I am currently reading your John letter [i.e. the First John Shovelation - Jim] and learning many awesome insights I had never filled in before and yet were in me already as you can well imagine.TongueIm reading the whole thing and I have come to a section that I really want to understand you better on. The whole letter seems filled with wonderful,freeing insight until I come to this part which seems to be a total contradiction of what you were explaining to begin with. I see ,maybe even for the first time with more clarity that it was the anti-christs message among them that John often was trying to highlight and show the true ones that THEY were just fine and not to be intimidated otherwise. I love it! Jumpin for joy! But when I come to your description of the "empty shell of humanity" and seeking to find fulfillment in the world....I[pride of life etc,,]I find myself led by those words right back to staring at sin. I LOVE how you rewrote the book of John its cool...but here is the rewrite that I tripped up on here: "Have no desire for the empty shell of humanity once made in the image of God,for the thing designed to reveal God in this world constantly seeks to fill the Spirit void with something else." Now I have no problem with it if were continuing on with a description of the deceivers but, because it seems directed at me, I find it to seem like a description of a return to the flesh?It sounds like a statement directed to the energy of the flesh?"Have no desire..." can't only God Himself do something of this importance in us?See what I mean?I kind of seems like the bible is saying to look to ourselves to rectify this propensity?Yet it is odd because through the whole letter I see nothing but John pointing us back to what is REALLY going on inside of us.[the good stuff of God]So do we need to have it pointed out to us then?I guess If "others" were leading them into this behavior [pride of life lust of flesh love of world stuff]then they WOULD indeed be needing this encouragement to walk as they really are...but if it was just a general admonishment...it comes across very confusing...almost as if all that he said prior should go right out of the window, encouragements and all?
Can you help me see what you want us to take away here?I know you better than I did say 6 years ago and I know you intended this to free the reader...so I know i am missing something...I just don't know what it is...can you help.... Adam
Adam, I think what you're getting tripped up on is the perception that there is anything in the world. And that was John's whole point. He had described the ILLUSION of something that so easily seems to entice us. This illusion of life is what caused the believers to imagine themselves as missing out on Christ. It is the reason they were comparing themselves with the seemingly more spiritual so that they were questioning their own standing, their own freedom, their own faith, their own confidence. In essence, John was encouraging those who had the something (Christ) by telling them not to be enticed by that which is nothing. It makes no difference what it LOOKS like or what it FEELS like, for the stuff of the world is a total imagination.
They, like us, had really imagined that these deceivers had something they needed when what they had seen was only as a puff of smoke; in other words, "the boastful pride of life". They just didn't realize that was all it was. In saying what he did, John yanked the cloud of false perception from their eyes so that they could see "all that was in the world" for what it truly was: a vain imagination.
There is no energy of the flesh that could make one see what cannot be seen. We have been born of the Spirit and so we hear his freedom. There is no looking to ourselves to rectify anything because Christ has already brought it to pass, and we have been brought into the fullness of this true freedom. Where we have seen false pretenses of life, God has been pulling back the fake backdrops and asking us to look again so that we see it clearly. John told his friends, "Don't let their BS fool you anymore, because that is all it is!"
Does that help?
Bizarre how I obviously am projecting my own learned view point on this seemingly unfitting "Shovel-verse" that you wrote! LOL! The example i highlighted for you in your writing WAS indeed one of those versus I/"we" learned to yank out of the bible and read it and interpret it alone through the window of sin consciousness. It is often read as a whip on the but for lookin at women and runnin your mouth about how great you are and what ever other sin you can make up. I'm pretty sure that it's safe to say John was describing something much more serious than that. I think even unbelievers can say and even believe that lots of things are "vain". That's not what John is getting at though here is he? It is understood I think with the idea that christians are the ones to be watching out for this in themselves. However I hear you saying [I think I agree] that these believers were lead [through these wonderful role models Dead] to behave in a way that mimicked the actions of these so called "true believers" that really had neither the Father nor the Son. Ouch They [the imposters] were amoung us [them] but not of them. They had no truth in them nor any Love. They boasted and lusted for all that flesh would want and crave ... from attention and credit, to glory and whatever other perverted thing the law stimulates. They had never come to Christ and were prancing around as examples, promoting themselves and even getting the believers to buy into this garbage and doubt their own salvation and standing and relationship to Christ. The pride of life [the emptiness], the lust of the flesh [the never ending realm of death and seperation to God] were trademarks of the ones who were spoken of:"the anti-christs". So I guess it wasn't a self improvement these apostles were identifying as "admonishments" after all. No..it seems they are actually describing something much more serious than trying to get us to take care of something already accomplished. love, Adam