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SWAT Team Busts up Crowder Meeting in Belarus Are You Subscribed to Our Free Weekly Videos?
Are you subscribed to receive our free weekly videos: The Jesus Trip? Simply visit our homepage www.thenewmystics.com and enter your email at the top of the page to subscribe. Make sure to add us to your approved sender list so we don’t end up in your email spam box! Our YouTube has hit 3 million views, and you can also catch every episode right on our New Mystics app for iPhone or Android. Some may be offended as we happily continue drinking grace straight, but the scandal of the finished work of the cross continues to spread! Thanks to our regular viewers who help us share and repost on social media each week as part of our grassroots “propaganda team!”
Belarus, often called the “last dictatorship in Europe” sent a SWAT team of nearly a dozen armed agents in ski masks, helmets, flak jackets and machine guns to break up our church event in May. They detained John, searched and interrogated congregants at gunpoint for three hours, confiscating video and sound equipment and locking the pastors in jail. SOT was able to bail them out after the arrest … but the violation of human rights only stoked the zeal of Gospel drinkers as they begged John to keep preaching until midnight after the cops left!
Russia Gospel Collusion: Grace Awakening is Here
Register for Cana Seminary E-Course in March
If you have ever considered studying theology, but want a Spirit-filled, Christ-centered course — consider becoming an online student of Cana New Wine Seminary this fall and study at your own pace. Registration opens March 26 for the early bird discount. Dive into the supernatural, intoxicating Gospel as we release the word of Grace in an atmosphere of joy unspeakable! Teachers include John & Lily Crowder, Dr. C. Baxter Kruger, Matt Spinks, Francois Du Toit, Dr. Eric Wilding, Rod Williams and more. The full course runs two years, with one session per week for an easy pace. Class begins Oct. 28. For more info, see story on page 19 and visit: www.cana.co
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Something incredible is happening in Russia. We took a Sons of Thunder team to Siberia in June and are returning in March. It’s not just that they love the Presence (they do!); it is the Gospel Message itself that is spreading like wildfire. Effortless union. Finished Work of the Cross. Our inclusion in the love life of the Trinity. People steeped in charismatic formulas exported from the West are realizing they never heard the real Gospel. Pastors and bishops representing over a hundred churches have been begging us to come from all over the country. More invitations to speak are pouring in than we can handle. They’re getting it. One group has been running a 300-student online school based directly on our material translated into Russian. The intoxicating Glory and miraculous is so strong; we are nearly eaten alive by grandmas in the meetings. In one night alone on our last trip, tumors shrank, a lady’s crumpled back straightened out, people supernaturally lost weight and many more were healed. Bodies everywhere. Total chaos. They beg us to preach for hours on end. Drinking in every word!
Telos & Theophany: Weeklong Events in UK and US
Nicaragua Mission Trip with John and Matt Experience the supernatural and release the glorious Gospel in the nations as part of a Sons of Thunder mission trip! We have one trip currently open for applicants coming up January 2021. Our Nicaragua Mission will be co-hosted with John Crowder and Matt Spinks. On this trip you will be on the team helping equip local churches in the Message of grace, healing the sick and participating in outreach to the slums and garbage dumps. For more information on the trip and sign up details, see story on page 21. Lock in your spot with a deposit by September 31, 2020. Find out more and apply to join the adventure at www.thenewmystics.com/nica
We are hosting two special destination events in both the UK and the USA called Telos and Theophany. These unique, seven-day foundation courses are jam-packed, concentrated intensives that are both supernatural and theological. Our goal is to rework our entire understanding of the Gospel from the bottom up: reorienting everything we know through the lens of Christology and the finished work of the cross. This will be a no-holds-barred doctrinal detox in a life-giving atmosphere of Holy Spirit intoxication. Part micro-seminary. Part camp meeting. Early registration is recommended as space will be limited. See more on page 20-21 and visit www.thenewmystics.com/telos
Theology & Bourbon: Kentucky Gentlemen’s Retreat Do You Have Our Free iPhone or Android App?
Make sure to update to the latest version of the “New Mystics” app which is on both iPhone and Android platforms. The app is now available as a free download. Get all our Jesus Trip video archives in one spot, find current events and read a digital version of The Ecstatic magazine on your mobile device. Simply look for “New Mystics” at the iPhone app store to get the Apple version, or search for us on Google Play to get the Android version. Be sure to allow notifications, and each week you’ll get a friendly message from us alerting you to the latest free Jesus Trip video as it gets posted.
Conversation. Worship. Whiskey ... If you are a gentleman who appreciates theology and fine bourbon, we are hosting a small, exclusive retreat to Louisville, Kentucky in October 2020. John Crowder and Dr. C. Baxter Kruger, together with worship leader Godfrey Birtill will spend three days of personal interaction, theological discussion and worship together, along with tours to local distilleries along the bourbon trail in the heart of historic American whiskey country. Space is extremely limited and thus reflected in the premium registration fee. Cost is $350 and does not including lodging or airfare. This trip is strictly limited to the first 30 registrants. Visit www.thenewmystics.com/kentucky
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Save $80: Get All Our Books & A Free T-Shirt
Brazil Outreach to Church, Slums, Drug Traffickers Although we were always warned to avoid the dangerous favela slums of Rio de Janeiro, we disregarded any hesitation and plunged right in during our Sons of Thunder Brazil mission in August. Immediately the team saw drug traffickers stalking the streets with pistols and machine guns drawn in broad daylight. There is no police presence as the drug dealers run the slums; one of them had just been killed the day before. People opened their homes freely and drug traffickers pocketed their pistols and readily received prayer and ministry. We also shared the Gospel in three local churches in the region, with John following up with ministry in Argentina while in South America.
We are currently running a special package box set of all eight books written by John and Lily Crowder, together with free USA shipping and discounted international postage. Plus while supplies last, we will include a free New Mystics T-shirt. Share deep insights on the supernatural Gospel of Grace with your friends and loved ones, or just treat yourself. This package saves you more than $80 off retail. Books include: Mystical Union, Money. Sex. Beer. God., Cosmos Reborn, Chosen for Paradise, Grace for the Contemplative Parent, The New Mystics, Seven Spirits Burning and The Ecstasy of Loving God. Check it out at our Web store: www.johncrowder.net/box
SOT Mission Headed to Two Nations in Africa At the time of printing this publication, John Crowder is leading a Sons of Thunder ministry team to two nations in Africa: Ghana and Cameroon. The team will be equipping churches, leaders and doing outreach with orphans in November 2019. We are excited to see the message of pure grace taking root in hearts and minds around the world. We value your support as we continue to bring the Gospel to the nations. Although it is too late to join this trip, there is an opportunity to be part of the Sons of Thunder team next year in January 2021 as John Crowder and Matt Spinks bring a group to Nicaragua. Apply early to lock in a spot as space is limited. For more information, visit www.thenewmystics.com/nica
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Hawaii Marriage Retreat: Bring Your Spouse!
Take time to pull aside and prioritize your marriage. Book a babysitter and splurge on your spouse. Schedule a vacation with us: come aside from the daily stress of life and career and venture to Maul, Hawaii in September 2020. This intimate getaway in paradise for couples is designed for marital bliss. With John and Lily Crowder and Rick and Melissa Wood, this retreat is far from a religious self help program. Get a glorious Gospel detox from the fears, insecurities, identity hangups and awkward communication gaps that blind or dull us to the delights of marital joy. The honeymoon really can last forever! Visit www.thenewmystics.com/retreat
From the Publisher ...
It was a busy year in 2019 as I visited 45 nations and nine states in the USA. We brought Sons of Thunder teams to the seven “stan” nations of central Asia, including the volatile regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan where we hosted a massive evangelism campaign, gathering thousands. We were in the favela slums of Brazil, ministering to armed drug traffickers, and one of our meetings in Belarus was even invaded by a SWAT team where we were detained for hours and the pastors were jailed for illegal meetings. Needless to say, it has been a wild ride! In 2020, we are strategically gearing for more unique “destination” oriented retreats and courses. Couples can pull aside for our Hawaii marriage retreat coming to Maui in September. For the gents, our exclusive men’s retreats have sold out the past two years that we hosted them in Scotland. So, in 2020 we are bringing it stateside to the Bourbon Trail in Louisville, Kentucky with Baxter Kruger and Godfrey Birtill in October. Now American gentlemen can get a taste of the Glory, replete with distillery tours, worship and theology. Foremost of all, our innovative weeklong course Telos blew up in 2019. Telos was so life-changing with its seven-day format, we are now bringing a European version to the table in Cornwall, England in July 2020 with Godfrey leading worship. And in November 2020 we have a special Telos event called Theophany where attendees can spend an entire week together with myself and Baxter Kruger in Portland, Oregon. We highly recommend folks plan early to make a pilgrimage and catch Telos U.K. or Theophany in the U.S. (see page 20 and 21). Additionally, our mission trip junkies will be glad to learn we have a Nicaragua adventure in January 2021 with myself and Matt Spinks. Again, there is plenty of time to plan ahead to join us as part of the ministry team. We have a number of other Mystical Schools and special conference events planned for 2020 – not least of which is a threeday event in Switzerland focused solely on the Nicene Creed together with myself and Baxter. About this issue This issue has my longest ever single article for an issue of The Ecstatic. I address my favorite and most intoxicating topic: Christology. Highlighting the futility of our human ponderings about God, readers are encouraged to hone in on the most important thing of all: God’s own self disclosure in Jesus Christ! Stay Subscribed to The Ecstatic Some select US addresses receive a print copy of the magazine, but we now host a digital version online for readers around the globe. Be sure you visit our homepage at www.TheNewMystics.Com/Ecstatic and enter your email address to join our free newslist – this will ensure you receive each issue to your inbox twice a year, together with our regular free Jesus Trip teaching videos. You can also view the magazine on our free iPhone and Android “New Mystics” apps.
Contents 2 News: The Latest from Sons of Thunder 6 Pure Distillate of Christology 14 Find the Party: Sons of Thunder Itinerary 15 Mission Report: Pakistan, Afghanistan, More! 18 Meditations of the Mystics 19 Cana New Wine Seminary Online 20 Telos & Theophany Seven-Day Intensives 21 Upcoming Mission to Nicaragua
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We value your support to keep the magazine and ministry running. Your generous contributions make the publication available to all and enable us to spread Good News to the ends of the globe. What we’re all about We at Sons of Thunder produce The Ecstatic as a way to bring a cohesive voice to the growing interest in authentic, mystical Christianity – but a mysticism rooted in the grace message of Christ’s cross – not in human attempt at spiritual disciplines or mental ascent. In a practical sense, The Ecstatic serves as an information gateway to the ministry of John & Lily Crowder. But moreover, it is a first fruit in publishing toward bridging several important themes that are converging at the moment: finished work theology, the miraculous, divine satisfaction and daily human existence in the divine life. All of these concepts are intrinsically woven together. A new, reformed Christ-centered mysticism is on the rise. It is bridging many streams. Relevant is its cultural approach. Radical is its charismatic fervor. Reformative is its theology of grace. These are guiding values of this publication and our own lives. It is a theological journal whose frequency is joy unspeakable.
Fully Satisfied … John Crowder Founder, Sons of Thunder Publications the ecstatic is published bi-annually Copyright © 2019 Sons of Thunder Ministries & Publications, All rights reserved. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 1-877-343-3245 Address: P.O. Box 40, Marylhurst, OR 97036
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Pure Distillate of Christology The Divine Mystery Revealed in Flesh by John Crowder
How can we really know anything about God? There are countless thousands of doctrinal ideas thrown at the theological dart board. How do we even begin to approach epistemology, that is, the study of “how” something can be known about God at all?
tional Christian mysticism that is rooted in the intimacy of Jesus does not presuppose human ideas about God in order to sketch out a picture of Him in any way “separate” from Jesus. The thing about a mystic is that she doesn’t have a fearful drive to connect all the dots - she is content in her personal relation with God, without It’s okay not to have everything figured out. the vain drive to explain everything away. Yet Rest assured you don’t. But human pride and this is not to say every so called “mystic” gets fear always tend to overstep the bounds of mys- the Gospel either. In fact, many disdain theoltery. We want tidy doctrinal boxes that allow us ogy altogether. Theology is vitally important, to contain God within the safe framework of our but we must do it with a Christological lens if own understanding. We overestimate our lim- we are to have an accurate picture of God. ited ability to know anything whatsoever about God. Yet God wants and has chosen to freely re- As fearful creatures, we much veal Himself. It was never His will to leave us in the dark and has chosen to display His na- prefer a remote-control God ked personality to mankind. He self-reveals not by a cold, calculated list of doctrinal principles. of our own fabrication. Rather, He discloses Himself personally and relationally by coming in the Person of Christ. By becoming us and fully intertwining Himself to the human race. THE GOD CONTRAPTION
curate than your God Contraption!” But there really are no sides, because every camp is actually in the same camp: from fundamentalists to postmodern progressives - everyone is in the same pot because they begin from the same foolish starting point: the human mind. Despite their differences, the same thread among all Christian groups is their attempt at building a God Apparatus, which is the sum of all their human ideas. Sure, they all may be “biblical” ideas, but the common denominator is that the starting point is always the limited, vain mental conjecturing about an “out there” God of our own understanding. The futile attempt at deciphering an unknowable God
Yet standing over and against this man-made God Apparatus of metaphysical guesswork and patchwork scripture quiltmaking is God Himself. All of these camps and denominations have a bottom-up approach that begins with the human mind and arrogantly attempts to work its way up Godward by arriving at a neat, clean set of theological answers. But standing opposed to the pride of human wisdom - standIt is our sheer arrogance to think we could proj- Most often, the whole corpus of what we say ing against our theological assertions about ect theological ideas about God and present and know about God (our theological starting Him (whatever flavor of theology it may be) an understanding of Him outside of Jesus. Yet point for talking about Him) begins with an ab- there is something else. And that something is that is exactly what we do. Of course, every stract set of principles. We so often talk about God. The eternal Mystery Who will never be Christian gives lip service to Jesus. Neverthe- God in terms of big metaphysical concepts we unfolded by the mind of man, but who has deless, we move right along and construct tidy cobble together from scripture to describe Him: finitively revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. philosophical structures to explain Him, replete words like sovereignty, justice, power, holiwith all our metaphysical ideas about Him - as ness – or all the “omni” words: God is omnipo- Jesus represents something radically different if our four-pound brains can encompass the tent, omniscient, omnipresent, etc. etc. And than a bottom up approach to figuring God out. limits of what can be known about the Author we argue over all these things, breaking into He is the God-to-manward motion of God’s of the cosmos. camps that are liberal or conservative, Calvin- own self who has come down to reveal Himself ist or Pentecostal, denominationally unique or not in a convenient set of metaphysical ideas This is a project of fear: if God is relegated to supposedly different - each based on how we or scriptural life hacks ... but has revealed all a set of formulated concepts and ideas, He is choose to fashion together our own manmade there is to know about Himself in human flesh much easier for us to control, is He not? As God Contraption from all these conceptual phil- ... and therefore in “our” human flesh. God has fearful creatures, we much prefer a remote- osophical ideas. Then we take sides and battle come in person. control God of our own fabrication. But a rela- one another. “My God Contraption is more ac-
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ther are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord socialism and capitalism – or Evangelicalism, (Isa. 55:8). Catholicism, etc.? Everyone constructs a God who endorses their agenda, or a socio-culturHe is beyond description. You cannot reason ally conditioned Jesus who puts His stamp of back into the being of God. You cannot project approval on their ideologies. How can we so your ideas back into the nature of God and un- boastfully assume He endorses all our pet docderstand anything about Him. Only God knows trines or fits tidily within our own theological Himself. The creature/Creator distinction lies at camps and streams? We cannot grasp Him. the heart of our knowledge of God. Augustine said, “The finite cannot understand the infinite.” At the end of the book of Job, after God showed him the vastness of His intricate making of the THE INEFFABLE GOD The Lord says, “You thought I was all together cosmos, Job is forced to say, “behold these like you,” (Ps. 50:21) but in declaring God’s in- are but the outskirts of His ways - how small a None of the prophets or patriarchs of old could effability we confess that He evades and es- whisper we hear of Him” (Job 26:14). fully see God. Jesus affirms none of them even capes all our statements about Him. It is above knew God! They saw glimpses. And why could us. This sheer enormity of time and space – the they not see the big picture? Because you canuniverse (perhaps universes with universes) not find God - you cannot understand God. He The Psalmist says His greatness is unsearch- – parallel universes or dimensions within diis not discovered, He is revealed. Only He can able. “Who can utter the mighty deeds of God mensions … and to think this is only a shadow disclose Himself. One of the chief principles or declare His praises” (Ps. 106:2) and “None pointing to His immensity of being. It is a drop of God is His ineffability – His inability to be in the bucket to the eternal infinitude of God. comprehended. God is unsearchable, uncon- The thing about a mystic is that Like Job, it makes us want to put our hand over tainable; our finite minds have no capability our mouths and say nothing. of grasping Him. We can apprehend God like she doesn’t have a fearful drive to catching a football - but you cannot wrap your connect all the dots - she is con- Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlhand around that whole thing ... we can’t comwind and said, “Who is this that darkens counprehend God - we do not fully wrap our heads tent in her personal relation with sel by words without knowledge?” (Job 29: 1-2) around Him. The ineffability of God is one of God, without the vain drive to ex- Then Job answered the Lord ...“Therefore I His chief and most beautiful aspects. plain everything away. have uttered what I did not understand, things God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of too wonderful for me, which I did not know” kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal can compare with you … His wonders are more (Job 42:3). and who lives in unapproachable light, whom than can be told” (Ps. 40). God’s deeds and no one has seen or can see … (1 Tim. 6:15- thoughts are unfathomable. Ironically, we are Wouldn’t it be brilliant if we just learned to shut 16). told to declare His praises, yet we are told that up? In the world of countless opinions and endthey are beyond declaring! The same can be less social media blather about God … what if Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and said of theology. We are instructed to learn and we just learned to close our traps and contemknowledge of God! How unsearchable His speak about Him, yet we are told His ways are plate Him in silence for a change? The deeper I judgments, and His paths beyond tracing beyond finding out. He ways are unutterable go into ministry, the more I realize I know nothout! (Rom. 11:33) – you cannot utter them. Incomparable – you ing. And the less I really want to talk. Apart from cannot compare them. Innumerable – more looking at Jesus, we are kids with a chemistry Who does great and unsearchable things, than can be numbered. Inexpressible – more set - we have no clue what we’re talking about. Wonders without number (Job 5:9). than can be articulated. Inexplicable – more Yet we slap onto ourselves doctorates and tithan can be explained. tles like children playing dress up and ascribing Can you discover the depths of God? Can you self-importance in matters infinitely beyond our discover the limits of the Almighty? (Job 11:7) LEARNING SILENCE pay grade and expertise. He throws a monkey wrench into all our abstract ideas: For instance, how can you talk abstractly about God’s sovereignty (as if He controls everything), and blame Him for evil and sickness if Jesus comes healing the sick? How can you talk abstractly about justice and holiness, if Jesus comes forgiving sinners ... turning the law on its head? We must begin all our talk and knowledge about God with the person of Jesus. Not with humanistic, logical concepts.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it (Ps. 139:6).
He is outstanding can we make all ments about God “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nei- human paradigms
among ten thousand. How So many Evangelicals reject the idea of mystithese flippant vapid state- cism, then run off half-cocked trying to explain - or squeeze Him into our away the inexplicable God. How flippantly of conservatism, liberalism, Continued on page 8
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… Christology will always be the purest theology < Continued from page 7
preachers, gurus and snake oil salesmen from churches, synagogues and Ted talks peddle their pointless ponderings about the divine. But the glory of God is in how unsearchable and inexplicable He is. There is a vital need for embracing mystery and giving space for the unknown in our talk about God. But for many people, the inexplicable conjures up fear of the unknown … we want a tame, controlled God who fits into our preconceived, manageable paradigms. FELLOWSHIP WITH THE MYSTERY Paul never says we will fully, intellectually grasp the Mystery. He says we have fellowship with the Mystery (Eph. 3:9). You may not have all the answers, but the Answer has you. The Mystery is a Person with whom we forever interact. A Mystery whose very goal was to expose Himself – to be stripped bare and plainly published. In fact, the apostle Paul uses the word musterion more than any other New Testament writer, and almost exclusively in the sense that the Mystery has been revealed. Here in Ephesians 3:9, he wanted to “explain” or “make plain” and “bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.”
do we throw our hands in the air and go completely silent in our unknowing. I am not talking about flippancy in just walking away from trying to understand anything. But there is a radically different way of doing theology. Not the bottomup approach of figuring God out with the human mind and using the Bible like an Ikea manual to piece together a flimsy God Contraption of our own making. No. The only true theology will always be a “top-down” theology: for God has come down to fully reveal Himself by coming to us in Jesus Christ. Christology will always be the purest theology. Jesus is God’s self-definition. Christology deals with the basic question of “Who do you say I am?” Who is Jesus Christ?
Despite their differences, the same thread among all Christian groups is their attempt at building a God Apparatus, which is the sum of all their human ideas.
visible image of the invisible God … well then we can make some bold statements. Jesus is not just a chapter in a story about God’s dealing with creation. We see that Jesus Christ is the Creator of all - before all worlds, very God of very God as the Creed says. When is the last time you heard a sermon on Jesus Christ as the Creator? As the Lord and sustainer of all things? As David Fergusson states, “The world was made that Christ might be born.” Instead of working up to God through abstract theological principles, if instead we can think about God starting with Jesus ... well what do we learn? For starters, we see that He wants to be known.
We see that He speaks to us of His Father, and He also sends us His Spirit ... and something begins to emerge in our understating that God is not alone in His being, but that He is Trinity - that He is not a lone, solitary, aloof God who has always been alone, and doesn’t care two cents whether or not He will always be alone. But rather He is God in relation. He is foremost Father before Creator. And only a God in relaBecause He has come in person, we see that tion would have interest in relating to humanity God is personal. He is relational. He is loving by entering into their broken humanity. To bring and He is other-giving love. We cannot even a love to light that is not so much to be calculatproject our own ideas of love onto God, but ed and analyzed as to be received and enjoyed. rather Jesus Christ Himself defines what it reThe gospel of Jesus Christ is not complex, ally is to love. By beginning our understanding We see a goal emerging that has less to do shrouded or veiled in any sense of the imagi- of God with the person of Jesus, and working with rote obedience and servitude and more nation. Children are quickest to recognize it. from there, only then the foundation is in place to do with communion and family and an eterYet its simplicity does not truncate its eternal for everything else. nal party. And we learn most definitely somedepths. Easy enough for a child understand is thing about ourselves, that we are created in this Gospel which is searched out as the glory JESUS: THE GOD LENS Christ for the same love relationship that exists of kings. We grow in depth as we grow in simbetween Father, Son and Spirit - created for plicity. There most definitively is a solid way of doing adoption and family and union. And therefore theology when we start with Jesus. When Je- our relation in God is grounded foremost not One of the best phrases you can learn in theol- sus is the starting point and the lens and her- in knowing stuff about Him - but rather our priogy is this: “I don’t know.” There is a humility meneutic of how we understand God - when we mary way of relating to Him is in contemplation to acknowledging His ways are higher than our see Him as the Logic, the Blueprint, the Logos ... an intimate participation of our whole being, ways. The Psalmist writes: “Lord, I am not high- of God - when He is the Word (i.e. not just a which is rooted foremost in silent reception than minded. I have no proud looks. I do not exercise messenger of God, but Jesus is the very Mes- in speaking; because it is only in closing our myself in great matters which are too high for sage and Purpose of all things Himself), when mouths and quieting our own human thoughts me” (Ps. 131:1-2). This does not mean we are we see that Jesus is God, that there is none about Him that we can truly listen to the Son of not called to declare the truth of the Gospel, nor beside Him - the very Alpha and Omega - the God. We become recipients of God - not His
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originators. Not His marketers here to box Him up in a nifty package. Contemplation is the highest aim of theology. And should be its starting point. A Christian mystic is one who can be at perfect peace with mystery - with unanswered questions. Christian mysticism has often been accused of avoiding all theology, dogma or rigid belief systems. And granted, many mystics have had suspect theology to say the least. But it is really about putting theology in its place as the proper framework of contemplation. Knowing the One we enjoy. Not elevating human ideas as the ultimate blueprint for mapping God out. Yet mysticism and theology intertwine in the true Person of Christ. Contemplation is not a silencing of all thoughts to the point we divorce our experience of God away from any thought or imagination of Him. Contemplation involves thoughts, but it is so much more. Contemplation is infinitely beyond mere thinking or reasoning about God. It is an immersion of your complete being into the participation or practice of His Presence.
distinction between viewing God from a composite of abstract ideas versus knowing Him in the relationality of His own inner being of Love. The Trinity is an eternal other-giving dance of Love. It is consistent, therefore that He would be moving out of Himself in other-giving love toward us. Only in looking to Jesus, and therefore the Trinity, can we avoid an arbitrary whimsy and a vain chasing after the wind. Jesus
CONTEMPLATING CHRIST True contemplation is not a mindless pondering of the unknowable, but a recognition that a feast has already appeared in Jesus. The wedding supper of the Lamb. And contemplation, like faith, is not an elusive thing we should aim to chase down in and of itself. It is merely the description of a life lived enjoying this Feast ... It is the very act itself of consumption and drinking when the Lamb and Wine is set before you. A Christ-less mysticism, just like humanistic theology, is yet another vain attempt at knowing God based on abstract metaphysics rooted in human ascent - versus knowing God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, because that Himself is the Rosetta Stone that unlocks to is Who Jesus reveals. And that is the crux of humanity the only accurate language and unthis argument. Is your hermeneutic based on derstanding of God. a Person? Mystery has been swallowed up in God’s selfWe must work our way back from who Jesus revelation in His Son Jesus. So for all our bashhas revealed His Father to be to us. This is the ing of bad theology, it is imperative that we gain starting point, and the only way we can know a clear understanding of God as revealed in anything about God. He is defined by this in- Jesus. The contemplative and the theologian ner life of the Trinity, which has now been freely must be one interchangeable man. For the poured out to His creation. As Father, Son and contemplative – virtuous as he is for his refusal Holy Spirit relate to one another in love, this to settle for lifeless answers – need not stay is what shapes who God is. This is a massive in a perpetual state of hunger and unknowing.
Nor should he foster a distaste for knowledge, simply because imperfect knowledge has run him up many a blind alley in days past. The fact is, we shall one day know fully. True Knowledge is more than data – He is a Person. And our life of discovery is a life of feasting as the scales of unknowing are stripped away in experiential, face-to-face communion by the end of Emmaus’ road. Jesus Christ is the knowledge of the unknowable God. JESUS IS GOD KNOWLEDGE God has spoken in His Son clearly, fully, finally and definitively. And He has acted in His Son – an all sufficient sacrifice - in such a way that there is nothing left to be done. He has achieved a final and complete salvation. Jesus the Son is the whole point and purpose of the matter. But even this is not just a call to analytical knowledge about Jesus, rather an intimate knowing and abiding in Jesus. Nevertheless, people even here are fond of saying “it’s all about relationship” to the degree that they ignore the importance of theology altogether. Well, consider this. So many revolve their Christian life around trying to have a “personal relationship” with God, straining to follow His voice in their life or attempting to discern His purposes and plans for us. And yet if our focus is constantly on trying to determine some direction, some destiny, some end goal - some nebulous voice from some ethereal entity we call God – this “God Contraption” of our cobbled-together accumulation of limited perceptions of Him can still radically misguide us if it is not be zeroed in on the finality of the Person and single-handed work of Jesus Christ; and we have altogether missed the plot. Theology is about rightly articulating Jesus. Outside of this, we are totally in the dark about God’s nature, His ways and His work outside of a Christocentric focus. Jesus on the other hand is the visible image of the invisible God ... outside of that, we’re still trying to guess. See life is not just trying to discern what Jesus is telling you. He is the Message. He did not just come to tell you about God – He is the embodiment of God’s Word to you. He is not just a mouthpiece – He is the content of what God is saying Continued on page 10
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… Jesus Christ is God in human language < Continued from page 9
GOD IN HUMAN LANGUAGE to you and about you – very personally. Jesus is not just giving words – Jesus is the Word of In a world of self-professed religious experts God. The point. on the things of God, Jesus Christ emerged on the scene and John boldly declares that He could not just send a prophet or an an- “No one has ever seen God … the only God, gel who would only know in part. God chose who is at the Father’s side, He has made Him to come in person in Christ to reveal Himself. known” (John 1:18). John tell us from the top Jesus is the relentless, unbending love of God of his gospel that Jesus is the one who both is that is radically for you at all times forever more. God and who sits “pros” face to face with God. Jesus means that God will never abandon you. “No one has ever seen God, but the one and Jesus means that nothing can separate you only Son, who is Himself God and is in closfrom the love of God. est relationship with the Father, has made Him known.” When we are anchored in this, we realize all those other whimsical prophetic endeavors to try and hear another word, an additional word - all the reading of the tea leaves and fortune cookies – can be a flustering waste of time. We were leaning on our own intuitive abilities to make a relationship happen. Rather than learning to rest and trust in Christ Himself as the ultimate and final content of everything God is saying to us. That He really is enough. More than enough. You don’t need a word … you have the Word dwelling inside you. We are looking for answers in addition to the Answer. But when we stop asking stupid questions and just drink in what He has given – begin to explore the depths of our inheritance in Him – everything effortlessly begins to make sense. Not that we understand all things, but there is a peace that surpasses understanding.
edge about God and speak about it. And yet since Christ knows the Father for us, and as us, we too have been plunged into a depth of knowing (deeper than the mind, like a peace that surpasses understanding) which the ancients longed to look into … to see into our day. And only because Christ is God, can He now reveal God to us. How then is He doing this today? By Holy Spirit – who is constantly testifying of Christ. One of my favorite verses that attests to the full divinity of Holy Spirit is this: But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:9-11). THE SPIRIT SAYS: JESUS The Spirit knows God because He is God. And now He is revealing God to us. But how? The only way possible. What is the Spirit saying? JESUS
Jesus said the Spirit “shall testify of Me” (John 15:26). The Spirit “shall glorify Me” (John 16:14). He will “bring to remembrance” Christ’s own words (John 14:26). Does Holy Spirit In an absolute sense no one knows God but teach, guide, counsel, empower, convict, help So to start our talk about God from the Per- the Son, because He alone is God. Jesus on a personal level in our lives? Of course! The son of Christ (the Wisdom from above), rather Christ is the perfection of God’s self-expres- entire cosmos is sustained in Him! Holy Spirit than our own human understanding (mere hu- sion, self-revelation, self-communication. His is a multi-tasker. Holy Spirit is God in His own man wisdom) … this means we need to shuck very objective was always a full and intimate right and is worthy of worship. But the apostle the “trademarked” version of Jesus co-opted disclosure. In fact, far deeper than the mind, John most clearly gives a Christological frame by all the various sects and return to the an- He came to achieve a complete visceral union of reference for the work of Holy Spirit. Ulticient faith. To say that God is ineffable does with the human race. Our knowing is far deeper mately in all that He does He is pointing us to not mean He has refrained from communicat- than a futile intellectual comprehension - to un- Jesus. The entire cosmos is pointing to Jesus. ing Himself to us. Quite the contrary! It is to say derstand God in that way would be impossible Jesus Christ is what Holy Spirit has been saythat He has already concretely and definitively as a toddler memorizing an organic chemistry ing to the human race the entire time. There is shown Himself fully to us in one way and one textbook. We ask all the wrong questions - and no other God outside the one you see in Jeway alone – completely apart from our efforts we’re not even speaking the right language. sus. No act of God outside of Him. Every other at mental gymnastics. Or even by a so-called But Jesus Christ is God in human language. ancillary, side issue God is speaking to you “plain” reading of scripture that misses the fact about is ultimately to fix your eyes on Jesus that Christ is the very point and summation to We cannot claim to have exhaustive knowl- and what He’s done. This has been the goal of which all the scriptures were pointing.
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And so the great Mystery of this grand paradox is that the unknowable God has made Himself known. The Infinite became finite. The Omnipotent became impotent. The Unsearchable became tangible - seen and heard and handled … and now we have been given His very Spirit of Truth to explore the infinite wonder of who He is.
One … even this is plural. The Hebrew most literally reads, “Hear o’ Israel, the Lord our Gods, the Lord is One.” What is the “Light of Life” mentioned in John 1? Jesus is the Light of the world, yes. And in fact, He says we are now the light of the world. But most specifically at the top of John’s Gospel, the Light of Life is this special unbroken relationship that Jesus shares with His Father, into which we have been grafted.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
There is a plethora of binary verses of scripture that reveal Jesus and His Father are two distinct Persons (2 Cor. 4:14, Gal. 1:1, Eph. 1:20, and 1 Tim. 1:2 just to list a few).
your whole existence.
Let us never be so presumptuously overfamil- That which we have seen and heard declare iar with this “God Apparatus” of our own invention that we lose the awe and mystery of this unsearchable treasure which we are so graced to search out in the simplicity of Christ. Let us give up the game of claiming expertise on all things spiritual but instead fix our eyes on the one and only means wherein by knowing nothing else, we can as John tells us, somehow unfathomably “know all things.” But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge (1 John 2:20). This is not mere reason. This is an intimate knowing. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. We can know all of God when we know Jesus. And we experience the Glory of God, but only because Christ gave us to participate in that same Glory that He and the Father shared in the beginning. GOD AS TRINITY To really look at the Christ of scripture tells us that the Trinity is not a manmade concept. Although the word “Trinity” may not appear on the page of scripture, yet it is everywhere. We are overwhelmingly drawn into this special relationship of Father, Son and Spirit that exists as the being of the one God. The Bible begins with plurality in Genesis 1: In the beginning God (Elohim: plural) created the heavens and the earth. He said, “Let us create man in our image.” Even the mantra of Jewish monotheism, the Shema prayer from Deuteronomy 6: Hear o’ Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is
We must begin all our talk and knowledge about God with the person of Jesus. Not with humanistic, logical concepts.
Christ – the entire Trinity – in the first chapter of Revelation (not to mention we see the prominence of the Spirit in verses such as 1 Cor. 6:11, Rom. 8:11, 1 Cor. 12:4-6 and more). We are the elect, “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied” (1 Peter 1:2). There are many more triadic references. My point is to highlight that God is Trinity, despite how many sideline or outright reject His triune nature as some novel theological invention. To reject God’s triune nature is to miss who Jesus is altogether. The first thing we should say when describing God are not metaphysical attributes (He’s holy, sovereign, creator, just, righteous, etc.) but that He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. PERICHORESIS
The early fathers of the post-apostolic age of the church had numerous differences in their beliefs on many doctrines. Yet in giving us the church’s Creed, they knew that the one uncompromising truth that must be handed down we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship to future generations is the basic fact of Who with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Fa- God is. And therefore, the major concern was ther, and with His Son Jesus Christ (1 John to hammer out a scriptural understanding both 1:3). of the Trinity and Christology. Who is the Trinity, and specifically, who is Jesus? In addition to these and many more, we also see a myriad of triadic verses in scripture that Yet today, most teachers could hardly speak show the threeness of the God’s Persons. more than 15 minutes on the Trinity. Just about Chief of all is the baptismal formula practiced every human analogy for explaining the Trinity from the very beginning of the church: in Sunday school is a heresy. We are told the triune God is like three parts of an egg. Three Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptiz- slices of a pie. Today we are even told the Trining them in the name of the Father, and of the ity is like a fidget spinner! Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19). But each of the three Persons is not “part” of At Christ’s own baptism, we see the Father the Trinity like slices of a pie, that when put tospeaking, the Spirit descending and Jesus gether make up the whole. To see any Person Himself taking the plunge on behalf of human- of the Trinity is to see all of God, as One is ity. And we have Paul’s great Trinitarian bene- never without the Others. The Trinity travels in diction in 2 Corinthians 13:14: May the grace of a pack. You do not get Jesus one day, then if the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and you grunt and pray hard enough you get the the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Spirit another day. Each Person of the entire Trinity fully interpenetrates the other! This is There is also John’s greeting from the Ancient the beautiful reality of perichoresis – the mutual of Days, the sevenfold Spirit of God and Jesus indwelling, literally the dance of each member Continued on page 12
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… no earthly analogy can fully explain the Trinity < Continued from page 11 of the Trinity fully present within One another. It is why Paul can say in Colossians 2:9 that the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus Christ in bodily form. And therefore, Paul’s scandalous conclusion in the next verse is that now, by your effortless union with Christ, you too are now full of the Godhead! This perichoresis is also why Jesus can say that “anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). This does not mean Jesus is the Father. Sadly, we have a lot of basic, foundational teaching to do if the church is to rediscover Who God is. Fortunately we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Because Christ has definitively revealed the triunity of God, we have a solid, foundational understanding of the Trinity, which has been passed down by the fathers of the church and should be Christianity 101. So let us dive in: There is one God in three Persons. Not three Gods. Not one Person. The Son is not the Father. The Father is not the Son. The Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. But the Son is God. The Father is God. The Spirit is God. And yet there are not three Gods. There is one God. One God. Three Persons. THE TRINITY IS NOT A HIERACHY No creative rethinking is needed here. The church fathers, both East and West, painstakingly handed this ultimate truth to us over countless generations of drinking and living from the Gospel. When we speak of the “Godness” of God, He is one Being. When we talk about the distinction of the Persons, He is three. Apart from this unity with relationality, we will never see that God truly is Love, nor understand that the very plan of salvation was to adopt us into the divine family. “But I don’t understand this!” Welcome to the
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club! This is the Mystery of the ages. There is no adequate analogy that exists on planet earth to describe the infinite wonder of the Trinity. Yet from scripture we are guarded from some certain wrong ways of thinking about God that will throw us back into the darkness of religion and “separation thinking.” Neither Person of the Trinity is before or after the other. The Trinity is not a hierarchy with the Father at the top. That is wrong. The Son is fully God. The Spirit is fully God. The Father is not a single monarch, from which the Son and Spirit came into being. Jesus never came into being. He is not a created being who began on the first Christmas. He is the eternal Son from
The Father is not a single monarch over the three. There is a monarchy of the entire Trinity … this is the true Christian faith. Otherwise Jesus is not fully God. Again, when we are talking about the Godness of God … He is one being. There are not three Gods - that is tritheism. We can never deemphasize the unity of God (His oneness). Yet this is always a triunity. God does not have three separate wills or minds. There is distinction in God, but not division. Unity with distinction. God is one. And yet when we are talking about the Persons of God (the word is hypostases) … He is Three.
So many Evangelicals reject the
So we must emphasize both the unity of God, as well as the distinction of the Persons. The Persons are not separate, rather they are distinct.
half-cocked trying to explain
idea of mysticism, then run off
Furthermore, we must always guard against the age-old heresy of modalism, quite popular today amongst snake-handling “Oneness” Pentecostals (but also subconsciously bebefore all ages. Jesus is not a little lesser than lieved by many Christians who don’t have a the Father. The Father did not abandon His clue about the Trinity). Son on the cross to pay off His own wrath, because the Father is a little higher or holier. We Modalism says that God is just one Person, killed Jesus, not the Father. God was in Christ who alternates at any given time between three reconciling the cosmos to Himself. There is modes. In other words, one day He is the Fanever some “other” unknowable dark side of ther, another day He is the Son and then later God hiding behind Jesus’ back. Jesus on the He becomes the Spirit. This line of thinking can cross fully displays the other-giving love of the play out in a number of ways. Some may say entire Trinity. Jesus pre-existed as the Holy Spirit. Or Jesus is the Father. Or perhaps that after Jesus asAlthough the Father may rightly be named cended He became Holy Spirit. But all of this “source” in His role in the Trinity, yet He was denies the vital relationality that exists within never before the Son. The Son is eternally be- the being of God. gotten of the Father with no starting point. No origin. He has always been the Father’s radi- Again, God is one Being in three Persons. But ance. Yet He is defined as Son because He is modalism is so widespread today, that even the Son of the Father. Likewise, the Father is de- famous televangelist T.D. Jakes built a masfined as Father because He is the Father of the sive worldwide ministry platform as a modalSon. God is defined by this relationship. There ist without even believing in the Trinity! Only in was never any “God” existing prior to the Son. recent years has he repented of such a horrific lie and come to realize the truth of the Trinity. If
away the inexplicable God.
you have ever believed differently on some of these things, do not kick yourself – you are not alone. I would say most Western evangelicals are heretics on at least one of these points. But it may be time to put a little priority in life on at least grasping the most foundational identity of Who we worship: this one God in three Persons. Before He was born in Bethlehem, Jesus did not pre-exist as the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not the Father. He was not praying to Himself. On the cross, He did not commit His spirit into the hands of Himself, but to His Father. When He spoke of sending Another … He wasn’t talking about Himself, but Holy Spirit. And shall we say something about Holy Spirit? For all their supposed focus on Holy Spirit, most charismatics have it drastically wrong. Holy Spirit is not “The Force” from Star Wars, wherein if we get more and more of our divine energy-meter up through fasting and prayer, we become some kind of Smith Wigglesworth/ Luke Skywalker. Holy Spirit does not come in portions; He comes in Person. Holy Spirit is a Person of the Godhead. As the Creed most biblically tells us, He is the Lord and Giver of Life who together with Father and Son is worthy of worship and adoration. Holy Spirit is God.
manity and divinity were separate. At no point was He ever a man when He was also not simultaneously God. This denies the incarnation. There was never a time when His humanity existed apart from His divinity. He was eternally God before the virgin birth. And He was God and Man together from the very conception of the virgin birth, nine months before the first Christmas. I understand that charismatics generally think of “heresy hunters” as lemon-sucking prudes, because many of them wrongly reject any tangible interaction with Holy Spirit – often rejecting
keeps us from relying on our own human striving through a clearer picture of Who God really is and what He has actually pulled off on our behalf in Jesus. Understand this: almost every Christological heresy is a failure to either recognize Jesus’ full divinity or His full humanity. In the Western church, our biggest issue is Greek dualism (separation thinking), which cannot stomach the idea of a perfect “holy” God taking on broken human flesh. It’s the idea that the physical, material world is essentially “bad” wherein the purely spiritual world is “good.” It posits a separation, so that God and man could not exist in the same place. Separation between God and man is where religion builds an industry. If God and man are not fully united in Jesus, then you yourself can never be united to God. NEO-ARIANISM
The largest heresy ever to hit the church was Arianism, which denied that Jesus is fully God – the very lie that the Nicene Creed was forged to combat in the fourth century. For all our talk about “progressive” Christianity, what we really need is “regressive” Christianity … we need to push this mother all the way back to God is not three parts. He is three Persons. the Nicene Creed and remember what it’s all Each fully God. None God without the Other. about! At one point Arianism had so infected To say Holy Spirit is a “Person” does not mean the church that there were likely more Arians He is flesh and blood (we don’t define “person” than actual Christians. Arians would say Jesus merely by having a physical body). was “Savior,” the “Son of God,” etc. – ironically they would even worship Him. But they didn’t DRINK STRAIGHT CHRISTOLOGY believe He was God. Essentially, they believed Jesus was merely the “highest of all creation” Now with this overview of the Trinity in sight, not the Creator Himself. Unless He is fully God, let us turn more closely to Christology. Who is spiritual gifts, etc. Heresy hunters themselves then God does not save. And unless He is fully Jesus? It is here that we must have a straight, are usually blind to their own pet heresies. But man, then man has not been saved. Arius said pure drink of truth with no additives, if we are to in fact, it is quite important that we do indeed that “there was a time when Jesus was not.” know God. So let us dive deep … avoid the danger of heresy. I say this not in a He claimed that the Son had a beginning. If a sense of paranoia often engendered over the line was drawn between Creator and creation, Jesus did not become a God. He always was. topic of heresy. Let us humbly acknowledge we Jesus was clearly on the “creation” side of that Again, Jesus is not the Father. But nor is Jesus are all learning and growing: all of us probably line for the Arians. And therefore, the church in any way different than the Father. He is the have a little heresy in there somewhere. Root- fathers hammered out the core truth of our faith visible image of the invisible God. ing out heresy does not mean we should turn in the face of this error – boldly proclaiming that into angry, bitter critics. But proclaiming a her- Jesus Christ is “begotten of the Father before Jesus was not just some perfect man who one esy-free message of Christ and Him crucified all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, day became God when He entered the River actually protects us from depressive, destruc- begotten, not made; of one being with the FaJordan. This is the ancient heresy of adoption- tive, religious self-efforts at pleasing God, and Continued on page 16 > ism. There was no point at which Jesus’ hu- ultimately saving ourselves, largely because it
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Itinerary Find the Party Near You!
Schools, conferences & mission trips with John Crowder
2020 Oregon Joy Clinic
The Dalles, OR
Detroit Mystical School
Holland Mystical School
Redding Mystical School
Harrisburg Mystical School
Russia Gospel Tour
Kaliningrad, Izhevsk, Nizhny Novgorod
The Creed: Europe
Ohio Mystical School
May 29-31 June 19-20
Telos U.K. - Europe
Albuquerque, San Antonio, Phoenix, Tijuana
Hawaii Marriage Retreat
Louisville Gentlemen’s Retreat
w/ Baxter Kruger & Godfrey Birtill
Portland, OR w/ Baxter Kruger
Jan. 8-14, 2021
w/ Matt Spinks
Schedule subject to change. Sign up for events early at:
www.thenewmystics.com 14 | the ecstatic : late 2019 issue
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Online Community ... Intoxicating Fun! Our ministry events are full of joy and impartation, but let’s face it ... you can’t make it to every conference in the world! Inner Sanctum is a way to plug you into a steady diet of gospel revelation right in your own home. Everywhere we travel, people are always asking us, “How can we stay connected with the Message?” The Inner Sanctum is a great tool as you grow in grace. Our Most Comprehensive Teaching Resource! Since we’ve launched Inner Sanctum at TheNewMystics.TV, we have posted more than 160 hours of archived teachings – and as a member, you receive instant access to watch all of this footage, anytime! Your monthly membership contribution ($19.95) also helps support our ministry endeavors all around the world! Gather your family and friends to enjoy each month’s event together! Each month, you can take part in our live, interactive seminars where John Crowder spends several hours engaging one-on-one with viewers right from his home study. Ask us your questions live for our real-time Q&A ... or just kick back and have a laugh as other members log in and join the fun. These are NOT recorded church meetings! Instead, John engages live-in-person with viewers, answering your questions and getting you activated in the gospel message. Join us as we savor the bliss of mystical Christianity and the supernatural realities of the new creation. Finally, a fun way to feast on the finished work no matter where you live!
Mission to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Beyond Gospel Miracle Outreach in Islamic Stan Nations of Central Asia In March, an adventurous Sons of Thunder team trekked into the seven Islamic â€œstanâ€? nations of Central Asia. Starting in Afghanistan, the team ministered at a heroin rehab facility, as 20 percent of the population in the war-torn country faces opiate addiction. Still an active war zone, explosions in Kabul marked our departure. Then with almost no connections at all, Holy Spirit began opening powerful, spontaneous doors of ministry as we packed out underground church meetings in the predominantly Muslim nations of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. We also traversed the secretive, hermit dictatorship of Turkmenistan. Knowing absolutely no one in Uzbekistan the day before we arrived, nearly 500 people gathered with only 24 hoursâ€™ notice for a powerful Gospel Glory event. Barely making our way into Pakistan due to bombings and forced airspace closures, we finally entered with a security team and hosted a massive miracle evangelism campaign, gathering thousands and releasing many supernatural healings with the message of Christ and Him crucified. We
also held a feeding outreach to the poor and ministered to orphans in this hotbed of radical terrorism. Pakistani intelligence officers were tracking our every move the whole time. Thanks to the support of all our partners for helping us take the Message to the ends of the earth! We value your financial partnership in our continued work; please pray about joining us as a monthly partner at www.thenewmystics.com/partners If you missed these recent mission adventures, we have another opportunity for you to join us in the nations. Although our upcoming teams to Africa and Russia are completely full and now closed to applicants, there is still one chance for you to travel with us to the mission field. John will bring a team to Nicaragua in January 2021 on a trip that will be jointly hosted with Matt Spinks. Make plans early to join the ministry team! See story on page 21 and for more information on sign up, visit www.thenewmystics.com/nica
the ecstatic : late 2019 issue | 15
… in His own Person Jesus exists as our Salvation < Continued from page 13
docetism says Jesus was divine, but He was not really flesh and bone. He was just a spectre or a ghost (like a hologram). Remember, A heresy as big as Arianism does not just go the dualistic mind thinks flesh or materiality is away. It morphs and changes over time. In to- inherently evil. The pure God could not have day’s Evangelical world, people are still doing taken on a sullied, disgusting human body of a disservice to Jesus’ “one being” with His Fa- physical matter. But John says any spirit that ther by promulgating the greatest heresy of the claims Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh is modern Western church: the ridiculous idea of the antichrist (1 John 4:2-3). John takes this that the Father was abandoning Jesus on the further than saying God just became “human.” cross. It puts Jesus down the “God ladder” a He says God became sarx … flesh! rung beneath the Father and denies His very divinity. It denies the very “one being” (homo- Jesus had body odor. He sat around the campousion) Jesus shares with His Father. The fire and ate with the boys. Yes: Jesus farted. Father never turned His back on the Son. The I’ll say it loud and proud. If you want a nonFather does not do abandonment. No, on the human Jesus, then you are denying the very cross Jesus was entering into our human blindness to the love of God, in order that our own eyes may be open to see. ther, through whom all things were made.”
Do not think that denying Jesus’ full Godhood is just a heresy reserved for Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. In a recent poll among 3,000 confessing Evangelicals in Christianity Today, a whopping 71 percent believed “Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.” And yet ironically 97 percent say they believe in the Trinity. Not to mention a massive number also believe Holy Spirit is a force rather than a Person. How has the church fallen into such a state of utter apostasy, confusion and disrepair? Pastors are so busy giving life hacks and pep talks … no one even knows Who Jesus is anymore.
THE PERSON AND THE WORK Torrance also hammers home the vital reality that the Person and saving work of Christ must be taken together as one whole. Salvation is not just something He did on the cross, but something that Jesus is in His very incarnation. Paul resolved to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. The person and the act. Everything Christ said and did must be interpreted in the framework of Who He is. Jesus is the embodiment of the God-Man union. In His own being, He is the “place” of our union with God. Salvation is not just a commodity that He hands out to some or withholds from others. Jesus Christ is Salvation. He sustains the cosmos in His incarnate being and somehow mystically did so “before” the incarnation happened - the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. He is the permanent union of God and man. He is indivisible. He cannot be separated from His Father; and He cannot be separated from our humanity.
There is no point in time in which the incarnation will be reversed. Therefore, He could never remove His incarnation that is your very salvation. Gregory Spirit from you without a reversal of His own Nazianzen said, “The unassumed is the un- being. The incarnation is an entire new way of redeemed.” Jesus had to assume a complete doing business. Heaven and earth have been and full humanity in order to fully redeem that completely rewired in the incarnation. There is humanity. Rejecting your humanity is not spiri- now no separation between God and man. The REAL GOD. REAL FLESH. tuality. Many try to run a spiritual race; they only “separation” exists in our stupid, crazed don’t know how to be part of the human race. thinking as a byproduct of our sin and shame. So Arianism rejected Jesus’ full divinity, calling And even this ridiculous darkened thinking is Him a creature. But what about the other side T.F. Torrance says, “The union of God and man what He came to obliterate. of the same coin? What about those who be- in Christ is the basic fact of the Christian faith. lieved Jesus to be God, but not really human? … the doctrine of the union of God and man in DISTINCT FROM CREATION This was the other of the largest early church Christ is the absolute heart of the gospel. … heresies, called gnostic docetism (I hate to say It tells that because Christ is the permanent God is not separate, but He is still distinct from “early church heresy” because all this stuff still union of God and man, His person is the in- His creation. In other words, we must avoid the circulates today in various forms). Gnostic divisible and living centre of our salvation for ridiculous pseudo-spiritual new age mumbo all time.” jumbo making fresh rounds again today ….
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The idea that all of creation is just a part or an extension of God.
ty: there is no schizophrenia. Perfect cohesion and togetherness. He is one.
God and creation are distinct from one another, but not separate. There is unity with distinction. So often today you hear people flippantly say, “Aaahhh we’re all God man! We’re all a part of God!” No you’re not, space cadet. You are not running the cosmos. You can’t even clean your own room. This is just a rehashed new age pantheism borrowed from the errors of Eastern religions.
Jesus is also not part God, part man. He is not half-and-half like some demigod. He is fully God and fully man simultaneously.
We are indeed united to God, but we are still distinct from God. Hold both sides of this equation together, and you’ll avoid the errors of both East and West. The West tells you we are “separate” from God. Wrong. The East tells you we are “part of God.” Also wrong. We are not amalgamated together with Him into “sameness.” We are not separate from God – we are united. We are not the same as God – we are distinct. With no distinction, without your own unique individual being, there is no relationship. No love. Unity with distinction! Remember that, because in a higher but similar way, you see this principle within the Trinity. You also see it within Jesus Himself (His two distinct natures in one unified Person). THE HYPOSTATIC UNION On this note, if we are talking about Christology, we must address the hypostatic union: the union of Jesus’ humanity and divinity. Christ has two natures in one person. Christ has a human nature and a divine nature. Jesus’ humanity is still distinct from His divinity. But both together are still “Jesus” as one Person. The name “Jesus” does not refer only to His human side. The title “Son of God” does not refer only to His divine side. He is the Son of God and the Son of Man in one package: Jesus. He is one Person, wherein both the divine and human are held together. And that is the beau-
Jesus is also not some “third thing” that results from putting the two natures together. If you mix together Hydrogen and Oxygen you get something altogether different: H2O (water). But Jesus is not a commingling of the divinity and humanity in a way that loses the distinction of each nature (as if a + b = c). In Latin, that is what’s called a tertium quid (it means a “third thing”). No Jesus is not some third composite
The only true theology will always be a “top-down” theology: for God has come to fully reveal Himself by coming to us in Jesus Christ. Christology will always be the purest theology.
one of whatever a person entails. All of the God stuff. All of the man stuff. In one package. CHRIST’S EXCLUSIVE DIVINITY Furthermore, Jesus is not a guy who was uniquely “united” to God who proves a point about us: how we can potentially connect with God on our own. He does indeed prove a point about our own union with the divine – for Jesus reveals the true identity of the human race, made in the divine image. Yet Jesus is doing much more than demonstrating. He likewise makes our own union with God a reality. Jesus is not a regular man united to God like we are. Jesus is God become flesh. No other man is God in this way. Jesus Christ has no beginning. As the unique and only begotten Son, all things were made through Him (including us) long before He took flesh from the virgin.
We are recipients of His divine nature, and indeed gods (yet He holds a unique and exclusive status as the Only Begotten, because He has no origin, no beginning). Jesus is “eternally thing that is not quite God, not quite man – but begotten,” meaning He has always existed something else. Jesus Christ is God without with and in and from the Father without a startreserve; He is man without reserve. Both na- ing point – before all worlds. He is unoriginate. tures being unmixed and unconfused. As the Only His “becoming flesh” two thousand years early church councils so clearly explained from ago had a starting point. The infinite Creator scripture, both natures of Christ maintain their entered into His finite creation. And this hypofull distinction and integrity. Yet Jesus Christ is static union with created flesh was always His still one Person. By the word “person” we are eternal purpose and will have no ending point. not just talking about His human side … we are It is Fully God who became fully one of us. talking about His one whole complete nonfractured identity. No one else will ever be God incarnate or die for the sins of the world. Jesus is an exclusively We do not separate His two natures so that He unique Person, and He accomplished an exis not one Person. And we do not combine His clusively unique work. two natures in a way that they each lose their distinction. As creatures we have been “endowed” with this divinity, thanks to His incarnation and savAnd how do we define a “nature”? I don’t have ing act. Jesus was not a great guru who helps a clue! The church fathers seemed to leave on our “spiritual journey” to teach us how to asthat rather ambiguous for a reason. How are cend and become divine on our own. He is not we going to define the nature of God anyway? merely an example. Jesus is without beginning We cannot even properly define what is the na- - He was not made. He is the eternal Son who ture of a human! All we know is that Jesus has stepped into creation. two of whatever the natures entail, and He has Continued on page 22
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Meditations of the Mystics “The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything … God is the ground, the substance, the teaching, the teacher, the purpose, and the reward for which every soul labors.” - Julian of Norwich “Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.” - Basil “The self-revealing of the Word is in every dimension - above, in creation; below, in the incarnation; in the depth, in Hades; in the breadth, throughout the world. All things have been filled with the knowledge of God.” - Athanasius
I have waited for Your silence and Your peace to staunch and cleanse them, O my Lord. You will heal me when You will, because I have trusted in You. I will not wound myself anymore with details with which I have surrounded myself like thorns—a penance that You do not desire of me.” - Thomas Merton “(Wisdom) is so bright and glorious that you cannot look at her face or her garments for the splendor with which she shines. For she is terrible with the terror of the avenging lightning, and gentle with the goodness of the bright sun; and both her terror and her gentle-
“The mystic lives and looks; and speaks the disconcerting language of first-hand experience.” - Evelyn Underhill “Theology without practice is the theology of demons.” - Maximus the Confessor “Love every person, regardless of his sinful state. Sin is sin, but the basis of a human being is one and only - the image of God.” - John of Kronstadt
“... the passion for popularity brings such injury upon those it masters that it shipwrecks faith itself. Our Lord confirms this when He says, ‘How can you have faith in Me when you receive honour from one another and do not seek for the honour that comes from the only God?’” - Gregory Palamas “All day I have waited for You with my faculties still bleeding the poison of their suppressed activity.
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“The difficulties of life do not have to be unbearable. It is the way we look at them - through faith or unbelief - that makes them seem so. We must be convinced that our Father is full of love for us and that He only permits trials to come our way for our own good. Let us occupy ourselves entirely in knowing God. The more we know Him, the more we will desire to know Him. As love increases with knowledge, the more we know God, the more we will truly love Him. We will learn to love Him equally in times of distress or in times of great joy.” ― Brother Lawrence “… deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what He means where He says, ‘You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well’, as if He said, ‘Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time you will truly see it in the fullness of joy.’ ” ― Julian of Norwich
“The incarnation has made mystics of us all.” - Vincent Pizzuto
“There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue.” - Eugene Peterson
“I could more easily contain Niagara Falls in a teacup than I can comprehend the wild, uncontainable love of God.” - Brennan Manning
ness are incomprehensible to humans. ... But she is with everyone and in everyone, and so beautiful is her secret that no person can know the sweetness with which she sustains people, and spares them in inscrutable mercy.” - Hildegard of Bingen “For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.” - Theresa of Avila
“Let the water flow beneath the bridge; let men be men, that is to say, weak, vain, inconstant, unjust, false, and presumptuous; let the world be the world still; you cannot prevent it. Let every one follow his own inclination and habits; you cannot recast them, and the best course is, to let them be as they are and bear with them. Do not think it strange when you witness unreasonableness and injustice; rest in peace in the bosom of God; He sees it all more clearly than you do, and yet permits it. Be content to do quietly and gently what it becomes you to do, and let everything else be to you as though it were not.” ― François Fénelon
Lose Your Religion at Cana Seminary Online Scandalous Grace, Joy Unspeakable: Study at Your Own Pace! Two-Year E-Course Returns Earlybird registration opens in March for our online E-course kicking off in October 2020. Want to get brainwashed with new creation ways of thinking every week for two whole years of your life? Cana New Wine Seminary is oriented for more than the intellect, but also to experience your tangible ecstatic union with God. We call it a drunken seminary! Cana Online was created for folks who want to study from home at their own pace … but not just to accumulate more information. Cana is specifically for those looking for tangible, supernatural substance and transformation in their way of perspective – not just relaying irrelevant concepts. Cana speaks both to the head and the heart. Drenched in the wine of divine love. Students have been so impacted by this life-changing school, that some have taken the entire course multiple times to keep drinking it all in. Is This Seminary Just for Nerds? Cana is a course for anybody and everybody: not just preachers and academics. Whether you have a degree or no formal education at all, you will fit right in, and we guarantee the concepts will be revolutionary – even if you are a long-time pastor. Have you ever desired to plunge into theological study, but you lack patience to sift through dead, dry doctrine and lifeless intellectualism … or maybe you want to grow in your understanding of grace, but just can’t find the extra time to study? These were the very motivating factors for starting Cana. Our goal was to gather a heavy hitting roster of non-religious, grace-based instructors who have a profound grasp of the finished work of the cross – at an easy pace of study. No time-wasting fluff or tedious homework. The goal of the course is not to memorize a bunch of rote, irrelevant doctrinal information. We want a living theology school that is experiential, mystical and on fire with the presence of God. Theology should not be boring. The pure, unmixed message of grace intoxicates us with divine love and produces real, radical change and fruitfulness in our daily lives. But our belief systems are drastically important to how we perceive God, ourselves and how we encounter life around us! We need some good news – theological Prozac!
Cana is a two-year course, with two semesters per year. With an easy course load of only one session per week, students can enjoy the class at their own pace and connect on a live Q&A with John Crowder each semester. There is a private discussion group on Facebook, and we have an engaging recommended reading list.
Cana Speakers Include: John Crowder Lily Crowder Dr. C. Baxter Kruger Francois Du Toit (Mirror Bible) Matt Spinks Dr. Eric Wilding Rod Williams
Mark Your Calendar: Earlybird Registration Opens March 27 The online format allows us to offer Cana at a fraction of the cost of physically attending a campus. Earlybird registration starts at only $275 for the first semester, or $650 for the entire first year. Sign up by September 30 in order to take advantage of this discounted rate. For serious Gospel junkies, you can double up and take BOTH years of Cana simultaneously – finishing the course in just one year. Check out the Double Course Load option at our website. Find out more about Cana at www.cana.co
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TELOS: A WEEKLONG ECSTATIC GOSPEL INTENSIVE te·los (n. Greek: ultimate end, purpose, objective, aim)
“It is finished … “ This simple but infinitely loaded statement spoken by Jesus on the cross spills from the Greek word telos. Christ in His saving act accomplished all things single-handedly. But even more, Christ in His very Person is the Telos: the consummation of all things. What does it really mean to discover our entire lives are summed up in Him and His finished work? What does it mean to reorient all our thoughts about God along these lines? This year we are hosting a unique course. A jam-packed, concentrated deep dive to completely rework our understanding of the Gospel. Western Christianity is riddled with pagan mythology of separation from a distant, legal God whilst peddling religious formulas for solving the separation problem. We’re left dull, dry, bored and powerless. We must re-evangelize the foundation of our beliefs from the ground up. The Gospel is the end of man’s religious fears and striving. In 2020 we are offering an entire overdosing week of Gospel intoxication and religious detox on countless topics, renewing us to a happy, experiential revelation of union and the finished work of Christ. For seven days, John Crowder will unleash a full arsenal that is not merely doctrinal but a hands-on, impartational, supernatural smorgasbord of joyful communion in the Presence and life of the Spirit. A Destination Event Maybe you’ve attended a Mystical School, you’ve graduated Cana, or just new to the ministry altogether. This fun, yet challenging intensive has something for everyone. But it will only be held in two locations worldwide in 2020 with extremely limited registration. This is not just a localized regional meeting - this is a unique destination event: one for Europe/U.K. and the other for North America. Telos U.K. will feature worship with Godfrey Birtill in Cornwall, England July 25-31. And for North America, we have Theophany - a special Telos event with John, but also featuring guest Baxter Kruger in Portland, Oregon (see page 21). Find out more and catch a video overview at: www.thenewmystics.com/telos
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TELOS Course Curriculum Topics Ecstatic Experience A biblical and historical grid for trances and Holy Spirit infilling, covering the topic of “drinking in the Spirit” from a lens of God’s goodness, divine union and a life of joy unspeakable.
Trinity and the Creeds A walk through the early church creeds to reground our bearings. Returning to the grammar of the Trinity in our belief systems, and exposing the lies of Arianism that still pervade our thinking.
Supernatural Phenomena An extensive walk through supernatural church history, sharing testimonies and examples of bizarre miracles, signs and wonders that are often clinically removed from most seminaries.
Christology We have unwittingly diminished either the divinity or humanity of Christ. Explore not just the act of salvation, but in His very “being” as the God-Man, Christ Himself is our union with God.
Faith & the New Birth Most “born again” Christians have no grid for the new birth. Catch a deeper understanding of regeneration, the effortless gift of faith and its supernatural dynamics, apart from striving human willpower.
Inner Healed Discussing thought structures, counseling, habit patterns and deliverance from a finished work perspective. Explore how the concept of “process sanctification” of the soul is a pagan concept.
Open Heavens Open heavens is an important topic, though often wrongly portrayed as something we must attain through prayer, fasting or worship. Explore the realities of the glory realm available as a gift.
Q&A Sessions There will be several sessions of discussion, as well as time for personal prophecy. Limiting registration and keeping the Telos groups small will foster deeper dialogue and more interaction.
Creative Miracles There is inheritance and authority in the New Creation. With practical wisdom and a better understanding of identity and delegated power, flowing in a miraculous lifestyle becomes normal.
Song of Solomon John will unpack his 15 years of study in the Canticles during a revelatory impartation session. The favorite book of the mystics, the Song mystically and experientially engages the heart.
Finished Work of the Cross Unpacking the foundational truth of the New Creation in Christ and our spotless identity, empowering us to live completely free from the old nature in holiness. Blasting the myth of the sinful nature.
Apostolic, Prophetic & Fivefold A session discussing a healthy approach to the apostolic, walking in the prophetic in the New Covenant and control-free church leadership models for those burned out on Pentecostalism.
Prayer, Fasting & Fullness Reworking “transactional” Christian disciplines in light of the New Covenant. The Fullness of God is not a thing to be attained through asceticism or effort, but a present reality we discover.
Hell and Inclusion An extensive look at the twin topics of the inclusion of mankind in the vicarious humanity of Christ, and the implications to the controversial doctrine of Hell from a Biblical and historic perspective.
Understanding Atonement Unwinding the lies of penal substitution and the concept of a bloodthirsty God. What if the cross is not about paying off the Father’s wrath? What if the church has radically missed the Trinity?
Dualism: Money, Sex, Beer See how gnostic Greek dualism ruins a healthy connection between our spiritual and natural lives by pitting them against one another through various unbiblical lies of separation.
Election & Free Will Does God harden some chosen for destruction? Who is chosen? Is salvation our choice or God’s? How is all of humanity represented in Christ? See Romans 9-11 in a new Christocentric light.
Pneumatology For those tired of steps and formulas to “get” Holy Spirit, we will explore a Christocentric theology of Holy Spirit as well explore the Seven Spirits of God with enriching stories and examples.
Theophany: A Week-Long USA Telos Event In November 2020 we are launching our second ever extended seven-day event in North America called Theophany. While following many of the same overall topics in the Telos course (see page 20), Theophany will have a unique, distinct flavor of its own, because this event brings two voices to the table: both John Crowder and Dr. C. Baxter Kruger. Keep in mind that Theophany is much more than a local meeting. Held in Portland, Oregon, this it is an exclusive destination hub event for Gospel drinking pilgrims coming in from all over North America. We encourage folks to plan
ahead and set aside time to fly in for this extended religion and intoxicates us to the core with an everretreat. present reality of God’s closeness. This foundation course threatens to upturn everything we have known A theophany is the “visible appearance or manifesta- about the Christian faith with a finished work perspection of God to humanity.” Prepare to be inundated by tive: bringing not only vital theological understanding, the revelation of Christ – the embodied manifestation but also engaging in experiential activation and life of God’s glory in flesh, now fully woven in union with transformation. us … Christ in us the hope of Glory! More than a time of encounter, this is an entire week exploring habita- Visit: www.thenewmystics.com/telos tion: unpackaging our unfettered access of unbroken union with God in Christ. The true Gospel terrorizes
Nicaragua Mission Trip: You can Join the Team! Experience the supernatural and release the glorious Gospel in the nations as part of a Sons of Thunder mission trip! We have one trip currently open for applicants coming up January 2021. Our Nicaragua Mission will be co-hosted with John Crowder and Matt Spinks. On this trip you will be on the team helping equip local churches in the Message of grace, healing the sick and participating in outreach to the slums and garbage dumps. The team will minister at an event in Managua and also travel to Esteli for ministry to the poor. Our mission trips are literally life-changing experiences - great for getting activated in the anointing and miracle-working power of the Gospel.
Where Do I Begin? If you have a heart for missions, lean into the faith of Christ - taking the first simple step by sending in your initial application and deposit. It is normal to see money miracles happen in fundraising for those who think they just can’t afford to go. Registration is now open and the sign up deadline is Sept. 31 (registration may close earlier if the trip fills up). Keep in mind you do not need your entire trip payment upfront. Only your initial application and deposit are needed to secure your spot, so take that faith plunge and apply early. You will have more time to raise the remainder of your funds up until the final trip payment date. This is a “make your own way trip,” which means we allow you to purchase your own plane ticket to lower
costs. Many folks end up finding friends or family who donate air miles, making the trip more affordable. Total cost below includes all of your hotels, two meals per day and ground transportation. Email us with any questions at email@example.com or visit the link below: Nicaragua Mission Total Cost: $1,750 Team Applications Due: SEPT. 31, 2020* Final Trip Payment Due: NOV. 15, 2020 Trip Dates: JAN. 8-14, 2020 *Application window to close early if trip fills up. Registration: WWW.THENEWMYSTICS.COM/NICA
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… Jesus is God’s affirmation of the human race mind and will, together with His divine mind < Continued from page 17 Jesus is not just a “woke” guy who realized His and will. He must be completely, fully human in every way, in order to heal our humanity. There inner Christ consciousness … was an argument circulating that Jesus only and now we can likewise realize our own had “one energy” (monoenergism) and that He Christ consciousness by going through some- only had one “will” or “desire” (monothelitism). one’s online course. Absolutely Jesus shows But both of these were determined wrong ways us the pure divine image in which humanity of thinking about Christ. was made. He is the definition and blueprint of our authentic identity as divine sons and Jesus did not just have one energy; He had daughters. But alongside revealing our identity, two: a divine and human energy. And Jesus did He did so much more! He is also the One who not have just one will/desire, He had two wills – singlehandedly regenerates, heals, adopts a human and a divine desire. and restores us. Even our own theosis - our own divinization - is all a gift put into effect and Now on the surface are we saying Jesus is sustained by Him. This person Jesus Christ bipolar? Already so many teach a bipolar ver(fully God and fully man) is preeminent over all things. Not just an exemplar for us, but He is Jesus Himself is the Rosetta the very sustainer of the cosmos. There is none like Him in that ultimate sense. We are talking about the ineffable God of all creation. Jesus did not come merely to inspire you to go improve your way toward divinity (which is religion). He destroyed religion. He is the unifying agent. He both revealed our new nature and mystically regenerated and imparted it to us. He united you to divinity. Not just by showing what you already are, but by calling you into being.
Stone that unlocks to humanity
the only accurate language and
THE HEALING OF DESIRE In bearing a full human mind and will, here is what is happening: Jesus is bending our broken human minds and wills back to the Father. “Not my will but yours be done” speaks not of division but unity in the heart of the Trinity. The true emancipation - your freedom from sin and rebellion - is realized when we see that His will is vicariously (in our place) the curbing and healing of our own human desires. The whole kicker in this final church council at Constantinople was its agreement that the human and divine natures within Jesus were not in opposition to one another. The fathers are saying Jesus’ divine and natural will are in complete cohesion. Jesus has two wills totally reconciled and compliant in unity. So therefore my human will is now vicariously and totally healed, reconciled and made compliant to God! The struggle is over! The Battle is over!
The divine and human in Christ must not be conceptualized in terms of separate parts, for one and the same is wholly both. The integsion of God as if Jesus and the Father have rity of Jesus’ humanity is not threatened by two separate wills. Quite often they point to the this union. The God nature does not just burn drama of Gethsemane. As Jesus steps into the up, dissolve or eclipse the human nature. But full depth of becoming and bearing our sin in rather the one nature deifies, and the other is the Garden of Gethsemane, as He fully begins deified. There is no aspect of Jesus that does to empathetically bear our corruption in His not fully exist within this divine union. In this A HUMAN MIND AND WILL own body, it is such a weight and a burden that union He deifies our humanity. Jesus Christ was not just a human shell with He begins to sweat drops of blood. And here is a divine mind and will (a God mind and God where we get His dramatic statement in Luke He has two wills, but there is no act or will in opposition to God in Christ. His human nature spirit, but just wearing an outward skin suit on). 22:42: exists and wills in “perfect harmony in concurThe early church councils were super clear on the biblical importance of Jesus having a hu- “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from rence” with His divine will. Jesus entered into the brokenness or dilapidated condition of our man mind, human will, human emotions - a hu- me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” fallen human will. Jesus stepped into our broman soul in addition to His full divinity. Being fully man entails more than meat and bones – But this does not demonstrate two separate ken condition, and any twisted propensity we He assumed everything we are as mortal men. wills between Jesus and His Father. Why? Be- have to incline against our Creator. And He cause Jesus is clearly willing and choosing to beat back that twisted will into submission on The last binding ecumenical council was Con- do the Father’s will. So, if it is His desire to do our behalf. Torrance says: stantinople III ecumenical meaning all of the the Father’s desire … what is the difference? “Here the full humanity of Christ is of equal church fathers in both East and West came to One will! One desire! importance with His deity. If Jesus is not God agreement). There they clarified it to be solid, then it is not God that has saved us, but equalbiblical orthodoxy that Jesus had both a human
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understanding of God.
ly, if Jesus is not man then man has not been saved.” And yet some would say, “But the hypostatic union isn’t relevant!!” Listen my friends, it is the only thing relevant to your life. It is what gives meaning to anything at all! Christianity is not about drumming yourself into a frenzy or fervor at the next altar call. Not “getting your own heart right” with the Lord. Jesus is not just God coming down to bring humans back to Himself. He is also the man in which this reconciliation is worked out for the whole human race. It is not even about “our” faith. Galatians 2:20 says, “I now live by the faith of the Son of God.” Christ is the real believer. And we are living out of His faith in the Father. Everything that He is in His humanity, He is vicariously for us. Christ is both the subject and object of faith. We could not trust God. So as man, He has trusted God vicariously for us, as us. We live by His faith. “Our faith” is only a participation in His perfect trust. We can only “amen” His already given “yes” to us in Jesus. Our amen does not earn God’s approval of us; it agrees with it.
it happen. It has happened! Jesus made you perfect. Therefore, let’s start living like it is reality. As Paul said, Christ took on “the guise of sinful humanity” yet Himself remained without sin. He took on the nature of Adam as it was after the fall. I have been quoting heavily from T.F. Torrance whom I consider by far the best Christological theologian in the past century. Robert T. Walker summarizes Torrance on this very topic: Sinless though He was, Jesus assumed sinful flesh and humanity, the whole fallen nature of man, body, mind and soul. For Torrance, theology has no option but to say this since otherwise Jesus would not have reached us in our actual condition. He took on Himself the sin of
INCARNATION IS FOREVER
Torrance so strongly shows that the incarnation is not just God acting for our salvation, but God acting as a man for us. In all our human responses of faith, repentance, obedience and sanctification. But how often do you hear preachers even begin to touch on Christology? On the hypostatic union? They do “come to Jesus” altar calls and miss the whole point. Jesus went to the altar. The Gospel is that Jesus has already come to us. That’s an opposite message! Faith does not bridge the gap over to Jesus. Faith is about realizing Jesus has already bridged every gap and plopped God right into the center of humanity.
And another crazy thing … God will always be a human. The incarnation was not temporary. God could have become a frog, a Martian or an angel. But He became man. We cannot begin to realize the infinite honor of this - literally what a divine privilege for us to be human beings! The incarnation means God endorses and honors humanity even more than we do. Our own attempt at humanism is usually idolatry, but God Himself is the true humanist! The incarnation is God’s permanent identification with the human race. Jesus did not return His body like a Hertz rental car on the Mount of Ascent and evaporate into a cloud of pink evape smoke. The same nail-scarred feet that walked the soil of Nazareth are forever human feet. Incarnation is an eternal project.
BENDING OUR NATURE The advent (arrival) of God into mankind in the incarnation, taking once and forever human flesh from the virgin, signals a movement that is completely God-toward-man. It invalidates all of man’s own futile religious attempts at approaching God on our own merit, goodness or philosophical comprehension. He’s here. God assumed not just the body of one man, but took all our human nature into His deity, in an irreversible movement that has eternally united mankind to God. This is not to say Jesus had a sinful nature (that is a more nuanced discussion to have). But He most definitely entered fallen human flesh and experienced the lure of our perverse propensities, And He did so sinlessly, and brought it back into alignment with God. So that “in Jesus” my will is now vicariously and totally reconciled and compliant to God. I am free from sin. I am a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come. Do not confuse this to mean “anything I ever desire to do is now the will of God.” Nor does it mean “now I can do anything, and nothing is defined as a sin anymore.” But objectively, you are perfect despite your subjective experience. More accurately, you are ontologically perfect (i.e. in your being) even if the truth of this doesn’t seem to have actualized or manifest yet in the outward participation of your life. Knowing doesn’t make
own life and righteousness. Like Calvin, Torrance emphasizes the whole human life of Jesus as being one of saving significance. Christ is God’s positive affirmation of the human race. As Karl Barth said, God has determined not to be God apart from humanity. There will forever be a human being seated in the Trinity of God, and there we are, now mystically woven into the humanity of Jesus Christ. Every breath we breathe is Trinitarian air. Every breath is Christological air. The humanity of God in Jesus Christ is vicariously our own human plunge into the divine. And every fearful notion that the almighty power and glory of God will destroy us is dethroned in the humble recognition that He has united Himself to us in the humanity of Jesus. Furthermore, Holy Spirit is not the destroyer but the Lord and Giver of Life. Cyril of Alexandria said, “Just as the burning bush was not consumed by the fiery presence of God, so the humanity of Christ is not consumed by His deity.” And therefore, we are vicariously brought into God’s Glory and presence in Jesus, so we likewise do not vanish into smoke. You are on fire with God right now and you may not even know it.
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). the world and as Paul says, God ‘made Him to be sin who knew no sin.’ While the climax of this, as referred to by Paul, was on the cross, (it has its) beginning at Bethlehem … from the moment Jesus assumed flesh He began to pay the price for our liberation. Our redemption began right away in the incarnation with Jesus’ assumption of our sinful human nature. … Jesus sanctified fallen flesh – in taking on Himself our fallen flesh, sinful as it was, Jesus did not sin, but sanctified our fallen humanity. He the second Adam took on Himself fallen Adamic humanity by His life of obedience in it undid its sin and restored it to fellowship with God. Living in sinful human nature, Jesus wrestles with it ‘with strong crying and tears’ and through His life of prayer and unbroken obedience to the Father converts it back to Him. He grows up in wisdom and knowledge of God, replacing the disobedience of Adam with His own human life of perfect righteousness. And in a life of increasing solidarity with sinners, Jesus enters more and more into their condition, taking their sin and sickness on Himself in order to undo them by His purity and offer in exchange His
Now yes, He is a glorified man ruling the cosmos (after the resurrection Jesus was walking through walls, transporting around and doing all sorts of crazy interdimensional stuff), so don’t bother asking dumb questions like “If Jesus is still human, why can’t we spot Him floating around with the Hubble Space Telescope?” That is to limit Him to time and space. Nevertheless, He has forever intersected time and space in His incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension and co-seated us together with Himself at the right hand of the Father in the fellowship of Holy Spirit. His humanity was not discarded; it is still intact but was made immortal. “In the incarnation we have the meeting of man and God in man’s place,” says Torrance. “But in the ascension, we have the meeting of man and God in God’s place.” This means you have been fully glorified in Him … even if you haven’t seen it unpackaged yet. There will forever be eternal Mystery here to explore …
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NEW & CLASSIC BOOKS FROM JOHN & LILY CROWDER
Money. Sex. Beer. God. In this Biblical companion to the happy life, learn how religious mindsets of gnostic dualism slipped in over 2,000 years of church history and blinded us to the God-given joys and pleasures of this world. We have often separated our spirituality from earthiness. But did Jesus really condemn all enjoyment of this world? Ditch religion for the joy of incarnation as John Crowder covers topics your pastor is afraid to talk about.
$26.95 now $19.95 Hardback
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Chosen for Paradise The topic of election has confused theologians for centuries. Does God harden hearts and choose some to fry forever in Hell? Explore the tough passages of Romans 9-11 and gain new light on the debated doctrine. God is not choosing one human over another. Jesus Christ is the chosen, elect man on behalf of all humanity. And you are fully included in Him. John’s shortest book aims to cheer up theology’s biggest problem ever!
Cosmos Reborn Need a religious detox? Have a dose of happy theology on the new creation! A grace-centered look at regeneration, the new creation and the new birth. See the massive, cosmic scope of the finished work of the cross as John makes a scandalous case that the Father of Jesus Christ is in a good mood. Get a gospel view of wrath, hell and dispel the myth of a dark, schizophrenic god of religion. One of our deepest books!
Grace for the Contemplative Parent Based on the classic Practice of the Presence of God, Lily gears this book for real-time parents whose lives are full of dirty diapers and soccer practice. Don’t have luxurious hours of quiet time like a 17th century monk? You are not missing out. Be awakened to the very real presence of Christ in your everyday, seemingly “mundane” state of affairs. Full of practical, down-to-earth examples and wisdom from a mother of four.
Buy It At: JohnCrowder.Net
Buy It At: JohnCrowder.Net
Buy It At: JohnCrowder.Net
Seven Spirits Burning
The New Mystics
The Ecstasy of Loving God
John’s long-awaited Seven Spirits Burning is an extensive, Biblical plunge into the nature and operation of the sevenfold Spirit of God. This book unpackages a deep theological and Christocentric understanding of the seven Spirits. John has taught for years on the seven Spirits, but not until now has he released this detailed compilation of his study and experience. This book could possibly be the magnum opus of anything written to date on the Spirit’s sevenfold nature.
When you think of the cross, do you think of fun? Get ready for the gospel as you’ve never heard it. With clear revelatory truths on the New Creation and the scandalous joys of the cross, Mystical Union promises to be one of John’s most revolutionary, lifechanging works. The happy gospel of grace is about uninterrupted union with the Divine. This book lays out our most core beliefs. It promises to wreck your theology and cheer you up with undeniable Biblical truths on the free gift of perfection.
God has destined you to live in the joyful radiance of Himself, just as Adam was called to live in the realm of Eden. Ecstasy, or “extasis,” is the Greek term for trance, and is linked with a pleasurable, God-given state of out-of body experience recorded throughout the New Testament and the church age. In this book, John takes us on a journey from Old and New Testament ecstatic prophets to the future ecstatics who will usher in a massive wave of harvest Glory to the streets in these last days.
$19.95 + Shipping Hardback New Release Buy It At: JohnCrowder.Net
$19.95 + Shipping Hardback New Release Buy It At: JohnCrowder.Net
Two thousand years of miracle workers and seers crammed into one generation. The fiery bowls of heaven are being poured out through an anextreme extremebody body of spiriof spiritual tual forerunners. Are called you called to forerunners. Are you to walk walk among them? Miracle Workamong them? Miracle Workers, ers, Reformers New MysReformers and and the the New Mystics tics contains more than70 70 photos, contains more than illustrations, and biographies of men and women whose lives have demonstrated the phenomenal throughout the theages. ages.Let Let their stotheir stories ries inspire inspire youyou. to join their ranks as part of this revival generation. $15.95 + Shipping $15.95 + JohnCrowder.Net Shipping Buy It At:
Learn about the sevenfold Spirit
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A scandalous message!
Be part of a supernatural generation
Trances, raptures & divine pleasures
$19.95 + Shipping Buy It At: JohnCrowder.Net
The Priesthood of Christ The Relevance and Perfecting of the Office
Miracle Healing Session Healing Release & Impartation
While priesthood seems an irrelevant topic in today’s culture of Instagram, Netflix and backyard barbecues, all of humanity longs inwardly for the role of a priest - one who will atone for their sense of guilt and offer to God the perfect worship they can never muster up. How was Christ “perfected” as our High Priest?
John often says he has never done a whole teaching solely on healing ... He just teaches on the gospel and does healings. In this session devoted completely to healing miracles and impartation, John brings a finished work perspective and grace focus to the subject of bodily miracles. Get free from striving to “work up” faith for healing!
Killing the Sacred Cow
A Beginner’s Guide to Why we are so Offensive
Participating in Sacramental Union
John Crowder gives an overview of many major concepts the Lord has downloaded to him over the years. He walks through a journey of various topics: from a focus on the supernatural, the wine of God’s presence, our union with God, the inclusion of humanity in the gospel, freedom from dualisms and much more. A good scandalous snapshot of our experiential and theological journey.
In this teaching John Crowder covers the topic of communion. Is it a mere symbol or a mystical sacrament? How do we view communion from a perspective of the finished work of the cross? John also explores the rich history of eucharistic miracles and ancient communion celebrations that led to modern revivalism.
Christology & Prolepsis
The Incarnation as an Eternal Reality
Understanding Water & Spirit Baptism
“Prolepsis” is the foreshadowing, or anticipation of the coming Christ that always existed in a hidden way throughout the course of human history. Jesus did not merely come onto the scene 2,000 years ago. In the beginning was the Word and all things were created through Him. In this teaching, John explores Christ as eternal sum of all things.
In this teaching John covers the role of water baptism from a finished work perspective. Not a superstitious act required to “purchase” salvation, nor a symbol pointing to your own “personal faith,” baptism is a sacrament that points to your death with Christ before you ever even realized it! John also covers “spirit baptism.” Do you get Holy Spirit in a separate act from your conversion?
Ephesians Euphoria Four-part Series on the Cosmic Incarnation
Catch the grace of the gospel and the cosmic scheme of the incarnation in this fourpart series as John Crowder walks through the entire book of Ephesians, dispelling our dualistic notions of separation from God and encouraging a practical life lived out to the glory of God in the beauty of holiness.
Abiding in the Wine Vine Sap Suckling & Fruit Bearing
“Abiding” is a passive work - not an active one. We exist in Christ, and He bears fruit through us. In this teaching, John Crowder expands on the fruit of the Spirit that is produced through our effortless union with Christ. This is a study and meditation on love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control from Galatians 5.
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Digital Download Store: www.johncrowder.net A Better Word
The Bible: Infallible, Irrelevant or Holding a Secret?
The Divine Nature of Self-Giving Love
In this teaching John touches on the topic of the inspiration of scripture, offering a different perspective on the controversial topic. What do we do with tough passages like the flood, genocide and other scriptures that appear to paint God as a moral monster? There is a Word within the Word - an underlying “Yes!” hidden within the “No!”
Christ did not simply die for us as an action. But the crucifixion speaks of His nature as the cruciform God. It is “because” He is God that Christ emptied Himself. God’s nature is other-giving love. As we explore what it means to have the divine nature - to embrace “theosis” or being God-like - the end result is always self-emptying love.
God in the Unbeliever
Losing Your Salvation
Seeing Christ Hidden in Humanity
Eliminating Fear of Divine Abandonment
Modern evangelicalism has conditioned us with an insider-outsider mentality. Jesus supposedly “jumps inside” a person when they make their salvation “decision.” But is this the message of the apostle Paul? If all of humanity is included in the Last Adam, as Paul clearly articulates, how does that play into our understanding of our fellow man and the dynamics of being “in Christ?”
A number of passages in scripture are mishandled in a way to instill the fear of losing our salvation. But salvation was never based on our performance or even our ability to drum up faith on our own. In this teaching, John Crowder tackles some tough passages offering a radical grace perspective.
Woven into the Trinity Grafted Into the Incarnation
Why is a revelation of the Trinity core to our understanding of the nature of God? Unlike the unitarian concept of God that is directly based on our human performance to please him, instead we have been grafted into Jesus’ relationship with the Father in the Spirit. Our relationship with God is fully mediated through the incarnate Son - our salvation rests completely on His faithfulness, His vicarious repentance on our behalf and His baptism into our death. God is family. He is other-giving love.
Contemplating the Mystery
John Crowder’s Joy Clinic Three-Part Extended Teaching Set
Do you suffer from Religion, Burnout, Boredom, Depression, Unbelief or Legalism? Looking for a quick, easy remedy that seems too good to be true? This is just what the doctor ordered! In this three-part series John lays out a multi-dimensional gospel feast. Covering new creation realities and the joy of the glorious gospel, he addresses the identity of the believer and dispels the theological myth of an angry, schizophrenic God.
Renewing the Mind
The Divine Dance of Theology and Contemplation
Gospel Joy Explosions to the Brain
Contemplation is the practice of His presence. Christ is the object of our contemplation. Our intersection between the seen and the unseen, the finite and the infinite. Contemplation - as a mode of enjoyment - is never an end in itself. It does not exist if it is detatched from the Person who is contemplated or enjoyed. And theology is not to become mere intellectualism. When Christ is given His place, the scriptures find their place.
The renewal of the mind is a happy journey of having our thought life infused with the joy of our salvation and saturated with the revelation of our true identity in Christ. Tired of stupid thinking that produces strife and tension? As we stay plugged into the word of truth, we “know the truth” and the truth sets us free.
Hearing God for Dummies
Manifested Sons of God
New Covenant Prophetic Insights
Effortlessly Shine in the Supernatural Life
Most charismatics think they know everything about the prophetic. But much of the prophetic movement has been derailed in old covenant style future-telling. A new covenant people are emerging who can point backward to the cross, releasing faith for what’s already been given to us. Get practical tips on hearing God!
All of creation awaits the “revealing” of your sonship. You were created for the supernatural life. Manifesting our divine identity is as effortless as realizing who we really are – adopted heirs entrusted with authority in heaven and earth. John explores our miraculous inheritance in Romans 8 from a finished work perspective.
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Raising Family in Grace
The Election Series
The Gospel at Home with John & Lily
Seeing Romans 9-11 Through a New Lens
John and Lily Crowder explore the topic of marriage and family life in the grace and glory of God. The gospel radically liberates parents from the stress and fear of religious performance, infusing children with identity and life. This extended teaching features Q&A and practical tips on practicing the presence at home.
Romans 9-11 contains some of the most difficult and misunderstood concepts ... In this 5-part series, John Crowder shoots religious cows on every side of the debate - cheering up your perspective of God, hell and predestination. Going beyond the Calvinist-ArminianUniversalist debate John presents a strong hope in Christ - the Vicarious Man, who is both Elector and Elected. This is one of our most stretching teaching sets.
Drunken Theology 101 Extended Teaching on the Cross
Divine Creativity And the Graven Image of the Law
Get new creation foundations for your bliss as John expands on the revelation of the gospel in this two-hour teaching session from Australia. Tap into the mysticism of St. Paul, the glorious drink of divine union and the beautiful gift of perfection. This is a powerful summation of finished works theology that will cheer you up, infuse you with joy and transform your understanding of Christianity.
Ever notice that religious folk are usually not creative? Longing for the Spirit of Creativity the Spirit Himself - to manifest more through your life? Often, what Christian artists deem to be “creative” is really just a dead, copycat repetition of types and shadows. But now, since you are restored to the true image of God in Christ, you can manifest a fresh expression of the divine.
Drink Grace Straight
Mystical Union Audiobook
Revelations of the Glory
The knowledge of the Glory of God is filling the earth in this hour. Ever wonder what the “knowledge of the Glory” actually is? It is the pure revelation of the gospel. Grace has to be drunk straight. Any mixture of law added to your pure drink of grace, and it ceases to be true grace. Drink deep of the gospel revelation in this teaching!
Read by John Crowder
In this audiobook recording, listen as John Crowder reads his classic, Mystical Union. The gospel is a mystical message, based on an instant and effortless union with God achieved at Christ’s cross. There is a delicious feast prepared for the believer. This book threatens to turn your Christianity upside down. Makes a great easy listening audio companion to the hardback book.
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The Ecstatic • Late 2019-Early 2020 Edition