Saturday, July 24, 2004

Authority or Relationship pt 2

In the last few months I have been really venturing out into new territory for me.
I have always put authority and then relationship with Christ in that order. But lately I have been seeing more and more that there seems to be a split or a difference in the two on how one approaches God.
I do give this disclaimer…none of this is set in stone…. though solidifying.
My friend Levi who I have come to really enjoy our exchanges of ideas in the last few months has kind of put me on the spot…. that is cool. This forces me to be more diligent in developing this Authority vs. Relationship thought I have begun.

In his Blog he brought up Ephesians 5: 21 which I wrote about in my last Blog. The verse is “21. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

I believe as I said before this is core to the understanding of the relational aspect of Christ. But let’s back this whole chapter up a bit. At Verse 1,2 and 3.

1. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
2. and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Be imitators of God… dearly loved children. Right off the bat Paul teaches this whole chapter will be about relationship. That we are to relate to God as His children.
My first child is six months old…I never thought at such a young age I would be such an influence on him…but even at this young age he will try to imitate me…one of the games we play is Incredible Hulk…. I take on the Hulk stances and go GRRRRRRR! Fischer laughs and squeals and in his own way goes grrrrr! It is more like gwierewber! But like any parent, we hear what we want to. Hahahahahaha.

My point is God wants us to be like Him…. not as the Serpent claimed, (bing equal with God) but in a loving relationship that gives us humans a model to grow into.

What is God’s character? Exodus 34:5-8

5. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.
6. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
7. maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."
8. Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.

These words stand out…. compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love, and faithful, maintaining love to the thousands and forgiving...sin.
This is the Father character of God…but then we have the authority side.

But He does not leave the guilty unpunished…even to the point were because the wickedness which can go on for generations. God will give them all the authority they desire and sadly deserve.

Now here is the kicker…. I would venture to say this…. Moses had a relationship with the living God…Moses would argue and debate and challenge…. knowing full well who God was and is. Yet, He was allowed to do these things. Why? God loved him and he loved God.
Now here I will venture a bit out on a limb…this in a way goes contrary to all teachings I have been under…
Deut 11:22-23
I have read this but have not connected this verse in my mind to relationship with God.

22. If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow--to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him--
23. then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.

God tells the Hebrews to “love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him”
Love the LORD your God. Pretty simple command here…. but then He says this.

26. See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse--
27. the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28. the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.

The Blessings have always been connected to the ordinances of God…. but in the context we have the blessings connected to “love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him”.

But the curse comes if they disobeyed God “commands”.
First I see here the pattern of relationship vs. authority.
If they love God and have a relationship based on this love…. God is pleased and blessings will flow. NOT BASED ON JUST OBEDIENCE! BUT ON LOVE.

The Authority and curses kick in when there is no fellowship.
So God says, I am setting before you blessings and a curse.
Relationship or authority.

Back to Ephesians 5. A superficial reading would give one the impression Paul is then teaching “do’s and don’ts”, but in fact he is laying out that as a believers character is developed and one becomes more like our Father…the sinful things of the world become nothing in light of our relationship and become out of character with who we are and are becoming. This is much richer that having a list of don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew tobacco or date girls who do also.
Paul simply contrasts that we are to be like our Father… compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love, and faithful, maintaining love to the thousands and forgiving...sin.



John said...

Hi Iggy. I read your latest posting. You asked for comments. I have to say that I don't like it. I think is mostly wrong. If I were you, I wouldn't use it. But you already have. So that's okay. I'll explain why I'm saying is mostly wrong.

First, I recognize that that is the way 98% of all pastors and preachers would go about it. So if I say that is mostly wrong, then I would be saying that 98% of the church teachers and pastors would be wrong. Since most of them, including you would have prayed that their presentations be what God and the Holy Spirit would want them to be, then I recognize that I am mostly saying that the Holy Spirit has it mostly wrong. So, what I'm trying to say is that even when I say that you are mostly wrong in this specific piece of prose, I am also saying that you are in pretty good company. So don't feel bad.

Now, why am I saying this posting is mostly wrong? You simply can't do what you just did. But what you just did is what is commonly mostly done. So why do I say that you can't do what you just did? Because, if you do what you just did is going to come out like it did. And when this kind of interpretation comes out this way, it really mismanages and misinterprets the whole thing about 'God with us.'

You can't take the Bible and take a verse as simple as Ephesians 5:1 and create a complicated issue about God in the Old Testament and all of this complicated documentation and interpretations of verses that are not part of this at all. All of that stuff about the curses and the blessings and about the character of God as it can be interpreted from passage after passage is stuff that relates exclusively to those Israelites of that time and it cannot be transported and applied to the people of God in these times. These are two different times and places.

I know that you believe in God the Father, and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, but the God that Paul is taking about in verse 1 is Jesus. The only God that you can possible imitate is Jesus. You cannot for one instant imitate any other God but Jesus. Actually, even thought you believe in a Holy Trinity, the only God you must believe in because is the only God that has been revealed specifically for you to believe in is Jesus. To us, there is no 'God the Father' or 'God the Holy Spirit.' To us, there is only Jesus. Jesus is God. For Jesus, there was 'God the Father' and He did sent the Holy Spirit so that we would not die suffering in His absence. But the Holy Spirit is not our God. Jesus is our God. Jesus is the Name that has been provided for us by 'God' in which we can obtain 'salvation.' In this sense, what Paul is saying is very simple: 'Imitate Christ.'

All the other stuff about an intention to imitate the characteristics of the God of the Old Testament adds a lot of confusion. In other words, it starts making things revolve around you and your relationship with God. This is not what Jesus wants. Jesus do not want to see you being more knowledgeable or becoming a better Bible interpreter than the pastor down the next block. This is what we have now, the same that we have always had; competition about Bible interpretation.

In relation to Authority and Relationship. This is very simple. You don't need to much Bible reading or knowledge. The name Jesus is all the authority we have been given. This name gives you authority to become 'a god.' In the Name of Jesus you can claim to be 'a god.' As a god, you can imitate God, just like Paul is suggesting in verse 1. There is no othe authority that you have in this universe except the one that has been given to you - that is - The Name: Jesus.

In terms of relationship is the same thing. Jesus is the only relationship you and I have to 'God.' Jesus is the one - the only one - who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with Fire. Jesus baptized you and me with and in His blood, making you a co-participant - a co-god if you will - in His sufferings at the Cross and in His Resurrection. His baptism impregnated us with 'eternal life' - making you in fact a co-god: 'A son of God.' This is the power of the Name Jesus: to relate you to Him as He is Son - so are we now sons of God - in other words - we become in a similar quality like Jesus - 'one with God' or 'one with Jesus.'

There is no relationship you and I can speak of of you or I and a Father God or you or I and a Holy Spirit. The Father, who Jesus spoke frequently and prayed to, was His Father. The Holy Spirit that He sent in His Name was His Spirit - by which He comes to dwell with us - as it was promised: an Emmanuel, a Savior, a Messiah, a Yeshua = 'God with us.' This is a simple explanation because Joseph was not Jesus’ father. He was conceived in immaculate conception of the Holy Spirit. This explains how God or Jesus came to dwell among men. His Father was God, the Holy Spirit that impregnated Mary to create be fleshly body of Christ. The mystery is explained over and over in the relationship between Jesus and His Father and how His actions were a product of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Him.

To you and me, we have no way of relating to Jesus' Father, except through Jesus Himself. We cannot imitate God as you propose by going to the Old Testament for information and characteristics to imitate. But Jesus came to us that through the authority of His Name, His example, and through the relationship with His Spirit, we may become one - with Him - united in one Spirit - His Spirit, that is, Jesus Spirit. In this sense, everything that you may want to know or may know about Jesus' Father is or can be known only by the knowledge you receive in Jesus, i.e., being and becoming one in Jesus because is one with us.

What this means is that just because we have 5 or 10 Bibles in our homes and may be able to read them once or twice a day; that does not mean that Jesus changed the way he relates to you or me. He has not changed our relationship. Our relationship with Jesus is not through reading the Bible but rather by listening to what He has to tell us into our ears. It is what He says when you are with Him in your prayer closet that cements or articulates the relationship between you and God = Jesus. After which you will receive the authority of His Name: Messiah Yeshua.

I hope this will help you. If it does not help you now, maybe one day you will understand it. It is very difficult to understand that it is Jesus and not the Bible what must be the center of our Christian walk. But the Name: Jesus in itself becomes a stumbling block. The devil prefers for us to become Bible experts than Jesus experts, because if one Jesus did and has done so much to change lives and life conditions in this planet, what would many Jesus' would be able to carry out to work against the kingdom of darkness, self-centerness and hate. But by becoming Bible experts we stop listening to Jesus' voice and what He speaks to us in our secret closet.

It is very important that the Old Testament remains the Old Testament. The Old Testament is mainly good to reveal to us how Jesus was revealed through God actions and the object was and is to help the Israelites be able to accept Jesus as Messiah Yeshua. But the Israelites for the most part continue to reject Jesus as the Messiah. They mostly prefer to wait for one with a much better ability to command the submissions of the Nations to the land and influence of the people of Israel. But once we have come to believe in Yeshua as our Savior, the whole object of our walk is to make the words of Yeshua the center of our attention. That means we must listen to what He has to say to us in our secret closet or prayer room. He is with us; and He, only He is our glory and we glory only in Him.


iggy said...

Thank you for your comments, yet I think yo missed the essence what I wrote.
First. God is a triune being and is whole...He wants us to be a whole being.
Second. Jesus said I and the Father are One...
and then said we are One in Him. This means the Word who was the very nature and representation of the Father speaking only what the Father says, telling us to relate to God as a whole being...If we just relate to "Jesus" we miss out on all who God is.
I see God who spoke to Moses, related to the Hebrews on the level "they" wanted...not what God wanted.
He desired them to related how He wanted....thus He later sent Jesus.
Again, thankw for your comments. I do reccomend you
re-read my post and think not on terms of a modern Authority mindset, but in a relational mindset.

John said...

Hi Iggy. Look, it doesn't help you if you try to justify your posting. You can do that in any number of ways. You can say that I missed the essence of your ideas and that I'm wrong and you are right and you go back to being a happy camper. Most people in any number of endeavors, shopping, camping, touring, and in conversations do miss the majority of what surrounds them because they focus their attention only on what is exclusively their interest.

If you think that you are right then that would be the end of the conversation. If as you say, God is a triune being based on those few passages and some others you pulled and interpret from the Bible in the standard format you have been taught; then you are right in your opinion and being right is a good thing, even for the majority of people who strive and spend their life on a quest for being right.

Maybe you will not learn anything else in life from here on forward and then maybe you learn something new on a daily basis. Is up to you. If you learn something new on a daily basis you will find that learning does changes you. That means that as you change, you transform, you are not the same. That means that what you believe today will not be the same as what you would believe tomorrow, because change causes change and transformation by definition constitutes difference.

If you want to continue to believe that you need to pray to the Father, in the name of the Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit then no one on earth can change that. I still do exactly that because it is very difficult to change habits that were taught over half a century of schooling. But in my heart, that is all fading away. You need to look and read and understand and get into the words of Messiah Yeshua, and to listen to what He has to say to you, not only as you read His words out of the Bible but what He may say to you in your ear. Don't get confused by what you have learned about God from before. Look exactly at what He says. Forget Paul, forget Peter and John and Timothy and all the others. Look specifically at what Messiah Yeshua says. His words are life and truth. If you are offended by the words of Yeshua or my words then you have the problems of the Pharisees. You refuse to change because you already have a believe that looks perfectly right to you. Why change if you already are in possession of the truth?

Don't get hung up in the Old Testament. That's the story of the Jewish people in their quest to establish themselves as God worshipers. God does not need to be worshiped now. Be concern with Messiah Yeshua. He is God. Yeshua does not asks you to worship Him but to believe in Him and to follow Him. The father in which you believe so much commanded specifically to listen to Him. If you so much desire to obey the Shema (Deut 6:4), then obey Him by listening to His Son, whom He sent, specifically to show you "the Father." So if you have seen and know Jesus, then you know the Father. If you believe Jesus, then you are worshiping the Father, because these are the kinds of worshipers God seeks - those who worship in spirit and truth. But don't be mistaken, you will know nothing about the Father except what you would know through Jesus. So by definition and interpolation, you will never know anything about the Father. What revelation about God there is you will find in Messiah Yeshua. He is God and all the God you will ever know. Worshiping God is following Jesus and nothing else counts. Or do you think God takes pleasure in the songs and hymns and all the bla, bla, bla of a church worship service and a 3 point well prepared and delivered sermon?

If you think you will know God by reading the Torah and obeying His commandments which He ordained in the Torah then you are blind and will never know the truth. The commandments of God in the Torah are impossible to obey. Don't kid yourself, it does not matter how much you try, you will never fill the bill and requirements in the Torah. But if you want to, be my guest. Please, do the Torah. Do it as much as you can and as best as you can, because in so doing you will harm no one except yourself. To save you from the Torah and the weight of your sins, Yawhe, Adonai, Elohim, sent Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua is 'God with us.' He is the one who saves you from your sins. And on a daily basis, He saves you from your fears, your diseases, the terror of the night, from hunger and thirst and from the sting of death. In the Name: Yeshua there is not only Salvation but 'Eternal Life.'

Don't be afraid of abandoning your beliefs and following Messiah Yeshua. If you look closely at the Gospels, He bids you: Follow Me. Don't follow Paul, or Peter or John or James. Follow Messiah Yeshua. He is the Lord - Adonai - Yahwe.

You will never see God nor understand Him or His ways. Yet in His mercy, God:Yeshua came to show you God. If you want to imitate God, then be like Messiah Yeshua. There is now no other name under the sun given to men but Yeshua = Jesus. He is my glory in whom I trust.


iggy said...

I think you have made some assumptions about me and my beliefs that have you making some very basic misunderstandings about my post. I am not defending it as you contend...I asked you to re read it in the mindset I wrote it.
1. I believe Jesus is the Living Word of God...
I believe though, you miss that the trinity is relational and each person in it relates in a different way...I see as God is relational...we His creation are also.
2. I never set myself up nor said I was a Biblical said that...for some reason...
3. Your tone is very condesending and though I appreciate your comments, I have read and re read both of you comments and even wonder if you read my post...or understood it.
4. These are deveoping thoughts, John, in embrionic state. I have much more to develop here...
5. I think part of the issue is you make an assumption I am just starting in Ephesians 5...nope I really started in Genesis and have gone thruogh the whole see Jesus is present on every see, this though is really about that...Jesus. Who is what the scripture is all about.
6.john, A crituque is very different from what you gave have gone into debate. I am willing to do this.But, still if we are to dialoge you need to let me know who you are....It is like you have jumped out of my closet...shook your fist and then disappeared back into the shadows...
I am not convince you really caught the nuances of what I I said you seemed to have made some wrong assumptions of me and who I am and responded to the post without really getting it...this is not a cop but legit. If I see that you do not understand,or feel you have misrepresented me or what ever...then I have the right to respond and say we are not truly comunicating.
Agian I read you comments...and saw it condesending and very much guilty of the accusations leveled toward me.
John I am not angry but to how you came to your conclusions...not about the blog...but about me.
again thanks for the comments.

leviathen said...


i would have to agree with iggy, you seem to be retortign in a very condsending way. your arguemants are valid but seem to be circular. confusing. i would say that as a person seeks to know christ you cannot invalidate those conclusions he comes too. for it is in the process that we are to be like christ.

for you, your process and conclusions may be different than iggy's. i find your post to be ...... offensive. i u nderstand that you have your way of thinking, but you will never convince anyone of your arguements when disertated with an air of "I'm Right, your Wrong"