It is not only an obstacle to germination and growth when birds snatch the sowed seed away, there is also the emboldment of the birds. This is a panel from the Parable of the Sower. We have to connect demons with the uninformed person and the uninformed person with the law. It is to the devil’s interest for people to be either in possession of no truth or in possession of something they think is the truth.
When any one hears the Message of the Kingdom without understanding it, the Evil One comes and snatches away what has been sown in his mind. This is the man meant by the seed which was sown along the path. Matthew 13:19
Who is guilty of misunderstanding the Messianic message? First there are Jews: Messiah was born in their midst. Then there are the rest of us who either follow the Jews or create our own corrupt imaginations instead of believing the liberating good news.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.Romans 3:19-20
“People under law” is very specific and cannot be interpreted as anything but “sinners”. They are the only people for whom the law was written or given. Condemnation is not God’s active work: it is ours by rejecting the path of faith in the only satisfaction (propitiation). Condemnation is not the result of misbehavior (sin, missteps, transgression, or rebellion): the unbelief we harbour keeps us out of God’s rest.
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men-stealers , for liars, for promise breakers, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 1 Timothy 1:9-11
We can always reverse our choices: Tables of Condemnation or Rest in the Way, Truth and Life.
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. Revelation of John 15:2
This is a precious graphic to me. I relate, even now in this life, to the guitar (harp κιθαρα, kithara,) possession, but more salient are the songs the victorious sing.
And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Revelation of John 15:3
Moses’ Song and the Lamb’s Song
That had better be two songs, because Moses and Yeshua are not identical twins. If the song of each is to be related to achievement Moses has a failed and eclipsed law and Lamb has his laid down and retrieved life, guaranteeing salvation to believers, and sealing the promise with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- All day talk about God dnmoc
- Calling Jesus “Lord” dnmoc
- Calling Jesus “king” dnmoc.
- Joining a carefully chosen church dnmoc.
- Using Jesus’ name – to perform miracles, to exercise demons, and to do wonders – dnmoc.
- Pledging obedience dnmoc
We should not be surprised to find that many Christian communities are estranged from Christ. There are things that unequivocally disqualify followers, of which eminently are:
- More Moses than Jesus doctrine
- Secondhand witnesses (vs apostolic witnesses)
Sin – one hundred or one, committed – does not make a person of less or more value to God. In fact, the “one lost sheep” swamps the Shepherd’s attention!
Good works do not make a person of less or more value to God. There are no kudos for doing our duty.
And so with you–when you have done all that you have been told, still say ‘We are but useless servants; we have done no more than we ought to have done.'” Luke 17:10
All that we can add to “BELIEVE AND CONFESS the death and resurrection of Christ” is pollution and mutilation. Like the attempt to sneak circumcision into the Way, pronouncements about salvation over and above Believe and Confess are oppressive, deceptive, and damnable. We know that nothing saves but Lamb’s blood.
The thought that one of the people exercising authority in your faith community and shaping lives may be unconverted should terrify us and comfort us because of the benefits to victims of demon-possession and medical illness.
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
In Matthew 10:1 we learn that authority over demons, sickness and disease can be a phenomenon outside of Christian conviction.
At the end of Luke’s gospel Peter is still unconverted and it must be acknowledged that this is the case for all of them since conversion requires Christ to give the Holy Spirit so that one can become a child of God.
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:32
One does not even need to be in the group of Christ followers. The case of the strange exorcist illustrates this.
And John answered him, saying, Master,we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. Mark 9:38-39
We can expect unconverted people to be a part of this phenomenon in the 2nd millennium after Pentecost. Sobering and highly and disturbing.
The remedy to tiny, washed up and worn out tweets is not larger, more fact-free shouts.
He will not wrangle or raise His voice, nor will His voice be heard in the broadways.
Imagine processing at the same time the glow of your last kiss, now hours old, and along with that, the four appointments later today, the five questions you are hoping God will answer, the pain in your knee, and the latest murder of innocents using fully automatic weapons. As we are imagining ourselves thinking through these life slices would we not wake up to our limited vision and inability to multitask? That pizza of things past, present, and future is not real, and does not happen.
When we get led into all truth we had better not consider ourselves in possession of anything more than a drop in the ocean of intimate knowledge of the Son of God, even though he did clothe himself with humanity and left a fourfold view of his time in the flesh.
Of all the things or persons we know only one thing/person drags us out of death into life. With that life in town comes a full database of “need to know”, as a Samaritan woman expected.
The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. John 4:25
That delivery of knowledge is affirmed by Christ. He holds back nothing.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 15:15
It is good to remind ourselves that a conflict is raging around us. My war will always be on the side of oppressed people. Joining the people who are losing their grip on robbery and bribery is just not in the cards. Caesar’s moves are in service of idolatry. We know that. So we are not drawing new lines between sacred and secular authority, and are committed to being harmless as doves and wise as serpents.
We only mess up character by putting the things we want out front at the wrong time or too often. Desires – lusts – war against life. We know the joyful sound. Dying daily, wrestling our passions over to Christ’s example is we will find ourselves victoriously on the offensive.
Dear friends, I urge you, as pilgrims and strangers upon earth, to refrain from indulging the cravings of your earthly nature, for they make war upon the soul. 1 Peter 2:11
The church has no secret agenda. Much of what goes on is public. While the official gatherings are designed for both vested and other interests they are of optimum benefit only to the member and any initiate to the faith.
Honest conduct (with food and drink, clothing and circumspection, other people and prayer) with Christ as star of the show, is what we envision as vibrant and abundant life. We cannot dump that “prosperity is abundance” idea soon enough.
When the gospel is toyed with – not accepted- we cannot use it when we run into trouble.
I love the gospel’s thrust and plunge: this piece of armor, the shoes, 👞👠, covers everywhere we go. We travel with good news shoes.
And with the readiness to serve the Good News of Peace as shoes for your feet. Ephesians 6:15