Sonship & Divinity define us

Ezekiel 43:11 is a beautiful picture of being son conscious/righteousness conscious instead of sin conscious…..

Ezekiel 43:11: And if they be ashamed of (from) all that they have done, show them the form of the house….

We are the house of God… His dwelling place!

When we miss it, or are ashamed from what we’ve done, we need to be reminded or shown who we are IN CHRIST.

Form is tsurah in Hebrew meaning form, fashion; We were fashioned and formed in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). We were formed and fashioned with a divine nature like our Creator.

The ROOT of form is tsur meaning to delineate – which means the exact position of a border or boundary. Ephesians 1:5 says that we were predestined – our boundaries were marked out beforehand – as sons!

When someone around you is focused on sin… on what they’ve done that has caused them shame, show them the form of their house — they are sons with a divine nature made in the image and likeness of Abba!! What they’ve done doesn’t define them… only He defines us!

Sonship and Divinity define us…. now and from before time began!

Love hid us in Christ

I love that the root of the Hebrew word hid (chaba) is to love (chabab).

In Genesis 3:10, Adam said “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was AFRAID, because I was naked; and I HID myself.”

Col 3:3 says we are hidden in Christ. Love hid us in Christ from before time began (Eph 1:4) and still has us hidden in Christ (Col 3:3).

But fear caused Adam to hide or withdraw himself from God’s love. Sin didn’t separate Adam from God because God could no longer look on sin… NO, fear caused ADAM to withdraw himself from God’s presence, from HIs love.

They hid from God

Genesis 3:8b: ….and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

When you study this verse out, looking at the Hebrew words you see this… Robin’s paraphrase 😉

the man and his wife (Adam & Eve) hid, they withdrew from Love (the root of hid) from the presence or face of Yahweh Elohim, perceiving Them (Father, Son and Spirit) as angry and turning from Them (Elohim), closing their eyes and severing the enclosure — the union they had with Yahweh Elohim (Father, Son and Spirit).

You begin to see that it was Adam and Eve that severed their union, their oneness with God… that turned from God. It wasn’t God who turned away… it was man!

No Penal Substitution

There is no coming judgment!  What a beautiful truth!  The entire world lives in fear of judgment from God. Feeling like they can never measure up or do enough to please God. And looking at us Christians only reinforces that belief.  Most of the church world feels like they need to please God because we really have no understanding of His grace.  We have presented Him to the world as a harsh, punitive judge requiring and demanding complete obedience, total service, 10% of our income, and 100% perfection when it comes to sin.  And when we don’t meet those demands we believe that He withholds from us His blessings, favor, righteousness, relationship and if we’re really “bad” He sends judgment upon us.. like sickness, disease, trouble, etc….so that we will turn to Him.  And if that doesn’t work and we never turn to Him then He sends us to a fiery place called Hell to be tormented and separated from Him FOREVER!

I can see why my friend Matt professes to be an atheist…. Not wanting anything to do with a god like that.  There is no love or kindness in that kind of god. But thankfully that is not our God!!  Our God is a good Father who has ALWAYS loved us. And I am on a mission to present Him to others as He truly is…. Kind, generous, forgiving, merciful, good and above all He is Love.

We’ve misunderstood Jesus as our Mediator and we’ve presented Him as one who goes between us and God trying to smooth things over when we mess up. But mediator is mesites in Greek and means an agent of something good!  I love that! Jesus came and revealed to us what a Good Father we have.  He came to show us what His goodness looked like… that He desired us and was so passionate about us that He sent Jesus to reveal who He is and then was personally present in Christ on the cross reconciling ALL of us back to Him.  Jesus was the FULL expression of God’s goodness.

We also are the FULL expression of His goodness…. We are agents of goodness just like Jesus. This message on No Penal Substitution helps me to be an even better, more effective agent of His goodness.  Taking the truth to people like my friend Matt. Telling them that God never required the death of His Son for us.  And He never required sacrifices from us nor does He today. His love is unconditional and always has been!

But how can you give that grace, be that agent of goodness, without an understanding of what His grace and goodness looks like? And how can you be an agent of goodness if you think of Mediator in legal terms. In addition to being an Agent of goodness, 1 John 2:1 tells us He is also our Advocate that we have with (pros) the Father. Pros is face to face. We have an Advocate who has placed us face to face with the Father. I like the way the Mirror Bible translates that verse. _We have Jesus Christ who defines our likeness face to face with the Father! He is our parakletos (Advocate) the One who endorses our true identity, being both the Source and the reflection of the Father’s image in us! _

But we’ve taken that term and made it another legal term. I used to see it as Jesus having to remind the Father that I am righteous because He shed His blood for me.  Having to remind the Father to accept me!!  When all along He was endorsing my true identity and defining my likeness face to face with the Father. The penal atonement teaching has caused us to miss out on the truth in Scripture. Causing us to spend years trying to please a God who we thought was a Judge but who as it turns out was ALWAYS pleased with us.

We were taught that God was a demanding God requiring a sacrifice to appease Him. That He required sacrifices in the Old Testament to show them that the ultimate sacrifice would be His Son.  And then we read Scriptures like, Jesus was the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2 and 1 Jn 4:10).  And when you look up the word propitiation in those verses it is hilasmos in Greek and Strongs defines it as an offering to appease or satisfy an angry or offended party; an atoning sacrifice to an angry god.  What a terrible definition! All that does is reinforce your belief that He needed appeasement.

Yet in 1 John 4 it is used in connection with the Father’s love for us…. _Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  _That doesn’t sound like an angry God who needed appeasement. It sounds like a Father who runs passionately after His children, like the father we see in the parable of the prodigal son. And the root of the word propitiation, is “hilaskomai” meaning to have mercy on, to show favor to, to forgive.  That doesn’t sound anything like the first meaning! His Son was the expression of His mercy, His favor and His forgiveness.  Then you realize Jesus wan’t appeasing God…. He was appeasing us! We thought we needed a sacrifice. The cross was for our benefit!

God was not angry with man and therefore sent Jesus as a sacrifice to appease His anger. He didn’t change His mind about humanity after Jesus went to the cross. We had forgotten our true identity.  We had forgotten that we were made in the image and according to the likeness of God and given dominion over all things. Jesus came to reveal to us the love and union we have always had with the Father.  He didn’t give His life for God but rather gave His life to us, as us. He came as a sacrifice because we needed one, not because God did.  He came to put an end to the sacrificial system by being the once and for all sacrifice.

God’s heart has never desired sacrifices.  Man absorbed that teaching from the pagan nations that surrounded them. God didn’t need the cross, we did. The cross simply revealed the truth of what has always been true.  We have always been forgiven, always been righteous, always been holy, and always been saved according to 2 Timothy 1:9-10: who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ before the world began (10) but is now made manifest (revealed) by the appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus was not God’s plan B for us.  He was not God’s reaction to the fall. Our redemption was the eternal plan and purpose of God. Jesus came in grace and truth, revealing the truth of who the Father is and who we are. And the law was given through Moses. It doesn’t say it was given BY God through Moses… just completely, successfully through Moses. The contrast in this verse in John is wonderful. The law was given, it was put into place through Moses. Through is dia which means completely, successfully through. Then it says THE grace and THE truth came dia… completely, successfully through Jesus.

The word came is the same word used in John 1:14 the Word BECAME flesh. The Word always was from eternity past and now REVEALED in the boundaries of time…revealed for us to behold. The same with grace and truth. Grace and truth didn’t just show up as an afterthought to the law that Moses gave. Grace and truth ALWAYS were from eternity past and NOW revealed completely, successfully for us to behold through the One who is FULL of grace and truth. Full, pleres in Greek….. full, abounding, complete, completely occupied with. Jesus is Grace. Jesus is Truth. And now the Word becoming flesh made grace and truth something they could see with their physical eyes.

David saw a glimpse of the grace and truth of the Father when he realized that sacrifices and burnt offerings were not what the Father required. He said in Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offerings You did not desire, my ears You have opened to burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require. David tells us that God opened his ears to the truth that He did not desire, didn’t delight or take pleasure in sacrifice and offerings. He said You weren’t pleased with them. He said, “You didn’t require them.”  In other words, He didn’t ask for them, inquire of them, demand or seek them.  How did we miss that?

He said God opened his ears. Opened means to dig, to bore or open. And to lay a banquet. God literally ripped open the hard ground in David’s ears and laid a banquet of His grace and truth!  David’s ears were full of Moses’ law… full of guilt, condemnation and shame. David constantly messed up!  And when he got this revelation, he had just messed up with Bathsheba… committing murder, adultery, covetousness, etc. The law condemned him. And YET he saw the truth of God’s desire regarding sacrifices and burnt offerings.

Another definition of desire is moved or bend down. God was not moved by sacrifices nor did He bend down toward them as they offered them. In Hebrew grace (chanan) means to bend or stoop in kindness. We have been taught and believe that the sacrifice of His Son was His grace in action…. His bending down toward us in favor and acceptance. Because His wrath had been appeased and now grace was offered to us.  We had no understanding of the word wrath or an understanding that because He is Love… pure Love, and because He is the Spirit of Grace… pure Grace, EVERYTHING He does flows out of that.

Wrath is orgeo in Greek meaning passion. But it’s the root of this word that I really like… it is “orego” which means stretching oneself out in order to touch or grasp something. It is a beautiful picture of Jesus stretching Himself out (on the Cross) in order to grasp us. It also means to yearn after, to desire, to stretch toward (to pull towards). The Father in His love for us, desired us and stretched toward us (through Jesus), pulling us to Himself. (1 Cor 5:19 -reconciling us to Himself).  God’s judgments were all satisfied in the passion….in the “wrath” of Jesus Christ….as He stretched Himself out on the Cross drawing ALL men to Himself and as the Father was personally present in Christ on the cross reconciling the world to Himself. There is nothing punitive in the word.

Our ears today have the hard ground of penal substitution. But God is doing with us like He did with David. He is ripping the hard ground of our ears with His love so that we can hear His grace and truth. So that we can hear what Jesus came to reveal… our Father’s nature and that we have always had that same nature. So, we can perceive and understand the consuming love God has for us. His unwillingness to let go of us.  His passion for us. As Baxter Kruger explains it is His eternal yes to us, a yes to life and fullness of joy for us that translates into an intolerable NO to the destruction of the fall. Wrath is not the opposite of love. Wrath is the love of God in action, in opposing action.

God was not an angry diety demanding blood! He did not need the blood of Jesus to enable Him to forgive. God endured the cross because that is what was needed to wake us up to the reality of who He is and who we are. He met us where we were at. Speaking a language that we understood… law and sacrifice. Our idea of sacrifice was that it was necessary to appease an angry God to change His mind and that blood was required in order to extend forgiveness. But God’s mind was not the problem. We were enemies and hostile to God in our minds… but in our distorted thinking it was God who saw us as enemies and was hostile towards us UNTIL Jesus went to the cross. It wasn’t God who required blood… it was the law. Hebrews 9:22 says that almost all things are purified in blood according to the law, and apart from blood shedding there is no forgiveness. The law required that blood be shed in order for there to be forgiveness NOT God!

There are three words for forgive in Hebrew… salach (pardon, forgive), kipper (atonement), and nasa (to bear, carry, forgive). All three aren’t even used until after the law was given.  Romans 5:13 says that sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged to anyone’s account where there is no law.You would definitely think Adam, Eve, Cain, Jacob, and others who made HUGE mistakes would’ve asked God to forgive them. Makes me think that forgiveness was not necessary, no matter how big the mistakes.  From Adam to Moses was about 2500 years. It’s amazing that something that wasn’t even mentioned for the first 2500 years of history has been a major focus in the church today!

So, in the Old Testament they continued to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings for the atonement of sins, for God’s forgiveness. And God continued to speak through His prophets that He didn’t want them and had never wanted them. He was meeting them where they were at. Allowing them to continue to offer these sacrifices because that’s all they knew. He was trying to bring them up higher and higher, but they rejected the prophets words and kept offering the sacrifices like the pagan nations around them.

Moses had come out of Egypt where they worshipped and sacrificed to all kinds of gods. Abraham came out of Ur where they did the same thing. They carried those things over. So Moses set up a sacrificial system of atonement. Even though Jeremiah tells us that when God brought them out of Egypt, He never commanded them concerning sacrifice and offerings. God allowed these sacrifices until the time that Jesus would come and be the final once for all sacrifice, doing away forever with the sacrificial system of the law.

Jesus came and offered the final sacrifice and then SAT DOWN. The writer of Hebrews says this is the MAIN THING! The priests of the Old Covenant, of the sacrificial system, never sat down. They stood continually, day after day, offering again and again the same sacrifices which could never take away sins. Nor could it perfect anyone or cleanse their consciences the writer of Hebrews tells us. In fact, all those sacrifices did was to continually remind them of their sins.

In ascribing to a penal substitution theory, we have made God into someone He is not. And we have ended up worshipping a god of our own making. A god of wrath and judgment. Instead of God who is our good Father whose image and likeness we bear. A God who refused to remain in Heaven without us. A Father who sent His Son to cancel the handwritten code that was against us. To do away with the sacrificial system of the law that said that life was in the blood. Grace and truth revealed that life was IN Him and reminded us that He had breathed that life into us when He created us. Reminding us that we were never outside of His love or His life, we simply forgot who we were.

Deuteronomy says they were not mindful of the Rock who begat them and they forgot the Father who fathered them. 1 Peter 1:18 says that they followed the aimless conduct received by tradition from their fathers.The traditional way of doing things was passed on to them.  The traditional way of living by their five senses of living from a mistaken identity. They followed after their ancestors not being mindful of and forgetting Whose image and likeness they bore… who they had always been the Father’s sons – from before the foundation. But Ephesians 1:5 says that we were predestined as sons… sons before creation. According to HIS good pleasure.

2 Timothy 1:9-10 says that He has saved us and called us (past tense) with a holy calling not according to our works but according to His purpose in grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus BEFORE TIME ETERNAL. (10) but is now made manifest (revealed) by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ.  It had nothing to do with man’s failure or the fall. He saved us and called us holy not as a result of responding to man’s fall but according to His own purpose and grace. He had this plan for man’s salvation before the foundation of the world.

What was that plan? Jesus coming to reveal the love of our Father and the Father’s plan and purpose BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. We were whole (sozo) IN Christ before time eternal. Jesus’ appearing didn’t make us was not to save us or make us holy but to REVEAL (to make manifest, or to make clear and plain) the Father’s love and purpose before the foundation of the world. Jesus’ appearing was not to save us or make us holy but to REVEAL (to make manifest, or to make clear and plain) the Father’s love and purpose before the foundation of the world.

We thought the gospel was subject to the appearing — in other words when Jesus appeared then the gospel was brought to earth. But NO, the gospel was what the appearing confirmed. The Gospel was before the foundation of the world! The Gospel always was — it wasn’t a response to the fall. The fall didn’t change God’s mind about us!  We were still who He said we were!

Jesus in the historical event of His incarnation… from His virgin birth to His resurrection and seated-ness did not bring the benefits of the Father to us BUT revealed them to us and showed us that we had them before the foundation of the world. IN HIM we have redemption of sins not based upon a historical event that took place but based upon having been chosen before the foundation of the world

We have to learn to interpret Scripture correctly. We cannot interpret it right without a correct understanding of the nature of God. He is love! He is nothing but love and can do nothing apart from love. And He does not change. And it is out of who He is, LOVE, that His motives, intentions and dealings with mankind flow. Too often we hear that He is responsible for earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorist attacks, hurricanes, etc.

So many people speaking FOR God who don’t have a revelation of His love! So many “prophets” today speaking FOR God into people’s lives not what has ALWAYS been true but speaking conditional promises into them… IF you do this THEN God will do this. Telling them God would like to do this for you or God will do this for you…. instead of God HAS DONE ALL of this for you from before time began…. WALK IN IT!  JUST BE!

But God is revealing Himself as Love and Grace in a body of believers who are willing to disregard the wrong teaching they’ve accumulated over the years and to say, “Dad show me who YOU are. Because when You show me who You are I will be able to see myself in that reflection. And then as I see ME as who I’ve ALWAYS BEEN and I see what I have ALWAYS HAD, it will flow through me affecting my life and those around me!!

This was a hard course. It stretched my understanding in a good way. There were a couple of days where honestly, I felt like I don’t know anything… not even sure how to write this essay.  Feeling like this was a new level of deep. A depth that is brand new! Everything we thought we knew about our redemption was based on a lie. It was based on a complete misunderstanding of what took place BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD.  I am so looking forward to going deeper in these classes and increasing my understanding of what Jesus came to reveal! Of what was ALWAYS true from before time began!

What an amazing Father we have! A good Daddy who covered everything from start to finish… who provided nothing but rest for us. And all we have to do is be aware of it. And that awareness will cause us to walk in who we truly are… sons and daughters who have never been anything but WHOLE AND COMPLETE IN HIM!!

Journey of Grace

Today I just completed my Bachelor’s degree in Theology… this was the final essay that I turned in………….

In my third essay, I said that it felt like I was on a journey of grace meeting the Father for the very first time. Like the Jews of the Old Covenant, I had forgotten who my Father was… forgotten the Rock from which I was hewn. Though I guess forgotten is not the right word, in truth I knew there was a God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, but the concept of Father only applied to those who had accepted Jesus and now were “adopted” in. Not only is that a wrong idea of adoption but it’s a wrong concept of the Father. There was never a day that He wasn’t my Father, even before I knew Him. And adoption is simply sonship… which has always been ours. I didn’t just get added to His family when I accepted Jesus, I have always been His daughter, born from above. Our term born again is simply the revelation that He has always been my Father… the Spirit bears witness WITH our spirit… that “aha” moment when you realize who you’ve always been and who He’s always been and you cry out ABBA! Sonship revelation is what causes you to cry ABBA!

 

The Father wrote the script of my DNA.  It is His DNA… He birthed us in His image and according to His likeness.  He breathed into Adam His very essence, He breathed into Him the Breath of Life. Adam’s first sight upon waking was the adoration of Yahweh Elohim kneeling over him. I wonder if Adam’s first words were Abba? He saw the awe and adoration of Father, the Word, and the Spirit as they blessed him. The absolute overwhelming, consuming love of Them for him. His first sight was one of acceptance, love, kindness, goodness, transparent intimacy and just utter devotion toward him from this One called Elohim.

I love the Hebrew language because it’s so rich in meaning. It says in Genesis 2:7 that Yahweh Elohim aleph tav breathed into Adam. Elohim is the plural God… the ONE God that is Father, Son, and Spirit. Yahweh is the revelation of Jesus… Yahweh Elohim is the revelation of Jesus as God. It is spelled yod hey vav hey and literally means behold the hand behold the nail. Aleph Tav is an untranslatable word that reveals the power of the cross. Pointing us both ahead and at the same time before the foundations because the cross is eternal. It is there to remind us that as Yahweh Elohim breathed into Adam, Their dream of mankind was being birthed. Mankind became the expression of God’s beautiful thought…. His inspired thought. Ephesians 2:10 says that we are engineered by His design, we are His workmanship, His poetry. That aleph tav is a beautiful pointer of our inclusion in Elohim. Jesus said that because of His finished work, we would know that He is in the Father (Yahweh Elohim) and we are in Him and He is in us.

This little untranslatable sign is a reminder of Ephesians 1:3-5 which is another look at God (Elohim) and the Father of Jesus (who Jesus said is also our Father) blessing mankind. This blessing took place before the foundations of the world. Choosing us in Him and setting our boundaries (predestinating) as His sons. All in love for His mankind. Love that drew us into the union of Himself, the Son and the Holy Spirit to share in this circle of Their love and intimate fellowship. It is what we were created for. It was the original blueprint of our design that flowed out of this Elohim who is Love expressed through the Father, Son, and Spirit.

This love (Ahava) which is defined in Hebrew as an unquenchable love. A love that has such a desire to be with the other that it makes your heart ache.  His love for us, this love that breathed Life into us, is again revealed in the fall of mankind. When Adam fell and hid, the Spirit came into the garden and said, “Where are you?” This is the love of the Father calling out for his son. In Hebrew “where are you” is an idiomatic expression meaning “he is nowhere.” It’s the cry of God’s heart for His son… the ache of a heart that cries “why have you left My heart?” These are the first words of a conversation between God and man. It shows the heart of an Abba. It revealed that we belong and that we are loved. Revealing His heart commitment in desiring relationship, intimate fellowship with man above all else. He didn’t see sin when He looked at Adam in the garden, He didn’t show up to punish Adam for “falling.” He simply came looking for His son, to talk with him and walk with him. To simply enjoy the union of love that they shared. Adam had left God’s heart in his own mind. And the Father’s heart ached and His love longed once again (Ahava) for intimate fellowship with His mankind… with His sons. And He would go to all lengths, do whatever it took, to once again secure that union with us.

Our origin is forever imprinted in the mind of God. This union between mankind and God in Christ is an eternal union which preceded creation. It is an inseparable union that has existed from before the foundation of the world.  A union that could not be broken by the fall of Adam, except in our own minds. He found us in Christ before He ever lost us in Adam. And this union would once again be realized through the death and resurrection of the Son, Yahweh Elohim. Jesus died because the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit refused to let go of mankind. For Elohim so loved the world that He sent His only Son… Yahweh. This is chesed, His covenant love for us, that is unwilling to let go of us at any cost.  He would be satisfied with nothing less!

Genesis 5 begins with God creating man in His image and according to His likeness. And then it says Adam begat a son in his likeness, as or like his image. I think it’s interesting that the order is reversed. Adam was made in God’s image and according to His likeness. Adam has a son in his likeness, according to his image. It shows that man’s understanding of their identity had been distorted. According to Adam’s image… what was Adam’s image of himself? He had believed the lie that he was not like God and as a result, his image of himself became distorted with shame, guilt, and condemnation. Adam forgot that his true image was image and likeness of God… one of righteousness, holiness, completeness in Yahweh Elohim… Father, Son, and Spirit. Adam’s peace, assurance, and security were destroyed. In his own mind, he was separated from his Father and inferior to God. So, mankind continued in a false sense of identity… forgetting they were sons, forgetting they were gods… elohims. Forgetting the Rock that gave them birth. So Elohim… Father, Son, and Spirit sent the Son to redeem man.

Jesus, Yahweh Elohim, was the visible manifestation of the invisible Elohim. Mankind’s image had not just been distorted in his own thinking, God’s image had become distorted in their thinking as well. Jesus and John both said that no one had accurately perceived or understood Elohim – Father, Son, and Spirit. No one… not Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, etc. Except for the only begotten Son who was in the bosom of the Father. As Yahweh Elohim, He revealed to Israel that there wasn’t a single time that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ever did anything apart from the other. From the very creation of man to the cross and resurrection, the Godhead was in COMPLETE agreement and FULLY participated in all.  Jesus is telling them they had gotten the Scriptures wrong… they had misunderstood. Even God tells Job’s friend, “what you and your friends have said about Me isn’t true.” They had a wrong image of God. But in Jesus, we have a COMPLETE image of God. He said if you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father. He reinterpreted Scripture for them, revealing the heart of Elohim, giving us permission to do the same. That if a Scripture doesn’t line up with who Jesus is, who is the visible manifestation of the invisible Elohim, then we can conclude that something else is happening, someone is describing God based on their experiences and limited knowledge…. a false illusion of God.  Jesus came and put an end to all those illusions.  Showing us that the Scriptures are a beautiful love story of Elohim and for us. And concealed IN those Scriptures, the mystery hidden for generations and ages but revealed to us in Christ – Yahweh Elohim is the message of our glorious union in Elohim. I believe He put all those aleph tavs in there just to help point us into the right direction… to reveal to us His eternal plan in Christ.

So, Jesus, Yahweh Elohim, left heaven, took on flesh and became a Man. The incarnation is God’s NO regarding the loss of His sons and the eternal YES of their redeemed union with Him. Yahweh Elohim as the incarnate Son of God came to completely undo the fall of Adam… to completely reverse what Adam had done. This incarnation was planned before creation. Christ became Man to flesh out in time what had already been completed, finished in eternity past.

He came and revealed that God wasn’t a Judge who was consumed with anger over our sins. But that He is a Father who was consumed with love for His sons and that His desire was for intimate fellowship. God’s announcement in Luke 2 was the birth of the Savior, which is Christ the Lord (Yahweh Elohim). And it says in verse 13 that suddenly the multitude of heavenly hosts began praising THE God (Elohim)… telling His story (praise)… saying: Glory to Elohim in the highest, and on earth peace IN men, He is pleased!  Jesus didn’t come to save us from a God who had put distance between Himself and us. A God who had to separate Himself from us. NO! It says God sent His Son as Savior because He was pleased IN us.  He was pleased to dwell IN us.

And He sent His Son as Savior to redeem us back… to reveal to us who we had always been. And who God was and what our relationship with Him looks like from His vantage point. The very word church that we have made into a religious institution was a word of identity. Jesus said to Peter, “Who do you say I, the Son of Man, am?” Peter answered, “You, (the Son of Man) are the Son of the Living God.” The Jesus responds, “Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah.” He probably continued to explain to Peter, “You are son of Jonah – son of man, just like Me. And just like Me, Son of Man and Son of Elohim, you are also son of man and son of Elohim.” And then He changed his name to reveal his true identity… Peter, a piece of the Rock. The Rock that you forgot you were hewn from and which exceeds your natural lineage. The name change would be a reminder that every time he spoke his name or heard his name called it was the declaration of true identity… a piece of the Rock… image and likeness of God. And for the first time, we are introduced to this Greek word ekklesia which is translated, church.

Verse 18 in Matthew 15 says, upon this THE Rock…. Not just any rock but THE Rock! Upon the revelation of our origin, Jesus said, “I will build My ekklesia.” Build is from a root word “domos” which refers to a roof area of a flat house. These areas were ideal for resting and also for passing on information from one house to the other. Jesus is saying My ekklesia is built for the purpose of REST and also for passing on this same revelation of our origin to everyone around us. Ekklesia is from two words. Ek meaning out of, denoting source and origin and kaleo meaning call as well as surname or family name, showing union. It is upon this call of our origin, the revelation of our beginning, the Father’s Name which is also our family name, this union in the Elohim – the family of Father, Son, and Spirit and ourselves.  Upon all of this, you can REST. And from this position of REST and vantage point, you can share this revelation with those around you… from house to house that they are also in this wonderful, glorious family union of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because it is from this origin that they were birthed.

We have an origin and beginning in Elohim Himself. The Savior came not only to save us in our world called time but to show us that there was never a moment that we weren’t saved from eternity past. In Exodus 15:2 Moses declares that the Lord, Yahweh Elohim, is his Salvation. There has never been a time that He wasn’t our Salvation. We may not have realized we have always been saved but we were saved nevertheless. He didn’t just choose for us to be saved at some point. It was a finished work from eternity past… before we were ever created. We have always been IN CHRIST who is Salvation. He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.

We’ve watered down salvation to just a sinner’s prayer at the altar to get into heaven and miss hell. That’s not what salvation is. Salvation is a person, His name is Jesus, Yeshua Elohim. Salvation is the all-consuming Love of Elohim that took the initiative and the act in the person of Jesus Christ, the Savior of ALL men. 2 Timothy 1 says in verse 9 that He saved us and called us with a holy calling. There’s that word kaleo again indicating the origin of birth. In Greek, it says He called call holy. He saved us and called us by our origin, by our family union….. holy. Saved and holy is who we are. He saved us and separated us from ALL of the sin and death that came as a result of Adam and set us apart wholly unto Him. Holy… our family identity…. He is wholly unto us! All the time, He’s never not there, He is always there with our welfare in mind. Saved is in the aorist tense meaning it’s a snapshot of something that already happened. When? The rest of verse 9 says according to His own purpose and grace that was given to us in Christ before time eternal! His grace saved us in Christ before time began… from time eternal.

Salvation is not a commitment, it’s an eternal covenant. It was decided from eternity. And it’s not just an event that happens at one time. It’s an eternal reality that we get to experience time and time again. I was saved before the foundation of the world, I was saved 2000 years ago on the cross, and I was saved 25 years ago when I awoke to the love of my Savior. And in addition to all of that, I walk in the experience of salvation daily! Salvation is COMPLETE deliverance, forgiveness of sins, healing, prosperity, made WHOLE in every area of life!

This beautiful Gospel reveals His love for humanity… not because of anything we’ve done but because we have always been His. It reveals a love that appeared in the likeness of men…. He completely emptied Himself into human form. He invested everything in us… He held nothing back. This good news of His grace is not that we could go to heaven and avoid hell….. it’s as Andre Rabe says “it’s that He saw such value in us that He left heaven and came to us.” This was not a temporary event, there is a Man alive and seated on the throne!! Son of man and Son of God – Yahweh Elohim! And we were made alive together with Him, seated where He is seated! And as He is so are we in this world… and this new life, this resurrected life, is Him in us, as us and expressing Himself through us.

I don’t know that I fully have a grasp on the afterlife. My views are changing and growing all the time regarding heaven and hell. I do know that hell is not what I used to think…. a fiery pit, eternal separation from God, the destination of those who choose not to believe in Jesus. And when I now read Revelation 21:25 with a different mindset. Gates in Scripture represent a place of decisions. Does this verse hold out to us the hope that the place of decisions will always remain open to the undecided? That there will always be time to decide? I don’t know. But my heart is open for God to reveal Himself in this… to reveal the truth. It’s going to take ages to come for Him to show us His grace in His kindness… in His chesed, His covenant love that refuses to let go of us… in Yeshua Elohim.

As I finish these major courses and look back over the past 16 months at Global Grace Seminary, I’m astounded with the changes that have taken place in my heart. There is a quiet and rest inside that permeates my entire being. A rest that seems like it was found effortlessly, as I allowed His mind, His thoughts, and His faith to become my own. Although allow seems like such a silly word. How can we allow what already is? There is only ONE mind – His. And there is only ONE faith – His. I guess the word allowing is the only word I can find to express a heart that simply says yes to His mind and His faith expressed in me, as me and through me. There is a Hebrew word that probably comes closer to it and that is shema. Shema gets unfortunately translated as obey. It is a beautiful word of hearing. Hearing and responding from the heart with love. It is a saying of yes before you even know what is being asked of you. Like when my husband says, “Honey will you do me a favor?” My response isn’t what’s the favor and then I’ll decide. The decision is immediate from a heart of love “Yes!” That’s how we enter into His rest so easily… He says “grace” and my heart without fully understanding what it is says “Yes!” He says “faith” and again my heart says “Yes!” Those simple yesses of “shema” release Holy Spirit to breathe His revelation of grace, faith, etc. and understanding comes. Understanding His passion for me! As a result, my heart is at rest in Him finding sweet confidence in our co-union. And all the while eager to know Him more intimately. To understand the depths of His love for me, of His eternal covenant with me that began before the foundations of the world. To journey deeper with Him into this place called grace. To stretch the borders of my understanding of IT IS FINISHED, of my wholeness, my completeness in Him… allowing it to cover every aspect of my life. I feel like the bride in Song of Solomon – I have found the One my soul loves!

Christ IN you

Galatians 1:16 (God was pleased v.15) to reveal His Son IN (en) me, that I might preach Him IN (en) the gentiles….

Romans 10:20: Isaiah is very bold (courageously laying it all on the line) and says: I (God) was found IN (en) those not seeking (Hebraism meaning worshipping) Me; I manifest Myself IN those not inquiring after Me.

Colossians 1:27 tells us that the mystery of the Gospel… God’s good news is — Christ IN (en) you, the hope of glory.

God does not reveal Himself TO man… but IN man.
His Son is IN everyman… regardless of the outward behavior of the man.

Acts 9 tells us that Paul (Saul) was breathing out murder and hatred against Jesus and His followers. He was not a person sitting on the fence… He had made up his mind to be against Jesus and all He stood for.

Paul did not ask Jesus to COME INTO his heart after he repented of his sins……… God revealed that Christ was already IN Paul — in this one who hated Jesus and murdered His followers — in this one who had NOT repented, who had NOT believed or confessed that Jesus was Lord

The revelation of the Son IN Paul defined who Paul was and always had been in the Father’s eyes and so Paul began walking and living out of that reality

Will we be as bold as Isaiah and Paul… courageously laying it all on the line, or as Ellicott’s commentary says “coming forward and telling the naked truth”…… boldly preaching Christ IN all men?

#simpleGospel#reveals…. #Christ#IN-ALLmen

Choosing What God Chooses

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 bit manipulative “deceiving” Isaac. And for favoring 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 this woman named Rebekah, a woman He knew intimately. He let me see her through His knowledge of her…. as a beautiful grace-filled woman… a daughter of Grace.

Rebecca had been barren for 20 years. And after conceiving, her pregnancy was not an easy one. The Bible says the babies struggled within her. The Hebrew word for struggled 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.

So, Rebekah inquired of Yahweh (Jesus). There is an aleph tav between inquire and Yahweh. Inquire is darash, it is to seek carefully. It comes from a root meaning to walk or tread. Rebekah wasn’t just asking God why her pregnancy was so hard and violent. She was inquiring of Jesus regarding the destiny of these two sons. How they fit in His covenant plan. And the root of the word shows her determination to walk in His plans for them. She was not just seeking an answer to a question in prayer…. she was a Covenant seeker, a seeker of Divine destiny.

This is the first time that 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 Jesus. She trusted what He had to say. He told her that she had 2 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, which means 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 of Jacob, the younger, to inherit His covenant promise was made before the boys were even born. This showed that the choice 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).  

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).

~ Robin

God’s Ideal Woman

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. ~ Proverbs 31:10

Abba wrote an entire Proverb just about us women. His ideal woman! Truth be told the woman in this Proverb seemed a bit overwhelming to me. A Martha Stewart on steroids! She seemed so unattainable to me as a young wife and mother. How could I possibly be all those things that this woman was?

But Abba didn’t give us a picture of a woman that we couldn’t be. He wasn’t dangling a carrot in front of us… teasing us with an image that was impossible to walk in. Nor did He give us a picture of a woman that we should strive to become! What He did give us in this picture of His ideal woman is a picture of us. A snapshot of who we already are. Of what we actually look like through His eyes.

The word virtuous used to describe the Proverbs 31 woman is chayil. This word includes the possession of whatever attributes are needed to carry out the task at hand. All of the attributes of what is needed for you to be the woman He designed you to be are already inside you.

There are 150 words in Hebrew in this poem.  Female in Hebrew is nekeiva (nun-kuf-beit-hei) Nun kuf is 150 and beit hei is a spelling for bah which means “in her.” Together that literally says “150 in her.”  All the words, all the meaning, all the potential and all the beauty of the 150 words is within us as females.  I love that!

The pressure is off! We don’t have to strive to become this woman. She is not an ideal that we are trying to achieve. All of her qualities are already in us waiting for us to wake up to and walk in.  We are fully equipped to be what our husbands and families need to excel and to prosper in their destinies.

The Proverbs 31 woman is more true to the Hebrew text when it uses words like this… “who can find a powerful, mighty, valiant woman?” Synonyms for these three words include wielding power, superhuman, influential, strong, unafraid and brave. WOW! This woman in the simplest translation is a warrior.

Abba is saying with this Proverb, “This is a picture of you My daughter of Grace!”

Rest in this!

Stop trying to become…. and just BE who you have always been, God’s ideal woman… perfect and complete in Him!

~ Robin

Branches NOT bearing fruit….

John 15:1-2: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. (2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away….”

takes away in the Greek is to lift up; to bear; to carry

Every branch not bearing fruit He lifts up and carries. He bears them up. He doesn’t cut them off!

No one bears fruit without Him… He is the Vine. Those who are bearing fruit, He prunes so they can bear more fruit. And those bearing no fruit He gently, lovingly, patiently, lifts up and carries… bearing them!

The Father is a good Vinedresser (Husbandman) taking care of ALL the branches.

#thesimpleGospel #gracefilledliving

Faith understands….

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.   ~ Hebrews 11:3

I love this verse!  First it tells us that faith understands.  We know through Paul’s teachings that the faith we live by is not our own but it is Jesus’ faith in us.  In Galatians 2:20 Paul says I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  Our faith is His faith.  His faith in us understands!  What does faith understand?

That the worlds were framed by the word of God.  God spoke the worlds into existence.  Genesis 1:1-2:  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.   There is so much in these verses!  Some rabbi’s spend their entire lives studying Genesis 1:1.  That’s what I love about the Hebrew language, it is a rich, meaningful language with layers and layers of meaning.

In Hebrew there are four levels of Scripture interpretation called Pardes.  Pardes in Hebrew means orchard or paradise.  It is an acroynm spelling: peshat (simple or direct meaning); remez (meaning hint — the deep, hidden meaning just beyond the literal sense); d’rash (meaning inquire or seek —  drawn out meaning of the verse, interpretive meaning; and finally sod (meaning secret — a mystery hidden and only revealed by revelation of the Spirit).  As a rule, the remez, d’rash, and sod interpretations never contradict the peshat – the simple, plain, direct meaning.

Today I don’t want to get in a deep study of it, I just want to look at the surface level of it. What I believe is the peshat of this verse.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and we know from later accounts of creation, ALL that He created is good.  But in verse 2 we are told that the earth was without form and void.  Without form and void in Hebrew is “tohu v’bohu.”    It refers to something with no shape and no definition.  Living Bible say “a shapeless chaotic mass.”  The Voice translation says it lacked shape, was totally empty and had a dark fog.   Then in the rest of Genesis 1 God takes the chaos, the dark fog, the formless and emptiness and brings order to it.  Makes it into what He purposed for it.  He takes it and makes it what He “created” in Genesis 1:1…. what He chose (bara in Hebrew).  He did that with words…. Genesis 1:3:  And God said!  He commanded, He declared.

Faith understands that!  God spoke order into the chaos, the fog and the emptiness… into the tohu v’bohu.  Speak is rhema in Hebrews 11:3.  We are speaking spirits, created in the image of our Daddy.  Co-speaking just like Him.  Forming our worlds just like Him. He formed the world to look like what He created it to look like… taking the not (the tohu v’bohu) and the dark and making them seen.  Forming them from the Light He spoke into them.

I love that the Greek word for formed in this verse is katartizo.  It is two words… kata meaning down and artizo meaning to adjust.  It is to adjust to be in good working order (which is tov in Hebrew! Everything God created He said was tov.. it was good!).  It is to adjust to make fully functioning… to mend and to restore.  The root of this word is my favorite!  It is viewed in terms of the present… the here and now! Complete, perfect, ready NOW!

Romans 10:8 connects the rhema to faith just like here in Hebrews 11.  It says the rhema is the spoken word (rhema) of faith.  Sometimes our worlds do not look like what God created them to look like.  They don’t look like what He has said about us… that in Christ we lack no good thing.  That we are saved:  healed, delivered and made whole in every area of our life (spiritual, physical, mental, social and financial.)  Sometimes, our lives look chaotic and empty.  Lacking.  It seems like we’re in a fog sometimes and can’t see the promises of God.

But faith understands!  It understands that God spoke to and formed out of nothing what we can see with our eyes.  Faith understands that just like our Daddy we are speaking spirits and can do the same thing.  Speaking His words (rhema) of faith… calling forth those things that be nought as though they were.

We don’t have to wait til someday when we get to Heaven to see the manifestation of things like healing, abundance, restored relationships, wholeness in every are of our life, etc.  Faith is NOW!  And according to Hebrews 11:3 forming our worlds by our words (like our Daddy) also results in NOW!

Our words are powerful… and faith understands that. Jesus said in Luke 6:45b out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  He said that after he just said that out of the treasure (storehouse) of your heart you will bring forth good things.  Bring forth is prophero meaning  to move something to necessary manifestation!  How do we move something to necessary manifestation?  Through our words which speak and Heb 11:3 tells us that forming is rooted in the NOW… we can see it here in our lifetime.

Our words speak forth what is stored in our hearts.  His faith is stored in our hearts!  We don’t have to rely on our own faith… we simply, like Paul, live our new lives by the faith OF the Son of God.  Resting in His faith!  Speaking forth His faith!  Saying what He knows to be true about us.  Forming our (NOW) world by speaking words of faith that say…..

I am righteous

I am holy

I am complete in Him

I have abundant life!

I am filled to the FULL with the FULLNESS of the Godhead!

He is the Health of my body!

I have ALL things that pertain to life and godliness!

I am saved – healed, delivered and whole in all the 5 areas of life… physical, spiritual, mental, social and financial!

I have NO lack!

I walk in favor!

This is what faith… His faith in you.. understands! I challenge you to go find out what God says about you and begin to speak it forth and watch the manifestation of His abundant life begin to form your world in this lifetime!

Because faith understands that just like Abba framed the worlds by His words….we also frame our world by our words!

~ Robin