 4in human form; this is his grace-gift to us! (In this verse Paul explains what he just declared in verse 7 – he wants us to know the extravagant extent and dimensions of the measure of the gift of Christ! Remember that he is writing from prison [Eph 4:1] He’s not asking for prayers to get him out of jail! He is imprisoned in Christ – [4:1] my complete existence is defined and confined in him! He was once a prisoner of the law of performance, held hostage in his own body, crying in desperation, “Is there anyone who can deliver them from this death trap?” [Rom 7] He now speaks as a prisoner of Christ! He is reminded of and obviously intrigued by the entire context of Psalm 67 which celebrates God rescuing the prisoners from their captivity and even the wayward and stubborn, who already died and are stuck in their graves! [mindsets] See Ps 67:6,7 He is the father of the orphans, and protector of the widows. God settles the lonely in a home; leading forth prisoners mightily, also the stubborn, even them that dwell in tombs! Paul sees by revelation the relevance of Jesus dying our death and entering into our darkness and hell on a rescue mission! Now he 1quotes Ps 67:19 [from the LXX Septuagint – the Greek OT which is Ps 68 in the Masoretic Hebrew text], and sees captive mankind arrested in the death, descent into hell and the triumphant resurrection of the incarnate Word, in the man Jesus Christ. Ps 67:19 ἀνέβης εἰς ὕψος, ᾐχμαλώτευσας αἰχμαλωσίαν, ἔλαβες δόματα ἐν ἀνθρώπῳanebes eis hupsos, 3echmaloteusas aichmaloosian, 2elabes domata en [in] 4anthropo “You ascended on high, having taken captivity captive [3arresting at spearpoint! See 2 Cor 10:5] and 2repossessed mankind’s gifts in human form. The word 2elabes from lambano means to take what is one’s own. The word for the 4human species, male or female is 4anthropos, from ana, upward, and tropos, manner of life; character; in like manner. [The Masoretic Hebrew text, Ps 68:18,19, םדאב תונתמ תחקל lakachat mattanoth ba adam – “You have taken gifts in Adam.” The gifts which Jesus Christ distributes to us he has received in us, in and by virtue of his incarnation! Adam Clarke.] Ps 67:19 LXX continues: καὶ γὰρ ἀπειθοῦντες τοῦ κατασκηνῶσαι – kai gar apeithountes tou kataskenoosai, “in order that even the unbelievers, apeithountes – the ones resisting persuasion, the backsliding, the headstrong, the wayward, the rebellious may rest; or may now inhabit – kataskenosai – to encamp within – again this word emphasizes the significance of the incarnation – kata, down and skenosai, from skenos – skin! The eternal thoughts of God, the conversation that was before time was, is clothed in skin! John 1:1-3,14. See Rev 13:10, Being taken captive by the spear and killed by the sword

 [John 18:3] made death a doorway into the very domain in which mankind was held prisoner, [to be led out triumphantly in the resurrection as the Lamb’s trophies!] After two days he will revive us! On the third day he will raise us up! Hosea 6:2 We were born anew in his resurrection. 1 Pet 1:3. Also Ephesians 2:5 This is how grace rescued us: while we were yet in that state of deadness and indifference in our deviations, we were co-quickened together with Christ!)

Eph. 4:9 The fact that he ascended confirms his victorious descent into the deepest pits of human despair. (See John 3:13, “No one has ascended into heaven but he who 1descended from heaven, even the son of man.” All mankind originate from above; we are 1anouthen, from above [see Jas 1:17, 18].)

Eph. 4:10 He now occupies the ultimate rank of authority, from the lowest regions of our darkness into which he reached in order to rescue us, to the highest authority in the heavens, having executed his mission to the full. (Fallen mankind is restored to the authority of the authentic life of their design. [Psa 139:7,8 Whither shall I go from your Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You! If I make my bed in Sheol, You!] Eph 1:20,21.)

Eph. 4:11 What God has in us, is gift wrapped to the world: some are commissioned to pioneer, others are gifted prophetically, some as announcers of good news, some as Shepherds with a real gift to care and nurture, and others have a gift to ignite instruction through revelation knowledge. (Couriers, communicators, counsellors and coaches. — Rob Lacey.)

Eph. 4:12 Each expression of his gift is to fully equip and enable you for the work of the ministry so that you may mutually contribute in your specific function to give definition to the visible body of Christ.

Eph. 4:13 The purpose of these ministry gifts is to present everyone on par and in oneness of faith; believing exactly what the Son of God believes and knowing accurately what he knows concerning us. Standing face-to-face in equal stature to the measure of the 1completeness of Christ. (The word, 1pleroma, means a life filled to the brim with Christ, like a freight ship carrying its cargo.)

James 3:9 We can say beautiful things about God the Father but with the same mouth curse a fellow human made in his mirror likeness. (The point is not what the person did to deserve the insult. The point is that people are image and likeness bearers of God by design! True worship is to touch someone’s life with the same devotion and care you would touch Jesus himself; even if the other person seems a most unlikely candidate.)

1 Jn 5:9 If we receive the testimony of people, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God, that he has borne witness to his Son. RSV.

1 John 5:9 Now if it is reasonable for us to be readily persuaded by the evidence that people may lay out before us, how much more certainty is there in the evidence that God has so compellingly borne witness to concerning

his Son! (To go back to the very beginning is to find the Word already present there; face to face with God; this Word, translated into the prophetic promise in Scripture and pointing to the Messiah Redeemer for centuries, the Logos, finally became flesh and forever divided human history into a BC and AD. The heavens declare his glory, night to night exhibits the giant solar testimony that is mathematically precise, revealing that God knew before time was the exact moment he would enter our history as a man, and the exact moment the Messiah would expire on the cross and be raised again from the dead! No one has ever known God as Father; Jesus, the humble brother of the human race, [as my dear friend Baxter Kruger would say,] he has revealed him in the most articulate language as our Father. “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father!” John 14:9. “In that day, you will know that as I am in my Father, so you are in me, and I am in you!” John 14:20. The Holy Spirit now endorses in us what happened to us when Jesus died and was raised, and now echoes from within our spirits, “Abba Father!”)

1 John 5:20 This is what has become distinctly clear to us: the 1coming of the Son of God is God’s mission accomplished! He is the incarnate Christ. The moment all of Scripture pointed to has arrived! The Son is 1present! In him God has given us the greatest gift, 2a mind whereby we may know him who is true; and in the same knowing, to find ourselves there in him who is true! Mankind is fully included and located in him, in his Son Jesus Christ; this means that whatever Jesus is as Son, we are. This is the true God; this is the life of the ages! (The word 1heko means to have come, to have arrived, to be present. John uses the word 2dianoian; deep thought; with dia relating to the means by which we may know; a mind to know; compare metanoia, to know together with; an entwining of thought; the mind of Christ.

Jesus said, you will know the truth as it is unveiled in me, and that will set you free!

The culmination of the gospel according to John is summed up in these verses: John 14:20 “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me and I am in you!” Also 1 John 2:7 & 8, “what is true of him, is equally true of us. 1 John 4:17 “As he is, so are we in this world! Our lives are mirrored in him” as well as here in 1 John 5:20.)

1 John 5:21 This defeats every image of our imagination that could possibly compete with the authentic likeness of our design! Darling children, distance yourselves from every substitute image, which is what idolatry is all about! (The word 1eidolon, often translated idol, refers to image or likeness. Isa 40:18-21 To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? The idol? A workman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold, and casts for it silver chains. He who is impoverished chooses for an offering wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skilful craftsman to set up an image that will not move. Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? Remember your beginning! You are God’s idea – the Engineer of the Universe imagined you! Gen 1:26; Col 1:15; Col 2:9,10.

Act 17:28-31 For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of human origin. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he compels all of mankind everywhere to awaken to their redeemed identity and innocence!

Idolatry is a projection of an image of one’s own making. Idolatry is the crux of religion – it is expensive business since your idol is like a slot machine at the casino! It remains hungry and it is wired to bite and bankrupt you!)

1 John 2:6 It is in this place of consciously 1abiding in the awareness of your oneness that your conversation unveils the same fellowship with the Father that Jesus enjoys, and results in a daily walk that mirrors his; one of living your life in the full 2benefit of it! (The word, 1meno suggests an uninterrupted abiding, a seamless oneness! The word 2opheilō, often translated, ought to, is from the stem ophelos, which means to advantage, to profit, to gain, to heap up, to accumulate, to benefit!)

1 John 2:7 My beloved family, I know that the words I write to you here may not immediately remind you of the 1precepts of Moses; this does not mean that it is a new 1doctrine, it is the ancient 1conversation that 2echoes God’s voice prophetically! It is indeed the very 1conclusion of the word, which you have heard from the beginning! (The word 1entole is often translated commandment or precept; this word has two components: en, in and telos, from tello, to set out for a definite point or goal; properly the point aimed at as a limit, that is, by implication, the conclusion of an act or state, the result; the ultimate or prophetic purpose. Strong’s 5056. The word, 2echo, to hold, like sound is held in an echo; to resonate.)

1 John 2:8 And yet it is a glorious 1new 2message that I am writing to you! You may ask, “How can that which is old, also be new?” Herein is the secret of its newness: whatever is true of Jesus is equally true of you! The days of the 3dominance of darkness as a reference to human life, are over! The true light surely shines with 4bold certainty and illuminates your life, as it is unveiled in Christ. (The word 1kainos means, fresh, recent, unused, unworn, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon. The freshness of this encounter is celebrated in a fellowship of exactly the same oneness enjoyed between the Father and the Son! Again the word 2entole is used, precept or teaching. The word 3parago from para, close proximity and agoo, to lead; thus darkness will no longer lead you into its sway. The word 4ede, even now: – already, by this time; from [pronounced ay] an adverb of confirmation; assuredly: – surely; and dē [pronounced day] which is a particle of emphasis or explicitness; now, then, etc.: – also, and, doubtless, now, therefore.)

1 John 2:9 To feel justified in your judgment to 1dislike a fellow human, is to continue in darkness, even if you might claim to be in the light! This place of illumination is not cheap talk! It immediately translates into seeing your brother differently! (See 1 John 1:6, also 2 Corinthians 5:16. 1It was common among the Hebrews to use the terms “love” and “hatred” in this comparative sense, where

the former implied strong positive attachment, and the latter, not positive hatred, but merely a less love, or the withholding of the expressions of affection [compare Genesis 29:30-31; Luke 14:26].)

1 John 2:10 From this conscious union with that which light reveals, there follows a deep love for the very brother who might previously have irritated you!

Rom. 13:9 Love makes it impossible for you to commit adultery, or to kill someone, or to steal from someone, speak evil of anyone, or to covet anything that belongs to someone else. Your only option is to esteem a fellow human with equal value to yourself.

Rom.13:10 Everything love does is to the advantage of another; therefore, love is the most complete expression of what the law requires.

I see God in every human being; in his many disturbing disguises! When I wash the leper’s wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience? Mother Teresa

If we still see some people as great and some as insignificant we are seeing wrong.

This gospel mobilizes us to be the mirror voice of every person’s true redeemed identity and the integrity of their individual value and innocence.

“He vanished from their sight” because Jesus could no longer be any more present in his person on earth than what he is present in the Word incarnate in us!

Mankind’s co-Ascension in Christ is the crux of the gospel!

Life is a mind flooded with wholesome thoughts; pondering and celebrating the redeemed life of our design and communing with the Father, Son and Spirit, and one another in sweet fellowship! Multitudes don’t have a clue!
Be their clue!

 

 

There is no ‘sell by date’ to this union!

This is not a flash in the pan, hit and run thing! This gospel measures a friendship to be enjoyed with an unhindered, unlimited, uninterrupted future!

When we step out of this earth suit one day, we do not step into redefined time, we’re stepping into eternity himself; the Author of the ages, who already dwells within us!

Heb. 13:8 Take your lead from Jesus. He is your reference to the most complete life. In him yesterday is confirmed today and today mirrors to- morrow. What God spoke to us in Christ is as relevant now as it was in the prophetic past and will always be in the eternal future! (Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever; there is a history to our salvation that carries more authority and relevance than anything that ever happened in our past, or anything present in time or still to happen in the future. Imagine the enormity of eternity in his sameness before time was; and we were there in him all along! See Rom 8:34 What further ground can there possibly be to condemn mankind? In his death he faced our judgment; in his resurrection he declares our innocence; the implications cannot be undone! He now occupies the highest seat of authority as the executive of our redemption in the throne room of God. See Rom 8: 1, also Rom 4:25. The heavens declare his glory, night to night exhibits the giant solar testimony that is mathematically precise, revealing that God knew before time was the exact moment he would enter our history as a man, and the exact moment the Messiah would ex- pire on the cross and be raised again from the dead!)

Sixty years after he last saw Jesus in the flesh, John, now in his nineties, reflects on the mystery that was revealed which transformed his life from an illiterate fisherman to a saint. He speaks of an uninterrupted fellowship that he desires for everyone to fully participate in.

John spent most of the latter part of his life (about 30 years) living in Asia Minor and more specifically at Ephesus; much of Paul’s emphasis in teaching therefore reflects in John’s writing. This he did either from Ephesus or from the Isle of Patmos where he spent a few years in exile. (Compare Col.1:15-17, John 1:1-3, 16-17, 1 John 5:20, “He has given us understanding to know him who is true and we are in him who is true!”) None of the other disciples better captured the conclusion of the mission of Jesus than what John did in John 14:20, “In that day you will know that I am in the Father and you in me and I in you!”

He has no desire to outwit the others in giving an even more accurate historic account of Christ! The life that was manifest within his sacred gaze and now tangible embrace is a fellowship of the highest order! He must write and extend this reality to the next generations!

I am writing this to complete your joy and include you in my delight! 1 John 1:4.

Unlike Matthew and Luke who wrote 30 years prior to John, he did not bother to locate Jesus in the setting of his natural lineage.

Instead he declares, “In the beginning was the Word!” Before history was ever recorded the Word was!

Mankind pre-existed in the Logic of God! John understands that the Word was both the eternal source and destiny of all things and that nothing could ever reduce or confine the Word to an isolated island experience, neither could the Word be trapped in human doctrine or tradition. No inferior translation or interpretation could compromise God’s original intent.

The authentic integrity of God’s thought would forever be preserved and celebrated in the incarnation; human life would be the uninterrupted future of the Word. “We are not preaching a new doctrine, but the word that was from the beginning; yet it is new in that what is true in him is equally true in us!” 1 John 2:7-8. In him we discover that we are not here by chance or accident, or by the desire of an earthly parent, neither are we the product of a mere physical conception; we exist by the expression of God’s desire to reveal him in the flesh.

1 John 1:1 The 1Logos is the source; everything commences in him. The initial reports concerning him that have reached our ears, and which we indeed bore witness to with our own eyes – to the point that we became irresistibly attracted – now captivates our gaze. In him we witnessed 2tangible life in its most articulate form. (The Logos – the 1Word. To touch, 2psallo, to touch the string of a musical instrument, thus resonance.)

1 John 1:2 The same life that 1was 2face to face with the Father from the beginning, has now dawned on us! The infinite life of the Father became visible before our eyes in a human person! (In the beginning “was” the Word; 1eimi, timeless existence, “I am”. The Preposition 2pros says so much more than ‘with,’ it suggests towards; face to face. See John 1:1&2. Also John 1:14 “Suddenly the invisible eternal Word takes on visible form! The Incarnation! In him, and now confirmed in us! The most accurate tangible display of God’s eternal thought finds expression in human life! The Word became a human being; we are his address; he resides in us! He captivates our gaze! The glory we see there is not a religious replica; he is the authentic begotten Son. The glory (that Adam lost) returns in fullness! Only grace can communicate truth in such complete context!” Also John 1:18 “Until this moment God remained invisible; now the authentic begotten Son, the blueprint of mankind’s design who represents the innermost being of God, the Son who is in the bosom of the Father, brings him into full view! He is the official authority qualified to announce God! He is our guide who accurately declares and interprets the invisible God within us.”)

1 John 1:3 We include you in this conversation; you are the immediate audience of the logic of God! This is the Word that always was; we saw him incarnate and witnessed his language as defining our lives. In the incarnation Jesus includes mankind in the eternal friendship of the Father and the Son! This life now finds expression in an unreserved union. (We do not invent fellowship; we are invited into the fellowship of the Father and the Son!)

1 John 1:4 I am writing this to complete your joy and include you in my delight! (In all these years since the ascension of Jesus, John, now ninety years old, continues to enjoy unhindered friendship with God and desires to extend this same fellowship to everyone through this writing. You are never too old to learn to write or become computer literate!)

To Job this thought of uninterrupted favor was just too good to be true. Fear and sin-consciousness dominated his relationship with God. When he reflects on his life, he speaks about the “the autumn days of God’s friendship.” Job 29:2-4. RSV

This suggests that he lived under the constant fear that winter would soon interrupt the bliss of this friendship! God has so much more than a seasonal blessing in mind.

Job 1:4-5 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each on his day; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” This Job did continually.

Job 3:25 “ For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.”

Job 29:2-4 “Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me; when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness; as I was in my autumn days, when the friendship of God was upon my tent. RSV

1 Cor. 1:8 He establishes you from start to finish; to stand 1vindicated in your identity in the light of day as evidenced in the Lord Jesus Christ. (The word, 1anegkletos,from ana, upward, en, in and kaleo, to identify by name. Jesus gives evidence to our original identity. Compare anoche from ana + echo in Rom. 3:26.)

Eph. 1:3 Let’s celebrate God! He lavished every blessing heaven has upon us in Christ!

Eph. 1:4 He associated us in Christ before 1the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about us! He always knew in his love that he would present us again 2face-to-face before him in blameless innocence. (The implications of the fall are completely cancelled. Paul uses the word, 1kataballo, meaning “to fall away, to put in a lower place,” instead of themelios, meaning “foundation” [see Eph 2:20]; thus, translated “the fall of the world,” instead of “the foundation of the world.” The entire “Fall” was a falling away in our minds from our true identity as image and likeness bearers of Elohim. Just like Eve, were we all deceived to believe a lie about ourselves, which is the fruit of the “I-am-not-tree”. We all, like sheep have gone astray. [Isa 53:6]) God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam! We are presented in blameless innocence before him! The word, 2katenopion, suggests the closest possible proximity, face-to-face!

Your in-Christness is not the result of a lucky draw! Calvinism lied to you! Neither is it the result of your “choice” to follow Jesus! Something doesn’t become true by popular vote! Or by our beliefs! If it wasn’t true to begin with, we’re wasting our time trying to “believe” it true! Faith happens to you when you encounter the good announcement! Of God’s doing are we IN CHRIST… (1 Cor 1:30) For “evangelical theology” to miss the meaning of mankind’s inclusion IN CHRIST before they knew it or believed it, is to completely miss the point of the death, descent into hell, resurrection and ascension of Jesus! This would make Jesus irrelevant and reduce the salvation of the human race to their own fate managed by institutionalized religion, attaching mere sentimental value to an historic Jesus who died and rose again. By dying our death as fully God and fully man, once and for all (not for a “select few!”), death became the doorway, whereby Jesus would enter into our hell and deepest darkness and sense of lostness and loneliness as a result of the lies we believed about ourselves – to triumphantly lead us out as his trophies and relocate us face to face with the Father of the universe! Eph 4:7,8 and 9 See Mirror Bible! All this happened while we were still dead in our trespasses and sins! Eph 2:5,6 Co-quickened, co-raised, co-seated in his Executive authority [his right hand] Now ponder Colossians 3:1-3 and engage your thoughts with throne room realities!)

Eph. 1:5 He is the architect of our design; his heart dream realized our 1coming of age in Christ. (Adoption here is not what it means in our Western society. It is a coming of age, like the typical Jewish Barmitsva. See Galatians 4:1-6, “ … and to seal our sonship the spirit of his Son echoes Abba Father in our hearts.” This is 1huiothesia.)

Eph. 1:6 His grace-plan is to be celebrated: he 1greatly endeared us and highly favored us in Christ. His love for his Son is his love for us. (The Gospel is not about telling people how lost they are, but reminding them of how loved they are! See Luke 1:28 only other use of the word, χαριτόω 1charitoō.)

Jer. 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.

Ps. 139:13 For you formed my inward parts and knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

1 Cor 13:12 Then we will know even as we have always been known! RSV And in the , 1 Cor. 13:12 There was a time of 1suspense, when everything

we saw was merely mirrored in the prophetic word, like in an enigma; but then [when I became an adult in the revelation of Christ] I gaze face-to-face that I may know me, even as I have always been known! (The word, 1arti, comes from airo, meaning to keep in suspense. “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb!“ Jeremiah 1:5.)

Jesus came to introduce us to ourselves again, “Simon son of Jonah, I say you are Rock!” Matt. 16:17-18. “Look to the Rock from which you were hewn and the quarry from which you were dug!” Isa. 51:1. You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth. Deut. 32:18.

James 1:23 Anyone who hears the word, sees the face of their birth, as in a mirror! The difference between a mere spectator and a participator is that both of them hear the same voice and perceive in its message the face of their own genesis reflected there;

James 1:24 they realize that they are looking at themselves, but for the one it seems just too good to be true; this person departs [back to the old way of seeing himself] and immediately forgets what manner of person they are; never giving another thought to the one they saw there in the mirror.

James 1:25 The other is 1mesmerized by what they see; 2captivated by the effect of a law that frees a person from the obligation to the old written code that restricted one to their own efforts and willpower. No distraction or contradiction can dim the impact of what is seen in the mirror concerning the law of perfect 3liberty [the law of faith] that now frees one to get on with the act of living the life [of their original design.] They find a new 3spontaneous lifestyle; the poetry of practical living. (The law of perfect liberty is the image and likeness of God revealed in Christ, now redeemed in human form, as in a mirror. Look deep enough into that law of faith that you may see there in its perfection a portrait that so resembles the original that he becomes distinctly visible in the spirit of your mind and in the face of every person you behold. I translated the word, 1parakupto, with mesmerized from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection, and kupto, to bend, stoop down to view at close scrutiny; 2parameno, to remain captivated under the influence of; meno, to continue to be present. The word often translated as freedom, 3eleutheria, means without obligation; spontaneous.)

In Christ the Sabbath is no longer a shadow, a token holy day in the week, but the celebration of a perfect redemption in which the exact image and likeness of God is revealed and redeemed in human form. Mankind’s original identity and innocence is redeemed. “Having made purification for sins, he sat down…” His throne is established upon the fact of our innocence! God’s unhindered enjoyment of every Individual and their unhindered enjoyment of God is realized again.

He overlooked the times of ignorance and now urges all people everywhere to discover his eternal thoughts about mankind, revealed in Christ, when we were judged in righteousness in one man’s death, and raised in his resurrection as the trophy of justice redeemed! Acts 17:30-31. God’s rest is not at risk! He invites us to “enter into his rest”, that is to see what his faith sees and knows to be true about the finished work of the cross.

Heb. 4:10 God’s rest celebrates his finished work; whoever enters into God’s rest immediately abandons his own efforts to compliment what God has already perfected. (The language of the law is “do;” the language of grace is “done.”)

Ps. 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

1 John 1:5 My conversation with you flows from the same source which illuminates this fellowship of union with the Father and the Son. This then, is the essence of the message: God is radiant light, and in him there exists not even a trace of obscurity or darkness at all. (See James 1:17 Without exception God’s 1gifts are only good; it’s perfection cannot be flawed. They come from 2above (where we originate from); proceeding like light rays from its source, the Father of lights, with whom there is no distortion, or even a shadow of shifting to obstruct, or intercept the light; nor any hint of a hidden agenda. (The principle of a 1gift, puts “reward-language” out of business. The word, 1anouthen, means, from above. John 3:3, 13. The Father’s resolve stands in total contrast to the perverted passions of sin, claiming it’s illegitimate parenthood of mankind. Js 1:2; Js 1:12-16.)

1 John 1:6 This is the real deal! To live a life of pretense is such a waste of time! The truth has no competition. Truth inspires the poetry of friendship in total contrast to a fake, performance-based relationship! Light is not threatened by darkness! Why say something with darkness as your reference?

1 John 1:7 We are invited to explore the dimensions of the same light that engulfs God; when we see the light in his light, fellowship ignites! In this light, we understand how the blood of Jesus Christ is the removal of every distortion and stain of sin! (Sin [hamartia] is a distorted identity. From the words, ha, without and meros, form. To walk in the light as he is in the light means to see your life and everything that concerns you, exclusively from your Father’s point of view. Ps 36:9. 1 Pet 1:18,19.)

1 John 1:8 To claim innocence by our own efforts under the law of personal performance, is to deceive ourselves and to deliberately ignore the truth. The truth about us, does not mean that we now have to go into denial as if we haven’t done anything wrong! (If you’ve hurt or wronged someone, go to them and be reconciled! To apologize restores harmony; but the essence of confession is a conver- sation inspired by the revelation of the love of God demonstrated in Christ. The focus of this conversation shifts from what you did wrong, to what Jesus did right! One cannot afford to cheat oneself by living a double life, acting out “the fellowship thing”, while still hosting stuff in one’s life that is inconsistent with the life of our design. You do not need to first get rid of darkness and then bring the light! Light deals most effectively and effortlessly with darkness. The light of the gospel does not reveal sin, it reveals our freedom from it!)

1 John 1:9 Our 1conversation takes on a brand new dynamic when we take sides with what God believes about us! So, instead of telling God about the detail of your sin, you remind yourself about the detail of your redemption. God doesn’t need the information, you do! God’s faithfulness and right- eousness is the basis of our 2forgiveness and 3cleansing from every distor- tion. Jesus removed every bit of condemning evidence against us! (The word traditionally translated “confession” is the word 1homologeo from homo, the same, and logeo to speak. The context of verse 7 suggests that we say what God says about us. The word translated forgiveness, or remission is the word 2aphiemi, from apo, away from, and hieimi an intensive form of eimi, I am; thus forgiveness is in essence a restoring to your true ‘I-am-ness.’ The injury, insult, shame, hostility or guilt would no longer define the individual. The words, αφη aphe, from aphiemi [to forgive] and καθαριση 3katharitse, from katharitzo, [to cleanse from every stain] are in the Aorist Subjunctive, which indicates a definite outcome that happens as a result of another stated action.)

1 John 5: 9 If we receive the testimony of people, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has borne witness to his Son. 1 John 5:10 He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. RSV.

1 John 2:1 My darling little children, the reason I write these things to you is so that you will not 1believe a lie about yourselves! If anyone does believe a 1distorted image to be their reality, we have Jesus Christ who 2defines our likeness 3face to face with the Father! He is our 4parakletos, the one who endorses our true identity, being both the source and the reflection of the Father’s image in us! (The root of sin is to believe a lie about yourself. The word sin, is the word 1hamartia, from ha, negative or without and meros, portion or form, thus to be without your allotted portion or without form, pointing to a disorientated, distorted, bankrupt identity; the word meros, is the stem of morphe, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18 the word metamorphe, with form, which is the opposite of hamartia – without form. Sin is to live out of context with the blueprint of one’s design; to behave out of tune with God’s original harmony. Jesus the righteous, iesoun xriston dikaion; the word 2dikaiosune, righteousness is from the stem dike, two parties finding likeness in each other. The Preposition 3pros suggests a face to face presentation. [See John 1:1] The word 4parakletos comes from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, a thing proceeding from a sphere of influence, with a suggestion of union of place of residence, to have sprung from its author and giver, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection; and kaleo, meaning to identify by name, to surname. Jesus introduces the Holy Spirit in the same capacity: parakletos, meaning close companion, kinsman [John 14:16]. Sadly this word has been translated as ‘advocate’ as if Jesus needs to persuade the Father to like us and possibly forgive us!)

1 John 2:12 The reason of my writing is to remind you to live your lives in the innocence of an infant! The name Jesus means that you can rest assured in your salvation from sin’s harassment! (Teknion, diminutive of teknon, an infant. John writes to believers at different levels of their maturity; little children, young men and fathers. To the little children he says, “I am writing this so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin…[sin is the exception, even if you are a young believer.] see 1 John 2:1.)

1 John 2:13 May my writing also remind you that your fatherhood has its authentic genesis in him who is from the beginning. (1 John 2:7,8; 1 John 5:20) And to you young men, I write to congratulate you for your victory over the 1exhausting system of hardships, annoyances and labors. You have discovered your strength in Christ’s achievement and not your own efforts! I wrote to all of you as children because you know God as your Father. (The word often translated evil, is 1poneros, which according to Thayer’s definition means to be full of labors, annoyances, hardships; to be pressed and harassed by labors. This is so typical of the religious system of a works-based self-righteousness, as opposed to faith righteousness. This is the fruit of the I am not-tree-system. The young men who become weary and exhausted under the system of hardships and labor; the law of works, have discovered their eagle wings in Kawa-mode; where God’s thoughts entwine with their thoughts, and his strength ignites within. Isa 40:31 The Hebrew word, קוה kawa, often translated, to wait, means to entwine; to plat together.)

1 John 2:14 What I have written previously will resonate with the fathers whose acquaintance with him is established in the prophetic voice 1from the beginning. Also the young men will find their strength endorsed in my writing, since they have the word firmly rooted within them as their permanent source and reference. They have defeated the duty-and guilt- driven system that snared them before in the futility of their own efforts. (The word 1arche, means to be first in order, time, place or rank; the beginning.)

Heb. 4:14 In the message of the incarnation, we have Jesus the Son of God representing mankind in the highest place of spiritual authority. That which God has spoken to us in him is his final word. It is echoed now in our conversation.

Heb. 4:15 As High Priest he fully identifies with us in the context of our frail human lives. Having subjected it to close scrutiny, he proved that the human frame was master over sin. His sympathy with us is not to be seen as excusing weaknesses which are the result of a faulty design, but rather as a trophy to mankind. (He is not an example for us but of us.)

Heb. 4:16 For this reason we can approach the authoritative throne of grace with bold utterance. We are welcome there in his embrace, and are 1reinforced with immediate effect in times of trouble. (The word, 1boetheia, means to be reinforced, specifically a rope or chain for frapping a vessel in a storm.In his incarnate human body Jesus represents us on the deepest possible level of every detail of our lives, spirit, soul and body. He victoriously faced every onslaught and scrutiny that we would ever possibly encounter!)

Heb. 9:12 As High Priest, his permission to enter the Holy Place was not secured by the blood of beasts. By his own blood he obtained access on behalf of the human race. Only one act was needed for him to enter the most sacred place of grace and there to institute a ransom of perpetual consequence. (The perfection of the redemption he secured needs no further sacrifice. There are no outstanding debts; there is nothing we need do to add weight to what he has accomplished once and for all. The only possible priesthood activity we can now engage in is to continually bring a sacrifice of the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his Name; no blood, just fruit, even our acts of self-sacrifice, giving of time and money, etc. are all just the fruit of our constant gratitude!)

Heb. 9:13 The blood of beasts and the ashes of the burnt sacrifice of a heifer could only achieve a very temporal and surface cleansing by being sprinkled on the guilty. (The word for heifer, is damalis, from damatzo, to tame; this was the most dear and expensive sacrifice. She was a strong, pristine, spotless female calf, she was raised as a family pet; “A Little Princess!” This was the best that the law-system could present; yet, no inner purging of conscience was possible; only the sense of temporal relief; whilst knowing that the entire process would have to be repeated again and again! In this arrangement, God addressed the dilemma of our sin consciousness; the deep- seated stain that it had left needed to be thoroughly exposed, and then brought to closure. The shadow system with its imperfections, as a possible means of obtaining a lasting and meaningful sense of innocence, had to be exhausted; ultimately proving that no sacrifice that anyone can bring at any expense of their own, could possibly match the sacrifice of God giving himself as scapegoat to the human race in order to persuade us that his love for us would go to the scandalous extreme, where we are finally confronted with the fact that it is not in a sacrifice that we bring where God’s mind is favorably influenced towards us; but in the shocking sacrifice of himself, where he forever, in the most radical language, impact our ideas and thoughts about the Father, Son and Spirit’s estimate of us. There is nothing dearer in the universe to them, but our redeemed innocence and our individual value realized! See Colossians 2:14,15 in the Mirror Bible.)

Heb. 9:14 How much more effective was the blood of Christ, when he presented his own flawless life through the eternal Spirit before God, in order to purge your conscience from its frustration under the 1cul-de-sac rituals of the law. There is no comparison between a guilt and duty-driven, dead religious system, and the vibrancy of living your life free from a sin-consciousness! This is what the new testament priesthood is all about! (Dead works, 1nekros ergon. A dead, religious-routine system can never compete with the resurrected Christ, now realized in you.)

Rom. 6:1 It is not possible to interpret grace as a cheap excuse to continue in sin. It sounds to some that we are saying, “Let’s carry on sinning then so that grace may abound.” (In the previous chapter Paul expounds the heart of the gospel by giving us a glimpse of the far-reaching faith of God; even at the risk of being misunderstood by the legalistic mind he does not compromise the message.)

Rom. 6:2 How ridiculous is that! How can we be dead and alive to sin at the same time?

Rom. 6:10 His appointment with death was 1once-off. As far as sin is concerned, he is dead. The reason for his death was to take away the sin of the world; his life now exhibits our union with the life of God. (The Lamb of God took away the sin of the world; 1efapax, once and for all, a final testimony, used of what is so done to be of perpetual validity and never needs repetition. This is the final testimony of the fact that sin’s power over us is destroyed. See Hebrews 9:26, “But Jesus did not have to suffer again and again since the fall (or since the foundation) of the world; the single sacrifice of himself in the fulfillment of history now reveals how he has brought sin to nought.” Thus, in this context [of everyone’s appointment with death], Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice. What the first, shadow-dispensation merely prophetically pointed to, he fulfilled once and for all, when he was presented as an offering, to take upon himself the sins of the entire human race! Now, with sin no longer on the agenda, he appears a second time, out of this death, to be clearly seen in everyone’s whole-hearted embrace of him as Savior! [Heb 9:28].”)

Rom. 6:11 This reasoning is equally relevant to you. 1Calculate the cross; there can only be one logical conclusion: he died your death; that means you died to sin, and are now alive to God. Sin-consciousness can never again feature in your future! You are in Christ Jesus; his Lordship is the authority of this union. (We are not being presumptuous to reason that we are in Christ! “1Reckon yourselves therefore dead to sin” The word, 1logitsomai, means to make a calculation to which there can only be one logical conclusion. [See Eph 1:4 and 1 Cor 1:30].

“From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.”— The Message.)

Rom. 8:1 Now the decisive conclusion is this: in Christ, every bit of condemning evidence against us is cancelled. (“Who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.” This sentence was not in the original text, but later copied from verse 4. The person who added this most probably felt that the fact of Paul’s declaration of mankind’s innocence had to be made subject again to a person’s conduct. Religion under the law felt more comfortable with the condition of personal contribution rather than the conclusion of what faith reveals. The “in Christ” revelation is key to God’s dealing with mankind. It is the PIN-code of the Bible. [See 1 Cor 1:30 and Eph 1:4].)

Rom. 8:2 The law of the Spirit is the liberating force of life in Christ. This leaves me with no further obligation to the law of sin and death. Spirit has superseded the sin enslaved senses as the principle law of our lives. (The law of the spirit is righteousness by faith vs the law of personal effort and self righteousness which produces condemnation and spiritual death which is the fruit of the DIY tree.)

Rom. 8:3 The law failed to be anything more than an instruction manual; it had no power to deliver us from the strong influence of sin holding us hostage in our own bodies. God disguised himself in his Son in this very domain where sin ruled us, in flesh. The body he lived and conquered in was no different to ours. Thus sin’s authority in the human body was condemned. (Hebrews 4:15, As High Priest he fully identifies with us in the context of our frail human life. Having subjected it to close scrutiny, he proved that the human frame was master over sin. His sympathy with us is not to be seen as excusing weaknesses that are the result of a faulty design, but rather as a trophy to mankind. He is not an example for us but of us.)

Rom. 8:4 The righteousness promoted by the law is now realized in us. Our practical day-to-day life bears witness to spirit inspiration and not flesh domination.

Rom. 8:5 Sin’s symptoms are sponsored by the senses, a mind dominated by the sensual. Thoughts betray source; spirit life attracts spirit thoughts.

Rom. 8:6 Thinking patterns are formed by reference, either the sensual appetites of the flesh and spiritual death, or zoe-life and total tranquillity flowing from a mind addicted to spirit [faith] realities.

Rom. 8:7 A mind focused on flesh (the sensual domain where sin held me captive) is distracted from God with no inclination to his life-laws. Flesh [self-righteousness] and spirit [faith righteousness] are opposing forces. (Flesh no longer defines you; faith does!)

2 Cor. 4:18 We are not keeping any score of what seems so obvious to the senses on the surface; it is fleeting and irrelevant; it is the unseen eternal realm within us which has our full attention and captivates our gaze! (See John 1:18 Until this moment God remained invisible to mankind; now the 1authentic begotten Son, (1monogenes, begotten only of God) the blueprint of mankind’s design who represents the innermost being of God, the Son who is in the bosom of the Father, brings him into full view! He is the 2official authority qualified to announce God! He is our guide who accurately declares and interprets the invisible God within us. (Official guide, 2eksegesato, from ek, Preposition denoting source, and hegeomai, the strengthened form of ago, to lead as a shepherd leads his sheep; thus hegeomai means to be officially appointed in a position of authority.

2 Cor 3:18 The days of window-shopping are over! In him every face is unveiled. In gazing with wonder at the blueprint likeness of God displayed in human form, we suddenly realize that we are looking at ourselves! Every feature of his image is mirrored in us! This is the most radical transformation engineered by the Spirit of the Lord; we are led from an inferior mindset to the revealed endorsement of our au- thentic identity.)

Titus 1:2 This is the life of the 1ages which was anticipated for generations; the life of our original design announced by the infallible resolve of God before 2time or space existed. (Mankind’s union with God is the original thought that inspired creation. The word, 1aionios, speaks of ages. Paul speaks of God’s mind made up about us, before the ages, which is a concept in which eternity is divided up into various periods, the shorter of which are comprehended in the longer. The word, 2xronos, means a measured duration or length of time; kairos is a due, or specific moment of time. This was before the ages or any measure of calendar time existed, before the creation of the galaxies and constellations. There exists a greater dimension to eternity than what we are capable of defining within the confines of space and time! God’s faith anticipated the exact moment of our redeemed union with him for all eternity!)

2 Tim. 1:9 He rescued the 1integrity of our original 2design and revealed that we have always been his own from the beginning, even 3before time was. This has nothing to do with anything we did to qualify or disqualify ourselves. We are not talking religious good works or karma here. Jesus unveils grace to be the 4eternal intent of God! Grace celebrates our pre- creation innocence and now declares our redeemed union with God in Christ Jesus. (The word 1hagios, means holiness, purity, integrity; hagios + kaleo is often translated, holy calling; 2kaleo means to identify by name, to surname; 3pro xronos aionios; pro, before; xronos, means a measured duration or length of time; aionios, speaks of ages. Paul speaks of God’s mind made up about us, before the ages, which is a concept in which eternity is divided up into various periods, the shorter of which are comprehended in the longer; this was before calendar time existed, before the creation of the galaxies and constellations. [kairos is a due, or specific moment of time.] So aionios spans time in dimensions that includes specific seasons or eras, but expands it all from the immediate now as the focus and zooms it out beyond boundaries without losing the “now” relevance! Jesus defines it as, “Before Abraham was, I am!” What happened to us in Christ is according to God’s eternal purpose [Bread of the Presence, or Show-bread, in Greek, πρόθεσις 4prothesis, pre-designed/prophetic purpose], which he has shown in every prophetic pointer and shadow; in the Hebrew tradition the showbread [prothesis] pointed to the true bread from heaven, the authentic word that proceeded from the mouth of God – Jesus, the incarnate word – sustaining the life of our design. See Heb 9:2 The first tented area was called the Holy Place; the only light here came from the lampstand illuminating the table upon which the showbread – prothesis – was presented. The Hebrew word is לחם הפנים lechem paniym, face bread, or bread of the presence. The lampstand was a beautifully crafted golden chandelier portraying budding and blossoming almond branches. Remember that this is also what Jeremiah saw in Jer 1:12, when God said, “I am awake over my word to perform it.” The same Hebrew word is used here, ׁשקד shaqad, the almond was called the ‘awake tree’, because it blossomed first, while the other trees were still in their winter sleep. The showbread pointed towards the daily sustenance of life in the flesh as the ultimate tabernacle of God, realized in the account of Jesus with the two from Emmaus. Their hearts were burning with resonance and faith while he opened the Scriptures to them, and then around the table their eyes were opened to recognize him as the fulfillment of Scripture, their true meal incarnated: Luke 24:27-31; Mankind shall not live by bread alone, but by the authentic thought of God, the Word proceeding from his mouth, the original intent, his image and likeness incarnated, revealed and redeemed in human life.

Titus 1:2 This is the life of the ages that was anticipated for generations; the life of our original design announced by the infallible resolve of God before time or space existed. [Mankind’s union with God is the original thought that inspired creation. There exists a greater dimension to eternity than what we are capable of defining within the confines of space and time! God’s faith anticipated the exact moment of our redeemed union with him for all eternity!] Mirror Study Bible.

This life was made certain before eternal time. [BBE 1949, Bible in Basic English])

What an amazing view you have created for yourself in my mind, oh God! Through the avenue of my thoughts you extend eternity

and embrace it in me in the here and now! What bliss to encounter life
and people through your eyes!
I love my thoughts!

I AM is your past present and future. Now live the adventure daily,
in total abandonment!

 

Paul’s Gospel ~ The Success of the Cross – Chapter 9

Rom. 1:1 Paul, 5passionately engaged by Jesus Christ, 1identified in him to 2represent him. My 3mandate and 4message is to announce the goodness of God to mankind. (Mandate, the scope or horizon of my message, from 3horitso, meaning marked out. The word, 2apostelo, means an extension from him, a representative; 5doulos, means slave from deo, to be bound or knitted together like a husband and wife; 1kletos comes from kaleo, meaning called, to identify by name, to surname; and 4eu + angellion, means well done announcement, good news, the official announcement of God’s goodness.)

Rom. 1:2 This message is what the Scriptures are all about. It remains the central prophetic theme and content of inspired writing.

Scripture could never again be interpreted in any other way! The gospel of the successful redemption of the image and likeness of our Creator in human form gives content and context to the Bible.

Rom. 1:16 I have no shame about sharing the Good News of Christ with anyone; the powerful rescuing act of God persuades both Jew and Gentile alike.

Rom.1:17 Herein lies the secret of the power of the Gospel; there is no good news in it until the righteousness of God is revealed! The dynamic of the gospel is the revelation of 1God’s faith as the only valid basis for our belief. The Prophets wrote in advance about the fact that God believes that righteousness reveals the life of our design. “Righteousness by his (God’s) faith defines life.” (See my commentary note on Rom. 1:17 in chapter 3 The Romance of the Ages, page 33.)

From Romans chapters 1:18 to 3:20 Paul proceeds to give a graphic display of distorted human behavior.

Being a Jew, and therefore to be acquainted with the requirements of the law, offers no real advantage, since it offers no disguise or defence from sin. It bears the same symptoms and consequences.

His triumphant statement in Romans 1:16 & 17, and again reinforced in chapter 3:21-24, is set against this backdrop. The good news declares how the same con- demned mankind in Adam is now freely acquitted by God’s grace through the redemption that is unveiled in Christ Jesus.

Sadly the evangelical Christianity emphasized the wrong verse! Rom. 3:23 is not the good news! It’s all in the next verse! Why can many quote Rom 3:23 off by heart, but hardly anyone knows verse 24!? Rom. 3:23 “…since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Rom 3:24 they [the same, all!] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Rom. 3:22 Jesus is what God believes about you! In him the righteousness of God is on display in such a way 1that everyone may be equally persuaded about what God believes about them, regardless of who they are; there is 2no distinction. (The Preposition, 1eis, indicates a point reached in conclusion. The Greek, ou gar estin diastoley means 2there is no exception – this includes every single person, Jew and Gentile alike!)

Rom. 3:23 Mankind is in the same boat; their 1distorted behavior is proof of a 2lost 3blueprint. (The word sin, is the word 1hamartia, from ha, negative or with- out and meros, portion or form, thus to be without your allotted portion or without form, pointing to a disorientated, distorted, bankrupt identity; the word meros, is the stem of morphe, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18 the word metamorphe, with form, which is the opposite of hamartia – without form. Sin is to live out of context with the blueprint of one’s design; to behave out of tune with God’s original harmony. See Deuteronomy 32:18, “You have forgotten the Rock that begot you and have gotten out of step with the God who danced with you!” Hebrew, חּול khul, also means to dance, as in Judges 21:21. See Romans 9:33 in the Mirror! The word 2hustereo, to fall short, to be inferior, 3doxa, glory, blueprint, from dokeo, opinion or intent.)

Rom. 3:24 While the law proved mankind’s dilemma, the grace of God an- nounces the same mankind’s redemption in Jesus Christ! Their blameless innocence is a free gift! The gift-principle puts the idea of reward out of business! There is no exception – this belongs to every single person, Jew and Gentile alike! (v 22) Mankind’s righteousness is now redeemed. Jesus Christ is proof of God’s grace gift; he redeemed the glory of God in human life; mankind condemned in the language of religion, is now mankind jus- tified in the language of the gospel! (The man Jesus Christ proved that God did not make a mistake when they made humankind in their image and likeness! Sadly the evangelical world proclaimed verse 23 completely out of context! There is no good news in verse 23, the gospel is in verse 24! All fell short because of Adam; the same ‘all’ are equally declared innocent because of Christ! The law reveals what happened to mankind in Adam; grace reveals what happened to the same mankind in Christ. Their is no distinction – all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – now they are all justified freely as a gift through the redemption [the liberating action] of Jesus Christ!)

Rom. 3:25 Jesus exhibits God’s mercy. In his blood conciliation God’s faith persuades mankind of his righteousness and the fact that he has brought clo- sure to the historic record of their sins. (Not by demanding a sacrifice but provid- ing the sacrifice of himself.) Jesus is the unveiling of the Father’s heart towards us. (See note to Hebrews 8:12; also 1 John 2:2.)

Rom. 3:26 All along God 1refused to let go of mankind. At this very moment God’s act of 2righteousness is 3pointing them to the evidence of their inno- cence, with Jesus as the 4fountainhead of faith. (God’s tolerance, 1anoche, to echo upward; God continues to hear the echo of his likeness in us. See Rom 2:4. In both these verses [25+26] Paul uses the word, 3endeixis, where we get the word indicate from. It is also part of the stem of the word translated, righteousness, 2dikaiosune. To point out, to show, to convince with proof. Then follows, 4ek pisteos iesou; ek, source or origin and iesou is in the Genitive case, the owner of faith is Jesus! He is both the source and substance of faith! Hebrews 11:1, 12:2 “The Incarnation means that God Himself condescended to enter into our alienated human existence, to lay hold of it, to bind it in union with Himself; and the consummation of the Incarnation in the death and resurrection means the Son of God died for all men, and so once and for all consti- tuted men as men upon whom God had poured out His life and love, so that men are for ever laid hold of by God and affirmed in their being as His creatures. They can no more escape from His love and sink into non-being than they can constitute themselves men for whom Christ has not died. How can God go back upon the death of His dear Son? How can God undo the Incarnation and go back upon Himself? How can God who is Love go back upon the pouring out of His love once and for all and so cease to be Him- self? That is the decisive, final thing about the whole Incarnation including the death of Christ, that it affects all men, indeed the whole of creation, for the whole of creation is now put on a new basis with God, the basis of a Love that does not withhold itself but only overflows in our unending Love. That is why creation still continues in being, and that is why man still exists, for God has not given him up, but on the contrary poured out His love upon him unreservedly once and for ever, decidedly and finally affirming man as His child, eternally confirming the creation as His own handiwork. God does not say Yes, and No, for all He has done is Yes and Amen in Christ. That applies to every man, whether he will or no. He owes his very being to Christ and belongs to Christ, and in that he belongs to Christ he has his being only from Him and in relation to Him.” Thomas F. Torrance courtesy Baxter Kruger’s study notes.)

Rom. 3:27 The law of faith cancels the law of works; which means there is suddenly nothing left for anyone to boast in. No one is superior to another. (Bragging only makes sense if there is someone to compete with or impress. “While we compete with one another and compare ourselves with one another we are without under- standing. [2 Corinthians 10:12]. “Through the righteousness of God we have received a faith of equal standing.” [See 2 Peter 1:1 RSV] The OS (operating system) of the law of works is willpower; the OS of the law of faith is love. Galatians 5:6 Love sets faith in mo- tion. The law presented one with choices; grace awakens belief! Willpower exhausts, love ignites! If choices could save us we would be our own Saviors! Willpower is the language of the law, love is the language of grace and it ignites faith that leads to romance; falling in love beats “making a decision to believe in love” by far! See Rom 7:19 Willpower has failed me; this is how embarrassing it is, the most diligent decision that I make to do good, disappoints.)

Rom. 3:28 This leaves us with only one logical conclusion, mankind is justi- fied by God’s faith and not by their ability to keep the law.

Rom. 3:29 Which means that God is not the private property of the Jews but belongs equally to all the nations. (While the law excludes the non-Jewish nations, faith includes us all on level terms.)

Rom. 3:30 There is only one God, he deals with everyone, circumcised or uncircumcised exclusively on the basis of faith.

Rom. 3:31 No, faith does not re-write the rules; instead it confirms that the original life-quality meant for mankind as documented in the law, is again realized.

Paul brings the argument of the ineffectiveness of the law to get a person to change their behavior to a final crescendo in Chapter 7. He states in 7 verse 1 that he is writing to those who are familiar with the law. They have firsthand experience therefore of the weakness of the rule to consistently govern the conduct of people.

The best that the law could offer was to educate and confirm good intentions; but a more powerful law, the law of sin introduced to mankind through one man’s transgression, has to be challenged by a greater force than human willpower.

Because sin robbed mankind of their true identity and awakened in them all kinds of worse-than-animal-like conduct, a set of rules couldn’t do it. The revelation of God’s righteousness has to be far more effective and powerful mankind’s slavery to sin.

It is evident that because of our corrupt behavior, we deserve nothing less than condemnation. Yet within this context the grace and mercy of God is revealed; not as mere tolerance from God’s side to turn a blind eye and to put up with sin, but as God’s triumphant act in Christ to cancel our guilt and to break sin’s spell and dominion over us.

For salvation to be relevant it has to offer mankind a basis and reference for their faith to be launched from. It has to offer a conclusion of greater implication than the stalemate condition they find themselves in under the dispensation of the law.

Rom. 7:12 I stress again that the law as principle is holy and so is every individual commandment it contains; it consistently promotes that which is just and good.

Rom. 7:13 How then could I accuse something that is that good to have killed me? I say again, it was not the law, but sin that caused my spiritual death. The purpose of the law was to expose sin as the culprit. The individual commandment ultimately serves to show the exceeding extent of sin’s effect on mankind.

Rom. 7:14 We agree that the law is spiritual, but because I am 1sold like a slave to sin, I am reduced to a mere carnal life. (Spiritual death. The word, 1piprasko comes from perao, meaning to transport into a distant land in order to sell as a slave. Sin is a foreign land.)

Rom. 7:15 This is how the sell-out to sin affects my life: I find myself doing things my conscience does not allow. My dilemma is that even though I sincerely desire to do that which is good, I don’t, and the things I despise, I do.

Rom. 7:16 It is obvious that my conscience sides with the law;

Rom. 7:17 which confirms then that it is not really I who do these things but sin manifesting its symptoms in me. It has taken my body hostage. (Sin is similar to a dormant virus that suddenly breaks out in very visible symptoms.)

Rom. 7:18 The total extent and ugliness of sin that inhabits me, reduced my life to good intentions that could not be followed through.

Rom. 7:19 Willpower has failed me; this is how embarrassing it is, the most diligent decision that I make to do good, disappoints; the very evil I try to avoid, is what I do. (If mere quality decisions could rescue mankind, the law would have been enough. Good intentions cannot save someone. The revelation of what happened to us in Christ’s death is what brings faith into motion to liberate from within. Faith is not a decision we make to give God a chance, faith is realizing our inclusion in what happened on the Cross and in the resurrection of Christ! See Rom 3:27.)

Rom.7:20 If I do the things I do not want to do, then it is clear that I am not evil, but that I host sin in my body against my will.

Rom. 7:21 It has become a predictable principle; I desire to do well, but my mere desire cannot escape the evil presence that dictates my actions.

 

Rom. 7:22 The real person that I am on the inside delights in the law of God.

(The law proves to be consistent with my inner make-up.)

Rom. 7:23 There is another law though, (foreign to my design) the law of sin, activating and enrolling the members of my body as weapons of war against the law of my mind. I am held captive like a prisoner of war in my own body. Rom. 7:24 It doesn’t matter how I 1weigh myself I just do not measure up to expectations! The situation is absolutely desperate for mankind; is there anyone who can deliver them from this death trap? (The word 1talaipōros occurs only twice in the New Testament – Rom 7:24, Rev 3:17 – and both times it is translated wretched!? It has two components, talanton, which is the word for a scale of balance; that which is weighed, a talent; and poros from peira, to test as in testing the weight of something.)

Rom. 7:25 Thank God, this is exactly what he has done through Jesus Christ our Leader; he has come to our rescue! I am finally freed from this conflict between the law of my mind and the law of sin in my body. (In the Incarnation, in a human body exactly like ours, Jesus balanced the scales! He is the true measure of the life of our design – he revealed and redeemed the image and likeness of God in us as in a mirror! See Rom 1:16,17 and 3:24 and 27.)

Rom. 8:1 Now the decisive conclusion is this: in Christ, every bit of condemning evidence against us is cancelled. (“Who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.” This sentence was not in the original text, but later copied from verse 4. The person who added this most probably felt that the fact of Paul’s declaration of mankind’s innocence had to be made subject again to a person’s conduct. Religion under the law felt more comfortable with the condition of personal contribution rather than the conclusion of what faith reveals. The “in Christ” revelation is key to God’s dealing with mankind. It is the PIN-code of the Bible. [See 1 Cor 1:30 and Eph 1:4].)

Rom. 8:2 The law of the Spirit is the liberating force of life in Christ. This leaves me with no further obligation to the law of sin and death. Spirit has superseded the sin enslaved senses as the principle law of our lives. (The law of the spirit is righteousness by faith vs the law of personal effort and self righteousness which produces condemnation and spiritual death which is the fruit of the DIY tree.)

Rom. 8:3 The law failed to be anything more than an instruction manual; it had no power to deliver us from the strong influence of sin holding us hostage in our own bodies. God disguised himself in his Son in this very domain where sin ruled us, in flesh. The body he lived and conquered in was no different to ours. Thus sin’s authority in the human body was condemned. (Hebrews 4:15, As High Priest he fully identifies with us in the context of our frail human life. Having subjected it to close scrutiny, he proved that the human frame was master over sin. His sympathy with us is not to be seen as excusing weaknesses that are the result of a faulty design, but rather as a trophy to mankind. He is not an example for us but of us.)

Rom. 8:4 The righteousness promoted by the law is now realized in us. Our practical day-to-day life bears witness to spirit inspiration and not flesh domination.

Paul is convinced that whatever happened to the human race because of Adam’s fall is far superseded in every possible proportion by the revelation of mankind’s inclusion in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He places the fall of Adam and every act of unrighteousness that followed against the one act of righteousness that God performed in Christ as proof of our acquittal.

The revelation of righteousness by faith unveils how God in Christ represented and redeemed mankind. The etymological essence of the word, ‘righteousness’ in its root form, diké, implies the idea of two parties finding likeness in each other; with no interference of any sense of blame, guilt or inferiority.

The Hebrew word for righteousness, tzedek, צדק which also includes the idea of the wooden beam in a scale of balances. “He that judges his neighbor according to the balance of righteousness, or innocence, they judge him according to righteousness.” [T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 127. 2.] The Greek stem for righteousness is dike it is interesting to note that the Greek goddess of Justice is Dike [pronounced, dikay] and she is always pictured holding a scale of balances in her hand.

When Adam lost the glory of God (In Hebrew the word כבד Kabod, means weight; the consciousness of God’s likeness and image), the law proved that no amount of good works could balance the scale again. Grace reveals how God redeemed his image and likeness again in human form; now the scale is perfectly balanced! No wonder Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished!”

The law reveals what happened to humanity in Adam; Grace reveals what happened to the same humanity in Christ.

The law presented mankind with choices, grace awakens belief. Willpower exhausts, love ignites. Willpower is the drive of the law of works; love sets faith in motion. Gal. 5:6.

This is the message that Paul says he owes to the whole world!

Rom. 1:5 The grace and commission we received from him, is to bring about a 1faith-inspired lifestyle in all the nations. 2His name is his claim on the human race. (Paul immediately sets out to give new definition to the term, “obedience,” no longer by law, but of faith. 1Obedience, from upo + akoo, means to be under the influence of what is heard, accurate hearing; hearing from above. 2Every family in heaven and on earth is identified in him. Eph 3:15.)

Rom. 16:25 I am not talking “hear-say-theory”; I own the gospel I proclaim! This is my message! I salute God who empowers you dynamically and establishes you to be strong and immovable in the face of contradiction. Jesus Christ is the disclosure of the very mystery that was concealed in silence before 1time or human 2history were recorded. (Titus 1:2 This is the life of the ages which was anticipated for generations; the life of our original design announced by the infallible resolve of God before 2time or space existed. [Mankind’s union with God is the original thought that inspired creation. The word, 2aionios, speaks of ages.] Paul speaks of God’s mind made up about us, before the ages, which is a concept in which eternity is divided up into various periods, the shorter of which are comprehended in the longer. The word, 1xronos, means a measured duration or length of time; [kairos is a due, or specific moment of time.] This was before the ages or any measure of calendar time existed, before the creation of the galaxies and constellations. There exists a greater dimension to eternity than what we are capable of defining within the confines of space and time! God’s faith anticipated the exact moment of our redeemed union with him for all eternity! “This life was made certain before eternal time.” [BBE 1949, Bible in Basic English] Paul’s gospel does not merely proclaim Christ in history; he announces Christ unveiled in human life; Christ in you! Colossians 1:27.)

Rom. 16:26 The mystery mirrored in 1prophetic Scripture is now unveiled. The God of the ages determined to make this mystery known in such a way that all the nations of the earth will hear and realize the 2lifestyle that faith ignites. (This gospel breaks the silence of the ages and reveals how God succeeded to redeem his image and likeness in mankind. 1Isa 53:4, 5. See note on 16:19, Faith inspires an 2obedience of spontaneity beyond guilt and obligation.)

Rom. 16:27 Jesus Christ 1uniquely 2articulates the 3wisdom of God; he is the 4conclusion of the ages. (Uniquely, 1monos, alone, Jesus has no competition; this one man represents the entire human race; this is the mystery of the ages. 1 Cor 2:7 We voice words of wisdom that were hidden in silence for timeless ages; a mystery unfolding God’s Masterful plan whereby he would redeem his glory in man. Our glorification has always been God’s agenda, even before time was. 1 Cor 2:8 Neither the politicians nor the theologians of the day had a clue about this mystery [of mankind’s association in Christ]; if they did, they would never have crucified the Lord whose death redeemed our glory! The word, 3sophos, means clarity, wisdom. He forever broke the silence of the ages! The words, 4eis aion, eis indicates a point reached in conclusion, thus the conclusion of the ages. He is the 2doxa, opinion; the logos that was before time was; the Word that became flesh and dwells within us [Jn 1:1, 14]. The incarnation [Latin, in carne, in the body] is the final trophy of the eternal logos and doxa of God.

Col 1:15 In him the image and likeness of God is made visible in human form in order that everyone may recognize their true origin in him. He is the firstborn of every creature. (What darkness veiled from us he unveiled. In him we clearly see the mirror reflection of our original life. The Son of his love gives accurate evidence of his image in human form. The incarnation means that God can never again be invisible!)

Col. 1:19 God is fully at home in him. Jesus exhibits God’s 1happy delight to be human. (Delightful intent, 1eudokeo. “So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.” — The Message.)

Col 2:3 Everything that could possibly define our wealth is 1hidden in Christ. In this place of our union in him the complete 2treasure of all wisdom and knowledge is sourced. (The word, 1apokriphos, translates from apo, away from and krupto, to conceal, to keep secret. The word, 2thesaurus, means treasure; the place in which precious things are collected and laid up; from tithemi, to place and theo, God, the ultimate capacity of all things. Christ is the context of all wisdom and knowledge.)

Col 2:9 In him, all the fullness of 1Deity 2resides in a human body! He proves that human life is tailor-made for God! (The word, 1theotes, godhead/ deity, is feminine. Jesus exhibits what the Father, Son and Spirit is like, in human form. The word 2katoikeō means to dwell in, to inhabit. While the expanse cannot measure or define God, their detailed likeness is displayed in human skin. See Col 1:19, God is fully at home in him. Jesus is God’s happy delight to be human.)

Col 2:10 We are complete in him! Jesus mirrors our wholeness and 1endorses our true identity. He is “I am” in us! (God packaged completeness in  “I am,” mirrored in you! The word, 1exousia, is often translated authority; from, ek + eimi, originating out of “I am.” The days are over where our lives were dictated to under the rule of the law of performance and an inferior identity. It’s not about who I used to be or who I’m striving to become; we are celebrating I am! Any teaching that leaves one with a sense of lack and imperfection rather than completeness is a distraction from the truth.)

Jesus is the author and finisher of faith’s capacity within us to mirror and celebrate completeness!

The principle of faith is to see what God sees. God called humanity’s salvation when there seemed to be no evidence of it. Sarah’s barren womb did not intimidate God’s faith. Romans 4:17 “While we look not at the things that the senses observe, but we look at the revelation of the unseen as it is unveiled in our understanding through the mirror revelation of the Gospel of Christ. 2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Cor. 4:18

Rom. 4:17 finds its context in Rom. 1:17 and 10:17, “It is clear then that faith’s source is found in the content of the message heard; the message is Christ. (We are God’s audience; Jesus is God’s language!)

Paul wrote Rom. 5:12-21 before any of us preached it; and at the risk of being misunderstood by the legalistic mind as he states in the next verse 6:1, “Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound?” What happened to mankind in Adam is by far surpassed by what happened to them in Christ!

Rom. 5:12 One person opened the door to 1sin. Sin introduced (spiritual) death. Both sin and death had a global impact. No one escaped its tyranny. (The word translated sin, is the word 1hamartia, from ha, negative and meros, portion or form, thus to be without your allotted portion or without form, pointing to a disorientated, distorted identity; the word meros, is the stem of morphe, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18 the word metamorphe, with form, is the opposite of hamartia – without form. Sin is to live out of context with the blueprint of one’s design; to behave out of tune with God’s original harmony.)

Rom. 5:13 The law did not introduce sin; it was just not pointed out yet.

Rom. 5:14 In the mean time death dominated everyone’s lifestyle, from Adam till Moses, [2500 years before the law was given] no one was excluded; even those whose sins were different from Adam’s. The fact is that Adam’s 1deviation set sin into motion – what happened to mankind because of one man, Adam, is in principle typical of what was about to happen to the same mankind because of the one man, Jesus! (Paul now employs a word that only he uses in his epistles [7 times] parabasis instead of the usual word for sin, hamartia parabasis has two components, para, which points to a close proximity/union and bainos, step, footprint – in this sense, a deviation; out of step – out of sync. In Adam mankind became out of sync with their true identity but didn’t know it until the law revealed it – in Christ the same mankind became exceedingly righteous, but do not realize it until the gospel reveals it.)

Rom. 5:15 The only similarity in the comparison between the 1crash-landing and the gift, is that both Adam and Christ represent the masses. However, the grace gift lavished upon mankind in the one man Jesus Christ supersedes the effect of Adam’s failure by far and is beyond comparison in significance to the idea of 2death and separation. (Now Paul introduces the word 1paraptoma, from para closest possible proximity and pipto, to descend from a higher place to a lower – to stop flying. No wonder he urges us in Col 3:1-3 to engage our thoughts with the things that are above, where we are co-elevated and jointly enthroned in the heavenlies together with Christ! The word 2apothnesko, death, suggests a separation; from apo, meaning any kind of separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed; also of a state of separation and distance. The word, thnesko means death.

But God’s free gift immeasurably outweighs the transgression. For if through the transgression of the one individual the mass of mankind have died, infinitely greater is the generosity wherewith God’s grace, and the gift given in his grace which found expression in the one man Jesus Christ, have been bestowed on the mass of mankind.— Weymouth, 1912.)

Rom. 5:16 The principle of the gift speaks a different language and brings a radically different equation to the table. Whereas a single sin resulted in a judgment that concluded in condemnation; grace translates countless deviations into acquittal and innocence.

Rom. 5:17 Death no longer has the final say. Life rules! If the effect of one man’s crash-landing engaged mankind in a death-dominated lifestyle how much more advantaged is the very same mankind now that they are the recipients of the boundless reservoirs of grace, empowering them to enjoy the dominion of life through the gift of righteousness because of that one man, Jesus Christ. Grace is out of all proportion in superiority to the transgression. (No, grace is not something you qualify for by receiving it! Grace already belongs to mankind without their permission! The words οἱ λαμβάνοντες – 1oi lambanontes do not mean, to believingly accept, but simply the recipients! [the Present Active Participle Nominative] The word 2perisseia περισσεία means super abundantly; that which exceeds all boundaries. Of course it doesn’t take faith out of the equation! It gives context to faith! See verse 1&2. Faith isn’t what you do in order to; it’s what happens to you because of!)

Rom. 5:18 The conclusion is clear: if one offence condemns the entire human race; then in principle, the righteousness of one vindicates the entire human race.

Rom. 5:19 The disobedience of the one 1exhibits mankind as sinners; the obedience of another exhibits mankind as righteous. (The word, 1kathistemi, means to cause to be, to set up, to exhibit. We were not made sinners by our own disobedience; neither were we made righteous by our own obedience.)

 

Rom. 5:20 The presence of the law made no difference, instead it merely high lighted the offence; but where sin increased, grace superseded it.

Rom. 5:21 Death provided sin its platform and power to reign from; now grace has taken over sovereignty through righteousness to introduce unthreatened life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ over us.

A simple equation: We were not made sinners by our own disobedience; neither were we made righteous by our own obedience.

The same humanity represented in the one man Adam, is triumphantly represented in the one man Jesus Christ!

Adam’s transgression no longer holds the human race hostage.

The same humanity that fell under the spell of Adam’s sin, are now addressed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

What God accomplished in Christ is beyond comparison and out of all proportion in effect to Adam’s sin. Rom.5:18. Johnson

J.B. Phillips (1955) writes in the preface of his translation of the book of Acts, the following: “Now in much modern evangelism the main plank of the platform is the emphasis, again and again, upon the utter sinfulness of man.”

The modern evangelist will shout that the Bible says, “All have sinned”, and that, “There is none righteous, no not one.” They will shout that the Bible says, “All our righteousness is as filthy rags.” However, Luke in writing the Book of Acts seemingly knows nothing about this emphasis. He instead highlights the experience of Peter with Cornelius, when God persuades him to call no man common or unclean! Indeed the modern technique of arousing guilt by quoting isolated texts of Scripture is not found in the Book of Acts at all.

The effect of the “word of his grace” is evident in the Book of the Acts.

Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Acts 14:3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. RSV

The gospel declares humanity’s innocence; it is the receipt that confirms their acquittal. In any transaction a receipt represents the documented detail and legal reference to effective payment; it is the written acknowledgement of such payment. The legal grounds for such a verdict are detailed in the preaching and teaching of the gospel of grace.

See Math 13:44 The man who redeemed the hidden treasure sold all he had, and bought the entire field!

The lost coin never lost its original value.

The fact that the treasure was hidden didn’t diminish its authentic worth.

Jesus’ shed blood was not to buy as back from the devil, a thief never gets ownership – Psalm 24:1. Neither was it to persuade his Father to forgive us – it was to persuade our minds of God’s esteem of us and free us from the lies that we believed about ourselves. Hebrews 6:16,17

Many Christians can quote Romans 3:23 but sadly fail to memorize the good news is in the next verse! The glory that Adam lost on our behalf is now redeemed in Jesus.

There is no good news in telling people how condemned they are! The good news reveals how redeemed they are!

How God interprets the death and resurrection of Jesus gives ultimate definition and impact to the gospel. He now desires to capture our gaze to see what he saw in the fruit of the travail of his soul, so that we may know even as we have always been known!

Isa. 53:11 He shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. RSV

Isa. 52:13 in the Septuagint reads, Behold my boy! The word, “servant” is only in the Masoretic Hebrew text which dates a thousand years later than the LXX.

Also Isa 53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. Then, Isa 53:10 in the Septuagint! No! It did not “please the Lord to bruise him!!” The Lord desires to cleanse his wounds – and in the offering of his life as sacrifice he shall see his seed afar off! See verse 11 – the joy that is set before him! The offspring is the fruit of the travail of his soul! Heb 12:2, for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame!

The highlight of John 10:10 is not the fact that the thief came to steal, kill and destroy, but that Jesus came so that we might have life more abundantly!

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

See Acts 10:14 But Peter said, “No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” Act 10:15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.” Also Acts 10:28, and he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone common or unclean!”

2 Cor. 5:14 The love of Christ constrains us and 1resonates within us; leaving us with only one 2conclusion: when Jesus died; every individual simultaneously died. In God’s logic, one has died for all, 2thus all died. (The word, 1sunecho, to press together; to squeeze; from sun, meaning together with and echo, meaning to echo; to embrace; to hold; also, to resonate. The word αρα 2ara, means conclusion. Jesus didn’t die 99% or for 99%. He one hundred percent died humanity’s death! If Paul had to compromise the last part of verse 14 to read: “one died for all therefore only those who follow the prescriptions to qualify, have also died,” then he would have had to change the first half of the verse as well! Only the agape of Christ can make a calculation of such enormous proportion! The religious mind would question the extremity of God’s love and perhaps prefer to add a condition or two to a statement like that!)

No personal ambition, qualification, noble-birth, or achievement gives more distinction or definition to the individual, than the fact of our identification and co-inclusion in Christ!

Phil. 3:4 I have more reason than anyone else to rely on my years of diligent and most sincere devotion to Jewish sentiment and rituals. If gaining God’s approval had anything to do with striving and personal effort I would beat the best in the business! My pedigree is obvious:

Phil. 3:5 I received the famous cut when I was 8 days old, exactly as the law prescribed. I am Israeli by birth; the head of my tribe is Benjamin. I am a Hebrew of the Hebrews! In my observance of the law I belonged to the strictest party; I was proud to be a Pharisee. (Rachel was the darling wife of Jacob; she died while giving birth to Benjamin; also the two tribes that did not revolt were Benjamin and Judah. By saying that he is a Hebrew of the Hebrews Paul emphasizes that his lineage from both parents side was not mixed with any Gentile blood.)

Phil. 3:6 The extremities of my fervor were demonstrated in the way I fiercely opposed and persecuted anyone who identified themselves in Christ. [The so-called Ekklesia.] If keeping the law and these credentials could possibly have given me a blameless standing before God, I had it made!

Phil. 3:7 The sum total of my religious pedigree and sincere devotion amounts to zero! What we have been gifted with in Christ has reduced what once seemed so important, to meaningless information. To esteem the law is to your loss! Faith is your profit.

Phil. 3:8 In fact, I have come to the conclusion that every association I have had with that which defined me before as a devout Jew, is by far eclipsed by what I have gained in knowing the Messiah. Jesus Christ and his masterful redemption define me now. Religion is like dog pooh; and it stinks, avoid stepping in it!

Phil. 3:9 So here I am; found in Christ! I was looking in the wrong place all along! My own duty-and-guilt-driven religious endeavor snared me in the cul-de-sac maize of self-righteousness, sponsored by the law of works! The faith of Christ reveals my identity; righteousness defines who God believes that I really am. This righteousness is sourced in God and endorses the authority of faith. (Faith is a fairy tale if Jesus is not the substance of it!)

Phil. 3:10 Oh to comprehend the dynamic of his resurrection! His resurrection is evidence of our righteousness! In the revelation of God’s economy of inclusion, I actually co-suffered with him and co-died together with Christ! (Because I was already fully represented in his sufferings, his death and resurrection, I am greatly inspired when faced with contradictions now! Rom. 4:25.)

Paul guards with jealous zeal over this gospel:

Gal. 1:6 I am amazed that you can so easily be fooled into swapping the Gospel for a gimmick! The Gospel reveals the integrity of your original identity rescued in Christ; the gimmick is a conglomeration of grace and legalism. This mixture boils down to a do-it-yourself plan of salvation. (Which is a recipe for disaster.)

Gal. 1:7 There is no other gospel in spite of the many so-called Christian products branded “gospel.” If any hint of the law remains, it is not good news but merely religious people’s ideas, detracting from the gospel of Christ. (Some seek to unsettle your minds by perverting the Gospel to accommodate their own opinion.)

Gal. 1:8 I and any of my team would stand equally disqualified, even if we claim to have had a celestial angelic visitation, if what we preach were to stray ever so slightly from the Gospel of the finished work of Christ.

Gal. 1:9 Let me be blatant and clear about this: any gospel that does not emphasize the success of the cross is counterfeit and produces nothing but the curse!

Gal. 1:10 (In sharp contrast to the time when I needed letters of authority from the religious institutions of the day, endorsing my mission) God is my complete persuasion. I answer to him alone, not anyone else. Christ employs me; I am addicted to his grace. Popular religious opinion will not influence me to compromise my message. (What is the point of an impressive CV, when your Maker is not even asking for it?)

Gal. 1:11 I want to make it very clear to you my friends that the message I proclaim is not mere speculation or the product of philosophical or religious debate.

Gal. 1:12 This is not my own invention, neither was I spoon-fed by human tuition; my source of reference is the unveiled mystery of Christ in me. (Even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him thus no longer. 2 Corinthians 5:16.)

Gal. 3:6 Abraham had no other claim to righteousness but simply believing what God declared concerning him! Isaac confirmed God’s faith, not Abraham’s efforts. This is all we have in common with Abraham. (Righteousness reveals God’s faith as responsible for mankind’s salvation in direct contrast to their doing it themselves by keeping moral laws!)

Gal. 3:7 The conclusion is clear; faith and not flesh relates us to Abraham!

(Grace rather than law is our true lineage. Ishmael represents so much more than the Muslim religion. Ishmael represents the clumsy effort of the flesh to compete with faith; the preaching of a mixed message of law and grace.)

Gal. 3:8 Scripture records prophetically that the mass of non-Jewish nations would be justified by faith and not by keeping moral laws. This announcement by God over Abraham is the gospel in advance. God saw every nation included in the same principle of the faith that Abraham pioneered. “In you all the nations of the earth are equally represented in the blessing of faith.” ([Gen 22:17] I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies, Gen 22:18 and by your seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves. Righteousness by faith is the revelation of the gospel; [Rom 1:17 and Hab 2:4] “the just shall live by his (God’s) faith” Righteousness by faith defines your life!)

Gal. 3:9 As did Abraham so do we now find our source in the blessing of faith.

Gal. 4:21 Since you are so intrigued by the law, please understand its prophetic message:

Gal. 4:22 The law records the fact that Abraham had two sons: one by a slave girl, the other by a free woman.

Gal. 4:23 The one is produced by the flesh [the DIY-tree], the other by faith [the promise].

Gal. 4:24 There is a parallel meaning in the story of the two sons: they represent two systems, works and grace.

Gal. 4:25 Sinai is an Arabian rocky mountain named after Hagar, [outside the land of promise]. Its association with the law of Moses mirrors Jerusalem as the capital of Jewish legalism. Hagar is the mother of the law of works.

Gal. 4:26 But the mother from above, the true mother of mankind is grace, the free Jerusalem; she is the mother of the promise.

1 Cor. 1:17 My mandate was not about winning members for some ‘Christian club’ through baptism! I am commissioned to declare the Good News without any strings attached; nothing to distract from the powerful effect of the revelation of the cross of Christ. (The mystery of the cross is the revelation of mankind’s inclusion in his death and resurrection [see 1 Cor 2:2,7].)

1 Cor. 1:18 To their own loss the message of the cross seems foolish to some; but to us who discover our salvation there, it is the dynamic of God.

1 Cor. 1:19 Isaiah wrote: I will confuse the wisdom of the “so-called” wise and prove their experts wrong. (Isa 29:14.)

1 Cor. 1:20 God’s wisdom puts the rest out of business! They have all closed shop; the philosophers, the academics, the smooth-talkers, the lot. (When it comes to real answers to the dilemma of mankind, God’s wisdom, revealed in the foolishness of the cross, is the currency of the Gospel.)

1 Cor. 1:21 By suspicious scrutiny the sense-ruled world surveys the works of God in creation and still do not recognize or acknowledge him; in sharp contrast to this, the foolishness of the message we proclaim brings God’s work of redeeming his image in us into faith’s focus. (What we preach cancels every basis for boasting in personal contribution, which seems folly to the DIY systems of this world.)

1 Cor. 1:22 The Jews crave signs [to confirm their doubts] while the Greeks revel in philosophical debate! (Both groups are addicted to the same soul realm.)

1 Cor. 1:23 The crucified Christ is the message we publicly proclaim, to the disgust of the Jews while the Greeks think we are wacky.

1 Cor. 1:24 The dynamic of God’s wisdom is the fact that both Jew and Greek are equally included and defined in Christ.

1 Cor. 1:25 It seems so foolish that God should die mankind’s death on the cross; it seems so weak of God to suffer such insult; yet their wisest schemes and most powerful display of genius cannot even begin to comprehend or compete with God in his weakest moment on the cross.

1 Cor. 1:26 You might as well admit it, my friends; it was not your academic qualifications or your good looks or social connections that influenced God to represent you in Christ.

1 Cor. 1:27 It is almost as if God deliberately handpicked the wacky of this world to embarrass the wise, the rejects to put to shame the noble.

1 Cor. 1:28 The ones with no pedigree of any prominence, the “nobodies” in society, attracted God’s initiative to unveil his blueprint opinion in order to redefine mankind. Thus he rendered any other social standard entirely irrelevant, redundant and inappropriate. (Blueprint opinion, eklegomai, from ek, meaning origin, source, and legomai from logos, the logic of God; traditionally translated as “elect”.)

1 Cor. 1:29 Every reason for someone’s boasting in themselves dwindles into insignificance before God.

1 Cor. 1:30 1Of God’s doing are we in Christ. He is both the genesis and genius of our wisdom; a wisdom that reveals how righteous, sanctified and redeemed we already are in him. (The Preposition, 1ek, always denotes origin, source. Mankind’s association in Jesus is God’s doing. In God’s economy, Jesus Christ represents us; what mankind could never achieve through personal discipline and willpower as taught in every religion, God’s faith accomplished in Christ. Of his design we are in Christ; we are associated in oneness with him. Our wisdom is sourced in this union! Also, our righteousness and holiness originate from him. Holiness equals wholeness and harmony of a person’s spirit, soul, and body. Our redemption is sanctioned in him. He redeemed our identity, our sanity, our health, our joy, our peace, our innocence, and our complete well-being! [See Eph 1:4]. The Knox Translation reads, “It is from him that we take our 1origin.”)

1 Cor. 1:31 He is our claim to fame. (This is what Jeremiah meant when he wrote: “Let not the wise glory in their wisdom, let not the mighty glory in their might, let not the rich glory in their riches; but let the one who glories glory in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things do I delight, says the Lord.” Jer. 9:23, 24.)

1 Cor. 2:2 My 1mind is fully made up about you! The only possible way in which I can truly 2know you, is in the light of God’s mystery, which is 3Christ in you! Jesus died mankind’s death on the cross and thus brought final closure to any other basis of 1judgment! (The word, 1krino, to judge, to determine, to deem in a forensic sense, here, in the Aorist Tense, ekrina, which suggests a once and for all completed act. The Aorist tense presents an occurrence in summary, viewed as a whole from the outside, almost like a snapshot of the action. Paul makes a very bold and radical statement, confining his ministry focus to “know” the full scope and consequence of the revelation of mankind’s redeemed innocence as communicated in the cross of Jesus Christ! This is the essence of the mystery of God! “For I determined to 2know [- 2eido, to see, to perceive] nothing in you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Nothing else! Not the latest gossip or popular news events! He says in 2 Cor 5:14,16, The love of Christ leads to this conclusion, one has died for all – therefore all died! From now on therefore, I no longer know ANYONE from a human point of view!

Paul continues to unfold the mystery of our redeemed oneness! In the previous chapter, he concludes that we are in Christ by God’s doing; here he clearly points to 3Christ in us! [As Jesus declared in John 14:20]

See 2 Cor 3:4 Christ is proof of our persuasion about you before God. Also 2 Cor 1:18 God’s certainty is our persuasion; there is no maybe in him! 2 Cor 1:19 The Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom I, Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy boldly announced in you is God’s ultimate yes to mankind. Human life is associated in all that he is. In God’s mind, there exists not even a hint of hesitation about this! Also Gal 1:16 and Col 1:27.)

1 Cor. 2:3 I felt completely inadequate; you know that it was not my eloquent speech that persuaded you. I was so nervous that my whole body was trembling with stage fright!

1 Cor. 2:4 My message was not with persuasive arguments based on secular wisdom, since my aim was 1not to point people to me but rather to the powerful working of the Spirit in them. (Thayer’s Greek definition of 1apodeiknumi is to point away from one’s self. Previous translations of this word have often given the impression that the great, miracle-working man of God would steal the show and entertain the crowds! This was so unlike Jesus and Paul! Paul never writes about how many people he had healed and brought to faith, etc. His all- consuming concern was that the eyes of our understanding would be illuminated with the revelation of Christ in us.

Note 2 Corinthians 10:10 [RSV], “For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.’” Also, 2 Corinthians 11:6, “Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not in knowledge.” — RSV.)

1 Cor. 2:5 Mankind’s wise schemes of influence could never match the power of God as reference to your faith.

1 Cor. 2:6 The words we speak resonate revelation wisdom in those who understand how perfectly redeemed they are in Christ, this wisdom supersedes every secular kind; suddenly what once seemed wise and good advice has become useless information. (All popular programs towards improved moral behavior are now outdated. “Of God’s doing are we in Christ. He is both the genesis and genius of our wisdom; a wisdom that reveals how righteous, sanctified, and redeemed we already are in him.” In God’s economy, Christ represents us; what mankind could never achieve through personal discipline and willpower as taught in every religion, God’s faith accomplished in Christ [1 Cor 1:30].)

1 Cor. 2:7 We voice words of wisdom that were hidden in silence for timeless ages; a mystery unfolding God’s 1Masterful plan whereby he would redeem his glory in man. Our glorification has always been God’s agenda, even 2before time was. (Paul employs the words, 1prohoritso, predesigned and 2pro aion before the ages, in order to emphasize the certainty of God’s persuasion concerning their determined intent to rescue and restore their image and likeness in us. Our redemption existed upon the inner-horizons of God before the ages. The word, prohoritso, from pro, before and horitso, horizon; means pre-defined, like when an architect draws up a detailed plan. See Romans 8:30 Jesus reveals that we pre-existed in God; he defines us. He justified us and also glorified us. He redeemed our innocence and restored the glory that we lost in Adam.)

1 Cor. 2:8 Neither the politicians nor the religious leaders of the day had a clue about this mystery; if they did, they would never have crucified the Lord whose death redeemed our glory! (Time witnessed and recorded the death and resurrection of an individual; eternity witnessed the death and resurrection of the human race!)

Mankind’s inclusion in Christ is the conclusion of grace – The Prophets saw it

Isa 9:2 The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light. The ones who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, on them, light shone.

See Isa 40:3-5 A voice cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the crooked places shall be made straight, even the rough places shall be made smooth. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

In the incarnate Christ, God removed every definition of distance; every possible excuse humanity could have to feel separated from God was removed once and for all.

Isa. 66:8 “Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be born in one day? Shall all people be brought forth in one moment?” The only scripture in the entire Old Testament that prophesies the third day resurrection includes us!

Hos. 6:2. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. RSV

Our co-inclusion in Jesus’ death and resurrection was prophesied 800 years B.C. through Hosea and 700 B.C. by Isaiah.

Is 52:10 The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Is 52:14-15 As many were astonished at him, his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men, so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand.

Isa. 53:1-3 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isa. 53:4-7 Surely he has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded by our transgressions, he was bruised by our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we were healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

Psalm 22 graphically portrays the crucifixion then concludes in verse 27 with, “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.”

Isa. 45: 22 Face me and be saved all the ends of the earth! [Note, ‘Be saved!’ Not ‘become saved!’] I am God; your idols are figments of your invention and imagination!”

Isa. 45:23 I have sworn by myself; the word of my mouth has begotten righteousness; this cannot be reversed! (The Hebrew word, יצא Yatsa can be translated, begotten like in Judges 8:30 “Every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall echo my oath!” [Thus, speak with the same certainty sourced in me!] The Hebrew word, ׁשב ׁע Shaba means to seven oneself, that is, swear – thus in the Hebrew mind, by repeating a declaration seven times one brings an end to all dispute! See Heb. ).6:13.16,17

Peter saw it

In dramatic fashion God re-writes Peters doctrine and changes his appetite! Acts 10:28 “God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.”

It’s when we see what Peter saw when God challenged his paradigms in Acts 10. I mean the man’s hungry, and when a Jew gets hungry he’s supposed to see favorite food pop-ups! But instead God shows him every unclean animal alive in their skins, feathers, warts and scales! Not neatly chopped up into a “Gumbo” or stew, and flavored with favorite spices! Alive, dirty and ugly! This happened three times; even with Peter trying his best take on a favorite scripture (Don’t eat anything unclean, remember!) God shows him in v 28 that he may no longer call anyone unclean or unholy!!

We have so underestimated what God did when Jesus died humanity’s death! Behold the Lamb OF GOD who takes away the sin of the world! He did it once and for all long before anyone but God believed it! And without our permission!

1 Pet. 1:3 Let us 1celebrate God with articulate acclaim! He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to his matchless mercy and tender compassions, he 2birthed us again when Jesus was raised from the dead. Now we are alive to witness the 3expectation of the ages unfold! (The word, 1eulogetos, means to brag, to bless, to speak well of. Jesus reminds Nicodemus that we are born anouthen, from above. [John 3:3, and John 3:13] No one can fully engage in heaven’s perspective, unless one’s heavenly origin is realized! The Son of man declares mankind’s co-genesis from above and now through our joint resurrection, we are reconnected again to our original identity as sons. The word 2anagennao, from ana, upward, [reconnecting with anouthen – Jn 3:3 – from above, where we came from in the first place]; and gennao, to regenerate, to give birth. As much as his death brought dramatic closure to our futile and failed attempts to justify and define ourselves, our co-resurrection rebooted the original blueprint of our Maker’s image and likeness in us. 3”A living hope” – the expectation of the ages concluding in life. See Colossians 1:27 – The mystery of the ages is unveiled! Christ in us!)

Peter realized that something happened to mankind in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Flesh and blood did not reveal this to him; he saw that we were hewn out of that same rock tomb!

Luke saw it

Acts 13:32-33 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.”

The resurrection of Jesus declares humanity’s new birth.

Luke 13:23 Someone observed, Lord, so it seems that only a few are being saved? Jesus answered this person by speaking specifically to the religious Jews, who are part of his audience, but who witness him through their legalistic lenses and miss the entire plot!

Luke 13:28 To your shock and surprise you will eventually realize, that even your national heroes, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as the prophets (who you murdered), are in the house! And they didn’t get there by their own personal, agonizing efforts! (The phrase, weeping and gnashing of teeth is thought to derive from the hypothetical Q source, which “quoted” Matthew 8:12 and Luke 13:28. The other five occurrences [Matthew 13:42, Matthew 13:50, Matthew 22:13, Matthew 24:51, and Matthew 25:30] are all within the context of parables and are widely held to be redactional additions by Matthew.)

Luke 13:29 And they will arrive from the rising of the sun in the east to its setting in the west and from the north and the south and recline at the banquet in the kingdom of God.

Luke 13:30 And you will observe that there are those who seemed to be least important in your estimate [the Gentiles], to arrive first and eventually, those who thought they were leading the procession [the Jews], will also arrive! (Thus, Jesus concludes his answer to the question, “So, are only a few being saved?” Luke 13:23

Luke 15:1 Now all the people of reputation, the infamous tax-collectors as well as your regular sinners, were in the habit of crowding Jesus. They were magnetically drawn to him, addicted to his conversation.

Luke 15:2 But the Pharisees and Law Professors were furiously complaining about the warm hospitality with which Jesus embraced these people in their frequent banquets. (In the following three stories, Jesus justifies their frequent festivity!)

Luke 15:3 The constant murmuring of the professional religious leaders inspired this story.

Luke 15:4 Imagine you have a hundred sheep and one is lost; who of you would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go in search of the lost one, until he finds it?

Luke 15:5 And when he finds it, he rejoices and lifts it on his shoulders.

Luke 15:6 Then, as soon as he arrives home, he invites all his friends and neighbors to join him in celebration of his lost and found sheep.

Luke 15:7 I tell you, this mirrors heaven’s joy over the one 1out of sync person who 2awakens to their authentic identity, rather than over the ninety nine, who 3supposedly understand who they are and therefore need no persuasion. (The ninety-nine 3other sheep, is a reflection of the religious Pharisees and also reminds of the other brother in the third story, who didn’t join the party, neither did he enjoy the benefits of true sonship, since he thought he was ok! The condition of the “lost” sheep [apollumi] is compared to the word, αμαρτωλός hamartōlos, “sinner” from ha, negative and meros, portion or form; thus, to be without your allotted portion or without form, pointing to a disorientated, distorted identity; the word meros, is the stem of morphe; as in 2 Cor 3:18, the word metamorphe, with form; which is the opposite of hamartolos. Sin is to live out of context with the blueprint of one’s design; to behave out of tune with God’s original harmony. It suggests anything that could possibly distract from the awareness of our likeness. The word, metanoia suggests an awakening of one’s mind.)

Luke 15:8 Or, what woman who has ten silver coins and loses one, will not immediately light a lamp, sweep the entire house, and with the utmost scrutiny search every nook and cranny, until she finds it!

Luke 15:9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors to come and celebrate with her that she has found her precious coin. (The lost coin never lost it’s original value! Neither its authentic image and inscription, as pointed out by Jesus in another conversation, where he mentions the image and inscription on the coin in answering the question about taxes; then he says, “return to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and [whose image and inscription do you bear?!] return to God what belongs to God!)

Luke 15:10 I tell you, the faces of the celestial messengers light up with joy over a single person who 1re-discovers their authentic value and identity. (Note, the Greek word, metanoia, from meta, together with and νοιέω noieō, to perceive with the mind. It describes the awakening of the mind to that which is true; a re-alignment of one’s reasoning; it is a gathering of one’s thoughts, a co-knowing. Faith is not a decision; it is a discovery. It has nothing in common with the Latin word paenitentia – where the idea of penance and repentance stems from!)

Luke 15:11 Then he continued, A certain man had two sons,

Luke 15:12 The youngest approached his father and said, Father, give me my share of our inheritance. So, the father gave them his life. (See Luke 15:31 “All that I have is yours!” Jesus shows the Father in a different light to the ideas they’ve had of the god of their law! Deut 21:18-21. See John 14:9.)

Luke 15:13 Within a few days the young man had gathered all his belongings and left to a foreign country far away from home. There was nothing holding him back now, and he soon squandered his inheritance, living it up without any restraint.

Luke 15:14 By now he exhausted his resources and to make matters worse, a severe famine gripped that land. He began to be in dire need.

Luke 15:15 So he journeyed further into the country and attached himself to a local citizen who sent him into his fields to shepherd his pigs.

Luke 15:16 He was so desperately hungry that he was even craving to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were feeding on, but no one would allow him to.

Luke 15:17 At this point he 1came to his senses! Thinking out loud he said, My father has many hirelings working for him, and everyone has more than enough to eat, and here I am, dying of hunger. (The word, 1erchomai, to come – eis heauton to one’s self – to one’s senses; to return to self – [Greek English Lexicon by C.Grimm Wilke.]

This reminds of the Genesis story; the Sword would always point back to mankind’s original identity. The Hebrew word in Gen 3:24, [where the cherub with the flaming sword was positioned at the Eastern Gate of Eden], the word, הפך hâpak is a primitive root; meaning to turn about; by implication to change, to return, to be converted, turn back. Here, in Luke 15 the prodigal son returns to himself – Plato is quoted by Ackerman [Christian Element in Plato] as thinking of redemption as coming to oneself!

Though he turned to himself, he did not find himself in his shame – he found himself in his father’s embrace!)

Luke 15:18 He was up and ready to go and began to rehearse what he would do, I will travel home to face my father and tell him that I have sinned against heaven and before him;

Luke 15:19 I will convince him that I am no longer worthy to be called his son and beg him to employ me as one of his hired servants!

Luke 15:20 And with that, he got up and began the return journey to his father. He was yet a long way from home when his father saw him and, filled with compassion, ran to his son, flung his arms around his neck and kissed him fondly.

Luke 15:21 When the son caught his breath, he began his rehearsed sinner’s prayer, Father, I have sinned before heaven and in your face, I am not worthy to be known as your son…

Luke 15:22 The father wasn’t paying any attention to this and didn’t give him a chance to finish his rehearsed plea; he merely instructed his slaves to immediately bring out the best robe and clothe him in it and give him a ring to put on his finger and shoes for his feet!

Luke 15:23 In full anticipation for his son’s return, he now also had the grain-fattened calf brought and slaughtered. It was party-time! So, “with our minds flooded with joy, let the merry celebrations begin!” (The word, εὐφραίνεσθαι euphrainesthai from eu, good, celebrating goodness and well being; well done! And phren, mind; thus to be celebrating in a merry frame of mind.)

Luke 15:24 This is the reason for our joy: my son here, was dead, and he was revived! He seemed to be lost forever, but here he is, found! And so they began their merry celebrations.

Luke 15:25 The older brother was returning from the field and approaching the house, he heard what sounded like a concert of instruments and a choir of voices singing and dancing.

Luke 15:26 Alarmed, he called one of the boy-servants and asked him what this was all about.

Luke 15:27 The boy answered, Your brother is here. So, your father sacrificed the grain-fattened calf to celebrate your brother returning home in good health.
Luke 15:28 The news enraged the older brother who had no desire to join them. Then his father went out and 1pleaded with him. (The word 1parakaleo, from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, a thing proceeding from a sphere of influence, with a suggestion of union of place of residence, to have sprung from its author and giver, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection; and kaleo, meaning to identify by name.)

Luke 15:29 He answered his father, Consider the many years that I have toiled for you like a slave! And at no time did I ever dodge any of your commandments; yet, you never considered rewarding me, even with a little lamb, so I could party with my friends!

Luke 15:30 However, when this son of yours comes here, having devoured your savings by wasting it on prostitutes, you slay the grain-fattened calf!

Luke 15:31 He said to him, My dear child, you are always with me and all that I have is yours!

Luke 15:32 To now have our minds flooded with merriness and exceeding joy is fitting, because your own brother was dead and he is alive again. He was lost and is found! (In all three stories, the term lost implies ownership – you cannot be lost unless you belong.

Jesus again, points the Pharisees and the law professors to the fact that the Gentiles and the Jews have the same Father and share the same value and heirship! Sonship squandered, reduces life to slavery – this was true for both brothers in the story.

Oh, the beauty of a Father who is not offended by the ‘other’ brother’s initial attitude, but pleads with the same urgency—”My boy, Come join the party!”

I can even see the stubborn brother beginning to tap his feet because of the irresistible appeal of the festive sound and the constant echo of the Father’s invitation.

Sin is singular – its symptoms are plural – its been a sonship thing from the beginning – no wonder Jesus says freedom indeed is found in the truth of our authentic and redeemed sonship – Sin is not about things you do or don’t do – sin is missing out on sonship!

Would you say that the church in all its many groupings have “successfully converted” about 10 percent (or even 1% perhaps!) of the entire human population? While Jesus reveals in this amazing story that 99 sheep in the fold is not enough! He goes after the last one, not out of a sense of duty until he finally gives up on it, but, he seeks UNTIL he finds the one!

The GOOD NEWS is that the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son, are now all found safe and sound in Jesus!

His death was the doorway into the very domain in which mankind was held prisoner; he descended into the darkest and deepest dungeons of our lostness and in the resurrection, he led us as trophies in his triumphant procession on high. Eph 4:8,9.

His return to the Father is humanity’s return!

The problem is, most people [including most Bible believers] don’t know it! This is why we live our lives with persuasion, intent and passion to tell them! Isa 40:9.

Multitudes are in hell on this side of the grave; we have the keys to unlock a door that was already opened when Jesus went there as a man to free the human race from Adam till Noah to now! Wow, what joy to introduce people to the freedom of sonship! Let’s not make the other brother our reference when we can know the Father’s heart!)

You cannot be lost unless you belong, to begin with! Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness of it!

Paul saw it

Col. 2:14 His body nailed to the cross hung there as the 3document of mankind’s guilt; in dying our death he 1cancelled the detailed 2hand-written 3record which testified against us. Every 1stain on our conscience, reminding of the sense of failure and guilt, was thus fully blotted out. (The word, 1exaleipho, comes from ek, out of, and aleipho, with a, as a particle of union, and liparos, to grease, to leave a stain; guilt, as well as all hurtful memories were like grease stains upon the conscience. In N.T. only here and Rev 3:5; 7:17; 21:4 and in Acts 3:19 “Be awakened in your minds and fully converted to face the fact of your redeemed innocence – your sins have been thoroughly blotted out!” Plato used it of blotting out a writing. The word, 2cheirographon, translates as hand-written. The word, 3dogma, comes from dokeo, a thought pattern; thus thought patterns engraved by human experience of constant failure to do what the law required. In his personal handwriting mankind endorsed their own death sentence. The hands of fallen mankind struck the body of Jesus with the blows of their religious hatred and fury when they nailed his bloodied body to the tree; they did not realize that in the mystery of God’s economy, Jesus became the scapegoat of the entire human race! [Isaiah 53:4, 5] See notes on Heb 8:12. “The slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant cancelled and nailed to Christ’s Cross.” —The Message.)

Col. 2:15 In him dying mankind’s death, he 1defused every possible claim of accusation against the human race and thus made a public 2spectacle of every 3rule and authority in God’s brilliant triumph, demonstrated in him. The 4voice of the cross will never be silenced! (The horror of the Cross is now the eternal trophy of God’s triumph over sin! The cross stripped religion of its authority to manipulate mankind with guilt. Every accusation lost its leverage to blackmail the human race with condemnation and shame! The word, 1apekduomai, is translated from apo, away from, and ekduo, to be stripped of clothing; to disarm; the religious facade that disguised the law of works as a means of defining a person’s life, was openly defeated. Same word used in Col 3:9. The dominance of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil [poneros, hard work and labor] was ended. The word, 2deikmatizo, means to exhibit in public. See 3commentary below of the words arche, rule and exousia, authority. The word, 4parresia, comes from pas, all and rheo, outspokenness, pouring forth speech.

“He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.” — The Message

See commentary for 1 Corinthians 15:24, The complete conclusion in his work of redemption is celebrated in his yielding the full harvest of his reign to God the Father, having brought to nought the law of works which supported every definition of dominion under the fall, including all principalities, all authority and every dynamic influence in society. [He brought to nought the law of works, katargeo, from kata, meaning intensity, and argos, meaning labor; thus free from all self effort to attempt to improve what God has already perfected in Christ. All principalities, 3arche, or chief ranks, i.e., kings, governors; this includes any governing system whereby one is ranked above the other on the basis of their performance or preference. All authority, 3exousia, comes from ek, denoting origin and eimi, I am; in this case, because of what I can do I am defined by what I can do better than you; therefore, I have authority over you. Every dynamic influence in society, dunamis, means power, in this case, willpower. Every government structure in society will be brought under the dominion of grace where the Christ-life rules.]

In 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, We voice words of wisdom that was hidden in silence for timeless ages; a mystery unfolding God’s Masterful plan whereby he would redeem his glory in mankind. Neither the politicians nor the theologians of the day had a clue about this mystery [of mankind’s association in Christ]; if they did, they would never have crucified the Lord whose death redeemed our glory!)

Eph. 2:5 This is how grace rescued us: while we were yet in that state of deadness and indifference in our 1deviations, we were 2co-quickened together with Christ! We had nothing to do with it. Grace 3freed us, once and for all from the lies that we believed about ourselves under the performance-driven system, and now 4defines our authentic identity! (The word often translated, trespasses, παράπτωμα 1paraptoma, deviation; from para close proximity and pipto, to descend from a higher place to a lower; to stop flying, petomai, to fly. Losing altitude speaks of mankind’s fallen mindset. Col 3:1-3. The verb συνεζωοποιησεν 2sunetzoopoiesen [co-quickened] is the Aorist Active Indicative, describing an action that was completed in the past. The sentence, χάριτί 2ἐστε 3σεσῳσμένοι – literally translates, “By grace you are – having been saved!” The verb, 4este is the Present Active Indicative of eimi, I am – indicating the continues state of your being which celebrates an 3unstoppable freedom that happened in your favor! The verb 3sesoosmenoi, having been rescued; is the Perfect Passive Participle, describing a state that exists, as a result of something that happened previously. The basic thought of the Perfect Tense is that the progress of an action has been completed and the results of the action are continuing on, in full effect. In other words, the progress of the action has reached its culmination and the finished results are now in existence. We had no contribution to our salvation! God’s Master- Plan unfolded in the mystery of the gospel declaring our joint inclusion in Christ’s death and resurrection. This is the mystery of grace, God reveals us in Christ! Now we may know, even as we have always been known! 1 Cor 13:12. Of God’s doing are we in Christ! 1 Cor 1:30. God saw us in Christ, in his death and resurrection before we saw ourselves there! He declared mankind’s co-resurrection with Christ 800 BC. This is the only scripture in the entire Old Testament that specifically mentions the third day resurrection and it includes us! “After two days he will revive us, on the third day, he will raise us up!” Hosea 6:2.)

Eph. 2:6 We are co-included in his resurrection. We are also co-elevated in his ascension to be equally present in the throne room of the heavenly realm where we are co-seated with him in his executive authority. We are fully represented in Christ Jesus. (We have wasted so much time trying to get there, when “there” is where we are to begin with! Our joint position in Christ defines us; this can never again be a distant goal to reach through religious devotion or striving, but our immediate location. Col 3:1-3.)

Eph. 2:7 (In a single triumphant act of righteousness God saved us from the “guttermost” to the uttermost. Here we are now, revealed in Christ in the highest possible position of bliss! If mankind’s sad history could not distract from the extravagant love of God,) imagine how God is now able for timeless perpetuity to exhibit the trophy of the wealth of his grace demonstrated in his kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. Grace exhibits excessive evidence of the success of the cross.

Eph. 2:8 Your salvation is not a reward for good behavior! It was a grace thing from start to finish; you had no hand in it. Even the gift to believe simply reflects his faith! (Again, as in Eph 2:5 Paul says, χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι chariti este sesoosmenoi, “By grace you are, having been saved from the “I am not-lie” by the gift of faith; grace reveals who we are and the faith of God persuades us of it. We did not invent faith; it was God’s faith to begin with! It is from faith to faith says Paul in Romans 1:17. Jesus is both the source and conclusion of faith. Heb 12:2.)

Eph. 2:9 If this could be accomplished through any action of yours then there would be ground for boasting.

Eph. 4:8 1Scripture confirms that he 3arrested every possible threat that held mankind hostage! [“he took captivity captive”] And in his resurrection, he led us as trophies in his triumphant procession on high. Consider the genius of God, in the incarnate Christ, he 2repossessed what belonged to us by design, 4in human form; this is his grace-gift to us! (In this verse Paul explains what he just declared in verse 7 – he wants us to know the extravagant extent and dimensions of the measure of the gift of Christ! Remember that he is writing from prison [Eph 4:1] He’s not asking for prayers to get him out of jail! He is imprisoned in Christ – [4:1] my complete existence is defined and confined in him! He was once a prisoner of the law of performance, held hostage in his own body, crying in desperation, “Is there anyone who can deliver them from this death trap?” [Rom 7] He now speaks as a prisoner of Christ! He is reminded of and obviously intrigued by the entire context of Psalm 67 which celebrates God rescuing the prisoners from their captivity and even the wayward and stubborn, who already died and are stuck in their graves! [mindsets] See Ps 67:6,7 He is the father of the orphans, and protector of the widows. God settles the lonely in a home; leading forth prisoners mightily, also the stubborn, even them that dwell in tombs! Paul sees by revelation the relevance of Jesus dying our death and entering into our darkness and hell on a rescue mission! Now he 1quotes Ps 67:19 [from the LXX Septuagint – the Greek OT which is Ps 68 in the Masoretic Hebrew text], and sees captive mankind arrested in the death, descent into hell and the triumphant resurrection of the incarnate Word, in the man Jesus Christ. Ps 67:19 ἀνέβης εἰς ὕψος, ᾐχμαλώτευσας αἰχμαλωσίαν, ἔλαβες δόματα ἐν ἀνθρώπῳanebes eis hupsos, 3echmaloteusas aichmaloosian, 2elabes domata en [in] 4anthropo “You ascended on high, having taken captivity captive [3arresting at spearpoint! See 2 Cor 10:5] and

 

2repossessed mankind’s gifts in human form. The word 2elabes from lambano means to take what is one’s own. The word for the 4human species, male or female is 4anthropos, from ana, upward, and tropos, manner of life; character; in like manner. [The Masoretic Hebrew text, Ps 68:18,19, לקחת מתנות באדם lakachat mattanoth ba adam – “You have taken gifts in Adam.” The gifts which Jesus Christ distributes to us he has received in us, in and by virtue of his incarnation! Adam Clarke.]

Ps 67:19 LXX continues: καὶ γὰρ ἀπειθοῦντες τοῦ κατασκηνῶσαι – kai gar apeithountes tou kataskenoosai, “in order that even the unbelievers, apeithountes – the ones resisting persuasion, the backsliding, the headstrong, the wayward, the rebellious may rest; or may now inhabit kataskenosai – to encamp within – again this word emphasizes the significance of the incarnation – kata, down and skenosai, from skenos – skin! The eternal thoughts of God, the conversation that was before time was, is clothed in skin! John 1:1-3,14.

See Rev 13:10, Being taken captive by the spear and killed by the sword [John 18:3] made death a doorway into the very domain in which mankind was held prisoner, [to be led out triumphantly in the resurrection as the Lamb’s trophies!] After two days he will revive us! On the third day he will raise us up! Hosea 6:2 We were born anew in his resurrection. 1 Pet 1:3. Also Ephesians 2:5 This is how grace rescued us: while we were yet in that state of deadness and indifference in our deviations, we were co- quickened together with Christ!)

Eph. 4:9 The fact that he ascended confirms his victorious descent into the deepest pits of human despair. (See John 3:13, “No one has ascended into heaven but he who 1descended from heaven, even the son of man.” All mankind originate from above; we are 1anouthen, from above [see Jas 1:17, 18].)

Eph. 4:10 He now occupies the ultimate rank of authority, from the lowest regions of our darkness into which he reached in order to rescue us, to the highest authority in the heavens, having executed his mission to the full. (Fallen mankind is restored to the authority of the authentic life of their design. [Psa 139:7,8 Whither shall I go from your Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You! If I make my bed in Sheol, You!] Eph 1:20,21.)

Gal. 2:18 Only a con artist will try to be a law-man and a grace-man at the same time!

Gal. 2:19 The law 1demanded my death; grace reveals that in God’s mind Jesus died that death. So as far as the law is concerned, I’m a dead man but as far as God is concerned I’m alive! (The word 1dia means because of; suggesting here that the law was what demanded my death! But in the mystery of God’s genius, Jesus died mankind’s death; which means, in God’s belief, I died to the old system of trying to please him with my own good behavior! We might as well admit it! Our most sincere beliefs as well as our best attempts to attain to a righteousness based on us getting ten out of ten all the time, failed! There is no ways to get around this! See Romans chapter 7 in the Mirror Bible!)

Gal. 2:20 So here I am dead and alive at the same time! I’m dead to the old me I was trying to be and alive to the real me which is Christ in me! Co-crucified, now co-alive! What a glorious entanglement! I was in him in his death; now I discover that he is infused in me, in my life! For the first time, I’m free to be me in my skin, immersed in his faith in our joint-sonship! He loves me and believes in me! He is God’s gift to me! (The verb 1συνεσταυρωμαι from sustauroō, is in the Perfect Tense, indicating that not only was I crucified with Christ in the past, but I am existing now in that present condition. How can any human effort improve on this! See Hosea 6:2 and Eph 2:5 also Romans 7:6 But now we are fully released from any further association with a life directed by the rule of the law, we are dead to that which once held us captive, free to be slaves to the newness of spirit- spontaneity rather than age old religious rituals, imitating the mere face value of the written code. The moment one exchanges spontaneity with rules, the edge of romance is compromised!

See 1 Thess 5:10 The fact that he died our death is equally valid to those who are awake to its effect or still fast asleep in their indifference to it; we are together destined to live entwined in the 1closest possible association with him! [The word 1hama is a particle of union denoting close association.])

Gal. 2:21 It is an insult to the grace of God to prefer Moses to Jesus! If the law could justify you then Jesus wasted his time dying your death! (That would reduce salvation to a ludicrous contest between your obedience and the obedience of Christ! Rom 5:19.)

Rom. 6:5 If we were included in his death we are equally included in his resurrection.

Col. 2:10 We are complete in him! Jesus mirrors our wholeness and 1endorses our true identity. He is “I am” in us! (God packaged completeness in “I am,” mirrored in you! The word, 1exousia, is often translated authority; from, ek + eimi, originating out of “I am.” The days are over where our lives were dictated to under the rule of the law of performance and an inferior identity. It’s not about who I used to be or who I’m striving to become; we are celebrating I am! Any teaching that leaves one with a sense of lack and imperfection rather than completeness is a distraction from the truth. Jesus is the author and finisher of faith’s capacity within us to mirror and celebrate completeness!)

Col. 2:11 You were in Christ when he died; which means that his death is your true circumcision. This is 1not hypothetical; this is the real deal. Thus, sin’s authority in the human body was stripped of its control over you. (ἀχειροποίητος 1acheiropoiētos; not made with hands.)

Col. 2:12 In the same parallel [your co-circumcision in his death] your co-burial and joint-resurrection is now demonstrated in baptism; your co-inclusion in Christ is what God’s faith knew when he powerfully raised him from the dead. (Hosea 6:2.)

Col. 2:13 You were once spiritually dead, as confirmed in your constant failure, being bound to a lifestyle ruled by the 1distorted desires of the flesh; but now God made you alive together with him and thus 2graciously restored our innocence and dignity, having forgiven us all our 3short falling. (1The uncircumcision of the flesh, i.e., in the Greek, a life controlled by the sexual organs. God 2graced us in Christ. The word translated, forgiven, 2charisamenos from charizomai means he graciously restored our innocence and dignity! The word, 3paraptoma, comes from, para, close proximity, sphere of influence and pipto, to stop flying, from petomai, to fly; thus, to fall from flight or to lose altitude.)

Adam’s transgression no longer holds the human race hostage. Rom. 5:7, 8,12-21.

Col. 3:1 See yourselves co-raised with Christ! Now ponder with persuasion the consequence of your co-inclusion in him. Relocate yourselves mentally! Engage your thoughts with throne room realities where you are co-seated with Christ in the executive authority of God’s right hand.

Col. 3:2 Becoming affectionately acquainted with throne room thoughts will keep you from being distracted again by the earthly [soul-ruled] realm. (“Set your minds upon the things that are above and not upon the things below!” RSV. Whatever you face in your daily lives, acquaint yourselves with the greater reality! The things that are above! Do not engage the energy of the things that are below! Also note Romans 1:18, where the word katecho is used – to echo downwards is the opposite to anoche, to echo upward- Romans 2:4 and Romans 3:26. Also 2 Corinthians 4:18 “We are not keeping any score of what seems so obvious to the senses on the surface; it is fleeting and irrelevant; it is the unseen eternal realm within us which has our full attention and captivates our gaze!” A renewed mind conquers the space previously occupied by worthless pursuits and habits. See my notes on Earthbound vs. Heavenly Dimension Realities at the end of Revelation Chapter 16.)

Col. 3:3 Your union with his death broke the association with that world; see yourselves located in a fortress where your life is hidden with Christ in God! (“In that day you will know that I am in my father, and you in me and I in you.” [Jn 14:20] Occupy your mind with this new order of life; you died when Jesus died; whatever defined you before defines you no more. Christ, in whom the fullness of deity dwells, defines you now! The word, “hidden” can also be translated, secret; the secret of your life is your union with Christ in God!

“Risen, then, with Christ you must lift your thoughts above where Christ now sits at the right hand of God; be heavenly minded, not earthly minded; you have undergone death, and your life is hidden away now with Christ in God. Christ is your life, when he is made manifest you are made manifest in his glory.” — Knox Translation.)

Col. 3:4 The unveiling of Christ, as defining our lives, 1immediately implies that, what is evident in him, is equally mirrored in you! The exact life on exhibit in Christ is now repeated in us. We are included in the same bliss and joined-oneness with him; just as his life reveals you, your life reveals him. (This verse was often translated to again delay the revelation of Christ to a future event! The word, 1otan, often translated as “when” is better translated as “every time.” Thus, “Every time Christ is revealed we are being co-revealed in his glory.” According to Walter Bauer Lexicon, otan is often used of an action that is repeated. Paul declares our joint-glorification in Christ! We are co-revealed in the same bliss. [See 1 Cor 2:7-8, Rom 3:23-24, Rom 8:30, 2 Pet 1:3.] In him we live and move and have our being; in us he lives and moves and has his being! Acts 17:28.)

Phil. 2:8 And so we have the drama of the cross in context: the man Jesus Christ who is fully God, becomes fully man to the extent of willingly dying humanity’s death at the hands of his own creation. He embraced the curse and shame of the lowest kind in dying a criminal’s death. (Thus, through the doorway of death, he descended into our hellish darkness. Rev 9:1 When the fifth celestial messenger blew his trumpet, I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky. The star was given the key to the shaft into the fathomless depths of the Abyss. [In his death, Jesus conquered the underworld and he has the keys; no-one else does!] Rev 1:18 I am also the Living One; I became dead and now, see, here I am alive unto the ages of the ages and I have the keys wherewith I have disengaged the gates of Hades and death! Also, Eph 4:8-10.)

Phil. 2:9 From this place of utter humiliation, God exalted him to the highest rank. God graced Jesus with a Name that is far above every other name. (Eph 1:20 Do you want to measure the mind and muscle of God? Consider the force which he unleashed in Jesus Christ when he raised him from the dead and forever seated him enthroned as his executive authority in the realm of the heavens. Jesus is God’s right hand of power! He was raised up from the deepest dungeons of human despair to the highest region of heavenly bliss! [See Eph 2:5,6 & 4:8,9] Eph 1:21 Infinitely above all the combined forces of rule, authority, dominion or governments; he is ranked superior to any name that could ever be given to anyone of this age or any age still to come in the eternal future. The name of Jesus endorses his mission as fully accomplished! He is the Savior of the world! Titus 2:11 The grace of God shines as bright as day making the salvation of mankind undeniably visible. See also Eph 3:15, Every family in heaven and on earth originates in him; his is mankind’s family name and he remains the authentic identity of every nation.)

Phil. 2:10 What his name unveils will persuade every creature of their redemption! Every knee in heaven and upon the earth and under the earth shall bow in spontaneous worship! (See Isa 45:23 “My own life is the guarantee of my conviction, says the Lord, every knee shall freely bow to me in worship, and every tongue shall spontaneously speak from the same God-inspired source.”)

Phil. 2:11 Also every tongue will voice and resonate the same devotion to his unquestionable Lordship as the Redeemer of life! Jesus Christ has glorified God as the Father of creation! This is the ultimate conclusion of the Father’s 1intent! (The word 1doxa, intent, opinion, often translated, glory. Rev 5:13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!” Also my commentary note on Rom 14:11. Paul, here quotes Isaiah 45:23 See verse 22,& 23 “Face me and be saved all the ends of the earth! [Note, ‘Be saved!’ Not ‘become saved!’] I am God; your idols are figments of your invention and imagination!” Isa 45:23 “I have sworn by myself; the word of my mouth has begotten righteousness; this cannot be reversed!” The Hebrew word, יצא Yatsa can be translated, begotten like in Judges 8:30 “Every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall echo my oath!” [Thus, speak with the same certainty sourced in me!] The Hebrew word, ׁשב ׁע Shaba means to seven oneself, that is, swear – thus in the Hebrew mind, by repeating a declaration seven times one brings an end to all dispute! See Heb 6:13.16,17.)

Phil. 2:12 Considering this amazing outcome of what our faith sees and celebrates, I strongly urge you my darling friends to continue to have your 1ears tuned to that which inspires your conduct to give full expression to the detail of your own salvation in a most personal and practical way. See salvation in its earth-shattering awesome and ultimate conclusion. I know that my personal presence encourages you greatly but now I want you to realize an inspiration in my absence that supersedes anything you’ve known before. This would mean that even if you were never to see my face again or receive another Epistle from me, it will make no difference at all to your faith! (The success of Paul’s ministry was not to enslave people to him but to his gospel! He knew that he would be more present in his message than in his person! Ministry success is not measured by how many partners you can congregate, but by how absent you can preach yourself! The word often translated, obedience, is the word 1upoakoo, to be under the inspired influence of what you hear.)

Phil. 2:13 Discover God himself as your inexhaustible inner source; he ignites you with both the desire and energy that matches his own delight!

Phil. 2:14 Your entire life is a poem; any undercurrent murmuring or argumentative debating would be completely out of place! Do not let such issues disrupt the rhythm of your conversation.

Phil. 2:15 Your flawless innocence radiates attraction as beacons of light in the midst of a people who have forgotten their true sonship and whose lives have become distorted and perverse. (In this verse Paul quotes Deut 32:5 from the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew text, with reference to Deut 32:4,5 &18. In context God’s perfect workmanship as Father of mankind is forgotten; people have become “crooked and perverse” twisted and distorted out of their true pattern of sonship. Deut 32:18 says, “you have forgotten the Rock that begot you and have gotten out of step with the God who 1danced with you!” Hebrew, 1khul חּולalso means to dance, as in Judges 21:21.)

2 Cor. 5:16 Therefore, from now on, I no longer know anyone according to the flesh! I no longer see people from a human point of view! This is a radical and most defining moment! No label that could possibly previously identify someone carries any further significance! Even our pet doctrines of Christ are redefined. Whatever we knew about him historically or sentimentally is challenged by this conclusion.

John saw it:

John 1:1 To go back to the very 1beginning, is to find the 2Word already 3present there; 4face to face with God. The Word is 3I am; God’s 2eloquence echoes and 4concludes in him. The Word equals God. (In the beginning, 1arche, to be first in order, time, place or rank. The Word, 2logos, was ”with” God; here and again in verse 2 John uses the Greek Preposition 4pros, towards; face-to-face.

Three times in this sentence John uses the Active Indicative Imperfect form of the verb 3eimi, namely aen [ἦν] to continue to be, [in the beginning ‘was’ the Word etc…] which conveys no idea of origin for God or for the Logos, but simply continuous existence, “I am.” Quite a different verb egeneto, “became,” appears in John 1:14 for the beginning of the Incarnation of the Logos. The Word ‘became’ flesh. The incarnation is not the origin of Jesus.

See the distinction sharply drawn in John 8:58, “before Abraham was [born, genesthai from ginomai] I am.” The word eimi, I am; the essence of being, suggesting timeless existence. See my commentary note on 1 Pet 1:16)

John 1:2 The beginning mirrors the Word face to face with God. (Nothing that is witnessed in the Word distracts from who God is. ”If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” [John 14:9] The Word that was from the beginning was not yet written nor spoken; it was simply face to face with God! The beginning declares the destiny of the Word, image and likeness would be mirrored and redeemed in incarnate human form!)

John 1:3 The Logos is the source; everything commences in him. He remains the exclusive Parent reference to their existence. There is nothing original, except the Word! The Logic of God defines the only possible place where mankind can trace their origin. (All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. KJV See Colossians 1:16.)

John 1:4 His life is the light that defines our lives. (In his life we discover the light of life.)

John 1:5 The darkness was pierced and could not comprehend or diminish this light. (Darkness represents mankind’s ignorance of their redeemed identity and innocence [Isa 9:2-4, Isa 60:1-3, Eph 4:18, Col 1:13-15].)

John 1:9 A new day for mankind has come. The authentic light of life that illuminates everyone was about to dawn in the world! (This day would begin our calendar and record the fact that human history would forever be divided into before and after Christ. The incarnation would make the image of God visible in human form. In him who is the blueprint of our lives there is more than enough light to displace the darkness in every human life. He is the true light that enlightens everyone! [Col 1:15; 2:9, 10; 2 Cor 4:6])1:11 It was not as though he arrived on a foreign planet; he came to his own, yet his own did not 1recognize him. (The Jews should have been the first to recognize him! Revelation 19:12. Also Ps 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell in it [RSV].” The word, 1paralambano, comes from para, a Preposition indicating close proximity, a thing proceeding from a sphere of influence, with a suggestion of union of place of residence, to have sprung from its author and giver, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection; and lambano, to comprehend, grasp, to identify with.)

John 1:12 Everyone who 1realizes their association in him, 6convinced that he is their 2original life and that 7his name defines them, God 5gives the assurance that they are indeed his 4offspring, 2begotten of him; he 3sanctions the legitimacy of their sonship. (The word often translated, to receive, 1lam