278. Established in Heaven

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Seated in heavenly places

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus… (Eph 2:4-6).

When a king is ruling, he sits on a throne. That is where he has authority. Ultimately, God wants to enable us to be seated in authority in heavenly places so that we can then bring His kingdom into the earth:

Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

(Matt 6:10).

God’s kingdom is concerned with heaven being manifested on earth. Heaven and earth were originally in complete alignment, but no longer. The earth is fallen from that place and therefore needs to be restored. That is God’s desire, so restoration is about bringing His will and purpose from heaven into the earth; to manifest it, to see His will at work. He does not want to control everything Himself, He encourages us as His sons to participate with Him in the process.

When we are seated, we are in a place of rest within His will and heart. Then we are able to release His will, His governmental perspective, to everything on earth. That is why it is important for us to understand heavenly government.

In heaven first

If we are going to see something established on earth, it needs to be established in heaven first. How do we do that? By exercising our role in heavenly government.

‘Kingdom’ is not just an empty word, there is a reality to government in heaven. There is a whole governmental structure of angels, archangels and other beings (including the men in white linen) operating in the courts and councils of heaven to fulfil God’s will and purpose. And there is a place for us there too.

Government is relational

Heavenly and earthly government are designed to work together. Most of us are familiar with some form of earthly government in our nation, region or city. Whatever we think about political earthly governments, the reality is that God establishes government. And if we see that any earthly government is actually opposing heaven, then we can ask Him whether He mandates us to use our position in heaven to bring about change and transformation in that earthly government.

All government begins in the relationship that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, because that is where everything starts. It is all coming out of His heart of love, out of His desire for restoration. All of it is based in who He is. Government is an expression of the intimacy that exists within God Himself. It is all about love because God is love.

He really is. You may have been taught that God brings judgment on nations through earthquakes and floods and so on. He does not: none of that is Him. Maybe those things are spiritual consequences, or maybe we just live in a fallen world which needs restoration and those adverse weather patterns and movements of the tectonic plates are creation groaning under the weight of our lack of sonship. In that case we need to get our act together and begin to bring order and government into it all as sons of God – but in love, not in frustration or anger or with any sense of retribution or vengeance.

The wrath of God is not poured out on people, because Jesus already dealt with death (the wages of sin). There is no need for God’s wrath to be directed towards anyone, because everyone is already forgiven. But there are things which restrict us from knowing who God is and who we are. The wrath of God is poured out on whatever hinders people from knowing and responding to Him and stepping into their inheritance as His sons.

The sons of the kingdom carry government and all of us are sons of the kingdom. We all have a governmental position, whether we like it or not. Whether we understand it or know it, we have authority because we are sons.

Relationship, not a formula

Governments operate according to various principles and protocols, but in heavenly government (and in earthly government where it is a true reflection of heaven) everything is outworked relationally with God and with each other. We do not want to get tied down to formulas. Once you formularise something, you remove relationship from the equation and everything becomes legalistic. For example, sowing and reaping is a principle, not a formula. As soon as you make it a formula, ‘I sow this and I automatically reap that’ then you have excluded God and suddenly it does not bring blessing anymore. God wants us to be involved with Him relationally in the sowing and the reaping so that we receive all that is on His heart for us, and enjoy it with Him.

So there are protocols for operating in the courts of heaven and it helps if you know how each court functions. But if we engage with God and with His heart, everything we need to know and everything we need to do will come from that relationship. And then we need to work those things out in relationship with one another. The government that we have in heaven and the government we need to have on earth as a foundation to all our ekklesias (and anything else we set up) must be relational because God is relational.

Agreement, cooperation and unity

We need to be relational not functional. Things do need to function, of course; but when you do business of any kind it has to be relational, otherwise it is not going to be a true reflection of God.

Agreement, cooperation and unity are all necessary in government: between God and us and between one another. If the relationship between us and God can be problematic, our relationship with one another is even more so. We are all imperfect and we are all in the process of change and transformation, therefore we rub each other up the wrong way. We will have relational conflicts which come up to the surface and we will have to work them through. Most people do not work them through, they sweep them under the carpet and the lump under the carpet gets bigger and bigger until everyone starts stumbling over it and they cannot ignore it any longer.

We have to work everything through relationally if we are going to see government work according to God’s original intent and purpose, so that what we build here is sustainable and effective, continually full of light and life, a reflection of heaven on earth.

Related ‘Sons Arise!’ posts

This post is based upon Mike’s slides and teaching from our Sons Arise! – On Earth As In Heaven conference (September 2018).

Background image by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

Release a wave of love frequency

Hi everyone,

I want to share something the Father shared with me today with a view for the whole Engaging God programme members – and anyone else – to respond at noon on Wednesday 1st of April for 15 minutes to release a wave of love frequency by intention around the world and continuing weekly or however often you feel to led to continue.

Lived Loved, Love Living and Live Loving

Blessings,

Mike

Son, call for the sons of God to arise and take their places in the rest of their heavenly positions to rule.

From rest, release the love, joy and peace needed to overcome the fear that is lowering the frequency of the planet,making it more susceptible to disease.

Issue the call for global action so that I can bring good out of the present situation.

Son, know that I love all of My children and want none to be lost in fear but all to come to the true knowledge of Our perfect love that will cast out all fear.

Son, issue the rallying cry to arise and release Our perfect love into the spiritual atmosphere all around the world.

Son, choose a time to send a wave of love around the world starting at 12 noon for 15 minutes. Saturate your atmospheres with love, joy and peace daily to subdue and overcome fear.

Son, greater grace is available to those who know perfect love. Where sin abounds the divine enabling power of Love even more abounds.

This is the time for Our children to arise and shine love’s light into the darkness of fear to dispel it.

Creation can be set free from its bondage to fear and corruption by the glory of sonship shining love’s light brightly from the heavens into the earth.

Let the sons of God arise and shine.

272. One Conclusion: God Is Love

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

So much better

What is the Father really like? Because if we are going to enter into a relationship with Him, we need to know that. And you can only get to know what He is really like by meeting Him and engaging with Him yourself.

As I began to meet Him, I discovered that He was not at all like I thought He was. And the more I get to know Him, the more I realise He is less and less like I thought. He is so much better!

Who He is not

In fact, the Father is not at all who religion or culture makes Him out to be.

The Father is not an old man with a long white beard, some Santa Claus type figure, generous with presents if you have been good – but if not, ‘You’d better watch out’, as the popular Christmas song says. He is not watching, waiting for us to get something wrong so that He can punish us.

The Father is not a wrathful, distant deity who needs appeasing with animal sacrifices, as you might think from a superficial reading of the Old Testament (see Heb 10:1-10). He is not the angry face of a two-faced God (with Jesus as the good-natured side). They are both exactly the same. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). So the Father is not a cosmic child abuser who killed His Son to satisfy His anger and wrath. He is not a parent who turned His back on His Son on the cross but one who went through it all with Him.

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them (2 Cor 5:19).

The Father is not a disinterested creator who, having made everything, then just sits back and allows it to work out however it will. Nor is He a script writer who sovereignly and fatalistically decided how everything should be.

The Father is not a parent who has favourites amongst His children, so that He has chosen some to be with Him forever and others to be separated from Him and punished forever. He is not a torturer who will be endlessly tormenting most of His children because they did not do things His way. He is not the kind of parent who abandons, disinherits and disowns His children when they turn away from Him and ignore His advice because they think they know better.

The Father is not a cosmic heavenly sugar daddy that we can manipulate to give us anything we want by trying to please or appease Him with our good behaviour. Nor is He impressed by our tantrums.

Do you see how the Father has been misunderstood and misrepresented by religion to be someone He is not?

A loving Dad

Jesus is His express image and likeness and we can come to the Father for ourselves through Him. He is fully represented in and by His Son and is a loving, caring, compassionate Dad who deeply desires for all His children to enjoy an intimate love relationship with Him. He does not look at us the way we look at ourselves, or the way anyone else sees us. We are all the apple of His eye and the treasure of His heart, and He wants only good things for us. He desires to constantly bless us.

He is a loving parent, who will never force His children to do anything but is patient, tolerant and kind. He has a love for all His children that will never end, will never fail and will never give up on any of us. He is passionate about all His children and is patiently working and waiting for all of them to return to an intimate loving relationship with Him. His discipline is not punishment but loving correction, to help us make better decisions in future.

We are His passion. He does not hold Himself aloof from us because ‘He cannot look upon sin’. That is religious dogma built on half a verse in the Old Testament. Read the other half: the prophet is complaining that, somehow, He still does (Hab 1:13).

The Father allows us to make our choices. He so loves all His children that He is constantly working with all our choices and decisions, even the worst and most stupid of them, to produce something good that can even be woven into the fulfilment of His heart’s desire.

Conversation

One time, the Father said to me, “I want to show you My mind”. I thought “Wow! I’m going to be in the firing neurons of the creativity of God” but it was not like that at all. I found myself in the midst of a conversation between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And I kept hearing my name, which got my attention. He was constantly connecting and reconnecting with me, making corrections to ensure that I could still follow the path, even if I have gone off into some side track. He will even use the side track that I walked on as part of the story. He engages with us in the ‘eternal now’ – it is not past, not present, not future for Him, it is just ‘now’.

He is my Dad and is always available, never too busy for me, never leaves me, always wants the best for me, is always interested in me, always welcomes me into His open arms of love. My loving Dad is the most wonderful, faithful, trustworthy, patient, kind, good, joyful, peaceful, fun-loving, awesome Father who is always sharing His heart and thoughts with me. I love spending time with Him. He is fathering me.

And He is your Dad too.

Circle of the dance

So you do not need to be concerned with the arguments of those who do not know Him face to face or with the opinions of those who are conditioned to think they know Him because of what they have been taught by religion. Some people will always believe what they have always believed because they interpret everything in a way which backs up what they already believe. But if you are open to new revelation, God will show you who He really is.

You can see the Father if you can see Jesus, the Son. Get to know Him. Allow Him to deconstruct the false images you have of Him. This will inevitably stretch your understanding. But once you have been in the circle of the dance of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you know there is only one conclusion: God is love.

He asked me, “And what does 1 Cor 13 say about love? That it torments and punishes? No! Love is kind and bears all things”. Those ‘all things’ are the ‘all things’ He is looking to see restored, by the way.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… (1 Cor 13:4-7a).

This post was extracted and edited from Mike’s teaching during the Sons Arise! Engaging The Father conference held at the Freedom Centre, Barnstaple, UK in 2018. 

Recent posts by FreedomARC

270. Walk on the Ancient Path

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

In this series so far we have looked briefly at three of the four dimensions in which I am encouraging you to engage with the Father:

The fourth dimension in which we can engage is in God’s heart in eternity, outside of time and space.

God is eternal

God is eternal. It may seem really obvious to say it, but it is important to grasp this. He has always been, He is, and He will always be (Rev 1:8). He is almighty, that is ‘all-mighty’. He is light (1 John 1:5). He is love (1 John 4:16). He is spirit (John 4:24).

If we meditate on these scriptures, and others like them, they will open up a doorway that enable us to engage with who God is. If we engage Him and know Him, beholding Him face to face, that intimate relationship with Him will help us know who we are.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer 1:5).

Just as God is speaking here to Jeremiah, He has also spoken to each of us. He knew me, and He knew you, before He formed you in the womb. This was not some vague thought that God had: ‘knowing’ is a really intimate encounter. Since intimacy is two-way, actually, we knew Him too.

He set you apart for relationship and purpose. He had a purpose for your life that He knew, and that you knew, before you were actually formed. It is part of your very being.  What name has He given you? Who has He called you to be? What has He appointed you to? What has He called you to do? The good news is: you can know.

As sons of God we have access to I AM. Everything to Him is present, always in the eternal now. Since we are in Him and He in us, we can engage the eternal aspects of our identity and destiny within the heart of God. He wants to restore our connection to who we really are, who we were always created to be, giving us inspiration at a spiritual level that informs and empowers what we do here.

God’s very essence is love. In His heart your relationship with the very essence of love is restored: that is not just feeling loved, which is wonderful in itself, but also beginning to be an expression of love yourself. When you first go there, it is unlikely you will be able to process it with your mind. It is more that you know things instinctively because you are part of the thoughts of God, His heart and His desire; you absorb it, and it then begins to transform your life.

Soul and spirit

In order for your spiritual memory to be restored, you may need some deconstruction of your entrenched mindsets and framework, as I did. You will certainly need to have your soul and spirit separated and reintegrated so that your soul is free to cooperate with your spirit rather than pursuing its own agenda and affirming an identity independent from God. That changed everything for me. Everyone needs to go through their own process – pray it won’t be like mine, because mine was really hard!

When our soul and spirit are in agreement, we can live in dual realms of heaven and earth at the same time. We can become reconnected to who we were as pre-existing spirit beings, reconnected to creation as it was before it came into the bondage of corruption, which stimulates us to participate in the restoration of all things. Having a memory of what it was like when creation was in perfect harmony and there was no darkness really motivates me to want to see it like that again. The revelation of the sons of God will bring creation into the freedom of the glory of those sons – into our glory!

Walk on the ancient path

You may be familiar with this symbol, which I see as the eternal circle:

We can stand in what is, every day in heaven, in the arc of the Name of God, in His Name, in the four faces of God; then we have access to walk on that ancient path back into the heart of God (I no longer need to walk back into it because I now reside there; but if you are not yet able to live in dual realms, you can still choose to walk back there).

When you are in that place, allow His thoughts to envelop you. It’s like being in the womb of His heart: you were birthed there. If He were to tell you all those amazing thoughts He has about you in one go, it would overwhelm you. So He allows you to grasp them a little at a time. As you are in this place of intimacy, He will reveal how special you are to Him. You will begin to feel your value and worth to Him, not because of what you can do but because of who you are. You can feel love; you can feel His frequency vibrating in your spirit; that can be communicated by your spirit to your heart, your soul.

We gradually become more fully aware of our sonship, and not only in relation to this realm. We begin to see who we were as sons and who we will be as sons; if we connect to the beginning and outwork it in the middle, eventually the end will be in agreement.

Walk back into eternity

I want to give you an opportunity to walk back into eternity and to re-engage with the eternal aspect of the heart of God there for you. I cannot guarantee that you are ready, but you can ask Him to take you there and if so, He will. If not, He will take you somewhere that is a part of your journey into that realm and is right for you at this time.

Close your eyes if you can. Again, you can use the audio version of this activation if you wish.

Heaven is open.
Let the image form in your imagination.
Hear the invitation to ‘come up here’.
Walk up the steps into the heavenly realms.

Ask Jesus to help you engage with the arc in the heavenly tabernacle.
Let Him lead you into the arc of the Presence of God,
to stand before the four faces
and step into the Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei of His Name.
That is a step of choice, to step into the manifestation of His Presence there.

As you step into His Presence,
ask Jesus to allow you to walk on the ancient path,
to engage in His heart.
He may walk with you into that place
or you may find yourself transported there.

There, within the heart of God’s Presence,
you may feel cocooned in love,
you may see yourself as light,
you may sense the conversation all around you,
hear His thoughts about you:
sense your eternal identity.

Whatever happens, just relax and allow it to take place.
Stay as long as it takes, don’t rush away.
The eternal aspect of who you are will begin to be unveiled to you
at a deeper and deeper level.

Don’t let these engagements in four dimensions be one-time exercises. Make them part of your daily lifestyle. God will never run out of new revelation He wants to release to you; and increasing revelation of who you are will come out of the increasing revelation of who He is.

This post was extracted and edited from Mike’s teaching during the Sons Arise! Engaging The Father conference held at the Freedom Centre in 2018. 

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269. Into the Heavenly Realms

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Back through the door

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16).

When I first started engaging in my spirit, I was just captivated by God. Who wouldn’t be? To see the face of God, to look into His eyes, to be embraced by the Father…

Then I began leading activations for others to engage. One time with the church here, people were feeding back afterwards and one lady said ‘I went back through the door’. I had never thought of doing that myself but it is a two-way gate which also gives us access to the realms of heaven. It is like a wormhole into a different dimension. We can step through and follow the river of life back upstream to its source at the throne of grace.

The river of life

The river of life is amazing to experience. It is the essence of the life of God. We can get into the river; the river can flow in us; we can drink from the river; we can even breathe in the river (it is not H2O). There are waterfalls along the river and it flows through the Father’s garden (a wonderful place to explore). The Tree of Life grows on the banks of the river: its fruit is there for us to eat and enjoy, in season all the time. It is not just a passage in the Book of Revelation for us to read and think, ‘Oh, that’s nice’. It is there for us to engage personally, and it is available now.

And so we come to the Throne of Grace, which is a real place, and we can go there. In fact we have all the resources of heaven available to us, just like Jesus.

If you’re unfamiliar with all this, you can ask Him to show you around, to introduce you to some of the things in Eden. I could give you a guided tour, but I could only show you the places I would go. He can take you wherever He wants to take you: those are the places where you need to go! Let’s go there now.

Close your eyes1 and think of that door in your spirit.
Let that door form in your imagination.
By faith reach out to the handle and open it.

Welcome the Father’s presence into your spirit.
Allow your whole being, spirit, soul and body engage Him in a loving embrace.

Ask the Father to take you back through the door into Eden…

Step through the veil and you are transported into the realm of Eden.
Ask the Father to show you whatever you need to experience.

You might jump into the river and experience the life flowing around you, in you and through you.

You might go upstream and engage with the waterfalls cascading down. You can float up a waterfall in heaven, laws of physics like gravity are not an issue in the realms of heaven.
Or walk along the pathway, enjoying the colours, fragrances and frequencies.

Cross the bridge and go into the Father’s garden.
If He takes you into His garden, it is the most beautiful expression of paradise and of perfect rest.

Or keep walking up the pathway to the Tree of Life. Eat the fruit, take the scrolls that are there and engage with them. (When you receive things in the realms of heaven, mostly it is best to eat them, to take them into yourself, so that you begin to absorb whatever goodness they contain. They may not look like food but you can eat gemstones or scrolls, for example, and that will unveil revelation for you).

Maybe the Father will take you to the Throne of Grace, where you can sit on His lap, place your head on His breast where you can feel the rhythm of His heart. You can offload any needs you have onto Him and come into perfect rest. I used to make up excuses to go to the Throne of Grace because I loved sitting on His lap, until I realised I didn’t need an excuse: He loved me being there as much as I did.

Wherever He takes you, go with it. Be still and rest there. Don’t try to skip over ‘rest’ too quickly. While you rest, He works. Stop trying to do things and learn to just be.

When I first started engaging like this, I would spend hours at a time. This has just been a few minutes, a taster, if you like. If you want to come back and visit some of these other places, you can! Sometimes the desire of your heart will take you there. Come back and spend as much time as you like pursuing relationship with the Father here.

1 Listen to this audio version of this engagement, during which Mike played Identity in A by SML Music:

Recent posts by FreedomARC

This post is condensed and edited from Mike’s teaching during the Sons Arise! Engaging The Father conference held at the Freedom Centre in 2018. 

Background image of Skogafoss, Iceland by David Mark from Pixabay

266. A Happy Eschatology

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

The restoration of all things is not a one-off event but a continual process that God does with us, in us and through us as His sons. I believe that as co-heirs we are involved in, and carry responsibility for, the restoration of all things; in particular for the restoration of creation.

What I thought I knew

How the Bible frames our understanding of the future will greatly influence what we believe about our sonship and what is possible in restoration. Our expectations of the future will also determine what we believe about the part we can play in it.

If we believe that God is going to destroy the heavens and the earth with fire, as many do, that will inevitably affect how we see our responsibility to steward the planet and its resources. If we believe in a defeatist, rapture ‘rescue of the church’ into heaven, then there will be little point in looking for the kingdom to fill the earth in victory.

We often have confirmation bias: we already know what the Bible says, so when we read it, it just confirms what we already know. More study will not fix this. Only face-to-face encounters with God Himself can get us free from that biased view. Some of my encounters with God have been traumatic: for about 5 years it seemed like every time I thought I knew something, I would have an encounter with God which totally challenged what I thought I knew.

Religion continues to misrepresent God; but He is looking to undo the damage that religion has done to our perception of Him so that we will see Him as He really is, as Jesus revealed Him to be. Only the lens of love will enable us to see the true nature of God and how that underlies the restoration of all things. God desires restoration, and all His desires are birthed in love. Love causes restoration.

Happy endings?

When we use love as our plumb line it is easier to decide which doctrinal truths and theological positions are aligned with God being love and which are the man-made deceptions of a religious mindset. If we are to participate fully in the restoration of all things and the expansion of God’s kingdom as sons, we will want to embrace an eschatology which allows for creation being set free from corruption within that restoration: this is variously called a happy, realised, fulfilled or covenant eschatology.

Many of the positions people take are paradoxical or even contradictory, but they all use the Bible to prove that they are right. So did I! Now I have to own up and say ‘Sorry, I got it wrong’. Revelation is progressive, and I was only going on the revelation that I had (and of course, others are only going on the revelation they have too). God does not mind that along our journey we may have believed a whole variety of delusions, illusions, lies and deceptions. Still, He wants us to know Him; and in knowing Him He wants us to have the revelation of unveiled truth, so that truth can set us free.

Three streams

In conversation with God, He told me that there are three streams coming together. At present, there are a handful of people who flow with two of those streams, and even fewer who embrace all three. For now, each is mostly blind to the direction that the others are coming from but they will merge in the flow of the restoration of all things.

  • The Christian Universalists are travelling towards both a realised eschatology and an open heaven mystical flow.
  • The mystics are travelling towards a realised eschatology and universal restoration.
  • The realised eschatologists are travelling towards the mystical and the restoration of all things position.

Most eschatological systems have far from happy endings, involving expectations of fearful judgment, doom, gloom, destruction and failure for mankind and the rest of creation. In ‘happy eschatology’, prophecies of doom and gloom, judgment and destruction are seen as already fulfilled, leading to a restorative period in which all things can be restored. The future is positive and filled with possibilities of increase and blessing.

No fear for the future

When looking to our Bibles to see what the future holds, there are a number of factors we need to bear in mind:

  • all the events of the New Testament were future to the Old Testament writers
  • everything Jesus prophesied was future to those He was speaking to at the time, but
  • what was future to Old Testament writers, to Jesus’ first century listeners and to New Testament writers may not be future to us today – it may have already occurred.

There is no fear for the future based on Biblical prophecy when the prophesied events are already in the past for us. All biblical references to the end, the last days, the end times, the last hour and soon to take place refer not to the destruction of the world, but to the end of the old covenant age. This was the ‘end’ that Jesus prophesied would occur in the generation to which He was speaking.

To us, in the 21st century:

  • The prophesied end is past, not future.
  • The end of the old heavens and earth (i.e. the old covenant system of laws, temple and sacrifice) is past, not future.
  • The new heavens and the new earth (the new covenant) is present, not future.
  • The great tribulation is past, not future (this does not mean that there will never be any tribulation again throughout history, merely that any tribulation experienced will not be a fulfilment of this specific Bible prophecy).
  • The end of the age is past, not future.
  • Judgment and resurrection are past, not future.
  • The lake of fire is past, not future.

Revelation and Daniel

Most of the difficulties people encounter today with the book of Revelation and Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy come from trying to make them fit current (or future) events.

In reality, Revelation is John’s first-hand account of a heavenly encounter. He was shown the events Jesus spoke about, recorded in Luke 21 and Matthew 24, which happened in that generation just as He said they would.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place (Rev 1:1, my emphasis).

Revelation is full of such time references which should clue us in to the immediacy of the time frame:

  • tachus means quickly, all at once, with all speed, without delay.
  • engys means “at hand, near”
  • mello means “about to, on the point or verge of”

Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy also happened in that generation (including the 70th week). Daniel connected the eschatological time of the “end” with events such as the desolation of the temple, the resurrection, the tribulation, the coming of the Son of Man and the arrival of the kingdom. All those events would take place when the city and temple were destroyed or “when the power of the holy people would be completely shattered”; “all these things” (not just some of them) would be fulfilled together (see the consummation scenes in Dan. 12:1-7; Dan. 7:13-14, 18, 27; 9:24-27).

The period of restoration of all things

  • As in the days of Noah’ happened in that generation
  • Believers fled from Jerusalem to the mountains in that generation
  • The judgment and resurrection happened in that generation
  • The kingdom was established in that generation

“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Matt 24:34).

That generation ended in 70 AD with the destruction of the temple and the very end of the old covenant. The period of the restoration of all things began in that generation… and continues in the new covenant age in which we live.

Related posts by FreedomARC

This post is based in part on Mike’s introduction to ‘Happy Eschatology’ from our intensive ‘The Restoration of All Things held in June 2019. A lively discussion session ensued!

265. Love’s Good News

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

If we are to fulfil our sonship mandate and bring restoration to the earth, we need to mature as sons and take our places enthroned in the heavenly realms. As we mature, we will grow in confidence in our relationship with Father, Son and Spirit so that we come to know each of them intimately and spontaneously recognise their voices and their shared heart. This will be key as we explore and journey beyond our present knowledge and experience.

A journey of discovery

And there is so much more for us to discover. We are walking with God on a relational journey to discover Him and ourselves, and He will guide us through our experiential encounters with Him. The more I have engaged Him, the more He has exploded out of the box that I was unknowingly trying to put Him in. There are many things He has shown me that I do not yet fully understand cognitively but I park them and move on, trusting that the revelation will be uncovered when the time is right. There have been many things that I was convinced were true that I now realise were merely someone else’s opinions masquerading as objective truth.

We do not need to fear being deceived as long as we are not blindly following man’s DIY doctrines but are checking everything out with God ourselves. Please do not believe something just because I say it, or someone else says it. All of us have the Spirit of Truth Himself in us and with us as our guide. We have Jesus the way, truth and life in us and with us to disciple us. We have our loving Father in us and with us to father us into our sonship. If there is a plumb line we measure and test everything against, then that plumb line is not the Bible (as many of us were taught) but Agape Love, the very nature of God.

The Bible narrative

This does not mean that we reject the Bible. Far from it! It is just that we need to go beyond the limitations of sola scriptura. We need the Truth, the living Word of God, Jesus, as our only mediator.

“We came up with the idea of inerrancy because we needed another mediator between God and man other than Jesus.” – T.F. Torrance.

The Bible’s narrative covers God, Creation, Man, the Fall, redemption and restoration. Various writers contribute to the story, using their own perspectives of their encounters with God and with other people. The love story of God’s relationship with mankind is its overarching theme, the big-picture metanarrative which unites all the micronarratives of smaller themes and individual stories. We are all involved, woven into the story like a big tapestry.

Our own micronarratives derive from those things we believe about ourselves and the world, influenced by the metanarratives we adopt. Everything we believe about ourselves is framed by the bigger picture, paradigm or worldview. The gospel reframes all history in a light that directly affects our own stories.

Choices

No one really has free will. We are all influenced by something. What we do all have is choice. Religion of all types is a type of metanarrative that frames people’s lives from the particular viewpoint that they have been exposed to. If we have been around Christians for any length of time, that applies to us, too.

So what is it that influences our choices and frames our lives? A set of values, ideals or principles revealed in a book (that may be called the Bible, Torah, Koran or Veda etc.) or a personal, experiential, love relationship with God? God desires all of us to have a face to face relationship with Him.

Religion hates that idea. It fears subjective, experiential relationship and seeks to impose external checks and balances upon us. Without an objective reference point, it expects that we will fall into skewed DIY behaviour and selfish, man-centred micronarratives. Religion thrives on law and on the identity derived from a set of shared behaviours which line up with that law.

But there is nothing to fear when a love relationship with God gives us a healthy understanding of our true identity.

Just like our Dad

It is our responsibility to discover who we really are, and who God made us to be. We will find our identity, position and authority by beholding God in the mirror of a face to face relationship that fully reveals our sonship. We are called to be restored into that image and to participate in the restoration of all things. Creation is waiting to be set free from its bondage to decay into the freedom of our glory as sons.

“Jesus is God’s mind made up about us” (Francois du Toit, Ephesians 1:4 Mirror Bible). If our thinking does not line up with His, then our thinking needs to be renewed. This is what metanoia (repentance) really means.

When we know our true identity we will express God’s love through our lives in ministering to others. To be a follower of Jesus is to be part of the story by being the good news, not just in our behaviour, in our outward actions, but also in how our story reveals our value and worth as a son of God; in how it reveals just how much we are loved.

Then, much of our story will be that of our restoration from brokenness. The truth of love’s good news will be embedded into the fabric of our being; we will sum up our love stories, not in a superficial “Jesus loves me” kind of way, but in a way that emphasises accepting and embracing our brokenness and fragmentation, retelling our story of receiving ever greater levels of healing and peace in a way that releases hope to others.

God does not expect us to be perfect (and so condemn us to the bondage of continual, repeated failure because we feel obligated to an external standard of perfection). He wants us to mature through an internal desire to be sons who are just like our loving Dad.

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264. Relationship Replaced

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

A book they didn’t have

If you have spent any time at all in evangelical Christianity, you have probably been taught something like this:

“The Bible is ‘God-breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:16). The human authors wrote exactly what God wanted them to write, and the result was the perfect and holy Word of God (Psalm 12:6; 2 Peter 1:21).” [1]

As we saw last time, the Bible makes no such claims for itself. The verses quoted are not talking about ‘the Bible’ at all. Jesus is the Word of God, so to describe the Bible as the ‘Word of God’ (especially with a capital ‘W’) is little short of idolatry. We can all have an intimate face to face relationship with the Living Word of God – Jesus – today. Sadly, for many believers, knowledge of the Bible has replaced that intimate relationship with God Himself.

“It’s difficult to expect the same fruit of the early church when we value a book they didn’t have more than the Holy Spirit they did have.” – Bill Johnson[2]

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit will lead us to Jesus (the Truth and Living Word of God) who leads us to the Father in relationship:

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26).

“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:12-13).

Jesus promised that more revelation would come through the Holy Spirit. There is no end to that revelation, no caveat that says ‘until the Bible is complete’. Is it possible that God never intended to limit revelation of who He is to the books of what we call the Old and New Testaments? Should the Bible ever ‘be complete’? Was that God’s intention? Did He even intend for us to have a Bible? Is it possible that insights today can be progressively added by the Holy Spirit?

Questions

I began to ask some questions of myself. I encourage you to do the same.

  • How much of what I believe came through direct face to face encounter with God Himself?
  • How much of what I currently believe has come through other people’s teaching and preaching?
  • How much of what I currently believe has come through my own study, leaning on my own understanding, and therefore comes through the confirmation-biased filter of my pre-existing knowledge?
  • How many things that I currently believe are different from the understanding that I have previously held? What are those things?
  • What do I now believe that contradicts something I strongly believed in the past?
  • How much of what I currently believe may change in the future if God continues to renew my mind?

Replacements

In my own conversations with the Father, He made some statements to me about some of the replacements we have made. His intention was to challenge any religious mindset in me. I offer them here so that if any of these statements resonate with you, or if they arouse anger, indignation or some other strong emotional response, you can take them back to the Father, ask Him why and ask Him to reveal the truth of His heart.

Relationship has been replaced by religion
The Spirit has been replaced by a book
The Living Word has been replaced by the written word
The Truth as a person has been replaced by theological and doctrinal belief systems
Hearing My voice has been replaced by studying a book

The truth of the cross that has reconciled creation has been distorted into a lie that has excluded creation
The perfect picture of love has been twisted to express penal, retributive punishment and torment
The love so perfectly displayed for My children and My creation in the self-sacrifice and offering of My Son has been distorted into a disgusting image of cosmic child abuse
Love that brings life has been perverted into hateful punishment that brings death

The correction and refining that purifies in fire has been replaced by eternal conscious torment
The Perichoresis of a relational loving God has been replaced by Augustinian theology of an angry God
Loving, substitutionary atonement has been replaced by penal, retributive atonement

Restoration has been replaced by punishment
Testing has been replaced by torment
Repentance has become re-penance instead of the renewal of the mind.
The wages of sin have become eternal punishment instead of death
The cross has become penal instead of restorative

Love has been replaced by anger
The grave has been replaced by Hell
The Spirit has been replaced by the letter
The torn veil of the temple has been replaced by the mediatorial coverings of men

Heaven and earth have been separated
An open heaven has been deceptively made a closed heaven
The literal truth of an open heaven has been replaced by analogy and metaphor
Access to heaven through the Way, Truth and Life of Jesus, the Door, has been replaced by access through death
The new covenant of life has been replaced by the old covenant of death

Grace has been replaced by the law
The faith of Jesus has been replaced by faith in Jesus
Salvation by grace has been replaced by the salvation of works
The heavenly priesthood of Melchizedek has been replaced by the earthly Aaronic priesthood

Future fulfilment has replaced past fulfilment
The end of the old covenant has been replaced by the end of the world
The celebration and joy of love have been replaced by the tribulation of fear
Victory has been replaced by rescue
The restoration of all things has been replaced by the destruction of all things

The new heavens and new earth, representing a new temple wineskin, has been replaced by the literal destruction of the world
Parousia of presence has been replaced by parousia of coming
Inclusion has been replaced by exclusion
Reconciliation has been replaced by separation

Preaching the good news of Jesus in people has been replaced by preaching the bad news of exclusion among people
The priesthood of all believers has been replaced by the priesthood of one believer

The bride has replaced the wife: the marriage has been made future not past
The present New Jerusalem on earth has been replaced by a future New Jerusalem coming out of heaven
The past resurrection has been replaced with a future resurrection
The past judgment of the cross declaring that all are innocent has been replaced with a future judgment of only the guilty

‘All are made alive in Christ’ [inclusive] has been replaced by ‘only those in Christ are made alive’ [exclusive]
‘All will confess Jesus as Lord’ has been replaced by ‘some will confess Jesus as Lord’
Being ‘born from above’ has been replaced with being ‘born again’
Being ‘born from above’ through the resurrection has been replaced by being ‘born again’ by praying a prayer of salvation

Salvation of all by grace through the gift of Jesus’ faith has been replaced by the salvation of some by their own faith

Take it back to Him

I am not asking you whether you agree or disagree. Whatever your response as you read through that list, I encourage you to take it back to the Father.

Ask the Living Word of God, Jesus, to give you a true revelation of Himself as the Truth and to deconstruct any pillar of sola scriptura from your mind.

Invite the Truth, Jesus, to deconstruct any lies you believe about the Bible, God, others and yourself.

[1] source: www . gotquestions.org
[2]When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson, Destiny Image Publishers 2013.

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261. The Final Judgment

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

To reconcile all things

…and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.  And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach (Col 1:20-22).

Jesus has reconciled only a certain, select group of people, according to what most of us have believed, in order to present us blameless and beyond reproach. We have limited the scope of this reconciliation, thinking it could not possibly include everyone and everything. Inevitably, different groups have had different opinions about who is in and who is out.

Everyone and everything is included. Jesus reconciled all things to Himself. If Jesus did it already, no one needs to do anything more. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves holy and blameless and beyond reproach because He already did it. He died our death, dealt with our separation and brought us back into a restored relationship.

…namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world (Greek: kosmos) to Himself, not counting their sins against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19).

God is not counting anyone’s sins against them. That is forgiveness. Psalm 103 tells us that as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. No matter how far you travel trying to find them, you never will.

Vine’s dictionary will tell you that kosmos means ‘the sum-total of human life in the ordered universe, considered apart from, and alienated from, and hostile to God, and of the earthly things which seduce from God.’ Even if you believe that, the kosmos is what ‘God so loved’ in John 3:16 and what ‘God was in Christ reconciling’ in 2 Cor 5:19. It has all been reconciled.

We have this word, that Jesus has reconciled everyone, but what have we done with it? Have we shared with people the good news of what God has done for them, or bad news, that they are not reconciled with, and still separated from, a God who doesn’t even like them?

The final judgment

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is age-enduring life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23).

Jesus died our death and now there is no longer any sin, and therefore no wages due. If no one’s sin is counted against them, based on the power of the cross, then all subsequent judgments must produce life and not death. As Francois Du Toit says in the Mirror Bible translation of 2 Cor 5:19, “the fallen state of mankind was deleted.” There is no double jeopardy in God’s kingdom: you cannot be tried for the same thing twice. No one can be judged again for what Jesus already died for. The cross is the final judgment. There is no future ‘judgment day’: it already happened at the cross and we have all been declared blamelessly innocent.

Sadly, we judge people all the time, based on their behaviour and what we consider to be right or wrong rather than looking at them in love through the eyes of Jesus. We do not necessarily condone everyone’s behaviour, but we need to be careful not to think that it excludes them from God’s love and reconciliation.

Pleased to reveal His Son in me

Paul recounts his encounter (as Saul) on the road to Damascus:

But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles… (Gal 1:15-16).

He does not say that God revealed His Son in the bright light that blinded him, but that “God was pleased to reveal His Son in me”. God had been at work in him all along; Jesus had been in Him all along; now God revealed that to him. God is not separated from people, even from someone like Saul who was implacably opposed to Him. He is at work in all people to reveal Himself as love and light – and through them to others.

For too long the good news has been presented something like this: “There is a big gulf between you on one side and God on the other. The cross bridges the gap and you can walk across that bridge and engage God.” The real good news is that there is no gulf. God is already at work in everybody, and our job is to help them see that (not to tell them that they are dirty, rotten sinners who deserve to suffer eternal conscious torment as their punishment in hell). There is no separation.

The fullness of God was in Christ

Let us not imagine that the incarnation separated Father, Son and Spirit; nor even the crucifixion. Scripture tells us that all the fullness of God’s being dwells bodily in Christ (Col 2:9) and that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:19). On the cross, Jesus felt the agony of fallen humanity when he quoted the opening line of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But every Jewish person who heard Him knew where the Psalm was going, with David crying triumphantly “He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him but has heard when he cried to him.” (Ps 22:24).

Resurrection

The restoration of all things is based on the victory of the cross over all things that would hinder our reconciliation and restoration to relationship.

All judgment and justice are based on the victory of the cross over sin, death and the grave; every hindrance or legal obstacle is overcome. Jesus holds the keys of death and of Hades (Rev 1:17) and He is using them to unlock the door, not lock it. That is totally contradictory to some of our belief systems. God has opened access to everyone. The gates of the New Jerusalem are never shut. Everyone is included, no one excluded.

…so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to age-enduring life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 5:21).

The power of the resurrection has defeated death (and it is what enables everything to be restored). The resurrection has overcome death and grace now reigns.

All will be made alive

For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive (1 Cor 15:21-22).

Take note of the ‘all’ in both parts of that last sentence. It seems that no one has much trouble with the first ‘all’ meaning ‘all’. The second ‘all’ is where the trouble begins, because if it is the same ‘all’ then much of our theology bites the dust. So we have made ‘in Christ’ conditional, in a way that we do not with ‘in Adam’: so that only those who are ‘in Christ’ will be made alive. And we have gone on to define what being ‘in Christ’ looks like, according to our various denominations and streams.

Both mentions of ‘all’ are the same ‘all’. Christ was the last Adam and the Adamic race ended with Him. From this side of the cross, no one is descended from Adam any more but from Christ. From that point on, all are ‘in Christ’ (though some do not know it and the ‘gospel’ we have preached has consistently told them that they aren’t). And Paul says that ‘in Christ’ all of us are going to be made alive.

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:56).

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death (Rom 8:2).

Those are very familiar scriptures and we read them as if they apply exclusively to ‘us’ (those we consider as being ‘in Christ’). But who is under the law, since the cross? No one, not even the Jewish people who were the ONLY ones under the law in the first place!

Everyone has victory over death and sin through the power of the cross.

…who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity [literally, from before the times of the ages] but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Tim 1:9-10).

Death is abolished. It no longer has power over anyone. This was already decided ‘from before the times of the ages’ but has been ‘brought to light’ by the gospel.

More to come

God is not holding anything related to sin against the world and is restoring all things, first to original condition and then to His original intention. God is looking for all things to grow and mature from their original condition to fulfil their potential, His original intention. Original condition is just the start: there is more to come!

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Background for header meme by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.
The text, “Blamelessly innocent” is a reference to the Mirror Bible translation of Ephesians 1:3-4 by Francois Du Toit:
Let’s celebrate God! He lavished every blessing heaven has upon us in Christ! He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about us! He always knew in his love that he would present us again face-to-face before him in blameless innocence. God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam!

259. Clothed with Glory

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott  

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

Jesus was talking about the coming Pentecost and the first step of the Holy Spirit leading us into ‘the freedom of the glory of the children of God’, re-clothing us with the glory Adam and Eve displayed. That was to be the beginning of the process and our transformation was intended to continue, but many have become stuck or even refused to go there! We must embrace that truth, and the reality of spiritual gifts, but see it as just one step along the road to fully restored sonship and the authority that goes with it.

For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.  I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:6-7, 9).

For Israel, under the old covenant, the house they were expecting to be filled with glory was the Temple. And when Jesus came to the Temple, He came with the glory of God again. But He was rejected by the religious leaders and when He left the Temple for the last time (in Matthew chapters 23-24) He left it desolate, that is, without the glory. In the new covenant we understand that we are the house, and we are to be filled with glory.

And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:26-29).

Our bodies are a house of God, and we are part of this ‘mountain of the house of the Lord’ which is being restored by fire. The fire of God is not something we need to be afraid of. His fire is His love, and it only consumes the worthless, temporary things we have created on our DIY pathway. His fire is necessary to restoration – we cannot restore anything by the self-help methods which compromised God’s original intent and purpose in the first place.

Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it (Isa 2:2).

When God displays His sons to the world, when we are fully restored to positions of sonship, raised up and seated in authority in the heavenly realms, people will be drawn to the glory they see restored in us. What will that look like?

Transfiguration

And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him (Matt 17:2-3).

Moses represents the Law and Elijah the Prophets. Everything in the old covenant was there to honour Jesus as he appeared in the full blaze of the glory of sonship. If that happened to Jesus, it can happen to us.

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!” (Matt 17:5).

An extra phrase was added to the first time the Father affirmed Jesus as His Son: now He is saying “listen to Him!” So when we know our position, when God speaks that affirmation over us, creation will know to listen to us. Creation is looking for the revealing of the sons of God; it will listen and respond to us when we stand in that restored place of authority.

Mystic glimpses

At various times in history, God has given a few people mystic glimpses of mankind’s original state and of His original intention for us. In 1820, Anne Catherine Emmerich had an extensive and very vivid personal revelation in which she described Adam and Eve as clothed in light.

“They were like two unspeakably noble and beautiful children, perfectly luminous and clothed with beams of light as with a veil. From Adam’s mouth I saw issuing a broad stream of glittering light, and upon his forehead was an expression of great majesty. Around his mouth played a sunbeam, but there was none around Eve’s. I saw Adam’s heart very much the same as in men of the present day, but his breast was surrounded by rays of light. In the middle of his heart, I saw a sparkling halo of glory1.”

In 1882, Luisa Piccarreta encountered Jesus, who explained that in creating man, He placed him in the sun of the Divine Will. This was a garment of shining light, whose rays covered his body in a way that honoured him and rendered him beautiful. When Adam lost his garments of innocence he used material things to cover himself. Jesus’ earthly garments were taken from Him before He was crucified. “He did not take on other garments upon His Resurrection. Instead His Humanity was dressed with the shining garment of the sun of the Supreme Will… The Divine Will, while it is life, is also man’s true garment of Creation2.”

Though figuratively “naked,” because their knowledge of their premortal state had been taken away by a “veil of forgetfulness,” Adam and Eve had come to Eden nonetheless “trailing clouds of glory.” While the couple, as yet, were free from transgression, they could stand “naked” in God’s presence without shame, being “clothed with purity” in what early commentators called “garments of light” or “garments of contentment.” In one source, Eve describes her appearance by saying: “I was decked out like a bride, and I reclined in a wedding-chamber of light3.”

Such testimonies are designed to motivate us to pursue our restoration in light, not to settle for less than God intended and to reconnect with the eternity that has been placed in our hearts. Hebrew tradition and many rabbinical writings talk about the loss of innocence and glory in terms of light being removed. My own encounters with light and talking to Adam revealed the same truth. It is the Father’s desire for us to be restored to the light of our identity and glory as His sons. The more we realise and – in relationship – get to know the truth of who we are, the more we will begin to shine.

References

1 The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations, vol 1 – Anne Catherine Emmerich, quoted in Frank Rega’s blog post referenced below.
2 Were Adam and Eve originally clothed in garments of light? – blog post by Frank Rega
3 The Nakedness and the Clothing of Adam and EveJeffrey M. Bradshaw.

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