Monday, June 29, 2009

MkITN IX, Verses 30 - 41

30. So they went on from there and passed along through Galilee, but He didn't want anyone to know where they were, or where they were going.

31. His reason for wanting to keep such a low profile was that He was particularly focused on teaching His disciples at this time. As they travelled He said to them, "I want to prepare you all for something...you need to know that the Son of Man is about to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of enemies, and they will put Him to death...but after He has been killed...in fact, three days after he has been killed...He will rise from death."

32. But even though He spelled it out for them like this, they had absolutely no comprehension of what He was saying, and for some reason were afraid to ask Him to explain it further.

33. Eventually, they arrived at Capernaum, and when they were all together in the house, He confronted them about something, asking them, "What were you boys discussing and arguing about on the road?"

34. But they all froze, and didn't say a word, because on the road they had argued and debated with one another as to who among them was the greatest.

35. So He sat down and called all the twelve of His disciples together, and He said to them, "Look...I want you to understand this Kingdom principle...the bottom line is this...if anyone desires to be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all."

36. And to drive home His point, He took a little child who was there in the house with them, put him in the center of the group, and, taking him in His arms, He said to them,

37. "Remember this...whoever in My name and for My sake accepts, receives and embraces a child like this also accepts and receives and embraces Me. And, it follows, that whoever receives Me receives not only Me, but Him Who sent Me."
38. Then John said to Him, "By the way, Teacher, the other day we saw a man who does not follow along with us...You didn't appoint him or sanction him or approve him...You don't even know him...but he was driving out rebel spirits in Your name, and we told him that he was completely out of line to do that, and commanded him to stop it immediately, because He is not one of us... and not one of Yours!"

39. But, to their surprise, Jesus said, "Oh...you really shouldn't have done that. Don't ever restrain or forbid someone like him from doing something like that; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will soon afterward be able to speak evil of Me.

40. But that's not even the point...what you must realize is that he who is not against us is for us. It's just that simple!

41. And, furthermore, the truth is that whoever gives you a cup of water to drink just because you bear the name of Christ...just because you are making a difference in the world through His power and authority...will be guaranteed a sure reward. A basic act of kindness like this is, in the big picture, an important contribution to the Kingdom...driving out spirits...giving a cup of water...it's all the same, and it's all valid."

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was in the building today, traveled 200 miles round trip- worship made it worth it-topic was cool-condition of the human race- using M. Jackson as an example.
So let's accept ourselves, work on getting the tree out or our eyes, and accept the rest of humanity.
And----let’s go ahead and declare peace, love, joy, freedom, and grace to the nations. God has shown himself to be a big God in my life--can’t he bring glory to the world--I think so-- let us agree--these nations are blessed and highly favored by our God- they have peace, love ,joy, freedom: Noth Korea,Iran, Iran, Pakistan , Palestine, Israel, South African, all of Aisha, all of the nations on all of the all continents. Let’s get on board and declare it.
I’ll say it again-- let’s have mercy on each OTHER. I personally think love is a very powerful force for positive change- not judgment.
And you can stay in the Sermon on the Mt. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Jesus did not give any conditions on who we show mercy on—so I assume he meant everyone!! All people, all nations—and if so—how would the God who is love wish to condemn a man or a nation? I have heard several sources say, why whould a loving God, who much kinder than myself, wish to put eternal puniment on a temporal mistake?? And then tell me to forgive---
I am beginning to compare this “hell” doctrine to the stuff we read about in the dark ages—let’s get out of the dark ages of " hell doctrines" and stay in a renaissance of enlightenment and love.
Back in North GA tonight.
Anonymous in North GA

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks for coming today N.Ga (I moved your comment here)...

And amen to your comment...

Sorry I didn't get to say hello...

Peace!

Son of Zadok said...

Bishop, I was going to ask you what the book your were reading was, especially since you don't read books, only write them (j/k, mild jab).
Anyways, these works by Dr. Rocco do look fascinating. I have been reading some things by Neil Douglas-Klotz, and these look to be similar and possibly even better. Interestingly, Dr.Rocco's, Noohra Foundation, is located very close to you all in Smyrna GA.

Anonymous said...

I looked up some info about the Dark Ages--" 415 In Alexandria, the Christian mob, urged by the bishop Cyril, attacks a few days before the Judeo-Christian Pascha (Easter) and cuts to pieces the famous and beautiful philosopher Hypatia. The pieces of her body, carried around by the Christian mob through the streets of Alexandria, are finally burned together with her books in a place called Cynaron."
Fairly x-rated info-is this very far from comdeming individuals and culturs to "Hell?"
Sorry to make my point with such a gross example, but I too am really tired of pharisees.

Anon in North GA

Larry Usher said...

Been thinking about the transfiguration the past few days since it was on this blog. It occurs to me that the Lord wants to transfigure His children before this world as much as He did with Jesus before the disciples. I believe it is the joy of the Father to "show off" His children openly and obviously. We need to be confident of the hand of the Lord strong upon our lives in whatever we find daily.

As we were worshipping today I saw the Lord walking through the sanctuary with His train following- and upon the train of the King were the children of God also dressed in kingly apparel: "The glory of children is their Father. I believe God wants His children dressed in His Glory and that the time of false humility is over. God has no problem keeping His children humble while at the same time letting His glory flow through them. Shouldn't a child forthrightly and vigorously say "I am my Father's and my Father is mine?"
Faith will speak at this time. We need to move in the assurance and security of the Name of our Father. Hope/wishing alone are not enough- Faith is THE SUBSTANCE of those things; let us linger, let us stay in His presence long enough to put the meat of faith onto the bones of hope!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks, SOZ...saw your comment the other day about reading The Shack...there's actually a copy of it right here on the table...so many people have told me about every part of it that I feel like I've read it already, or at least have listened to the audiobook...

Dr. Errico is a friend of a friend of mine who gave me the book...I usually don't mention books like that because so many people have given me books to read, and they get upset when I don't read what they give (assign) me to read...but I made an exception in this case...

I don't know if you streamed today or not, but I referred to the Rich Mullins quote you posted from the other day...

Peace to Ohio...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

It's cool, N.Ga...so many people in the church world are in bondage to medieval ideas...they use computers and cell phones and ipods, but theologically they are trapped in the dark ages...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Larry, where have you been?

Son of Zadok said...

Did I stream today? Wouldn't miss it!

I was made aware of that quote out of Shane Claiborne's book, Irresistible Revolution. Shane spent quite a bit of time with Rich before he was killed.

If anyone ever wants their comfort zone tweaked a little, you should hear this Claiborne speak. He's all over youtube. He's really something.
It seems to me that many people in the "emergent church" movement aren't in the dark when it comes to things concerning ultimate reconciliation. Today's orthodoxy is yesterday's heresy. Things really are evolving in "christianity". What a revolution we're in the middle of really. Who can deny that an awakening of knowledge is not taking place? As you've said before Bishop, sometimes the last generation just has to die off! Tough words, but true. Eventually this is going to come to a head and some real amazing global paradigm shifts are going to occur. CITN is a big part of that.

Son of Zadok said...

"It occurs to me that the Lord wants to transfigure His children before this world"

That's right on Larry.

I think the best way to achieve that is to take some time away from the natural, and just "tune in" as it were to the Spirit. Prayer, is not so much about asking for things from a God who already knows all things and wants to freely bless us, though we should make our requests know to God, but rather prayer is the act of dialing into the now; getting your vibration off the natural, and onto God's vibration, having that glory rub off on you.

It's the "residue" that shines through for all the world to see.

Larry Usher said...

Bish-

Been up on the mountaintop gettin' all "transfigured up"! Just kidding! Been working two jobs and have been too tired to think.
Went back to RV biz up in Buford at RV World of Georgia 9-6, then do estimates for Jeff Bowen's co. Concrete Raising of Atl. Do get Wed off so I am looking forward to BBers in a couple days. I have been meditating a lot about the Transfiguration and have set up a "booth" there to ponder longer...something BIG is in the works- like a surfer waiting for the big wave, we must get out in the water, paddle out deeper and push like crazy to get up on the big one!
Later...

Larry Usher said...

Ya SOZ, tune in to the Spirit- great way to put it. The simple conscious act of acknowledging God in all your ways, brings the Spirit on the scene to direct our steps; the fact we know He is directing our steps gives us confidence as we walk through the cool of the Garden...

Son of Zadok said...

Acknowledging God in all you ways, yes, most definitely. But more what I was referring to, and you may have already got this from what I said, was shutting the door, closing your eyes, maybe putting on some Enya or something (lol), and just meditating on the Spirit, on Love, on the God Net; plugging yourself into the Divine Matrix. Avoiding many natural words if possible, just tuning into God's presence through your emotions. We've been taught so much garbage in the "faith" movement that we think emotions are almost evil, their not! Literally taking the time out of your day, when possible, to meditate on God. Getting our warbling spirits in tune with the Uni-verse, the one song, The Holy Spirit who dwells in us all.

Just try playing a musical instrument that's hasn't been properly tuned. It doesn't matter how much talent you have, it's going to sound horrible. I tell people who are new at playing the guitar that the best thing they can do for themselves is to buy a tuner, and use it. When your in tune, each note vibrating at 440 in guitar terms, it tends to hide your mistakes and lends everything to play off itself in natural harmony. I think our spirit works something like that, and no matter how busy or enthusiastic we are for the Kingdom, until we take the time to just be still and tune up, were really just acting in the flesh and of really no good use. I think Jesus shows us this vividly in the gospels as well with His prayer life. This was his connection to all that He was.

Just adding some more thoughts.

Son of Zadok said...

One more thought. If we all spent some time doing that each day and then came together as one in the Spirit on Sunday. Honestly, I can't imagine the energy that would begin to flow. Miracles would have to happen. Their would be no other option. We talk to much in prayer. We need to be quiet and just put our head on His breast and just love on Him. Cast your cares on Him who cares so much for you. I like what was said today.
The one who knows you better than anyone, truly loves you more than anyone.
Experience it!

Larry Usher said...

Yes SOZ- quite right- our Father loves to be pursued as much as He likes to pursue us. As a lover woos their counterpart in the most intimate of "communication", so our God loves the "Spirit flow" between Himself and His beloved- just the pure, rapt enjoyment of one another's presence for the moment! Ahhhhh...!

Son of Zadok said...

Right on Larry.

I'm kind of in one of those talkative moods tonight I guess, but I thought this was cool timing.

Went to another website I frequent and someone had posted this, which referenced the verse I had just mentioned in the last post.

From the other blog by Rodger Tutt, he states:

My favorite Bible verse.

“Cast all your care upon Him (Jesus), for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

My favorite quote outside of the Bible.

“God’s purposes are so vast and glorious, beyond all guessing now, that when they are achieved and consummated, all our sufferings and sorrows of today, even the agonies that nearly break our faith, the disasters that well nigh overwhelm us, shall, seen from that fair country where God’s age long dreams come true, bulk as little as bulk now the pieces of a broken toy upon a nursery floor, over which, thinking that all our little world was in ruins, we cried ourselves to sleep.”

Dr. Leslie Weatherhead

Larry Usher said...

Cool SOZ!

How 'bout this from Field of Dreams:

John Kinsella: Is this heaven?
Ray Kinsella: It's — it's Iowa.
John: I could have sworn it was heaven.
Ray: Is there a heaven?
John: Oh, yeah. It's the place where dreams come true.
Ray: Maybe this is heaven.

Like the days of Heaven on Earth, so shall the days be of a man whose mind is fixed upon the Lord...who perceives the richness and fatness of a life redeemed and whole...

Son of Zadok said...

Leave you nets,

and follow Me.

Mystic said...

Ah...yes...if we would only learn to plug into the Divine Matrix...calling all Neos!

Peace my Brothas and Sistahs...Peace like a River in your souls...

(Would I sound really old if I also said...calling occupants of interplanetary, extraordinary craft?)

Son of Zadok said...

Grace and peace to you this late night Mystic.

Donald said...

You crazy folks need to go to bed!

Donald said...

Bishop, I couldn't sleep for some reason or another so I got up and decided to try catch up on some reading.
I just completed reading MkITN IX from verse 1 to verse 41.
As I was reading it as well as many of the comments posted by the different bloggers it really dawned on me how much crap I have been taught over the years.
I not only was taught this stuff, but I became a strict adherent as well and in turn began to vehemently espouse this stuff to/on others.
I have been following your teaching now for probably six or seven years (since whenever you were on INSP) as well as some other teachers and have really had a complete paridigm shift from what I had been taught since birth.
What troubles me now is that the YEARS of studying to master the teachings of the denomination with which I was affiliated for so long seems to have been a colossal waste of time.
Now I find myself at the young age of 50 feeling totally ill-equipped to "show myself a workmen, approved unto God who doesn't need to be ashamed" because the way I interpreted the scriptures for so long is not the way that I interpret the scriptures today.
I used to love to share what I thought was the gospel and made valiant efforts to win people to the Lord. In fact I was actually quite obnoxious towards that end. If I was in a restaurant and heard someone "cuss" I would leave my table and go throw a Chick tract on their table and tell them that they needed to read that and think seriously about changing the way they were living so that they wouldn't have to burn in hell forever.
And, that was like, all the time. Fellow church members would comment about my "spirit of boldness". Of course my flesh would want to rise up and feel proud when they would say things like that, but I would just give God all the glory.
During the beginning phases of my paradigm shift, I would attempt to share what I was feeling with some of my fellow church members and strangely enough, the pastor's sermons would soon be covering that topic and how damnable such a teaching was to the body of Christ.
That's sort of why I find it difficult to attend regular church services anymore, although I really do miss being a part of a group.
But, being on the outside looking in helps me to see how vicious I used to be towards people and helps me to understand why most people don't want to have anything to do with religion or church.
People who were once my confidants (fellow church members) now consider my a total kook who has embraced some heretical beliefs and has been deceived by the devil.
What really hurts is that I used to be where they are and I know how they are feeling towards me. I know that some of them are probably brokenhearted for me and request prayer for me in church and all that kind of stuff in hopes that this stronghold will be broken.
OK,...OK. I see what's happening here.
I'm sitting here wide awake when I should be sound asleep and just realized that I am rambling like crazy.
Anyway, your rendering of MkITN continues to impress me.

Son of Zadok said...

That was one one the coolest posts I've ever read of yours Donald. I'm glad you shared that. I've noticed that many, but not all, who are very evangelistic seem to be able to come into the greater truth if their motives are sincere. I think God just looks at us and all our pain for the "lost" on their way to hell and eventually says, "That's enough, fill em' in!".
But I fail to think any religious times in our life have been a waste. It's what has made us who we are. You couldn't empathize, love, or understand the many stuck in a Babylon if you hadn't been their once yourself. Theirs a purpose in it.

In God we don't have to worry about changing people or things though. We can just BE with the IS.

OK, gonna get a few z's now. Good morning and good night.

Izumi/JOY said...

31. "...in fact, three days after He has been killed... He will rise from death."

I like the way this is written. Particularly, "after he has been killed". Jesus, spoke prophetically about what would occur - while it already had, before the world was.

35. & 36. - I like how these verses make me wonder where the child came from.

Oh, Lord!

Yesterday, we sang about the train of Your robe. And, today, I'm looking at its sleeves.

Avatar said...

Donald, with the timing of your sharing, on these MkITN verses, v.41 seems to be saying that the cup-of-water prayers your friends are praying for you because you are operating in the power of the Kingdom will give them a sure reward...maybe even joining you in the power
...pray on friends!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

I feel like I should say..."Just look at this place! You bloggers have blogged all night long and have disturbed the neighbors!"

Anyway, I tweaked the sentence about the child a little, Izumi, because I wondered the same thing...I imagine that when Jesus and the disciples stayed in someone's home that other people were there in the house, for whatever reason, including children...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Donald, as you know, I can totally relate to your history, only I'm sure I was worse in how I dealt with people...

But I try not to see that period in my life as a waste of time, or to regret any of it...

Without sounding condescending to others who are still in that mindset, I consider that way of thinking the childish things that I put away when I became a man...

I view passing out gospel tracks and being obnoxious in my "soul-winning"...and telling pretty much everyone I met that they were going to miss the rapture, and then go to hell...the same way that I think about my wearing ridiculous platform shoes and polyester leisure suits back in the day...

It was what it was...a rite of passage...I don't dress like that now, but I don't regret that I did then...

And when I have to deal with people from that world who think that I've left the faith, or am in error, or am deceived, or am a sign of the falling away of the "last days", I just look at them with compassion...and empathy...I understand how they see people like us...and I try to pray that they can be released from their spiritual arrested development...

As I've said before, if the 1975 version of me had heard the 2009 version of me preach, the guy from the 70's would have no doubt loudly denounced the current me as a false prophet and a heretic...

Fortunately, the 2009 me can look back at that guy and love him and understand him, and even laugh at him in an affectionate way...and also use him as a touchstone to help the "now me" understand how people like him still think...

Don't regret anything...just walk in the light...

peacemaker said...

Not for long will Dr. Errico be a "friend of a friend'. He will be a friend to you as well. It's not just about his book--even though I know the subject is right smack in the middle of where your deep interests are at this stage of your journey. That is purely icing on the cake. The real reason for you receiving his book, and reading it, is to forge a connection with him on some level. I don't know how and I don't know when, and it will require no effort; only for you to remain open. It's destined to happen.
And as SOZ mentioned, after moving his offices all over, he wound up in Smyrna. That’s no coincidence. There's more I could say, but I'll leave it as is for now.
If this doesn’t resonate…disregard. But...I think it does.

Peace,
PM

Izumi/JOY said...

I know that you encourage, "out of the box" thinking, Bish.

So... maybe this won't seem too absurd. It's probably something simple, like you explained.

I love wondering if Jesus was embracing His inner child.

Remember how Mary and Joseph searched for him, when he was twelve? They couldn't find him amongst their kin and acquaintances.

He was in a temple, discussing His Father's business. Love how Jesus-child sat in the midst of doctors; listening and asking questions.

So, v. 36 lead me to wonder if the child was a divine time travel segue. (like, in "Star Trek", how wise Spock counseled/advised/instructed young Spock, for instance)

Remember how David used to encourage his own soul? Maybe it was like that.

Izumi/JOY said...

PS - I really appreciate your candor, Donald! And, your response, Bish!

All I can say is... wow... I really get that! You just described me. (except the Chick tract, part - what's that? Plus, I still kinda like platform shoes.)

Pray for me.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

It's hard to describe them, but Jack Chick is the publisher of a popular series of gospel tracts sort of done in comic book form, and most of them are terrifying...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

...well, at least they were terrifying to me...

Izumi/JOY said...

Me too. Why did we believe some of that stuff, I wonder.

Life can be terrifying enough, without adding, "Ya like that? Great! Wait'll you see what eternity offers!"

Baaah! Where's the good news in that?

Izumi/JOY said...

"They", being terrifying gospels, I mean. (I draw my own cartoon tracts in my head. Sometimes, they're Alvin, Theodore and Simon Cowell.)

Izumi/JOY said...

Oh, and before I go, I wanted to share this: Ciara (5+ mos. old) is learning how to crawl.

The other day, she was making slow progress towards a rattle, when she spit up a little on her blanket.

Colin noticed, ran into the kitchen, and announced, "Mommy! Come see what Daddy's daughter just did!"

Just seems like the Gospel in microcosm to me.

Donald said...

Hey Izumi.
Those tracts are intended to scare people into salvation.
Go to www.chick.com and look around and you will see what I mean.
I used to go to the christian bookstore and buy them by the hundreds.

Izumi/JOY said...

Hey, Donald. Thanks for the site. I have seen/received those before. (they weren't from you, were they?) hehe

Thank God for grace. I've probably turned more people off from God, than to Him!

Avatar said...

I love the picture for this post. The way I feel when I look at it reminds me of one I saved from the visual Bible's Matthew...Jesus smiling...full of life and joy...salty and real...making the Kingdom irresistible!