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Welcome to Pearl Ministries

What does God believe to be true about you?  this perspective is what defines you. What you, me or anyone else believes to be true about God can be at best laudable at worst totally inaccurate. It depends on where you get your information from. But ask the question, what does God believe to be true about me? begs the question where can I find out? The New Testament is the place to start, especially Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

C.S. Lewis, the well known author shares the same sentiment, ‘that is is not what we think or believe about God that is important, or that defines him. But what is of utmost importance is what God thinks or believes to be true about us which gives meaning and value to you and me.’

This website has now been superseded by 10minchurch.org and will no longer be updated.

‘……maybe traditional expressions of church feel meaningless, and in this busy life you don’t have time for it anyway…  But there is something about the Character of Jesus that connects with you.   Here you can find meaningful content to help – each post will take no more than 10 minutes to engage with and discover something of God’s heart for you – so that’s why we are ‘10minchurch.org

Thanks for switching over……

 

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GOD LIKES YOU

The ‘work of Christ’ is to woo you. You are his bride, sorry guys but it is true for you too! Let’s just say, as guys, we are made to be embraced by love as well as women. The work of Christ was to prepare a place for you within the love circle of the Trinity. In His death and resurrection in which you were included, all barriers to intimacy with Father, Son and Holy Spirit were removed.

Love is an invisible force, it is an internal dynamic. For us it has physical expression, but primarily it is an overwhelming deep, inner sense of complete peace and joy. It is fulfilment, satisfaction, well-being, pleasure, all rolled into one. this is what Christ has for you. You don’t need to see him to experience it. But you do need to know that this is what he offers you, a life of love beyond anything you have experienced so far.

In the natural world we live in, just because you are close to someone does not necessarily mean you are intimate.  But when we like someone, the potential for intimacy is there, if that likeness is reciprocated, this possibility increases. This thing called likeness then is the bedrock for intimacy not proximity.

God likes you because he made you like himself! You may think he is a million miles away, but in reality the extent of likeness cannot be measured in miles but in endless time. Nothing gives him more pleasure than for you to like him too!

God has no other desire but to pleasure you, and to maintain and cultivate such pleasure. The purpose you were created for is to be filled with and replicate the Light (Christ) to all Creation and to ensure the experience of Divine Pleasure. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32/NKJV) “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13/NKJV) Jesus might as well have said, “…it’s your Father’s Garden of Eden to give you the Kingdom.”

Think of it. Giving us the Kingdom is part of the Divine pleasure! It’s part of living in the realm of the Garden. Consider that the key aspect of the Heavens is the Desire to Give. When we receive the Kingdom, we are actually pleasuring God. When we share the Kingdom, we increase His pleasure by both sharing the Kingdom and becoming like Him by giving the Kingdom. Think of all the divine, ultimate, fulfilling pleasure that’s going around. God receives pleasure by giving, we receive pleasure by receiving, we become like God by giving which pleases Him again, and we then sense the pleasure of being like God and share! This is a regular Garden of Eden, Garden of Pleasuring, going somewhere to happen: spreading, filling and replenishing the “Earth,” the Desire to Receive!


The 4 Cornerstones of Thought.  new teaching see under Black Pearls.

Here is a definition of the Good News for you….

The gospel (what God believes to be true about you) is that all mankind have been included in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – made righteous, without their express permission or by personal qualification.

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Three vs One: God is three in One vs. a hierarchical view of God

Since Adam stepped away from being drawn into the love relationship, the eternal circle of life joy, righteousness and peace, by those who created him in their likeness, man in his independence has defaulted into a hierarchical structure of dominion over the earth, in his politics, society and religion. God gave man dominion over the earth but man was never created to to have dominion over one another. Gen.1:28 Man’s relationship with one another was to be just that, a love relationship.

Those of certain religious persuasions who insist God in one not three, remove and deny the very core of the character, personality and identity of the God of the Bible, simply that God is love. To hold to such an opinion denies the very fundamentality of the Trinity. For a God who exists alone cannot be a God of love. Love cannot exist in isolation. The very nature of love is ‘other – centred’ and therefore has to be more than one. A god who is alone may choose to love, but also may choose to act in numerous other ways, thus being at best an authority acting in some measure of benevolence, at worst totally unreliable and unpredictable.

A hierarchical structure cannot facilitate such a mutual submission that exists in a relationship. A hierarchical structure of necessity supports the rule or dominion of one over another and consequently is fundamentally self-centred. Self-centredness is the root of mans independence from God and the source of the ‘darkness’ into which all people are born physically into, and labour under trying to find their identity, find rest and a place to express who they think they are. Mt.4.16. Those who sit in darkness….in the land and shadow of death…

Mankind can and does find a measure of rest, that of being in a love relationship, between two people.  This aspect of man’s creative design was highlighted when God gave Eve to Adam. In Gen.2:20. we read that Eve was a ‘helpmeet’ for Adam. I suspect Eve was to help Adam experience what was at the core of God’s being, to help Adam fall in love! The need to experience falling in love and remaining in love is the passion at the core of mans being. Such an overwhelming desire can only be in man as the result of who’s child he is and out of the womb he was birthed. That womb is the very matrix of intense passion that exists in the Trinity, where you and I began. You are the result of an expressed passion between your parents, they gave you physical birth, a body within which you can live in this earth. But you were first conceived and created to be compatible for God to come and live in. For God to love and enjoy and for you to love and enjoy them, in perfect union. Jer.1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you….

Relationships for LOVE..

The need for natural love relationships in a world of darkness, that does not know God’s heart for mankind are fragile and can be devastatingly cruel because of self-centredness. Those ‘love relationships’ which are formed between those of the same sex also express this need for giving and receiving of love, to be accepted, however this is a perverted condition of relationship out of  mans fallen, confused and twisted alienation from God’s original design for him. Mankind does the best he can in his state of darkened and alien understanding.

Rom.1:26 Mirror Bible. By being confused about their Maker they became confused about themselves women became snared in passion for one another.

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Re-Locating Your Mind.

When we are born physically into the earth, mankind comes under the influence of an inferior mind-set that was the result of Adams fall. Luke quotes from Isaiah, Lk.1:79/Mt.4:16. ‘The people who sat in darkness…..’ Mankind sits, an immobile expression, expressing the activity of mankind operating out of a fallen or inferior mind-set from God’s perspective. From our perspective mankind is daily involved in frenetic activity, but activity that accounts for nothing as far as heaven is concerned. Mankind sits in darkness. Darkness is the overarching influence upon people’s minds out of which their activity is sponsored. Darkness promotes a legalistic mind-set which is fundamentally selfish. Paul frequently uses the term ‘the flesh’ to describe what has been called our lower nature, or fallen nature. In reality the ‘flesh’ describes man’s inferior mind-set.
One major aspect that set Jesus apart from all other men and women was simply his mind-set.

There is nothing impure about our physical bodies. This ‘earth suit’ we live in designed to manifest the lifestyle of the default settings of our mind! If the default settings of our mind are those which promote our sense of inferiority or worthlessness, such a disposition then engages us in frenetic activity to gain a sense of worth or value. This illusive sense of value can only be sought from our peers. What other people will think about us. Mankind is trapped in this cycle of seeking value and evaluating whether we have achieved it or not by trying to ascertain what others think about us.

This DIY lifestyle is driven by self effort and selfishness. A legalistic mind-set, ‘the flesh,’ sponsors typical behaviour that expresses itself as very visible symptoms such as idolatry, which is worshipping a distorted image of oneself, drugs, hatred, constant conflict, jealous superstition, violent outbursts of rage, everyone for himself in a cut-throat competitive world, trampling upon others to get to the top, dissension, heresy and manipulating people’s minds with false teachings. Such a lifestyle that men and women manifest, is the mind-set of fallen man trying to follow the life of our design as witnessed in everyman’s conscience, by sheer willpower, independent of God. (Mirror Bible. Gal.5:20)

 

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YOU are valuable because you belong to God, you are his sons, you are made in His image and likeness, you are a ‘Chip off the old Rock!’ You came out of the same mould as Jesus Christ in His humanity.

At creation all the plants, animals and vegetation were created out of the substance that they now live in….Gen.1:11 Let the earth bring forth. Gen.1:20 Let the sea bring forth…
But when He made man he spoke to Himself…..v26…Let US make man….man came out of the Trinity. Yes, there is a created part of you and earthly part, but the real you came out of the Trinity itself.

You sit here today because you began your earthly existence out of the result of the romance of your parents. Although for some this word romance may not be entirely appropriate. Nevertheless there was a union. But the real you came out of the heavenly romance that is going on in the Trinity.

I just want to say this about the Trinity. God is love…..Love cannot exist in isolation…..Love is a dynamic force it must always be giving and sharing….that is why there is a Trinity, without a Trinity there can be no love. Any god who claims to be a god of love who also claims to be alone, cannot love.

That is why you are so priceless, so valuable, your value is beyond measure…
The Psalmist says.
Ps. 8: 4,5 ‘What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest (pay close attention to) him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels (God), and hast crowned him with glory and honour.’

Mankind is God’s glory in the earth….God has never changed His mind about you. But mankind has changed his mind about who God is and how he sees himself.

Paul highlighted the main problem with mankind when he said in Eph.4: 17-18.’This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility/vanity of their mind,having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;’

Vanity of their minds…..vanity means: devoid of truth, an absence of truth, destitute, entirely without truth. In other words man has believed a lie about himself and about God. This in fact is the essence of unbelief, the result of changing the truth about God into a lie. Rom.1:25
The truth about the cross is this, that Jesus took responsibility for the sin in all mankind and at the cross dealt with this foreign influence of ‘sin and death’ in our members.

1Cor:5:14. For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then we all died…v15…He died for all…..

All who?

1Cor.5:19 that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not counting their sins against them…..

However our western mindset dos’nt understand the full impact of this statement…..

Christ died for you……has an element of distance and delay in it. The truth is you were in Christ when he died! you co-died with Christ!

If I go to the doctors for an sickness and he diagnoses a problem but then prescribes a tablet, it means he can deal with that problem from a distance.

But if I am diagnosed with a foreign body in me that has to be removed, then I have to be there on the operating table when the doctor operates. Mankind, you and me, were alienated and hostile in our minds doing the evil deeds sponsored by the the law of ‘sin and death’ that lodged in our bodies hosting a foreign influence, foreign to our design.

But you were embraced into Christ at His death so you died to this foreign influence, sin was not cut out of you, this is where that analogy breaks down, you went one step further and DIED to sin & death and it overwhelming influence in your life.

‘What are we saying then in water baptism, if we are not declaring that we understand our union with Christ in His death? Baptism pictures how we were co-buried together with Christ in His death; then it powerfully illustrates how in God’s mind we were co-raised with Christ into a new lifestyle. We were like seeds planted together in the same soil, to be co-quickened to life. Since we were included in His death we are equally included in His resurrection. We perceive that our old lifestyle was co-crucified together with Him; this concludes that the vehicle that accommodated sin in us, was scrapped and rendered entirely useless. Our slavery to sin has come to an end.’ (Romans 6:2-6.Mirror Word Bible)

 

 

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 How do you see yourself?

Father God knew that the events that would follow creation would bring suffering and wickedness to his creation. Such events would twist and pervert mankind completely beyond recognition of his original blueprint or intent. To such an extent that mankind would lose all reference to who he is originally and to whom he belongs, he would loose all sense of identity or value apart from in relation his surroundings, experiences and other people.

In this natural world psychologists tell us that our sense of identity is our ability to look at ourselves as a separate entity among other separate entities. What people do to make themselves comfortable, to ‘find themselves’ is they see themselves in the context of other entities. Peoples sense of identity is very often influenced by their culture, I see myself in the context of my culture, in the context of my language, race, location, community, education, family, career, greatest achievement, or deepest disappointment, people find themselves within the context of such.

But all this yardstick is temporal. Jesus comes to introduce you to a context called eternity. In that context all those criteria disappear.  In God before all time began, there was no career, there was no location, language, race. No culture or social structure etc.

We, mankind,  have allowed our achievements, our disappointments, our careers, our culture etc. to define us. God has got a different definition, an eternal definition, He says you are His image and His likeness and not a fraction of who you are has been revealed yet!  That’s why He wants to unveil this mystery….and unveil and unveil…..for eternity!

Jn.8:16 Jesus said, ‘If I do judge, My judgement is true for I am not making it alone, out of the narrowness of my own experience, but in the largeness of the one who sent me, my Father.’ (Message Bible) If Jesus said that if his experience is too narrow to make judgement from, whether regarding himself or others, then we have to come to the conclusion that there is a bigger context to our lives than what we have experienced so far!

The Word of God, Jesus, comes to confront you with the reality of what God believes concerning you.  He is convinced, He is not going to change His mind….We may look at Jesus and see a man of total peace and joy at rest in knowing who He is and where he comes from and where he is going…and say ‘that is not me!’  God would respond and say, your honesty is laudable, but what I say about you transcends what you think about yourself.

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You are Valuable!

In Luke 15:  There are three stories about a woman and a coin, a shepherd and his sheep and a son and his father.  The common factor here is that they became LOST.  You can only be lost if you once belonged!

The lost sheep could only stand on the edge of a precipice and bleat. The lost coin had no means of attracting attention. The lost son could remember where he came from.

So what was it about these three that caused them to be ‘found?” their VALUE….it was because they were valuable to the owner.

The coin could only rely on it’s integral value to be found. The lost sheep could bleat to help indentify its predicament, but again the sheep was valuable to the shepherd.

The lost son, remembered where he came from and was able to return, but in his mind he could never become a son again…..he had lost his value. But in His Fathers eyes he had never lost his value!

In God’s eyes you have never lost your value. The Trinity invested themselves in you when you were conceived in the heart of love Himself. You are made in the likeness and image of God, about that He has never changed his mind. You are the Trinitie’s favourite place of residence in the earth. You are the only place He has chosen to reside in the earth..precisely because you were designed to be a perfect You may have lost value in your own eyes. But from His perspective you are a pearl of great price and Jesus sold all that he had to buy you back and give you the place of honour that was always yours as a son of God.

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You came out of the womb of the romance that is going on in the Trinity….before time began.

Carrying on from the previous Pearl Drop – Evaluating Faith 02.

Considering the perspective that you and I began in God…You did not begin in your parents. You began in God, before time began. He had you in mind from the beginning. It is because of you He began a beginning!

There is a much bigger context to ‘salvation’ than we ever imagined, not that ‘salvation’ was a small or minor act.  John in his gospel gives us some indication of this. Whereas Luke and Matthew trace Jesus genealogy back to Abraham and Adam. John traces his beginning as the Word before time began. ‘In the beginning was the word and the Word was God and the Word was God himself.’ When he starts his epistle John again begins with the Word, ‘who existed from the beginning.’ 

The word ‘Word’ in Greek is logos. It fundamentally means logic or thought. Not that God’s thoughts are vague, fleeting impressions with no lasting effect. His thoughts have substance the whole material world indeed the whole universe came out of the thoughts of God and at this very moment all creation is sustained, held in existence by the word of his power. So did you.

Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus.

John the disciple understood this perspective before he wrote his gospel. He wrote:

Jn.1:13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. In other words man began in God…..You came out of the womb of the romance that is going on in the Trinity….

John is also the one who wrote about Nicodemus visiting Jesus in the night.  John.3

Nicodemus spoke to Jesus by making a very startling observation…… I know you must come from God…..Something apart from the miracles of Jesus captured Nicodemus’s attention…just as many people from every walk of life thought, there was something about Jesus that they could not put their finger on, yet they just enjoyed being in his presence….

Jesus says to Nicodemus…… unless you are ‘born again…’  the word ‘again’ is the Gk word ‘anouthen.’ Which means:

1) from above, from a higher place

a) of things which come from heaven or God

2) from the first, from the beginning, from the very first

3) anew, over again

This word is used in only one other place in thew NT.  Mt.27:51 And, behold , the veil of the temple was rent in two ‘from the top’ to the bottom…

For example, imagine you are a violin player in an orchestra, you are practising together. The conductor stops you all from playing, then taps his batten on his music stand and says; ‘ OK lets take it from the top.’  What would you do? You would immediately turn your music pages back to the first page, to the beginning and prepare to play from there.*

What is Jesus saying?   Nicodemus, you would not have any appetite for spiritual things unless you began in God…..unless you look at things from the top…..go back to the beginning, otherwise you will not understand the kingdom of God….

(*Andre Rabi: http://www.inhim.net)

Pearl Drop 02-14  Re-Evaluating Faith 02

Faith is a gift. An unexpected gift? possibly! Certainly an unearned gift.

Paul in 1Cor.13. talks about faith, hope and love abiding. Love communicates faith and in that communication establishes hope – a confident expectation of what Love communicates will come to pass.

Paul says that the greatest of these is Love, why? because Love is the initiator.

Love cannot remain isolated, alone, the very essence of love is to give, share, love is dynamic, moving, releasing, love can never be self-contained, or is self centred, love is always embracing, including. Love never fails, never diluted, love is totally mesmerised by those who have the capacity to receive, wallow, give back, to live, be totally immersed in this warm runny honey, sticky, love that flows out of the womb of the romance that is going on in the Trinity.

A god who exists in alone, in isolation cannot be a god of love. That is why the God of the Bible is a Trinity, because He IS love. There is a romance going on in the Trinity since before time began, from eternity to eternity, this is why the greatest of these is love. Without love there would be no hope or faith. Hope is the confident expectation communicated to me by love, that I am totally, utterly and unconditionally accepted by my lover, therefore faith comes alive as a gift, that what love believes about me is the truth and will manifest in me and out of me……

Lets look at things from a more human level.

What is the most intense, ecstatic, bliss-filled experience any human being can encounter?

I hope you will agree with me, that of falling in love! It is a state of being that transcends time and transports you into a mesmerising transformation of being and thinking, that the one you love really is the only ‘girl/boy in the world!’ No other being holds even the remotest attraction, you are totally, mystically intertwined, a union with distinction.

You remain individuals, one of you does not merge into the other, the two of you do not morph into some other being. If your idea of union leaves no room for distinction between you and your lover, then you are in danger of becoming so familiar with your lover, that you will soon become ‘bored’ with him/her and start looking for a replacement. Yet how you want this distance, this barrier the flesh creates to disappear, hence the expression,’I love you so much I could eat you!” Such is the intense passion and the longing for one another when parted and the equally intense fulfilment when love is joined in the marriage bed. But somehow it is still never enough, there is a chink in the armour of this union that fails to reach the parts that only union with love himself can reach.

Why do we crave this experience of love? where does it come from in the first place?

I would submit to you that this love thing is imbedded deep in the very fabric of your being. It is your DNA. You and I came into the world as a result of a physical expression of love, two people giving themselves to one another in the most intimate way possible. So why not consider that you actually began, in the very heart of love himself, the very depths of such fiery love in the core of this passion, this eternal romance that has always existed before time began and after time finishes, in a being we call Trinity.

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Re-Evaluating ‘Faith.’

One of the fundamentals that I have been re-evaluating is the issue of faith.  What I am about to say is not new but a new perspective for me, you could say fresh light has dawned! I am sure others & maybe yourself, have had such an understanding already. However this strategic view of faith is an increasing factor in the reformation that is taking place in the church today.

Faith. For me and for many people who have been involved in the institution of church for many years have a tendency to think of faith as being something we initiate. We are instructed to have faith in God, to believe in him. We talk about my faith, we tell so called unbelievers to ‘trust God’ to have faith in him.  But what do we really, mean, what are we really saying, what are we communicating when we use these phrases?

These phrases related to the God of the Bible who I was taught about and accepted who had certain characteristics. The all powerful, the all knowing, the omniscient, a God of love, of grace, justice, mercy, wrath, etc.  All are correct notions or doctrines that scripture teach us. They are fundamentally what we believe about Him. We also have this notion, in the back of our minds, that He is out there in the distance, not so much separated from us, but, not in easy reach, which leads to the tendency for us to have to do something’ to bridge the gap, to get near, to put more effort into our prayer, worship, quiet times, reading and study of scripture. None of which are bad in themselves, but when used as the fuel to try to get near, we often are left feeling disappointed. When these tools are used to ‘get God’ to intervene in ours or others difficult circumstances we have to come up with excuses in our minds, as to why are prayers don’t seem to prevail very well! For many the tendency is to give up….it’s all to hard this God thing!!

There is little basis here for close relationship or intimacy which is what we really crave. It is what we are designed for and there are many people outside the walls of ‘the church’ who are adequately satisfied in this area, without any conscious seeking after God whoever he maybe!

Faith is not something we can initiate with regard to the God of the Bible. What I described above relates to belief.

I believe in David Cameron our current UK Prime Minister. I believe he is a genuine person, who has certain characteristics, and who I can as a citizen of the UK, communicate with at a distance, hoping he will respond, not because he knows me, but in his role as Prime Minister. For some people they believe he exists, and maybe a genuine and nice guy, but don’t believe in him because they do not see in their day to day life any of the improvements he said he would make for the citizens of this country.

I also believe my doctor exists. I can visit him or her as often as I can get an appointment. Because of his rigorous training and qualifications I trust he has undergone, I have faith in what he says about me based on the diagnosis he has made. Therefore I will act on any recommendations he gives me to make me better.

The crucial difference between believing in Cameron and believing in my doctor is based on what the doctor believes about me. As I listen and absorb what he says about me and my medical disposition faith is communicated to me, so I leave his surgery with a confident expectation that what he says I must do or what medicine I must take will have the desired affect in my body and I will get better.

Faith then is something that is communicated to me, not something I initiate. Faith also has the dynamic of producing hope which in Biblical terms means a confident expectation. That what is communicated about me is true and the desired results will manifest.

Faith is a gift. Eph.2:8 ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’

 Faith is the result of the confident expectation communicated to me which I will see come to pass.

Heb.11.1

AV. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Ampl. Now faith is the assurance the title deed of things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality. (faith perceives as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.)

 Mirror Word: Persuasion confirms confident expectation and proves the unseen world to be more real than the seen. Faith celebrates as certain what hope visualises as future.

Therefore the basis of faith is what God believes to be true about me. This faith is what is communicated through the gospel.  If it is not then like Paul, we can say another gospel has been peddled. This is what I shall be re-evaluating over the coming months.

Blessings

Peter