The Great Commission: Make Learners of Him, because out from Him is all the Living Estate

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

“Make disciples” is better understood as “make learners” of Jesus, His Person, not merely about the things He did and said. Too often, people can see this as making converts for a religion, but Jesus never envisioned the next global religion. Rather, He is talking about Himself Personally. Go out into the nations and make learners of Me, “What Kind of Person I am.”

All authority is His. But don’t limit authority to things; rather include Who He is as the Firstborn, Who has been given all the Estate, like all the hills and all the cattle (Psalm 50:10). But are we only talking about things as commodities, territories, or a reality of life out from death?

And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. Colossians 1:18 ESV

The Great Commission is given after Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus presented Himself alive! Out from death, He lives! Jesus’ “all authority” is linked to His Firstborn status as Owner of all (Romans 8:29, Hebrews 12:23, Revelation 1:5). In fact, pondering Revelation 5:6’s image of the slaughtered, yet standing little lamb on heaven’s throne, we can see that this life out from death sits and the very core of His eternal kingdom.

Therefore, the authority of the Firstborn is out of His Being that exits death and its realm. If you study the most widely available resources on this word, exousia, it is not easy to find anyone telling you about the word ousia, which is the same word lacking the prefix ex-. Ousia only occurs twice in Luke 15:12-13. In fact, the context is about receiving an estate out from which one lives from. Or you could say it as a bank of resources out from which one can be in the world.

The prodigal took those resources for being in the world and squandered them. The prodigal received an estate for living and simply wasted it on his own pleasures. Think of the property in Luke 15 in that way, in a living way. And the person who is in charge of handing out this estate for living is the firstborn, who inherited it all as his means for living and providing life to others.

Jesus is the Firstborn out from the dead. Jesus’ living estate is of a quality that lives out from the dead. He always had this Life in Himself going to the cross (John 5:26). The cross event in history just played to His ultimate resource, whereby death was gutted.

…in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20 ESV

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 ESV

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life… John 14:6 ESV

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3 ESV

As Firstborn out from the dead, Jesus has a way of being out from the dead too. There is a way to learn Him at this level of Eternal Life, Himself. We just need to migrate in our minds away from Jesus giving me things, to Who Jesus is. In Luke 10:42, Jesus tells us what the one needful thing is: cease your efforts and ideas of serving Him like Martha, and simply sit like Mary and hear what comes out from His heart.

So how do you do that? How do you hear?

How does the Great Commission end? It says He is always with us. He is with us in a better way now after the Resurrection, because we can be connected as one cosmic body. In fact, it is even better than what Mary had, because she had her physical senses as barriers for mishearing. In the Resurrection, we share the same Spirit. We can actually learn His heart, which willingly took up the cross to the end of the earthly flesh’s ability to move.

It is true that if you seek Him you will find Him, assuming you seek Him with all your heart. In places where the Bible is hard to find, people can encounter Christ in dreams and promptings. However, in places where the Bible is easy to find, the devil’s number one attack point just so happens to be Jesus’ top priority engagement on Resurrection Day. I am talking about what Jesus said on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. Jesus wanted His followers to learn Him from the Hebrew Scriptures.

The Jesus Pictures, Spiritual Knowledge, Life Portals, and 24:27 are books that delve into this on the other page of this website. There is a way of seeing Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures that is alive. He did say He is Life. Knowing Him is eternal life. God has created design patterns for us to learn. The main design patterns are the simplest of shapes that show a flow, a way of being that can flip any narrative on its head. Yet, they are not just templates, but expressions of His Life in a people designed to live by Him. It is why we have Bible stories – to see Him moving through history in a way by which we can presently know Him within. As I’ve said before, the real territory that needs Joshua’s conquest is your heart.

By writing these books and making them available on the web and Amazon, I believe this is fulfilling the Great Commission of helping people be a learner of The Living Jesus, not just a convert to a religion. And when I say living, I mean living out from death. I am writing about His Crucified Life. Learn Him from within. Who He is being, is everything we need out from our current estate (James 1:21).

How to hear the Bible: Two beams, Four ends.

How I approached the Bible radically changed after my vision of the cross in 2011. I had been taught the common approach that is still widely declared in many areas, especially the United States. However, what the Holy Spirit kept showing me of the Crucified Living One from all corners of the Hebrew Scriptures did not fit. As a result, I really felt that leaders of the Christian world had been misinforming me. Beholding Jesus as crucified and ongoing living reality was hyper-literally the center of all!

After publishing The Jesus Pictures, I tried to trace it back. How long has this been a problem? There had to be echoes of the reality of beholding Christ “as He is,” which exposure clearly transforms inwardly. In the end, I discovered that the disconnect was manifesting during the time of the Apostles.

In Paul’s letters to various churches, he battled this tendency to slip away into the human default comfort zone. For instance, the letter to the Galatians addresses this issue of getting circumcised in addition to what Christ had already established at the cross. Likewise, Peter, John, and Jude were all concerned about lying prophets entering into the early church and spoiling the pure faith that Paul expresses as simply being focused solely into the Anointed One, Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3). Whoever wrote the book of Hebrews also sternly warned other Christians not to drift away (Hebrews 2:1).

So, back to my vision of the cross – I know that was REAL. Looking back now over a decade, I didn’t make up the connections, alignments, templates, and trajectories. The opening with its directional flow is there! The trajectory is clearly one-way into death; and one-way out in life. And in between, in the burial, in that place of death, rest, cessation, and so on… something can be seen that flips the script on people’s lives. Even that reversal is evident all over the Hebrew Scriptures.

In my book, Spiritual Knowledge, I talk about this great tendency to disconnect from the Living Crucified One, because it makes no sense to the natural mind. It is easy to get going in the direction you think is right in life, only to find out spiritual reality is going perpendicular to every direction you turn your head. But unless you are staring this paradox of God being the slaughtered, yet risen and standing Christ, I can’t say you are seeing anything substantial at all. This paradox of the crucified life is the main course of the Bible as meditation literature.

Back around the year 400 AD/CE, John Cassian heard about a four-fold way of reading the Hebrew Scriptures. It was not common knowledge during the time the Roman Empire had seemingly become thoroughly Christian. In fact, as I read what Cassian wrote and understood about the four levels, the categories rang true to this new way I had been experiencing of seeing Christ in the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet, at the same time, how Cassian explained it seemed muddled.

Immediately, the Holy Spirit made clear that the four categories are really two related, yet distinct realms: “in Adam” or “in Christ” that overlap through the cross. The transition from one to the other is going with the Jesus’s trajectory of being on the cross. The cross is really a door out of Adam and into the kingdom life of Christ’s own ways. It is not a prayer said as “one and done,” but a continuing crucified life walk.

How one hears the Bible typically remains “in Adam”. Adopting Christianity as your religion does not change this. Getting a doctorate in religion, or being the head of religion doesn’t change this. It is easy to slip back in there – simply look at Peter in Galatians 2. The “first pope” slid back there. Even knowing in your heart of hearts that there is an “in Christ” way of hearing the Hebrew Scriptures doesn’t make you hear “in Christ”.

What I saw in my vision is what a person is supposed to hear in the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, the Holy Spirit has reiterated this countless times, and the books I’ve produced since 2011 are evidence. There are clear patterns of the simplest of design through which we can learn His Crucified Life – the heart giving how He operates as Who He is. It is all right there in the familiar Bible stories, yet hidden in plain sight from religious Christians and Jews filled with learning from other foci.

I know that as I briefly explain the four-fold ends as two distinct beams of “in Christ” or “in Adam”, that it will be received with misunderstanding. But I truly believe that I am obeying the reality of the Great Commission here: “having gone the way, make learners” of Jesus. Toss the word “disciples”; it has too much baggage. Be a learner of Jesus.

Learn His trajectory that is pictured in baptism. He is the Lone, Dying Seed (John 12:24). Learn this Life of Love shared amongst the Father, the Son, and in us by the Holy Spirit (1 John 1:3). Jesus is with us to effect even unto the end of our present times.

Here is a barometer to help you determine whether you will hear what I am saying.

And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. Revelation 5:6

What stands out? What is the picture of eternal governance? What does this “standing, as slaughtered” picture mean to you? Unless, you have heard Revelation 5:6 in such a new way to see it as the pinnacle of understanding that book, or even kingdom living in general, you might as well go back to grazing in your favorite religious field and forget this webpage. Knowing what I am about to write is dangerous to the human tendency to institutionalize what should always be vitally and spontaneously living.

“In Adam” hears the Bible as a historical or mythical story. To “in Adam”, the Bible is a library of literature genres, either explaining quite literally how God made the world in six, literal 24-hour days, or how it is a creation establishing universal functions that is in dialogue with other cultures of the ancient near east. Either way, as one thoughtfully ponders the Scriptures, they learn wise ways for living life on earth. You could say that the story has a moral to it, and by adopting these wisdom virtues, we stay in God’s god graces. Other traditions might say that the Bible is God’s handbook to life on earth. Either way the claim is to become more like, or be the image Christ in the world. This will either manifest through reaching the lost, or providing examples of social justice, or even being accepting of people expressing whatever popular personal identity society stamps on them.

The first two-ended beam hears a story from history with a moral to it. The specific terms are historical and tropological. Tropological simply means “how you turn to face situations”. It really is the moral to the story that you heard. What Jesus said and did in His earthly ministry is an appealing thing to imitate “in Adam”. And what 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 says to controvert that is puzzled over. Why?

Hearing the Hebrew Scriptures as story with a moral requires no spiritual input. The Holy Spirit is optional. Any random atheist off the street could read the Bible and see that there are morals to follow. Why do you think they are primarily atheists? It is certainly not because of lack of archeological evidence or lack of manuscript proof. Christianity has all this in abundance. Rather, it is a heart issue that cannot tolerate the logical outcome: the perceived limiting morals, especially in respect to sexuality.

The “in Christ” side of the equation follows a similar line, but is perpendicular to our natural view, meaning “always just out of sight, wherever we tend to look”. I know it is trite, but one easy way to remember the parallel is: “History as His-story” followed by “being caught up in His Story’s Trajectory”. The Apostle Paul addresses this in 2 Corinthians 3-4. One can read the Bible and only see Moses with a glowing face. But when ones’ heart turns to see the Lord, then the real transforming glory can be seen. Also in Galatians 3, after just declaring how he is dead with Christ on the cross, Paul reminds them of the source for this: the beforehand writings of the Scriptures that portray and depict Christ crucified in a perfect and ongoing way. The Spirit flows that way. Hear the Scriptures that way.

Another way to think about the “in Christ” way of hearing is how the Hebrews writer speaks of having come to a heavenly city and a great assembly. Sadly, the typical translation loses what everyone in the ancient near east understood about all-encompassing plaza (pan-agora) in verses 22 – 23 of chapter 12. Fortunately, you can still imagine it a little if you have ever been to a large plaza or open square of an older city. There are still plenty in Europe. These areas served as the daily marketplace where one would find all their needs met for life in their city. People hung out there, shopped there, got news there, and so on. The Greek term for this is agora.

When John Cassian reported what he discovered about understanding the Bible, the level typically hidden from sight involves shopping at the “other marketplace”. The Greek word for other is allos. In Luke 24, when Jesus explained the Scriptures, He set forth the reality of this “allos agora”.

What is found there, strangely matches that “slain, yet standing” picture we saw from Revelation 5:6. In Luke 24, Jesus uses the words “suffering and glory” to describe these two legs of the trajectory. In reading Philippians 2:5-11, you might recognize the same trajectory that is supposed to be our only regulating mindset. If the word allegory, (allos + agora), has too much baggage for you, switch to “other market”.

As Jesus said in Luke 24, what you see there is centered on His suffering and glory, which is not some random phrase to describe our modern idea of “types and shadows”, but expressive of a dying-living trajectory impregnated into the warp and woof of the Hebrew Scriptures. It is as if some Ancient Sower aforetime has seeded the field of history before we encounter it. So, it is.

Seeds are living, yet must die first. If you are united with the seed, the composition of its matrix sprouts up into a risen reality. This is why there is the fourth level, and why it is called anagocial. The meaning of anagogocial is simply this: “up in a completing sense” coupled with the idea of “being led or brought.” Every time you are exposed to the reality of Christ crucified as the Source for the Hebrew Scriptures, there is the very real possibility of enjoying your present union with the same Christ! This is why we are to set our hearts above where you have been raised with Christ (Colossians 3:1).

This is the reality of the New Covenant described in Jeremiah 31:31-34. You can learn His Torah-Instruction yourself from the heart. It is His anointing that directly teaches (1 John 2:27). There really is no need for me to teach you when you are properly aligned as a branch and plugged into Christ, the Living Sap. It is simple (2 Corinthians 11:3). He is the Source! Hear Him! Go and make learners of Him.

Seeing out from the Bible’s Door

The Door / The Opening / The Bible’s Design for Reversals

It seems fitting that my first post focus on the vision God gave me of Jesus on the cross. It changed everything by revealing everything. The vision was an overlay of multiple things all in the same instance. In one view, it was Jesus dead on the cross with a hole in His side. In another view, it was Adam in a death-like sleep with a hole in his side. Moreover, I was there in the stuff that came out from the hole. God was taking this “place of death stuff” and forming me. As I watched entranced, my initially thought was, “Am I Eve?” And the response I received was not like how the Holy Spirit talks. This was Another Voice that penetrated and flowed through everything, like how a river flows over rocks. He said, “This is My Son”.

Adam going into the death-like sleep happened before there was sin; Jesus, Who knew no sin, lowered Himself even to death on a cross. Both had an opening in their side. Up out from that hole, each receives their Divinely formed complement. I am composed therein somehow, where the full-giving of Jesus unto death is my very crucified living reality. What He is at the heart of the place of His full giving unto death, I live out from as a composition.

Since that vision, my understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures has been radically reoriented around this crucified life reality. I have come to see this crucified life constitution in the warp and woof of the Bible’s literary styles through reoccurring patterns. Romans 11:36 says that all things are from Him and through Him and to Him. This includes the Hebrew Scriptures that were recorded, written down, and composed by people who had the Spirit of Messiah within (1 Peter 1:11).

That is why the amazing Biblical stories happened. Like my vision, some people in history became conformable to the Messiah’s Spirit of Life. Then by Him being Who He is in that situation through people, the world’s default was overridden. The Bible stories exist as a testimony of this Spirit of Jesus. They specifically focus on that trajectory I saw of suffering and glories (Luke 24:26-27 and 1 Peter 1:11 again). The suffering aspect is a trajectory of self-lowering through situations. The glories aspect is the trajectory of Jesus’ overcoming crucified life sprouting up through people in situations: Bible stories then and now.

You might think I am talking about types and shadows. No, but also yes in a certain way. The current understanding of types and shadows limits them to merely predicting something in the New Testament era. Others would further limit this to only those things we can understand from the New Testament, while at the same time admitting that they have a very incomplete understanding of how the New Testament authors interpreted the Hebrew Scriptures. In other words, present scholarship admits the generally accepted modern method of interpretation is not the same as the original method that composed the same Scriptures.

To me, that popular view taught in many places proceeds out from a disconnect, perhaps even as a lack of faith. Nevertheless, what my vision revealed was, and is, the original inspiration that focuses on beholding and contemplating a place of death, rest, cessation, and the like in the Hebrew Scriptures. Then out from that situation beheld the narrative flips unto life, release, healing and newness. These are reversals that happen at an opening, at a door, at a gate, often a low place, and usually include the two-part trajectory Jesus described as “suffering” and “glory”. The Holy Spirit worded it this way for me: “One-way into death; one-way out with life”.

That is the doorway, and why all those various openings are in the Hebrew Bible. This explains even the strange stories as pictures of the cross, where the Presence of God is “taken over” or abused by people, but in that very destruction, neglect, and trampling, God shows Who He is by expressing What Kind He is in the situation. Beholding this reality inverts situations and reforms us out from death into the crucified living reality of this One Son. Capturing the seed-cycle trajectories into your heart, contemplating the entering in and sprouting up of those stories, puts us face to face with the beauty of the One Who inspired a thousand Biblical accounts! This makes the Holy Spirit the Guide in a very practical way.

I call these TaNaK Jesus Pictures. They reveal an anointing of condensed crushed living essence, just like what we see as the needed fuel for the day-to-day operations for the temple-tent in the midst of a people. Seed-bearing things were crushed and condensed to produce the oil that gives itself up to burning, so that others can see by the light. The same is true for the bread and wine of the table and for the incense of the golden altar. Even the evening and morning sacrifice of the lamb being entirely translated into a heavenly smoke covering over the people also shows us how God sees us through that covering. Correspondingly, that is why Balaam could only bless Israel from that heavenly point of view.

The story of Balaam is in Numbers 23-24. Take the time to understand the shape of Israel’s encampment in Numbers 2 as it branched off from each façade of the tent. Three times from three different mountain vantage points Balaam tires to curse Israel. Each time Balaam looks down on these various condensed crucified life expressions, a reversal happens; and what was meant for bad ends up being good. You can write off what you see like modern scholarship tends to do in a state of disbelief. Or you can join Paul in his “one things”, and thereby simply accept that Paul literally and narrowly lived and taught out from this “one way” of seeing the Hebrew Scriptures as I just described. What do I mean?

In the Greek, 1 Corinthians 2:2 literally says that the only thing Paul has decided to “see the meaning of” in and among the Corinthians is Jesus Christ as already crucified in an ongoing way. Likewise in Galatians 6:14, the only boast Paul has is this cross reality of Jesus Christ that has made him unflinching to the world and the world unenticing to him in the same ongoing crucified way. Furthermore, it is the same “one thing” he does in Philippians 3:10-16 in being made conformable to Jesus’ death. You can see Paul clearly restate the suffering and glory trajectories that go away from and come unto, because he had just written of them in Philippians 2:5-11 as the basis for the church’s regulating mindset.

As I have seen, I merely write, inviting you to look over my shoulder to the Source in the hope that the Way of the One I saw, becomes the crucified living way whirling in you too. The TaNaK Jesus Pictures and Patterns are real, a living nourishment hidden in the body of the Hebrew Scriptures since their original formulation and subsequent composition. The core template of the Biblical life design – circle, horizontal line, vertical line – form a plug-in spot for us, like a branch grafting port into a trunk, so that the crucified living reality in Him becomes the crucified living reality in us. Thus, the Original Design Intent of Genesis 1:26, vessels of His Image and Likeness, enter back into their fulfillment.