Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Divine Ecstacy and the Ecstatic Life


Before I started learning about divine ecstacy, and the ecstatic life, I wouldn't have thought of ecstacy when thinking about God, or the new creation life that we've been given as a gift. However, now that I've learned more about the trinitarian life, I can't stop thinking about divine ecstacy.  For whenever I hear someone talking about union, or oneness, I immediately think of the ecstacy of God. For the gift that we've been given from God is this ecstatic life in Christ.¹ So let me define what this ecstatic life is. The ecstatic life is the intense pleasure of knowing that God loves us, and the intense pleasure we receive from loving God. It is knowing that being united to God, one with God in Christ, is way more than knowledge; it is an ecstatic union that we have with God, and with one another. God is an ecstatic. John Crowder says the source of all pleasure is Ecstacy Incarnate.²

God is love. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have for all eternity, lived in unity. One God, but in three "persons." God has always lived  a life of cruciform love. Everything that God has done, does, and will do, is because of love. Love is not something we work up. Love is aroused within us - because God lives in us. When love is aroused in us, we experience intense pleasure and sometimes incontrollable joy. This ecstatic love is active. It's present within us, and contagious. Because of what God has done in Christ, we have been re-created to experience God, and to share in the divine life. 

The Great Awakening is now! In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you (John 14:20 NASB). God is opening our eyes to see who he is - who he has always been. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. Jesus has revealed the Father to us. Through Christ we have been enabled to share in the ecstatic union - the life and love of God. 


Watch my video, "Divine Ecstacy, and the Ecstatic Life."


 

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1. We can't talk about union without recognizing that the life of God is a life of divine ecstacy. It's not a boring religious life that God lives, or gives. 

2. John Crowder, The Ecstacy of Loving God (Shippensburg: Destiny Image, 2009), 23.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

The Spirit of Jubilee


Jubilee in the Old Testament

In ancient Israel, every seventh year the people celebrated the land rest. They did not sow, nor reap a harvest from the land. God provided three years worth of harvest in the sixth year;¹ so the people ate the harvest of the sixth year; in the sixth, seventh, and eighth years (Lev. 25:20-22). 

The Jubilee was celebrated in the fiftieth year, starting on the seventh day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement (Lev.  25:8-12). It was the year of release. Debts were released and everyone returned to his inheritance. God made a promise to Abraham - I will make you many nations and your descendants will be like the stars of heaven, and like the sand on the seashore (Gen. 17:4-6; Gen. 22:17). Abraham's descendants were to inherit all the land of Canaan (Gen. 17:8). The land brought stability for the people, and kept families together (Lev. 25:10). Every one of the twelve tribes had an inheritance of land. Jubilee was a reminder of who Israel was - God's chosen people.  

In Jubilee, in the fiftieth year, the people that had sold themselves or their land, returned to their eternal inheritance. Israel was God's possession. They were not to be hired hands. The land given to them by God provided their freedom, sustenance, livelihood, and relationships. The land is God's and if someone had sold his land, and neither he nor his relatives were able to redeem it, then in the Jubilee he who sold his land returned to it (Lev. 25:25-28). No one could take away the inheritance that God had given them.

The spirit of Jubilee has come to us in atonement (at-one-ment).

In the spirit of Jubilee, our debts, all of our burdens have been taken off our shoulders. Jesus tells us, "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle, and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls " (Mat. 11:28-30 NASB). Whereas Jubilee in the Old Testament was once every fifty years; the spirit of Jubilee, is a life of eternal rest given to us as a free gift by God (Rom. 6:23). In the New Testament our inheritance is Jesus himself. We are being called to an awakening - a call to return to our inheritance - our authentic life in Christ.  

New Testament Parallels 

Whereas in the Old Testament God worked exclusively through the nation of Israel. In the New Testament God works exclusively through the true Israelite, Jesus. The greater promise of inheritance is for everyone, and it is fulfilled in Christ Jesus (Heb. 9:15; 1 Pet. 1:3-4; 1 John 2:2). Our at-one-ment, our oneness, our union, in Jesus is based on who Jesus is, and what he has done for humanity. We are forever one with God in Christ. 

Jesus is our life. He is our inheritance. Jesus is the basis of all relationships. This is what the good news is all about. It is the promise of sharing in the relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jubilee is a proclamation of liberty. Because of the Spirit of Jubilee, we are free to participate in Jesus' ecstatic relationship with the Father (John 14:20). Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always enjoyed a loving relationship. This relationship is called perichoresis.² God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, are united in love, but distinct. In the Spirit of Jubilee, we share in Jesus' relationship with the Father through the Spirit. But we also share in Jesus' relationship with our neighbor - other divine children of God. In the Spirit of Jubilee, I share in Jesus' relationship with you, and you share in Jesus' relationship with me.  We don't have a relationship with one another apart from Jesus' relationship (John 14:20; Eph. 4:6; Col. 3:11). The Spirit of Jubilee also means that we share in Jesus' unique relationship with creation. As the last Adam, Jesus is the keeper of the garden of life. He tends, keeps, and beautifies the entire cosmos. He has recreated all things in himself (2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 1:16; Rev. 21:5).   

Watch my latest video.

 

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1. The increase is an additional two years worth of harvest for the seventh and eighth years. See Leviticus 25:12 (KJV).

2. See Dr. C Baxter Kruger's website, https://perichoresis.org/.







Thursday, November 25, 2021

Does God Have Form?

While reading through the gospel of John, I came across John 5:37, which I've probably read hundreds of times. I was prodded to stop, and think about it more deeply. The scripture reads as follows: "And the Father who sent Me, He has testified about Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form" (John 5:37 NASB). Well, God is Spirit (John 4:34), and doesn't have form. Or does he? 

In the Old Testament, we read that Moses saw the back of God (Ex. 33:20-23), and Jacob encountered and wrestled with God (Gen. 32:24-30). Jacob struggled with God, and saw him face to face. "Face to face" is a metaphor. It's a better, deeper, and more authentic relationship. Moses, and Jacob had a revelation of what was to come in Jesus. They saw shadows that point us to Christ; when God would come to us in Jesus - Emmanuel, God with us. As John the Baptist said, "No human eye has ever seen God: the only Son, who is in the Father's bosom - He has made him known (John 1:18 WEY). Brad Jersak tells us that "Jesus is the image of the invisible God, and the exact likeness of God's nature."¹ God is invisible, except that he is revealed in Jesus (Col. 1:15). As I like to say, the only true God is revealed in Jesus Christ. There is no other God, but the God revealed in Jesus. Yes, God is triune, but Jesus is the only revelation of God. We can't find God. God has chosen to reveal himself in Jesus.² 

When Philip asked Jesus to show them (the disciples) the Father, Jesus said, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father" (John 14:7-9). When Jesus told his contemporaries that he was one with the Father (John 10:30), they picked up stones to stone him. Most of the people of Jesus' day rejected Jesus; who is the "face to face' encounter with God. We do too, when we replace the God of love revealed in Christ with a more "holy" God, an angry God, and a God of vengeance. The true God is revealed and encountered "face to face" only in Christ. He is the [true] image of the invisible God.  

Watch my latest video on You Tube: 



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1. Brad Jersak, "Of Heretics, Kings & Foxes," CWR Magazine, October 2021.

2. John Crowder often talks about this in his "Inner Sanctum" webcasts, https://www.thenewmystics.tv/.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Redeem the Time

Redeeming the time is living in the Reality of God. As his divine children we live, move, and exist in him (Acts 17:28-29). God stands outside of time and space. Time and space is God's creation. Yes, we exist inside of God's created world because we are part of his creation. But the greater Reality is that we live, move, and exist in him. In him we too stand outside of time and space - we are seated with him in the heavenly realm (Eph. 2:5-6). This is the great Reality. I know I talk, and write about the great Reality all the time, but it is very important that we understand what this means. Redeeming the time helps us to focus on the great Reality of who God is, and what it means for his children. Human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and whether we act like his children or not, we are his children. So the gospel is awakening to this Reality - knowing who God is, and living in that Reality as his divine children. 

If all that matters is faith expressed through love (Gal. 5:6), then redeeming the time is making a conscious effort to meditate, and think about Jesus living his live of love within us. Redeeming the time is living in the love of Christ Jesus. He is our life, and by faith he lives his life of love in and through us.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

All That Matters

According to the Apostle Paul, all that matters is faith expressed through love (Gal. 5:16 Berean Study Bible). If our faith is genuine, it must lead to love. For after all, it's Christ's faith in us, and we know that God is love (1 John 4:16). We know that Jesus entered this world to give us life (John 10:10). He willingly gave his life so that we can share in the life of God. I've heard Dr. Steve McVey call it the exchange life. In other words, Jesus exchanged his life for our life, and in so doing, he took on our sufferings, grieving, pain, and death. Jesus taught his disciples to lay down their lives for others (John 15:13). In essence, Jesus continues to live his life in his followers - those who are living in the greater Reality of the new world pioneered by Jesus. This new world is based on the cruciform love of God. Cruciform means cross-shaped, and the cross symbolizes the greatest expression of God's love. Everything that God has ever done, and will do, as he works in and through his followers, is based on cruciform love.   

Now we might think that our faith should lead to mighty works, or miracles. However, there is no work that is a good work, unless it is a work of love. The fruit of our faith is love, and always will be love. There is no exception. True faith - is the faith of Christ, and his faith is always performing acts of love because love is the life of God. God has called us to awaken to the new creation Reality, and to live out our faith. Faith is more than a belief system. Faith is the life of God, and his life is love. So as the Apostle Paul proclaims, I proclaim to you, "All that matters is faith expressed through love!


Watch my latest video, "All That Matters." 





Saturday, August 14, 2021

To Be Absent From the Body is to Be Present with the Lord - 2 Corinthians 5:6-8



To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord…

If we try to squeeze what the apostle Paul was saying into our religious paradigm, we will automatically think that Paul is saying that when we die we leave our sinful human body behind and our spirit goes to heaven to be with the Lord.

But that’s not what Paul was saying. The Apostle Paul was not a Gnostic. This is the same Paul that said: to whom God willed to make known what is riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles which is Christ in you the hope of glory (Col. 1:27 NASB 1995). Here again:   I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 KJV). 

It is obvious that Paul didn’t have a Gnostic mindset. He didn’t believe that the human body is evil. He didn’t believe that the physical realm is evil. He didn’t have a dualistic mindset. He didn’t believe that the physical world is separate from the spiritual world. But this is the paradigm on which many believers base their faith.  

Paul is saying that at the resurrection of the dead our body will be changed from mortal to immortal, and we will experience the full manifestation of the glory of God. God’s glory will be made fully manifested to us, while at the present time, while living in this tent, it is hidden (Col 3:3-4). 

In this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven (the resurrected body) (2 Cor. 5:2 NASB see the notes for vs 2 in NASB). 

While we are at home in this body, we are absent from the Lord [from the fullness of the glory of God – because we live in the tent or the temporary dwelling and not in the house – the immortal glorified body] (2 Cor. 5:6 NASB with my clarification). Obviously, Paul can't be talking about absent in the sense of our oneness. Go back and reread Col. 1:27, and Gal. 2:20.

For we walk by faith not by sight [believing that the gift of life will be fully manifested in us even though at the moment we don’t see it. Because we are still in this tent or the physical mortal body]  (2 Cor 5:7). 

But we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body [having already been changed from mortal to immortal and living in the glorious new body - God being fully manifested in us.] and to be at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8 NASB).  

Even though the abundant life is a present reality, it will be fully manifested when we go through our metamorphosis - when we are changed from mortal to immortal. “I have come that they might have life, and life more abundantly” (John 10:10). 

The time will come when we experience the fullness of life in our immortal, imperishable, body. “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).  


Watch the video on You Tube: 


Saturday, April 3, 2021

Love Never Fails

Light of the world shine on me, love is the answer. Shine on us all, set us free, love is the answer.¹ 

I do believe love is "the" answer. For the Apostle Paul tells us that love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8 NIV). Now think about that for a moment. Love.... never.....fails!  That means in every situation where there is a disagreement between neighbors, or between nations; love is "the" answer. God in Christ Jesus showed us what that love looks like.  Jesus is love personified.  He said, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13 ASV). Then he proceeded to do just that. He laid down his life not only for his close friends, but for his enemies as well. Jesus' followers are known by this love (John 13:35). This love is not just a cure for the world's problems. This love is a way of life.  

For God himself is love. God has always existed in other-centered love.  Love is the truth of our being. It's who we are in Christ. We are his divine children (Acts 17:28-29 AMP). The apostle John writes, Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7). John tells us that love is the identifying trademark of those who live in this reality.  

We were created in love, and because of love. God became man in Christ Jesus because of love. He lived his life for us, and as us, because of love. He went to the cross because of love. He rose from the dead because of love. He is seated in the heavenly realm because of love. He sent the Holy Spirit because of love. He shares his life with us because of love. He will come again, and his kingdom will have no end, because of love. 

But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Cor. 13:13 NASB).


Watch my video, "Love Never Fails."





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1. Todd Rundgren and his band Utopia, "Love One Another" (music video, REDUX, Live at the Gotanda Kani Hoken Hall, Tokyo, Japan 1992), posted July 6, 2011, accessed April 3, 2021,  https://youtu.be/uSOaLugmdSY.