I think most people are familiar with deja vous. You walk into a room and are doing something that you feel like you have done before or seen before, etc. I believe the Holy Spirit often speaks to us in a similar way. You just know that you know something. Sometimes it is a “word of knowledge” about someone or some situation. Sometimes it is “feeling” about a circumstance. Sometimes it is a “discernment” about a person or conversation. Much of our journey and growth is learning to “hear” what He is saying in the way He says it to each of us. We are all different and He made us all unique and in His image. So we learn the “special” way that God speaks to each of us. That shouldn’t sound weird to anyone. God did it over and over in the Bible and still does it today.
Still there is the “doubt” that creeps in when you “hear” something that is contrary to everything you are “hearing” from the world. I guess that shouldn’t surprise us. Check out these scriptures:
2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (ESV)
Ephesians 2:2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— (ESV)
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (ESV)
Matthew 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. (ESV)
But don’t worry, there is good news for the believer who is listening to God:
1 Cor 2:10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (ESV)
So stuff in our heads can be pretty messed up if we aren’t listening to God and perceiving what He is saying. That is a “gift” of our relationship with Him. That is why Jesus came. He reveals the Father to us through the Holy Spirit. He lives in us so we will “know that we know” what God has to say. He even says that His “laws” are written on our hearts. His desires for relationship are now part of our DNA. When we trust (have faith) in Him and His love for us He can “show” us stuff about His nature and “fix” places were we have believed wrongly.
If you have been following this post for any period of time you have probably discovered that I don’t talk about Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit and religion like most people sitting in churches today. I would say that most pastors would likely punt me right out of the pew or put me on one of those one-way-rides out-of-town if they heard what I “spout” on this site. Still I have been compelled to write. I must write. God has put this fire in me that has to express itself as “revelation” to anyone that will listen.
Over the last 18 months or so I’ve said a number of things that would likely get a reaction. Again it isn’t with the intent of getting a reaction. The purpose is more deliberate towards “seeing things differently.” Many times it has felt like an island experience where I am so upside down compared to “normal Christian teaching” that I question myself. Then I just trust God and He moves me forward. In the last few (many) posts I’ve been leading up to a major revelation which is actually not new at all but ancient, all they way back to the beginning.
Without going through all the details let me just give one example:
One day God showed me a lamb. It was spotless and without blemish or defect (just like the Old Testament, right?). I was curious why a lamb. Then I saw the lamb was one of those sacrifice lambs. It was sad, really. I could tell this was a heart thing. Point is, I knew God was trying to tell me something. I asked Him why is the lamb spotless? I feel like He told me that the lamb was spotless for me. I am sure that God told us that the lamb had to be spotless. So I asked for clarity, or really, I questioned what I “heard.”
Then again I felt He said it was for us. Well of course it is for us, I thought. Then it hit me, hard. WE needed a spotless lamb. God didn’t need it. God has everything. He even says that all the cattle on the planet He doesn’t need. He says He prefers mercy over sacrifice. So now I am really reeling in my head. Wait…there it is…right there…boom. WE need to see a spotless lamb. If the lamb wasn’t “perfect” WE would doubt if it was good enough. The problem or dysfunction is on our side not God’s. God covered the Israelites “sin” with the blood of the lamb. It wasn’t because God had a problem with our sin, He expects it from a fallen human. It was because He loves us so much that WE would know He loves us by the blood of the lamb because HE SAID SO.
See the difference from what you may have been taught in the past? God isn’t angry and in need of some kind of appeasement. He is love and wants us to know we are accepted by Him. We get to see a perfect lamb so we will never doubt on our end. Our fallen human nature is at odds with God and enemies of God so we hide in the bushes from God and He brings us out of the bushes by removing our condemnation. It happened in the garden. It happened for Israel. I happened on the cross. God isn’t angry, we are broken. God doesn’t need a sacrifice, we need mercy. God doesn’t need a payment, we need Him to pay us a ransom since we are the ones holding ourselves captive by our wrong thinking about God.
Whew, deep breath. That was a long example but I am going somewhere, quickly I promise.
That kind of “revelation” has been hitting me over and over again. Still it is so outside of mainstream teaching that I was starting to think I was really loosing it. Maybe some marbles fell out and I didn’t recognize it. Maybe I am like the guy on Shutter Island that doesn’t even know he is the one insane. Then God dropped this into my lap:
I bet most of you are not systematic theologians so I apologize. It may not be a Wow! moment for you but it was for me and it sets the stage for what comes next.
Christus Victor is what the early church understood about the atonement of Jesus. Jesus came to rescue us. He came to save us. He came to deliver us from…wait for it…a fallen world and our fallen nature. Yep, it is that simple. God wasn’t punishing Jesus so we wouldn’t be punished. We are lost and in bondage so Jesus sets us free. God wasn’t angry at us and Jesus stepped in to “take the blows” of a mean God. No, God was expressing His mercy and grace through His incarnate life to save us from the oppression of the devil. God wasn’t pouring out His wrath on Jesus so He didn’t have to pour it out on us. He was letting us kill Him so we would know, without a doubt, His love for us. He is raised from the dead and instead of coming after His killers, He comes to live inside us.
The alternative to Christus Victor is “Penal Substitution” or “Satisfaction Doctrine.” This alternative arose over time in response to circumstance, wrong believing, disappointment and many other factors. Google it or Wiki it or read this book:
There is so much that I could discuss but instead I think I’ll just write a bunch of posts filled with inspiring and insightful revelation about how awesome God really is. At least that is why I have been trying to do from the start.
The exciting thing for me is I have been sharing this truth for a long time and didn’t know it was “real” and had existed well before what would be “mainstream” today. Yay! I’m not crazy! I hope you “tune into this crazy channel” for more and more. I really feel like God is bringing us into a “new” understanding that is really the original understanding. God is NOT angry at us, He is in love with us. God isn’t in the retribution business, He is in the rescue business. God isn’t a punisher, He is a pursuer. God isn’t distant, He is deliberate. God isn’t aloof, He is ALIVE. I pray He reveals Himself in a greater way to all of us.
Christ is Victorious!!! Jesus is King!!! We are His kids!!!