THE CROSS

BY:  LLOYD ELLEFSON

 

PARTS 1-6

 

PARTS

TITLE

PAGE

1

TWO DEATHS AT THE CROSS

1

2

PENALTY OF SEPARATION

5

3

WHO CRUCIFIED JESUS

12

4

DEATH AND THE CROSS

19

5

JUSTIFICATION

26

6

DEATH BEFORE THE CROSS

32

PART ONE

TWO DEATHS AT THE CROSS

 

There are always two sides to every dispute - the right side and the wrong side. This was also the case in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In this paper we want to see man's side of the cross and God's side. On one side man was doing his work, and on the other side God was doing His work. Looking at God's side of the cross reveals what was happening in the hearts of those who crucified Jesus. Humanity did not agree with Christ's concept of God, so it crucified Jesus. We cannot accuse God of killing Him. We must also remember that God's Son could never be killed. However, a historical event did take place, and it basically involved the Jews and Jesus Christ. This historical event shows us what humanity had been doing to God ever since the disruption of the rule of God in Genesis. 

 

Since Jesus knew what was in the heart of men, He knew what would inevitably happen to those who declared the truth. He said, "Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city." (Matt. 23:34) Jesus knew that people want to keep their idea of God, their own set of values, and their deceptions, which they consider to be truth! Therefore they would not accept the truth proclaimed by those who were sent by God. Since the prophets were prophesying the words God gave them, they were representing God. Yet the Jews killed them. Although the Jews professed to want God, they only wanted their idea of God; they didn't want the true God! If they had wanted Him, they would have surely embraced the only pure expression and representation of the invisible God - the man Jesus Christ, the Son of God! 

 

The events which led to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ are still occurring in the hearts of mankind. Jesus knew that the cross was inevitable, because He knew what was in the heart of men. He knew what God represented, and He knew the conflict that exists between the flesh and the Spirit. So it was easy for Him to prophesy what they were going to do to Him, for this opposition to God had been going on since generation one. 

 

Men hated Jesus and desired to kill Him long before the deed was actually accomplished. Let's look at a number of passages which mention this. Jn. 7:1, "And after these things Jesus was walking in Galilee; for He was unwilling to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him." Then in v. 19 it says, "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you carries out the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?" Obviously the law was their pride even though they misused it, for Jesus said that none of them kept the law. That angered them! They thought they knew Moses, but who was this Jesus? Verse 20, "The multitude answered, `You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?'" Then in v. 25 it says, "Therefore some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, `Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill?'" These verses certainly prove that the desire to kill Jesus was in the hearts of men before they ever put Him on the cross! 

 

Let's look at Rom. 8:3. "For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh." God's Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, was sent because of sin. God sent Him for the express purpose of doing something about the sin problem. We know that through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin. The evil acts of humanity are due to the sin that indwells them. They are the works of sin. Rom. 14:24 states that "whatever is not from faith is sin." Sin operates in deception, ignorance, pride, egotism and self-serving; it is blind to the evil that dwells in the heart of man. Jesus knew what was in the heart of man. That is why He would not entrust Himself to any man. (John 2:24) 

 

The Law of Moses is a list of commandments for the carnal man. Humanity's inability to keep the law brings condemnation. Through the law, God brought condemnation upon those who are in the flesh. The deeds of the flesh bring condemnation to us. But in Christ there is no condemnation! (Rom. 8:1) The law of Moses has been displaced by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! 

 

"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32) God did not spare His own Son; He delivered Him up for us! The popular thinking is that God sent His Son to be killed as a substitutionary sacrifice, and through that type of death Jesus paid the price for sin. This thinking says we are justified and have forgiveness for our sins because of this legal transaction, which happened on a historical cross many years ago. They think God killed His Son. But that is not the case! 

 

God sent the Son of His love into the world for a deliverance! It was an act of tremendous love! He gave Him to the world even though He knew how the world would abuse Him! God knew what man was going to do to Him, but He also knew that no man could take away the life of the Son, because HE WAS THE LIFE OF THE SON. By condemning Jesus, man condemned himself, indicted himself, and revealed that his thinking about God and about himself was completely wrong! 

 

Let's look at some scripture passages which testify to this. They help us to see spiritually - to see what is beyond the letter. In 1 John 4:10 it says, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." It is quite obvious that God sent His Son to people who didn't love God. In Romans 3:10-11 we read that no man seeks after God; every man has gone his own way, etc. But God loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. God was concerned about our welfare - about our sins, what they were doing to us and how they were bringing death - because through death comes sin, and through sin comes death. The sting of death is sin; when a man sins, it produces death. Man did not realize the deceitfulness of his heart and that all his self-effort was futile. He did not realize that he was ignorant and lacked understanding. This had to be revealed to him. God had to reveal what was going on in the hearts of men, and what He wanted to do for them. God sent His Son as a love gift to us. By this He demonstrated His love! 

 

God's purpose was to redeem man from his false consciousness of God. To do this, He had to create a NEW man with a NEW consciousness. He does not redeem the Adamic man, for he has a wrong realization of God; that is why he misunderstands and misrepresents Him. Jesus Christ brought us the true realization of who God is! God's redemption does not consist of redeeming that sinful consciousness of natural man - for flesh and blood does not inherit the kingdom of God. That is why we have to be born again and be made a new creation. This new creation is spiritual. In Christ we have become a new creation! This new man receives a correct consciousness of God and is able to grow in this consciousness! In Christ we are redeemed from our wrong consciousness of God and our false image of God. 

 

God's Son, being His Word, was a part of Himself. His Son, the Spirit of the Father, was sent into the world to reveal and express the Father. Humanity was to hear the voice of God through Him! There was life in His words! This life could redeem men from their ignorance, delusion, and the separation from God which was in their own minds. But humanity did not recognize the voice of God in Jesus Christ! Since they minded the flesh, they minded their bodily senses; they minded the flesh rather than God! They were locked into this thinking! They couldn't do anything about it because they were dead in their trespasses and sins. 

 

It is so wonderful to see God's side - to see His plan of redemption! John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world." Jesus Christ was God's Lamb; He was given by God to man. Through the years, thousands of lambs had been sacrificed in Israel, but they could not take away the sins of the world! Jesus Christ was God's provision for taking away the sins of the world! Sin could NOT operate in Him! Since humanity hated Him who would not operate in sin, it revealed what was in the heart of mankind. 

 

Jesus was sent to glorify God; God was to be glorified in Him! Although there were times when the people glorified God because of the miracles Jesus performed, a growing number became incensed and angry at Him because He called God His Father, and He didn't keep their traditions! So instead of glorifying God because of Jesus Christ, they actually put Him to death - they murdered Him! However, in John 17:4 Jesus prayed to the Father and said, "I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do." So glorifying God does not depend on people's opinions, or on their recognition and appreciation of what we are doing and saying! God is glorified when we do the work He has given us to do, and testify that He is our Father! He is to be the source and originator of all that we do and say! 

 

Humanity's judgment of Jesus was not based on truth, but on the delusion and darkness that was in them. It was in their hearts to kill Him long before they were successful in their evil desires. The fact that they crucified Him, revealed what had been in the heart of humanity ever since man was formed out of the earth, and Adam and Eve disobeyed God by partaking of the forbidden fruit - ever since the disruption of the world. Soon after that people began killing each other, for death reigned in their hearts. Death spread upon all men, for in Adam all die. Why? Because sin is the sting of death. But thank God, He sent Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the world! 

 

This redemption by Jesus Christ took place first of all in the natural, in order to fulfill everything that had been prophesied and written about Him. Jesus knew that He would be rejected by the humanity which resides in Adam. Therefore a different abiding place for Him had to be prepared - an abiding place in the Spirit in a new humanity. To accomplish this, God brought back His Son in the Spirit! God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying, "Abba! Father!" (Gal. 4) We are no longer children who are ruled by the law, but sons of God who are ruled by the Spirit! It can't get any better than that! When we hear the voice of God saying, "You are My son," we are experiencing the same thing Jesus experienced at the Jordan River! What an exalted place we have in Christ! To hear the Spirit witnessing to our spirit that we are sons of God, causes us to bow in humble adoration because of the mercy and grace of God in Christ Jesus! 

 

Adam's nature and consciousness were not spiritual; they were earthy. What happened to the consciousness he received when God breathed into him and he became a living soul? That was lost through whatever happened when he was put to sleep and then divided to make out of him male and female. His disobedience to the one law which God had given him, was an act of rebellion against God! He listened to, and obeyed, a voice other than God's! Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought him darkness, delusion and ignorance. 

 

Saul, later called Paul, is an excellent example of the ignorance that is in natural man. Paul was an Israelite, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a very careful keeper of the law, and very zealous in his persecution of the believers in Jesus Christ. On the road to Damascus a bright light suddenly flashed around him, and he heard a voice saying, "Why do you persecute Me?" In spite of all his education, he was very ignorant in spiritual matters; he had no idea that he was persecuting Christ. So he asked, "Who are you?" The voice replied, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting." The way Paul met the Lord, caused him to ask, "What shall I do Lord?" With the call of God comes the persuasion that God is right! Paul did not choose to follow Christ; he was God's chosen vessel! 

 

Paul had been brought up in the Sanhedrin (meaning, sitting in council), the council of Jerusalem which constituted the highest or supreme Jewish authority of that time. He was zealously trying to keep the law, and arduously made sure that its quality would not be tarnished. Suddenly Paul was blinded and he had to be led by the hand to Damascus! This physical blindness symbolized his spiritual blindness in which he was unable to see the things of God, for he didn't have any spiritual realization. 

 

At the same time the Lord gave instructions concerning Paul, to Ananias, a disciple of Jesus in Damascus. He said, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake." (Acts 9:15-16) Ananias was to go and see Paul and to heal his blindness by the laying on of hands. Why? Because Jesus had already given the disciples the mandate to do this. He said, "As the Father has sent Me, so I send you." Ananias, being part of the church, came to Paul, prayed for him, and gave him a prophetic word. Through the church, the body of Christ, Paul was restored! He immediately began to proclaim (even in the synagogues) that Jesus is the Son of God! Through the spiritual realization that Paul had now received, God was able to impart further revelation of the scriptures to him. Now he could understand what God was doing through Jesus Christ! Paul was called to be an apostle of the Lord and was very faithful in his God-given ministry! 

 

Humanity is anti-Christ; even before Christ was manifested, it was anti-God. Death is in the heart of natural man. There is no exception - in Adam all die! Separation from the consciousness of God spells death. Therefore humanity is unable to judge correctly. This was very evident when it judged the man Jesus guilty of blasphemy and crucified Him! This desire to kill Him was in their hearts long before it was actually manifested. 

 

The Jews were looking for the prophesied coming of their Messiah, even as the church is looking for the return of Jesus Christ. The Jews did not recognize their Messiah when He came, and neither does the church recognize Him today! The words CHRIST and MESSIAH are translated from the same Greek word CHRISTOS! God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit! Jesus became the Messiah, the Anointed One. The Messiah was the anointing that came on Jesus. 

 

All revelation of the Father came through the Son! It came through Jesus while He was in His physical body; because of His anointing (Christ, the Holy Spirit), He spoke words of life, and manifested the Father's nature in everything He did! Everything came from the Father! So when the Jews rejected Christ, they rejected God! This proved humanity was anti-God! When Christ was manifested, humanity was anti-Christ. Christ was crucified because of humanity's ignorance; it didn't know what it was doing! 

 

Even in His boyhood Jesus must have known that He was not an ordinary person. His mother must have told Him about the unusual circumstances surrounding His birth! At the tender age of twelve He told His parents that He had to be in His Father's house! As long as He was subject to the law and its ordinances, and attended the prescribed feast days, etc., He was not persecuted. But at the Jordan He received His anointing and illumination, and this began His ministry! 

 

Jesus was put on the cross because of the anointing He received at the Jordan River and God's declaration that Jesus was His beloved Son. It was His testimony that fact that put Him on the cross! He testified to a relationship with God that none of those people had. He said, "I can do nothing of Myself... the words that I speak come from the Father...the works are of the Father... I don't bear witness of Myself... I live by the Father...the Father is greater than I." He took issue with them about their wrong sense of being, and their faith in the Law of Moses instead of in God. This riled the ruling religious leaders! They stirred up the people, and finally managed to capture Jesus. They could only see the physical aspects of His ministry, so they thought they could take away His ministry by killing Him. 

 

Putting Jesus on the cross was the fruit of sin, but killing His body could not destroy the life in Jesus Christ! People could not destroy His life by killing His body. The hatred displayed toward Jesus Christ showed the depth of man's anti-Christ feelings! The people did not realize that they were trying to kill the correct representation, the perfect image of the invisible God - the Word of God in redemption that God had prepared for man! God had planned and destined our redemption to come in Christ. 

 

Wonderful things happen when our spirit comes into real subjection to the Father's Spirit! In this subjection, we will experience the same experiences Christ did. Our submission to the law will show us our need of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our repentance will take us out of the law and cause us to receive the Holy Spirit. Before we can manifest the same things Jesus did and be crucified together with Him, we must be led by the Spirit and live in the consciousness of the Spirit. Only if we are a temple of witness, having the same testimony Christ had - of God, self, Spirit and life - will we be crucified together with Christ. Not at the beginning of our ministry, but at the end, even as Christ was crucified at the end of His ministry. Paul said that we have been crucified with Christ! That has happened to our old consciousness! Jesus Christ put that man's consciousness to death by trusting the Father, living in Him, and obeying the Father even to death on the cross. 

 

The same Spirit that was in Christ Jesus has come to us! It puts the old man to death and makes us new! All the natural things in types and shadows that testified of better things to come are brought into a spiritual   realization in us, through Christ! We still live in this world in a body of flesh, but everything we think and say in the natural has been redeemed. It has been redeemed by the Christ who is in us! He has changed our realization of who we are, and He has changed our testimony! 

 

Jesus said, "I HAVE overcome the world." In Christ we have overcome not only the flesh but the world! But Christians are still trying to overcome the world instead of just abiding in Christ. Instead of fighting the world, we are to rejoice that we are overcomers in Him! Jesus overcame the world through His submission to the Father! He did not gather material possessions; He did not leave a material inheritance for the disciples. Even His clothes were divided among the soldiers. He had nothing left! So we mustn't seek material wealth, honor and prestige - not even health! Why? Because Christ IS the answer to all our needs! Therefore we must only seek Him! God will do what is best for us; He will give us what we need, and work out His own will and testimony in everyone of us according to His own loving jurisdiction. 

 

We are not to look at the cross of Jesus Christ as though it has some magical power. We hear so much about being at the foot of the cross, and the cross accomplishing various things. But it is not the cross, it is the SPIRIT OF CHRIST that does everything. If we attribute our deliverance to the cross, we are being anti-Christ. Death, darkness and ignorance are done away with by the light of the Spirit of Christ! Death and the Adamic man are overcome with the life of Christ! 

 

In our identification with Jesus Christ, we experience inwardly, everything that happened to Him in the physical realm. The same ignorant, natural, Adamic consciousness that put Christ to death, will put us to death. Our death will not necessarily be physical. Everything that led to the historical cross, has been happening throughout the ages; it happens today and it will continue to happen. 

 

Those who testify of spiritual realities - things the carnal reasoning mind cannot understand - are being rejected and shunned. Those who reject them do not realize that they are separating themselves from the truth that is in Christ. This is an ongoing thing. It happened yesterday, it is happening today, and it will keep on happening. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His true essence is the Son of God; the Son of God was not born, nor did He die. HE ALWAYS REMAINS THE SAME, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER! It was the physical Jesus who died on the cross. 

 

We have been made new creatures in Christ; He is our new identity! We no longer identify with the old Adamic man who can only see Jesus hanging on a tree. The natural man thinks the cross gave him a legal separation from his sins. But it does not work that way! This is not the new life, nor the Christ, nor the gospel! Forgiveness does not change our nature! Therefore forgiveness is needed continually. But the situation changes when we receive His Spirit and the Spirit's teaching! The Spirit teaches us all things and leads us into all truth! This is the good news of the gospel! 

 

Christ is here, the Messiah is here, and the Spirit of the Son of God has been given us! "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, `Abba! Father!'" (Gal. 4:6) We have received the Spirit of Christ (the Messiah), and He is our life! We are the body of Christ! Christ is the Spirit of life and the Spirit of adoption! Amen. 

 

PART TWO

PENALTY OF SEPARATION

 

God reigns in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Those who teach, share the gospel or give a testimony in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, should also communicate the life, nature, understanding and spiritual realization of Christ. Otherwise they will only be teaching according to their natural understanding of the Bible. As the Spirit of life communicates an understanding of spiritual things, life will be brought to us. I believe that is happening in us. 

 

We know there is a God. We believe in God, in Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Holy Spirit. We believe they constitute the Godhead. We may wonder how we fit into God's plan. How do we see ourselves? What is our relationship to Him? Are we separated and estranged from the Godhead even though we have received forgiveness, or are we united with Him? Do we still think of ourselves as the old Adamic man, sold under sin, just barely holding on to some of God's promises, or are we new creatures in Christ? Do we think of God as being in heaven while we are on earth, or are we living in the heavenlies with Him? Do we believe in Jesus just in order to get forgiveness so we can make it to heaven, or do we know we are new creatures, that old things have passed away and all things have become new? Do we think we are still estranged from God after we have been born again? 

 

The good news of the gospel is that we are no longer estranged from God! Estrangement from God is separation and death. Any realm in which we are not conscious that God is our being, our life and truth, is a death realm. Life is not given to human nature, neither can man give it to someone else. We must realize that we are taken into the life of God and participate in His life as our life. This takes us out of the realm of death and separation from Him and gives us His life. 

 

"Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." (2 Peter 1:3) He has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness! It can only be received through the TRUE KNOWLEDGE of Him who has called us! True knowledge of Christ (who has given all things) does not come by merely reading the Bible and examining it with the natural mind; it has to be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit! The more true knowledge we have of Him, the more we know the meaning of life and godliness that has been given to us. 

 

"For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust." (v.4) These magnificent promises give us more than the pardon necessary for entry into heaven. By faith the power of these promises comes into effect in us and we understand that we have become partakers of the divine nature of God. This is an incredible statement, but this is exactly what it says! If we have become partakers, we are participating in His nature! This is not a gift to be proudly displayed, but a joint union in which an ongoing sense of relationship has been established. 

 

"And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim. 3:15-16) The holy scriptures are able to make us wise to the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. Salvation is in Christ. But the question is, "How can we get into Christ to receive salvation?" As long as we regard Him as a physical being, we cannot get into Him. The Bible says, "Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer." (2 Cor. 5:16) Christ Jesus is a spiritual man - not a physical one! This salvation is IN Christ Jesus - not BY Him. Christ Jesus has become our wisdom from God and the righteousness of God. (1 Cor. 1:30) Through the work of God, Christ Jesus HAS BECOME all these things to us! That is much more than giving them to us! 

 

Salvation is in Christ Jesus - not in the scriptures. The scriptures testify to this fact! God's gift to us is the Holy Spirit. Christ is the Anointing, and it makes us partakers of the divine nature of the Messiah or Anointing. Hearing the voice of the Son of God causes us to live! The scriptures are a witness to the truth, but they are not the word of God. Reading the scriptures without the life of the Holy Spirit does not bring life; but when the Holy Spirit breathes His life into them and we hear His voice, we will live! Many suppose they have eternal life in the scriptures but they are wrong; the scriptures testify of Jesus Christ! There is no life in the dead letter of the scriptures; the life is in Christ Jesus! 

 

Although Christ is here today, people still say He is coming. He has promised never to leave us! So how can they say that when He is here? There is only one Jesus! If you have received Him, you have received HIM. "As many as received Him to them He gave the power to become the sons of God." The idea that Jesus is here in Spirit, but His body is up in the sky or heaven is a delusion. To learn more, our eyes have to be opened to receive revelation knowledge of Christ. 

 

The Jews received their ideas about God from the Old Testament. In the New Testament Jesus refuted many of these ideas. He told them that they did not know God, nor did they know Him! If they had known the Father, they would know Him. They did not have the word of God dwelling in them; none of them had ever seen God or perceived who He was; they had never seen His form. They didn't know anything about God, nor did they believe Moses. Had they believed Moses, they would have believed Jesus, because Moses wrote of Jesus. 

 

Israel's idea of God was very different from that of Jesus. Will we believe Jesus Christ's testimony of who God is and what He is doing, or will we believe Israel's? The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17) Moses and Jesus Christ were both mediators. Moses was a mediator of the law covenant, and Jesus Christ was the mediator of a better covenant! The old covenant could never make people perfect; it was inadequate and kept dealing with sin - even as people do today. It was growing old and passing away because the new covenant, given by Jesus Christ, had come. The old covenant can only come to an end in us when the new one is accepted. 

 

Moses was an Adamic man. He was not the Christ man, nor did He come down from heaven. Although he brought Israel out of the bondage of Egypt, he was not a redeemer; he was known as the law-giver. The people living under the law-covenant only had a righteousness of their own. They did not understand who God was, nor did they understand who Jesus was. Neither had they grasped the real meaning of the law, for they understood the law to be a revelation of God for righteousness, instead of allowing it to minister death to them. Since Jesus represented the true image of the invisible God, a conflict arose between Jesus and the Jews. Israel thought it was worshiping God when it was actually worshiping an imagination of its own heart. The people did not know that they were worshiping an idol - worshiping their own concept of God was actually idolatry. 

 

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life...My words are spirit and are life." His testimony of Himself was also a testimony of who God really is, for He and the Father are one. In the Holy Spirit we can now become partakers of these wonderful promises and participate in the divine nature through the knowledge of God. People in the Old Testament had not received the Holy Spirit so they could not have this relationship with God. Their many wrong ideas of God kept them away from God. They believed that He did good and evil. They thought God would not forgive them when they sinned; He would only punish them. Furthermore, they saw diseases and poverty as a curse, and health and wealth as a reward. Since God sent them to war, they hated their fellow-man and thought they were better than other people. Israel's concepts of self and God were not true because they were resident in their natural mind. The natural mind is death and separates us from God. Since they thought God was a God of wrath, their sin-consciousness did not allow them to feel comfortable and to have a relationship with Him. 

 

Let's look at some of the teachings in the New Testament. Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil...let him have your cloak too...whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two...love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you...I did not come to judge the world but to save the world... he who does not believe is condemned already." We also read, "There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus... God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them." 

 

God brought this reconciliation through Christ! Now He is not counting our trespasses against us! When we see God in Christ, we see that God is not imputing sins. Therefore we are not to fight our enemies, for they are not really enemies because God does not count their trespasses against them either - but they look and feel like enemies to us. God does not live in time, and spiritually He has already overcome them. Those who want to be friends with the world make themselves enemies of God; they do not agree with God nor do they submit to Him. Those who will be partakers of His divine nature must understand God through Jesus Christ. People always think they will be punished by God when they do something wrong; but I would like to say that the punishment is inherent in the deed, because what you sow you will reap. If you sow to the natural (to the flesh), you will reap the things of the flesh. This doesn't always take place immediately; the crop isn't harvested right away. The real reaping of sin is separation from God - and that's what death is. 

 

As soon as we are removed from life (for whatever reason) we are in death. We must be participants in life. God's life in us is not ours independently; it is not ours to do with as we please. If it were, it would be separated from God and would no longer be God's life. Therefore we cannot say, "I have life on my own. I can do with it whatever I please. I am an entity in myself." Only God is immortal, eternal; there is no death in Him. The way to come to a full realization of Him is to truly repent of all our natural conceptions of God, and to believe what we find in the New Testament about the new covenant - the new revelation of God in Christ Jesus. Then we will not be in the same delusion as the people who opposed Jesus. They killed Him in their zealousness for the god of their own making and their false idea of themselves. 

 

John 1:1 throws light on this subject. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We understand that God and His Word are one. Nobody has ever seen God. Even the Jews - those who were the called-out ones - had never heard nor seen God. This is interesting because the Word (that God is) actually comes out of Himself. It is a seed, and a seed has the energy in itself to produce; God's seed produces everything that is in the intention of the mind of God. God's offspring is His Son. When this is rightly understood, we see who God truly is. Misunderstanding it produces all kinds of perversions and imaginations, which are idolatry. This is the sophisticated idolatry of today! 

 

The reams and reams of teachings about the Holy Spirit and man's assumption of God, miss the point, for they do not teach that we have overcome death through Jesus Christ. So do the thousands of books that have been written about the Bible, especially about the book of John and the book of Romans. When Jesus joined us in our humanity He first experienced a separation from God; then He brought us back into a union with God. In Him we have received life and have overcome death! 

 

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." (Jn. 1:1-3) Notice that WORD is replaced by HIM. The Word, which is the Son of God, is brought into manifestation in the Christ. 

 

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it." (vv. 4-5) God's life is the life in the Word (Jesus), and His life is our light. Two types of enlightenment can be received from reading the scriptures. Only a natural enlightenment can be received in the natural mind, and this results in a natural realization. However, if we recognize that God is omnipresent and His Word is His Son, we will know that His Word is spiritual. A spiritual word brings a spiritual realization through the Holy Spirit! The enlightenment it brings cannot function in human nature, because the latter cannot see the things of the Spirit. Spiritual realities don't have any meaning for the natural man. 

 

Eph. 5:14 reads, "Awake, sleeper (from darkness, from separation), and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Luke 1:78 helps to clarify this subject. "Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us." The springing forth of the day, or as Peter calls it, "the day dawns...in your hearts," is not a historical day. God's day is light. The day of the Lord dawns in our hearts with the appearing of the Daystar (Christ). This is the light of God's day coming into our spiritual being to awaken us from the darkness of human nature! 

 

"To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:79 from Is. 9:2) God says that all men were sitting in darkness - for in Adam all die, and death is separation from God. Furthermore, it says that they sat in the shadow of death. A shadow is cast by something opaque - something that does not allow light to pass through. So death (separation from God) casts a shadow. Those who are in the shadow of death cannot see clearly. If that which casts a shadow is removed, light will bring spiritual enlightenment and understanding, and reveal the things that are in darkness. When a veil is lifted, that which was hidden is also revealed. 

 

I believe that the carnal mind is the object hindering us from receiving light. Its realization is in the death realm. It is the veil that does not allow God's realization to come to us. The book of Hebrews explains that the Old Testament sacrifices, utensils, priesthood, tabernacle, and the law of commandments were only shadows. People could only see the shadow and not the reality. The shadows were in the death realm - the realm of natural creation! 

 

This was the environment into which Jesus came. He was the Son of God, yet God sent Him to us in the likeness of sinful flesh. So the Son of God was hidden by this veil of flesh. Mankind could not see beyond the physical Jesus, so it could not see that the Godhead was operating within this veil of flesh. Therefore people were living in the shadow instead of in the light. As long as man could not see beyond that veil, he walked in the darkness of the shadow of death because he was separated from the enlightenment of God. 

 

Jesus manifested God, for He was the exact image of the invisible God. In Him dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for they are one. The physical body of Jesus participated in His work because the fullness of the Godhead resided within Him. By His own volition He humbled Himself and did not avail Himself of the power within Him to free Himself from experiencing death. He became obedient to God unto death. This was the death that reigned from Adam to Moses. Since it ruled man, it became a god to him. The death in Adam brought separation from God, for in Adam all die! All were being ruled by this Adamic consciousness or sense of being. 

 

In Genesis 2 God told Adam not to eat of a certain tree. Hearing a voice that took priority over the voice of God in Adam and Eve's thinking, was the cause of their disobedience; the result was that they ate of the forbidden fruit! Hearing a wrong voice caused their separation from God! Here is a lesson we can learn. Adam was in a state of sleep when he was tempted. A separation had taken place when Eve was formed out of him. He had also been subjected to the vanity of his mind. This made him vulnerable to another voice - one that focused attention upon his well-being, and honored him by telling him he had the ability to become like God by his own efforts. Then it drew attention to the beauty and health-giving power of the fruit! Hearing that was more pleasant to him than obeying God's command! This was the cause of his separation from God! This is where it was enacted! The eating of the fruit of the tree was the result of the disobedience that worked in him - the darkness that caused him not to hear the voice of God. 

 

Had Adam really heard the voice of God when he was forbidden to eat of that tree, the energy of God's creative word would have kept him. God would have created obedience in Adam if he had heard God, and he would not have eaten of it. Christ heard God, and obedience was created in Him. God's word is a creative word! When God said, "Let there be light", light came into being. Jesus spoke to the wind and waves and they obeyed Him! Even the dead - the dead man in the coffin, Jairus's daughter, and Lazarus - obeyed His command to rise up. His words contained the creative power to establish the thing that was in the mind of God. When Jesus Christ (the express image of God) spoke, a creative force or energy produced what He spoke. God's word will not return void. The purpose for which it was sent will be accomplished. Since we do not have complete understanding, some of these things still contain an element of mystery. 

 

Nevertheless, we must believe that the whole realm of Adamic soulish realization does not hear the word of God - and it cannot! That is why a separation from the death realm has to take place. You and I have to be separated from the supremacy of the carnal mind before we can receive the spiritual thoughts that come from God in Christ Jesus! In 2 Cor. 4:4 we read that the god of this world has blinded the minds of men so they might not see the light of the gospel. The blindness, the veil, the darkness and the shadow all signify that there is a lack of light. It is a realm in which the light or spiritual realization of God's word does not penetrate. The gospel is veiled to those who are perishing. (v.3) There were veils in the temple; the body of Jesus was also called a veil. (Heb. 10:20) The fact that people crucified Jesus, the exact image of God, revealed the veil of human darkness that hung over the minds of the people. 

 

The mind does not initiate action; it is always obedient or subservient to something. We are generated or birthed into minding the flesh; the mind of the flesh obeys what the flesh says. However, Jesus demonstrated His obedience to the Spirit. IF YOU HAVE THE MIND OF THE SPIRIT, YOU MIND WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING! Human nature regenerates itself in its progeny - in human beings. Every baby is born with a dependency on this creation. The flesh has to be sustained by breathing, eating and drinking. If any of these are denied him, his body will cease to function. When his body dies, his consciousness of living departs. 

 

Our feelings and knowledge come to us through our natural senses because our bodies have come from the same material that is in creation; they are one with creation. God said to Adam, "Of dust you are made, to dust you will return." That was not said to Christ! Just as we draw sustenance for our human body from natural creation, so the body of Christ must draw its sustenance from the spiritual dimension from which it was born; it must receive its spiritual realization and life from Christ! He came down from heaven and went back to the Father. 

 

The mind set on the flesh is death. (Rom. 8:6) Therefore it is separated from God. It only minds that which comes out of creation. The reception, calculations, understanding, and intellect of man are all from the natural man, for he minds the things of the flesh. Man's earthy image of God is formed from that; it is an idol conceived by man and is not to be with us permanently. If we retain that image and try to preserve our old self-image, rather than allowing ourselves to be taken into the death that Jesus experienced, we're in deep trouble. Only through that death can we be resurrected into spiritual understanding. 

 

Our former mentality concluded that the penalty for sinning was going to hell; we did not see that it was death. The word HELL means UNPERCEIVED - and the Adamic man lives in unperception of who God is. If he doesn't repent of the old government and of all the evil actions, the deeds and lustings of the flesh, he will reap what he has sown - and this is hell! But the penalty of sin is not hell - its death. The Adamic nature is separated from God and therefore is in death. If we don't take on the likeness of Christ we will die in our sins. 

 

We don't want to live in the death consciousness that resides in this body. We need a consciousness that is not derived from this body - one that is beyond it. Since our senses and mind can only receive from creation, we need to receive revelation in our spirit. Once we recognize this, it will be easier for us to lay down everything - for this is what death is. The new birth separates us from the old so that we can be joined to the Spirit and hear what the Spirit is saying! Even as there is physical growth, there is spiritual growth. We grow in the realization and knowledge of Christ - we learn that we have become partakers of the divine nature and live and move and have our being in Him; God is our Father and we are one with Him; the Holy Spirit brings us the knowledge of sonship and we understand that we are in the family of God. We actually experience this in the Spirit! 

 

"...an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live." (Jn. 5:25) This does not refer to the physically dead, but to those who are dead in their trespasses and sins. Those who hear the voice of the Son of God shall live! In Rev. 3:20 it says that Jesus stands at the door and knocks, and "if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in..." How important it is to hear the voice of the Son of God! Hearing implies obeying! Hearing Him brings us into life; we pass from death to life. In Rom. 6:5 it says, "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." This is resurrection! 

 

"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?" (v.3) Christ's death was a death TO sin - not because of sin. (Rom. 6:10) Let's see how death came into this world. God said to Adam that if he would eat of a certain tree he would surely die. Satan disagreed and said, "You surely shall not die." Adam ate and he died. His death was a separation from God. In that separation he was JOINED TO SATAN'S LIE AND THE DELUSION THAT IS IN THE LIE. He was united to creation instead of to the creator. Adam's consciousness of himself was now birthed in a lie, because he was separated from God in his thinking. He was separated from truth, for he did not know that "In Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28) 

 

Adam is the high priest of the lie. He ministers through the corporate Adamic man. Sin came into the world, and death through sin, and so living in the realm of death in Adam means living in a delusion; living in a lie! Man lives in the lie that causes him to be separated from God. He is ignorant of the fact that he lives and moves and has his being in God. It is God who gives us life and breath and all things! So everything man is - except his delusion - is of God. The delusion and lies came from the father of lies. This is what death in Adam is, for in Adam all die. 

 

But now we have been baptized into the death of Christ; we have been planted into the likeness of His death. (Rom. 6:5) Adam's separation from God was his death. Christ's death was a death to sin - the lie had no part in Him. The humanity to which He was joined contained the lie (or death). This separated Him from God. To be freed and separated from the lie, He had to die to that lie. This is His death. The death we have been put into, separates us from Adam and the lie, from carnality and the earthiness of creation. We have become a new creation in Christ Jesus because His word in us creates a new creature in us. IT CREATES A NEW SENSE OF BEING AND A PARTICIPATION IN THE DIVINE NATURE! 

 

Jesus had to come into our death, so that He could experience what we were in, and then He could take us out. Jesus partook of death. (Heb. 2:14) Since He didn't sin, He didn't die because He sinned, but He died TO sin. Men put His physical body to death. God did not put Him to death. God sent Him into the world to save the world - not to condemn it. However, man did not understand the blessing God gave him in Jesus Christ, so man killed Him. They thought they were killing the idea of God which Christ expressed. This is exactly what human nature or the Adamic man does all the time. He constantly puts truth to death, and lives in separation from the truth of God in Christ Jesus. This is also true of the religious systems of the world, in Israel and in most churches. 

 

We have been planted with the seed of life that brings us out of death. Being planted gives us a picture of life coming out of death. Life brings a termination to the death that was present - a termination of the delusion that caused death. By His resurrection, Jesus proved that death was caused by a delusion. Jesus is the truth; as He expressed Himself as the truth, He overcame the death into which He had entered. In expressing the truth and the true nature of His divine being, He overthrew death and exposed the delusion. Generally the death of Adam is associated with the death of his physical body. This is not the truth - it's a deception! The death of the physical body is simply a separation from our former identification - we can no longer identify with our physical body and draw our knowledge and realization from it. 

 

Since Christ is the truth and Adam is an adversary to Christ, Adam is the vessel through which the lie operates. In Adam all die, but in Christ all are made alive. They are opposites. Death is in Adam but life is in Christ. Christ operates in truth and Adam in the lie. Jesus Christ came to take away the fear of death from man. That is why Christians do not have to be afraid of death. They do not have to spend all their money trying to escape physical death, nor do they have to be filled with self-pity, for death is not a separation from everything. Yet often they do not understand this. Within them they should have a new sense of dwelling - a dwelling in Jesus Christ, so that they do not fear the departure of the physical body. 

 

Our redemption comes in Jesus Christ. Everything that dwells in Christ Jesus - His life, His sense of being, His going through death - has to come to us in the spirit. When this becomes real to us in our consciousness, the truth will draw us away from the concept of death that is in Adam. The transference from the old man to the new man, from our deluded image of God to the true image, from our natural realization to a spiritual realization, from our deluded consciousness to a true consciousness, cannot take place without repentance. That is the only way we can change. 

 

God is omnipresent! Therefore we can never get away from Him regardless of how hard we try! Wherever we go He is! If we go down to the sea, He is there; if we make our bed in hell, He is there. Actually we live and move and have our being in Him. After Adam sinned, he tried to hide from God but he couldn't! God found him! He had been fooled into thinking that God no longer loved him, but there was no truth in that. Jesus Christ, in His humanity, went through all these things and broke the bondage of that realization. He now ministers His life to us! 

 

Living in the Adamic nature is the penalty of separation. Adam died to the truth so his soul died; his realization of God, of himself, etc., became embedded in the lie. Unless we truly understand that we have passed from death to life, we can still operate in the Adamic soulish realization of God and of ourselves. Even full-time evangelistic preachers who are filled with the Spirit, can still be operating in the law and in the Adamic nature, not understanding the grace of God. We need to understand that we are new creatures and have passed from death to life! We have passed from Adam to Christ; we have been resurrected out of the earthy concept and have been put into the spiritual concept; we know we are sons of God! Our prayers are directed to the Father! Jesus said, "If you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name...in that day you will ask in My name." (John 16:23, 26) We can speak to the Father directly! The Spirit causes us to cry "Abba! Father!" He does not cause us to cry "Jesus". 

 

Separation from God causes us to sin; union with God keeps us from sinning. Since death is the realm of separation from God, death came first, then sin. Some think that sin came first, but that is not the case. Sin constantly produces death. Seeing death as separation from God, and life as union with God, is reality. We must remember that separation from God was birthed in a lie; it is a lie and therefore produces delusion. The truth MAKES us free of the lie! The truth frees us from our earthy concepts; it frees us from our false image of ourselves; it also frees us from our mistaken identity of who God is. Our false idea of God is our greatest mistake! Israel was living in that delusion - in their mistaken identity of God; that is why they killed Jesus. 

 

What is this saying to us? It tells us that all the wars, greed, abusive sex, sin, aids, thievery and conniving that are going on in this world right now, are the penalty of separation from God. No one, whether young or old, man or woman, educated or uneducated, has the spiritual energy to prevent himself from lusting after the things of this world - from greed, murder, hate, divorce, etc. Freedom from natural desires and control of the flesh can only be obtained in Christ Jesus. Unless we understand we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, we will not have the spiritual energy to overcome! This is what the gospel is all about. 

 

The true meaning of the gospel has never before been brought to light as it is today. The gospel includes more than the forgiveness of sins. If God pardons our sins, but does not change our nature, He has to pardon our sins every day, every week, all the time. (Unfortunately, this is what most church systems teach.) That is why there is almost as much evil and as many divorces in the church as in the world. There are still some within the church walls who take the law seriously and try to obey the law. But a big problem still exists because of the self-righteous attempts to keep the law; these are anchored in self-preservation. However, if God changes our nature to the nature of Jesus Christ, so that sin no longer works in us in that way, we can be overcomers. 

 

God has not promised redemption to the Adamic man, for he resides in death and is subject to the flesh and to sin. Those who want to preserve their Adamic nature, have it changed, blessed, and raised up into heaven, will be disappointed. This will not happen because God has not promised redemption for the carnal mind. Redemption is in Christ Jesus. He is our Redeemer! Our redemption is FROM that Adamic man! It is from our wrong idea of God, from our desire to preserve our old self, from our wrong concept of life and of who we are. This is what we are redeemed from! This happens when the Spirit of Christ comes into us, and we learn to hear the voice of the Son of God. This brings life. We have to hear Him individually even though we are members of a corporate body. 

 

All the suffering that is taking place in the human body today is due to the penalty of separation. I think all things will improve as we grow spiritually. We are not expecting everything to change automatically, as if by magic, but we have the foundation upon which we can begin to grow. With our spiritual growth, the old ideas will drop off like dead leaves. That is happening today. A transition from the old man to the new man, from death to life, is taking place. There is a resurrection, a new creation in us! It's all happening through the same testimony, the same Christ, the same Jesus who has been around for some 2000 years. 

 

We need to lay down those things that have been operating in our own mind, nature and conception, and hear what the Spirit is saying to the church! We have to hear with the ear of the Spirit - even while reading the Bible! We must receive the Spirit. That is the way it was, is, and ever shall be, because that is the way God has laid it out. Jesus is the way! 

 

The Bible is wonderful! In a sense it's just as essential to us as our body is, because the workings of God that are by faith in us now, come first to the natural. It's great to read the testimonies of the various people in the Bible and contemplate them in the natural. But that is not what we are talking about. We are speaking about the realm beyond the natural so that all things work together for good to them that love God. I love the Bible and I think it is a wonderful testimony to make us wise unto salvation. However, it is CHRIST who IS our salvation! It is not only about Him - it's Him as a reality in our life and as a reality of our life! 

 

PART THREE

WHO CRUCIFIED JESUS?

 

Greetings in the name of the Christ of God! Thanks to Him, we have received the Holy Spirit who blesses us, edifies us and enlarges our knowledge of spiritual things. The natural man cannot receive spiritual realities because they can only be discerned spiritually. 

 

Some people say God could have provided our salvation without the death of Jesus, because with God nothing is impossible. But the fact is that God has His own way, the best way of doing things, and His ways are not man's ways. 

 

When people reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus, they mainly think about the horrors of it. Crucifixion was a punishment for criminals, and considered a curse. People were nailed onto poles called crosses and left to die. As they were being crucified they were jeered and taunted by those watching the execution. So people only see the physical Jesus hanging on a cross, a crown of thorns on His head, and the blood flowing from His sword-pierced side. They mistakenly think of Jesus dying as a substitute for them, and their redemption being secured through this blood. Now they don't have to die for their sins. This is what man sees through his physical eyes and understands in his natural mind. But this is not the message of the cross and the crucifixion, for the natural mind cannot receive things of the Spirit, nor can it know who the Christ actually is. 

 

In this message I would like to address the real meaning of the crucifixion. We are interested in God's perspective - not man's. What does the cross of Christ represent? Let's see what Paul meant when he said, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me...But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...But we preach Christ crucified." (Gal. 2:20; 6:14; 1 Cor. 1:23) We know that Paul was not on the cross with Jesus physically. If Jesus died as our substitute, we would not have to die. However, when He died, we all died; we were crucified together with Him, and so was Paul. 

 

The real crucifixion of Jesus could not be seen by natural man; therefore man does not understand it. Man can only see the form and the type. Everything that was going on in the Christ was veiled by His flesh; it was veiled by the fact that man cannot see beyond the flesh of Jesus. But we are no longer to know Him after the flesh. (2 Cor. 5:16) To better understand this we'll have to go back to some basics. 

 

On the cross Jesus said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." The people who were crucifying Jesus were completely ignorant of what they were doing by crucifying Him; they didn't understand what was really happening! 

 

To help clarify this, we will look at 3 verses. In Eph. 1:4 it says, "Just as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world..." We are chosen IN Him - not only BY Him but IN Him. The Greek word translated FOUNDATION, is KATABOLE; it actually means a CASTING DOWN, a DISRUPTION. Some versions correctly translate it DISRUPTION. Now let us read it as it should be. "According as He has chosen us in Him before the DISRUPTION of the world." The WORLD is not synonymous with CREATION; it is the rule that is in creation. Christ's kingdom is not of this world. 

 

God in Christ is not rectifying nor stopping all the horrible things going on in this world, because His kingdom is not of this world. That is not where He is ruling. This world is being ruled by the god or ruler of this world. The god of this world controls people through their minds, their mental processes and their fleshly senses in their physical bodies. But God in Jesus Christ came in a different manner, because Christ is spirit and God is spirit. He has given us the Spirit, and He is giving us spiritual understanding. "He has chosen us in Him before the disruption of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love." 

 

The next verse is Rev. 13:8: "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him (the beast), every one whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain." Again, the word FOUNDATION should have been translated DISRUPTION. It speaks about the Lamb slain from the DISRUPTION of the world. 

 

The third scripture is 1 Peter 1:19-20, "But with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation (disruption) of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you (and for me)." The blood of the perfect lambs that were offered in the Old Testament was a figure, type, or shadow of Christ's blood. Since "the soul is in the blood," the blood typifies the soul. The soul has to do with our sense of being - who we are or who we think we are. The blood of Christ represents His sense of being. It is not to be used as a fetish, charm or superstition, for His blood redeems us in a different way. He, the Lamb of God, was foreordained and present before the disruption of the world. The world is the rule that is in creation. According to these verses, when man sinned God's rule was disrupted and the Lamb was slain in the hearts of people. This was the disruption of the world. 

 

Rev. 21 tells us that the New Jerusalem, the holy city, is the bride of the Lamb. Jesus doesn't marry a geographical city with gates, streets and stones, so this city must typify something. Gal. 4 explains that the old Jerusalem was a city of law and bondage. Jesus said (in effect), "I'd like to have your children - the ones you have spawned as law people and who are therefore living with a guilt conscience - and I would like to redeem them." Christ was manifested to redeem those that were under the law in the present Jerusalem. But there is another Jerusalem, the New Jerusalem, a new heavenly city. This city is a covenant which was typified by Sarah who bore children to Abraham in a miraculous way. 

 

In the book of Genesis we learn that the Adamic man was seduced by an adversary to God's word, which caused the rule of God to be disrupted. Then Adam and Eve found themselves naked; they had a guilt conscience before God so they wanted to hide themselves from God's presence. There was a disruption of God's rule because they had forsaken God's rule and had accepted someone else's rule - the rule of the adversary, satan or the devil. His rule is one of darkness and ignorance - a persuasion that is not of God. This persuasion rejects (slays) the Lamb. 

 

The Lamb of God does not have a sin-consciousness. Christ realized He was the Son of God and was loved by God. The Lamb was innocent; it had done nothing wrong, but it was slain. By whom? A lot of people think that God sent His Son into the earth, then killed Him for our sakes that we might go free. That simply is not true! God did not kill His Son! If God killed that Son He could kill all His sons. Actually, the Son of God cannot be killed; He is the same as His Word, as Christ and as God, because they are all one. So death cannot invade Him. However, God's rule of mankind was disrupted. The rule of the kingdom of God was superseded by another rule - a rule which came through the Adamic man. "Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin." 

 

Jesus Christ is the One who makes things alive. He was crucified by the sin-consciousness in humanity. In the beginning, man did not have a sin-consciousness. When God gave the law to His chosen people they became very conscious of sin. Through the law is the knowledge of sin, and the law is a form of truth. (Rom. 3:20) After Israel received the law of Moses, they became very sin-conscious. This was part of God's plan. Jesus Christ came as the Lamb of God, and was manifested in Israel with a pure guiltless conscience. He was free of sin. There was a beautiful relationship between the Father and Son! He was actually the Word of God made manifest in the flesh, because God rules through His Word. So Jesus Christ was a manifestation of God's rule. He was the kingdom of God; the kingdom of God was unveiled and revealed to humanity, but it remained ignorant of it. 

 

The people of Israel had the worst sin-consciousness in the whole earth at the time Jesus entered the land of the law. This was because they had the law, and the law kept accusing them. Jesus said, "Don't think I will accuse you. The one that accuses you is Moses." (John 5) These accusations gave them a sin-consciousness; because they couldn't fulfill the law, they tried to justify themselves. They were a living proof of the fact that humanity had been slaying the Lamb since the disruption of the world. It was their sin-consciousness that crucified Jesus Christ. The truth in Christ revealed the lies and delusion under which they were operating, so they wanted to do away with the truth. 

 

The lie constantly confronted the truth. Because people believed the lie, the rule of the guiltless, sinless Jesus Christ was put to death. That is how the Lamb was slain since the disruption of the world. The Lamb was this Jesus Christ who said, "Before Abraham was I am." Nothing was made that was not made by Him! This Christ of God is actually God's true rule. He is guiltless and without any sin-consciousness. When that lack of sin-consciousness met with Israel's full consciousness of sin, it wasn't long before the hierarchy began to say, "Let's get rid of this Man." The leaders did not like to hear Jesus talk about God as His Father. 

 

Many scripture passages mention the fact that people had it in their hearts to kill Christ! John 5:16 and 18 talk about the Jews persecuting Jesus and wanting to kill Him. In the seventh chapter of John alone it makes reference to their evil intent four times! It was a well-known fact that the leaders were scheming to kill Jesus. That is why the people asked, "Is this the one they want to kill?" Murders come out of the hearts of men. Jesus said Satan was a murderer from the beginning; he never had any truth in him and he fathered every lie. (Jn. 8:44) Satan influenced people in the garden and He influences them today. It was not God who fathered those thoughts that led Adam to fall prey to the lie. It was not God who fathered the thoughts to crucify Jesus Christ. It was Satan who fathered those thoughts in the hearts of men! 

 

The law gave people a really guilty conscience but it did not change their desires. They still clung to their desire for self-rule, for being their own lord, and to their own idea of God. It was quite obvious that Christ had an entirely different idea of God than Israel had. That is why Jesus Christ was crucified in the hearts of men before He was put on the cross. 1 Cor. 2:8 says that if the rulers of this age had understood, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. After Satan entered Judas' heart, Judas betrayed Jesus. These men who already had it in their hearts to kill Jesus, took Him and put Him on the cross. 

 

The place where Christ is crucified is in the hearts of men. It is through death that we are resurrected into the life of Christ! Through death we are severed from our Adamic nature; we are made alive and begin to hear the Spirit. Everyone who has a guilt- and sin-consciousness is slaying the Lamb by that consciousness. The law shames us and tells us how bad we are. So those who preach the law are killing Christ instead of making Him alive. Christ identified with us! Those who suffer from a sin-consciousness are constantly crucifying the Lamb nature. It is the GUILT OF SIN THAT PUTS TO DEATH THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT! 

 

Matt. 24:27 "For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming (PRESENCE) of the Son of Man be." Who is the Son of Man? Only those who know the Son of Man will recognize His presence. Nobody can see the Son of Man. Those who are quickened in the Spirit can understand and know who the Son of Man is. 

 

Paul said, "You are the body of Christ." Believing that you are part of the body of Christ helps you to understand that when He comes in His body, you are part of that body. The way Christ comes into the world now, is through that body of humanity, which is the new man, for he is raised from the Adamic death to the Christ man. That is where His presence is in the earth and that is the way Christ is coming. God is not in time or place, for there is no time in God and He fills all things. He is always the same and there is no place where God is not. We have to realize that! Since God is omnipresent, the only way He can be recognized and received is simply in experiencing His consciousness. Then we will know. 

 

Let's look at some verses which talk about the Son of Man. "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." (Matt. 24:30) This is a prophetic and commonly known verse from Dan. 7:13. "For the coming (PRESENCE) of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah." (v.37) This is the day of the Son of Man. The coming really means the unveiling or presence. "And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away, so shall the coming (PRESENCE) of the Son of Man be." (v.39) "For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will." (v.44) You can't think it if you cannot identify with the Son of Man. "...the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day." (Luke 9:22) So He died as the Son of Man, was raised as the Son of Man, and He is coming as the Son of Man. The Son of Man is corporate, and everyone who has been raised from the Adamic man to the new man in Christ is part of Him. If you do not understand who the Son of Man is, look it up in the scriptures. 

 

It is very important to understand that the Lamb of God only has a consciousness of guiltlessness, innocence and relationship with God - peace, love, joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit. Man's consciousness is one of separation from God because he doesn't understand God correctly. The consciousness of guilt and sin has to be based upon the premise that man takes the responsibility for his own sin, when actually he was put in a position where he was seduced by a lie that was presented as truth. No wonder God can justify us! It is because man did not originate sin. Sin came into the world through man, but man did not originate it. All sin is iniquity or missing the mark. This is due to the lie, and Satan is the father of lies; humanity is not the father of lies! 

 

God is delivering us through Jesus Christ. He is not just TRYING to deliver us; He IS doing it through Jesus Christ. If we say God is TRYING to do it, it sounds as though He isn't able to do it, and He is putting effort into something that doesn't work. But God is able to deliver us! He has provided a way in which we can come back and get rid of all the lies, our false consciousness and our wrong idea of God! He doesn't do it through any undue persuasion, nor by shaming us because of our sin. He does it by giving us the power to live the life that we have come into! 

 

Natural man's concept of the crucifixion and exaltation of Jesus is all in the natural realm. He only sees the physical Jesus taken by the hands of man and put on a cross and crucified. After Christ's resurrection, man again sees Him in this body, and believes this body is His real dwelling place. Now He is sitting in a geographical heaven somewhere. This is natural man's conception. 

 

But God has given us His Spirit so that we come to realize that which was veiled to the natural man - that which had darkened the hearts of those men who crucified Him. These people certainly were gods in their own eyes; they unquestionably had a wrong idea of God. A complete indictment of human nature is found in John 5:37-47. Jesus told Israel that they didn't know God, they had never seen His form, they had never heard His voice, they didn't know the One that the Father had sent, they didn't believe Moses, and they received honor from men. Israel misused the law. It should have destroyed their self-righteousness and their efforts at obtaining righteousness through their own works, but it didn't! Their false idea of God caused them to abuse Christ, to reject His presence, and to finally kill Him. Christ was the exact image of the invisible God. He was the only unadulterated testimony of the invisible God that ever came to earth in human form, yet humanity wouldn't accept Him! 

 

We have to be careful to accept what Christ has done for us! We have to understand that we have been crucified with Christ, and when He died we died. In Heb. 2:14-15 it says, "Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." In other words, the children took part in flesh first. If you are a child of God there is nothing that separates you from God. In that sense you have no beginning. You are simply an extension of God, like you are an extension of the flesh. 

 

Death is generally spoken of in reference to the physical body. However, when it says, "In Adam all die" this is not the case. Everyone who has a consciousness of guilt has a consciousness of separation from God. He lives in the death of his carnal mind, and also crucifies the guiltless consciousness that is in Christ, the Lamb of God. It was through death that Jesus destroyed the devil. Therefore, Jesus had to go through death in order for the devil to be destroyed, because death is the crowning height of the devil's ability. And that death is separation from God! After the devil through his lies had separated man from God, God sent Jesus Christ as the truth, to bring us back into truth. Truth does away with the lies! Yet without truth lies could not exist. For example, if a child steals cookies, then denies it, the lie could not exist if there had not been any cookies and if he had not stolen them. However, when witnesses declare the child to be guilty, the truth does away with the lie. Lies depend on the truth as their foundation. So when truth comes, it dissipates the lie. 

 

This is the reason why we need to be cleansed from our guilt consciousness. For this we need the blood of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament the high priest took the blood of animals and went from the outer court (which is not a part of the temple proper), into the first holy place and then into the second holy place - but "not without blood". In other words, it is only the blood which can take us all the way in. 

 

The blood of Jesus Christ typifies the soul, the consciousness or the understanding that was in Jesus Christ. The physical blood that flowed out of His physical body is simply a historical event; it will not do anything for us. Since people just depend upon the physical blood, they retain their guilty conscience. The constant repetition of offerings (in the Old Testament) because of sins committed, did not rid the people of their sin-consciousness. In those sacrifices there was a reminder of sin year by year. (Heb. 10:1-4) If these offerings had really worked, people would not have had a consciousness of sin. But the blood of Christ is superior to the blood of animals. The soul is in the blood, and His soul cleanses our conscience from all sin. 

 

What puzzles us is how or why this sin-consciousness returns. This is simply because we haven't lived, walked or grown in this. So people give up and say, "Well, I am just a sinner saved by grace, and I pray every day to get rid of my sin-consciousness." They haven't anything permanent in which they can grow, because the state of their conscience depends on whether or not they sin. So they just want to give up and say, "Forget it". We can sear our conscience, suppress everything, and live as if everything is OK. Some people do that, but there is a day of reckoning for everybody. So that is not the answer. The answer lies in the fact that God has taken care of our sins! But people still have a sin-consciousness because of unbelief. The only way we can get rid of our sin-consciousness is to get rid of our wrong ideas and come into truth. We need to see who the Lamb of God is; to see the reality beyond the physical cross and what humanity did to Jesus; to see what Jesus was portraying in His humanity. The Holy Spirit was sent to teach us this truth! 

 

The general consensus of religious people in the Christian community is that God sent His Son into the world to be killed, and the shedding of His blood would be the remission of our sins. If that act alone took care of sins, then there would no longer be any sins. But there was more to it than that. He gave us a new covenant and sent the Holy Spirit to fulfill the promises of God! The many wonderful promises in the Old Testament could never be fulfilled under the old covenant, because that covenant required man to do his part. But man could not even keep the Ten Commandments! The commandments told man what to do and what not to do in order to receive the blessing. But they did not help man to keep them - and man by himself cannot keep them! 

 

Eph. 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus..." Not only are we in Christ and Christ is in us, but WE ARE CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS! The Word of God is creating in us a new sense of being, a new consciousness, a new understanding of God, a new relationship with God, and a new understanding of human nature. This is created in us by a spiritual word. If we died in Adam and were made alive in Christ, we realize that we are now the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be! The sons of God need to be unveiled; they are now being unveiled by the Spirit. 

 

"We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Our own minds cannot conceive what these works are that God has for us. We just walk in what He wants. Even Jesus didn't do the works, it was the Father in Him who did the works! That means that the Father God was in Jesus, but nobody saw nor understood that. When Jesus claimed that, the Jews got very incensed at Him. "What good work are you going to kill Me for?" Jesus asked. They answered, "It is not because of your good works, but because You called God your Father. That's blasphemy." But it wasn't blasphemy! 

 

Paul explained that circumcision of the flesh doesn't count anymore. In Eph. 2:11-12 Paul said, "Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision," by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands - remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world." They were without hope in THIS world - that is, in the rule they were under. However, in the beginning of this chapter Paul said, "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the children of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest." This does not refer to the wrath of God - that is the wrath of this world; our nature was one of wrath or indignation. Christ's kingdom is not of THIS world! 

 

Every man was walking according to the course of this world at one time. That is the area in which people were walking when they crucified Jesus in the flesh. Christ can still be crucified today; He is being crucified every day by a guilt-consciousness. The Word of God (Christ) is being crucified or put to death by guilt-consciousness. When you have guilt-consciousness, then there is no room for Christ, because they are incompatible - one washes out or excludes the other. Only by continually allowing the Spirit to bring us into this realization of guiltlessness and relationship with God, can we get hold of this! There is no condemnation in the Spirit of Christ, which has come to us! 

 

"But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (v.13) Although Christ's blood was shed long ago; most of the world is not yet near to Christ. Christ is the Anointed, the Messiah! He is the Anointing! When the Messiah (the Anointing) comes He will teach you all things. The Holy Spirit is our new teacher - the law no longer teaches us. The Holy Spirit is exactly the same as the Messiah. If you have received the Holy Spirit, you have received the Messiah. The Messiah is Christ and He has come. People could not see Him; they could only see the man Jesus, the outward form who identified with humanity and through whom God spoke. People did not like what Jesus said; they did not understand Him. Neither do people understand the Anointing today! They seem to think it is a feeling of ecstasy or power. The Anointing is the Spirit of truth! 

 

Christ is our peace; He has made the circumcision and the uncircumcision one. People are no longer divided into groups - Jews and Gentiles, circumcision and uncircumcision. Oh yes, in the world, in man's mind and in the church system they still exist, but in Christ NO! He "broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances..." The law brought sin-consciousness. Christ abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments! Can you believe that? He has abolished the law of commandments. ABOLISHED! The ordinances - thou shalt not do and thou shalt do, have been abolished! Those who serve God in the commandments, serve God in something that has been abolished in Christ. 

 

The world patterns itself according to the morality described as good or evil. It is living in the knowledge of good and evil as contained in laws and ordinances. God is not good and evil; Christ is not good and evil. No man is good. Jesus said, "No one is good except God alone." (Lk. 18:19) So we might as well quit living like that! 

 

"...that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace." This was not done by something outside of Himself; it was IN Himself! Christ is that anointing; it is in Himself, in His knowledge, in His consciousness, in His realization, that He has made in Himself of the two, one new humanity, one new mankind! This is the Son of Man, the Son of mankind! Jesus said that the Son of Man is coming again. His presence in the world is the Son of Man. Anyone who has the anointing must allow the anointing to properly teach him what is truth. Jesus said, "I am the truth." His witness is always true! 

 

Christ is the wisdom and the knowledge of God; He is the Word of God. What a tremendous revelation that He has made "...the two into one new man, thus establishing peace." ONE NEW MAN! This brings us into the realization that there is only one man - a new man! This new man is not the old man who was under the law, whose consciousness was one of good and evil. The guilt-consciousness is abolished in the new man! This one new humanity is the new man, the Son of Man! 

 

Let's look at this in the symbolism of the tabernacle. The outer court, where Jesus preached, wasn't part of the tabernacle. Interesting, isn't it, that here on earth Jesus was not qualified to enter the tabernacle because He was not a Levite. Even the high priest could only enter the second holy place once a year - but not without blood. So Jesus, our true High Priest, went into the presence of God with His blood. This was not the physical blood of Jesus. The blood represents the soul or the consciousness of Christ. The death of the old man took place in the outer court, for we were crucified with Christ. The blood then had to enter the first holy place where the lampstands were. In Rev. 1 we see that the church is to manifest the likeness of the Son of Man. Unfortunately, it doesn't. 

 

On the Isle of Patmos, John received a message from the seven Spirits who are before the throne of God and from Jesus Christ. John heard a voice behind him, and when he turned to see the voice, he saw seven golden lampstands. These illuminated one LIKE a son of man standing in the middle of the lampstands. We are all made in His image and are being conformed to the image of Christ. He made Himself this new man. This new man is actually the only man, the only humanity that can touch or reach God. 

 

There is only one Mediator between God and man, and that is this new man. People who are trying to mediate God through Moses (the law), the letter, or the Old Testament, can only mediate that consciousness. The letter kills. It can only bring an explanation to people and cause them to change their minds, but it cannot make them new creatures in Christ. 

 

Eph. 2:16: "And might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity." Notice that both the circumcision and the uncircumcision needed reconciliation to God. "In one body to God" - that's the body of Christ. Now we are the body of Christ. This is how He is coming. The enmity was put to death on the cross; He took away the enmity, and this brought reconciliation! 

 

"And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near: for through Him (Christ) we both have access in one Spirit to the Father." Our access to the Father comes through Christ IN His Spirit. It does not come in any other way! It is not through our works, nor our zealousness in doing good things like reading the Bible, praying, etc. It is only in the Spirit of Christ! We are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus - not in any other way. We have to be regenerated in the Spirit of the Son so that we can cry "Abba, Father," and pray "Our Father who art in heaven." 

 

In reviewing these things, we must first realize "That God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, NOT COUNTING THEIR TRESPASSES AGAINST THEM." (2 Cor. 5:19) Jesus Christ was the exact image of God, and there's no condemnation in God. But the sad thing is that people have thought that God is a God of good and evil; that He is both good and evil, and expects us to do something for Him. God doesn't expect us to do anything but to allow Him to do it! That may not sound right, but if we allow Him, He will take care of it. 

 

Jesus came to correct our mistaken idea of God. Had there not been a wrong idea of God, He would not have had to correct it. Christ, the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of truth, brings us His Son, the exact image of the invisible God. He is the right idea of God! Jesus manifested a true image of God while on earth, yet people crucified Him; this proves that He was being crucified in the hearts of people since the disruption of the world. When He appeared in the flesh they crucified Him again - and they are still doing it today! Every man who is living under the law and has a guilt-consciousness does not understand that God does not impute sins in Christ. Since he does not understand that he has been taken out of Adam and has been created a new man, he still crucifies Christ. God made one new man, one new mankind being an image of God! 

 

Now we are made a new man - an image of God. That is why we are bearing witness to the fact that a guilt-consciousness crucifies Christ in our hearts - even as it did long before the cross. Christ's mind and a guilt-consciousness are diametrically opposed to each other; they are not compatible! "For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another...!" (Gal. 5:17) This is the battle of Armageddon that has been going on since the disruption of the world. 

 

Since we have been crucified with Christ and our minds and testimony are like-minded with Him, the world will also crucify us; so will the church systems of organized religion because they are a part of the world. They are married to the world, they get along well with the world, and they co-exist with the world. Just as the world tries to rectify things through legalism, so do they! They are out there with their anti-abortion marches, anti-drug slogans, etc. Instead of dying to their own efforts, being made alive in Christ and maturing, they are fighting in the flesh. They are still striving and breaking the Sabbath instead of entering into the rest of God. 

 

The true consciousness of the crucifixion only comes to us when we are willing to be crucified with Him, to be buried with Him, to be raised with Him, and to enter a newness of life with Him. Then we receive the realization that He is not condemning us! When we are in Christ we have no consciousness of sin; Christ is our life! We are living, growing and maturing in Him now! The truth will dissolve the lies of the enemy; it will do away with our self-effort in trying to overcome our weaknesses, to better ourselves, and to take away our guilt-consciousness. 

 

I hope this gives you a better idea and understanding of the crucifixion. God bless you. "Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything." (2 Tim.2:7) 

 

PART FOUR

DEATH AND THE CROSS

 

Greetings in the name of the Lord! I would like to share some thoughts regarding the spiritual transaction that took place when Jesus was crucified. Natural man cannot conceive what happened in God's sight! All these years, humanity has only looked at the historical cross from its natural perspective, and there is a big gap between what really happened on the cross and our natural concept of it. We need to understand who died on the cross and who was responsible for the crucifixion. But before we talk about the crucifixion and the cross (the instrument of death), I want to emphasize that God did not have His Son killed as a sacrifice for our sins. We must not believe that terrible thought. God loved His Son and sent Him as an offering. 

 

The word CROSS is derived from the Greek word STAUROS, an upright pole or stake on which criminals were nailed for execution. This was not the ecclesiastical two-beamed cross which has its origin in ancient Chaldea. The T symbol (being in the shape of the mystic Tau) stood for their god, Tammuz. By the middle of the third century, the church had departed from certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase their prestige and numbers, churches received pagans apart from regeneration by faith, and these pagans were usually permitted to retain their signs and symbols. So the Tau, or T, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Jesus Christ. This is where our understanding of the word CROSS comes from. 

 

CRUCIFY comes from the Greek word STAUROO, meaning to stake or impale. It was an impalement on a pole - a method of torture used by the Romans; stoning was used by Israel. Israel did not have the authority to crucify people because they were in bondage to the Romans. Anyone Israel wanted to have crucified, had to be turned over to the Romans for them to use their method of shame and punishment. The purpose of crucifixion of course was death. 

 

Jesus was crucified on the day before a Sabbath - not necessarily a Saturday; feast days were also called Sabbaths. Since the Jews did not want Him to be hanging there on the Sabbath, the soldiers were sent to hasten the death of the criminals. They broke the legs of the two criminals, but when they came to Jesus, they found He was already dead, so they pierced His side. The organized church generally regards His death as a substitutionary death for us. It believes that Jesus died as a substitute for us; that God sent Jesus and had Him killed as a sacrifice for us. It believes that we can now be saved and go to heaven because of that substitutionary death. This is far from the truth! 

 

Regarding the birth of Jesus, Isaiah prophesied, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." (Is. 7:14) Immanuel means God with us. The Spirit came on Christ and indwelt Him. When Jesus was on earth, God was with us in Christ. After Christ's resurrection and ascension the Spirit was poured out. (Acts 2) Now God indwells us in the Spirit. He is in us, AS OUR LIFE. In Acts 17 Paul spoke to some pagans and said, "In Him we live and move and have our being." These pagans had no conception of what that meant - but Paul did. How about us? Do we know what that means? 

 

Before we can answer that question, we have to understand that God was the initiator of our redemption. Everyone needs to be redeemed! In Adam everyone is dead in his trespasses and sins. Everyone went his own way, and none sought after God. To those who would first bury their father before following Jesus, He said, "Let the dead bury their dead." Paul said, "But she that gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives." (1 Timothy 5:6) 

 

This concept of death differs from our natural idea of death. We know that God is not a God of the dead but of the living, for God's rule does not operate in the dead! In his mind and realization Adam is separated from God; he walks in the realm of death. The carnal mind of death operates in the physical body, for all die in Adam! Therefore God's rule cannot be implemented in Adam. When we mind the flesh, we are living in the death realm, because we are living in separation from God, for we feel guilty before Him, not having a good conscience with God. Those who are in Adam have a god who is formed by their carnal mind, imagination and reasonings; their god is formed by the mind of death. The carnal man's god is not the true God! 

 

When Jesus abolished death He proved that life is stronger than death! And life is truth! Since death can be abolished, it is not an eternal reality. Those who live in the death realm, live in delusion! Death is the last enemy to be destroyed. 

 

Spiritual truth gives us true understanding! The kingdom of God is the rule of God, and it only operates in the Spirit. Life is only in Christ in God, so all who have life, live unto Him. Life is the realization of a good conscience with God. Life is difficult to understand. We don't really understand our own life. We can study how our body functions, what sustains it and what destroys it, the interrelationship of hormones, etc., but the mystery of life eludes us. We have an awareness of life and a consciousness of being. This is called the soul. 

 

It is important to understand that Jesus Christ did not lay down His life, but His soul. He had no control over His life, because He said, "I can do nothing of Myself." Then what about John 10:17, 18 where it says that Jesus laid down His life for us? The reason we get a wrong impression is because of a faulty translation. The Greek word PSUCHE, which is used here, means SOUL, and should be translated SOUL. Let's read it that way. "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My soul that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." Jesus also said, "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves." (Jn. 6:57, 53) His flesh and blood represent His consciousness of being the Son of God. He knew that He was not a sinner; He was innocent, He had immortality, He was a spiritual being! This is the consciousness we are to receive from Him! 

 

He laid down His soul as an offering. "...because He poured out His soul to death..." (Is. 53:12) Natural man can't see the completeness of Christ's redemption. God gives us the mind of Christ; it buys us back, or redeems us from the mind of the flesh (the mind of death); it brings us into an understanding and awareness of life! We will never understand life completely because God is life. No name can describe God completely. He expresses Himself as the Father, the Son, the Christ, the Holy Spirit. Jesus was the exact representation of the invisible God! These are various expressions of the one God. That is why the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Jesus Christ - not in His physical body - but they were one - one body of truth, life, righteousness, relationship, etc., in Christ. 

 

The following are some of the verses in which the word PSUCHE has been translated as LIFE instead of SOUL. "For whoever wishes to save his life (soul) shall lose it, but whoever loses his life (soul) for My sake, he is the one who will save it." (Luke 9:24, and similar verses in Matthew and Mark) "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life (psuche=soul) for the sheep...Even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life (psuche=soul) for the sheep." (John 10:11, 15) He did not lay down His life; He laid down His soul! 

 

He did not exercise any control over his life because He lived by the Father! His life was an extension of the Father's life! His Father-Son concept and consciousness were in the realm of spiritual understanding - the natural man does not have this understanding. He lives in the death realm - in a delusion. It was the soul of Christ that was laid down at the cross! Not only did He lay it down, but He emptied Himself of His conscious relationship to God! Because He trusted His Father, He didn't have to grasp for position. He knew that the Father had sent Him to identify with us in our humanity; He understood His Father's plan! Through participating in humanity's death, He would bring us to God by raising us out of Adam and putting us into Christ! This is resurrection! 

 

Let's look at what happened on the cross. We have to see that there are two sides to this - God's side and man's side. We have to understand that natural man was living in the Adamic man. This includes everyone, because in Adam all die. Before the cross there was a sense of death in every single person. Jesus knew that He had to participate in that death in order to take people out of it, because it is through death that we can have redemption. 

 

The following scripture passages reveal that people wanted to kill Jesus long before they were successful in their desire. John 5:15-16: "The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. And for this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath." John 5:18: "For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God." John 7:1: "And after these things Jesus was walking in Galilee; for He was unwilling to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him." John 7:19-20; 25: "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you carries out the law? Why do you seek to kill Me? The multitude answered, `You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?'...Therefore some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, `Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill?'" 

 

From these verses it is very evident that it was in the heart of men to kill Jesus Christ, the Son of God long before He was arrested. This desire came from the death realm in which they were living. They didn't know He was the Son of God, for they didn't even know God. The following verses should clarify this. "But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. And you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:36-47) 

 

Jesus knew that He was the true manifestation and expression of the invisible God; He was the true representative; He was the way, the truth and the life! He was speaking under the anointing of the Spirit, for He had received the Christ after He was baptized, at the age of 30. Before that He lived under the law. Not only had it been prophesied that He was to be the Christ, but He actually was the anointing He received! He was the Messiah, the Christos, the Anointing! These names are all translated from the same root word. So when we receive the anointing, we receive the Christ, the Messiah - and He is here now! If we belong to Christ, we are born of incorruptible seed. Since every seed has its own body, we are the body of that incorruptible seed! We are the body of the Christ in the earth. 

 

Jesus had indicted the Jews on a number of important issues. He was saying that they didn't know their God, they didn't know the One He sent, they didn't even believe the law! They were worshiping a god produced by their own mind - a product of their own imagination! They were worshiping those who were not God, like Paul said in Gal. 4. Jesus was the true expression of God, and they were seeking to kill Him! This is human nature in contest with God's revelation of Himself. Man's desire for self-preservation contests any infringement on his so-called rights. Since man fights against the kingdom of God, the only way he can enter it is by submitting to death. 

 

Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets. All the law and the prophets are fulfilled in Christ; not one tittle is left without being fulfilled. All the promises of God have their yes and Amen in Christ. There are no natural or physical promises, no time or credit card promises, no historical promises. All promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. By this we do not mean that they will be fulfilled by Him some day; they ARE fulfilled in Him! The progression or growth in our realization of God takes place in the Christ (the anointing, the Messiah). These various expressions of Christ come from the same root word. 

 

John the Baptist heralded the coming of the Christ. He had the same spirit as Elijah who turned the hearts of the children back to God in the Old Testament - during the days of Jezebel who had pagan priests in abundance. John the Baptist, moved by the Holy Spirit, pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." According to Old Testament law, only perfect lambs, without any blemishes were to be sacrificed to the Lord. As the people turned away from the Lord, they became mercenary and began to give crippled and sick animals to God! Malachi, the prophet, reprimanded them and in effect said, "Would you think of giving an imperfect gift to your governor? What would he think of you? What about God who is much greater than the governor? You can't get by with doing this to God!" Those lambs were symbolic of the Lamb of God who was to come, and therefore needed to be perfect! 

 

Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God, sent to be an offering that we might receive life! He was not sent to be killed but to bring life. His sacrifice consisted of giving up His glory with the Father, being made in human form and submitting Himself to the mind of death! God gave His Son into the hands of men, so that they might understand that God was a loving God and that He was not counting their trespasses against them! He wanted them to turn from their own conception and realization of God, and from their own ideas of self-preservation! They needed to repent of their pride of life, of the lust of the flesh and of the eyes. The sins they committed were the result of living according to the lusts of the flesh! Just refraining from committing sin is not enough. God wants us to repent of living in the Adamic man, the high priest of death - the man through whom sin entered the world! God deals with sin through the death of a man, and He deals with death through the death of a man. 

 

There is a difference between altering, beautifying, embellishing the old, and making something new! God is not altering and beautifying the old man in Adam; He is not waiting to give him a different body in order to produce a change in him. We are born of the Spirit - of incorruptible seed; we are new creations in spirit, soul and body! We may not be aware of the total change within us, but that does not change the reality of it. Our spirit is quickened or awakened, and our soul is renewed with the mind of Christ. 

 

Unless we know that there is another man, another existence or another life to get into, we won't give up the old man. We have to trust God and believe His promises. This is faith - faith in the unseen realm of God's promises! It is the SUBSTANCE of things we don't see. God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ in both the natural and spiritual realms. He is the fulfillment of all that God is. Once we see this, something happens in us! 

In getting truth, we get Christ, for He is the truth! Nothing else is the truth! Man thinks his understanding of the Bible is truth; therefore he also thinks his preaching, imaginations and conceptions of the Bible are truth. It may come as a bit of a shock for some to realize that the scriptures are a testimony of the truth, but CHRIST is the truth! When He becomes the truth to us we realize that there is no other truth! 

 

Let's see how Christ being the truth applies to Christ being the resurrection. In John 11:25 Jesus said, "I am the resurrection." He is the resurrection just as He is the truth and the life! We are resurrected from Adam into Christ, because in Adam all die and in Christ all are made alive. This resurrection has nothing to do with our physical body. The scriptures say we are baptized into Christ. When we are in Christ, we are in the body of Christ and we are the body of Christ. Paul said, "Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it." (1 Cor. 12:27) When we put on Christ, we receive the anointing. This is true even when we don't have a clear understanding of what the body of Christ is. 

 

Let's remember that the Christ is invisible. 1 Timothy 6:16 says that He lives in immortality and light that no one can approach. No one has ever seen the Christ. The Christ came on Jesus at the Jordan but no one saw it. After Jesus received the Spirit, and God identified Jesus as His beloved Son at the Jordan, Jesus always identified Himself as the Son of Man. The anointing (the Christ) comes on you and me, but no one sees it. At this present time we bear testimony of Christ out of our tabernacle of witness. We do not have to wait for God to do something dramatic on earth before we can bear witness of spiritual things, for Christ's kingdom "is not of this world". 

 

When we are regenerated, we are born from above; we are born again of an incorruptible seed, and are birthed into another man. Now God is not a man. The Son of Man is a testimony; He is an image of God. Christ, the true representation and image of God, is producing a new man in us. This occurs in the holy place, i.e. the first part of the two-part tabernacle. The light here is the Holy Spirit; He gives us the light of the seven spirits of Christ. In Rev. 1 John turned around and saw that the seven golden lampstands illuminated one who was in the likeness of the Son of Man. The seven lampstands represent the seven churches. (v.20) Light is needed for growth; it is also needed to bring revelation. The churches are supposed to be the light that helps us to grow in the likeness of the Son of Man, but they haven't. They have never brought us into a spiritual realization, a spiritual image of God. Just as Jesus Christ was a spiritual image of God while He was in a physical body, so we are to be that spiritual image! The man in Genesis 1 was created in the image of God. 

 

Through the Holy Spirit God has brought us the spiritual realization that the Son of Man is the spiritual image of the invisible God. Receiving this revelation makes us a new image through the Son of Man. We have been regenerated in the spirit. Our spirit has been awakened by the quickening Spirit of Christ. Paul said, "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Christ, the Son of Man, awakens us out of the death, darkness and ignorance of our human nature. By faith we get into the divine nature, and live in the realization that we are the sons of God. Since we have been put into the Son of Man, we are mediating between God and men. 

 

"And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, `The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.'" (Matt. 17:22) Do you see that a distinction is made between the Son of Man and the men who would kill Him? Jesus was delivered into the hands of men, and these men killed Him. God did not kill His Son; He did not kill anything! Crucifying Jesus was the work of men! But their work would be overthrown by God's work, for God would raise Him up on the third day! 

 

The question now arises as to whether human beings could kill the spiritual Son of Man? No, they couldn't, but they could kill the physical body - the fleshly form of the Emmanuel (God with us). But they could not kill the Father-Son relationship in Christ, the Son of Man - the God in Him. However, they thought that by killing the body of Jesus, they had killed the Son of Man. As long as we are in the physical body, we are identified as people. After we have been quickened and made alive spiritually, we know that we are the sons of God and have the mind of Christ! We are learning about spiritual things and living in that dimension, realizing that the fulfillment of everything is in the Christ in us. 

 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. Circumstances, time or place, do not cause God to change His mind. When Jesus came into our realm, He did not change; His relationship with God did not change; His life did not change. This was a demonstration of the contrast between God and human nature, between the natural and the spiritual realization. 

 

Natural man has been striving against God throughout the history of the human race. This came into focus when men crucified Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. The Jews had it in their hearts to kill Him long before He went to the cross. This evil intention came out of their ignorance of the true God and their worship of a god born and nurtured in their imagination. (John 5) 

 

At the trial of Jesus the high priest demanded to know from Jesus whether He really was the Son of God. Jesus replied, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matt. 26:64) After His resurrection, Christ showed Himself in a body that could be seen. This was not a spiritual body, because a spiritual body cannot not be seen! He had to show Himself in a body that could be seen because human nature can only understand natural things. He had to come to them to prove that He was still around - that He was still alive. After 40 days the disciples saw Jesus disappear in the clouds. 

 

Before He left, He instructed the disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to "wait for what the Father had promised...and you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you..." (Acts 1:4, 8) Everyone wants power, but not necessarily God's power. Jesus demonstrated God's power! Jesus of Nazareth was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power, and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. (Acts 10:38) The power He received enabled Him to submit Himself to the Father and to do His work. It enabled Him to refrain from receiving glory from men. It did not enable Him to do works which had their source in Himself. Jesus said, "It is the Father in Me who does the works...if I bear witness of Myself My witness is not true." The power that comes at Pentecost is the power of subjection; it is the power to eliminate the resentment and the rebellion against God! It is not the power to do things in our own ability! Once we have reached the place of complete subjection, God can work through us as He did through Christ! 

 

The glory of Christ lay in His subjection to the Father so that the Father could do His work through Him. He would not receive glory from men; He only received glory from the Father! It was God who was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and He has committed to us this word of reconciliation! The sovereignty of God is expressed by the Christ in us. It is not expressed by taking us out of this world or out of this physical realm. 

 

In Christ there is a new creation. The creation in Gen. 1 was made by the incorruptible Word of God of which God said, "It is very good." No one has changed that creation. The changes that have occurred in man (Genesis 3) are due to man's carnal reasoning and rebellion against God. Instead of saving the old carnal creation, He makes everything new! 

 

Jesus said, "I lay down My soul. I can lay it down, and I can take it up." He could lay down His SOUL and take it up again, but He did not exercise any control over His LIFE! Since Christ is our life, He also has jurisdiction over it! However, He gives us a realization of life which does away with the death realm we were in! 

 

Let's turn to Romans 6:3. "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?" (v.3) Jesus died to sin and lived to God! (v.10) Living in death is living in separation from God. Those who live in the death realm are living in delusion and ignorance. The Red Sea was called the water of separation; it separated the Israelites from the rule of the Egyptians. Jesus did not live in death; He was separate from sinners; He was undefiled; He was the Lamb of God; He had a pure conscience! Living to God does away with living in the death realm! 

 

"For if we have become united (planted) with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." (v.5) What did the death of Jesus consist of? "Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin...For the death that He died, He died to sin..." (v. 6-7, 10) Those who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death to sin! 

 

The rule of God in humanity was disrupted in the beginning when Adam sinned. The word FOUNDATION in Ephesians 1:4 and in 1 Peter 1:20 is translated from the Greek word KATABOLE which means a laying or casting down. So it should really be translated DISRUPTION. This also holds true for Revelation 13:8 which should read, "the Lamb slain from the disruption of the world". This word has nothing to do with foundation. The Greek word for FOUNDATION is THEMELIOS. Disobedience disrupted the rule of God in humanity, and evil came into the world. Christ came to restore the rule of God in us! 

 

"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." (Romans 6:5) Christ was raised from the dead so that we can walk in newness of life! The meaning of the "likeness of His death" has been distorted because men thought they could kill Jesus and His testimony and identification, i.e., that He was the Son of God and one with the Father. When Jesus asked the Jews why they wanted to kill Him, they replied that it wasn't because of anything He had done, but because He called God His Father! That indicated that He was the Father's Son, and that was blasphemy in their eyes! They had a completely wrong understanding of who Jesus Christ was, so they killed Him! They really didn't know what they were doing! On the cross Jesus asked the Father to forgive them for their ignorance. 

 

The Adamic man through whom sin entered the world, and death through sin, is man's big problem. The good news is that the old man was crucified together with Jesus Christ! How could this come about when Jesus remained completely in the will of God. He came to do His will! He said, "Not My will but Thine be done." He gave up His will! He identified with the faith of the Word of God in Him, but He also identified with humanity. So when He died, He died to sin, and He died to the men who were the slaves of sin - to those who were putting Him to death and didn't want anything to do with Him. 

 

The death in Christ is the death to sin. When Paul said, "I die daily," he said he was always dying to sin - not to self, nor to Christ. Dying to sin is the death that is in Christ! When a man dies to sin, he dies to the vehicle through which sin enters the world. When sin entered the world through one man, Adam, he became the priesthood of sin. The flow of the river of sin comes through that humanity. God deals with this problem through the death of our old man. "Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with." 

 

In their ignorance people thought they were destroying Jesus and His testimony by putting Him on the cross! Yet in His crucifixion, Jesus was actually destroying this wrong image of God - this delusion and ignorance that was putting Him on the cross. Men thought they were destroying Christ's testimony of God, while on God's side, God was destroying that old humanity. So in Christ there is actually a destruction, a putting to death or impaling, a denying or disowning of the old human nature. We have to receive life before we can get rid of death. We first have to repent and submit ourselves to God's order; then Christ comes to make us new, and to usher out the old! When life comes, death cannot hold us! This involves a continuous process; we are not instantly put into perfection. Life casts out death; it replaces ignorance with revelation knowledge; it changes our realization of God and Christ, and changes our whole sense of being of who we are. These things come into an entirely different focus in our life, and we are new creatures in Christ Jesus! Behold all things have become new! 

 

If people confess that they are sinners after they have been born again, they do not identify with being sons of God. Paul declared a wonderful truth in Romans 7. He showed us that we are all turned around in our thinking. He said, "It is no longer I who sin." Our identification is important! We need to identify with being sons of God! 

 

"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus...And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." (Rom. 6:11,13) People today are not considering themselves alive to God. They are hoping to be made alive some day in the future. That hope does not change them. The old Adamic man has been consigned to death; his life is in death and he will be separated from God forever. He is not to be redeemed! God is not redeeming the person we used to be; that person is dying because we have been crucified with Christ. That is not who we are now. We are now alive in Christ, and we need to identify with who we are in Christ, for He is our redemption! We are to consider ourselves alive unto God! This is a wonderful truth! 

 

Grace has nothing to do with our attainments. The law majors on attainment; humanity stresses attainment! Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ! We are not worthy of God's grace; grace is not handed out to us because we merit it in any way! We will never receive grace because of having arrived at a certain degree of perfection. If we could earn it, it would cease to be grace! It will be grace today, tomorrow, and forever! 

 

Our identification with Christ brings us into the reality of participating in everything He did! Jesus, the Son of Man, did not die alone, He wasn't buried alone, He wasn't raised alone, and He is not coming again alone! He is a corporate man; everything He did, He did together with us. Even as Adam was a corporate man (in him all die), so Christ is corporate (in Him all are made alive)! His death and resurrection are corporate; so is His coming again! 

 

Jesus Christ was not crucified at the beginning of His physical life, but at the end of it! Our crucifixion takes place through the law of repentance and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. It ends our life in the death realm and gives us spiritual life! We are put on the cross because of our testimony of God that has come to us in spiritual realization. That brings persecution and misunderstanding! And this is identifying with Christ. As He is so are we in this world. May God bless you and give you understanding by the Spirit. Amen 

 

PART FIVE

JUSTIFICATION

 

Astronomers are busy searching the heavens to learn more of the vastness of the universe! As they communicate their findings, we too are amazed at the magnificence of the solar system and the greatness of our God who has created all things according to His wisdom! But His wisdom is not confined to the seen realm! 

What God has done in Jesus Christ is even more awesome! The more we grow in Christ, the more tremendous and exciting this knowledge becomes! It exceeds our reasoning ability to such an extent that we may even have trouble receiving it by faith. As we believe what God says, we come into the joy of receiving all He has for us! If we try to prove that God's word is true by our circumstances, we won't enjoy His kingdom realities. 

 

The kingdom of God is in the unseen realm! The Jews did not understand this. Obviously it bothered Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, to hear that the Jews had a king! When Jesus was on trial before him, he had the opportunity to question Jesus about His kingship. Pilate was surprised when Jesus answered and said, "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36) Since Christ's kingdom is not of this world, do you think it can ever become a kingdom of this world? Do you think it would be to our advantage if the kingdom of God would become a kingdom of this world - a kingdom that could be seen? Which is greater, the seen realm or the unseen realm? Since the unseen realm is greater, it would lose its excellence and lofty position if it were transferred to the seen realm. We thank God that this will not happen! We also thank God that the rule of God in us will manifest itself in the fruit of the Spirit being evident in our lives. 

 

"Therefore Pilate said to Him, `So You are a king?' Jesus answered, `You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.'" (v.37) Do you realize the magnitude of the statement, "Every one who is of the truth hears My voice"? Pilate and the Jews heard His audible voice, but Jesus was not referring to that voice. He was referring to His spiritual message! Only those who desire truth will hear His voice! That is why it is impossible to force people to hear His message. Only those who are of the truth will hear Him! It seems a lot easier to listen to people, pastors and human wisdom, than it is to hear Christ in the Spirit! 

 

In Mark 7:1-16 the scribes and Pharisees wanted to know why the disciples of Jesus were not keeping the traditions of the elders. The Pharisees were very keen on the ceremonial washings of cups and pitchers and copper pots, etc., so they thought they had a legitimate accusation against Jesus. But Jesus told them that they were missing the point, the most important ingredient. He said, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: `This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me'...neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." 

 

Their traditions had taken the place of God in their hearts! They thought their traditions were God-honoring, but they weren't! Their zealousness was impressive to people; it brought glory to themselves but not to God. In reality they were repudiating or invalidating the word of God by their traditions which had been handed down. They weren't getting at the real issue, because it was easier and more comfortable to blindly follow the traditions of men - just as it is now. All the washings they were observing could only cleanse the outside. But they were so fascinated and captivated with the outside, with making a good impression, that when the precept of God, the Word of God came, they rejected God's word in favor of men's traditions. Paul's reminder to obey the traditions he had laid down, were not traditions of men. 

 

"Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction." (Rom. 3:19-22) Let us forget about law for a minute - about all the "thou shalt nots", about the knowledge of sin, the sin-consciousness and condemnation it brings - and let us get our minds on the righteousness of God through Christ's faith. 

 

This righteousness has nothing to do with the law, nor with our works, nor with condemnation! It is a new type of righteousness! It is for all who believe - there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile! Everyone is in the same category, for all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. (v.23) Everyone has sinned, everyone has failed; all of humanity is totally depraved! In spite of all our failures, sin, and sin-consciousness, God makes us new and gives us His righteousness! This is the greatness of our God! 

 

"Being justified gratuitously in His grace, through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus (Whom God purposed for a propitiatory shelter, through faith in His blood, for a display of His righteousness because of the passing over of the penalties of sins which occurred before in the forbearance of God)." (vv. 24-25 Concordant) How did sin come into this world? It came through the first Adam. God allowed it to come, but He did not promote it; He warned Adam of the consequence of sin! Yet, in the midst of the garden He placed a tree from which they should not eat. He also allowed a crafty serpent to enter the garden to tempt them! God knew the consequences of this situation; He knew sin was going to enter His beautiful creation and bring untold sorrow. At the time Adam and Eve sinned they lost the righteousness they had in God. They now needed God's mercy, and God was prepared for this emergency! It says that God purposed Jesus to be a propitiatory shelter - meaning mercy seat. Propitiation means to conciliate or to regain the good will or favor of the one who has been offended. Jesus Christ is the mercy seat! He has conciliated us and now is our shelter for the propitiation of our sins. 

 

We are justified by the grace of God! The word JUSTIFIED has been wrongly used so often that we fail to catch the significance of it. We think of it as pardon instead of justification. Do you suppose it means that? Is justification pardon? No, it isn't! When a criminal is pardoned, he walks away a pardoned criminal; but he is still a criminal! Justification does not mean being freed from the penalty of sin, but from sin itself! Justification means just as though we had never sinned; we are freed from all blame and guilt and absolved from everything we have ever done! Do we dare believe this? Our natural mind says this is impossible! How can we become just - in spite of everything that has happened - in spite of all our sins and the penalty we deserve? Look, if we are justified by Jesus Christ who was called the JUST ONE, then we are just, aren't we? 

 

However, the tentacles of sin and condemnation loudly proclaim that this is too good to be true! Listening to them keeps us in unbelief and from rejoicing in what God has done. Justification is not forgiveness of sins! We can be forgiven, yet remain unchanged! Justification is beyond pardon, forgiveness, washing, baptism, or being excused. If we are justified we are made just! A just person has never done anything wrong! 

 

This brings us into a dilemma. How can we ever be just when we've done so many wrong things? Our confusion is due to the reasonings of our mind, which say that this is impossible! Our concept of humility requires us to constantly affirm that we are still sinners. Justification is in complete contradiction to that kind of humility. True humility sets aside the reasonings of the mind and believes what God has said! So when God justifies us, and says that we have been made just, are we going to believe what God says or what our feelings tell us? Whose word will we accept? Faith needs to get hold of our thoughts, otherwise we'll be lost in the complexity of their unbelief. Since it is God who has said it, we need to believe it! 

 

This teaching may be totally against what we've been thinking or hearing. The gospel is very often applied as a club to make us feel guilty and ashamed. We feel like sinners, and resolve to become more zealous for the Lord. Our idea of humility tells us that we should be crawling and groveling in the dust. This is not God's idea! He tells us that we are just! And God has to be sovereign! If we have been justified, then in God's eyes we have been justified from every sin we have ever committed! Do you believe that? If God has justified you, He has made you a just person! 

 

Since God has announced that we have been justified through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, why do we still go around saying that we are not just? It's because we don't believe what God has said! That is unbelief! The degree of our sin-consciousness has been so great that we do not believe what our true nature is. We don't believe the way God sees us and the way He has made us; we don't believe what God is showing us in Christ Jesus, namely, that we are not sinners! We are just! We are justified, not because of our testimony, for that wouldn't mean much. Anyone can justify himself. But we have been justified by the highest authority - by God Himself! 

 

"For the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time" (in the current era - Concordant), "so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (who is of the faith of Jesus - Concordant) In other words, God is just! Can you accept the fact that He is just by subjecting us to vanity and committing sin? If you can't accept what God has done, you can't accept that He is justified in what He has done either. If you are still having trouble with the things which God said are NOT true, then you are setting yourself up as His judge; you are judging God to be guilty of lying. God is JUST and He is the JUSTIFIER! Isn't that wonderful! 

 

We need to hear this word spiritually! He who has ears to hear will hear the Spirit and it will change his life. Trying to justify ourselves by repeating certain words, won't work, because man without Christ is evil, unrighteous, corrupt, etc. It's incredible to think that we can get rid of all that because of what God says, isn't it? It says that God is just and the JUSTIFIER of the one who is of the faith of Jesus! Notice that this is not our faith. This eliminates all boasting! 

 

"Where then is boasting? It is debarred! Through what law? Of works? No! But through faith's law! For we are reckoning a man to be justified by faith apart from the works of the law." (Rom. 3:27-28 - Concordant) In order to be justified, we have to believe these things! Believing them will cause us to accept what is done in Christ, and do away with our consciousness that is filled with the law and self-effort! 

 

"If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth." (1 Peter 1:17) God justifies us by an impartial judgment! No one can influence Him. He made the decision to justify us all on His own. We constantly battle against this truth because it so hard for us to believe that God has justified us! I'm not speaking about pardoning, forgiving, excusing, or washing us. He has justified us! That means that God has justified us from everything we have ever done because He has taken the responsibility for it! 

 

Can we actually be relieved of all our responsibility in regard to our past? Isn't that a cop-out? If it is, it's the best one I've heard! He is judging each one's work impartially! Verse 18 in the Concordant says, "Being aware that not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, were you ransomed from your vain behavior, handed down by tradition from the fathers." We have been ransomed from the traditions of the fathers! Jesus accused the Jews of clinging to their traditions. He said that they repudiated the word of God with their tradition. The behavior handed down by tradition is called vain behavior. 

 

The Jews were teaching the people to be good and to refrain from doing evil things. They were preaching the same things we hear today; they were not to steal, be covetous, licentious, commit adultery, etc.! They were teaching them to be good! Yet this traditional teaching never did any good. Haven't you heard this same teaching of "dos and don'ts"? In spite of all our efforts to follow the rules, it has not accomplished its intended purpose. Christ knew that it could not produce righteousness in us! 

 

We have not been redeemed with perishable things, "but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you..." (1 Peter 1:19-20) This holy, just One was revealed so that we might be put into Christ and conformed to His image! Even as Christ was flawless, so we are predestined to be flawless! The you refers to those "who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." (v.21) Our expectation is to be in God, not in our own ability! We are not to doubt God! 

 

Spiritual realities cannot be accepted by the natural mind since it cannot understand them, so they do not appear reasonable to it. The natural mind always opposes the Spirit! Our reasonings are anti-Christ; they are an adversary to God's word! 

 

1 Peter 1:22-23: "Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God." We have been born of incorruptible seed! God has made us a new creation because corruption cannot inherit incorruption. That which is perishable cannot become imperishable! Since we have been regenerated by an incorruptible seed, the seed that is in us cannot be corrupted by sin! That which is growing out of this seed is impervious to sin! 

 

Many people today are casting demons out of Christians, and many booklets are being written on the subject of whether Christians can have demons. Can they? Can those who are dead to sin and alive in Christ have a demon? Of course not! How could Jesus have a demon within Him? Where do demons dwell and on what do they feed? They do not dwell in the mind of Christ - they dwell in other mentalities! Nor do they feed on truth; they feed on lies! Christ is the truth and He does not receive lies! Therefore He does not sin! The mind of Christ only thinks the thoughts of God and always obeys Him! 

 

If we have been born of incorruptible seed, we have an incorruptible life, for no other life can come out of that seed! It is impossible to corrupt that seed! The evil we does not come out of that seed; neither does our unbelief! They do not, nor can they affect that seed! It cannot be corrupted no matter what we do! It's impossible! How can someone whose life is Christ have a demon? Our problem is that we don't believe who Christ is. He is the firstborn of many brethren! Once we understand Who He is and that we have been put into Him, we realize that we have become partakers of His incorruption! 

 

In 1 John 3:4-6 we read, "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him." Christ was manifested to take away our sins! We have to hear God's word; this does not refer to hearing the scriptures read aloud. When we hear God's word, we hear spiritually and it imparts life to us! We abide in Him because He is not only the source of our life, but He is our life! There is no life outside of Him! A branch cut off from the vine dies, for it has been cut off from its life! Abiding in Christ is not like being attached to a life-support system. He is our life and we have become one with Him! 

 

"Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous." (v.7) What a statement! It says we are righteous just as He is righteous! Because He is incorruptible He can't sin. It's impossible! He is righteous because He just is that way! It says that he who practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous! 

 

Humanity likes to delve into various shades of right and wrong. We often hear people say (and have probably said so ourselves) that some wrongs belong in the gray area. They are not lily-white, but not really bad either. God is not like that; He deals in absolutes. There are absolutes in regard to sin, and absolutes pertaining to righteousness. The natural man is absolutely sinful and unrighteous, and the new man is absolutely righteous. They do not mix; they do not produce various shades of gray. God has never mixed them! The power of God keeps them separated. We keep finding ourselves on the other side of this line of absolutes. 

 

"The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil." (v.8b) Do you believe that Jesus was successful in His mission of destroying the works of the devil? Can anyone say that God failed in His purpose? When we look at all the sin, evil and corruption in the world, it seems as though He has failed. But deep within us we know that He did not fail nor can He fail! That which He said He would accomplish He has accomplished! He has already done it. He has justified those who have faith in Jesus. (Rom. 3:26) We were declared righteous by the resurrection of Jesus Christ! This is the declaration of God! It is God who justifies! We're fighting God if we do not proclaim His message. 

 

"No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (v.9) Identification is very important! When visiting a foreign country, do you identify with being a citizen of that country or with the country of your birth? Our first birth gives us an identification with a country on this planet; it gives us the right of citizenship. Our new birth gives us an identification with the kingdom of God, and gives us the right of citizenship in the kingdom of light. With which citizenship do we identify - the old or the new? Since we have been transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son, we no longer belong to the kingdom of darkness! Therefore our identification must be with God, not with the adversary! 

 

If we are always conscious of the evil that we do and excuse it by saying that we are just human, that we are only sinners saved by grace - but still sinners - we are agreeing with the adversary. No sinner is going to be in heaven. There never was any sin in Christ. We were sinners, but we are saved by grace. Paul addresses his epistles to saints, not to sinners! It is grace that teaches us that we are just and there is no sin in the new creation begotten of God. "No one who is born of God practices sin." This new creation that is born of God, which the Word has conceived in us, cannot sin, for he is born of God. 

 

1 John 3:9 reads, "No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." Now listen to what it says here. It says, "He cannot sin." This is generally explained by saying that he won't habitually sin. It means that he will sin, but not habitually. This is not what it says! People can't get themselves to believe what the scriptures are saying, so they compromise by saying that he is not habitually sinning. According to this verse he cannot sin, for God's seed remains in him, and this seed is Christ! Therefore it is impossible for that seed within us to sin. Christ is never the instrument of sin! 

 

"But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matt. 12:36-37) What is meant by the Day of Judgment? Day means light, doesn't it? Light casts judgment on darkness and the darkness ceases to exist. If we are living in darkness we will make many confessions according to the degree of darkness that we are living in. When the light comes, it will cast judgment on these confessions. 

 

What are some of the confessions that need to be judged? One of the confessions of Christians is that "We're all sinners." There are some interesting statements in the scriptures, which will seem to be contradictory unless we can distinguish between the new man (Christ in us) and the old man (the natural man). "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us...We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him...No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1 John 1:8; 5:18; 3:9) It is so important that we see Christ! No one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 

 

Jesus differentiated between His followers and other people. Those who did not follow Him were sinners. In Luke 6:27ff Jesus taught that His followers should have a greater love than the sinners have. He emphasized this by saying, "Don't the sinners do that also?" They love their children; they love those who love them; they are good to those who are good to them! How can people differentiate between Christians and sinners if a Christian's love is not greater than a sinner's? If a Christian insists on calling himself a sinner, he is not differentiating between followers of Christ and sinners. He is standing on the fence, identifying himself as being a Christian and lowering his behavior to the standard of sinners. Since Jesus did not call His followers sinners, neither should we! "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren." (Rom. 8:29) We have not been born again to remain sinners, for what would then be the purpose of the new birth? We have been born again so that we can be conformed to the image of the Son of God! 

 

God's justification is beyond pardon, forgiveness, excusing, washing, etc. It is so great that we cannot understand its vastness! We can only understand it by faith in Christ. God's justification does away with everything we have ever done wrong! We are now justified because of what God has done in Christ Jesus; He has declared us justified! 

 

Paul said, "So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me." (Rom. 7:17) We inherited Adam's deceptive nature and this nature causes us to sin. However our new birth gives us a new nature, and this new nature cannot sin. If we identify with the new nature, we will agree with Paul. Can you see that? As we mentioned earlier, since we are sons of God, our nature of God can't sin. Where is all the sin then? It must be outside the nature of God. It is in the flesh nature of Adam! 

 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, these He also glorified." (Rom. 8:28-30) What a blessing would be ours if we could comprehend this and grow up in it! The battle that continually rages in our minds is due to the reasonings and deductions of the flesh being so strongly entrenched in our minds! 

 

"`Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD, `though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow.'" The purpose of God's reasoning with us is to change our ideas. Instead of our sins being scarlet, they will be as white as snow. If we have been listening to God's reasoning with us, what has happened to our sins? In the New Testament it says that our sins are washed away! Those whom God justifies, He also glorifies! What is our response to God's calling us, choosing us, justifying and glorifying us? Will we believe and accept it, or will we believe the reasonings of our own mind? 

 

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Our enemy is our natural mind, for it feeds us lies! It tells us that God isn't for us, that God's justification of us is not complete yet, or that these statements of fact are only for the future. These are the lies I have experienced! 

 

God's justification is so great that it justifies us from all sin. The degree to which we have sinned doesn't concern God, for He has dealt with sin in Christ. He has taken care of all sin! Therefore His coming again must have a different purpose! The Lord is that Spirit who comes to justify us and to bring us into His nature! 

 

"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (v.32) Since He gave up His own Son, His dearest and best, will He withhold from us that which the Son came to give us? Would He contradict His own purpose? His purpose is to bring us into the knowledge that He has justified us, called us, and glorified us! God never works against His purposes! 

 

He said, "Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies." He is the justifier. All the charges against us will be declared illegal because He has justified us! If we believe what God says, no indictment made against us will bring us into condemnation! This justification does not come from ourselves; it comes from God! Those who have a problem with this, have a problem with God! 

 

If we testify to the fact that we are justified, we will receive a lot of flak from those who do not understand it. It will come from their unbelief. They are not really opposing us - they are opposing God! It is God who has declared it; He is the justifier! 

 

"Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us." (v.34) If Christ is raised up, and He's at God's right hand on our behalf, He is for us - not against us! Christ is doing the same thing God does - He is justifying us! God is not against us and neither is Christ! 

 

God loved us when we were still sinners. How much more now that we are His children! Even if the sin that is in the flesh is manifested through us, we can confidently go to Him and know that He is for us; He forgives us and justifies us. He sent His Son to reveal this to us! Why would Christ condemn us if He died for us? There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ! Isn't it wonderful that nothing can separate us from His love?! "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." (vv.35, 37) We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! 

 

We need to understand what God is saying. We need to know who we are in Christ and what He has done for us! Our prayers should not concentrate on asking for help to make ourselves better and to quit sinning. We have to stop concentrating on our old nature; we have to quit trying to do away with the sin that is inherent in it, because we can never overcome all the sin that is in our human nature. We can't win that fight, so it is useless to try! We need to believe that God has justified us, so we can grow in our new nature! Christ has won the victory and we are to live in the victory He has achieved for us! God is telling us the wonderful things He has done in Christ! This is far beyond anything we can comprehend! The love of God is beyond all understanding! Amen. 

 

PART SIX

DEATH BEFORE THE CROSS

 

The religious attainments of man have resulted in various translations of the Bible, verse by verse expositions, and many encyclopedias and dictionaries. These are made by people who were already associated with religious denominations. A cascade of teaching mixed with the traditions that have accumulated over the years, has come down to us. 

 

There is only one truth, one Spirit, one Lord, one baptism, and one hope of our calling. This hope has foundation and has assurance. As sons of God, we have the hope of being regenerated into true witnesses in the earth. 

 

The purpose of the ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers is to mature the saints so that the body of Christ is edified and brought into a unity of faith. (Eph. 4:11-12) We need to understand that these ministries are really Christ in operation; they are not human attainments, nor are they man's office. Therefore all the glory belongs to God! 

 

People have various beliefs regarding salvation and God's plan for the future. Some believe that they are forgiven, that heaven will one day be their home, and that Jesus is returning physically; some believe that, although they are forgiven and born again, they are still sinners; some believe they are sons of God; some believe that the manifestation of the sons of God, the millennium, and the holy city coming down, are future events. There are also those who know that they already are the temple of God and the tabernacle of witness in the earth. 

 

A perfect man has to be a true image of God - one who represents the exact, unadulterated image of who God is. Only Christ is that! That is why we have to grow in the knowledge of Christ, the Son of God! Those who are in Christ, are in the Son of Man while they live in earthy temples. They have been born from above, and their true nature is the nature of the Son of God. As their true nature emerges, they will be true witnesses of God and Christ in the earth. They will witness to the fact that God is their Father and Christ is their life. They receive revelation that their new life is really Christ, and that He is the Word of God! They are edified by Him! 

 

The many wrong teachings and traditions in which we have been trained, have a negative effect on us. The proper understanding of what is meant by the cross and the death of Jesus Christ is vital to understanding the work of Christ in us. 

 

In Rom. 6:3 it says, "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?" This baptism into Christ is a baptism into His death. We cannot get into Christ as those who reside in Adam. We can only get into Him by being raised from the dead, because Christ has been raised from the dead! He now dwells in life - and so do we! 

 

Being baptized into Christ means being baptized into His death. Christians are not agreed upon whether this is a spiritual baptism or a water baptism. Paul said that there is only one baptism. So then water baptism is only a representation of the real baptism - which is spiritual. 

 

"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." (v.4) Baptism represents death and burial and being raised into a new life. The baptism of Jesus was a demonstration of this. Jesus went into the waters of baptism as one who was dead, was buried, and then raised into a new life - and so do we. If we are baptized, yet continue to hang onto our old life, we'll make a mess of things - just like the Christian system of religion has done, and is continuing to do. 

 

Notice that Jesus died two deaths: He died to sin, and He died physically on the cross. He was put on the cross by the hands of wicked men; He was rejected and killed because people wanted Him out of the way, but His baptism into death was a voluntary act. When we are baptized into His death to sin, we are not baptized into the death He died on the cross. Our burial in water signifies that we are now dead to the old nature and to our identification with the law. 

 

The law leads us just as it led Jesus. After the law has done its work in us and has shown us the uselessness of our own efforts, it causes us to repent. It led Jesus to John's baptism of repentance, and it leads us to repentance. Christ's burial was the burial of His identification with the law. 

 

The Spirit of Christ was the foundation for the law; it was the foundation for Christ's baptism, His being raised again, the heavens being opened, His anointing and hearing the Father's voice, and finally being crucified. The cross did not come at the beginning of His ministry. We do not belong at the foot of the cross, for we were crucified together with Him. The word witness means martyr. As we are true witnesses of Jesus Christ we will be martyred either verbally or physically - or both. 

 

The cross cannot be experienced unless we have first received the new life that accompanies the baptism into Christ's death and burial with Him. This is none of our doing; it is what Jesus Christ does and has done! He is those things in us when He comes to us in the Spirit. 

 

He is the spirit of the law; He is our death to sin; He is our new life; He is our anointing; He is the heavens opened to us; He is our new consciousness, and He is our new testimony of who we are in the earth! He teaches us that the physical body has been redeemed, so that we can now be His true witnesses. He hears heavenly things and passes them on to us. 

 

"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection." (Rom. 6:5) Our union with Him in the likeness of His death is His death to sin. The Concordant Literal translation says that we have been "planted together in the likeness of His death". This planting brings about the death of our old nature and the resurrection into His life. 

 

We plant a seed of that which we want to harvest. Spiritually, there is only one Seed and that is the Word of God. It is a single seed and always bears the same fruit; it always bears the same Son, and it births the Christ in us. The sonship of Jesus Christ was manifested after He came to the Jordan and there was filled with the Spirit. 

 

"Knowing this, that our old self" (humanity - Concordant) "was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin." (v.6) This knowledge comes to us in our union and identification with Christ. The mind of Christ brings us His consciousness and knowledge that our body of sin has been done away. We no longer think as a natural human being about the things of God. Natural thinking causes all the problems. 

 

The body of sin does not refer to our physical body. It is the accumulation of deception, lies and ignorance that comprises the nature of the Adamic man. He is ignorant of spiritual things and has a consciousness of separation from God. Since the natural man can't hear the things of the Spirit, he cannot hear spiritually. He can only hear whatever comes into his natural mind. So this is what he preaches. Those who cannot hear spiritually, like it, for that is all they want. 

 

"For he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." (v. 7-8) This dying with Christ does not refer to His crucifixion, but to His death to sin. He demonstrated this death during His lifetime, and this death to sin culminated on the cross. His life reveals the personal application of it. He did this for each one of us. 

 

"For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus... present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." (vv.10, 11, 13b) Let's believe that! This is a matter of faith. We are to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God! Paul wrote this long ago, yet people still flounder in unbelief. 

 

"For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died." (2 Cor. 5:14) Since Christ died for all, we must conclude that all were dead. The dead are those who are living in Adam. Natural man is dead in his trespasses and sins. This refers to the spiritual death that came into the world through one man, because he sinned. We are all involved in this death without any effort on our part. No one is excluded; all religious people, both Jews and Gentiles - everyone who is not in Christ - is included. 

 

Jesus was raised from among the dead. This is mentioned about 17 times in the New Testament. Most translations have incorrectly left out the word among. Jesus lived among those who were dead in their trespasses and sins. In His identification with humanity, He went into the waters of baptism as one who was dead, was buried, and then raised into a new life. 

 

Jesus said that God is not the God of the dead but of the living. He also said, "Let the dead bury their dead". In other words, the Adamic man does not accept God's rule. The Jews proved this by their treatment of Jesus who was the perfect expression of God. The dead in Adam rejected Him, called Him Beelzebub, put Him on the cross and killed Him. Although the leaders instigated this, the people didn't know enough about God to resist them. Nor did they care to. 

 

Most people only understand the death that causes physical life to pass away. But people are dead before they die physically. This was true of Adam and it is true of every man who is in Adam. The flesh has a union with Adam, and it produces death. The death of Jesus demonstrated humanity's separation from God. 

 

It says that "the soul that sins shall die." We have all sinned, and we have all died. We were all dead in our trespasses and sins! Jesus knew that we were dead. Many Christians find it hard to believe that they were dead in Adam, so they cling to their Adamic consciousness! People who are living in the Adamic consciousness cannot do the will of God, because that consciousness is anti-God! The fleshly body (which is just a vessel) can only be redeemed through the Holy Spirit. As He indwells us, we can do the will of God for we are controlled by the love of Christ! Now the fleshly body is no longer united with Adam. 

 

Jesus is the last Adam. Everyone who is in Christ has been generated and born from above. Our union with Christ is also a union with God, for Christ and the Father are one. 

 

Our problem is that we have misunderstood Christ's death on the cross. Humanity sees His death as a substitutionary death. It thinks that the natural person can now go to heaven, and his body will be raised out of the grave, and God will breathe life into it again. But this is not going to happen! 

 

Many are also waiting for the physical return of Jesus. But that is not the way He returns. He is spirit and He returns in the Holy Spirit; He is to be seen in you and me - in people who are born from above! They know that they are sons, and they are bearing witness of the life of Christ - not of the Adam man. If people do not see Christ in us, they are not going to see Him. Just as the Father sent Christ, so He now sends us. (Jn. 20:21) 

 

Jesus also said, "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also." (Jn. 15:20) Notice our identification with Christ! We will be treated just as Christ was. We have received the same ministry He received - the ministry of reconciling people to God. That ministry would not be needed if people were already reconciled to God. No one in the Adamic state is reconciled to God. 

 

No man can come to Christ unless he has learned from the Father. The baptism of Jesus demonstrated that He had been taught by the Father. The Father taught Him that the law is the ministration of death. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The law is the vessel that brings death to us - death to our self-effort, our self-life and our own righteousness. We all have to pass through this death before the seed can sprout and bring us into the regenerated life that reproduces Christ. So when Jesus was baptized, in His identification with humanity, He experienced the law's ministration of death - the penalty of sin. 

 

The law is incredibly important, but we cannot become good by obeying the law. God did not give the law for that purpose. The law is fulfilled in Christ Jesus. He is the spirit of the law - not the spirit of death. 

 

Is being in Christ a restoration to what Adam lost? If we think we are only going to be restored to what Adam lost, we are still as vulnerable as Adam was. Adam had everything going for him in the garden, and he failed; Jesus had everyone against Him in the world and He overcame! Jesus Christ has already overcome this world! 

There is a difference between overcoming the world and changing the world. Overcoming means to be victorious, to overcome obstacles; changing means to make different or alter. It is useless for us to try to change the world, because it won't happen. 

 

The kingdom of God is not of this world! Jesus said that we can rejoice because He has overcome the world! We are to overcome as He overcame. He overcame by letting His Spirit overcome the god of this world - the desires of the flesh, the ways of the world, the ignorance, darkness, and lack of knowledge of God. By living in Christ we overcome the world that is in us. To overcome the world we simply need to abide in the Spirit that is in Christ! This does not require going anywhere or bringing in laws of morality. 

 

The question that now comes to us is whether the Son of God can die. If we think of death as annihilation, or a passing away forever, we are thinking of it in connection with the flesh. The flesh is not going to come out of the grave again. Adam was formed from dust and his body is destined to return to dust - to the creation from which he came. 

 

Christ is the new creation man, the heavenly man, the spiritual witness, the spiritual reality. He is the Son of God! If God had killed His Son, He could kill any son. Jesus was not killed by God, but by the hands of wicked men. Jesus experienced His greatest hardship in Gethsemane because He knew the time had come for Him to be killed by man. He knew this had been in their hearts for a long time, but now the time had come - He was going to be separated from God and be in the darkness of human nature for a while. He struggled with that. 

 

Jesus knew that He Himself had to lay down His soul, for no man could take it from Him. He also knew that He could take it up again. (John 10:17-18) Although many translations say that He laid down His life, the correct translation is soul. Man's ego rules him until the Word of God comes and takes that wrong foundation out from under him. When we are ruled by our ego, we are dead. 

 

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked..." (Eph. 2:1-2a) This includes everybody. In Adam all are dead and separated from God. Our natural consciousness comes through the flesh. But in the scriptures, death is a state of being in which we are not conscious of having a union with God. Since God is omnipresent, we cannot be separated from Him, except in our realization or consciousness. 

 

People think they are capable of governing themselves, but they are not. Man is not an entity that can correctly discern what is false and what is truth, what is death and what is life. He lives in the destructive fallacy that he can make right choices. 

 

"In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience." (v.2) In times past we walked according to the course of this world - the world that people are trying to change into God's kingdom. 

 

This world is filled with people who are unregenerate - with children of disobedience. They are being led by a spirit that is causing them to disobey God. This shows that we do not belong to ourselves; we are not an entity in ourselves. We do not have the ability to make right choices, because we are either being led by a spirit of disobedience - which is Satan with his delusion, ignorance and lies, or we are being led by the Spirit of God - which is truth and life. 

 

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." The world is a rule, an arrangement of things; it is not people. It says, "Do not love the world nor the things in the world... do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (1 Jn. 2:15; James 4:4) So we see that when we talk about the world, we are talking about the rule and arrangement of things that are in the earth. This rule is against God. By conforming to this rule, we make ourselves enemies of God. 

 

John 3:16 says, "God so loved the world." Does God love the world that we are to hate? No, He loves the world in which righteousness dwells - the world of 2 Peter 3:13! He loves it so much that He was willing to give His Son so everyone could dwell in it! This world is filled with new creation people - those who have been made righteous in Christ Jesus. They are being ruled by a new law - the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! 

"Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:3-6) How can a dead man be made alive? In the natural that is impossible, but in Christ, the Son of God, we receive the consciousness, realization and enlightenment that is in Him. 

 

Let's look at 2 Tim. 2:25-26. "With gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will." This again shows us that man, without Christ, is being held captive by the devil. He is not an entity in himself; he can't make right choices. Christ has to free him from his bondage to Satan by bringing him truth. 

 

Our attitude toward God is either for or against. Jesus said that if we are not gathering with Him, we are scattering. He does not give us any options; we are to be either hot or cold. Those who are lukewarm will be spewed out of HIs mouth. Being lukewarm is being half warm and half cold - half rejecting and half accepting truth. Lukewarm people cannot speak for God and for Christ, because they are in deception. 

 

In Rom. 14:7 it says, "For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself." It is so hard for us to believe that we are not entities in ourselves! We have to give up the idea that we can do anything by ourselves - and that includes becoming godly or ungodly. When we come to Christ, we do not come of our own volition, for it is the Father who draws us. 

 

Rom. 7:8 says, "But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died." We do not condemn ourselves for being sinners, because that is the devil's work. Neither can we congratulate ourselves on being good Christians, because that is Christ's work. 

 

Paul was not talking about the cross when he said, "sin revived and I died." He was talking about the death the law brings us - the death Jesus experienced at the Jordan, and the death you and I have to experience. 

 

Jesus was put on the cross because of His testimony! He testified, "If you have seen Me you have seen the Father...The Father and I are one". The people did not want to kill Him because of His good works, but because He had called God His Father. So they crucified Him. The crucifixion of Christ is going on all the time; the world is continually putting the Son to death by its unbelief and rejection. 

 

Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live..." (Gal. 2:20) We are not crucified as separate entities; we are crucified with Christ because of our union with Him. Paul's crucifixion with Christ took place because of his testimony, and so does ours. We are crucified with Christ when our testimony is not believed. This is a spiritual reality. 

 

Just as Jesus didn't testify of Himself, so we don't testify of ourselves. He testified of the Father, so obviously He spoke as the Son. And the Father testifies of the Son. If we testify as Jesus testified, we will also be put on the cross. 

 

In Rom. 5:10 Paul writes, "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Notice that it does not say that we were reconciled by His crucifixion, but by His death. That death does not refer to His death on the cross, but to His death to sin. Since He did everything as a corporate man, His death to sin was also for everyone. He died to sin for all men, and when we receive His Spirit, we become partakers of that death and also of His life. 

 

Reconciliation is wonderful! Forgiveness is the basis for reconciliation. However, forgiveness and reconciliation do not make us new creatures. Our spirit needs to be regenerated by being birthed from above! When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive a new nature, and the Spirit makes us conscious of it. That is what it means to be saved by His life! 

 

Since we have been made new, we are not returned to the Adamic nature. If we were, we would again be vulnerable to separation from God, just like Adam was. After Adam died spiritually, he continued to live on this earth until he died physically. In Adam all die; there is no exception! Sin came into the world through one man, and death came into the world through sin. Before Adam sinned, death was not present in the world. Neither man nor animal died. 

 

God is the only life there is! Only God has self-existent life. The only way we can have true life is in Christ. He brings us into union with God, and we become partakers of His divine nature. He does not give us life in separation from Himself. His life only belongs to us in union with Him! It is not ours to do with as we please. We do not have self-existence; that is why we need God's life! We need His life before and after physical death. 

 

Jesus had God's life before He went to the cross, and before He passed away. Therefore He knew He could survive the grave. This knowledge is also given to us, so we can know that we will survive the grave. Being in Christ gives us the hope, assurance and faith that everything will be all right! It also takes us out of the hell that unbelievers experience on this earth. 

 

Jesus is the last Adam - in Jesus Christ, Adam ceased to exist. Adam is not a fleshly body, but the avenue through which sin entered the world. Evil comes into the world because of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. 

 

The end of Adam can only happen in Christ, because He Himself is the last Adam. The earthy conceptions and the reasoning and delusions that were in Adam, end in Jesus Christ because He is the true witness. 

 

As sons of God we have been given the mind of Christ. His mind enables us to hear truth - to hear spiritual realities. So this is what we are going to speak. These words will undo the traditions and ignorance of religious men who call themselves Christians, religious organizations, and that of many Bible teachers and biblical scholars. 

 

We have to hear beyond the natural. We have to hear Moses and understand the death to self-effort that is produced by the law. We must understand how it worked in Jesus Christ, and how it works in us. Christ's death to sin works in us, and His life becomes our life! Both are the product of Jesus Christ. He who hears the voice of the Son of God lives. We need to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. We cannot be Christians in our own strength. We are led either by the forces of this world or by the Spirit of God! 

 

Consider the things I am saying, and may the Lord give you the understanding. God bless you. Amen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CROSS, THE, Parts 1-6 [Lloyd Ellefson]          38

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