Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wolf Days

They called it the Wolf Days. It was the two weeks of the year when the days were short and the dark reigned. Snow would accumulate and the days could be freezing cold. Not that I bothered. I had been roaming the region a month. I knew most of the people fairly well by now. It was a small and close knit society. The area was former Indian territory. The small ridge to the west of the little town had been a sacrificial site to the gods. In those times Indians from a wide area had gathered for the annual ceremonies.

The young generation was more or less oblivious to what had taken place on that hill. None of the older people talked much about it either. Fifty years had passed since the last time there had been any activity among the pine trees. Then a devoted group had tried to rekindle the old traditions. Blood had been spilled and most of those involved were still languishing in jail. Their attempt to recreate the old mystery sect had of course occurred during the Wolf days. I had been one of those who had witnessed the mess they had caused.

The legend had it that it was during those weeks that the wolves assumed human shape and mingled with the native Indians. The wolves abducted small children who they intended to raise as their own. The weakest ones would become food for the perpetually hungry wolves. The Indians came to believe that the wolves' behavior was induced by evil spirits. They had thus initiated rituals which they believed would mitigate the spirits. Now things were stirring again, and only a few struggled against what might become a new era in the district's rather dull history. I was there to overview everything, and take care of the troublemakers.

I had carefully made my preparations for the mission I was to undertake . My six knifes were sharpened. Each of them had a unique elaborate pattern carved in the handles. I knew every one of them intimately. I knew how they felt in my hand. I knew how they balanced in my palm, and I had tossed them thousands of times until I could hit a target with the most astounding precision. No wonder I had been commissioned the task. I was after all one of the most experienced, and had a long record of handling possible trouble very efficiently.

Late evening would provide the perfect timing. Most people would be tired after a long day and their guard would be down. Many years in the business had provided me with the necessary insight in when to strike. The person I had appointed my first victim had annoyed me immensely since my arrival. I hated everything he represented, and it would be a pure joy to cripple him. The thought made me elevated, and gave my existence a sense of purpose.

The moon was full, the air was crisp, and it was quiet inside their house. The kids were sleeping. He was reading, and his wife was down in the basement folding laundry. Not that it would have mattered if they were together. I would have accomplished my mission without any hesitation anyway. Circumstances couldn't stop me now. My favorite knife was lying steadily in my palm. I wasn't nervous. I believed this would be as easy as usual. Most of them were ignorant of the truth. As I entered the room I quietly positioned myself in front of him. He apparently didn't recognize my presence.

The knife's name was Condemnation. I tossed it with all my might aiming at his heart. To my astonishment the knife hit something resembling an invisible wall, and fell to the floor without doing any harm to the man in the chair. Then he opened his mouth and the power of the word he uttered hit me with a force prior unknown to me. My other knives mystically dissolved, and I stumbled backwards shaken by the impact. Then he said it again, and in an instant my hands and feet were in chains, and I knew I was damned.

The young man had whispered Jesus twice.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Sight

It was the seventh time that morning that he studied his face in the mirror. Neither this time could he find any traces of what he thought he had caught a glimpse of when his drowsy face had been reflected in the bathroom mirror just after he had left the warm quilt. Yes, he had taken a drink or two too many last evening. This had become a bad habit, he knew that much. But, after his wife had left with their two kids he had turned to alcohol for solace. Last evening had not been an exception.

There had been many a night where the excruciating pain had rendered him in a fetal position. The stupor helped him to forget. He still managed to carry out his work in a reasonably satisfactory way. The job which he had loved and which he had given himself to was now nothing more than a mean to pay his bills. The long hours had slowly but surely ruined his marriage.

He had been more curious than scared this morning. Now, however, he considered the whole experience as nothing more than an impression constructed by a brain affected by a bad hangover. All the same, he couldn't quite let it slip. He had had mornings like this before where his head had been numb from a night's alcohol intoxicated sleep, and when he woke nothing in particular had occurred. The more he pondered it the more difficult it became to pinpoint exactly what he had seen, or where he had seen it.

He went to work after two mugs of coffee. His breath was probably a lethal weapon, but he didn't care. He would be working alone in his office until lunch when he would grab a sandwich at the café around the corner. From then on there would be several dull and tedious meetings in which he was obliged to attend. What he found peculiar during the day was how differently people now responded to him, more friendly in a way. As far as he could see he acted as usual. He was the customary uninspired self.

At home he microwaved his dinner and placed himself in front of the television. He had found a station that was broadcasting something which they called the grace gospel. He had never been a religious man, but the way those people presented the gospel had caught his attention. Last evening they had spoken about accepting Christ, and he had followed along as they had prayed something they called the salvation prayer. He hadn't felt any different afterwards, and had thus renounced everything as a moment of foolishness. This evening the headline was Christ living in you. He watched a couple of minutes before he switched to a sports channel. He felt as though they had let him down.

The evening passed as usual until the urge for a glass of something became too strong. He went to the bathroom to empty his system before he would fill it up again with liquids that would render him unconscious of this world's hardships. He cast a casual glance in the mirror as he went past, and then he saw it again. It was in his eyes. It was as somebody was inside him peeking through his pupils. Then it struck him. Well, to be more precise; it was more like a revelation. In his eyes he saw Christ. The one he had invited inside the previous day had now found a dwelling place within him, and he knew somehow that from now on everything would change.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God (Col 1:10).

This is just one of many examples in the scriptures where the believer is encouraged to grow in knowledge of God. It is then reasonable to assume that our perceptions of God are both lacking and biased until we get to know Him better. When we attempt to make a consistent theology about God we often run into something which apparently seems as a insurmountable problem. If God is love why are there so much evil in this world, and if He is good how can we then understand all the Old Testament passages which literally are flooded in blood?

It might seem as we are faced with the same question as Adam and Eve in garden. Is God really trustworthy? Is He who He claims to be? There is no doubt that the evil one attempts to question God's character whenever the possibility arises. If God is love, how could that wonderful family loose their kid? We can all hear the echo of this question ring in our consciousness.

Two scriptures are very relevant in this context. Jesus said, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9). And, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation (Col 1:15). From this we can infer that an examination of Jesus will provide us with ample information about God and His character. We find that during Jesus' short period among man He was preoccupied with doing good. His main concern was restoring, alleviating and healing the human race from its sufferings under a malign system. This also became His destiny, because it "pleased" God to crucify His own son for a better good, our salvation.

We are now treading on rough ground. Found God it pleasing to punish His beloved son, or was it the solution to man's salvation He found pleasing? This is an important question we must examine. Isn't it likely that He who works everything to good for those who love Him, finds the opportunity to turn something which seems evil into something good pleasing? The devil machinated Jesus' death, but God found it pleasing because He could turn it into something good.

Let us return to the Old Testament. Can we understand the scriptures with human wisdom? Can we interpret all the passages in the Old Testament literally? Paul says,
"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words" (1 Cor 2:13). If so, we can assume that to much of what we apply a literal approach can only be acknowledged through spiritual lenses. Many OT passages thus become passages that provide us with tools to understand our spiritual walk and life. The narratives become more than mere historical facts.

There are many things in this world which we do not understand. When we search the scriptures for answers we are often faced with seemingly impossible paradoxes. This issue about God's kindness in a wide context also easily rises contention among brothers and sisters. Many has experienced very difficult times, and there are many opinions on the matter. If we do not approach this with wisdom and love we can easily rip open old wounds, and even be perceived as callous.

My simple solution to this is that I walk not according to appearances, but faith. If God says He is love then my simple solution is to accept His word as the ultimate truth. I have also discovered that when I encounter paradoxes which are beyond the capacities of my human mind I am drawn towards God who is my security in a world which I do not quite understand. Paul says that "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us" (1 Cor 2:12). God's principle objective in this world is to make us understand grace, what He has given us and who we are in Him.

There have been written several volumes on this issue, so this note can by no means do the subject justice. Steve McVey has, though, written some insightful blog articles on this.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Free Will?

In the garden the first man could select fruit from every tree, except one. He enjoyed full liberty within a system of boundlessness, because He was in God who Himself is limitless. The first man could choose according to his own free will among the fruits from the trees in the garden. He also had the option to move outside the limit, that is, God, and eat from the forbidden fruit. However, immediately he did so he fell out of God and the boundlessness God offered in Him.

When the first man chose outside God his options became severely restricted, because he could now only choose within the realm of the evil one. In addition he was given the illusion that he now had an entirely free will, since he had left God. He believed the lie that God was the one who had sat boundaries for him. Moreover, man became a slave of the evil one. Not entirely, obviously, since Jesus could ask the blind man in Mark 10.51, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man had the opportunity to accept Jesus and by that be restored.

There is more to this story than being able to see in the material realm. The point is that as long as we are outside God we are blind to the realities of the spiritual world. When Jesus is revealed to us by His father we are brought into a position where we can choose to enter God's kingdom. We are reinstated into the Garden where we again can enjoy the freedom in our Father, now healed from our blindness.

When Jesus says in Matt 16:25: "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it", he offers man a solution to his predicament. He says that as long as you are not in me you are living in an illusion of liberty and free will. There is only in me true liberty can be found. In me you can exercise both your true humanity and your true spirituality. When you are in me you are a perfect expression of me and I am living the new life as you.

Outside Jesus there is no free will. Even the fact that He is our redeemer must be revealed to us. We find in the scriptures that Paul and the other NT writers often addressed the you in us when they sketched the outlines of the new life. It might seem like the Apostles regarded the saints as in a position to make choices according to their new identity. But, there are limitations, because "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive." says Paul in 1 Cor 10:23.

Do we have a free will? To me there might seem as I have a free will. However, God is all in all. As a new creation I am in my Father and He is in me. He lives His life as me. In this context He is the life-giver and sustainer of everything. In His grace He might have given me a free will within the boundaries of Him, which anyway provide limitless opportunities to live. What is important is to take the leap of faith and believe that we have yielded to His will and that we are as He is in this world. So, if I by faith has given up my own will, I have found it according to Matt 16:25.

As you are well aware of now I am reasoning in circles, and I am encountering paradox after paradox. My final conclusion is that this is an enigma, and I truly don't know whether I have a free will or not. Anyway, this is just my musings on the subject.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (Rev 21:4)

When God creates a new earth and a new heaven all the things which have made life difficult will be gone. Frank Friedman said in a sermon; "We are designed for the garden." But, for now our mortal bodies are still in this world. When we are sojourners in an environment we are not designed for we will either perish or reign. There is only One who can encounter tribulations unperturbed. And it is His power which enables us to reign in a hostile environment.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. (Col 1:9-11)

God's power builds character in us. A character which face everything this world has to offer with a supernatural joy. God is all in all, and He is the sustainer of everything. Why is He sustaining a world which evidently is evil? Isn't it because of His patience with the disobedient? Isn't it because He wants everyone to be saved? God is in control. We can by faith see His hand in everything. His eternal purposes are beyond us. When the scripture says He is love our only option is to believe this, and as we come to know Him we know He is love. And it is His love which carries us through this temporal world.

Paul answers why we still are in this world in Ephesians 3:8-12; Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

The last sentence clearly accentuates our union with Christ. In Him (that's Christ) and through faith in Him (that's me).

It is God's kindness which leads to repentance (Rom 2:4). With the comfort we receive we comfort others. His love which is expressed in our goodness in this chaotic realm will make an impression on people's lives. God is mighty to manifest Himself in even the bleakest circumstances as us. It is in His power that we move and exist.

Since we are designed for the garden life there is no wonder why people who inhabit an apparently unjust world will raise their hands in anger towards God, and blame Him for all their misery. We know better by the grace of God.

Monday, November 16, 2009


For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself. (John 5:26)

One of the erroneous teachings which abounds in the church today is that everything God has done for you is despite of you. This implies a God who reluctantly has restored man. This is not the truth about a God who is love. Everything in this giant rescue operation is because of you. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

When the scriptures say God is love, which is agape, that means love for others. It is the same love which now is our fabric. In the same way as Jesus did we find ourselves in situations where we communicate His love and our actions are love for others, because our desire for them is to experience the same kind of life as we are partakers of. In this perspective we can more easily perceive that Jesus died because of us. The best part is, though, that His resurrection was also because of us so that we can partake in the same quality of life as He has.

One of the temptations we encounter in this regard is that we do not experience that these qualities manifest frequently in our own lives. However, we do not live by appearances. We live by faith. Our first experience with this kind of faith was when we received Jesus. That was fairly easy compared with believing we are Christ. In our Christian walk we come to recognize that there are several levels of faith.

As we behold increasingly more of the beautiful scenery which surrounds us, and is in us, we acknowledge that He calls into being things which are not seen. The things we didn't see when we where farther down the hill are now clear to us. For us the ongoing transformation is now. He has seen what we are all the way, and now we are able to align what we see with what He sees. Faith has become knowledge. We also realize that we are not of this world, and that we as well are empowered to call things into being by faith which we yet do not see.

We are everything the word says we are, but we cannot acknowledge all of this through faith immediately. As our faith grows through tribulations, suffering, joy, encouragement, love and enlightenment from the Holy Spirit our mindset and outlook are renewed, and slowly but surely we understand that all the wonderful truths displayed in the Bible are us.

The principle aim of God's love is to create life. Not an ordinary life, but an abundant life. One of the characteristics of this life is that it is everlasting. The most tremendous thing about this life is, however, that we are given to have life in ourselves. This is truly an amazing and overwhelming gift. And God doesn't regret this; For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable (Rom 11:29).

Since God is love He necessarily also enjoys relations, fellowship and friendship, which all are manifestations of love. So in order to make this possible we inevitably needed to have life in ourselves with a perfectly functionally I, who can respond to His love. This I is a perfect mirror of Him, it is both Him and I, that is, He as us because we partake in the Christ life. He is the One who is all in all, and the one who is sustaining all things by the power of His word (Hebr 1:3). In the middle of all this we are!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christ is formed

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you,....(Gal 4:19)

Paul was indeed consternated over the Galatians' return to the law. This group of fresh believers had accepted Christ by faith, but now someone had told them that they needed to watch their steps. Sanctification called for hard work, they learned from these wolves who had infiltrated their church. Now that they were saved it was required of them to keep the law. What an evil lie!

The Galatians had obviously been formed in Christ the day they received Christ by faith. Otherwise Paul wouldn't have used the word "again". They had experienced wonderful miracles by simply hearing the faith. They had also been given the Spirit by faith.

What we can infer from this is that it is the law which in fact impedes Christ being formed in us! Since the tree of good and evil represents the law and consequently separation there is no wonder that observance of the law has this effect. It is by faith that God can do His work in us! Christ in us is the mystery Paul discloses in Col 1:27. What a wonderful mystery this is!

Jesus faced the same limitations and temptations as we do, but Peter recognized Him as Christ anyway. When we live by faith people will recognize us as Christ in the same manner as Peter recognized Jesus as Christ. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to this level of faith and you will see it being manifested in your life. Yes, there will be some faith struggles along the way, but their purpose is to ground you in this truth.

Before we were born again we were nothing, and in an instant when we receive Christ we become Christ. From nothing to everything. This is indeed a mystery. If we assume that the garden in Eden is a type of Christ, then we now have returned to our original state, which is union with Him.

What a generosity! What a love! Our father is awesome!

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Genesis 3:1 plainly states that the serpent was more subtle than any beast that the Lord God had made. Whether the serpent is God's convenient agent or not is a fascinating discussion, but a bit off topic today. Yesterday we claimed that the serpent's principle agenda is to tempt people to do good. But, why does he try to seduce people in that direction?

We know that immediately after Jesus had received His confirmation from God at the river of Jordan He was led into the wilderness to be tempted. God had said over Jesus: "This is my son, in whom I am well pleased!". If I am to paraphrase this it would go something like: "This is my son who is perfect, I have accepted Him just as He is and I love Him more than anything."

God had breathed His life into Adam so that Adam became a living being. Adam was an image of God. We find in Genesis 1 that God blessed Adam and Eve, and the record says that God saw that everything He had done was very good. The five other days He saw that everything was good. When humans entered the scene it was very good, in other words, perfect.

We often associate temptation with deeds and thoughts. The Devil made me do that, or the devil tempts me to think like that. If he can perpetuate that illusion he has the upper hand, and we are unable to disclose what he is really doing. So, what is his actual objective? Why did he tempt Adam and Eve to do good? Why was Jesus tempted immediately after the baptism?

It is about identity. What the serpent really says is that we are not good enough. He accuses God of lying when God says everything is perfect. He claims that we have to improve God's perfect creation. In this context Jesus' forty days in the wilderness is a repetition of what happened in the garden. Would Jesus renounce His identity, just as Adam and Eve, or would He by faith bring to light the serpent's subtle temptations? God knew the outcome, but the rest of the creation must have been in utter suspense.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebr 4:15)

In every respect means that the serpent tried every possible approach to make Jesus renounce His identity as the beloved one, as a perfect image of God. Jesus, however, stood firm and could with confidence exclaim: "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). Sin is basically to renounce our identity as perfect in Him. When we as Jesus can say that whoever has seen me has seen God we are in perfect harmony with God's word and we have a living, transparent relationship with our Father based on the ultimate truth.

Why did God say everything was very good after He had breathed His life, that is, His Spirit into Adam and Eve? Why did He wait until the baptism before He blessed Jesus in the way he did? Simply because it is His Spirit who gives us life. It is His Spirit who is perfect in us as us. And, in order to receive the Spirit we have to be born again by accepting Christ by faith. This is the restoration Jesus died for to accomplish - new creations living the Christ life by faith.

(Of course, Jesus was already born by the Spirit, but the Spirit came over Jesus as a dove as an example to us.)


I dag følte jeg meg ledet til å lese de første kapitlene av 1. mosebok igjen. Plutselig stod 3:22 ut: ” Herren Gud sa: «Nå er mennesket blitt som en av oss og kjenner godt og ondt. Bare det nå ikke strekker hånden ut og tar av livstreet også og spiser og lever evig!”

Som vi alle vet ble Adam og Eva plassert i hagen i Eden. God sa til dem at de ikke skulle spise av treet som ga kunnskap om godt og ondt som stod midt i hagen. Der stod også livets tre. De kunne spise fra hvilket som helst tre i hagen, unntatt det ene. Dette verset indirekte sier at Adam og Eva spiste fra alle trærne unntatt livets tre. Detter er ikke bare merkverdig, det er ytterst rart. Dette har dog store konsekvenser for oss som nå blir ledet tilbake til den type liv som hagen representerer.

Dette verset i 1. mosebok åpenbart bekrefter 1. Kor 15:45; ” Det første mennesket, Adam, ble en levende sjel. Den siste Adam ble en ånd som gir liv.” Vi er nå i en bedre stilling enn hva Adam var i, fordi vi nå eter av livets tre som er Kristus. Jeg tror Kristus er noe mer enn en person. Ordet Kristus innebærer også en spesiell type liv som blir opprettholdt av den samme guddommelige kraften som reiste Jesus opp fra graven. Vår frelse er evig sikret i Ham. Adam, derimot, kunne bli gjort om til støv igjen (1. mos 3:19), fordi han ikke hadde ett av treet som gir evig liv. Noas ark er også et bilde på vår evige forsikring i Ham. Husk at det var Gud som lukket døren bak Noa (1. mos 7:16).

Jeg tror de to trærne representerer to bilder. Treet om kunnskap om godt og ondt står for adskillelse, med andre ord løgnen om at vi kan opprettholde liv utenfor Gud. Livets tre er dermed et bilde på enhets eller unions livet; Han i meg og jeg i Ham. En perfekt balanse av liv som samarbeider mot det ypperste mål som er overflodslivet i frihet – livet i hagen – hvor vi er fullkomne og perfekte i Ham, det gjelder både ånd, sjel og kropp. Der er det ingen syndig natur vi må stå imot, intet kjøtt å overvinne. Dødsstøtet mot begge disse fant sted på korset. Våger vi å tro dette?

Et annet interessant aspekt med alt dette er at Adam var gitt i oppdrag å herske over jorden, det materielle. I den nye tidsalder, hvor vi som er sønner og døtre av den levende Gud spiser av livets tre, er vi forfremmet til å herske i den åndelige verden også. Husk at vi nå er satt i himmelen med Ham. Dette er definitivt et mysterium.

Friday, November 13, 2009


If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." (John 10: 37-39)

It is interesting to note that Jesus doesn't qualify His works as good or evil, except when He refers to His miracles. Elsewhere He relates to His works as done in God. In Thayer we find that the word ἔργον - ergon, which is translated as works has a connotation which means that there are different qualities of works. When Jesus says look at my works, he could just as well have said, look at my life. His genuine, transparent life!

I am afraid we again have to return to Eden to understand this. The serpent is very subtle when he tempts Adam and Eve, Jesus and us. We are tempted in the same manner as they were. The serpent's principle objective is not to tempt us to do evil, but to do good. This is the basic religious idea; contrasting good and evil, and thus entice people to do good. The law is a perfect example of good, and it efficiently discloses our attempts to be like God in our own powers as futile.

The devil and our flesh, which are in opposition to God, want to be independent sources of life, that is, perpetuate the lie that we live separated from God. In the religious mind this is made conspicuous by the notion that I have to get out the way so God can live through me. The problem with this idea is that it contradicts Jesus' promise that we will find our true life when we believe in Him. In a true life there is room for me. There it is a full functional I, but at the same time this I is God perfectly manifested in our mortal bodies. In this standing there exist no good or evil, just life which appears in many forms, but where the foundation wall is love.

Until we accept Christ there is no foundation wall. Until we experience and get a more profound understanding of God's love our attempts to love are deemed to fail. We might call it love, but there is always a hidden agenda behind what we do. We love because He loved us first, and when we feel safe and sound in his love we enter His love, and we become love. In His love we can accept ourselves and love ourselves and by that fulfill Jesus command that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Every command Jesus issued He fulfills in us as us by us abiding in Him.

The idea that Christ lives as us might easily be turned around, and we can say that I live as Christ (Matt 16:16). An evident paradox which we accept by faith, and which can only be revealed by the father. It is here that we can experience life in its various mode of expressions without condemnation. We can accept our joy and our anger. In this position we can even understand the Old Testament scriptures which portray God's anger as a part of life. However, God is love and His anger is devoured by His love, just as our anger isn't a perpetual state of mind. We occasionally get angry, but we now that that is just an expression of life. It is the religious idea about good and evil which kindles condemnation.

I do not imply that we are God, but we are gods (John 10:35). Only God is God. He is our source, our life and the one in full control, the omniscient one we can trust whatever circumstance we face. How do you react when a human likens itself to God? Do you scream "blasphemy", such as the pharisees? Perhaps you need to ponder it a bit? That is perfectly alright. The Holy Spirit is your teacher and the one who convinces you about the truth.

Works spring forth from rest. Adam and Eve's condition before the fall is a type of this life which is pure and simply life where there is no focus on what we do, but who we are in Him. Here there is room to be ourselves, to accept ourselves just as we are accepted by God. When Jesus was baptized and begun His public service God declared over Him; "This is my son in whom I am well pleased" before Jesus had done a single recorded work.

When the disciples asked Jesus what works they must do to be doing the works of God Jesus simply stated: Believe in me! This was evidently the nucleus in Jesus' works as well; believing in His father. That's the simplicity of the new life! This is grace; the return to Eden where we are, in the same manner as He is (I AM)!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph 3:8).

Paul evidently makes a contradictory statement here. Is it possible to explore something which is unsearchable? Can plain words explain the riches of Christ? If God is spirit can mere words express His being, His existence and our position in Him?

We know that the Pharisees employed a literal approach to the scriptures, and they couldn't find the Person who sustains everything and who is all in all. It seems, though, that an additional source is needed, who of course is the Spirit. This is what often causes strife; persons who try to understand what only can be grasped by revelation oppose those who have declared their dependence upon the Spirit to understand what can only be perceived on a spiritual level.

A question which is sensible to raise in this context is whether or not the Spirit is confined to only animate the written word, or can He give us insights which transcends the word, but which do not contradict it? The written word is limited in scope, even when we take into consideration all what has been written about God's kingdom during the centuries. The written word is a finite quality. Unsearchable is definitely infinite.

The answer to our question must obviously be yes. There exist no limits for Him, and our Father apparently has made everything in such a way that He is the one who discloses what He wants to be known about Him at a certain time, or in accordance with a person's level of maturity in the Christian walk. Isa 45:3 puts it like this:

I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.

God has hidden His treasures in the darkness. In other words we are unable to see them if not He lights them up, or lead us to the secret places. And those of us who have gotten acquainted to His generosity know that He is more than willing to share with His precious children the secrets of life.

Paul must have known that to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ was mission impossible for a human. I believe Paul rested in this simple fact: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." (John 14:26)

This is a liberating truth, because everyone of us can now anticipate the Spirit speaking to us individually and teach us about the depths of God. And isn't it so that as we get to know Him better this will increase our hunger to know Him more intimately? The more He discloses of His beauty and our inheritance as saints the more we are pulled towards Him. And the more we have the more we will get, because we are led to intensify our searching. What can He do except give us our heart's desire? And we are His heart's desire!

As we now are aware of the truth that He is unsearchable we can meet every day with an expectancy of a new revelation about Him from Him. Can you hear your Father whisper words of life to you? More than that, can you see things which you cannot describe with words? Things beyond this temporal world? You might ask: Why me? As my dear friend John Bunting says: Why not me?

If the riches of Christ is unsearchable, that is, limitless, then consequently also His love is limitless. You might as Paul assert that you are the least of God's people. Well, then you also are more than qualified to preach His limitless love by the gifts you are furnished with. In Math we do calculations on infinite integrals and sequences which surprisingly yields a finite answer. It is as all the power of the infinite nature of the original function is stored in that figure. Yup, that figure is you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today I felt led to read the first chapters of Genesis again. Suddenly Genesis 3:22 stood out: "And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life."

As we all know Eve and Adam was placed in Eden. They were commanded not to eat from the tree of good and evil which was placed in the middle of the garden where also the tree of life was. They could eat from any tree, except the one mentioned. What this verse implies is that Eve and Adam ate from all the different trees except the tree of life. This is not only remarkable, it is indeed very odd. This has, however, huge implications for us who are now led back to the type of life the garden represents.

This verse in Genesis evidently confirms 1 Cor 15:45; "Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit." We are in a better position than Adam was, because we now feed from the tree of life, which is Christ. I believe Christ is something more than a person, it also denotes a quality of life which is powered by the divine power which raised Christ from the grave. Our deliverance is eternally secured in Him. Adam, however, could be turned into dust again (Gen 3:19), because he hadn't eaten from the life-giving tree. The Ark is also a type of our eternal security in Him. Remember, it was God who shut Noah in (Gen 7:16).

I think the two trees represent two types. The tree of good and evil denotes separation, that is, the lie that we can sustain life outside God. The tree of life is then a type of the union life, He in me and I in Him. A perfect harmony of life and corroboration to achieve the ultimate goal, which is the abundant life of liberty of the garden where we are complete and perfect in Him, that is, spirit, soul and body. No sinful nature to deal with, no flesh to conquer. A death blow was dealt to both of those on the cross. Do we dare to believe it?

Another interesting aspect with all this is that Adam was commissioned to hold dominion over the earth, the material sphere. In the new dispensation where we, as sons and daughters of the living God, are feeding from the tree of life are promoted to reign in the spiritual sphere as well. Remember, we are now seated in the Heavenly places. This is indeed a mystery.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Flesh

In the Bible we often run into the term "flesh". The word is employed in chiefly two contexts. Firstly, it is used when the Bible draws a dividing line between was is spiritual life and what is human life. Human life expresses itself in a material world. In addition to having a spirit humans are also furnished with a soul and a body. For a get a clearer understanding of the second aspect of the use of the word we will utilize the following Thayer definition: "The flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God." The first use of the term defines an unique existence. The second use of the term is closely related to how this existence is displayed in deeds and outlook.

When we are now to prove without a shadow of doubt that Christians are dead to the flesh we will obviously be speaking of the second use of the term. The motivation behind this article is that there exists a common misunderstanding amongst many believers which holds that they are still influenced by the flesh in thoughts, desires, deeds etc. We will start out by examining John 3:6 which says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Most Christians can agree on that we died with Christ on the cross, and that we were raised with Him in His resurrection, and that we in the instant we accepted Him as our savior received a new spirit and thus was born by the Spirit. If we then claim that we are still operating from the flesh we are obviously illogical and self-contradictory in our mindset.

Rom 7:5 states plainly; "For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death." "While we were", is evidently past tense. Something we were and are not now! We are those who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Rom 8:4), if we have accepted Christ by faith. Paul elaborates on this fact in Rom 8:9, "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him."

Our last proof in this article will be Gal 5:24, "And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." The flesh is indisputable dead. A dead thing holds no power whatsoever over someone, except if a person is living in the past and refuses to accept a new reality. We have perhaps all met persons who are still heavily influenced by dead persons. So the principle of the renewing of the mind also applies in this context.

In 2 Cor 5:16 Paul takes all this a step further: "From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer." What he states here has so far-reaching consequences in regard to our new lives and how we view Christ that it would take several volumes to explore it. Suffice for now is to say that we now through faith can regard ourselves as spiritual beings expressing the risen Christ in a material world. We are not duplicates of Christ, but expressions of everything what that title entails. We are beings in our own right, but a new kind compared to what we were before we were born again. We are now true sisters and brothers of the resurrected Christ, each with our own unique personality, and we are partakers of the same divine power which raised Him from the death.

Thayer Definition:
1) flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts
2) the body
2a) the body of a man
2b) used of natural or physical origin, generation or relationship
2b1) born of natural generation
2c) the sensuous nature of man, “the animal nature”
2c1) without any suggestion of depravity
2c2) the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin
2c3) the physical nature of man as subject to suffering
3) a living creature (because possessed of a body of flesh) whether man or beast
4) the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)
For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. (Rom 7:5)
in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Rom 8:4)
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Rom 8:9)
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. (2 Cor 5:16)
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:24)

Monday, November 9, 2009


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:2).

In our formative days, before we got to know Christ, and later when we observed the law, we had a clear idea of what was good and what was evil. This knowledge was derived from the tree of good and evil. We thought we were like God and judged accordingly. In the new dispensation we get, however, an increasingly understanding of that eating from the forbidden tree equals spiritual death, and we will ultimately turn to the tree of life, which is Christ.

Those notions which we learned in our childhood days still influence our ability to discern. We are often enticed to assess from this obsolete perspective. It is when we encounter grace that everything changes. Moral and ethics which are powered from the tree of good and evil we come to understand are void conceptions in the liberty of the spirit. We need new perspectives of judging ourselves, the temporal world and the spiritual world.

God made man in His image. Man reflected God from the outset perfectly. God gave man some faculties which would manifest God, the spirit, in a material world. Man was given emotions. He could express joy, happiness, tranquility, love, desire, anger, hate, irritation and so forth. When Adam fell man began to consider some of his faculties more prominent than others. We began to discern between good feelings and bad feelings. Some of our emotions were considered more noble than others. We classified what we did; either as good or evil.

In the new dispensation, however, we can no longer judge our emotions or what we do according to our preconceived notions. By faith we now come to accept every part of us as a perfect expression of God. Because everything is now determined by which spirit who dwells in us and reigns in our lives. More than that; if we live in separation, that is, me for God, this will be our vantage point, and our aptitude to discern will be immature.

By the renewal of our mind we will as the spirit leads come to acknowledge by faith that we live in union with God. He in us and we in Him. It is here that we are enabled to discern what the will of God is, and He is more than capable of expressing Himself through every single faculty we are furnished with. As a consequence we completely accept our soul and its diversity.

It is no longer a question about which emotion is most noble, but which emotion God expresses Himself through in this particular situation. We come to hate what God hates, we find joy in the same things that delight God. We cry with those who grieve. We speak harshly to those we are led to oppose. This spirit led life is impossible to comprehend when we are eating from the tree of good and evil. Paul put it like this; "And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual" (1 Cor 2:13).

We are now beginning to eat solid food as the author of the epistle to the Hebrews observed ; "But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebr 5:14). We need constant practice, because it takes time come to terms with a new reality, and God is our teacher in this process.

If we judge life by our old measuring stick we are an easy prey to erroneous believes. Basically we can say that evil in this new context of life is everything which are not of God. What we earlier judged as good, is not necessarily good in an eternal perspective. It is only in Him that we are enabled to understand that everything we encounter in this life is an opportunity for Him to be glorified through us.

Everything done from separation, that is, my works, no matter how noble, is evil. Every beacon we navigated after are, thus, now gone. To our dilemma there is only one solution; accepting by faith that we are in union with God, that we are perfected in Him and that as He is in this world so are we. Here we can rest and let Him perfect His work in us and express Himself through us.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sin is no longer an issue for the believer

"Look, you scoffers,
be astounded and perish;
for I am doing a work in your days,
a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.” (Acts 13:41)

David saw this and prophesied about it:
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, (the child)
and whose sins are covered; (the young man)
blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin." (the father) (Rom 4:7-8)

John writes about three levels of maturity in 1 John 2, where each step is a further enlightenment (renewing of the mind) on God’s “to good to be true” work:

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. (v.12)
What is alarming is that very few, preachers included, know or believe in this amazing truth that all their sins are forgiven.

I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. (v. 13)

The evil one’s principal weapon is condemnation, but the young men has overcome his accusations whatsoever they might do, because their sins are covered.

I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. (v. 13)

The fathers have an intimate knowledge of God and know that “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9)

Of course, God's "to good to be true" work is much more than this question about sin. It's also about Christ who is our life and His agape love which to a certain degree is almost unfathomable for the human mind, and which defy all human experience.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


There is a desire within everyone of us to live life to the fullest. The major impediment most of us face in accomplishing our goal is this nagging feeling of being found wanting. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews asserts that every believer is perfected in Christ (10:14). We can easily accept that by faith when it comes to our spirits. However, more often than not, we think that this doesn't apply to our soul and bodies. Our emotions fluctuate. We have good days and we have bad days. There are days when we are irritated, and we even perhaps hurt someone close to us. Our enemy employs that as an evidence to convince us that we are not perfected. Wait a minute! What is the law of faith? Isn't it that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7)?

Was He who was found without sin ever irritated? We know that Jesus could be very harsh with religious people. But, did He ever treat His best friends in a way that might be hurtful to them? We do not know much about his days as a carpenter, but there are some verses which are a bit difficult to glean the meaning from if we do not consider the possibility that Jesus was a bit irritated. We find a passage in Luke 9 which says that a man had a son who often was seized by an evil spirit. The disciples had tried driving it out, but to no avail. When the man tells Jesus about this, Jesus exclaims:

“O unbelieving and perverse generation," ……, "how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here." (v. 41)

Not the style we usually associate with Jesus in his relation with the disciples. Despite His outburst, He immediately afterwards healed the boy. Jesus walked by faith and not sight. He knew that "whatever is not from faith is sin" (Rom 14:23). When Jesus walked the earth He had a soul and a body. There are plenty of examples in the scriptures that He had emotions which fluctuated in accordance with the situations He faced. However, He lived His life in God, in the same manner as we live our lives in Christ. He was a perfect expression of God. If you have seen me you have seen God, He said with confidence - the confidence of faith. As a believer you are in a position to claim that if you have seen me, you have seen Christ. Do you have the boldness to believe this? There is a whole world which is dependent on our faith, which yearn to see what life is. When we live by faith Jesus has promised that we will be rivers of fresh water - life.

In 2 Kings we find that Elisha performed a miracle and healed the water in Jericho. He used salt to make the water pure. Salt in this context means that God's life flowed through him. When God is our source we are salt and light in this world, and life flows from us. Healing the water must surely have been a great moment for Elisha. But, not long afterward some boys teased him. We find the account in 2 Kings 2:23-25:

From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.

What a change! From the overwhelming feeling of success to blackness - from faith to unbelief. Elisha was undoubtedly very annoyed by what the boys shouted at him. If he had had faith in that his soul also was perfect in the Lord, he wouldn't have been affected by them calling him names. As we walk in the Lord we have the same power to either bless or curse as Elisha. We are perfected by faith. However, when we use our words to curse we kill, and we have stepped out of faith. We have let unbelief take hold of us and we then easily become tossed by the wind (James 1:6). This obviously is one of the reasons why our faith must grow. We are all in Christ, but some has a strong faith, others haven't.

Assume that in my interaction with my kids I use harsh words. My curse may have a negative effect on my children at the time, they may internalize it and believe the lie that I have uttered. It could cause them damage for many years if they believe the lies that the world tells them. Not only can my words hurt them, they can also hurt me, causing me to lose my boldness in Christ. The Elisha case demonstrates how life can be quenched.

Jesus' love towards the disciples far outweighed His harsh words. His love made them flourish. His resurrection life in them now, that is, you and me, makes our surroundings flourish. When we live by faith we will be a perpetual source of life. Faith brings forth life, God's life.

On a side note: When our kids were small I was still under the law, and I also had a terrible temper. One day I felt very bad. Bad conscience and condemnation reigned in my depressed state of mind. Then God spoke His life giving words onto me: "To your children you are best father in the world!" Since then I have had a supernatural peace when it comes to my relation to my children. God is in control. He is perfectly able to nullify every harsh word I have ever said and, moreover, if I was a perfect father my children would never have needed God.

(This article has been enriched by invaluable inputs by Jessica Robertson and Fred Pruitt)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


To repent = μετανοέω = think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider.
The Greek word also carries the meaning of aligning ones thoughts with God’s.

My different repentance experiences have been as follows:

From New Age to Jesus. That was a relief because I didn’t have to save myself any longer.
From law to grace. That was indeed a tremendous relief.
From the idea that God was stingy, to seeing His generosity. Boy, that was a relief.
When I grasped that even sanctification wasn’t a work of mine, I was immensely relieved.
When I understood that God isn’t angry I became very, very relieved.
When I discovered the mystery, Christ in me; I was relieved beyond measure.
When I have had glimpses of my inheritance as a son, I have been joyfully relieved.
Each new discovery about the height and the width of God’s love has been reassuringly relieving.
Finding out I was dead was a dreadful relief, but being raised up as a new creation was a supernatural relief.
Discovering my new identity was a wonderful relief.
When I was convinced that my salvation was eternally secured, I became relaxingly relieved.

My experience has been that repentance equals experiencing relief. Instances when I have repented in the religious sense of the word (i.e. remorse, regret, and etc.) have almost, without exception, been a disaster because it has led to rededication; new promises and more works to satisfy a Person who already is gratified. In retrospect, I can see that those instances did not change me a tad.

He has transformed me, and each transformation has been a consequence of love followed by a sigh of relief on my part.

My latest act of repentance was yesterday. My thoughts went as follows: “I don’t quite understand this; why are so many responding to the stuff I write, and why are there so many out there who asserts I am a blessing to them? I am just a simple teacher from Norway” Then a familiar voice interrupted: “You, my silly boy, have you read anywhere that Jesus said He was just a simple carpenter from Nazareth?” I grasped the point immediately, and repented with a sigh of relief. (Btw, God speaks Norwegian fluently)

(Thanks to Jessica Robertson for proofreading the manuscript)

Monday, November 2, 2009


The ”name and claim” theology was important in that sense that it brought forward faith as an important component of the Christian walk. The movement unearthed principles which are imperative in the new dispensation. I made a search for the word faith in NIV and got 286 hits, and that was just in the NT.

What caused the “name and claim” movement to flounder was that their understanding of faith was based on separation. The whole issue became a matter of own works and not resting in Christ. Separation in our context is me doing. Union, however, is Him doing in me as me. In this perspective we “name and claim” not to fulfill our own desires, but His desires, which is me for others, i.e. agape.

To believe that we now live in union is an issue of faith, that is, His faith imparted to us. However, His faith can be of no benefit if it’s not received with faith. “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it”. (Hebr 4:2)

In this position of faith His wants become our wants. His desires become our desires. When we believe this our faith has grown to a mature level and we are enabled to acknowledge Ephesians 4:5: “There is one Lord, one faith,….” and Gal 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”. Notice: “…by the faith of the Son…..” Now we clearly see that His faith is our faith.

In other words we have the same faith as God. On what level does God’s faith operate? Rom 4:17 provides the answer: …….in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

Since Jesus was the firstborn of many sons and daughters we can with confidence state that He was an example of us. Jesus only did what He saw His Father do. How did He know what His Father was doing? He knew by faith. He had a profound understanding of and faith in that God perfectly expressed Himself through His son.

We also find Jesus exclaiming that He could do nothing of Himself, and further on, that He was in His father and His father in Him – evidently the union life. Trusting in faith in the indwelling life of the Father Jesus could do the most spectacular miracles without first having to go through a long period of ambivalence – is this just me, or is it you God?

Norman Grubb puts it like this:

As Jesus said, “Ask…seek…knock, and it shall be opened unto you” So to my asking I add taking and receiving. Indeed as I get used to taking by the word of faith, I hardly notice I’m asking – one is almost dissolved into the other. So I move right in and speak the desire into reality. How? By that word of faith which “calls the things that be not as though they were”, which is said to be God’s form of faith (Romans 4:17), and therefore mine. I speak that word. When it is on the mundane human level that I speak any such word, I then go on to fulfill it. This time I am recognizing that it is God speaking that word by me, and so He goes on to fulfill it – and it is precisely the same as when He brought the visible creation into being by the word of His Son. (Summit Living; Oct 27)