eating the fruit of contradiction: the anti-Christ spirit (4th installment)

ANTI-CHRIST: ANTI-PURITY

The mantra of the anti-Christ spirit has long been purity; purity of devotion, purity of heart, purity of action, purity of ambition, purity in theology and doctrine, purity of thought.  It is by this “purity” that the deceiver has held humanity to a countless number of stipulations that God never intended for us, and that have no part of His gospel or heart.  “It’s the good news! BUT…” is not a gospel that appeals to anyone.  Most of us wouldn’t preach it that way, or believe it’s the gospel we swear by, because the anti-Christ spirit is subtle and patient.  In this post, I want to explore and bring to light some of the ways we’ve been misled by the anti-Christ spirit and its bedfellow religion concerning purity.

In my journey into the heart of God, I’ve discovered what I believe to be the very core of life: Intimacy.  Intimacy with God, producing intimacy among humanity.  However, the manner in which I understood it, because of a gently corrupt pattern of thought and teaching within the body of Christ, kept me from uncovering its sincere intention.  The anti-Christ spirit is well aware that God IS love.  If he cannot keep humanity from the utter perversion and abuse of what love should be, he makes certain to twist it into an effort-driven, responsibility-oriented mandate.  If he can’t remove it from your life altogether, he will seed it with obligation so that it never accomplishes in you what it WILL in its purity.  1 John 4:19 says “We love Him because He first loved us.”  Even trudging through the muck of most agenda-ridden translations of scripture, if your PERSPECTIVE is correct, you can discover the genuine heart of God.  The verse I quoted above can be read two very different ways.  I’ll just use italics and bold font to illustrate my point:

1.  We love Him because He first loved us.

2.  We love Him because He first loved us.

The first representation of this verse is, in my experience, the way a heart bound in religion by the anti-Christ spirit will read and apply it to their own life.  The emphasis in this instance (and this is unfortunately the case within most of the body) is on what we DO because of what He DID.  It speaks to our indebtedness to Him for such a great love; for a love that He extends toward the wretch you are; the love the whole mass of humanity does not deserve.  The second representation of this scripture is, in my opinion, how the Spirit of God intended for it to be read.  It places emphasis on WHAT HE DID, and denotes our love for Him as the involuntary response.  It glorifies His sacrifice, and restores power to His love as the singular medium by which the human heart is reinstated to its origin in the likeness of God.  It declares what will happen, not commands what should.  It brings us to the end of our self-effort, as the gospel of Jesus Christ is intended to do, allowing us to rest into His sovereign leadership; to love Him naturally as our heart was created to do.  God Himself is the author and finisher of our intimacy with Him.  But it is very popular in most of church culture to create a structure around “cultivating intimacy” and the spiritual disciplines that “accomplish” it.

In the commonly used New King James Version of James 4:6-10 it says, “But He gives more grace.  Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’  Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”  We love this passage in prophetic, presence driven, devotion oriented streams of the body.  I’ve heard message after message on its importance in the pursuit of intimacy with God, and its being the apparent definitive text on what it means to humble yourself in the sight of the Lord.  There is only one problem, albeit a massive one, in that thinking: God gives grace to the humble.  The “proud” of this passage in James are not people with a high view of themselves, nor are they exclusively those who continue in their “sin”.  Let’s use another verse to illustrate the point.

In the book of John, chapter 14 verse 6, it reads “Jesus said to him, ‘ I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  We have heard this verse preached concerning the “purity” (there’s that word again) of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Many a preacher has used it to call Islam the spirit of the anti-Christ, or even to accuse other portions of the BODY of heresy and mixture.  We’ve been told, by way of this verse, that Jesus was declaring that every other ‘false God’ would never lead them to the Father, the revealing of whom is the purpose of Jesus’ life on earth.  Now, while it is TRUE that the ultimate outcome of Islam, Buddha, the occult, and every other non-christocentric religion is NOT the revelation of the Father, that was NOT Jesus’ main point.  He was pointing, pre-cross, to His work ON the cross.  He was not saying “Abandon all your idols, you sinners! Believing in me is the only way you will ever be saved!”.  No.  He was saying that if He were to forfeit the task of the cross, NO MAN would EVER come to the Father.  He was saying that the law was just as powerless as buddha, and that the inclusion of humanity in His death and resurrection was the salvation of all of humanity.  He was pointing to the finished work of His cross, NOT to another thing humanity must do to be saved.  This is grace.

In that context, let’s re-examine the passage from James 4.  The book of James is employed as the backbone of the argument that God demands purity of action and heart of His church.  It is often the thesis for reasoning self-effort into a gospel that was given to bring an end to that very thing.  We tend to forget that James was the flesh and blood brother of Jesus, and at one time did not believe that He was the messiah at all.  When Jesus came to him in the flesh after His resurrection, James’ eyes were opened to the reality that all the law and prophets pointed to his brother, and to exactly what He had fulfilled in His death and resurrection.  James was writing from a first-hand encounter perspective of grace Himself, and that has to be the lens through which we decipher his book.  The first portion of verse 6 says, “But he gives more grace.  Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”  (emphasis added).  If grace is extended to the humble, and grace is the revelation of the finished work of the cross, then humility is to relinquish every self-effort founded in the need to become better or please God.  One dictionary definition of the word “humility” is “an accurate awareness of oneself”.  It is not a lower view of oneself, but rather a correct one.  Kris Vallotton, of Bethel Church in Redding, California says this: “It isn’t thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.”  It is to live in the reality that He did it all for you, made you holy on the cross, and you cannot please Him more than you do in your current by-grace-perfected state.  Verses 7-8 say “Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you double minded.”  These verses are really the core of what I want to address concerning the way the anti-Christ spirit twists the purity of intimacy.  In light of the revelation of humility we just discussed from verse 6, submitting to God looks a whole lot different than we have most likely been taught.  We’ve probably heard that submission to God is “dying to your rights” and “taking up your cross”.  Such religious jargon translates into “give up hope that you’ll be fulfilled” and “stop sinning, sinner”.  But I want to suggest that submitting to God is quite entirely the opposite.  Submitting to God is certainly a death, but the difference is that the death has already occurred.  Submitting to God is coming into agreement with the truth that you were crucified with Jesus on the cross over 2 millenia ago, and raised with Him in His resurrection the same.  It is “dying to your right” to do anything for yourself, add to His already perfect work, or discipline the flesh into obedience.  It means, literally, to submit to Him….COMPLETELY submit to Him.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.  THAT is submission; the revelation that you are one with the living God by the mystery of the spirit, and that you have no part in your betterment or holiness.  Period.

In submission to God like that, the devil and all his minions have little power to effect you.  Did he have any power over Christ?  Are you one with Christ?  Well…then does he have any power over you?  It’s that simple.  Submit to the finished work of the cross, and he runs from Jesus in you like a cockroach from the light.  The reality is that the anti-Christ spirit only has power because it is living vicariously through the only agent of power on the planet earth: the church.  It rides on the backs of unwitting christians, indoctrinated with religion, and accomplishes much of what it wills through the authority they don’t even know they have; all the while, keeping them convinced its primary focus and vehicle are those lost, wicked “unbelievers”.  This is hideously deceptive, and extraordinarily sad.  Now, verse 8 is a much more comprehensive statement in regards to intimacy, and one exercised (unknowingly) by many “intimacy” focused ministries to paint a sugar-coating on a poisonous mixture.  The verse reads in the NKJV text “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you double minded.”  Presented with this language, it seems that James is drawing a picture of intimacy that is directly proportionate to the degree in which you are willing to cleanse yourself from unrighteousness.

Now, we would all agree that Jesus was the only one who could conquer the reign of sin in mankind, but we have contradictorily taught the body for years to manage their “sin nature” unto depletion by way of discipline and great self-effort.  This is where the mixture begins.  When Jesus died on the cross, He declared from His own God-man mouth that “It is finished”.  He then gave up His last breath, descending into the “grave” (hades: ha des – to be unseeing) to take the keys and set those held in captivity free.  The sin He became on the cross stayed in the grave, and was dealt the sentence that mankind had been experiencing on its behalf as our master until that very moment.  It was a finished work.  He made us entirely righteous.  ALL of us.  The law system says that righteousness was dependent upon performance, and that is precisely why Jesus came to abolish it.  The law wasn’t given to reveal to us what we need to do to be approved by God, it was given to expose sin; to uncover the fraud of the governing entity of emptiness that was ruling mankind, and point to the Messiah who would defeat it.  Righteousness was, and is, solely dependent upon God to establish it.  James 4:8 is declaring an already accomplished reality, not calling us to the fight to meet the standard.  In the original greek, the words “draw near” are translated from the word “eggizo”, which means “extreme closeness; immediate imminence or presence (it IS here).”  The root word from which eggizo comes is the greek “eggys”, which means “has drawn near”.  In light of the original language, and the perspective from which James was writing, we can begin to see the good news of grace in the passage.  It would more accurately be translated “You have been drawn into God, and He has made a home within you.”  It is not a cause-effect statement.  It is a “He caused it, you’ve been effected” statement.

The second half of the verse (cleanse your hands, purify your hearts) is traditionally read as a charge to those in compromise to get with the program; recognize the holiness of the God who has called you, and man up; quit acting like the world.  But the exact translation from the original greek (according to biblos.com; the apostolic bible polyglot translation) says this: “Have purified hands sinners, and have purified hearts you double minded.”  The difference is not immediate in the language of this verse, but rather inherent within its intended meaning.  James knew that the law did not purify, and that man could not make themselves righteous.  He was not referring to a system of behavior, saying that they had been made righteous once and forever in Jesus, but had yet to become purified because of what they were “doing”.  No, it is that exact mindset he is referring to when he says “double minded”.  This portion of verse 8 is saying “Come with your mind renewed, knowing that your hands and hearts have been washed in the shed blood of Jesus.  HAVE those things; possess your righteousness by the agreement of your heart.  Do not be double minded, saying you believe in His death and resurrection but refusing the victory therein.”  The perversion of the anti-Christ spirit, in regard to intimacy with God, is entirely contingent upon leading humanity back into a law-flavored perspective, where we DO to become more like Him, and are rewarded accordingly.  But the cross of Christ was either a finished work, or it was to no avail whatsoever.  It cannot have been a partial work, or then why did Jesus die?  If He died just so He could tell us that we still have a long way to go, it would have been better to simply leave us with the law.  We were entirely included in the cross of Christ, and brought in closer to God as a result than we could ever have hoped or achieved by our own merit.  Intimacy with God, TRUE intimacy, is the byproduct of the revelation of the finished work.  It is the renewing of the mind, and alignment of the heart, with our original and restored identity.  We love Him, because He first loved us.

This brings me to the next concept I want to discuss in relation to purity and the distortion of the anti-Christ spirit: Unity.  Over the course of the last few decades, there have been major efforts within the body of Christ to reconcile our differences and stand together as a united front.  Denominationalism is at its end, or at least it is in theory.  While it is most certainly the will of the Father that His Son’s bride would be unified, I am convinced that we are not going to truly see it until a very important revelation is commonly understood within our midst.  We have to remember that the anti-Christ spirit is not obvious; the enemy, as unworthy of esteem as he may be, is not unintelligent and has moved undetected (for the most part) in and through the church for centuries.  Even our good efforts at spiritual warfare have often played directly into his hand, and caused more wounding in the body than healing.  I want to suggest that we have not been successful in realizing his intentions and actions primarily because we have touted them, albeit unwittingly and because of his deception, as the heart of God for us.  True unity does not come from human effort.  It is the byproduct of the pure revelation of the grace of God, the only empowerment in which humanity is able to look beyond performance and love unconditionally.  While true unity is not based in doctrinal agreement, when the true revelation of who God is, who we are, and what He did at the cross is undiluted in its comprehension; when grace is rightly and fully understood by the church, we will see the unity that commands the blessing (Psalm 133:1-3).

In 1 Corinthians 1:4-10 Paul writes, “ I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”  The foundation of all that Paul says in this passage is in the context of his first statement: “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus…”.  This grace is the conduit by which Paul illustrates every other wealth of the knowledge of Christ coming to the church.  God does not simply have grace, He IS grace.  It was through Him, by Him, and for Him that we were rescued from the kingdom of blindness.  Andre Rabe says that “God was gracious before the fall of man”.  In other words, His grace is His nature, not a response to our “issues”.  Verse 7 of this passage has been tragically misinterpreted throughout much of church history.  The above quoted portion of 1 Corinthians 1 is from the NKJV.  But upon a little deeper word study in the greek, we can see a grave distortion to the original intent of Paul in this passage.  The words “so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” of verse 7 point to a future moment of unveiling, and thus a future day of reckoning.  However, the word translated as “eagerly waiting for” is apekdechomai in the greek, meaning “eagerly accepting” or “to welcome with hospitality”.  When the action of verse 7 is a future hope, and not a present reality, the verses preceding and following it (enriched..in all utterance and knowledge; the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift; blameless in the day) become standards we must meet rather than the inheritance of being formerly included in Christ before the foundations of time.

We love to use verses like this one from 1 Corinthians chapter 1 to prove that sanctification is a process, that we are obviously not living up to the work of Christ, and consequently to prove the need for “repentance”.  But Paul was proving the precise opposite perspective.  We are not waiting to become like Him; we were CREATED in His likeness, and reminded of it at the cross of Christ.  It is by THIS reality that Paul is able to say in verse 8, “who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  First off, any good bible student knows that the words in italics in your bible were NOT included in the original text, but added to bring context for the language they were being translated into.  In my NKJV bible, the words “that you may be” are not in the original text.  Read in its exact translation then, the verse reads “who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It becomes a promise that, because of the revelation of verse 7, your identity in Him in verse 8 (BLAMELESS) will be confirmed in the end to have been eternally true.  The word used here for “blameless” is anegkletos in the greek, and it means “blameless; beyond scrutiny; proven innocent in your original identity”.  In other words, He has and will accomplish the task of proving us innocent from before time; not make sure we get there by the time He comes back.  Verse 9 only further displays the reality of our inclusion in Holiness since before the frame of time.  When it says “God is faithful”, the word used for “faithful” in the greek is pistosPistos is an adjective that means properly “faithful; fullness of faith; fully believing”, and is derived from the root word peitho, meaning “persuaded”.  The verse continues, “…by whom you were called into the fellowship of His son, Jesus Christ our Lord”.  The greek word from which “fellowship” is translated is koinonia, which means “what is shared in common”.  With those two intentions in place, and referring back to verses 7 & 8, we get a clearer picture of what Paul was actually saying.  God,  is persuaded of our actual identity; that which we share in common with His son Jesus, our messiah; and that which we have shared with Him since before the foundations of time when He was slain.  God is persuaded, He KNOWS whether we believe it or not, that we are identified by our original identity; by our inclusion in the God-head.

In verse 10 of this passage from 1 Corinthians 1, Paul goes on to admonish those who call upon His name to speak the same thing.  What is that thing?  The point he spent the entirety of the former 3 verses establishing! That we ARE holy, in union with the God of the universe, and eternally blameless.  Paul’s longing for the body was that they would “speak the same thing”; that “there be no divisions” among them; that they “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and same judgement”.  His warning was, in essence, that without the common understanding and confession of our eternal innocence and one-ness with the living God, we would be divided.  That we would call ourselves by names other than the name of Jesus, dividing into sects and titles based on differences in our belief (verses 11 & 12).  That sounds to me much like the denominationalism that plagues the body today.  We have divided on much less important details than our original identity in Jesus, but it all began with the perversion of that reality.  John Crowder says “We are already in unity; we are already in Christ, and just as Christ is whole, so are we whole in Him.”  If we are to stand united; if we are to be the bride Jesus will return for, we must (and we WILL) confess that truth commonly among humanity.  Its absence is the driving force behind every division we have ever and will ever see.

We have been taught that holiness is a process.  We call it “sanctification”, because that makes the striving to “be holy as He is holy” sound very admirable.  In the blog post before this one, I spoke of how in Hebrews 10:14 the words “those who are being” are not in the original text.  It simply says “For by one offering, He has perfected forever the sanctified.”  Most will ask, “Then why, if it’s not a process, does so much of the church struggle with the sinful nature?”.  I want to suggest that the problem is not actually the sin, but rather the “sinner”.  Now hear me; I am NOT placing blame on the person we have labeled the “sinner”.  I say it’s the fault of the “sinner” because if you are sinning, (engaging in activity that springs from an emptiness inside of you) it is because you do not fully know exactly HOW complete the cross of Christ was.  You are not fully aware that YOU ARE NOT and NEVER HAVE BEEN a sinner, but rather that you were lied to by the accuser.  Yes, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.  But what is the glory of God?  2 Corinthians 3:18 says “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (emphasis added).  What are you looking at when you are looking into a mirror?  Yourself!  YOU are the glory of God!  The human race was created in the likeness of His glory; we were called by it.  It has always been His favorite name for us.  The enemy used deception about our identity to cause Adam & Eve to fall in the garden, telling them the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would make them like the God that they were ALREADY like, and he has utilized it ever since.  Your identity has always been in God, but we became what we believed about ourselves.  Thus, God loved us while we were yet sinners…because He knew the cross would declare the truth, and the truth would set us free.

The process then, is the mind being renewed unto the conviction of our established holiness.  As your mind is more and more transformed, you will begin to naturally act more and more as the person you REALLY are.  The process is merely the time it takes to reveal and disagree with the lies we’ve been taught about ourselves.  This is why it says in 1 John 2:1-2, “And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”  Jesus is not an advocate on our behalf FOR the Father; He is an advocate WITH the Father.  He isn’t there to hold back the wrath of God because of our horrid sin; the wrath of God was poured out on the cross.  He isn’t there to remind the Father that we aren’t really that bad.  He is there to remind US of who we are.  He intercedes (stands in the gap) because He is the example OF us, not FOR us.  We look to Him (repent) when we forget and engage in things that are below our nature, and He reminds us of the persuasion of God; that we are IN Him, and He is for us.  Jesus doens’t intercede to persuade God.  He intercedes because God is persuaded.  1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  The word used here for “faithful” is pistos in the greek, as in 1 Corinthians 1:9, meaning “persuaded”.  In other words, if we come to Him when we realize we are acting as the person we are not, He is eternally persuaded of who we are and just to remind us of it; just to rescue us from unrighteousness; to convince our hearts, and watch our hands act accordingly.  In 1 Peter, chapter 1, we read a portion of scripture often titled “Living before God our Father” or “Be holy”.  1 Peter 1:13 says “Wherefore, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, hope perfectly upon the grace that is being brought to you in the revelation of Jesus Christ…” (Young’s Literal Translation).  The word used in the greek that is translated “revelation” in this verse is apokalupsis, which means “unveiling” or “uncovering”.  The word translated as “perfectly” in the greek is teleios, meaning “completely; to the end; without wavering”.  Being holy is as simple as resting our hope ENTIRELY in the power (grace) that comes from our eyes being unveiled to the knowledge of Jesus, and our inclusion in His finished work on the cross.  It has nothing to do with our performance, and is not qualified or nullified by our own righteous or unrighteous actions.

The anti-Christ spirit has used “purity” (or at least our current understanding of it) to pervert purity itself since the garden.  It is time that we align ourselves with a pure gospel, free of humanistic requirement, and demonic control.  Grace is who God is, not a topic to be debated or diluted.  The final portion of scripture I want to look at before closing is found in Matthew 16:13-20.  This passage changed my life forever.

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’  So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’  He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’  Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’  Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosedin heaven.’  Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.”

Jesus, as far as the disciples knew at this point, was just a rabbi.  An incredibly powerful, miracle-wielding, radically devoted rabbi…but a rabbi just the same.  Scholars maintain that the disciples were most likely between the ages of 15 and 20, and those that were found fishing when Jesus came to them were only doing so because they had failed out of yeshiva (rabbinical school).  They were not learned, concerning the Torah and the prophets (old covenant scriptures), but they knew full well the prophecy of the messiah.  It was the entire point of the Torah, and the hope they had been culturally taught to believe in.  The messiah would come and free Israel from the reign of gentile nations, taking political power from His throne in Jerusalem.  It was in their history, told to them in bedtime stories since they could speak, and about them in their daily life.  So when Peter named Jesus as the “Christ” (Messiah), the Son of the Living God” by revelation from heaven, it was a far more impactful statement than is obvious in a non-contextual look at this scripture.  Peter realized that the hope of their freedom, the vindication of Israel, the messiah Isaiah had prophesied about, was standing before him in the flesh.  I can only imagine the sheer weight of that moment…as a teenage boy stood before God, and realized fully who He was for the first time.  Then, in that context of encounter, Jesus proceeds to declare true identity into Peter’s (Simon’s) heart.  He says first, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah…”, calling him by his earthly name and lineage (“bar” means “son of” in Hebrew) so that he might establish the transfer that was  about take place.  Then Jesus tells him that this revelation was not of any man, but that it came from His Father in heaven, establishing the purity of truth that was being released in that moment.  He goes on, “And I also say to you that you are Peter (Cepha)…”.  Peter (Petra in the greek; Cepha in the Hebrew) means rock, or solid place.  The God-man looks at the awe-inspired young man, and tells him he is a rock.  He tells Peter, the bumbling coward of the disciples who betrayed Jesus at the cross, fully knowing all he had ever done and ever would do, that HE was a rock.  He spoke to the exact insecurity that was the source of false identity within Peter, and canceled the lie of the accuser in one moment.  Then, in the same breath, He says “And on this rock I will build my church…”.  He was not saying that the church would be built on Peter, as the Catholic denomination adheres to.  He was saying that His body, His bride, would be founded on the reality that He was unveiled to us as the Messiah of the universe, and that He calls us by our TRUE identity; that He reversed the lie of the accuser, and brought to fullness the revelation of who He is and who we always have been in Him.  The word used in the greek here for “church”, as most of us are aware, is ekklesia.  I have heard many different teachings concerning the meaning of this word, and most of them are powerful and true.  But in my own searching I discovered something that will help to illustrate my point.  Ekklesia comes from two greek words: Ek, which denotes origin and kaleo, which means “to surname”.  It literally means “to call by name according to origin”.  When Jesus called Peter “the rock”, He spoke to the eternity written on Peter’s heart that witnessed to the very rock from which he had been hewn standing before Him, and knowing him.  He was telling Peter who he had always been, and that his sonship in the family of God was sure.  The revelation of Jesus, the messiah, the prophesied end of the law (grace), was and IS the key to the discovery of true and original identity.  Romans 5:8 says “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  The ekklesia that Jesus has been building, and will return to, was never conditional on our performance or confession.  As a matter of fact, He came as the end to that very system.  His church are those who discover their eternal identity, and turn from the lie that they could ever ill-perform their way out of it.  Grace, God Himself, came to show us who we already were; not to convert us into a robot for the kingdom.  Francois DuToit says it like this: “The ugly duckling didn’t need a face-lift, or lessons on how to live the swan life! It only needed to know the truth to be free indeed.”

True purity, the purity the anti-Christ spirit has been so diligent to dilute, is only in the pure gospel of Jesus Christ.  It comes from, and is for the sake of, the finished work of the cross and all He accomplished on it.  Purity of intimacy, of conduct (holiness), of doctrine come from looking at Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who endured the cross and sat down on His throne at the right hand of unadulterated power with His Father in heaven.  Purity comes from realizing we are on it with Him, and have been since before the foundations of time.

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About michaellevimiller

I am a man, and I will love well, if its all I ever do. View all posts by michaellevimiller

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