Sojourn Supplants Stoics

This is the third of a “series” about seeking an appointment with Jesus today.  We have looked at two words that have been historically associated with a second coming.  I contend that these words and concepts were intended for now, in our walk now, not for some future by and by.  Religion has pushed the power of God into a time far far away.  Jesus said it is for now.  The first word we looked at was the word for epiphany.  This is when God connects the dots for us and we have on of those Eureka moments.  The second word was about appearing.  Sometimes we just don’t see Jesus in our circumstance and He wants to be our solution.  He shows us how to see Him in everything.

The next word in this series is “coming” in this context:

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.  11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.(ESVST)

This is the Greek word: Parousia (/pəˈruːziə/; Greek: παρουσία) is an ancient Greek word meaning presence, arrival, or official visit.

To understand what is really being discussed in passages like this we need some background.  First remember this verse?

Mat 3:11 “ I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  (ESVST)

When did Jesus do this (the first time)?  Check this out:

Acts 2:3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (ESV)

So I want to suggest that the baptism of “fire” and the Holy Spirit are the same.  The “fire” of God is His refining love.  Maybe we will go deeper in another post.  For now I want to show you this amazing discovery.  Here is the Peter passage again.  Check out the bold phrases:

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.  11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.(ESVST)

I could spend a bunch of time here but I want to honor your time.  The words burned, dissolved and melt are words that mean literally in the Greek to vex, pass out of sight, reveal, come close and loosen.  It is like the refiners fire that brings the dross to the top and the pure gold is left. 

The word translated as “heavenly bodies” is this word:

stoixeíon– properly, fundamentals, like with the basic components of a philosophy, structure, etc.  Refers to “the rudiments with which mankind . . . were indoctrinated (before the time of Christ), i.e. the elements of religious training or the ceremonial precepts common alike to the worship of Jews and of Gentiles” (J. Thayer).

It is the same word that we get “stoic” from.  Here is a little Wiki on Stoicism:

Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will (called prohairesis) that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual’s philosophy was not what a person said but how that person behaved.

Here are some passages with the same word (in bold):

Gal 4:3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (ESV)

Gal 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? (ESV)

Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (ESV)

OK, that is a lot of background but can you see it now?  Peter is talking about getting rid of this empty philosophies and worldly traditions.  Paul says it plainly here:

Col 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations (ESV)

The Earth isn’t being consumed with a fire that burns it to a crisp.  Jesus comes and baptizes us with fire and the Holy Spirit to remove all that stoic behavioral teaching.  He “burns out” the wrong understanding and renews our minds like a refiners fire.  He gets rid of the demonic influences and lies.  He brings the Kingdom to Earth.  In His Kingdom is Him.  He comes and we are set free.  The first time that happened was on the day of Pentecost.  It has been happening over and over again throughout history. 

Listen, I don’t know what I believe concerning a traditional second coming teaching.  I’m listening and trusting God to reveal what I need to know.  For now I’m not concerned.  I am His child and He is my Abba.  I am His brother and His bride.  If He comes to take me away so be it.  I know it will be awesome.  I do not however believe in a bunker mentality.  I believe the Bible is very clear about Jesus “appearing” and “coming” in our lives over and over again. 

I don’t know what happened to the people who Peter writes to.  The Bible doesn’t tell me.  But I do believe that Jesus showed up in their situation.  I believe He is still doing it today.  I know that the enemy has used religion and religious institutions to teach “Jesus is on some great vacation and we are on our own.”  That is wrong.  It denies the power of God.  It is what Peter was warning the people about…empty philosophies based on human wisdom and experience.  Jesus is our experience.  He is our philosophy.  He is our answer.  He will “come” into your life.  You can bet on it. 

I am expecting to run into Him around every corner.  How about you?  Are you looking forward to a Sojourn Supplanting of Stoic teaching, or any other empty philosophy of human tradition (even if it was taught in a church)?  I am.  Come Lord Jesus Come!  Parousia for all of us.  He sets us free so we can be free indeed.

Yay God!

Lance

a new way of seeing Wisdom

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. I love this: “I am expecting to run into Him around every corner. . .I never experienced this before. .this expectation of the supernatural — this (dare I say it) reversal between the supernatural and the natural — until Jesus began showing me Who He is. .and I began understanding just a fragment of the depths of His incredible grace. Jesus. . .I understand so little. . .please speak faith into us so that we can truly see the depths of your love for us.

    Like

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