Identity – BT3

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Then understand who God has made you to BE

 

 

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Our self-image of “WHO we are” either keeps us imprisoned or sets us free!  Much of what keeps us in our own prisons of repeating actions that simply don’t work but still trying to improve on our “might and power” to get better results, is that we still see ourselves as the world or as “performance-based” religions do.  Until we really own up to the truth about our completely-different “New man” identity within the completely-different New Covenant, we will still act out of our old perceptions of ourselves.  The “WHATS of doing” naturally flow from the “WHO of being,” actions from identity, whether for bad or good.  The old covenant (most of the OT) says “we are sinners” that must do works to earn or merit God’s approval, pleasure, and love, so it is all conditional and merit-based!  Many churches and world religions teach some form of this.  However, the completely-different New Covenant says that “we are saints or ‘holy priests’ in Christ” who are saved by unconditional-favor-of-grace and thus unconditionally-loved by the Father solely because of our trusting-relying-faith in Christ’s perfectly obedient, sacrificial death for us.  If the Father is madly in love unconditionally with His Son Jesus with nothing but “approval and pleasure” directed toward Him, and we really are “inside Christ,” then ALL of that is directed right to us as well!  But do we really believe this?  Do we really see ourselves in this way?

 

Although the entire NT repeatedly reminds us of “WHO we are in Christ,” most Christians have been conned into believing that at least some of the OT image of us is also somehow true.  This really is schizophrenic, but we hear this preaching all the time!  However, these are but “traditions of men” that simply won’t let go – religion trying to mix with genuine fellowship with God!  Christians are told they are “not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you” per Romans 8:9.  However, if we really believe somehow we are still “outside of Christ” trying to reach God through our “might and power,” then we will be acting as if we are still “in the flesh,” which is the approach of all religion.

 

Just knowing the theology of “WHO we are in Christ” doesn’t make it a reality for us either.  There is a radical difference in the original languages between gnosis info-knowledge and ginosko experiential, relational knowledge – the first is stuck in the head that only puffs it up with conceit (a), the other makes it deep into the heart where it can produce fruit (b)!  The ones healed by Jesus are those who “understand with their heart, not just those who see with their eyes or hear with their ears” (c).  <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Timothy 6:4, b) Luke 8:15, c) Matthew 13:15; John 12:40; Acts 28:27.

 

What is the solution?  Paul proseuchomai conversationally-prays for Christian “eyes of their hearts to be enlightened that they may eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know . . . the immeasurable greatness of His Spirit’s power” (a).  Now gnosis info-knowledge is acquired through man’s “might and power” reading and study as the Pharisee did of scripture (b) but the “secrets of the kingdom are kept hidden from these sophia wise and sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ rational-understanding ones but instead revealed to little children by the Holy Spirit,” especially through conversational-prayer (c), just as New Covenant experientially, relationally yada/ginosko knowing of God is no longer through teaching of scripture from Moses “from the greatest to the least” down a hierarchal chain of command to little children and ignorant slaves, but available to all of God’s children and now by prophetic eido ‘seeing’ to know God and NOW “from the least to the greatest” (d). <Notes> a) Ephesians 1:18-19, b) John 5:39, c) Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 3:5; Colossians 1:9, d) Jeremiah 31:31-34 cited in Hebrews 8:8-13, 10:16-17; Romans 11:27.

 

As Christian musicians, all of us should be starting out with a poor self-image if we honestly see the amount of sin in our lives!  Only pride would blind you to the truth that you were a sinner in desperate need for a savior, as Paul states in Romans 3:10-18, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.  Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.  The venom of asps is under their lips.  Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  That’s the ‘Bad News’ of the “old man.”  Religion will keep you in this, always trying to work your way out to get rid of the guilt.

 

But the ‘Good News’ or logos gospel message, is that Christ came to deal with this problem of sin – its guilt and power – and to create us as “new men.”  Religion and the “accuser of the brethren” Satan will do everything in their power for us to continue to ‘see’ ourselves as “old men” to keep us from the power of ‘seeing’ ourselves as “new men” and being in a trusting relationship with Jesus Christ so that His powerful Holy Spirit can make us holy!  It’s not WHAT you know – how much scripture you can read or study – that will make the difference.  The scribes and Pharisees were experts at scripture but they “did not know God or have the love of God within them” Jesus said.  The difference will come by WHO we know – Jesus said that “zoe genuine-life only comes by experientially, relationally ginosko knowing the Father and the Son whom He sent.”  And the only way the NT consistently teaches is the way to do this is through proseuche conversational prayer, which in nature is very close to worship.

 

As Christian musicians, we will either be sharing “Bad News” or religious ways to deal with it or the “Good News” ways that God has dealt with it through Jesus Christ.  Which will your music ministry portray?

 

 

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Categories: Identity

Identity – BT2

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WHO do you see yourself to BE?  Some of my revelations about my identity might help!

 

 

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WHO we see ourselves, our identity, really matters!  As a Christian musician we will be kept from playing anointed, prophetic, and even spontaneous music if we see ourselves as only a music student or professional musician.  The world is full of them and so we will act out of that worldly identity, very much as they act, even if we say we are doing this “for God in His service.”  Some of the most “worldly” music rehearsals I’ve had were actually with Christians trying to get ready for Sunday service – so many bruised egos, control issues, bickering over notes and music structure/form navigation, and intense pressure to get ready in time!  Many didn’t even start with prayer or worship, and others only threw in a 1-minute “help us do this” supplication as a formality!  I’ve played for some churches that were so busy getting ready, they started the song service without any prayer!  And what a disaster these sessions and services turned out to be – the devil loves for us to rely on our “might and power!”  The devil loves religion!  All too many times, I have also got swept up by this “flesh” approach to music.  Even though for years I’ve had many supernatural experiences, directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words, dreams, and visions about music, I have often seen myself primarily as a professional musician and teacher, albeit a Christian one.  I think a lot of Christian musicians struggle with their identity!

 

Here’s some of the things God said to me to gradually lead me to accepting WHO He made me to BE, my identity, which is “an anointed musician, not just a profession teacher and drummer” – see “My Story” in About Us.  Maybe this will encourage you to see the Lord also and hear from Him who you are called to be:  Long ago I had a vison of a butterfly of light that flew into my childhood home’s carport that flitted from drum to drum or cymbals immediately before my hand was compelled to play on that surface, and I drummed like a wild man in a trance.  Another time while “in the zone” playing rudiments on my practice pad in the bathroom, the Lord told me that He was preparing musicians like myself for His courtyards in heaven.  What do you say to that?  I just wept!  Once I had done a massive study on how skill and professionalism wasn’t really need, but that the Spirit of God was” and posted it on my drumming website.  When I went back to just read it in order to further edit it, I got again Spirit-baptized.

 

Then there was the time I was in the backyard just feeling grateful for all the music experiences I’ve had growing up and in my career.  Then I noticed a bunch of birds on my 3 power/cable lines across my backyard and from the angle I was sitting they formed a perfect, slanted staff of music, and the birds were forming a rhythm I immediately recognized as “shave and a hair cut,” so I had to laugh.  Then I noticed that the lines and rhythmic tune were leading right to my drum room!  When I did I got massively filled with joy by the Holy Spirit with many tears.

 

I remember a dream where I saw people from another country playing on hand-drums and without knowing their language, I joined in and we were massively Spirit-baptized with joy and I felt right at home with them.  I remember have a dream where I was onstage at a large festival sharing our trusting-relying-faith and music, but afterwards just walking through Woodstock-like camps in large parking lots, keeping our hands warm over steel drums with fires burning in them.  I can’t forget how many dreams I’ve had about other musicians I know, especially Carl Cherry and John Bujack, where God had spoken to me about His divine plans for them.  I can’t forget how many times I’ve played in 15 churches full of the Spirit with absolutely no music and how many times people commented how the drums were doing “strange things” to them, in many cases at the objection of band leaders who were “in the flesh” and felt “thrown off” or threatened that people weren’t complimenting them as they were me.  Well, there’s so many more amazing things God has shown me and I am looking forward to many more!  If you have trusting-relying-faith to seek the Lord for them, He will gladly give them to you!

 

I always told musicians and church members that I “was just going with the flow.”  I’ve even been lectured by some church musicians that “I should have music in front of me, that I should have made it to more rehearsals, that I should be more professional and take it more serious.”  I just kept my mouth shut, but laughed my head off afterwards – they are clueless that I make my living teaching and playing, and these people were amateurs lecturing me.  Ha!  I’ve played in front of 1000-people audiences night after night, in 200-people symphony orchestras, and for Vegas-quality Elvis Priestley impersonations.  After 37 bands, I’ve been around the block of “might and power” flesh several times over.  Flesh makes a living, but it can’t be compared to playing “by the Spirit” just as God desires from Zechariah 4:6 and John 4:23.

 

I once saw a teen drummer barely playing chord progressions on a guitar and leading worship in a way I’ve rarely seen – incredibly free-form and beautiful.  My guitarist and I had to grab the pew in front of us to keep from falling over, the wind of God was pushing us back!  Afterwards I asked the teenager how they were doing this.  He said like so many Christian bands they tried practicing for hours and most of the time it just dissolved into stressful, bitter “flesh.”  Now they don’t practice at all, but instead proseuchomai conversationally-pray and worship the Lord for about a half-hour or so before they even pick up an instrument, and then they just stay “in this zone” when they do.  Their music “just happens” with no set list, no conductor, and no schedule, directed completely by the Holy Spirit.  I was absolutely captivated!

 

What spoiled the whole evening was when the controlling pastor thought I was a “competitor” because I would regularly contact his church and many others about big community drum/percussion/musician circles I would do for the Tucson community – one group of 25 called “Krakatoa” played for 4 years.  He escorted me and my friend out and verbally abused us for 15 minutes, warning that if we ever came back he would kick us out again from “his church.”  I think Herb and I counted “his church” 7 times! We both agreed the guy was “demon-possessed” and very self-serving.  Neither of us ever did go back, but the teen’s conversation planted a seed in my spirit that has grown into this website!  The Holy Spirit works around self-serving pastors who want to control the Him!  Furthermore, that “incident” taught me a profound lesson – that demons are actually running churches, even if they are using “things of the Spirit” for their own purposes to become important, big, and rich.  I also notice that most pastors like him just get physically fatter and fatter during their “stay.”  Maybe it’s stress-eating?  I wrote 2 letters to the pastor, the first he ignored and a year later I sent another “to clear the air” and look for reconciliation.  In his short card, he refused to take any responsibility for his actions, acted like nothing ever happened (even though I detailed it), and said that I was welcome to come back to “his church” anytime.  Are you kidding?  My wife and I just laughed and laughed, because the big banner on the side of his big building says, “Experience God’s Love Here!”  Now that was Fake News!

 

There is nothing new about this!  The new believer Simon the magician tried to bribe the apostles for the power to lay hands on people to get the Holy Spirit (a).  In the book of early Church history (b), Paul and Silas were be followed by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination that made here owners rich by her fortune-telling.  She would cry out to the crowds for many days what their intentions were – beating them to the punch line of their logos gospel message of The Truth!  Paul became greatly annoyed and drove the demon out, which infuriated the owners!  Paul said that “some actually preach Christ from envy and rivalry” (c).  “Some men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves” (d).  On Judgment Day, Jesus said “MANY will say to Him:  ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name/authority, and cast out demons in your name/authority, and do many mighty works in your name/authority?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never actually, experientially, relationally ginosko knew you; depart from Me.” <Notes> a) Acts 8:18-23, b) Acts 16:16-18, c) Philippians 1:15, d) 2 Corinthians 11:13, e) Matthew 7:22-23.

 

Finally, you are not WHAT you do, despite all the sayings like Plato’s “The measure of a man is what he does” that is taken out of context, because the quote adds “with power.”  So more fake news!  Sounds like something CNN wrote!  The Lord had to also show me that “DOING jobs” isn’t what is important to Him – see “My Story” in About Us.  I agree with David Santistevan that “prophetic music doesn’t just flow through your fingers or your voice, but resonates deep within your soul as an expression of who you are and what you really believe.”  And so it will be for you!  It behooves you to press into God’s presence until He tells you who you really are.

 

Throughout much of my childhood, even though I could feel intense joy and success in my drumming through so many bands from the time I was in 7th grade, I didn’t know it was God’s joy and success but claimed it for myself.  I received little to no support from family, friends, or peers because the general opinion in the 70’s that most musicians were drug addicts, poor, losers.  Of course, when I had to decide what career to pursue in college, I didn’t even consider music!  Man, I was listening to everybody else’s opinions but God’s, but back then I wasn’t even a Christian, so what do you expect?  All I knew was the natural influences of self-seeking ambition with its self-importance, success, and money, and the supernatural influence of demons that I didn’t even know anything about.  I was easy prey!  Although I got a music minor during my 2-year degree, I did it primarily to get a music scholarship to help pay for the rest of my schooling.

 

As Christian musicians, have you spent enough time with the Lord asking, seeking, and knocking as to WHO the Lord has made you to BE, so that you can operate out of this identity?

 

 

 

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Categories: Identity

Identity – BT1

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But if we view man in 2 parts, which are you “working” from?

 

 

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In the last BLOG we looked at 3-part man, but often the bible speaks of 2-part man.  The NT often speaks of the 1) “decaying outer man/self/being” in reference to the psyche soul and soma body versus the 2) “renewed inner man/self/being” in reference to man’s pneuma spirit, which we saw “belongs-to or is possessed by” the soul’s mind/heart.  To persecuted Christians, Paul says:  “We do not despair for even if our outer man (b) is wearing away, our inner man (a) is being renewed day by day” (c).  Be careful!  Some bibles translate sarx “flesh” as soma “body,” which can be very misleading!  Certainly the context sometimes emphasizes the physical soma “body” rather than the psyche “soul,” but I wish bibles wouldn’t make that choice for us but instead let the Holy Spirit do that!  Now the “inner man/self/being” or “spirit of man” of natural, unredeemed men is called the “old man/self/being,” and it must be crucified with Christ in water-baptism for its sinful-life power to stop influencing and energizing [like an evil Energizer Bunny] the rest of man – the soma body and psyche soul, together called the sarx flesh – the power cord must be pulled!  It’s the only way to be free us from “the old man’s” dominion or slavery to sin.  And the only way to have our spirit redeemed (purchased for freedom) and given the completely different-in-kind ‘New’ life and Spirit-power of holiness is for us to resurrect from the dead with Christ and be given His completely different-in-kind ‘New’ Spirit, which also happens in water-baptism (d).  <Notes> a) eso anthropos, b) exo anthropos, c) 2 Corinthians 4:16; cf. Roman 7:22; Ephesians 3:16; 1 Peter 3:4, d) Roman 6:3-11; Colossians 2:11-15.

 

The early Church never doubted the saving experience of the “old man dying” and “new man’s birth” in water-baptism, which Jesus’ disciples continued from John the Baptist, but NOW performed “in Jesus name/authority” to receive not only “the remission/forgiveness of sins” (a) but also the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit (b). The early Church made water-baptism a standard practice in order to become a saved disciple/follower of Jesus (c), especially since Jesus made this a key part of the “Great Commission” to take into the whole world (d).  It’s a shame so many churches speak so little of water-baptism and Spirit-baptism when the NT speaks so much about them!  See also the Salvation page. <Notes> a) Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22; Mark 1:4; Luke 1:77, 3:3, 24:47; Acts 2:38, 5:31, 10:43, 13:38, 26:18; Colossians 1:4, b) Luke 11:13; Acts 2:38, 10:45; Hebrews 6:4, c) Mark 16:15; 1 Peter 3:21, d) Matthews 28:19; Mark 16:15-16.

 

As Christian musicians, why would we want to produce ANY music only from the “outer man” or sarx “flesh” through its natural soma body and human psyche soul of “mind-intellect, heart-emotions, and will-power,” just as if we were still natural, unredeemed man even if we justify it NOW as being for God?  Is that the “identity” we want to play from?  Isn’t this the essence of all religion, especially the “might and power” of the Jewish old covenant?

 

Wouldn’t the Spirit of God that dwells in us as our “New man” be jealous, just as James 4:4-5 says:  “You adulterous people!  Do you not know that philia friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Therefore, whoever wishes to be a philos friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the Spirit that He has made to dwell in us’?”  Wouldn’t most Christians want their music to come entirely from the Spirit dwelling within them?

 

Shouldn’t we be “single-minded” or hagnos “pure or unmixed” or hagios holy with our music by fostering the playing of music instead from our “innermost being, spirit, or New man?”  Instead of reading and studying bible gramma writings of God’s torah or nomos instruction that requires the “might and power” external resources and internal abilities of the “outer man or flesh,” shouldn’t we NOW be operating out from the Holy Spirit that dwells with our “inner man, spirit, or New man, that is “no longer written on stone or with pen and ink by written on tablets of the heart/mind?”

 

 

 

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Categories: Identity