Words Words Words – Clearing the Dust of the Ages

Sermon 5/8/16

To download, right click this link:   5-8-16 Words Words Words 1

Jesus Words of Life:

John 6:54-69 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you…? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

THE WORDS I SPEAK – rhéma (from rhéo, “to speak”) – a spoken word, made “by the living voice”         rhéma (“spoken-word”) is commonly used in the NT for the Lord speaking His dynamic, living word in a believer to inbirth faith (“His inwrought persuasion”).

However – we have  problem – we don’t ‘hear’ the words He spoke in Hebrew or Aramaic. We hear English translated from the Greek through centuries of ‘translation.’

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”   If we used a different vocabulary or if we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.

Hebrew Words – Hebrew is God’s heart language—the mother tongue of the Scriptures Jesus read. Hebrew is also an extremely rich, poetic language that looks at the world in very different ways than English.

Some ideas simply don’t travel well across languages and time. In order to taste the true breadth of expression of the Bible’s ancient words, you have to travel back mentally to their original Middle Eastern setting.

Romanizing the Jesus Movement Dr. Dwight Pryor

WHAT TODAY is called “Christianity” actually began as a messianic movement within Judaism. From its inception, the Jesus movement was thoroughly Jewish in its composition and culture. The Rabbi from Nazareth taught in the manner of other Jewish sages…

In subsequent centuries, however, the Hebraic foundations of the Gospel in the West were eroded or even excised under the weight of the prevailing Roman worldview. Some of the shifts were seismic, others were more subtle, but together their influence reverberates upon the Christian mind even today.

FOR EXAMPLE, by the end of the Fourth Century, the emperors Constantine and Theodosis had wed the church to the Roman Empire. What began as a persecuted minority sect metamorphosed into a persecuting majority, a triumphalistic State religion concerned more with worldly power than fidelity to the Kingdom of the gospels.

Theological shifts occurred as well. Preoccupation with the individual and the soul’s place in the afterlife displaced the Hebraic orientation of creating a new humanity, a renewed covenant community of people, reconciled to God and one another in love. The powerful redemptive work of Messiah that transformed lives became objectified in the sacraments… And the church which began as a redeemed community of committed disciples became an imperial organization composed of anyone willing to confess the Apostles’ Creed.

The multiple images of atonement found in the New Testament, all drawn from the Hebrew Bible – such as sacrifice, conflict and victory over evil, ransom and redemption, reconciliation, and adoption into a family – gave way to doctrinal “theories of atonement.” Justification and a juridical view of salvation began to dominate, conceived more in categories of retributive Roman law than the relational context of a Torah given in grace.

Y/H/W/H, Israel’s gracious God, became re-imaged in the popular mind after the likeness of Greco-Roman deities whose anger had to be appeased.



Luke 19:12-24 “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’

15 And when he returned, He called his servants, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’

And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ ‘…You also be over five cities.’

20 Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’

22 You knew that (perception) I was an austere man???

austéros (ow-stay-ros’) grim, severe, strict, exacting, harsh, rigid.

Tyrant or Shepherd?

4-17-16 Tyrant or Shepherd  (right click to download)

How do you get people to do what you want them to do?

Pressure, nag?

Manipulate, trick?

Threaten, fear?

3 John: The contrast between Gaius and Diotrephes

3 John 1:1 The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

PROSPER – euodóo real success – “truly prosper”

HEALTH = hygiaíno – in good working order, in sound condition, in-balance, working well, free from debilitation, functioning with all parts working together.

3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth in you, just as you walk in the truth.

4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

5 Beloved, you do faithfully for the brethren and for strangers,

6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. You send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you do well…

Gaius – beloved, walking in Truth, giving, helping, welcoming, partnering.

However –

3 John 1:9-11 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

Diotrephes –

loves to have the preeminence

does not receive us

prating against us with malicious words.

does not receive the brethren

forbids those who wish to

putting them out of the church.

 

CONTROLLING & ABUSIVE

Controlling: to dominate & command.

Abusive: To injure, do harm

SPIRITUAL ABUSE! Definition:

Spiritual abuse is the misuse of a position of power, leadership, or influence to further the selfish interests of someone other than the individual who needs help.

Sometimes abuse arises out of a doctrinal position. At other times it occurs because of legitimate personal needs of a leader that are being met by illegitimate means.

Spiritually abusive religious systems are sometimes described as legalistic, mind controlling, religiously addictive, and authoritarian.

Effects: Spiritual abuse has a devastating effect on people. A very high level of trust is often placed in spiritual leaders. That trust should be honored and guarded. When such trust is violated the wound is very deep. Sometimes so deep that the wounded person cannot trust even legitimate spiritual authority again.

The emotional and psychological symptoms exhibited by victims of spiritual abuse parallel those to victims of incest to a remarkable degree. The main symptom is the inability to relate normally to people who represent the source of their emotional injury.

Besides fear and disillusionment with spiritual authorities, the spiritually abused person may find it difficult to trust even God.

 

Jeremiah 23:1-4 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD.

2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them…”

“But I will gather the remnant of My flock… and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the LORD.

3 John – John, Master Communicator of Goodness

 

Sermon 4-10-16 – 3 John 2  (right click to download)

We have lost something:

Philippians 1:27 (KJV) Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:    Philippians 3:20 (KJV) For our conversation is in heaven…

From politeuomai; a community

Sherry Turkle,  Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other – “The conclusion she’s arrived at is not, technically, that we’re not talking to each other. We’re talking all the time, in person as well as in texts, in e-mails, over the phone, on Facebook and Twitter. The world is more talkative now, in many ways, than it’s ever been. The problem, Turkle argues, is that all of this talk can come at the expense of conversation. We’re talking at each other rather than with each other.”

communication

But more than this concern how technology effects conversation – it goes way back – to the Tower of Babel – and even further – to Adam and Eve in the garden. After the sin there was hiding and brokenness in relationship.

But your iniquities have been separating between you and your God, And your sins have hidden The Presence from you — from hearing.    ISAIAH 59:2 Youngs Literal Translation

‘FROM HEARING’ – What we have lost is the art of real conversation as we were created to communicate.  How often does ‘conversation’ turn into two simultaneous monologues?  communication-essentials-for-relationships-1024x594

Since Adam we have inherited a hearing disability – we have lost the ability to hear into the depths – to really hear the heart, the spirit.

Levels of Communication:

Mind – information, data

Heart – emotions, longings, dreams, fears, wounds

Spirit – identity, calling, giftings, revelation, view of reality, Holy Spirit 

The Apostle John was a Master Communicator – He had walked with The Master Communicator – Jesus – and he had seen and heard and experienced how it is to be done.

That is how we need to see the letter of 3rd John. Not as a simple transmission of information – but a COMMUNICATION of Life.

3 John 1:1-8  The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:

2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (THIS IS THE PURPOSE OF THE LETTER)

3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 5 Beloved, you do faithfully for the brethren and for strangers, 6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. You send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you do well,   because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

TO HAVE A ‘PROSPEROUS’ SOUL, A whole person of well-being

– PROSPER – euodóo (from 2095 /eú, “well, good” and 3598 /hodós, “a journey on a particular road”) – properly, to go on a prosperous journey; (figuratively) to be on the right (profitable) path, i.e. leading to real success where someone “truly prospers”. WHOLE PERSON – BODY, MIND, SOUL, SPIRIT, RELATIONSHIPS, FINANCES, EMOTIONS,

HEALTH = hygiaíno (the root of the English term, “hygiene”) – properly, in good working order – hence, “healthy,” in sound condition (in-balance, working well) means to be free from debilitation (incapacity, handicap) – hence, functioning holistically with all parts working together (“sound”).

John is showing us here how to be a person who speaks and actually COMMUNICATES this to another – how to be a person who speaks goodness to another.

He is exampling the very thing he is writing about – and COMMUNICATING it to Gaius.

5 Ways:

  1. HE DELIGHTS in Gaius – DIVINE LOVE IN ANOTHER – SEES THE GOD-VALUE, DELIGHTS TO SEE GAIUS GROWING, SEES THE GOOD,

To delight in another – this opens the door for soul-nourishing. The Soul PROSPERS in relationship, in real interactive hearing/sharing relationship.

  1. PRAYS FOR – this word for prayer speaks of a HEART PASSION for another – and that passion, that longing flowing out of the mouth to God and to them what you long for them – a deep heart longing.
  2.  JOHN WRITES A LETTER – WRITES – hand written, thinking through, pondering, writing – this is healthy!  The act of writing it down is powerful and significant.
  3. HE GIVES ENCOURAGEMENT – He speaks of things that GAIUS is already doing. Real encouragement speaks of the VALUE of what the other is doing.  He sees in Gaius – TRUTH, GENUINE GENEROSITY, A GIVING  HEART FOR OTHERS
  4. JOHN EXHORTS HIM- He encourages him into more – more of the very thing that will bring true prosperity – giving, helping, partnering in ministry, in his calling, partnering with others in their calling.

 

 

 

 

Easter Peace

Easter Sunday sermon, Pastor Bruce

Easter Peace  (right click to download this sermon as an mp3 file to your computer)

Before His death, and after the resurrection – Jesus word was “peace!”

John 20:19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace to you;’ and he showed them his hands and side; the disciples rejoiced, having seen the Lord.
JESUS USED THIS WORD 6 TIMES THESE FEW CHAPTERS –  HE CALLED IT ‘MY PEACE”
eiréne (from eiro, “to join, tie together into a whole”) – properly, wholeness, i.e. when all essential parts are joined together; peace (God’s gift of wholeness).

THE CORRESPONDING HEBREW WORD -SHALOM – “The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. In English we call it peace, but it means far more than just peace of mind or ceasefire between enemies. In the Bible shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight— rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as the creator and savior opens doors and speaks welcome to the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things are supposed to be.”

Author and professor Cornelius Plantinga in his book “Not The Way Its Supposed To Be: A Breviary of Sin”

John 14:27   Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Palm Sunday – A Triumphal Entry?

Palm Sunday Message Pastor Bruce

3-20-16 (right click on this link to download the mp3 file to your computer)

WAS IT REALLY A TRIUMPHAL ENTRY?
Matthew 21 (English Standard Version) The Triumphal Entry
1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village… you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Bring them to me. 3 If anyone asks, say, ‘The Lord needs them,'”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey.'”

8 …the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?”

And later that week they crucified Him. Why?  What was the main issue? They put a sign over His head to make sure no one misunderstood: Mark 15:26 And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS.
When they mocked Him,  heaped scorn upon Him – it was THIS issue –  Mark 15:31-32 …the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”
The contempt was this: YOU ARE A KING? A TRIUMPHANT KING? – YEAH RIGHT, LOOK AT YOU!

Was He? Was He a King? Was He triumphant?
From their perspective – “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!”
They surely didn’t get it, they didn’t see it.  Not in any sense that they could measure was He a triumphant king.

All the kings they were familiar with would send their armies with swords and spears, and heads would roll. They used fear and terror to enforce their power. They forced their will on others at the point of a sword.

Jesus very purposely entered Jerusalem on that very day to fulfill the reason He came:
Luke 9:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 13:33 “For it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.”

Jerusalem was a  walled fortress, and in the middle was the temple, amazing in its beauty, but filled with religiosity, the  Sanhedrin, high priest, romans, garrison soldiers, Herod,s palace, Pilates governors palace, power, money, struggle control, teeming with 10’s of thousands at the Passover celebration, there was oppression of the poor, tax collectors, zealots plotting throw off power, the Pharisees training center
It was a seething corrupted mass of humanity – it represented everything good and bad – religiosity, politics, hope, corruption, God’s dwelling place – the ark, and mercy seat – such a mixture.

And Jesus rides right ito the middle of all of it, and He WAS TRIUMPHANT!
It sure didn’t look like it – it looked like Rome and the High Priest crushed Him. It looked like all was lost.
Was He triumphant?  How?

YES HE WAS – But Jesus worked in a very different process, His Kingdom & reign worked on very different principles than this world’s politics & religions – they use power & control – just like the kingdom of darkness.

The Kingdom of God fights and wins in a whole different way –  Jesus was operating from a very different realm.
John 12:23-28 “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain…
27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”
Jesus reveals his powerful principle here – a grain of wheat ‘dies,’  but still has life – that life springs forth bears fruit.

Jesus – stepped into the dirt of our humanity – into the full depths of it, into the scorn, shame, contempt, the misunderstanding, corruption, abuse, and died in it – a violent death.

He planted his germ of eternal life into this dirt, this broken realm, planted into this earth, this humanity – and the germ of eternal life sprang forth from that death, that burial into abundant life.

This is the picture of our salvation – how does Jesus save us? What is going on?
Is He just changing the accounting in His books, while we remain unchanged?
Does He just stamp our eternal passport – so when we get to gates we get waved on through?

NO!
He planted the seed of Life. Jesus said,  “THE SOWER WENT OUT TO SOW”
Mark 4:3 “Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among the thorns… 14 The sower sows the word.
The Word is living active – the seed of life -this is Jesus – the Living Word.
Can the ground prepare self, correct self? No, the farmer must prepare ground – He is doing that, in us, in you – fully receive seed, life. – Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
SWORD =  máxaira – properly, a slaughter-knife Smaller, very sharp… It lays us bear, it incises the cancer, the festering wounds of the soul, the inner person – to destroy? NO – To cleanse the cancer, to bring healing.
James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. WICKEDNESS – malignity (soul cancer)
LAY ASIDE = MIDDLE VOICE – NOT ABLE WELL TRANSLATED ENGLISH – NOT ACTIVE, NOT PASSIVE – ACTING AS BEING ACTED UPON, DEEPEST SELF INVOLVED IN PROCESS
POINT – WORD SURGERY, WORD CLEANSES, AND
JESUS VERY PATIENT AS CLEANSES, PLANTS SEED IN US – dies, it produces much grain.

BODY, SOUL, SPIRIT – THERE IS A SAVING – RELEASING, HEALING RESTORING PROCESS
PICTURE JESUS GOING INTO TEMPLE – CLEANSING, MAKE IT FATHERS HOUSE – PRAYER = CONVERSATION, DWELLING IN, HEARING, LISTENING
BEGINS HEALING –
LAME – UNABLE TO WALK
BLIND – UNABLE TO SEE –
THEN – a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies – CARRYING INTO THE GROUND THIS GERM LIFE ENTERS INTO OUR DIRT, SOIL OUR LIVES – BRINGS LIKE OF ETERNAL REALM INTO US
BODY, SOUL SPIRIT – LIFE, CLEANSING, HEALING – FRUIT

EVERYONE OF US – DEEP INSIDE – THERE IS DEEP BROKENNESS, A ‘DEATH’ – IT DISCONNECTS US FROM OUR TRUE IDENTITY, FROM HIM, FROM OUR TRUE SELF, FROM OUR INHERITANCE, FROM ONENESS IN FAMILY…

OHER KINGS, THE KINGS OF THIS WORLD  – THEY LIVE INSIDE THEIR OWN CASTLE WALLS, CLOSED OFF, ISOLATED, DISTANT – SENDING ORDERS OUT, SENDING ARMIES, EMISSARIES, THEIR MESSAGE IS “STAY AWAY, DON’T BOTHER ME PEASANT!”

HE TRIUMPHS BY BRINGING WORD OF LIFE INTO THE DEEPEST PART OF US, TO INCISE, CLEANSE, GIVE LIFE!

LAST NIGHT PACIFIC GARDEN MISSION – TESTIMONIES HOW JESUS IN LIFE – BROUGHT LIFE HEROINE ADDICT CRACK COCAINE ADDICTION, CRIME, PRISON, HOPELESSNESS – FREEDOM!

——————
ANYONE HERE FEEL DEEP NEED? DEEP BROKENNESS, DISCONNECT, SHAME, THORNS OF SHAME, HURT, SORROW, GRIEF, LOSS, REGRET
AS WE SAY – YES LORD, YES JESUS, KING, – YES YASHANA – SAVE US! PRINCE OF PEACE!
STEP INTO DEEPEST PART ME, BRING WORD OF LIFE, HEALING

THEN WE CAN GO OUT WITH JOY – BE LED FORTH PEACE –

The Best Gift Ever

The Best Gift Ever (right click to download)

Sermon from March 6, 2016

2 John – Abiding In the Spirit

2 John 1:2,9b  I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children… because the truth lives [abides] in us and will be with us forever…  9 the one who lives [abides] in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

What was the best gift you were ever given? Think of the gift you were most excited about as child – where is it now?
Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of  _______________

What does he say the gift is? Eternal Life? Going to heaven when we die? That is how many of us who grew up in the church would complete this sentence, having heard sermons Sunday after Sunday about getting saved so we can go to heaven when we die.

But, Is that how Peter completed this sentence?  NO!

This 1st sermon preached on birthday of the universal church – the 1st proclamation, this is key! So, what does he say here? This is fundamental! This is what the church is, this is what faith is all about.

Here is how Peter completed that sentence: “…the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children…”
He is remembering what Jesus promised: Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

I grew up my whole life in the church, I went  4 years to  Bible college -I learned a doctrine of Holy Spirit – I could quote scriptures about Him, I memorized facts about Him – but I did not have a clue of how to “Walk by the Spirit.”

I personally believe that the ‘great apostasy’ began 1500 yrs ago – the Church has gone 1500 years without any real practical personal life walk of experiencing the daily reality of the Holy Spirit – this has been completely missing in the church at large, and the result has been that for 1500 years the church lost infilling of spirit as a primary focus.

So we may completely miss apostle John saying here to the church.
2 John 1:2,9b I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children… because the truth lives [abides] in us and will be with us forever. 9 the one who lives [abides] in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

We turn the Person into a doctrine – facts, thoughts in my mind about Jesus. NO!
The Truth is a Person – The Spirit of Truth
The Holy Spirit – with fruit – goodness, joy be with, With gifts – healing wisdom
With knowledge – He knows future,  with all the power in the universe!
The gift is a Person, a real person, a best friend, a very humble, patient person. He is not touchy, not easily offended, not insecure. (and not a ghost.)

This is what John is talking about – The Truth abides in you — He knew what Jesus meant when He promised – John 14:17 That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you.
John 15:26 “The helper whom I will send to you from the Father will come. This helper, the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, will declare the truth about me.