You might have noticed a theme to these “What Is…” devotionals. I’ve stayed around the subject of Judas Iscariot because the relationship between Judas and Jesus reveals the love of God for His enemies; that’s paramount. But it also reveals the authority that is given the Son of Man to remove the restrainer that protects against the lawlessness of Satan (2 Thes 2:7).
God loves us as a Father that disciplines His children (Heb 12:7-11). We can see that happening as Judas exercises miracles, authority over demons, preaches the kingdom at hand (Mat 10:5-8) and even eats the morsel received from Jesus at the passover (Jhn 13:26). So if God loved Judas, why would Satan be permitted to enter into him? Let’s look at this from another angle. Remember when Jesus calls out Peter saying, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”(Luk 22:31-32). What was going on with Peter that Jesus would say this to him? My observation (and Peter please forgive me for where I might be wrong) is his desire to lead by acting on Christ’s behalf, his ambition manifests through insecurities wanting to prove himself. And it looks like Satan was eating that up inside Peter because it wasn’t that Peter wanted to deny Christ, but his zeal was clouding his judgment about what Christ meant regarding thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Luk 22:30); possibly felt an erratic jolt of emotions for such a position, not to mention what came next, and didn’t know how to react or respond other than to get ampt. Next thing you know he cuts off a dudes ear and starts cursing… can you relate?! Shoot, I feel like I can!
But what do we make of Satan? This issue of sin dates back to the seed of Adam and is written in our DNA because Adam was not deceived when eating that fruit (1 Tim 2:14, Gen 3:6). And so we were living in the lie of evil because we are of our father the devil (Jhn 8:44) choosing to believe in ourselves rather than the truth of the Word of God (Gen 3:7), which is what Peter was doing by cutting off the right ear of a chief priests’ slave at the arrest of Jesus (Luk 18:10) and then denying Jesus for fear of his own life because it was time for the hour of darkness (Luk 22:53) in fulfillment of scripture. Notice what Jesus said to Simon (Peter), …but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; …” Jesus said that He prayed for Peter. And why if Peter has no choice to his faith? After all, God is the one that hardens the heart, and Judas is the one to betray Jesus. So what glory is there to marvel at if God creates His vessels to do what they have no power over? We would be robotic in nature, without option but to marvel. Jesus prayed to His Father who gives us our faith that will either condemn or save us based on the condition of our hearts. And we are either using the faith of God to become hardened like Judas to an illegitimate father (Satan 1 Cor 5:5, 2 Thess 1:9)); or receiving salvation as promised like Peter through a relationship with the love of our heavenly Father (Jesus (Mat 18:14, 1 Tim 2)). Because faith is obeying by believing that Jesus did come in the flesh, and is Son of God, that grants us our promise into the kingdom of God (Jhn 14:6).
The last significant detail about these words of Jesus to Simon is, …and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” . There is an obvious mediation going on here by the data revealed about Simon’s heart. Jesus is confident that Simon will be turned again to Peter (Mat 16:18) for the responsibility of His office. But it’s through his portion of faith (Rom 12:3-6) to trust in the seal of the Holy Spirit (Jhn 3:33-36, 2 Tim 2:19-26).
Indeed… This gospel is being preached in the whole world! But why is it that this woman will be remembered for what she did? This devotional is something special to me because of what this woman did, and I hope it will prove the same for you. Because it might be that you are troubled by this idea of value; value as—your faith in Jesus Christ to be your personal Lord, and Savior, who took away your sin—wondering whether you are worthy of such an anointing of salvation (1 Jo 2:27) by thoughts and feelings of past issues and present sins? How value is weighed and measured from a human or carnal perspective is costly because it’s deceptive. God is patient toward the activity of sin in this world for you, right now, reading this, because even the most unworthy can hear and believe this good news if their willing to receive it. But put this memory of the woman in your heart and mind as we learn just how worthy you are to God through what Jesus Christ did.
When Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste?“For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me.“For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. “For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Notice how all the disciples became indignant or angrily suspicious at this treatment because their focus was in the value of the perfume, instead of Jesus. And one disciple in particular became so twisted in the heart giving root to that emotion of indignation sought the opportunity to betray Jesus (Matt 26:14-16) through the temple priests already conspiring how to kill Jesus (Matt 26:1-5); Judas Iscariot became the how to for the priests already under the influence of evil; the invisible work of the devil uses the justice and love of God to manipulate the human perception, in this case, the minds of the temple priests and the heart of Judas Iscariot.
Justice is the law of God that Jesus Christ fulfilled and still proclaims today (Mat 5:17, Mat 12:18); which means the continued sacrifice of lambs, the temple building and priests, have no longer been necessary for the forgiveness of sins; the death and burial of Jesus Christ is the passing of the old covenant, while the new covenant is born in His bodily resurrection (a new body). And the reason this woman anointed Jesus with the costly perfume is because she perceived the significance of the burial. The perfume represents you and the fragrance of you is a soothing aroma to God. Your faith is that fragrance of Jesus Christ to God that produces salvation in you as your sin dies and is buried forever by believing that your sin was taken away to the cross of Jesus Christ. It is buried in history. You are free! Now that we believe with confidence that Jesus was raised from the dead, we too are raised from the dead by grace through faith, having a clean conscience before the throne of God (a new body). Your sin has no power over you. So turn from your sin, and have eternal life in Jesus Christ (the Son of Man).
The featured image is from The CHOSEN season 1 episode 8 and it turns out that this series is reaching the world with the gospel just as this verse with words in red indicate would happen. And no, this is not a paid mention for The Chosen or any favor. This is just information, and hope, for reaching the world with the gospel that preaches Jesus Christ.
Can you feel that question… “What is truth?…” If I may, please let me challenge you to ask that question for yourself without bias, don’t assume to know. Ask yourself, “What is truth?” For me that question causes thoughts about how I’ve come to know my truth. Questions immediately stir about my birth into this world (born into the Dooley family, Warrensburg Missouri—USA 1988, brought up in the Christian faith), but also… “How was it that I could comprehend two plus two equals four and why?” That question did actually come to mind, but more than that though, “…what does the value of truth mean and my relationship to that value?” This is quite the labor that will take some serious work to peel away the layers of life and indoctrination to discover what is truth. But when we do, it’s sooo worth it!
Pilate was in a position to crucify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And if he knew the truth of what he was doing, do you think that he would have crucified Jesus? Pilate thought that he had the power to release Jesus (Jhn 19:10), but what did Jesus say? “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” So who then delivered Jesus to Pilate? Jesus then *answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He *took and *gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”(Jhn 13:26-27). When Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me(Jhn 14:6)—Jesus answered our question to this devotional.
Truth is not determined by angels or people because the authority to determine what truth is, belongs to the Son of God—the Word of God through Jesus Christ. Notice what command Jesus gave to Judas after Satan had entered him, Jesus told the fallen angel that we know as Satan to follow through the desire of Judas’ heart. And the truth about the heart of Judas was to betray Jesus for money (Mat 26:14-16). And so this is why it is so unwise to act as though you believe in Jesus while yet holding onto the idea of disbelief for the sake of gain. Do not wait for the opportunity to sell your confidence in Jesus for “money” and Satan to possess your heart. Check yourself before you enter into your future. Don’t feel ashamed to wonder about the condition of your heart, trust in Jesus Christ.
I love this verse because it makes secure the salvation of your soul. In the first devotional you’ll read about the power of God through an instruction to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. In the second devotional you’ll read about how faith is our ability to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. In this devotional we have an intimate relationship between belief and faith that produces… The Perfect Promise!
If you’ve believed in the good news about the Son of God in the flesh of Jesus Christ—then you are perfect in that provision of love through faith, not fear, meaning that your confession of sin is forgiven (Luk 12:10). You might be experiencing a heavy load of guilt and shame for deep dark secrets that hold you captive to an environment of enslavement (Eph 5:1-21)? It’s like your soul is screaming for help because there is a consequence for the rejection of truth about your environment (2Pe 2:1-22). If that is the case…?
Please literally stop what you are thinking and doing and listen to this promise. God promised that He would provide salvation not just for a duration of time, but eternal salvation, meaning that Jesus Christ is the perfect promise of sacrifice to remove and remember your sin no more and to help you handle the deepest darkest issues of your life for complete restoration in the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Tim 2:4-6, Jhn 16:7-15). By believing that truth is an act of faith you’ve decided to choose by trusting in this promise of God.
And so how to obey is that you trust in the name of Jesus Christ, and if you’ve decided to trust in the name of Jesus Christ… you are made perfect in love by the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. The darkness of your life will be converted to light through faith, believe in your faith (Eph 2:4-9), because you are loved with an eternal love. And Jesus Christ is your source of perpetual salvation! By really meditating on this promise, you will experience the providence of the Holy Spirit.
The question is not a matter of *if* we sin, but when? for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,(Rom 3:23). If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us(1 Jn 1:10). Not one person of sound mind is ignorant of sin. Have you watched the conventions? We’ve nominated sinners up in this House! The heck is going on! Who do you think is going to rule the land for the next four years?
POWER OF SIN
Who’s it going to be?! Biden or Trump for 2020?! We’ll soon find out in a couple months. Oh yes, you’re right, I thought the same… “This ought to be interesting!”. It’s quite a choice deciding between the lesser of two evils; that idea should not be perceived as a slight against the character of Biden or Trump—because all of America’s citizens are on trial (myself included). Or… does the Voter not know that their vote is a portal to their identity? And so when the ‘lot’ falls on either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, it will be due at the hand of your endorsement; we the people is more like we the demon possessing the condition of our White House or “home” to our governing administration. Or… perhaps you are an American citizen who has already voted due the immediately present media harbingers of power? If so… you’ve handed over the birthright of your soul long before there was even a choice you thought otherwise to consider.
Can you perceive the “call to arms”? Peoples defenses conjuring like it’s time for war! You’ve seen the riots lootings and shootings; that at the very least should cause pause, rampant emotions are the reason our country is in the face of civil war. And for radical change to happen we need to talk about the sin of our decisions, specifically—the decision to vote.
If you’re a Christian then your vote was cast at your conversion because we don’t serve two masters (Mat 6:24, Luk 16:13)! I believe the Christians in America that vote are actually voting for a prayer, the coming of Jesus Christ (Rev 22:20); because when a Christian wakes up to reality of His return, it shakes you to the core because only your faith remains intact when He does (1Jo 5:4). The people of God are born again to the purpose of serving the ministry of reconciliation (2Co 5:19), not to vote for Roman whoops—I mean the United States of America’s agenda into power. We the Christian people all throughout the continents, although divided, know the teaching of Christ and it’s time to wake up! The American dream for liberty means well, but does not deliver anyone from their sin because it’s to busy endorsing it… The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; (1 Co 15:56). Do we not fear God?
God our Father has disciplined us to understand the Word of God all the while we trample it underfoot by our allegiance to a government that does not teach true liberty in Jesus Christ (Heb 10:29). Sin is not the law governed by America nor of any other nation than that of Israel, until Christ in the flesh on the cross that gave us the power of deliverance made available to all the world (Jhn 3:16). but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ(1 Co 15:57).
RIGHT TO FREEDOM
Did you read that verse closely? but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ(1 Co 15:57). So who gives us the victory over the sting of death? God does! How does God give us the victory? but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ(1 Co 15:57). What does”…through our Lord…” mean? The Holy Spirit of God is given through your believing by taking part in eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus Christ! That is your right to vote—your right to freedom! The old covenant of the old testament did not deliver anyone from their sin, meaning that no one can earn salvation by voting Biden or Trump! If any christian in their right mind is a true patriot of their Kingdom then they should live as an alien to this country because they’re free indeed. We don’t live as slaves to the misguided nature and condition of this world. We live as ambassadors sent from the Kingdom of God for Jesus Christ!
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.—(2Co 5:17-21)
So why not choose rather, not to vote? Or is it that we’ve placed our faith in this worldly government for the provision of our soul? Why would us Christians expect anything different from a people so desperate for their rights; to chase their sexual appetites, to decide their gender, to fight for their color, to kill for their pride, to steal for their pleasure, to lie for their lust, and to what end when the self-proclaiming “christians” are in a relationship with the devil that confuses the truth for a lie? Why expect… Is it because of what I wrote at the start of this post? Not one person of sound mind is ignorant of sin. So then that excuses the timidity of our christian military, does it? Like when king Saul was in the face of the philistine giant (1Sa 17:11)? Do we not have the same Spirit of king David (1 Sa 17:26)? Don’t tell me the church still needs to be trained on how to be a shepherd in the face of a lion when we’ve already been anointed as king to meet the face of Goliath. We are the rock in the sling, so ummm… let’s fly! Let’s go! Come on Church! What do you want from me?—no but seriously… It’s time.
Have you considered going to your local park and walking with no strings attached, just you and the air you share with others on the path? If you haven’t, you should. When you do, you won’t even realize you’ve entered the dreamlike state of your life. You might even start to give off this impression that you’re insane to fellow walkers or over achieving joggers—you know the kind—by expressing yourself to the air as though someone was listening, like a ghost perhaps. See that’s when people should know that you are having a good walk rather than assuming the worst like, “That woman is definitely plotting to kill her husband“.
Sometimes you just need the nature of fresh air to sooth your emotions and balance out your senses before waking up to the chaos of your reality. I’m telling you, you’ll feel much better after your walk!
What’s amazing about a walk is… you’re free to go any direction you choose and place you arrive—even if it’s nowhere—because believe it or not, nowhere is actually a place identified by you because well… you’re somewhere. The point is that you are someone of unique and important value that can be appreciated when on a good solid walk with the ghost of the air. There are a lot of things going on in your life and it can be stressful to manage, that’s not including the pressure of unpredictable people that add to the affect of your life.
We just don’t have all the information about what is going on all the time and that’s ok. We don’t have to have all the information all the time because otherwise the treasure of information devalues like the time you drove that new car off the lot, why not purchase a used car and learn how to take care of it. It will teach a great deal about responsibility and give experience that you can share with others who might could use your skills changing out the drum breaks.
Anyway… the point is… go for a walk and talk to the ghost of the air and then listen closely because you won’t even realize that the ghost is speaking to you until you start to listen as you process. You’re not alone.
The link provided above is a quote from Nasa Science—an article about Dark Energy, Dark Matter. And what we are learning about Dark Energy and Dark Matter is… it’s dark. Alright. That’s not fair. We’ve learned a lot from what we don’t know; even though we don’t know, we can at least identify the unknown as “dark”, and that is a start. But I’m curious about something, and it stems from a few bible verses. See I believe that in order to discover the unknown one must believe it is possible, which is the very act of faith, but I’m convinced that our hearts are in a difficult place of acceptance because of unbelief.
Help My Unbelief
Did you notice at the end of that statement from the quote is we need more data, better data. Well, at least, according to Nasa Science, they know that there is data that will enlighten us with knowledge about dark energy and dark matter. That is important to believe because of Who I know that data belongs to. That sounds very arrogant, but it’s not intended to be because actually, everyone knows Who the data belongs to even though they might struggle to accept it unless they just outright reject it. There is an event that occurs in our history recorded for our study and help when struggling to believe.
The scene of this event dates back to Jesus after revealing the Kingdom of God to Peter, James, and John on this mountain. They were on their way back to the disciples when they saw this large crowd about them, some scribes were arguing with the disciples there until Jesus asked, “What are you discussing with them?”. Then there was this one guy that yelled out from the crowd, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.”. Gaw, that’s rough. I mean, can you imagine seeing your child being tortured in this way? And maybe you have experienced something like this? But to know the doctors that had the ability to help could not is not only painful to accept, but embarrassing when the teacher of such power arrives on the scene!
Now while Jesus was disappointed and expressed it, He then asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And the father said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” So here we get some context, this is no ordinary ailment with fits of rage. This is a possession of an extraordinary kind, one that requires much discipline to cast out. We can see from this data that the son is thrown into extreme elements that should kill a person and yet this boy lives. Now it could be that the father was around to save the boy from burning or drowning to death, but there is emphasis in the detail of these extremes by the meaning of destroy. In this scenario we can see spiritual forces at work. Jesus represents the force of good (positive) energy [order] and the spirit possessing the boy represents the force of evil (negative) energy [chaos].
It appears that the father of the boy had lost confidence in Jesus when had said, “…if You can do anything“. And Jesus was like, “ ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” BOOM! Finally we reach the climax of this event because we so quickly resort to unbelief for fear itself, limited by our cause to exist because of not what we understand, but because of WHO we don’t understand until this next moment! Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”! BOOM! If you haven’t realized it by now, God is in the language of the data given for us to believe and have a relationship with. What that means is… the dark energy and dark matter are an energy that is spoken out from the mouth of God for our present questions to be answered in respect of the relationship between God and man. Scientists! What do you think happened after the father cried out, I do believe; help my unbelief? To find out, check out a bible from your local virtual library or of course right here. God exists in the energy of existence!
A place where God is the limit. A place where you know me.
It will feel like a dream, but it is a reality.
A place where language is a garden of spirituality.
This place is untainted by the world in which you know. The world you wake up in day after day and adapt to compromise for the excuses and lies. Here you’ll discover the version of yourself suppressed in darkness for fear of the light in everyone’s eyes.
There is a sound of music that speaks not what you’d expect. It’s a song that sings every genre, there is nothing quite like it. It will play without ceasing, we do not cease to exist.
A language of complete expression, there is no void, only the reality of your personality.
What is your mood?
Are you glad or sad?
There is a reason, there is a cause, but only for a season because there is a God.
See, in this language, we are a living symphony.
The decisions we have are not choices we make, but are a rhythm to the beat of loves’ sake.
It doesn’t take hearing to experience the wave of vibrations from the sound of listening.
Are you listening?
Can you hear?
There are tears… but not fear!
God is near.
When you think of the Garden of Eden, I ask that you don’t only think of it as a place that once existed in the past. But think of it as a spiritual language that has been passed on from generation to generation for all to hear and know the language of life found in Jesus Christ.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Number your days!
I think on what the Psalmist said and—I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands(Psalm 143:5). The Psalmist could see and experience the journey of God and understand it in such a way that the future was seen. Moses prayed and requested; teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom(Psalm 90:12). I’ve calculated the number of my days up to today and I’ve lived 11,781 days today (08/04/2020); well… that’s if I make it through today, Lord willing. My wife has lived 11,203 days. According to the CDC the average life expectancy is 28,689 days (78.6 years). Why is this important?As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away(Psalm 90:10). The truth is… we don’t have years to live, but days. And my question is… have you read the word of God and heard the testimony of truth?
What is truth?
This question is appropriate considering the time when Jesus was summoned before Pilate. Only it didn’t seem like a question then, but rather, mockery. Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, “I find no guilt in Him(John 18:38). Pilate didn’t seem to understand that he was being manipulated by the power of his position given to him through the grace of God our Father to crucify the Son of God by an authority he thought he had (John 19:11). Pilate was a misguided “President” of his time because of what evil existed in the world through the hearts of men and women captivated by sin. Pilate was dictated by fear for his life whereas Jesus was dictated by the love of God, His Father; Jesus testified to the truth, and “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”(John 18:37).
The truth is that we have a condition, and that condition is sin. Sin becomes manifest in death. Death is the last enemy to be abolished (1 Corinthians 15:26). We will either regard our lives to be without sin or we will regard our lives as dead in sin. If we regard our lives without sin we make Jesus out to be a liar: If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8). If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us(1 John 1:10). But if we regard ourselves as dead in sin… we are baptized in Jesus Christ. We, like the Psalmist, are looking ahead to the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay(Acts 2:31). You might think that I’m confused because David was looking ahead from the past to Christ whereas we are now looking back to Christ.
But I’m not confused because we are not looking back to Christ. We are looking ahead to the return of Christ. Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only,“If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”(John 21:23). The apostle John is the one who heard and saw the book of this prophecy (Revelation 22:8). And I hope you are reading and listening with me because…“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done(Revelation 22:12).
Seeing the future!
When the people of God, Israel—at Pentecost heard the word of God preached—their hearts were pierced and asked the perfect question. “Brethren, what shall we do?”(Acts 2:37). And the apostle Peter said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”(Acts 2:38-39).
Click the link above and discover The Unheard where my friend Dallas Fluegel brings a mixture of flavors from the musical world to your ears. Below is a taste of Dallas’s’ work and I pray it moves you as it has moved me. For The Addicts. Enjoy!
Breathe Again by Swingin Hammers
Nashville Tennessee’s Swingin Hammers is Benjamin Rupe, father, husband, and a shockingly authentic human being. Ben describes himself as a fighter by nature and his mission is to “challenge unto life.” What does that mean!? I’m sure we can find out. Swingin Hammers currently sits at 6,473 monthly Spotify listeners making him a prime candidate for our artists spotlight.
Swingin Hammers released his self titled album in 2017 and Quite, Vol 1 in 2020. The song that really got my attention was Breathe Again from the Album Swingin Hammers. It is a raw, heartfelt ballad expressing deep, emotional truths. The song is simple, but stunning. It can have me nearly in tears and smiling in the same 4 minutes. There is so much I can say about it, but Benjamin was kind enough to tell me about the song and I will share that with you after you give the song a listen. Lyrics, Meaning, & Commentary below.
Stepping out into the light Look around you say it’s alright It hurts to peel the bandage off But I see now just what it costs
It’s like I can breathe again It’s like I’ve got a heart within It’s like I can feel again Just learning to breathe you in
When I was clear, oh so honest About the doubts and confusions in my mind You did not, no, cast me down to hell You just looked at me and you kindly smiled
It’s like I can breathe again It’s like I’ve got a heart within It’s like I can feel again Just learning to breathe you in
Oh cause I been runnin’ Away from confession I been lookin’ for healing Where it’s not mine to find Without the pain of a strong love That loves enough to wound
It’s like I can breathe again It’s like I’ve got a heart within It’s like I can feel again Just learning to breathe you in
It’s like I can breathe again It’s like I’ve got a heart within It’s like I can feel again Gotta learn to, gotta learn to breathe you in
Meaning (according the author)
“Breathe Again is a song about how excruciatingly painful and how unbelievably freeing confession is. It was written with my porn addiction in mind mostly, but also my previous life in alcoholism as well. At least those are the two most tangible ones that I think of. I remember having to confess that sin of porn over and over again and how every single time it felt like a bandage that just needed [to be] ripped off. It was exhausting and TERRIFYING every time, but it would free me of my sin. All of that’s based off of 1 John 1:7-8. Here: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. All that to say, Jesus is incredibly kind to us.”
When the Church is done right it is a breathtakingly beautiful institution. I remember my first taste of confession. I remember being afraid to say what I was going through. I remember being scared of being kicked out of the group. And then I remember my friends responding with a smile and some of the most powerful words in the world, “Me too.”
You did not, no, cast me down to hell You just looked at me and you kindly smiled
Wow. What a moment. To know that I wasn’t alone in my brokenness meant so much to me. Overtime I have become fully known and fully loved. Being fully known means my church group knows my past and they know my thought life, past and current. They have heard the darkest, most vile thoughts of mine and have welcomed me into their home. It’s crazy. It’s wonderful. It is powerful.
Benjamin says Swingin Hammer’s mission is to ‘challenge unto life.’ I think this means he wants encourage people to not live a life of mediocrity. The life he is imploring us to is one of authenticity and meaning where we can be fully known and fully loved, then fully know and fully love others.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.” ~ Jesus in John 10:10
If you want to hear Benjamin’s additional commentary on the song you can find it below.
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This article from Dallas speaks so much to me because addiction is real, a real problem, and whatever addiction it is… will suffocate the life out of us if we let it. Benjamin is singing to the heart of multitudes that are drowning in addiction, suffocated by the waterlog torture of false satisfaction and pleasure. But when you encounter the truth of Christ! You can, BREATHE AGAIN!
This post is following my previous post; traveling through the snake of our reality to the beginning, before sin influenced the human heart and mind, to the time when God spoke and our existence began.
So here we are before the Big Bang. The place of everlasting! Or at least… a place where the human heart ‘without God’ is challenged to believe Ecclesiastes 3(AMP): “11He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.“
At first I felt discouraged when reading that passage because my heart wanted to know the beginning from the end—like Jeremiah describes in chapter 17(AMP) : “9 The heart is deceitful above all things And it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives? “. My heart and mind wants to know the beginning from the end because it desires control over my environment and also to possess every piece of knowledge that is learned as though to claim it as as my own.
Like claiming my vehicle once it’s paid off, it’s all mine as though I caused the material to emerge and exist just for me…and all I needed to do was hire the appropriate resources to form and fashion it into a vehicle so I can own it like a god.
But thankfully in the next verse, I see who knows the secret motives of my heart and understands me intimately: “10 I, the Lord, search and examine the mind, I test the heart, To give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.“. And so with that understanding, by the grace of God, I’m humbled at this realization that the pride and lust produced in the human heart is given mercy for change and grace for salvation.
Because as you can see, my heart, without mercy, is unwilling to be changed from the arrogant state of thinking that “I own the elemental properties of components that forms and fashions me into tomorrow”. And whats worse but to reject the grace of God extended through His Word as the source and resource of and for the salvation of my existence.
As I think about the next passage of scripture, I smirk at the thought of us talking about God as though He weren’t present right here and now to be spoken to, Himself.
If indeed this passage means what I think it does, then, Yes… it is quite nonsensical ‘not to’ ask God directly about the “birth” of our beginning just like we would our own human parents about the time of our human births. And so by asking God that question, I’m taken to…
(John 1:1-5 NASB)1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
For what it’s worth at my birth… HA! That rhymed! My mom tried to kill me by rapping the umbilical cord around my neck… twice! But because I have the neck of Aquaman, it was too strong and nearly killed my mom by the amount of blood loss.
That’s the most epic, nearly true, human birth story ever to be told. But it doesn’t end there. See, it was at my birth that the meaning of ‘jealousy’ became an experience for the rest of humankind… (because everyone all the sudden felt how inadequate their necks are compared to mine) …I’m not sorry.
Yah… You right! I’ll go back and re-read those proverbs before I continue…
…Okay, good to go.
Now… where was I?…
Ahh… that’s right, John 1:1-5…
1 In the beginning…
Now while the Big Bang Theory is a sitcom full of entertainment, it’s also a vital theory of our time in the 21st century attempting to explain how the universe began 13.8 billion years ago by a singularity, or from “phasing” into view made possible through the advanced knowledge and resources of today. However, where I think this theory misses the mark is leaving out the spiritual component.
The language that declares the birth of creation is a spiritual language.
A relatable example to this spiritual language spoken is like when you hear people speak in tongues, and while it may sound like gibberish (that I myself quite frankly don’t make sense of) is still understood as prayer that is reflecting the intimate language and culture of everlasting life through the Holy Spirit.
And that is what I believe to think John is doing here in his literature through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.
He’s writing in a spiritual language that can only be interpreted through the anointing of the Word of God upon the believing person hearing this gospel, because just as the prophet Jeremiah had said, only the Lord knows the secret motives of the human heart. So with honest self examination of your heart, do you really believe in Jesus Christ?
That might be a question to reflect on as we continue on together, but I hope you’ll find the confidence in your own heart to be open for believing as we move through the semantics of spiritual language.
The interpretation of this passage is that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, and is in fact, God, and nothing can exist apart from Jesus Christ.
And I think an efficient way to enlighten a skeptics perspective is to workout the verses backward. The reason being is because, well… when reading: 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. The meaning is that if you’re a skeptic hearing the gospel with a heart closed off to God will not understand to comprehend the truth of: 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. And so because you’re already convinced about the darkness your in, you see no need for light.
To understand how Jesus Christ is the Light of men is to willingly change the condition of your heart. Because Jesus is not going to force the darkness in which you choose to accept for yourself out of you. You must have a heart receptive to: 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. Or you’re choosing to live in darkness for the sake of your own pride and lust, unwilling to be subject to the truth of which means to save you out from our present age of darkness and death.
3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
In verse 3 we can see how even darkness came into being throughHim (Jesus Christ), not for evil as you might suppose, but for good. However, the darkness did not comprehend the Light because darkness has no function other than to be dark, until of course, the darkness is exposed by the Light and is receptive to a new purpose. And therefore is converted to be transformed and function in light of that purpose. No longer to be darkness.
But lets say the darkness representing the skeptic is not receptive to the Light representing Jesus Christ, what then? Well then what more is there for you to function as than darkness possessed by the dark, seeing how Jesus is the life and light of men giving us a new purpose? You instead choose darkness.
And for what, for the sake of objecting the truth about the Light for personal preference? Did you program the chemical and biological nature of which caused your parents to produce you?
To object the Light is to reject the nature of it, which means to reject the life and love of God in which gives you existence.
When you speak the word, “Love!” out loud. What do you think it means? It could mean an infinite number of things. But what if we exercise our ability to think of a person or even an animal that we love, to say out loud, “I love you.” What do you think happens, do you think that the phrase spoken goes out from you without having an effect to affect that person or pet?
Now what if we apply that concept to when God spoke?
When God opened His mouth to speak for existence to come into being, do you think that His Word spoken did not effect to affect all of existence? What scientific term do you think God spoke for the fundamental properties of elements that make up our cosmos to exist?
If you’re thinking man-made terminology you’ll get the answer wrong every time. However, if we consider the meaning of naming a child or a pet. I think we’ll begin to realize just how important it was for God to give the name “Emmanuel” when Jesus Christ was born. Because the name means, “God with us”. And so in spiritual terms, that Name, the name of Jesus Christ is the very program of which gives function to our existence.
And you should know what function that is by now, but in case you don’t, it’s… LOVE! And so love is His language in which programmed our “beginning” as it were, for existence to be experienced as a true reality. And not just a dream world.
Just like when you opened your mouth to speak, “I love you”, to a loved one. You already had the motive and intention in your heart programmed before opening your mouth to speak and give that phrase an effective affection to that loved one.
Well in the same way, before God opened His mouth to speak our existence into being, His Word was first produced from within His heart and mind. And once the programming to the nature of His Word was fulfilled, He spoke, and therefore we are. Because God is the I AM, therefore, WE ARE.
Jesus Christ is the very Word of God spoken out of the Mouth of God to carry out the Gospel of God for the Salvation of God to all willing to accept the Revelation of God because…“1 In the beginning was Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ was with God, and Jesus Christ was God. 2 Jesus was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Jesus, and apart from Jesus nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Jesus was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
So now before we move into the “epoch” or phase to our existence, please know with confidence that you have access to a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ (the heart and mind of God)!
Until next time…
Examine the secret motives of your heart and be honest about the nature of your intentions.
Ask yourself, “What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ?”
Ask yourself, “Am I willing to accept available access to a relationship with God through the Word of Jesus Christ?”
I know this is a tough topic. There are a lot of emotions tied up in this subject. Some of us likely have gay friends or family. Some of us may even identify as LBGTQIAP ourselves.
Before we go any further I have to tell you something very important. God loves everyone. He loves the Lesbian the same as he loves the straight dude the same as he loves the asian little person. These labels are ours, not His. He loves you for you just as you are.
I decided to breakdown this question in order to get a more unbiased look at it. As a result my two new questions will put the spotlight on all people not conforming to the standard of the bible, in other words… everyone.
This is tough so I’m going to start with a prayer.
Father, let the words that I’m typing be true and if they are not true would you encourage the readers to overlook them or to challenge me with scripture so that I may be sharpened in my understanding of you. Please help our defenses to go down and let your word cut its way into our life. Help me to yield Your Word with grace and mercy and please forgive me where/if I have misused it. I need you! Amen
The question ‘can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved’ can be split into two more generalized questions: 1) What does it take to be saved? 2) Can someone embracing sin still be saved?
What Does It Take To Be Saved?
There are several scriptures that lay out what is required in order to be saved. John 3:16 is world famous, but the another good verse is Romans 10:9 NIV: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
You might ask, “don’t you need to repent and be saved?”
The interesting part about these verses is the absence of the term repentance. However, when we study the book of Acts particularly focusing on the narratives regarding people coming to salvation we start to notice a trend. Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30; 20:21; 26:20. Do you see it? Where there was salvation there was repentance!
Therefore, I have come to conclusion that salvation and repentance are two side of the same coin. In order to get salvation you must have repentance. Thus, one is saved when they declare Jesus as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead and as a result of that salvation we should see some level, even a tiny amount, of repentances as evidence of one’s new faith.
Can Someone Embracing Sin Still Be Saved?
To embrace an idea is to believe something is true or make the concept one with us. For example, if we say Bryan has really embraced vulnerability we would mean that Bryan has taken the concept of vulnerability and applied it to his life. If Bryan did this well we would be able to say, “Bryan is a vulnerable person.” The embraced concept becomes a part of who he is, so to embrace sin is to make it part of our identity.
As stated at the beginning of this post I wanted to remove the focus on homosexuality and focus on how this question affects all people. When we generalize the original question we can turn it into a fill in the blank.
Can someone embracing (___INSERT SIN___) still be saved?
We need to really think about this question. How does this apply to us? Can I really keep embracing my disrespectful attitude toward my boss and still be saved? Can I continue pursuing these lustful fantasies and still be saved? Your questions could also look like the following?
Can someone embrace gossiping and still be saved?
Can someone embrace stealing time at work and still be saved?
Can someone embrace sex before marriage and still be saved?
Can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved?
Can someone embrace coveting others possessions and still be saved?
However, if one can be ignorant to God’s teaching then maybe they can be saved while embracing their sin. However, I have deep concern for anyone’s salvation who knows they are sinning and chooses to keep sinning anyways. That reaction to Jesus seems like the response of a person who is choosing a life of what they want rather than surrendering to God’s wants for their life. In essence they believe in God, but they declare themselves as Lord.
John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
What about repentance?
Whenever I was looking through Acts on how people got saved I saw a trend – where there was salvation there was often repentance. Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30; 20:21; 26:20.
We also see that bible warns against unrepentance and the result of unrepentance. It also says that we are suppose to cut sin from our lives. Romans 6:1,12,15; 8:2; 1 Corinthians 6:18, 15:32; 2 Corinthians 12:21; 1 Timothy 3:20; Hebrews 10:26, 12:4
Considering a and b together I have come to the conclusion that salvation and repentance are two sides of the same coin. In order to get salvation you must have repentance.
Therefore one is saved when they declare Jesus as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead and as a result of that salvation we should see some level, even a tiny amount, of repentance as evidence of their new faith.
Can someone embrace sin and still be saved?
I have now generalized the question so that we can apply this to everyone. So the new question might read as such
Can someone embrace gossiping and still be saved?
Can someone embrace stealing time at work and still be saved?
Can someone embrace sex before marriage and still be saved?
Can someone embrace coveting others possessions and still be saved?
Can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved?
Can someone embrace _____sin______ and still be saved?
I’m not including addictions on this list on purpose because at the point when someone is addicted I don’t know if that person is capable of choosing what is right and what is wrong.
To embrace an idea is to believe something is true or to make the concept one with us (for example if we were to say Bryan has really embraced vulnerability, we would mean that Bryan has taken the concept of vulnerability and applied it to his life so that one could easily say, “Bryan is such a vulnerable person” – the embraced concept becomes a part of who he is) so to embrace sin is to make it part of our identity.
When we believe in Jesus resurrection from the dead and declare Him as Lord we are instantly saved. We are made completely new in the eyes of God, but we still have many if not all of our flaws. We don’t just stop sinning the moment we are saved. We are continually convicted and shown our old and new sin in a process of sanctification. We are saved, but we continue to sin through moments of weakness/ignorance/disobedience. We live our lives and then when we are confronted with our sin we confess it (sometimes over and over again) and find healing. We should not see our sin, justify its existence, then accept it as who we are. When we embrace sin we are declaring our desires as Lord rather than Jesus. However, if one can be ignorant to God’s teaching then maybe they can be saved while embracing their sin. I would have deep concern for someone’s salvation if they know they are sinning and choose to sin anyways. That response to Jesus seems like the response of a person who is choosing a life of what they want rather than surrendering to God. In essence they believe in God but they declare themselves as Lord.
Why do we die? What happens when we die? †Wait, soooo…two people have not experienced death? Did we die at the beginning of mankind?
I take for granted this “blip” of life given me by God. It’s been quite a convicting ongoing study of death, key in on the “ongoing” because there are so many testimonials of this experience that it’s difficult not to get lost in confusion and fear of the unknown, to the point of just … giving up.
It is also difficult when finding the answer of consequence in relation to those not believing in Jesus Christ (The Word of God) to be that they are †destroyed in hell. To think about someone you love so deeply being in such a place. It just doesn’t seem plausible that a loving God would do that. The experience that surrounds the event of death can cause many to question their faith, or understanding of life, it’s traumatic.
From my search and study in Genesis of the Bible found that I die because of the warning †“…for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” I live in a †“garment of skin” that testifies to the ground from which my father (Adam) was created; this ground I walk on, the dust that I am and will eventually return to, is cursed. Because the curse consequently … is death.
But that’s not the end.
The reason I believe Adam didn’t die as expectantly was because of the length of time that concludes 1 day. Adam lived to be †nearly 1000 years old after the consequence of his sin, but it says that God warned “…for in the day…” so what happened? Why didn’t he die in that day? And why don’t we die in a day?
The apostle Peter of Jesus Christ enlightens me to this truth †“that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” so that explains the reason why Adam didn’t just die as expectantly. These forms of enlightenment are all throughout scripture.
Please don’t do yourself a disservice not to at least consider trusting God with your time in His Word to help you through very hard and difficult times and questions.
Ultimately my Lord God and Father in Heaven is sovereign in how life is governed. I can only hope that those who’ve heard or are hearing this gospel will believe in it’s message. Because the message will give warning and reward. To believe means you bear responsibility to the preaching of this Word that confirms your eternal salvation. To do so means to love, not only your family, but the entire world. Because my Lord and Savior did not die in vain, but so that the †world might be saved through Him. The gift of the Holy Spirit that †records your name in heaven is the reward.
I pray you will trust in the providence of God. Because none are without excuse, even the †dead have heard and are hearing the gospel.
P.S. Tell me who the “two people” are that have not experienced death.
†”the shadow of death”† — Psalms 107:10, 14; Psalms 23:4; Luke 1:79
The Difference Between A Relationship And Religion
I was talking with a guy here recently about life. A military man. This guy has quite the story, a lot I can relate and not relate to, been through more than most in a short period of time being in his early thirties. It’s no wonder the reason he questions his relationship to God. He believes there is something, a higher power; but the God of the Bible and Christianity, not buying it or any other gods/god of the many facets to other religions.
Did you know that anger can be a religion?
How about a sport like soccer?
Even the military?
I resonate especially with the first two “anger” and “soccer”. But now, my religion, is my grandma. That might seem weird, but I’m telling you, only if you knew my grandma would you understand. This woman believes in visiting the orphans and widows in their †distress, that is literally her job as a caregiver at 77 (nearly 78) years old. I’ve seen my small but strong and wise grandma lift and guide an older gentlemen from his seat to the wheelchair and help people in their distress over and over again.
I’ve witnessed how this woman (my grandma) has loved a family that has rejected her time and time again. My grandma has slept outside in her cold car because she was unwelcome by family only to come back and love again and again. How… do… you… do… that? I’ve heard and seen the treatment, the abuse, she’s endured for the sake of Who she believes in and yet with humility sharing only her mistakes without blaming anyone else. She was told where to sit and what to do if she wanted to see her grand kids and guess what…she did. Writing this infuriates me, yet remembering, “Nathan, Nathan, how I was treated doesn’t matter…” are you kidding me!
My grandma is the type that might scold me for this praise but you’re reading a result of her labor in the Lord her God and I’ll scream aloud “Jesus Christ is Lord!” Because no navy seal can compare to my grandma, bring it! Just kidding, don’t hurt me. The point is religion is a religious practice of what you believe. And my grandma practiced hard with her Bible not only in hand or by word, but her actions. It’s true there are a lot of religions that provoke a lot of questions and demand certain practices, but that is the reason I labor for the preaching of the gospel to all nations.
Because religion to the gospel is defined by visiting the orphans and widows in their distress while being unstained by the world. It is not putting yourself in chains as though you can’t have fun or enjoy life. But it is respecting the true God of your soul and having a relationship with Him every moment of every day. I’m not saying you can’t have a drink of alcohol unless it’s to your destruction (abuse it—then don’t drink it). I’m not saying don’t have a cigarette or cigar, maybe even marijuana depending on where you live, but not to your destruction (addicted—then don’t smoke it).
You might be convinced you’re unable to break a bad habit, but respectfully, you’re wrong. That is like saying, “I won’t stop cheating on my wife because I’m unable, I’ll get cranky, so wheres my porn at!” We all have the ability but lack the discipline because we’re given over to not caring, “who cares”. The One Who created us cares, God didn’t create an experience (sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll) to be abused or take control of you. Have an experience in moderation and respect of wisdom and honor. Now that … is quite a thrill!
Don’t make a religion your excuse not to believe in this gospel being preached to you. We need more Christians speaking, writing, videoing the essential of the gospel of Jesus Christ; Not speaking, writing, videoing my/their personal preference, expectation, or standard of life change—the Holy Spirit of God that convicts every believer will do that work of salvation, justification, and sanctification. We are just providential agents.
I’m speaking to those of you who have heard and are still hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet not believing.
I’m not speaking to those who claim they’ve not heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I think the lot of you not believing in this gospel is grounded on a profound question:
“Does that mean those who have not heard are going to Hell?”
My quick opinionated answer is “way above my pay grade” and a strong “depends” (potential future post) because wherever they are in their respective regions of the world are entirely entrusted to the providential care of God. (Romans 1:18-32) (Romans 2:12-16)
I need you only narrow your gaze in retrospect of your personal belief system. But widen your gaze in respect of what we are about to discover in the Bible together.
We are going to discover some spiritual clarity by this satellite view of the gospel.
You’ll find the same photo presented above in the previous (Introduction) post. But this time our view is not so disoriented as in the previous photo, because we could not perceive whether we’re looking skyward at the clouds, or a fog, maybe dense smoke in the wind?
But we now have some clarity. We have a satellite view of the Earth looking at clouds over the Indian Ocean with Indonesia and Malaysia to the east.
If you are a person that does not believe in the God of the Bible, the testimony of Jesus Christ. Then my confrontation is that you have a disorienting view of your future that threatens the condition of your soul and place in eternity.
That confrontation has the potential to come across judgmental—as though the answer of my hypothetical is the gavel to your freedom. I’ll assure you that that is not the case.
I lived in a thought that I believed, but didn’t truly understand what that meant until realizing more and more, day after day, the process of sanctification. Mind you, it is still in process. So lets widen our gaze.
The gospel instructs me to make disciples; the bible is my instruction manual, and the Spirit of God is bearing witness to all that is being written by me and read by you; it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God, so although humorous at times, do not take this lightly; my soul and spirit are distressed at the concern for those who can honestly say from within that they’ve heard the gospel, but are scared to trust in the message and or have turned away from the faith altogether.
Don’t be afraid. Come trust in this gospel of Jesus Christ. You’re being recruited for war against the evil oppressor of your soul and the souls of all nations.
The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few.
Stick with me! Because in case you didn’t notice by the plethora of distractions, we‘re on the verge of a misconception.
* self-sustainability *
How that ties, comes together, is actually the start of our revelation to the “bridge” illustration. It begins at the heart of Lucifer revealed in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Genesis, the 14th chapter of Isaiah, 28th chapter of Ezekiel, and the 12th/13th chapters of Revelation.
Don’t misinterpret or misunderstand the use of the video above. I’m not “knocking it”. Technology is a useful tool when maintained in biblical context. That video is only meant to describe and enlighten how advanced we are and to alert the christian children growing up in this age to an inevitable prophecy. Don’t freak out!
Oh yeah. Time for some coffee!
[Part 2 is well on it’s way, “The Fall Of Unrighteousness To The Rise Of Satan”]
Do you ever wonder about your beginning? Your parents’ parents, their parents, on and on? And how about your existence, living at this present time with a detailed conscience that defines who you are and whats more; a consciousness about yourself, others, and God? What about your end, when you die? Do you wonder about that? Or how about the future, the end of your children and their grandchildren? Are you wondering, will you wonder…?
Moses of the Bible was a man who wondered. He wondered at the sight of a burning bush (Exodus 3) that would not be consumed. This bush changed Moses’ life! I can hear you christian critics now “it wasn’t the bush…” neh neh neh
Disclaimer: I (Nathan Dooley) am not an ordained minister…yet. It could happen one day. Just saying.
And I would agree with you…definitely not the “bush” that changed his life; it was the appropriate tangible object to use for the presence of God and His awareness to a specific problem which Moses’ gets insight, clarification, prophecy, and power to be a solution. He became the man [vessel, or instrument of God] to deliver his fellow Hebrew people, the people of God, Israel, from Egyptian slavery to a promised land of milk and honey. He brought forth what we are now dissecting in the 21st century (Exodus 34:27)—the first five books (Genesis—Deuteronomy) of the Pentateuch (Greek) or Torah (Hebrew) Bible. The scripture in the photo above gives me a bit of insight into what Moses discovered from God, the beginning before the beginning of man (Genesis 2:4-6). If you have not realized by now, this is not your typical “”the “bridge” illustration”” you’d find through research as shown below:
Which is some awesome content worth looking into! But I want to go further and deeper because this bridge stretches “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)…
…, from past to future, beginning…to end.
To get back where I’d left off. I think it’s important to note that Moses had a very important entrepreneurial trait, he was a risk taker. When realizing that the bush was not consumed by the fire could’ve reacted like “AWE HAIL NAW, NOPE, NOT HAPPEN-IN!” and ran away. But he didn’t do that; it was more like, “let me check this here awesome burning but not burnt bush out, mmm-kay.”. Funny aside, actually, and quite literally according to the NASB of Exodus 3:3—”I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”
WHAT IS A RISK YOU’VE TAKEN OR WOULD TAKE THAT HAS OR WOULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE? WRITE IT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
Take a risk with me now. For those of you who do not believe or are otherwise on the fence about believing in God, this is your burning bush moment. Your name is being called. Go meet God. Matter of fact, envision this:
You type “Go meet God” in your google maps (which could also be your nearest “Barnes & Noble” or “Half Price Books” that have Bibles available) and then hear my navigating voice upon your arrival at a Bible location, “you have arrived at your burning bush”. Get it, instead of “destinat…
Alright never-mind, that was weird, scratch that:
You type “Go meet God” in your google maps (which could also be your nearest “Barnes & Noble” or “Half Price Books” that have Bible’s available) and then hear my navigating voice upon your arrival at a Bible location, “you have arrived at your burning bush”. Get it, instead of “destinat…moving on.
But seriously. Take the risk to go meet God. Check out this link for the BibleGateway, or install the YouVersion bible app on your phone, find your nearest library or book store; it’s all at your finger tips, but read the Bible to hear the Word of God and listen with all that you are and everything you’ve got (heart, mind, soul, and strength). Why take the risk? You might ask. Because death pricks at the conscience of the living. Our life is an experience that feels on fire, yet not consumed. I believe that death bears testimony of a wrong doing in history where we as a created being of God missed the mark and are due justice. I also believe that God was completely prepared for such an event and that is where we’ll find Christ, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let this introduction of the bridge illustration peak your interest to discover your faith and take the risk to believe in the God of the Bible, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because without faith to believe, you will not understand what is to come. Thank you for reading the >introduction<! Now go meet God and I’ll hope your back for <part 1>!
Join me on Mt. Sinai with God and Moses to discover the beginning of our beginning. This is a very exhausting study but well worth the time and effort. In my Bible I learn that Moses is the author of the first five books also known as the Pentateuch. These books were more than likely written during the 40-year period of Israel’s wanderings in the desert: 1446—1406 BC
Note: the “BC” given after the calendar year (1446—1406 BC) means “Before Christ” but if you see “BCE” (nowadays), don’t be alarmed, it just means “Before Common Era“. (According to my research). The reasons surround appeasing those not Christian and an arguably inaccurate calculation of Jesus’ birth. It’s believed that Jesus Christ was born around 6—4 BC, which is why these labels (BCE/CE) “CE” for “Common Era” are being used today by many publications rather than (BC/AD) “AD” meaning “the year of the Lord” as it references a Latin phrase: annodomini (“the year of the Lord”—after Jesus was born.)
So why Moses? “God… Why Moses?”—A prayer guiding me through a lot of scripture to uncover the context of that time. Moses was beautiful in the sight of his mother and lovely in the sight of God. God heard the outcry of the sons of Israel at the time of their oppression in Egypt and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It’s time to organize the sons of Israel as God’s covenant people and Moses is the man God will be with to do it. It all points to Jesus Christ.
“17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” (Luke 10)
What demons are effecting you? I needed to read this again. The serpents and scorpions I face are but whispers of fleeting pleasures that distract me from my purpose. I ask myself, “How do I defeat them? There are so many.” The enemy whispers back, “here’s an idea…” And so here I am, stuck in this pattern of doubtful questions, my faith deteriorating. Revive me Lord, save me from this present evil, You are my salvation. Your blood alone is the ink of my name in the book of life. I will follow you, teach me by Your Spirit as you taught people in the time of your flesh. I love you. Amen.
Have you ever discovered the moment you’re awake at midnight with some coffee looking at a photo that is talking to you? That is where I’m at. When I first encountered this photo the word “maze” came to mind describing my immediate perception, but learned that this maze is called “Giant City” in Illinois. But aside from that information. This photo that speaks is, actually, not the one talking.
The very Person in my mind I think about when looking into this photo is Jesus Christ. But I don’t claim to see an image of a person I’ve never seen, nor do I claim to hear His voice having never heard what it sounds like. I claim to perceive Him. There are a number of different ways this photo is interpreted for bearing meaning in my life, but there is only one that will make a difference. The meaning of Jesus Christ. When I look at this photo I experience a walk with the Holy Spirit of God teaching me the truth about myself within the maze of this world. No matter the path this world has to offer, it is a path to death just as you see the paths presented in the photo, but there is a path you won’t see unless you perceive it. That path, is a path of faith.
To experience faith is to place your confidence in a promise that someone gives you.
I promise you, follow me and we’ll get out of this maze.
The question is whether you’ll believe in the promise even if the person that promised dies. That is what Jesus Christ—being the image of God as the Son of God—promised. He promised that He would be raised from the dead and resurrected to the right hand of God. That is recorded to have happened in history past, but is still a living promise today. The promise is for those that believe to be resurrected with Him right now, having been baptized with Christ as a symbol of obedience by repentance. You’ve chosen to acknowledge that all born from the seed of Adam are guilty of sin (lust, idolatry, and pride) and so convicted to the point of death that you place your trust in the promise of God. The grace of God is given through that promise of faith, you have mercy, not wrath. But if you do not believe in that promise, you have His wrath, not mercy.
So my purpose in the maze of this world is to plant a seed, a seed of promise. The promise that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Everyone is born into this life by the design of God, a design that was good corrupted by evil. So every person has had, has, and will have the opportunity to believe, ask the thief on the cross that died with Christ.
Nathan, a believer in the faith of God my Father and Christ Jesus my Lord writing after the example of ambition in the apostles,
To a world under the influence:
It has been written that the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that you might not see the image of God. This letter is being written with a prayer, hope, and warning for you to remove the veil that blinds your mind. In the conscience of an unbelieving soul affections are stirred to please oneself. There is a truth of conviction within that is rejected, because the conviction informs our conscience of right and wrong. Where does this conviction come from? There is a power of good and evil within the sphere of life we live, the unbelieving will choose a life of rejecting the truth because of our design incapable of fully grasping the understanding of God, Who is good. We turn from the prayer of God’s desire, that all would be saved, and choose a life of a god (“I don’t need saving”). As once an unbeliever myself, thought myself a believer deluded by the desire to sin. No different than the delusion of those who would call themselves a “good person”, but knew within wasn’t good by the standard of righteousness every soul is convicted of. I was too arrogant to think of myself as someone broken by a fault not my own. Evil would have my unbelief believe that there was no such thing as a faith that can give confidence at the judgement seat of Christ; that I can continue in a sin hidden to the naked eye, and not reap the punishment. Do not mistake the warning of Hell as a threat, but recognize the warning as an authority given to Christ Jesus. The image of God is the Spirit of Jesus Christ in the believer. Jesus Christ was resurrected by God with a new body, not the body that was slain on the cross. A Body that is a Spirit living in every believer, and that Spirit is transforming the body of a believer into a Body of the image of God. And so just as the Spirit of God in the flesh of His Son, Jesus was sacrificed for those who will believe; so to now is the body of believers being sacrificed by the preaching of the gospel as a reflection of the only true sacrifice for the salvation of a believing soul. Now is the time to believe, unbeliever. The grace and mercy of God are here at this time to be received through Christ the Lord, Jesus.
In the providence of God, I understand the—woman for man—to mean something beyond the mechanical act of reproduction (be fruitful and multiply). Because, why not just continue to make men as suitable helpers for maintaining the garden? And the simple truth, I believe, is… Love. Is not the personality and nature of God defined as Love? But, with that understanding… I also see an appropriation for the order and governance of that nature, because of—what is evil; meaning that every aspect of creation (until the enacted fruition of Lucifer) was in perfect harmony with God. But what happens in the event any part of creation attempts to become apart from the Creator—what becomes the nature of that ‘part’ of creation? Or… If any created *being* attempts to be as god apart from the true God, then… What becomes the nature of that god? Because there is only One True God that is defined as Holy, Good, Truth and Love. A nature apart from that God, is evil!
So, is it not appropriate for there to be … set consequences, a course that leads to Hell for that which is evil? Of which is automatically entrusted and determined by the True God? (Because believe me, I’d rather it be me condemned not to believe for the sake of every other person to believe and be saved). But that reasoning is a result of what God has done and is doing in me because of believing in His Word as transforming my character into the likeness and image of Jesus. Not because I’ve attained righteousness. But because of an actual relationship with an eternal God through time with His Son (Word of God), it may sound crazy, but Jesus is teaching me about the meaning of what is true.
What had happened in the heavens before that imperfect occurrence on Earth? An evil influence (desires) manifested from the hearts of angelic beings that are now imprisoned until the time of the end. But at the beginning there was only… Harmony. The pure and holy form of intimacy between God and Creation, Man and Woman, Groom (Christ) and Bride that produces the light [or experience] of life in perfect harmony with God as Love. Do we as finite beings assume God is not love and alone because we refuse to see and not believe the ordination of God by the nature of our imperfections? How else is creation going to understand the process of its making if not by the revelation of Jesus? I mean, come-on! How are babies made? So then how does creation exist? The reason she was called “Woman”, I believe, for three reasons:
Which, I think, these three combined produces an enlightenment to an intimate relationship with God. A woman is the answer to how our universe is expanding. The answer to every phenomenon and anomaly. The very Person of God functions as a marriage. An invisible God is manifested through the nature of creation (be fruitful and multiply). In more words… God is the nature of a perfect man and woman multiplying/producing the creation of everything. An invisible Spirit (seed) planted in the womb of Creation. And, it is by that nature of love, we exist! But this is only revealed by the name of Jesus because God calls Him, Son…
“23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age,…” Luke 3
Do you enjoy parallels? I very much enjoy parallels. And I have one I’d like to share but will require some action from you. Even if you don’t care for “parallels”… I’m confident this will be fascinating! Are you familiar with the fruit of an orange?
This fruit looks good and ready to eat, appealing to the eyes, expecting to provide nourishment. Because we’re knowledgeable “beings” can immediately identify the fruit in the image above. How long do you think I have before taking the first bite? Not long at all; a moment to decide, but seconds before… The “bite”. In a conversation with myself, it is not difficult to reject a fruit that is “forbidden”.
However, if that same fruit came from the hand of my wife. That changes everything. I trust my wife to give me good fruit. And, I’m all the more convinced that the fruit is good when she is sharing it from her hand. But what if my wife received the fruit based on a lie? What if the transaction for this fruit was accomplished by an evil agenda to get her husband’s life insurance? Or, too… Betray him with “wealth”, “wisdom”, and “power” by involving him on the “deal” that she previously made?
“Whoa!”. “What is this, I feel!?”. “I didn’t like you, but now… It’s real!”. “What is this… Chemistry? ‘It’s foreign.'”. “Where did it come from?”. “I see you, you see me.”. “Our mouths are not moving, but the truth ‘speaks’.”. “I’m convicted, ‘flee!’.”. “But the passion of my heart burns to see!”. “Who says ‘no’ to this ecstasy?”. “So where is my ‘angle’?”. “When is the time and how will I know?”. “This ‘taste’, to be liked.”. “I’m sought to be known!”. “The venom is piercing from vein to bone!”. “I’m losing control!”. “Help me, God!”. “There’s nowhere to go!”.
Adolescence, doesn’t seem to fit the profile of it’ definition. There is a period between puberty into maturity, but at what age is the point of maturity? Although I didn’t reach puberty until a junior in high school. I was educated by design that procreation was pleasure. I was not educated about the spiritual meaning. Marriage is a covenant. The pleasures of this life are fleeting. So I occupied myself with mischievous thoughts and fantasies of malpractice. I think our adolescent profiles need to change, or rather, become educated about the spiritual aspect to our adolescence. Reader, I’ll need your help if you agree. If we had been educated about the spiritual aspect of our changing nature and desire during youth could have prevented a series of mistakes that effect everything. But without you, Reader. Can a spec of dust effect the vast universe of particles? After all, that is all of what I am. A spec of dust; vapor in the wind (if you will), amidst the cosmic order of creation. So the purpose to influence a person or society with change is next to hitting the lottery, in comparison. What is the protocol for telling people about their salvation by way of Jesus Christ sending the Holy Spirit into their life? The “instruction manual” (Bible) for this procedure is very difficult to understand without someone to teach me the truth about my nature and desires. I’ll need help.
Have you ever been unexpectedly forgiven, loved and cherished after confessing certain truths about mistakes that were made? Knowing already, that the answer to your own question is “undeserving of forgiveness and justifiably deemed unworthy of deliverance from whatever the consequence”? I have been unexpectedly forgiven. Reader, my prayer is that you’ll know for yourself, “…have mercy on me, a sinner.”. My saint of a grandmother forgave me from what I deserved. Why? I didn’t deserve a place in her life. She had every right to send me on my way. But, she gave me life. It has been difficult for me to make sense of this. I’d taken advantage of her gift to care; shelter over my head, clothes on my back, food in my belly, and water to quench the flame. I “snuck” a lesbian[?] stripper into her home. And that is but one scenario among others to my shame. In the processes of my weaknesses; God granted me mercy, forgiveness, and is still healing me to His glory. I pray this post finds you in your struggle as not only telling you “I can relate”, but that Jesus related beyond relation to the extent of dying… experiencing this place of death although innocent. Sin is not worth the troubled whispers of lies that only prove a fearful expectation. There is an expected award for obedience which also means an expected consequence for disobedience. No different than our prisons in this life, am confident of a prison in the next. The church is the devils playground; salvation is the game, and vulnerability, his poise. I see more and more teachers, leaders, and preachers pressed to the limit of their heart’ desires and pride as “untouched by sin because of grace”. My spirit aches and mourns because of unconfessed sins. People that fear their own reputation instead of God.
Will the King of a palace say to his trusted counsel, -“Help! My ‘eye’ is on a woman that is not the Queen”-. And will the counsel dare reply the King, -“We will pluck that woman out, my King! It is a sin against God; turn from it, and be healed.”-. Now with the Spirit of God, the Secretary perceived the King’s desire and said to herself, -“God, how should I move, or should I? The King’s eye is upon me. What of my husband? ‘Would he listen or be willing to understand?’. And… what of our family?”-. This Secretary is the “breadwinner” of her family and the husband a stay at home dad. This King is good looking and could position this Secretary as Queen. The Queen says, -“God, my God, thank you for leaving Your palace for the sake of my salvation. Please teach me how You are to be honored in my marriage and position to this throne. Give my Husband the wisdom to lead as You have served.”. The palace of this kingdom has been compromised by lust but each character has a decision to be made. Every character is at risk of having to sacrifice something; reputation (eye), life, wealth, and love.
Reader, you are reading this post for a reason. I’m thankful for the relationship we can have even in this connection of “words on screen”. I’ve underestimated the power of escape that God provides through knowing His Son by way of the Holy Spirit. There is always an escape from the desire of sinful practice luring beneath the surface of our skin. There is a consequential experience (awakening) to a reality that was left covered for a reason. The mystery to life beyond the grave is real. My conscience has been torn and ripped apart too many times to sit around for a “well spoken of” reputation that remains enslaved to evil devices common to man. There is an escape! Because my God says so!
Hi, my name is Nathan. … “Since birth my life has been a winding river changing direction with no end in sight or ‘right’ turn to make. That-about-sums-it-up. Until next time. Peace be with you.”—
It’s funny, I’ve felt that as being heavily the case for this blog site and especially my life here recently. Thinking to myself, “How can a confused person write blogs about direction without direction?”. If you’re laughing? I’m “chuckling” with you in embarrassment, “brushing off the dust of my pride”. I’ve changed course to a new direction or rather, “the direction of my river has changed course by no power of mine“. If you’ve “stumbled” across this site as result of this post for the first time, it’s nice to meet you. Don’t run off. Consider exploring through the “menu”. If you’re familiar with this site, please consider revisiting the “menu items” and prepare to be inspired by the changes only a real God influences! We are seriously loved!
Reader, I have questions coming from way up high, “Left, no.. Right field! Right field”! What river path of life are you on? (You will get a glimpse of my path by investigating this site as an example but hope will discover my heart as true in the process?). Do you know the spiritual direction of your life? (I know that my spiritual direction has brought me to “here and now” writing to you.). Why has our courses clashed? (That is a theory that only one person in the world has proved.).
Are you willing to join me on a journey? Please, invite your family and bring your friends to explore your answers to these questions. Our journey will renew the mind and take us out of this world!