God what do you want talk about?
Things that will make you unpopular.
Why on earth would you want to do that?
Because they are things that need to be spoken.
Why say them to me?
Because you’re listening.
Yes but others are too. Plenty of others are listening. Tell them!
I already am telling some of them. These are things that need to be said by many. A ground swell of rebellion. Voices rising up that insist on being heard. A protest from within the system. A cry that begins to change how things are done. A shout that topples the walls and brings the old doors crashing down into the dust.
Oh far out God! Do we have to talk like this? I sound like an old AOG prophet with indigestion. Taking out his bad humour on the unsuspecting congregation.
Not at all. This isn’t a condemning discussion. It’s the complete opposite. I’m going to set people free from the condemning voice of religion. I’ve had enough of the mental conditioning that lists all the things that I supposedly expect from them. All that’s going out the door. I want them to focus on what they should expect from me. Less about what they have to do, and more about what I WILL do.
Man I hate when you talk like this God!
Because it sounds like I’m starting a new religion - a mushy, no-absolutes, you-can-do-what-you-like Gospel. And I get enough grief from the naysayers about that already. Half the time I agree with them. I’ve never agreed with the line of thinking you’re telling me.
Exactly. You’re all convinced, even you, that I’m focused on sin. I’m not. I want to get rid of it, not talk about it. So I gave you the law, and it didn’t work. Getting you to put in the effort and get rid of sin didn’t work. I knew that would be the outcome, but I needed you, mankind, to learn the truth first hand. You cannot fix your lives up properly on your own. Can’t be done. You’re not designed that way.
Then I came and did the job for you. You need to focus on the job I did for you, and not the ones you think you need to do for me.
Although grace says you can do what you like and still find mercy, it’s certainly not what I want. Forget what the naysayers think. When a person doesn’t want to know truth they’ll look for reasons to justify ignoring it.
Mark I want to talk to you about the silly ideas that people get about bible verses they hear. They hear a scripture used by a preacher in a sermon, and after that they imagine that the way the preacher used that scripture is its true meaning. It’s often not. Yet they assume that because they heard it preached that way, it must be correct. That’s like believing everything you see on TV. Just because you hear it preached, does NOT mean it’s correct. You need to ask ME the meaning of scripture, test everything you hear, allow me to teach you the meaning of what you read.
‘…you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him.’ 1 JOHN 2:27 NIV
When I don’t teach you the meaning of a scripture and you simply apply it without asking me first, it becomes instantly dangerous. The Pharisees crucified me with the help of scripture, Paul massacred the Christians with the justification of scripture. Scripture can heal, or damage. Depending on whether I have taught you the meaning and application. You have been on the receiving end of this Mark, but you have also done damage to others using scripture as your weapon.
Good one God! I probably lost half my readers right there. Who am I to make comments like that about preachers and sermons and bible verses?
Well obviously you’re nobody. Totally out of your depth, as you put it, ‘without a platform’ to say such things. Which is exactly how I like it. Speaking through nobodies suits me fine.
I want to talk to you about that verse about ‘seeing through a glass dimly.’ People use that scripture as an excuse. They misinterpret it and make it a tidy justification for not having to be in conversation with me. It suggests that because you can’t quite see or hear what I’m saying, then there’s no need to be in conversation with me.
Here’s a little scripture just to balance that erroneous interpretation; ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word THAT PROCEEDS from the mouth of God.’ Not just the ones that already have proceeded (past tense) from my mouth some 2000 years ago and are now written down, but the ones proceeding now (present tense) Mark!
Moment by moment conversation with God is no longer seen as important by the chief priests and the teachers. And yet Mark if you try a ‘relationship’ with me without back and forward conversation with me you’re in grave danger of fulfilling that horrible indictment; ‘They practise a form of Godliness, but deny the power thereof.’
God but you always say not to blame the teachers because no one has taught them.
And I’m still saying that.
But this sounds pretty condemning?
Not at all. I don’t condemn them anymore than I condemn you. But this has to be said. Otherwise the error will continue through further generations of teachers. And Mark you’re not the only one saying this. More and more and even more voices will shout this until the teachers take heed. MY. PEOPLE. MUST. HEAR. MY. VOICE. FOR. THEMSELVES. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Unless you push past the religion, brave being unpopular with those in charge, and insist on hearing as much from me as I do from you, then you’ll end up luke warm. Sorry, but that’s the truth of the matter. Many are going to decide to hear from me no matter what others think, and become far more unpopular than you are now.
Mark the world is miles ahead of the church. They realise the danger to a relationship when a couple don’t talk back and forward. And yet still the church refuses to recognise the lunacy of not being in a back and forward conversation with me. You all have plenty of ways to speak at me. But almost no forum in which I can speak back to you. Not in a tangible, measurable way that you can actually take hold of and say confidently, ‘God told me this today. And he said this last night, and this yesterday morning.’
God it’s worse than that. If people make a habit of saying ‘God told me this’, or ‘God told me that’, then they’re seen as slightly mad. It makes others uncomfortable. I can see it in their eyes when I say it.
Of course it does. Because there’s no acceptance of this being normal, as a result there’s no way to check the validity when someone claims they’ve heard from me.
Because you all know there’s no real forum, no recognised way to hear my voice.
As a result it’s obviously safer not to try and hear from me in the spirit. Instead the accepted norm has become to read scripture without any real idea of how to hear my voice on what you’re reading. Just like it says in the story of Samuel, ‘The voice of the Lord was not often heard in those days.’
Ok. I feel like I’m interjecting too much here. You want to say more about that verse about ‘seeing through a glass dimly’ don’t you?
Yes. A lot more, and today will not see us finish this discussion.
But let’s just start with the example of a young couple.
When a couple are in love they speak. The man can hear exactly what she is saying. He can write down her words if he wants and he certainly remembers many of her words of love for the rest of his life.
But he doesn’t understand them. Not right away. Many of them are too deep for him to fathom. Some so deep he can’t even accept that he heard them, but decades later, his mind recalls them.
And so it is with listening to me. You hear me. Anyone who wants to can hear me crystal clear. But you don’t understand the full meaning, often you’re not even sure that what you heard is me. Which is what the scripture means Mark. Right now you see (hear) me dimly. That’s the way of love. You hear clearly the words the other speaks, but you don’t always understand them. That’s what the scripture ‘seeing dimly as in a mirror’ means. Not this crazy idea that you shouldn’t expect to hear me speak all day long.
If I heard the voice all day long ‘I can do nothing from myself/as the voice comes to me, so I give a decision.’ And Paul heard it all day long, ‘the privilege of intimate conversation with God.’ And both of us made it clear that what I did you will do, and what Paul did you should imitate, then obviously, you too should expect to hear me speak all day long. This is Christianity 101 Mark and yet so many who teach do not understand it!
How on earth can anyone be expected to ‘live by every word THAT PROCEEDS from the mouth of God.’ if they cannot hear me speak all day long?
We are NOT talking here about the words I have already spoken and that are now written down, but the words I AM SPEAKING NOW. How on earth can you live by those words, if you’re not hearing them now? Ask them that!
When a couple are first together they don’t fully understand the words they hear the other speak. Although they hear them clearly they don’t understand the meaning. But as the years progress they learn to understand what the other is saying. Sometimes crisis opens their eyes, sometimes tenderness. The human condition is complex. Anyone can hear me speak. But if you allow the words to be stolen away they will be.