More of God?

B31A20A1-664D-4D12-86F8-FB7EEDD792E2The year is 66 A.D. or maybe 67 A.D.  and Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, finds himself once again arrested by the Roman Empire.  But this time it is much different.  Instead of being under house arrest he finds himself in a dungeon in chains.  To be more specific in Nero’s dungeon.  Not only is Paul there but it is also believed that Peter who walked with Jesus is also there.  At this time Paul is able to write a letter to his fellow brother in Christ, a young man he raised up in the faith of their mutual Lord and Savior. This young man, Timothy, receives a letter which will be known as 2 Timothy to future generations. Yet, for Timothy this is the last correspondence he has from a man he had walked with and knew so very well.  This is the man Timothy had learned from Who Jesus is.  Paul knows his time is short and soon he will be poured out as a drink offering (4:6).  Paul asks Timothy to come to him yet at the same time realizes that Timothy may not get there in time, so his letter also conveys the concerns he has of the times and of the faith which is so dear to him and that he will die for.

If we put ourselves in the times this letter was thought to be written, we might see this as a transitional time for the believers in Christ.  Most of the other disciples have been killed for their belief.  The Roman Empire is controlled by Nero.  Under his rule the believers in Jesus suffered great persecution.  He is known as a cruel leader.  Both Paul and Peter are killed under his rule leaving only John as the  last of the original apostles.  Many believers began to wonder if Jesus would ever return and some were teaching the resurrection had already happened (2:17).  Paul also warns of others in the future who will have a form of godliness but deny it’s power and always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of truth (3:5&7).  He reminded Timothy, “ But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (3:14-15).  Paul also reminds Timothy several times to: “Hold fast the pattern of words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1:13); “…be strong in grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2:1-2); and “consider what I say and may the Lord give you understanding in all things” (2:7). Paul wanted to ensure the true gospel—-stayed TRUE and that the message being taught would not go back to the old leaven (law).  He reminds Timothy of the importance of faith in Who Jesus is to secure salvation and righteousness and how this truth needed to be passed on to future generations. I believe Paul was passing the baton on to his disciple Timothy before he died.  What brought me to tears though was the realization that the church today has completely perverted Paul’s words and has done exactly what he didn’t want to happen with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And the really sad part is that they have used his own words to do so.

So many times this book (2:20-26)  has been taught from the perspective of a believers behavior and their need to try to better themselves so they can “get more from God”, or “get to a higher level”.  Christians have lost the Way and forgotten it is Him Who brings us from glory to glory, not us.  And we already have ALL of Him in us, period.  There is no secret way of obedience to “get more Holy Spirit”. The entirety of the Holy Spirit resides in each believer as they Simply Believe.  People that believe there is a way for them to attain more of God by their behavior are simply feasting on the old leaven (1 Cor 5:8). This old leaven causes you to want to hide your mistakes and choices instead of living from the inside out (see: Grace Enables You to…. for more info).  When feasting on the old leaven you fear God and man because you don’t understand that God has already forgiven you because of His Son.  The truth is you are fully forgiven which causes you to not fear because you know, no matter what you have or haven’t done, you are beloved and fully accepted by the Holy Trinity.  

In our humanity we always want or desire to make ourselves righteous. It is just such a source of pride in humanity.  I understand this because for years this is the way I had lived.  This is where God truly wants humility.  It seems so difficult not only for unbelievers but for believers in Jesus to understand this.  We need to acknowledge the facts:

WE CAN NEVER MAKE OURSELVES RIGHTEOUS OR MORE RIGHTEOUS.

WE CAN NEVER MAKE OURSELVES PURE OR MORE PURE.

WE CAN NEVER MAKE OURSELVES HOLY OR MORE HOLY.

WE CAN NEVER GET MORE OF GOD BY OUR BEHAVIOR OR LESS OF GOD BY OUR BEHAVIOR.

According to Paul, we can only freely receive these things from Father God who made the way through His Only Son, Jesus Christ.  It is a FREE GIFT.  I submit to you the containers Paul speaks about In chapter 2:20-26 was to help Timothy realize that there are different vessels in the house of God and to make sure Timothy sees this clearly, understands this and makes sure the true gospel gets passed on to trustworthy people.  Paul talks about these containers in 1 Corinthians also.  In verse 8 of chapter 5 Paul mentions something that we must look at to understand what he was saying to Timothy: 

“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

The old leaven is the law.  The leaven of malice and wickedness is the world and the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth is the New Covenant.

See Paul was warning Timothy that these different containers would all be present in the “Church” and to look for the honorable containers to entrust the message to.  Giving credence to those that taught the truth just as he has done.

When I better understood the history, I could better understand the wording of the letter. I began to see that this letter is not so much about what I have to do to attain more from the Lord; but much more about believing what God, through His Son Jesus, has already done for me.  I believe this letter is just reinforcing to Timothy what Paul has always taught: Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb has already done it all for us…all we have to do is Simply Believe (Faith).

I encourage you whenever you go to read the Word of God to start at the right starting point…which is:

God Loves me

Jesus died for all of my sins

I am fully forgiven

I am righteous in Jesus

I am a new creation in Jesus

I have a free will choice to choose to believe Who God and Jesus is

The Holy Spirit (all of God) lives in me when I choose to believe

God never leaves me nor forsakes me

If we look at 2 Timothy with these eyes, we can see it is all about faith, grace and understand we can not in and of ourselves make ourselves a clean container but that through focusing on Jesus, through our belief in Who He is and ALL that He has accomplished on the Cross we are the clean or an honorable container. As believers we need to stop trying to put a new garment on an old one…it doesn’t fit-the New Covenant message of Grace is not a patch for the Old Covenant of Law— just put on the whole new garment of Grace given freely and completely to you by Jesus.  Through all scripture—ALL—-you can see the truth of Jesus.

It is time for Jesus,
not man,
to be high and lifted up
and He will draw
all men unto Himself.

So now go and read 2 Timothy with new, fresh eyes and let’s stand and make a change back to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  We no longer want the old leaven of the law, nor the feast of malice or wickedness (the world).  What we want is the New covenant, unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  Truth that Jesus took all your sins, it is finished, you are whole (even if you don’t look it or act like it, remember glory to glory) and you are obedient right where you are at.  A good friend said something so profound and I want to share it here.  She said, “I gave 100% of what I had at that time.”  This is how I see believers going from glory to glory now.  I can’t yet give what I don’t understand I have just yet.  But I am fully reliant on the Giver and the Giver knows my heart.

New Wine

Freedom from Condemnation

F974C388-8CDE-491E-BE7B-A0259C1B1DC1After writing my last post, Firm Foundation, I was talking to a close girlfriend about each of the points.  When I had gotten to number two and I said out loud I am completely forgiven, I realized in that moment it had been a really long time since I had felt condemnation.  Now for me, and I believe many in the church, condemnation comes along frequently.  At least it had for me.  It would come in large mountains that were immovable and even though I would take the steps I had been taught for so long by church leaders it simply would not budge.  I would live in a constant state of perpetually feeling like I had to somehow work at getting God to forgive me.  Let me give an example to help explain:  Let’s say I got angry with my kids that day and screamed at them.   I didn’t even use bad language but I still let my anger get the best of me and I screamed at my kids.  I would then feel guilty, I would repent to God saying I was wrong and I did something bad, I would apologize to my kids, I would then spend hours praying while everyone slept again asking God: to forgive me, help my kids to forgive me, wipe away any bad things I may have caused in them because I yelled.  As I would “repent”, which looked more like me taking out a whip and whipping myself, I would hope I could show God how sorrowful I was and maybe God would forgive me.  I would ask Him to help me forgive myself yet the mountain of condemnation would stay.  I would repeat this same idea of repentance again and again sometimes for weeks for the same wrong doing.  I was so focused on what I shouldn’t be doing and not on the fact that God loved me, had already forgiven me and this act would not cause me to go to hell or ruin my children…but I was living in a hell here on earth because condemnation gets very heavy to carry and it caused me to forget who I am and Whose I am.  This very focus on the wrongdoing would cause me to repeat the same scenario over and over again.  I wanted off this hamster wheel, but didn’t know how.   The Holy Spirit though taught me that the way I viewed the word repentance was incorrect which led to condemnation having free reign in my life for years.  The way most church leadership teach repentance is wrong.  The reason I know this is because I not only experienced it but also was one who perpetuated it.  I have written about repentance here: It is Time to Let Go of the Rules-Otherwise Known as the Law, and many other places throughout my blog you can just search repentance if you would like a fuller picture.  See, I believed repentance to mean: I must make sure God knows I am sorry, I must somehow prove to Him I am being truthful about being sorry and I must convince Him to forgive me.  Here is what repentance truly means:

Metanaeo-(Greek)=to think differently after; change of mind; changed after being with.

And how about the word confession in Greek:

Homologeó-(Greek)=to agree or voice the same conclusion.  Simply: put to voice the same conclusion God has.

See these two words together are important.  First when true repentance occurs you see things God’s way and when you confess you are coming into agreement or voicing the same conclusion God has in situations.  Repentance never meant to grovel at God’s feet in hopes He forgives you.  It simply means seeing things God’s way and coming to the same conclusion as He does.  It is a change of heart that He does in His interaction with us through the Holy Spirit inside us.  It is simple…not us doing it but Him doing it in us.  This is why the Holy Spirit came and this is not manufactured or drummed up by ourselves.  I want to make that very clear because when that happens your focus is in the wrong place.

There is no need
to prove we still
need the free gift;
we simply receive
the free gift.

What seems to be forgotten in all of this is the important fact of what God did with the obedience of His Son, Jesus, on the Cross for all of us.  This part seems to be put aside after we are saved.  All of a sudden we, as Christians, are trying to prove we are good enough to still receive His free gift of “It is Finished”.   The Father and the Son have done all the work for us, period.  We are fully forgiven, Holy and righteous because of Their work, not ours. When we have accepted that and continue to accept it, which means we have FAITH in what was accomplished for us, then we no longer feel as though we must be the ones to make ourselves clean, Holy or righteous to be forgiven. We simply already are forgiven.  There is no need to prove we still need the free gift; we simply receive the free gift.

37D3AEA9-1F2C-408D-A61E-AEB04919B024Now, when I have done something wrong, I thank God and His Son for what they paid such a dear price to purchase (my freedom) and I am thankful I have the Holy Spirit within me.   Like a child I simply trust (faith), know that I am forgiven, know that the Holy Spirit is taking me from glory to glory, rest in the fact I am loved in my imperfections, I confess that He is good and with this…condemnation has no place.  It no longer even comes to visit me.  It has simply given up because I no longer rely on my good behavior but His.  And I know that is ENOUGH.  Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, Who saved and continues to save ME.

The Worst Disease to Hit Mankind

And what you can do about it…

In His Name

Over the many years of being a “Christian”, I have been “taught” how to “pray”.  I quote those words because I think they have been misused or misunderstood.  At first I was taught by the Holy Spirit; but the longer I was around people who had been in the church longer than me I began to pick up some of their habits. Then it was expected I should pray in a certain way and take classes to learn how to pray.

A vending machine
has no will,
money is put in,
a button is pushed,
and what the person pushing
the button wants comes out

Today though, I want to discuss the practice of what may have become more like a formula many Christians use to put emphasis on their prayers. One of the things the Lord had shown me during those three days almost three years ago, was a vending machine. When He showed me this He spoke,”I am not a vending machine but people have made me into a vending machine“.  See a vending machine has no will, money is put in, a button is pushed, and what the person pushing the button wants comes out. We, as Christians, may have started at a wrong starting point with our view of God. We unknowingly may think God has no will in circumstances of life and yet, His plan comes above everything else. I can only discern what I believe to be God’s will as each circumstance comes to me through this lifetime.  His Holy Spirit inside me tells me and gives me unction to pray instead of praying a prayer as someone (man) desires me to…but wait I am getting ahead of myself.

Let me try to explain. The scripture that I want to use is in Acts 3:16. This is where the apostles are headed to the temple and there is a man who is sitting at the Beautiful Gate begging for money because he has been crippled since birth and the apostles say they do not have money but what they do have….here let’s enter in:

“Kefa said, “I don’t have silver, and I don’t have gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of the Messiah, Yeshua of Natzeret, walk!” And taking hold of him by his right hand, Kefa pulled him up. Instantly his feet and ankles became strong; so that he sprang up, stood a moment, and began walking. Then he entered the Temple court with them, walking and leaping and praising God!
‭‭Acts of Emissaries of Yeshua (Act)‬ ‭3:6-8 CJB‬

In His Name…..I have ended many prayers this way.  Many times knowing or sensing what I had just prayed wasn’t what God wanted me to pray.  Yet, the expectation was for me to pray this way because if I didn’t then God wouldn’t be seen as good and/or I IMG_1656would not be praying correctly according to man.  Let me make this very clear: God is good all the time despite the circumstances I am in.  Yet, in the past, I felt I needed to pray a way directed by man rather than God.  For this I have been convinced I was wrong and have gone back to my childlike trust in God and what His will is in each circumstance.  See we apply an attribute to God and then make it a blanket statement not realizing that it might mean something far greater than what we see it as.  Let me use this as an example.  God hates sickness. Yes, God holds no account to sickness.  It is not part of His realm.  But I want you to think of the worst sickness or disease to ever hit mankind.  Maybe it could be the plague, AIDS, cancer or….there are many to choose from.  To me though the worst sickness or disease is actually the original fall.  This is a disease that has attacked every single human being in the world.  Our brokenness is what has brought so much strife, division, hatred, and evil acts perpetrated on other humans and the earth. This sickness/disease we are all born with.  Jesus carried this for us at the Cross.  He made a way to rid humanity of this awful disease.  This sickness that 65893174-28F6-48F3-811B-339FC93F8B10has caused so many sicknesses. And with that He also took the shame of all of us who have performed these acts.  I want the world to see the largeness of what God actually did through His Son on the Cross.  We get caught up in the smaller picture and with that fear creeps in.  What if I die?  Well….we shall all die and as Christians we should not fear this or the second death.  Because truly we live forever.  We should not be like the Goyim (the unbelievers).

So, back to prayer.  Here is the definition of the Greek word for “name” from biblehub.com:

3686 ónoma – name; (figuratively) the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character, i.e. as distinguishing them from all others. Thus “praying in the name of Christ” means to pray as directed (authorized) by Him, bringing revelation that flows out of being in His presence. “Praying in Jesus’ name” therefore is not a “religious formula” just to end prayers (or get what we want)!

[“According to Hebrew notions, a name is inseparable from the person to whom it belongs, i.e. it is something of his essence. Therefore, in the case of the God, it is specially sacred” (Souter).]

Praying “in His Name” means we receive revelation from Him as to what to pray.  It is not simply to tag this on in hopes you are praying what He desires.  It actually means you are praying as directed by the Holy Spirit in that instance. As stated above, Hebrews understand that the name is part of the person….the essence of that person and is inseparable from the person.  A name is very important to Hebrews.  As it should be for all of us.  As believers in Christ, we have His essence known as the Holy Spirit residing within us.  Inside of us we know, otherwise called discernment, what, where and when to pray.  We have the mind of Christ, His essence, in us.  We pray in His Name as we call out His will in this earth realm as it lines up with His larger picture, not yours.  His larger picture, as I have read in scripture, is that the world may know His Name.  He simply does not want one person, human, to be separated from Him.  As we pray, this is the larger picture. In the above historical story of the man being healed at the Beautiful Gate, God’s larger picture evolves.  This isn’t saying God didn’t want this man healed but there was a larger picture. Let’s finish the story here:

Everyone saw him walking and praising God. They recognized him as the same man who had formerly sat begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were utterly amazed and confounded at what had happened to him. While he clung to Kefa and Yochanan, all the people came running in astonishment toward them in Shlomo’s Colonnade. Seeing this, Kefa addressed the people: “Men of Isra’el! Why are you amazed at this? Or why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk through some power or godliness of our own? The God of Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Yeshua — the same Yeshua you handed over and disowned before Pilate, even after he had decided to release him. You denied the holy and innocent one, and instead asked for the reprieve of a murderer! You killed the author of life! “But God has raised him from the dead! Of this we are witnesses.” “And it is through putting trust in his name that his name has given strength to this man whom you see and know. Yes, it is the trust that comes through Yeshua which has given him this perfect healing in the presence of you all.” Acts of Emissaries of Yeshua (Act)‬ ‭3:9-16CJB‬

God glorified His Servant Yeshua.  Simply making it known Who He is.  Trust in His essence, His Name.  Trust in Who He is that gave strength and perfect healing to this man in their presence.  We have always focused on the healing but not so much about the people present. Peter was very straightforward telling these Jews the very same man with the name Yeshua, Jesus, this man who You disowned and denied as holy and innocent is the very same One Whose essence in them brought healing to this man whom had been crippled since birth.  This was just what was needed at this point, in these people’s lives to make Him known to them.  Each situation is different because each person is different.  God knows us perfectly and knows what needs to be done in each situation.  We are simply to trust (faith) Him with the outcomes.  Fully knowing the worst disease to ever hit mankind has been abolished by the King of kings on the Cross.  In His Name, ❤️

Jesus’ Return?!?!?!?

I wasn’t going to get into this topic at all. I was going to let the day come and go while holding onto my faith in the One who loves me so much.  A friend had texted me asking my opinion on img_1654-1the subject. I am just going to paste in what I wrote back with more added for clarity:

The temple veil has been torn and I believe that Jesus has fulfilled all of the Jewish feasts. Yet, we are living in the last three. You need to understand Jesus is timeless or lives outside of time. We have experienced Pentecost, we are living in the Rosh Hashanah otherwise known as the Days of Awe (the miraculous era of grace), Yom Kippur (full payment of sin) has been finished by the Lamb; yet the books of heaven are still open. We are living in a time of Sukkot as God, through His Holy Spirit, lives in us. The final or great Trump has not been sounded. The Hidden Day (Rosh Hashanah) is the day the doors of heaven stand open. Jesus ripped the veil in half at His death. His resurrection has allowed open heavens for all those who have faith in Him. We, in the New Covenant, are actually living in the era of the fall festivals. We are the latter rain. Whether or not God will also tie the return of His Son to Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur or another day is….well……one of the great mysteries. People getting in an uproar because of all the “signs”: earthquakes, solar eclipse, hurricanes need to look at the totality of history and natural disasters that have hit the earth since the fall.  Yes, we need to know the times; this is the times.  Yet, Jesus spoke very clearly about the bridesmaids and what they were to do.

We are simply to remain hopeful of His return and keep our faith, being the light and shining for others to also see the Light of the world so that others are also convinced, change their thinking and see Jesus for Who He is, the Son of God. Just as the five sensible bridesmaids were. Remember: ““But when that day and hour will come, no one knows — not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father.” Mattityahu (Mat)‬ ‭24:36‬ ‭CJB‬‬

 I hope this brings some clarity.  This is a very short version of a complex teaching.  Much grace to you, Darlene

The Fight

This past weekend I watched the McGregor/Mayweather fight.  I watched as round after round went by thinking about the endurance each athlete had to have to continue fighting.  I thanked God for the endurance He has supplied me with to fight the good fight of FAITH.  Because life is so much like the boxing ring and I am thankful that Jesus has won the war for me.

I had posted a great pic a few weeks ago of what I am going to write about in this blog post.  You can look at it here: Coming soon…Why the race is about faith and not behavior….#Hebrews11 #Hebrews12 . Let’s get to it.

Hebrews is beautifully written to well…..Hebrews….but there is much for us in the church in present times to look at here.  I went through the history of this book in Did You Really Just Say That?!?!.  So please go back and read this post if you haven’t yet. Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter and there are a couple of things I want to make clear with this chapter.  This faith chapter includes people like Rahab, King David, and Samuel.  It also includes what the Jewish people suffered holding on to their faith (trust, belief) in Who God is.  Please note King David was during the law but his faith made him righteous and Rahab’s faith made her righteous enough to be in the lineage of Jesus and she was a prostitute.  At the “end” of this chapter it states:

And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.(Hebrews 11:39-40 NASB)

Apart from us they would not be made perfect…..because something was provided by God that was better for us. This is describing what Jesus had done in their lifetime and ours. As the letter moves into Chapter 12 of Hebrews, we get into some pretty important wording that we all need to carefully look at.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin (noun) which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before usfixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners (adjective-describes a noun) against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NASB)

  • sin (noun)= hamartia 266 = (ha) not and (3313 meros) a part or share of; no share (“no part of”) loss (forfeiture) because not hitting the mark.  Every action or decision done apart from faith.

I have written about sin before in the New Testament in the blog Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4).  I have questioned: How could Jesus say, “Go and sin no more.” When He said to go and “sin” (verb) no more it was so much more than their behavior, as we might think of it.  We need to remember that Jesus is the “mark” we do not want to miss in the New Covenant.  Jesus came onto the scene here on earth proclaiming, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  And He was truly desiring for people to look at things or see things as God sees them.  Jesus also clearly noted that their faith healed them not their behavior.  The definition of hamarte (noun) also describes every action/decision done apart from faith; this is a heart condition which then can convert into a mind decision.  I make a decision or choice of faith in God in the very beginning (faith as small as a mustard seed).  In this faith (trust/belief) I also believe that all my sins (transgressions=hatah, iniquity=avon, and sin=peshah) have fully been cleared by Jesus’ payment on the Cross.  When we see the word sin in the New Testament we think behavior instead of looking deeper and actually understanding the Hebrew word Peshah.  Peshah means to make a counter covenant and to clearly, of your own free will, choose to identify with the principles of evil.  When you see it this way it is in direct opposition to God and all that His Son has done for you.  This is fully making a decision or action apart from faith.  This word contains the idea that this is their own free will choice, self empowered choice to forfeit or have no part of or share of…..God’s desire to have a relationship with them which Jesus provided a free and clear way through the Cross for the whole world. This is truly “missing the mark”, Jesus.  This is what equates to wickedness or sin isn’t the Greek word hamartia.

  • encumbrance (noun)= ogkos 3591 = weight, burden, encumbrance–this is the only occurrence of this word in the NT yet this notes both Matthew 23:4: “They tie up heavy burdens (unable to move, pressing down on a person with oppressive force) and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.”  And Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is [a]easy and My burden is light.”  Again both of these scriptures Jesus is talking about the Pharisees and how the Religious mindset lays a heavy burden on people whereas His is light.  Does anyone feel light?  I do….thank you Jesus.  Do you want to feel light?  Keep reading…
  • entangles (adjective) = euperístatos 2139 = from 2095/eú, “well”; 4012/perí, “all-around”; and 2476/hístēmi, “stand”) – properly, well-planted all-around, describing what is encompassing (encircling), i.e. surrounding, “wholly around”; (figuratively) a serious hindrance that “encircles” (hampers) someone who desperately needs to advance.
  • endurance (noun) = hypomonḗ 5281 = (from 5259/hypó, “under” and 3306/ménō, “remain, endure”) – properly, remaining under, endurance; steadfastness, especially as God enables the believer to “remain (endure) under” the challenges in life.

Yes, think about him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you won’t grow tired or become despondent. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in the contest against sin. Also you have forgotten the counsel which speaks with you as sons: “My son, don’t despise the discipline of Adonai or become despondent when he corrects you. For Adonai disciplines those he loves and whips everyone he accepts as a son.”  Regard your endurance as discipline; God is dealing with you as sons. For what son goes undisciplined by his father?  All legitimate sons undergo discipline; so if you don’t, you’re a mamzer and not a son! Hebrews 12:4-6

I don’t know if this scripture has scared anyone else, but it has me.  This verse always makes me envision an angry God up in heaven waiting to dole out some pretty hefty spankings when I don’t line up and follow all the rules.  How about you??  Let’s look at the beauty of these words in the Greek to have an accurate picture of Who God is and what the unknown author was really saying.

  • resist (verb)= antikathistémi 478 = to set down against, i.e. to replace, oppose; I resist, supersede, replace, oppose.
  • contest (verb) = antagonizomai 464 = (1 occurrence in the NT found here) resist, strive against, contend, antagonize.  The definition of antagonize according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is as follows: 1) to incur or provoke the hostility of His criticism antagonized his friends. 2) to act in opposition to : counteract

The word counteract bears more looking at.  Counteract means to act in opposition to.  We have not acted in opposition to sin to the point of shedding blood against sin.  Yet, Jesus has.  Jesus has resisted, opposed and superseded sin to the point of shedding blood.  The word sin here is a noun not a verb.  It is describing a person, place or thing.  When Jesus is explaining to go and sin no more it is a verb which is an action.  We need to be watchful of the use of the words.  When I have read scripture in the past I would see the word sin and automatically think verb which means action.  Where here it is a noun.  The use of the word in the sentence changes what it is defining.  As I stated above the word hamartano is described as this in biblehub: Every decision (action) done apart from faith (4102 /pístis) is sin.  Every action done apart from FAITH is sin.  Yet this word is a noun, person, place or thing.  This is how I felt the Lord was describing it to me.  The sickness mumps is a noun, it is a thing.  Yet that sickness develops actions like swelling of the neck and fever still things yet your actions come out of those things.  Like sleep, sweating, drinking liquids.  I hope this is making sense.  So Jesus sat and opposed or counteracted sin the noun so that we would not have the actions of sin the verb.  Here is how I see it in my mind:

FAITH (trust/belief God) VS SIN (counter covenant)

Jesus counteracted sin.  Here is a good example:  The doctor gave you medicine to counteract the effects of the sickness.  So: Jesus made sin ineffective in the lives who by faith walk through the door He opened. That is the pill.  We simply keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith.  He restrained, neutralized the ill effects of sin (noun) because He is the direct opposite or in opposition to sin.  Jesus counteracted sin for all of humanity as we have faith in Who He is and what He did for us.  So, the question always comes down to this…why do I sin….are you talking transgression, iniquity or actual sin according to the Hebrew.  See, Jesus says He paid for all of that on the Cross.  There are iniquities that are weaknesses to fall under temptation….yet what did Jesus do…He said it is finished, So it is finished. The payment has been made for the whole world but those that have access to it simply trust God for what His Son did for the world.  The enemy would like us to think that our salvation is dependent on our behavior when it is actually our faith that brings us into covenant with God, not our behavior.  What do I do when I have transgressed?  If you haven’t already please read: Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4); which will answer that question for you.  The realization that my relationship with My Father in Heaven is not based on my behavior but completely by His behavior brought freedom and a light load.  It is really that simple.

As I realized how Jesus counteracted sin,  He then asked me, “Why do people want to be sin foucused instead of Me focused?”

I believe the answer to this question is: as humans, since Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, have tried to attain our own righteousness, holiness and right behavior.  The law though has only proven we can not attain this.  Yet, still as Christians, we try to somehow attain holiness and righteousness by our own deeds still instead of realizing Jesus counteracted sin, He paid the price and for that I am eternally grateful.  We do have a new nature He paid to give us and we do act in that more and more as we focus on Him not our behaior.  Don’t put the Cart Before the Horse?  So we instead of becoming sin focused (a choice outside of faith) let us remain Jesus focused by believing and trusting that He has begun a good work and will remain faithful to finish it. (Philippians 1:6)  Because God promised to write the law upon our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33 and Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16) and be our God.  This is us in the New Covenant.  We believe, have faith, this is what God has done in us and realize God is finishing this work within us and believe He has created a new nature within us, that the old nature is dead with Christ and we have risen new with Christ.

In the Kingdom of Heaven trusting (faith) = righteousness, holiness, benefits of sonship/daughtership and so much more

Regard your endurance as discipline.  This means your endurance (see definition IMG_1646above) is discipline.  Discipline means to reach full maturity.  Remember that your seed of faith is given by God and is as small as a mustard seed but when fully grown becomes a large tree.  Strong, that can withstand a storm.  One of the notes on biblehub states that God uses things that happen in our life to mature us.  God’s discipleship is to mature us through life’s experiences.  Life happens and we either mature or we stay stagnant.  Choosing to mature grows our faith.  And just to make sure you understand: if we choose not to mature at that time GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU!!!  And there will be plenty of more “LIFE HAPPENS” to mature.  We no longer live under the law; so please do not think that God is waiting to punish you as if you had to hold up your part of the bargain; because remember His Son, Jesus, has paid the full price for you.

“For they disciplined us only for a short time and only as best they could; but he disciplines us in a way that provides genuine benefit to us and enables us to share in his holiness.” (Heb)‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭CJB‬‬

We receive genuine benefit and share in His holiness as we hang on to our faith, let go of the law (heavy burden) and the sin (separate of faith).  Faith is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven.  Faith in the One who resisted to the shedding of blood, the One Who bled so we can partake in His righteousness and holiness.  This “fight” is the fight to remain trusting and believing in Who God said He is as we walk through this timeline of our life.  This is what every person listed in Hebrews 11 did and they endured horrible hardships.  This is what every believer had done in the time this letter had been written.  They endured terrible deaths.  Yet they were not told to make sure they didn’t do x,y,z but were told to not claim a counter covenant and keep the covenant Jesus paid such a dear price for.  As we look at the end of chapter 12 the author says:  let us have grace through which we worship and are accepted by God.  Grace…let us have grace this is how we worship and are acceptable to God.  So that means accept Jesus’ free gift of grace, fully redeemed, fully loved, fully holy, fully accepted, fully clean, fully righteous because of what Jesus did…not because of what you did or didn’t do….Just believe, trust; which simply means FAITH.  So know you should feel lighter as you have let go of the law and grabbed hold by faith…grace given by Jesus.

Coming soon…Why the race is about faith and not behavior….#Hebrews11 #Hebrews12

What Is a Prophet to Do

Silence never solves a problem…

IMG_1592I have never told this story publicly……because I was told not to.  Why am I telling this story now…..because Prophets need to be a little better understood amongst “leadership” within the church-the abuse (to control and manipulate) needs to stop, prophetic words need to be understood within the church, and why you should never agree to not talk about something that has happened to you.

It is Saturday, May 21, 2008 and that morning I received a vision from the Lord of myself on a tiny wooden boat and heard, “And the tiny boat was tossed.”  The sea was dark and rumbling, but I was at peace with light shining down on me.  I felt as though a storm was approaching but I will have peace…..It is now July 26th of the same year and I had received a directive and a word from the Lord that week.  Our church was to begin a building campaign in the next few months and I was praying for this as directed by the pastors.  The Lord told me three things at this time with a great amount of love:

  1. The money will not come in.
  2. The building will be built in 7 years.
  3. I will be the prophet to call it in.

After He told me those three things He requested I proclaim in the earth realm that the money wouldn’t come in.  It took much but after He told me the last two things, I did as He requested.

I was to share with the pastors that the money wouldn’t come in.  I was able to do soIMG_1602 with the female pastor that Saturday night.  I thought it was received well and that they would take it to the Lord.  My husband, Bryan, had gone to a movie and I had driven home with our young sons.  I received a phone call from the female pastor, frantically saying they needed to come over to our house right away.  I told her Bryan was not home; but they still came.  This is when things got ugly and horrible.  First they were asking what they have done wrong, what sin they needed to repent of and I told them there wasn’t anything the Lord had said about that.  I had felt the word had come from a place of love and protection.  But it was like they didn’t hear what I was saying and continued trying to ask me what sin the church had committed.  Then, I was accused of cursing the church and was Jezebel.  I was told I must apologize to the pastoral team and what was then a pastoral prayer team members.  The prayer team members did not even know what I was apologizing for just that I was to apologize.  I was told by the pastoral team that we (the pastoral team, my husband and I) were never to talk about this with anyone.  Later I had found out the pastoral team did not hesitate to talk about it with people and these people also shared some things with other people. So much for promises and keeping it to ourselves.  I was in full fledge fear because 1) I was accused of cursing the church and 2) What if I did have Jezebel inside me?????.

God never intended us to submit
to spiritual leaders who are cruel,
hurtful or can not humble themselves
They are considered untrustworthy

I had many situations that came up during this time that would be termed as spiritual abuse.  Shunning, hurtful words and actions by the pastoral staff, I was actually told they were surprised I showed up for events at the church, my own children were told to pray against me as I was the one “cursing” the church and I choose to stay, I took all the abuse and did what was asked of me; because I doubted God’s word to me and thought I had sinned horribly— so I deserved all of the harsh treatment; because at this point my viewpoint of God was off.  I had learned in the church that they are the “authority over you” and “we are to submit to the authority over us”.  Never realizing what the Greek actually meant in Hebrews 13, more explanation will be in another post. In a nutshell though– I truly believe that God never intended us to submit to spiritual authority that is hurtful, cruel and are unable to humble themselves to say they are sorry.  They fully expect and require people “under them” to apologize for anything they deem needs an apology. People like this are not God’s leadership.

It is now three and a half years later and the money did not come in for the building campaign.  Soon after the pledges were taken the economy nose dived and many people lost houses and jobs.  The people could not make their monetary commitments they had written in August of 2008.  No one on the pastoral team ever said a word about the word being accurate.

I knew the next three and a half years would be different and began praying for the building and the needed money to fund this venture.    Remember I never said a word about the last 2/3 of the word.  I had kept them to myself and my husband at the Lord’s directive.  Sunday, June 1, 2014 the same female pastor met with me in between services because she had to share something with me she had said.  We went into a back room and she had asked me, “Do you remember when you had to give that “hard word” back at (the name of the place we were worshipping at back six years ago).”  I replied yes and she continued, “The Lord God Himself made you give the word because as a prophet, that was the only way to birth through me the prayer necessary to bring the building.”  She never knew that she just confirmed the third promise the Lord gave me.  And the second promise was that the building would be up that seventh year and it is.

I never did receive an apology, we were wrong, or you were right.  Many leaders in the church are afraid of admitting they are wrong or saying sorry because of a crazy misconception that this will somehow lessen their leadership when instead it actually would increase it.  It is wrong to think saying you are sorry in some way will cause them to lose their authority over you.  I have talked a bit about this in Because of Christ, Believers in Him Are Seated in Heavenly Places.  This kind of control is not of God, it is directly trying to control the prophetic gifting in the most hurtful and damaging way.  Most of this occurred because the blind were leading the blind.  I say that as Jesus said it about the Pharisees because like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time this pastoral staff’s viewpoints of God were and are still off.  They do not see God as a loving Father but one that will turn away from you if you sin and you must grovel to have Him even be able to look at you and love you again.  This doesn’t line up with the New Testament Covenant.  I believe so much hurt has occurred in the church because of this incorrect view of God and it is time for this to change.

There has been a large movement saying that prophetic words should only be “good” not “negative” and this is unbalanced thinking.  Mainly because we have defined “good” by man’s way of thinking not God’s.  Prophetic words should bring life, hope, warning and DIRECTION.  Here are the biblical examples that helped me hold it together waiting to see if this “word” would come true and prove I wasn’t crazy, Jezebel, cursing the church etc….

“One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius.” Acts‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.‘” When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭21:10-14‬ ‭NASB‬‬

One was a corporate word and the other was a personal word.  Both were warnings that would help give direction to the individual and to the large group of people.  It was to let them know what would surely come; so they could make a plan, to decide, to have wisdom.  This is were I see the church lacking because of the fear of a word that doesn’t fit into their “box of love”….while this surely fits into “God’s box of love”.  It is time for the church to understand God’s love.

Agreeing “never talk about something again”, for the moment, looks good to the offender; yet it is not healthy.  It is unhealthy to not be able to talk, process and walk all the emotions out in a safe place.  When I was told never to talk about this situation it actually made things worse for me, not better.  I needed to process out loud with people that had wisdom and loved me.  What I have realized is that hiding something away doesn’t make it just disappear it makes it fester.  And festering is toxic for our bodies.  Do not agree to never talk about something again…talking is one of the ways God created for us to stay healthy, helpful, loving and bond as human beings.

This very thing that occurred, as one friend pointed out, helped create who I am today.  This very story becomes the tapestry of my life which helps forge what God desires in and through me.  I am sure it would have still happened without this occurring yet I might not have understood so many things such as: the Grace of God, being assured of Whose I am and who I am, not doubting God can truly turn ALL things around for our good, His amazing peace in spite of our circumstances, no longer wanting to please man, confident in the fact He loves me no matter what, my children understand spiritual abuse and can spot it a mile away, they are also confident in their stance with God, and I will never prostitute myself in the prophetic again.

Silence has never solved a problem

I am sure there are many of you with similar stories; actually I know of too many stories already that have occurred with these same pastors over multiple states.  It breaks my heart that anyone would have to go through something like this.  I also know these aren’t the only pastors that lead this way, as they have been taught to lead this way.  If you want to share your story to heal and move forward please feel free to share below or on my Facebook page: Hisbelovedgrace4ever. I have set my comment settings so you can be anonymous when commenting below if you would rather. I am here to pray, read your story and will try to respond to your comments. With love, freedom and His beautiful grace, Darlene

For the rest of my story that got me where I am today you can read Ummmm…Is That An Elephant in the Room?!?!? and People Don’t Like Letting the Elephant Out, Questions Answered

The Kingdom of Heaven is Like…

I had made a meme…A Little of What… .  This had been part of something the Lord had been telling me:  "You are the pearl, be the pearl. You are the treasure, be the treasure. You are the coin, be the coin."  One of the things I would have believed or interpreted from this statement in the past, because my view of God was off, is this:

"Darlene, shape up because you aren't behaving like you are one of My children."

Yet, this isn't what God was saying to me at all.  What He is saying is:

  • You are pure; because My Son made you pure.IMG_1590
  • You are priceless; because you are you created by Me.
  • I will keep running after you; because you are so very beloved by Me.

When you believe you are pure, priceless and beloved by a Father in heaven it changes you.  You can't help but be changed.  Your whole mind shifts from a place of fear to a place faith.  When we start to understand the fullness of what Christ did for us on the Cross: how fully forgiven we are, how beautiful and priceless we are, how greatly loved we are this in and of itself changes our perspective of ourselves and others.  This alone is huge.  Yet then God gives His gift the Holy Spirit, Himself to live within us.  The closest we can get to Him this side of Heaven and that is amazing love.

Whose you are
and
Who you are

It isn't about your or my behavior when He says, "Be the pearl".  It is all about seeing yourself as or believing you are the pearl, treasure and coin. This is called: "faith in what He did for you".  That is the Kingdom of Heaven….be the pearl.

Matthew 13:44-45, Luke 15:8-10