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James' Online Blog

Personal thoughts and revelations

One of the powerful things about having a relationship with Christ is that we have a direct relationship with our creator. Through this relationship, study, and prayer, we learn more and more about God and ourselves. As we mature in our relationship with Him, the mysteries of Christ are continually revealed through revelation! Here are a few of mine...

- James

Latest Blog Entries

Once And For All
September 6, 2019 @ 10:56 pm EST

Scripture tells us that one of the names given to our enemy the devil is “the accuser of the brethren”. It also tells us in Revelation that “the saints overcame him by the blood of the Lamb …”. I don’t know about you, but my experience has been that the enemy never misses an opportunity to point out my past sins or failures (whether from 10 years or 10 minutes ago). But what I have also learned is that the “the enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy” can be rendered powerless if I simply remember what the Lord Jesus has done for me. Specifically, how His work on the cross for me was totally complete and perfect. So, in this writing I will be emphasizing the “Once and for all” nature of the death of Christ in hopes that you may come to know in experience that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. As you will see, as it relates to both you personally and to mankind, the redemptive impact of Christ’s death was so far reaching that it took into account ALL THE SIN OF ALL PEOPLE FOR ALL TIME.

Hebrews 2:9 says, “But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” This reminds me of another scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, which states “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them, and He has given us the ministry of reconciliation”. Then there is that popular verse displayed at sporting events around the world, John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. There are many more verses like these but the main point here is that CHRIST DIED ONCE … FOR ALL PEOPLE.

Furthermore, Hebrews 9:26 says, “Otherwise He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself”. Likewise, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). In the same vein, the Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures”. Again, I could quote a multitude of other scriptures that show that CHRIST DIED ONCE … FOR ALL SIN.

Moving on to another eternal aspect of the gospel, the Spirit of God bears witness in Hebrews 10:12 that “He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God”. This scripture captures the essence of the third aspect of Christ’s death being elaborated upon, that CHRIST DIED ONCE … FOR ALL TIME. Unfortunately, over many centuries starting literally in the year 1 AD, the enemy has planted a multitude of false doctrines in the churches and in many cases we have adopted church practices which can be traced back to a lack of faith in, and understanding of, the 3 aspects of the gospel mentioned herein. So, to once again reiterate my main point, Christ died once and for all … once for all people, for all sin, and for all time.

I believe that the main purpose of preaching & teaching is twofold, one is for evangelizing a lost world and the other is for the edification of the church. Although the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s brought a great deal of light to the church of Christ, it is my firm belief after 500 years that the teachings of the Protestant Reformation need to be replaced by a fresh revelation of Christ’s death and resurrection. We need to rid ourselves of the residual religious dogmas that have attached themselves to our belief systems like barnacles on a whale. In many cases the church has become like the religious crowd in Jesus day, to whom He said, “You are experts at setting aside and nullifying the word of God in order to keep your man-made tradition and regulations” (Mark 7:9). Let us not be like them but let us follow the instructions of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatian saints and “cast out the bondwoman and her son”.

In closing I want to offer up this simple prayer to my God and yours. “Dear Father, deliver us from the devil’s lies that would seek to rob us of our inheritance as your children. Open our spiritual eyes to see that the death of your Son was indeed once for all people, for all sin, for all time. As the classic hymn “It is Well with My Soul” says, “My sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more”. May we see that Jesus’ death was in fact our death and that we have now been raised through His resurrection power to sit with Him in heavenly places. As we rest there through the mystery of union with your Son, let us gaze upon His face and glimpse His eyes of flaming fire, thereby being transformed into His likeness through Your Spirit. Equip us to love one another even as He loves us. Last but certainly not least, Magnify Your Son Jesus who was dead but is alive forevermore! In Jesus name. Amen.”

Chris Wiley

The Business of Church
September 6, 2019 @ 2:59 pm EST

Even though there are great churches and great leaders of churches, too many believers have seen first hand behind the scenes the hypocrisy of the religious business of Christianity in some churches. They have been hurt by churches that are run primarily like a business and a source of income for a few leaders. When these believers needed encouragement they were perhaps neglected because of some moral stumbling or weakness. The business and its income must be protected at all costs. Even if it means the embattled saint must be discarded and shunned.

Churches that are operated primarily like a business usually teach a Gospel that is mixed with law and grace, human wisdom and heavenly wisdom, flesh and spirit. Many believers get burned out sitting under the messages delivered by these leaders. A mixed Gospel will make Christianity feel like just another religion. Believers want “genuine truth.” They are crying out for the “real.” But the real is not being proclaimed widely.

Only in a few places can you hear boldly and clearly how, because of God’s great love for the world, Jesus terminated the entire Adamic race by His death on the cross, took away the sin of the world, released believers from all law, given us the eternal life of God within by His resurrection, created believers new with a new heart, joined us to God Himself, brought us through a Door to another world called the Kingdom of Heaven which is now inside the believer by the Spirit that we might always be with Jesus! Is the church you are a part of teaching these awesome things?

This is the good news that will feed the spiritual hunger in all our hearts. He who goes to Jesus, the real Jesus, will never hunger again nor thirst again. But if he who is in search of the real attaches himself to a church that is primarily a business operation for profit then he will be profoundly disappointed.

James Barron

The Place
July 29, 2019 @ 11:13 pm EST

It has always been about a “place” for God and man to be together. Eden was the prototype. The promised land for Israel was another picture. God said to Israel that He had “prepared a place for them, a place full of milk and honey.” God told Moses there is a “place” by Me where you can see my glory and He placed him in the cleft of a rock, a picture of Jesus.

Finally we see the reality when Jesus said I go to prepare “a place for you” that where I am, you may be also. That place is in essence in Himself. By being in Him we are now where He is. He has prepared for us a city. A place. And now in the Spirit we have access to that place. Mount Zion. Seated with Him now in “heavenly places.” That we might be with Him and He with us.

Seeing there is a Door to another world in Him as a fixed reality is very important. Heaven on earth within us has come through the gift of the Spirit just as He promised. He began His ministry on earth by declaring that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand and within reach.

The apostle Paul said we have been translated from this kingdom of darkness and placed in the kingdom of the beloved Son now. This understanding is key to being established in grace. Once we begin to see more and more how we are literally in a different world in Him it becomes easier to not be moved by the false legalistic teachings being championed in much of the church today or the swirling winds and storms of adversity in this fallen world. In the “secret place” of the Most High we are safe.

This is how Jesus lived on earth. He constantly referred to this world when speaking to men as “your world” because He lived with the awareness that He was not from this world but rather from Heaven. Even so now we can say the same.

Jesus said of His disciples, “They are not of this world, even as I am not of this world.”

James Barron

Heaven In Us Now
June 20, 2019 @ 12:53 pm EST

Man’s heart yearns for the new world God has given in Christ. On earth as it is in Heaven was the Master’s prayer for us. Man feels the longing of the distant memory of Eden long, long ago, still in our DNA somehow. Jesus is the Door to that new world now for all who will believe and walk through that Door. The Cherubim have stepped aside by the decree of God and we may now freely partake of the Tree of Life in a new place even better than Eden was. For we have died and our life is now hidden with Christ in God Himself forever. Behold the Kingdom of Heaven is within you now!

Do you see how this “message of grace” is so much more than just believing that God is not counting our sins against us, as great as that is? The primary message of Jesus and the apostles was the good news of the Kingdom of God. The main message was that God was bringing Heaven to earth for man to enjoy in his innermost being. No matter what this world throws at you, within you is Heaven. No weapon formed against you will prosper.

God with us always. No matter what. Blue skies are within you though the dark clouds rage around you on this earth. He prepares a table for you in the midst of your enemies. For the Kingdom of God is within you now and you rest in His righteousness, His peace and His joy through His gift of His Spirit. His love fills us by that same Spirit.

He wants us to have life and life more abundantly now on earth through our union with Him. He wants us to know that we need not ever thirst again or hunger again for spiritual drink or spiritual food. He wants us to know what He accomplished for us is real and it is for now and not just when our bodies die. If it were not so, He said He would have told us. Believe only and we will see the glory of God now.

Lazarus was dead and Jesus came four days after he had died and been buried to see Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters.

Martha told Jesus that she knew that her brother would live again one day in the future at the resurrection of the dead. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he be dead shall live again. Do you believe this?”

Martha saw the resurrection as a future event where all that she desired from God would be experienced. Jesus showed her how she is not to look at the resurrection as merely a future event but rather a present reality in a person. That person being the Christ.

This whole scene with Jesus, Martha, Mary and Lazarus, though an actual historic event, is a metaphor to teach us that what Jesus came to accomplish for us is not something we must wait to experience as an event at the end of the world. We are not to wait for an event called the resurrection to experience Heaven. Jesus wants us to see that “He is the resurrection!” Jesus said that in Him we have already passed from death and into life!

The revelation from this metaphor is that Heaven is here now for us because Jesus is our resurrection and joined to Him we have been raised from the dead already and have already ascended to sit with Him in Heaven. He is the resurrection and the life for us now!

Do you believe this?

And Jesus told them to remove the stone and He called out, “Lazarus! Come forth!” and he who was dead came forth alive again!

Jesus is the resurrection and He calls us to come forth from the old world of death and walk into His new world of life! Come forth believer! Allow the Spirit to renew your mind and go through the Door and behold Heaven with your own eyes. Experience by faith Heaven in you now. Jesus is the resurrection and life has come to us through Him now. Abundant life.

Like Jacob, we must “awaken” and see the Gate of Heaven and the Ladder that has joined Heaven and Earth! Jacob said, “This is the Gate of Heaven! This is the House of God! God is in this place and I knew it not!” Jesus is the Gate of Heaven and He is the true House of God. Jesus is the Ladder who joins Heaven to earth. He did it!

The resurrection is not just a future event, it is a present reality in the person of Jesus. Did He not say that if we would only believe we would see the glory of God?

This is an awesome metaphor. Jesus is clearly saying to Martha that there is no time in Him. We need not wait for the passage of time to experience what He accomplished for us outside of time. He offered Himself up by the eternal Spirit. By one sacrifice He has taken away all sin for all men “for all time.” Jesus is the resurrection and the life now and forever! We can now go boldly beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies, into Heaven itself, the scriptures teach.

Martha thought she must wait for time to pass before she would see Heaven’s power and glory but Jesus said to her that what she was waiting for was actually standing right in front of her. She was going to count the days until the final day of resurrection but Jesus says to her, “I am the resurrection!”

James Barron

Lord, To Whom Shall We Go?
May 27, 2019 @ 11:53 pm EST

Although Spotify and I-Tunes are the popular music formats of today, most of you can probably still relate to the frustration that occurs when the radio reception goes bad on your favorite station. You are jamming out to a great song while heading down the highway and then the broken lyrics and scratchy sounds take over. After fiddling with the dial and pushing the search button to find the signal again, you get impatient and end up switching to another station. I liken this scenario to the current Christian climate in America, where there is an endless variety of “new radio channels” in the form of “dynamic” preachers, contemporary praise services, churches for the unchurched, trendy best-selling books, TV programs, social media sites, etc. This analogy reminds me of the story in Acts chapter 17 where the Apostle Paul was speaking to the Epicurean and Stoic (Greek) philosophers. The scripture says that “all the Athenians and foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or hear some new thing.”

This is one of the crafty tactics of the enemy to attempt to deceive you, much like he did with “Eve, with your minds being led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11:3). Scripture tells us that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. So, it is no surprise that the enemy of our souls uses confusion to discourage us and rob us of our peace. Nor is it strange that he would use this obsessive-compulsive search for “some new thing” to complicate our minds and distract us from that “simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” to which we have been called.

Can you think of any Christian fads, popular movements, or best-selling books that you got all excited about in the beginning but after some time had passed you realized that they were just “some new thing” that was being peddled for money and/or religious prestige? I have a recollection from the 1990s that in my zeal to “go hard after God,” I attended a large religious meeting in a stadium where we all stood up with our swords of the spirit and slayed a demon hovering over the city. Unfortunately, that demon must have been like the multi-headed Hydra monster of Greek mythology, because in the following weeks that city saw the same crimes and sins being committed as before. Live, learn, and thank God for his patience!

To emphasize my original point further, I now turn to an event in the life of the apostle Peter. In chapter 6 of the gospel of John, Jesus says to the Jews in foreshadowing his death and resurrection, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you … for My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” As a result of this and other related “hard sayings,” scripture says “from that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” At that point, Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” Then Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” It should be obvious and go without saying, but there is no other Person to turn to for the things pertaining to life and godliness.

In summary, the next time you hear some “hard saying” in scripture or you encounter some difficult life experience that you just can’t believe God would allow, remember the words of Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” In like fashion, when bad reception obscures the music on your life’s favorite radio station, avoid chasing after “some new thing” on the other channels. There is simply no “new thing” to substitute for Christ Himself that will bring you the satisfaction and joy that your heart longs for and for which He died. As scripture says in Colossians, “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord (by faith), so walk in Him (by faith).”

- Chris Wiley