THE TRUTH VERSUS THE FALSE
THE TRUE WITNESS
ONE TRUE MIND
THE TRUE WITNESS
Greetings in the name of the Lord!
The word Christ means anointing, and if we have received the anointing, it will teach us all things! We do not need the teaching and doctrines of carnal man. We are only to listen to the VOICE OF ONE MAN, and that voice is the VOICE OF THE SON! The authority of that voice goes beyond the letter of the scriptures, beyond any human voice, beyond man's writings and beyond what anyone says. Anything that comes from a different source, and any voice that is not the Son of Man's, will not bring life.
We are not judging between good and evil for they come from the same tree, and both are in the death realm. So no judgment between them is needed. Jesus is the judge between the LIVING and the DEAD. Since we have His Spirit, we are His judgment in the world. Not that we come to judge people, but there is a difference between the children of God and the children of this world. We simply are the judgment because of who we are and what we say.
The kingdom of God is the rule of God; it is the king's domain; it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! The kingdom of God has been a mystery to us. It is also called the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of Christ. These are basically the same because there is only one God and only one true rule. God is light and He knows everything; He has all wisdom and knowledge, and all the treasures of life are in Him! So that which is a mystery to us is not a mystery to God. Since the human heart cannot understand spiritual realities, the kingdom of God remains unknown or mysterious to it. The natural mind keeps us from understanding His rule. Therefore we have to receive the mind of Christ, so we can receive understanding and revelation knowledge. Since the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit, God's revelation knowledge does not help him.
Peter's revelation in Matt. 16 is a prime example of this. He received the revelation that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, yet it did not profit him. Not long after he had received this revelation, he was accused of having been with Jesus, and he vehemently affirmed, and even swore that he did not know the man! We also know that the words of Jesus, spoken in the Spirit, were so misunderstood that the Jews crucified Him! The disciples fled, and Jesus went to the cross alone! It wasn't until the coming of the Spirit that the teachings of Jesus became meaningful to the disciples. Nor are they always understood by us. Not everything is explained to us in regard to God's dealings with humanity. We know that He can do whatever He pleases by His creative word, and we must accept His way of working by the counsel of His own will.
"Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, `Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
In the Old Testament Elijah loudly proclaimed the need for repentance, and in the New Testament it was John the Baptist. That is why Jesus said that John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to call people to repent. The
Jesus basically preached the same message of repentance that John the Baptist had. "From that time Jesus began to preach and say,
"For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself."
"And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people."
This may be different from what we were previously taught. We may have been taught that we need to repent of our sins. This takes us back to the law, struggling to see what sin is. The law gives us a guilt-complex, so we repent and receive forgiveness. But then we fail again, feel guilty, repent, receive forgiveness, and feel good until our conscience bothers us again. A bad conscience brings estrangement from God! Finally we become discouraged, and figure that our release from this "sin-and-forgiveness syndrome" can only come when He comes back some day to put everything in order. We erroneously think that He will deal with sin and with the evil doers at that time. Friends, the good news of the kingdom is that His rule is for NOW! The Apostolic church never preached going to heaven! People have substituted going to heaven for Christ. Christ IS our life, He IS our righteousness, He IS our wisdom, He IS our redemption! Actually, we have to be in Christ to be redeemed, because Christ is the Redeemer!
"And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom..."
Jesus came to a people who were living under the law. Their consciousness of sin was greater than anyone else's, because their written law had given them a consciousness of sin. "Through the law is the knowledge of sin, and through the law sin abounds."
"And proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples,
But human nature wants to see the proof of something before it will accept it. Thomas exemplified this when he said he wouldn't believe Jesus had been resurrected unless he saw in His hands the imprint of the nails, etc. Jesus obliged him and let him see what he wanted to see. But then He said,
The following scripture is a double witness, another testimony of the need to live by the faith of the Son of God.
We live and move and have our being in God, as Paul said in Acts 17:28. This does not mean that we automatically have a consciousness of God. We have a self-consciousness. We have a consciousness of ME, and everything centers around that ME. We think that ME is being saved, cleansed, and going to heaven some day. But that is not the way it is, because that ME is the old or Adamic man who has been crucified with Christ. We need to be resurrected into a new man or a new image of God, so that we can participate in the redemptive process of God. Food and drink are for the physical body, but life is from God and it is sustained only by the Word of God!
As long as you think that the scriptures are the Word of God, you have never really heard the voice of God. The people who lived at the time Jesus was on earth had never heard God because they could not hear spiritually. They didn't hear Christ, because
Saul, who later was called Paul, had an amazing experience with Christ when he was on the way to Damascus. He described it in this way:
"And he said, `The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear an utterance from His mouth'...to open their (the Gentile's) eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me."
"How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?"
The scriptures are a wonderful testimony, but we have to come to Christ to receive life! In John 5:39-40 Jesus said that the Jews supposed there was life in the scriptures, so they refused to come to Him to receive life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life! God sent His Son, and we know that He is a life-giving Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:17; 1 Cor. 15:45) His words are spirit and are life! In order to live in the faith of the Son of God we have to hear the voice of the Spirit - the voice of God!
Our repentance is not to Christ but to God, because God is the great rule that even ruled Christ. Jesus said,
How does God teach us? He has given us the law! God speaks into the law, and the law causes man to repent! Repentance from the old Adamic man will cause us to embrace the Christ, for He is our redemption from that man. If we don't want to repent, but want to serve God in our own way by keeping the law, keeping the Sabbath, living morally, etc., God is not going to stop us. But He will not give us to Christ. Those who come to Christ in a different way will remain in their old natural thinking. Those who are given to Christ by God will grow in their faith; they won't turn back and they won't take on a different name. They won't accept all the natural ideas about Jesus still having a natural body, sitting up in heaven and coming back physically some day to deal with sin. They won't think the holy city is made of natural stones, surrounded by walls and having gates for entering. They won't think the temple is going to be rebuilt, and that natural Israel will begin to produce fruit.
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all the law and the prophets! It is very important to see that it is all fulfilled IN HIM and that we are IN HIM! Let's consider what it means to be in Him. It's impossible to get into someone physically! We can only get into Christ or an anointing in a spiritual sense. When Jesus explained who He was, He did not talk about His natural parentage. He said,
“But there are some of you who do not believe.”
The reason we have so many doctrines, denominations, divisions, so many falling away from God, so many being excited about God yet continuing in their worldly ways, is because they have not come to Christ in the right way. The things of this world choke them; instead of accepting the words of God spiritually, they revert to their former way of only accepting them in their natural minds. Instead of recognizing that Christ is their perfection, they claim to be perfect, saying,
I would like to make a point here. I do not believe that we should brag on who we are in Christ. I do not think it is profitable for us to go around saying we are the sons of God, or that we are one with God, or that we are of the I AM that appeared to Moses at the burning bush. Jesus said,
I would like to apply
"All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."
The Holy Spirit brings us the knowledge that we are sons of God.
Many Christians think the proper way of testifying is to say,
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are."
The Father is the source of everything. The Father chooses the bride for His Son and presents her to Him! That is how we become the bride of Christ, and that is how Christ can reproduce Himself through us! We are called to be witnesses. Jesus Christ is the faithful and true witness! (Rev. 1:5;
Everything Jesus did on earth He did as the Son of Man. Let's look at the following verses. "The Son of Man came down from heaven...
"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
We cannot be witnesses of spiritual realities unless we are in the new man, and the Spirit has begun to teach us. Then we become a tabernacle of witness, witnessing of God. We no longer witness to our ego for it is dead, and our new life is hidden with Christ in God. It is hidden from people. The physical is a sanctuary for the Spirit, and through the physical we can mediate to the human nature.
We must remember that Jesus was rejected when He manifested the right testimony of God. Because of the Jew's ignorance and rebellion they had Him crucified! Since they had their own idea of God, the revelation of God in Jesus Christ was not accepted by them. To receive revelation from God it is essential that we have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit of God, because He is now our teacher. Jesus is called the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. (Heb. 3:1) In other words, He is our authority and source of everything we say. It all comes through Him.
In typology, only the high priest could go all the way into the holiest place in the tabernacle. Nobody else - no other priest and no common man - was allowed to enter. They were limited to their own defined areas of work. In order for the high priest to enter, he had to take the blood of the sacrifice with him. The blood represents the soul, and it had to go with him into the holiest. It is through the soul of Jesus Christ - through His spiritual understanding, His union with and knowledge of God the Father in the Spirit - that a ministry has been given to us.
The natural man does not have the ability to conceive the things of the Spirit. They remain meaningless to him, so he can't preach about them. Even though he talks about the Spirit, reads about Spirit, believes God is a Spirit, he doesn't have any concept of what spirit is. Sometimes even those who can hear the Spirit do not fully understand what the Spirit is saying, so it has to be put on the shelf (as the saying goes) until God gives greater understanding.
Heb. 7 contains a dissertation on the new priesthood and the new law. If the old Levitical priesthood had been flawless, there wouldn't have been a need for a new one. But it was only able to change man's behavior to a certain extent; it was unable to change man himself! Offerings and sacrifices had to be repeated year after year. The Levitical priests got their office by being descendants of Aaron, who was of the tribe of Levi, and they all ministered the same thing. So a new priesthood and a new law were needed in order to perfect us.
Our new priesthood necessitates a new law.
We are no longer to preach the things that belong to human nature and its attainments - of its good and evil, its corruption and decay, its immorality, etc. We are to preach the immortality of the Spirit of Christ who has come in us; we are to know that God is our Father and that we are His sons. We are to be witnesses of what Christ has done and who God is! I would warn you to be wary of those who advertise themselves and their attainments; also those who brag on being SONS. Actually sonship is not ours as long as we are in the law. In most English translations, sonship is called adoption, but that is an unhappy choice of words. In modern usage adoption means leaving one family and entering another.
Redemption is not for the natural man! That old Adamic man was crucified with Christ! We are to reckon ourselves as being dead - and we are dead, for that life was crucified with Christ. Our true life is hidden with Christ in God. Since our life is hidden with Christ in God, no natural human being can see it. So it won't do us any good to brag about who we are and how we have advanced in our Christian life. Saying that we have progressed from the sinner stage to the Son of Man stage, to being the Son of God, and right into God Himself, so that we now declare ourselves to be the I AM, does not mean that this is the case. The important thing is who God says we are!
Jesus never referred to His Father in the plural form. Just as we can only have one father physically, so we can only have one Father spiritually. Jesus emphasized this when He told the children of Israel that they were children of Abraham only according to the flesh, but Abraham wasn't really their father. If they were Abraham's children, they would do the deeds of Abraham. (John 8:37-41)
Let's go back to
Well consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding. Amen.
Most Christians readily agree with the scriptures in regard to God's care of them, and their need to go to Him in time of trouble. They know He has the ability to help them in every area of their lives, whether it be spiritually,
"Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter."
Jesus said that many will try to impress Him with their importance - their prophecies, their exorcisms in His name, and their performance of miracles! Then Jesus will say to them,
In scriptural usage, when a man knew his wife, it meant that they had a relationship that brought about reproduction. For example, Abraham knew Sarah so that reproduction could take place. So when Christ knows us, He reproduces Himself in us and we are conformed to His image. This is brought about by our faith in God. The more faith we have in God, the less faith we have in ourselves and in natural things.
Although many call Christ their Lord, He is lord in name only. Christ is not being reproduced in them. Their faith is of short duration - a little temptation or a little problem is enough to cause their faith to disappear. Suddenly their faith in natural things is stronger than their faith in God. Many of us have experienced this. When God doesn't answer our prayers and things get worse, what do we do? We get desperate and think God will never answer our prayers! This should not happen in the life of a Christian, because God is always faithful!
Jesus also experienced difficulties, but His faith in His Father never wavered! His spirit never gave up on God. There was never the slightest doubt in His mind about God's faithfulness. He could rely on God to accomplish His work!
So often we want God to be our servant instead of our Lord; we want to tell Him what to do. Jesus did not do that; He did not initiate His own works. He only did what the Father told Him to do! That is why He could trust the Father to do His work. If we let God initiate the work He wants us to do, we know He will also accomplish it, regardless of the difficulties involved.
Jesus illustrated what He meant by relating a parable about a wise man and a foolish man.
Because of the therefore we see that hearing His words and doing them, does not consist of works of faith, like prophesying, casting out demons or doing miracles. Nor does it consist of addressing Christ as Lord. He is looking for something more important than words and deeds! These people were calling Him Lord, but they were practicing lawlessness and works of iniquity. While they looked like mighty people of God in the eyes of men, they were not doing the will of God. They were practicing deception in their works and wonders, and in calling Him Lord. They were missing the mark. That is why He did not know them.
Those who hear and act upon the words of Jesus are wise! Jesus compared them to a wise man who builds his house on a rock. But those who hear and do not act on the words of Jesus are foolish! They are compared to a foolish man who builds his house on a foundation of sand. They based God's acceptance of them on their works, and did not realize that their hearts' attitude was wrong. They thought their works were making them righteous. Although they were doing good things, like prophesying, casting out demons, and calling Jesus LORD, Jesus never knew them. Since they were practicing lawlessness, they lacked obedience. So there was deception or lack of truth. Because they drew attention to their works, they were trusting in their works instead of in God. They enjoyed receiving glory from people!
A house is the place where people live. It portrays our dwelling place in relationship to God and His Spirit. These people had a certain level of truth, for no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. However, they were using truth to receive glory for themselves.
We can say that we have been born again, filled with the Spirit, and agree that Jesus has come in the Spirit and that heaven is within us, without living in the faith of it. We can give nodding assent to the fact that God is good, that He loves us and that He has infinite power, without believing it when we are put to the test. If we really believe these things, we will not be frightened or worry about the future. But if we do not believe the truth, which we have received, we are not living in union with God - in union with the truth!
Jesus said to Peter,
"And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock."
When the kingdom of God is within us, the rule of God is within us. If His rule is established and settled within us, nothing will move us off the rock! Our relationship with Christ is a constant ascending into a greater revelation knowledge of Him. It is not a resting in past revelation, but a growth in faith and trust that results in a deepening love relationship and security!
When people do not understand the rule of the kingdom, they become established in dogmas - a set of beliefs that is authoritatively affirmed. Church history reveals this. As Christianity flourished, it didn't take long until men moved out of faith and into organization. When Christianity, established by Constantine, was accepted by the world, it began to fall away from the kingdom of God. People began to polarize around dogmas. Polarization (to cause to gather about two opposite points) always brings division and discord. So Christians began to fight each other.
"Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand."
Adversity reveals the strength of the foundation! The foolish man's house could not stand against the trials it had to face! "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell - and great was its fall." There is a difference between the foolish man and the natural man. The foolish man does not act on what he has heard; the natural man cannot even hear what the Spirit of God says, for it is foolishness to him! So Christians can be foolish. This example portrays a Christian who has heard Christ's words but has not acted on them. Those who have not heard are just ignorant. This man was not receiving the spiritual life that comes with hearing spiritual truth!
The exterior of the foolish man's house looks identical to the wise man's house; the activities of the foolish man appear identical to the wise man's - they are both involved in good works. But the foolish man's house collapses when trials come because it is not built on the rock - the revelation of who Christ Jesus is!
We see this all the time. Trials and testings come against the house that we have built. The house that is built on man's ideas needs to be demolished. That is the best thing that could happen to it! It is not enough to know that we should not be angry and unloving; we need the energy and life to be loving! The idea that knowing good and evil will change us, has to be eradicated!
The house that is built on Christ will not be demolished; it will only be tested! A wise man has more than the knowledge of good and evil; he has life, and life gives energy! It gives us the wisdom to apply knowledge correctly; it subjects knowledge to wisdom!
Knowledge is often in subjection to lusts and emotions. We know what we should or shouldn't do, but the energy to do the good is not in us. Even Paul experienced this. He said that when he wanted to do good, his flesh prevented him from doing what he wanted to do. (Rom. 7:14-25) We can know the Bible - know that Jesus died on the cross and that our sins are forgiven, yet not live by this knowledge. Natural knowledge cannot make us overcomers when trials and temptations come our way. Our house has to be built on the revelation knowledge of who Christ is! This revelation knowledge of the living Christ is the rock of our foundation!
The parable of the virgins going out to meet the bridegroom, also contrasts the wise and the foolish.
Christ compared the kingdom of heaven to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. They are not the bride, but they have, or think they have, a relationship with the bridegroom that would entitle them to attend the celebration. The word virgin has nothing to do with gender; a virgin can be either male or female. Spiritually, it is a place in the spirit where no adulterous relationship has occurred.
The virgins knew the bridegroom was coming, but they didn't know exactly when. The word bridegroom reminds us of a wedding. A marriage indicates that a union is taking place. In this parable, five of the ten virgins going to meet the bridegroom are wise, and five are foolish. So we want to see why five are wise and why the others are foolish.
"For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent (wise) took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep."
The wise virgins acted upon the insight they had received. Only the Word of God can produce light in our lamps! The wise virgins had received enough understanding from their association with the law so they could meet the bridegroom.
The foolish virgins had not been wise enough to understand what had been spoken to them, so they didn't take the extra oil. For a while they walked with those who could meet the bridegroom, but they could not follow because they were foolish; they didn't have enough oil or wisdom. For example, Abraham and Lot walked together for awhile. But a separation had to occur because Lot did not have as much faith as Abraham had.
This shows us the importance of a relationship with Christ! The bridegroom's coming had been announced, and His coming is the coming of the Spirit - and the Lord is the Spirit! (2 Cor. 3:17) Both the wise and the foolish were waiting for him. Jesus taught a principle which can be applied, both to those whose faith is in the law written on tablets of stone and to those who have the law written on their hearts. In Psalm 119:105 we read,
"But at midnight there was a shout, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'"
Those who had light and understanding from the law could meet the bridegroom. They had enough wisdom to understand the teaching of the law; they realized that the law could not bring them into the righteousness of God. They recognized their need to come out of the law, the place where they were living, to meet the
The bridegroom is Christ! He is truth! Christ is an Old Testament and a New Testament word. Christ cannot be seen. In the Old Testament He came in types and shadows; in the New Testament He was veiled by the flesh. When He came in the Spirit He was still in the unseen realm. Because He is unseen, many types are needed to represent Him. He did not come into being when He was born of Mary. He was the Son of Man who came down from heaven! So He was in heaven before He came to this earth. He was in the prophets; He was the Lamb slain from the disruption of the world!
Once we see Christ as spiritual truth, we recognize the various stages of revelation God released to man by the things He did. The stage of the law was to bring us to repentance. If it does not produce repentance in us, we will remain in the natural man. The preaching of the cross and repentance is foolishness to those who perish. They cannot understand why they should have to repent. Jesus was killed because people did not understand their need to repent.
"Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent (wise), `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the prudent answered, `No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.'"
"And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut."
"Later the other virgins also came, saying, `Lord, lord, open up for us.' But he answered, `Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.`"
So He said,
The law cast a light upon man's true condition. It was an illumination of what sin is, for "Through the law is the knowledge of sin." Man was in complete darkness in regard to his condition with God; he did not know that he was a sinner. The law was
People are in a deep sleep. It bothers God when people try to deal with sin on their own. Overcoming sin necessitates a correction of our ideas and attitudes toward God. This change of attitude reveals that God is our
Man's thinking is completely opposite to God's. Man uses psychology to tell people who God is, who they are, what the cause of their problems is, and how to correct them. Natural man's faith in God is as a leaf in the wind. It is based on his knowledge of psychology and how to use it to correct himself, and how to function in a given situation. Testimonies are used to prove that it really works. This is really sad. But God has a way of gathering people to Himself!
Error attracts people, and causes them to congregate around that error. But God has not ceased working! He has never paused in His redemption of sinful man. Jesus Christ has been proceeding with His program of building the church. His plan is unfolding just as He has purposed!
However, people do not subject themselves to what God is doing in their lives. They try to subject themselves to what God has done in the past. They want Christ to come back to earth instead of wanting Him to bring them up to where He is. They do not understand that He has come back in the Holy Spirit, and that His coming in the Spirit is more advantageous to everyone than a physical appearance. In the Spirit He can indwell everyone, leading and guiding them constantly. A union has taken place, so there is no waiting in line; there is no break in the connection!
The revelation of what He has already done is wonderful! But wisdom recognizes that there is also progression in revelation. There is more than meets the eye! The man who built his house on the rock recognized that building a house on the many ideas of man was useless. The foolish man does not receive anything beyond man's ideas. He lacks the wisdom to know that the law is not enough!
We need to walk in the wisdom and revelation we have now and know that God has more revelation for us. Camping on the camp ground of a certain revelation produces denominations and stagnation. Since we have a new nature we need new food; we need spiritual food, and Christ is that food! It is foolishness to feast on the knowledge of the old man. As we feast on the bounty Christ has for us, we will grow in faith and be secure in Him!
True wisdom knows the difference between shadows and reality; between a dead image and the living Christ! Foolishness does not. For example, instead of understanding that Christ is the tree of life, people have substituted the Christmas tree because its needles remain green. The Israelites worshiped false gods under every green tree. We have Christ, the tree of life! Let's not worship the false instead of the true! Days also have people in bondage. The practice of having a day for the Lord is not wrong, but it has become something else. We are not taking a day for the Lord, but the day is controlling us, isn't it? We don't want to live in the shadows of things to come; we want the reality!
May we all be blessed of the Lord by receiving His wisdom! In fact, He is our wisdom!
ONE TRUE MIND
God has always been. He was there before He created all things. He has life in Himself and is the eternal source of all life. He does not live in time and days, so He never ages and He never dies.
The day of the Lord is not a 24-hour-day nor a 12-hour day; it is always! God is an eternal light. All things came into being by Him! They are all made for Him and to Him! Nowadays the emphasis is on time and days, and especially on the future - there is a lot of speculation regarding the expected occurrence of the time rapture, etc. But in God there is no time; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
There is only ONE God! Jesus is not another God. He said,
Before God began His creative work there was only God and His sense of awareness and realization. All things came into being from this one source! God created nature, and nature does not have a mind of its own. Plant life is non-verbal. Animals, birds and fish can communicate, but not nearly to the extent that we can.
To know the Creator, we need a greater degree of recognition and understanding than is found in nature. Creation testifies of a Creator, but we need more than this testimony to receive an awareness and realization of the Godhead.
Creation was in the mind of God before He began to create. It came into being through various steps. God's creative process began by saying,
"Then God said, `Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens...Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind...and it was so.'"
Then God created an image of Himself which He called man. Please understand that there are two men - we call them corporate men because everyone is in either one or the other. In Genesis 1, God created an invisible man - the spiritual man, or the spiritual image of God, for He is the spiritual representation of God. He is sustained by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. He does not need to be sustained by the things of this creation, for He is a new creation man. In Genesis 2 we have a man formed out of the existing creation. This man is of the earth and needs to be sustained by the things of the visible creation.
There are also two creations - one creation is in the seen realm and one in the unseen or invisible realm. The New Testament gives us greater insight into this. It says,
Christ is the Son of the living God through whom all things came into being.
We know that God is invisible, the Son of God is invisible, the Holy Spirit is invisible, and the Anointing is invisible! Yet when the invisible God spoke, a visible creation came forth! All things have their source in the invisible God! We see this in Genesis. The man created in Genesis 1 was not visible, for he is a spiritual man. But the man who was formed out of the ground, out of existing creation, was visible. God breathed into him and he became a living soul. (Gen. 2:7) He came from the ground and his destiny is to return to the ground of the visible creation.
Both of these men are representations or images of the invisible God. One is earthy and the other is heavenly.
Since God is a living God, an image of Him has to have life, mobility, and a comprehension or awareness that goes beyond inanimate creation and the animal, bird and fish creation. These do not have an awareness that can represent God. Only man fits into this category! He was given a mind that came from God. This is a delegated awareness of God's own realization. No other created creature was given such a mind! Nor can any other living, moving souls develop this consciousness. No one can; it has to be given him by God! So the consciousness that is in man's mind has to be formed by God.
But the consciousness of the natural, physical man is not formed by God. He is born of flesh and is flesh, and his awareness comes through the flesh. His thoughts are affected by what happens in and to his body. He sees his whole existence through his physical body - through his eyes, ears, smell, taste, touch and emotions (feelings of comfort and happiness or of fear and self-preservation). Without the body there is no consciousness. We were made an earthy image according to God's plan and program.
Man cannot exist on this earth without a physical body. He lives according to how things affect his physical body. When a person dies, all bodily functions cease. Consequently he loses the consciousness that comes from his body; he can no longer relate to anything or anyone, because he no longer has the body - the faculty, which enabled him to receive a conscious realization of life. Since the body is temporal, it will die, and the consciousness that comes through his body will cease.
A mistaken identity has been formulated by man's natural mind. Therefore man's idea of self - whether it is delusion or truth in the natural sense - is incorrect. His consciousness is formed by what he has been taught, experienced, read and heard. Because it is limited in its understanding, it cannot receive spiritual insights! It is unable to receive the things of the Spirit of God, so they are meaningless to it. (1 Cor. 2:14) That is why we need to receive a spiritual mind! Only then can we hear what the Spirit is saying through the scriptures!
God formed man from the ground and blew into him the breath of God. So he is a mixture of the earthy and the divine. Therefore his consciousness of being is greater than that of the rest of creation. Adam did not have a sin-consciousness before his disobedience. After he sinned, he lost his spiritual awareness, and His consciousness of God was downgraded to the earthy realm; it now produced an earthy image of a God who has human attributes and limitations. He was now estranged from God and His mind was darkened. He received a mind of flesh, and that mind is one of deception. All truth comes from God! If we are to have His mind, it has to be the result of God's work in us!
The scriptures speak of two humanities. The humanity that is in Adam is connected with this creation, and therefore depends on it. Since this humanity cannot think like God, creation became man's god; he lived in it, he breathed it, and he ate it. The spiritual man, the first man, the Son of God, the Christ, the new man, is not connected to this creation. The two humanities are explained in the scriptures, and we have studies on the two men under the Natural and Spiritual heading, entitled Two Men, Two Images. Christ is the new humanity!
The first chapter of Genesis lists the various things that came forth out of God. The second chapter speaks of the things that were generated out of the earth. A material generation emerged out of the unseen realm, for the things that are seen are made out of things that are not seen. It is as simple as that. Not only are they made out of the unseen, but their existence also depends on the unseen. In other words, even natural creation depends on God!
Man's creativity is limited to forming things out of the existing creation. Science uses its discoveries of the laws God has put into His creation to make new things in the natural. They affect us because they are in the realm of good and evil - many of them destructive. Most of them can be used for either good or evil, but the evil usually wins out!
Many of the events recorded in the scriptures are symbolic. For example, the trees in the garden symbolize knowledge. When Adam and Eve, in disobedience to God, ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were driven out of the garden and barred from the tree of life. Disobedience brings death. Since Adam and Eve were now living in the realm of good and evil, they were not allowed to eat from the tree of life. There is only one way to that tree, and that way is Christ!
Those who live in the realm of good and evil have a guilt-consciousness, and it keeps them from entering the presence of God. They constantly judge between good and evil because they do not realize that good and evil come from the same tree.
In the presence of God we live in life and obedience! Life and death cannot be equated with good and evil because they are not the same! Jesus Christ is the judge of the living and the dead - not of good and evil!
The spiritual man has always existed, but he only became known to man when God sent forth His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. This eternal spiritual representation of God was revealed by Christ's words and actions. However the flesh hid His true being. The spiritual image is to have dominion over the natural image. Christ brought us a sense of immortality - in Him we learn the difference between the temporal and the eternal, between the seen realm and the unseen realm.
We are a new creation IN Christ Jesus. Most Christians are not aware of this because they have not given up their natural realization. They think they are still in the Adamic man. To enter into the spiritual awareness of who we are in Christ, we have to give up our old ideas and concepts, and receive the Holy Spirit's teaching. He gives us the consciousness or awareness that is in Christ Jesus - the spiritual image of God! We have to give up our natural realization in favor of that which is spiritual! This is not an easy task because it means that a separation from the old has to take place. We have to die to the natural.
Let's contrast the natural and the spiritual creation. The things we see in the natural creation are made of things that are not seen. The spiritual creation is not in bondage to man, nor is it dependent on man.
Because we have an awareness of ourselves, we like to be identified by name and express our feelings. Our emotions come to us through the body, and are affected by the things we love, see, hear, feel, read, experience and fear. They affect our will, so we do not have a free will. Since our bodies are dependent upon the visible creation (air, food, water, shelter, etc.) we have a tendency to take our eyes away from God - the Giver of all things!
However, our spiritual being is different! In Christ we are a new spiritual creation, housed in this body of clay! This new creation needs spiritual sustenance; it is renewed by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. We have been born of an imperishable seed - and this seed is the Word of God. (1 Pet. 1:23)
Our new birth does not have human parentage. Our parents brought us into this world as human beings, earthy creatures, and sinners. Our new birth has to do with the seed of God; His word reproduces His Son, the Christ, in us. We are the sons of the living God! The Word regenerates our spirit, and His Spirit gives us a new consciousness. We are new creations, invisible beings, having a new invisible nature! Our new nature is manifested through our physical body!
1 Cor. 15:38-44
It may be difficult at first to believe that we actually are new creatures and that we need spiritual food to sustain our spiritual life - that we can have a new realization of self even while we live in this mortal body of ours. Through our physical body we express either the good or the evil that is in the fleshly heart. Through it we also express the new nature God has given us!
We have been resurrected into life, for Christ has become our life. JESUS IS THE RESURRECTION. He said,
But redemption is related to the body. In
Since Christ is the truth, our new creation man can now function in truth. The body of truth, of spiritual realization or awareness could not function in the Adamic man, but it can now function in the new man! Its source is in God so the Adamic man cannot receive it. Since it comes from the spiritual realm it has to come to a spiritual man - to the new creature in Christ. As we function in the spiritual man, our body is redeemed; it brings forth a witness of the heavenly man instead of the earthy Adamic man.
We are to be witnesses of Christ. He has made us new creatures in Christ, and we are simply to bear testimony to the new nature God has given us, in our words, attitudes and actions. As we speak words of love and grace instead of hatred and condemnation, our life will be a witness of the Christ who is our life and who lives in us! Believers form the body of Christ. Living by the Spirit produces a witness that will draw attention to Christ - not to ourselves. Jesus only spoke the things that the Father taught Him. (Jn. 8:28)
Before we can be witnesses of Christ, we have to receive a revelation of who He is! Jesus said,
Since we are a new creation in Christ Jesus, our body is being redeemed
Before a seed can produce life and become fruitful, it has to pass through death. So everyone has to pass through death before he can receive life. To better understand this, let's look at what Jesus experienced. He is our example and pattern.
Before Jesus began His ministry, He lived in Galilee and didn't antagonize anyone. He lived under the law, was circumcised, and appeared at the temple on holy days. But after He had been baptized in the Jordan, the heavens were opened to Him, He received the Holy Spirit, and God said,
Jesus was the first one to receive the Holy Spirit. At that time the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out, because there was no new humanity to receive it. The Jordan experience began His ministry! He now spoke as the Son of God
This is also our experience. Because we are redeemed, we can now live on this earth and be a tabernacle of witness; we can witness to those spiritual realities that have taken place in us. By living the spiritual life that is working in us, we witness to the fact that we are new creatures in Christ! Jesus said,
Since we have a new realization of God, of creation, of what God has planned for us and how we fit into this plan, our attitudes change. This world is not our home; we are aliens and pilgrims here. Our words and actions are a testimony of what God has done and is doing in our lives!
The Jews did not understand what Jesus said because they had a totally different idea of God. They were worshiping their natural fleshly idea of God - just as many do today. God does not hold it against us if, when we hear truth, we repent. He wants us to accept Christ so that the Holy Spirit can bring us truth; He wants our life to be changed, so that our source is no longer self, but God!
Everything we receive spiritually is in Christ.
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him."
We are a new creation in Christ. We are not the old one being overhauled, purified, cleansed, or made incorruptible. We are new IN Jesus Christ; we now have the consciousness of the Son of God who has come to us. God has sent the Spirit of His Son into us! (Gal.4) When He comes into our heart, we say, "Abba! Father!" because it is the Spirit of His Son! The Son does not call out, "Jesus, Jesus."
In the Old Testament God often said that He would do this or that for His names' sake - not for Israel's sake, but for His names' sake! He did miracles to redeem His name from the bad image or reputation it would otherwise have had among the peoples of the world.
In Christ we are being redeemed from the testimony that was limited to the physical and natural; from our senses, emotions and self-will of the earthy body. We are redeemed into being a tabernacle of witness in this earth. We have been born again by an immortal, incorruptible word - the Seed that produces the Son in us. Now the nature of God can grow in us and be expressed through us! Christ Jesus, the Son of God has been born in every one of us by the word of God. "You are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." The anointing we have received will teach us all things.
"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
The Holy Spirit brings a new spiritual communication and understanding. He is the presence of God in us and He brings us a new consciousness - the awareness of a new creation, a new sense of being. No man can ever produce this, for error and wrong ideas stem from man's wrong thinking. However, truth can never produce error!
There are many weird ideas about God in the world. The love of God has been lowered to the human level - to the love of the flesh, sex, sexual perversion, etc. But Jesus had the love of God even though He didn't have a wife and family. The love of God is greater than we can comprehend! It is pure and undefiled by selfishness, lust, etc.
Since the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we begin to love the things that God loves, the things that are in the unseen realm - not the things that are sensual, earthy and seen. Our iniquities had separated us from God - and separation from God is death. Death is the conscious separation from the presence of God. Adam lived in that death before he died physically.
Spiritual truth is the greatest judge there is. Jesus said,