By: Martin Cisneros
The Lord's mercies are over all of His works.
Some point to the experiences that they've had since departing the womb of their mothers as alleged proof against a Father of Mercies; a Loving God of all Comfort. But who of us is sufficient in our hearts (which betray us all of the time) and in our intellects (which, generally speaking, have little beyond what others around us have taught us) to discern what eternal mercies are, the means necessary for their eternal communication, and the ends necessary to reach the place where the mercies of God's accomplishment overlap the seeds of mercy with which God began our souls?
Mercy over all of His works is another thing entirely from His works continually interpreting those mercies as perpetual (and even vain) comforts to the first stage of their interpretive faculties, namely their flesh and emotions which are necessarily limited by the degrees of the divine light that have broken through it from within and from outside of itself [in such a relatively short time period thus far].
His mercies being "over" all of His works not only teaches us that His mercies must be grasped from above, but that the direction of all of Creation is necessarily upward in the purposes of God by whatever means of divine friction and convulsion is necessary to achieve those mercies being inherited from within the center of the Creation that God appeals towards --that part, which scandleous as it may seem that-- has never left God as it's center because:
"...through Him are all things..." according to Romans 11.
Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth: He loveth and chasteneth all with the intent of both individual and public holiness;
The Bible teaches that the fall of Creation was the downfall of the family unit. God as Father of all is working to remedy an evil which is universal: that of the broken family.
As long as there's a single soul who's not yet found perfect communion with the Father of all through Christ, then God's plan of Redemption is yet in motion; still to be continued; and completed.
He'll never stop punishing pride, shattering illusions and self-delusions, until the conclusion of every matter is the 100% surrender of every life through Christ to God. All of God's punishments are humbling, eye opening, and surgical towards the end of meeting what's yet deficient in the human equation with regard to it's understanding of it's place and it's manners at the table of God.
We will all partake of holiness, no matter how unpallitable any of us regards the eating of our spiritual "greens". Man being created in the image of God is only "human" when he's like His true and eternal Father. All that is not essentially divine in any person is therefore inhuman, in the eternal and in the original scheme of things, and therefore destined for expulsion from that person.
Isn't vomiting painfully uncomfortable?
The word "Gospel", itself, means good news rather than good conditions or good promises.
The Gospel concerns/announces Christ as the Seed of David and the Seed of Abraham, His atoning and ransoming Blood, His mediation ministry as Prophet, Priest, and King and promises His return as Prophet, Priest, and King to Whom every knee will [eventually] bow and acclaim His Lordship and His praises.
Christ taught against partiality and inordinate respect of persons and assured all of His intent to both draw all to Himself and to LEAVE the 99 secured sheep to rescue His one lost sheep.
Christ was so committed to His purpose and if you'll pardon the expression, He was so "intolerant of incompetency" that when it came to His Father's purposes that He assured those who tried to maintain partiality and exclusivity that the Priesthood of the Kingdom would surely be stripped from their hands and given to those with a heart for those who had been forgotten by religious people.
We're assured of the ultimate universality of the victory of the unchanging/unyielding Christ in Scripture.
The Gospels assure us of the Resurrected Christ being given all Authority both in heaven and in earth, while St. Paul assures us that what's YET outside of His grasp must come into His possession in the fullness of time.
Enough can not be said about repentance. It is the command of Scripture. It is the first principle of solid faith, healing, prosperity, and sanctification. When it comes to the word "repent," you can think of "-pent" as being the highest standard, or level of living, such as in the word "penthouse." "Re-" is an obvious prefix that means "again." It can be thought of as an abbreviated form of "repeat." So, repentance isn't merely a personal subjugation before the commands of the deity. It is a return to a higher level of living. It is a return to a higher level of living with Christ rather than a deeply infirmed "new year's resolution." It is genuine and absolute. It's an about face on all that you've considered your long-term goals, if that series of goals didn't originate from your relationship with Christ Jesus, and your relationship to the Scriptures.
The physical will follow the spiritual. If we've returned to the highest standards of living morally and spiritually, then all that remains is to tap into the wisdom of God by faith for both one's self and for the angels of God that are sent to minister in your particular life for you as an heir of salvation (Hebrews chapter 1:14). Ephesians chapter 3 says that angels receive God's wisdom through believers in Christ, while the first chapter lays out the pattern for receiving wisdom for one's self through prayer. We don't pray to angels. Our prayers are to the Father in the Name of Jesus Christ, but our appeals for wisdom need to be broader to include those that we perceive as promised by God to work in our lives the plan of redemption (Psalm 91, Psalm 103)! The prayer of faith that's nurtured with thanksgiving, humility, praise, worship, etc., in the behalf of the meeting of our own needs, needs to be prayed with the same fervent ambition for the angels that are all around us to know exactly what to do step by step in their part of bringing you from where you are to where you need to be. You still have your part in obeying God; loving the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, body, and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself.
There needs to be a mass exodus from the newspaper into the lands of promise in the Bible. Nothing else matters in the least except for what God has commanded and promised of each of us.
Love will find a way when you are truly crucified with Christ!
When sin is as vile to us as it is to God, then anything that doesn't proceed from love will not be tolerated from within us. True love can clear the temple of irreverent merchandizers with a whip swinging in every direction, while at the same time it can say from a bloody cross, "Father, forgive them. They honestly don't know what they're doing!" True love can curse the unbelief of a disciple while still praying for them all night - blessing them - and feeding them, putting ears back on that they've chopped off in a moment of panic. And then true love can go all of the way to make sure that they have access to all of God's best.
All things are possible when they've been started with repentance and solidarity of heart with Christ!
This whole thing is getting so close to "that time" that I'm really not wanting to do anything any more that could in any way weaken or compromise my anointing for doing ministry in the coming ages. I'm starting to wonder if Paul's comment about "not inheriting the kingdom" over this or that, that we've not conquered in our flesh might perhaps be something that would take place by degrees, with worst case scenarios being those that wouldn't rule and reign with Christ at all, while a lot of others will be working out creation's salvation with fear and trembling, but under a much weaker anointing than we might have otherwise worked with. The book of Hebrews refers to the anointings we now walk in as a foretaste of the powers of the coming ages of grace.
Might the glories of the coming eons in which as star differs from star in glory possibly be a reference to some of us having an easier time than others with manifesting those "good things to come" than others will have with working with hardened, unrepentant sinners? If there are as many beings in all of Creation as some have hypothesized, then might God be not as ready to excuse as many of us from active duty in that time period as some of us have previously thought the Scriptures were saying? Could the rewards/punishments system for believers be a thing that, though manifested in the next life is yet something that is worked out in this life, as far as how far we allow the Holy Spirit to equip us for useful service? Could it be that though we come to this or that level of outworked grace in our lives in this life, that the whole basis for the ease or difficulty of our ministries in the ages to come will be determined by whether or not we fully yeilded to the Holy Spirit in this life?
St. Paul does seem to beg us to offer ourselves up as living sacrifices to the Lord. Whatever else is involved in Paul's begging us towards that end, holiness seems strongly implicit in that clarion call. Jesus does say that in view of what God has for you in the coming ages, that it would be better to mutilate your flesh rather than your calling in the next life. What glories yet await us, so that the Bible can call "light affliction which is but for a moment" the absolute worst that this age can throw at us, or the absolute worst than we may have to throw at ourselves in submitting to the crucified life?
I'm starting to agree with the idea of a rapture again, but on a different level. I had backshelved it for a while as the ravings of fundamentalism and not from any strength of arguments against it that I'd bumped into anywhere.
I'm starting to see it as a particular moment in time (RAPTURE) when the souls of the general Body of Christ will be caught up, (i.e. instead of their bodies) when the blindness upon those Gentiles that are grafted into Israel will be lifted and they'll be on the same page with us regarding the Restitution of all things.
I was listening to Kenneth Visscher's audio materials on the greater-emmanuel.org website, and he got on the thing I've heard being kicked around by some Christian Universalist folks about no literal bodily rapture and I felt like I had an opening of my eyes in a totally different direction from anything that Kenneth was saying: a catching up of the understanding of the Body of Christ, those in their graves having their eyes opened first, then we which are "alive and remain" having the rest of our understanding opened.
I've heard of too many near death experiences with Christians where they went UP rather than DOWN, and when they came back, their understandings were no nearer where we'd understand the dispensation of the fullness of the times than before they went up for a while. Paul called it a testimony for due time, which I'm starting to reevaluate the context of that statement. Paul said that to, for the sake of clarity, "clergy." It was written to Timothy, but in such a way where Paul didn't dogmatize upon that as fully as we might have liked. It's as if he left it for a "testimony to be given in due time." He did say to command and teach these things, but how many millions of Christians have read that over the last 1500 years that haven't seen that with the clarity that we would be inclined to think that they ought to?
Jesus refered to it in John 16 as "all truth," which He couldn't personally open up to the twelve, but had to leave for an appointed hour with the ministry of the Holy Spirit within them. Paul said that he completes the written revelation of Jesus Christ, but his "for due season" seems to be growing to me too far into the direction of "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; at the last trumpet" (or the last of the unveilings to the Body of Christ that had to be unveiled prior to a unity of perspective on this one final bit of good news).
This is still growing to me, so if my argument isn't persuasive yet, chalk it up to still working out my thought processes regarding what I genuinely believe I've just seen from the Lord. And if this is more than something to take with a grain of salt, then I'll probably have more to say about it soon by email or other means.
So, should we share in the rapture frenzy/excitement of our fundamentalist Christian brethren, though with a different object of revelation/manifestation in mind than what they're understanding to be their being "caught up" at any given moment? Might make for some interesting bumper stickers instead of the cheezy "in case of rapture, the car's yours" ones I've seen (and personally thought were cheezy back when I was on the same page with them 70% to 80% of the way):
Yes, God's about to snatch us up, some of us more aggressively than others, by the hair of the head and slap the foolishness out of our mouths, minds, and Gospel tracts!
"This is THE love of God: that we keep His commandments..." God's love isn't "live and let live." He shows no partiality, respect of persons, etc. What's the love of God in one person's life is (generally speaking) what the love of God in someone else's life is going to look like. God only has one way of relating to anyone: bring them to the place of obedience. Period. That's it. Some people "get with the program" sooner than others and experience the "holiness and happiness" that some of the 18th and 19th century Universalists talked about being the inheritance of mankind. Others, God will make to twist and squirm, and to perhaps (in the words of the Old Testament Prophets) come with trembling, shame, and as a loathing to all flesh so that they'll know that He alone is the Lord. How many times does it say in Ezekiel that God will bring shame and condemnation upon certain groups of people, so that they'll KNOW that He is the Lord? How many Christians fail to see the countless promises throughout the Old Testament regarding to whom the knowledge of the Lord is promised? So many times that the Lord says that He's going to do so many awesome and in some cases frightening signs, so that the wicked will never again open their mouths and so that they'll KNOW the Lord. It just says it straight out, even in the King James Bible, that I'm astonished that I never saw it earlier than I did (5 years ago) for the first time. So many judgments foretold against the false gods, and why is that? So that eternal punishment will be true? No, but so that the plank that Jesus talked about will be slapped away from the eyes of the people!
How I wish I'd have heard the judgments of God preached in this light when I was a child in the Assemblies of God and would go home from church week after week, and not be able to sleep TOTALLY SCARED TO DEATH OF GOD! The judgments promised in the Scriptures would have taught me to love God had they been presented in this manner:
"(upon reading through some of the passages that some churches are particularly crafty at using to impart fear), now according to these Scriptures that we've read tonight, and according to what we know of Jesus and of His Gospel, God will do whatever it takes to get through to you. If He ever has to deeply embarass you and shock others with the secrets of your heart on judgment day, it'll only be done to the degree that is necessary to break down all of your defenses; to break down all of your walls that your life has made you build between yourself and God. When all of the cards are finally on the table, and the hearts of all of the proud are devastated, He's going to point to the cross, tear up the record that stood against you, and take you in His arms, and He'll never ever let go - EVER!"
His mercies never ever fail of their intended ends.