Saturday, November 29, 2008


Hey bloggers,
I trust that you all had a wonderful thanksgiving...we certainly did. Thanks for the discussion already posted here in regards to the part of Matthew In The Now that I have written so far. I really appreciate your insights, and your encouragement. I remember that when I did John In The Now a couple of years ago, that having to go through and so closely examine the meaning of each verse of the Fourth Gospel really brought about an amazing amount of revelation for me...and the same thing is happening to me now as I again go, word by word, phrase by phrase, through this powerful biography of Jesus, the Christ. I know that I probably should pace myself a little with putting it all here on the blog every day so that you could have more time to digest it, but I have found that when I'm in a productive writing zone, I need to ride the wave of creativity as far as I can. I also want to get as much of it done as is possible before we go to Brazil next week. Each chapter that I finish seems to be my favorite, so here's my current best chapter. Enjoy!

1. “Don’t set yourself up as a judge who takes the liberty of casually condemning others, or even as a critic who thinks that he or she has the right to criticize them, because when you do that, you set a universal law into motion that will inevitably bring negative things back into your own life. In other words, don’t judge so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.

2. “For in direct proportion to your judgment, criticism and condemnation of others, you will be personally judged and criticized and condemned. It’s just the way the law works. And in accordance with the measure you use to deal out to others…whatever you may deal out…it will be dealt out again to you. You define the terms of your own life in this sense.

3. “And why do you fixate on the very small particle…the tiny speck of sawdust…that is in your brother's eye, while you are completely unaware of and oblivious to the huge beam of timber that is in your own eye?

4. “Or how can you obsessively say to your brother, ‘Let me try to get that tiny, superficial splinter that I’m preoccupied with out of your eye,’ when all the while there is the beam of timber that is obvious to everyone but you lodged in your own eye?

5. “Don’t be such a clueless hypocrite! Work on dislodging that beam of timber from your own eye first, because until you can completely remove such glaring, personal obstructions, you’re frankly not qualified to take on the responsibility of extracting anything at all from your brother's eye, no matter how big or how small.

6. “Don’t treat these holy truths and sacred concepts like scraps that are fit only to be thrown out to the dogs. Rather, value the truths you hold dear and esteem them highly, as if they were exquisite pearls, not as if they are old leftovers to be tossed into a feeding trough for pigs. If you don’t discern your audience, or if you are flip with sacred things, you run the risk of presenting priceless pearls to pigs, who, when they realize that you have not fed them the slop they desire, will trample the gems and turn and tear you in pieces.

7. “But keep on asking – never stop expressing your desires, or challenging the boundaries of your faith – and it will ultimately be given you. Keep on seeking – never abandon your sense of wonder or your inquisitive interest in the mysterious – and you will ultimately find . Keep on knocking – never believe that your possibilities are exhausted or that your opportunities are finite – and the door will ultimately be opened to you.

8. “For everyone in this life who keeps on asking keeps on receiving. And he or she who keeps on seeking keeps on finding. And to him or her who keeps on knocking, doors will continue to be opened.

9. “Or what father is there of you, if his hungry son asks him for a loaf of bread, will ignore the request and instead hand him a stone to eat?

10. “Or if he asks for a fish, will serve him up a snake for dinner?

11. “If you then, with all of your potential for evil, know how to give good and beautiful gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in the heavenly realm lavish the best gifts on those who keep making a demand on Him!

12. “So discipline yourself to live by this simple rule: whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, do also to and for them. This not only will set positive things in motion for your life, it will fulfill all the Law and the teaching of the Prophets, because this basic principle is the sum of all the writings of the holy books.

13. “Enter into the full blessings of kingdom-life through the narrow gate of this kind of discipline. For the gate that leads to self-destruction is wide and easily accessible, and many are unwittingly entering through it.

14. “But the gate of selfless servitude is narrow and the way is compressed…the way that leads to a fulfilled, kingdom life in the now…and few are those who find it.

15. “Beware of false prophets who come to you dressed as sheep but, inside, they are devouring wolves whose only intention is to scatter the sheep and bring division among them.

16. “You will fully recognize them by the fruits of their relationships and their track record with people. Do people pick grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?

17. “Even so, every healthy tree bears good, nutritious fruit, but the diseased and decaying tree bears bad, inedible fruit.

18. “A good or healthy tree can’t bear worthless fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear high quality fruit.

19. “So every tree that does not bear good fruit…fruits of love, selflessness, empathy and consideration for others…needs to be cut down and thrown into the fire of purification.

20. “Therefore, you will fully know and discern them by their fruits.

21. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter into the blessings of kingdom-life. Just going through the motions of mechanically calling on my name or religiously praying a prayer does not automatically give one access to the kingdom of/from the heavens. Only those who do the will of My Father will enjoy the benefits of the kingdom in the now.

22. “When judgment comes on their lives, many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, haven’t we prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons and done many mighty works in Your name?’

23. And then I will say to them openly, ‘While you’ve been busily going through the motions of the ministry, you’ve never developed a real relationship with Me. It’s as if I’ve never known you. You haven’t shown Me your love, and you haven’t loved the people who have partaken of your so-called services. You’ve done so many things in My name for the wrong reasons that I want you to keep your distance from Me until you repent and get your priorities in order…until you start really representing Me and living your life the way I want you to live it!’

24. “So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible and wise man who built his house upon bedrock.

25. “And all manner of inclement weather bombarded the house…rain fell and floods came and the winds blew and beat against it. But, no matter how bad the weather or how strong the wind, it did not fall, because it had been founded on the stable rock.

26. “Likewise, everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not demonstrate them will be like a stupid man who built his house on the sand.

27. “And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell. And when it fell, the damage was complete and severe.”

28. When Jesus concluded the Sermon on the Mount and finished His teaching, the crowds who had come to hear him were just astonished and left speechless. They had never heard anything expressed in such a direct manner…so practical, and yet so profound...and they were overwhelmed at His teaching,

29. for He was obviously speaking as One Who had authority and was comfortable with it, and not as did the scribes, whose insecurities caused them to hide behind their religion.


Avatar said...

Blaze on, Bishop! The fast thinkers will keep up and the rest of us will grab their coattails--or put in bookmarks and wait for the hard copy.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks. I just answered you on yesterday's post.

Avatar said...

me too.

MITN VII, verse 7 works for me!

Nothing To Lose said...

I agree with Avatar, blaze on. I usually am in bed at 10:00pm, so I can get up at 4:30am to get ready to go to work. I'm glad I stayed up tonight and was able to read your latest before I went to bed.

I dedicate my new picture to you.
The picture is of the fire pit in my backyard. The fire gets so hot, that the rocks around the perimeter of the pit are cracking from the heat.

I decree as the fresh fire of revelation comes to you by the Holy Spirit, that the heat of that revelation begins to crack and break down religious strongholds, that have been in place in the lives of many, for a long time. The more they read what you have written, the more they'll read into what you have written. And finally they will begin to find the freedom in Christ, that they have longed for, for a long, long time.

Write on.

Donald said...

That has got to be the most disregarded chapter in the Bible.
I was taught all my life to do exactly the opposite of what that chapter says to do.

If every person followed only a small bit of the advice that Jesus gave there would be no need for armies or law enforcement personnel.

After reading this chapter I can relate to how the people who actually heard him teach that day must have felt as it describes them in verse 28.

I am tempted to say, "Great job, Bishop" but I realize that I must actually say, "Great job, Jesus". But I will say, "Great job, Bishop on capturing the true intent of what Jesus said that day."

And I'm thankful that I could find a time to use my computer for a little while before that boy gets up and hooks his Xbox up to my modem.

Nancy said...

And then I saw HIS face
Now I'm a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I'm in love
I'm a believer
I couldnt leave HIM if I tried

Nice comment Avatar!
MITN VII- one of my favorites, too.

Izumi/JOY said...

Good morning beautiful Universe!

The first pic reminds me of a comment from a recent teaching. Bish, are you writing a letter? Does it say, "Let me assure you..." (It’s all gospel!)

Pic 3 reminds me of John 21:25. Jesus accomplished so much, that even if it could be recorded, there wouldn't be enough libraries in the Universe to contain His miraculous works.

* Verse 3 - I wonder if it refers to Proverbs 14 & 17. What if we’re offending God & His handiwork when we compulsively examine faults? What if this teaching is like God’s exchange with Job? (“Shall he that contends with the Almighty, instruct Him?”)

And, from another angle: what if Jesus was enlightening the multitudes from a metaphysical plane? From the big picture, God Himself, fixated on a very small particle. So, what right do we have to be critical of others? We’re all made of the same stuff - all carbon based life forms. God dust from the Life tree.

Verse 7 – Lord, according to my measure of faith, so be it unto me (and my household, continually)!

Verses 9 & 10 – remind me of when Samson posed the riddle about honey in the lion’s carcass. What if the answer to Jesus’ question is a simple, “Yes.”? (In other words, a crumb of Him).

Is the reference to a fish an ironic wink/nudge to His disciples/fishers of men? What if Jesus intentionally being became “guile” to the crowd? Remember that day in Numbers, when God told Moses to make a fiery serpent? If any man was bitten, all he had to do to survive was look at the brass snake.

And, remember another day? In the Garden - the one when God told the serpent he would forever eat dust. What if Jesus (who’d already been tempted & tested in His wilderness) was testing those in attendance? An allusion to Psalms 53:2-4?

Izumi/JOY said...

Verse 16 – If Jesus is the key to this query, and if He’s referring to Himself, then, why can’t my answer be, “Yes.”?

Crownjewel said...

Lovin it! It is def settin a fire under me and propelling me forward, as well as reconstruction where there needs to be!Whoo~hoo! Who knew that that it could feel so wonderful!

Definitely can relate to the hurricane Bish & Avatar! In fact, I never knew a hurricane could last for so loooong! The key has been staying in the 'EYE' which is in the Fathers grip and focus where peace that passeth all understanding is! It is here that I've truly am learning that perception and response will create the outcome and MITN gives form and clarity to living it NOW!

Todays is pushing me for purity in HIM!!!

I just loves you all!!!

Choosin life!

May He surprise you each in a wonderful way today!!!

Crownjewel said...

...todays MITN is pushing me to purity....

Nothing To Lose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nothing To Lose said...

At the half:

Georgia 28

Georgia Tech 12

With that kind of a lead, my oldest son would have said, when he was a little kid that Georgia is giving Tech, a 'pankin'!

Nothing To Lose said...

At the final:

Georgia Tech 45

Georgia 42

With that kind of a score, my oldest son would have said, when he was a little kid that Georgia Tech just gave Georgia, a 'pankin'!

Anonymous said...

It is easy to understand why you refer to this as your next favorite chapter in Matthew.

Getting to the ask, seek and knock verse seven is preceded by the very important understanding imparted by the Holy Teacher that we should take care not to waste what we have received on those who are not interested in revelation and that we should not judge wrongly the partial revelation of others given to us.

The manner that you have imparted the message of verse seven is genius to say the least but not all readers will get it the first time unless they have first asked, sought and knocked on the door of their own heart. H.G. resides there in all of creation and even to a greater degree for those who have asked for that to be real in them. Many, including me have received that in Jesus name but there are many others who after much seeking and knocking have had their quest for this truth imparted to them by the same Creator that answers to another name. There truly is no name above the name of the Jesus who is The Christ. It is most important to recognize the Jesus of the name being greater the name, Jesus though.

Going forward from this point we are to understand that we are accountable as stewards over what has been given to us and impart it to others as if they were our own dear children. To those we are not familiar with there is an even higher standard, as if they are the same person that we are, that we are to be thoughtful of.

Verse twenty three is the power punch in this chapter and it completely knocks me out. All I can do as I recover is plead the blood and be thankful for mercy and grace.

This Lamb and Lion is the Rock that I choose to build on and the Strong Tower that I find sanctuary in. This Christ is the Daddy of all daddies for me.

It is sweet to have confidence in the power of the Lambs Blood to protect me from the Lion’s ravage. This Rock is for both a foundation and for stumbling.

Those who make it their choice to build upon Love will not stumble over it.


Anonymous said...

Just a note here about yesterdays post: Avatar, thank you for your amen. In addition, I have also wrestled with those “don’t worry about it verses” and the conclusion I have come to is that Jesus is using Hyperbole in these statements just as he was in the statements about cutting off your hand or gouging out your eye. I try to see it in principle not literally. I think God is well aware of our trait toward exaggerating needs and problems and was trying to calm our fears about these things. Nevertheless, logically, He would also be understanding of our need of concern for realistic needs and planning for those to be met.


Chapter VII
If any part of the bible is to be “fear-provoking” it would be these first five verses here in CH7. I believe the way you have expanded on the implication of these words, and put it in today’s way of thinking is a much needed admonition and revelation of practical spiritual principles; “It’s just the way the law works” and we surely need to be made aware of it. It will sure make you put your rocks down and go back in your glass house………Also then continuing in vs. 6 with an eye opening warning not to take these truths lightly.

Verses 7-8 always have been two of my favorite verses; so I was delighted to see how you have made them literally blossom into the beautiful revelation and encouragement that they are. I stopped and read it in several other versions and nothing even comes close to the insight you have put into your translation. BTW, I believe the Message bible nearly destroys these two verses by trying to make them only a preface to the next 3 verses. The emphasis should be on these two (7-8) magnificent verses of revelation of the principles and promises of the Kingdom of God. The boldness with which this text promises answers to prayer is quite rare in ancient literature. Jesus is pulling back the curtain in heavens window and giving a look at hitherto unknown truths and blessings. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, signifying both determination and praying often. And I was glad to see that you brought that out in your translation; “But keep on asking, seeking, knocking” this is so important in bringing out the full meaning of the original. I am amazed that most translations leave it out.

Beautiful job in vss 9-11 in continuing the thought in Jesus illustrative confirmation of this truth.
Verse 12 “the golden rule” what I would call “the purpose statement” of all the bible, is woven into the whole thought of this chapter very well as it is brought forth in the transition from revelation to application in the next 15 verses, the way I see it. it seems to me that you would see it this way too as you have wonderfully brought the statements about “entering through the narrow gate”, proclaiming Jesus as “Lord Lord”, “the judgment” here in this passage and “building the house” into the Now; as something to be benefited from in the present not just making it all about going to heaven of hell. Which, as you have made obvious in this translation, it is not at all about the sweet by and by; but the Real here and Now. Jesus is making plain, He want us to enjoy this life, this day, this moment; “this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it”.

Vss 28-29 remind me of the truly anointed teachers of today that the Holy Spirit is speaking through (like you) and astonishing everyone with this good news that seems to most to be too good to be true. And no wonder, after the false prophets that are mentioned here have raped the mind of society, spewing out religious rhetoric from the platforms of the world. Regurgitating a fear based, bad news, selfish, soulish, gospel of exclusivity. Creating a panic-stricken, fearful people that think they have to do all they can to please this monster of a god or do all they can to get away from him.
Sorry certain subjects push my button and false teaching is one of them.
Bishop, you are really causing me to re-read and re-think and study out these chapters. As you say about the congregation when you are preaching “you are pulling it out of me”. There is a spiritual connection here in this place.

This is going to be quite a refreshing translation to say the least.

Ride that wave Bishop!!!


Larry Usher said...

Hi Gang!

Just stopped in to give a praise report and a "coincidence" of interest.
First for the praise report:

I had sent my taxes in late a little over a month ago and from what I had figured, I owed about 6 grand (a LOT for me right now). I wrote the IRS that I'd have to get on a payment schedule. Well, a couple of days ago, I get a letter back indicating they had corrected my forms and I OWED NOTHING!!!

Thank you Lord!!!

Remember in Monopoly the card that said "Bank Error in Your Favor, Collect $100.00"!! This is that!

Secondly, for the strange coincidence:

I blogged a week or so ago about having seen "China Cry", the movie of the life of Nora Lam, the lady who suffered under Communist Chinese rule and was miraculously saved by God. Well, two days ago I get a letter from Nora Lam Ministries having never been on a mailing list ever and having seen her 20 years ago! Odd?!
Seems they are raising funds for a fleet of bicycles used to deliver Bibles and materials at night, under cover of darkness.

I love the way the Holy Ghost works! These connections are not random. It's always good to look into these things with the Lord to find out what more there is- as in the interpretation of dreams.

Hi Izumi- I'm gonna hafta come back later to try & see if I can decipher what you're trying to say- sometimes your thoughts are "higher" than my thoughts. :)
(Out of the box high, not the other high!)

Hi Nancy, Crown, NTL, Bish, Avatar & Donald, blessings to you all!


Larry Usher said...

Hey JB, hey Pastor Dennis!

Anonymous said...

Hey All
Can you believe on Monday starts December??? Where is this year going ???
O K You Southerners check out for a few. LOL
Number one question is where is the snow???
I want to see a white Christmas!!!!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving . I know we did.

Bishop love the pics you put with the message. So Cool

Crownjewel said...

Hi Larry! Yipee!!!!!!!!! Rejoicing with you!!! That is super inspiring! Isn't it typical of our Father to always do more than we can imagine or hope for! That is huge!

Everyone have a great nite!

Anonymous said...

Hey Donald, I'm glad to see that someone else understands how to share their toys.


Avatar said...

Amen, NTL@1:28am--amen, amen.
Ditto, Donald@8:39am--I thought the same thing at verse 28!
Your post brought to mind the importance of JITNaudio and that may be a key for getting past the "sound" that is in my head for the "nots". Your comment "capturing the true intent of what Jesus said that day" leads me to join NTL in agreement for MITNaudio. To hear the verses SAID in Love...could plant lasting seeds that would choke out the weeds planted by those who've spoken these words amiss--even if its "me".

Laura, snow WOULD make it seem like December...I agree--it should only be March, or maybe September...but since it is almost December, thank you druids--without you our lights in the deepest darkness of winter would get lost in the spring/summer sun. Christmas lights are my absolute favorite thing about celebrating Jesus' birth!

word ver: midings
M-(itn) tidings to all... or...
what thinks a bell that makes a him a bell?
Look what you started LARRY!!!

Nancy said...

MITN and JITN on dvd/audio would be so cool with added video interpretation for the Deaf!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Hey bloggers...really great stuff here today...thanks!

Anonymous said...

Where the heck is SOZ?

To All A Good Night


Nothing To Lose said...

Pastor Nancy,

MITN and JITN on dvd/audio would be so cool with added video interpretation for the Deaf!

I love witty ideas, and that one rocks!!!

Miracle, peace, and love to us all.

Izumi/JOY said...

Hi Larry,

Sometimes, I watch the Cartoon Network or Sci-Fi channel.

Re: High thoughts - no limits, no boundaries, I see increase all around me...

Awesome testimony! Thank You, Father!