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"Blood is the gift of life!"

So the Red Cross rightfully tells us. Blood transfusions save countless millions of lives every month. Yet, this concept of transfusion was unknown in the ancient world.

Think about that amazing fact.

The New Testament, again and again, emphasizes the life infusing energies and curative benefits of Jesus' blood as the paschal lamb of God.

But consider this--- the world changing science of the bountiful benefits of blood transfusion wasn't EVEN discovered until the 17th century. And yet, in the first century, Jesus was priming it as a dynamic spiritual symbol to richly bless us two thousand years later. What an incredible testimony and apologetic proof of the advanced revelation surrounding Jesus!

The blood of Jesus isn't about transgression, but transfusion. Jesus is a blood-donor, not a blood-shedder.

"The life is in the blood," as the Scripture says. And Jesus' life pulsates in His blood. Jesus doesn't want us laboring listlessly with our anemic iron-poor life energy. Rather, Jesus wants us to allow His iron-rich life force to course through our spiritual veins.

Jesus' blood is not about paying for our past transgressions but rather providing for our future transfusion.

Jesus wants to transfuse us with His transcendence, His very divine nature, His very goodness, His very own love-rich emotional and mental states.

Jesus doesn't take life, He gives it. Better yet. He gives us HIS life. Let's start looking at His cross, and ours as well, as donor tables laid next to each other so that His curative energies can fully flow into our beings.
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I'm convinced that the majority of people who wrongfully worship the Bible AS God, aka bibliotry, seldom if ever ACTUALLY read it, much less rightly understand it.

Spurgeon famously said, "that for every ten men willing to die for the Bible, there is only one who actually reads it." These types often have their unread Bible in one hand and a shotgun clenched in the other hand, daring all on-comers that they will have to pry either from their cold, dead hands.

And these, along with others, who DO worship the Bible without reading it are usually just parroting what traditions, pastors, teachers, or friends have TOLD them it says.

What I propose is that we adopt the mindset of the Bereans. The Bereans were more "more noble than those in Thessalonica , in that they RECEIVED the word with all READINESS of mind , and searched the scriptures DAILY..." Acts 17:11. It is NOBLE to read Scriptures the right way-- looking for Jesus battling and defeating Satan on all our behalf, from Genesis to Revelation.

Before you wrongfully worship the Bible, or roundly condemn it, actually READ it with fresh eyes, a tender heart, a bold gut, a ready mind, and , most importantly, "a Holy Spirit influx" (Luther). I love how the church father Origen described the New Testament books:

"So too our Lord Jesus Christ... sent his apostles as priests carrying well-wrought trumpets. First, Matthew sounded the priestly trumpet in his Gospel. Mark also, and Luke, and John.... Peter moreover sounds with the two trumpets of his Epistles; James also and Jude... and John gives forth the trumpet sound through his Epistles and Revelation; and Luke while describing the deeds of the apostles. Latest of all... [Paul] thundering on the fourteen trumpets of his Epistles, threw down, even to the very foundations, the walls of Jericho."

Bottom line: instead of worshipping it or bashing it or abandoning it, lets actually try......... READING the Scriptures with focus, freedom and imagination. The Holy Spirit doesn't test us on Bible knowledge, but the Bible certainly tests us on Holy Spirit knowledge.
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If people read the Bible instead of letting false teachers teach it to them, then they'd find out that the biblical tongues is not baby-gibberish babblings as well as expose other false teachings.

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4 Stages in Christian Meditation:

Think OF God.

Think TOWARD God.

Think WITH God.

Think FROM God.
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"Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him." 2 Sam 14:14.

Amazing verse. It reveals God's will is that we not die or suffer banishment. He is perpetually DEVISING ways for us to recognize and realize His restorative power. This is the essential heart of "the good shepherd" which leaves the flock of ninety-nine to rescue and restore one lost sheep.

This is the essential heart of a Father who patiently and tenderly waits for His prodigal son to return, knowing that he will ultimately come to his spiritual senses. Moreover, this same Father of the prodigal also reveals His restorative love in exhorting his other sons who have remained with Him to soften their hearts towards their prodigal siblings by not seeking their exclusion.

So, why would we EVER limit God's ability to rescue exiles ONLY on THIS side of death? Restoration of those in exile is an essential quality of the divine nature. Some claim Hell to be the "ultimate exile," so why would God not perpetually devise ways for the "ultimate restoration?"

Abandoning exiles is simply incompatible with the revealed nature of Jesus.

Are we so cocksure that God cannot EVER "devise a way" for the postmortem exile. Who are we to do so limit the reconciling power of God?

Well, the majority of the early Church believed that Hell was place where God would rescue, reform and reconcile all lost sinners back unto Himself. The process of Hell was intense, thorough, critical, painful, agonizing and anguishing. But, it was ultimately restorative as each and every sinner was led through and past their own Hellish valley of sin and death, and into a deep and heartfelt place of Godly repentance.

The early Church had a significantly different view of Hell than much of the Church does today. Hell's purpose, for the majority of the Church fathers, was seen as purifying rather than punishing, restoring rather than torturing, healing rather than destroying. They believed Hell was "God's crisis-management for lost souls." Hell was for all those who did not authentically receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior during their earthly lives.

The early Church believed God's Hell-fire was not inflicted to destroy the lost, but rather to ultimately save them. God's "fire" was WISE in that it revealed, cleansed and cured the lost soul of all the false identities accumulated during their fallen lifetimes. The "wood, hay and stubble" of these false identities would be "burned off" of the lost soul, but they themselves would "be saved, yet so as by fire." 1 Corinthians 3:13-15.

Hell, from this viewpoint then, was a rocky but redemptive journey to repentance and restoration. Hell was still seen as infinitely intense and unimaginably painful - - just not eternal.

Ebenezer Scrooge's nightmarish journey as described in the classic "Christmas Carol" would be an illustration of what such a redemptive journey through Hell might look like. For Scrooge, his journey was intensely revealing, painful and heart-breaking, but ultimately redemptive. Scrooge was not even aware that his own repentance and redemption was the Lord's endgame. He was too busy suffering at the realization of his past, present and future sins. And, in fact, Scrooge's journey appeared to be outside of time as we know it. His whole pitiful life was played out before him in just a few earthly hours, yet for him it appeared to last a very long time.

Would God not have the same type of cosmic "elbow room" to take our souls on such a "Scrooge-like" post-mortem journey to repentance? Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation, certainly allowed for this possibility: "God forbid that I should limit the time of acquiring faith to the present life. In the depth of the Divine mercy there may be opportunity to win it in the future." Martin Luther's letter to Hanseu Von Rechenberg, 1522.

The evil of fractured men and fallen angels simply can’t ETERNALLY outlast and out-maneuver the love of God. A man can perhaps avoid and deny God during this earthly existence, but in the afterlife the "crisis" (interestingly, the Greek word for judgment is "krisis" from which our word "crisis" derives) heightens and intensifies as God's postmortem "elbow room" expands its influence into every corner of our souls.

God will send wave after wave of His love and forgiveness to the soul trapped in his own Hell. The soul may scoff, sneer and spit at this love - - at first. The sinner may keep it up for days, months, years or millenniums, but God will not quit. His love will wait out and win over every hard heart, rescue every lost sheep, restore every errant prodigal, and recover every banished soul. This is what Peter called the Apocatastasis in the book of Acts. Let's join him.
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“I did try to found a little heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy.”
― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This is so wildly true for me.

When I set out to found a little heresy on my own regarding how to read Old Testament Scriptures allegorically rather than literally, I found out that was the exact way the vast majority of the early church fathers read them, not to mention Jesus and Paul.

Then, when I sought to develop another heresy, namely that it's possible that Jesus might eventually save lost people post-mortem from eternal conscious torment, I discovered that 4 out 6 of the first theological schools taught the exact same thing. My expected heresy ended up being extremely orthodox. The early church really had their stuff together in the most surprising ways.
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2 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

Moses, the writer of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), had no differentiated understanding of Satan as a being apart and distinct from God. In fact, Moses never even explicitly mentioned Satan by name. Jewish extra-Biblical writers would later interpret "the death angel" (cf Hebrews 2:14) of Exodus as Satan, one whose role was as God's enforcer, His "left hand of wrath," His "angry voice" in other words, but still a congruent part of God's divine will and nature. This Satan was an obedient servant angel who only acted at the exact behest and command of God. This Satan was in complete harmony with God's will. He was God's wrath angelically personified.

This can proved by referring to an incident in the life of David. The writer of Samuel continued Moses' same undifferentiated view of God and Satan when he imprudently called Satan's great wrath against David for numbering Israel the "the anger of the Lord" in 2 Samuel 24:1. Yet, later and nearer to the coming of Jesus, the Jews had developed a more differentiated doctrine distinguishing God from Satan. Thus, the later writer of Chronicles evolved and improved Samuel's earlier phrasing by NOW calling the wrath which killed seventy thousand men "the provocation of Satan" in 1 Chronicles 21:1.

So, using this same event seen from two different writers at two different times, we see that the "anger of the Lord" conceptually evolves and differentiates into the "provocation of Satan." This leaves us with an inescapable conclusion-- "the wrath of God" is better described as the "the provocation of Satan." The implications of this evolved differentiation are massive and demand a re-analysis of all Old Testament passages which seem, on their literal face, to attribute Satanic activity to God.

And, while it is true that the writer of the book of Job had a more differentiated view than did Moses, where Satan was seen as a separate cosmic being from God, the writer still pictured a cosmology where God accommodates Satan's desires to afflict us as apart of some sort of cosmic bet or challenge.

The following thought experiment helps highlight this dynamic. Imagine you are the father of an infant child who has just started verbalizing words. The infant is at the developmental stage where has effectively learned to call his mother "mamma" and you "dada." It took him a while to distinguish between the two of you, but now he has fully separated and severed the two of you in his thinking by calling by you two different names. You each have a DIFFERENTIATED identity in his young mind.

However, the child has NOT learned to differentiate you from other men. He calls ALL men "dada" when he sees them. He needs more time, more maturity, more mental development before he can effectively distinguish BETWEEN different male identities. Until that happens, calling every male "dada" is "right" for him CONSIDERING where he is at DEVELOPMENTALLY. But, for us, calling all men "dada" would be weird and woefully wrong BECAUSE of where WE are at developmentally.

Now, let's apply this to the Old Testament saints. John Calvin, in one of our few areas of agreement, rightly noted how the Old Testament saints had "only a "sleight capacity" to understand the truths of God. Simply put, they labored under developmental limitations. The Old Testament saints were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit because they lived PRE-Cross and PRE-Pentecost. The promise of the Father had not yet descended upon and within men. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; 2:23. Galatians says the Old Testament saints were "children in bondage under the elemental spirits of the world" in need of a "tutor" until the "faith of Christ" came (2:20; 4:1-9).

Put in practical terms, Old Testament saints were spiritual infants. They saw God as their "spiritual dada," but they also saw Satan as their "spiritual dada" because they could not effectively separate and sever their identities.

Simply put, the Old Testament saints had an UNDIFFERENTIATED understanding of God and Satan.

However, in the New Testament we see a quantum leap in differentiation between God and Satan. New Testament writers have a highly differentiated view with Jesus offering NO accommodation, NO quarter, and NO compromise with the Satanic nature or will. Satan is a cosmic rebel who has been a liar and murderer from the beginning. John 8:44. Jesus' posture was NOT one of cooperation with the Satanic works of death and destruction, but rather the absolute annihilation of them. "For this reason was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:8.

When we read the Bible, it is important that we see the "theological context" as well as the "historical context." The overall super-text of the Bible progressively moves away from a violent Satan-infused image of God TOWARD a God of ONLY light, ONLY love, and ONLY good. Understanding this dynamic process of differentiation is crucial to see to prevent us from regressing back into earlier, less informed, and less worthy images of God.
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3 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

Below are two good questions recently submitted to me along with my response.

"1) What do you make of Jesus' statement re Judas they it was 'better that he was never born?' This sounds like he is lost forever! To never be born means he will never enter New Jerusalem

2) What about the sin against the Spirit NOT being forgiven in this age or age to come? Sounds like person remains in this state even in the next age which means never enter the New Jerusalem?"

Below is my response.

1) "The Son of man goeth as it is written of him : but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born." Matthew 26:24.

I think this could be said of many people, Adolph Hitler, mass murderers, terrorists, among many others. To say it was "good for him if he had not been born" merely means to me that the person had a life of failure and rejection as it pertains to their walk with the Lord. This statement would be true at some level of ANY lifelong unrepentant sinner.

I believe in the eternality of souls, or put another way their immortality. Many babies have been aborted or still-born, yet their souls are with the Lord, even though they never actually lived on the earth. But, what if one of those aborted babies WOULD have grown up into another lifelong unrepentant Hitler? If the Lord in His foreknowledge knew this, it would definitely be accurate and true to say it was "better" that the baby was never born than to grow up to become a mass murder. In other words, it is true to say it would be better for Hitler to have never lived on THIS earth (but instead his immortal soul remain in Heaven under the Lord's care) than for Hitler to suffer a failed, destructive and unrepentant life along with the dire post-mortem consequences.

2) "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." Matthew 12:32.

This verse is talking a about the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. I think it is referring to someone who habitually attributes the works of the Spirit to Satan, which was the context of this passage (the Pharisees were attributing Jesus' Spirit ministry to Satan). And Matthew's statement that there is not forgiveness for him in THIS age or the age to COME is definitely serious.

But remember, there is MORE than ONE age to come.

"That in the AGES (plural) to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus ." Ephesians 2:7.

Reading these two together, I believe that blasphemers of the Holy Ghost will have a "chastening-age" of purification, correction and rehabilitation in God's "wise fire" known as Hell. And I believe this Hell-age for many could well be lengthy, painful and anguishing beyond our ability to measure it. Fortunately, that is not where the story ends because in the AGES (plural) to come PAST and BEYOND this age of Hellish-chastening, there will be apocatastasis , which the NSRV translates as "universal restoration" in Acts 3:21. Revelation 5:13, Phillipians 2:10 and 1 Corinthians 15: 22-28 also describe this Christus Victor future age where ALL things are reconciled to God.

In conclusion, it is hard to limit Jesus' statement from the cross to "forgive them for they know not what they do" to all men EXCEPT Spirit blasphemers. I totally agree that those who commit this sin are in for a rough post-mortem ride of soul-searing anguish, but ultimately leading to cathartic repentance. BUT I don't believe they are beyond the Lord's redemptive reach in the subsequent AGES (plural) to come.
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3 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

I so appreciate that Jesus never gloated over those crushed by their own mistakes. He never sneered, "So-and-so just got exactly what they deserved!"

Instead, He cured the blind, He taught the fool, He shielded the adulterer, He comforted the crushed, He loved the leper, He embraced the unloveable. But He NEVER gloated at any person's misfortune.

Jesus healed those who could see His salvation draw near. And He wept for those who could not grasp the time of their visitation. He loves all-- the just and the unjust.
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3 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

Is Scripture meant to be read and understood only in the rear view mirror of our thinking? Or, rather, is Scripture meant to be read through the front windshield of our understanding.

Does the Lord want us to devolve and prune the text back to when it was first written, or, conversely, does the Lord want us to recognize the organic growth of the text as it has evolved over thousands of years into the current time and place-- today, here, and now, in other words?

Simply put, do we take the text backward or do we bring it forward?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, one of the greatest spiritual writers of all time, challenged the Goliath of historical context which still inhibits most readers of Scripture. Context is not all it's cracked up to be. The tyranny of historical context can keep us from entering into and participating with the text as an open dance.

"Without context as a guide interpretation, it is argued, will be arbitrary and captive to the caprice of the interpreter....

Context is, however, an elusive category. In dealing with ancient texts it is often assumed that what went before or what is contemporaneous with the text set the terms of interpretation. Yet one might ask why context should be restricted to what happened earlier. Is what went before more significant than what occurred afterward or what came about because of what happened, was said or was written down? With great political ideas, for example, it is only as they are played out in history that we know what they mean. In the telling of American history, President John Kennedy’s achievements during his presidency would be remembered much differently had he not been assassinated in his first term.

Even in our personal lives and in relations with others we are constantly adjusting our view of the past and of the lives of others as new experiences unfold. We view a close friend who has patiently and heroically endured a grave illness differently than we did before his illness. Even the things done or said earlier appear different.

Fyodor Dostoevsky thought that any understanding of the past that did not see things in light of what came later produced the 'worst kind of untruth.' As an example he referred to a painting by the Russian artist, Nikolai Ge, in which Christ and his disciples were portrayed as average Russian men and women of the l860s. Dostoevsky writes: 'There sits Christ, but is that Christ? It may be a very good young man, deeply hurt by his quarrel with Judas, the latter standing there getting dressed to go off and denounce him, but this is not the Christ we know . . . [and] we must ask the question: where are the eighteen centuries of Christianity that followed? . . . How is it possible that from such an ordinary quarrel of such ordinary people gathered to have supper . . . there could arise something so colossal?' If we are to be true to what happened, a person or event from the past must be seen in light of subsequent developments 'which had not yet occurred at the historical moment' which the artist was depicting.10

Dostoevsky’s question is our question. Where are the 19 centuries of Christian life and history in our interpretation of the Bible? Echoing Dostoevsky we might say, 'there stand the psalms as ancient Hebrew poems, but are they the psalms we know?' When I read this passage from Dostoevsky in the final volume of the magnificent biography by Joseph Frank, I was reminded of the words of another 19th century figure, Adolf von Harnack, whose ideas have dominated the interpretation of the history of theology in the 20th century (and, one might add, prejudiced generations of scholars against patristic exegesis).

Many years ago I wrote down this passage from his Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte: 'No religion gains anything through time, it only loses.' For Harnack, the Church’s history had to be scoured by the acid of critical historical reason to uncover an earlier allegedly more pristine form of the gospel. Yet what is most characteristic of the Christian (and one might add the Jewish) interpretation of the Scriptures is that the words of the Bible do not arrive smooth and clean, scrubbed free of the experiences of centuries. Much of what we hold most dear in the Scriptures was discerned only over time.

Time has endowed the words and images of the Bible with a fulness that can be known only by reading the text forward, not backward. A particularly egregious example of the unanticipated and unhappy consequences of self-imposed amnesia is the New Revised Standard Version translation of Beatus vir, 'Blessed is the man,' in Psalm 1. By translating the verse according to the perverse and ephemeral logic of the moment, 'Happy are those who . . .,' the Christological interpretation of the psalm is swept away to become a forgotten chapter in the arcane specialty of the history of exegesis.

Allegory resists the tyranny of historicism and invites us to see things as they are, not as we imagine them to have been centuries ago. This is one reason for the formative power of the liturgy on interpretation. The Church at prayer spans the great divide separating what the text meant from what it means. Allegory is about what has come to be, the accom- modation that is inevitable because of what happened in Christ, in the Church, and what continues to unfold....

Allegory’s playfulness and inventiveness grows out of the certainty of faith formed by a community of shared beliefs and practices. It keeps words from evaporating into nothing, from becoming simply things, not signs. It also introduces a welcome and necessary obliqueness into our reading of the Scriptures. Remember that according to Exodus, God showed only his back to Moses. Metaphor, symbol, image are the natural clothing of religious thought. 'Tell all the truth but tell it slant,' wrote Emily Dickinson, the American poet. By likening what is known to unexpected words or images within the Bible, allegory gave Christian thinkers a more subtle and versatile vocabulary to speak of the things of God. The language of the Bible became a vehicle of discovery."

Robert Louis Wilken, ALLEGORY AND THE INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENTIN THE 21ST CENTURY.
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3 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

I want to share the first chapter of my book "The Jesus Mood: Discovering the Secret of Imperative Faith."

But, before I do, let me pique your interest with this Jewish story from the Mishna about a rabbi known as Honi the Circle-maker. I came across this today.

Mishnah Taanit 3:8

They sound the shofar because of any public distress -- may it never befall! -- but not because of too great an abundance of rain.

Once they said to Honi the Circle-Drawer, "Pray that rain may fall."

He answered, "Go out and bring in the Passover ovens [made of clay] that they be not softened."

He prayed, but the rain did not fall. What did he do? He drew a circle and stood within it and said before God, "O Lord of the world, your children have turned their faces to me, for I am like a son of the house before you. I swear by your great name that I will not stir from here until you have pity on your children."

Rain began falling drop by drop. He said, "Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill the cisterns, pits, and caverns."

It began to rain with violence. He said, "Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of goodwill, blessing, and graciousness."

Then it rained in moderation, until the Israelites had to go up from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount because of the rain. They went to him and said, "Just as you prayed for the rain to come, so pray that it may go away!"

He replied, "Go and see if the Stone of the Strayers has disappeared."

Simeon ben Shetah sent to him, saying, "Had you not been Honi I would have pronounced a ban against you! But what shall I do to you? You importune God and he performs your will, like a son that importunes his father he performs his will. Of you the Scripture says, 'Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her that bore you rejoice.' "

CHAPTER ONE: WHAT IS THE JESUS MOOD?

A boy awakes in the middle of the night. He sees a shadow lurking at the window. A dark stranger has entered his room. The boy screams for his father down the hall.

Now stop! Let’s examine the boy’s mindset. Does the boy cry, “Dad, will you please help me?”; or does he exclaim, “Dad, I wish you would help me!”; or does he scream to himself, “Dad might help me if he is in a good mood!”; do any of these statements accurately reflect the boy’s true attitude toward his father?

No! No true son would speak in any of these above-described ways about a loving father. The son would never have to cajole, beg, wish or wonder about his father’s willingness to help him. The son knows his father’s nature is always ready, willing and able to help in time of peril. The son would shout in authoritative tones, “Dad, help me!” This tone of command is not based on the boy’s confidence in himself, but rather in the boy’s confidence in his dad’s character. The son knows the father’s love will always come - - no exceptions. In fact, it is unthinkable to the boy that his father would ever fail to come speedily.

The boy is indeed commanding his father to help him. However, the boy is not commanding from a sense of superiority over his father, but rather is commanding from a sense of security with his father. The boy’s security is not based on a “spoiled brat” mentality that, “Daddy will give me anything and everything I want.” The boy’s security is based on what his father has already provided him - - love, nurturing, tenderness, sacrifice, friendship, protection, joy and wisdom. The son simply knows the father too well to doubt his will to be an ever present help in time of need. The son knows that there is no reluctance in his father’s heart to save him from any dark intruders’ evil designs.

If earthly sons can have this mindset toward their fathers, how much more, more, more should we spiritual sons be able to foster and develop this attitude toward our Heavenly Father. There are always dark intruders stalking our souls seeking to rob, kill and destroy every good thing in our lives. Sometimes the dark intruder is our own rebellious flesh man seeking to revive lust and pride in our lives.

Sometimes the dark intruder is a demonic foe seeking to defile us with sin, sickness or accusation. Still other times, the dark intruders can be other men operating in fleshly or Satanic power.

The point is that we are always in peril. Therefore, we should always have this same mindset that the boy used in calling on his father to save him. We should be able to say in complete confidence, “Abba-Father, help me!” We have, after all, received a spirit which cries, “Abba-Father” (Gal. 4:6).

Abba is an Aramaic term of endearment, akin to “dad,” by which a faithful son refers to a beloved father. This heart-cry is based on knowing the character and nature of God the Father as always and only good. Our Abba is our hero who lovingly hefts us up on His mighty shoulders and proudly carries us through all trials and tribulations we face.

Jesus always had this same view of the Heavenly Father. He lived on Abba’s shoulders at all times and in all places. He commanded the power of His Father because His Father’s love always already commanded Him. Let me say this clearly and precisely. Jesus’ intimate and working knowledge of His Father’s absolute goodness enabled Him to brim with confidence in, toward and through any situation.

There are always dark intruders stalking our souls seeking to rob, kill and destroy every good thing in our lives. Sometimes the dark intruder is our own rebellious flesh man seeking to revive lust and pride in our lives.

Sometimes the dark intruder is a demonic foe seeking to defile us with sin, sickness or accusation. Still other times, the dark intruders can be other men operating in fleshly or Satanic power.

The point is that we are always in peril. Therefore, we should always have this same mindset that the boy used in calling on his father to save him. We should be able to say in complete confidence, “Abba-Father, help me!” We have, after all, received a spirit which cries, “Abba-Father” (Gal. 4:6). Abba is an Aramaic term of endearment, akin to “daddy,” by which a faithful son refers to a beloved father. This heart-cry is based on knowing the character and nature of God the Father as always and only good. Our Abba is our hero who lovingly hefts us up on His mighty shoulders and proudly carries us through all trials and tribulations we face.

Jesus always had this same view of the Heavenly Father. He lived on Abba’s shoulders at all times and in all places. He commanded the power of His Father because His Father’s love always already commanded Him. Let me say this clearly and precisely. Jesus’ intimate and working knowledge of His Father’s absolute goodness enabled Him to brim with confidence in, toward and through any situation.

Of course, throughout the ages, men and women of God have also temporarily displayed great surges of confidence toward God to save them from dark intruders. David vs. Goliath. Moses vs. Pharaoh. Elijah vs. the Prophets of Baal. Samson vs. the Philistines. These Old Testament saints all had instances of perfect confidence toward God to allow them great victories over strong enemies. These episodes were brief but spectacular. When these sudden “confidence moods” seized these souls by the Spirit of the Lord, they were empowered and enabled to perform acts of supernatural heroism.

Similarly, there are times in our lives as Christians when we too have felt supernaturally strengthened to perform acts of heroism in times of need. The tragedy comes when we crash back to fleshly failure soon thereafter. These periods of spiritual victory always fall prey to eventual moods of apathy, lust or pride. David and Samson fell to lust. Moses fell to anger. Elijah fell to depression. We too fall far too often to giants of lust, Philistines of pride, Pharaohs of anger and fleshly prophets of discouragement.

Why? Why can’t we seem to abide in continual intimacy and victory with God? Is life meant to be a roller coaster of frequent failure and occasional victory? Or, have we missed something? As with all things, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is our model. Jesus is our key - - a living key Who now indwells the heart of every member of the body of Christ. That key is The Jesus Mood.

Jesus was always empowered and enabled to speak and act righteously. He cast out devils, calmed storms, walked through closed doors, escaped mobs and performed miracles at the drop of the hat. His walk was a mountain climb, not a roller coaster. Always up, up and away to greater things. Jesus’ mood of ever-increasing hope, confidence and boldness reveals the very mood of God.

David failed to abide continually in the mood of God. Moses failed. Elijah failed. Samson failed. We too fail when we try to abide in God within our own righteousness - - our own will, our own strength and our own character. Yet, Jesus lived continually in and with the mood of His Heavenly Father.

The Father sent His Son into the world to impart the true mood of God into men. No longer would men have to struggle with endless cycles of doubt and despair. The Old Testament roller coaster spirituality was passed. The New and better Covenant brings a new and better mood.

The Jesus Mood is a double entendre. It obviously speaks in the first instance to “mood” as Jesus’ unique blend of attitudes, emotions and passions. In this sense, mood is the overall “mode of being” at any particular time. Mood in this sense can be good or bad, courageous or fearful, apathetic or passionate, light-hearted or heavy-hearted. Jesus’ mood in this sense was always righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

However, mood also has a related meaning in grammatical usage. Here, mood refers to the attitude of the speaker toward the verb or action being expressed. Mood speaks to the perception of the speaker toward reality. Mood is a mindset which reveals the speaker’s faith toward the verb being used. Some moods speak to what currently appears to be happening. Other moods speak to what might occur. Still others speak to what they merely wish would occur.

However, there is one special mood which authoritatively commands that the verb’s action must occur - - this is The Jesus Mood of imperative faith - - this is the mood of a Son who can confidently call out anytime and any place, “Dad, help me!”

THE FOUR MOOD BROTHERS

The New Testament has four basic moods in the original Greek text - - indicative, subjunctive, optative and imperative. Fancy sounding words but profoundly simple meanings. I intend to show that true New Testament faith resides only and always in the imperative mood.

The Jesus Mood is the imperative mood and only the imperative mood. In contrast, fallen man lives continually stranded in the first three moods listed above. These three mental moods make up the Knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil and cause us to suffer sin, sickness, oppression, depression and destruction.

The goal of this book is to help deliver you from the three moods of uncertainty into the imperative mood of Jesus.

Let’s first define terms. The indicative mood is the speaker’s opinion of simple fact - - in other words, what “appears” to be the state of “current reality.” For example, “John is sick,” “John needs to be healed,” or “John is not getting better.” All are examples of the indicative mood. (Note: The indicative mood can be blessed for Christians who walk not by sight but by faith. Faith’s indicative can be righteous if it is based on Heavenly reality. “God reigns” or “God is great” are blessed indicatives based not on visible appearances but on spiritual reality grasped by the heart. The problem is that most men are guided by the earthly indicative rather than the Heavenly indicative.)

The subjunctive mood is the speaker’s mindset that the verb’s action “might” happen. It is the mood of conditionality - - the mood of “if.” For example, “God might heal John if it’s His will,” or “God might heal John if John repents of his sins,” or “God might heal John if we only pray long and hard enough.”

The optative mood is the speaker’s mindset of what he “wishes” would happen. It is nothing more than a wished for possibility. For example, “I wish God would heal John,” or “I wish John would get better,” or “I wish God would show us how to heal John.”

The imperative mood is the mood of command and demand. It is the unlocking and unleashing of potential power into current and active “now” power. It is the will of the speaker imposing itself upon a situation. For example, “John, be healed!” or “John, take up your mat and walk!” or “John, be made whole!” This is the here and now mood. It is the mood of authority and certainty. It is The Jesus Mood. The following poem helps to highlight the essence of these moods.

The Mood Brothers

There were four Greek brothers with the last name Mood,
Who had different thoughts toward the verbs they used.

Three were like their mother and were quite unsure,
Whether the verbs they said must or must not occur.

Only one was like their father and knew beyond all doubt,
That the verb off the tongue had all of daddy’s clout.

All four Mood brothers were put to the test,
And faced the challenge of who knew verbs best.

The challenge was set in a land lost in pitch black,
Which Mood would speak best the light to bring back.

The first three brothers all like dear mother,
Accepted the challenge one after another.

Brother Subjunctive Mood stepped up to the plate, and said,
"Light might come, maybe soon or maybe late.”

Brother Optative Mood was the next son to spout,
"I wish, wish, wish, wish some light would come out.”

Brother Indicative Mood, the last like his mom, said, “It is dark,
I wonder if light ever will come.”

None of these three Moods changed the color of black,
Though their words were all nice, the light still did lack.

The father of Moods smiled at his fourth son,
Who always winked back at his dad in good fun.

Brother Imperative Mood jumped up to the mike,
And declared very simply, “Let there be light!”

Light did not wait, it launched its attack,
Darkness did flee back to the land of pure lack.

Brother Imperative Mood left his brothers in the dust,
Because their uncertain hearts did rob them of trust.

So when your heart picks a mood with which it will link,
Look first for daddy’s smile and don’t forget to wink.

JESUS' AMAZING USE OF THE IMPERATIVE MOOD

I was shocked several years ago when I discovered that Jesus originally spoke the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:5-13 in the aorist tense and the imperative mood. The Greek aorist tense carries with it the idea of complete and instantaneous action applied to a specific matter. Coupled with the Greek imperative mood, this statement orders immediate and complete action toward a specific situation. Jesus teaches us to literally pray this “way” in the original Greek:

"Thy name be hallowed now!"

"Thy Kingdom come now!"

"Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven now! Give us this moment our daily bread!"

"Forgive us now once and for all!"

"Deliver us from evil now!"

Jesus also prayed in the imperative in John 17 when Jesus commanded His Father in the following statements:

"Glorify Your Son!"

"Father, glorify me in Your presence!"

"Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name! Sanctify them by the truth!"

Also, at Jesus’ most painful moments on the Cross, He still used the imperative mood to order mercy on all men: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do!" Lk. 23:34.

All of the above statements Jesus spoke in the imperative mood. They are all commands - - but to whom? To the Father? Yes, but remember, only in the same way the boy cried in the imperative, “Dad, help me!” Jesus only commanded these statements to the Father because He was secure and sure that this was already the Father’s heart toward all of us. To pray in the imperative is merely to recognize the immediate urgency of our non-stop need to call, “Abba-Father, help me!”

Only with this intimate understanding of God’s nature can the magnificence of the following verse be properly grasped: “Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” Is. 45:11. Do you see? Sons who intimately and steadfastly know their Father God’s goodness can command Him concerning all creation. We are only commanding out of us what our knowledge of God’s heroic love has already commanded in us.

But, more than just speaking to the Father, the imperative mood also “commands” our own thoughts, emotions and beliefs to conform to the will of God. As an example, when David prayed Psalm 103:1-5, he was commanding his own soul to conform to the dominion and goodness of God. “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.” Ps. 103: 1-5.

Do you see? In the first instance, the imperative mood musters our soul to unify its focus on God. Next, the imperative mood commands the goodness of our Father to manifest in our situation. Finally, the imperative mood commands our circumstances to actually bow and be reconciled to the will of God. Our use of the imperative mood is actually just our wholehearted “bearing witness” of God’s imperative salvation already given to the world through the life of Jesus Christ. It is our “amen” to God’s “yes!”

The imperative mood is wholeheartedness. The imperative mood is asking without doubting. The imperative mood is only believing. The imperative mood is the faith of Jesus. The imperative mood is God’s landing pad into this realm. Anything less than the imperative mood is lukewarm, double-minded and unbelief. These lesser moods (subjunctive, optative, indicative) hinder and obstruct God’s presence from fully manifesting into this realm. It is our way of not believing and trusting in God’s love, goodness and power.

The Lord’s Prayer is so important because Jesus clearly instructs us “how” to pray - - to pray in the “way” of the imperative mood. Jesus modeled not only imperative praying but also imperative ministry. He didn’t demonstrate an “underwhelming” God who might be convinced or cajoled to show mercy and salvation. No, Jesus flooded Israel with an “overwhelming” God always ready, instantly willing and infinitely able to heal, save, forgive, bless, prosper and empower all who believe. Jesus imperatively ministered the imperative will of His imperative Father through the imperative power of the Holy Ghost.

Consider the following imperative mood statements by Jesus at various times during His ministry:

"Go in peace, and be whole of thy plague!" Mk. 5:34.

"According to your faith be it unto you!" Matt. 9:29.

"Be not afraid, only believe!" Mk. 5:36.

"Rise, take up thy bed, and walk!" Jn. 5:8.

"Be not faithless, but believing!" Jn. 20:27.

"I am willing, be clean!" Matt. 8:3.

Jesus imperatively commanded demons to depart (Lk. 4:36), angels to arrive (Matt. 26:53), fevers to go (Lk. 4:39), wholeness to come (Mk. 5:34), deadly storms to stop (Matt. 8:26), dead hearts to start (Jn. 11:43), violent men to fall down (Jn. 18:6), sick men to get up (Jn. 5:8) and Satan himself to back up (Mk. 8:33).

Notice in all of this what Jesus never did. He never “wished” a miracle or “begged” a deliverance. He never said “no” to a need, “never” to a request, “maybe” to a prayer or “someday” to a desperate plea (Acts 10:38). The point is that all ministry Jesus performed was done in the imperative - - the “now” mood - - the “here” mood - - the “must” mood - - the “power” mood.

In fact, Jesus not only told us to pray always in the imperative mood, Jesus not only prayed in the imperative mood Himself, Jesus not only commanded away demons\sickness\nature in the imperative, but Jesus also esteemed and commended the imperative mood in those who came to Him for help.

Jesus gave special commendation to the imperative mindset displayed by the woman with the blood issue who pushed through a throng of people knowing that she would be healed as she touched Jesus’ garment (Lk. 8:43-48). She didn’t even have to wait for an official response from Jesus - - it was automatic.

Jesus gave parables highlighting the importance of imperative qualities of importunity (Lk. 11:5-13) and demanding prayer (Lk. 18:1-8). Jesus also greatly commended the Syrophenician woman’s spirit who would not take no for an answer concerning the Lord’s willingness to heal her daughter (Mk. 7:24-30). Jesus was blessed and impressed by those people who would not take no for an answer, or perhaps better put, people who would only take yes for an answer!

Consider the following imperative statements in the original Greek made by those who commanded Jesus’ help because they were confident in His heroic nature:

"Speak the Word only, and my servant shall be healed!" Matt. 8:8.

"Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!" Mk. 9:24.

"Lord, help me!" Matt. 15:25.

"Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David!" Matt. 20:30.

"In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk!" Acts 3:6.

The first example above involves the Roman Centurion’s faith. This passage
highlights the pleasure the Lord takes in those who understand imperative faith. This Centurion understood imperative faith, the Jesus Mood, better than anyone in Israel - - and Jesus was amazed.

“And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” Matt. 8:5-13.

The Roman Centurion did not need Jesus to prove anything by actually coming to his house to heal his servant. He knew Jesus’ imperative could command any healing from any place to any person at any time. Do you see? Our imperative mood towards God anticipates, accepts and eagerly commands God’s imperative mood towards us. We can only be imperative towards God because He is first imperative towards us.

It is crucial to understand that in Greek grammar “questions” are usually asked in the subjunctive mood (Mk. 6:25; 37; 16:3; Rom. 10:14; 1 Cor. 11:22), the indicative mood (Jn. 1:19; 38; Matt. 16:13; Mk. 1:24), or the optative mood (Lk. 1:29; Acts 8:31; Lk. 3:15; 6:11; 22:23; Acts 5:24; 17:11). Questions under these three moods are asked when the answer or response sought is truly unknown or uncertain to the asker. By contrast, questions asked in the imperative mood are normally asked only where the answer or response sought is already known and certain to the asker.

The imperative mood is an unusual form of a question when addressing a superior, which explains why the Greeks never so used it. Rightly used, it would be the equivalent of a boss asking a subordinate in a polite but insistent tone to bring him a cup of coffee. Though a request in form, it is clearly a command to perform a duty. Conversely, it would normally be poor form for an employee to use the imperative to ask the boss to bring him some coffee - - unless of course the employee was also a loving son or spouse of the boss who knew the boss was on the way to the coffee machine anyway and wouldn’t mind a bit. A subordinate would not use the imperative mood with a superior unless a very special relationship existed.

This explains why no other Greek literature ever uses the imperative mood to describe men addressing or praying to their false gods, but the New Testament is full of occasions where believers use the imperative mood when addressing or praying to the true God (Matt. 6:9-13; Matt. 15:25; Mk. 9:24; Lk. 11:2-4; 22:42). A pagan Greek could not address Apollo or Zeus in the imperative because he had no idea how his fickle god would respond, but, hallelujah, as Christians we have an intimate relationship with Jesus which enables us to know our God always responds to our imperative faith. How amazing it is that Jesus imperatively commanded us to imperatively pray to the Heavenly Father in Jesus’ own imperative name guaranteed to bring imperative results!

There are five words in the Greek New Testament which we usually translate in the English Bible as “ask.” Punthanomai means “to ask without knowing the answer.”
Erotao means “a request for favor.” Zeteo means “a search for something hidden.” Deomai means “to beg an urgent need.” We are not to use any of these forms of asking in Jesus’ name. The word for “ask” in the following verses is “aiteo” and means “strictly a demand of something due” (see Strong’s Lexicon 4441 and 523).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Jn. 14:12-14.

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Jn. 15:7.

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” Jn. 15:16.

“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Jn. 16:23-24.

Do you see? Praying in the imperative is the same thing as asking in Jesus’ name. We are not begging, wishing, seeking or inquiring with our verbal prayers. We are commanding our immediate sphere of influence to come under the dominion of God’s goodness.

LET'S PLAY JEOPARDY!

This dynamic is similar to the well-known television game Jeopardy. Here, the
scholarly and wise host reads the “answers” to an unknown “question” to three contestants. The first contestant to “buzz in” and imperatively declare the correct question wins the money. Do you see? The contestants are stating questions for which they already know the answer. They are not asking questions they don’t know, but rather are ordering the appropriate question to line up with the already given answer. The proper imperative question releases the blessing when lined up with the proper imperative answer. While the blessing in the television game is money, the blessings for spiritual Jeopardy involve all things for life and godliness.

As stated earlier, Jesus instructed the disciples to pray in the imperative mood in Matthew 6:5-13. In verse 8, right in the middle of this passage, Jesus tells us that the Father always already knows our needs before we ask. In His pre-knowledge, God also has always already pre-responded with an imperative “Yes!” (2 Cor. 1:19-20). Just as in Jeopardy, in the Kingdom of God the answer precedes the question. We just imperatively buzz in with the blessed question which links to and releases the manifestation of the Lord’s pre-provided answer. “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Is. 65:24.

Let’s play spiritual Jeopardy! The Holy Spirit is our intelligent and wise counselor who continually speaks answers to us. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things freely given to us of God.” 1 Cor. 2:12. These answers may be prompted by Scripture, prophecy, Rhema or prayer. These answers are the exceeding great and precious promises of God which provide us all things for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3-4). However, God’s promises are not about what He will do, but about what God has already done in and through Christ. How much more exciting is the promise that you have already inherited a fortune than is a promise that you will inherit one day in the future?

If I promised to pay you a million dollars sometime in the future, you would be understandably skeptical. But, if I informed you I had already deposited a million dollars in your name, you would quickly seek verification and access to those funds. How much more should we immediately seek access to the Gospel promises of our already deposited “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:18).

Beloved, God has, according to Hebrews 4, rested from all His works because He has already pre-responded in His foreknowledge to our every need (Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 10:13). If I were all-powerful and I had foreknowledge of what my children truly needed and wanted in their heart of hearts, then I would pre-provide everything they needed for life and godliness. My provision would be waiting for them ahead of time at arms length as they were able to realize, recognize and receive it.

However, my blessings would not be served on a platter of privilege which required nothing from my children. Rather, my provision would be served on a platter of ever- increasing purity which could only be partaken of by a good and honest heart. I wouldn’t jam it down their throats whether they wanted it or not. But I would have all my blessings primed and available for their use when they were in the right and ready mood. If I as an earthly father would do this, how much more does the Heavenly Father operate in this dynamic? The Word of God’s provision is always already near us, in our hearts and in our mouths, waiting for us to realize, recognize and release God’s pre-provision for our every need (Rom. 10:8).

Amazingly, Scriptures tell us we have an anointing (unction) from God and we
“know all things” (1 Jn. 2:20). Now. This very moment. In other words, God, through
His indwelling Spirit, has imbedded within us His own foreknowledge and pre-destiny for
our lives.

God knows the beginning from the end, and so do we at some deep level within because we have been given the mind of Christ. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Is. 46:9-10. We just don’t know that we know all things. We have forgotten. This is why true spiritual knowledge is more a matter of remembering what we already know deep down in our spirits than it is of discovering new information by our own mental efforts.

In our fallen state, we have forgotten who we are - - the children of the most high God. We have forgotten our Creator, Heaven’s will and Earth’s need. This is why we have lost the imperative mood of Jesus. We have forgotten that we are called to reign as kings and priests upon the Earth in full dominion as sons of God (Rev. 5:10). The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to supernaturally restore our memory and refresh our recollection of God’s eternal truths.

Spiritual Jeopardy allows us to first recognize and remember the answer already imbedded in our spirits. From this ready recognition of the perfect answer, we are now primed to imperatively declare the blessed question, the question which catalyzes the answer to fully manifest in this earthly realm. This is how God’s pre-destiny becomes our manifest destiny - - by remembering God’s foreknowledge of our needs, His pre-response and pre-provision of all our deliverances and our pre- destiny to prevail over every trial of life.

God’s answers always precede our questions. GOD’S ANSWER ALWAYS PRECEDES OUR QUESTION! Once we realize this, then our questions are no longer uncertain requests but certain commands which we buzz in and “amen” back in the same imperative tone in which the answers were first given.

As an example, the Holy Spirit may quicken a Scripture to me that I am more than a conqueror through Christ (Rom. 8:37). However, to activate this truth I must buzz in with my imperative question, “What am I now in Christ, this very moment?” Though the form of my statement is a question, the “mood” of my statement is purely imperative. When my imperative question links with the Holy Spirit’s imperative answer, then the power of God’s victory is released immediately and spontaneously into my NOW!

“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Lu. 11:5-13.

Jesus tells us in the above passage that we are to “ask, seek, and knock” with “importunity” when we are in need of God’s help. “Importunity” is another word for “shame-free boldness.” Sounds like the imperative mood to me. Don’t miss the key to this parable. The man did not open the door to his desperate friend because of their relationship. Rather, the man opened the door of provision because of the knocker’s importunity. Likewise, our importunity (shame-free boldness) opens Heaven’s provision to manifest in this visible realm.

God speaks in the imperative mood toward all His children. As soon as we learn to first listen in the imperative and then respond in the imperative, then Heaven’s power “shall be” fully “received, found and opened.” This parable then, tells us how to approach God - - as a loving friend and Father full of provision - - and with our hearts brimming with boldness and confidence that God will never deny us His abundance (Eph. 3:11-12).
...

I want to share the first chapter of my book The Jesus Mood: Discovering the Secret of Imperative Faith.
But, before I do, let me pique your interest with this Jewish story from the Mishna about a rabbi known as Honi the Circle-maker. I came across this today. 
Mishnah Taanit 3:8 
 
They sound the shofar because of any public distress -- may it never befall! -- but not because of too great an abundance of rain.
Once they said to Honi the Circle-Drawer, Pray that rain may fall.
He answered, Go out and bring in the Passover ovens [made of clay] that they be not softened.
He prayed, but the rain did not fall. What did he do? He drew a circle and stood within it and said before God, O Lord of the world, your children have turned their faces to me, for I am like a son of the house before you. I swear by your great name that I will not stir from here until you have pity on your children.
Rain began falling drop by drop. He said, Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill the cisterns, pits, and caverns.
It began to rain with violence. He said, Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of goodwill, blessing, and graciousness.
Then it rained in moderation, until the Israelites had to go up from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount because of the rain. They went to him and said, Just as you prayed for the rain to come, so pray that it may go away!
He replied, Go and see if the Stone of the Strayers has disappeared.
Simeon ben Shetah sent to him, saying, Had you not been Honi I would have pronounced a ban against you! But what shall I do to you? You importune God and he performs your will, like a son that importunes his father he performs his will. Of you the Scripture says, Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her that bore you rejoice.  
CHAPTER ONE: WHAT IS THE JESUS MOOD?
A boy awakes in the middle of the night. He sees a shadow lurking at the window. A dark stranger has entered his room. The boy screams for his father down the hall.
Now stop! Let’s examine the boy’s mindset. Does the boy cry, “Dad, will you please help me?”; or does he exclaim, “Dad, I wish you would help me!”; or does he scream to himself, “Dad might help me if he is in a good mood!”; do any of these statements accurately reflect the boy’s true attitude toward his father?
No! No true son would speak in any of these above-described ways about a loving father. The son would never have to cajole, beg, wish or wonder about his father’s willingness to help him. The son knows his father’s nature is always ready, willing and able to help in time of peril. The son would shout in authoritative tones, “Dad, help me!” This tone of command is not based on the boy’s confidence in himself, but rather in the boy’s confidence in his dad’s character. The son knows the father’s love will always come - - no exceptions. In fact, it is unthinkable to the boy that his father would ever fail to come speedily.
The boy is indeed commanding his father to help him. However, the boy is not commanding from a sense of superiority over his father, but rather is commanding from a sense of security with his father. The boy’s security is not based on a “spoiled brat” mentality that, “Daddy will give me anything and everything I want.” The boy’s security is based on what his father has already provided him - - love, nurturing, tenderness, sacrifice, friendship, protection, joy and wisdom. The son simply knows the father too well to doubt his will to be an ever present help in time of need. The son knows that there is no reluctance in his father’s heart to save him from any dark intruders’ evil designs. 
If earthly sons can have this mindset toward their fathers, how much more, more, more should we spiritual sons be able to foster and develop this attitude toward our Heavenly Father. There are always dark intruders stalking our souls seeking to rob, kill and destroy every good thing in our lives. Sometimes the dark intruder is our own rebellious flesh man seeking to revive lust and pride in our lives. 
Sometimes the dark intruder is a demonic foe seeking to defile us with sin, sickness or accusation. Still other times, the dark intruders can be other men operating in fleshly or Satanic power. 
The point is that we are always in peril. Therefore, we should always have this same mindset that the boy used in calling on his father to save him. We should be able to say in complete confidence, “Abba-Father, help me!” We have, after all, received a spirit which cries, “Abba-Father” (Gal. 4:6). 
Abba is an Aramaic term of endearment, akin to “dad,” by which a faithful son refers to a beloved father. This heart-cry is based on knowing the character and nature of God the Father as always and only good. Our Abba is our hero who lovingly hefts us up on His mighty shoulders and proudly carries us through all trials and tribulations we face. 
Jesus always had this same view of the Heavenly Father. He lived on Abba’s shoulders at all times and in all places. He commanded the power of His Father because His Father’s love always already commanded Him. Let me say this clearly and precisely. Jesus’ intimate and working knowledge of His Father’s absolute goodness enabled Him to brim with confidence in, toward and through any situation. 
There are always dark intruders stalking our souls seeking to rob, kill and destroy every good thing in our lives. Sometimes the dark intruder is our own rebellious flesh man seeking to revive lust and pride in our lives. 
Sometimes the dark intruder is a demonic foe seeking to defile us with sin, sickness or accusation. Still other times, the dark intruders can be other men operating in fleshly or Satanic power.
The point is that we are always in peril. Therefore, we should always have this same mindset that the boy used in calling on his father to save him. We should be able to say in complete confidence, “Abba-Father, help me!” We have, after all, received a spirit which cries, “Abba-Father” (Gal. 4:6). Abba is an Aramaic term of endearment, akin to “daddy,” by which a faithful son refers to a beloved father. This heart-cry is based on knowing the character and nature of God the Father as always and only good. Our Abba is our hero who lovingly hefts us up on His mighty shoulders and proudly carries us through all trials and tribulations we face. 
Jesus always had this same view of the Heavenly Father. He lived on Abba’s shoulders at all times and in all places. He commanded the power of His Father because His Father’s love always already commanded Him. Let me say this clearly and precisely. Jesus’ intimate and working knowledge of His Father’s absolute goodness enabled Him to brim with confidence in, toward and through any situation.
Of course, throughout the ages, men and women of God have also temporarily displayed great surges of confidence toward God to save them from dark intruders. David vs. Goliath. Moses vs. Pharaoh. Elijah vs. the Prophets of Baal. Samson vs. the Philistines. These Old Testament saints all had instances of perfect confidence toward God to allow them great victories over strong enemies. These episodes were brief but spectacular. When these sudden “confidence moods” seized these souls by the Spirit of the Lord, they were empowered and enabled to perform acts of supernatural heroism. 
Similarly, there are times in our lives as Christians when we too have felt supernaturally strengthened to perform acts of heroism in times of need. The tragedy comes when we crash back to fleshly failure soon thereafter. These periods of spiritual victory always fall prey to eventual moods of apathy, lust or pride. David and Samson fell to lust. Moses fell to anger. Elijah fell to depression. We too fall far too often to giants of lust, Philistines of pride, Pharaohs of anger and fleshly prophets of discouragement. 
Why? Why can’t we seem to abide in continual intimacy and victory with God? Is life meant to be a roller coaster of frequent failure and occasional victory? Or, have we missed something? As with all things, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is our model. Jesus is our key - - a living key Who now indwells the heart of every member of the body of Christ. That key is The Jesus Mood.
Jesus was always empowered and enabled to speak and act righteously. He cast out devils, calmed storms, walked through closed doors, escaped mobs and performed miracles at the drop of the hat. His walk was a mountain climb, not a roller coaster. Always up, up and away to greater things. Jesus’ mood of ever-increasing hope, confidence and boldness reveals the very mood of God.
David failed to abide continually in the mood of God. Moses failed. Elijah failed. Samson failed. We too fail when we try to abide in God within our own righteousness - - our own will, our own strength and our own character. Yet, Jesus lived continually in and with the mood of His Heavenly Father.
The Father sent His Son into the world to impart the true mood of God into men. No longer would men have to struggle with endless cycles of doubt and despair. The Old Testament roller coaster spirituality was passed. The New and better Covenant brings a new and better mood.
The Jesus Mood is a double entendre. It obviously speaks in the first instance to “mood” as Jesus’ unique blend of attitudes, emotions and passions. In this sense, mood is the overall “mode of being” at any particular time. Mood in this sense can be good or bad, courageous or fearful, apathetic or passionate, light-hearted or heavy-hearted. Jesus’ mood in this sense was always righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
However, mood also has a related meaning in grammatical usage. Here, mood refers to the attitude of the speaker toward the verb or action being expressed. Mood speaks to the perception of the speaker toward reality. Mood is a mindset which reveals the speaker’s faith toward the verb being used. Some moods speak to what currently appears to be happening. Other moods speak to what might occur. Still others speak to what they merely wish would occur. 
However, there is one special mood which authoritatively commands that the verb’s action must occur - - this is The Jesus Mood of imperative faith - - this is the mood of a Son who can confidently call out anytime and any place, “Dad, help me!”
THE FOUR MOOD BROTHERS 
The New Testament has four basic moods in the original Greek text - - indicative, subjunctive, optative and imperative. Fancy sounding words but profoundly simple meanings. I intend to show that true New Testament faith resides only and always in the imperative mood. 
The Jesus Mood is the imperative mood and only the imperative mood. In contrast, fallen man lives continually stranded in the first three moods listed above. These three mental moods make up the Knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil and cause us to suffer sin, sickness, oppression, depression and destruction. 
The goal of this book is to help deliver you from the three moods of uncertainty into the imperative mood of Jesus.
Let’s first define terms. The indicative mood is the speaker’s opinion of simple fact - - in other words, what “appears” to be the state of “current reality.” For example, “John is sick,” “John needs to be healed,” or “John is not getting better.” All are examples of the indicative mood. (Note: The indicative mood can be blessed for Christians who walk not by sight but by faith. Faith’s indicative can be righteous if it is based on Heavenly reality. “God reigns” or “God is great” are blessed indicatives based not on visible appearances but on spiritual reality grasped by the heart. The problem is that most men are guided by the earthly indicative rather than the Heavenly indicative.)
The subjunctive mood is the speaker’s mindset that the verb’s action “might” happen. It is the mood of conditionality - - the mood of “if.” For example, “God might heal John if it’s His will,” or “God might heal John if John repents of his sins,” or “God might heal John if we only pray long and hard enough.”
The optative mood is the speaker’s mindset of what he “wishes” would happen. It is nothing more than a wished for possibility. For example, “I wish God would heal John,” or “I wish John would get better,” or “I wish God would show us how to heal John.”
The imperative mood is the mood of command and demand. It is the unlocking and unleashing of potential power into current and active “now” power. It is the will of the speaker imposing itself upon a situation. For example, “John, be healed!” or “John, take up your mat and walk!” or “John, be made whole!” This is the here and now mood. It is the mood of authority and certainty. It is The Jesus Mood. The following poem helps to highlight the essence of these moods.
The Mood Brothers
There were four Greek brothers with the last name Mood, 
Who had different thoughts toward the verbs they used.
Three were like their mother and were quite unsure, 
Whether the verbs they said must or must not occur.
Only one was like their father and knew beyond all doubt, 
That the verb off the tongue had all of daddy’s clout.
All four Mood brothers were put to the test, 
And faced the challenge of who knew verbs best.
The challenge was set in a land lost in pitch black, 
Which Mood would speak best the light to bring back.
The first three brothers all like dear mother, 
Accepted the challenge one after another.
Brother Subjunctive Mood stepped up to the plate, and said, 
Light might come, maybe soon or maybe late.”
Brother Optative Mood was the next son to spout, 
I wish, wish, wish, wish some light would come out.”
Brother Indicative Mood, the last like his mom, said, “It is dark, 
I wonder if light ever will come.”
None of these three Moods changed the color of black, 
Though their words were all nice, the light still did lack.
The father of Moods smiled at his fourth son, 
Who always winked back at his dad in good fun.
Brother Imperative Mood jumped up to the mike, 
And declared very simply, “Let there be light!”
Light did not wait, it launched its attack, 
Darkness did flee back to the land of pure lack.
Brother Imperative Mood left his brothers in the dust, 
Because their uncertain hearts did rob them of trust.
So when your heart picks a mood with which it will link, 
Look first for daddy’s smile and don’t forget to wink.
JESUS AMAZING USE OF THE IMPERATIVE MOOD
I was shocked several years ago when I discovered that Jesus originally spoke the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:5-13 in the aorist tense and the imperative mood. The Greek aorist tense carries with it the idea of complete and instantaneous action applied to a specific matter. Coupled with the Greek imperative mood, this statement orders immediate and complete action toward a specific situation. Jesus teaches us to literally pray this “way” in the original Greek:
Thy name be hallowed now!
Thy Kingdom come now!
Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven now! Give us this moment our daily bread!
Forgive us now once and for all!
Deliver us from evil now!
Jesus also prayed in the imperative in John 17 when Jesus commanded His Father in the following statements:
Glorify Your Son!
Father, glorify me in Your presence!
Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name! Sanctify them by the truth!
Also, at Jesus’ most painful moments on the Cross, He still used the imperative mood to order mercy on all men: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do! Lk. 23:34.
All of the above statements Jesus spoke in the imperative mood. They are all commands - - but to whom? To the Father? Yes, but remember, only in the same way the boy cried in the imperative, “Dad, help me!” Jesus only commanded these statements to the Father because He was secure and sure that this was already the Father’s heart toward all of us. To pray in the imperative is merely to recognize the immediate urgency of our non-stop need to call, “Abba-Father, help me!” 
Only with this intimate understanding of God’s nature can the magnificence of the following verse be properly grasped: “Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” Is. 45:11. Do you see? Sons who intimately and steadfastly know their Father God’s goodness can command Him concerning all creation. We are only commanding out of us what our knowledge of God’s heroic love has already commanded in us.
But, more than just speaking to the Father, the imperative mood also “commands” our own thoughts, emotions and beliefs to conform to the will of God. As an example, when David prayed Psalm 103:1-5, he was commanding his own soul to conform to the dominion and goodness of God. “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles.” Ps. 103: 1-5.
Do you see? In the first instance, the imperative mood musters our soul to unify its focus on God. Next, the imperative mood commands the goodness of our Father to manifest in our situation. Finally, the imperative mood commands our circumstances to actually bow and be reconciled to the will of God. Our use of the imperative mood is actually just our wholehearted “bearing witness” of God’s imperative salvation already given to the world through the life of Jesus Christ. It is our “amen” to God’s “yes!”
The imperative mood is wholeheartedness. The imperative mood is asking without doubting. The imperative mood is only believing. The imperative mood is the faith of Jesus. The imperative mood is God’s landing pad into this realm. Anything less than the imperative mood is lukewarm, double-minded and unbelief. These lesser moods (subjunctive, optative, indicative) hinder and obstruct God’s presence from fully manifesting into this realm. It is our way of not believing and trusting in God’s love, goodness and power.
The Lord’s Prayer is so important because Jesus clearly instructs us “how” to pray - - to pray in the “way” of the imperative mood. Jesus modeled not only imperative praying but also imperative ministry. He didn’t demonstrate an “underwhelming” God who might be convinced or cajoled to show mercy and salvation. No, Jesus flooded Israel with an “overwhelming” God always ready, instantly willing and infinitely able to heal, save, forgive, bless, prosper and empower all who believe. Jesus imperatively ministered the imperative will of His imperative Father through the imperative power of the Holy Ghost. 
Consider the following imperative mood statements by Jesus at various times during His ministry:
Go in peace, and be whole of thy plague! Mk. 5:34. 
According to your faith be it unto you! Matt. 9:29. 
Be not afraid, only believe! Mk. 5:36.
Rise, take up thy bed, and walk! Jn. 5:8.
Be not faithless, but believing! Jn. 20:27. 
I am willing, be clean! Matt. 8:3.
Jesus imperatively commanded demons to depart (Lk. 4:36), angels to arrive (Matt. 26:53), fevers to go (Lk. 4:39), wholeness to come (Mk. 5:34), deadly storms to stop (Matt. 8:26), dead hearts to start (Jn. 11:43), violent men to fall down (Jn. 18:6), sick men to get up (Jn. 5:8) and Satan himself to back up (Mk. 8:33).
Notice in all of this what Jesus never did. He never “wished” a miracle or “begged” a deliverance. He never said “no” to a need, “never” to a request, “maybe” to a prayer or “someday” to a desperate plea (Acts 10:38). The point is that all ministry Jesus performed was done in the imperative - - the “now” mood - - the “here” mood - - the “must” mood - - the “power” mood.
In fact, Jesus not only told us to pray always in the imperative mood, Jesus not only prayed in the imperative mood Himself, Jesus not only commanded away demons\sickness\nature in the imperative, but Jesus also esteemed and commended the imperative mood in those who came to Him for help. 
Jesus gave special commendation to the imperative mindset displayed by the woman with the blood issue who pushed through a throng of people knowing that she would be healed as she touched Jesus’ garment (Lk. 8:43-48). She didn’t even have to wait for an official response from Jesus - - it was automatic. 
Jesus gave parables highlighting the importance of imperative qualities of importunity (Lk. 11:5-13) and demanding prayer (Lk. 18:1-8). Jesus also greatly commended the Syrophenician woman’s spirit who would not take no for an answer concerning the Lord’s willingness to heal her daughter (Mk. 7:24-30). Jesus was blessed and impressed by those people who would not take no for an answer, or perhaps better put, people who would only take yes for an answer!
Consider the following imperative statements in the original Greek made by those who commanded Jesus’ help because they were confident in His heroic nature:
Speak the Word only, and my servant shall be healed! Matt. 8:8. 
Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief! Mk. 9:24.
Lord, help me! Matt. 15:25.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David! Matt. 20:30.
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk! Acts 3:6.
The first example above involves the Roman Centurion’s faith. This passage
highlights the pleasure the Lord takes in those who understand imperative faith. This Centurion understood imperative faith, the Jesus Mood, better than anyone in Israel - - and Jesus was amazed. 
“And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” Matt. 8:5-13.
The Roman Centurion did not need Jesus to prove anything by actually coming to his house to heal his servant. He knew Jesus’ imperative could command any healing from any place to any person at any time. Do you see? Our imperative mood towards God anticipates, accepts and eagerly commands God’s imperative mood towards us. We can only be imperative towards God because He is first imperative towards us.
It is crucial to understand that in Greek grammar “questions” are usually asked in the subjunctive mood (Mk. 6:25; 37; 16:3; Rom. 10:14; 1 Cor. 11:22), the indicative mood (Jn. 1:19; 38; Matt. 16:13; Mk. 1:24), or the optative mood (Lk. 1:29; Acts 8:31; Lk. 3:15; 6:11; 22:23; Acts 5:24; 17:11). Questions under these three moods are asked when the answer or response sought is truly unknown or uncertain to the asker. By contrast, questions asked in the imperative mood are normally asked only where the answer or response sought is already known and certain to the asker.
The imperative mood is an unusual form of a question when addressing a superior, which explains why the Greeks never so used it. Rightly used, it would be the equivalent of a boss asking a subordinate in a polite but insistent tone to bring him a cup of coffee. Though a request in form, it is clearly a command to perform a duty. Conversely, it would normally be poor form for an employee to use the imperative to ask the boss to bring him some coffee - - unless of course the employee was also a loving son or spouse of the boss who knew the boss was on the way to the coffee machine anyway and wouldn’t mind a bit. A subordinate would not use the imperative mood with a superior unless a very special relationship existed.
This explains why no other Greek literature ever uses the imperative mood to describe men addressing or praying to their false gods, but the New Testament is full of occasions where believers use the imperative mood when addressing or praying to the true God (Matt. 6:9-13; Matt. 15:25; Mk. 9:24; Lk. 11:2-4; 22:42). A pagan Greek could not address Apollo or Zeus in the imperative because he had no idea how his fickle god would respond, but, hallelujah, as Christians we have an intimate relationship with Jesus which enables us to know our God always responds to our imperative faith. How amazing it is that Jesus imperatively commanded us to imperatively pray to the Heavenly Father in Jesus’ own imperative name guaranteed to bring imperative results!
There are five words in the Greek New Testament which we usually translate in the English Bible as “ask.” Punthanomai means “to ask without knowing the answer.”
Erotao means “a request for favor.” Zeteo means “a search for something hidden.” Deomai means “to beg an urgent need.” We are not to use any of these forms of asking in Jesus’ name. The word for “ask” in the following verses is “aiteo” and means “strictly a demand of something due” (see Strong’s Lexicon 4441 and 523).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Jn. 14:12-14.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Jn. 15:7.
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” Jn. 15:16.
“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Jn. 16:23-24.
Do you see? Praying in the imperative is the same thing as asking in Jesus’ name. We are not begging, wishing, seeking or inquiring with our verbal prayers. We are commanding our immediate sphere of influence to come under the dominion of God’s goodness.
LETS PLAY JEOPARDY!
This dynamic is similar to the well-known television game Jeopardy. Here, the
scholarly and wise host reads the “answers” to an unknown “question” to three contestants. The first contestant to “buzz in” and imperatively declare the correct question wins the money. Do you see? The contestants are stating questions for which they already know the answer. They are not asking questions they don’t know, but rather are ordering the appropriate question to line up with the already given answer. The proper imperative question releases the blessing when lined up with the proper imperative answer. While the blessing in the television game is money, the blessings for spiritual Jeopardy involve all things for life and godliness.
As stated earlier, Jesus instructed the disciples to pray in the imperative mood in Matthew 6:5-13. In verse 8, right in the middle of this passage, Jesus tells us that the Father always already knows our needs before we ask. In His pre-knowledge, God also has always already pre-responded with an imperative “Yes!” (2 Cor. 1:19-20). Just as in Jeopardy, in the Kingdom of God the answer precedes the question. We just imperatively buzz in with the blessed question which links to and releases the manifestation of the Lord’s pre-provided answer. “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Is. 65:24.
Let’s play spiritual Jeopardy! The Holy Spirit is our intelligent and wise counselor who continually speaks answers to us. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things freely given to us of God.” 1 Cor. 2:12. These answers may be prompted by Scripture, prophecy, Rhema or prayer. These answers are the exceeding great and precious promises of God which provide us all things for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3-4). However, God’s promises are not about what He will do, but about what God has already done in and through Christ. How much more exciting is the promise that you have already inherited a fortune than is a promise that you will inherit one day in the future?
If I promised to pay you a million dollars sometime in the future, you would be understandably skeptical. But, if I informed you I had already deposited a million dollars in your name, you would quickly seek verification and access to those funds. How much more should we immediately seek access to the Gospel promises of our already deposited “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:18).
Beloved, God has, according to Hebrews 4, rested from all His works because He has already pre-responded in His foreknowledge to our every need (Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 10:13). If I were all-powerful and I had foreknowledge of what my children truly needed and wanted in their heart of hearts, then I would pre-provide everything they needed for life and godliness. My provision would be waiting for them ahead of time at arms length as they were able to realize, recognize and receive it.
However, my blessings would not be served on a platter of privilege which required nothing from my children. Rather, my provision would be served on a platter of ever- increasing purity which could only be partaken of by a good and honest heart. I wouldn’t jam it down their throats whether they wanted it or not. But I would have all my blessings primed and available for their use when they were in the right and ready mood. If I as an earthly father would do this, how much more does the Heavenly Father operate in this dynamic? The Word of God’s provision is always already near us, in our hearts and in our mouths, waiting for us to realize, recognize and release God’s pre-provision for our every need (Rom. 10:8).
Amazingly, Scriptures tell us we have an anointing (unction) from God and we
“know all things” (1 Jn. 2:20). Now. This very moment. In other words, God, through
His indwelling Spirit, has imbedded within us His own foreknowledge and pre-destiny for
our lives. 
God knows the beginning from the end, and so do we at some deep level within because we have been given the mind of Christ. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Is. 46:9-10. We just don’t know that we know all things. We have forgotten. This is why true spiritual knowledge is more a matter of remembering what we already know deep down in our spirits than it is of discovering new information by our own mental efforts.
In our fallen state, we have forgotten who we are - - the children of the most high God. We have forgotten our Creator, Heaven’s will and Earth’s need. This is why we have lost the imperative mood of Jesus. We have forgotten that we are called to reign as kings and priests upon the Earth in full dominion as sons of God (Rev. 5:10). The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to supernaturally restore our memory and refresh our recollection of God’s eternal truths. 
Spiritual Jeopardy allows us to first recognize and remember the answer already imbedded in our spirits. From this ready recognition of the perfect answer, we are now primed to imperatively declare the blessed question, the question which catalyzes the answer to fully manifest in this earthly realm. This is how God’s pre-destiny becomes our manifest destiny - - by remembering God’s foreknowledge of our needs, His pre-response and pre-provision of all our deliverances and our pre- destiny to prevail over every trial of life.
God’s answers always precede our questions. GOD’S ANSWER ALWAYS PRECEDES OUR QUESTION! Once we realize this, then our questions are no longer uncertain requests but certain commands which we buzz in and “amen” back in the same imperative tone in which the answers were first given.
As an example, the Holy Spirit may quicken a Scripture to me that I am more than a conqueror through Christ (Rom. 8:37). However, to activate this truth I must buzz in with my imperative question, “What am I now in Christ, this very moment?” Though the form of my statement is a question, the “mood” of my statement is purely imperative. When my imperative question links with the Holy Spirit’s imperative answer, then the power of God’s victory is released immediately and spontaneously into my NOW!
“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Lu. 11:5-13.
Jesus tells us in the above passage that we are to “ask, seek, and knock” with “importunity” when we are in need of God’s help. “Importunity” is another word for “shame-free boldness.” Sounds like the imperative mood to me. Don’t miss the key to this parable. The man did not open the door to his desperate friend because of their relationship. Rather, the man opened the door of provision because of the knocker’s importunity. Likewise, our importunity (shame-free boldness) opens Heaven’s provision to manifest in this visible realm. 
God speaks in the imperative mood toward all His children. As soon as we learn to first listen in the imperative and then respond in the imperative, then Heaven’s power “shall be” fully “received, found and opened.” This parable then, tells us how to approach God - - as a loving friend and Father full of provision - - and with our hearts brimming with boldness and confidence that God will never deny us His abundance (Eph. 3:11-12).

3 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

Do we need "mercy" and "sin-forgiveness" from God?

Well, considering the Hebrew word for "mercy" in the OT means loving-kindness.....

...and, considering that "sin related forgiveness" in the original Greek language of the NT doesn't mean "forgiveness FOR sin" but rather "deliverance FROM sin"......

...then, YES, YES, YES, YES, we DO need divine mercy and forgiveness.

God wants us loved and set free from all that deforms and debilitates us. That IS good news!

What we DON'T need is the fear-laden and guilt-ridden definitions which have polluted our understanding of these words.
...

4 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

Here is the fundamental Satanic lie all men have subconsciously internalized-- that God is BOTH good AND evil, BOTH love AND wrath, BOTH light AND dark, BOTH healer AND afflicter.

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be AS God, knowing good AND evil." Genesis 3:4-5 (emphasis added).

Or, put another way, Satan's core lie here was about God's nature -- that God experientially knew (and thus engaged in) good AND evil, that God in fact authored good AND evil, that God ultimately WAS good and evil. So, the "knowledge of good and evil" is really the knowledge OF God AS the source of BOTH good AND evil.

And here is the poison. Once WE partake of THAT core lie-- that God is internally dualistic, radically bipolar, ferociously fickle, violently volatile, and horribly inconsistent-- then WE likewise become those things. The history of man has proved that proposition to be true.

In short, we follow our image of God. Our destiny is determined by our view of God. If we believe God is BOTH good and evil, BOTH loving and wrathful, THEN so too will we be.

A. W. Tozer rightly believed that we tend "by a secret law of the soul" to gravitate toward and grow to resemble our mental image of God. Thus, Tozer was convinced that what comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. High thoughts of God bring us into pure worship and a sanctified walk, while low thoughts of God defile our hearts and corrupt our walk. The bottom line is that you become what you believe about God.

Simply put, Satan's foundational lie to us all is is that God is "not" ONLY good, ONLY light, and ONLY love. He is ALSO evil, ALSO dark and ALSO wrath.

And since Satan is the ACTUAL source of all the evil and dark dynamics mentioned above, then what Satan is really doing is inserting himself into our image of God. He is illegitimately joining himself to God's hip within our own understanding.

And this is exactly what happened to the Old Testament saints. They had an undifferentiated view of God which caused them to wrongly attribute the destructive works of Satan to God. They erroneously believed Satan was God's "angry voice," His "left hand of wrath" in other words.

Oswald Chambers said that, "The origin of all sin is found in the mistrust of God's character." To remove Satan's lie from our image of God is to remove Satan's attributes from the divine nature-- to forever separate and sever Satan's nature from God's nature. We do this not just so we can behold God clearly, but so that we can be transformed into His likeness.

"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18.

"Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for WE SHALL SEE HIM EVEN AS HE IS." 1 John 3:2.

The core revelation needed to see PAST Satan's lie and INTO the real image of God is THIS - - God didn’t create evil, God doesn’t use evil, and God won’t allow evil.

God is good. Only good. Always good. His only connection with evil is to disallow it through the power of the cross. In fact, God has already disarmed and disallowed every form of evil. Why evil still occurs is due to man’s individual and corporate neglect of Jesus' "so great a salvation." This neglect invites Satan's eclipses to continue by falsely accusing God of evil.

But, not so. Jesus Christ is God’s perfect cure for evil, a cure which overcomes evil one way and one way only - - with good. Jesus, as God in the flesh, came to reveal the true nature of God as good, love, light, truth and Spirit. Jesus is the tree of life. He is NOT internally dualistic. No Old Testament saint saw the perfect goodness of God. Only Jesus accurately reflected, and still reflects, the true nature of God. Don't allow Satan to disguise this truth!

“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18.
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Comment on Facebook

I'm just kinda curious how you reconcile the nature of God and Jesus within the book of revelations? Just going by this post, you seem to equate wrath with evil and I've never viewed them as the same thing. Satan is the accuser, and God the father does pour out his wrath, which Jesus took the fullness of for our sakes, but yet Satan doesn't have the capacity or reason for wrathfulness like God does/would because sin is an offense towards God first and foremost, not Satan or even mankind.

Like, him (God) desiring to punish sin doesn't make him evil by any means, and given the lengths he's gone through to save us from it, his desire to save us from its clutches obviously shines through beyond any wrath he holds, but the scripture doesn't say that Satan is a bringer of wrath by any means as far as I'm aware (I could very well be wrong) but he is equal parts justice and mercy, grace and truth. Like righteous judgment and merciful grace aren't at odds with one another, or at least it doesn't appear that way to me (please correct me if I'm wrong, I really like this page and I'm not trying to start an argument by any means)

The linked articles below should explain my position. I do believe the Lord is grieved and His Spirit quenched by our sin. I just believe His wrath is restorative and His punishments curative. Satan has wrath too (in the Old Testament in David's numbering if Israel, it was caused by what is called "God's anger" in one place and in another place "Satan's provocation" plus Revelation says Satan has great wrath) but Satan's wrath is destructive and debilitating. I explain it in the links below. Do God's flames of judgment seek to heal us or torture us? m.facebook.com/notes/richard-murray/do-gods-flames-of-judgment-seek-to-heal-us-or-to-torture-us/8... What is the vengeance of the Lord? www.facebook.com/richard.murray.1840/posts/599115336815187?comment_id=5503867&offset=0&total_comm... What about the Wrath in the Book of Revelation? www.facebook.com/richard.murray.1840/posts/626895844037136 Revisiting the Wrath of God www.facebook.com/notes/244002718972862/

When I've gone through some really heavy things the past few years..I had to focus on His true character ..thats how I could even begin to endure. 100% loving and good.

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4 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

The real Armageddon is the final battle for the image of God which is taking place on the Megiddo plains of our minds and hearts.

Don't ever give in or up.

God is good-- only good, always good, only light and in Him no darkness. He gives only good gifts to His children and in Him is no shadow of turning. He is the Father of lights, love, and lightness of burden. Enjoy Him!
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4 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

The power of kindness.

A frustrated father once brought his rebellious son to the village Rabbi for an afternoon of stern correction.

"Rabbi, I am at my wit's end. This boy is lazy and disrespectful. I want you to rebuke him from the Torah and teach him the fear of the Lord. Do whatever you feel is necessary. He is yours for the afternoon."

"Yes, I will show him a thing or two. Come pick him up in two hours," the Rabbi responded to the angry father as he departed.

The Rabbi then ushered the boy into his study. As he reached out his arms toward the boy, the youngster flinched in fear. The Rabbi smiled and then gently hugged him. The Rabbi said nothing. The silence was uncomfortable to the boy at first, but gradually he his heart began to blossom in trust toward this caring Rabbi. The boy began crying, quietly at first but then gushing, out of conviction at first but then out of relief.

The Rabbi continued his gentle hug for the two hours, somehow absorbing all the boys anguish, anger and shame. When the father came to pick his son up, he knew there had been a change just from looking at him.

"It looks like you did some good Rabbi."

"Yes," the Rabbi responded while smiling at the lad, "I had a stern talk with him. If he misbehaves again, bring him back and I will get even sterner with him."

-- A Rabbinic Tale
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4 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

For me guys, here is the issue at question, and it is a delicate one:

Is it wrong to encourage any person to energetically believe in, toward and on God for a needed deliverance, protection, or healing from toxic circumstances, oppressive sicknesses, or harmful addictions?

Some would say that encouraging any such person in need to exercise faith or belief toward the curative energies of God does nothing but ultimately condemn them if they then subsequently fail to receive the relief sought. And, sadly, it's fair to say that many in ministry have in fact used, in a reprehensible way, the term "lack of faith" as a hammer of condemnation to explain a lack of healing.

But, is it fair to THEN conclude that we should NEVER tell those who are oppressed that belief/faith in God can help their situation? After all, Jesus continually exhorted those to whom He ministered that their faith "in," "on," and "toward" Him opened the windows of heaven to release curative energies of all kinds. He continually told those in need to believe, only believe, and to always believe in Him for something better and brighter. Yet, we see no evidence that the crowds EVER felt condemned by His exhortation.

I think when we exhort people to believe, one of two unfortunate things can happen. Either our tone in speaking, or their tone in hearing, can wrongly add an "or else" threat to the exhortation to believe. Jesus didn't threaten people with a dualistic "or else" mindset. But He did encourage people to "just believe" the good news of a relentlessly rescuing God.

God help us all to find the tone that encourages us to only believe forward and never to condemn ourselves or anyone else backward.
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Comment on Facebook

I appreciate and agree with what you are saying here, but what do you say to people who ask "why do some people get delivered/healed/etc... and others don't?"

There are battles where the Lord's best simply does not manifest in this temporal realm. There are just too many variables, too many waves clashing violently together in this pond of causation, too many unseen dynamics which to various degrees help or hinder the Lord's best from openly and fully manifesting in any particular circumstance. The freedom of angels and men often combine to form interference patterns of resistant force with which we must diligently deal. The Lord is always willing to manifest, but He often needs our synergistic cooperation to fully penetrate the situation at hand. He won't (and can't) coercively rape reality with His interventions. Jesus travels on the corporation and active faith of His body. This allows Him the consent He needs, the cosmic elbow room to deliver the situation by catalyzing it with the delivering energies of Christ. The question is NOT "whether" or "why" God intervenes or not in human affairs. Rather, the question is "whether" or "why" WE (corporately as the body of Christ) intervene or not. God's interventions of deliverances need OUR synergistic faith, catalyzing prayer, and enabling action for His deliverances to fully manifest here on earth as they are already manifest in Heaven. God has already intervened to the max in every past, present and future situation. His Spirit fills all things (Ephesians 1:23; 4:7-10). His pre-destinies (Ephesians 2:10) swirl around us like butterflies coiled in potentiality, eagerly waiting to be sprung into actuality by our prayers of faith. John Wesley said, "It seems as if God is limited by our prayer (faith) life. He can do nothing upon the earth unless a man prays." We are the spigots that release the omnipresence of God unto manifest presence. Our faith doesn't create the victory, it only recognizes and releases it FROM Heaven TO earth. And here is another major factor which often resolute in fights-of-faith being lost. Sometimes the Lord would have others join the particular fight we are in as our allies, but for whatever reason, they don't. "One can put a thousand to flight, but two can put ten thousand to flight." What do we do when face a hundred thousand deadly circumstances alone? Well, we fight tenaciously, fervently believing and heroically interceding with the positive energies of faith, and THEN we call call for back-up. But, if back up doesn't come, then we do what we must to survive. But, at least we stood and contended for the faith.

Jesus is the only one who won all His battles. Paul won many battles. Some big ones. But He also lost some. He died alone, imprisoned, and abandoned. But, his "good fight of faith" was not judged by the Lord on how many absolute and complete victories Paul won, but rather on the resolute stance Paul maintained in not ever going down to the spiritual mat. Maybe he was outscored on points in some of these battles, but he was never KO'd (knocked out). He fought the good fight, always believing the Lord's best toward every situational need, regardless of whether or not it fully manifested in the moment. The good news is that the Lord has assured us the overall war has already been won. Jesus, through the cross, His subsequent descent into Hell, and His victorious ascent into Heaven, in order that He might fill all things, has delivered the death-stroke to the heart of the dragon. The tail of the enemy may be thrashing to and for upon the earth today in its death throes, but he is eternally defeated and defanged. And please, don't get me wrong. We should ferociously fight to win EVERY faith-battle we encounter: every healing we pray for, every oppression we resist, every crippling circumstance we pray to change, every satanic influence we seek to dispel. Fight to win, always to win. And, if we appear to be on the losing side of the particular temporal battle in question, then so be it. But, at least we lose in full battle array, always wholeheartedly contesting and resisting very appearance of evil, never surrendering or capitulating our hope or trust in God. Whatever the reason for the loss, it wasn't because of God's lack of ability, lack of readiness, or lack of willingness. Rather, the culprit was the corporate and cumulative "neglect" of the members of Christ's body in not resisting evil as a unified army of interceding faith-warriors. I am convinced that suffering largely exists because the church corporate doesn't pray in unity of heart and purpose. The church bride is here to relieve and/or cure the world's suffering, but we are too busy disagreeing and blaming rather than agreeing and blessing. Christ, for His part, is always ready, willing and able to manifest His rescuing power into every situation of need. But, the church is His spigot of release here on the earth, a spigot which we haven't yet learned to corporately open full throttle. I believe the throttle/faucet of the spigot is on our side of the equation. I believe that spigot is what James called "effectual fervent prayer," both individual and corporate.

I certainly agree we can't ever trivialize suffering, but on the other hand we also mustn't trivialize prayer. I also agree that the sheer weight of suffering is mind boggling, but, on the other hand, the power of prayer is even more mind boggling, at least if we are to believe Jesus in Mark 11:22-25 and many other like passages. Earnest prayer should be our first and instant response to an outbreak of suffering of any kind, just as water is our first and instant response to outbreak of fire. John's Wesley taught that out prayerLESSness inhibits and obstructs God to fully manifest His A-game deliverances. He needs our organic faith-consent on some level. This occurred in Mark 6 when He, though fully willing, could do no mighty works because of their corporate unbelief. God does teach us things in the wake of our suffering, even though He didn't bring the suffering itself. But He can also teach us wonderful things apart from suffering if we remain humble and wholehearted in prayer. Until the church hits on all cylinders, many will continue to be vulnerable to satanic and circumstantial suffering. And because of this neglect, some fights of faith will be lost, or at least not fully won. But, when the church rises to corporate unity, that rising tide will lift all our boats. But, I always try to remember this champion truth. Our heavenly Abba "hath put all things under His (Jesus') feet , and gave Him (Jesus) to be the head over ALL THINGS TO the CHURCH. Which is His (Jesus') body, the fulness of him that fills ALL IN ALL." Ephesians 1:22-23. The original Greek of Matthew 18:18 and 16:19 both say that we have the authority to bind on Earth that which is already bound in Heaven. Interlinear translations agree that these verses convey the idea that, “whatever you might bind on the Earth will be, having been bound in the Heavens already.” It gets even better. Not only has the demonic been demolished, but we have also already been completely healed of all our sins, sorrows and sicknesses. Jesus again completed this healing long ago through His Cross and Resurrection: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Pet. 2:24. But, if demons are defeated and all our sins and sicknesses healed, then why don’t we see this “always already” victory right now? “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; . . . Thou HAST [already] put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But NOW WE SEE NOT YET all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Heb. 2:3, 8-9. This passage is clear that all things have already been put under Jesus, but we don’t yet see them put under Jesus. The reason? Because of our individual and corporate “neglect” of “so great a salvation.” Both Satan and Evil have no gasoline left in their tank because Jesus drained it all away at the Cross. They are functioning today solely off of the fumes of our neglect of Jesus’ great salvation. What makes this salvation so great is its “always already” aspect. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convince us of the accomplished benefits of this great salvation. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1 Cor. 2:12.

GOD DOES NOT ALLOW EVIL, HE DISALLOWS IT. Jesus Christ is God's total curative disallowance of evil. In fact, Jesus has ALREADY disallowed and provided the cure for all evil. As with all cures, however, the Jesus cure must be administered with some form of applicator. On earth, we, as the corporate body and bride of Christ, are the "applicators" of His curative energies. Be of good cheer, Jesus has ALREADY overcome ALL the things of the world: the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (Jn 16:33; 1 John 2:16). Jesus' incarnation reveals the will of God toward evil: "with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went around doing good and healing ALL who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him." Acts 10:38. Our role as the church bride and body is to diligently, prayerfully, and, most importantly, corporately apply that victory in unity and like-mindedness. So we should keep believing on Jesus, keep resisting Satan, keep hoping for better, keep loving with the light of God, keep learning the ways of peace, and keep fighting against anything that rises up against you knowing God's virtue better and better. Diligently avoid the interior neglect of your so great a salvation. Remain steadfast and immoveable in the faith, abounding always in the energies of God's goodness! Richard Murray I was working on this as a new post. Does it help? For me, healing is wholeness of body, soul, and spirit. I think there will be a generation which will defeat death on every level and will never die. Until then, we corporately and individually fight the fight of faith to evict as many death dealing dynamics as we can. Here is my rough draft of a new post on the issue Ron raised in his original question. Three choices when it comes to healing prayer: 1) God says "yes" to some healings and "no" to others. 2) God says a provisional "yes" to all healings, but something on our corporate side of the equation hinders or obstructs the fulness of healing from manifesting. Mark 6:1-6. 3) God neither says "yes" or "no" to particular healings but remains detached and uninvolved. 1 and 3 are unacceptable for the flowing reasons: -- Jesus never said "no" to any particular request for healing (2 Corinthians 1:9-20) -- many times Scriptures say Jesus healed "all" who came to Him (Acts 10:38; Matthew 4:23-24; 8:16; 9:35; 12:15; 15:30; Luke 4:40; 6:17)

-- the only time Jesus was obstructed from healing "all" came from a corporate hindrance, not from a lack of willingness or consent on HIS part (Mark 6:1-6) -- healing appears to be promised in several New Testament passages ( James 5:15; I Peter 2:24 and its fulfillment in Matthew 8:16; Mark 3:15; 16:18; Luke 9:2, 10:9; John 14:12-14) -- if God refuses to heal some mothers and children of cancer while healing others, then He is capricious and cruel -- if God stays away of healing altogether, then He is capricious, cruel, and, even worse, He has placed all of us in a death-trap creation in which disaster, disease, devastation, and destruction reigns supreme, a terminally infectious creation for which He alone is responsible.

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4 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

RIDDLE ME THIS: WHAT DID THE FOLLOWING THREE GROUPS OF "WOULD BE" KILLERS HAVE IN COMMON?

1) James and John wanting Jesus to call down killing fire on the Samaritans for rejecting them in Luke 9:54 (just like Elijah did to the rebellious Samaritans in 2 Kings 1:10, 12);

2) The Pharisees wanting to execute Jesus' disciples to death for Sabbath-breaking in Matthew 12:1-7 (just like Moses commanded all Sabbath breakers stoned to death, no exceptions, in Exodus 31:14-15 and 35:2, and who in fact stoned a man to death in similar circumstances for just picking up sticks on the Sabbath in Numbers 15:32-36);

3) The mob seeking to stone the woman to death who had been caught in adultery in John 8:1-11 (just like Moses commanded all adulterers to death in Leviticus 20:10, no exceptions);

WHAT did these would be killers all have on their side?

ANSWER: The Bible.

All these bloodthirsty people were relying on well known Scriptures, established Scriptures, clear Scriptures, compelling Scriptures. I cite all the passages above.

Each of these mobs thought they had the spiritual high ground. But you know what? They didn't.

Jesus told James and John they "knew not what spirit they were of, because He came to save life, not to destroy it." Luke 9:55. He told the Pharisees seeking to execute His disciples for Sabbath-breaking that He Himself was "Lord of the Sabbath" and that His disciples were "blameless" and "guiltless" because He "wanted mercy and not sacrifice." Matthew 12:5-8. After scattering the mob seeking to stone her, Jesus told the adulterous that He Himself did NOT condemn her. John 8:11. He cleaned all their plows of wrath with His Spirit of rescuing love.

The point here is that we all need more than JUST the Bible on our side. These people all may have had the literal Bible on their side, but they did not have Jesus on their side. They did not have the Holy Spirit on their side. And they did not have the Heavenly Father on their side.

Time and time again, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said the Scripture may literally SAY this, but I spiritually SAY..... This is all I am advocating here, to let Jesus' nature, Jesus' presence, and Jesus' wisdom have the FIRST and BEST say when it comes to us reading Scripture.

Each of these three mobs had read the Scriptures literally, each thought they clearly understood them, and each was confident they were serving God. What a chilling prospect! Don't ever let the "literal" words get in the way of "spiritual"Jesus.
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4 weeks ago

The Goodness of God

The three essences of God:
God is love
God is light
God is lightness

Accept no substitutes. It's simply how Jesus rolls. His burden is light, His illumination bright, and His tender affection oh so right.
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1 month ago

The Goodness of God

When it comes to understanding Scripture, it's obvious that not everybody is on the same spiritual wavelength.

But the good thing is that God has given us lots of interpretive wavelengths to surf. Our error comes when we think everybody else has to travel on our exact same wavelength.

We need to afford each other the elbow room to read Scriptures as our hearts lead: devotionally, theologically, historically, and, most of all, spiritually.

As long as we all agree on the foundation: THAT Jesus is the revealed love-character of God; THAT God is light and in Him is no darkness; and THAT the Spirit of Christ wants to richly indwell us........ then, read and let read, think and let think, and most of all, love and let love.
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1 month ago

The Goodness of God

Let's be careful not to bash the Bible.

It's certainly okay to bash carnal man's way of WRONGFULLY READING the Bible, but never the Bible itself.

But, having said that, let's not worship the Bible either.

Instead, let's honor and respect the supernatural promises it carries, the blood of the martyrs who died so that we could have it, and, most of all, the wondrous narrative imbedded in it which reveals the life of Jesus Christ through anointed "allegory," terrific "types," brilliant "shadows," miraculous "metaphors" and spiritual "symbols."

Better yet, let's rescue the Bible from literalists by learning to read it by the Holy Spirit, the way the early church fathers did. We won't won't be sorry. There is MORE to the Bible than meets the eye, not LESS.

We have to be careful to not have a theology based on suspicion and resentment. What we have resentment TOWARD, we will not be able to receive truth FROM.

Let's don't resent the Scripture. Instead, let's revive it.

The Bible is never boring if we read it by the Spirit. If we are bored with it, we are not reading it by the Spirit. Let's challenge our reading style, but let's not challenge the Bible. There is far more to it than meets the natural eye.

Consider this. WITHOUT Scripture, we would know nothing, nada, zippo, that is to say precisely zero about Jesus and the kingdom of love. Oh, we might have a vague impression, like the Greeks did, of an "unknown god." But, we would know little to nothing of Jesus.

So, just as we need a direct intuitive apprehension of Jesus as the son of the living God, we also need a direct intuitive apprehension that Scriptures carry a unique supernatural element of authoritative inspiration. This supernatural element is not apparent in the "dead letter" literal reading of course, but imbedded in the Biblical subtext lies many fuller and richer meanings, meanings which can only be catalyzed by what Martin Luther called influxes of the Spirit.

For me, I had a direct apprehension, epiphany, and intuition from the Holy Spirit that Scriptures contain "the exceeding great and precious promises of God" which "provide us all things for life and Godliness." 2 Peter 1:3-5. Each believer needs to experience this direct apprehension for themselves where the Holy Spirit actually confirms within their hearts that the Scriptures are unique and foundational for their faith.

When we experience the entry level epiphany THAT Spirit-Scriptures are vital, we then can continue to expand our walk through the Scriptures by better recognizing HOW that vitality is to be gleaned.
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1 month ago

The Goodness of God

The very last thing Jesus came across as was a child-drowning, plague-sending, fire-flinging, throat-slitting, curse-hurling, torture-bringing, wrath-infested smiter--- and not just a crusher of the healthy, but also the brutal destroyer of helpless infants, powerless children, pregnant women, as well as mentally and age-infirmed people everywhere.

And yet, so many teach their children that God is all of the above. No wonder scoffing atheism and hard-hearted fundamentalism are both so prevalent.

Jesus has to be our ONLY guide to God.
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Teaching Articles