IDENTIFICATION

BY:  LLOYD ELLEFSON

 

PARTS 1-4

 

PARTS

TITLE

PAGE

1

WHO ARE YOU?

1

2

WHO ADAM IS

7

3

JUSTIFICATION

13

4

THAT THEY MAY BE ONE

19

 

PART ONE

WHO ARE YOU?

 

I would like to share some thoughts with you on our consciousness of being, commonly described as the self, the I, or the ego. Some questions that often come to us are: Who are we? Where did we come from? Who is Jesus, and how does He relate to us? What will happen to us after we die? What can effect a change in us? 

 

Everything in the seed of God is programmed by God. As far as we are concerned, we may think that the things we do have been initiated and worked out by us, yet as we grow up we see that it is not our work, but a progression of God's work in us. 

 

Colossians 2:11, "And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ." This cannot be taken literally; it has nothing to do with our physical flesh. It is an identification with Christ. 

 

"Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." (v.12) We have to identify with the working of God in Christ, for this is how He works in us. We were baptized into Christ; we were crucified with Him, buried with Him, and have been raised up with Him. This has come about through faith in the working of God - for it was He who raised Him from the dead. God raised Christ and He raised us. We must see our identification with Him. If we cannot identify with Christ in every area, the area in which we do not identify with Him will separate us from Him. There has to be a total oneness with Christ before we can exercise, manifest or realize oneness with God the Father. 

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"And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions." (v.13) He has actually forgiven us all our trespasses! Then Paul goes on to say, "Having cancelled out the certificate of debt (handwriting of ordinances)..." Those ordinances obviously referred to the law Moses got at Sinai. From the beginning it was God's purpose that these ordinances should be cancelled out in Christ. Everything God did in the natural foreshadowed a principle of reality and life that is unchanging. God is taking us out of our delusions and giving us reality! The deliverance from our carnal mind, our natural thinking, and our identification with death and darkness, etc., is the birthing process we are presently experiencing. 

 

"...consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." (v.14). We did not understand the meaning of this before we became children of God. God says that we came out of Him and that we are His children. Becoming children of God requires a birthing and deliverance from the law, for it is contrary to us and constantly produces the knowledge of sin. Regeneration comes through Jesus Christ; He causes us to emerge from the womb of death and darkness. We are birthed into an illumination or light, which gives us a new sense of being of ourselves, of God and others. 

 

This thought is also expressed in Eph. 2:1ff. "But you who were dead in trespasses and sins." If we believe that we were truly dead (in darkness and in ignorance) because of the working of sin, we will realize our total helplessness and inability to come back to God of our own volition. God has to do something within us before we can come back to Him. The regeneration of our spirit being has to take place. Since God is spirit that which He does within us is in the spiritual realm. 

 

"In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world." Christ's kingdom is not of this world. In our first or natural idea of who we were, we walked according to the course of this world. After we underwent a change, we walked according to the course of the kingdom of God. What is our part in bringing about this change? Since we are dead in our trespasses and sins, we are unable to contribute anything - we can only be led, either by our Father God, or by our father the devil - depending upon who our father is. Our sense of being depends upon the consciousness we walk in. 

 

"...according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience." (v.2) The prince of the power of the air is a spirit, and it works in the children of disobedience! It is darkness and it is operating in children who are disobeying God; they are disobeying the true spirit of power, righteousness and truth. 

 

I'd like to explain how this works. We have to understand that we are not entities in ourselves. Paul quoted the Old Testament in Romans 3:10-18 saying, "There is none who seeks after God...all have turned aside...there is no one who does good...with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." No man seeks after God! Nobody even wants to. In our natural state, we are full of our own concepts; we are deceived and we deceive others. God did not make man sin, but He subjected him to vanity. His ego or sense of self made him vulnerable to believe a lie - a word which was not from God; it was another word - a word of disobedience. 

 

On one occasion Jesus said that only God is good. By this He seemed to indicate that He was not God. He said, "I can do nothing of Myself...My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me." His teaching and beliefs were manifested in His testimony by words and works. He demonstrated the entirety of God and the nothingness of humanity or human identity. God sent Him to bring us an understanding of both the human and the divine consciousness of being, in order to bring us into the light and truth of God. Our worth does not depend upon who we are in ourselves - our worth is in our participation in the Christ. Our oneness with the Father is in Christ. When Jesus said, "I and the Father are one", He was participating in the consciousness of God. So we too have to live in His consciousness. 

 

Many people are afraid of the word "consciousness"; for some reason they think it is bad. Consciousness is actually an awareness of what is happening around us and the totality of our thoughts, feelings and impressions. When we are born we don't really have an awareness of knowledge and recognition. For example, babies cry when they are thirsty and uncomfortable even though they are unable to identify the problem. But as they grow up they begin to have an identity. They begin to call themselves by their name. In the natural, we live in our identification as an "I". Furthermore, we think this I, this me, has a free will. We think we can do our own thing, but this is not scriptural - neither did Christ demonstrate that. 

 

Christ came as the most submissive person there ever was; He recognized the helplessness of His humanity and therefore was completely dependent upon God! He fully allowed the Spirit of God to fill His consciousness with the things that came from God. For this reason He could call God His Father; God was fathering the conception of the spiritual words in Christ. This caused Him to be an obedient Son. His obedience undid natural man's obedience to his own ideas. 

 

When people begin to feel the remorse of sin, they may want to find God, repent, feel better, or whatever. So they apologize to God. This is a natural experience; the soulish man cannot find any real meaning in spiritual things. Since man first comes to God as a soulish man, whatever he experiences is still in the soulish realm. These human experiences become a part of his previous consciousness. When a person wants to surrender himself to God, he comes as a natural man who has no conception of spiritual things - yet He wants to operate in the concepts of God. The Spirit has to change man's concept of God, otherwise man will continue in his former concepts. 

 

We know that Israel's concept of God was formed by its own mind. This was a false concept, for when Jesus came, Israel rejected and crucified the concept of God that was operating in Jesus Christ. This demonstrates that our old conception of God has to change, for our minds receive words from our own perspective and from our sense of being in regard to God, the world, people, and ourselves. If that is the extent of our understanding, we fall short of the revelation given by the Spirit. So when someone comes to Christ and is converted, his concept of God still has to be transformed. He has to know who God is through Jesus Christ who is the exact representation of God; He is the consciousness of God. The Holy Spirit brings this consciousness to us. Unless our understanding of God is changed, we will operate in the same understanding that Israel had. 

 

The natural concept of God rejects the spiritual concept of God that is in Jesus Christ. The flesh always remains contrary to the Spirit, so when someone begins to reveal the true conception of God in Christ, people will reject that person. To the natural man the things of the Spirit are meaningless - they have no real foundation in his life. Our own concepts were our consciousness of God; our consciousness of being was our God; our consciousness of understanding and knowledge was our God. After we receive the Holy Spirit and grow up, our concepts of God begin to change. As we think and meditate on this, we find that without consciousness we don't have anything. 

 

Our natural consciousness is opposed to the spiritual realization of God. To come into a spiritual consciousness of God, we have to receive true revelation of who God really is. True revelation of God does away with the old. We have to operate in, and bear testimony of who our God truly is! If our consciousness of God is brought to us by Christ, then that is our life. If our consciousness of God has not come from Christ, we only have the consciousness of death, mortality, temporal living, and flesh. 

 

As we grow, we begin to see things in greater depth. We used to categorize people as good, bad and very bad. Now we find out that all humanity is under sin, but it is expressed individually. In the same way, the truth of God has always been truth and will always remain truth everywhere, and it was expressed in Jesus Christ. He was the seed of truth that God sent. Since God is everywhere, truth is everywhere, but it is expressed individually by His people. As more and more people express and manifest truth by being obedient to God, truth is enlarged through a multitude of people. This is the fulfillment of who the Christ is - "which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Eph. 1:23) It is the Christ who fills all in all. 

 

Then we have the sin question. What is sin, where does it come from, and how can we be freed from it? Jesus Christ was sent to redeem those who were under the law. No one is justified by circumcision and by trying to keep the law - for he is unable to do so. It only brings transgression of the law; sin is the transgression of the law. Paul said, "Through the letter and circumcision you transgress the law." Yet they thought they were getting better by fulfilling the law, by keeping the letter of the law and by practicing circumcision. However, Paul emphasized that this brought transgression of the law. Actually, the law was added because of transgression! (Gal. 3:19) What was it added to? It was added to man's consciousness, because the knowledge of sin came through the law. Before that man was oblivious to what sin was. Sin was bringing him to death; he was dying and he didn't know why. 

 

Man was not the originator of sin. Sin came into the world through a man, and sin is the transgression of the law. Where does that put you and me? It makes us pawns of disobedience, of flesh, darkness and evil; through the power of sin (which does not have power in itself, but its strength is in the law) we work to fulfill the desires of this adversary of God. Sin comes to us as a powerful delusion; it fills our conscience. Man is a transgressor of the law. That is why we have to be delivered from it, and be put into the spirit of obedience in Jesus Christ. 

 

Christians are people who have experienced a change of consciousness. Two powers have been operating in us. Both of them are greater than we, and have more authority over us than our own will has. We may call our will a free will, but it isn't free; we thought that if we didn't want to be delivered, we could just go ahead and keep on doing what we were doing. However, the law brought the knowledge of sin, and humanity began to see that disobedience to God was sin and it was bringing death! When man's heart is changed through the words of Christ, he will follow Christ in repentance and baptism. He will receive the Holy Spirit, and hear a voice from heaven say, "This is My son in whom I am well pleased." 

 

Man manifests sin in his original identity and vanity, even though he is not the originator of sin and has not participated in the original seed of sin. Once we are freed from the idea that man is the originator of sin, we see that in Christ there is no contamination of sin and no consciousness of sin. I believe Jesus Christ has come to bring us into this understanding. Since there is no condemnation in Him, He obviously doesn't have any sin to contend with. If we would have this mind, we would begin to think like He does. Sin was induced in man by a word that was not of God. When we hear a word that is not of God and obey that word, we are operating in disobedience to God. 

 

Everything came into being by the word of God! Through our natural senses we observe nature and even understand that God made it. However, when we see things man has made, we rarely think of the original substances of which they are made, and that they are there because of the word of God. For example, when we look at a wooden table, we only think of it is a wooden table. Yet it was made from a tree that was created by God. Had God not supplied the wherewithal for making things, man could not do what he is doing. Everything is there because of the creative word of God! It is difficult for us to fathom that God supplied all the raw materials for everything we see in the natural. It all came from God! The reality of everything is what it is in God - not what it appears to be in the natural. We are presently beginning to see the allness of God - that He is everywhere and that He is the source of all things. As long as we only perceive things through our natural senses and our carnal mind, we do not see the reality; we only see the natural manifestations. We only recognize the reality when we become spiritually quickened or awakened. 

 

A prophecy quoted in Hebrews 8:10 reads, "...I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts." Hearts! People pray, "Come into my heart Lord Jesus." What does Jesus want to do in my evil heart, for out of the heart proceeds all kinds of lasciviousness, evil, fornications and every evil thing? Why should we welcome Christ into that heart? In praying that, we are really asking Christ to make us better. By asking Him to come into our heart, we have to receive the things of God without making any stipulations or conditions. He can own every part of me, do anything He wants to do, and be everything He wants to be in me. In reality, God gives us a new heart! Eze. 36:26ff says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you...and cause you to walk in My statutes...so you will be My people and I will be your God...I will save you from all your uncleanness..." In Jesus Christ we become a new creation. 

 

This law only works in the new creation man; in Him we receive a new realm of realization. In Jer. 17:9 it says that our old heart is deceitfully wicked, who can know it? Out of the heart of man comes every kind of evil. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." (Prov. 23:7) An evil man will continually think evil thoughts because he is evil. We are who God says we are. If God has cleansed us from all our sins, we are clean! God wants us to believe we are what He says we are! He tells us we are a new creation in Christ, so that is what we are! 

 

Now let's look at the mind of Christ. In John 3:14 Jesus testified of Himself and said, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." What does that mean? Jesus Christ identified with His humanity by calling Himself the Son of Man. He also said, "I go to prepare a place for you...that where I am you may be also." (Jn. 14:2b-3) The prepared place was not where He was going, but where He was in this world as a new man, a new image of God, having a new concept or realization that is brought by the Spirit. This is the Son of Man that is to be lifted up! This new man is not visible to human eyes. 

 

Moses was told to lift up the brass serpent in the wilderness to save the people who were dying from the poisonous bites of the serpents. Everyone who looked up at the brass serpent would be delivered from the viper's bite. Jesus said if the Son of Man is lifted up like that, He will draw all men unto Himself. Most people think Jesus died on the cross as their substitute. They do not identify with Him; they do not see that they were crucified with Him. 

 

Spiritually we see that the great dragon, that is, the adversary or Satan, being put to death on the cross. That means that the carnal mind's conception of God and of itself, died there. That original seed of all sin, transgression and death is put to death on that cross. Man put the visible manifestation of the physical man Jesus to death; the testimony of the Christ in Him was to death. The Son of God did not die; I only see Satan dying there. There was a death TO sin through the Spirit of Christ that was in the man Christ Jesus. The seed of delusion that has been injected into man was aborted, so it no longer reproduces itself. The death of Jesus on the cross included more than the visible crucifixion. By putting to death the original seed of all sin, it established the law of life that is in the being of God. Man can live now! 

 

Nobody lived before Christ. He was the Firstborn of all creation. The term, BEFORE CHRIST (B.C.) does not have any spiritual significance; it is only the natural way of referring to the time before Jesus was manifested in the earth as a man. He WAS, before the man Abraham. I don't think there was anything before Christ. Jesus was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. A.D. is an abbreviation of Anno Domini, Latin for IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD. However, we know the Lord was present prior to that! 

 

All thoughts and ideas are communicated through words, but the human mind cannot grasp spiritual realities; human concepts cannot accept spiritual realities. We live and die through spiritual words. The death that was symbolized by Adam, came through words, for God said that the day they would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die. Life also comes through words, for Jesus said, "My words are spirit and are life." So we really die and live by words. Death, which came by words, is destroyed by life, which came in the Word of God. 

 

The Word of God (as a seed) cannot conceive and reproduce in the natural mind, because the natural mind is not pure - it always commits adultery. But the spiritual mind of Christ is as a virgin - it has never accepted another seed. It reproduces the life that is in Christ Jesus, and brings it forth in us. As this realization dawns on us, we begin to see the greatness of what God in Christ Jesus has done for us by taking us into His life! 

 

A clearer realization of what it means to have Christ in us helps us to understand this better. Christ cannot be in the natural man or in an evil heart. When Paul said, "Christ in you", the YOU he referred to is the new creation man. This man has a realization beyond that which comes to us in our natural senses. Even though we continue to live in this body, which is subject to cold and heat, etc., we can rise up in faith and be overcomers! We believe God will take care of us as long as He wants us on the earth. He will supply us with what we need to continue our testimony. 

 

If we abide in the vine we will bear fruit, and this fruit will remain! It remains - it does not come and go like weeks, months and years. This fruit is simply the consciousness of who we are - it is not something we try to be. It will become evident in our lives and it will be manifested in our thinking; it will also show in the way we think of other people. The true sense of our being is the Christ in us; it is a rest, it is what we are! It becomes a motivation for our life. What a relief to know that we don't have to strive to be something we aren't! We don't have to strive to love people because we are united to the Christ in us! (Hate seems to come naturally without striving or learning it, therefore we often identify with hate; but hate belongs to the Adamic man.) We no longer have to strive to get people to give things to us, to love us, to be like us, etc. Nor do we strive to have power or control. There is a wonderful rest in that! This is how we are affected by having Christ in us! 

 

We are to present ourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead. (Rom. 6:11, 13) This is not what most people do. They present themselves to God as sinners, unclean, and in need. They get so distraught, and finally cry out, "Good gracious, what's the use?" This is not scriptural and it produces many problems. 

 

Sin is the transgression of the law. So the one who transgresses the law is the transgressor. Transgression did not originate in us; something worked in us, causing us to transgress. The only way we can rid ourselves of thinking that we are the cause of our sin, is by getting rid of our identification with that sin. We do not become righteous just because we confess our sins. Confession does not remove the nature or mind that conceives and indulges in things which are wrong. We have to identify with the righteousness that is in Christ Jesus. When we agree with the scriptures, we will believe that we are new creatures in Christ. We will begin to entertain the conceptions that were in the mind of Christ Jesus. He never presented Himself as a sinner because sin is a transgression of the law. The law is the power that causes us to sin. We are helpless in its grip. If we think we have the authority or the free will in ourselves to choose God or the devil and to do what we want, we are operating in a delusion. Satan loves to have us believe we have the ability to choose what is right, because he instilled that thought in man. He operates in a delusion. We have to present ourselves to God as those alive from the dead. We have to be in this life before we can walk in it. 

 

Under the old law Jesus did not qualify for the priesthood, for He was not of Levitical descent. Therefore He did not have the legal right to the temple proper even though He was the Son of God. He could only be in the outer court. His ministry did not consist of administering the law. He did not perform Old Testament sacrifices and washings; nor did He observe religious days. Although He fulfilled the law by beginning His ministry at the age of thirty - thirty being the legal age for entering the priesthood - and thus demonstrated His identity with humanity, administering the law is not the Christ. His only identification with sin was in becoming a sin-offering for us. 

 

Christ's mission was to minister an endless life according to the order of Melchizedek. Receiving His life brings us into a whole new sense of being. He takes away the sin-consciousness, for it requires repentance with all its accompanying sacrifices. We are neither Satan nor God, but we manifest whoever is working in us. We have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love. The work of God consists of fathering our thoughts - thus making us like Christ. 

 

Jesus came into our world in order to take us into His kingdom. His kingdom is not of this world. He was crucified and put to death by this world system. This world system always attempts to destroy those who are Christ's, for Satan comes only to kill and to destroy. The world system is very complex; it increasingly focuses on the natural mind and its accomplishments. However, it actually brings destruction for it operates in the lie, and it always will. But Christ is just the opposite; He gets rid of the lie. He follows His own pattern. 

 

The gospel is good news! It is not an ecumenical movement (whether in the flesh or in the spirit), for it does not emphasize nor try to get everyone into the same persuasion or church affiliation. It brings us out of our old concepts of always being sinners, needing continual forgiveness and going to heaven as our ultimate goal. We are automatically one as we grow in Christ. Our oneness is in Christ; that is the only oneness there is. If we all grow, we will all have more love for one another, more fellowship, and greater unity. This can only be brought about by each individual expressing God and manifesting Christ in a greater measure. That always works. 

 

Rev. 13:8 speaks about the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. In Eph. 1:4 it says that He has chosen us before the foundation of the world. In these passages and a few others, a correct translation of the word FOUNDATION is DISRUPTION. The Greek word means CASTING DOWN. Eph. 1:4-5 should read, "According as He has chosen us in Him" (not by Him) "before the disruption of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." A disruption of the world has taken place. Since there is more than one world (2 Peter 3), you may wonder which world was disrupted or put down. There is a world that God so loved that He gave His only Son for it. (John 3:16) This world was not disrupted. But there is also a world that we shall not love, nor shall we love the things in that world. If any man loves that world, he is an enemy of God. (1 John 2:15; James 4:4) That world is governed by the god or prince of this world who controls and rules people's consciousness. People are obeying him, but they are not aware of it since they are in delusion. This is the world, which was disrupted. 

 

Why was the world disrupted? It was disrupted because of the vanity of man. The word of God was put aside when man accepted and obeyed another word - a word that was not from God. So he came under another rule and he obeyed that. This brought him into bondage to the one who spoke that word. These are the spiritual implications of what happened in Genesis. The world here simply means the rule or a kingdom. It does not refer to the earth, sky or seas. So the rule that was operating in Adam was disrupted by the rule that came to him from a voice other than God. God's kingdom is not of this world; in His kingdom His voice is obeyed! 

 

After the disruption of the first world, another system came into being. This brought the whole world under the control of the wicked one. That is why Christ, the Lamb, was slain from the disruption of the world. All who are under the rule of the wicked one are anti God. The whole world is antichrist; the whole religious system is antichrist; everything operating under this spirit of disobedience, is antichrist. It is a spirit, a rule, or a world. And He has chosen us in Christ before this disruption. This was God's plan all along. 

 

I want to impress you with the fact, that even though Jesus was not of this world, He came into this world to bring us into the kingdom of God. THE RULE OF GOD WILL PRODUCE A CONSCIOUSNESS OF GOD IN US AND BRING US INTO FELLOWSHIP AND ONENESS WITH HIM! So we are no longer of this world - we are of God! God brings us that information through the Holy Spirit; He leads us into all truth! That is what we follow, what we live by, what we operate by, what we manifest and what we bear testimony to! In Jesus Christ the rule of God was unadulterated! In spite of the fact that we still stumble sometimes and have problems, one thing we know - we have been delivered from the old world system, the kingdom of darkness, and have been placed into the rule of God's loving Son! We operate in a kingdom, which is not of this world; it is the ministration of an endless life! I like that! 

 

The most important thing to remember is that none of us as individual entities has either the power or the authority to choose Jesus Christ or Satan. We have simply been overcome and persuaded by one or the other - depending upon what has happened to us, where we are living and what consciousness or realization we are living in. It is not enough to be very religious, a preacher, a helper, or a counselor in the realm of good and evil. We can make people feel good, feel religious and dutiful (the communists and other people can do that too), but we cannot give them, nor can they have, the power or the authority to choose. We need to grow up into Christ to the point where we know who we were and who we now are in Christ. This is where the kingdom of God is really operating today, and this is what is going to grow. It is not going to grow externally, for it doesn't come in the seen realm. The rule of God is taking place in the spiritual conception of people who are submitted to Jesus Christ. He alone is all wisdom; He reveals all the wisdom, power and authority of God. All those that came before Jesus are thieves and robbers. 

 

Christ is the light that lights the entire world. Christ is our life. We have to live in that consciousness! God expresses Himself to us by the Holy Spirit - the Holy Spirit bearing witness to our spirit. This is what we live by, this is what we rest in, and this is what we testify to. Often it takes time for us to digest these things. Therefore we have to meditate, listen to the Holy Spirit, and allow God to bring us into His realization. As truth comes into focus for us, it becomes our moderator. It becomes life to us! So consider what I say and may the Lord give you understanding! Amen! 

 

PART TWO

WHO ADAM IS

 

Greetings in the name of the Lord! In Luke 4:18 Jesus opened the scriptures to Isaiah and read, "The Lord has anointed Me." Who is that Lord who anointed Jesus? Paul said, "The Lord is the Spirit." (2 Cor. 3:17) The words CHRIST, MESSIAH, ANOINTING are from the Greek words CHRISTOS (meaning anointed - Hebrew Messiah) and CHRIO (meaning to anoint). They are very closely related in meaning. The Messiah (Hebrew) or Christ (Greek), is the one who has received the anointing. This is a title applied to someone who has been officially anointed with oil. He is the Anointed one, for he has received the anointing. 

 

People today are waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Many are praying on hands and knees, crying for Jesus to come back physically. Their desire is that they be taken out of this world. These people have never come into the true knowledge of God, nor do they realize that all things are finished or fulfilled in Christ Jesus. If they ever had this knowledge, they lost it. 

 

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." Where the Spirit IS there is liberty - not where He WAS, OR THE PLACE WHERE HE WILL COME. And the Spirit of the Lord is here! God has poured out His Spirit on all flesh, but flesh cannot receive Him. The anointing first came upon the Son of God; for when Jesus began His ministry, He said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me..." (Luke 4:18) Later on, in Acts 2:33 Peter said, "...and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear." He fulfilled that promise! After Jesus had been exalted to the right hand of God (the spiritual fulfillment for Christ to sit on David's throne), the Father gave Him the promised Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit Christ poured forth at Pentecost had been given Him by the Father! 

 

God gave Jesus of Nazareth an anointing, and He became the Christ at the age of 30, when the Spirit came upon Him at the Jordan. This was the receiving of the Christ, which is the Holy Spirit. At this time He began to manifest the Christ. It says that "In Him all the fullness of the Deity dwells bodily." (Col. 2:9) The Father God and the Spirit were all one body in Christ Jesus. From then on He was called the Christ. The religious world is looking for Jesus to come again historically. People are looking for a Jesus whom they will know by the nailprints in His hands. They want to see Him coming down on the Mt. of Olives and check Him for the nailprints. If they are not at the scene of action, they may have to rely on television and radio reports. To check Him out personally would be pretty impossible for the average person. You can't even get close to the pope! 

 

Jesus said, "It is not yours to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority." (Acts 1:7) This knowledge belongs to the Father only; it is not for us to know! Yet people are trying so hard to figure out when the Lord will come again! They say the coming of the Lord is imminent because the world is so bad; they use mathematics to figure out the times and the seasons when the promises shall be fulfilled. They even foretell the exact date of His coming. A book was written in which were cited 88 reasons why He would be coming in '88. All of man's calculations have been proved wrong; they have never come to pass; none of them have borne the fruit of true prophecy! 

 

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "As to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you." (1 Thess. 5:1) Why? Because they already knew what they were supposed to know. Anything more was not for them to know - and neither is it ours to know! It really doesn't make any difference to us, does it? Since we are in the Father's hand and we trust Him for everything, we rely upon Him to do what is best! 

 

Let's see what happens to us in Jesus Christ. Once Christ has come to us and we have been put in Him, we have become new creatures in Christ, and this new creation is really not subject to time and place anymore! Jesus preached, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the gospel." Paul said, "The consummation of the ages is upon us." (Heb. 9:26) He also wrote that in the fullness of time, or when the time was fulfilled, God sent forth His Son. (Gal. 4:4) Because Christ is infinite, He has a ministry that is endless; He is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The Melchizedek ministry in Christ is an ongoing spiritual ministry. Time and geographical location do not apply in the spiritual realm of God's activity. 

 

We have been given Christ; we have been put into Christ; we've been anointed; our old man has been crucified on the cross; we are new creatures in Christ; we are living in a new and different dimension from our former way of life! Now we are growing in things that have already come to pass! In God they are already done! Jesus said we were to pray God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Therefore the will of God is always done in heaven before it is ever administered in revelation in the earth. His will is always done in heaven before it ever comes forth in the earth as a testimony. That is why Jesus said, "Whatever I see the Father doing that is what I do." 

 

In Matt. 16 Jesus asked the disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They had all kinds of ideas. Some said He was a prophet. They actually thought that He was one of the prophets like Jeremiah, Elijah, or John the Baptist. But then He asked them, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." This revelation came from His Father in heaven; it was the Father who revealed it to Peter! This knowledge did not come to Peter because of his tremendous reasoning ability (the flesh), nor was it his bloodline (being a Hebrew or Jew). It came from His Father in heaven! Jesus called God His Father. "MY FATHER in heaven told you this." This revelation is the rock upon which God builds His church (His body - the body of Christ)! The body of Christ is built upon the rock of this revelation that God gives to man. 

 

It may surprise and astonish us that not long after he had received this wonderful revelation, he emphatically denied his knowledge of Christ - even by cursing! After Jesus was taken captive, Peter was confronted by a maid who asked if he was one of Christ's disciples. Fear of consequences caused him to deny Jesus. How could he do that after he had heard an incorruptible and creative word of God? At that time Peter had not yet received the Holy Spirit; he had not yet repented and been converted in the sense of putting away his old mind and receiving a new one. So this revelation was resident in Peter as Peter - and not in the Christ who was in him! This shows that the revelation of God can only be received by the spiritual man, by the regeneration of the spirit that is in us! 

 

We are tired of organized Christianity, which professes to tell us about God, but only presents its own idea of God! Its ministers are not hearing the Spirit. In the true sense of the word, it is an organized ignorance. It embodies the Adamic religious concept of God and His Christ; it has the same concept of God that the Jews had and still have! The Jews are at the Wailing Wall waiting for Christ, and the churches are in their place of prayer, waiting and wailing for Jesus to come again to save them from this terrible world! They want Him to change it and make everything right - including us. He is not going to do any of these things, because His kingdom is not of this world and redemption is not for the Adamic man - the carnal mind. It has suppressed the regeneration of spiritual realization from the beginning of time. God is not redeeming that mind; He's putting it away, separating it - putting it to death. Our old man is crucified with Him! 

 

In 1 John it says, "...We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is...as He is, so also are we in this world." (1 John 3:2b; 4:16b) We will see Him as He IS; there never was a time when He was not. Nor is He ever only going to be. Christ always is, just as God is. We can't say that He was, nor that He is going to be; it is only in our realization that a change occurs. God never was; He always is! Back there in what we call WAS, God was IS at that time! We have to be careful that we don't put God into our concept of human nature, otherwise we will worship our own ideas of God. That is where all these different ideas of who God is, and who Christ is, come from. 

 

Christ is the light and the life. Christ is our life! He doesn't come to begin a life in us. He doesn't come to give us a life, but He who is life gives us Himself! He is that life that comes to us in our consciousness! Many of the things that we prayed for and thought God was going to give us, like the wisdom of God, the life of Christ, the light of Christ, health, etc., we no longer pray for. In our new stage of realization we pray for the realization of God's presence as our being! Once we come to the realization that God is our being, then God is these things in us! He is our wisdom, He is our righteousness, He is our truth, He is our infinity, He is our life! We are growing into a deeper realization of the creativity of God and His Spirit. 

 

This cannot be analyzed in our carnal spirit, nor by letting our carnal mind interpret the Bible. It is not given to man to know the times and the seasons. Yet people keep thinking that Jesus hasn't finished the work, that God has to do a further work by having Jesus come back to deal with sin, abolish death and do away with the devil. All these ideas are stages of unbelief. 

 

It says, "As He is, so are we in this world." How can we be as He is in this world? Who is Christ in this world? He is the way, the truth and the life through us, or as us. We are the sons that evidence the Father, we are the tabernacle of true witness, and we are the word of God in the world! The Bible, called the scriptures, is a testimony. The Christ is the Word of God! Peter received this revelation from God! Jesus said that the Father in heaven had revealed to Peter that the Christ is the Son of the living God. Therefore it is the truth! This means that Christ and the Son are the same. Other scripture passages also say that God and the Son are the same. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Jn. 1:1) So the Word, the Christ, and God the Father are the same! They were one body in the man Jesus - the Godhead in one body! God, the Father, the Son, the Christ and the Word are one. They are one - they are one and the same! 

 

In order to better grasp the meaning of this, let's look at it in the following way. The Holy Spirit is bringing us the knowledge of the oneness of God, for there is no permanent being other than God. Everything in creation - the animals, the earth, sky, etc. - is temporal. Everything that is made, everything we can see, is made of the unseen. (Heb. 11) The basis and true activity of everything that is seen, has its source in the unseen realm. Paul said, "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18) When this temporal body of ours is torn down, we already have a building of God, eternal in the heavens. (2 Cor. 5:1) Before we can understand this, we have to be awakened and arise from the dead; then Christ will shine on us. (Eph. 5:14) Adam experienced this in reverse - he was awake and then put to sleep. When we are awakened from this sleep (death), our eyes and minds are opened to see spiritual realities. It is wonderful to understand this! 

 

Jesus made some severe indictments against the Jews. He said they did not know God; they had not heard His voice nor seen His form; they did not know the One He sent; they did not believe Moses; they received honor from men and did not have the Word of God dwelling in them! (John 5:37-47) These are not new indictments against them. The prophet Hosea said there was no mercy, truth nor knowledge of God in the land. (Hosea 4:1,6, etc.) He said that because the people were fighting; they didn't know God! They didn't even know His Christ when He came! Since Christ was the exact image of the Father God, they obviously were worshiping a different god. They didn't recognize God in Christ because He did not line up with their own idea of God. So they were actually slaves of their delusion! 

 

Satan is actually ignorant; he lacks knowledge. In his darkness he is separated from God and has no conscious presence of God. Therefore he lacks mercy, righteousness, and a correct idea of God. Don't our wrong thoughts also lack mercy, grace, God's righteousness, and a correct idea of God? Where do they come from? From where do demons get their wrong thoughts and delusions? I think all of them come from the same source, because they always produce death and bondage. They dwell in ignorance, lack of knowledge and mercy - and that is separation from God. 

 

Jesus said, "All that came before Me are thieves and robbers." What did they rob us of? They robbed us of our true identity, the truth of who we are spiritually, the fact that we are eternal beings, that God is our being, that God is our life and that He has brought us into being! They robbed us of a true knowledge of God - who God is and who Christ is. It is our consciousness of earthy things that keeps us separated from God, and it will continue to do so as long as we live in it. That is why we need a new consciousness - one of heavenly things. 

 

In Genesis 1 we read that God made man in His own image or likeness. How can man be made in the likeness of God? What is God like? Can there be a physical likeness of God or must this likeness be spiritual? Since God is spirit and incorruptible, and He made man in His own likeness, He must have made man incorruptible from an incorruptible seed, and made him a spiritual being - one who could correctly portray God because He was in the image of God. People don't want to believe that, because they believe man is a human fleshly being. Therefore man's image of God is physical - they think God is a Being who sits on a white throne, and His Son Jesus has the form of a man. This could not be farther from the truth! 

 

In Gen. 2 a man was formed out of creation; he was earthy, being formed from the dust of the earth and water. He was totally dependent on the earth for everything - for his physical well-being, his realization and sense of being. This made him vulnerable to believe a word that did not come from God. In the garden the crafty serpent came to Adam and Eve and confronted them with a lie - a new belief or persuasion. The serpent said that if they would eat of this tree, this knowledge of good and evil, they would not die; in fact they would become like God, knowing good and evil. We know that God is the only truth there is; He is the source or beginning of all being or life. There is no other true being but God, and His expression comes in His Word. Nothing from any other source is the truth - it's a lie. 

 

Why would Adam listen to a voice other than God's voice - especially a voice that said he could be like God? If he had realized that God was his Father, that he was a son of God, one with God, and an infinite eternal being, would he have listened to the lie? Obviously he wouldn't have. He couldn't have known who he was! He didn't know he was a son of God - that God was his being, that he lived and moved and had his being in Him. Had he realized who he was, he would never have listened to a voice that said in effect, "Hey, do you want to be like God? If you are going to be like God you are never going to die." 

 

Since then the Adamic man functions in this ignorance: he thinks he can be like God if he knows what is good and evil, if he chooses the good and not evil, and if he can destroy the bad people - his enemies. The self-preservation of human nature seeks immortality by keeping healthy, eating healthy food, exercising and availing itself of medical and scientific knowledge. While keeping fit and healthy benefits the physical body, it has no merit towards immortality! Its efforts to achieve immortality are useless, for it is functioning in a lie! 

 

In John 8 Jesus said to the Jews, "You are of your father the devil." They had been fathered by wrong thoughts and opinions of God, so they were attacking Jesus. Jesus told them that they were doing the works of their father; they could not hear His word, for they did not know Him. "You want to do the desires of your father...He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him...for he is a liar, and the father of lies." In other words, he is not a good guy. There is no truth in him; he is the father of all lies! HE WAS NOT THE RESULT OF A LIE - HE IS THE FATHER OF LIES! Lies have no foundation, no truth. There is only one true Father! That is why Jesus said, "Don't call any man on earth your father." Since the Jews were being fathered by the father of lies, it meant they were operating in a delusion. 

 

 

Let's go back to the Genesis account of Adam's disobedience. I believe the serpent's voice came to Adam inwardly. I don't believe there was a form of the devil there; I think a suggestion came through their body that was formed of the dust of this creation, their body of flesh. The fruit looked good to Adam and Eve because they were guided by their sense knowledge. Their ignorance of who they already were made them vulnerable to the lie. They readily received the delusion that knowing good and evil would make them wise like God. This idea was fostered by a lie! Ever since that time, the Adamic man's consciousness has been fathered by the idea of good and evil. He thinks God is good and evil, and does both good and evil things. We get this idea from the Old Testament even though it says that He only does good things. That is why we have to learn to know God through Christ who is the exact representation of the invisible God! 

 

Jesus Christ is the truth. Sin is the result of having believed a lie. After Adam and Eve believed a lie they didn't feel comfortable; they felt naked because they had received a consciousness of having done something wrong. They tried to cover themselves with the work of their own hands and tried to hide from God. Obviously God knew where Adam was, so God went to him and said, "Adam, where are you?" By that God was really asking, "Who are you? Who are you in your consciousness? Are you separated from Me? Have you got wrong ideas of yourself?" Adam answered, "I'm naked." God said, "Who told you that you are naked?" This information had not come from God; God had not told him that! Nakedness is the lack of righteousness. Adam began to be conscious of the physical body and of being one with creation; he thought that God was a God of good and evil, and that God was going to punish them. 

 

Paul said, "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey." (Rom. 6:16) When Adam yielded himself to this delusion, this lie, he became a slave of the lie; he was in bondage to the lie. His refuge was lies, his life was lies, and he was estranged from God. Ever since that time, humanity has been fathered by a lie - not only about God, but about Christ and self. This is hereditary. Everyone has a wrong consciousness of God, self and creation, because he is living in a delusion of who he is. Man thinks he is a temporal being; he thinks he is born a separate entity and is going to die. This kind of thinking crucified Jesus, the truth, when He came to do away with the lie. This understanding does not belong to a son of God. 

 

Peter's revelation of, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God," means that every man who has the anointing (the Christ) is a son of God. There is only one God and only one Son. We see God as an individual being, and the Son as an individual being, but they are ONE. HE IS THE I AM! His offspring become part of the I AM, the infinity, the nature of God. Because God is omnipresent, He is present in everything! This is the consciousness and realization we are to receive. 

 

Because of our delusion we have seen creation (the effect of God's work), in the wrong sense. Jesus Christ came out of heaven to take us into the consciousness of heavenly or spiritual realization. This is the gospel. Adamic thinking would have us believe that God killed His Son. It is only interested in personal advantage and in residing in beautiful mansions up in the sky. This is a perversion of the gospel. 

 

Man's thinking does not change who God is. God is true! By true subjection to the Holy Spirit, we will be rewarded with a true consciousness of who we are and who God is. Repenting of our sins is not enough; we must also repent of who we are in the Adamic man and of who we thought God is. The Adamic man was crucified on the cross as a corporate man - not a physical man. We have been crucified with Christ because our whole consciousness and realization of God was in delusion and ignorance. This delusion and ignorance was put to death through the work of Jesus Christ. 

 

Adam is called a figure of Him who was to come. The serpent in Genesis 3 is also a type or figure. Jesus called some of the people in Israel "a generation (brood) of vipers." (Matt. 23:33) These are the offspring of the serpent; out of their being comes the sting of death. Their words are always in the death realm. There are many serpents about us even today - people whose words produce a venom of death instead of release. These keep us from receiving the life of God - endlessness, eternity and immortality. They attempt to keep us from knowing who we really are, and use the same ploy used by the serpent in the garden. 

 

That which is begotten of God cannot sin. When we are born again we have been born of incorruptible seed! (1 Peter 1:23) The incorruptible seed of which we have been born is NOT corruptible! That which has been born of the Spirit is incorruptible! Before Adam was submerged in delusion and ignorance, God looked at His creation and said, "It is very good." (Gen. 1) This was said after the image of a man had been made. The creation that was made of incorruptible seed has never entertained corruption! It is made of an incorruptible word! 

 

The problem lies in the delusion and ignorance that dwell in us; they have brought humanity into a bondage of death. Death assumes a beginning and an ending, and brings everything into the time realm; this includes ourselves. It keeps us from entering into the endlessness and immortality that God has for us in Jesus Christ and in His Word. Christ came to take us out of the bondage of death. He is changing our thinking; we are beginning to believe that we are a new creation. We are a spiritual image of God - the man of Gen. 1. Within this human body we carry a testimony of sonship, immortality, and infinity - a testimony of God, the only Being there is. Everything that opposes this idea of God is anti God and anti Christ; it comes out of delusion and ignorance. 

 

That which is born or begotten of God is incorruptible. Being born of God of an incorruptible seed gives us an inheritance, for we are joint heirs with Christ. Through God's seed we have inherited a likeness of God the Father; this is not a physical likeness - it is a spiritual one. We have been made one with Him! Therefore our heredity and inheritance is truly infinite and immortal. But that which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of an incorruptible seed is incapable of sinning, and that which is born of flesh is incapable of not sinning. Therefore we have to know and express our true identity. 

 

Many people constantly confess that they are sinners. They seem to take a morbid delight in confessing that they are sinners saved by grace; they seem to think this is true humility. They have a complete disregard for anyone who confesses what God has said, what the Spirit has said, what God has made us, and what our true being is. They consider those people to be full of pride, exalting themselves to a position they can only have after they get to heaven; they accuse them of lacking proper humility. If they were humble they would constantly confess that they are only sinners saved by grace, that they will go to heaven sometime, and that God isn't finished with them yet, etc. They do not recognize that we are complete in Christ. "In Him you have been made complete." (Col. 1:28;2:10) 

 

Adam's fall was not the direct result of eating from the forbidden tree, but eating from the tree was the evidence that he had received the lie. He ate in ignorance of his true nature; he didn't need the knowledge of good and evil. Had he known his true nature, he wouldn't have eaten of that tree! I don't think Adam knew that God was his Father, and that he already was a son of God. He lacked the consciousness of his heavenly origin and oneness with God, so he expressed his origin from the earth. When Adam and Eve accepted the seed of a word that was not from God to be on par with God's word, they accepted a lie. Now they could not tell the difference between the truth and the lie. Satan's word looked more attractive than God's word to them. 

 

There is no consciousness without being. If we are not something, we can't have a consciousness of being. Whether we like the word "consciousness" or not, we still need it. We may call it awareness, realization, truth, etc., but we are not a being unless we have a consciousness of being. Our consciousness of being really determines our relationship with God, the presence of God, and how meaningful Christ really is to us. 

 

Jesus said that we are to seek FIRST the kingdom of God. It does not say that we are to seek first the coming of Jesus, the rapture, going to heaven, or even getting rid of our sins. We are to seek first the kingdom of God! "`Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord, `though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.'" (Is. 1:18) If we let God reason with us, it will become evident that God is not imputing any sins to us. If He is not imputing them to us, then we really don't have any. He has a reason for this, but we can't get into that right now. Suffice it to say, that we are slaves of the one we obey; we are in the hand of God. 

 

We recognize that Adam was deluded and ignorant. He didn't know who he was, so he gave himself to the lie; he yielded himself as a servant to obey the lie. The penalty of sin is death, so in Adam all die; yet very few people really believe they are dead in Adam! At the time Jesus went to the cross everybody except Jesus was dead in Adam. 2 Cor. 5:14 says, "...having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died." That means all were dead! Our natural, physical consciousness given us when we were born is in the death realm. It's terminal; it is very evident that everyone has to die. The source of our natural consciousness is in the mortal, finite realm; it is not in God. It can only be terminated by death to that thinking. We have to be regenerated and receive a revelation of the Christ, the Son of God. This brings us to the beginning of the gospel. 

 

In order to enter into a relationship with God we have to enter the kingdom of God, for it is God's rule. His rule acquits us of all guilt, all sin, and all responsibility for sin. It is not a rule of good and evil; He does not impute sin. He takes over our whole sense of being so it is in harmony with our actual life in Christ. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He identified Himself by saying, "I AM WHO I AM." Only God can identify Himself as the "I AM"! Whenever we think of ourselves as individuals who are separated from the life of Christ, we should realize that Jesus Christ was crucified in order to put that old identity to death! That identification was put to death by His Spirit, His realization, His understanding of God, His relationship, His presence, His immortality! It's the Christ, the spiritual Word, the Anointing that destroys the lie! His relationship with God destroys the old man. 

 

It's the spiritual realization of what Christ has done for us that brings us a release of our old identity! It is not just a mental acknowledgment of the fact that Jesus died on the cross many years ago; this does not bring us a release. If it did, there wouldn't be any sin around where the cross of Jesus Christ has been proclaimed. Our idea of self is a mistaken sense of being; it's a delusion to think of self as a separate being or entity (an "I am"), because only God can identify Himself as the I AM. 

 

People often ask, "Who are you?" They may refer to ethnic origin or religious affiliation. From the natural standpoint we may express our identity as an ethnic being (German, English, etc.,) or according to church affiliation (Catholic, Lutheran, etc.,). From the spiritual standpoint this is not our true identity. Our identity is in Jesus Christ! He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." When He comes to us as our life, we have a true identity! Christ as our life is our true identity! Learning this is walking and living in life! 

 

We need to lay down our desire for self-identification and be willing to have everything in our lives exchanged for the truth. All our natural thinking, our own ideas of God, everything we thought we were has to be laid down. This does not come by works, study, nor reasonings; it can only happen through repentance. It is not a repentance from sin but from who we consciously thought we were as an I or a ME. Everything comes by the grace of God, and He rules by His grace. We are invited to come to the throne of grace. (Heb. 4:16) A throne is a rule. In God's rule of grace everything is from God and everything goes back to God; everything is sustained by God; God is the only TRUE BEING that IS. Our sense of being has to be sustained by God; it is being in Him and one with Him. When His grace rules us we are undone in self and in our own ability - our ability to reason, to be anything, or even to understand or figure out who God is. We are as little children, helpless and dependent. That is what the kingdom of God is all about. 

 

Jesus Christ is the truth! Since we were all in darkness, death and delusion, a correction of everything we thought we were, we thought was right, or thought God was, has to come through Jesus who is the truth! He said, "For this reason I came into the world to bear witness to the truth." And He bears witness to the Holy Spirit whom we receive and He becomes our Lord! May God bless you as you meditate on the truth!

 

PART THREE

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)." (v. 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 do 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." (v.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! 

God bless you! Amen.

 

PART FOUR

THAT THEY MAY BE ONE

 

The names God, the Father and Lord Jesus Christ are often used in the same verse. "To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!" Grace and peace come to us from God, from our Father, from our Lord, from Jesus, and from Christ. (2 Thess. 1:1-2) We also give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. These names do not stand for different deities; they are all one. 

 

Today we want to discuss oneness. Hopefully we can put aside all our false ideas, and be open to receive what the scriptures say about the oneness of God and about our oneness with Him. 

 

It is just amazing how many times the word one is used in the New Testament in reference to God and our relationship with Him! For example, Jesus said, "I and the Father are one...that they may all be one; even as You Father are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us." There is only one God and one body of Christ and it has many members; there is one God and Father of all; there is one mediator. 

 

"Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one...For there is one God and mediator also between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:20; 1 Tim. 2:5) Christ Jesus Himself is the mediator! 

 

Since God is one, He is one with His Spirit and His Son; they have the same life! All who are in Christ have His life and so are one with Him. Therefore they do not need mediation. Everything is of God. 

 

In Gal. 3:28-29 it says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise." Christ made in Himself a new man. Both Jew and Gentile are put into this new man! All are reconciled to God in Christ through the cross and have access to the Father in one Spirit. 

 

"By abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father...There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift." (Eph. 2:15-18; 4:4-7) 

 

These verses emphasize our oneness with one another and with Christ as did Christ's prayer in John 17. Paul said, "But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him." (1 Cor. 6:17) This is a remarkable oneness and so significant to understand! It is easy to mentally agree with being the offspring of God, saying that we are one with Him and that we are all one in Christ Jesus. But to comprehend the meaning and spiritual significance of this is life-changing! 

 

There is only one God, and He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our oneness with God does not indicate equality with Him. In John 10:34 Jesus quoted from Psalm 82:6 when He said, "Has it not been written in your Law, I said, you are gods.'" This does not mean that we say we are gods; nor does it imply that we are equal with God. He is the source of everything; His Spirit does not only fill the whole world, but also the universe! He knows all things! In Him are all the treasures of wisdom. He is omnipotent; He has all power. Saying we are united with God means that His life has become our life! 

 

It is interesting to note that according to Strong's, the Hebrew word ELOHIYM (Strong's spelling for Elohim) refers to gods in the ordinary sense, and is occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates and angels and judges. But when it is specifically used with the article THE, it refers to the supreme God. In reference to humanity, the article THE is not used. We are not the supreme God. 

 

In Colossians 1:3 and in 1 Thess. 1:1 and 2, the five names, God, Father, Lord, Jesus, and Christ are mentioned. It became important to me that God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He was both God and Father! Jesus said that He and the Father were one. God and Father are one, but the name Father gives us an added dimension and a greater understanding of God. No man can be a father unless he has a child. So when Jesus Christ was manifested on earth, He brought us the revelation of the fatherhood of God. God was identified as Father because He had a Son. 

 

John 1:1 reads, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Here we learn that the Word is God. This is a very difficult concept for us so we struggle in this area. Although we do not understand it in its fullness, I pray that the true meaning will be revealed to us in an ever-increasing depth. Jesus knew that the Word in Him was God. He was actually speaking the Word that was God - not the word that God had spoken! That is why He was able to still the sea, raise the dead, read men's minds and do all the other tremendous things He did! 

 

In John 14:10 Jesus said, "...but the Father abiding in Me does His works." He was not testifying of Himself; He was testifying of the Father. "We must work the works of Him who sent Me ... I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" (John 9:4; 10:32) He constantly acknowledged that the work He did was not His work, but the work of the Father. The work He did was an extension of the Father's work. This extension did not only occur through Jesus, but it also occurs through us. As we do the works of the Father, a testimony of the Father will go out into the world. 

 

Jesus was the true witness. Since Jesus said, "All who came before Me were thieves and robbers," we can assume that those who were before Him were limited in their presentation of truth. The things they said had been given them and they were faithful to write them as given, even though they did not fully understand. Their natural understanding robbed the truth of its truth by lowering it into the natural realm. The religious understanding of the natural mind always brings the high things of God down to a lower understanding. 

 

The oneness of God is hard for us to understand. It says that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh, so we now know that the Word is the Son. Since the Word and the Son are one, they were both born of the same seed of God. God and the Father are one, and God and the Son are one! And the Word was one with God. So God and the Father and the Word are one, and the Son was one with the Father, so all are one! 

 

Fatherhood cannot be undone. Once a man becomes a father, it is evident that his seed came into the woman and bore an offspring. So we cannot separate fatherhood from the son. The son remains his son even if he doesn't act like it, but a greater depth of oneness occurs when there is oneness in relationship. 

 

In the spiritual realm, God could not rightly be called a father until the Son came forth. The Father and the Son are one because God fathered the Son and the Son declared the Father! He declared the Father by being one with Him in His nature and purpose and in everything He did! The things He did were really God in action in bringing about His own purpose. These are different aspects of God. The spiritual things He purposed to bring forth out of Himself can never be separated from Himself! 

 

The natural things in creation are not in the same category because they can be corrupted and separated. Anything that can be corrupted is in the death realm. 

 

We have seen that God has revealed Himself as Father, the Word and the Son, and that they are one. But it also speaks about sons and this denotes that an increase is taking place. The many sons who are brought to glory are all born from the same seed! So in a sense, they are the same. Everyone in Christ is of the same Spirit just like everyone in Adam is of the same flesh. There is oneness in this plurality! 

 

There are many practical problems, like language changing in meaning, and problems in translation that keep us from truly understanding the message of the scriptures. Although care has been taken to preserve the scriptures, the original manuscripts have all been lost, and the oldest New Testament manuscripts are actually a 1000 years older than any Hebrew texts - except for the Dead Sea scrolls, and they only contain a very small part of the Old Testament. Language presents a problem because word meanings change over the years, and the Hebrew language cannot claim exception to this rule. The natural mind cannot understand spiritual realities and so it cannot receive them. Therefore research and reasonings cannot get us to the heart of the scriptures. To really understand what the scriptures are saying we need the clarification the Holy Spirit gives! 

 

God is quite aware of our inability, so He sent us His Spirit to bring us understanding! "As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him...And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father!.'" (1 John 2:27; Gal. 4:6) This is wonderful! He gives us the Spirit of His Son to teach us! 

 

The Spirit of His Son is the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead! It is the same Spirit who was in Genesis and hovered over creation to bring light and form, to bring identification of the land, sea and heavens! Everything emerged out of the Word of God! His purpose brought about this activity through the Spirit. This process continued, for God said, "Let the earth bring forth...and let the seas bring forth..." And the earth brought forth things, and the sea brought forth things. God's purpose was expressed through the Word He spoke. 

 

This same Spirit identifies the Godhead, and the Godhead dwelt in Jesus bodily. The word Godhead includes the Father, the Word, the Son and the Spirit. Nothing can be divided or separated from God because whatever is separated from Him is in the death realm. So everything that has the life of God is united with Him. We participate in the divine nature but we do not own it! It is not ours in separation from God; if it were, we would be responsible for sustaining it, and we can't even understand it! 

 

Christ knew He was one with the Father. This knowledge was resident in Him before He came, after He came, and after He left His pilgrimage in the flesh. He was always one with the Father! The life of the Father was in Him; He said, "I am the life." Life flowed from Him and it revealed what life is. He also said, "I am the way." He brought us an understanding of this oneness with God, so He is our way into God! 

 

Jesus said that He also wanted this oneness for us! (John 17:21-23) It is important for us to understand what this involves! Christ has anointed us with His Spirit, and the Spirit wakens us to spiritual realities! He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him! We recognize that we cannot be joined to Christ in the flesh. God is ministering to us through the number one Son, the first-begotten Son, the firstborn of every creature - Christ Jesus! As we grow spiritually and are ruled by His mind we become more like Him in personality and in everything we do. 

 

Simon Peter received the revelation that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God! "And Jesus said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.'" (Matt. 16:16-17) God is a living God! He is alive in Christ, in the Father, in the Word and in the Spirit! Since the same Spirit who dwelt in Christ dwells in us, He is also alive in us! He makes our spirit alive and enables us to hear spiritual words; He brings us the realization that we are God's children by faith in Christ Jesus! Therefore we no longer see ourselves as mortal, human beings. 

 

In John 17:25 Jesus prayed, "O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." The name He made known to them was not included in the Old Testament names. The name FATHER, the name that denotes love and relationship, was unknown to them! "So that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." Isn't that wonderful? The same love that God lavished on Christ when He raised Him from the dead, is now in us! With the coming of the Spirit, the love with which the Father loved Him is now in us - for He is in us! 

 

Jesus always addressed God as Father. He even told us to pray, "Our Father". He said, "The Father and I are one... it is the Father who does His works... the Father is greater than I... the Father has sent Me." This holy name of God was unknown before Jesus came! This is the name that Jesus Christ brought to us when He gave us His Spirit. Those who do not have the Spirit cannot rightly call Him Father. So when the Spirit of the Son is in us, do we cry Jesus? No, for the Spirit of the Son in us does not cry out to Himself. Together with Him we cry Father! What a wonderful truth! We are in Him, and He and the Father are in us! 

 

Let's believe this testimony of oneness that Jesus left us! He has made provision for us to hear the Spirit speak oneness to us, and to understand that in Christ we actually are sons of God! As sons we are partakers of the divine nature! Therefore we believe the same things that Jesus testified to. Those who correctly testify to this oneness, pass on to others, the word that brought them into oneness. 

 

"I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word." (v.20) This is the reason He also said, "As the Father has sent Me, so send I you." Hearing this in our spirit enables us to be true witnesses to who Christ is, who we are, and who God is. 

 

Our relationship with Christ continually works the faith of Jesus Christ in us! Jesus never gave anyone a faith that was separated from Himself. We live by the faith of Jesus Christ! In Galatians 2:20 Paul said that the life in him was Christ. "Now that which I am now living in flesh, I am living in faith that is of the Son of God." (Concordant Literal) It is Christ's faith! Only Christ Jesus the Son can really believe the Father! He alone can really believe and understand the things of God. Because we have been given the mind of Christ we can bear a true testimony while we are on this earth. We can be true witnesses, and a tabernacle of witness even as Christ was. We continue the mission of Christ in the earth. God has given us the ministry of reconciliation - of reconciling people to Himself! This reconciliation is not to us nor to Christ Jesus, but to the Father! 

 

Jesus said, "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." (John 17:5) Jesus did not receive any glory in this world; He never received honor from men and He never will! He isn't coming back to receive the glory of this world. If we receive honor from men, we cannot be His disciples, for then we are denying the Father. That is not good at all! Jesus remained a true witness - even to the point of death on the cross! And the same Spirit who enabled Jesus, dwells in us and enables us! 

 

Jesus wants us to live in this oneness. He prayed, "That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." (v.21) What a oneness to reflect on! 

 

Many are being brought into Christ; they are all brought into one and the same Son. They all have the same Spirit of the same Son; this brings them into oneness with the Son, the Word and the Father. God and the Father are one, and the Word is one with God and the Father! The Spirit of God is one with all of us, and He brings us into the understanding of who we were, and what we have been changed into. 

 

God has nothing to do with yesterday or tomorrow. Yesterdays and tomorrows belong to the mortality that is in creation. God lives in infinity; He is always now! Human beings cannot understand what was, humanly speaking, in the trillions of years of the past; nor can they comprehend a power that exceeds the scope of their imagination. We cannot understand what happened, nor what will happen, in both extremities of the time line. But we do know that in Christ Jesus we are taken into God at this present time! 

 

In John 14:23 it says, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our abode with him." We cannot have Jesus without having the Father, and we can't have the Father without having Christ Jesus, the Son. They are one, and we are being taken into that oneness! This realm of spiritual realization and understanding begins to dawn on us by the coming of the Spirit of God. This does away with the natural mind's thinking that we are separated from God. It does away with the thought that the Father is in a far-away heaven. 

 

"That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one." (v.21-22) Jesus was already one with the Father. Now we are taken into that oneness! There is only one God - not three! 

 

We notice that before Jesus went to the cross, His major concern for believers was that they would know their oneness with Him and the Father! The only way this understanding of oneness could be achieved was for us to receive the Spirit of God and be subject to Him! It could not be attained by human reasoning. We cannot be brought into this understanding through doctrines, studying at seminaries, being subject to organizations and participating in their work, etc.! It can only be received through Him! He alone can bring us into oneness with the Father! So we come one by one. 

 

The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. It is a kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. There we experience oneness as we are ruled by the Spirit! The Spirit of God is expressed in the Word, in the Father, in the Son, and in the sons that have been brought forth through the Word of Christ and through our word! This is the gospel. 

 

All the sons are from the same seed. Abraham was promised one seed, and from that seed would come many! This promise was fulfilled in Christ - the Word of God made flesh. God reproduces Himself through His Spirit; He cannot reproduce Himself in flesh because He is not flesh and bones like we are. The seed came in Christ and it has reproduced itself in Christ! He is the Spirit who has been given to us! The Word of the Spirit has come to us so the Christ can be reproduced in us. Paul said, "My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you." (Gal. 4:19) Christ is formed and birthed in us! It is easier for us to understand the natural birth process in Mary, than the spiritual birth process in us. Jesus said that we must be born again. And the Spirit comes on us and fulfills what God has promised, so we are born of the Spirit! Now we are born anew; we are born from above! 

 

Our redemption from our carnal, earthy witness of spiritual things takes place while we are here in this world! A carnal witness does not understand spiritual realities so he cannot be a true witness. His understanding of God's program is in the natural realm, so he prophesies of things that God is going to do in the seen realm. But God's purpose and program are fulfilled in Christ who is the Spirit of God - the Son of God! He is not flesh; He only took on flesh to bring a word to our human understanding so that we might believe and be as He is. If this is our testimony, we are in this world as He was!

 

Have you ever tried to help someone, and that person maligned you for having wrong intentions? Have you ever been mistreated because you put yourself out for someone? This is what Jesus experienced! He came to release us from our bondage to self, and the world rejected and killed Him! How will the world treat us if we testify to the same things He did? It will also reject us. In our country we are not killed physically, but the spiritual rejection brings separation, and this separation is death. We do not separate ourselves from those who reject us, but they separate themselves from us! 

 

In John 17:24 it says, "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." Christ wants us to have the same relationship with the Father as He had with the Father while He was on earth in His physical body! Isn't that wonderful?! We can experience this relationship of love at this present time. Physical death does not bring us relationship. We do not wait for death; it is God's life that brings us this relationship of oneness. 

 

The Greek word KABOLE that has been translated FOUNDATION, actually means casting down - the opposite of foundation. When Adam and Eve cast down God's word, a disruption of God's rule in their lives occurred. This disruption of God's rule is usually called the fall of man. It destroyed man's union with God so that he could no longer hear God in his spirit. When this union with God is not present, man is in the death realm. This happened to Adam! When he obeyed another voice - a voice other than God's - he was separated from God and lowered into the death realm. 

 

Isaiah prophesied, "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you." (Isa. 60:1) John the Baptist also prophesied of that light in John 1 when he said, "I am not the light." The light was coming, and the light was Christ. Jesus who said, "I am the light of the world," also said, "You are the light of the world." What a revelation! The mission He had, He passed on to us. Our mission is a continuation of Christ's mission in the earth! This was in God's program from the beginning. He is now doing His work through the ecclesia, His called-out ones! Therefore we don't have to look under rocks and crannies in search for a ministry. Our ministry is not in the natural, so we won't find it there. Ministries do not drop down from heaven, so to speak, nor do they come through some great catastrophe. God has given us the ministry of reconciliation! This ministry is given to those who are in Christ. 

 

The Spirit has to show us whether the messages we hear are true or not. The acceptance or rejection of any message we hear has to come from the Spirit. Once our ears are open to hear the Spirit, and we know the voice of the Spirit, we will hear what the Spirit is saying to the ecclesia! We will hear truth on a higher level, a level that is not corrupted by natural thinking. This brings us into a new understanding so that we can become true witnesses. We will be a tabernacle of the Spirit proclaiming the message that we have been reconciled to God. We will proclaim it in the way that has been prescribed by God! The message will go forth in the right spirit and testify of the love and goodness of God! 

 

Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding. God bless you! Amen.

 

IDENTIFICATION, Parts 1-4 [Lloyd Ellefson]          24

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