What if the entire creation is the travail and sorrow of God?
In my last letter, I suggested that comprehending God requires that we deal with the question, – What is a God who groans in travail? I have other articles in the works, including a specific overview of the Nicene Creed. Yet necessary articles continue to crowd in, things of which I am compelled to write. Again, I do not write because I know anything. I write because I must know this God who fills me with all that He is. How can anyone think about anything else?
Writing is how I contend with God.
I have the thought that I seem to be turning God into a mamby-pamby cry-baby. On the other hand, the Nicene God snuffs the life out of untold billions, cutting short all their dreams and hopes and casts them forever into screaming agony of torment without giving it a thought. The Nicene God stands aloof from all human suffering, blames man for his own stupidity, and justifies Himself in keeping His distance. The Nicene God sees a sparrow fall to the ground, yes, but does nothing to bring an end to the death and the suffering.
The Nicene God sent His Son once to share in human suffering, yes, and will send Him again to punish all sin, intended or unintended, and takes us out of this damnable place only by death, but does not walk the earth today, carrying all sorrow, grief, sin, and death inside Himself.
The Nicene God is absent and derelict.
What if the God of the Bible is utterly, utterly different from what they claim?
What if the entire creation is the travail and sorrow of God?
What if my pain IS God's pain?
What if I am filled with God?
I am writing this because I am reading an essay about Mark Twain in which the writer explains the irrelevance to human life of any notion of a “God.” He uses these very arguments that define the Nicene God as if that God is the “Christian” God. Sadly, that is the idea “God” that “Christians” have argued at the world.
Let me quote from one of Twain's books.
I (Satan/Christ) am but a dream—your dream, creature of your imagination. In a moment you will have realized this, then you will banish me from your visions and I shall dissolve into the nothingness out of which you made me. . . . I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams and better!
Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago—centuries, ages, eons ago!—for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities. Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane—like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell—mouths mercy and invented hell—mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!... You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream.” (Twain 1916 – The Mysterious Stranger, 73-74)
May I suggest to you that Twain's portrayal of the Nicene God is accurate and just. May I suggest that it's not just for these reasons that we must break from the Nicene definitions of Christianity and return to the God who speaks His Word, Christ, first through Paul's gospel, a God who is entirely different from how Christianity has painted Him.
Miracles are for getting people's attention. But once God has people's attention, what do they see? Yes, God longs to do good things for all, but that goodness must come out from God through their faith. God cannot sin; He cannot violate faith. God cannot impose goodness on anyone any more than demons can impose badness. Both God and demons are restricted entirely to coming through human consent, that is, through faith.
Jesus did not do any miracles until He was sent forth by the Father to gather a people for the Day of Pentecost. Then, from turning water into wine on, the miracles He did came through the faith He Himself inspired in the hearts of those who saw Him.
What did they see?
The miracles were to get people's attention; once Jesus had their attention, what did they see?
First, they saw a man. There was not the slightest indication, NONE, that they were “seeing the Father.” Isaiah says that they saw no beauty at all, nor anything desirable. (Isaiah 53)
Then Isaiah says this: Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
But he says more than that: For He shall bear their iniquity – and He bore the sin of many.
Borne and bear are the same Hebrew word meaning “to bear a heavy load.” Carried and bore are the same Hebrew word meaning “to carry.”
When people looked at Jesus, they saw only a man, and not an attractive man at that. But they saw something else as well. They did not understand what they saw; if you had asked any, they could not have explained it to you except with simple words.
The best way to say this is personal, that is, first person.
I saw One who bore every grief I've ever known in life, my own griefs, as if I were the only person in the universe, just this Man and me. I saw One who carried every sin I have ever committed without any condemnation of me. I saw One who simply loved ME with all tender love.
But it is not until Paul's Jesus that we can now say, “I see One who carries me.” – God.
Look at everyone talking about “God.” It seems that almost all talk about SomeThing far away. Thus they discuss this Thing rationally; that is, they present ideas about this Thing they call God.
I have another letter circling around my letter on the Nicene Creed: “Life.” What is Life? Jesus said,“The Words that I speak to you are Spirit and they are Life.”
I am hardly known on the Internet, but once in awhile something I said ends up on some forum or blog comment. I can discover that comment either through Google search or by tracing back a hit on my website coming through that forum. Since I am endlessly curious, I get myself in trouble quite often.
So, someone was commenting on a forum that they had gone to my site, but did not care for it because I spoke too much about Bible symbols that “could mean anything.” They also claimed that I disdained “science,” pulling in some rant I made totally out of its context. No, I highly regard science, that is, the study of facts, attempting to understand them; what I despise is boastful lying based on no-facts or on contempt of facts declaring itself to be “science.” I despise religious beliefs that call themselves “science.”
But the issue is “Bible symbols that could mean anything.”
Yes and no. The bottom line is “What do you want?” Everyone finds exactly what they seek; everyone receives from the realms of spirit precisely what they want. Man is the master, and there is no way of getting around that reality.
I am very clear about what I want. I let you know all the time what I seek. I am not afraid of challenge, of those who would say, “Yordy, you're in denial, your stated 'desire' is not really 'what you want.'” First, God has proven me to the uttermost, not for Him to see what is in me, but for me to know my own heart. Second, and far more important, I am so thrilled with my present ever-growing knowledge of this One I love, close and real. I have never been so content in the God I presently know than now.
I find what I seek; I receive what I ask. It has ALWAYS been so. It has always been so.
I want to be the revelation of Jesus Christ. Thus, I want to know the full measure of what God means in these words, “Christ in you the hope of glory – we shall be like Him – conformed to the image of His Son.”
This is my bottom line; it's what I want; it's what I look for.
Therefore, when I discuss all the “symbols” of the Bible, guess what? I find exactly what I seek; I find the Lord Jesus Christ revealed through me.
But this is logic; let's move over to truth.
The entire Bible, every verse, is written out from one word – LIFE. Anyone who does not know what “life” means cannot grasp the intent and meaning of the Bible. Very few people teach out from a knowledge of “life,” thus most teach the Bible as a series of partially connected ideas. Most who think they know what “life” means don't. Thus “life” to them is just another feely-goody “spiritual” idea.
Yet no symbol in the universe is as prolific and all around us, speaking to us from every direction, than this most important of symbols – Life.
Nothing in the Bible can convey its real meaning to anyone apart from knowing exactly what Jesus means when He says, “The Words that I speak to you are Spirit and they are Life.”
Everything I write, I write ONLY and ALWAYS out from the full application of the two parts of this all-defining symbol God uses, LIFE.
Let me be more clear. Yes, LIFE is the word that describes the matter of heavenly substance. But that same word shows itself in the physical realms in two specific ways. Life is heavenly reality coming into the earth, yes, but it is known only by two specific symbols.
In other words, because I am always speaking out of these two symbols, most Christians don't have a clue what I'm saying. They never see that God also is always speaking out of these two symbols in every word in the Bible. All other symbols in the Bible are simply extensions of these two representations of LIFE.
Now, this is not my letter on “Life,” so I will go no further in that direction. What I mean to say here is that we cannot begin to know God without knowing in our brains – first, and in continual experience second, what LIFE is and means. Let's go back to what I said that sparked this detour.
– Look at everyone talking about “God.” It seems that almost all talk about SomeThing far away. Thus they discuss this Thing rationally; that is, they present ideas about this Thing they call God. –
Let me explain further. People think that when James said, “Demons see God and tremble,” he was speaking literally. No! Demons and all heavenly beings see only an outer form of God's expression. What they “see” is entirely symbolic. To “see” something in a literal sense is to define that thing from all other things. In other words, if I see a chair, I have separated that chair in my knowledge from all other things. The chair is now monolithic. It is a thing. I can measure it and define it. I can sit down in it or get up and walk away from it.
God does not have a form that can be “seen” or defined or measured. You cannot “enter into” God nor walk away from Him.
Everything exists in God, and God fills everything. Christians say, “omnipresent,” but they actually do not believe it. They say “omnipresent,” but see SomeThing outside themselves inspecting them.
The most incredible, mind-blowing reality about this God in whom all things exist and who fills all things is that He is Personal. What that really means, in it's essence, is that God is Heart. The fact that I think, feel, and decide does not really make me the person I am. Those things are essential parts of personhood, but not its core. Person means heart.
The universe is utterly, intensely Personal. The universe is utterly, intensely Heart.
And here I want to throw back in the SCREAMING Contradiction!!!
Go back up and read Twain's complaint; do not avoid the justice and RIGHTNESS of his agony.
What about it, God?
I rip wide-open the heart of this Guy who tells us that He created us and that He is our Father. I get right at the words, “He bears our griefs and carries our sorrows.”
I give God no peace until He makes Jerusalem a praise in all the earth.
I contend with God until I have out-wrestled Him, until I have won.
In my last letter, I worded the “motive” almost all Christians impute to God in this way: – The generally believed motive is self-protection, that God, far away because of the sin of His creatures, inspects each one and allows into Himself (and into happiness) at a future date only those who meet some sort of standard. That standard can be works or grace; God's motive remains the same. –
I still haven't succeeded with many, but I will keep trying my best to turn you around. Stop looking at heaven, you already live in it fully. Stop looking for a “heavenly body,” you possess your heavenly body fully in all ways, your spirit. Stop waiting for “another life”; another Life has already seized you for His purposes.
You are not going into God. God is coming now through you.
You can know Him no other way. Those who imagine that physical death takes us into “God,” “life,” “salvation” are NOT in the present knowing of God that we must know. Heaven is not the new creation.
You ARE God's invasion of earth. You are an alien. You are the greatest threat the powers of earth and Hades have ever encountered. You are more than a threat; you are ALL the Victory of God.
What is God's motive?
We deal with the present reality of life on this earth filled with unending horror, heartache, and sin. We deal with the present reality of a God who simply seems absent, a God who says mighty things in His Word and then just does not do them. In our frustration with this present reality, we create all the excuses for God that is called “Christianity,” and then we define “faith” as this wimpish, meaningless thing that “just believes” what so obviously ain't so.
Is God's motive to protect Himself? Is God's motive to place large barriers against us to keep us out until we “whatever”? Does God put us through this hell-hole called life on planet Earth just because it's “good for us?”
Self – self – self! We have made it all about God-for-Self and our own self-benefit.
What if? What if God CANNOT just do whatever He wants? What if God is limited and bound? What if God CANNOT sin? What if God cannot violate faith? What if God is Love and must respect all? What if God is Life and must bring forth life?
Look at Twain's accusation. “Who mouths justice and invented hell—mouths mercy and invented hell—mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all.”
This is NOT Twain's accusation; this IS the accusation of “Christianity.” This IS the accusation out of which the Nicene Creed was penned.
Let's go back to reality.
Four thousand years, then Jesus. Two thousand more years, then Jesus again. Fifteen billion human lives of hopeless sorrow and purposeless agony.
If Jesus could come after four thousand years, why could He not have come at forty years? If Jesus could come again after two thousand years, why could He not come again forty years later, AD 69, just as all the apostles expected. (Not the year, but in their lifetime.)
If it was right for God to save man, why would it not have been right for Him to do so right away, before all of us were born?
Don't blame man for the misery of our lives; not one of us asked to be born into this world. As Twain insinuated, had we been given a choice, we would all have chosen to be angels – or even humans – happy “in heaven.”
We did not have a choice. Here we are in misery through life and, according to Nicene Christianity, damned to be tortured in hopeless unending pain forever.
And most of those who know that judgment is for an age and not forever, still see everything by Nicene definitions. They say, “God is love,” all the while accepting the present agony of the human race as whatever. They still substitute this lame excuse, “Oh, we'll be happy in heaven, when we rise into the 'higher' life.”
I reject the “dream” of “heaven,” a dream rooted in unbelief. Turn around.
You are in God; you are heart of His Heart. Your whole focus is upon planet Earth. You want God's WANT with all that is in you, that is, with all the fullness of God.
Four thousand years of agony and failure, then Jesus. Two thousand more years of agony and contradiction, then Jesus again.
Why? What does six thousand years of endless agony and wickedness and shattered dreams “do for” God?
At the center of that question we place the question – What is a God who groans in travail?
And we define that question by these words: Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
I do not “explain” God; I wrestle with Him.
It is travail.
Does God want something He CANNOT obtain any other way than through six-thousand years of human misery? Is God utterly different than the Nicene Creed has known Him?
Is the agony of the human the agony of God?
Does He bear our griefs and carry our sorrows?
Have we ever experienced anything that has not been utterly inside this God who always carries us?
Do even demons serve His one intention, His one purpose, – to be seen and known and handled?
The miracles turned people's attention to Jesus. What did they see?
All the WANTING of Almighty God is to be seen, to touch and to be touched, to be known all through His creation, heaven as much as earth, life laid down, love poured out. Does the wanting of God require the appointed 6,000 years? Is this the only way?
Do you WANT the WANTING of God? Do you WANT God through you?
If there is ever a thing called “paradox,” its apex, its ultimate is an unknowable God known.
The ultimate paradox is man; man IS an unknowable God known, Jesus the first One of our kind, we just like Him.
—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
We do not share the sufferings of Christ, bearing all grief, carrying all sorrow, because it's “good for us” or to “earn” something in the future.
We share the fellowship of His suffering that God might be known through us.
Love suffers long.
To love is to create a lover. To love is to lose everything. To love is to bear all the agony of loss and sorrow, of sin and darkness. To love is to win it all back in return through one means alone. God must win their hearts!
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Christ become us.
Love suffers long.
Creation is the suffering of God Himself.
Makes no sense, does it?
Good, we can now know God.
We know God only as we know ourselves, that is, God through us.
God in Person through our persons, seen and known by all.
Man, the image and likeness of God, the visible expression of a forever invisible Person.
I write this letter in this way to batter your heart that you also would contend with God until He proves all that He speaks through you upon this earth.
We're not looking at miracles, but at God revealed, that is, man.
Your own contention with God is God Himself in travail.
And out of our belly flow rivers of living water.