Monday on our zoom I was asked about the power of our imagination. It is true that our imagination is a powerful gift from God! The ability to SEE apart from our natural vision, WOW! Only God could put such a remarkable gift and ability IN us. But how did God intend for us to use this beautiful gift?
As kids we used our imagination all the time. When we read a book our imagination takes us to these faraway places and worlds and we get wonderfully lost in it. But specifically in regards to the FINISHED work, how can we draw from it the maximum benefit?
The word imagination in the Webster’s dictionary says: the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses; it is the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.
I think we get a better idea of imagination when we look at it in the Hebrew…
In Hebrew there are two words for imagination… yatsar and deemyon. The word yatsar is to form, fashion, and purpose. It is to squeeze into shape as a potter does with clay. The word deemyon means resemblance, likeness, similarity. The root of the word is damah which we see in Genesis 1:27 – we were created in His image and also according to His likeness (damah).
The ability of our mind to be creative and resourceful, to form images, and concepts not present to the senses is an amazing gift of God IN us! But what does that look like when it comes to imagining this FINISHED life? Are we to imagine things such as cars, houses, discounts, wealth, being healed of sickness and disease, etc., and then wait for them to manifest? Or is there a better use of our imagination that instead of imagining things, uses our imagination to form images, concepts, and new ideas in regards to our identity? Because once that happens, we no longer wait for a manifestation but rather rest in the KNOWING that we have been given (already!) ALL things pertaining to life and godliness… that we lack nothing!! The more our imagination operates in that area (of identity), the more we simply rest and abide in what is already ours… no longer striving to SEE a manifestation.
I believe we are to use our imagination using the mind of Christ and SEEING (or imagining) in us what He sees. And our mind renews as it co-imagines with Him, and like a potter, we begin to form (yatsar) images, ideas, and concepts by SEEING Him and as a result, SEEING who we really are as image and likeness (damah) of Him. He is whole and complete… therefore we are whole and complete. He is co-seated and we are co-seated. And our mind’s eye (our imagination) begins to SEE these truths about our identity.
In this use of our imagination, we are no longer seeing from a place of lack. In other words, we are no longer seeing that we are sick and IF we can just imagine good health, or imagine Jesus healing us, THEN we will manifest healing. NO….. we see His image and know we are the same image. There is no sickness because His image is whole so therefore we are whole! We are not seeing that we are struggling financially and IF we can imagine being wealthy, getting a new job, receiving a check in the mail, etc., THEN we will manifest these things. NO… the real power of imagination is seeing His image… He is abundant and prosperous in ALL things… therefore we are abundant and prosperous in ALL things!
The powerful ability of imagination is not IF and THEN language! This becomes striving and works. It’s all about us and our ability.
The key to imagination is: HE is and THEREFORE I am language! This is rest! It’s all about HIm and what He has done for us, and as us. And from that place of rest the manifestation of our FULL, FINISHED inheritance is effortless.
IT IS FINISHED Workbook Volume 1 – Understanding Paul
It is now available for purchase on etsy for $15.99. This workbook is a downloaded e-book. I’ve designed this workbook to be used in tandem with my book, IT IS FINISHED. Although it can also stand on its own without the book.
It isn’t designed as a “follow along” in the book. The information in the workbook goes deeper into subjects that I didn’t have room for in the book!
For example, chapter 1 in the book is Understanding Paul and in this workbook, we dive into the mystery of the Gospel and what Paul meant by “my Gospel.” In other words, what defined Paul’s Gospel.
In this workbook, we look at the Introduction, Preface, and chapter 1 of IT IS FINISHED. This workbook is a 5-week interactive workbook that invites your personal participation. Each week contains 5 daily lessons
You can message me to order and pay through Paypal and I will send you an email download.
Here’s a freebie chapter from my book I AM HEALED. This is the good news of the Gospel…. EVERY enemy has been defeated and stripped of ALL power 100%!!
Most believers in the church are passionate about being “soldiers for Christ” and about being diligent in warfare. I was one of them. But I let that go a few years ago and haven’t looked back. And as a result, I have experienced such beautiful freedom! Freedom from fear and from striving. However, I am not writing this chapter to tell you what to believe regarding spiritual warfare. I simply want to challenge you to make your understanding of IT IS FINISHED bigger than it is right now. Because as it gets bigger, what you currently believe about warfare will change. Peter said in 2 Peter 3:18 that we are to grow or increase in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
We should continually be growing in what we know to be true about Jesus and what He FINISHED for us and as us.
In previous chapters, we looked at the word FINISHED or tetelestai in Greek and saw that it was a loud battle cry to lay your weapons down and go home because the war was over. It was the loud declaration that the enemy had been COMPLETELY defeated. It was a FINAL and FULL victory! Warfare can only take place between two undefeated foes. But once an enemy has been CONQUERED, the war is over, and there is peace. Jesus conquered all enemies, and the war is over.
It is FINISHED… such beautiful, COMPLETE, and FINAL words of our victory IN Christ. Abba said similar words in Genesis when He declared, “It is VERY GOOD”, or in Hebrew, “TOV MEOD!”
Tov meod is the best of the best of the best… and better than the absolute best of the best!
The word tov is good in Hebrew and means good, beautiful, and working the way it was designed to function. It is a word meaning whole and complete. The root of the word is tet-bet and means to prepare something to receive. The ancient root of tov is the house surrounded by grace, beauty, love, health, and prosperity.
We are His house, and we were created with a life of grace, beauty, love, and prosperity. He prepared this earth good, beautiful, prosperous, and working the way it was supposed to. He created it complete and whole. He prepared it FINISHED for his son, Adam, to simply receive. Adam was created to rule and reign in a FINISHED environment… merely reigning in a life of grace, beauty, love, and prosperity.
David is an example of a father who also prepared something good and complete for his son to receive. He, as a type of Christ, establishes his kingdom by prevailing over ALL enemies. He prepared a victorious kingdom for his son, Solomon, to receive. And Solomon’s reign was peaceful and quiet from enemies (1 Chronicle 22:9). It was an undisturbed kingdom. He had rest from his enemies on EVERY side. He did not have a single enemy to contend with. Peace surrounded him.
The word peace is shalom, meaning favor, good health, prosperity, completeness. The word’s root is shalem and means finished, complete, and safe in body, mind, and estate. It is to be completed, restored, and made WHOLE!
Quiet entirely surrounded Solomon! The word quiet is shaqat and means to be undisturbed, still, at rest! This was Solomon’s kingdom to be enjoyed. There was no battle or warfare needed. He was simply able to enjoy and delight in everything. It was a dominion of rest. It was a FINISHED kingdom prepared for Solomon to enjoy with absolutely no threat of enemies.
Jesus gave us a FINISHED kingdom to enjoy with no threat of enemies.
But we’ve been very demon or enemy-conscious as Christians. Thinking we’re always in a supernatural battle against evil forces. Believing an enemy attacks us when we are out of the will of God. And also believing that he attacks us when we are in the will of God and need to be stopped from advancing the kingdom. Both beliefs produce either condemnation or self-righteousness in our thinking.
Our life is not lived on a battlefield. Our life is a kingdom of VICTORY! The battle has already been won! FINISHED!
And so, instead of being demon or devil-conscious and warfare focused, we need to be FINISHED conscious! Victory conscious!
Because the enemy was 100% COMPLETELY defeated and stripped and rendered completely powerless two thousand years ago!
The pagan nations of the Old Testament were very demon and devil-conscious. And unfortunately, some of these ancient pagan beliefs aren’t much different from things we believe in Christianity today. Israel had absorbed the religious beliefs of the nations around them and mixed them with their belief in God. For example, Numbers 25:3 says that Israel yoked herself, or joined herself, to Baal-peor (a Canaanite god). Defense against evil spirits was a big concern in ancient pagan nations. To them, a demon was an evil god, and they had different classes and levels of demons. They also believed that sickness came from demonic possession. The demons carried the name of the specific sickness they brought, such as a headache demon, fever demon, etc. Canaanite demonology had a demon who had two horns and a tail. And much of the pagan magic of these ancient religions were for protection, to keep demons away, or to expel them. The Israelites also believed that demons lived in deserts or ruins, inflicted sickness upon people, troubled men’s minds, and deceived them. The only difference between Israel’s beliefs and the pagan nations’ beliefs was that the Israelites believed the Lord sent these demons or evil spirits. It was during their times of captivity that Israel began co-mingling their belief about God with these false, pagan religious beliefs.
So, why so much warfare in the body of Christ if the enemy was defeated and stripped of ALL power two thousand years ago?
Because we’ve been taught to believe that we have an enemy named Satan that opposes God, and therefore opposes us and is continually attacking us. But in the Hebrew Bible, the word satan was never used as a proper name. It was merely a term used to identify an adversary. In the Hebrew Bible, there was no “Satan” with a capital S. In early Hebrew traditions, there was no devil, demons, or hell. Judaism doesn’t believe in satan as Christians do. They describe satan as one who works for God, a messenger doing the Lord’s bidding as an adversary. It is not a prince of darkness but a flesh and blood human opponent or an angel of the Lord as in Numbers 22. But by the time the book of Job came about, early in the Second Temple period (around 2,500 years ago), we can see that satan is developing into an evil being.
It’s only in the English Bibles where satan is written with a capital S. In the Hebrew Bibles, it is ha’satan or the adversary. And in Job and Zechariah, ha’satan or the adversary is described as a member of God’s heavenly court, a kind of prosecutor.
The one and only time in the Hebrew Bible that satan is used as a proper name is in the Book of Chronicles. He appears in revisions of the books of Samuel, Kings, and Book of Chronicles. All probably dated to the late 4th or early 3rd century B.C. This was the period when the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, and the word used for the noun satan was diabolos meaning one who slanders or accuses. The English Bibles translated this word diabolos as Devil (with a capital D). This was also when the books of the Watchers, Enoch, Jubilees, etc., were written. They were not part of the canon of the Bible, but they were popular at the time. These books contain hordes of evil demons and a chief leader or demon who oppose God and oversees a group of fallen angels who spread evil throughout the world.
How did the Jews of this time come up with the idea of a chief demon responsible for evil?
One rabbi says, “The ancient world struggled with the coexistence of good and evil, and so they hypothesized a kind of demonic, divine force that was responsible for evil, arising out of the notion that a good god could not be responsible for bad things.”
But they didn’t come up with this idea all on their own. Remember, they co-mingled the beliefs of the ancient, pagan nations around them with their own belief in God. Ending up with a warped, distorted view of God and the world around them. In this case, they picked it up from their Persian captors, who ruled over the entire Middle East from 539 to 330 B.C.
The Persian religion was Zoroastrianism which envisioned the universe as a battleground between two opposing supreme gods Ahura Mazda, the “wise lord,” and Angra Mainyu, the “destructive spirit.”
And Zoroastrianism influenced both Judaism and Christianity and continues to influence our beliefs today. And in our Christian Bibles, the Hebrew word satan evolved into the Antichrist — God’s antithesis, who is behind all evil and is the master of hell. Then English translations of the Bible began capitalizing the S in satan and the D in devil, making it a proper noun as in an evil entity. But the devil is diabolos in Greek and isn’t used as a proper noun. It isn’t even a noun at all but rather an adjective. And in the Septuagint, it is used for verses about satan, such as in Job. It means slandering or accusing, not THE Slanderer or THE Accuser. The exception to that is three different occasions where it talks about human behavior and calls the person a false accuser (noun). But nowhere in Scripture is it talking about a demonic entity that we call the Devil. And in Ephesians 6, where our translations say, “the fiery darts of the evil one,” that isn’t a noun either. The evil one is an adjective describing the darts… evil darts.
Devil or diabolos comes from a compound word. It is dia which means because or through, and ballo, meaning to cast down. It is referring to the cast-down condition mankind suffered in because of Adam’s fall. It is the fallen mindset of humanity.
Why is all this important?
Because if we don’t understand where these concepts and ideas came from, we will think they are true. Thinking they came from God when in reality, they are men’s own distorted thoughts.
And so, these pagan nations of the Old Testament believed spirits were evil spirits, and Israel believed these evil spirits that were sent by God.
But what does the Bible say about spirits?
Throughout Genesis, the word spirit referred to either the Spirit of God and the life, the spirit of man, and the soul’s emotions. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the LORD God formed the man out of the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.” God breathed the Breath of Life into man, and he became a living being. A living being is chayah nephesh or a soul alive. The word nephesh means soul, life, person. It includes desires, appetites, emotions. It’s our inner man who is comprised of spirit and soul (mind, will, emotions, and conscience).
So, in Genesis, when a spirit is mentioned, it refers to God’s spirit, or man’s spirit or soul. And then there are a few Scriptures it is referring to wind. When it is talking about the Spirit of God, it is connected to creating (Genesis 1:2), intimate fellowship with mankind (Genesis 3:8), and the breath of life in His creation (Genesis 7:15,22).
And then the first time we see the word spirit in connection with man, it refers to his mind and emotions.
In Genesis 26:35, we see the word spirit translated mind referring to Isaac and Rebekah’s grief of mind. Esau had married foreign wives, and Isaac and Rebekah’s MINDS were grieved or bitter.
It was an emotion of the soul, not a “spirit of grief. “
Then we see in Genesis 41:8 Pharaoh’s spirit was troubled. So, he called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men including astrologers and men skilled in those types of things. He was troubled and anxious. It was an emotion of his soul. And in a pagan nation, the cure for these soul emotions (translated spirit) is to call on magicians, sorcerers, and astrologers.
In Exodus 6:9 it says that the children of Israel wouldn’t listen to Moses because of “a broken spirit.” He was telling them that God was going to deliver them from the bondage of Egypt and bring them into the Promised Land. It says that they can’t hear Moses because “their spirit had been broken” because of cruelty and bondage — slave labor. We can see that having a broken spirit, was their feelings of discouragement and despondency. And it interfered with their ability to hear and respond to Abba’s goodness. It also affected their minds. Producing feelings and thoughts of despair, hopelessness, and discouragement. 400 years of slavery, which included hard, brutal physical labor and being immersed in a pagan culture (that worshipped over 2000 gods and was known as the mother of magic), affected their inner man.
It affected their spirit which was their soul emotions.
In Numbers 5:14 is another mention of the word spirit. But instead of describing soul emotions as we saw above with Isaac and Pharaoh and the children of Israel, it is now referred to as a “spirit OF something.” It said that a “spirit of jealousy” came upon a husband, and he accused his wife of adultery. So, he took her before the priest, who made her drink bitter ink water and then ash water. And if her belly swelled up and her thigh rotted, then she was guilty of adultery! Seriously?! All of this is presented in verse 11 as Yahweh, or I AM spoke unto Moses saying it!
Personally, I think Moses brought these things over from his life in Egypt!
Because in Egypt, the rivers or waters were considered to have magical powers, and adulterous women were thrown into them. If she drowned, then she was guilty. What an incredible, crazy idea! So, we have to read this account in Numbers 5 and conclude that NO, this was NOT the Lord saying this; it had to be Moses!
Those verses in Numbers 5 are filled with aleph tavs all through it. Aleph tavs are prophetic pointers to the FINISHED work of the cross. In our English Bibles, it is untranslatable. And in Hebrew grammar, it is used as a direct object marker. I believe it is a direct object marker in the sense that it’s directly pointing out Jesus as the object of verses.
Aleph and tav are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, just like the Greek letters alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet. Jesus is the Aleph and the Tav, the Alpha and Omega.
The rabbis interpret it as the first matter out of which all things were formed.
In word pictures, aleph tav is strength and cross… the strength or power of the cross. It’s like a marker or a signpost in a verse where God is saying, “STOP! I put the aleph tav (the mark of the power of the cross) here so that you will remember to read this through the lens of the FINISHED work of Christ.”
These prophetic pointers (את) sprinkled through these verses are saying, “Hey… look at Jesus! He’s the only One who intimately knew the Father! And these verses we are reading in Numbers 5, is NOT the nature of Abba that Jesus revealed. In the Gospels, a woman caught in adultery is brought and thrown before Jesus. He didn’t demand that she be thrown in a river or be commanded to drink ink and ash water. NO! He revealed the Father’s heart toward her — Mercy and Love!
Acts 7:22 says that Moses was instructed with ALL the wisdom of Egypt. All means ALL! All would’ve included training in the magic arts, and perhaps some of it was still a part of his thinking.
Paul didn’t call jealousy a spirit. He called jealousy, as well as adultery, a work of the flesh in Galatians 5. He also called witchcraft and idolatry a work of the flesh.
And this prescription for determining the woman’s guilt or innocence in Numbers 5 was definitely witchcraft which is merely a work of the flesh!
So, you can see that man’s spirit is affected by his mind (thoughts) and emotions. And, understandably, 400 years of bondage to a pagan nation could cause the Israelites to believe in spirits OF this or that, making them entities. And how the cures for these spirits resembled the magic practiced in these pagan religions. Practices that we could call witchcraft or, as Paul called it, a work of the flesh — not a demonic work!
And it’s easy to see that some of our beliefs in modern Christianity about spiritual warfare and demonology are rooted in pagan religious beliefs of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.
We say that we believe that Jesus defeated the enemy. But our need to enforce that victory through constant warfare says that we don’t believe it was a FINISHED defeat.
But, just exactly how FINISHED is FINISHED regarding spiritual warfare?
Isaiah 40:2: “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.” He said to speak kindly to Jerusalem. It literally says, speak to Jerusalem’s heart. Jerusalem was the dwelling place of God. We are the NEW Jerusalem. What was to be spoken to Jerusalem’s heart (to her thoughts and feelings)?
Her warfare is ended!
The word warfare is tsaba, meaning warfare, army, and battle. The root means to wage war. The word ended is mala, meaning fulfilled; completed; FINISHED!
The last phrase, “double for all her sins,” is not saying that God has punished Jerusalem double what her sins required. This is a reference to an Eastern custom. If a man owed a debt he could not pay, his creditor would write the amount of the debt on paper and nail it to the front door of the man’s house so that everyone passing would see that here was a man who had not paid his debts. But if someone paid the debt for him, then the creditor would double the paper over and nail it to the door as a testimony that the debt had been fully paid.
This is a beautiful picture in Isaiah 40 announcing to Israel as a nation that in the death and resurrection of their Messiah the debt they thought they owed has been fully paid. Their warfare was over, all “assumed” debts were paid, they were free to live in peace and security!
Warfare, armies, battles, and waging any type of war has been completed and FINISHED by Jesus! We reign in peace. We reign in a FINISHED, undisturbed kingdom of rest.
There was a real enemy against man. Genesis 3 says that the serpent deceived Eve. She believed the false accusation that she wasn’t like God. Paul wrote about it in 2 Corinthians 11:3, saying, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Eve was seduced. She was thoroughly deceived.
Her mind became corrupted because she believed a lie about herself.
She and Adam believed the lie that they were not entirely made in the image of God. And when they embraced that lie — a false perception of themselves — their perception of God changed. They no longer saw God as He truly was, a loving Father who was passionate about them. That perception caused them to think they were separated from God. Colossians 1:21 says, “And you, that were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled.”
The perception that they were alienated, and enemies of God was in their minds only.
There are different words in the New Testament to describe this enemy… satan, devil, adversary, thief, etc. I would suggest you look them up and read them in context to see what the writers are referring to. Rather than just automatically thinking it refers to a demonic agent against you that you need to battle. For example, the thief in John 10:10 is called the enemy but refers to the Pharisees’ false teachings, not a devil or satan! And read the verse you believe is about warfare in context, considering who the writer is talking to. And reading it through a lens of it is FINISHED.
For example… Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12 that he was to fight the good fight of faith. In context, 1 Timothy is talking about false teachings that were going around.
The word fight refers to a struggle in the soul (mind, will, and emotions). It is from the root word ago.
I got excited when I saw that the root word fight is ago! It is one of my favorite words.
And right there in the root meaning of the word fight (or struggling in the soul) is the answer of how to fight. This root word ago means in Greek to lead. It is equivalent to the Hebrew word nachal, which also means lead AND rest. The more literal meaning of the word is a combination of both of these ideas. It is to lead one to a place of rest.
Christ has already fought and won the fight for us, and as us! He has already led us to a place of rest… co-seated with Him. You don’t need to do warfare because IN HIM, you have ALREADY won the battle. His victory is already YOUR victory! There is no enemy to fight. This is simply a call to rest in what He FINISHED!
As we begin to understand that it is FINISHED and know that He has led us to a position of rest, then these soul struggles (in our minds, will, and emotions) won’t be a struggle at all. Because we will realize that He has brought us to the place of rest where nothing is required on our part. And our testimony is always it is FINISHED! 2 Corinthians 2:14 says, thanks be to God who ALWAYS, and AT ALL TIMES, is leading us in triumph. Leading in triumph is to publicly exalt the victor who leads the victory procession and putting the conquered enemy on display — exhibiting him as totally defeated. We are the victors! We lead the victory procession, publicly revealing the enemy as COMPLETELY DEFEATED! No warfare is necessary because it is a defeated enemy.
And FINISHED means just that — FINISHED!
The enemy was conquered, not just confronted and rebuked. The only power the enemy has over anybody now is through deception, through lies. But understand, it’s an imaginary power, not a real power. It’s not a power of any substance — it’s only a power that exists in the imaginations and minds. It exists only in distorted, darkened thinking of those who don’t fully understand the FINISHED work of Jesus Christ and their identity IN Him.
But, if you still think you need to do spiritual warfare against an enemy’s attacks, consider this verse in Isaiah.
Isaiah 35:8–9 describes our new life IN Christ as an eternal highway of holiness. And verse 9 says, “No lion shall be (exist, arise, appear, continue) there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up (reach, invade) there on, it shall not be found (be able, come forth, appear, take hold) there; but the redeemed shall walk there.”
The word ravenous is parits in Greek, meaning violent, vicious, robbers (thieves), and destroyers. The root means to breakthrough.
Colossians 3 tells us that our life is hidden with Christ IN God. Being hidden in God means that no ravenous beast, no enemy, can break through or invade our life. Nothing is invading Jesus, And AS He is so AM I, therefore, nothing invades me either! This place of understanding is the highway of holiness that Isaiah talked about. The high place where no enemy, nothing unclean, and no ravenous beast will be there. We were raised with Him, IN Him, and are co-seated far above all powers and principalities in this world. Living in a time and space earth life that is engaged in the eternal now throne room thinking.
It is an awareness of the spirit realm that is more real than the natural, earthly realm we walk in.
There is no lion or ravenous beast on this highway… no enemy to be found! Nor shall any enemy go up on it. Highways in the Old Testament were designed for ease of travel, unhindered because ALL obstacles have been removed. A highway is a road built up and raised above its surroundings.
It is an understanding of being raised up IN Christ — an awareness of our co-seated-ness IN Him.
And only the redeemed (ALL mankind) are on this highway.
The ancient root of the word redeemed means dancing in a circle. It’s the picture of this beautiful eternal dance of oneness… of Father, Son, Spirit, and ALL humanity dancing together! Twirling about in Divine union. They in us and us in Them… living, laughing, and loving undisturbed AS ONE!
So, as we go higher in our thinking, we realize we are truly hidden with Christ in God. This is our dwelling place. To dwell in Hebrew means to sit down. It is a position of rest.
This is where we realize there is no enemy to battle because Jesus defeated ALL enemies.
It’s not a high place where the enemy is not allowed to touch us. It’s the high place where we realize there is no enemy! From God’s perspective, he no longer exists because he was totally, completely destroyed! And it’s not the high place where we must use our faith to get there. It’s the high place where we realize it’s where we have always been. And because it’s FINISHED, we can’t be unseated. Ephesians 2:6 says that we are co-seated with Him in heavenly places. We died with Him, were buried with Him, resurrected with Him, ascended with Him, and we were seated with Him. None of it was our doing; it was all Him. All of those are aorist indicative — past tense facts! FINISHED! And, they are in the active voice, which means the subject of the sentence is performing the action. The subject of the sentence is Jesus. He raised you up, and He seated you in the heavenly realms, with Him, and IN Him. All that is needed is to simply change our thinking.
Paul in 1 Timothy 1:18 describes what good warfare or ideal warfare looks like.
It says, “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare…” And verse 19 says, “holding faith and a good conscience.” Whose faith are we holding? His faith. It’s always about His faith in us! Galatians 2:20: “this life I now live, I live BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD.” Understanding that it is His faith IN us takes the pressure off us to have great faith or try to increase our faith. It’s his faith IN us… just like it’s His strength, His peace, His wisdom, etc.… it’s HIS FATH! So, we hold His faith IN us, and that’s the faith we live by. And then it says and a good conscience.
The word conscience is suneidesis which is two words, sun meaning together with, and eido, meaning to see and know. It is a co-knowing and a co-seeing.
We hold or echo His faith, co-knowing, and co-seeing with Him, from where we are co-seated with Him. It goes on to say in accordance with the prophecies. Revelation 19:10 says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
What is the testimony of Jesus?
IT IS FINISHED!
Paul is telling Timothy (and us) that the good warfare we wage regarding the prophecies that were made about us is the report of the FINISHED work of Jesus. It is resting in His faith and co-knowing and co-seeing with Him.
In Exodus 14:13 it says, “And Moses said unto the people, ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.’”
Here we see a picture of the children of Israel being delivered out of bondage. Their enemy (the Egyptians — a type of death) was COMPLETELY defeated.
Never to be seen again.
The word see is raah, meaning to see, experience, perceive, and think. 1 Corinthians 2:16 says we have the mind of Christ. The Amplified version says we hold His thoughts, purposes, and intents of His heart.
Our minds are not a battlefield… we have HIS mind.
And as we believe that, our minds will begin to reflect His thoughts, purposes, and intents of His heart. And our minds will be thinking FINISHED thoughts. We have been given an eternally SECURE victory.
Hebrews 2:6–8 says, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.”
Sometimes in life, it doesn’t seem like we walk in the victory that is ours. It doesn’t look like everything is always under our feet. However, verse 9 says, “but we see Jesus!” The word see is blepo, meaning to observe and watch carefully.
By observing Him, seeing Him as He is — we see ourselves!
Jesus not only destroyed the enemy. He also destroyed the works. 1 John 3:8 says, “For this reason, the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” The word devil here isn’t a noun but an adjective. It is a word describing the noun. It is diabolos and means through falling or through being cast down.
It has to do with accusation.
The fall came through the accusation that Adam and Eve were not already just like God. That is what is being said through the Greek word devil. It is not a demonic entity with two horns, a tail, and a pitched fork! It’s the accusation of the lie that we are not already like God.
The word works is erga in Greek, meaning tasks, actions, a deed, or activity carried out, behaviors, labors, business. It means doing.
There is nothing this devil can do to us because Jesus COMPLETELY destroyed ALL the devil’s works — ALL the accusations, behaviors, labors, experiences, ALL the doings that came out of the fallen mindset, the sacrificial system, etc.
For those still having a difficult time letting go of the idea you’ve had of satan or the devil, that’s ok. You can continue to have your understanding of who or what the enemy is. But what is important is knowing that Jesus COMPLETELY DESTROYED ALL HIS WORKS! He can’t attack you. And he can’t lie to you, deceive you, lead you astray, plot against you, inflict disease/sickness, or cause division in your life. He can’t do anything! Why not? Because ALL his “doing” was completely destroyed!
What does a chapter on warfare as a FINISHED work have to do with a book on healing?
Everything! Because if we think we still have an enemy that we must war against or a mind that is a battleground, then we won’t realize that we are whole and complete. That we were healed two thousand years ago! We will always see sickness and disease as an attack by an unseen enemy, and we will see health as something we can lose. But IT IS FINISHED! The I AM is healed and whole, so, therefore, we are healed and whole! Because as He is, so are we in this world!
The key is waking up to who we already are sons, victors, ruling and reigning FROM a seated position of rest… a FINISHED position of FULL VICTORY.
John says in 1 Jn 4:17, “As He is, so are we in this world!” He is seated. He is not still arming Himself against a defeated enemy. And we are seated with Him.
So why are we still arming ourselves against an enemy who was 100% defeated two thousand years ago?
We are co-seated VICTORS. We reign in an undisturbed kingdom of peace.
And the LORD said unto her, “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”~ Genesis 25:23
I have to confess Rebekah wasn’t always my favorite woman in Scripture. I thought she was a manipulative, controlling woman who deceived her husband and favored one child over the other. But a few years ago, as I was working on my Proverbs 31 Bible study and looking at all of these different women, I began to see her differently. Abba introduced me to his daughter Rebekah, a woman He knew intimately. He let me see her through His knowledge of her. And I began to see her as a beautiful, courageous, grace-filled woman, a woman concerned with and passionate about the plans of God for her family.
Rebekah’s name in Hebrew is Riv’qah. The name means “to tie fast” or “secure,” just as a calf is “secured” in the “stall.” The name denotes merely a tying up of cattle, both for their own protection, the establishment of their home, and to keep them from wandering off. Already in just the meaning of her name we see a woman who is protective about those in her care. Just as her mother in law Sarah was. I’m sure Isaac noticed the resemblance!
There is so much in this story of Rebekah and Isaac. In fact, Chapter 24, which talks about Abraham’s servant finding a wife for Isaac, is the longest chapter in Genesis. But today, I want to just look at Genesis 25:23, which talks about Rebekah’s pregnancy. We’ll save chapter 24 for a post on another day! We find out in Genesis 25 that Rebekah was barren and had been for 20 years. Twenty in the Bible symbolizes redemption. And this truly is a story of redemption….. of protecting the lineage of the Redeemer.
After conceiving, her pregnancy was not an easy one. The Bible says the babies struggled within her. The Hebrew word used is ratsats and means to crush or oppress. It’s a violent word. I’ve had 4 babies, and they all moved around a lot while I was pregnant and occasionally kicked really hard, but it wasn’t violent… I can’t even imagine what that must’ve felt like.
Our English Bibles have her saying, “Why is this happening to me?” And what we can hear in that is a complaint… such as, why me God? What did I do to have such a difficult pregnancy? I waited so long to finally conceive, and now my pregnancy is very hard! She was not complaining or questioning her situation. In Hebrew, it says something more like, “Why do I exist?” Rebekah felt the violent struggle happening in her womb, and she understood this to be a Divine destiny moment that would include her co-participation with God.
And so, it says, Rebekah inquired of Yahweh.
There are two words for inquire in Hebrew. One is bakash which means to request something desired. And the other is darash which means to search carefully for something, examine, or investigate. Rebekah wasn’t just asking God why her pregnancy was so complicated and violent. There is an aleph tav between the words inquire and Yahweh. The aleph tav means the power or strength of the cross. She was inquiring of Yahweh regarding the destiny of these two sons. How they fit in His covenant plan. The word darash also means to tread or frequent a place by regular visitation. It means to seek repeatedly. It is to tread a beaten path. Rebekah had a regularly worn path between her and Yahweh! She was not just seeking an answer to a question in prayer. And she was not requesting anything from Him. We also see that in the phrase she went (to inquire). It is the word halak, and one of its meanings is a lifestyle, a manner of life, to live. This was her way of life! She wasn’t an idol worshipper as her family had been; she worshipped Yahweh. She was a regular Covenant seeker, a seeker of His Divine destiny in her life.
This is the first time a woman is mentioned as inquiring of the Lord. That tells us a lot about Rebecca’s relationship with God. She obviously had an intimate relationship with God and wanted to hear what He had to say on the matter. She KNEW Yahweh. She trusted what He would say to her.
He told her that she had two nations at war in her womb. He said they would be divided from birth….two nations, two kingdoms. The Hebrew word for nations is goyim; it is listed twice, side by side, which is referring to both Jewish and Gentile nations. The Jewish nation of Israel will be from Jacob, and the Gentile nation will be from Esau (later the nation of Edom).
Romans 9:10-13 emphasizes the importance of God’s word to Rebekah. Before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad, “in order that God’s purpose in election might stand, not by works but by him who calls she was told, The older will serve the younger. Just as it is written: I loved but Esau I hated.” The LORD’s choice (or destiny) of Jacob, the younger, to inherit His covenant promise was made before the boys were even born. This showed that the choice/destiny did not depend on what either did. This was not about birth order but rather Divine election. Jacob’s destiny was to produce the lineage that the Deliverer would come….to be an heir of the Promise (Hebrews 11:9).
Proverbs 31 says, “Eishet chayil mi yimtza?” “A woman of valor who can find?” The word chayil, generally translated as “valor” or “noble,” is nearly identical to the Hebrew word chayal, meaning “soldier.” The woman of valor is, first and foremost, a soldier. She is strong, competent, and loyal to her family, those whom she protects. This was Rebekah! She was strong, determined, thoughtful, and protective of her family! She was a woman who regularly inquired of Yahweh, seeking His direction and guidance. Should she have tricked Isaac? I don’t know. I wasn’t there. I don’t know what I would’ve done in her shoes. She was protecting the lineage of the Seed at all costs. She was determined to agree with God.
And truly, was the blessing actually stolen by Jacob? Esau had already given up his birthright…. he had already handed it over to Jacob. Shouldn’t he have told Isaac that? Had this moment come because Rebekkah hadn’t shared the prophetic destiny of the sons with her husband that now Isaac would tragically interfere with that Divine destiny? The Bible says that Isaac’s eyes were too dim to see. The word eyes is ayin in Hebrew and represents perception and knowledge. It says his perception and knowledge, his understanding had become dim or weak and darkened. His love for Esau had made his perception unclear or weak.
Had Rebekah made a mistake not sharing with Isaac all God had said? Again, it’s hard to say. I believe that in courage and fierce determination, Rebekah did what needed to be done for her family, the lineage of the Seed, and what was clearly God’s will. Isaac did not get angry at Rebekah or Jacob. In the aftermath, he understood that Rebekah had been correct and that his assessment had been wrong all along. Jewish tradition teaches that when the Bible says “Isaac trembled violently” after discovering he had been tricked, it was not because he was angry. But because he realized that he had been terribly mistaken.
For so long, I saw Rebekah as a mother who favored one child over the other. I didn’t see her love for Esau. The sages explain that Rebekah understood that if she told Isaac what God had revealed to her about the nature of their sons, he would automatically withdraw from Esau and possibly send him away. She allowed Isaac to love Esau! I love that! Rebekah understood that whatever nation emerged from Esau could only gain from having its origins in the home of Isaac…. from Esau experiencing the love and admiration of his father! It’s possible that because Isaac was not included in knowing his sons’ prophetic destinies, Esau experienced a father who believed in him. I believe he experienced the love of the Father through his father because of Rebekah.
Rebecca understood the importance of God’s word to her. She chose what God had already chosen. But His choosing wasn’t one of blessing and cursing, loving and hating. His choosing was a pre-election of Divine Grace for one to be the lineage for the Seed. He loved and chose both Esau and Jacob… and had a plan for each man (Ephesians 1:4). But there would be a dividing of these nations UNTIL THE FULLNESS OF TIME came, and Jesus Christ would make the two groups ONE new man IN Him, and the dividing wall would be forever torn down.
Maybe like me, you’ve often seen Rebekah through a negative lens… as manipulative and deceitful. I hope this has caused you to see her through Abba’s eyes as His beautiful, courageous, faithful daughter.
In Luke 4 we are told that Jesus went into the synagogue to read from the book of Isaiah and they were offended with His gracious words… they were offended with His words of grace. Why? Because His words INCLUDED the Gentiles. Grace INCLUDED the outsiders of THEIR covenant with THEIR God! And then Jesus reminds them of God’s goodness towards two specific Gentiles. Two who were according to them “intrinsically impure” outsiders… the widow of Sidon and Naaman the Syrian.
God’s heart has ALWAYS been for ALL people and for EVERY nation… Jews AND Gentiles. He doesn’t have insiders and outsiders. He only has SONS!!
Or to put that into language we understand and speak in the church today… God doesn’t see believers AND unbelievers, church people and worldly people, or even saints and sinners… He only sees SONS!!
Jesus tells them that there were MANY widows in Israel and a great famine in the land, BUT God sent Elijah to minister grace and provision to an unclean Gentile widow in a place that was FULL of idolatry and rebellion. This was absolutely offensive to them! And then His next example was not just offensive, but absolutely impossible to their natural carnal reasonings! Jesus tells them that there were also MANY lepers in Israel BUT none of them were healed except Naaman the Syrian. That was too much for them to comprehend!! Naaman wasn’t just an unclean, Gentile sinner, he was the captain of the Syrian army. The Syrians oppressed Israel. They were enemies of Israel. Much in the same way that the Romans were the oppressors of the group sitting and listening to Jesus.
Surely Jesus wasn’t asking them to be a light and a blessing to their oppressive enemies, was He? YES!! Because God’s heartbeat is for ALL mankind.
And He was so intent on showing the Israelites His love and compassion for ALL people that He chose one of the most hated men in Israel at that time to prove it.
God, in His great mercy and love, pursued Naaman.
These two examples of God’s eternal covenant with ALL, of His favor, acceptance, and approval of ALL mankind, enraged the listeners that day. It says they were filled with wrath, rose up, thrust Jesus out of the city, and then attempted to throw Him off a cliff! Wow! They were filled with wrath when they heard that God isn’t a God of wrath and judgment but inclusion and love! The word filled is pletho, meaning COMPLETELY full or filled to one’s individual capacity. In other words, they weren’t just mad or even angry… they were COMPLETELY FILLED with wrath. They thought life in covenant with God meant that His favor was solely on them. And therefore His revenge or punishment would be upon their enemies… upon those who came against them. They believed that His defense of them (as the chosen ones, the faithful ones) trumped His mercy on those that weren’t in covenant with Him (all non-Jews). And so they were enraged with Jesus’ description of what covenant life with God looked like.
We in the church have also had a misconception about what covenant life with God looks like. We’ve erred in our understanding of this “new” covenant life. We’ve also had an “us and them” religious mentality. We’ve made the New Testament teachings about sin, instead of it being the teaching of the end of ALL sin for ALL time. We’ve preached a sin conscious gospel to those we label as unclean, sinners, and outsiders of God’s covenant because they haven’t prayed the prayer or come to the altar.
When all along, God has said to call no one unclean or an outsider of His covenant (Acts 10:15).
And He remembers sin no more (Hebrews 8:12).
So why do we in the church continue to see people as unclean? And why do we focus on sin when He chooses not to remember it? The truth is, He has reconciled ALL men to Himself. ALL are justified and reconciled according to Romans. He is the Light that has given life to ALL men. He brought life and immortality to light through the gospel… to ALL men. This is just as offensive to us as it was to the Jews in Luke 4! And while you can’t throw Jesus off a cliff (like the Jews attempted to do)… there are those who will throw people who preach and teach this message of grace off the cliff!! Removing them from prayer meetings, various Christian groups, church, etc. The Gospel of Grace is that offensive to our carnal, natural minds!!!
ALL are INCLUDED in God’s eternal covenant of peace. And the ALL included is NOT provisional based on anything we need to do. There is no “us and them” in God’s logic…. there is only ALL! I challenge you to take off your “provisional/conditional” lens when you read Scripture. Just read the ALL’s and allow Holy Spirit to reveal the FULLNESS of what ALL means. William Tyndale defined the Gospel as the good, glad, happy news that makes a man jump for joy! But we’ve preached a Gospel that tells men they were born with a sin nature and therefore are separated from God. And all we need to do to receive forgiveness of sin is confess that we are a sinner that needs saving. And then because we’ve repented and prayed this “sinner’s prayer,” Jesus will come and live in our heart, we will have eternal life, and we will miss hell.
But is that the Gospel that Paul preached? Is that the good news of the New Testament? Is this truly the new thing that God said He was doing? NO! The Gospel of grace is the message of ALL mankind’s union with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). It is the message of Christ IN you!
In Colossians 1:26-27, Paul is talking about this message of Christ in the Gentiles… in the unclean, sinners, who were not in covenant with God (according to the Jews). He said it was the mystery hid for ages but now revealed to the saints. The word revealed is phaneroó, meaning has become apparent or graspable. They mystery of Christ IN all men has become graspable… it’s been made plain, clear, and apparent! He goes on in verse 27 to say that God’s desire is that those who have awakened to that truth make known to the GENTILES (those we in the church label as unbelievers, heathens, sinners, unrighteous, unclean, etc.) the glory IN them (not among like some translations say – it is the Greek word en). What is the glory IN them? He goes on to say it is CHRIST IN them (just as He is IN you).
CHRIST IN ALL MEN! This was the mystery of the Gospel now revealed, now made graspable and apparent!!
Paul’s message was: INSIDE YOU IS CHRIST! He used the phrases “in Christ,” “in Him,” and “in Whom” over 130 times in his writings. And he described his conversion as being awakened to the reality of Christ IN Him. What!? Saul was the chief of sinners!! He was a murderer and rebellious to the plans and purposes of God!! But there was no altar call, no prayer of salvation, no “asking Jesus to come into his heart.” Galatians 1:15-16 says, “It pleased the Father…. (16) to reveal His Son IN (Greek: en) me. That I might preach Him IN (again the Greek word en) the nations.” Christ already IN him was revealed, made graspable and clear to Saul! And Saul effortlessly became Paul!
When Paul shared his awakening of Christ IN him with King Agrippa, Festus interrupted (Acts 26:24) and said in a loud voice, “You’re insane (or raving mad) Paul! Your great learning (or too much studying) has driven you out of your mind.” The Message Bible says, “That was too much for Festus: He interrupted with a shout: “Paul, you’re crazy! You’ve read too many books, spent too much time staring into space! Get a grip on yourself, get back into the real world!” BUT according to Paul this is his (and our) real world!! He was FULLY persuaded that this Gospel he preached is how we are to live our new lives IN Christ — WHOLE in every area of our lives: spiritual, mental, physical, social, and financial; nothing missing, and nothing broken!
Paul’s message to ALL mankind was — “WAKE UP! You’re not in sin, you’re dead to sin because you died IN Him, you are COMPLETELY resurrected, and your new life is ONENESS, your identity is AS HIM! WAKE UP from your carnal slumber!”
Paul had been an extremely zealous “us and them” religious man… to the point of killing those who had already woken up to what Jesus had done! But now he had awakened to Christ IN him and was zealous about this gospel! He now realized that the Gospel of Grace, this ETERNAL Gospel of WHOLENESS, was for ALL mankind. It revealed a new (FULLY restored) humanity, a new creation no longer in Adam but IN Christ. In other words, mankind now no longer identified with Adam but ONLY with Christ! He preached a gospel that revealed that ALL of Adam died at the cross, and no part of him survived. Christ did a COMPLETE, FINISHED work that changed ALL of mankind (believers AND unbelievers)! There is nothing more needed except to awaken! To wake up to who we are IN Him. And that’s something the Father takes great delight in — waking us up by revealing Christ IN us, just like He did IN Saul (Galatians 1:15-16). We’ve made the New Testament teachings about sin and behavior. But the New Testament message is that IN Christ, we have NO association with sin and death.
Paul didn’t preach a Romans road TO salvation (sozo – wholeness), focusing on sin consciousness.
He taught a FINISHED road OF salvation (sozo – wholeness) focusing on son consciousness.
Today we preach a gospel that says our sin separates us from God…. and that only those not in sin have a relationship or fellowship with God. We categorize believers as those not in sin and unbelievers as those still in sin. The problem with that is that there are plenty of believers who “sin” just like there are unbelievers who do not “sin” and live pretty moral, upright lives.
But Paul preached a Gospel that wasn’t based on our actions but rather on the FINISHED work of Christ. He preached a Gospel that proclaimed that all mankind had been reconciled back to God regardless of their right or wrong actions.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; ~ 2 Cor 5:18-19
We were reconciled back to God not because of anything we believed, or anything we did. But only because God desired us… desired to be reconciled to us. So He was in Christ on the Cross and reconciled ALL men back to Himself.
Reconciling according to Webster’s Dictionary means to restore to friendship; to settle or resolve differences; It also means to change from an enemy to a friend; and to admit into a community;
2 Corinthians 5:19 also says He didn’t impute their sins against them. Actually, it says trespasses. The word trespasses in the Greek is paraptóma and means a lapse or deviation from the truth, a slip-up, an error; wrongdoing that can be unconscious or unintentional. The root of the word is parapipto meaning to fall away after being close beside; it is to descend from a higher place to a lower place; to stop flying. He reconciled ALL men without considering their sins… those that slipped up, deviated from the truth, made an error because they fell from a higher place to a lower place in their understanding of who they were as Abba’s sons.
Romans 5:10 says God did this reconciliation while we were enemies. An enemy is someone with a deep-seated hatred for another! Romans 5:8 says this is how God demonstrated His love for us, He did it while we were sinners. No repentance or confession required on our part….. it was totally His doing. It says this all happened while we were weak and ungodly (verse 6)… while we were sinners (verse 8).
HE reconciled us…. restored us back to friendship with Him, settled and resolved the differences we had with Him, changed us from an enemy to a friend and admitted us into His community of love. He did that while we (all mankind) had a deep-seated hatred for Him, while ALL mankind was powerless, ungodly, and sinners.
That verse in the Greek says “Moreover (on top of all that)… talking about verse 17, which we’ll have to save for another post! Moreover, on top of all that (talking about our identity as the new creation) ALL are of God who reconciled us to Himself! It doesn’t say “all things.” It says ALL are of God! I love that. He reconciled ALL mankind to Himself on the Cross and that same mankind is His! They are the ALL that is of God. They belong to Him…. those we label as believers, unbelievers, sinners, non-sinners…. ALL are of God! That doesn’t sound like separation to me!
And He did ALL of this on His own without requiring believing, faith, repentance, confession, a “sinner’s prayer,” etc. It was simply to demonstrate His love for us. His relentless, passionate, pursuing covenant love…. which is His chesed! In other words, to demonstrate His resolve to never let go of us, no matter how far we had gone. No matter how alienated we had become in our own minds toward Him (Colossians 1:21)!
So, if that’s Truth… if that’s the Gospel, where did we get the wrong idea of separation from God? The idea that God was too holy to have a relationship with us when we sin?
This concept of separation from God uses the verse Isaiah 59:2: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
This verse doesn’t say God has hidden His face from you and can’t hear you because of your sin. Even though for years that’s what I thought it said! I pictured God with His fingers in His ears and turning His head away from me….. because of sin. How sad! That must grieve God when we think about Him like that.
Let’s read it Isaiah 59:2 in context…..
Isaiah 59:1: Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
The word behold is not a word we use today so we tend to just read it and dismiss it. But the word behold is God waving a giant neon flag at us and saying, “Pay very close attention to what comes next, because it’s especially important!” What are we supposed to carefully give our attention to? What is so important that God does not want us to miss it? This beautiful description of God… His hand is not so short that it cannot save! And His ear is not so heavy (so burdened or dull) that it can’t hear! That’s our Daddy!! Always reaching towards us… always listening to us!
BUT until we have paid attention to that and understand Abba through this light, we will continue to misunderstand verse 2!
Verse 2 says: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you so that he will not hear.”
Yes, sin caused a separation, a hiding of God’s face, an inability to hear. But it wasn’t on God’s part… it was on man’s. Sin consciousness causes men to see and hear God through a lens of condemnation and judgment. Remember in the garden that it wasn’t God who was hiding from Adam. It was Adam hiding from God. In Genesis 3 Adam’s trespass caused sin to enter the world, but God did not turn His face from Adam, nor was He unable or unwilling to hear Adam. In fact, He showed up ready to walk with him and talk with him just like always. He didn’t hide His face and plug His ears because of sin…. He came into the garden looking for Adam, ready to spend time with him, loving on him, and having his daily conversation with him.
It was Adam who hid. God came looking for him. Genesis 3:8 says, “And they heard (shema) the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” They hid from His face, from His presence. The word hid in Hebrew is chaba and means to withdraw; to conceal. Adam withdrew from God’s face. Sin consciousness concealed God’s face from Adam.
The word we translate obey is shema in Hebrew and means hearing with understanding, attention, and with a response. God didn’t close His ears to Adam. Sin consciousness closed Adam’s ears to God… he could no longer hear with understanding. His hearing became as Isaiah described it in verse 2, dull and heavy…. burdened by sin. Not God’s!
God came looking for Adam. Asking “Adam where are you?” The English phrase where are you is in Hebrew ayeh. Some words are just do not translate well in English. When I used to read Adam, where are you in this verse, I would hear my dad calling out to me because of something I had done, “ROBIN ANN!! WHERE ARE YOU?”I would read in those verses, anger and disappointment on God’s part because Adam didn’t obey! But that’s not what ayeh means. In Hebrew, it is a mournful, sorrowful, lamenting word of grief. God is not yelling in the garden demanding for Adam to come out of his hiding and explain himself, or repent for what he’s done. He is not angry over Adam’s “sin.” He is grief stricken that sin has caused His beloved son to be fearful. One rabbi describes it as:the cry of a lover who is separated from his beloved and this beloved is hiding from the Lover’s presence because of being in agony over having betrayed him.
This is not a picture of an angry God who is looking for Adam so that he can punish his “disobedience.” This is not judgmental, condemning God who is hiding His face and closing His ears to His son. This first look at Abba’s response to sin for us is a picture of a caring Father. One who is full of grief that His son is not where he should be…. in His presence, experiencing His love. He is so very sad, that His son who can no longer see and hear Him. Adam, because of his sin, can no longer see God accurately. Sin consciousness has hidden God’s face from him.
It is not God that is hiding from Adam because He’s too holy to look on sin! Adam’s sin has hidden from Adam who God is. Sin has hidden His true nature from him. And he now sees God through a warped identity, through the lens of sin, guilt, judgment, and condemnation. Instead of seeing God as a loving Father, he sees Him as judgmental and condemning.
And it’s not God that refuses or can’t hear but it’s Adam that has a hearing problem. Oh, he still hears God, but not accurately and not by the Spirit. Now he hears Him through sin consciousness. Instead of hearing words of love and affirmation, he hears guilt and condemnation… he hears judgment. Adam became a man with an identity problem…. no longer seeing himself as a son made in Abba’s image and likeness. No longer seeing himself as loved and accepted. But instead, seeing himself separated from God because of sin. Isn’t it funny that God is the one who came into the garden asking Adam, “where are you” and yet man because of sin consciousness has been asking God “where are You” ever since?
Isaiah is not saying that God is separated from man… turning His face and plugging His ears because He is too holy to look at a sinful man. He is saying that God is displeased with the whole situation that sin has caused. And what does Isaiah tell us that God does in response to man’s sin? He doesn’t reject or abandon us. He doesn’t separate Himself from us! We must keep reading and not just stop at verse two and form a wrong opinion about God.
According to Isaiah, God springs into action. He initiates a saving act whereby he rolls up his sleeves and comes to us Himself through his Son. Through the beautiful incarnation of Jesus!!
And then he tells us that those who turn to God will find that He was ALREADY for them and toward them! In other words, our repentance does not cause God to come to us, but rather, God’s grace precedes and even generates our repentance. Isn’t that what Paul said in Romans 2:4? That it’s God’s goodness (His covenant love for us – chesed!) causes men to repent, NOT men’s repentance causes God to be good! He’s ALWAYS good… Good is just who He is.
This is how the New Covenant (announced in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea and elsewhere) works. Grace to His children who in their sin (in their false distorted fallen sense of identity) can no longer see Him for who He is or hear Him…. thinking He has hidden His face and closed His ears to them!
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:1 for KNOW that we have a building (the WHOLE man) not made with hands. And it is eternal in the heavens.
The word know is in the perfect indicative tense – meaning it is a completed action, FINISHED! It is an action that is completely done with ongoing results. It is knowing that is not carnal. It’s not based on the five physical senses. It knows by the mind of Christ.
We are we to know? We KNOW that we have FULL redemption IN us because we know that Christ dwells IN us…. and He is Redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). This knowing is connected to the previous verse (2 Corinthians 4:18). It says, “So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
The Mirror Bible says – it is the unseen eternal realm within us which has our full attention and captivates our gaze!
Our knowing is seeing in the unseen, invisible (to our natural eyes) realm. It is seeing what He sees and thereby knowing what He knows…. co-seeing and co-knowing! We are to co-KNOW that we have an immortal, eternal, redeemed (WHOLE) physical body!
Paul had just said that the life of Jesus is revealed in our physical bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10). And we experience our FULL redemption by believing and speaking (2 Corinthians 4:13).
And then 2 Corinthians 5:1 begins with “If the earthly house, our tent (speaking of the physical body) should be dissolved (or destroyed).”
Paul is not saying that someday when we physically die THEN, we will have a redeemed, fully resurrected body just like Jesus. NO! He’s talking about us knowing or understanding… IF we KNOW (or understand) that our physical body is dissolved, THEN we will see that we have been FULLY redeemed, and we will experience it NOW in our lives.
The word dissolved or destroyed is kataluo in Greek and means thoroughly loosened. The Hebrew equivalent of loosened, or luo in Greek, is patach and means to open as in an opening of a gate or door and to have no confining barriers!!
Paul was saying our earthly body has NO confining barriers… no sickness, no disease, no aging, no pains, no death! And when we know that, THEN, we will also experience that in our lives. We will be experiencing the reality of a life of WHOLENESS in every area of our lives….. in other words, living IN heaven on earth NOW!
We are whole IN the Father, Son, and Spirit who lack NOTHING because all that can flow from Them is wholeness…. therefore, ALL that is IN us and flows from us is wholeness INTO every area of our life.
Verses 2-3 in the King James says, “For, in this, we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” The Contemporary English Version says it this way, “While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked.”
That sounds like an echo of Adam in Genesis 3:10! He had an awareness of his nakedness, of his mortality, because of sin consciousness causing him to be afraid. Paul isn’t saying that we are to sigh or groan while here on earth because we want to live in a heavenly home someday! NO!
Paul was FULLY persuaded that this new life IN Christ was one of COMPLETE union with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with NO DEGREE of separation whatsoever. He’s still talking about knowing and understanding here in these verses. And WHEN we put on the awareness of our WHOLENESS… of our IN-CHRISTEDNESS… we won’t be found naked. We won’t think we lack in any area of our life. We will not feel that we are not FULLY redeemed… FULLY whole!
At one time, mankind groaned and longed not to be found naked, just like Adam. And God came and walked among men IN the incarnation of JESUS, revealing the truth of their WHOLENESS… of their ONENESS with God, revealing that ALL men have always been fully COMPLETE and CONNECTED to God (Father, Son, and Spirit). Paul is telling us that we are thinking wrong — it is not our redemption that is incomplete, but our understanding. Our sense of lack, of being unclothed, keeps us from seeing that our mortality has ALREADY been swallowed up by life — by His life IN us. We are already IMMORTAL!
Verse 4….. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
Back in 1 Corinthians 15:54, Paul tells us that WHEN this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, THEN shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Isaiah said in 25:8 that He (Jesus) will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.
When did Isaiah say that death would be swallowed up forever??? Isaiah said in verse 9 (of chapter 28) that it would happen in the day of salvation. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:2 that NOW is the day of salvation. So we no longer need to groan and feel burdened. Mankind no longer needs to long to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling (our permanent splendor of the heavenly body). We no longer need to desire to be further clothed so that mortality (the inevitability of physical death) may be swallowed up by life. Jesus did that!! He swallowed death forever. He IS resurrection Life IN us. The Immortal One lives IN us…. and as He is, so are we in this world. Therefore, the ONLY conclusion that you can draw is that we are clothed with immortality NOW! The day of salvation has already come! Being clothed in immortality is part of your salvation package!!
Verse 5….. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
The word prepared means fashioned! He fashioned us for immortality when He created us. And another meaning of the word prepared is FINISHED! I love that! We were fashioned in immortality…. And our immortality is a FINISHED work!! Therefore, we can rest in our immortality, knowing that we were co-raised with Him and death WAS swallowed up in resurrection life! And we are NOW co-seated with Him, resting in our immortality!
Paul says the reason we groan is that we long to be clothed with our habitation from on high. In other words, we groan because we see ourselves as naked thinking that we are mere mortal men. But how can we be? He is our habitation, and we are His! ONE! He lives IN us! He clothes us! We are clothed IN His righteousness, IN His immortality. We can’t be anymore clothed with our habitation from on high than we already are right now. Because we can’t be any more ONE than we already are!
And He gave us the Spirit as a guarantee. Some translations say as a guarantee of what is to come – which makes it sound future. The Hebrew word for guarantee is arrabon and means to braid, as two parties intertwine. That speaks of union, of ONENESS! Our oneness with the Spirit IS the guarantee of our immortality! Why? Because the Immortal One, the Ageless One, the Eternal One lives IN us AND as He is, so are we in this world… in this physical time and space… right NOW! He is the FULLNESS that FILLS ALL in ALL!
Mirror (Eph 1:23): The completeness of his being that fills all in all resides in us! God cannot make himself more visible or exhibit himself more accurately.
BUT because we don’t think our inner man AND outer man are FULLY redeemed NOW, FULLY glorified, we live life in an awareness of perceived nakedness. Thinking in this life, we are subject to sickness and disease, because, after all, we are only mortal, having the shadow of death on our gaze (or eyelids) as Adam and Job did. Not fully realizing that Jesus thoroughly destroyed death (including all of its attributes – sickness, disease, poverty, fear, etc.) and brought to light (revealed) life and immortality (living forever; never dying!) NOW, not someday in heaven!
We just ended our 9 week zoom book study on I AM HEALED. It was such a fun group! People are experiencing the healing of their bodies, minds, emotions, etc.
We’ve built a community of people who have come to be family!! Our discussions each week are life giving, encouraging, and transparent! They’re raw and unscripted.. I don’t usually use notes… we just discuss the beauty of GRACE and FINISHED!!
We will be starting a new study group on February 1st, working through one chapter a week in I AM HEALED. If you’d like to join us contact me and we’ll get you signed up. Here is link to last night’s final class video to give you an idea of what our zoom meetings look like.