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

Friends 🌻

I had watched the movie “Ya-Ya Sisterhood” a little while ago. It was on regular tv; so many things were bleeped out.  Yet this didn’t take away the message of girls, women and our wonderful friendships we can have. God meant for us to have relationship with Him and others. This is otherwise known as friendships, sisterhood, brotherhood, bffs (best friends forever) and family.

Takeaways I got from this movie that I wanted to share:

  • Real long term friendships do happen- I have friends still from high school, college, after college and now that are still in my life. I have friends near and far that can speak into my life and could come and visit and we can just be together. It is real and we have lived through disagreements and loved one another when we haven’t been “loveable”.
  • Sisterhood equates to BFF or whatever name it might be called amongst your friends.  What it looks like is simply relationship, strong relationships are ALWAYS forged theough fire- through disagreements, tuff times and not running; but facing, talking and listening to each other through it.  What comes from this is a trust that is not easily broken.
  • Life is tuff. We aren’t perfect. You enjoy the happy and sad times together. Laugh at yourselves and each other. You get to laugh hard, cry hard, love hard, be angry, be passionate, be real, be yourself–love life.

Sisterhood is meant to be REAL.  It is seeing the good, the bad and the ugly in one another while moving forward together, in love. Love by helping one another through ‘all times’, pointing things out for one another and reassuring each other.  Creating a history together is fun.  Life is meant to have a vertical relationship with God and many different horizontal relationships with other people.  The mess we can create with one another is meant to become the most beautiful piece of artwork, as we entrust our relationships to our Father in heaven.  

If you want to read more on what I wrote on relationships you can start here: Have We Sold Indulgences, in Modern Times? (Part 1)Millstone Around Your Neck…No Thanks….(Part 2)Millstone Around Your Neck…..No Thanks (Part 3)Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4)Has “Sorry” Lost Its’ Potency (Final Part)

Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4)

If you haven’t yet, you may want to start with these posts first: Have We Sold Indulgences in Modern Times (pt.1)Millstone Around Your Neck (pt. 2), and Millstone Around Your Neck (pt. 3) because they look at Luke 17:1-2 and the spirit of offense.

Today I want to start to look at Luke 17:3-10. Here it is below:

Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”  And the Lord said, “If you have faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would have obeyed you. “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and recline to eat’? But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and after these things you will eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”

I want to clarify first when Jesus is talking in verse 1-2 of Luke 17 He is talking about a stumbling block (scandala) and what to do in this situation (see the first three posts above that talk about this part of scripture). Today as we dig into just Luke 17:3, please realize Jesus is specifically speaking of hamarte which is translated as sins above. I asked you to look up the definitions of the three Hebrew words for sin. In case you hadn’t here they are:

  • Avon (ah-vone)=iniquity=weakness or tendency to fall under temptation in specific areas-but does not involve taking action in a condoning way- based on the thoughts, emotions that we know are evil.
  • Hatah (ha-tah)=transgression=the action of violating God’s principles-making a mistake, picking yourself up and seeing it as God sees it.
  • Peshah (pe-shah)=sin=deflection or rebellion-to make a counter covenant, deliberate sin consciously choosing to violate God’s principles and identifying with the principles of evil in a clear act of rebellion. 1

I want to really look at the word hamarte in Greek and look at what it is or coincides with in Hebrew according to supporting scripture. The Hebrew language was much better at capturing the meaning and difference between iniquity, transgression and sin. Whereas the Greek translation into English is not as specific with the differences. Yet I believe it is important to understand these differences. We need to remember that Jesus was talking to Jews in Hebrew when he walked the earth. So let’s look a little closer….

Here in Luke 17:3 the KJV actually translates the word hamarte as transgression.  The other time the version hamarte is used in the New Testament is in 1 John 2:1:

“I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin (hamartete-might not sin/ transgress). But if anyone does sin (hamarte-transgress), we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s. 1 John‬ ‭2:1 ‭MSG‬‬

The definition of hamartano from biblehub.com is:

originally: I miss the mark, hence (a) I make a mistake, (b) I sin, commit a sin (against God); sometimes the idea of sinning against a fellow-creature is present. Word Origin
from an early root hamart-
Definition
to miss the mark, do wrong, sin

This is the closest to the Hebrew word hatah (transgression) when you compare the two definitions of hamartano and hatah. This verse in Luke 17:3 is also tied to the Exodus 32:30 where hatah is used. (See link to biblehub.com Exodus 32:30)Now that we understand what the word hamarte and the word hatah mean, I believe we can better understand what is being said here and better understand some of the supporting scripture too. What I find interesting is this scripture is also tied to Luke 15:18 and 21 where the prodigal son returns home and states twice (v.18 & 21) he has sinned (hamartano) against heaven and his father. Once to himself and once to his father. His father doesn’t say, “I forgive you”; but shows through his actions that his son is reinstated just as before-note all he gives to him-such a great example of our Father in Heaven with us. Notice the son understands what he did was wrong; so he has repented by seeing his actions how God sees it. He has turned around.

What I wanted to make clear is that the word sin used in these verses mean hatah in Hebrew or a transgression. This is the foundation I must lay to help us understand what I will be writing regarding the rest of this scripture.  The reasons I am writing about this is that I believe the word here has been picked apart and divided up; I desire believers to see Jesus as He truly is; and there is a need to understand how important walking in this understanding can bring healing and health to both relationships and individuals in the Body of Christ.

Let’s finish up by looking more closely at the other scripture that uses hamarte besides Luke 17:3, which is 1 John 2:1-2:

“I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin (hamartete-might not sin/ transgress). But if anyone does sin (hamarte-transgress), we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin (hamartion) problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s. 1 John‬ ‭2:1-2 ‭MSG (emphasis mine)

It is really important for us to understand that in Luke 17:3 we are to be those that if we see our brother/sister violating God’s principles or making a mistake we help them pick themselves back up. We have a responsibility to re-prove/ re-direct (reprove/rebuke) them back to “who they are in Christ Jesus”-free and righteous through Him which means we need to remind them of 1 John 2:1-2. It is necessary for us to look at the entirety of 1 John 2:1-2. We need to remind people, if they do transgress, of what Jesus has already finished, accomplished and done for them at the Cross-He solved our sin problem for good. Remind them they are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). As they repent- see that what they have done is not who they are-and align themselves with the truth- they are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6;15) they begin to fully understand that Jesus has solved this sin problem for them (Yes, He covered all three on the Cross-avon, hatah, and even peshah– See Isaiah 53). Once they change their mind they are completing the meaning of hatah. Remember the rest of the definition states they pick themselves back up and see it as God sees it. Now if this transgression was against the Lord we know He has already fully forgiven us from all sin because He was our propitiation at the Cross (1 John 2:2). This means as believers in Christ we imagethankfully live under the New Covenant of Grace and Jesus was the payment to God for all of our sin at the Cross. So I thank Him for what He did for me when I transgress. To understand more you can read: It is Time to Let Go of the Rules Otherwise Known as the Lawhttp://It is Time to Let Go of the Rules Otherwise Known as the Law and Come Fully Out of the Cave. Now if the brother/sister transgressed against another person the vertical relationship was taken care of 2000 years ago; but the horizontal relationship must be taken care of today. From this point we can then move forward into Luke 17:4, asking forgiveness from the person transgressed against. More on that in the next post…..

1 Devils And Demons And The Return Of The Nephilim Loc: 2183