Healing the Orphan Spirit – Part 1

Book Review:
Healing the Orphan Spirit by Leif Hetland – Part 1


 

Here are some take away quotes, ideas, and statistics from the book–and some personal notes:

A true orphan knows what it means to live life without the security, stability, and warmth of a physical home. A spiritual orphan is not any different. He is also well acquainted with the feelings of fear, anxiety, rejection, and homelessness even if he has a place to go home to at night.

Children from fatherless homes are more likely to be:

  • Poor
  • Become involved in drug and alcohol abuse
  • Drop out of school
  • Suffer from health and emotional problems
  • Boys are more likely to become involved in crime
  • Girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens

Adam & Eve were not born orphans, but they acquainted the orphan spirit the moment they left the Presence of God.

Genesis 3:8-10 – And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Man deals with fear by pushing it deep down in his spirit. Since he does not allow the Father to remove that fear, he begins to struggle and tries to handle it on his own. Instead of acknowledging fear within the inner-core, we learn how to be self-reliant, thinking we can fight off the rising dread within our spirit.

We cope with fear through the outbursts of anger, or we do the opposite and turn the emotion inward and retreat within ourselves. We are constantly pressured to fix everything on our own. We retreat because we are afraid to deal with the real situation at hand for it might hurt too much. We think if we ignore the problem or dilemma, it will just go away.

We turn our hearts to steel, thinking that, if we make our inner being as tough as a rock, we might become impervious to the string of failure and rejection. In order to sustain that tough exterior, we learn how to reject the love, comfort, and admonition we receive from other people. We live life without a home while we try to create the self into an island fortress, striving to be self-sufficient and having the ability to go through life without experiencing the rewards of fellowship and true friendship.

A deep-seeded fear drives us to succeed at all costs.

Overwhelmed, we begin to indulge in escapism. Alcohol, drugs, porn, or more socially acceptable mechanisms like losing oneself in relationships, drowning oneself in books, tv, video games, etc. In these instances we can sometimes justify our escape patterns, because the things we are escaping to are not sins. Nonetheless, addiction sets in, and before we know it, we are already neck-deep in the deal’s quicksand.

Prov. 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

We are commanded to be in awe of His ways and obey Him. However, we were never told to fear the presence of God.

Ephesians 3:12 – In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

If we do not understand the ways of the father, then it is perfectly understandable why we are afraid when He is near.

Instead of seeing God’s commandments as coming from the heart of a loving God, we see them as restrictions. The laws of God are seen by many as a test instead of as signposts, which would lead to a blessed life. Thus, there are 2 ways the orphan spirit will cope with this fear of Father: 1) rebellion 2) religion.

Religion assumes that formalities and adherence to a man-made code of beliefs will justify his lack of true contact with Father.

The result of sin is shame. Many choose to rebel instead of putting up with shame. They flaunt their sinfulness for the whole world to see. The religious person, on the other hand, tries to deal with shame by attempting to appease God with good deeds.

The newly freed Hebrew slaves were more than willing to go back into bondage simply because they could not believe the Lord would fulfill His promise to bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. One glance at their immediate circumstances forced them to conclude that God had brought them into the desert to die.

Rom. 8:14-17 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

John 15:4 – Abide in Me, and I in you.

Jesus uses the illustration of the grape vine to make clear to His disciples what He means, and in this illustration the word abide is used eleven times. The word abide means to continue on in a permanent state.

Walk through a vineyard and you will see fruit but no tension. You will never walk up to a branch and hear it complaining or struggling to bear fruit. It knows that the fruit it bears comes from inside the life of the tree and not from ‘working it up’ on the outside of the branch.

Works are a product of the arm of the flesh, while fruit is a product of abiding in Christ. Fruit is a natural outgrowth of our union with Him.

We must abide in the vine of where Christ has placed us if we are going to produce fruit. If we don’t, we will end up like the Hebrews, ‘making bricks without straw.’ Lots of busy activity with nothing to show for it! Fruit is the result of life, not hard work.

Most of us understand the principle of tithing, or giving the first fruits of what God gives us. The word ‘fruit’ is used throughout scripture with more than just money however. It is used with soul winning, holy living, character, and praise:

Heb. 13:15 – Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of our lips that openly profess his name.

In tithing we give back to God the first 10% of what we receive from Him. In praise, why can’t we give back the first fruits as well? Give God praise with the first 10 minutes of your day. It’s a sacrifice, not always something we want to do or feel like doing. Science has proven that uplifting words can put you in a better mood. Fake it till you make it actually works after all!

If we talk about vineyards, then we also need to talk about pruning.

  • What does He prune? Whatever hinders my growth!
  • When will He prune? At the right season to produce the greatest amount of fruit.

Pruning is necessary for maximum productivity. If there is no pruning, there will be no increase in fruit.

Abraham tried to figure out a way to make God’s word work. Every time we try to help God out, we are in danger of producing our own Ishmael. It wasn’t what God had in mind! Abraham was deceived.

Abraham believed God’s promise. The prophecy was taking a long time. Abraham wondered if there was something he was doing wrong. Is there something that I need to do to make the prophecy come to pass? Is God waiting on me? Shouldn’t I be co-laboring with God? What am I missing?

Deception means: to look for something where it’s not. Webster says it is: fraud, double dealing, or trickery.

This could be the lost entry to my diary: Turning Point 13 – I took the prophecies I received, and did what I thought I needed to do to co-labor with God and see them come to pass. I put 30k toward a business I knew nothing about. I later figured out it wasn’t God. I called the company, called it fraud and got a full refund (thank God). Plus, they let keep the books, so I have learning material to grow into. I now have money to live on, buy a new car, or whatever. And my anxiety is a little less, seeing that the money isn’t sitting in mutual funds wasting away with the declining economy and I have 4 jobs biting this week. Guy Harvey at the beach, 50k without moving, slow & easy life + a free house, or meet a doctor? Hmm… ? All great things and hard choices!

God was still gracious to Abraham’s confused efforts, by blessing Ishmael. However, God didn’t allow Ishmael or Abraham’s efforts to replace His original purpose.

Rom. 11:29 – for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable

When God decides to give us something, He doesn’t change His mind, no matter what we do.

2 Cor. 3:6 – the written text brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Religion lives for rules. Rules are how we control people, especially in the church.

The Pharisees:

  • Loved prominence
  • Endangered the souls of men
  • Majored on the mechanics of religion
  • Lived a double standard
  • Talk didn’t match their walk

Rom. 7:24 – Who will rescue me from this body of death?

The term to which Paul alludes to is descriptive of a shocking execution that was employed by the Romans. A cadaver would be fastened to the condemned person so that he could not be released from the corpse. The deceased, decaying flesh of the cadaver accompanied every move he made. Eventually he would die a slow, painful, and emotionally horrifying death. It’s ghastly to think about, but that’s what it looks like for a person living without Christ. Their sin follows them wherever they go and produces death.

Facts of Fatherlessness:

  • The percentage of kids born out-of-wedlock has grown 223% since 1970.
  • 7 of of 10 African-American kids are born out-of-wedlock.
  • 3 out of 10 Caucasian kids are born out-of-wedlock, an increase of 440% since 1970.
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
  • 60% of repeat rapists grew up without father.
  • 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from a fatherless home.
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
  • 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother.
  • 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
  • 70% of juveniles in state prison have no father.
  • 85% of youth in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
  • 75% of prisoners grew up without a father.
  • Fatherless boys are 2x’s as likely to drop out of high school, 2x’s as likely to end up in jail, 4x’s more likely to need help with emotional or behavioral problems.
  • 43% of US children live without their father.
  • Each year America spends $48 billion on incarceration, $5 billion on parole and probation, and $6.5 billion on juvenile detention due to fatherlessness.
  • Over 6 billion people are in the correctional system due to fatherlessness. That is almost the same as the population of Hong Kong, China, or 3 times the population of Houston, Texas.

John 14:16-18 – And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

In the parable of the prodigal son we see two sons without a father. The rebellious son and the religious son. Both lived outside their father’s love.

Rebellious: The son has to wait, in most cases, for the last will and testament of the father, but this son asked for and received his inheritance early. He wanted his inheritance early so he could live outside of the fathers will. He took it and left for another country, creating as much distance as possible between him and the father. He wanted total control over his own life and did not want the guidance or approval of his father.

The son wasted his money on wild living, and when he had nothing left to give, his friends left him. Severe famine hit the land and he was forced to hire himself out as a pig farmer. He wasn’t treated like a human being. In fact, he was treated lower than slaves, as even the pigs were considered more important than him! He begged his master to give him a portion of the pig feed and they refused.

Then he remembered his father and that even his servants had food to spare. He came to his senses. Only one thing held him back: his belief that no one could accept a rebel such as himself.


As Jesus taught this parable, Pharisees and teachers of the law were listening. They probably wondered why Jesus was wasting his time talking about a sinner who deserved to be punished. They were confident they knew the Law and the moral of the lesson. The Law called for death:

Deut. 21:18-21 – If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.

To the Pharisees, it would have been better for the prodigal to stay away because his father had the legal right to stone him for his rebellious attitude.

God welcomes back his lost son with open arms, giving him the best of all he has, and restoring him to sonship. God doesn’t want us to hide from Him like Adam & Eve did. He wants us to be restored to Him.


Religious: The elder brother from the parable of the prodigal son was noted to be working the fields with the servants. His rightful place was in the presence of the father, but he seemed oblivious to the fact that he was a son. He manifested the orphan spirit in a different way by acting as if he did not have a home, when, in fact, he had legal rights as an heir. The Pharisees, like the elder son, knew the father, yet did not seek intimacy. Instead they built a religion, or a to do list of works, around Him. Most modern churches still exhibit this model: Israel wanted God’s blessings and what He could do for them, but they did not want anything to do with seeking their Father’s face. They encouraged Moses to enter into the tent of meeting to commune with the Lord, while the rest of the nation of Israel were content to stay in their tents far away from the Presence of God.

God reminds the elder son that he is an heir, and has continual access to all the father has. Remember that you are a son and not a slave. Don’t let your work separate you from God, or think that your work is the only way to God, or think that God will only love you if you do His work. You are more important to Him than something you can do for Him. He has enough servants; He wants a son.

The father tried to change his mindset to think like an heir. ‘Everything I have is yours’ – Luke 15:31

Don’t continue to look with envy at the resources within your grasp while feeling unable to even glean from the ripened harvest.

We can’t earn His love. He freely bestows His love on us all, so stop working like a slave for it.

Our fathers nitpicked, condemned, and cut us down. They pointed out every flaw. They belittled us, made us feel unloved, made us feel like we had to earn their love by changing ourselves to get to their standard. We had to climb, work, and change to become something that they could approve. Sometimes it might have worked, but most of the time it didn’t. Who wants to change to live up to that evil standard anyway? Our heavenly Father wants us to know that we don’t have to do anything to earn His love.

Rom. 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God loves us while we are still sinners. He wants us just the way we are. We don’t have to strive, or constantly work to change ourself to His standard. We can rest in His love now, where we are, whether that be in a state of sin or righteousness. He will never stop loving us, so stop trying to earn it; He’s not going anywhere.

There is nothing I can do that can take Your love from me; and there is nothing I can do to make You love me because it is not about the doing. You just love me because I am Yours

Job is an illustration of what the orphan spirit looks like. In his case it took the pressure of difficulty to bring it out, but it is obvious it was there all along.

The Black Hole
The orphan spirit will:

  • Seek to drive a wedge between our heart and our Father’s love
  • Try to convince us that God is to blame for all our troubles
  • Cause us to look for answers from any other source but our Father
  • Create confusion and distance between us, and those closest to us
  • Cause us to live in despair when not healed by the power of Christ
  • Job saw himself as an animal trapped by circumstances. Job 19:6 – ‘it is God who has wronged me, capturing me in his net.’
  • Job felt like an innocent man being condemned as a criminal in court. He felt like God was treating him unfairly. Job 19:7 – ‘Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered; I call for help, but there is no justice.’
  • Job felt like he was making progress, enjoying life, and doing all the right things before God put a roadblock in front of him.Job 19:8 – ‘He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, And He has put darkness on my paths.’
  • Job blamed God for taking away every good thing he had. Job 19:9 – ‘He has stripped from me my glory and taken the crown from my head.’
  • It’s hard to be normal and function the way we want to when everything is out of sorts. Job felt like a building that had been completely destroyed. Job 19:9 – ‘He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone’
  • An uprooted tree will die. Without its root system it will not produce fruit or survive. Job 19:9 – ‘my hope has he pulled up like a tree.’

Heaviness takes the color out of life, and makes it difficult to see the truth clearly. Heaviness makes it hard to find purpose and direction in life. Heaviness can come from a variety of reasons:

Constant Criticism:
Ps. 69:20 – Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one.

Spiritual Failure:
Ps. 119:25-28 – My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. I have declared my ways, and You answered me; Teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works. My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.

Family Difficulties:
Prov. 10:1 – A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.

Worry:
Prov. 12:25 – Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.

Trials & Pressures:
1 Peter 1:6 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials

to be continued

The Single Narrative


The Bible, which means the book, is a single narrative that points to one person. 66 books written over the span of human history, and they all stay consistent; Christ, the Word of God, who never changes.

The Paradoxical Nature of Christianity

I’m in love with a king who became a slave.
I’m in love with a God who is humble.
You gotta go down, if you wanna go up.
You’ve gotta go lower, if you wanna go higher and higher.
You’ve gotta hide, and do it in secret, if you wanna be seen by God.
It’s the inside, outside, upside down kingdom,
where you lose to gain, and you die to live.

I love the lyrics to this song by Misty Edwards: Servant of All

Have you ever noticed how much of the Bible seems to have a paradoxical nature? I’m not saying that the Bible contradicts itself; I don’t think Jesus is bipolar. I’m saying that, the ways of God seem to be the stark opposite of our ways a lot of the time. It’s like watching a movie were there are two realms: 1)right-side up heaven, and 2)upside down earth.


Paradox: Hide to be seen
Misty used some great examples of the paradoxical nature of Christianity in her song. Let’s look at those examples, and some others in scripture, and try to understand why everything seems so backwards to us:

Matthew 6:16-18 – And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

People, by nature, want to be honored and get attention from others. It’s okay to want a reward, but we should want it from God not man. It’s not wicked to expect payment for your work. It is wicked to show off to people hoping that they will think you are better than them. Love is not prideful (1 Cor. 13). Fasting is not for man anyway, it’s for God; and we don’t get God’s attention the same way we get mans attention. We’ve got to hide, and do it in secret, if we want to be seen by God.


Paradox: The servant is made king. Least is the greatest. Last is first.

Matt. 23:11-12 – The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Servant and KingThe one who cuts others down, will be cut down, and the one who builds others up, will be built up. It’s natural for us to try to build ourselves up, by cutting others down – forcing our way into leadership, but that’s not God’s way. God is Spirit. Man is flesh. His ways are higher than our ways (Is.55:8). God says instead to humble yourself, build others up, and then they will build you up and you will have a strong following. Would you rather follow a leader who is clearly in it for personal gain, or one who is doing what is best for the workers?

Philippians 2:5-11 – You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was Godhe did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges… he humbled himself… and died… Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth

Jesus, who was God, humbled Himself, and stepped down from His kingship to become a slave to sin and death. His willingness to die caused billions of people to live. God therefore, elevated Him to the place of highest honor.

Luke 17:33 – If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.

We now have the choice of whether we will: 1)briefly die to our own desires, so that God will exalt us with Christ and give us eternal life, or whether 2)we will live briefly in our own desires, and lose our eternal life.

Matt. 4:8-10 – the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

Jesus had the option to cling onto His own life. He could have gone ahead and stepped into His kingship, without dying on the cross. He probably preferred the idea, but Jesus realized that if He stepped into His kingship prematurely, without the hard work of dying to Himself, there would be dire consequences. He would have been eternally separated from His father, and He would have led the nations to battle, killing many of the people who He instead chose to save, help, heal, and deliver by being obedient to God’s timing/ways. Though it sometimes seems counterproductive, or contradictory, the best way to get the desires of your heart is to ‘let them die’ and hand over control to God. He will give you the desires of your heart, far exceeding what you could’ve expected or done for yourself.


Paradox: Lose your life, gain the world
Satan desired to be exalted to a higher level. He saw God make man in His image and Satan got mad about it. He wanted our position, so he cut us down for it. In doing so, Satan condemned himself to eternity in hell. If he had instead, humbled his desires, and served mankind, God probably would’ve raised him up to a new level of authority.

Ps. 37:4, 7, 9, 35-36, 38 – Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heartBe still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways… those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land… I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, but he soon passed away and was no more… there will be no future for the wicked.

1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money… some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

How many movie stars and millionaires have we seen that commit suicide? Have you met people who were rich, who were still miserable? Most people desire a life of comfort; it’s natural for us to look to money for that comfort, but God says true happiness and comfort come from enjoying your hard work and by giving to others.

Matt. 6:31-33 – So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matt . 7:7-11 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

It’s when we stop trying to build up ourselves, and start trying to build up God’s kingdom, that God gives us what we need and  want. If it’s God that makes us unique, and puts desires in our hearts, then its Gods job to bring us the fulfillment of those desires.


Paradox: Stop looking to find

– Gen. 2:19-22 – Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.  So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Did you notice that it says no helper was found for Adam while he was looking among the animals? Why was he looking for a helper in the animals? Sounds like modern America to me! We should be looking for someone made in God’s image, not a wild beast of a person. But even still, it was when Adam quit looking that God brought him a suitable helper. Not by our works, but by His grace He gives good gifts to those who love Him.


Paradox: Jesus is the Tree of Life

Jesus: the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus: the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus' death, on a tree,
 brought Life for all the world to see!
Enter into me,
 O, Jesus, who died on Calvary.
You died in front of all the world,
 yet your Spirit lives inside of me.
Let the world see that you live, you breathe;
 you came back with 'God speed'.
Wisest of the Wise,
 you confound everyone –
The wisdom of the world
 is folly to the One,
Who with a paradox 
 caused us fools to know,
That the battle has been won;
 we can rest in Him who's shown:
That in death, you have true life.
 and in service, you become king;
And to deny our own power,
 is to sprout God's very wings.
The Spirit's gifts 
 are for everyone to partake;
I am wholly yours, 
 make a fool of me and take:
All the lies,
 and all the works of man –
Burn them up, 
 billow and fan.
God is Spirit, 
 and God is Love,
 He lives in every man!
Not by my might, nor by power,
 but by My Spirit, says the Lord –
Go into the world, 
 and knock on every door!
He who hears My voice and opens
 shall surely say:
Jesus, you are my hope;
 the only Truth, 
 the only Way!

– 1 Cor. 1:25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Paradox: We can’t save ourselves, but God can save us. When we accept God, God comes to live inside of us.  … you’re so weird God ❤


If you enjoyed this post please +follow lovedisciple

The False Gospel

Christians act nothing like Christ, right? Why? Over and over again the Bible shows us that there is a true gospel and a false gospel. Paul talks about this in Galations, but the first allusion to the 2 gospels was in the Garden of Eden. We’ll look to see how this true & false gospel relate back to the Tree of Life (TOL) and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil (TKGE).

– Gal. 1:1 – Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead…

– Gal. 1:6-7 – I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Self-righteousness is the false gospel. It's rampant in the South. It's why people hate 'Christians.'

Self-righteousness is the false gospel. It’s rampant in the South. It’s why people hate ‘Christians.’

One gospel is based on religion, or man’s attempt to get to God; it’s based on how well you can follow rules. This is the basis for most every religion in the world. It asks the question: How am I going to become godly? The other gospel is based on a relationship with God; you fall in love with Him, so you draw close to Him. How am I going to become godly?

– Gen. 2:8-9 – The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

– Gen. 2:16-17 -The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

– Gen. 3:1-7 – Now (Satan in the form of) the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil

the serpent deceived meSatan appealed to Eve’s desire to be godly. He said, eat this fruit and it will make you like God. Once they ate from the TKGE God threw them out of Eden so they would not eat from the TOL. Some of us have already eaten from Jesus, the TOL, but we are currently eating from the TKGE. This is not good. Don’t keep eating or keep living in deception; Salvation is in Christ alone.

… “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Religion can give us a knowledge of what is good and what is wrong. It can make us look righteous on the outside, and make us look like we are wise, but it always makes you naked. Every person has fallen short of the glory of God. We all sin. If you trust in your own ability of knowing good vs evil, you will still fall short. You cannot save yourself, nor can this knowledge always keep you from sinning. Partaking of the TKGE will always result in your nakedness, shame, and failure. What are the two different gospels? 1) One focuses on what you do: You aren’t thinking about reading your Bible because you love the Bible – you’re thinking about how many chapters you’ve read. You think you have it together because you haven’t missed a Sunday all year, or you’ve checked all the boxes on the spiritual to do list. One focuses on what Jesus does: You aren’t focused on how much you read, but on how much Jesus you can find in what you’ve read. You aren’t applauding your scheduling, but all that Jesus has done in your life and around you during the year.

– John 5:39-40 – You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

2) One focuses on getting God’s approval: This is the inherent belief that God is mad at you. There was a study done on how different regions see God, and the South predominantly believed that God was mad at them or that He was hard to please. This thinking says, I better not clap too loud today cause God knows I’m a hypocrite and didn’t act right this weekend. You think you have to memorize the book of Proverbs to have God’s approval. You treat sinners as beneath you. One focuses on receiving God’s love: You aren’t focused on gaining His approval; you are resting in His approval. You may sin, but God still loves you. He doesn’t like the sin, but the sin didn’t change His love for you. You show sinners God’s love, right where they are, without condemnation about anything. Love is Alpha and Omega.

– Rom. 5:8 – While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We don’t get our act together to get to God; we go to God to get our act together. Within His love there is no condemnation; only conviction that raises us up from our sin, and shows us how to love on the same level that He does.

– 1 John 4:19 – We love because he first loved us

3) One focuses on external duty: I have to do this or do that. One focuses on internal desire: I want to do this or do that.

– Jer. 17:10 – I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds

The Lord sees the heart and knows which tree you are eating from. He does not want to punish you. He wants you to choose to eat from the TOL.

– Gen. 3:24 – guard the way to the tree of life – Rev. 2:7 – To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. – John 14:6 – Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life.

Jesus, the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus, the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus is the Tree of Life. We need to partake of Him and His grace. We should not partake of the AntiChrist (TKGE/religion) that says 1)I know Jesus, 2)I know what He says is good and bad, and 3)I can follow those rules to save myself. Self-Righteousness cannot save you. Trying to obey the law cannot save you.

– Eph. 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. – James 2:10 – For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

– 1 John 5:3,12 – In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome… Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

His commands are burdensome if you are eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil (TKGE). It is burdensome to take the whole weight of the law on yourself and think that you can carry it by your own power. It’s only when we eat from the Tree of Life (TOL), the grace of Jesus, that the burden of the law is lifted and we can live in the freedom of His Spirit.

– 2 Cor. 3:17 – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom

How do I eat from the Tree of Life (TOL)? 1. Fall in love with Jesus (Think about who He is (Love), and the death He endured to save you.) 2. Don’t allow condemnation 3. Make the choice everyday

– John 14:15 – If you love me (Jesus), keep my commands

We can read this from either tree: TKGE: If you love me, you will obey me and show me that you are a good person. TKGE reads it backwards; they make it say: Keep my commands to prove your love. TOL: Just love me. Just love me, and you will automatically do the things that show me love. You’ll want to do the things.

– Deut. 30:19 – This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life

In every moment, take your thoughts captive and test them to see If they line up with the Tree of Life. Lie: God is mad at me because I sinned. The TKGE says I will be punished for my sin. God must be mad with me. I should punish myself and allow others to punish me. Truth: God loves me. Jesus, the TOL, says He died to take away my sin. When I ask Him to forgive me, He does so immediately; And though He knows everything, He chooses to never again remember my sin. He took on the punishment; He is not interested in punishing me. We are in right relationship and our love can freely flow. He is proud of me. I am His child, and He is my patient, loving Dad. He takes delight in my honesty that I messed up, and He says ‘I’ve already got you covered, now go have fun and make the right choice next time.’


To learn more listen here: The Two Gospels – Galations Series, by Highlands If you enjoyed this post please +follow lovedisciple

Our Jihad

Jesus heals ISIS Execution

Our Jihad is not one like the Muslims’. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. Our sword is not like the sword of this world. What kind of war has God called us to? And what does the Book of Revelations mean? Let’s take a peak at a few spots:

– Matt. 26:50-52 – Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

– Luke 22:51 – And Jesus touched the man’s ear and healed him

– Eph. 6:10-13,17 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand… Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The Kingdom of Jesus is not a matter of physical war, it is one of spiritual war. We are not fighting people, but evil spirits; and we do so with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Where Isis & some sects of Islam are killing unbelievers, Jesus is healing unbelievers.

– Rom. 7:22-25 – I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus

There is a battle in the spiritual realm over your mind. Jesus called us to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Preach:
1. to urge acceptance or abandonment of an idea or course of action

– Rom. 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

– 2 Cor. 10:3-5 – For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Truth is the Only Way to the FatherWhen a question or argument arises in your mind you are thrown into a battle, a push and pull until one side wins. In every argument that comes to your mind, you are supposed to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph.6:17), find the lies and cut them down. The need the gift of the Spirit called ‘discernment’, so we can tell which way is right and which is wrong. We compare everything to the Bible. We find the fruit of the Spirit (peace), once we win the fight. If we lose the fight, we become severely wounded and start living from a false mindset that brings us pain. We have to win the battle in our own mind before we can go out and help others who are fighting. We face many lies every day and the only way to recognize them is to know the Word of God (your sword).

Example:
Lie: My feelings, and experiences, tell me that without my anger as a defense, I am weak and will not be able to survive a hard conversation with people.
Truth: Jesus, the Word of God, says without God I am weak. I am strong when I rely on God, and I am weak when I rely on myself, or anger, for deliverance. My anger isn’t going to scare anyone into submission; it is going to make my situation worse. I should respond in love and wait for God to do the rest (Ps. 18:2).

Lie: I feel like life is pointless. There is no point in living; there is nothing good ahead for me.
Truth: Jesus, the Word, says God’s plan is to give ME a hope and a future and lead me into something better than I could even dream for (Jer. 29:11).

Like every warrior, we need practice and training with our sword. Each lie that comes against you is an opportunity for you to become a stronger warrior. Sharpen your blade! Memorize the scriptures and actively call them to mind. Take every thought captive and make sure it lines up with the Bible before you let it run free. In battle we take prisoners first. We judge later, and decide who can live and who should die. Put to death the lies of the enemy.

Jihad:
1. a holy war waged as a religious duty; a personal struggle in devotion especially involving spiritual discipline
2. a crusade for a principle or belief

We are fighting mindsets in the world. The main mindset we are fighting is the AntiChrist.

– 2 Thess. 2:4 – He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

The temple is no longer a building, but His people. The veil, of the flesh, was torn so that we can stand before the Spirit of God 24/7

The temple is no longer a building, but His people. The veil, of the flesh, was torn so that we can stand before the Spirit of God 24/7

The Bible says we are the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). We aren’t waiting for a new temple in Jerusalem and some world political figure to rise up. We already have the AntiChrist in the temple, the body of believers. God & Jesus are the Holy Spirit. Those who oppose the Spirit (who is Christ) are those who are following the AntiChrist.

There is a true Christ and a false Christ in our churches. One is a grace based salvation, founded on being born again by the Spirit of God, and walking by the Spirit’s power. This one is called the Tree of Life. This is the true Christ. This is the tree that God wanted us to eat from in the garden of Eden.

The other is a law based salvation, founded on our ability to do what is right, in an attempt to save ourselves. This is called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The law is from God, and the tree was from God, but God said do not eat of it or you will surely die. The law cannot save you and eating from this tree cannot make you like God. This one says I am saved by my own power to live by the laws of God.

– Rom. 3:23 – all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
– John 8:7 – Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone

– Rom. 8:2-3 – For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh

– Rom. 7:4-6 – Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.  For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

The burden of sin and the law. The burden of working out your own salvation, instead of living by the Spirit of Jesus who already did the work

The burden of sin and the law. The burden of working out your own salvation, instead of living by the Spirit of Jesus who already did the work

We are not under the heavy burden of the law, but under the light and easy yoke of the Spirit of Christ. So then anyone who believes that the law can save them has partaken of the AntiChrist.

– Luke 11:46-47 – Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets

Woe to you teachers who burden God’s people with the law, do not help them, and do not show them that the Spirit is the only way to fulfill the law and make the burden light!

– Rom. 8:2 – through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

– Matt. 12:31-32 – every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven

Blasphemy:
1. great disrespect shown to God or to something holy
2. irreverence toward something considered sacred

Have we blasphemed the Holy Spirit by ignoring Him or by treating parts of Him as useless?

– John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth

– 1 Cor. 14:13-18 – the one who speaks in tongues should pray that they may interpret the tongue. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit praysI will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit..  I thank God that I speak in tongues

Wolf in Sheeps ClothingIs the leader of your church opposing the fullness of the Spirit? Do not follow. So many Christians are scared of the Spirit of God! So many think God isn’t performing miracles anymore! Those are things Satan wants you to believe so you don’t see God, understand His will, or do the things He’s calling you to do. Don’t be scared to learn about the Spirit of God, be scared not to! Who do you think wants you to think God can’t heal you, deliver you, or give you that miracle? Satan wants to hold up the sheep skin that no longer has the power of the sheep. The AntiChrist is clothed to look like the Christ (religion), but takes away all the power that the Spirit of Jesus has.

– 2 Tim. 3:5 – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

– Matt. 23:13 – Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

The Bible says: 1)that God is to be worshiped in Spirit and in truth, 2)the Spirit is the truth, and 3)the gifts of the Spirit are for every person. We need to be able to work in our own power AND in the power of the Spirit. We need to take the time to make sure we are not being taught by an AntiChrist leader in the church; one that says Jesus didn’t rise from the dead in power. The Holy Spirit is Jesus on earth today! He is alive and active in power. We don’t want to be grouped in with the people who blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and are irreverent toward the works of power being done by the sacred Spirit of God. Let’s not miss the kingdom of God, for it is at hand. Let us not be deceived for:

– Rev. 19:10 – the testimony of Jesus is Spirit of prophecy.

– 1 Tim. 4:1-2 – The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

What is the kingdom of heaven supposed to look like?

– Luke 10:9 – Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

– Luke 9:2 – he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

– Luke 11:20 – if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

We were meant to proCLAIM the kingdom with the power of God. Isn’t it the ruler of a kingdom that puts forth the power to claim His own kingdom? God did not raise our bodies to life, but birthed us in the Spirit! We should be living in the power of the Spirit everyday.

Revelations talks about martyrs for Christ. Don’t you see that you are that martyr? We died with Christ.

Revelations talks about the resurrection. Don’t you see that you have been resurrected? We were raised with Christ. We are a new creation, and we (through the Spirit) are currently seated in heavenly places with Christ.

Revelations talks about His return with His army of believers for the final battle. Don’t you see that we are in that final battle? We are at war with the evil spirits in this world. We are taking every mind for Christ. And once the gospel has reached the ends of the earth, the end will come.

Armies of HeavenFight the good fight of faith. Wear the armor of God. Cut down everything that is against the supreme power of Love. Our Jihad is to win the minds of people over to God, who is Love. The Jihad of Isis is an AntiChrist: salvation based on human works. Some Christian doctrines are following an AntiChrist: salvation based on human works.

Jesus was baptized and the Spirit came on Him with power. The disciples were baptized,with fire (passion), with the power of the Spirit as well. We are to be baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit as well. Our God is a consuming fire; set my heart ablaze with passion for your name!

The Spirit gives us 3 lists of replacements, since we died with Christ. We were reborn by the Spirit, a new creation. We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. We no longer belong to ourselves. The character, abilities, and works we display should not be our own, but His:

9 fruits (or character) of the Spirit: 1)love, 2)joy, 3)peace, 4)patience, 5)kindness, 6)goodness, 7)faithfulness, 8)gentleness, 9)self-control

9 gifts (or abilities) of the Spirit: 1)ability to work miracles, 2)to speak in unknown tongues, 3)to interpretation unknown tongues, 4)to discernment between good and evil, 5)gifts of healing, 6)prophecy, 7)word of wisdom, 8)word of knowledge, 9)faith

9 beattitudes (or works) of the Spirit:
1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
2) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
3) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
4) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
5) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
6) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
7) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
8) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
9) Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus allowed His love and compassion to move Him to powerful works. He was moved by the fruit of love, so it ignited the gift of healing. The Spirit saw the those mourning and He ignited the gift of miracles to raise the dead and comfort them. Each list ignites the other list. We need all three operations of the Spirit to accomplish the ultimate goal of letting people see the face of Love (God).

Love conquers all! God never fails. His power is here to show us that. He cares about our health – he heals! He wants us to hear his voice – He prophesies. He is a miracle working God yesterday, today, and forever.

Eagerly desire the gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11) so that you can show the world His Love! This is the good fight! Fight it well!

Noah, the Flood, & Evil God


Noahs Arc   Peter drowning

The waters, of Noah’s flood, washed away the wicked. What kind of loving God would kill all mankind? He’s so harsh, right? Let’s look into this story and its meaning. Remember God is, was, and is to come; that means His Words, and actions, are without time – and the message stays consistent.


– John 1:1-2,4-5,14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning…  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son

– Gen. 1:1-2 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

– Matt. 14:24-25,27-31 – When evening came, He was there alone. By this time the boat was far from land and was being thrown around by the waves. The wind was strong against them. Just before the light of day (or the beginning of day; the dark hours before daybreak), Jesus went to them walking on the water… But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

These 3 passages have similar components like: 1)God  2)on the water, 3)in the beginning, 4)at the dark of night.

So many people read the story of Noah and think that God wiped out mankind without giving them a chance, but these verses show us that, from the beginning of creation, God has been walking on the waters, looking for people to rescue. Since the beginning of creation, God has been hovering over the waters. When I hear the word hover, I think of a helicopter on a rescue mission, searching fiercely for those drowning.

Helicopter water rescueHover means to remain in the air in one place. This is God. He has His eyes on all the world. He is our dispatcher. Jesus is our first responder. Jesus says in John 12:49 that He doesn’t do anything on His own, but only does what God has commanded Him to do. Jesus is God. Jesus mission is to rescue.  He’s on the ground, er on the water, coming to the aid of all who cry out for help.

So why did God destroy the wicked? Let’s see what the definition of wicked is, so we know who drowned in Noah’s flood.

The dictionary says wicked means:
1. distressingly severe, as a storm
2. unjustifiable; dreadful; beastly
3. extremely troublesome or dangerous
4. evil or morally bad in principle or practice

Hmm… by definition it doesn’t sound like God sent a storm to destroy the wicked; it actually sounds like the wicked people were the storm.

– 2 Sam. 22:5-7,17-18,20,49 – Because deadly breakers engulfed me, while torrents of abuse from the ungodly overwhelmed me. Binding ropes from Sheol entangled me while lethal snares hindered me. I cried out to the Lord in the middle of my troubles; I cried out to my God. He listened to my voice from his sanctuary, and my call for help was heardHe sent for me from on high! He grabbed hold of me, drawing me out of deep water. He rescued me from my strong enemy— from those who hate me continually, since they were stronger than I… He brought me to a wide open area, rescuing me because he was pleased with me!… delivering me from my enemies. You exalted me above those who rebelled against me, delivering me from violent men.

– Prov. 10:25 – When the storm ends, the wicked vanish, but the righteous person is forever firm. (*We are in the storm right now)

We can surmise that wicked people destroy themselves. They are their own storm and since God gave us freewill from the beginning, he lets our freewill play out to the fullest extent. People have blamed God because it’s easier to blame God than blame self; we don’t want to take responsibility for our own actions and admit that we did wrong. People have also chosen to blame others instead of blaming self; Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake, and I’m sure the snake blamed God for being loving and giving him the freewill to choose to do wrong! Granted, many of us are victims of someone elses wrong doing. I was. I was a long-suffering victim of many things. Family, friends, people without God, and people with God, all hurt me (I put part of this testimony at the bottom of this post). I had to hold on to God, take responsibility for my own life, and wait for the other side of God’s ‘Noah’s ark’ promise:

God can save the righteous from those who are wicked. God’s ways tell us to die to self, and not repay evil for evil, though that goes against every fiber of our being. God doesn’t want us to have to protect ourselves; we are His kids. He is our protector and He is more than capable of taking care of us.

Imagine you are the father to a child and someone just came up and slapped them to the ground. We gonna fight; you don’t touch my child like that. God, our Father, is the king of everything, and he is a warrior king at that. Don’t cross him. He can vaporize you in an instance, or worse yet, make you face an eternity of punishment…

But guess what. We are ALL God’s children. He says:

– Eze. 18:23 – “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” declares the Sovereign Lord. “No, instead I would like him to turn from his sinful ways and live.”

– 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God is waiting for every child to ask Him how to love. He is love! He is pulling out all the stops to show us love, but God can’t help us until we are willing to listen to His advice. That’s the definition of love: respect. God respects you enough to let you make your own choices. In Eden He gave us a choice, and everyday on earth is another choice. He will never FORCE us to do anything, and that should show you that He loves you, not make you think that He doesn’t care about your choices. He has given us His Word as our way to hear His advice on any, and every, topic. He is our loving, good, heavenly Father that is with us at every moment. He is not a wicked person who thinks he is supposed to control someone. Our Father teaches us right and wrong, then gives us the choice to make. This can cause us pain if we choose our own way:

Child touching stove eyeWhen dad says, ‘Don’t touch the stove or it will hurt you’, then we test it out and get hurt – that experience should drive us closer to our father, and show us that we can trust his advice.

Haven’t you seen a parent that was loving and wise, but the child was too rebellious to take their advice? The child put himself through hell before he finally realized he needed to take his parents advice. They had to face the consequences of their own choices before they could accept the wise advice of their parents. Their pride got the best of them: ‘I know better than my parents.’ Soon they realize, ‘My parents had more experience than me. I went through the same pain and trials they went through, because I was too prideful to listen to their advice. They were trying to save me this pain. They had a good plan and future in mind for me and I missed it.’

Every person sins. God does not destroy us because of sin. Those of His children who are willing to listen to Him and take His advice are covered (by Jesus blood). All His children will sin, but they will immediately turn to Dad and say, ‘I did wrong; teach me how to do right.’ These children are not wicked, or rebellious. They are God’s heart.

The people that God calls wicked, are those who are so prideful, that they truly think they can do no wrong, or have never done anything wrong. Those people will be destroyed unless they open their eyes to their wrongs, ask forgiveness, and turn from their wicked ways. They are hurting themselves, and everyone else, and they cannot admit that they have done anything wrong.

David had a son who tried to steal his throne. David loved him and did not want to punish him. Eventually, Absalom led an army against his father David, to destroy him. David’s commanders went out to battle and David said, ‘Be gentle with Absalom.’ In the battle the commander thought he knew better than the king, and he killed Absalom. When David heard this he cried, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! I wish I had died instead of you. Absalom! My son, my son!”. – 2 Sam. 18

David is often used as a depiction of Jesus. Jesus told us to go ‘fight the good fight’ by sharing His love with every person. How dare one of us decide that we know better than Jesus, and try to cut down one of His children.

The disciples painted a better picture for us, on how to treat those living in sin:

Water is often thought of as representing sin. Think about baptism: we are dunked under the water, and it represents dying to sin and self. Then we come out of the water, and it represents new life, lived through the Spirit of God.

Jesus gave Peter the ability to walk on water, just like he gives us the ability to live free from sin. We are walking toward Him without getting bogged down in the mire. Peter (like all those who are walking toward Jesus will) fell into a bit of sin, started to sink in the water and cried, ‘Help!’ It says Jesus immediately stretched out his hand to catch him.

As Christians we are all called to live the same kind of life that Christ did. Jesus wasn’t trying to show off to Peter; He was trying to disciple him. We need to get out of the physical boat that we call religion, or the church, and realize that the physical boat can’t save us from the storm. Jesus is our spiritual boat; He is our salvation from the storm of sin. He wants us to 1)get out of the church building, 2)follow Him into all the world, 3)walk on the waters, and LOOK for those who are drowning, thrashing, panicking, and crying out for help.

– Gen. 1:1-2 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Go out, into the dark places of sin, and be a part of God’s rescue mission. Noah preached to a wicked world for 100 years, and no one believed him. We have the same call, and I guarantee it won’t take 1 year for you to find someone who wants God. God is our true boat; there is safety in His righteous ways. Bring people into Him.

Fire fighter saving naked childBe gentle with the sinner (Absalom). It is hard to see underwater; it’s hard to know which way is up, and which is down. It’s hard to stay on top of the water when the crashing wakes of sin are beating you down.

Be the hovering helicopter with the search lights;  be the hand that helps them up and brings peace to the storm. Get out of your place of comfort, where you think you are safe, and be the rescuer that puts his life on the line to save someone else.

Matt. 10:39 – If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Are you so scared of sin that you can’t be obedient to God’s command to go out and help those who need help? If your first response to seeing the firefighter photo was, ‘I thought this was a christian blog; why is she showing a naked person?’, then you might want to check your heart. God’s call, not to look with lust, is serious, but if it keeps you from seeing a person in need and doing everything in your power to go to them where they are, and save them, then you don’t have love. Anything done outside of love is worthless to God (1 Cor. 13:3). And if you’re scared that the second you look on a naked body you will lust, then your heart isn’t that pure is it? Don’t lose your life:

– Is. 43:2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you

We aren’t going to the waters of sin to drown in it. We are passing through the waters to save people. It is hard and you might sink a little, like Peter, but God will never leave you or forsake you; and He is more than capable of getting you back up. Don’t fear for your life. Put your trust in God to save you from sin.

Worship: Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United


Thank you God for putting your life on the line to save us. Thank you Christians who put your life on the line to save us. Thank you cops, firefighters, and first responders for putting your life on the line to save us. Thank you for seeing the worth of a person above your own fear of sin, waves, fire, or trials.

Sacrifice 
Jesus on Cross


Personal Testimony:
I made the decision to give God my life in the 5th grade. I didn’t have anyone to train me in His ways, so I lived the same way a non-Christian would, except that I was reading the Bible for myself. In 6th grade I read about the gifts of the Spirit; I came across the scripture and had no idea what it meant. Most of the gifts confused me, but I understood what a miracle was, and that sounded nice, so I asked Him what the others meant. Several years later, in 9th grade, I had planned out my suicide. I was tired of my lot in life. I could’ve blamed God, but God gave me a home; my parents lovingly adopted me. God is love, and everything that comes from love, comes from Him. Everything that’s bad comes from sin (outside of the plan of God). My parents weren’t perfect, nor was my birth mother; they had their own struggles. It wasn’t my fault, but I had to suffer through it. One was driven to drinking and abuse. A hard life drove the other crazy; schizophrenic to be exact. My life was hell for many, many years, but theirs had been too. I love them very much, and forgive them, but I had a lot of pain at that time, so I was sitting in the place where I would kill myself; preparations at hand. No one was there, but as I shut my eyes to cry, I saw Jesus. He walked up to me and placed His hand on my head saying, ‘Peace be still.’ This overwhelming peace flooded me. Every other thought was silenced. I told him, ‘God, I have nothing to live for but you. As long as you are in my life, I’ll keep trying.’ I walked away that day, but a month after that the thoughts came back. I had a string of suicidal thoughts, about the length of my testimony to this point. I was just about to leave for church, so I went and tried to stuff them down. I went up for prayer after the teaching, and before I had spoken a word, the 15-year-old girl (who had been preaching) opened her mouth and repeated verbatim – word for word, sentence by sentence – the full length of the thoughts I had thought. She then rebuked the evil spirit behind the thoughts, and prophesied God’s good purposes over me. 1)I had been alone when I thought them, 2)I had not said them outloud (they were thoughts), 3)I hadn’t told anyone about them – and yet this girl knew exactly what they were. Freaked. Me. Out. Just like God proved I wasn’t alone the 1st time, God showed me again in this 2nd instance – I AM with you. God came Himself the 1st; and the 2nd, he came through a person. This is the gift of prophecy; the ability to HEAR God’s voice, through the gift of the Holy Spirit (who is God).

Miracle of the Red SeaHow did I know it was God and not the devil? Well, I sure as hell knew it was something! But the Bible also says, 1)the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for every man, and 2)the devil doesn’t work against himself. Satan was trying to get me to commit suicide both times. He would not have interjected a vision of Jesus or a prophetic Word from Jesus that 1)lined up with scripture, 2)immediately kept me from killing myself, and 3)strengthen my relationship with God. As far as I was concerned, there was no question in my mind whatsoever that there was a God; this was solid proof.

God tells us that he never leaves us or forsakes us; He is always with us. Reach out to Him; He is speaking. How can we as Christians pray, and be mad at God because we don’t hear a response, while many of us have disowned Christ (the Word of God), which says the gift of prophecy is a gift for every man to help us hear His voice?

– Matt. 23:29-32 – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

Meant for “bigger things,” Scuffy the Tugboat sets off to explore the world. But on his daring adventure Scuffy realizes that home is where he’d rather be. 'Home is where the heart is.' My heart is in God, and God's Spirit is in me; home sweet home

Meant for “bigger things,” Scuffy the Tugboat sets off to explore the world. But on his daring adventure Scuffy realizes that home is where he’d rather be.
‘Home is where the heart is.’ My heart is in God, and God’s Spirit is in me; home sweet home

Prayer: God, I understand that we are all sinners, and I have many things to relearn about you and cause to come into alignment with your Word; but helps these who are hurting and asking to hear your voice. Deliver your righteous ones from the sins of their leaders. Remind us of your word to test every spirit, and taste every word that is spoken, to see if it lines up with who YOU say you are. Strengthen us to search you out, so we can see for ourselves how real you are. Raise up those working by the Spirit of God, though the workers be few, for a sign to all the world. We will be mocked, beaten, and called heretics, but so was Jesus. You, God, were rejected by the world and the church leaders (Pharisees). Don’t let me stay in the physical sinking boat of religion, trying to save my own life. Give me the power of your Spirit to walk on the waters and rescue those drowning. Don’t let it be said of me that I didn’t preach for the 100 years of my life, trying to pull people out of the flood waters. You are my boat, and you live in me, which makes me a boat. You do the steering; just help me be willing.


I’m working on a multi part blog about the Holy Spirit. I hope to make it fully comprehensive about who He is and what He does. You know the fruit of the Spirit is love, and love is God; we need the Holy Spirit. Nonetheless, I’m not through writing it yet, so here are some resources to help you find out more in the mean time:

Highlands Sermon Series – The Holy Spirit
Riches in Humility, by lovedisciple

If you liked this post please +follow lovedisciple to see future posts.

Bruce Jenner, You are a Winner

Bruce Jenner: 
  You are a winner. 
You make yourself better,
  By trying to hide your wiener.
But there is more to give to you
  Than beauty, boobs, and balloons;
For, at your birth, I see that you,
  Were always just a man,
Whose dad did not, ever,
  Lend a helping hand.
And in your childhood,
  There was brewing evil things;
And he sew them into your eyes,
  Into mind, and you couldn't get away.
  And so you said that day:
'I don't want to ever be,
  A man that acts like thee.'
And in that vow, you threw away
  All the things I had for thee;
  You saw them as ashes and refuse.
Yet you threw them away,
  And you did choose,
  To become a woman –
Not for you, but to escape him, who,
  Your spirit learned to hate.
And in this thing, you're still not happy;
  How ever could you be?
You missed the very thing,
  That you thought you were escaping.
But it didn't quite work that way;
  There's still pain for the taking.
But I put in you, to be a winner,
  So see me now, and see me clearer.
I Am (the only way)
  To take this heavy stone away.
And when you seek me,
  You will find me;
And to all people,
  You'll cause reminding:
Of the child changed to a woman,
  Who came to me a brewing.
And they will see, I surely say,
  That this stone I rolled away.
  And all the sooner, They will find me.
Please know that you
  Always have my full attention;
  I was always there to listen.
I heard all the pain
  That you had hidden,
  And I come to bring comfort.
Please don't hide, just come accept me;
  For I'm the dad that always knew thee.
And I have great love for you;
  I do not care to reprove.
I only care about your heart;
  For I am the dad that hears.
So speak your worries, and your tears;
  I'll give peace to all your years:
When your dad was not around,
  And when he was, he stole your crown.
You thought you had to fight to please him,
  But my child always believe in:
My greatest love, for you, is here;
  My love won't leave you, or forsake you.
You don't have to try to please me,
  To earn this love beyond believing.
You don't have to do anything for me to love you;
  I'm the dad that never hurts, and will always want you.
I bring hope,
  and I believe in:
    You.

If you enjoyed this post please +follow lovedisciple to receive future updates.

I want you as you are, not as you ought to be. I ❤ this song: Drops In The Ocean

Animal Salvation?

Everyone always wants to know if their pets go to heaven and if animals have souls, so I did a fun little study on it.

It might look long, but all topics are highlighted, and in all of my posts I bold the important information so that you can quickly see the highlights. I always want to give the full scripture reference in case someone wants to know more, but if it looks overwhelming, simply read the bolded parts.

We’ll look at these topics:
– The Beginning of Animals
– Will there be animals in Heaven?
– Is there salvation for animals?
– If animals can be saved, then do they have souls?
– Will my pets be in heaven?
– Will animals be able to speak in heaven?
– Can we eat animals if they have a soul? Is it a sin to eat animals?
– How does God view animals?
– What does it mean to have dominion over animals? Are we doing our part?


Let’s look at the beginning of animals for a moment:

– Gen. 1:25 – God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good

– Gen. 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Animals could talk in the beginning and God said it was good.

– Gen. 3:13-14 – The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers

Animals and humans sinned and BOTH were cursed. It doesn’t say that he cursed animals so that they couldn’t speak, but we’ll talk more about that later. If animals can still speak with that kind of eloquence we can’t hear it anymore.

*SideNote: the curse on the snake was for him to crawl on his belly… meaning he previously swam (job’s leviathan?), had wings (fallen angel?), or legs (dragon of revelations?). Dragons in heaven? Well, Renaissance paintings made him look like a mermaid, so moving on.

serpent of Eden– Num. 22:27-28 – When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” 29Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.” 30The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.” 31Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. 32The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. 33The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.” 34Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned…”

– Is. 22:22 –  what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open

God is capable of opening or closing the mouths of animals, giving or taking away their ability to speak. I do not see any reference inferring that we could teach an animal to speak with human eloquence, but I do see scriptures that infer animals were originally made to speak and will again speak (more so than Fluffy barking on command); more on that in the following sections.


Will there be animals in Heaven?

As we can see from the previous section, animals were in Eden and God said they were good. Below we see that God is going to renew the earth and restore Eden. This would imply that animals will exist in the restored Eden just like the former Eden.

– Rev. 21:1 – Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea

– Is. 65:17 – See, I will create new heavens and a new earth.

– Rev. 21:5 – He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!

– Eze. 36:35 – They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.”

– Is. 11:6-9 – And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. 7Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. 9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.

– Rev. 19:11 – Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True

– Ps. 145:21 – Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

So we see that there will be a new earth like the garden of Eden, where all creatures live in harmony for eternity. So if animals are in heaven then:


Is there salvation for animals? 

Ps. 36:5-6 – Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.

Let’s define preserve:
1. to keep alive or in existence; make lasting
2. to keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare
3. to maintain and reserve for continued survival

– Gen. 9:9-10 – “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth.

– Gen. 9:15-17 – I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. 17So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

The story of the ark was a foreshadowing of God saving our souls. The animals were saved with Noah on the ark, which points to the idea that they too will be saved with the righteous. The Lord tells us many times that He has made a covenant with the animals; and not just in the flood account…

– Hos. 2:18-19 – In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. 19I will betroth you to me forever

– 2 Peter 2:5, 9 – if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah… and seven others… 9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

This verse seems to be saying that animals were rescued from trials because they were godly.

– 2 Peter 2:15- 16 – They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

This donkey respected God more than the prophet. The donkey understood the word of the Lord and was obedient. The donkey also understood that he should not harm the Lords anointed. The donkey saved Balaam’s life 3 times and simply said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

– Ps. 105:15 – “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

– 1 Sam. 26:9 – But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?

– Gen. 9:5 – And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

This is the only concrete law I could find that was given to animals. Animals will be judged according to this law and apparently they understand it. What else do they understand?

– Job 12:7-9 – ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 9Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?

It’s a saying that animals can see into the spirit realm, but what if there’s truth to it? What if animals are actually more aware of God than we are? Maybe they are smarter than we are but we just can’t communicate with them in our fallen state?

– 2 Cor. 5:15 – he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Someone’s getting in a tizzy about this scripture I guarantee, but we already saw that God made a covenant with ALL creatures. We can also see that this donkey isn’t living for itself, but for Christ. No animal wants to be beaten. The donkey had many chances to choose to save itself, but it waited for the Lord’s salvation. I think these scriptures clearly portray that there is salvation for animals. I’m not sure what all the rules are, but they will clearly be judged and saved like us. God tells us that the commandments are summed up into one: love; and that the greatest love is to lay down your life for another. Seems to me that this donkey passed with flying colors. The 10 commandments even include that animals should rest on the Sabbath with us.

– Ex. 20:8-11 – “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

He even tells us to share the gospel with animals! This Easter one of my Facebook friends held an Easter party for dogs. I laughed, but then I thought about this verse:

– Mark 16:15 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

– Rom. 8:21 (NLV) – Everything that has been made in the world will be set free from the power that can destroy. These will become free just as the children of God become free.

– Rom. 8:19-21 (MSG) – The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens

– James 1:18 – In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

We are the FIRST fruits of his creatures. That means the other creatures will be the following act until the very last of the fruits return to God. So…


If animals can be saved, then do they have souls?
Are the animals in heaven going to be the souls of the animals from earth?

Over and over again, the word used for creatures is nefesh, the Hebrew word for soul. This word is used when describing animals and humans. The Bible clearly shows us that animals have souls; they have appetites, desires, affection, and feelings just like us.  

English=Creatures. Hebrew=Nephesh

– Ps. 104:25-30 – Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great… 27These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. 28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

You renew the face of the ground? Sound familiar? Sounds like the bodies of the animals will be resurrected when the Lord renews the earth (Rev. 21:1,5), and here’s a supporting scripture:

– Rom. 8:19-21 – The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens

Psalms 104 also showed us that animals have the spirit of God in them. God breathed life into them just like He did for us.

– Eccl. 12:7 – and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

God is whole. He is not incomplete, so if He sends out part of His Spirit it will surely return to Him.

– 1 Cor. 15:35-40, 42-44 – But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another… 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

Our perishable bodies return to the dust just like the animals, until the resurrection of the body. The animals imperishable body, the Spirit and breathe of God, returns to God just like ours do. So, ‘to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord’ (2 Cor. 5:8)

– Eccl. 3:19-21 – For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.

Dust to dust. Spirit to spirit

– 1 Cor. 15:21-22 – For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

The death that was brought, on both man and animal, came through a man. So the life, for both man and animal, comes from a man. Strangely enough, the same man that brings life describes himself as a sacrificial lamb; so where death came from an animal (serpent), life also came from an animal (lamb).

It’s crazy how hidden, yet attainable he makes his secrets! ❤ it! So the cherry on top question would be:


Will my pets be in heaven?

Given the foundational truths from the previous sections, I would say yes.

– 1 Cor. 2:9 – For no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.

– Eph. 3:20-21 –  to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory

– Ps. 31:19 – How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

– 1 Cor. 13:8-13 – Love never fails… 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love is imperishable because God IS love. If you have a sacrificial love for your animal, that love won’t be taken away because it is imperishable.

Ps. 84:11 – No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly

We can trust God that heaven will be a place filled with everything necessary for our happiness. In fact more than likely, you’ll be able to speak to your pets in heaven.


Will animals be able to speak in heaven?

We’ve already talked about how animals spoke in the previous Eden (inferring that they should be able to speak in the restored Eden) and how animals have spoken in the fallen earth (Balaam’s donkey). What’s so hard to believe? If rocks can speak and praise God why can’t animals?

Point #1 – Called to praise & Support of Praise

– Luke 19:40 – If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.

– Jer. 32:27 – Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

In fact God tells the creatures to praise Him

 – Ps. 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord

– Ps. 148:10-13 – Wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted. His splendor is above the earth and the heavens

If he asks something from us, He will give us the means to do so. If He asks for animals to praise Him, then He will give them freewill and a voice to do so. I think they praise Him now, but I think we will hear the praise in the new earth (see point #2)

– Heb. 13:21 – may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.

Here are some more animals speaking in heaven and in the earth:

– Rev. 8:13 – As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth

– Rev. 4:6-8 – In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. 8And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”

If we were made in God’s image, what image were animals made in? Were they made in the image of these speaking ‘living creatures’? Where animals also made in God’s image? God is vast; whose to say that we weren’t made to have some attributes of God that animals don’t have, and vice versa. If animals then were made in God’s image, but with different attributes of Him, do you think God would make them unable to communicate? Is God mute? Can God only talk to His son (in the ‘god species’)?

– Rev. 5:13 – Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:  “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

Point #2 – Language & Unity

Maybe in order to understand Point #1 we should look at language (in general) for a moment:

– Gen.11:1 – Now the whole world had one language and a common speech… 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”… 6The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth 9That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth

Unity makes all things possible. Due to disobedience (gen. 9:1) the Lord scattered languages. If Heaven is without sin then we can assume that heaven will have unity instead of confusion. This unity can come in the form of one common language or many languages. I’ll show you how since we have already established that both man and animal have the same Spirit from God:

– 1 Cor. 12:7-10 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

We see here that through unity of Spirit we can be given the gift of speaking and interpreting different (otherwise unknown) languages. So if I meet my pet in heaven, he can speak dog and I can speak English and with these gifts we can have unity & understand each other. As an example, it’s by the Spirit that this angel is able to preach in all languages:

– Rev. 14:6 – Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth–to every nation, tribe, language and people.

– Rev. 7:9-10 – After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb

So whether there is one language or multiple languages, there will be UNITY in heaven and ease of communication between species, nations, etc. There will be no miscommunication, misunderstanding, or discord which guarantees ALL will be able to communicate eloquently and understand ALL.

Lastly, if animals can speak, and have a soul, should we be eating them? I was talking to a friend the other day whose wife is a vegetarian. We talked about the original diet of mankind: fruititarianism. Meaning we ate only what naturally fell from a plant. We would not eat anything that turns into a plant or harms a plant. I was making the point that God loves plants as much as animals and people. My friend said he couldn’t stand the thought of killing an animal anymore, and that if the grass cried out in agony when he cut it, he probably wouldn’t do that either. I laughed too hard. However, animals have a different kind of voice than people, so plants have a different kind of voice than animals. How long will it take us to realize the earth is screaming in agony from our abuse? That’s another topic though…


Can we eat animals since they have a soul?
Is it a sin to eat animals?

– Gen. 1:26-30 – Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”… 28God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.

Both man and animal were given plants to eat originally. They were fruitarian. They ate only what would naturally fall from a plant or regenerate on its own. Part of the curse of man is that he would have to toil the fields, so before the curse man lived on fruits, herbs, and maybe perennial vegetables and nuts. We see in the next verse that animals will return to this system:

– Is. 11:7 – the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

– Ps. 104: – He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth, 5And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man’s heart.

*SideNote: Modern day bread is terrible for you! It doesn’t strengthen the heart… but grind your own natural ingredients instead of that GMO bleached grocery mess and you can live on bread alone for 300 days like Ezekiel. Here’s a recipe: http://breadmachinerecipe.net/ezekiel-bread-machine-recipe/

Okay, so we started out with a fruitarian/vegetarian/vegan kind of diet, but then:

– Gen. 9:2-4 – And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.

Here’s our green light for eating animals. But then why would he say all things are for food, if later he says don’t eat pork (Deut. 14:8) or sea animals without scales (Lev. 11:9)?

– 1 Tim. 4:3 – They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth.

– 1 Cor. 10:23-33 – “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive… 25Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 27If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience… For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? 31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

I have the right to eat every moving thing, but not all of those things will be beneficial to my body. The guides he gives in Deut. & Lev. give you an idea of what things are beneficial to your body and what things will make you sick. We know vegetables are healthy, but he lists some animals too, so it’s not a sin to eat them.

Based on these scriptures I think its honorable to choose to not eat meat since that will probably be the model of heaven anyway. That doesn’t mean that heaven will be less amazing. God can make ‘manna’ taste like some good ole country fried steak or venison back-strap. We shouldn’t be scared of the idea of giving up our favorite foods (sushi & duck for me), because we know the tastes in heaven will somehow immeasurably surpass the delectable flavors found here on earth. Nonetheless, in the current earth, we have a green light to eat meat.

With that being said, the next section is of the upmost importance.


God cares for animals, but are we doing our part to care for animals?

God cares for animals. He breathes life into them, knows every one, feeds them, knows when they die, helps them give birth, gently carries them, clothes them, protects them, etc.

– Matt. 10:29 – Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 

– Matt. 6:26 – Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

– Ps. 50:10-11 – For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. “I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.

– Is. 40:11 – In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

– Ps. 29:9 – The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth

– Deut. 25:4 – Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.

– Deut. 22:10 – You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together

He cares about animal rights. He wants the ox to be able to eat his daily portion and his working portion. He doesn’t want the donkey to get hurt by being yolked to a larger animal. No matter what the price we value sparrows, he is aware of every single one. God is Spirit and He gave us the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ to train ourselves in. While we train to have these attributes, they are already a part of God’s character. He is patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled, peaceful, loving, and joyful toward us and all creation. If He cares about animals to this extent and He has set us as a servant over them, then we should care about them too, because He will surely judge us according to our given duties.

– Gen. 1:27-28 – God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

It’s not a sin to eat animals, but it is a sin to not have dominion over animals. The word dominion is an antonym to stewardship or management. He calls us a servant to creation.

– James 1:18 – He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

Why are we called the FIRST fruits of his creatures if mankind was made last in the Genesis creation?

– Matt. 20:16 – So the last will be first, and the first will be last

– Mark 9:35 – Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all

We were called to take dominion, which doesn’t mean to dominate or exploit the earth, but to steward, manage, or take care of the earth. We were last so that we could SERVE all. If we eat all the animals and do not manage their numbers, and protect their existence, then we have sinned by not managing the business God gave us. Plus:

– Eccl. 3:19 – what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other.

We need to be carefully not to over consume animals or fall into the sin of gluttony, leading to poor management. All sin leads to death, and here we see specifically how gluttony can and will lead to death in the end times. Over consumption can come through gluttonous eating, clothing, poaching, hunting, whatever. I love the ideals of the native americans on this subject. They gave thanks for every animal life and they used every last piece of the animal. We should be wary of how much we take and how much we waste. If I manage myself, I can live off 1 deer a year, by using 1 pound of meat for each 4 day span.

– Luke 12:42-46 – And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful.

To eat, drink, and get drunk is referring to gluttony. It is also a cross-reference these other scriptures:

– Is. 22:12-13 – Therefore in that day the Lord God of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing, to shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth. 13Instead, there is gaiety and gladness, killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep, Eating of meat and drinking of wine: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.”

The ‘Lords call to weeping’ will be through famine that WE induce. We aren’t far away from it. This verse foretells the attitude that people will take during the days of famine… they will continue to be gluttonous until they have completely destroyed the earth. They will say, we are going to die anyway, so I might as well be happy while I’m alive; all the while destroying the earth and dooming future generations. This is no way to manage a business – that’s how you drive it into bankruptcy.

– Is. 5:8-12 – Woe to those who join house to house; They add field to field, Till there is no place where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land! 9In my hearing the Lord of hosts said, “Truly, many houses shall be desolate, great and beautiful ones, without inhabitant. 10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath (7 gallon of grapes instead of the 400 gallon normal average), And a homer of seed shall yield one ephah.” 11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them! 12 The harp and the strings, The tambourine and flute, And wine are in their feasts; But they do not regard the work of the Lord, Nor consider the operation of His hands. Therefore my people have gone into captivity, Because they have no knowledge.

– Is. 5:12 – They do not regard the work of the Lord, Nor consider the operation of His hands.

What is the “work of His hands”?

– Ps. 8:3-9 – When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?…You make him to rule over the works of Your hands. You have put all things under his feet… All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea

You make him to rule over the works of Your hands… this was our Genesis command to have dominion, but Isaiah says humans will not regard the animals, earth, or space and so humans will fall blindly into famine and death. The bible says the respect of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. God wants to show us how to maintain life. Are we going to be open to His advice?

*SideNote: “I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars.” Thus we are called to be stewards of space as well. Are we going to start dumping trash in space? Will the famine drive us into space, to a new earth? Hmm.. I feel a study of Revelations coming about. 

– ‘oikonomia’ is the greek word used for steward. The word ‘economics’ is derived from it.
Economics: is the social science that studies production, distribution, exchange and consumption of goods and services.

We can’t be good stewards of animals if we turn a blind eye to our rate of consumption.

– Is. 24:5-6 – The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left

– Rev. 11:18 – The time has come… to destroy those who destroy the earth

Those who were bad stewards, not those in Christ (Luke 12:42-46). Although many in Christ are bad stewards, His blood covers all our sin and because we love him, we continually grow in our love, learning how to please him. In Him there is no fault-fiding.

– Is. 24:4-6 – The earth mourns and dries up, and the land wastes away and withers. Even the greatest people on earth waste away. 5The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God’s instructions, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant. 6Therefore, a curse consumes the earth. Its people must pay the price for their sin. They are destroyed by fire, and only a few are left alive.

– Rev. 8:7 – A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

– Rev. 8:8-9 – A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

– Rev. 8:11 – a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water… A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

– Rev. 8:12 – a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

Funny what Revelations calls judgement, Isaiah calls reaping what you sow… God gave us freedom of choice and he doesn’t change his mind about that even if we destroy the Earth He gave us. The prodigal son went and spent his inheritance till he had to eat pig slop. We create our own punishment when we disobey Him.

Poor stewards> becomes famine>becomes war>nuclear bombs>disease, lose of life, lose of water, & darkness>the end

We who know and love God should be digging in the word for instructions; doing our part to protect life and rallying support. Time is short.

– Matt. 24:3 – “Tell us, when these things will be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered (Matt. 24:4-14):

There will be:
– false saviors
– wars and rumors of wars
(he adds that we should not let these rumors alarm us (social media anyone?))
– nation will go against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
– famines and earthquakes in various places

and thats only the beginning. Then there will be:

– persecution and killing of Christians
– many will denounce Christ and betray Christians
– there will be false teachers and false prophets
– gospel preached to the whole world

then the end will come.


Hmm, many of these are already happening. Even so, we don’t want to say ‘eat, drink, and be merry as if we die tomorrow’. Instead we want to hone in on the love that makes us want to please our wonderful savior, and stay busy about His work, looking forward to the great reward that’s coming… Getting to talk to pets and Oh so much more. When it comes down to the persecution of Christians, and my life is on the line, I’m going to be laughing knowing that in my next second I will be riding on, and talking to, a pterodactyl with Jesus; flying through wormholes as all the exciting, mysterious thing unveil and I’m assigned to take care of baby dolphins for a time. Don’t hate. 

Riding a pterodactyl

Last TidBit: Statistically, In homes where an animal is being abused, it is almost certain there is also domestic violence in the home. Maybe you should pay attention to this concept if you are still single and looking for a spouse.

– Prov. 12:10 – The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.

Four phases of the Christian walk

All of us know about Jesus, at the Passover meal, taking the cup and saying, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”. All of us know about salvation, but did you know there’s more than salvation? There isn’t just one cup at the Passover meal, there are four! And if you’ve ever felt like the cup of salvation wasn’t enough to make you fill like you were living a life of abundant and fulfilling life, then let me challenge you to read this and step into the other cups of promise. This post is based on notes from a book, so read it in parts if you need to; its well worth it


The Four cups of Passover and the four original promises of God

Passover is the celebration of God’s deliverance from Egypt. God gave the Israelites four promises before he brought them out from under the yoke of slavery. These four promises are still celebrated at Passover in the four cups. Let’s look at His promises:

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.” – Ex. 6:6-7

In this verse you see the four promises to his people:
1. I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians
2. I will free you from being slaves to them
3. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment
4.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God

Every physical act in the bible also is a spiritual act for us to use. These promises are still the promises God has for all of us today! The four stages of the Christian walk are the same as they were for the Israelites, and they look like this:

  1. Freedom
    Gods promise to rescue you from the bondage of sin and death (Salvation)
  2. Deliverance
    Gods promise to deliver you from whatever holds you back
  3. Purpose
    Gods promise to help you discover his original intention for your life (Restoration)
  4. Fulfillment
    Gods promise to make you part of a family that is making a difference in the world

“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” – Num. 23:19

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” – Phil. 3:12-14

“I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” – Phil 1:6

Salvation is all that is necessary for eternal life with God, but there is so much more; a life of fulfillment and abundance on earth! Here are some quotes from Chris Hodges book, “Four Cups”, and some personal notes on the topic:

Don’t settle for less than God’s best for you. Don’t stifle that voice in your heart that tells you there has to be more.

It took 40 yrs. of trailblazing in the desert, and then a faith-based fight, before the Israelites were able to claim the Promised Land. And along the way they grumbled and stumbled and second-guessed God most of the time.

But even with their doubts, fears, and uncertainties, they couldn’t dismiss God’s promises. His words got them dreaming again – a dangerous luxury for slaves. They began to foresee their future-a future filled with freedom and joy and the promise of a better life. Like most of us, they needed to see the hope in the journey – sort of like a vacation brochure – before they could take the first step.

You’re going to have to face your dream killers. Here are three big ones:

1. Unfulfilled expectations – “Hope deferred makes the heart-sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life” – Prov. 13:12. And wasn’t it His original hope in Genesis that we would eat from the tree of life rather than the one of death? Dream! Abraham was promised a son, but when he felt like he was running out of time from old age, his own attempt to move things along backfired. God holds the plan. Get closer to him and let him reveal & fulfill it. “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Ps. 139:16.

Why keep putting it off by carrying it on your own? Let God take you into your purpose. If you aren’t letting God do it, you might be missing the point. Get closer to him and wait on his perfect timing. Remember, God is eternal; Satan is not. So who do you think makes us worry about timing? 

2. Unrelenting doubt – Doubt typically takes hold in our minds when we allow the enemy of our souls to question what God has promised us. Don’t let your temporary circumstances deter your lifelong purpose.

Study about God’s faithfulness to combat his strategies. Surround yourself with people with a testimony.

3. Unchangeable circumstances – The dream killer makes us want to give up. It’s a faulty mentality that believes we’ve reached a point from which our lives can never change. We serve a God who can raise the dead. Abraham was about to sacrifice his only son, the son of Gods promise about which he said: ‘Isaac, is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.’ Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again – Heb.11:17-19

God not only rescued his people from bondage in Egypt (Salvation), he also freed them from a slavery mind-set. This is the second promise. We have to learn how to live free. God gave the Israelites many laws to teach them how to be free, covering areas like personal hygiene, finances, parenting, and choosing a spouse. Not because God is a strict taskmaster, but because his people didn’t know how to live in true freedom. The new testament laws are no different. Its God’s manual on healthy living. People who have been slaves – subjected to abuse, mistreatment, and confinement – often don’t know how to function as they were originally intended. When we find ourselves captive to our own selfish and sinful behavior, we lose sight of our purpose. God promises to redeem us. He promised that we would be part of his family, even though we were slaves to sin; he promises that we belong and are loved by, Him, the father. 

“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” – 2 Cor. 1:20

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” – Rom. 12:2

This is one of my favorite verses, and a topic I love to discuss. The Process of Renewal is one of my previous blog posts on this subject.

Perhaps you find yourself in some type of bondage right now. It could be an addiction or a secret habit that you cling to. It could be an unhealthy relationship or an obsession with appearing successful in the eyes of others. An addiction is anything we do that we don’t want to do but we can’t stop doing. It is any ingrained pattern that pulls us to false idols to escape our pain. Break the idol; God is not far from you. He wants to quench your thirst for more and show you the power of the real and living God.

For me it was an addiction, to fill every second of my day, to avoid loneliness. An unrealistic expectation that made me tired and put burdens on my friends and boyfriends. Something I suffered with, circling around in the desert, for over 10 years, before I recently gave it to God and said please take my burden and show me your presence in a real way that quenches the loneliness. Loneliness was my idol. I held on tight, worshiped it and couldn’t let it go. I set it above God saying, ‘I think you have more power than God.’ God is so good though! He brought me to a place that I could recognize this idol and gave me the faith to trust Him to break it and its false power. What used to be depression, even suicidal thoughts as far as taking preventive actions, is now an overwhelming desire to be alone so that I can delve into more of Him. I’m walking in victory, in Jericho, but I know there are still other areas that I hide and hold from Him; other battles to fight and other false gods in my life. But as long as we follow Jesus, He is going to lead us into greater freedom on earth and do all the fighting for us. – Jehle

So many people, including Christians, believe that God requires us to make changes before we can approach him. But that’s not true. We don’t get our lives together in order to get to God. We go to God to get our lives together!

And just like Christ didn’t just take a beating for us, but gave everything; his life. We can’t just give Him part of us. We have to give Him everything; our lives. We can’t say, I have salvation, now I’m through with you. We need him to be our daily bread; our daily manna/miracle/present help in the midst of our deserts leading us to the promise of a fulfilling life.

Once God becomes Lord of your life, he begins working in your heart to give you both the desire and the power to change; Not before. A lot of change will happen after you’ve been set free, but you don’t change in order to become free. Salvation is a gift.

It’s like being lost in the woods and you come across a hiker who knows the way out. You are faced with the choice of trusting them to guide you out, or to trust yourself to find it on your own.

Every day we have the same choice. Are we going to keep following or are we going to get tired of the hills and turn back to the unrelenting woods and loneliness.

When the Israelites left Egypt, they still had part of Egypt left in them. They still had a slave mentality and still acted like slaves. They had a wrong view of themselves, a distrustful view of God, and a skeptical view of the future. And at some points they thought surely it would be better to be a slave in Egypt than to continue forward to a land that we can live in freedom.

It’s common knowledge that good things come from someones sweat, blood, and tears. Jesus took on all the sweat, blood, and tears for you, so that you could have a fulfilling life; but if you want to do all the work yourself, and not give up your idols (loneliness in my case) and go through all the pain by yourself, he’ll let you. He is polite. He wants to help us, but he won’t force his hand.

Left unchecked, your addictions will keep you on a treadmill of frustration and mediocrity, never growing into your God-given potential. Its easier to cling to anger and bitterness, but there is no freedom in that. It turns our stomachs and makes us sick. We find freedom in forgiveness, and the other instructions of God. “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” – John 1:9. Any effort to break bad habits without a change of heart is a short-term fix at best.

We can only change through God. We can only know God through Jesus; and Jesus is the word of God (John 1:1,14). Simply put, we can only change by filling ourselves with more of the bible! “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit” – Heb. 4:12. The bible causes change in those who live by it. When we are faced with something we don’t understand or feel like we are doing wrong. Do a bible study on that.

God reminded me of this example; reminded me of previous attempts to get rid of loneliness through fasting people for a time.

When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” – Matt. 12:43-45

That’s how it was with me. I used the fasting to clean and tidy my spirit house, but I didn’t fill that space up with a new tenant. I should have filled it to the brim with Jesus, so that when the spirit tried to come back, he couldn’t. Instead, I left it tidy and unoccupied, so when I fell right back into my old ways, the problem was SO much worse. Because it showed me that my effort was useless on my own. I should’ve been looking into God’s word for the answer to my problem. Looking for his promises and his presence and asking him to take it himself. Learning is important if there is a lack of knowledge. But for those who already have the knowledge…

Bible study and discipleship isn’t all about learning more stuff – its about discovering and developing the reason why we were created and living it out.

Church isn’t another form of entertainment, it’s a call to action.

The goal is not to just learn, but to apply.

Faith without works is dead; it is stagnant, and unchanging, and there is no power in the lives on those who possess it.

Once you are saved, and you’ve let God heal the pains and scares of yesterday, you are restored to your original function. You can then walk in your purpose and destiny. 

In Matthew 25, three servants were given talents (what a convenient term for money!). One got 5, the next got 2, and the last got only 1 (A little spoiler here, the last is first in the kingdom of God!). The three servants all had the same opportunity to use their talents wisely and profitably on behalf of their master (just like God gives us talents and abilities and an opportunity to use those for his glory). The two servants, with more talents, invested them and gained even more talents, but the servant with the one talent hid it because he saw the master as a hard, unreasonable, and overbearing judge rather than a kind father.

If you live by fear, you will bury your talent. Instead, you must bury your fear and invest your talent. Once your fears, pain, and limitations are confessed and healed, its time to explore your personality, gifts, passions, and dreams. From the four basic Greek temperaments to the Myers-Briggs personality types, there are many different ways to explore the way you were designed by God.

I have a previous blog post called Finding your Purpose and Giftings, which has a test to find where your gifting are.

“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” – 1 Cor. 12:4-7

Our different personality traits, temperaments, and gifts are not to be measured or compared with one another, as if some have more worth or value than others. There is no room for inferiority or envy in the body of Christ; we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

Each with a purpose and a destiny, so that one cannot be better than the other.

God took the Israelites out of slavery and into greatness. The jews have won more than 20% of the Nobel Prizes awarded, even though the jews comprise less than 2/10 of 1 % of the world population.

80% of Christians have never discovered their calling. Can you imagine what your body would feel like if 80% was dead or inactive?

Let’s all pray that God revive his body of believers, for we are meant to be the body of Christ. How can others see Christ but through us? Can you imagine if Christ had been on earth and not showed us who God was?

I personally think that part of this death in the body of Christ is due to the church rejecting the Holy Spirit. Christ is the head of the body, and the spirit is how we hear Him. We can’t be a part of the body of Christ without the baptism of the spirit of God. That’s what John meant when he said, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” This is what Christ meant when he said,Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” And further, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body”. We CAN NOT be part of the body of Christ without the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, we received the holy spirit when we accepted Christ, but then everyday our churches tell us to ignore the spirit. Someone, somewhere didn’t like the gift of talking in tongues, and everyone abandoned the spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is SO much more than gifts. I’ll be writing another blog soon about him. We need to know him, because he is the one who guides us into all truth. God’s spirit living and breathing inside of us, without whom we have no breath of life.

(the topic ‘born of water’ will be another blog post conversation. It’s already in the works)

The final cup of the Passover meal is called the hallel, meaning to rave, celebrate, or boast. With this cup they celebrate the fact that God formed them into a new nation after their deliverance from Egypt. God intends for us to literally live our dreams – the dreams he placed in us, so we can experience contentment, joy, and wholeness. God’s ultimate plan for you is to be full and filled – fulfilled.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10

He didn’t give you a dream so that you could constantly feel frustrated and defeated; rely on God as your power source. 

Lasting happiness, doesn’t typically come from writing a bestseller or climbing a mountain, but from helping others and making a difference in the lives of other people; Not out of obligation, but from the joy of helping meet someones needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory based on 5 levels of human need; not just surviving, but also to give our lives meaning.

One youth pastor decided to show young men and women a global worldview; to show them how God wanted to use them in his grand design for great things. Amazingly, he realized that the trivial issues that plague most teens fell away once they were focused on a purpose. Very few got caught up in drugs, partying, and even the dating scene. 

If we truly hone in and focus on God, everything else fades away. Sort of like the last scene in the recent movie Lucy, when she realizes her purpose, she loses sight of everything else.

“You are the light of the world. … You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth” – Matt. 5:14, Act 1:8

We’ve made ministry a profession, and we like to sit on the sidelines and watch. 

I personally think that Satan has exalted so many different forms of entertainment in our generation, so that we start to view church as entertainment as well. Our pastors might as well be our tv, because once he’s done, we click the button and turn it off. We have made entertainment our idol; America screams entertainment above God.

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” – Eph. 4:11-12

Every Christian is called by God to change the world.

“God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-7

Unfortunately, some people go around thinking, ‘It’s too late I’ve already messed up my life. The mess is too big and complicated to unravel.’ Don’t believe it!

Time, after time, after time again, in the bible, God uses the weakness of his people to show his glory and his strength! Both your strengths and your weaknesses are gifts!

I like to think of it like this:
1. God gives us strengths so that we can help his body, the church.
2. God uses our weaknesses to show his power to the world!

Ultimate fulfillment is about ministering to others from our own unique stories. Our struggles and battles and our testimony of victory! Fulfillment never comes alone, but with a group of people. The body of Christ rejoices with us and its a huge party celebrating God’s goodness. It’s easy to see why Satan goes to great lengths to destroy our relationships. He is trying to stop our potential to make a difference. Contribution, Community, Celebration


If you want to know more about this topic. Get the book “Four Cups” by Chris Hodges. Every page is wonderful and its last chapters are great for those in leadership; it shows how to take these topics to another level in outreach and church growth.


Summary:

1. Accept Christ as your savior. Continue to walk with Christ further than just salvation. Get connected to other believers. Most people do this by joining a church. (Conveniently, Church of the Highlands gave me this book for free when I joined their church. They base their church on these principles, so that they continue to help you grow in your walk with Christ.)
2. Delve into studying the topics you struggle with. Get involved in a bible study group, to share with and encourage each other. Work out your issues by asking God to take control of them. Let the Holy Spirit be your counselor through the healing process. Find a mentor in your church to help if you want.
3. Explore your gifts. Get involved with, or in, different areas of your church until you find your niche. Study what the Bible says about that niche. Find a mentor in that niche to help challenge you to grow into it, if you want.
4. Once you know your gifting. Walk in it with others! And repeat steps 1-4 as needed for cleansing, healing, and more talents!