By Him All Things Consist

I am grateful that You have already given everything needed for life and godliness!

But he answered and said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

2 Peter 1:3-4

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: Thank You for a pleasant day traveling toward home with You and Jeannie!

Jesus: You are welcome! Happy to be along!

Me: I cannot imagine a way to thank You enough for Your promises! The bonus of being a partaker in Your nature seems to eclipse all the promises individually, and even taken all together, as great as they are!

Jesus: If you are filled by my Holy Spirit, how could you be otherwise than a partaker of My nature? My divine nature is My Spirit. Likewise, My Spirit in you is My divine nature.

What you have lacked in understanding stems from the view that My Spirit is ethereal in the commonly held sense of no substance discernible by the physical senses. My Spirit is ethereal, in fact. But unlike the common conception, the mighty flow of My Spirit powers the entire created heavens and earth, the spiritual realm as well as the physical; giving form and substance and energy beyond the ability of man to conceive.

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Colossians 1:16-17

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

Me: Marvelous! I love You Jesus! Thank You!

Jesus: I’m glad you liked My revelation to your heart! You are welcome! I love you!

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

Many may be Hypnotized in America

I am grateful to be off to spend more time seeking a deeper relationship with You!

These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.

Proverbs 24:23-25

Me: Good Morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good Morning Jon!

Me: Holy Spirit, I just watched a video demonstration wherein Roy Masters hypnotized a man to do odd things, mostly to demonstrate to his audience that one can be made to do things when hypnotized that he would not normally do. The subject appeared perfectly awake some of the time. The odd thing that Mr. Masters had his guest do was put his shoes on the wrong feet, simply because he suggested that that they were uncomfortable the way they were. He then had the man examine how other people had their shoes on. What happened next was breathtaking. The man with his shoes on the wrong feet began to passionately implore the rest of the audience to exchange places with their shoes, that they might be more comfortable too.

It was not all nonsense. Next Mr. Masters told his subject to answer with complete honesty. Then he quickly discovered that the man harbored much anger and seething resentment toward his (now dead) parents for their treatment of him. To make a long story shorter, the man was able to forgive his parents and release his anger toward them. This was a great thing for the man and the emotional release was all but palpable. But the important issue for the rest of us came when Mr. Masters observed that the negative emotion (anger) was what made him susceptible to being hypnotized in the first place. Who among us does not have these negative emotions in play?

Holy Spirit, Mr Masters also mentioned that the (organized) communists are well versed in these techniques and employ them in a widespread manner and did not need a concentration camp to do it. Can you tell me more about people being hypnotized to carry out evil? I am thinking of those who support turning our nation to communism and are working on every front, from rioting in the streets and crying to stop funding law enforcement, to making evil decisions in the courts and legislatures. How often have I observed that a newly elected congressperson does not seem to last twenty minutes on capitol hill before they have gone to the dark side. Is hypnosis involved? Is there a way to guard against such attacks? I noted one other thing he said that rang a bell. He said, “Excuse making is incontrovertible evidence of one rationalizing illogical positions he has been hypnotized into”.

Holy Spirit: You already know that your spirit is redeemed because you have accepted Jesus. You know also that entertaining sin in your life still opens you up to the schemes of the devil. The more one toys with sin, the higher his risk. Mass hypnosis (to use that term for it) can easily be carried out over the television. I submit to you that the news media are not reporting much “news”, but are instead delivering commentary that has much in common with what you saw Mr. Masters do with his guest. The scripture gives enough guidance for resistance:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:23

If you are allowing My gifts to be manifested and to increase in your life, all the more, the devil will not find a foothold.

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Ephesians 4

Encourage others to walk in the Spirit and let My character be that which comes out in them at all times.

It should not surprise you that if a believer habitually tolerates sin in his own life, he will be open to more of the devil’s agenda. Even more, the one who has clung to rejecting Jesus has no real protection.

If I am allowed to shine the love of God into a person’s heart; love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, self control, gentleness will be the light that drives out all darkness. (Ephesians 5:19-21)

Jesus knew the devil had largely succeeded in taking over the hearts of all. That is why He prayed from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Me: Thank You Jesus! Thank You Holy Spirit! Preserve our nation, help wake up the ones who have been taken over. I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love You! Many are coming awake. Few know the full extent of the risk of straddling the fence.

Finale of the Musical In God We Trust at Charis Bible College on July 4, 2021

In God We Trust

Gripe Not

I am grateful that You are the Sovereign of the universe, and I am not.

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening Jon!

Me: I was reading Step Four in the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelves Steps and Twelve Traditions book, and it was talking about various character defects as examples that they might help one learn to examine them. It sort of jumped out at me that this sentence was one of those hit-the-nail-on-the-head moments:

… griping that others failed to recognize my truly exceptional abilities?

While the authors didn’t also mention the desire to say, “I told you so!”, they could have. Then the thought came that You had many fail to recognize Your truly exceptional abilities. Yet, I’m sure You never griped about it and I can’t think of an instance of You telling an individual that they had been warned after things went wrong. What is the secret to being at peace about such “votes of no confidence”?

Jesus: Have you noticed that you do not also have a tendency to analyze ways in which your own shortcomings contribute to various problems, especially failing to help those you are responsible for adequately prepare to meet what is expected of them from those with higher authority in the organization? I know that the items that progress into crisis mode are most evident once someone in authority begins to express they view it as a problem. But as a manager (technically) responsible for directing the work of another you would do well to help them with your experience. I know the “chain of command” that is referred to in military service is often violated in private business; your protege’s get directions you hear nothing about unless there is some kind of trouble. Meanwhile, you tend to assume all is well, whether there is a storm brewing, or not.

I know the end from the beginning. Do you ask Me about these things, and what you should do about them? Recognize My truly exceptional ability to help! I ask My Father about everything. Then I do what He tells Me. This is the answer to your question about how I remained at peace. It is faithless to gripe about things you have asked Me to help with. If you have not, it is because you have asked not.

The best kind of discernment, is My discernment. I will help you with insight into the unseen. I know the thoughts and intents of the heart. Just ask.

Recognize, also, that I chose a few to disciple. These were generally not among those casting no-confidence votes, though they were all works in progress; as are you. This is the secret to multiplying the exceptional abilities that I Am giving you. Seek Me. Listen carefully. See clearly. Be diligent. Abide in Me. Keep My love for you and for your charges in mind. Love them in the power of the Spirit.

If you find you have detractors, so do I. Do not blame them. Pray for them. They are being used by the accuser, almost certainly without consciousness.

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You! I ask you to help me make a habit of seeking You about these situations. I have so much I need to grow in!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you! I am helping you grow. I Am the Vine.

Ownership

I am grateful that You are over all and through all and in all! (Ephesians 4:6)

For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church ἐκκλησίᾳ and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

Me: Good morning, Father!

Abba: Good morning, Jon!

Me: It is perplexing that the word “ἐκκλησίᾳ” is translated church when the word “church” is derived from a different Greek word.

I discovered the English word “church” is derived from the Greek “κυριακός” meaning “of the Lord” and “κύριος” meaning “one who exercises absolute ownership”. The Greek ἐκκλησίᾳ, on the other hand means “called-out ones”.

Abba: The sense of these definitions must be understood in light of My nature and the voluntary character of My relationship (or lack thereof) with My children. Surely you see that if the relationship is between us is whole – all that I Am meaning for it to be – then these Greek words would be synonymous. If My people who are called by My name voluntary placed themselves under My lordship, asking Me what is best and doing it wholeheartedly, what difference would there be between “called-out ones” and “of the Lord”? What if I was the Heart of their heart? What if they knew they are the apple of My eye?

pexels – Thanks to Tina Nord

However, these relational definitions are not what come to the mind of most who contemplate “church”. The true definition does not describe an edifice. True, Jesus is described as the Cornerstone, but mere brick, mortar, and glass are purely physical. I Am Spirit. You cannot properly relate to Me except by the Holy Spirit, as I Am desiring earnestly to enable you (John 4:24). The exercises that comprise most “worship services” can be written on paper for people to follow along. These are programs. They are not Spirit. A few manage to find Me anyway. These have the gift of managing to become still in the Spirit amid and in spite the din of the program (Psalm 46:10).

The Cornerstone is the Perfect Reference to the spiritual house that I Am building.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church ἐκκλησίᾳ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:15-18

Me: Thank You Father! I love You!

Abba: You are Welcome! I love you!

Resistance is Not Futile

I am grateful that You speak to us and have equipped us to hear, if we want to.

In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

Psalm 56:4

Me: Good morning Father!

Abba: Good morning, Jon!

Me: I was reading in the beginning of the book of Job, the last day or so. There are these instances where You explicitly allow Satan to have his way with Job, or is it that You let him have Your way?

Abba: Does that seem out of character for Me? There is nothing I have made that I cannot use, even rebellious angels.

Me: It seems contrary to Your name as Jehovah Rapha that You would make Job sick, even using/allowing Satan to do it.

Abba: Then that would be an important issue for you to resolve, since the world is full of sick people. You often rightly say that sickness is of the Devil. That it came into the world by Adam deeding his authority over to Satan. That is why you see him on the earth:

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” Job 1

You see from the notes in your Bible and the interlinear part of BibleHub.com that the word translated “Satan” throughout this passage in Job is “adversary, one who withstands”. It is what he does. And surely you know the text in written from a human perspective. Satan did not have to appear in a particular location to speak to Me about what was on his mind, like the members of a human extended family assembling to talk or Job’s friends coming to see him. When the scripture talks about My sitting on My throne, it is a statement about my positional authority; not my physical location, since I Am everywhere all the time. I Am Spirit (John 4:24).

Think about what you know about strength training. Straining your muscles against a force that withstands or opposes your efforts makes them stronger. Straining your brain against a challenge makes it more able. Even fighting against a virus equips your immune system to overcome it if it attempts to invade again. Do any of these seem pleasant in the moment?

Me: No. If experience did not teach that these things bring improvement, my natural inclination would be to shy away from them at all costs.

Are you saying that we need Satan that we may resist him (James 4:7) to develop our “spiritual muscles”?

Abba: I am saying that I work all things for your good (Romans 8:28). Since Satan is your adversary, it makes sense for you to be strong in Me (Ephesians 6:10-18) and put on the full armor I have given you.

Me: Thank You Father! I love You!

Abba: You are welcome! I love you!

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

(Post featured image from Pexels, Fascia of the previous Newseum, mine. )

Garden Trouble and the Cure

I am grateful to have the red-skin potatoes and new asparagus in the ground.

And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

Genesis 3:9

Me: Good evening, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good evening, Jon!

Me: I reckon the Father knew exactly where Adam was.

Holy Spirit: Far more precisely than Adam knew where Adam was. Did you wonder why sin caused Adam to “hide” though he had never hidden before, never experienced sin before, never even been harshly corrected? He was taught by Me. He communed with Me in all My fullness. That should be enough to convince you that knowledge, even knowing perfectly, is not a defense against the possibility of sin.

Me: Why did these new behaviors develop?

Holy Spirit: What was the tree that they had eaten of? The tree of the knowledge of good and evil:

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 2:15-17

Also, what did the Father say at the end of His work on creation?

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 1:31

Consider that until Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying the one prohibition that was given (for their own good, and the good of all that would follow) there was no accomplished evil in the world to know? There was obviously some in the spiritual realm. They believed the deception of the serpent that God failed to have their best interest at heart. Sin entered the world though their choice to disobey. One of the most noticeable evils was the doubt that entered them about the nature and character of God. The effects of their sin that caused them to “hide” presented many facets. They did not want to admit to their sin. They did not want to see the Father, for they understood He knows all. At least they would have understood, except one of the fundamental processes of sin is the shifting of one’s focus to self. They were ashamed. That negative emotion had not existed before in the world. They were afraid. God had revealed the consequences beforehand, though they had never seen either physical or spiritual death and did not know what it might look like. Do you know, they did not immediately recognize the void where their spiritual connection to Me had been?

And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Genesis 3:10

Fear had not existed in the world up until then either. Not by any of its names: neither by dread, nor anxiety, worry, terror, fright, horror, alarm, panic, trepidation, agitation, consternation, dismay,distress, angst, unease, disease, apprehension, suspicion, distrust. You get the idea. There is plenty of it now.

Much later, Jesus would point out that this death was the aim of the evil one.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

Their innocence was stolen, as was their peace, joy, and unfettered fellowship with Me. Death entered the creation. The “very good” perfection was destroyed.

However, Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:12

You should understand from these statements about Jesus that this “destroying” is not the same in nature as the devil’s brand. It works by making it possible for each one to accept Jesus’ atonement for their sin and thereby choose to be saved from their sin and the attendant death and decay that had been operating.

Jesus works in the lives of those who choose Him at the heart level. He sends Me to guide into all truth. In Jesus walk on the earth, some expected a political movement to set things straight: oust the Romans, restore Israel to sovereignty. Jesus did not choose that method then. He does not choose it now. The devil is defeated in his schemes when a person chooses to follow Jesus, depends on His power, and resists the devil so that his temptations get no traction. One adoption at a time.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

2 Timothy 1:9-11

And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Hebrews 2:15

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

Purple Iris with Dewdrops

Noise Cancelling

Though the world makes a lot of noise, I am grateful that Your promises are sure and are peace.

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

Ecclesiastes 11:5

Me: Good morning, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good morning Jon!

Me: I need You. All that You have created is marvelous, and reflects Your nature and character. But the effects of sin have allowed noise and confusion to take the center of the stage. You are perfect and reveal all truth. Yet seemingly endless outlets push lies for the advancement of agendas that are not of You. The effects of sin in me do not help the situation. Help me to lay down self will and mindless reactions out of habit. Help me to keep Your awesome promises in mind always.

Holy Spirit: Those things that you ask are part of Jesus’ promise to you that I Am sent to guide you into all truth. Consider this –

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Luke 21:36

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

1 Timothy 6:5

I Am faithful to make a way for you to withdraw from the evil din for a while to seek Me. I will will be met by you, even as now. I will strengthen you. I will refresh you. I will uphold you. I will remind you of My love.

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

Needlepoint by Rhonda Lisauckis

Elect

Elect. There is a word that is prone to raise the dander of various Christ-believers and the very foundation upon which others choose to mark their position. I think I will go out on a limb and cite what I believe Jesus is saying to me about it through the scripture. Come along, if you dare. Even the mildly curious is welcome!

May I start with 1 Peter 2:6? My takeaway in a spiritual nutshell: Jesus, the I AM incarnate, is the elect. We are/may be elect only so far as we are in Him. Let us read the first ten verses of 1 Peter 2, placing our targeted verse in context.

1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2:1-10

About verse 8, which most translations have as something similar to the KJV, the translation as “appointed” escapes me. I admit it. The Greek ἐτέθησαν thus translated is used one other time, in Acts 7:16 in Stephen’s account of Jacob and his being laid to rest.

If I were doing the translating (which I am clearly and admittedly unqualified to do), I would have leaned toward the last words in 1 Peter 2:8 being “to which they were set”. From which, I would have understood the meaning to be “set in their ways, or fixed in their understanding”, i.e. as the result of their stubbornly-held anti-Jesus belief. To me, this interpretation of verse 8 squares nicely with Jesus’ statement, “According to your faith be it unto you.” upon healing the blind (Matthew 9:29). It is ironic that one of the aims of King James in wanting his own translation of the Bible, is that it not be so… Calvinistic. I get the sentiment. Calvin was living in Geneva and heavily influenced early English translations.

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/1_peter/2-8.htm

I invite you to prowl around relating to this passage at Bible Hub for yourself. You too, can become an unqualified researcher of the Scripture in the original languages. If you are one who leans toward idolizing Calvin, I urge you to reconsider the merits of being known by any name than Christ’s. But, I digress.

In Titus 1:1-2 – Paul gives his own conversion as an example of election as of (according to) the saved-by-faith-in-Christ, thereby amplifying that election (ἐκλεκτῶν) is simply imputation of the elect nature of Jesus into the life of the believer by faith.

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Titus 1:1-2

Let me say, as an aside, that godliness is not powerless man trying to act as God acts; rather, omnipotent God acting in the heart of yielded man.1

Luke 18 contains two parables I would like us to look at, dear reader. The first mentions the elect (v7) being quickly answered by God. Jesus, then asks the rhetorical question, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (v8). To me, this reinforces the link between faith in Jesus the Elect and our election by virtue of being in Him, if so we (choose to) be.

1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Luke 18:1-8

Isn’t it handy for a parable to open with a direct statement of the object lesson to be remembered?

The second parable is of the tax gatherer and Pharisee praying; Jesus is asking his hearers, “Who was justified?” Verse 9 explains (before the story) this parable is against those who are trusting in themselves and despising others. Seems to me this parable has a direct application to any who presume salvation because they are raised in a Christian home, a member of any particular denomination, or whatever human “election” criteria one can devise to view themselves as therefore “in”, while others are, by inference, “out”. Not different than an Israelite believing himself “in” by birthright as a “son of Abraham”.

9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke 18:9-14

There you have it. My understanding of election as intimate communion with Jesus, who is THE Elect. Thank you for reading to the end. Please do not saw off the limb I am now out on. I am only trying to help those who would draw closer to the Elect.

1 When I use the word “man” in the absence of a definite article, I imply neither sex, as this is the way the language has traditionally been used. I find the modern he/she/whatever approach clumsy and frankly, an affront to a right understanding of the creation by His Unmistaken Majesty. You may now visualize me dismounting my soapbox.

Washing

I am grateful for Your help discerning the sources of error in my power-capacity measurements at work.

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

1 Peter 2:1,24

Me: Good morning Father!

Abba: Good morning Jon!

Me: How is it that being dead to sins, I still manage to commit some?

Abba: When you do, are you walking in faith of these revelations of the truth?

Me: Clearly not.

Abba: Jesus told you that He walked in faith. He remained entirely without sin. When you are in Him, that is your state as well.

Me: And when I sin, I am not in Him?

Abba: Consider Jesus’ parable of the vine in John 15:

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

John 15

Me: Yes, Father, if sin enters my life it is always because I have neglected the word and the Word. When I do that, my natural inclination is to view the circumstance from my habitual perspective instead of from Yours. Then I am prone to judging harshly on incomplete knowledge or skewed perspective. That is, unless I am busy excusing myself!

Abba: The vinedresser works methodically. Clearing what is dead, diseased, or useless (like excusing yourself) – one snip at a time. The branch becomes stronger and in due time bears more fruit.

How about this passage?

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5

Me: Thank You Father! I choose to abide in the word and in the Word. Please let Your Holy Spirit get my attention if I am remiss. I love You!

Abba: You are welcome! I Am doing the thing you ask. I love you!

Jesus’ Self Talk

I am grateful for You, Jesus!

1 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Hosea 6

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Matthew 16:21

Me: Good morning Jesus!

Jesus: Good morning Jon!

Me: Jesus, most of Hosea is calling Israel and Judah to task for their idol worship and wrongdoing. Yet right in the middle of all that there live these three verses that open chapter 6. Is that the way that You knew that You would be raised up on the third day? Was this a message left to Your human self to prepare Your heart for the sacrifice You would make for us?

Jesus: You have heard the question posed, “What would you say to your future (our younger) self?” You have read of My struggle with consenting to My impending death in the garden (Matthew 26). I tell you that I was strengthened by this passage in Hosea, and with it I strengthened My disciples that they would know what was coming (or at least remember that I had told them when things occurred just as I said).

Me: What about the part of the passage about You coming as the rain? The later and the former rain unto the earth?

Jesus: The farmer knows the benefit of the former rain to sprout the seed and the latter rain to complete the growth of the crop to its full yield. Even so, the one who receives Me shall sprout unto new life, and the one who endures in me shall be brought into full fruition.

Me: I have to recognize, Jesus, that had I been able to go back and speak to My former self, I would still have been full of rebellion and willfulness, serving self with as much vigor as any Israelite ever bowed down to a lifeless image. There has never been a time when I did not need You as my Savior.

Jesus: I had to accept the passage in Hosea by faith, even as you must walk by faith.

Me: I am glad to know that, Jesus! I love You!

Jesus: I am glad to show that faith to you. I love you!

Night Fire