Chasing Girls

I would meet a girl. I would sense in my spirit that nothing would happen with her. I would still go after her. This pattern would repeat over and over again. Religion taught me that God told us what to do and we just followed the commands.

When I lived by a command to do what God said, my flesh was lusting after a wife. It tried on it’s own to find wife.

This mentality of doing the things that God tells us to flies in the face of God. God works through the heart. His only command is to believe in Him for eternal life. Once I believe in Him for eternal life, he guides me through decisions through the desires of my heart. He can give me the desire to do something, or the desire not to do something.

Now I don’t need a wife to be content. If I don’t want to chase after a particular girl, I am free not to. It’s nice that it’s not a command to follow. I get to live from my heart.

What is a Soul?

The word soul in the Bible is the English translation for the Hebrew word nephesh, or the Greek word psyche. With that, we really have to study these Greek and Hebrew words to really understand what they say about God as our source of life. First, let’s look at nephesh.

Nephesh means life or self. Just think about this. This word is used in Psalm 16 when it says, “My flesh will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol. Nor will you let Your Holy One undergo decay.” A better translation would be, “My flesh will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my life to Sheol. Nor will you let your Holy One undergo decay.” Sheol means the grave. A deeper look at Sheol can be seen here.

We also see the word nephesh in the 23rd psalm when it says, “He restores my soul.” Another way to see it is, “He restores my life.” Another verse is Job 33:18 which shows that God raises the dead by saying, “He keeps back his soul from the pit, And his life from passing over into Sheol.”

Nephesh comes from the word naphash, which means to breath or to be breathed upon. It is passive, as we are receiving the air. Right now I am passively receiving the air around me. In the same way, God’s life is something we passively receive and continually depend on to live. On the day of the resurrection, out bodies won’t need physical oxygen because it will be forever sustained by God’s immortality.

Now that we know what nephesh means, we can look at psyche. Psyche means mind, will and emotion, but it is the Greek word that the Greek Old Testament uses for nephesh. For example, in Mark 8:36, Jesus says, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” When we see that soul means life, it means that gaining everything the world has is meaningless if we don’t have eternal life.

Psyche in some instances can refer to the original Greek definition of mind, will, and emotion. One example is 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This verse is for a Greek audience. It is meant to take a jab at Greek philosphy, which says that the body is evil and the soul needs to escape the body. The verse shows that the body is not evil and the complete man; body, soul, and spirit; will be restored by God’s immortality.

I know this is a lot. Just read it a few times and let the Holy Spirit precess it in you. You will see the work God does to preserve our lives.

Slidell’s Life

I watched a video of an African wild cat. The animal sleeps lightly and investigates every sound. It gets up to see what it is. The African wild cat is the ancestor to the house cat. They were domesticated years ago and went through a physical changes as they became house cats, but the behavior has remained the same.

This is why cats become curious. They tend to at least get curious about sounds. It’s a survival instinct. The cat needs to know if it’s a threat, harmless, or food. But, my cat, Slidell, does not investigate any sounds. I even made a few sounds for her to investigate, but she slept.

What’s going on? She feels safe. She knows that there are know real threats. All she knows is that her life is taken care of. Nothing harmful ever comes into her territory (my apartment).

All she knows is that her life is cared for. She has all the food she needs. She is free to do what she wants.

This captivates my heart because this is the life God intends for us. We were designed to live knowing that our lives are taken care of. The problem is that the death in the world will tell us our lives are not taken care of.

The same thing happened to Jesus. It looked like His ife was not taken care of. He was nailed naked to a cross and died as His friends abandoned Him. Yet, we see in His resurrection that His life was taken care of.

I do feel like my life is not taken care of. Money is super tight. I have no close friends. My sleep has been terrible. But the resurrection of Jesus tells me my life is taken care of. From that platform, I live like Slidell, knowing everything is taken care of.

Bible Knowledge

I was on the phone with a friend and going off about theology. The talk covered everything from Sheol to how Exodus is about God’s desire to dwell with man. He commented that he did not have as much Bible knowledge. That’s fine. That’s not evil. The Bible is a tool to see the Word, and you can have little Bible knowledge but understanding of the Word.

The Bible, not Jesus, is the Word. The Greek word for Word is logos, which means “thought or idea.” It’s God’s way of thinkimg that he put in Jesus. YYou can have tons of Bible knowledge and have no clue how God thinks.

But, Bible knowledge is one way God shows us how He thinks. As I study the Bible, I get no new truths. I just get different ways to see the same truth of how death was conquered in the resurrection of Jesus.

Not everyone is gifted to teach the Word like me. That’s okay. The body of Christ needs administrators, practical helpers, prophets, shepherds, apostles, evangelists and other roles.

This is why I am often tired. I have no resurrection fellowship. I’m a teacher. I’m not a shepherd. Without a shepherd, why will minister through personal relationships? What about an evangelist to share the gospel with others?

Teaching is a time consuming gift. It takes hours of continual study. Then I have to work everything out on my dry erase board. That’s why I have this donation page. If you support this ministry I will have more time to show you Jesus in the Bible. The truth is, when I gain Bible knowledge, I don’t gain more truth; I just have a different way to see the same truth.

However much you understand in the Bible is okay. If a person boasts that they know the Bible, ask them to quote the whole thing in Greek and Hebrew from memory. It’s about seeing who Jesus is, not knowing a book.

Do I Pray Out Loud?

Things religion made me self-conscious about: praying out loud. If I want to be a great husband, I should pray out loud. Many believers think that praying out loud means that you are verbally expressing something to God. But if you see that prayer is our union with God, then you will see that praying out loud is any expression of what the Holy Spirit produces in us.

The Holy Spirit is in me and thinks in me. It is a fellowship in which our thoughts are one. This leads us to verbally speak out of that union. Any verbal expression of that union is prayer out lout.

Directly expressing ourselves out loud includes directly expressing ourselves to God, but includes much more. If I explain the word to someone, that is praying out loud. If you encourage someone in the Word, that is praying out loud. If you prophecy or use a word of wisdom, that is praying out loud.

So don’t let those religious lies discourage you. Just speak what is on your heart.

Jungian Languages

What’s this about? Carl Jung never discussed languages!

No he didn’t. He was a psychologist. This post is actually about communicating and how the Holy Spirit helps us communicate with different personalities.

This ties into Carl Jung’s theories on cognitive functions. Cognitive functions are the ways in which we process information. The way we communicate. Under Jung’s theory, there are eight functions. There are 16 combinations of four of those functions that appear in people.

Our communication style often stems from our cognitive functions. They are like languages. The problem is that we don’t always understand these languages. The answer is the Holy Spirit.

God designed our personalities. He created our cognitive functions as unique ways to reflect him. He can give us the insight as to better explain things so that others will understand. The best part is that He frees our hearts from whether or not others understnd us.

This was quite freeing for me. I often felt like because of my intelligence, very few people understood me. This is because a lot of what I say will go over people’s heads. But, that’s okay. I’m content. God understands me and that is good enough.

Before You Amputate Yourself (Matt. 5:29-30)

Read Matthew 5:29-30 (NASB)

This is such an extreme statement. A college professor once told me of people who took this far enough to actually amputate themselves. What a way to handle an obviously hyperbolic language. Sadly, religion still gets this verse wrong. This quote has been taken to mean avoid anything that tempts you to do bad things. It includes, “Don’t turn on the news if it makes you angry about politics. Don’t drive on that street if you will be tempted by the girls on that billboard.”

This interpretation is based on a false view of sin and is too dependent on week human flesh. It fails to produce God’s life. Our hearts are still flooded with the serpent’s wisdom.

Once you realize that sin is to have eternal life apart from God, it’s obvious that this statement is saying to stop finding your life by the things of the world. The hand and eye are good examples because they seem like the most basic things we need for life.

Now to further discuss this, you need to know that if you check the Greek, Jesus was not talking about some place where bad people get tortured when the word “Hell” is shown in the English translations. In fact, Hell is the name of the Anglo-Saxon underworld. If you’s seen the film Thor: Ragnorok, you will remember that the main villain was named Hela. In the original mythology, she was named Hel.

The Greek word translated as Hell is Gehena. Gehena refers to the valley of Hinnom. It’s a real valley outside Jerusalem. In the old testament, sacrifices to false gods were made in Hinnom. Jeremiah prophesied of fire and destruction in Hinnom. By the time of Jesus, the Jews thought the wicked would be executed there when the messiah returned and the dead are resurrected.

This shows us that Gehenna was the word Jesus used to talk about the second death. The second death happens when Jesus returns, the dead are resurrected, and those who don’t accept eternal life experience an eternal death of nonexistance. They die because they do not accept God’s free gift of eternal life.

What Jesus is saying that you need to stop finding your life in the things of the world. Those things really won’t matter if you end up dead. But once you let go of the life of in the world and accept God’s promise of eternal life, you won’t die. Living is more important than what this world has to offer.

This is why the heresy of eternal torment in Hell is so dangerous. It takes the focus off of the truth that eternal life only comes from God. When I realized this, the things of the world started diminishing as I saw that they had no ability to raise me from the grave. I’m single. I want to get married. If I don’t, so what? A wife can’t raise me from the grave.

What do Warren Buffett and I have in common? We are both going to die. I might not have as much money as him, but God will resurrect me and give me immortality.

In summaray, eternal life comes from God and not the world.