Part 4 of 4: Untwisting Scriptures of Eternal Torment
2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
Matthew 13:14-15 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’
Matthew 6:22-23 The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Forgiveness is a powerful characteristic of God’s love enabling us to transform into eternal creations.
Forgiveness has been misunderstood as a type of covering so we can remain in sin. Yet, the purpose and gift of forgiveness is to create an environment for us to grow out of sin and into righteousness, thus into eternal creations. Proverbs 12:28 To willingly remain in our sin is to trample on the forgiveness of God. Christ gave us His spirit NOT so we remain in sin/death, but that we would have the power to break free from it.
Forgiveness is the ability to see someone in true love after they have sinned against you. The love absorbs the hurt from their sin; so, if repentant, they can grow and learn in a safe harbor of love. 1 Peter 4:8 True forgiveness is an exchange between two people; one giving forgiveness and the other receiving forgiveness. In this exchange healing occurs.
Atmosphere for Growth
God’s forgiveness provides us an atmosphere to grow. In His love, He forgives us of our wrongs as His love absorbs the hurt we caused so we can stay connected to Him; the One to deliver us from the lies that cause sin. Forgiveness enables the dross, the unrighteousness, to be burned so we can become precious jewels as we were intended to be. Proverbs 25:4 Without it, we could never break free because we would be severed from the source, God, who assembles the truth in us so we can be free from sin. John 8:32
You see, we’ve all been in prison, a prison of our minds for believing lies instead of the truth. Isaiah 42:7 In believing the lies, we act in unrighteousness. When we seek wisdom, truth and love from God; He starts to open our eyes to the lies; thus our unrighteousness. At that point we also understand our need to be forgiven by God. What we find is God’s forgiveness is an ever gushing stream so we can remain in His presence and therefore learn and grow in His righteousness. It’s always there in abundant amounts. It allows God to use our sins and their consequences to teach us and direct us to the paths of life. God remains by our side and leads us out of the pit of lies, rung by rung, that keep us bound and transgressing His perfect will, ways and love.
Thus, the power of forgiveness is to learn the lessons of truth that save us. James 1:21
When we desire to live according to God’s ways, we embrace His forgiveness, thus His love. If we aren’t learning; we aren’t abiding in His forgiveness, but are trampling upon it. Thus to know His love; we must receive His forgiveness. If we receive His forgiveness, our lives show it because righteousness is being sown in our soul. Isaiah 33:6
In forgiveness, God gently works with us transforming us into holy creations. He makes the transition into righteousness peaceful and gentle as we willingly follow His lead. He unravels our twisted soul of lies with the least amount of stress and turmoil. However, if we reject it by not repenting and learning, we face torment that we bring upon our own soul. If there is no repentance, we aren’t accepting His forgiveness. Hebrews 6:4-8 Thus, there is no exchange and no healing.
Once we understand and receive the forgiveness God gives, then we give it to others. Luke 6:37-38, 40 For we give what we are and what we have. We do as our teacher.
True forgiveness sees the transgressor in love. Because forgiveness is of love, when we forgive someone it means we are continuing to see them in love. In our love for another, we absorb the hurt they caused as they are trying to grow and learn. In that atmosphere of forgiveness and love; the transgressing soul can grow. If they aren’t trying to grow, repent, then they are harmful to us and we can’t continue to engage them because it only causes harm. Without the repentance; no healing exchange occurs. Matthew 18:21-22
When our hearts are hardened, we don’t or won’t see another in true love. Instead, because of the hurt they have caused we build spiritual walls that block our love to them. We don’t give them a chance. If we harden our hearts toward others; we also are hardening it toward God, for it’s His will that we forgive. Matthew 6:14
Our forgiveness fosters others’ growth. If we don’t offer forgiveness, we prohibit their growth and ours. John 20:23 We neglect to give the love they need for their soul to heal, thus ours. Matthew 18:18
May we all truly receive and give forgiveness so that we are sowers of righteousness in us and others.
To live day-to-day or to be present-minded, thus to not worry about tomorrow, brings abundant peace and rest as it prohibits worry and fear from talking hold for there are no anxious thoughts of the future for these to grab a hold of.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
Hebrews 4:12 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
This state of mind comes from trusting God. To let go of an unknown future requires either no care (which is to cease to love and refusing to know love) or trust in an all-powerful loving God.
How do you trust God? Know Him in truth and spirit.
We have to seek to know God as we would do with anyone. We have to come to know Him as He is and not by the false images portrayed by organized religion. The constructs of His character have to be established within our minds. Romans 12:2 This is what it means to know someone and trust them because you know their character and it’s a nature you can have great confidence in, even in the unknown. Proverbs 3:26 We trust in not knowing the future, but in God and His character which is faithful, loving and all-powerful.
One of the key aspects to know about God in order to fully trust Him is His love. This sounds obvious and easy, but in a world where love has been tainted in every which way; coming to know His love to a point of a deep trust is something that is built over time. Yet, it can only be built if we consistently and diligently engage God in truth and spirit.
This world has not known the love of God. They have known false images of God that proclaim love but are infused with fear, guilt, and control because those images came out of the corrupted nature of man. It’s mankind creating his own image of God; the essence of religions. We can only know God by seeking for ourselves. It’s an individual endeavor. We can’t know Him from another person. The only way to know God and His love is to go to Him one-on-one and learn about Him personally through our circumstances as He teaches from within, because that is where God meets us and comes to us, within. Because God is an infinite spirit, there is no end to knowing Him.
The deep hunger in our soul; the part that desires to be filled, known, eternally accepted and loved, is the longing to be connected to the source of love in the deepest truest way. This is the place in us created by God for Him to fill and only He can for He created it in us for Himself. He did this because He loves us and desires a bond of love with us. True contentment comes by being filled and united with His presence, the Great Spirit who gives life to our souls.
When we come to this unity; peace rules our minds and hearts.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Matthew 25:40 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? ‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
There are two ways we care for the spirit of Christ, the seed of His spirit in us and in others. Matthew 13
What we do to ourselves and others, we do to Christ, for Christ has purchased us with His blood. Acts 20:28 Christ owns us, the vessels holding a soul and spirit, who one day will be united in an oneness to His Spirit and thus a part of His kingdom. Some of us are being currently prepared for this union, thus our once corrupted spirit is being transformed into a spirit like Christ’s. Others are still in the darkness of their corrupted spirit. 1 Corin 3:13-15 But regardless, Christ owns all because one day He will be in all. 1 Corin 15:28 There will be a new heaven and new earth in which no death dwells. Rev 21:1, Rev 20:14. Christ holds the keys to death and Hades and He will set the prisoners free. Rev 1:18, Luke 4:18 Therefore, what we do to ourselves and others we are doing to Christ. Talk about a new framework for viewing yourself and the souls in your life. It’s very convicting. How do you see others; your neighbor, the people who come across your path, family, acquaintances and even enemies? Do you judge them? Or do you love them in truth and spirit knowing the sovereignty Christ has over their souls?
One of the Greatest Gifts to Give
When we truly believe in someone it’s a powerful force in their lives; as you see even among corrupted souls. Now consider the ultimate belief in someone; to be who God created them to be. One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is to believe in their best self; to see beyond the mishaps and corrosion of sin in their lives and see the wondrous creative soul designed and fashioned by God. When we start to view others in this light instead of judging their brokenness, we start to have the eyes of Christ. Eyes longing to love in truth, to help grow and defeat their greatest enemy; their self-will from which all corruption flows. When we see this beautiful seed of a spirit, which is of Christ, in others waiting to express itself through the unique creation in which God made them, it gives us the ability to truly feed, nourish, clothe, and set them free from the prison of their corrupted self-will. HOWEVER, we first have to be feed, nourished, clothed and set free before we can have this glorious vision. For it isn’t ourselves who feeds, nourishes and sets them free, but Christ’s spirit in us touching their souls. With Christ’s spirit, we are part of their watering that helps them become who God intended. 1 Corin 3:6
Bread = truth of God
Drink = spirit of God
Garments = righteousness
Prison = the self-will
Overcoming Judging Spirit with one of Loving-kindness
A judging spirit is contrary to a loving spirit. To see others as Christ, we have to be delivered from the judging spirit and filled with His Spirit of loving kindness.
By default souls are born with a judging spirit because they are born controlled by their self-will and judging is a key characteristic of the self-will. It causes judgment toward themselves and others and it’s a deep vast spirit that penetrates most thoughts far beyond people’s awareness. When it’s always been a part of you, it’s hard to see it for what it is until the light shines upon it. But this judging spirit is not of the spirit of Christ. John 12:47
If this corrupted spirit is so pervasive how are we freed from it? By feeding the seed of the spirit of Christ in us. Christ has put His seed, a seed of His spirit, into the soil, our souls for we are made of dust, to be nourished in water (spirit) and light (truth). The union of spirit and truth births true life.
How do we see others from a spirit of love? First, we feed the seed of the spirit of Christ in us. We feed it words of truth and listen to the promptings of His spirit. As we OBEY and WALK in His ways, that spirit will grow in us. Then we will be able to feed the spirit of Christ in others; for we give what we are. And how we treat ourselves and our own soul is how we truly treat others. This awareness should open eyes to the hypocrisy in our actions. We say we love; yet in our actions we don’t even love (in God’s love) our own souls.
As we feed Christ’s spirit in us by the truth and obeying the truth, it starts to grow and we are transformed. Luke 6:45 This spirit transforms our mind to the mind of Christ, the wisdom of God, and our faith to be fully in God and thus we become new creations. When our spirit and mind are shaped in the spirit of Christ, which is righteous love, then everything about us changes. One key aspect is the judging spirit dissipates because the self-will is dying as we abandon it and walk in truth.
As this spirit grows in us, then it is able to feed, nourish, and help others come out of the prison of their debase mind, for they have the seed of the spirit as well. The Christ spirit in us waters the Christ spirit in others for it is all one. As our spirit matures, we are able to see others as He does with the amazing love and mercy by which He gave His spirit to redeem and save. In that new sight, our heart and actions change to be of love, mercy and honor.
Judging ourselves and others is meaningless vanity that causes massive destruction. Christ came to redeem us. To continue to judge isn’t to trust in His power or what He has done, but to hold onto that which is dying and He came to destroy.
Malachi 2: 10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers?
Seek to see and understand this judging spirit in your soul and for it to be purged by the power of God’s grace working in you. This is God’s will and when you come in line with it, it will be done. We can only repent from what we are aware of, and obey what we hear. Seek to be aware and obey God’s promptings of truth. In that process, you will grow and thus the spirit of Christ in you and others will be fed the truth, drink of the spirit, be clothed in righteousness, and freed from the prison of your self-will mind.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
GRACE is the POWER of God working in us and in our lives. (Consider: Do you experience the True power of God in your life?)
When we are abiding in God’s grace, there is a current of power that underscores our lives. We abide in an evident fortress and godly favor.
God is power. When there is true power, it’s mighty in the gentlest ways. It’s the power in David and Goliath; in bringing down Jericho with marching and trumpets, in the smallest nation defeating the greatest, and in having a child beyond childbearing years.
Grace is a constant gentle force providing an abundance for each breath we take. The power of God doesn’t parade itself; it simply is. If you are truly in Him, you have this power. It isn’t expressed in a display of weapons and artillery, resources and riches, or the strength of mankind, as the world’s power. It’s far greater, because true power is established in eternal truth.
Grace/power shows itself through our lives: abiding in smooth paths, working in wisdom, acting in loving-kindness without hypocrisy, accomplishing our calling in ease beyond our natural ability, living in victories, receiving the deepest of healing, ruling of peace in our mind and in our lifestyle, transcending hardships/trials, and transforming our reality. Grace consists of a gentle power because it’s true power, and it conquers ALL when we are in its current.
How do we tap into this gentle yet extremely powerful grace that is abundant for us?
2 Corin 6:1-2 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says:
“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation
Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
Power Comes with Obedience in Love
Paul warns us to not receive the graceof God in vain. What does that mean? The answer is in Hebrews 5:9. If we received grace, we’re growing in righteousness, for this is what it brings. If we receive it in vain, we don’t walk in righteousness, and we are still bound in our sin.
Romans 5:21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness TO eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In many ways, the understanding of grace has been abused, misused, and thus received in vain. It’s been seen as an expulsion of sin in theory but not in actuality. Grace isn’t to excuse, justify or rationalize sin. It isn’t God turning His head to our sin and looking the other way. Galatians 6:7 It’s the power to ACTUALLY overcome it, to ACTUALLY walk in righteousness.
Grace is the power to obey and walk in righteous love as Christ did, because the grace of God is the power of God in us, the same power that raised Christ from the dead. Ephesians 1:19-20 This power of God transforms our minds and makes us into new creations of righteous loving-kindness. When we receive true grace, we walk in righteousness that leads to eternal life. Acts 15:11, James 1:18, 21
Grace is the gift of God through Christ Jesus. Romans 5:15 In giving us Christ’s spirit, we have the faith and power to move from an existence of death to one of abundant eternal life, because we can walk in true righteousness. Without grace, we could do nothing. With it nothing is impossible. Phil 4:13 In its current, our self-will is defeated, from which all sin flows. Its power overcomes the flesh. In it we abide in the spirit, which is true life.
Abused and Misused
When we neglect to obey God’s instruction of righteousness to us on a very personal level, we are living outside of the current of grace. One note: following God’s voice isn’t following a religion, how others’ say we should live a godly life, a godly image, or compulsion of our self-will. It is following God’s personal counsel and instruction to each one ofus each day. Without a listening ear to the counsel of God and walking in that counsel, which are the paths of righteousness, we’ve received grace in vain, thus it lays dormant in our lives. These lives reflect an absence of true belief/faith, for if it was real, then the act of seeking and obeying in love would follow. James 2:19-20 If we truly believe, we will act in accordance to faith, which is according to God’s will, then the power in our lives is a testimony to our beliefs. James 2:26
Outside of grace, lives are stripped of power and full of suffering and defeat. Instead of growing into a new creation, the prison bars grow in strength. Though mercy may still be evident, the power in constant victory and growing transformation isn’t found. 2 Corin 5:7-9, 11, 2 Corin 5:16-18 If we don’t continually seek to know God in truth and spirit, to hear His voice speaking to each one of us, and walk in His faith, then the grace given to us is received in vain.
Received in Love
To abide in grace, we act in faith as God leads us by that still small voice of power. 1 Kings 19:12-13 Acting in faith is putting our trust fully in the power of God to work in us and through situations. There is tremendous power for those who truly trust God. Psalm 56:3-4, Psalm 57:2 To trust God, first, we have to be connected to the true God and not a false image, Galatians 1:6, Jude 1:4, two, we have to listen to Him, and third, we have to obey His leading. If we take the smallest steps of faith/obedience, God’s power works in us in gentle waves that destroy the largest enemies. In His paths of righteousness is life, we have to be walking in those paths, that means obeying Him in love. 2 Peter 3:18
When we are REALLY trusting, our soul is in a state of REST. We’ve let go of the situation and rely on God to work it out through us and for us. When we experience this relinquishing of our self-will along with any other emotion not of trust: fear, anxiousness, or anger; and abide in peace, then we’ve demonstrated we know and trust God. In submission to His care, there is tremendous power because He is faithful to perform all things to those who trust Him. This is living in the current of grace, the power of God made possible by Christ giving us His Spirit.
If we listen and step out knowing the power of God at work in our lives, God does amazing works in our lives that creates a life of the truest praise and worship. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Philemon 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit
Don’t let the picture fool you, this is a VERY IMPORTANT truth to understand.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
There is a saying around our house when we think we are doing anything to “help God out” that reminds us it’s all Him and nothing of us; we’re just making cookies. Anything “good” or “useful” we do for God is Him working in and through us and not us at all.
As a young girl, I loved helping my mom bake cookies; especially my much needed role as taster <smiles>. In my young mind, I believed I was a much greater help than I actually was. It was ALL my mom’s doing. Yet, my mom graciously allowed me to delight in the fun of baking with her. She gave me little tasks to do like stirring the ingredients together, which she always gave a few extra swirls. Yet to me, I was making some of the best cookies in the world!
She encouraged me in “helping” her because it was a wonderful bonding time for the both of us. She wanted me to “help”, but it wasn’t for my amazing assistance but because she loved me and took pleasure in making them together and seeing my joy in playing a part.
We are like the child who is helping their mom make cookies. We don’t do anything of good on our own; it’s all God. He lets us take part because it’s a delight to Him and us. We are able to do what we do because He is governing, directing and performing all things for us. We can’t throw God off; we won’t mess up His plans; and He works out all perfectly. In every action and word, as His offspring we can trust He is faithful in directing and using us according to His ways, which are not our ways.
Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
Establishing our own Righteousness
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
“Making Cookies” serves to remind us, we are not to be crafting our own righteousness, because we can’t. A twisted truth derived from the religious community is how we serve God. We want to be serving, working and doing for God because deep down it makes us feel like a better person; which is establishing our own righteousness. Instead of wholly relying on the righteous of God to fill and govern our lives, we are relying on ourselves.
Worshipping the Work of Our Hands
Isaiah 2:8 Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, That which their own fingers have made
This mentality leads to worshipping the work of our hands. It’s looking to our ability; as in to provide, protect, heal, redeem, teach, and fix situations; the essence of self-reliance, self-sufficient, being in control and independence. Matthew 7:22-23, Proverbs 14:16
Our Part: Abide
John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
God is spirit. We are flesh and spirit. To experience God in the flesh, we have to allow our spirits to be united, influenced and governed by Him. When we do, His nature manifests in our lives in the forms of peace, rest, power, joy, blessing, and righteous love.
Our part is to abide in unity with God. In fellowship with God that leads to unity, we are listening, obeying and gaining trust to relinquish all control to God’s ways and work. As our self-will steps aside, He runs our souls and lives. We cease to judge and work and He governs. If I didn’t bake cookies with my mom, then I wouldn’t have taken part in that bonding time with her or the fruit of our interaction, yummy cookies. God moves through us. But any goodness or good works are of Him, not us. Big difference. Are you getting it?
Rest is Power
Psalm 57:2 I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me.
Being attached to the vine and God moving through us as He wills is central to abiding in His rest. Hebrews 4:9-11 At rest, our self-will is nullified, and God’s will is ruling. We cease from our works and God works. In this rest, the power of God flows.
You see the true power of God, when you stop efforting and let Him work. To be governed (also used by) by God is to let go of all control, and let God determine each step; steps often counter to what you, religion, or the world would dictate. It’s letting go of all images of who and what you should be doing, and let God direct you daily. It’s following His still small voice, daily. Your life is His venue to work as He wills in you and others. In this our lives become a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1 In this state, we lack the awareness of what our left hand is doing from the right. Becuase its not us, but God.
Matthew 6:3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
This framework removes self-righteousness, because you aren’t doing anything but obeying His voice. It removes fears that you aren’t doing enough or did or said the wrong thing. In this truth, our hearts overflow with peace, praise and joy. So delight in making cookies and don’t make any more of it.