Monthly Archives: May 2015

FAITH DOUBT AND CERTITUDE

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Some of my mentors have been saying certitude is bad, because certitude makes you a fundamentalist like the Pharisees, and leaves no room for faith, and if that’s true, then doubt must be a good thing, because without a degree of doubt there’s no need for faith.

However, I have a problem with this concept.

But Romans 14:23 says, “He that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not from faith is sin.

If certitude eliminates the need for faith, and doubt equals a lack of faith, where does that leave us?

Everyone places their faith/trust/confidence in someone or something, the key lies in where we place our faith.

If we place our faith in anything that has to do with self; our theology, our talents, our intellect, or our intuition, our faith can be dangerous; – – – doubting ourselves is wise.

Our confidence, faith, trust must be placed on Jesus, and doubting Him and/or not trusting His wisdom or motives, equals a lack of faith.

Actually everyone lives by faith, we collect as much information as we can,  but when it’s time to make a decision we have to take the next step, even though we may actually be betting our life. (each time we on walk on to a bus or airplane)

True Biblical faith, choosing to pick up your cross and follow Jesus, includes some uncertainty about the future, but it requires a total commitment,

My favorite example is the three worthies facing the fiery furnace, I believe they had the perfect balance.

“Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.  BUT IF NOT, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

Their future was uncertain, and they obviously could not save themselves, but their faith/trust/confidence in God was complete.

 

Next; SELFISHNESS vs. UNSELFISHNESS

 e-mail,  vancecycles@yahoo.com

May 31, 2015

A GOD WHO RISKS? OR NOT?

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Several years ago I read a book titled, “The God Who Risks,” by John Sanders; great book John, but in my not too humble opinion, you only got it half right.

Imagine metaphorically with me that This Great Cosmic Controversy is a high stakes poker game, I know, sounds a bit like blasphemy, but please bear with me.

Does God risk? Well, They ‘BET IT ALL,’ in other words, GOD’S ‘ALL IN!’

So in one sense The Trinity literally bet EVERYTHING on The Plan of Redemption, if Jesus would have failed his rescue mission, Satan would have won, and given enough time, would have most likely found a way to destroy the Entire Universe!

Sounds like the Ultimate Risk to me.

However, on the other hand, GOD must have most certainly known He held the winning hand, so in that sense, there was Absolutely no Risk at all.

 

 

Next; Doubt vs. Certitude/Faith

e-mail,  vancecycles@yahoo.com

 

May 31, 2015

JESUS MAN vs. JESUS GOD

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  THE DUAL NATURE OF JESUS

To live His life as a man Jesus gave away everything He could possibly give, his crown, his throne, even his memory, (“Jesus increased in wisdom and stature”), right down to his very last drop of blood, – – – but two things were impossible for him to give up.

His Deity, because that’s Who He is, – – – and His Authority.

Authority can be delegated, but it can’t be given away, especially if you’re The Creator of the Universe.

While Jesus was walking around Jerusalem looking like a homeless beggar, (as The Original Under Cover Boss) his army of holy angels recognized Him as their Captain of the LORD’S Host, and so did the demons.

Imagine with me for a moment; meeting Superman, he looks at you with a big silly grin, and says, “Follow me,” then he blasts off into outer space; – – – obviously a sick joke.

                                                                     

Here’s my point; when Jesus says, “FOLLOW ME,” he’s not just joking around, so that means, ‘IT IS POSSIBLE.’

This must also mean that Jesus was able to live a perfect life, and do all of those miracles, ‘as a Man,’ without using any special powers unavailable to us.

I’m fully convinced that everything Jesus did, was done by his Father’s power, through the ministration of angels. In other words, all of the tools Jesus used are available to us, – – – a Spiritual Connection with The Father, Love, Faith, Prayer, and The Sword of Truth.

Satan tried to get Jesus to misuse His authority by tempting him to ‘command’ the stones to become bread, he knew that’s all it would have taken for him to win the battle.

Jesus spoke with His Authority when he forgave sins, when he cleansed the temple, and when He said, “You have heard it said, – – – but now I say.”

Fully realizing that you, and I, can actually follow in Jesus’ footsteps, eliminates every possible excuse.

NEXT; DOES GOD RISK?

 e-mail,  vancecycles@yahoo.com

May 31, 2015

GOOD vs. EVIL

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Let’s begin where we (the human race) went wrong, – – – with The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Before the fall everything was perfect, holy, righteous, and beautiful, but after Adam and Eve had their little chat with the serpent, and lost their trust in God, their minds became separated from the Infinite, like a computer un-plugged from the Internet, and their thinking went binary.

I have two metaphors for eating from God’s forbidden tree.

 

1. “PLAYING WITH MATCHES.”

When you were a small child your parents probably said, “Don’t ever play with matches, if you find matches bring them to us right away! Fire is very dangerous, if you play with matches you will burn down the house and kill us all.”

However, when you were older your parents taught you to use matches responsibly.

Genesis 3:22, The LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as ones of us, to know good and evil.

According to Genesis 3:22 knowledge of good and evil is not a sin.

Yes, Matthew 7:1, says, Judge not., however, Romans 14:4 speaks about not judging outside of your jurisdiction,  then Proverbs 31:9 Speaks about judging righteously, and 1 Corinthians 6:3 says, Know ye not that we shall judge angels?

Apparently God planned to instruct us in righteous judgment at some later date, but choosing to figure it out on our own certainly hasn’t worked out all that well for us.

 

2. “THE THRONE OF GOD.”

God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the garden and the animals, but only as His stewards. The forbidden tree is a symbolic representation of God’s throne, His Authority as Judge.

Metaphorically, eating the forbidden fruit was like jumping up on God’s throne and saying, “We don’t need no baby sitter, we can choose our own way, and judge for ourselves’  what’s right and what’s wrong.

This separated them from their source of Infinite Knowledge, and dropped their level of perception from holistic to binary, causing them to think and perceive dualistically.

Before the fall there was no use or meaning for words like good and evil, because everything was perfect, holy, and righteous, just as it will be again after the restoration.

Meanwhile their eyes had indeed been opened, – – – to a dismal two – dimensional black and white, either/or, humanistic world of pain and misery.

The high balance between good and evil is loving, holy, righteous, actions.

Always choosing to do the most loving thing for everyone concerned in the circumstances.

So no thing, and no action, in-and-of-itself, is either good or evil, this is the  nuts and bolts of the grand illusion.

 

As an example, imagine you have been called into court because you witnessed a man cutting off a persons arm.  He was wearing a white coat, but you can’t honestly say whether the man was,

1. A surgeon amputating an arm to save a person’s life.

2. An inebriated doctor amputating the wrong arm by mistake.

Or

3, A mad man sawing off the arm in anger.

For the court to judge this man’s actions, his motive and competency must be taken into consideration.

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare

In heaven, the words, ‘good’  and ‘evil’ will be obsolete.

NOTE: I’m not saying evil does not exist, I’m saying we are not qualified to judge, because evil has more to do with the intentions of the heart than it does with the deed itself, and God is the only one qualified to judge hearts.

I’m saying that to act righteously; to do the right (most loving) thing for everyone concerned for all of eternity, we must be connected to infinite knowledge; under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, because even when our intentions are good and loving, we can still cause harm to others by acting on our own, without Jesus.

All of Jesus’ actions were righteous, but he accomplished this by only doing and saying what the Father told him to do and say.

“I can of mine own self do nothing: – – – I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father.” (John 5:30)

“I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” (John 12:49)

 

– – – – – – – – – – – –

P.s. The serpent’s most subtle lie.

By drawing Eve into a third-party conversation ‘about’ God, he insinuated our Loving Heavenly Father was an absent God, somewhere far far away, concerned with more important matters.

And of course that’s a big fat lie.  Jeremiah 23:23-24, “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

So the next time it feels like your prayers are bouncing off of the ceiling, stop and realize, you are buying into this original lie.

Next; “JESUS MAN vs. JESUS GOD”

e-mail,  vancecycles@yahoo.com

May 31, 2015

THREE DIMENSIONAL PERCEPTION

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Adam and Eve were obedient children who walked and talked with God in the Garden of Eden. God created them in His own image, and they were in complete harmony with him, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
We know they fell spiritually and physically, but it follows that they also fell mentally.  Without their connection with God their minds lost power, and became binary and unbalanced, and they no longer perceived holistically, a perception I call three-dimensional.
In this unbalanced condition one hemisphere of our brain seems to contradict the other, and one side usually becomes dominant.
A binary two-dimensional mind perceives on an “either / or” level, where things appear to come in pairs of opposites, i.e. black or white, hot or cold, up or down etc.
The apparent opposites seem to be mutually exclusive so we feel compelled to take sides, but we are actually accepting a part-truth as the whole-truth and seeing the rest of truth as a threat to truth.
But neither half can be ignored without seriously rupturing truth. Truth is a unity, both sides being so interconnected that the meaning of each depends upon its relation to the other. Splitting truth creates an illusion of separation and conflict.
Imagine a person with a lazy eye who has only been able to see two dimensionally, when his eye has been corrected he sees much more than twice as much as he could with one good eye. With both eyes focused on an object he’s suddenly able to perceive in a whole new dimension, and likewise when we’re able to focus both sides of our brain on a concept we are able perceive in a whole new way.
A two-dimensional person presented with a three-dimensional concept scratches his head and calls it a paradox, a dilemma, or a catch 22. When someone is able to reconcile the two apparent opposites into an integrated whole, we say they are thinking paradoxically. I prefer to call it thinking and perceiving three-dimensionally.
I believe binary thinking greatly distorts and limits our perception of reality, and causes much of the confusion and disunity on this planet, so an important part of the plan of redemption is to re-balance our minds and restore our ability to perceive clearly.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and we haven’t lost our ability to see the third dimension, so I believe some pictures may help to clarify this concept.

A popular paradox is one that pits the optimist against the pessimist. It’s a glass that contains fifty percent air and fifty percent liquid. The optimist swears the glass is half full, because he assumes the glass is being filled. The pessimist says it’s half empty, because he assumes it’s being emptied.

 

In either/or land it has to be one way or the other. A person who sees the truth might try to make peace by saying, “Your both right, the glass is half full, and its also half empty.” But they would probably gang up on him and say, “You have to make up your mind, you can’t have it both ways.”
Actually the glass contains fifty percent liquid and fifty percent air, and this may sound silly, but this is the kind of thing two-dimensional people argue about.

Next we come upon two either/or people focused on opposite sides of a dime. With each of them stuck in their own point of view, one only sees heads and the other tails. A person with a balanced, open mind sees the three-dimensional dime.

 

 

I use an equilateral triangle to diagram the transition from the two-dimensional level, to the third dimension. The bottom line of the triangle represents the conflict between the apparent opposites. The top point of the triangle represents the place where the apparent opposites meet and balance one another to unite and become whole.

                                             

The religion that teaches that everything must have an opposite to keep things in balance is partly correct, but there are several problems with this theory. First of all things that appear to be opposite but reconcile in the third dimension, were never really opposite in the first place. We were only looking at the same thing in two different ways.

There’s a second group of things that also appear to be opposites, but if we examine them more closely we find that one is actually the absence of the other, i.e., darkness is not the opposite of light it’s the absence of light.

Thirdly there are cases where one thing we call an opposite of another is actually a distorted version of the original, i.e. falsehood is not a thing in-and-of itself, it’s only a distortion of the truth.

Then there are the things that are truly opposites, like submission and rebellion.

Two common sayings that sound like they contradict each other are, “Look before you leap.” And “He who hesitates is lost.” These two sayings are reconciled in perfect timing. It’s been said that, “God knows no haste and no delay.”

                              

Hopefully the following diagram story will make this concept even clearer. Imagine two different religious organizations, one believes truth is a perfect square, and one believes truth is a perfect circle.  

 

The Circle Church is convinced there can be nothing in the universe more perfect than a circle. They see the Square Church people as rigid, conservative, old fashioned, and “square.” The Square Church is very proud of their four perfect ninety-degree angles and their perfectly equal sides. They see the Circle Church people as liberal, worldly, and “pointless.”

As long as they remain in the two-dimensional either/or world, there are only three alternatives.

l. They can remain Separatists, and go to their Round Church and their Square Church.

2. They can go to War and try to eliminate one another.

3. Or they can Compromise.

Which brings us to a very important word, possibly the most important word of our day. That word is, ‘Unity.’ All believers agree we’re supposed to have unity, but there’s a true unity, and there is a false unity. False unity comes from compromise. If the “Squares” and the “Circles” try to reconcile their differences through compromise they’ll come up with an octagon, or a stop sign.

                                

If a Blue Church and a Green Church tried to compromise, they would conclude that truth was blue-green, but if they took their focus off of one another and kept their eyes on the prism, they would eventually reach a true unity in the pure white light.

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Meanwhile let’s say a few people from the Circle Church and a few of the people from the Square Church humble themselves enough to communicate, and discover a higher truth in the third dimension called a cylinder! – – – – No, I’m not saying the truth is a cylinder, it’s just a good example of how two apparently opposite points of view can be reconciled in a higher dimension.

                 Oct2907                       Oct2908

Neither of them were completely right and neither of them were completely wrong, but both of them have to become willing to give up their pet theories and their limited points of view to be able to perceive the three-dimensional whole.

If we follow any truth to its logical conclusion it will lead us to an even higher truth, but truth is too complex to be diagramed as a single arrow, the whole truth is much more like a wagon-wheel.

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The spokes on either side of the hub represent pairs of apparent opposites that reconcile with one another at the hub. For the wheel to run smoothly, all of the spokes must be evenly balanced, (temperance in all things). If we let our attention drift away from the hub and on to any one of the spokes for more than a moment or two, the centrifugal force will carry us away from center and unbalance the entire wheel.

The apparent opposites which are really two poles of a three-dimensional whole, will have an active and a passive nature. A plus and a minus quality like a battery. i.e., Law (active) and Grace (passive), Judgement (active) and Mercy (passive), Lion (active) and Lamb (passive). And just like a battery, truth’s power depends upon unity of opposite poles.

Now stretch your imagination a little farther, and pretend you’re laying on your back in a tee-pee looking up along the poles and out of the small hole at the top.

The hole at the top of the tee-pee represents Jesus Christ, who is the Truth. It is in Him that the tops of the equilateral triangles, the tee-pee poles, the spokes of the wagon-wheel, and the colors of the rainbow, all meet and become one, in the full prism Truth of Jesus. 

Just like the force of gravity in the tee-pee, and the centrifugal force of the spinning wagon-wheel, the things of this world are constantly trying to attract you, but if you simply do not resist, God will draw you upward and to himself by the power of his love.

If any of this appears self-contradictory, so be it, because spiritual reality is of a higher dimension than physical life. When the elements of truth seem to stand in opposition to each other, hold them in tension by faith without picking a side, and continue to study believing you will eventually discover how the apparent opposites meet and are reconciled on a higher level. Then truth which appeared to be in conflict with itself will arise in shining unity and we will see that the conflict was not in the truth, but in our sin-damaged minds.

Mystery is not the absence of meaning, but the presence of more meaning than we can comprehend.

                                                                  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

Imagine how short the Bible might be if Adam and Eve would have simply ignored the serpent.

It probably would’ve said, ‘God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden, they terraformed planet earth and made it into one big garden; they multiplied and filled the earth with beautiful children, and lived happily ever after.’

 

My point is this; about ninety nine percent of the Bible is God’s love letters to fallen humanity.

In other words, the Bible was written for people with two – dimensional sin damaged, binary minds.

Please consider this; many verses in Scripture call Jesus a man, and just as many verses say He’s God, but there are no verses that say Jesus is The God Man.

Likewise, many verses declare God’s Sovereignty, while others clearly speak of man’s freewill.

These are higher paradoxical truths that must be held in tension through faith while we continue our studies.

Truths which must ultimately be grown into.

Next; Good vs. Evil.

e-mail,  vancecycles@yahoo.com

May 30, 2015

THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION

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Introduction:

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and some truths must be grown into.

I’m hoping to connect with a few people who understand, but much of what I have to say will sound like conjecture to many, and nonsense to most.

I have a ‘simple’ formula for solving Biblical paradoxes.

And I believe I’ve found solutions to the following:

1. Good vs. Evil.

2. The dual Nature of Christ/ God vs. Man.

3. A God Who risks vs. A God Who does not.

4. Doubt vs. Certitude/Faith

5. The Absolute vs. The Relative.

6. The Lion of Juda vs. The Lamb of God.

7. Jesus of Nazareth vs. The Captain of the Lords host.

8. Selfishness vs. Unselfishness.

9. Halks vs. Doves/Warriors vs. Pacifists.

10. The Soverignty of God vs. the freewill of man.

11. Calvinism vs. Arminianism.

Next; Three Dimensional Preception.

e-mail,  vancecycles@yahoo.com

May 29, 2015