SEEDS of REALITY – NUMBER 1
BY: LLOYD ELLEFSON
Greetings in the name of the Lord! Our Lord dwells within us in the Spirit, for the Lord is that Spirit. So anything external should no longer be our Lord.
The Bible talks about two men who represent the two humanities. The mind of each of these men is very different. One is subject to mortality, being totally concerned with self-preservation and minding the natural fleshly things. Although it longs to live forever, it cannot attain to, nor realize immortality. The other man minds the Spirit. An identification with this mind brings us a concept of spiritual realities. Spiritual concepts are not physical and literal; they are immortal and eternal.
We identify with either one or the other of these two men in the concepts and images they represent. In our sense of being, we identify with some aspects of these humanities.
In the variety of letters I receive, some are very intellectual, others speak ecstatically and super-emotionally about God – who He is and what He is going to do. Some are very impressed with the old covenant, and try to give an added dimension of understanding to it. People who are really hungering, thirsting and seeking truth and righteousness, do not resist truth, because Christ is truth and they love truth. In order to discover truth, we need both the literal and the spiritual witness; before we can receive the spiritual witness, we have to receive the natural witness. We will use a lot of scripture references in clarifying certain subjects.
In John 1:1-4 we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The association of the Word with God depicts oneness with God. In the very beginning, the first thing that came out of God’s mouth, was the Word. The Word has taken on a lot of forms; it is a seed of formation in the spiritual and in the physical. Genesis 1 reveals that it is the essence of all truth, energy, light and every created thing. “He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Man was in darkness for a long time, because the light which is the life of men was not making an impact within him.
In Genesis 1 we notice that everything begins with God! It was His word that created all things. Out of God came the seed of His life energy that produced the forms and the consciousness of these forms. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. Then God said, `Let there be light’.” Light seemed to be the necessary ingredient to bring about the division of day and night, to bring the earth out of the sea and to establish the heavens or the firmament. This is the progression we see here.
A reference to the light of God is made in 2 Cor. 4:4-6. “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God…For God, who said, `Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” Since the god of this world had blinded the eyes of unbelieving man, he was unable to receive the light. The light which God had commanded to shine out of darkness, was not shining in him.
At the end of each period of creation, it says, “And there was evening and there was morning.” God divided the light from the darkness. He called the light day and the evening night. In the natural we include the hours of darkness to form one 24-hour day. But when we look at the meaning of LIGHT in the scriptures, a day has only 12 hours. It is a certain measure of light in the sense of time. However, the light of God has no darkness in it. It is the eternal light of God’s eternal day. And the day of the Lord has no night in it!
This first light was not the light of the fourth day. The creation of the sun, moon and stars took place on the fourth day when He said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night…”
God has the supreme consciousness of all things; actually He has the only real or true consciousness. Everything that comes into any level of consciousness, has to have its beginning in God, because it is all there in God. Man is unable to discover it. In Genesis 1 the heavens appeared before the earth. The consciousness of the heavens is higher than that of the earth. Rev. 12:12 states, “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea…” These dwelling places are not physical. I believe they are a varying level or degree of consciousness in humanity.
In the process of creation, as recorded in Gen. 1, we see development. Out of the water and the earth come the fish and the birds. They do not come out of the heavens, for it says, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth…and let birds multiply on earth.” The Concordant translation has correctly translated LIVING CREATURES (NEPHESH) as LIVING SOULS. Plants and trees are not listed as living creatures or souls because they do not move on their own. That is why Cain’s offering was not acceptable, but Abel’s was. In type and shadow, an acceptable sin-offering had to have a soul. Cain offered herbs or plant fruit (which do not have souls) while Abel offered an animal (which had a soul). We are redeemed and ransomed by the soul of Christ.
In this progression, the earth came out of the sea, and the earth brought forth animals. Then God made man. The man of Gen. 1 was not made out of existing materials. God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Gen. 1:27) He CREATED man in His own image! That makes man an image of God. In 1 Cor. 15:49 it says, “And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” The two images of man that are mentioned here, are taken from Genesis 1 and 2. Man is the image of God, and was created separately from the rest of creation. The first image of God did not come out of the existing creation. To this man He gave dominion.
In Gen. 2:7 God formed man out of the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. This is not the man of Gen. 1. For in Gen. 2 we read that God caused it to rain upon the earth, but there was no man to cultivate the ground – even though a man had already been created in Genesis 1. Everything was very good, but there was still no man to cultivate the earth. In v.4 it says, “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth.” We get generations when man regenerates himself. The generations of heaven and earth produce, or bring things into being.
The man of Gen. 2 became a living soul. The same Hebrew word NEPHESH is used here as was used for animals and fish and moving creatures. Trees and plants cannot move about – they lack this expression of God – and are not called living souls. Animals, fish and birds have a limited sense of being. They were all designed to have varying degrees of ignorance and an intuition for self-preservation; but man was the image of God. Eventually we will see that there is a true and a wrong image.
Many verses in the New Testament speak about the old man and the new man, the inner man and the outer man, the earthy man and the heavenly man. Christ Jesus, the heavenly man, is also called the last Adam; Adam is the earthy man, or the first Adam. Christ Jesus came to share His consciousness, His awareness with us. That is why He can bring us the revelation and understanding of God – the spiritual things that are in His mind – which otherwise could not be known to man. The Adam man in us causes us to rely upon our senses and emotions; these are produced by the Adam man’s consciousness. He is a man, and he is called a man; he is talked about as an individual and as a corporate man, e.g. in Adam all die.
Let’s look at some of the differences between the two men we have been discussing. Adam is an earthy image of God, and an earthy image cannot portray God, so it is a false image. This image was formed out of the ground, so his concepts are earthy. The last Adam is the man from heaven. His concepts are heavenly for He comes from heaven. In Gen. 1 we have the man who is created in the image of God and was blessed of God – he was told to be fruitful and given dominion over creation; he was not limited in what he could eat, nor was he cast out of the garden.
In Genesis 2 we have the other man who was formed out of the earth and made to cultivate the ground. He was not told to be fruitful; he was not given dominion. A limitation was placed upon what he could eat, and he was given the law of sin and death. Later God put him to sleep, divided him, and made a woman for him. He was seduced by a beast and brought sin into the world; in Adam all die. He was made out of dust, and to dust he would return. This did not occur to the first man, the Christ man.
Another thing we have to see is that God is not a man! “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent…” (Nu. 23:19) Jesus called Himself the Son of Man when He was on earth. He was the new man who was in subjection to the Father. When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son in the form or image of the earthy man and then did away with it. Romans 5:14 reads, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s offense, who is a type of Him who was to come.” Here we see that Adam was a type or figure of another man who was to come. If he was only a figure then he lacked reality.
The first consciousness of being gives us an affinity to this creation. This is because our physical body was made out of the ground. This consciousness of being is only a figure of the reality of the spiritual being that is within us. We have been living under a delusion because man was made susceptible to failure. Adam had been given a law, put to sleep and divided. This made him vulnerable to temptation. When the beast came with his persuasiveness to Eve, she believed the serpent instead of God, ate of the fruit and gave to Adam, and they became adversaries of God. They had been seduced by the serpent, who was a beast of the field. It says, “The serpent was more crafty (subtle) than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.”
I believe we got the mark of the beast at this time. This mark expresses the nature of Adam – the nature of humanity. The natural man of the world acts even worse than a beast – he fights, abuses his kids, drinks, curses and kills. He expresses the nature of the beast. This is not Christ; it is not the new man.
The passages, Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, do not speak of the origin of Satan. They were addressed to the king of Tyre. “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, `Thus says the Lord God, “You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the Garden of God…You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there…You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.” (Ez. 28:12-15) This passage shows us the result of satan’s work, for how can iniquity be found in one who is iniquity himself?
In John 8:44, Jesus said to the Jews, “You are of your father the devil, and 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. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.” The devil was a murderer from the beginning – a man-killer. He never lived in truth at any time – there is no truth in him, and he is the FATHER of THE LIE. How did the lie come to these people which are mentioned in Isaiah and Ezekiel? The adversary is called Satan. The Hebrew word means ADVERSARY, because he is an adversarial spirit of everything God says. He is the father of lies – he is not the offspring of lies.
Satan does not agree with God; he is another word or spiritual impression that opposes what God has said. I believe that Satan is death, because obedience to him produces death. God said that if Adam disobeyed Him, he would SURELY DIE. Eating of the tree was the result of unbelief. Adam and Eve were in the delusion sleep brings – an unconsciousness of reality; they were conscious of their body and estranged from God. They were led to believe they could be like God through knowing good and evil; this can never happen, no matter how much people try. After God has spoken, satan brings another word; he tries to bring about a persuasion which will counteract the impact of God’s Word. Man in his Adamic nature cannot really hear God.
Sin is a word of death and it brings separation. When Adam and Eve discovered they were naked, they tried to cover themselves; they were embarrassed to be in God’s presence, so they hid themselves. God asked them, “Who told you that you were naked?” God had not told them that. They had received another word. They had yielded to another persuasion that told them who they were. This made them feel uncomfortable with God. This portrays the Adamic man. That is why the last enemy to be overcome is death! Sin is incipient death; it is the fruit of death and reproduces death. “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin.” So one man reproduced the seed of death which is called sin, and sin came into the world, and death through sin. All men died because of this consciousness that passed onto all men.
I think this has nothing to do with the fleshly body, but it has to do with whom we are minding. The Adamic man has fallen from minding the Spirit to minding the creation – the things of the flesh, the physical body and the delusions that are working in it. So sin is the work of death, and it brings us separation from God. That is the best description of death. As soon as we are removed from the presence of God we get out of light, harmony, truth and all the things that are ours in Christ – the joy, life and immortality that is in God.
There is no truth in Satan. He brings delusion because all that comes from him comes from a lie. Some may think there is a degree of truth in Satan, because God said, “Behold the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil.” Since man only knew good and evil in a delusion – in a lie – what difference would it make to him? He certainly couldn’t know it in the spiritual reality that God did. Knowing good and evil has become so ingrained in man today, that he thinks God expects him to be good and not evil – unless he zealously serves God, he isn’t pleasing to God. Man also thought that God was withholding something good from him when He told him not to eat of that tree. Man still thinks that God withholds good things from him.
By suffering death, Jesus identified with man’s separation from God. By identifying with our death, and emerging with the life that He had before He went into death, He proved that death was a delusion. Death was temporal, a lie and delusion! Life is the true reality!
We see various stages of redemption in the lives of people and their experiences as described in the Bible. Noah was saved from the judgment by water (the flood). The day of Noah is an example of the need for cleansing the outward. The crossing of the Red Sea has to do with water judgment and illustrates water baptism. The Holy Spirit comes with fire; we also pass through the water and the fire. Abraham got a promise of a seed, and Isaac was the son of promise, born of the true wife. The blessing of the seed came through him. Ishmael was born of the flesh by the bondwoman. Isaac pictured the heavenly, and Ishmael the earthy. Hebrews 11 tells us about the people of faith and the wonderful things that happened to them. Abraham is listed among them, but he is also included in “those all died not receiving the promise.” Abraham was blessed with being a type of the true seed. The promise of the seed was carried down through the generations – through David, the tribe of Judah, Mary, and into Christ.
The fulfillment comes in the Spirit, and it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. There were, and are, many natural descendants of Abraham. There are many Ishmaels today, as stated in Gal. 4. But Ishmael did not receive the promise; the blessing came through the son of promise. “In order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal. 3:14) “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, `And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, `And to your seed,’ that is Christ.” (v. 16) Then in Acts 2:33 Peter said, “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” The anointing of the Holy Spirit was the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham! This did not come through the natural seed, but through the spiritual seed!
“The law, which came 430 years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.” (Gal. 3:17) It cannot disannul, nor make the promise of no effect. “For if the inheritance is based on law, then it is no longer based on a promise, but God granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.” (v.18) If the covenant is by promise, why was the law given? What useful function does it serve? “It was added”; it was an addition “because of transgressions”, for man was dying from Adam to Moses, but he did not know what was causing him to die. So God gave man a revelation through the law of sin that was bringing death. It was added because of transgressions “until the seed should come to whom the promise was made”.
The promise was made, not to Israel, not to a nation, not to a corporate people, but to Christ. (v.16) It was made only to the Son of God. He took on flesh, and was manifested in the earth as the man Jesus, and he received the anointing (Christ). The law was “ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator” – and that mediator was Moses. So we see that the promise to Abraham was not fulfilled through the law, but it was fulfilled in Jesus Christ when, at the age of 30, the Spirit came on Him. This is the law of the covenant.
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” (Jn. 1:17) The physical Moses is dead, but he lives on in the law. Before Mt. Sinai, before God gave them the law, Moses delivered the Israelites from Egypt. Egypt represents the house of bondage; this is sense knowledge, and it is the prison of the world system. In Egypt, Israel had to work for the Egyptians, or the world. They were not free to serve God because they were too busy serving Egypt.
The law was only a temporary measure; God knew that the law would fail because of man’s inability to fulfill his part of the covenant. But through it people were to realize their sinfulness, and thus lead them to Christ (the Seed). When the Seed comes the law is no longer in effect, for the law is not of faith. The old covenant was imperfect and therefore had to become obsolete. (Heb. 8) Learning to discern between the new and old covenant is of utmost importance, because the old ends in Christ! In Him we get a new one.
The new covenant is exactly opposite from the old one. There is a form of knowledge and truth in the law, but the reality is in Christ. The law is contrary to us (Col. 2:14); it was nailed to the cross. It had a priesthood of human descent which was called the Levitical priesthood. Moses and Aaron were Levites (of the tribe of Levi). John the Baptist was also a Levite, however he was called to go to the desert and the Holy Spirit taught him how to bring man to repent of the law, and to bring him to Christ. The law cannot take us into Christ. This was illustrated by the fact that Moses (the law) could not enter the Promised Land.
Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, and the law was given by Moses! The law cannot give us grace and truth; this only comes in Christ. We are unable to produce any on our own! There are two mediators – Jesus Christ and Moses. Moses was God’s mediator of the law. He was an Adamic man and did not have the regeneration that is in Christ. God used Moses in a tremendous way, but through him everything came in shadows, types and forms – in a natural tabernacle, physical sacrifices and natural blood; he was not the fulfillment. The law brought a consciousness of sins. The old covenant was a ministry of death; it cannot get us into the Promised Land (a type of the kingdom of God).
God used Moses in a wonderful way! On the night the Israelites left Egypt they partook of the first communion (also called the Lord’s supper or Passover feast); and fifty days later they got the law. This law contained the complete pattern for the tabernacle. Fifty days after the Passover of Jesus (7 weeks and 1 day), we got Pentecost – and Pentecost was the giving of a new law – “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which makes us free from the law of sin and death!” We received this law by the coming of the Spirit and it contains all that is needed to become the tabernacle of God, so that the presence of God can live in this temple. It is fulfilled in Christ so we no longer wait for a future fulfillment!
Moses was God’s mediator of the law; Jesus Christ is the mediator of a new law – the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. So their mediation is entirely different. Jesus lived under the law of Moses for 30 years. He was circumcised, appeared at the temple as every good law person should, and gave His offerings. However, His covenant was mediated through His death. This does not only refer to His crucifixion, because man crucified Him. Jesus experienced death to the old “I”, or “ME” – which is the old Adam. In Adam all die! Christ walked in that death even to the point of saying, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” He walked in that identity with us. He was made subject to the reign of death – which is the carnal mind. But He never obeyed it, He just subjected Himself to having it, in order to overthrow man’s whole conception of death and dying. This was brought about by the new covenant, the new law written in our hearts. There is only “one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5)
The mediation of the new covenant did not take effect at the time Jesus walked on the earth, taught, did miracles and testified of the Father. Man as yet did not have a receptive agency for appropriating the things of God because the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out. Man could not conceive these things; that was why Jesus was deserted even by His disciples at His crucifixion! The Jewish hierarchy killed Jesus in spite of their many discussions with Him. This proved that His mediation did not take effect at that time. God did not offer His Son as a live human sacrifice for God did not kill Him. To think that God will cause bad things to happen to you if you are a son, is a popular misconception. The mediation of Jesus Christ became effective after He had gone back to the Father and poured out the Spirit. “…and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” (Acts 2:33)
Mediation requires more than one, but God is one. However, it can now take place, because the Holy Spirit has been poured out. It takes place from God, to God within us; from Spirit, to the Holy Spirit within us; from Son, to the Son within us; from Christ, to the Christ within us. This is the mediation which elevates us out of our consciousness of natural things to a consciousness of spiritual realities. These become more meaningful than the natural things.
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.” (Heb. 8:6-7) The weakness of the old covenant was due to the weakness of man. Since we now have a better covenant, the old becomes obsolete!
“For finding fault with them He says, `Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the House of Judah; not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people’.” (Heb. 8:8-10) This covenant differed from the first one which operated in external laws of do’s and don’ts, and did not give us any help. The new covenant gives us a new nature. The word written in our hearts is our energizing by the very presence of God; it causes us to walk in a power that could not operate in the natural man.
“When He said, `A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” (v.13) The old covenant ended when Christ poured out His Spirit. The writer is quoting from the Old Testament with respect to a new covenant. God had planned for a fullness of time when the old relationship between God and man would be discarded or annulled, and a new relationship would be put into effect – this is what the new covenant is all about. When God made the promise to Abraham, there was no one greater than Himself to perform it, so He made an oath with Himself that He would accomplish it. So we live between the promise and the oath that God would perform it. This is the most secure place that we can find ourselves in. It takes us out of works entirely.
Since the old covenant has passed away, why are we mixing the old covenant with the new? Why are we continually dismissing the new covenant? The old one with all its types and shadows, sacrifices and prophecies has passed away! Sin has been done away with! Death has been abolished! The only reason we still live in death, is because we don’t believe that it is abolished. God has truly put an end to it!
How can we live in the new covenant? It’s by having the Christ mediate through the Spirit He has given us. If we do not operate in union with His Spirit, then we will follow the letter of the scriptures: we’ll mix the Old with the New Testament. We’ll draw our illustrations out of the law and form our behavior patterns accordingly. We’ll talk about grace, yet not understand it. For example, according to the Old Testament commandment and promise which says, “Honor your father and your mother that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you”, man could have a long life on earth by honoring his parents. The new covenant is better. If we obey and live in the new covenant, we’ll live forever in the Spirit. There is a world of difference between the two!
The old covenant operated in the law, and the law works wrath; it brought knowledge of sin, “that sin might become utterly sinful”. Paul said, “…but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died.” (Rom. 7:10) It’s a ministration of death. (2 Cor. 3:7) It’s death to our own righteousness – our own ME, our own sense of being, our own works. However in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation. Jesus was asked to make a judgment when the woman, who was caught in adultery, was brought to Him. Jesus said that the one without sin was to throw the first stone. Everyone except Jesus walked out. Then Jesus asked her whether anyone had condemned her. She said, “No man, Lord.” Jesus replied, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way; from now on sin no more.” God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world because they were already condemned!
Man could not see what the Son was doing in the world. Nobody could see the Son of God because He took on flesh like ours, and was veiled by that body of flesh. Jesus said, “The Father is always with Me, He does the works.” The Father in Him was also veiled, even as the Christ or the Anointed One was veiled by the physical body of Jesus. This is explained in Heb. 1:20. “By a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.” Now the spiritual veil of flesh has opened up so we can enter into the holiest. These steps lead us into a new realization and a new testimony.
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself – not to Christ, but to God. Christ is the instrument through whom God reconciled the world to Himself. He is the one who brings us a consciousness that redeems us from our own thinking and reconciles us to God. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. God in Christ was reconciling the world – this whole system of rule – to Himself. He was not imputing sin. Since God is not imputing sin, He does not give us a sin-consciousness. After Adam had sinned, God said to him, “Who told you you were naked?” God had not told him; this information came from another source!
From what source are we getting our information? If we are getting it from the law, it will be death to us, for the law is a ministration of death. If we are getting it from our natural awareness, we will find that what we thought was life, is not really life. We thought we had life, but we did not! As a matter of fact, what we thought was death, was not really death either. We thought we had truth, but we did not! Christ came to bring us life, and that more abundantly! To Pilate Jesus said, “…for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth…” (Jn. 18:37) Had there been truth in the world He would not have had to come to bring truth. Truth had been lost in the lie. We made lies our refuge. We had a covenant with death, a covenant of obedience to satan and death. That is the condition natural man is in.
The penalty for sin is DEATH; it is NOT hell. The idea that it is hell is a delusion because man’s idea of God is wrong. He thinks God is sitting up there punishing him for his sin. Can you see the importance of discerning the difference between the old and the new covenant? The new covenant declares that God is not imputing sin, and that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! God has taken the responsibility for our sins!
The next question that comes to us is about hell. In the minds of many people it is a lake of fire burning with intense heat. The true meaning of the word which has been translated as HELL into the English language, is UNSEEN or UNPERCEIVED. The old English word HELL meant covering something up in a garden, like helling the potatoes, etc. The hell was the covering of the potatoes – you couldn’t see them. This meaning was also applied to people in Israel that had died, for they could not be seen any more; they had gone to Hades. In our connotation of hell, we ascribe terrible physical conditions to it. We think it is a manifestation of God’s wrath and punishment. Hell is something beyond the seen – it is the UNPERCEIVED, the UNSEEN – where there is no perception of God.
Let’s think this over for a minute. People are saying that if you don’t get saved you will go to hell, and you get saved by going to the altar and repenting by the grace of God. If we were saved by the grace of God, why do we demand works from others? When man lives in an unperception of the reality of God his nature remains dead in Adam, and the penalty of that sin and that separation from God is what we call death; it is the reality of death.
In Matt. 11:13 Jesus said, “For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.” John the Baptist marked the end of the old covenant and the end of Old Testament prophecy. After that the kingdom of God was preached. We now have fulfillment of the law and the prophets in Christ! That is why we cannot be effective ministers if we just reiterate Old Testament prophecy. Jesus Christ said, “Not one jot or tittle of the law will be left undone until all is fulfilled.” In Christ these things are all fulfilled and accomplished! That means that we no longer have to wait for God to do things in time or history or seasons. As we receive this understanding, we are taken out of the old covenant.
Although there is a lot of prophecy at this time, we must remember what Jesus said in Mark 1:15. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Paul said, “Upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” The Concordant reads, “To whom the consummations of the eons have attained.” (1 Cor. 10:11) They are consummated now. This happens when Christ comes to us. He brings us things that are NOW! There is no yesterday, so forget those things that are in the past. We can never experience tomorrow, for yesterday’s tomorrow is still today; it’s now. That which we have experienced in the past, we can only have in our present consciousness. It is all NOW! Christ is today; He is immortal and He is bringing us immortality.
Paul said he had no reason to talk about days and seasons to them (1 Thess. 5:1), because they were children of the day, of the light. There is an eternal day which does not consist of days, months, or years. Being in Christ is being in light – in an eternal day. Telling people all the wonderful things that God has accomplished in Jesus Christ is true prophecy. God’s wonderful accomplishments are becoming a reality in our consciousness through the Spirit. The Spirit is telling us what Christ has done – not what is going to happen to you or me or somebody else; prophecy is not Christian fortune-telling. There are a lot of mixtures which need to be cleared up.
Christ is the fulfillment, and He is the heir, the only heir of God, because the promises were all made to the SEED, which is one. Christ, the Son of God, is the sole inheritor of everything that God has. Our inheritance does not consist of the things of this world. This was demonstrated in Jesus Christ. He passed through this world without any honor and material goods – He didn’t own a horse, donkey, cow or dog. He trusted God for everything! He left this world without any material goods because His inheritance was not of this world. Since we are co-heirs with Christ, we also reject the things He rejected. He never appropriated the things of this world, and neither should we.
The promises were not given to man; they were all given to God’s Son. They were His inheritance. Before we can get an inheritance in this world, someone has to die. But our inheritance in God is different because God does not die. We are joined to what God is! For example, after the prodigal son came to himself, he went back to the father’s house. He wanted to return as a servant, but the father proclaimed him to be a son. He was not a servant; he was really a son of his father, and the father had a place for him!
“For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are YES: wherefore also by Him is our AMEN to the glory of God through us.” (2 Cor. 1:20) These promises are not given to man in the consciousness of Adam, for the natural man cannot receive them. We cannot become heirs of God in the Adamic consciousness, because God is Spirit and whatever we get from Him is spiritual. We speak about God the Father, His Son Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit as though they are three, yet there is only one God. There are not three Gods, nor a multiple of Gods. Since it is difficult for us to understand God, He has revealed Himself by different names and in various ways.
God was not revealed as Father until the Son came; He revealed the Father. If somebody is called father he has to have a son. The man Jesus was the Word made flesh. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and in Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” God sent His Son into the world. But physical eyes cannot see God’s Son, nor do they see God as Father, so it was impossible for the natural man to know God as Father. Although the Holy Spirit was present in Genesis 1 (for He hovered over the water) He was not poured out until Pentecost, for He could not reside in natural man.
The Jews could not understand Jesus, so they wanted to kill Him. This is very evident, especially in John 5 and the following chapters. “For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him…for He was unwilling to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him…Why do you seek to kill Me? (Jn. 5:18; 7:1,19) Before Jesus was crucified, men were already killing Him in their hearts and desires. They were contemplating and scheming His death as He taught in Israel, because theirs was a ministry of death.
“For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” (Rom. 8:3) Although Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh and became a sin-offering, He did NOT COMMIT sin; instead, He condemned sin in the flesh. The Word was made flesh, and the Word is His Son, the product of God’s Seed. When the Word comes to us, it brings the Seed of God again – for life works out of God.
The name, Jesus Christ, is an explanation or revelation of His spiritual nature. His name actually is God’s (Jehovah’s) Savior, the Anointed. The expression that came out of THE WORD MADE FLESH was God’s Savior, the Anointed. God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, demonstrated the spiritual realities of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit through the man Jesus who was anointed as the Christ.
In Revelation 21 there is a heavenly city that is called the bride and the wife of the Lamb. This city is figurative, because no physical city with golden streets is going to be the bride and wife of the Lamb. That would be ludicrous. Of course the whole message in the book of Revelation is given in signs. It is figurative. The Old Testament Jerusalem was a type of the heavenly Jerusalem, which in turn, is a type of a covenant.
In Galatians 4:21 Paul asks the Galatians, “Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law?” Then Paul talks about Abraham in connection with the law – not the law which was received on Mt. Sinai, for Abraham had not received that law. But he was under the law of sin and death which God gave Adam in Genesis 2 when He said, “If you eat…you will surely die.” Continuing with Gal. 4, “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh and the son by the free woman through the promise.” (That is the difference between Ishmael and Isaac.) “This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.” (They were in bondage to the old covenant, to the law, to the Adamic man.) “But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.” (vv.22-26) She is the bride and the wife of Christ which brings forth children.
In Matt. 23:37-38 Jesus talked about the Old Jerusalem. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” Then in Gal. 4:28 it says, “…for more are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.” Although she has a lot more children, she is nevertheless desolate, because she does not have the child of promise – the true Isaac!
“But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say? `Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman’.” (vv.29-30) The bondwoman refers to the people under the law – the people of the old covenant. Her son is the old Jerusalem.
“So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.” (v.31) The only way we can get an inheritance is by receiving the new covenant and having a new law! In Romans 8:2 we learn that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death. This is the new law which we received at Pentecost. It builds the tabernacle of our dwelling with God, and God dwelling with us. All the feasts are fulfilled in Christ; they are fulfilled in that law. The tabernacle is already there in the revelation and expression of that new law. Just like the old tabernacle was contained in the law of Moses, so the spiritual tabernacle is contained in the new law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. All that is necessary is there!
The tabernacle is a type of our body; but more than that, it is a type of Jesus Christ and His identification with us. In the true tabernacle there are actually only two places – the holy and the most holy. The outer court no longer belongs to us. Rev. 11:1-2: “…Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.” This means that our outer court or our physical body is never going to be a part of the true temple of God, because God’s temple is spiritual. We are His temple and we are a testimony in the way we manifest ourselves, even as Christ was.
The physical body bears the testimony of the Adamic man. In the outer court of the temple was an altar which represented death. Sacrifices, offerings and washings took place there. This was the place the common man could enter. It represented a law which produced death to us, and it was performed outside the true temple of God. The consciousness of the outer court is entirely different from the one in the temple where the presence of God is experienced.
When we enter the temple, the first holy place, we see the seven golden lampstands and they produce an image of the Son of Man. The Holy Spirit is bringing us into the consciousness that the seven lampstands represent the Son of Man. They are the seven spirits of the churches, as we see in Revelation 1. As John looked, he saw the likeness of the Son of Man – and Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. Jesus came down from heaven in the form of the Son of Man. (Jn. 3:13) The Son of Man will be given over to man; the Son of Man is crucified; the Son of Man is raised up on the third day; the Son of Man is coming again. The Son of Man did not die alone; He was not buried alone; He was not raised alone; He is not coming back in this world alone! We are all identified with Him, and all these things occur together with Him. The first holy place is the Christ man, and it produces sonship. Sonship gives us an entrance into the second holy place. The holiest place is actually the source, the basis, the life, the oneness, the reality of who we are in God as sons of God.
The outer court, the holy and the holiest, represent stages of consciousness as we pass from the Adamic consciousness to the Christ consciousness, to the consciousness of being one with God – of being sons of God! This comes to us progressively as we grow in experience and knowledge, but everything is delegated to its rightful place. For example, as we leave the outer court, the sacrifices (which called for death), and the washings, are no longer needed, because we have come into an understanding or consciousness that enables us to enter the holy place. That, in turn, causes us to grow in an understanding that enables us to enter the holiest place. Only the blood – no water, no sacrifices – could go from the outer court to the holiest.
Three kinds of light were in evidence in the tabernacle. In the outer court was the natural sunlight; in the first holy place were the lampstands which symbolized the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment to us; in the holy of holies the presence of God produced the light that was needed. The natural things in the tabernacle symbolize spiritual realities.
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world (it was already condemned), but to save it. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. There is the god of this world who blinds the eyes of the unbelieving. (2 Cor. 4:4) But that is not the world that belongs to Christ’s kingdom.
In 2 Peter 3, Peter describes three worlds and three heavens. There is a difference between WORLD and CREATION. The world is a rule or government that operates in creation. As we see it presently, it is not good. The word WORLD is the opposite of CHAOS, and it means an ARRANGEMENT or ORDER of things. This world’s system is ordered by Satan. The whole world lies in the wicked one. Every man in his natural state is led by Satan. Jesus told the Jews that they were of their father the devil. He also said that we are not to call anyone on earth our father. So if we want God to be our Father, we have to eliminate all other types of fathers, for they do not father a spiritual image of God. Our earthly fathers fathered our flesh, but Satan fathered a wrong image of God in us and this produced an anti Christ consciousness in us.
This was the problem which confronted Jesus! The Jewish people and especially the hierarchy objected strongly to what Jesus taught. They rejected everything Jesus said about God, about Himself and His authority. Their thoughts were not from God; they had been fathered by Satan. The Jews, of course, did not believe that! They called Jesus Beelzebub and accused Him of being of the devil.
We are not to love the world nor the things of this world. To love the world is to make ourselves enemies of God. We are not to love the rule of this world, nor are we called upon to change it; we are not even to endeavor to redeem it – it is not redeemable! Since we are not of this world, we must recognize where we came from. We were born of incorruptible seed, by the Word of God. If we have been born into the kingdom of God, we do not belong to this world! We belong to the kingdom of truth, righteousness, peace and joy!
The Jews claimed to belong to God, for they were God’s chosen people. They claimed to know God. That is why they were more responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, and were guilty of a greater sin than Pilate. Although the Jews thought they knew God, they obviously did not, for Jesus told them, “You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form, and you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.” They did not even believe Moses; had they believed Moses, they would have believed Jesus. (John 5) None of them kept the law. (Jn. 7:19) Had they heard and learned from the Father, they would have come to Him. (Jn. 6:45) But they were of their father, the devil, and were hearing him. (Jn. 8:44) They did not know God! (Jn. 8:55) That is why they were seeking to kill Him! The death of Jesus was resident in the hearts of the Jews before the actual crucifixion took place.
Actually, mankind has been crucifying Christ since the disruption of the world, because He was really crucified at that time. Jesus was dead in the intentions of the Adamic man’s heart long before He went to the cross. He had been killed as a Lamb slain from the disruption of the world. Some translations read “from the foundation”, but the Greek word KATABOLE used in this passage is correctly translated DISRUPTION, according to Young’s Concordance. In the Concordant translation it reads DISRUPTION. It means CASTING or LAYING DOWN. Some of the verses in the King James version which read FOUNDATION, but should read DISRUPTION, are: Eph. 1:4, 1 Peter 1:20, Matt. 13:35, Rev. 13:8. Christ was a type of the rule of God, and this rule was cast down or put to death when Adam and Eve sinned. At that time man began to believe satan’s rule instead of God’s rule. God’s rule, which is Christ, which is His Word, was disrupted, and ever since then the rule of Christ or the kingdom of God, has been disrupted.
Seeing Christ as an individual instead of the omnipresent Spirit, will create problems for us. Christ gives us a spiritual consciousness of what God is saying. This brings us into life – the letter of the scriptures is a ministry of death. Christ is the One who opens up the scriptures to us in our meditations. The Adam consciousness dwells in all men today. Look at how the world system is ruled. Everybody knows that is not the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is expressed in Jesus Christ in its true form – not through humanity, but through the Christ.
Sin came through a man, and it is an adversary to God’s truth, working against God’s Word, and substituting another word which is a false impression of what is right. Truth must exist before a lie can be produced. For example, if someone has been in the cookie jar, and is taken to task for it and he denies the charge, the truth is that he did it. But the lie is presented as truth! The lie follows on the heels of truth. After Jesus predicted how He would die, Peter contradicted Him. Then Jesus said, “Get thee behind Me, Satan.” Satan presents the lie after God has spoken truth, or after something has truly happened. He tries to undermine truth, change it, or falsify it, in order to give it another meaning. This method gave Satan access to becoming the god of this world. This system of rule was introduced to man in Genesis 3 through the sin of unbelief in what God had said and belief in what Satan had said. Through belief in this lie death entered the world, and Adam became the priesthood of sin.
This disrupted God’s rule in man. The Christ was put to death in the hearts of men; a separation had come so He was no longer manifested in natural man until the fullness of time came. At first man was anti God and His rule, but later, when Jesus Christ came in the flesh, man became anti Christ. Being anti God or anti Christ is the same thing. Antichrist is not a man; there are many antichrists in the world now, even as then. Antichrist is any spirit that negates the revelation of God. This spirit takes on many forms. Anything that springs out of natural man is anti Christ, whether it comes in religious forms, such as his literal understanding of the Bible, his interpretation, his soulish worship – or in an evil form. These things put the Christ to death by keeping Him from appearing as the true word or as a true testimony of the truth of God. They bring forth a false Christ, and present something false as truth.
Jesus Christ did not experience the cross at the beginning of His ministry, but after He testified to the fact that God was His Father, He was crucified. His crucifixion was the result of this testimony, for His understanding of spiritual realities was at cross purposes with man’s ideas and conception of God. His was the true understanding; yet man in his ignorance reduced God to the level of an idol, and worshiped a conception of the human mind. The Jews were praying, worshiping and offering to a false conception of God. This testimony does not produce a cross, but a spiritual one will!
The truth that there is only ONE God, has to penetrate our hearts. God is over everything, but man does not believe this because his conception of God is perverted. People today do not like, nor do they accept Christ’s true understanding of God, for they have another idea of God. They are receiving the same Old Testament concept of God that Israel had. Their idea of God comes through the natural man, through an old covenant that has disappeared in Christ. They do not realize that this false conception of God was the reason for the great contention Israel had with Jesus, and which caused His crucifixion! We have to take this seriously! The only way we can truly know who God is, is by receiving the true image as portrayed by Christ, and rejecting our false ideas of God. God does not desire the sacrifices of the carnal mind.
At the Jordan, Jesus fulfilled what Israel had done in type years ago. After Israel had come out of Egypt and wandered in the desert for forty years, they received a new leader and a new circumcision. There at the Jordan their government was changed from the leadership of Moses to the leadership of Joshua. His leadership was one of faith in the Spirit of God, and would bring them into the kingdom of God. This was the type Jesus fulfilled. He was made under the law and lived under it for thirty years, but when He came to the Jordan, the government of His life changed. He emerged from the water with the knowledge that He was the Son of God, and that the Spirit now governed His life.
Since Jesus came to the Jordan as the law man, Moses was there in the law. But it had been prophesied that Jesus would come as the Messiah – the Christ. This came to pass when the Holy Spirit descended on Him! (The words CHRIST or MESSIAH are the same, meaning ANOINTED.) After God proclaimed Jesus to be His Son, and the Holy Spirit came upon Him, He manifested the Christ. He thus became the fulfillment of the prophesied Messiah. From that day on He confessed God as His Father, and preached the kingdom of God. This occurrence at the Jordan changed everything!
Jesus was the sum of all things – the consummation of all prophecy. He became the consummation of the various stages of redemption as represented by Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah and King David. Jesus came to the Jordan as the law man, for He represented the Law of Moses. He was circumcised with the circumcision of Abraham. The coming of the Holy Spirit had been promised to Abraham, so this was the fulfillment of that promise. Noah was represented by the dove. Elijah the prophet was in John the Baptist, and David was there in the fact that Jesus was the son of David. The stages of redemption that were provided in these patriarchal men of the Old Testament were consummated and fulfilled in this one man, Jesus the Christ. This transpired within Jesus when the Holy Spirit came upon Him and God said, “This is My beloved Son.” Through the work of the Holy Spirit in Him He received a new consciousness.
Before Jesus died, He explained to the disciples that His going to the Father was to their advantage; for if He did not go away, the Comforter could not come. It was important that we would not see Him in the flesh any more. The physical embodiment of Jesus would destroy the whole concept of who the Christ is, because He is an ever-present anointing that can come on every man. The anointing reveals the true nature of Christ as the Son of God, and God as the Father! In Him we live and move and have our being!
Jesus came again and appeared to many after His crucifixion, burial and resurrection. He appeared in the upper room and said, “Touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” I believe it was important for Jesus to appear in physical form, so people would have a natural realization that death could not hold Him that death was temporal, that He had thrown off death and was alive!
SEEDS of REALITY – NUMBER 1 [Lloyd Ellefson] 1