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  1. Yes, I'm not too worried about them. My greater concern is with the more extreme pre-Mills whose doctrine tends to take away any incentive for Christians to do anything to improve conditions here and now. According to their doctrine, we can only rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic!
  2. What can I say, Not Me, to your latest but AMEN, AMEN! Please don't think me presumptuous, but I would like to ask anyone reading the article on "Christ as us and the Kingdom of God" to pass on the link to as many people as possible and to otherwise distribute it as widely as each person can. Not because it is a good article, but because I believe that it contains something of great importance which should be discussed and prayed about by as many people as possible. If the church is to avoid the opposite pitfalls of the Manifest Sons of God (or something similar) and the retreat mentality of extreme re-mill teaching, something like this approach is needed; Christ ruling through people who are completely open to him. That is what the church needs to be teaching today, for the time is right. Amen, praise God, for bringing his reward Amen, praise God for justice now restored Kingdoms of the world become the Kingdom of the Lord Love has the victory forever (sung to the tune of "Marching through Georgia") Norman Grubb was led to his conclusion through a personal crisis of faith. While a missionary in Africa, he was distressed that he could not love the African people as he knew that Jesus did. So he prayed that God would grant him such love but, in effect, the answer that God gave him was for he (NG) to simply cease trying and allow the love of Jesus to flow through him. From this personal experience, he found the core of his life's mission to the wider church.
  3. Hi BeauJangles, Sorry for delay, but I have been offline. I don't agree with the manifest sons of God movement but I think of them as a mistaken interpretation of the sort of idea that is suggested in the article. I think that we are moving into a phase in which THE Son of God will be manifested through his surrendered people. Norman Grubb was a very deep Christian thinker who, more clearly than most, understood the implications of Christ within. A good, and brief, introduction to his thought is the little book "Its as Simple as This" which can be found free online. Simple, but not easy! Blessings
  4. “it matters not the doing, only who’s doing the doing.” I like that! The Kingdom of God is a mosaic and the part we play, be it large or small, fits where God intends it to fit into the whole. There are two contrary approaches to the Kingdom on Earth. One is the theonomic post-millennialist and "manifest sons of God" approach where it is believed that the Kingdom can be brought into manifestation through the rule of Christians acting as Christ's representatives. The other extreme is the extreme pre-millennialist view where we can do nothing, where all will get worse, until Christ comes again. Both are, I believe, wrong to some degree and right to some degree. The first is correct in that we play a role in the building of the Kingdom while the second is right in leaving it all to Christ. These are only reconciled by the belief that Christ works through us; that we are not to "represent" Christ but to simply allow him to work through us. I believe that this is an urgent matter for the church at this time. Norman Grubb was used by God to emphasize this aspect of the Gospel (he did not invent the doctrine, but God enabled him to see it more clearly htan most.
  5. You are right about not getting too hung up over relatively minor matters when there are such important things raised here. The really vital matter, as it seems to me, is to move from "Christ in me" to "Christ acting through me" (more or less = "Christ as me"). Grubb taught that God created humans to be (as it were) receptacles of God the Holy Spirit in this world. He taught that only God possessed true personhood in the absolute sense and that we are persons only through our relationship with God. Think of an analogy involving the Sun and Moon. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as moonlight; it is only sunlight reflected from the Moon and if the Sun stopped shining, the Moon would be dark and invisible. If we fantasize that the Moon could think, imagine that it becomes deluded into believing that it is generating moonlight and not just reflecting sunlight. In its mind, it has become a little sun! Similarly, in Grubb's view, human beings only (as it were) "reflect" personhood. God is the Sun and we are the Moon. But we (like the Moon in our analogy) came to think of ourselves as autonomous persons - little gods so to speak - and it was in doing this that we split ourselves away from God and sin and evil entered the world. Christian ethicist Michael Hill said that to sin is to use something for a purpose other than that for which God created it and here we see the misuse of ourselves. God created us to be receptacles of the Holy Spirit and we misused these intended receptacles as independent persons. The very core of these persons (us) is sin - "sin within" motivates us. Everything that enhances our self or ego is the root of sin. But if we are born again of the Spirit, then our inner sin has been taken to the Cross - Christ has paid the price on our behalf and now he lives within us. For the Christian, any ego-enhancing thought must be recognized as the result of sin within and, as each such thought arises, we must claim Christ's victory over it. But all thoughts and desires that put the Kingdom first and all desires to confirm with God's law arise from Christ in us. So to have Christ act through us (or as us) we must put away the former desires and act on the latter until the former fade away and the latter - those arising from Christ within - become habitual. Then God can direct us to where he wants us, whether this is in the role of a wife and mother, factory worker or President of the United States.
  6. I think that God will raise up the sort of Christians whom Grubb would describe as "Christ-as-us" Christians (yes, Not Me, I agree that this term is not the best; I prefer "Christ acting through us" but I use the term to identify with Grubb's terminology) to take leadership positions in church, government and society in general. Eventually, the rule of Christ will come to complete manifestation through these surrendered people. Michael Cassidy's work in South Africa can be seen as a foretaste of this, I think.
  7. I would like to direct you to an article "Christ as Us and the Kingdom of God" that further develops some thoughts published here earlier. The article is found at daffydd.simplesite.com and concerns some implications of the teaching of Norman Grubb. I believe that the topic is one that will become increasingly important in the years ahead.
  8. I have published a version of an earlier post at this site in the hope and prayer that it will be open to a wider readership (anyone is free to copy and distribute at any time and in any place). It is found at daffydd.simplesite.com (yes, the spelling is different as the single "f" name has apparently been used already!). I do really think that God is moving the church to take seriously the call to have Christ live not just "in" us but "as" us in Norman Grubb's sense, and thereby "through" us in both the church and (by degrees) eventually in all social situations. As God chose Luther as a vehicle through which the central doctrine of salvation by grace through faith was illuminated, so (I believe) God chose Norman Grubb as the instrument through whom divine light was shed on the doctrine of Christ being the Life of our life. You may like to read (prayerfully and thoughtfully) "The Calvary Road" by R. Hession (Preface by Norman Grubb) at http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/sanctification/thecalvaryroad.pdf "It's As Simple As This" by Norman Grubb at www.normangrubb.com/Its%20as%20simple%20as%this.htm and, for an earlier publication "The Way from Darkness to True Illumination" by Jacob Boehme at www.passtheword.org/DIALOGS-FROM-THE-PAST/darklite.htm Could it be that the time is coming when Christ will rule through people who are in such a state of surrender that they are moved only by the Holy Spirit; that disputes are settled by handing the issue over to God alone and simple waiting upon the direction of the Holy Spirit and not by pressing for one's own ideas? Could it be that people of faith are being called to make this wonderful truth known in the wider church? Could YOU be one of these people???
  9. Lewis did not believe in Purgatory in the RC sense and did not believe that it "purged" us from sin. Only the Blood of Jesus can do that as you rightly say. But he did believe that there is a sort of "correction" after death. Paul also seemed to have believed this as he spoke about appearing at the judgment seat of Christ (Rom 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10). Those who appear here are already saved but still need to be assessed by Christ. The word translated "judgment" is one used for the inspection of troops in an army, deciding upon reward or discipline.
  10. I should add that this post should also be read together with my earlier one, "A Way to Seek First the Kingdom". They both really go together. Many blessings.
  11. Not a false teacher I think, but some of his "followers" have gone far from his position.
  12. This was the expression used by evangelical mystic Norman Grubb. Upon conversion, Christ is in the believer, but to truly be able to say (with Paul) "Not I but Christ in me" we must accept that our sin nature ("sin in me") has been crucified with Christ and yield to the presence of Christ within. Then "Christ within" not "sin within" becomes the Source of our life - our true Self, so to speak. This doctrine has been misunderstood, even by some who see themselves as followers of Grubb. Grubb at no time suggested that we in any sense "become" Christ. Think of it this way. Imagine a glass filled with wine. A wine-judge holds up the glass to examine the color of the wine and, if the glass is transparent and clean, he will see the wine clearly but hardly notice the glass at all. Glass is glass and wine is wine and there is no possibility of the glass becoming the wine. It is simply the container of the wine, but the judge's attention will be so concentrated on the wine that he will hardly notice the glass at all. C.S. Lewis had his fictitious demon Screwtape complain that his Enemy (Christ) wanted to fill the world with little copies of Himself. I know what Lewis was saying, but, with Grubb in mind, I think that a better way of expressing this would be to use "images" rather than "copies". The latter suggests "spiritual clones" however imperfect, of Jesus. "Images" implies something different. Let me explain. Imagine a million telescopes all over the world all focused on the Moon. Each telescope forms an image of the Moon at its eyepiece but each observer sees the Moon by the same moonlight. There are not a million "copies" of the Moon, but a million images which each manifest the same Moon to a million different observers. It is by and through each image that every observer sees the one Moon. Needless to say, the observers do not see the telescope as they observe; only the Moon. In a sense, the telescope eyepiece act as (very broadly speaking) a "container" of the lunar image, but it would be too absurd for anyone to say that the telescope somehow becomes the image or, still less, the Moon! These analogies are not perfect of course (no analogy can be) but I think that they reflect the meaning of Grubb's teaching on this subject.
  13. Hi Joe, I doubt if there has ever been a Christian who has not experienced this. I once heard a visiting preacher tell the congregation of my former church that the best Christian he ever knew was an alcoholic who kept falling off the "wagon" but who, through the power of God in Jesus, picked himself up again and continued his walk with God. Read Romans 7 - 8 and you will see that even Paul was fighting a returning sin. He identifies it with coveting. I cannot imagine Paul coveting any material possessions, but he may have coveted the ability of people like Apollos to speak. This could have caused jealousy and problems for the young church. But Paul saw this as arising from sin within him and found the only way of dealing with it was not by making a determined effort to get rid of it, but by yielding to "Christ in me" and constantly turning from the sinful desires to those originating in the inner presence of Christ. In dealing with this problem myself, I found it helpful to talk and pray with a strong Christian friend (not of my congregation nor even of my denomination) and was surprised to find that he also encountered a similar problem in his life. I might also suggest that you read a little booklet by Norman Grubb called "It's as Simple as This". It can be printed off the Net for free. Grubb had a similar problem when he was a young missionary in Africa and prayed about how to solve it. The answer God gave him not only freed him but formed the basis of the rest of his ministry, until he passed into God's nearer presence at the grand old age of 98! The book should be "read on your knees" - prayerfully and carefully as it is not for the faint hearted, but it might speak to you. Many blessings.
  14. The following is a short article, versions of which I have published on other forums. Please take it seriously and, if you feel led, put it into practice wherever you can. I would like to do more, but I am not in a position to do other than place these ideas before as wide an audience as possible and pray for God's guidance. Over to you with God's blessing! To put the following into perspective, let me first state my position on eschatology, as this has to some degree influenced my views, although these do not completely depend upon eschatology. I am a post-millennialist. I believe that the rule of Christ (the Millennium) began when Jesus ascended to Heaven. He now rules in Heaven and from Heaven. He will rule until all things are placed under his feet, the last thing being death itself (1Cor. 15:25-26). During this time, his rule will become increasingly obvious (albeit with periods when the opposite might seem to be the case!). This is symbolised in the vision of Ezekiel (Ez. 47:1-12) as the spring which rises at the (heavenly) Temple and becomes a mighty river. Daniel saw a parallel vision of the stone not cut by human hands which grows to become a mountain filling the earth (Dan. 2:34, 45). As the rule of Christ becomes more apparent (the “river” deeper and the “stone” grows more mountainous) the time will come when human lifespans are greatly increased and human life becomes more harmonious with nature (Is.65:20-25). After this, even death will be completely conquered and Christ will give the Kingdom to the Father, as Paul stated. The “stone” has not yet become a mountain, but it has become a hill. We do not yet see the governments of the world submitted to God, but we do see a large portion of the world’s population to a greater or lesser degree following Christ. Some Christians argue that the governments should enforce the Law as given in the Old Testament (the moral law, without the special ceremonial requirements) and that Christians should actively work toward this end. This may be done by electing Christian politicians or even through the formation of Christian political parties. Unfortunately, the times when this has been tried (eg. Calvin’s Geneva, Cromwell’s England and, before these, the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity and the later Holy Roman Empire which was not really Roman and hardly “Holy”) it has not worked as theoretically hoped. In many instances (despite the sincerity of those who instigated it) fallen human nature proved too strong. The Law is good, but people are not. The (fallen) human factor gets in the way. The New Testament ideal is for the Law to be written on the hearts and minds of believers, not encoded in a set of rules enforceable through a government of human beings. When the Law is written on the hearts of Christians and when those Christians allow it to become their spontaneous way of life – when they allow it to be manifested through them – its enshrinement in government laws will naturally follow; at least, when sufficient numbers of people manifest the Law written on their hearts. This, I believe, is the next stage toward which History is moving. This approach might be called “spiritual reconstructionism” in contrast with the “theonomic reconstructionism” preached in some circles today. To have the “Law written on our hearts” simply means to have Christ within ruling our inner life and ruling though us. It is to have Christ’s presence in us through the Holy Spirit as the Fountain of our life. It is to spontaneously act in accordance with the will of God in Christ. What we like to call our “natural self” is simply like a windmill. It is either moved by the “wind” of sin (“sin in me” Romans 7:17) or the “wind” of Christ within through the Holy Spirit (“Christ in me” Romans 8:10). When the “windmill” is turned by Christ within, Christ truly rules IN us and we can then become the means whereby he can rule THROUGH us. Norman Grubb spoke of this as “Christ AS us” and, long ago Luis de Leon said of Christians in this condition “Christ looks out from their eyes, speaks from their tongues and works through their senses.” Christ then becomes, as it were, our deepest Self. If I turn from the desires arising from “sin in me” to those arising from “Christ in me” (that is to say, the desire to love God and obey his commandments) and if I make this habitual, I can say with Paul “not I but Christ in me”. If every member of a group of Christians can truthfully repeat these words of Paul, then that group is truly the (corporate) Body of Christ and will be acting from a single Self. As members a corporate body, all Christians within the group will be “united in heart and soul” (Acts 4:32) and this singleness of “heart and soul” will be displayed in action, whether this action is corporate worship if the group is gathering together for this purpose, or in decision making if it is gathered as a governing body. But how may this be put into practice? Let’s take an example about which I was told a few years ago. The example is that of a church council (somewhere in the South Pacific I think). This council would periodically meet to plan the upcoming activities of the church, prayerfully considering various suggestions. In most instances, everyone would agree on a certain plan of outreach or other suggestion, however, there were times when a minority of council members found that they could not agree with a proposal, even though it was supported by the majority of members. Now, in most organisations, when this situation occurs, a vote is taken and the will of the majority is carried. But not in this council! Instead of putting the matter to a vote, the council members would turn to prayer and waiting on the Lord until all of the council members were divinely guided to accept either the original majority opinion or that of the minority. Remarkably, in most instances it was the original majority who were led to accept the alternative (original minority) opinion! We could say that theocracy and not democracy – the will of God and not of the human majority – was the rule here. That is not to say that the majority opinion was not “good”, but it is to say that it was not “best” - and God always desires what is best. I believe that if this approach was the normal one (and surely it should be!) in church councils, the Church would be incomparably healthier than it is today. (Note that this approach relies upon God’s guidance coming through a group and not just one person. This checks the tendency of a self-styled “prophet” from taking charge and it reflects Paul’s teaching that the church is the Body of Christ - a corporate organism through which Christ acts). Not primarily aiming at “consensus opinion” but seeking God’s will through prayer, searching of the Scriptures and waiting in silence for the “still small voice” should be the natural way for groups of Christians to proceed. We must remember that, although (I believe) consensus democracy to be the best system of secular government during this present time, the Church is not a democracy. It is an absolute monarchy with Christ as King. It is also a theocracy with Christ as God. He rules, not primarily through a select group or person, but first of all within each Christian and through each Christian. But for his rule to truly function (in both individual and Church), each Christian must be able to state with Paul “not I, but Christ in me” - not as a doctrinal belief (which may not be true in practice in one’s life, except as a potential or ideal) but as an accurate expression of life experience. If I am correct in my opinions as to how History is moving, this model will eventually extend beyond church councils to local government councils, state and national governments and even the United Nations. Just ponder on that for a while. Imagine the General Assembly of the UN, composed entirely of Christians who are fervent believers in prayer and the inward guidance of the Holy Spirit, selling every international issue through prayer, prayerful searching of the Bible and “Quaker-like” meetings waiting in silence for the inward guidance of God. Imagine national governments following the same course. Imagine city councils doing the same. That would be, indeed, true theocratic government. Picture, also, a chemical business (for example) prayerfully seeking the way ahead for a new insecticide that could control mosquitoes and the diseases they carry as well as DDT, but without that chemical’s adverse environmental effects. In church, in business, in government … in every way, surely such an approach would see Christ ruling society in a visible and practical way! I believe that this is compatible with what the Bible teaches. More than “compatible” in fact, I believe that it is implied by the verses earlier referred to. However, you may not agree. But even if you do not, the type of meetings and “theocratic” approach spoken of here (as, for example, in the church council to which I referred) is surely an attainable ideal in at least a limited number of places. Church councils for one. Government prayer groups could be another. Industries where the Christian presence is strong are another. Surely every Christian can work toward these situations and, if I am correct in my eschatology, any move toward this approach will have truly historic implications in that it will add to the building of the Kingdom of God on Earth! Please prayerfully consider these words. If you disagree with my views of history, let us agree to disagree. Don’t fill this post with arguments for and against post-millenarianism and such. The important thing is the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the making of decisions. It is the yielding of our own plans and ideas to God. Even if this is never put into practice by the UN, it can be put into practice by your church council ! Please be free to copy this article and distribute it as widely as possible. The message is, I believe, important. Amen.
  15. Just a further point about the "rational" vs the "mystical" of the "two eyes" of the soul. Some decades ago, philosopher John Passmore criticized mysticism on the grounds that "mystical" visions gave no verifiable information. He pointed to some reported religious visions which, if taken literally, would have implied things like a flat Earth or a geocentric universe. This type of criticism is of little value in my opinion. For a start, visions are not of the essence of mystical experience. Moreover, they are usually symbolic rather than literal. It is also true that mystical experience is about relationship with God and not gaining knowledge through vision. Nevertheless, as against Passmore, there have been instances where mystics have had flashes of insight through which they gained knowledge well in advance of the science of their day. For instance, the 17th C Quaker Thomas Story had insight into the great age of Earth long before this was widely accepted by scientists. Also, decades before the publication of Newton's Principia, Jacob Boehme wrote of a "magnetism" holding material bodies to the earth. Newton himself saw this as a precursor to his own theory of gravity and acknowledged that it was this that gave him the impetus to develop his theory. It seems that this great scientist was more influenced by his reading of the Lutheran mystic than his observation of falling apples!
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