Sayings From The Dragon Slayer
GOD’s COVENANT OF PERFECTION FOR A PERFECT CHURCH:
The major theme of the epistle to the Hebrews was written that they may persevere in faith in the incarnate Son Of God. Some of the new Jewish Christians were beginning to regress away from the centrality of Christ and turn back to the old covenant teachings Of Moses and Aaron. They had not received the revelation of the more perfect way in Christ Jesus, and there was intense pressure for the Jews to turn back to Judaism, thus the reason for this letter to the Hebrews. He offers a better priesthood, sanctuary, and sacrifice, for in worshiping Him we enter heaven therefore, we must faithfully hold fast to Him.
Hebrews also serves as a treatise on Christian liturgical theology. It shows how the new covenant fulfills and perfects old covenant liturgy, how new covenant worship “enters into“ heaven itself. For in the Eucharist, we participate in Christ’s once – for– all sacrifice (9:26-28). It is he who offers and is offered – the perfect priest and perfect sacrifice in the heavenly liturgy and sanctuary. As Christ enters into heavenly bodily, in His full human nature, so do we. The physical is in no way profane, but is truly sanctified. Paul expresses this synergy in His teaching concerning the gospel (Rm 6:1-11, 2 Co 5:17, Ga 2:20), Not just in a forensic way, but in an experiential reality in spirit and in truth.
As we come to know Christ and his work for and in us, we must stand firm and never reject God‘s grace; His uncreated Divine Energy working in us. We serve and please him through participation in his once-for-all sacrifice, tasting of the heavenly gift, sharing in the Holy Spirit. The Christian life is one of faith, love, and good works. If we neglect this gift, we crucify Christ afresh (Heb 6:1-6).
A brief outline from chapter 1 through chapter 10.
The superiority of Christ: The supreme revelation (1:1-4).
Christ’s authority is superior to the angels’ (1:5-2:18).
Christ is more faithful (3:1-6).
In Christ we must follow (3:7-19).
We must labor to enter God’s rest (4:1-13).
The heavenly high priest grants grace (4:14-16).
Qualifications for priesthood: Aaron versus Melchizedek (5:1-10).
Beware of sloth, pursue God‘s promises (5:11-6:20).
The founders of the two priestly orders: Levi and Melchizedek (7:1-10).
Contrasting two priesthoods (7:11-28).
Christ’s worship is superior to Moses’. Moses is the type; Christ, the reality (8:1-5).
The New Covenant (8:6-13).
The Heavenly sanctuary (9:1-14).
The Heavenly sacrifice (9:15-10:18).
Persevering toward the entrance and rest as we persevere and worship drawing near to God in spirit and in truth (10:19-39, Jn 4:24).
* Now we will examine the highlights of chapters 8 through 10.
The requirement of perfect holiness is met in Christ, the only sinless one. He is more than mere man – He is the Son of God. (8:1) MAJESTY: Majesty is a typical name for God the Father. A high priests sitting on the right hand of the Majesty would have to be both human and divine. SEATED: no one but and equal six in the presence of a king – much less in the presence of God.
(8:6-13) Christ’s covenant solves the problems that Moses’ could not. Both covenants come from God‘s grace and require man’s willed response. However, Moses covenant (1) is external to man and cannot solve the root of man’s problems, sin and death; (2) cannot reunite and re-integrate man’s soul; (3) is learned by teaching instead of revelation; (4) is heeded with fearful compliance; and (5) gives imperfect forgiveness.
Christ’s Covenant (1) is internal – it heals our nature; (2) unifies the inner man – heart and mind are joined in union with God; (3) is there for grasped intuitively; (4) is heated with welling corporation (synergy); (5) gives perfect forgiveness, even of those since the old covenant was powerless to deal with.
The most important detail in Hebrews is the inner veil, it separates the holy place from the most holy place, the holiest of all which contains the Ark of the covenant and into which only the high priest can’t enter, and only once a year. The inner vail forms the locus of the liturgical practice of the old covenant and reveals its imperfection. The people could not draw near to God. At His death, Christ Resolved this alienation (Mt 27:51) in order that the church of Christ may become perfect even as the heavenly father is perfect (Mt5:48). In the sermon of the mount Jesus describes the distinction between the imperfect old covenant and the perfect new covenant life of Christians.
(9:6-10) only the high priest could enter the most holy place in only once a year on the day of atonement. He entered with the animal blood of the atonement sacrifice, which was first for his own sans and then for the sins of the people. This annual sacrifice reveals the imperfect, temporary status of the old covenant. It deals mainly with the older man – it is superficial and cannot purify man’s heart and mind, let alone restore fallen human nature back to perfection. Jesus is emphasized this truth when he said to the Pharisees: “First clean the inside of the cup then it will all be clean” (Mt 23:26). In this context Jesus said: “I came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it“ (Mt 5:17). The old covenant deals mainly with the outer man – it is superficial and cannot purify man’s heart and mind, let alone restore fallen human nature.
(9:15-20) for this reason he is the mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance. As with a testament, a death is required to initiate the covenant’s conditions. This Steph is a death to see evening; the new condition initiated by the testament is that of the resurrection, the reformation of our nature as described by Paul in (1 Co 15). So blood, our mortal life, is offered to God, who is life, and establishes us in a new relationship with him through the blood/life of Christ.
9:23-28) The old testament on the day of atonement brings the life of The covenantal people into God’s presence, it reconciles God and man. The final reconciliation, the eternal one of eternal life, is the presentation of Christ’s sacrificial blood (12:24) to God in heaven. And this way Paul could write that the new covenant believers are seated with Christ in heavenly places which the Christian of the new covenant of perfection may be experience through revelation (Eph 1:17-2:6). Based on the above scriptural teaching we can really understand why Paul thought that the work of the ministry is to bring the saints into perfection (Eph 5). Hallelujah!
Hebrews makes it clear that only through the blood of Christ can we come into the perfection that Paul and Jesus talked. At the same time we cannot neglect the other teachings of Jesus and Paul concerning the will and work of the believer which works synergistically with the grace of God. See (Mt 7:13-20, Phil 2:12-13, 3:14, Ja 2, ect.)
The Hidden Christian Sin
by The Dragon Slayer
“The serpent was more subtle all creatures of the field” (Gn 3:1).
Jesus asked, why do you reason among yourselves (Mt 16)? The tree of knowledge of good and evil looked good to their eyes (Gn 3:6). Because they say that they can see, they are yet blind (Mt 13:13). Because they say that they see they are still in their sin (Jn 9:41).
When the Creator planted the garden of Eden, He put two trees in the center of it. Today, these same trees stand at the center of our life. Understanding the spiritual principles that happened at the fall can give us discernment on how to not be deceived by Satan and how to live a true Christian life for and by God unto salvation.
The meaning of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil can be understood by the serpent’s promise: “By eating from this tree, you will be making your own decision. You will be like God, determining for yourself to see what is right and what is wrong.”
The fall of humanity was all about women and men assuming the posture that they don’t need anyone to tell them what to do. They would decide for themselves what’s good and what’s bad. They would be self-sufficient and self-determining.
Of course, what was ignored in that whole discussion is the tree of life.
God wanted humans to eat from the tree of life. Eating from the tree of life meant receiving the uncreated life of God into oneself. The tree of life was God’s own life made accessible to human beings by obeying his precepts and commandments (Ps 119) etc.
Today, the tree of life is the Lord Jesus Christ as we live the righteousness of God through His life in us as the result of taking up our cross and following Him (Mt 16:24-26) whereby He becomes our new life (Ga 2:20).
I am the true vine. . . . As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
As we have already seen, when we receive Christ, we receive the life of God. Divine life becomes ours. Receiving Christ is simply taking the first bite from the right tree righteousness through the life of Christ in us, our hope of glory (Col 1:27).
Living by God’s life is very different from living by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A person who is living by the tree of life doesn’t sit back and say, “Let me try to do good and avoid evil.” Instead, he allows the life of God to flow within and through him. He yields to the instincts, promptings, and energy of that God-life (grace).
You see, “good” is a form of life. And only God is good. Here are the two choices before you today:
1. The choice to intellectually know good from evil and to try to do good = the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
2. Living by the life of God, which is goodness itself = the tree of life.
Mark it down: the knowledge of good is the accepted counterfeit to living by life. Jesus said that he was the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6).
The Christian religion is built on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Christian religion can be studied using the same categories of thought used to study any other world religion. It can be analyzed just as Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism are analyzed. The difficulty with the Christian religion (like all religions) is that it makes its adherents think that they have now found the real knowledge of good and evil, which in reality is death.
Religion gives people the notion that they have God under control. Religion says that we can understand God absolutely and completely. Yet we are warned not to lean on our own understanding (Pr 3:5). We think we can predict what the Almighty will do tomorrow. The popular Christian religion teaches that the Bible answers virtually every question that’s brought to the sacred text.
The problem with this line of thought is that the true God cannot fit into anyone’s box. God will always end up breaking out of our human expectations and understanding. Every attempt to capture God and cram and ram Him in a system will ultimately fail. There is a way that seems right to man but the end there is destruction (Pr 14:12). The way is hard and narrow that leads to life and there are few that find it (Mt 7:13-14).
The true God is an untamed lion. He cannot be controlled. The true God is the controller and decider.
“Oh that we discerning Its most holy learning, Lord, may love and fear Thee, Evermore be near Thee!” —Henry Baker’s hymn about the Bible
Yet many Christians have turned the Bible into a form of the knowledge of good and evil. They approach the Bible as raw material by which they can gain control over their lives, so life can be more understandable and under control, less unnerving and unpredictable and to heap upon themselves whatever they’re selfish heart desires.
This is a profoundly grievous misuse of the Bible and profoundly grievous to the true God.
Jesus didn’t misuse the Scriptures to gain control and predictability in His own life. To Him, the Scriptures were simply the joystick on the Father’s controller. They were the instrument through which He got to know His Father better and to discover how to live out His mission. We must do the same in order to follow the narrow way that leads to life.
May God have mercy.
Thy Kingdom Come
"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).
“Often, without moving his lips, [Francis] would meditate within himself and drawing external things within himself, he would lift his spirit to higher things.” -Thomas of Celano
Francis of Assisi must have known, at least intuitively, that there is only one enduring SPIRITUAL INSIGHT and everything else follows from it: The visible world is an active doorway to the invisible world, and the invisible world is much larger than the visible. This is the mystery of incarnation, the essential union of the material and the spiritual worlds—or simply “Christ.” The visible world is a shadow of the spiritual world (Romans 1:19-20, 18-32).
Our outer world and its inner significance must come together in order to bring about any wholeness—and holiness. Jesus removed the dividing wall through his death on the cross (Ephesians 2:14). (I personally experienced this in the fall of 1973 in my conversion experience, and continues to this very day. The result is both deep joy and a resounding sense of coherent beauty.)
What was personified in the body of Jesus was a manifestation of this one universal truth: Matter is, and has always been, the hiding place for Spirit, forever offering itself to be discovered anew. Perhaps this is exactly what Jesus means when he says, “I am the gate” (John 10:7). Francis and his female companion, Clare, carried this mystery to its full and lovely conclusions. Or, more rightly, they were fully carried by it. They somehow knew that “the beyond” was not really beyond, but in the depths of “here”. All we need is right here and right now - in this world.
This is the way to that! Heaven includes earth. Time opens us up to the timeless; space opens us up to “space-less-ness”, if we only take them for the clear doorways that they are. There are not sacred and profane things, places, and moments. There are only sacred and desecrated things, places, and moments—and it is we alone who desecrate them by our blindness and lack of reverence. It is one God-created sacred universe, and we are all a part of His creation. This is the message of the gospel of the kingdom of God.
The realization that the concrete opens us up to the universal might be the only fully trustworthy or possible path anyway, because that is how we sense - oriented humans operate. Abstract ideology will not get us very far, and much common religion is ideology more than real encounter with Presence.
We all must start with our anecdotal experience, and then build from there. What else can we do? Good spiritual teachers show us how to build from there! Wise people, Holy Scripture, and scriptural tradition point to which experiences are worth looking at and which are perhaps detours or dead ends. Saint Paul taught that our senses must be trained by practice to have insight between good and evil (Hebrews 5:9-14). Without vision/insight My people perish, for words alone will not correct them (Proverbs 29:18-19).
When religion becomes mere ideology of mere words (or even mere theology), the rubber never hits the road again. People all over the world are rejecting this top-down form of religion - and they should - because this is not the path of Christ Himself. Saints show us how to build on a solid foundation of experiential, practical, and very ordinary spirituality. This emphasizes our need to be doers of the word of God and not hearers only (Ja 1:22). True religion is living the life of Christ and His commandments in one’s ordinary daily life (James 1:27). Jesus said if you love Me you will keep My Commandments (Jn 14:15).
©“Dragonslayer” 2017. Used by permission.
Finding the Way of Salvation
Most Christians are of the belief that God is going to come down from heaven and save us from all of the evils of the world, the flesh, and the devil without any effort or participation of ourselves.
However God's plan of salvation was to manifest Himself within the believer as His church: the body of Himself manifest by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to enable the believer to overcome the things of the world. But only Grace that works by faith will produce the workings of God in the believer (Eph 2:1-10).
The Scriptures testify that it is only the overcomers that receive the blessings of God (1 Jn 5:4-5, Rev2:26, 3:21). The church has been stuck in the "first heaven reality", and has little knowledge of the second and third heaven realities where the power of God resides. There is a process of deification that God calls the believer to complete in order to be fully human in the divine sense.
The whole creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God (Rm 8). Satan has been hell bent to destroy God's creation and humanity from the beginning, and he has largely done this by religious deception. The only thing that will stop this process will be for the church to come alive in Christ and to be perfected even as the heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48), which is the real work of the ministry of God to the saints (Eph 4), to equip the saints to do spiritual warfare against the principalities and powers and defeat them (Eph 6:10-20).
When the church wakes up to the above truth it will begin to become free, along with the whole creation! "You will know the truth and the truth will make you free. " (Jn 8:31-32).
Jesus made it clear that those who did iniquity to depart from Him (Mt 7:21-23). Only those who do righteous in God's name are protected by God (Ps 91, 95, 99, 107). Some will be taken from the earth, and some will be left (Ps 104:35, Mt 24:40-41). Meditation on, and being a doer of the word, is God's way for those who are His and will be protected by Him (Ps 119).
Yes, God does it, but only through His matured Saints working by the power of the Almighty God in them. The root meaning of religion is to reconnect with God in a relational way, in word and deed . What are we waiting for?
© Dragonslayer 2017. Used by Permission.
Dragon Slayer says, "I woke up during the night watch with thoughts of how Grace relates to God's presence."
“…and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
"All that you do, do in the name of the Lord" (Col 3:17).
"The kingdom of God is not by observation, but the kingdom of God is in you and amongst you" (Lk 17:20-21).
God has promised you His constant presence (Hebrews 13:5), but are you conscious of His presence every day? God has promised you His constant presence (Hebrews 13:5), but are you consciously awake to His presence every day? "Awake oh sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you" (Eph5:14) When you are conscious of His presence every day, you will experience a peace that gives you rest, joy inexpressible in your spirit and a power that nothing in this world can offer. In fact, you will begin to be peaceful and powerful like Jesus. You will speak and behave like Him. This is because you cannot be in God’s presence without His beauty, love, peace, power and glory rubbing off on you.
If you are in the middle of an argument, see the Lord standing within earshot. Your words will change and your body language will become more reconciliatory as you see Him right there with you extending His grace to you. There will be a restraint which is not borne of willpower, but which comes supernaturally when you know that the One who loves you and watches over you is with you.
Beloved, when you become conscious of God’s presence in your life, worries and fears will have no foothold in your mind. You will see Him maximizing your joy and fun, and prospering you in what you say and do!
And He said “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” “NKJV”
Moses the man gives us a fundamental truth of following God whereas in verse 13 he prays if he has found grace in God’s sight for God to show him God’s way. Because he knows that if he finds God’s way, he would have found grace in God’s sight. It sounds like a play on words but its intention is much more vested.
Often the grace of God which is His presence does not fall under the desire of His people these days. Find a desperate plea for direction and God’s presence and God’s manifold grace will consume the circumstance, individuals, or anything else in the vicinity and conform it to His will. God’s grace is more than His unmerited favor, it is His Divine presence invoked by desperate men, women, or children who realize that not one more step can occur, not one more breath can be breathed, a plea for God’s presence has risen to the heavens and reached the very Throne Room of God and all has halted till God Himself Speaks.
Moses understood God’s presence was essential to progress, it was not the works that were performed or in our current church climate of mega budgets, spectacular events, and charismatic speakers, the proof was demonstrated by the manifested presence of God. If God’s presence was not in it, it was not going to happen. Moses states emphatically in verse 15 “If Your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” This is a substance of a relationship with God many of us need to cultivate no matter the cost, Moses after being used in such great ways never lost his way. The many years in the desert, in my opinion taught him that all he had was nothing, and it could be lost with one bad decision made with good intentions. The more God moved through him, the more he needed God to move through him because it was God’s presence (His Grace) that accomplished the task.
God’s grace is God’s presence in any given situation, and His presence is power, authority, purpose, victories, trials, and love - can we be a people who will say “If your presence is not with us, then we won’t go.”
In (2 Pet 3) Peter had just finished teaching about false teachers. He then goes into the subject of the coming of Christ. He mentions that Paul's teaching is often difficult to understand. Peter attempts to teach his audience in terms that the coming of Christ in his presence can be metaphorically understood, in order that they may grasp the true nature of the coming of Christ and how it relates to the grace of God. For that reason Peter in the chapter with the words: "Therefore let us grow in grace" (2 Pet 3:18).
"Watch and pray" (Lk 21:36),
"I come quickly" (Rev 22:12-14).
© by Dragonslayer. Used by permission.