Chapter One: Part Three – My Long Road to Faith

This is the final section on Chapter One – My Long Road to Faith.  This sets up the journey ahead, and gets to the core of what this book is about.

 

The Heart of Jesus’ Story

 

By the time 2020 dawned, I was at the lowest point of my life.

That last relationship had ended right before Halloween in 2019.  We had been unable to reconcile my infidelity early in the relationship, something I’d hid for two years.  The good news was, I had identified the thing inside me that had been the source of my self-destructive ways when it came to intimacy; the bad news was facing the people I’d hurt the most. As painful as it sometimes is to face, the truth will always set us free.

I hadn’t managed my money well; I lived in scarcity for much of my life.  We had shared a house that she owned and, while I could have afforded something on my own, I elected to move in with my mom.  With friends living in million-dollar homes, it felt humiliating and yet this too was a familiar pattern.

 

Using love as the functional pathfinding device in my life, I’d gone through numerous relationships, constantly wanting to get to the core of the relationship.  I was looking for something, with no idea how I’d find it.  Except for my time in college, when casual sex was socially acceptable, I looked for different things in each partner before throwing myself headlong into each relationship, hoping to quickly and painlessly get to its heart, to ascertain if this one was “it.”  Sometimes this happened on the first date.  Sometimes it happened after a few dates.  On several occasions, it stretched into years, with two of those culminating in marriages.  In every case, something was missing.  This prioritization of love over everything else meant I didn’t contest divorce proceedings; I was the one who initiated both.  I gave up interest in our house, didn’t argue the alimony payments – I continued my search.  This exceedingly unusual approach to life often left me unable to support myself as the divorce proceedings and their accompanying financial obligations played out, so I would move back home.  As 2019 ended, things felt a little different.  This time, I knew the end of the last relationship had been the best decision for both of us.

I needed time to sort myself out on a deeply and profoundly spiritual level, was getting ready to release my second book, and was still getting my legs under me at work in a new role after getting promoted in August of 2019.  Living with mom lasted a few months before I accepted an offer from friends to live in their basement, beginning in June of 2020.

If there’s a less-than-ideal time to question your faith, it’s during a pandemic, when life on earth is completely upended.  Yet, that is exactly where I found myself as the Spring of 2020 unfolded; questioning whether I believed Jesus is who he said he is, and what is written about him in the Bible is true.  What I didn’t anticipate was the lengths I would go to that I might find my faith.

 

 

In the pages that follow, I am going to offer something so extraordinary, so remarkable, you will be stunned by the simplicity of how easily it comes together.

In this book, I’m going to teach you how to become One with Christ.

The Bible is filled with many meaningful stories, and the lessons we can extract from those stories is seemingly unending; around the world every week, people are talking about these stories, looking for new meaning.  Some do this by finding colorful ways to bring the stories into the modern era; others enlighten us by digging beyond what is readily available.  They refer to Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic versions of these stories, highlighting how the earlier versions of the texts offer new insight and understanding to stories in English that many have become all too familiar with.

From the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham and his son, to Moses, Noah, and the rise of the Israeli kings, there are boundless insights that can be gleaned from reviewing these stories and casting their lessons against modern times.  From the teachings of Jesus, there are universal truths that persist into the present – Ask and it will be given to you.  Seek and ye shall find.  Knock and the door will be opened to you.

If the Bible is true, then the story of Jesus is also true, and if that is the case, a conscious examination of the relationship between David, Jesus, and Mary must be at the heart of any conception of heaven on earth, for it is these three individuals around which the axis of the Christ narrative pivots.  This is powerfully and eloquently summed up by the archangel Gabriel, when he tells Mary that her child will be Son of the Most High, and that he will be given the throne of his father David. [Luke 1:32] We will examine this verse and other complementary verses shortly.  This powerful elocution from the archangel Gabriel, an ambassador announcing God’s will to mankind, sets up the key reason I am writing this book.

What is the fundamental purpose of faith in Jesus, what is the underlying message of Christianity?  Someone’s immediate response might be, He died for our sins, and by repenting from sin, we enter his good graces and get to heaven when we die.  While answers may vary, I would contend that is a generally acceptable and socially agreed upon response to the question posed above.  I would offer that is not at the heart of the story of Jesus.

Instead, I would suggest we find the core focus of faith in the familiar verse so often seen on tv at sporting events: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16]

To paraphrase this verse, it is unshakeable faith in Jesus and that, through his suffering on the cross, he has overcome death and not just his own death, but ours as well.  That is the cornerstone of his mission on earth.  What does it take, then, to believe in eternal life?

By facing our demons and all the fears and apprehensions that come with mortality, we may forge within ourselves the deepest levels of faith, strengthening those moral and spiritual fibers within our being with such unflinching certainty that we are compelled to recognize the inherent eternal nature of our existence and, in so doing, grasp the fact that such wealth exists for our entire species.  Simply stated, belief in everlasting life is the single greatest test of faith.  That is the heart of Jesus’ story.

That seems like a tall order.  In the nearly 2000 years since his resurrection, there have been tens of billions of people who have lived on the planet.  All of them have died. While different verses in the New Testament teach that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus tells us that “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have the authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” [John 10:18]  To date, he is the only being we know of who has raised himself from the dead.   And yet, if that is the quintessential essence at the heart of a story that has spawned the mobilization of faith, shaping western civilization and much of world, then that is where we must direct our focus.  This leads to the obvious question – how do we create that level of conviction within ourselves?

That is the question this book will answer.

 

 

To find this answer, we are going to step outside the box of the orthodoxy.  We do this for obvious reasons.  First, King David is not a Christian; the Star of David, while emblematic of creation, is originally a pagan symbol.  This is not by chance; this is not incidental.  This is by design.  Additionally, we must consider all the religions of Abraham, when they happened in history, and the larger story they tell that most people overlook; David plays a crucial role in each.  Moreover, like David, Mary, and Jesus, the axis around which the Abrahamic stories pivot is Jesus.  Next, without an understanding of the Davidic Covenant, the “Dynasty of Kings” promised to David, it is difficult to reconcile the relationship between Jesus and David.  Finally, based on God’s directed intention to “raise David up” we must explore who specifically is stating this intention, and the consequence of this declaration as Christianity advances, particularly across the face of western civilization.  What convulsions in history might align with David’s coming into being?

While there are references to this in the Bible, the resurrection of David is not a storyline that exists within the current teachings of the church.  We must examine this relationship in detail to understand its significance.  The journey we are undertaking then, is one that originates with understanding the David of the Old Testament, the references to him in the New Testament, and then exploring the uncharted territory of his journey to Christ.

We are going to go on a journey in five parts.  First, we will examine the relationship between order and chaos, and dare to step outside the constraints of conventional religious thought; David’s resurrection would not simply affect Christians.  It would affect the entire planet.  This speaks to the all-or-nothing concept of heaven that most religions find elusive, boxed in as they are by the structural constraints of their specific denomination or sect.  Next, we will explore the relationship between King David and Jesus as outlined in the Bible, from the introduction of David in the pages of 1 and 2 Samuel all the way to the final page of the Book of Revelation.  Clearly, as the Messiah, Jesus must have a human connection to our species, otherwise salvation is unachievable.  We will discuss this idea in greater detail in the next chapter, when we review the Messianic beliefs of all three of the Abrahamic religions.

Next, we’re going to assign implication to the David-Jesus relationship by taking an unconventional approach to understanding the rise of western civilization.  Far from being a dry walk through history, this exploration will bring the Bible story to life in a way you have never previously imagined.

         From there, we’re going to get scientific; while science and religion have long been separated, the connection between the two is without question.  This will be easier than you think, as the Bible clearly tells us we have the mind of Christ. [1 Corinthians 2:16].  We are going to breathe science into the world of the Bible in a very exciting and engaging way, one that is necessary to understand to see Christ alive in the world today.

         On the last stage of our journey, I’m going to offer practical steps you can take to becoming One with Christ.  Additionally, I will share with the single most powerful technique I’ve learned over the past four years in bringing Christ to life within me.

         What is our outcome?  By the time you’re finished with this book, you will have a clear understanding of how to become One with Christ and a better distinction of Messianic faith.  You will reframe your life’s narrative with the courage to overcome the world of the five senses and fortify the internal world, where the Kingdom of God resides.

         Along the way, I am going to share insights and invaluable lessons I’ve learned from brilliant thought leaders, like Tony Robbins, Dr. Jordan Peterson, and Dr. Joe Dispenza.  I’m also going to be brutally honest in lessons I learned from the past four years.

         Let’s get started! I promise you; you’re going to be amazed at how easy this is to understand.  More importantly, you’re going to appreciate the lessons ahead, and the value and fulfillment they can bring to your life.

         To kick things off, let’s first discuss the relationship between order and chaos and the influence these elements have on society in general, and us specifically.

Later this week, we will kick off Chapter Two: The Balance Between Order and Chaos.