Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thomas, Paul and the Faith of Jesus!

Its always a great exercise to sit back and ask questions of what we believe and why we believe it. Its been a pleasure to sit with Jesus and allow him to wash his Grace and Love over all areas of my theology and doctrine.To Allow his Grace to Stain and Wreck all our "Sacred doctrines" regarding topics like Tithing and Church-meetings, Hell and the Fathers love, has been an absolute Joy. He gives us the courage to change in the face of Tradition.
I've discovered that most of what we have previously believe has been not much more than man's traditions dressed up as "the gospel". Here is another wonderful point to think on, and hopefully you will begin to realize just how Big this Gospel really is and what a wonderful Father we have!

Jesus' disciple, The Apostle Thomas could not possibly have been "saved" according to Modern Western Christianities Rules! He did not place his faith in the risen Christ. He did not believe until AFTER he saw Jesus Face to Face.

In John 20 after His Resurrection, Jesus appears to Mary, then to all the disciples except Thomas.
The disciples run to find Thomas to tell him the Good news of the Risen Jesus. But he denies this Good news, He simply does NOT believe or have any Faith in Jesus. he said:

Joh 20:25  So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.

Thomas outright denied  the existence of the Risen Christ. He refused to "place his faith in Jesus" 

But hold on... Weren't we all taught that placing our personal faith in Jesus is THE requirement for Salvation? 

The account goes on to tell that a few days after this, they were all together inside a locked room and Jesus appeared in their midst. 

He said to Thomas, "“Reach here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don’t be unbelieving, but believing.” 

So we see that even right up to this point, Thomas still had no faith/belief in the Good News as Jesus said to him, "don't be unbelieving".

Thomas is then filled with Joy as now he finally believes! But only after having SEEN Jesus, the Risen Christ.

Again, Doesn't Western Christianity teach that you can only "Choose Jesus now" because "when you are standing before Him, it'll be too late to decide to believe in him then!"

Jesus goes on to say, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed."

(it is necessary to point out here that the word translated "Blessed" (makarios) simply means "Happy". It does not mean they somehow have "extra merit" conferred on them via some special "anointing"..... it just means that they are Happy. Religious Christianity has made up a whole system of levels of blessing based on a whole lot of stuff, eg: if you give/tithe you will be extra "blessed" by God. The word simply means "happy")

From here we can see that Jesus was actually OK with Thomas believing the Good News only after having seen him.

Thomas was not the only one who only believed the Good news after having seen the Risen, Glorified Christ first. The is another man who also followed Thomas' pattern.....The Apostle Paul.


Paul was a man who was extremely opposed to the Good News message! So much so that he would imprison and have executed those who embraced the Gospel. Yet in One glorious moment of encounter, as Paul meets the risen Jesus in his Glory, He instantly believes!

Paul only became a believer AFTER having seen Jesus for himself! 

Here is a wonderful description from Paul:

1Ti 1:12  I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, (Paul was Judged as "faithful" before his appointment by God to serve him, but before His appointment, he was an unbeliever who only believed after having seen Jesus face to face.)
1Ti 1:13  though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, (many in this age will reject Christ out of Ignorance and unbelief)
1Ti 1:14  and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (As an unbeliever, Paul was extended Grace via the FAITH and LOVE OF JESUS - not his own faith.)
1Ti 1:15  The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (Note, Jesus saves sinners with His own Faith. Sinners can not save themselves or make their own decision based on their own wisdom)
1Ti 1:16  But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as a pattern to those who shall believe in him for eternal(age-during) life. 
1Ti 1:17  To the King of the ages(different periods of time), immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 

Here we see Paul saying that he was saved by the Mercy of God, by His Grace and His Faith and His Love, and not of any of Paul's doing.
Paul says that Gods display of Mercy in Salvation to him is a PATTERN/example to them that do not yet believe. 

How did Paul believe? He saw the risen Christ and only then Believed.
Paul then emphasizes (vs 17) that God is the king of all the coming Ages.

He the writes that:
 “Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, especially of those who believe/trustful/persuaded.” (1 Tim. 4:10)

Paul states here that Jesus is the Savior of mankind but he is especially valuable to those who are now already convinced/persuaded/trusting of this fact. - In this age, they that believe will be "Happy" (Blessed) based on this fact.

Again, "blessed (happy) are those who believe without seeing God", but there will be many who will follow the same pattern of Paul who will believe after having seen. And like Thomas "Unless I see Him, I will not believe!"

My question is: Has God changed as revealed by Jesus in this account? - surely not.
Does God show partiality to Thomas and Paul by allowing only them to believe after having seen the risen Christ? - Surely not.

Will God reject those who have already died in their unbelief who did not believe, Or those at the end of this age who see him as he really is? Will he respond differently to these ones - not showing Grace, not showing Mercy, not showing Love and not showing Faith towards them? Will not EVERY knee bow and tongue confess him to His praise? 
Heb 1:3 "The Son shows the glory of God. He is a perfect copy of God's nature"

Remember, Jesus perfectly reflected the Father and he demonstrated the Fathers heart when He accepted these guys who would not have believed if they did not first see Him. 
Where does that leave "You can only saved if you place YOUR faith in Jesus in this age"??
God tells us that into the ages to come He will still be revealing his Grace to man.(Eph 2) These are those that will believe after having seen Him as he truly is like Paul and Thomas. 
Presently we might only know in part but Then when we see him face to face we shall know him as He truly is - even as we have always been fully known by Him.

Many will believe the Gospel after having seen Jesus in his Glory, not only in this Age we are currently in, but also in the Ages to come.

Our Traditional Christianities representation of God is a Far cry from the Reality of Him who is the author of salvation, the Savior of all mankind, The Source and the Conclusion of Faith.
May the eyes of your heart be opened!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Unbelievers and Free will

Often in the discussion regarding Jesus, the Savior of the World, the question regarding Free will will come up.

Here Some thoughts to really consider on Free Will?

(Nehemiah 9:7) “You are the LORD God, who Chose Abram, and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans, and gave him the name Abraham.”
It was not a matter of Abraham deciding to follow God by his “free will”, it was a matter of God showing mercy and calling him out.

After dozens of similar descriptions in various instances in the Old testament my question is:
Has God changed in Character since then? 
“For I the LORD do not change” 
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”

the answer is NO. there is no shifting in His nature or character.

Do we really only come to the Father of our own free will?

John 6:44 NO MAN can come to me except THE FATHER that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day.
John 6:65 And he added, "This is the very reason I told you that no people can come to me unless the Father makes it possible for them to do so."

Q: So then, if the Father draws men to Jesus, and this is not our Free will choice, then does he also leave some out in order to populate “hell”?

John 12 :32 Jesus: "when I am lifted up from the earth (crucified), I will DRAW ALL PEOPLE TO MYSELF."

(Its very interesting that the word “DRAW” here in both of these verses means to “Drag” - not very “free will-ish”, But in exactly the same was that we were not by our own “free” will included in First Adam, we are not by our own “free” will included INTO Christ.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).

Jesus says that “the Son gives life to whom he *will(John 5:21).

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 
1Ti 2:4 Who *will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

ethelō: (same word used in John 5:21 “will”) means: to be Resolved/Resolute or Determined, to Purpose, Intend, to Pleasure*)

(Isaiah 46:9) I am God, and there is none like me; (10) declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I WILL DO ALL MY *PLEASURE
(Do we really believe that our “free” will can thwart His Ultimate plan? I believe that Love NEVER FAILS.)

(Romans 9:15) For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” (16) So then IT IS NOT OF HIM WHO WILLS, nor of him who runs, BUT OF GOD who shows mercy.
( So it’s not the one who works for their salvation or THEIR WILL TO CHOOSE salvation in Jesus; it’s simply God’s mercy.

And then again, Paul clearly confirms a short while later who His choice is:

Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded ALL in UNBELIEF, that he may have MERCY ON ALL.

Guys, where is our free will in all this??

(2 Timothy 1:9) God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PURPOSE AND GRACE.
That’s why Paul calls Grace and Faith Gifts in Eph 2 – if they were not gifts from start to finish there would be room for Boasting.
Rom 3:26 for the shewing forth of his righteousness in the present time, so that he should be just, and justify him that is of the faith OF Jesus. 
Rom 3:27 Where then is boasting? It has been excluded. By what law? of works? No, but by law of faith; 
Rom 3:28 for we reckon that a man is justified by faith, without works of law.
(Question: ….and who’s Faith is Paul talking about here that Justifies us? 
Answer: see Vs 26: it's THE FAITH OF JESUS!).

Who chooses who by who’s free will?

(Ephesians 1:4) He CHOSE US in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him

“God from the beginning CHOSE YOU for salvation” (2 Thes 2:13)
(God does the choosing, not us.)

Unfree will...

No person who sees and understands the love of God our Father, wilfully rejects it. It is not a will that is free that reject this love; it is a will in bondage. No person has ever, out of his/her own free will rejected our Lord, rather it is because of  ignorance, because of blindness that some have made uninformed choices. 

Man’s “free” will is simply a product of his past influences: a muslim man who by his “free” will chooses to worship allah is Hardly expressing any “Free” will! He is simply making an informed decision based on His up-bringing! If in his life time – in this age – he hears one of the very many versions of the Gospel and rejects it, was that really a “free” will rejection after a life time of indoctrination inclined to Islam? I doubt it! (I hear Jesus’ words “father forgive them for they are ignorant”…. 

If our “free” will leads to faithlessness then God REMAINS Faithfull.
The good news, however, is that God, and we as his co-workers, are in the business of making the truth plainly known.

He is both willing and able to make Himself known to any and every man, in a way that is as unique as the individual. The good news is that He took, takes, and will take the initiative to do this! 
Romans 10:20: Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not 
seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” (Our free will???)


Christians are taught that the one thing God would never violate, is man’s free will. The erroneous conclusion states that a man’s free will is more sacred and more powerful than God’s eternal purpose. It incorrectly assumes that a person who rejects God is free, for they do so from a FREE will!

Saul (Paul) was described as “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”. We are not dealing with a weak-willed, indifferent person here. He considered Jesus and Jesus’ teaching to be his enemy and did whatever possible to stop it. Later Paul described himself as the chief of sinners.

Do you think that Paul’s strong opposition and determined will, was a problem for Jesus? 
Can you imagine the Father and Jesus conversing regarding Paul and saying: 
“What will we do! We can’t interfere with his ‘free will’”

Jesus knew that Paul’s enmity against Him was rooted in ignorance; He knew that if Paul saw Him for who He truly is, there would be no argument. Jesus knew that Paul did not act from his own “FREE” will, but from deception, and therefore He had no problem with interfering in his life. His stubbornness was no obstacle to the love of God. We all know well what happened!

No wonder that Paul’s whole testimony and message is centered around the initiative of God and not around the contribution of man.
In Galatians he emphasizes that this encounter with God had nothing to do with his decision, but all to do with God’s decision! In fact it was zealously persecuting the church … “But when it 
pleased God … who called me by his grace …to reveal his Son in me.” Gal 1:15, 16

Question: Did God treat Paul differently from the rest of us – does he show Partiality to Paul by messing with his “Free” will?

 Did God change... Just for Paul?

Phi 2:9 – 13: Therefore God has highly exalted Him, and has given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of heavenly ones, and of earthly ones, and of ones under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, cultivate your own salvation with fear and trembling.
*For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.*

Did you see that last part? “…IT IS GOD who works in you both to WILL and to DO …” 
I am so glad that our Father does not consider my will off limits! 
I’m so glad He influences my desires, my will, my everything.


Adamic Universalism vs Christianity

Good day everyone!!

Tradition is a very huge tide that moves in one direction. 
Heresy is defined as any thought that stands against what is currently accepted as truth. Jesus himself was an Heretic by deffinition as He spoke and acted very contrary to the norm of His day. Paul was an Heretic, Martin Luther was an Heretic. and these days I delight in being labeled an Heretic too. 
Tradition is not always a bad thing - like celebrating a birthday or special event... But when Tradition prevents  people from being as Free as they were always intended to be then Society needs brave individuals to begin to walk against the tide of that Tradition. 

I know many people like this who have simply fallen in Love with Father and can no longer go with the Flow of Traditional theology.. They have become outcasts to those in the Relligious System but have also become great hope to the rest who couldn't keep up the facade of Religious Christianity.

The Tradition of Adamic Universalism 

Q: Who is the Word of God?
A: Jesus

Jesus told us that our Traditions would nullify the Word of God
When we get stuck in Traditions we leave little room for Christ to be displayed to the world through us. Often, our Traditions restrict any prompting from God (but not always of course.)
Lets have a look and Identify what the mainstream Tradition of  "Adamic Universalism" is:

Traditional Christianity believe's that all of mankind today is born into the consequence of Adams sin - Everyone is born fallen because of Adams sin.
 Nobody is excluded, 
You do not have a say in the matter - You have Adams "sin-nature" imputed to you and God's condemnation follows you all the way to the grave and into all eternity. Everyone is universally condemned by Adams sin.  This is exactly what we used to preach concerning Mankinds natural DEFAULT status from birth)

BUT (continues this Tradition), ONLY If you accept the message "we" preach can you be taken out of 1st Adam and placed into Last Adam (Jesus). It all depends on your decision, its up to you to Believe and Receive. 

Traditional Christianity says that All men were made sinners because of First Adam - having NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER, Not having made a personal decision to be in 1st Adam. Because of Adam, 
Mankind's  DEFAULT position was a "condemned sinner" by virtue of being created in their mother's womb by God himself....

Traditional Christianity LEAVES ALL MANKIND THERE AS A DEFAULT - IN FIRST ADAM  (This is the tradition of  Adamic Universalism).

However, Scripture DOES NOT LEAVE THEM THERE! (This is Christianity)

I see this in Scripture:
"Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation of ALL MEN, in the same way the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for ALL MEN." (Rom. 5:18)

"Since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam ALL died, even so in Christ ALL shall be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:22)

On the THIRD DAY He will raise us up that we may live in His sight." (Hosea 6:1, 2)
It says: "JUST AS" or "In the Same way" as ALL were place into 1st Adam by his sin (not needing faith or having to receive this via a decision), IN THIS SAME WAY through One mans act of Righteousness is Justification and Life GIVEN to ALL men.
The righteous act of Jesus has given LIFE to ALL Men.

Traditional Christianity LEAVES mankind in 1st Adam as a condemned sinner.(this is the Tradition of Adamic Universalism) 
The GOOD NEWS is that CHRIST has "Rescued" ALL MEN from that Default status. (This is Christianity - its Good News)

Grace to you as he leads you to stand up against the Tide of a Traditional Gospel!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Universalism Condones Idol worship?

Along this radical journey with Jesus we may face some very good questions from those who do not yet believe or come from a religious background as i did.

Here is a great question that often comes up:

"The lie of universalism is telling people its perfectly fine to worship other Gods because they are all already seated with Christ in heavenly places. "

Its Important to know that there are a few different types of universalism out there. The first part of what this person said here is the type of universalism that says "All roads lead to Rome! Worship who you want, they are all god anyway".
I do not support this type of universalism.This is Secular Universalism.

I believe that Jesus is the Way,  the Truth and the Life and NOBODY comes to the Father except THROUGH HIM. He is the Door.

The fact is that people worship other gods based on Ignorance - ie, Its all they know.... their parents did it, now they do it.
The Good News is that Jesus has made a Way through the Cross for ALL MAN - Despite their Ignorance.

On the cross Jesus said, "Father forgive them because THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO - they are IGNORANT"
Jesus did'nt think ignorance was a good thing, hence his forgiveness of it. therefore universalism does not believe its fine to leave people in Ignorance. Jesus wants people to KNOW the Truth and be set Free.

Paul, when he was on Mars Hill was speaking to IDOL worshippers (not Christians) in Acts 17:28 when he said, "For in Him WE live and move and exist, as also some of the poets among you have said, For WE are indeed HIS OFFSPRING."

Paul did NOT exclude these unbelievers from God because of their Ignorance, In fact he calls them GOD's CHILDREN! - He did not endorse their false practice (that would be Secular Universalism), but rather he tells them the GOOD NEWS of their true identity. - They are indeed ALREADY SEATED WITH CHRIST, because that happened at the resurrection.
Remember Jesus said, "When I am lifted up (speaking of his crucifixion), I will draw/drag ALL MEN TO MYSELF (john 12:32). Then in Romans(6) Paul tells us that if we were included in His crucifixion (which Jesus said we all were) then we are also included in his burial, then too are we ALL INCLUDED IN HIS RESURRECTION. He raised us up while we were still dead and seated us WITH him. We were raised up with Him when He was raised up AND NOT WHEN WE BELIEVED. In the same way that God shows mercy to the very ones who crucified him by forgiving them in their Ignorance, our ignorance was Not an issue regarding our inclusion in His life, death and ressurection. 
Certainly Ignorance will cause one to miss out on enjoying their Union with their Maker and even cause them to perish* in some cases. (*in this age).
 - My people perish for Ignorance. Hence the Good News and "the Hope (deff: certain Expectation of good things) that all would come to the knowledge of God"

A Follow on question from the first one could be:

"If Paul had the revelation that you have, he would have sat back and rather celebrated. Why get beaten to lead people to Christ who are already in Christ. Why become all things to all men to save some."

Well, Paul reveals to us his motivation in 2 Cor 5:14
He says that "we are compelled by love! because we have concluded this: that one died for all, therefore ALL HAVE DIED"
We can see that motivation was the love of God for all men and the ramifications of their co-crucifixion with Christ.
We are not "co-crucified with Christ"only  when we believe! But rather we were co-crucified with Christ WHEN CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED.This mind blowing revelation was his motivator.
Love is Motivating him - His message is one of inclusion for ALL MEN into the death and ressurection of Jesus who came because God so loved us, even while we were enemies towards him... even while we were dead in sin. But because of His insane Love he made us alive agian. 

What Good News!!! To share our cause for celebration with the Ignorant that they may consciously feel his Love too!! That they may KNOW the truth and be set Free to live in their reconciliation.

All are indeed saved (rescued) by the Saviour. He is "the Saviour of the world" If we dont really believe that, then what kind of Gospel are we preaching???

Its not a Gospel at all.

Universalism is simply Gnosticism dressed up?

Hey Guys. Along our journey into the Good News we, of necessity, have needed to ask ourselves and answer some valid questions of ourselves and from others. 
Some questions are just an attempt to discredit what has become a deeply precious Gospel (actually Good news for ALL). And in answering these statements/questions we have learnt a whole lot of stuff ourselves in the process.

Statement: "Universalism (Or Universal Reconciliation - UR) is a modern form of gnostic thoughts. It is a heresy that is keeping the gospel from being spread  to the ends of the earth. It is keeping people out of the kingdom."

Lets us have a look at exactly what Gnosticism is see who falls into this category:

Gnostics believe that since matter "is evil", God could not really incarnate in a human body.
A huge part of what we (UR) believe is that Jesus was FULLY God and simultaneously FULLY man. (the son of God and the son of man).The Humanity of Jesus is an essential element in the Gospel.

So, does Gnosticism  match up to UR since Gnosticism says Jesus didn't come in the Flesh? 
Answer: No.

The Gnostics supposedly had knowledge of God that was exclusive. They considered themselves superior. (Some brothers continuously refer to those who believe in Universal Reconciliation as being "Elitist" in their revelation) 
My thought on this is: Wouldn't you not rather call the group that excludes more than 80% of humanity from having any  share in God because they (the 80%) have different to their own revelation an "Elite" group?

They (Modern Western Christianity)  have claimed exclusive rights on God who is "ALL IN ALL and Holds ALL things together!" 
They (modern western Christianity) say you have to have a SPECIFIC BELIEF in order to "join their club" and be a part of them, and if you dont have "their" specific belief then you are EXCLUDED from their heaven and have to go to their Hell for eternity!  
In all honesty, wouldn't you agree that this more closely fits Gnosticism that UR??
What I believe is that NO BODY is excluded from God by not having specific knowledge, but rather EVERYONE is INCLUDED in Christ through the INCARNATION of JESUS!
Honestly.... who is Elitist here??? Modern Western Christianity OR Universalists?The answer goes without saying...

Gnostics believe that "the body and soul" of a man is naturally evil and only the "spirit" is good.
I believe that the WHOLE of man is good and we should not call "unclean" what God has made clean. 

Jesus' incarnation reveals Mankind's perfection because he came AS US. He came to show us who we really are and that he is Perfectly content to live inside us (we are his house - his dwelling - "in my Fathers house are many rooms - Thats US!... Christ IN YOU!!). 
Modern Western Christianity believes that man is Intrinsically Evil (ie, still in First Adam) 
I believe that just as one (1st Adam) offense resulted in condemnation for ALL, so one (Jesus) act of righteousness results in justification and life for ALL.
I believe that Mankind is intrinsically GOOD! 

So again, I ask which looks more like Gnosticism? Universalism OR Modern Western Christianity?

Certainly some food for thought!! :)

Check out the link below for a whole series on Gnosticism in Christianity.
Gnosticism vs Incarnation

Keep the Good News Good News!!