Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Flood-Evacuee and What God Knows

As I write this, my family is on day 11 of being evacuated from our community because of flooding. We were not in the flood’s path, but the damage done to the water and sewage infrastructure required evacuation of the whole town anyway. We are very thankful for how God has provided for us, but experiencing cabin-fever from being away from home. 

My testimony for almost three decades has been that God speaks to his children through his word in the most real and personal of ways no matter what we are going through. The stage that is set by this present experience may be unique for us, but hearing God speaking through his word in the midst of it is no longer anything new.

Yesterday morning I began my time with God by considering how his thoughts must be magnificently different from mine. Knowing that I rely on what is called slow-track thinking while being oblivious to what my fast-track thinking is telling me is humbling. So much to learn.[1] 

This settled into considering that God knows. I love meditating on this even though I know I don’t know how his thoughts work, or how communication of thoughts happens between the Triune. As G. Campbell Morgan once said, “Out of wonder worship is born.” I love watching what wonder does to my spontaneous worship of the Triune God. 

With this setting the stage, I came back to the passage in John 13 about Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. I noticed that three times John tells us that Jesus knew something. 

1.     “when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father” (vs 1)

2.    “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God,” (vs 3)

3.    “For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’” (vs 11) 

The knowingness of Jesus is woven through the introduction to this evening in Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, but also through everything he taught that night, his high priestly prayer, the Garden of Gethsemane, and everything to do with his crucifixion. 

What stood out from all this was that Jesus acted out of what he knew. Everything he did that night was on the stage of what he knew. That needs a whole sermon in itself! However, I realized right away that we already do this as well, we act out of what know, which is often just what we think we know. 

What pierced my heart was the awareness of how many relationships are being hurt by people acting on what they think they know as if there is no possible way they might be mistaken. This is the curse of self-justification, that we immaturely imagine that our view of things is the only one that counts, we believe we know more than anyone else, and so, when we act on what we imagine we know, our actions are very self-protective of ourselves and usually quite hurtful towards others. What I know about how the sark/flesh affects this, along with dissociation and enemy mode, clearly calls me to seek to know what Jesus knows![2] 

The phrase that stands out about the disciples in this regard is, “Jesus answered him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand’” (vs 9). I feel this way about our experience with the disaster in our community right now. There are so many things we don’t understand about rebuilding highways, how water treatment and sewer systems work and how they need to be repaired, and even how to cleanup a house after flooding without getting sick from asbestos, mold, or any other toxins that might be in the air or soaking wet belongings. 

But this is even more of a problem when we consider that we simply can’t imagine that we know as much as Jesus knows about how he is fulfilling prophecy, carrying out the plan of the Triune’s purposes, handling all the injustices in the world, and seeking and saving his lost sheep knowing exactly when the last one will be brought into the fold. 

The conclusion for me is that finding out what Jesus knows seems to be the calling on all of us who are his family by grace through faith. It is not like we will ever know as much as he knows, but that we can know what he is saying to us right now, we can know what the Triune us doing around us that requires our participation, and we can join them in their work as far as it involves our part of the body of Christ so that we can know the mind of Christ and act on what he knows. 

Because the focus of the foot-washing ministry of Jesus calls us to serve one another in love, opening our hearts to all the ways this can happen includes seeking to know the way Jesus knows. I don’t simply want to know information, like, “what would Jesus do?” I want to know relationship-realities that open my eyes to what he is doing so that I am joining him in his work. To know that his work will be serving others in love (even the Judases who might betray us), tunes my heart to spend more time in fast-track thinking that comes from my mind being set on the Spirit. 

The closest I have come to the parallel with Jesus washing his disciples’ feet was back when I was traveling to minister to our first home church in another community. On my drive, it felt like God was convicting me that I was to include foot washing as part of my ministry to the handful of people who were the core group. I did not know at the time that there was a Judas among us, but there is some comfort in making the association right now. 

I also did not know that this group would cut ties with us in a way that made Jesus’ experience of his disciples deserting him also add a measure of comfort (while knowing that I am never faultless like Jesus). It is significant to me that a decade later, this present journey through John 13 is showing me more than I was aware of at the time, almost like what Jesus said about his disciples not understanding things at the moment but seeing them clearly later on.

At the time, I was going through a huge battle in my mind because of the strangeness of the prompting to wash the feet of these siblings in Christ. I don’t believe Jesus was teaching us to keep washing each other’s feet when we mostly wear shoes and socks all the time. And it didn’t feel at all like he was telling me to start a new tradition for our home churches. It simply felt like he was doing something with this home church that would be helped along if the pastor would humble himself to minister to these people in such a visual expression of serving them in love. And so, I did. 

Afterwards, I discovered that God had been speaking to one of our women about the exact thing he was leading me to do. She was sure that God was doing something in relation to foot washing. She didn’t say anything to anyone, perhaps for the same reason I felt I should not discuss my side of things with anyone. But she was watching for it. 

At the very same time that I was on the verge of giving up on this idea because it felt so unusual and insecure to me, this person had discovered the water basin and towels I had already prepared in another room. I did not know this at the time. Afterwards I was horrified to think of the damage I would have done if I had disobeyed what the Spirit was leading me to do. At the same time, because I obeyed and joined God’s work, it spoke to this person very clearly about God’s leading. 

I do not know if anything will ever happen to restore us to the people who left our ministry. However, as I make another journey through the chapters of God’s word that describe Jesus’ suffering and death, I do know that God is teaching me to continue seeking the mind of Christ no matter how many betrayals, denials, and desertions I experience. 

As that relates to soon going back to a flood-ravaged community, I am sure there will be some acts of service required today with my family, and expressions of love to show community members when we get home. With that in mind, I am willingly surrendering to the Spirit and whatever he has to do to me to lead me into this work. Jesus is my example, and the Savior who makes it possible to be like him.


© 2021 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)




[1] Slow-track thinking is what we would call our conscious thoughts. It is the part of our brain we use to consciously think things through, or carry-on conversations, or write blog posts. Fast-track thinking is what our brains are doing faster than we can keep up. It is the way we have automatic responses to things we haven’t thought through. When we walk in a room and immediately feel drawn to one person while wanting to avoid another, we are experiencing the fast-track reading people and situations and reacting faster than our slow-track can process. Even if this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, it’s just something I am now aware of about myself, and something that makes me marvel at the mind of Christ that is not limited to the functioning of our brains with all our corresponding baggage of thoughts and emotions that often seem to have a mind of their own.

[2] The New Testament is full of references to the flesh (“sark” or “sarx” in the original Greek), always as an enemy of life in the Spirit. When the flesh believes it knows something, it cannot conceive of God’s way of seeing things, but is convinced that its way is the right way. Dissociation is the ability of our brains/minds to separate our mind/emotions from traumatic experiences so we are not constantly living with the conscious awareness of our trauma. This means that a dissociative person will have an incomplete view of some situations while feeling like they have the whole view and the only view that feels right to them. “Enemy mode” is a new expression that summarizes what is happening in our brains when the relational-mode level of our brains turns off out of fear and we are unable to read situations in a relational way. Again, this view cannot factor in all the information of what is going on, reads everything as if it is dealing with enemies, and imagines its view is the best one (lessons from, The Joy Switch, © 2021 Chris Coursey, Northfield Publishing). What this means is that I must be far more understanding of why it is so difficult for people to agree on situations, and make the focus on each person trying to attach to the mind of Christ so that what he knows changes what we believe, how we feel, and what we do. Until we want to know what Jesus knows, we will have tremendous difficulty resolving relationship conflicts.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Curse of Delayed Condemnation

I’m quite sure we have all heard of “delayed gratification”. It isn’t very popular in western culture, but we still get the idea of it. There is something we would like to have, knowing it would feel good (gratification) to have it, but we choose to delay the experience until we can afford it, or share it with others, or simply do it right. 

Did you know there is something called, “delayed condemnation”? It is the opposite of delayed gratification. Delayed gratification is being willing to put up with a hardship or disappointment or unfulfilled longing at the present time because there is greater value in experiencing the desired pleasure at a better time. For example, God’s children delay the gratification of a sexual relationship while single because they know their Father’s design for sex belongs to his institution of marriage. 

Delayed condemnation is allowing ourselves to do things that are not right, not good, not beneficial, even though there will be some serious consequences down the road. In physical ways, we see this in people feeding their addictions to drugs, alcohol, smoking, and unhealthy eating, without concern that there is a deadly toll they are taking on their bodies. 

However, delayed condemnation is a much more serious problem when it is a personal issue between us and our Creator. Some people do abuse their bodies with chemical and food addictions and get away with it their whole lives. The same is never true of abusing relationship with God. 

As I have been continuing my journey through John’s gospel to share online, I keep seeing in my mind people I know who fit the scenes that are presented to us.[1] Since Jesus’ focus is on the contrast between those who believe in him and those who reject him, this is serious and scary business. 

At this point in John’s gospel record, Jesus is very close to his rescue mission that will look like a failed-messiah being executed by crucifixion. However, his death would be the most glorious expression of delayed gratification as he endured both the agony of the cross and the horror of our spiritual condemnation. This was all with the knowledge that he, “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”[2] 

There was a “joy that was set before him” that was the gratification, and there was the “endured the cross” part that was the most excruciating delay ever. He is now “seated at the right hand of the throne of God” in partial gratification of his plan, while waiting for the fullness of “the joy set before him” when all his people join him in paradise. 

Because what Jesus was saying about delayed condemnation is such a scary and serious reality, let’s take a minute to consider how it is clearly revealed in God’s word. Much earlier, when Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, he said that the ones who did not believe in him were “condemned already,”[3] and that “the wrath of God” remained on those who rejected him even though it would not be evident until the judgment.[4] 

This connects with Peter saying, “that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.” They will have this mocking challenge to us, the church, summarized as, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”[5] 

However, God’s take on these people is, “they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.”[6] We certainly see this in all the creation ministries, that atheists and evolutionists are “deliberately” denying the evidences for both creation and the worldwide flood.[7] 

The truth is that “by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”[8] In other words, no matter how much sinners get away with right now because God’s focus is still salvation instead of condemnation, he has spoken about the coming judgment and destruction. The evidences of creation are all around us, and the evidences of the worldwide flood cover our planet. People are without excuse. 

This all ties in with Charles Price’s message on Romans 1,[9] where God says that “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.”[10] He then makes it so clear by stating, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”[11] There is no escaping this. 

Three times God introduces the sins of the world with the expression, “God gave them up to…” Which means that, because people rejected Jesus and his words, God has handed them over to their own depravity so that they are “storing up wrath” for “the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”[12] 

I hope that is enough to convince you that immediate gratification in sinful pleasures leads to delayed condemnation that is sure to come. Why? Because all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and the wages of our sin is death.[13] The physical mortality rate of human beings is still at 100%. The spiritual mortality rate is also 100% among all those who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 

What does this scary reality do to me when the world still doesn’t care one little bit that its love of immediate gratification in sinful pleasures has secured the delayed condemnation of sin when Jesus returns? Here are a few responses. 

First, this encourages me to persevere in keeping in step with God’s Holy Spirit no matter what the world appears to get away with right now. God is just; his judgment is coming. We can’t let the world on its wide road to destruction scare us into being quiet about the only good news that will save souls from their much-deserved condemnation. 

Second, it terrifies me that people I know personally are presently under the wrath of God even though they can’t see it in the least. Allowing myself to picture these people in my mind makes me tremble with concern for them. It is a good thing to love with such concern. It is the whole reason we have God’s rescue mission in Christ Jesus.   

Third, it moves me with longing, desire, and even determination, to make Jesus known to everyone in my life even if I suffer their wrath while warning them of God’s wrath. What the coming destruction will do to them in the future makes the bearing of their negative emotions in the present a small price to pay to seek their salvation. 

It is Remembrance Day here in Canada as I write these things. The Merritt Cenotaph has a quote from Jesus where he said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”[14] Jesus endured the wrath of God while we were still sinners in order that we could become saints who were no longer under condemnation. It is now our place to accept the delayed-gratification aspect of our salvation in order to save people around us from their delayed condemnation. We can’t do for people what Jesus did, but we can certainly join him in his work.


© 2021 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)




[1] I am in John 12:44-50

[2] Hebrews 12:2

[3] John 3:18

[4] John 3:36

[5] II Peter 3:3-4

[6] II Peter 3:5-6

[7] Some of these creation-science ministries include: Creation Ministries International (; Answers in Genesis (; Institute for Creation Research (    

[8] II Peter 3:7

[9] Charles Price has a great series on the Book of Romans. Our home church just watched study 5, “Now for the Bad News” and highly recommend it and the whole series:

[10] Romans 1:19 (in context of Romans 1:16-32)

[11] Romans 1:20

[12] Romans 2:5

[13] Romans 3:23; 6:23

[14] John 15:13

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Vlog: Leaving the Darkness and Living the Light

This past Sunday morning was our unfortunate Autumn time-change. However, since putting the clocks back an hour gave me a bit of extra time before church, I decided to head out into the beautiful morning and try a vlog-video summarizing what I would be sharing in our home church a couple of hours later. 

Funny thing is that I scared myself for a few seconds as I was driving out of town. When I glanced at the clock in the car, I thought I had totally miscalculated the opportunity to fit this in to my morning. What a relief to remind myself I hadn’t changed the time yet! 

The focus of this vlog-post is the contrast between what it means to walk in the darkness (as it increases all around us), and what it means to walk in the light. This is what we call an “identity issue” for someone who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  

Everyone lives out of a sense of identity, a belief about who we are. However, many of us have such a skewed sense of who we are that we have trouble living up to our high calling in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is actually twenty-eight years ago that this was first brought to my attention, and now I see it as both a very common problem among God’s children, and an opportunity to share a very glorious and gracious solution from our heavenly Father. 

Here is the chart we worked on in home church that Sunday morning. It shows some of the contrasting things God has taught us over the years. I would be happy to explain any of them. However, the encouragement is to do something like this for yourself, identifying the contrast between how you would live if your identity is “light in the Lord”, and how this gets sabotaged by accepting a ”darkness” identity instead.

This chart adds the truths of Paul’s teaching about this where he clarifies the differences between walking in the Spirit or walking in the flesh (what we refer to as the “sark”) in Romans 8.[1] It makes the issue about where we “set” our minds. 

While this vlog-post is a very short summary of what we looked at regarding our identity as God’s children of light, I encourage you to open your heart to ask God to show you any ways you perceive yourself as darkness and ask him to lead you to know him as the light of the world so you can know what it feels like to be light in him. 

If that means you need to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior because you have never received his light, this is encouragement for you to do just that. If you discover that you are living out of a wrong belief about who you are in Christ, and hurting yourself with negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings that have no place in the child of God, this is encouragement to take hold of what is already yours in Christ and live out who you are as “children of light”. 

And, if you need help knowing how to do all this, either talk to someone you know who is a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, show them what I have shared here, and ask them to help you know God like this, or send me an email and I would be happy to share this good news with you. Whatever the case, please let the words of Jesus Christ settle into your heart so you can know who you are to the Creator as one of his children. 

Let the light-display begin!


© 2021 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

[1] Romans 8:4-6 (in context of Romans 8:1-17)

Saturday, November 6, 2021

I Am Not… But I Am…

I am not a climate-change denier. I simply hate the Emperor’s-New-Clothes fairy tale that is making the world’s power-brokers a lot of money based on dishonest stories about real life. 

I am not a science denier. I simply hate the deceptive slight-of-hand "miracles" of the evolutionary religion that claims that scientifically impossible things happened to bring us and the whole universe into existence. 

I am not a sickness denier. I simply hate the Borg-like indoctrination demanding we plug our brains into the party-line and agree with "facts" that just ain’t facts (I checked). 

I am not a medical-solution denier. I simply hate the poisoning of bodies and minds by evil people intent on raping the world’s population to gratify their own selfishness. 

I am not a fact denier. I simply hate seeing fact-checking liars control what is broadcast as news when their lies are of the nothing-new-under-the-sun variety of deception. 

I am not one to jump on the noisiest, showiest band wagon going by just because so many are partying their way down the wide road to ruin. I am seeking after what is real, not what is popular. Sadly, the two are not friends in the world, so I must look elsewhere. 

However, I can honestly say that I am an adopted child of the Creator, a traveler of the Way, a brother of the Truth, and an experiencer of the Life. I am a sheep of Jesus’ flock, a member of his body, and a citizen of his kingdom. 

God my Father has delivered me out of this domain of darkness filled with so many expressions of corruption and transferred me into the kingdom of his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I know that I have redemption, the forgiveness of my sins. 

I take comfort in all the words of my Savior, but particularly that he made very clear ahead of time that all of us who follow him will indeed experience tribulation in this world since it is such a dark, and evil, and God-hating place, but we can “take heart,” for Jesus has “overcome the world.” 

During one of the conversations where Jesus himself was warning about such things, he contrasted the demise of the lawless and deceived world with the promise that, “the one who endures to the end will be saved.”[1] 

He then announced something that showed that the end of the world will not be because of global warming, or climate change, or manmade viruses. He also made clear that the world will never stop him from building his church no matter how evil, deceptive and murderous it becomes. And, his promise is the reason that I cling to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior instead of caving to the threats and intimidation of this evil world. 

Jesus made this promise: “And this gospel (good news) of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”[2]   

The end is coming. But not through our planet dying (as the science says is happening). And not through some global elite destroying it (and the facts I’ve checked say they are trying very hard to do this). And not through some virus-vaccine conspiracy that simply wipes out the human population (although this too is a scary sign of our times). 

No, the end will come when God determines that his good news of great joy has been “proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations.” Jesus himself will return to the earth that had earlier trembled under his feet with the glory of the Word who became flesh. He will judge all people based on their belief or their unbelief towards him. The nations of the world will mourn and grieve when they realize that he has come to condemn them for their sins, and lies, and deceptions. 

In fact, even the arrogant and blind power-brokers of the world will actually, 

“hide themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’”[3] 

When Jesus began his ministry, he announced everywhere he went, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”[4] 

The time “fulfilled” meant what the prophets had said would happen about his first coming. The kingdom of God “at hand” meant the kingdom of God was there for people to experience if they could admit that they were not yet in it. “Repent” meant that people needed to change their minds about their sinful independence from God. “Believe in the gospel” meant to receive the “good news of great joy” that Jesus Christ was the Savior God had provided, and trust in him with all their hearts. 

None of us knows for sure when the time will be “fulfilled” for Jesus’ second and final coming. However, “the kingdom of God is at hand,” today, available to everyone, but no one is in it by any description of earthly heritage. 

“Repent” is still the change-of-mind necessary for us to leave the domain of darkness and come into the kingdom of God. And, “believe in the gospel” is still the reality of faith required to bring us into Jesus Christ and his kingdom. 

I do not need to agree with any of the world’s lies and deceptions. As scary as this world is getting, it is on death row, and I don’t want to be partners with it. 

On the other hand, Jesus “came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”[5] I want that life to the fullness of what “abundantly” could be like for me and my church this side of heaven. 

As we aim to pursue what it means to walk with the Creator through faith in Jesus Christ, we must accept that what and who we “are not” is as important as what and who we “are”. Both are made abundantly clear in God’s word, so let’s let the words of Christ dwell in us richly so we can both teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, but also have a great time singing about the good news of great joy while the Emperor struts his new clothes of bare naked evil on his easy journey down the road. 

Therefore do not become partners with them (sinful deceivers); for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.[6] 

I am not darkness! However, with Jesus’ church, we are light in the Lord Jesus Christ!


© 2021 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)


[1] Matthew 24:13

[2] Matthew 24:14

[3] Revelation 6:15-17

[4] Mark 1:14-15

[5] John 10:10

[6] Ephesians 5:7-10