5 Jun 2005

Are we unharmed by all things?

Submitted by theshovel
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"TO THE PURE ALL THINGS ARE PURE" - Jim would this include knowledge,wisdom,teaching,......thinking even? Are we unharmed by ALL THINGS? Is Christ THAT deep? Can any of that truly harm us if all things are pure? What is the phycology on that? Does beleiving this cause us to relax and trust in the promises of God that all things are pure and therfore-we can think on everything without fear of sin?

Hello, my friend!!

You have been a great encouragement to me as well, and I thank you so much for keeping up with me like this!! :)

Though we go through hell on earth he keeps us untouched by evil and by the evil one. Our confidence in Christ is that sure. And yes, we can test all things in this confidence. It is through this reality that we are able to stand in the first place ... to stand without fear to truly live. Living in this confidence marks the difference between living as those truly made alive versus living as those put into a program.

To know that I will be unharmed, untouched by evil because of Christ in me causes my choices and decisions to be those of one truly set free, and not one bound by constant technicalities and loopholes.

I remember the insanity of living as one bound by laws and rules and principles ... I see it in the world all around me everyday where freedom means getting away with breaking the rules and bondage means getting caught. In this, living as free means I can even submit to their demands without being touched by evil. I am so free from sin that my real life is not entrapped ... else I would become a legalist every time I obeyed something as simple as a speed limit sign. haha! But I know that rules and principles have been made for those who break them, not for those who don't need them.

Regarding knowledge, wisdom, teaching and thinking ... these are all incorporated into the very demands of this world, whether religious or not. The only guard needed is the very reality by which we are unharmed, which is Christ himself. His life in us IS the fortification by which we examine all things without fear. The only reason we will fear in such examination is when we look to anything else to become that safety guard other than he who is already there and already protecting us. Because of this, one's ignorance of the proper Christian protocol for each and every situation becomes a blessing! hahaha! How many so-called "dangerous" situations have all of us breezed through simply because we were too stupid to know we were supposed to be "in danger" - that is, according to the collected wisdom of those put forth as spiritually superior to ourselves?

In the mind that sees itself always in danger of being harmed there is fear. This is the framework by which we learned all the reasons why we should be scared and fearful. It is often said that if you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs that you just don't understand the situation!

Perhaps the "understanding of the situation" is the very thing we need to distrust, because it is the embodiment of fear. While those around us may walk as if always on a tight-rope - screaming in unision that this is what is in front of us and under us - we can walk on in assurance knowing that what appears to be is not what truly is. In truth, nothing else reveals the absurdity of such panic-driven lives as one who walks alongside in total oblivion to the panic around him. While all others may shake in fear while the robot screams "Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson!" the confidence of those who hear the screams without scurrying in fear and panic makes a mockery of those who put up their guards to ward of the evil that seems always upon them.

Total lack of fear regarding all things can only be found in the assurance that we will remain unharmed by that which we examine. Every time I consider the way the religious mind throws out the NT warnings from the apostles I am amazed that what they warned against is so quickly mistaken for the fear-based teachings that come out of those words. The warnings actually all revolve around the need to distrust the words of those who would drag us back into fear-based living with all their clever little adages and lifted scriptures to support those fears.

The only thing to avoid is the demand of the empty world, the thing John described as being nothing but empty desires (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life). This is what is in the world around us. And no, it is not the joy in what God has made - for in this we find no fear - but instead it is the futility of that which fears as it consumes what it supposes might finally satisfy it.

I often think on the picture of the little shack that was "bigger on the inside than it was on the outside" created by C.S. Lewis in last of his Narnia Series, The Last Battle. The dwarves were a picture of those who were of the earth who stood among those who saw beyond the seeing of the inside of that little hut. According to the dwarves it was a confined prison filled with darkness and musty hay and foul smells (that's the only way it could be viewed from the outside as they had been locked inside it awaiting their deaths). The others began to see a different reality growing before their very eyes of a banquet table filled with food spread out before them. As these ate from the feast the dwarves were going nuts claiming they had all lost their senses, for even when one of their friends offered them some of the food they recoiled with disgust saying they had been given a piece of manure to eat. It was the same stuff, but to the one it was all pure and good ... to the other it was all bad.

When I started to reply I thought I had nothing to write! Thanks so much for asking the question.

Love, Jim

Comments

XIX. Of Grace

The plan of restoration to fallen men requires the grace of God, for no man upon becoming reconciled to God is perfect, but is contained with things, from which he requires cleansing. This is where the grace of God, the longsuffering and patience of God is revealed. The same grace is possessed by believers accordingly as they are perfected in same. When one has become reconciled to God his throne of judgment becomes a "throne of grace" (Heb. 4:16). At this time begins probation. The elect become the kingdom of grace under the patience and longsuffering of God, as the redemption of the soul-body is in progress from corruption to incorruption through the obedience of faith and God. When one revolts against the leadings of the holy Spirit, he is fallen from grace and also is guilty of rejecting the holy Spirit, which is not forgivable. This is obvious, for it is the Spirit that quickens and brings to life. Man, therefore, determines his own destiny by his own voluntary actions.

Grace is continuous. Since the righteousness of God is "revealed from faith to faith" by the Spirit of God, and "the just shall live by faith," (Rom. 1:17), as the standard of righteousness comes clearer to them, so it requires grace to fulfill same. Thus we must "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). "As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word that ye may grow thereby" (1 Pet. 2:2), that ye may "grow up into Him in all things" (Eph. 4:15). By faithfulness and humbleness on our part God's grace extends unto us to help us attain that which we have not attained, and this grace is shown by the works of His ministry and the presence of his holy Spirit.

Grace is to be manifested in people toward all others as it is to us through Christ Jesus. "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines, for it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace.""Heb. 13:9. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). "So might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 5:21).

Also ministers must acquire grace. Paul, lest he should be exalted through the abundance of the revelations, was given a thorne in the flesh, and he sought the Lord thrice for its removal, but the Lord answered him saying, "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:9).

I would like to get some comment on this. Ben was a great teacher and right on so many things. How does this set with you?
Jim A

theshovel's picture

Hello jjadams (aka Jim) :)

Let me comment on the following:

At this time begins probation ... Man, therefore, determines his own destiny by his own voluntary actions. BD Olsen

If we are saved by grace through faith, how are we then set on a course of probation that ends with our determining our own destiny by what we do? This doesn't sit too well with me. Do you particularly like this quote?

Jim

I posted it because I am questioning it. I am open. I spent 10 years with Ben. He had the power to "open scripture and cause me top understand". He claimed he received his message or ministry by revelation. He was far ahead of his time so to speak. I had long ago given up on OSAS. Then there is the subject of the second death or twice dead that Jude speaks of. I have no closure on this as of now.

theshovel's picture

Hello again, Jim :)

This will be quick, as I'll be heading off to work in a few minutes. I'll touch on it some more when I return. :)

I have found over the years that much of this same lack of closure (of which I still have many things sitting on the back burner, so to speak) has only led me to see Christ more clearly. Now, I know that sounds like a total contradiction, but the truth is that as I have simply left those nagging questions to God's own time, I discovered his overwhelming life and grace came through the back door. So often, I realized that as I was looking to nail down every point of confusion, I was actually reinforcing that confusion. I can only suspect that Ben was also working through his own confusion as the revelation of Christ came to him in the midst of very little support from his contemporaries. I've also looked back on my own "structure" of Christian teaching that I previously assumed I had to comment on, simply because it was "Biblical", and had to let it go. What has been left, after the shaking of that which can be shaken, is Christ. I've realized that it is okay to not have a lot of the answers I may think I have to have.

I will respond more when I get home from my day at Home Depot. :)

Jim Minker

theshovel's picture

Hello again, Jim :)

BD Olsen wrote:
"Also ministers must acquire grace. Paul, lest he should be exalted through the abundance of the revelations, was given a thorne in the flesh, and he sought the Lord thrice for its removal, but the Lord answered him saying, "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:9)."

God's grace was not something Paul needed to acquire but to recognize as being sufficient. We have grace because we have Christ, but we are often still looking for something else to stand in, something else to justify us toward ourselves and others. Listen to Paul's words on the matter:

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves;
(2 Corinthians 4:5-7)

We do already have this treasure, as he said, in these earthen vessels. And herein is the problem: it doesn't appear sufficient. That's why we will grasp at any evidence of God in us and try to use it to make these earthen vessels appear more adequate. But his strength is demonstrated best in our weaknesses, not in our strengths. It's backwards to everything that makes sense to the logic we learned in this world.

We are adequate, but we too often see ourselves as on probation, in part, because it seems to give us more motivation to continue on. But we are not on probation, we are complete in Christ. We just need to continually recognize that God's grace is enough for us. And He is faithful to keep bringing us around to see it afresh.

Jim

"We do already have this treasure, as he said, in these earthen vessels. And herein is the problem: it doesn't appear sufficient. That's why we will grasp at any evidence of God in us and try to use it to make these earthen vessels appear more adequate. But his strength is demonstrated best in our weaknesses, not in our strengths. It's backwards to everything that makes sense to the logic we learned in this world.

We are adequate, but we too often see ourselves as on probation, in part, because it seems to give us more motivation to continue on. But we are not on probation, we are complete in Christ. We just need to continually recognize that God's grace is enough for us. And He is faithful to keep bringing us around to see it afresh." "Jim"

THANK YOU FOR THAT! SO VERY ENCOURAGING!! :)

HUGS OF LOVE AND APPRECIATION! :) DIGNZ

I really liked what you have to say Jim.
I remenber years ago a guy i knew going on and on about those nasty police with there speed traps
and how all these people were being ticketed.
Well i knew this guy well enough to know he didnt really care about any body but himself and said to him i would think that the only one who would be up set is someone who was breaking the law.
And asked him if this was the case in which he replied that in truth mabey i was right.
I told him that the police doing there job never bothers me because i know they are doing it for our good.
I also said i even drive my car by faith not so much about obeying the law as just knowing that Christ is always with me and he prefers to not go over the speed limit.
And i prefer His company and so we agree to be at home with one another or should i say i prefer Him to be at home with me.
I find that when i always have the thought that Christ is with me at all times even the what we would call small things He will also be there when something we call much bigger arises.
Putting Him off for the after life alone never made much sense to me i needed to change i always wanted all the benefits that i seen were avalible to those who would believe.
I have found Him to be a constant campanion and friend more then the air i breath or any thing i have ever experinced he is more then all these things.
When we see God as Father through Christ there is nothing in the world to fear at all for He is greater then all things and His victory truley becomes ours in every way.

Dave.L

Jim,
This is one of those "classics" in my humble opinion.[and not just because I asked the original question either!] It has been on my mind soooo much lately. For it seems to be so connected to everything we have to face in this life as a Christian. Today I felt the Lord giving me insight into it. I began to see it connected to a phrase you made to me or someone about "the world has been made to be our training ground/camp". For the only way this is all connected is through he fact that WE are indeed the pure. I have also been having the thought run into my mind for about a month now that the confusing little scripture reference to unbelieving wives and children being "saved" or holy through the believing husband -that this ties into this too. For to me it seems he is saying that to the pure all things are indeed pure otherwise they would CAUSE US TO BE IMPURE! Everything we touch would harm us..but through Him all things are pure to us.

Adam

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