TWO DEATHS AT THE CROSS
PENALTY OF SEPARATION
WHO CRUCIFIED JESUS
DEATH AND THE CROSS
DEATH BEFORE THE CROSS
TWO DEATHS AT THE CROSS
There are always two sides to every dispute - the right side and the wrong side. This was also the case in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In this paper we want to see man's side of the cross and God's side. On one side man was doing his work, and on the other side God was doing His work. Looking at God's side of the cross reveals what was happening in the hearts of those who crucified Jesus. Humanity did not agree with Christ's concept of God, so it crucified Jesus. We cannot accuse God of killing Him. We must also remember that God's Son could never be killed. However, a historical event did take place, and it basically involved the Jews and Jesus Christ. This historical event shows us what humanity had been doing to God ever since the disruption of the rule of God in Genesis.
Since Jesus knew what was in the heart of men, He knew what would inevitably happen to those who declared the truth. He said, "Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city." (Matt. 23:34) Jesus knew that people want to keep their idea of God, their own set of values, and their deceptions, which they consider to be truth! Therefore they would not accept the truth proclaimed by those who were sent by God. Since the prophets were prophesying the words God gave them, they were representing God. Yet the Jews killed them. Although the Jews professed to want God, they only wanted their idea of God; they didn't want the true God! If they had wanted Him, they would have surely embraced the only pure expression and representation of the invisible God - the man Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
The events which led to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ are still occurring in the hearts of mankind. Jesus knew that the cross was inevitable, because He knew what was in the heart of men. He knew what God represented, and He knew the conflict that exists between the flesh and the Spirit. So it was easy for Him to prophesy what they were going to do to Him, for this opposition to God had been going on since generation one.
Men hated Jesus and desired to kill Him long before the deed was actually accomplished. Let's look at a number of passages which mention this.
Let's look at
"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
God sent the Son of His love into the world for a deliverance! It was an act of tremendous love! He gave Him to the world even though He knew how the world would abuse Him! God knew what man was going to do to Him, but He also knew that no man could take away the life of the Son, because HE WAS THE LIFE OF THE SON. By condemning Jesus, man condemned himself, indicted himself, and revealed that his thinking about God and about himself was completely wrong!
Let's look at some scripture passages which testify to this. They help us to see spiritually - to see what is beyond the letter. In
God's purpose was to redeem man from his false consciousness of God. To do this, He had to create a NEW man with a NEW consciousness. He does not redeem the Adamic man, for he has a wrong realization of God; that is why he misunderstands and misrepresents Him. Jesus Christ brought us the true realization of who God is! God's redemption does not consist of redeeming that sinful consciousness of natural man - for flesh and blood does not inherit the kingdom of God. That is why we have to be born again and be made a new creation. This new creation is spiritual. In Christ we have become a new creation! This new man receives a correct consciousness of God and is able to grow in this consciousness! In Christ we are redeemed from our wrong consciousness of God and our false image of God.
God's Son, being His Word, was a part of Himself. His Son, the Spirit of the Father, was sent into the world to reveal and express the Father. Humanity was to hear the voice of God through Him! There was life in His words! This life could redeem men from their ignorance, delusion, and the separation from God which was in their own minds. But humanity did not recognize the voice of God in Jesus Christ! Since they minded the flesh, they minded their bodily senses; they minded the flesh rather than God! They were locked into this thinking! They couldn't do anything about it because they were dead in their trespasses and sins.
It is so wonderful to see God's side - to see His plan of redemption! John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world." Jesus Christ was God's Lamb; He was given by God to man. Through the years, thousands of lambs had been sacrificed in Israel, but they could not take away the sins of the world! Jesus Christ was God's provision for taking away the sins of the world! Sin could NOT operate in Him! Since humanity hated Him who would not operate in sin, it revealed what was in the heart of mankind.
Jesus was sent to glorify God; God was to be glorified in Him! Although there were times when the people glorified God because of the miracles Jesus performed, a growing number became incensed and angry at Him because He called God His Father, and He didn't keep their traditions! So instead of glorifying God because of Jesus Christ, they actually put Him to death - they murdered Him! However, in
Humanity's judgment of Jesus was not based on truth, but on the delusion and darkness that was in them. It was in their hearts to kill Him long before they were successful in their evil desires. The fact that they crucified Him, revealed what had been in the heart of humanity ever since man was formed out of the earth, and Adam and Eve disobeyed God by partaking of the forbidden fruit - ever since the disruption of the world. Soon after that people began killing each other, for death reigned in their hearts. Death spread upon all men, for in Adam all die. Why? Because sin is the sting of death. But thank God, He sent Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the world!
This redemption by Jesus Christ took place first of all in the natural, in order to fulfill everything that had been prophesied and written about Him. Jesus knew that He would be rejected by the humanity which resides in Adam. Therefore a different abiding place for Him had to be prepared - an abiding place in the Spirit in a new humanity. To accomplish this, God brought back His Son in the Spirit! God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying,
Adam's nature and consciousness were not spiritual; they were earthy. What happened to the consciousness he received when God breathed into him and he became a living soul? That was lost through whatever happened when he was put to sleep and then divided to make out of him male and female. His disobedience to the one law which God had given him, was an act of rebellion against God! He listened to, and obeyed, a voice other than God's! Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought him darkness, delusion and ignorance.
Saul, later called Paul, is an excellent example of the ignorance that is in natural man. Paul was an Israelite, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a very careful keeper of the law, and very zealous in his persecution of the believers in Jesus Christ. On the road to Damascus a bright light suddenly flashed around him, and he heard a voice saying,
Paul had been brought up in the Sanhedrin (meaning, sitting in council), the council of Jerusalem which constituted the highest or supreme Jewish authority of that time. He was zealously trying to keep the law, and arduously made sure that its quality would not be tarnished. Suddenly Paul was blinded and he had to be led by the hand to Damascus! This physical blindness symbolized his spiritual blindness in which he was unable to see the things of God, for he didn't have any spiritual realization.
At the same time the Lord gave instructions concerning Paul, to Ananias, a disciple of Jesus in Damascus. He said,
Humanity is anti-Christ; even before Christ was manifested, it was anti-God. Death is in the heart of natural man. There is no exception - in Adam all die! Separation from the consciousness of God spells death. Therefore humanity is unable to judge correctly. This was very evident when it judged the man Jesus guilty of blasphemy and crucified Him! This desire to kill Him was in their hearts long before it was actually manifested.
The Jews were looking for the prophesied coming of their Messiah, even as the church is looking for the return of Jesus Christ. The Jews did not recognize their Messiah when He came, and neither does the church recognize Him today!
All revelation of the Father came through the Son! It came through Jesus while He was in His physical body; because of His anointing (Christ, the Holy Spirit), He spoke words of life, and manifested the Father's nature in everything He did! Everything came from the Father! So when the Jews rejected Christ, they rejected God! This proved humanity was anti-God! When Christ was manifested, humanity was anti-Christ. Christ was crucified because of humanity's ignorance; it didn't know what it was doing!
Even in His boyhood Jesus must have known that He was not an ordinary person. His mother must have told Him about the unusual circumstances surrounding His birth! At the tender age of twelve He told His parents that He had to be in His Father's house! As long as He was subject to the law and its ordinances, and attended the prescribed feast days, etc., He was not persecuted. But at the Jordan He received His anointing and illumination, and this began His ministry!
Jesus was put on the cross because of the anointing He received at the Jordan River and God's declaration that Jesus was His beloved Son. It was His testimony that fact that put Him on the cross! He testified to a relationship with God that none of those people had. He said,
Putting Jesus on the cross was the fruit of sin, but killing His body could not destroy the life in Jesus Christ! People could not destroy His life by killing His body. The hatred displayed toward Jesus Christ showed the depth of man's anti-Christ feelings! The people did not realize that they were trying to kill the correct representation, the perfect image of the invisible God - the Word of God in redemption that God had prepared for man! God had planned and destined our redemption to come in Christ.
Wonderful things happen when our spirit comes into real subjection to the Father's Spirit! In this subjection, we will experience the same experiences Christ did. Our submission to the law will show us our need of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our repentance will take us out of the law and cause us to receive the Holy Spirit. Before we can manifest the same things Jesus did and be crucified together with Him, we must be led by the Spirit and live in the consciousness of the Spirit. Only if we are a temple of witness, having the same testimony Christ had - of God, self, Spirit and life - will we be crucified together with Christ. Not at the beginning of our ministry, but at the end, even as Christ was crucified at the end of His ministry. Paul said that we have been crucified with Christ! That has happened to our old consciousness! Jesus Christ put that man's consciousness to death by trusting the Father, living in Him, and obeying the Father even to death on the cross.
The same Spirit that was in Christ
We are not to look at the cross of Jesus Christ as though it has some magical power. We hear so much about being at the foot of the cross, and the cross accomplishing various things. But it is not the cross, it is the SPIRIT OF CHRIST that does everything. If we attribute our deliverance to the cross, we are being anti-Christ. Death, darkness and ignorance are done away with by the light of the Spirit of Christ! Death and the Adamic man are overcome with the life of Christ!
In our identification with Jesus Christ, we experience inwardly, everything that happened to Him in the physical realm. The same ignorant, natural, Adamic consciousness that put Christ to death, will put us to death. Our death will not necessarily be physical. Everything that led to the historical cross, has been happening throughout the ages; it happens today and it will continue to happen.
Those who testify of spiritual realities - things the carnal reasoning mind cannot understand - are being rejected and shunned. Those who reject them do not realize that they are separating themselves from the truth that is in Christ. This is an ongoing thing. It happened yesterday, it is happening today, and it will keep on happening. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His true essence is the Son of God; the Son of God was not born, nor did He die. HE ALWAYS REMAINS THE SAME, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER! It was the physical Jesus who died on the cross.
We have been made new creatures in Christ; He is our new identity! We no longer identify with the old Adamic man who can only see Jesus hanging on a tree. The natural man thinks the cross gave him a legal separation from his sins. But it does not work that way! This is not the new life, nor the Christ, nor the gospel! Forgiveness does not change our nature! Therefore forgiveness is needed continually. But the situation changes when we receive His Spirit and the Spirit's teaching! The Spirit teaches us all things and leads us into all truth! This is the good news of the gospel!
Christ is here, the Messiah is here, and the Spirit of the Son of God has been given us! "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, `Abba! Father!'" (Gal. 4:6) We have received the Spirit of Christ (the Messiah), and He is our life! We are the body of Christ! Christ is the Spirit of life and the Spirit of adoption! Amen.
God reigns in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Those who teach, share the gospel or give a testimony in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, should also communicate the life, nature, understanding and spiritual realization of Christ. Otherwise they will only be teaching according to their natural understanding of the Bible. As the Spirit of life communicates an understanding of spiritual things, life will be brought to us. I believe that is happening in us.
We know there is a God. We believe in God, in Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Holy Spirit. We believe they constitute the Godhead. We may wonder how we fit into God's plan. How do we see ourselves? What is our relationship to Him? Are we separated and estranged from the Godhead even though we have received
The good news of the gospel is that we are no longer estranged from God! Estrangement from God is separation and death. Any realm in which we are not conscious that God is our being, our life and truth, is a death realm. Life is not given to human nature, neither can man give it to someone else. We must realize that we are taken into the life of God and participate in His life as our life. This takes us out of the realm of death and separation from Him and gives us His life.
"Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence."
"For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust."
"And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
Salvation is in Christ Jesus - not in the scriptures.
Although Christ is here today, people still say He is coming. He has promised never to leave us! So how can they say that when He is here? There is only one Jesus! If you have received Him, you have received HIM. "As many as received Him to them He gave the power to become the sons of God." The idea that Jesus is here in Spirit, but His body is up in the sky or heaven is a delusion. To learn more, our eyes have to be opened to receive revelation knowledge of Christ.
The Jews received their ideas about God from the Old Testament. In the New Testament Jesus refuted many of these ideas. He told them that they did not know God, nor did they know Him! If they had known the Father, they would know Him. They did not have the word of God dwelling in them; none of them had ever seen God
Israel's idea of God was very different from that of Jesus. Will we believe Jesus Christ's testimony of who God is and what He is doing, or will we believe Israel's? The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17) Moses and Jesus Christ were both mediators. Moses was a mediator of the law covenant, and Jesus Christ was the mediator of a better covenant! The old covenant could never make people perfect; it was inadequate and kept dealing with sin - even as people do today. It was growing old and passing away because the new covenant, given by Jesus Christ, had come. The old covenant can only come to an end in us when the new one is accepted.
Moses was an Adamic man. He was not the Christ man, nor did He come down from heaven. Although he brought Israel out of the bondage of Egypt, he was not a redeemer; he was known as the law-giver. The people living under the law-covenant only had a righteousness of their own. They did not understand who God was, nor did they understand who Jesus was. Neither had they grasped the real meaning of the law, for they understood the law to be a revelation of God for righteousness, instead of allowing it to minister death to them. Since Jesus represented the true image of the invisible God, a conflict arose between Jesus and the Jews. Israel thought it was worshiping God when it was actually worshiping an imagination of its own heart. The people did not know that they were worshiping an idol - worshiping their own concept of God was actually idolatry.
Let's look at some of the teachings in the New Testament. Jesus said,
God brought this reconciliation through Christ! Now He is not counting our trespasses against us! When we see God in Christ, we see that God is not imputing sins. Therefore we are not to fight our enemies, for they are not really enemies because God does not count their trespasses against them either - but they look and feel like enemies to us. God does not live in time, and spiritually He has already overcome them. Those who want to be friends with the world make themselves enemies of God; they do not agree with God nor do they submit to Him. Those who will be partakers of His divine nature must understand God through Jesus Christ. People always think they will be punished by God when they do something wrong; but I would like to say that the punishment is inherent in the deed, because what you sow you will reap. If you sow to the natural (to the flesh), you will reap the things of the flesh. This doesn't always take place immediately; the crop isn't harvested right away. The real reaping of sin is separation from God - and that's what death is.
As soon as we are removed from life (for whatever reason) we are in death. We must be participants in life. God's life in us is not ours independently; it is not ours to do with as we please. If it were, it would be separated from God and would no longer be God's life.
The reams and reams of teachings about the Holy Spirit and man's assumption of God, miss the point, for they do not teach that we have overcome death through Jesus Christ. So do the thousands of books that have been written about the Bible, especially about the book of John and the book of Romans. When Jesus joined us in our humanity He first experienced a separation from God; then He brought us back into a union with God. In Him we have received life and have overcome death!
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it."
"To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
I believe that the carnal mind is the object hindering us from receiving light. Its realization is in the death realm. It is the veil that does not allow God's realization to come to us. The book of Hebrews explains that the Old Testament sacrifices, utensils, priesthood, tabernacle, and the law of commandments were only shadows. People could only see the shadow and not the reality. The shadows were in the death realm - the realm of natural creation!
This was the environment into which Jesus came. He was the Son of God, yet God sent Him to us in the likeness of sinful flesh. So the Son of God was hidden by this veil of flesh. Mankind could not see beyond the
Jesus manifested God, for He was the exact image of the invisible God. In Him dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for they are one. The physical body of Jesus participated in His work because the fullness of the Godhead resided within Him. By His own volition He humbled Himself and did not avail Himself of the power within Him to free Himself from experiencing death. He became obedient to God unto death. This was the death that reigned from Adam to Moses. Since it ruled man, it became a god to him. The death in Adam brought separation from God, for in Adam all die! All were being ruled by this Adamic consciousness or sense of being.
In Genesis 2 God told Adam not to eat of a certain tree. Hearing a voice that took priority over the voice of God in Adam and Eve's thinking, was the cause of their disobedience; the result was that they ate of the forbidden fruit! Hearing a wrong voice caused their separation from God! Here is a lesson we can learn. Adam was in a state of sleep when he was tempted. A separation had taken place when Eve was formed out of him. He had also been subjected to the vanity of his mind. This made him vulnerable to another voice - one that focused attention upon his well-being, and honored him by telling him he had the ability to become like God by his own efforts. Then it drew attention to the beauty and health-giving power of the fruit! Hearing that was more pleasant to him than obeying God's command! This was the cause of his separation from God! This is where it was enacted! The eating of the fruit of the tree was the result of the disobedience that worked in him - the darkness that caused him not to hear the voice of God.
Had Adam really heard the voice of God when he was forbidden to eat of that tree, the energy of God's creative word would have kept him. God would have created obedience in Adam if he had heard God, and he would not have eaten of it. Christ heard God, and obedience was created in Him. God's word is a creative word! When
Nevertheless, we must believe that the whole realm of Adamic soulish realization does not hear the word of God - and it cannot! That is why a separation from the death realm has to take place. You and I have to be separated from the supremacy of the carnal mind before we can receive the spiritual thoughts that come from God in Christ Jesus! In 2 Cor. 4:4 we read that the god of this world has blinded the minds of men so they might not see the light of the gospel. The blindness, the veil, the darkness and the shadow all signify that there is a lack of light. It is a realm in which the light or spiritual realization of God's word does not penetrate. The gospel is veiled to those who are perishing. (v.3) There were veils in the temple; the body of Jesus was also called a veil. (Heb. 10:20) The fact that people crucified Jesus, the exact image of God, revealed the veil of human darkness that hung over the minds of the people.
The mind does not initiate action; it is always obedient or subservient to something. We are generated or birthed into minding the flesh; the mind of the flesh obeys what the flesh says. However, Jesus demonstrated His obedience to the Spirit. IF YOU HAVE THE MIND OF THE SPIRIT, YOU MIND WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING! Human nature regenerates itself in its progeny - in human beings. Every baby is born with a dependency on this creation. The flesh has to be sustained by breathing, eating and drinking. If any of these are denied him, his body will cease to function. When his body dies, his consciousness of living departs.
Our feelings and knowledge come to us through our natural senses because our bodies have come from the same material that is in creation; they are one with creation.
The mind set on the flesh is death. (Rom. 8:6) Therefore it is separated from God. It only minds that which comes out of creation. The reception, calculations, understanding, and intellect of man are all from the natural man, for he minds the things of the flesh. Man's earthy image of God is formed from that; it is an idol conceived by man and is not to be with us permanently. If we retain that image and try to preserve our old self-image, rather than allowing ourselves to be taken into the death that Jesus experienced, we're in deep trouble. Only through that death can we be resurrected into spiritual understanding.
Our former mentality concluded that the penalty for sinning was going to hell; we did not see that it was death.
We don't want to live in the death consciousness that resides in this body. We need a consciousness that is not derived from this body - one that is beyond it. Since our senses and mind can only receive from creation, we need to receive revelation in our spirit. Once we recognize this, it will be easier for us to lay down everything - for this is what death is. The new birth separates us from the old so that we can be joined to the Spirit and hear what the Spirit is saying! Even as there is physical growth, there is spiritual growth. We grow in the realization and knowledge of Christ - we learn that we have become partakers of the divine nature and live and move and have our being in Him; God is our Father and we are one with Him; the Holy Spirit brings us the knowledge of sonship and we understand that we are in the family of God. We actually experience this in the Spirit!
"...an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live."
"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?"
Adam is the high priest of the lie. He ministers through the corporate Adamic man. Sin came into the world, and death through sin, and so living in the realm of death in Adam means living in a delusion; living in a lie! Man lives in the lie that causes him to be separated from God. He is ignorant of the fact that he lives and moves and has his being in God. It is God who gives us life and breath and all things! So everything man is - except his delusion - is of God. The delusion and lies came from the father of lies. This is what death in Adam is, for in Adam all die.
But now we have been baptized into the death of Christ; we have been planted into the likeness of His death. (Rom. 6:5) Adam's separation from God was his death. Christ's death was a death to sin - the lie had no part in Him. The humanity to which He was joined contained the lie (or death). This separated Him from God. To be freed and separated from the lie, He had to die to that lie. This is His death. The death we have been put into, separates us from Adam and the lie, from carnality and the earthiness of creation. We have become a new creation in Christ Jesus because His word in us creates a new creature in us. IT CREATES A NEW SENSE OF BEING AND A PARTICIPATION IN THE DIVINE NATURE!
Jesus had to come into our death, so that He could experience what we were in, and then He could take us out. Jesus partook of death. (Heb. 2:14) Since He didn't sin, He didn't die because He sinned, but He died TO sin. Men put His physical body to death. God did not put Him to death. God sent Him into the world to save the world - not to condemn it. However, man did not understand the blessing God gave him in Jesus Christ, so man killed Him. They thought they were killing the idea of God which Christ expressed. This is exactly what human nature or the Adamic man does all the time. He constantly puts truth to death, and lives in separation from the truth of God in Christ Jesus. This is also true of the religious systems of the world, in Israel and in most churches.
We have been planted with the seed of life that brings us out of death. Being planted gives us a picture of life coming out of death. Life brings a termination to the death that was present - a termination of the delusion that caused death. By His resurrection, Jesus proved that death was caused by a delusion. Jesus is the truth; as He expressed Himself as the truth, He overcame the death into which He had entered. In expressing the truth and the true nature of His divine being, He overthrew death and exposed the delusion. Generally the death of Adam is associated with the death of his physical body. This is not the truth -
Since Christ is the truth and Adam is an adversary to Christ, Adam is the vessel through which the lie operates. In Adam all die, but in Christ all are made alive. They are opposites. Death is in Adam but life is in Christ. Christ operates in truth and Adam in the lie. Jesus Christ came to take away the fear of death from man. That is why Christians do not have to be afraid of death. They do not have to spend all their money trying to escape physical death, nor do they have to be filled with self-pity, for death is not a separation from everything. Yet often they do not understand this. Within them they should have a new sense of dwelling - a dwelling in Jesus Christ, so that they do not fear the departure of the physical body.
Our redemption comes in Jesus Christ. Everything that dwells in Christ Jesus - His life, His sense of being, His going through death - has to come to us in the spirit. When this becomes real to us in our consciousness, the truth will draw us away from the concept of death that is in Adam. The transference from the old man to the new man, from our deluded image of God to the true image, from our natural realization to a spiritual realization, from our deluded consciousness to a true consciousness, cannot take place without repentance. That is the only way we can change.
God is omnipresent! Therefore we can never get away from Him regardless of how hard we try! Wherever we go He is! If we go down to the sea, He is there; if we make our bed in hell, He is there. Actually we live and move and have our being in Him. After Adam sinned, he tried to hide from God but he couldn't! God found him! He had been fooled into thinking that God no longer loved him, but there was no truth in that. Jesus Christ, in His humanity, went through all these things and broke the bondage of that realization. He now ministers His life to us!
Living in the Adamic nature is the penalty of separation. Adam died to the truth so his soul died; his realization of God, of himself, etc., became embedded in the lie. Unless we truly understand that we have passed from death to life, we can still operate in the Adamic soulish realization of God and of ourselves. Even full-time evangelistic preachers who are filled with the Spirit, can still be operating in the law and in the Adamic nature, not understanding the grace of God. We need to understand that we are new creatures and have passed from death to life! We have passed from Adam to Christ; we have been resurrected out of the earthy concept and have been put into the spiritual concept; we know we are sons of God! Our prayers are directed to the Father! Jesus said,
Separation from God causes us to sin; union with God keeps us from sinning. Since death is the realm of separation from God, death came first, then sin. Some think that sin came first, but that is not the case. Sin constantly produces death. Seeing death as separation from God, and life as union with God, is reality. We must remember that separation from God was birthed in a lie; it is a lie and therefore produces delusion. The
What is this saying to us? It tells us that all the wars, greed, abusive sex, sin, aids, thievery and conniving that are going on in this world right now, are the penalty of separation from God. No one, whether young or old, man or woman, educated or uneducated, has the spiritual energy to prevent himself from lusting after the things of this world - from greed, murder, hate, divorce, etc. Freedom from natural desires and control of the flesh can only be obtained in Christ Jesus. Unless we understand we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, we will not have the spiritual energy to overcome! This is what the gospel is all about.
The true meaning of the gospel has never before been brought to light as it is today. The gospel includes more than the forgiveness of sins. If God pardons our sins, but does not change our nature, He has to pardon our sins every day, every week, all the time. (Unfortunately, this is what most church systems teach.) That is why there is almost as much evil and as many divorces in the church as in the world. There are still some within the church walls who take the law seriously and try to obey the law. But a big problem still exists because of the self-righteous attempts to keep the law; these are anchored in self-preservation. However, if God changes our nature to the nature of Jesus Christ, so that sin no longer works in us in that way, we can be overcomers.
God has not promised redemption to the Adamic man, for he resides in death and is subject to the flesh and to sin. Those who want to preserve their Adamic nature, have it changed, blessed, and raised up into heaven, will be disappointed. This will not happen because God has not promised redemption for the carnal mind. Redemption is in Christ Jesus. He is our Redeemer! Our redemption is FROM that Adamic man! It is from our wrong idea of God, from our desire to preserve our old self, from our wrong concept of life and of who we are. This is what we are redeemed from! This happens when the Spirit of Christ comes into us, and we learn to hear the voice of the Son of God. This brings life. We have to hear Him individually even though we are members of a corporate body.
All the suffering that is taking place in the human body today is due to the penalty of separation. I think all things will improve as we grow spiritually. We are not expecting everything to change automatically, as if by magic, but we have the foundation upon which we can begin to grow. With our spiritual growth, the old ideas will drop off like dead leaves. That is happening today. A transition from the old man to the new man, from death to life, is taking place. There is a resurrection, a new creation in us! It's all happening through the same testimony, the same Christ, the same Jesus who has been around for some 2000 years.
We need to lay down those things that have been operating in our own mind, nature and conception, and hear what the Spirit is saying to the church! We have to hear with the ear of the Spirit - even while reading the Bible! We must receive the Spirit. That is the way it was, is, and ever shall be, because that is the way God has laid it out. Jesus is the way!
The Bible is wonderful! In a sense it's just as essential to us as our body is, because the workings of God that are by faith in us now, come first to the natural. It's great to read the testimonies of the various people in the Bible and contemplate them in the natural. But that is not what we are talking about. We are speaking about the realm beyond the natural so that all things work together for good to them that love God. I love the Bible and I think it is a wonderful testimony to make us wise unto salvation. However, it is CHRIST who IS our salvation! It is not only about Him - it's Him as a reality in our life and as a reality of our life!
WHO CRUCIFIED JESUS?
Greetings in the name of the Christ of God! Thanks to Him, we have received the Holy Spirit who blesses us, edifies us and enlarges our knowledge of spiritual things. The natural man cannot receive spiritual realities because they can only be discerned spiritually.
Some people say God could have provided our salvation without the death of Jesus, because with God nothing is impossible. But the fact is that God has His own way, the best way of doing things, and His ways are not man's ways.
When people reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus, they mainly think about the horrors of it. Crucifixion was a punishment for criminals, and considered a curse. People were nailed onto poles called crosses and left to die. As they were being crucified they were jeered and taunted by those watching the execution. So people only see the physical Jesus hanging on a cross, a crown of thorns on His head, and the blood flowing from His sword-pierced side. They mistakenly think of Jesus dying as a substitute for them, and their redemption being secured through this blood. Now they don't have to die for their sins. This is what man sees through his physical eyes and understands in his natural mind. But this is not the message of the cross and the crucifixion, for the natural mind cannot receive things of the Spirit, nor can it know who the Christ actually is.
In this message I would like to address the real meaning of the crucifixion. We are interested in God's perspective -
The real crucifixion of Jesus could not be seen by natural man; therefore man does not understand it. Man can only see the form and the type. Everything that was going on in the Christ was veiled by His flesh; it was veiled by the fact that man cannot see beyond the flesh of Jesus. But we are no longer to know Him after the flesh. (2 Cor. 5:16) To better understand this we'll have to go back to some basics.
On the cross Jesus said,
To help clarify this, we will look at 3 verses. In
God in Christ is not rectifying nor stopping all the horrible things going on in this world, because His kingdom is not of this world. That is not where He is ruling. This world is being ruled by the god or ruler of this world. The god of this world controls people through their minds, their mental processes and their fleshly senses in their physical bodies. But God in Jesus Christ came in a different manner, because Christ is spirit and God is spirit. He has given us the Spirit, and He is giving us spiritual understanding. "He has chosen us in Him before the disruption of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love."
The next verse is
The third scripture is
Rev. 21 tells us that the
In the book of Genesis we learn that the Adamic man was seduced by an adversary to God's word, which caused the rule of God to be disrupted. Then Adam and Eve found themselves naked; they had a guilt conscience before God so they wanted to hide themselves from God's presence. There was a disruption of God's rule because they had forsaken God's rule and had accepted someone else's rule - the rule of the adversary, satan or the devil. His rule is one of darkness and ignorance - a persuasion that is not of God. This persuasion rejects (slays) the Lamb.
The Lamb of God does not have a sin-consciousness. Christ realized He was the Son of God and was loved by God. The Lamb was innocent; it had done nothing wrong, but it was slain. By whom? A lot of people think that God sent His Son into the earth, then killed Him for our sakes that we might go free. That simply is not true! God did not kill His Son! If God killed that Son He could kill all His sons. Actually, the Son of God cannot be killed; He is the same as His Word, as Christ and as God, because they are all one. So death cannot invade Him. However, God's rule of mankind was disrupted. The rule of the kingdom of God was superseded by another rule - a rule which came through the Adamic man.
Jesus Christ is the One who makes things alive. He was crucified by the sin-consciousness in humanity. In the beginning, man did not have a sin-consciousness. When God gave the law to His chosen people they became very conscious of sin. Through the law is the knowledge of sin, and the law is a form of truth. (Rom. 3:20) After Israel received the law of Moses, they became very sin-conscious. This was part of God's plan. Jesus Christ came as the Lamb of God, and was manifested in Israel with a pure guiltless conscience. He was free of sin. There was a beautiful relationship between the Father and Son! He was actually the Word of God made manifest in the flesh, because God rules through His Word. So Jesus Christ was a manifestation of God's rule. He was the kingdom of God; the kingdom of God was unveiled and revealed to humanity, but it remained ignorant of it.
The people of Israel had the worst sin-consciousness in the whole earth at the time Jesus entered the land of the law. This was because they had the law, and the law kept accusing them. Jesus said,
The lie constantly confronted the truth. Because people believed the lie, the rule of the guiltless, sinless Jesus Christ was put to death. That is how the Lamb was slain since the disruption of the world. The Lamb was this Jesus Christ who said,
Many scripture passages mention the fact that people had it in their hearts to kill Christ! John 5:16 and 18 talk about the Jews persecuting Jesus and wanting to kill Him. In the seventh chapter of John alone it makes reference to their evil intent four times! It was a well-known fact that the leaders were scheming to kill Jesus. That is why the people asked, "Is this the one they want to kill?" Murders come out of the hearts of men. Jesus said Satan was a murderer from the beginning; he never had any truth in him and he fathered every lie. (Jn.
The law gave people a really guilty conscience but it did not change their desires. They still clung to their desire for self-rule, for being their own lord, and to their own idea of God. It was quite obvious that Christ had an entirely different idea of God than Israel had. That is why Jesus Christ was crucified in the hearts of men before He was put on the cross. 1 Cor. 2:8 says that if the rulers of this age had understood, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. After Satan entered Judas' heart, Judas betrayed Jesus. These men who already had it in their hearts to kill Jesus, took Him and put Him on the cross.
The place where Christ is crucified is in the hearts of men. It is through death that we are resurrected into the life of Christ! Through death we are severed from our Adamic nature; we are made alive and begin to hear the Spirit. Everyone who has a guilt- and sin-consciousness is slaying the Lamb by that consciousness. The law shames us and tells us how bad we are. So those who preach the law are killing Christ instead of making Him alive. Christ identified with us! Those who suffer from a sin-consciousness are constantly crucifying the Lamb nature. It is the GUILT OF SIN THAT PUTS TO DEATH THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Let's look at some verses which talk about the Son of Man.
It is very important to understand that the Lamb of God only has a consciousness of guiltlessness, innocence and relationship with God - peace, love, joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit. Man's consciousness is one of separation from God because he doesn't understand God correctly. The consciousness of guilt and sin has to be based upon the premise that man takes the responsibility for his own sin, when actually he was put in a position where he was seduced by a lie that was presented as truth. No wonder God can justify us! It is because man did not originate sin. Sin came into the world through man, but man did not originate it. All sin is iniquity or missing the mark. This is due to the lie, and Satan is the father of lies; humanity is not the father of lies!
God is delivering us through Jesus Christ. He is not just TRYING to deliver us; He IS doing it through Jesus Christ. If we say God is TRYING to do it, it sounds as though He isn't able to do it, and He is putting effort into something that doesn't work. But God is able to deliver us! He has provided a way in which we can come back
Natural man's concept of the crucifixion and exaltation of Jesus is all in the natural realm. He only sees the physical Jesus taken by the hands of man and put on a cross and crucified. After Christ's resurrection, man again sees Him in this body, and believes this body is His real dwelling place. Now He is sitting in a geographical heaven somewhere. This is natural man's conception.
But God has given us His Spirit so that we come to realize that which was veiled to the natural man - that which had darkened the hearts of those men who crucified Him. These people certainly were gods in their own eyes; they unquestionably had a wrong idea of God. A complete indictment of human nature is found in John 5:37-47. Jesus told Israel that they didn't know God, they had never seen His form, they had never heard His voice, they didn't know the One that the Father had sent, they didn't believe Moses, and they received honor from men. Israel misused the law. It should have destroyed their self-righteousness and their efforts at obtaining righteousness through their own works, but it didn't! Their false idea of God caused them to abuse Christ, to reject His presence, and to finally kill Him. Christ was the exact image of the invisible God. He was the only unadulterated testimony of the invisible God that ever came to earth in human form, yet humanity wouldn't accept Him!
We have to be careful to accept what Christ has done for us! We have to understand that we have been crucified with Christ, and when He died we died. In
Death is generally spoken of in reference to the physical body. However, when it says, "In Adam all die" this is not the case. Everyone who has a consciousness of guilt has a consciousness of separation from God. He lives in the death of his carnal mind, and also crucifies the guiltless consciousness that is in Christ, the Lamb of God. It was through death that Jesus destroyed the devil. Therefore, Jesus had to go through death in order for the devil to be destroyed, because death is the crowning height of the devil's ability. And that death is separation from God! After the devil through his lies had separated man from God, God sent Jesus Christ as the truth, to bring us back into truth. Truth does away with the lies! Yet without truth lies could not exist. For example, if a child steals cookies, then denies it, the lie could not exist if there had not been any cookies and if he had not stolen them. However, when witnesses declare the child to be guilty, the truth does away with the lie. Lies depend on the truth as their foundation. So when truth comes, it dissipates the lie.
This is the reason why we need to be cleansed from our guilt consciousness. For this we need the blood of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament the high priest took the blood of animals and went from the outer court (which is not a part of the temple proper), into the first holy place and then into the second holy place - but "not without blood". In other words, it is only the blood which can take us all the way in.
The blood of Jesus Christ typifies the soul, the consciousness or the understanding that was in Jesus Christ. The physical blood that flowed out of His physical body is simply a historical event; it will not do anything for us. Since people just depend upon the physical blood, they retain their guilty conscience. The constant repetition of offerings (in the Old Testament) because of sins committed, did not rid the people of their sin-consciousness. In those sacrifices there was a reminder of sin year by year. (Heb. 10:1-4) If these offerings had really worked, people would not have had a consciousness of sin. But the blood of Christ is superior to the blood of animals. The soul is in the blood, and His soul cleanses our conscience from all sin.
What puzzles us is how or why this sin-consciousness returns. This is simply because we haven't lived, walked or grown in this.
The general consensus of religious people in the Christian community is that God sent His Son into the world to be killed, and the shedding of His blood would be the remission of our sins. If that act alone took care of sins, then there would no longer be any sins. But there was more to it than that. He gave us a new covenant and sent the Holy Spirit to fulfill the promises of God! The many wonderful promises in the Old Testament could never be fulfilled under the old covenant, because that covenant required man to do his part. But man could not even keep the Ten Commandments! The commandments told man what to do and what not to do in order to receive the blessing. But they did not help man to keep them - and man by himself cannot keep them!
"We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Our own minds cannot conceive what these works are that God has for us. We just walk in what He wants. Even Jesus didn't do the works, it was the Father in Him who did the works! That means that the Father God was in Jesus, but nobody saw nor understood that. When Jesus claimed that, the Jews got very incensed at Him. "What good work are you going to kill Me for?" Jesus asked. They answered, "It is not because of your good works, but because You called God your Father. That's blasphemy." But it wasn't blasphemy!
Paul explained that circumcision of the flesh doesn't count anymore. In
Every man was walking according to the course of this world at one time. That is the area in which people were walking when they crucified Jesus in the flesh. Christ can still be crucified today; He is being crucified every day by a guilt-consciousness. The Word of God (Christ) is being crucified or put to death by guilt-consciousness. When you have guilt-consciousness, then there is no room for Christ, because they are incompatible - one washes out or excludes the other. Only by continually allowing the Spirit to bring us into this realization of guiltlessness and relationship with God, can we get hold of this! There is no condemnation in the Spirit of Christ, which has come to us!
"But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."
Christ is our peace; He has made the circumcision and the uncircumcision one. People are no longer divided into groups - Jews and Gentiles, circumcision and uncircumcision. Oh yes, in the world, in man's mind and in the church system they still exist, but in Christ NO! He
The world patterns itself according to the morality described as good or evil. It is living in the knowledge of good and evil as contained in laws and ordinances. God is not good and evil; Christ is not good and evil. No man is good. Jesus said,
"...that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace."
Christ is the wisdom and the knowledge of God; He is the Word of God. What a tremendous revelation that He has made
Let's look at this in the symbolism of the tabernacle. The outer court, where Jesus preached, wasn't part of the tabernacle. Interesting, isn't it, that here on earth Jesus was not qualified to enter the tabernacle because He was not a Levite. Even the high priest could only enter the second holy place once a year - but not without blood. So Jesus, our true High Priest, went into the presence of God with His blood. This was not the physical blood of Jesus. The blood represents the soul or the consciousness of Christ. The death of the old man took place in the outer court, for we were crucified with Christ. The blood then had to enter the first holy place where the lampstands were. In Rev. 1 we see that the church is to manifest the likeness of the Son of Man. Unfortunately, it doesn't.
On the Isle of Patmos, John received a message from the seven Spirits who are before the throne of God and from Jesus Christ. John heard a voice behind him, and when he turned to see the voice, he saw seven golden lampstands. These illuminated one LIKE a son of man standing in the middle of the lampstands. We are all made in His image and are being conformed to the image of Christ. He made Himself this new man. This new man is actually the only man, the only humanity that can touch or reach God.
There is only one Mediator between God and man, and that is this new man. People who are trying to mediate God through Moses (the law), the letter, or the Old Testament, can only mediate that consciousness. The letter kills. It can only bring an explanation to people and cause them to change their minds, but it cannot make them new creatures in Christ.
"And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near: for through Him (Christ) we both have access in one Spirit to the Father."
In reviewing these things, we must first realize
Jesus came to correct our mistaken idea of God. Had there not been a wrong idea of God, He would not have had to correct it. Christ, the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of truth, brings us His Son, the exact image of the invisible God. He is the right idea of God! Jesus manifested a true image of God while on earth, yet people crucified Him; this proves that He was being crucified in the hearts of people since the disruption of the world. When He appeared in the flesh they crucified Him again - and they are still doing it today! Every man who is living under the law and has a guilt-consciousness does not understand that God does not impute sins in Christ. Since he does not understand that he has been taken out of Adam and has been created a new man, he still crucifies Christ. God made one new man, one new mankind being an image of God!
Now we are made a new man - an image of God. That is why we are bearing witness to the fact that a guilt-consciousness crucifies Christ in our hearts - even as it did long before the cross. Christ's mind and a guilt-consciousness are diametrically opposed to each other; they are not compatible!
Since we have been crucified with Christ and our minds and testimony are like-minded with Him, the world will also crucify us; so will the church systems of organized religion because they are a part of the world. They are married to the world, they get along well with the world, and they co-exist with the world. Just as the world tries to rectify things through legalism, so do they! They are out there with their anti-abortion marches, anti-drug slogans, etc. Instead of dying to their own efforts, being made alive in Christ and maturing, they are fighting in the flesh. They are still striving and breaking the Sabbath instead of entering into the rest of God.
The true consciousness of the crucifixion only comes to us when we are willing to be crucified with Him, to be buried with Him, to be raised with Him, and to enter a newness of life with Him. Then we receive the realization that He is not condemning us! When we are in Christ we have no consciousness of sin; Christ is our life! We are living, growing and maturing in Him now! The truth will dissolve the lies of the enemy; it will do away with our self-effort in trying to overcome our weaknesses, to better ourselves, and to take away our guilt-consciousness.
I hope this gives you a better idea and understanding of the crucifixion. God bless you.
DEATH AND THE CROSS
Greetings in the name of the Lord! I would like to share some thoughts regarding the spiritual transaction that took place when Jesus was crucified. Natural man cannot conceive what happened in God's sight! All these years, humanity has only looked at the historical cross from its natural perspective, and there is a big gap between what really happened on the cross and our natural concept of it. We need to understand who died on
The word CROSS is derived from the Greek word STAUROS, an upright pole or stake on which criminals were nailed for execution. This was not the ecclesiastical two-beamed cross which has its origin in ancient Chaldea. The T symbol (being in the shape of the mystic Tau) stood for their god, Tammuz.
CRUCIFY comes from the Greek word STAUROO, meaning to stake or impale. It was an impalement on a pole - a method of torture used by the Romans; stoning was used by Israel. Israel did not have the authority to crucify people because they were in bondage to the Romans. Anyone Israel wanted to have crucified, had to be turned over to the Romans for them to use their method of shame and punishment. The purpose of crucifixion of course was death.
Jesus was crucified on the day before a Sabbath - not necessarily a Saturday; feast days were also called Sabbaths. Since the Jews did not want Him to be hanging there on the Sabbath, the soldiers were sent to hasten the death of the criminals. They broke the legs of the two criminals, but when they came to Jesus, they found He was already dead, so they pierced His side. The organized church generally regards His death as a substitutionary death for us. It believes that Jesus died as a substitute for us; that God sent Jesus and had Him killed as a sacrifice for us. It believes that we can now be saved and go to heaven because of that substitutionary death. This is far from the truth!
Regarding the birth of Jesus, Isaiah prophesied,
Before we can answer that question, we have to understand that God was the initiator of our redemption. Everyone needs to be redeemed! In Adam everyone is dead in his trespasses and sins. Everyone went his own way, and none sought after God. To those who would first bury their father before following Jesus, He said,
This concept of death differs from our natural idea of death. We know that God is not a God of the dead but of the living, for God's rule does not operate in the dead! In his mind and realization Adam is separated from God; he walks in the realm of death. The carnal mind of death operates in the physical body, for all die in Adam! Therefore God's rule cannot be implemented in Adam. When we mind the flesh, we are living in the death realm, because we are living in separation from God, for we feel guilty before Him, not having a good conscience with God. Those who are in Adam have a god who is formed by their carnal mind, imagination and reasonings; their god is formed by the mind of death. The carnal man's god is not the true God!
When Jesus abolished death He proved that life is stronger than death! And life is truth! Since death can be abolished, it is not an eternal reality. Those who live in the death realm, live in delusion! Death is the last enemy to be destroyed.
Spiritual truth gives us true understanding! The kingdom of God is the rule of God, and it only operates in the Spirit. Life is only in Christ in God, so all who have life, live unto Him. Life is the realization of a good conscience with God. Life is difficult to understand. We don't really understand our own life. We can study how
It is important to understand that Jesus Christ did not lay down His life, but His soul. He had no control over His life, because He said,
He laid down His soul as an offering.
The following are some of the verses in which the word PSUCHE has been translated as LIFE instead of SOUL.
He did not exercise any control over his life because He lived by the Father! His life was an extension of the Father's life! His Father-Son concept and consciousness were in the realm of spiritual understanding - the natural man does not have this understanding. He lives in the death realm - in a delusion. It was the soul of Christ that was laid down at the cross! Not only did He lay it down, but He emptied Himself of His conscious relationship to God! Because He trusted His Father, He didn't have to grasp for position. He knew that the Father had sent Him to identify with us in our humanity; He understood His Father's plan! Through participating in humanity's death, He would bring us to God by raising us out of Adam and putting us into Christ! This is resurrection!
Let's look at what happened on the cross. We have to see that there are two sides to this - God's side and man's side. We have to understand that natural man was living in the Adamic man. This includes everyone, because in Adam all die. Before the cross there was a sense of death in every single person. Jesus knew that He had to participate in that death in order to take people out of it, because it is through death that we can have redemption.
The following scripture passages reveal that people wanted to kill Jesus long before they were successful in their desire.
From these verses it is very evident that it was in the heart of men to kill Jesus Christ, the Son of God long before He was arrested. This desire came from the death realm in which they were living. They didn't know He was the Son of God, for they didn't even know God. The following verses should clarify this.
Jesus knew that He was the true manifestation and expression of the invisible God; He was the true representative; He was the way, the truth and the life! He was speaking under the anointing of the Spirit, for He had received the Christ after He was baptized, at the age of 30. Before that He lived under the law. Not only had it been prophesied that He was to be the Christ, but He actually was the anointing He received! He was the Messiah, the Christos, the Anointing! These names are all translated from the same root word. So when we receive the anointing, we receive the Christ, the Messiah - and He is here now! If we belong to Christ, we are born of incorruptible seed. Since every seed has its own body, we are the body of that incorruptible seed! We are the body of the Christ in the earth.
Jesus had indicted the Jews on a number of important issues. He was saying that they didn't know their God, they didn't know the One He sent, they didn't even believe the law! They were worshiping a god produced by their own mind - a product of their own imagination! They were worshiping those who were not God, like Paul said in Gal. 4. Jesus was the true expression of God, and they were seeking to kill Him! This is human nature in contest with God's revelation of Himself. Man's desire for self-preservation contests any infringement on his so-called rights. Since man fights against the kingdom of God, the only way he can enter it is by submitting to death.
Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets. All the law and the prophets are fulfilled in Christ; not one tittle is left without being fulfilled. All the promises of God have their yes and Amen in Christ. There are no natural or physical promises, no time or credit card promises, no historical promises. All promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. By this we do not mean that they will be fulfilled by Him some day; they ARE fulfilled in Him! The progression or growth in our realization of God takes place in the Christ (the anointing, the Messiah). These various expressions of Christ come from the same root word.
John the Baptist heralded the coming of the Christ. He had the same spirit as Elijah who turned the hearts of the children back to God in the Old Testament - during the days of Jezebel who had pagan priests in abundance. John the Baptist, moved by the Holy Spirit, pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." According to Old Testament law, only perfect lambs, without any blemishes were to be sacrificed to the Lord. As the people turned away from the Lord, they became mercenary and began to give crippled and sick animals to God! Malachi, the prophet, reprimanded them and in effect said, "Would you think of giving an imperfect gift to your governor? What would he think of you? What about God who is much greater than the governor? You can't get by with doing this to God!" Those lambs were symbolic of the Lamb of God who was to come, and therefore needed to be perfect!
Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God, sent to be an offering that we might receive life! He was not sent to be killed but to bring life. His sacrifice consisted of giving up His glory with the Father, being made in human form and submitting Himself to the mind of death! God gave His Son into the hands of men, so that they might
There is a difference between altering, beautifying, embellishing the old, and making something new! God is not altering and beautifying the old man in Adam; He is not waiting to give him a different body in order to produce a change in him. We are born of the Spirit - of incorruptible seed; we are new creations in spirit, soul and body! We may not be aware of the total change within us, but that does not change the reality of it. Our spirit is quickened or awakened, and our soul is renewed with the mind of Christ.
Unless we know that there is another man, another existence or another life to get into, we won't give up the old man. We have to trust God and believe His promises. This is faith - faith in the unseen realm of God's promises! It is the SUBSTANCE of things we don't see. God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ in both the natural and spiritual realms. He is the fulfillment of all that God is. Once we see this, something happens in us!
In getting truth, we get Christ, for He is the truth! Nothing else is the truth! Man thinks his understanding of the Bible is truth; therefore he also thinks his preaching, imaginations and conceptions of the Bible are truth. It may come as a bit of a shock for some to realize that the scriptures are a testimony of the truth, but CHRIST is the truth! When He becomes the truth to us we realize that there is no other truth!
Let's see how Christ being the truth applies to Christ being the resurrection. In
Let's remember that the Christ is invisible. 1 Timothy 6:16 says that He lives in immortality and light that no one can approach. No one has ever seen the Christ. The Christ came on Jesus at the Jordan but no one saw it. After Jesus received the Spirit, and God identified Jesus as His beloved Son at the Jordan, Jesus always identified Himself as the Son of Man. The anointing (the Christ) comes on you and me, but no one sees it. At this present time we bear testimony of Christ out of our tabernacle of witness. We do not have to wait for God to do something dramatic on earth before we can bear witness of spiritual things, for Christ's kingdom "is not of this world".
When we are regenerated, we are born from above; we are born again of an incorruptible seed, and are birthed into another man. Now God is not a man. The Son of Man is a testimony; He is an image of God. Christ, the true representation and image of God, is producing a new man in us. This occurs in the holy place, i.e. the first part of the two-part tabernacle. The light here is the Holy Spirit; He gives us the light of the seven spirits of Christ. In Rev. 1 John turned around and saw that the seven golden lampstands illuminated one who was in the likeness of the Son of Man. The seven lampstands represent the seven churches. (v.20) Light is needed for growth; it is also needed to bring revelation. The churches are supposed to be the light that helps us to grow in the likeness of the Son of Man, but they haven't. They have never brought us into a spiritual realization, a spiritual image of God. Just as Jesus Christ was a spiritual image of God while He was in a physical body, so we are to be that spiritual image! The man in Genesis 1 was created in the image of God.
Through the Holy Spirit God has brought us the spiritual realization that the Son of Man is the spiritual image of the invisible God. Receiving this revelation makes us a new image through the Son of Man. We have been regenerated in the spirit. Our spirit has been awakened by the quickening Spirit of Christ. Paul said,
"And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them,
The question now arises as to whether human beings could kill the spiritual Son of Man? No, they couldn't, but they could kill the physical body - the fleshly form of the Emmanuel (God with us). But they could not kill the Father-Son relationship in Christ, the Son of Man - the God in Him. However, they thought that by killing the body of Jesus, they had killed the Son of Man. As long as we are in the physical body, we are identified as people. After we have been quickened and made alive spiritually, we know that we are the sons of God and have the mind of Christ! We are learning about spiritual things and living in that dimension, realizing that the fulfillment of everything is in the Christ in us.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. Circumstances, time or place, do not cause God to change His mind. When Jesus came into our realm, He did not change; His relationship with God did not change; His life did not change. This was a demonstration of the contrast between God and human nature, between the natural and the spiritual realization.
Natural man has been striving against God throughout the history of the human race. This came into focus when men crucified Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. The Jews had it in their hearts to kill Him long before He went to the cross. This evil intention came out of their ignorance of the true God and their worship of a god born and nurtured in their imagination. (John 5)
At the trial of Jesus the high priest demanded to know from Jesus whether He really was the Son of God. Jesus replied,
Before He left, He instructed the disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to
The glory of Christ lay in His subjection to the Father so that the Father could do His work through Him. He would not receive glory from men; He only received glory from the Father! It was God who was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and He has committed to us this word of reconciliation! The sovereignty of God is expressed by the Christ in us. It is not expressed by taking us out of this world or out of this physical realm.
In Christ there is a new creation. The creation in Gen. 1 was made by the incorruptible Word of God of which God said,
Let's turn to
"For if we have become united (planted) with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection."
The rule of God in humanity was disrupted in the beginning when Adam sinned.
"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection."
The Adamic man through whom sin entered the world, and death through sin, is man's big problem. The good news is that the old man was crucified together with Jesus Christ! How could this come about when Jesus remained completely in the will of God. He came to do His will! He said, "Not My will but Thine be done." He gave up His will! He identified with the faith of the Word of God in Him, but He also identified with humanity. So when He died, He died to sin, and He died to the men who were the slaves of sin - to those who were putting Him to death and didn't want anything to do with Him.
The death in Christ is the death to sin. When Paul said,
In their ignorance people thought they were destroying Jesus and His testimony by putting Him on the cross! Yet in His crucifixion, Jesus was actually destroying this wrong image of God - this delusion and ignorance that was putting Him on the cross. Men thought they were destroying Christ's testimony of God, while on God's side, God was destroying that old humanity. So in Christ there is actually a destruction, a putting to death or impaling, a denying or disowning of the old human nature. We have to receive life before we can get rid of death. We first have to repent and submit ourselves to God's order; then Christ comes to make us new, and to usher out the old! When life comes, death cannot hold us! This involves a continuous process; we are not
If people confess that they are sinners after they have been born again, they do not identify with being sons of God. Paul declared a wonderful truth in Romans 7. He showed us that we are all turned around in our thinking. He said, "It is no longer I who sin." Our identification is important! We need to identify with being sons of God!
"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus...And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God."
Grace has nothing to do with our attainments. The law majors on attainment; humanity stresses attainment! Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ! We are not worthy of God's grace; grace is not handed out to us because we merit it in any way! We will never receive grace because of having arrived at a certain degree of perfection. If we could earn it, it would cease to be grace! It will be grace today, tomorrow, and forever!
Our identification with Christ brings us into the reality of participating in everything He did! Jesus, the Son of Man, did not die alone, He wasn't buried alone, He wasn't raised alone, and He is not coming again alone! He is a corporate man; everything He did, He did together with us. Even as Adam was a corporate man (in him all die), so Christ is corporate (in Him all are made alive)! His death and resurrection are corporate; so is His coming again!
Jesus Christ was not crucified at the beginning of His physical life, but at the end of it! Our crucifixion takes place through the law of repentance and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. It ends our life in the death realm and gives us spiritual life! We are put on the cross because of our testimony of God that has come to us in spiritual realization. That brings persecution and misunderstanding! And this is identifying with Christ. As He is so are we in this world. May God bless you and give you understanding by the Spirit. Amen
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,
"Therefore Pilate said to Him, `So You are a king?' Jesus answered,
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,
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."
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)."
We are justified by the grace of God!
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"
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."
"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."
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!
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,
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:
Many people today are casting demons out of Christians, and many booklets are being written on the subject of whether Christians can have demons. Can they? Can those who are dead to sin and alive in Christ have a demon? Of course not! How could Jesus have a demon within Him? Where do demons dwell and on what do they feed? They do not dwell in the mind of Christ - they dwell in other mentalities! Nor do they feed on truth; they feed on lies! Christ is the truth and He does not receive lies! Therefore He does not sin! The mind of Christ only thinks the thoughts of God and always obeys Him!
If we have been born of incorruptible seed, we have an incorruptible life, for no other life can come out of that seed! It is impossible to corrupt that seed! The evil we does not come out of that seed; neither does our unbelief! They do not, nor can they affect that seed! It cannot be corrupted no matter what we do! It's impossible! How can someone whose life is Christ have a demon? Our problem is that we don't believe who Christ is. He is the firstborn of many brethren! Once we understand Who He is and that we have been put into Him, we realize that we have become partakers of His incorruption!
"Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just 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."
"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."
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
"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."
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).
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,
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!
"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."
"`Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD, `though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow.'"
"If God is for us, who can be against us?"
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?"
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."
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?!
We need to understand what God is saying. We need to know who we are in Christ and what He has done for us! Our prayers should not concentrate on asking for help to make ourselves better and to quit sinning. We have to stop concentrating on our old nature; we have to quit trying to do away with the sin that is inherent in it, because we can never overcome all the sin that is in our human nature. We can't win that fight, so it is useless to try! We need to believe that God has justified us, so we can grow in our new nature! Christ has won the victory and we are to live in the victory He has achieved for us! God is telling us the wonderful things He has done in Christ! This is far beyond anything we can comprehend! The love of God is beyond all understanding! Amen.
DEATH BEFORE THE CROSS
The religious attainments of man have resulted in various translations of the Bible, verse by verse expositions, and many encyclopedias and dictionaries. These are made by people who were already associated with religious denominations. A cascade of teaching mixed with the traditions that have accumulated over the years, has come down to us.
There is only one truth, one Spirit, one Lord, one baptism, and one hope of our calling. This hope has foundation and has assurance. As sons of God, we have the hope of being regenerated into true witnesses in the earth.
The purpose of the ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers is to mature the saints so that the body of Christ is edified and brought into a unity of faith. (Eph. 4:11-12) We need to understand that these ministries are really Christ in operation; they are not human attainments, nor are they man's office. Therefore all the glory belongs to God!
People have various beliefs regarding salvation and God's plan for the future. Some believe that they are forgiven, that heaven will one day be their home, and that Jesus is returning physically; some believe that, although they are forgiven and born again, they are still sinners; some believe they are sons of God; some believe that the manifestation of the sons of God, the millennium, and the holy city coming down, are future events. There are also those who know that they already are the temple of God and the tabernacle of witness in the earth.
A perfect man has to be a true image of God - one who represents the exact, unadulterated image of who God is. Only Christ is that! That is why we have to grow in the knowledge of Christ, the Son of God! Those who are in Christ, are in the Son of Man while they live in earthy temples. They have been born from above, and their true nature is the nature of the Son of God. As their true nature emerges, they will be true witnesses of God and Christ in the earth. They will witness to the fact that God is their Father and Christ is their life. They receive revelation that their new life is really Christ, and that He is the Word of God! They are edified by Him!
The many wrong teachings and traditions in which we have been trained, have a negative effect on us. The proper understanding of what is meant by the cross and the death of Jesus Christ is vital to understanding the work of Christ in us.
Being baptized into Christ means being baptized into His death. Christians are not agreed upon whether this is a spiritual baptism or a water baptism. Paul said that there is only one baptism. So then water baptism is only a representation of the real baptism - which is spiritual.
"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."
Notice that Jesus died two deaths: He died to sin, and He died physically on the cross. He was put on the cross by the hands of wicked men; He was rejected and killed because people wanted Him out of the way, but His baptism into death was a voluntary act. When we are baptized into His death to sin, we are not baptized into the death He died on the cross. Our burial in water signifies that we are now dead to the old nature and to our identification with the law.
The law leads us just as it led Jesus. After the law has done its work in us and has shown us the uselessness of our own efforts, it causes us to repent. It led Jesus to John's baptism of repentance, and it leads us to repentance. Christ's burial was the burial of His identification with the law.
The Spirit of Christ was the foundation for the law; it was the foundation for Christ's baptism, His being raised again, the heavens being opened, His anointing and hearing the Father's voice, and finally being crucified. The cross did not come at the beginning of His ministry. We do not belong at the foot of the cross, for we were crucified together with Him. The word witness means martyr. As we are true witnesses of Jesus Christ we will be martyred either verbally or physically - or both.
The cross cannot be experienced unless we have first received the new life that accompanies the baptism into Christ's death and burial with Him. This is none of our doing; it is what Jesus Christ does and has done! He is those things in us when He comes to us in the Spirit.
He is the spirit of the law; He is our death to sin; He is our new life; He is our anointing; He is the heavens opened to us; He is our new consciousness, and He is our new testimony of who we are in the earth! He teaches us that the physical body has been redeemed, so that we can now be His true witnesses. He hears heavenly things and passes them on to us.
"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection."
We plant a seed of that which we want to harvest. Spiritually, there is only one Seed and that is the Word of God. It is a single seed and always bears the same fruit; it always bears the same Son, and it births the Christ in us. The sonship of Jesus Christ was manifested after He came to the Jordan and there was filled with the Spirit.
"Knowing this, that our old self" (humanity - Concordant) "was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin."
The body of sin does not refer to our physical body. It is the accumulation of deception, lies and ignorance that comprises the nature of the Adamic man. He is ignorant of spiritual things and has a consciousness of separation from God. Since the natural man can't hear the things of the Spirit, he cannot hear spiritually. He can only hear whatever comes into his natural mind. So this is what he preaches. Those who cannot hear spiritually, like it, for that is all they want.
"For he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him."
"For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus...
"For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died."
Jesus was raised from among the dead. This is mentioned about 17 times in the New Testament. Most translations have incorrectly left out the word among. Jesus lived among those who were dead in their trespasses and sins. In His identification with humanity, He went into the waters of baptism as one who was dead, was buried, and then raised into a new life.
Jesus said that God is not the God of the dead but of the living. He also said, "Let the dead bury their dead". In other words, the Adamic man does not accept God's rule. The Jews proved this by their treatment of Jesus who was the perfect expression of God. The dead in Adam rejected Him, called Him Beelzebub, put Him on the cross and killed Him. Although the leaders instigated this, the people didn't know enough about God to resist them. Nor did they care to.
Most people only understand the death that causes physical life to pass away. But people are dead before they die physically. This was true of Adam and it is true of every man who is in Adam. The flesh has a union with Adam, and it produces death. The death of Jesus demonstrated humanity's separation from God.
It says that
Jesus is the last Adam. Everyone who is in Christ has been generated and born from above. Our union with Christ is also a union with God, for Christ and the Father are one.
Our problem is that we have misunderstood Christ's death on the cross. Humanity sees His death as a substitutionary death. It thinks that the natural person can now go to heaven, and his body will be raised out of the grave, and God will breathe life into it again. But this is not going to happen!
Many are also waiting for the physical return of Jesus. But that is not the way He returns. He is spirit and He returns in the Holy Spirit; He is to be seen in you and me - in people who are born from above! They know that they are sons, and they are bearing witness of the life of Christ - not of the Adam man. If people do not see Christ in us, they are not going to see Him. Just as the Father sent Christ, so He now sends us. (Jn. 20:21)
Jesus also said,
No man can come to Christ unless he has learned from the Father. The baptism of Jesus demonstrated that He had been taught by the Father. The Father taught Him that the law is the ministration of death. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The law is the vessel that brings death to us - death to our self-effort, our self-life and our own righteousness. We all have to pass through this death before the seed can sprout and bring us into the regenerated life that reproduces Christ. So when Jesus was baptized, in His identification with humanity, He experienced the law's ministration of death - the penalty of sin.
The law is incredibly important, but we cannot become good by obeying the law. God did not give the law for that purpose. The law is fulfilled in Christ Jesus. He is the spirit of the law - not the spirit of death.
Is being in Christ a restoration to what Adam lost? If we think we are only going to be restored to what Adam lost, we are still as vulnerable as Adam was. Adam had everything going for him in the garden, and he failed; Jesus had everyone against Him in the world and He overcame! Jesus Christ has already overcome this world!
There is a difference between overcoming the world and changing the world. Overcoming means to be victorious, to overcome obstacles; changing means to make different or alter. It is useless for us to try to change the world, because it won't happen.
The kingdom of God is not of this world! Jesus said that we can rejoice because He has overcome the world! We are to overcome as He overcame. He overcame by letting His Spirit overcome the god of this world - the desires of the flesh, the ways of the world, the ignorance, darkness, and lack of knowledge of God. By living in Christ we overcome the world that is in us. To overcome the world we simply need to abide in the Spirit that is in Christ! This does not require going anywhere or bringing in laws of morality.
The question that now comes to us is whether the Son of God can die. If we think of death as annihilation, or a passing away forever, we are thinking of it in connection with the flesh. The flesh is not going to come out of the grave again. Adam was formed from dust and his body is destined to return to dust - to the creation from which he came.
Christ is the new creation man, the heavenly man, the spiritual witness, the spiritual reality. He is the Son of God! If God had killed His Son, He could kill any son. Jesus was not killed by God, but by the hands of wicked men. Jesus experienced His greatest hardship in Gethsemane because He knew the time had come for Him to be killed by man. He knew this had been in their hearts for a long time, but now the time had come - He was going to be separated from God and be in the darkness of human nature for a while. He struggled with that.
Jesus knew that He Himself had to lay down His soul, for no man could take it from Him. He also knew that He could take it up again. (John 10:17-18) Although many translations say that He laid down His life, the correct translation is soul. Man's ego rules him until the Word of God comes and takes that wrong foundation out from under him. When we are ruled by our ego, we are dead.
"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked..."
People think they are capable of governing themselves, but they are not. Man is not an entity that can correctly discern what is false and what is truth, what is death and what is life. He lives in the destructive fallacy that he can make right choices.
"In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience."
This world is filled with people who are unregenerate - with children of disobedience. They are being led by a spirit that is causing them to disobey God. This shows that we do not belong to ourselves; we are not an entity in ourselves. We do not have the ability to make right choices, because we are either being led by a spirit of disobedience - which is Satan with his delusion, ignorance and lies, or we are being led by the Spirit of God - which is truth and life.
"Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
Let's look at
Our attitude toward God is either for or against. Jesus said that if we are not gathering with Him, we are scattering. He does not give us any options; we are to be either hot or cold. Those who are lukewarm will be spewed out of HIs mouth. Being lukewarm is being half warm and half cold - half rejecting and half accepting truth. Lukewarm people cannot speak for God and for Christ, because they are in deception.
Paul was not talking about the cross when he said,
Jesus was put on the cross because of His testimony! He testified,
Just as Jesus didn't testify of Himself, so we don't testify of ourselves. He testified of the Father, so obviously He spoke as the Son. And the Father testifies of the Son. If we testify as Jesus testified, we will also be put on the cross.
Reconciliation is wonderful! Forgiveness is the basis for reconciliation. However, forgiveness and reconciliation do not make us new creatures. Our spirit needs to be regenerated by being birthed from above! When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive a new nature, and the Spirit makes us conscious of it. That is what it means to be saved by His life!
Since we have been made new, we are not returned to the Adamic nature. If we were, we would again be vulnerable to separation from God, just like Adam was. After Adam died spiritually, he continued to live on this earth until he died physically. In Adam all die; there is no exception! Sin came into the world through one man, and death came into the world through sin. Before Adam sinned, death was not present in the world. Neither man nor animal died.
God is the only life there is! Only God has self-existent life. The only way we can have true life is in Christ. He brings us into union with God, and we become partakers of His divine nature. He does not give us life in separation from Himself. His life only belongs to us in union with Him! It is not ours to do with as we please. We do not have self-existence; that is why we need God's life! We need His life before and after physical death.
Jesus had God's life before He went to the cross, and before He passed away. Therefore He knew He could survive the grave. This knowledge is also given to us, so we can know that we will survive the grave. Being in Christ gives us the hope, assurance and faith that everything will be all right! It also takes us out of the hell that unbelievers experience on this earth.
Jesus is the last Adam - in Jesus Christ, Adam ceased to exist. Adam is not a fleshly body, but the avenue through which sin entered the world. Evil comes into the world because of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
The end of Adam can only happen in Christ, because He Himself is the last Adam. The earthy conceptions and the reasoning and delusions that were in Adam, end in Jesus Christ because He is the true witness.
As sons of God we have been given the mind of Christ. His mind enables us to hear truth - to hear spiritual realities. So this is what we are going to speak. These words will undo the traditions and ignorance of religious men who call themselves Christians, religious organizations, and that of many Bible teachers and biblical scholars.
We have to hear beyond the natural. We have to hear Moses and understand the death to self-effort that is produced by the law. We must understand how it worked in Jesus Christ, and how it works in us. Christ's death to sin works in us, and His life becomes our life! Both are the product of Jesus Christ. He who hears the voice of the Son of God lives. We need to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. We cannot be Christians in our own strength. We are led either by the forces of this world or by the Spirit of God!
Consider the things I am saying, and may the Lord give you the understanding. God bless you. Amen