What does the Brexit fiasco, the Trump phenomenon and the non-event of the visionless Australian elections tell us? They tell us that without vision the people perish. I remarked to my wife this morning that in the midst of the current world flux come chaos none of those we might call the world appear to have the faintest idea that there is a King and that the name of that King is Jesus Christ. I wondered aloud to my wife if this could be partly our fault as the church. She replied that it may be partially our fault. Could it be that that our persistence and dullness in perpetuating the impotent institution of the church as though it is the Kingdom is responsible?
‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ Is His will raising churches where myriads of people raise their hands in to worship Jesus as Lord, who then return to the normal week-day life where money and self-interest are lord. If we believe private greed produces public good we will believe anything. Could it be that many of us who call ourselves Believers are Biblically and doctrinally illiterate and immersed in a religious charade rather than the Reality who is Christ?
Have we missed the boat entirely in averting our consciousness from the truth that it is Christ Himself who is our life, the life of the church and the life of the nations. We hear a lot of talk about a diabolical new world order. Does it occur to many that there is a new world order that is the Kingdom of God? This flows entirely from the reality of Christ our life, from Jesus expressed as us so that we are the agents of the new creation?
Christ is either our life or just an appendix to our short sighted absorption in shadows of the real.
‘These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ’ Col 2.17 NIV.
To see Jesus is to see ourselves. When Jesus looks at us He sees the reflection of Himself. He is totally our life and this is of the Spirit.
It is unlikely that we can know Jesus or our Father if all we know is the Bible. Unlikely too that we will know God if we are merely a product of Christianity and the suppositions that pass for sound doctrine (teaching about God). Because we have been so apt to make religion out of ourselves and pretty much ignored the simple reality of Christ our life we are often incapable of knowing God, reflecting His image or representing Him as He is. When Christ is our life, incarnated in us by the Spirit, we individually represent Jesus in our person. As the community of those who are the expression of Himself we are His church and as the church we illustrate the diversity of the fullness of Christ and the love of our Father. Using the Jesus Lens which is his Spirit in us, we are equipped to interpret the Bible as the truth of God without distorting and twisting it into cunningly devised fables. The letter is Bible-mongering. The Spirit is Christ in you with authority and not as the religious.
‘He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes’ Matt 7.29 NASB. Christianity is not a life steered through the knowledge of good and evil with Jesus’ help. It is the person of Jesus manifest as you and His church.
I was in India talking to a group of young men and stressed that the Jesus is the full expression of our Father and the source of all truth. One of our number on the team shocked me by telling them that, ‘Actually there is a higher authority than Jesus - the Bible.’ Sadly he was a man who had been schooled in a doctrinal framework that intimated that Jesus was inferior to the law and subject to it. It is a short step from this to believing that Jesus is inferior to the Bible and subordinate to its teachings.
Jesus is not interpreted through the Bible. The Bible is not interpreted through the Bible. Both are seen correctly through the Jesus lens. The Bible finds its real meaning in the revelation and person of Jesus.
I spent much of my life in a community of Christian belief that was a sadly distorted representation of the gospel of the Kingdom. So ‘other’ was this ‘other gospel’ that it is impossible to gain an accurate view of Jesus and our Father from its teachings. Yet there are ‘gospels’ that are more appalling and more toxic than this one as can be seen from a post by Francois Du Toit on Facebook.
‘The other week I was getting my nails done by a beautiful young Buddhist woman. We began speaking about spirituality and she told me of her Christian friend that had been trying to get her to say the “Sinners Prayer” so she could be saved. She told me she asked her Christian friend what would happen if her two children and husband did not say the prayer. She [the woman] told her that they would burn in hell for all eternity - but she could save herself and then talk her family into it.
The Buddhist girl said she told her I would rather burn for all eternity with my family in hell then live in heaven knowing they are burning in hell. The next thing her Christian friend told her was that she had to prepare for the End Times Rapture by stockpiling food and water for her families survival. My Buddhist friend told her that Buddhism teaches, ‘If you have food and your neighbors have none, to share it, even if it means you will die sooner of starvation.’
Is this really the message of the Christian body that we serve a loving God that would rip a Mother from her young children and husband and send them to be tormented and tortured for all eternity as she lives in paradise? It sounds more like Hitler and the concentration camps.
I began to speak to her about the True Authentic God that so loved the world that He entered their hell knowing they would murder Him and used that murder to set them free of sins dominion. A God that is present in all: above all, through all, and IN ALL. (Eph. 4:6) A God that’s love towards His creation was not reduced in anyway when they turned their back on Him. (Rom. 5:10) 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.
One man (Adam) opened the door to sin. No one escaped its tyranny. It had a universal effect. No one was excluded. (Rom 5:12-14) The only similarity in the comparison between deaths dominion through the offence (Adam) and the free gift in Christ is they both represented All of Humanity. (Rom. 5:15-17) “The conclusion is clear: It took just one offence to condemn mankind; one act of righteousness declares the same mankind innocent.”(MW)”We see then, that one act of sin exposed the whole race of men to condemnation, so one act of perfect righteousness presents all men freely acquitted in the sight of God!”(JB Phillips) Just read all of Romans Chapter 5.
I told her that her Buddhist belief is God in her resonating His true authentic design. And her rejection of this women’s beliefs was also God speaking to her about His love. I love in John 3 when Jesus is talking to Nicodemus and He says to him ‘No one would even be able to recognize anything as coming from God’s domain unless they are born from above to begin with! The very fact that it is possible to perceive that I am in union with God, as a man, reveals humanity’s genesis from above! (Jn 3:3 Another -the word we translate as Born again, really means Born from above, recognizing that your origin is from above in God.
I am an atheist [in regard to] a God who would rip children and parents apart. A God who would kill His only Begotten Son by pouring His wrath on Him. A God of Separation and Torture and Torment. A God that would keep His creation alive for all eternity as He watched them being burned. A God of Judgment and condemnation. [If you have never heard the genuine gospel of the Kingdom here is a snippet of it below]
She continues, ‘I am a Believer in a God that So Loved His creation that He became what they were in His Incarnation to restore them to right relations with Himself knowing that they would torture Him and Nail Him to a Cross. Who was all the while in Christ reconciling the world to Himself not counting their sins against them. (2 Cor. 5:19)
A God who is love and light and in Him there exists not even a trace of darkness at all. (1 Jn. 1:5) A God who without exception gifts are only good in whom is no distortion or even a shadow of shifting, has no hidden agenda. (James 1:17) A God in whom all things exist and not one thing has life apart from Him. (Jn. 1:3) A God that is For All, with All and in All. (Eph. 4:6 & 1 Cor. 8:6) A God who knows that one day every knee will bow and tongue will confess the truth of who He is and their genesis in Him. (Rom. 14:11 & Phil 2:10)
A God that even if we go to a depths of hell He is there and nothing can separate His creation from His love. (Ps. 139:7 & Rom. 8:35-39) A God that not one person knew until He was revealed in the Son and anything apart from that revelation is not God at all. (Matt 11:27 & Col 1:15-17). A God who purposed through Jesus to reconcile the universe to Himself, making peace through His blood, which was shed upon the cross, in order to reconcile to himself through him all things on earth and in heaven. Thus revealing the secret of His plan…that He purposed in His sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in Him. (Col. 1:20 & Eph. 1:9-10)
Du Toit writes, ‘The great awakening is Jn 14:20 “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” When the world recognizes their true identity is the day that every knee will bow and every tonged will proclaim what God already knows to be true. (exomologeo is from ek, source, origin, and homo, the same and logeo, to speak – thus to speak from the same source, the same inspired persuasion, to fully agree. To come into agreement with and proclaim what God already knows to be true) 1 Peter 2:12“The beautiful way in which you conduct yourself in the company of people who are not familiar with your beliefs, will attract their attention to the resonance of their hearts as they witness for themselves God’s intentions as evidenced in your good works. This will be as daylight to them and will totally disarm the evil rumors that they have heard about you. Mirror Bible