Sharing Some Revelations: Part 3- Man’s Righteousness vs. God’s Righteousness

[This blog entry is part 3 of 3 entries. If you would like to read the other two, please start here. Thanks!]

This is the revelation that sealed the deal for me. No matter how many times I may have been taught about any one particular thing, it never fails, it takes God Himself opening my mind to it for me to fully get it (see Luke 24:45). Welp, this very thing happened to me regarding righteousness.

How often have we either been called or have called someone “self-righteous”? Maybe I am speaking for myself again, but have you ever not wanted to portray yourself as self-righteous and actually joined in on something you know you shouldn’t be doing? I have. Mainly for the sake of not causing “discomfort” to others. Sounds stupid right? Just being candid. But can this also apply to things we even may deem as righteous but it isn’t righteous to God? How often have we chosen man’s righteousness over God’s righteousness and never even knew it?

So here is the revelation. There is a difference between God’s righteousness and man’s righteousness. Jesus goes into detail about this in Matthew chapter 6. For the sake of typing and time, I am going to encourage you to stop here for a moment and read that chapter. Check it out here.

Welcome back! Did you check it out? Did you find it fascinating? When I went back to this chapter after this revelation it blew my mind! Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” [it is a declaration of Adonai] “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” God is speaking to His people who have interpreted God’s ways by doing them their way. This is sin! This leavens the whole lump and produces death!

What do we do with all this? Let’s make it plain. Even in all that we may think is righteous, God’s righteousness far exceeds our own, and that is what He calls us to live by. He accepts nothing less. Man’s righteousness is wicked compared to His righteousness. Let’s ask this question again- what does His righteousness look like? Along with the apparent things in Matthew 6, it is also the things mentioned in the bold paragraph section found in my blog What It Looks Like, and False Gospels! It’s not having hate in our hearts toward our fellow humans. It’s not wanting to look upon another with lust in our hearts. It’s not coveting a really expensive car and a big house when what we have is perfectly fine. And so much more!

If He has given us His righteousness to live by, no man is able to say that he is self-righteous, because it is not his own righteousness he lives by if he truly lives by God’s righteousness. If you live according to His righteousness you will not bear His Name falsely. I claim His righteousness as my own through Messiah! Far be it from me to not live by it!

Make no mistake. We should not and can not expect the Kingdom to advance in any other way but by living His righteousness. We must bear the yoke of the Messiah in order for the things set in motion by Him to remain in motion. We must walk and live according to His way and His way alone.

I want to finish this series with a testimony.

The past year has been life-altering. I will never be the same. Early in 2019, I attended a conference called Power and Love. There were many things about the conference that I was a bit leary of, but I partook in it anyway. The worship was amazing and there is no way to deny the power of the Holy Spirit being there. I got wrecked! I found myself hungry for God again and spiritually eager to seek Him. This is what God used to spark a journey for me. First, it led to exploring the prophetic gifting. I learned a lot and actually had several moments of being able to minister prophetically. A little later in the year, I was also led to step away from the worship team at my church to enter into a season of rest.

To keep things brief, I’ll jump ahead. Ultimately, I found myself once again going down paths that I truly did not desire to take. But I took them nonetheless. Come October of 2019, I decided to start some therapy. I needed healing in some areas and therapy became absolutely necessary. Jesus walked through all of this with me! As I have healed, and coming from where I am now, I look back on the last six months in total awe of the power of God! I had been brought down low only to be reconstructed with more of His wisdom and understanding. Eventually, I got to a point where I rejected seeking all things regarding spiritual gifts except one; to learn to love as He loves. I prayed for nothing else. I expected nothing else. I wanted nothing else. Contrary to popular recommendations, I even set aside reading the Bible for a time. What good does it do anyway when you aren’t able to view it through God’s love and intentions? It does no good at all.

I just focused solely on praying and asking the Lord for the gift of love. He has been answering this prayer by working it in me slowly. I eventually started to see a difference in how I interacted with my family and the people at my job. It emboldened me to keep praying and thanking God for the gift of His love. I wanted more. He is faithful to give me more. The more I get, the more things have come in to focus not just regarding scripture, but life altogether!

Living this way hasn’t only affected me, it has also affected those around me, namely, my coworkers. One in particular, whom I will not name specifically, but would like to expound on how.

My friend and coworker is a fellow believer and has become a dear brother to me. If I’m being honest, he reminds me a lot of myself. We are similar in so many ways, as we are men who know the Lord but also aren’t perfect and are relying on Him to change us no matter how bad that change may hurt sometimes. God is an expert pride killer. My friend told me that last year he prayed for the Lord to send someone to help with some correction in his life. Fast forward to the beginning of this year, things apparently started to come to light for him via the Holy Spirit and my friend feels that this correction he prayed for is coming through me. Now pay attention! Minus maybe one or two moments of me stepping out of line during some intense discussions on theology, I have chosen to focus on purposefully walking according to what the Lord is showing me and working in me and I refuse to waver from that. I don’t think my friend would mind me saying that that is what has probably convicted him the most. Here’s what I want to make clear though. I don’t care one minute to base my decision on living like the Messiah on whether or not someone may be convicted by it or not, nor even possibly be blessed by it. My only motive is to please God in all that I do. Nothing more, nothing less. What the Lord decides to do through that is His decision. In this case, it is ministering to my friend for the use of correction. The Lord is proving to me that this is how HE advances HIS Kingdom! This is why I believe I can take absolutely no credit regarding what the Lord is doing through me when all I have done is live according to His righteousness and His will. Are there rewards for me in Heaven? I know what the word says about that, but I honestly do not care. My reward is what is already in my heart and that is both to will and to do his commandments. This is the reward I cherish the most right now. Obviously, I’ll admit that it does bless me greatly, and I am so humbled that the Lord would use me in any capacity He sees fit. Such as how He has ministered to my friend through me.

Final Exhortation

I want to encourage any believers who read these three blogs to consider praying the same prayer I mentioned above. Ask God to show you how to love as He does and as He expects us to. Set aside all other prayers temporarily if you must. My main prayer currently is that He opens the eyes of all believers! We have been blinded by deception, and make no mistake, there are plenty of things being taught from pulpits that are only keeping our eyes closed, or at best has blurred our vision. We have work to do and it may look more like just committing to living like the Messiah rather than begging people to come to church with us. We don’t need more of the blind leading the blind.

I mean it when I say I love you all! May shalom upon shalom overtake you!

-From Death To Life

Sharing Some Revelations: Part 2- What It Looks Like, and False Gospels

What Is “It”, What “It” Looks Like, and False Gospels

Here’s another quick but great video from the BibleProject on “gospel”.

Let’s define what I mean by “it”. “It” is the Gospel, God’s will, the Kingdom of God/Heaven, purpose, calling, Heaven and Earth, the Age to Come, the purpose of Messiah, and so on… “it” is a lot of things regarding the entirety of everything and why it exists and the good news proclaimed for it. Does that make sense? Those who have ears, let them hear. 🙂

“It” is not up for personal interpretation nor translation. “It” is more than how we choose to believe. “It” goes beyond theology and doctrine. Ultimately, brass tax, “it” is our relationship with God and how we are meant to live in response to that relationship, and also how we are supposed to co-reign with Him here on Earth. Everything else is established on this. All interpretations, translations, beliefs, theologies, and doctrines not founded upon a relationship with God through the Messiah and His True Gospel, is false.

God welcomes and actively invites us into a relationship with Him. It was the first thing He was after when He created everything, and it is still what He is after now. He. Wants. Us! This is our foundation and hope. Everything else falls into place from this perspective.

So let me expound further with a somewhat chronological list. I will try to keep it as brief, yet effective, as possible.

God creates man for relationship and the purpose of co-ruling Earth together. God gives man a command. Man disobeyed. God spared man but there were still consequences. Death/sin was born through man’s disobedience. God still wants a relationship with man and has a plan to reestablish His Kingdom on Earth. Man got pretty bad and unfortunately, God had to do something about it, but still was able to save His purpose through mankind by sparing Noah and his family. God is relentless in His attempts to reestablish what He originally wanted for man and creation in the first place, so He cuts covenants with men like Abraham, and then the people of Israel, and eventually David. God gives instructions to Israel through Moses on how to establish His way on this Earth through Torah, but man still missed it. God sees this and knows the only way to get this whole thing done is to “write His instructions (Torah) on the hearts of men” (Jeremiah 31:32, Romans 2:15). God ultimately lays down His life for the world through Messiah Yeshua. The New Covenant is cut. Mankind is redeemed. Eternal life can now once again flourish in the hearts of men and the Kingdom of God can be spread throughout the Earth spiritually. Then eventually Messiah will return back to us to establish His Kingdom physically. That’s the long-short of the big story.

Let’s focus on where we are at in this timeline, which is the Kingdom here on Earth spiritually through Messiah. What is this supposed to look like? Does it even have a “look”? Do we have a clear model within the Bible we can compare ourselves to? Yup!

It looks like-

Loving God with ALL of yourself; loving people as yourself; humility; poor in spirit; mourning; meekness; kindness; hungering and thirsting for righteousness; mercifulness; purity in heart; peacemaking; persecution for the sake of righteousness; not seeking revenge; loving and praying for your enemies; not doing anything out of selfishness or conceit but with humility considering others as more important than yourselves; selflessness; not judging falsely; not grumbling or arguing or holding grudges; giving more than receiving; serving one another; the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

All of this and much much more like it is what the Kingdom of God looks like! This is who Kingdom people are and furthermore, this is what His will is when we pray “on Earth as it is in Heaven”!

So let’s ask ourselves some questions. Are these things prominently taught in churches these days? Are some or most or all of these attributes missing from modern teaching? Are any of the other teachings being taught in line with these attributes or are they contrary?

Jesus laid a foundation for us in Matthew chapter 5 in regards to how our attitude should be. This is the Kingdom! In fact, He proved God’s very own nature to us through this and how He expects His people and anyone else who comes to Him to also to be. Any teaching removed from this kind of attitude is dangerous and ultimately does not lead to, nor can it, produce Life. It produces death. Jesus is the root, and we abide in Him by keeping His commands. If we do not keep His commands, we do not abide and therefore can not produce fruit! John chapter 15 has details on this. The fruit we are meant to bear is the aforementioned things! Even if you do these things but your heart isn’t in them, meaning you do them but don’t actually want to do them, then you are not bearing true fruit! I can attest to this very miracle in my own life that I WANT to do these things. I WANT to put others before myself. I WANT to give more than I receive. I WANT with ALL MY HEART to be like Messiah! Am I saying it’s always easy? NOPE! Haha! But I can’t help but speak of the miracle that God Himself has worked with His own hands in my heart, nor will I be ashamed of it! I WANT TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS! They are not burdensome for me, as 1 John 5:3 suggests is how it should be. Believe me when I say though, that I am still growing in all of this. As all of us should be. I have noticed that as I have been bearing this fruit, that I have been able to recognize more clearly that same fruit in other believers. But also, on the flip side, I have been able to recognize when it isn’t in some professed believers. That’s not to blame those professed believers though, because sadly there are false gospels being taught and it has led many astray.

What is a false gospel? A false gospel is anything contrary to those things mentioned in that bold paragraph. I had considered listing false gospels but I started to feel deep down it would be counterproductive. No matter what, we should always be in a position of humility in what we think we know and seek the Lord regarding them. I trust Him with my life, but I have had to learn to also trust Him with the lives of others too. He is the Great Revealer! So let me just say a few things regarding what to look for with false gospels and I will trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

Does it promote self? If you are listening to teachings that promote self more than promoting Jesus or others, please consider that it is false. The world is saturated with self-promotion and glorification and it has definitely seeped into the church. We are to esteem others more highly than ourselves. We are to pray for our enemies with no inkling of recompense in our hearts towards them. We are to lay our lives down for one another. Serve one another. Give as freely as we have received. Don’t miss it here! God is faithful to those who have laid down their lives for the sake of the Messiah. He will fill your heart with more love than you can handle if you do these things. I promise you.

Does it teach no persecution? Jesus made things VERY clear in this. His way is not a popular way. So if people are teaching contrary to His way, they either are just blind to His way or they might truly fear persecution. I am not talking about something like getting a middle finger from a non-believer. I am talking about being rejected by people close to you because you truly walk out your salvation in fear and trembling. You sincerely revere God and desire to walk righteously in His ways. Some people, most notably the hyper-religious folk, will despise you for it and they will persecute you because they don’t want to live like that.

Does it promote the love of money, or teach you that coveting is okay inadvertently? Sadly, there is a lot of misleading regarding money. Now, I’m just going to iterate right off the bat that I am not okay with pitting prosperity against poverty or vice versa. Ultimately, what is taught in the Word by Jesus and His disciples is to be content! Be content with what has been given to you! Want nothing more, and be thankful to God for what you have. Hebrews 13:5 states, “Keep your lifestyle free from the love of money, and be content with what you have. For God Himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” And Paul writes in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know what it is to live with humble means, and I know what it is to live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment—both to be filled and to go hungry, to have abundance and to suffer need. I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me.” I have had many times where I found myself daydreaming about winning the lottery and the things I could do with that money. But now, without hesitation, I will attest with great joy that I am free of that. Contentment is a beautiful thing. It is a gift that is worth more than all the riches of this world combined. Sidenote: Also, give out your lack or abundance! God honors your giving either way! Do not be deceived though, If you have an abundance, ask the Lord to give you the heart to give to those in need. Giving is far better than receiving!

Does it promote idolatry? Here’s the tricky one! This one goes undetected quite often. How do we tell? Please pay attention. It’s is when one part of the Word of God is emphasized and focused on and it becomes the basis by which the rest of the Word of God is judged or interpreted. This is probably the biggest cause of schisms in doctrine in my opinion. Man puts his own knowledge in front of himself as an idol and worships it and refuses correction even from God.

There are probably more indicators but I think we are getting to the point. Ultimately, again, what is false is anything contrary to His ways through Messiah. Do not be deceived. There is only One Way, One Truth, and One Life!

Have mercy and open our eyes, Lord!

If you would like to continue reading, the third blog is called Man’s Righteousness, vs God’s Righteousness. Click here.