Night Owl Bible Study (John 10) You are Elohim?

Thanks for listening. This is the most epic Night Owl Bible Study thus far.

Live broadcast on Facebook and Youtube @ 9:30 pm CST on nights that I can.

I really appreciate the interaction with others and the questions people may have. I am not the answer guy. I don’t like or take that approach.

This all began because I wanted to marinate my mind more in the Scriptures and invite others into the journey of ever deepening friendship with God and with each other. As you will discover in this episode, there isn’t much of a difference.

Note on Elohim: Plural form of God. Whenever we read “God” in Scriptures it refers to Elohim – a plurality of God who is One.

Flood the World With Forgiveness, Brian Zahnd

I propose a real viable plan for World Peace! Flood the World With Forgiveness! Much can be learned from the Reconciliation Courts in South Africa post Apartheid. Many such stories in this conversation.

Interview With Brian Zahnd

Brian Zhand is a full time pastor, author, and would be mountaineer and is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a non-denominational Christian congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Brian has authored several books, including:  Sinners in the Hands of a Loving GodWater to WineA Farewell To MarsBeauty Will Save the World, and Unconditional?: The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness and, most recently, Postcards From Babylon.

UNCONDITIONAL

The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness

Interview Questions:

What is one of the most moving examples of forgiveness you have encountered?

One of the phrases that most stood out to me in this book Unconditional was that Jesus and the apostles were focused on us becoming Christian, not becoming a Christian. 

How do we become Christian? To become a true follower of the Way of Jesus?

How would you define forgiveness? What does it even mean? What is Jesus asking us to do to forgive 70 x 7? 

I loved all the examples you shared from more recent history:

Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu found a way to live out the Lords Prayer on a national level. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Page 81

Restorative Justice!

Reminds me of the Scripture, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion..” Proverbs 28:13 NASB

Pope John Paul forgiving the man who shot him and visiting his brother in prison.

The Amish of Nickel Mines visiting the wife of the murderer offering comfort.

Corrie Ten Boom facing one of her captors from the concentration camp in Ravensbruck. She was in Munich Germany sharing a message about forgiveness and one of the cruelest guards from the camp came forward after her talk. Read Page 32

How do we teach our children to turn the other cheek?

I have a friend Bill Vanderbush who wrote a book called Reckless Grace (Check out that Interview HERE) based primarily on a verse you highlighted in the final pages of Unconditional:

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 2If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:21-23 NLT

A song my wife I recorded – visit www.reflectworship.com to learn more

Gospel of John Bible Study (CH 1)

Welcome to this new Bible study with Daniel Lovett. Download the podcast and listen at your convenience.

We will be studying the Gospel of John out of the Passion Translation. I have interviewed Brian Simmons on Sozo Talk Radio! It is one of the episodes I encourage people to listen to more than most. Why? Because the Bible is an important part of our spiritual journey. The Bible is an introduction into this wonderful relationship we can enjoy with God. It points to Jesus.

I am reminded of the Scripture where it says, “Christ, who is your life…”

Interesting.

I hope you enjoy this Bible study and visit me on facebook to leave your comments!

Lifestyle Christianity, Randy Larson Testimony

When I first heard about what God was doing in Randy’s life I knew I wanted to share his story on Sozo Talk Radio. I trust you will be inspired as I am by Randy’s story.

One thing Randy highlighted is this phrase from Scripture that has been worked deep into his life:

“A Hope That Does Not Disappoint”

This is from Romans 5:1-5.

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

Todd White & Lifestyle Christianity

Below is a documentary movie about Todd White and Lifestyle Christianity:

Todd White was a big inspiration to Randy’s transformation. It began with a challenge Jesus gave him to share “Jesus loves you” with a stranger everyday. At first this seemed incredibly awkward but his commitment soon grew to praying with people at least once a week. Soon it grew to become a lifestyle.

Randy shares the four pillars of this lifestyle:

“Presence, Power, Truth, & Love”

Randy has also been influenced by Todd White’s mentor Dan Mohler. Below is a video hosted by Lifestyle Christianity on Youtube:

Dan Mohler often teaches about living out of our identity in Christ and Christ being formed in you as we radically love others. Randy and I discussed some of his messages about not succumbing to the black hole of self pity. Randy emphasizes that it is okay to grieve the losses and wounds that were never supposed to happen, but also to have the maturity to not wallow in it. We must learn to forgive what needs forgiving and move on into victory!

Immanuel Prayer

Randy has an amazing story he shares in this interview where he practices what is called “Immanuel Prayer”. I had learned about such things from Brad Jersak years ago at a Vineyard conference. (Here is my interview with Brad in which we actually discuss the concepts which by some have been dubbed “Immanuel Prayer”). It was lovely to be reminded of this very relational approach to prayer. Pastor Patti shares about this in the following video!

There were so many other amazing things that Randy and I discuss including witnessing miracles and healings. Tell me what you think of this interview and I invite you to peruse some of the other interviews on this website.

The Scandalous Good News, Brian Zahnd

Sinners in the hands of a loving God

The Meaning of the Cross?

What do you think of the this statement?

“The cross is not what God inflicts upon Christ in order to forgive. The cross is what God endures in Christ as he forgives.”

Brian Zahnd

Remarkable, Isn’t it? This rings true for me yet I realize it challenges the way some have interpreted the meaning of the cross. I think this is because many have confused ideas about the meaning of the cross. Many of our ideas are based on assumptions and false teaching and not on a full understanding of how the whole of Scripture reveal and interpret the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice.

Instead of pretending that this confusion about the cross isn’t a theologically widespread pandemic I am going to be as honest as I can about the problem. To the best of my knowledge, a large percentage of Western Christianity for the past 500 years has been infected. Calvin was trained as a lawyer in the 1500’s and at the age of twenty seven invented a particular way of interpreting the cross which has been dubbed penal substitution atonement theory. There are famous preachers today who have large influential ministries who preach Calvin’s ideas about the meaning of the cross.

What is God Like?

What God is like is one of the big questions that are raised when we look at what the cross means and what exactly happened and where the Father was and what his role in the whole affair was.

As mentioned in the previous installment of this conversation with Brian Zahnd, “God is like Jesus.”

God is like Jesus

Of course to most of you this seems obvious, but this isn’t something I grew up with in the Christian church. In my mind, Jesus was different and separate from the Father.

God the Father seemed like an impossible to please Monster that Jesus came to broker a deal with on behalf of humanity. The idea is that Jesus came to change God’s mind about us – that Jesus came to pay off this angry God with the blood sacrifice that this “God of wrath” demanded. This was the profound lie I absorbed by osmosis growing up in the Western Christian church. In fact this heresy has a name: Penal Substitution Atonement Theory.

Penal Substitution Atonement Theory

Unfortunately this heretical lie is preached by well meaning but confused pastors all over America. Many pastors might even hear the challenge to this heresy and double down with the lie, further entrenching people in confusion and fear. I have seen this happen first hand!

Those within the movement to expose the problems of Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory have been very gentle, kind, and sympathetic to its adherents. C. Baxter Kruger in his thesis God in the Hands of Angry Sinners quotes George MacDonald:

“Good souls many will one day be horrified at the things they now believe of God.”

Others like John Crowder are more blunt. He said in a recent Jesus Trip video:

“There’s a lot of foolishness in that idea that we call penal substitutionary atonement. The idea that God was abandoning or punishing his own Son in order to pay off his anger. That is absolute hogwash and the biggest heresy of the western world. It’s not biblical. The early church never believed the ridiculous idea that Jesus was saving us from God. This idea has nothing to do with the ancient faith of the early church fathers. Most importantly this idea does injustice to the Trinity…”

Below is a more in depth presentation of the topic:

Monster God Debate

Brian and I discuss Penal Substitution and Zahnds role in exposing what John Crowder has, in my opinion, quite rightly dubbed a heresy. He has went head to head with Dr. Michael Brown over this issue in a debate entitled Monster God Debate.

Monster God Debate

Dr. Michael Brown seems to have built much of his ministry around debates and being the guy who “answers all your questions”. I’m sure he has a great deal of good things to say in general, but, in my opinion, his contribution to the content of this Monster debate, which I’m safe to assume he perpetrated, is not among them.

For more information about this topic please also visit my blog post: Papa With Scars, Theology Behind The Shack.

Please subscribe to the Sozo Talk Radio Youtube Channel to make sure you don’t miss these exciting groundbreaking interviews and future installments of this conversation with Brian Zahnd.

Brian Zahnd on Jesus, Hell, Letters from Babylon

Brian Zahnd is a full time pastor, author, and would be mountaineer. He is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a non-denominational Christian congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Brian is also the author of several books, including,  Sinners in the Hands of a Loving GodWater to WineA Farewell To MarsBeauty Will Save the World, and Unconditional?: The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness and most recently, Postcards From Babylon.

Jesus is what God has to Say

God is like Jesus. Of course to many of you this seems obvious, but this isn’t something I grew up with. In my mind, Jesus was different and separate from the Father.

God seemed like an impossible to please Monster that Jesus came to broker a deal with on behalf of humanity. The idea is that Jesus came to change God’s mind about us – that Jesus came to pay off this angry God with the blood sacrifice that this God of wrath demanded. This was the profound lie I absorbed by osmosis growing up in the Western Christian church. In fact this heresy has a name: Penal Substitution Atonement Theory.

This will be the primary subject of the next installment of this conversation so subscribe and stay tuned!

Brian Zahnd Interview Show Notes:

3:00 Brian Zahnd discussing his latest book postcards from Babylon.

4:30 Discussing Farewell to Mars and Obama

8:14 Open Table Conference & Water to Wine Conference.

10:30 Brian Zahnd and I discuss Brad Jersak’s book “A More Christlike God” which Brian wrote the forward to. For my Interview with Brad Jersak check out: Brad Jersak, A More Christlike God.

11:55 “Jesus is what God has to say. God is Like Jesus, God has always been like Jesus. God has never not been like Jesus.”

13:20 Hell (actually Gehena) and what Jesus meant by it.

19:20 Restorative Judgement and Justice and properly understanding the Wrath of God.

28:00 God is Love in whom we live and move and have our being.

30:52 The Narrow Way that leads to life – love your enemy.

Please subscribe to the Sozo Talk Radio Youtube Channel to make sure you don’t miss these exciting groundbreaking interviews and future installments of this conversation with Brian Zahnd.

John MacMurray, A Spiritual Evolution

“This is the story of a journey towards spiritual change. We invite you to join a conversation that is discovering God is better than we have ever imagined.”

John MacMurray, A Spiritual Evolution

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Catherine and I will be sharing music at John MacMurray’s Open Table Conference June 7-9 2019 in Portland, OR! You can check out our music at www.reflectworship.com

Open Table Conference

For several years now John MacMurray, Wm Paul Young, and C. Baxter Kruger have been hosting the Open Table Conference (www.opentableconference.com). They discuss radical orthodox happy theology, which is basically what his book A Spiritual Evolution is all about.

I say “radical” because this means “roots”. MacMurray, Baxter, and Young are returning to the glorious roots of the Christian faith. Besides good and happy theology is rad dude!

I say “orthodox” because this means conforming to established doctrine. Doctrine is another word for the solid teachings of Jesus Christ Himself.

I say “happy theology” because this is God we are talking about. Can you imagine a more joyful Being in all the universes than God? He is the very definition of pure, exquisite, ‘bursting at the seams’, joy inexpressible and FULL of glory!

Be sure to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out and to stay connected to these groundbreaking interviews!

Imagine Heaven #NDE John Burke

John Burke’s Story

When John was a young man his father was dying of cancer. Someone gave his father the book Life After Life by Raymond Moody (Life After Life is a 1975 book written by psychiatrist Raymond Moody. It is a report on a qualitative study in which Moody interviewed 150 people who had undergone near-death experiences.)

As an agnostic young man, John read the book in one night. He thought, “If this is true, then this is the biggest news ever!” It propelled him on a journey of faith and on the path to discovering Jesus for himself.

John is now pastoring Gateway church in Austin Texas and has written several books about faith and finally a book about the subject that started it all for him – a book about Near Death Experiences called Imagine Heaven. Connect with John Here: http://www.johnburkeonline.com/

Here is an article that John wrote about why Near Death Experiences and Christians don’t always get along. It’s pretty interesting and might answer a few questions you may have.

Most Important Lesson from NDE’s

John has researched around a thousand NDE’s. I too have researched a plethora of accounts myself. There wasn’t hardly a story he mentioned in the book that I wasn’t already very familiar with.

With SO much research sometimes the hardest thing is knowing where to start? What are the most important lessons we can learn from Near Death Experiences?

Well, that is something that I highlighted in my interview with Howard Storm and something I tried to highlight in my conversation with John as well. It begins with understanding that God is love. Unconditional infinite love. What God wants from his children is for us to show that love and share his love with others.

John Burke begins his book with the story of George Ritchie:

George Richie encountered an astonishing love. A love beyond his wildest imagination in the brilliant person of Jesus Christ. Jesus asked him, “What have you done with your life to show me?”

The question, like everything else proceeding from Him, had to do with love. How much have you loved with your life? Have you loved others as I am loving you? Totally? Unconditionally?”

George wanted to justify himself and said, “I had not known love like this was possible. Someone should have told me.”

“I did tell you”, Jesus responded.

But how? How could he have told me and I not not have heard?

“I told you by the life I lived. I told you by the death I died. And, if you keep your eyes on me, you will see more.”

Return from Tomorrow, George Ritchie

Howard Storm was told by Jesus, “Love the person that you are with.”

Learning to love others is the meaning of life.

Andre Rabe, Encounter With Jesus #NDE

Enjoy this conversation with Andre Rabe about his Near Death Experience (NDE) where he encounters Jesus. We also discuss some happy theology.

Andre’s Near Death Experience

Andre encountered Jesus at the age of eight after being stung by a scorpion that has been known to cause death in children. Jesus appeared to him holding out both hands. He was inviting Andre to come home with one hand and in the other, the gift of healing.

Andre chose to stay and was miraculously and instantly healed.

Please connect with Andre’s Youtube channel Here:

Andre Rabe’s Youtube Channel

Sovereignty of God

Could it be that we have been wrong all along when we say “God is in control”? What if God just simply doesn’t do “control”? What if free will actually matters? Isn’t it liberating to think that God has entrusted us all with the ability to create and make what we will of this world and shape our own reality and destiny? What will you do with the infinite possiblities that lie before you?

Andre and I discuss how the God of Jesus is the one who continually opens up possibilities for us to walk in. Possibility cannot coexist with certainty. Certainty does indeed offer people a sense of security but often in the form of a prison. Prisons provide security don’t they?

Enjoy this episode where Andre and I discuss these topics and questions and more.

If you are interested in Near Death Experiences, I have interviewed several others which you can peruse in the Archives.

Become a Patron?

Would you consider becoming a patron and support Sozo Talk Radio and our music ministry at our Patreon Page! All our patrons will receive free downloads of all our Reflect Worship albums and get access to all new music we are making. You will have the joy of knowing you are supporting our daily ministry in Nursing Homes and making new weekly podcasts on Sozo Talk Radio!

Patreon.com/ReflectWorship

Saint Patrick and a Bit O’ Irish History

happy-st-patrick-day-squirrel

The Real Saint Patrick

Interested in learning the real truth about Saint Patrick? You have come to the right place! Saint Patrick’s Confession and his Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus are the only two surviving documents from the man himself. And you must have some Irish in ya cuz, lucky for you, I have recorded audio of both of these documents in some previous podcasts! Here they are:

What’s in this Episode?

The podcast featured in this post is a hilarious episode where my friend Michael and I break out our best Irish brogue and chatted about certain aspects of Patricks story. We also read and discuss some of his Letter to the Soldiers. We get into the Irish Potato famine of 1846 and what came of that.

happy-saint-patrick-day-squirrel

Saint Patrick Show Notes:

First of all we talk about how Patrick models The Fear of God – this speaks of a deep reverence, respect, and honor for God. “The Fear of God” has been rendered as “reverential trust” by some and I really like that. Especially the trust part. Isn’t love, adoration, and trust a far more beautiful motivation for living a good life than being dictated by fear of consequences or the coming judgement?

Patrick seems like he is mimicking the apostle Paul in so much of his writing.  He seems to model Pauls letters as if, just before writing his confession, he had just read or studied Paul’s letters to Timothy.

I find one fault however in Patrick’s theology.  He didn’t seem to quite connect with the fact that he has a new nature as a believer. He continually calls himself a sinner and perhaps his actions convinced him of this, yet God and the holy Bible calls him a saint. This is important because our perception of ourselves dictates our actions.

How important is it to see ourselves as saints as God has made us?

Which is more true, God’s word about your new nature or your own faltering experience?

You are a saint if you have received Christ!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Drunkenness is Idolatry?

We discuss the fact that a life of choosing sin is the evidence of rejecting God:

“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Potato famine 1845 to 1849

We talk about the Irish PBS Victoria episode in which Victoria asks herself, “What can we do to do what is right for conscience sake? Do we do nothing? and quotes 1 Corinthians 13, “faith hope and love (charity) and the greatest of these is charity”.

Robert Traill was recognized for his compassion during the Great Famine in Ireland from 1846. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Traill_(clergyman)

His story reminds me of the machine gun preacher who invested his all into service for others and the kingdom of God.

Especially relevant to us is the question:

What should our response be to crisis in our sphere at the present?

How do we practically show love to those in need around us?

Love (or charity as the KJV puts it) is the only answer. “Charity” is indicative of action, is it not?

James chapter 2 says:

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.f Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?”

In conclusion, the holy Scriptures inform us that when love is put into action that we light up. Our enlightenment only comes through showing tangible love. May we all follow the advice of Jesus and love the people that we are with in the moment as we go through life!