What is the Holy Spirit?

The question of what the Spirit is seems mysterious to our minds. You cannot see it with our eyes, hears it talk out loud, smell it in the air, taste it as a flavor, or touch it physically. However, if we ask a Christian is there a Holy Spirit, most Christians will say yes. It is what makes us realize that a man who died over 2000 years ago was able to save us from our sins so we are forgiven by God. It makes them realize man in not God, but he is subject to a higher power that is God. As we grow in Him, more and more of His reality are realized by us. More and more of His Word, written in the scriptures, become real to us. This is the function of the Spirit that is living in our spirits. The Spirit is what God has given us for our possession in this age of grace, the jubilee..

God’s Spirit transmits the reality of the Father and the Son into us. God is one and unchanging in His dimension (realm) of the heavens. But in our 4D world (3D + time) on this earth, the earthly realm, God relates to us as three persons. That is why man has coined the word “triune” meaning 3 in 1. In time, we have God the Father as the source of all things, God the Son as a person whom God the Father entered into and was born at a point in time, being incarnated and having a human living. He died for us and was resurrected by God the Father and ascended back to God’s dimension in the heavens. In our earthly thinking, He is sitting on the right hand of God in the heavenly places. In God’s dimension, He is one with God and in fact is God in the heavenlies. When He resurrected, He released the life-giving Spirit that acts as a ladder that bridges the two different realms. This Spirit is in fact Christ. That is why the angels are ascending and descending on the Son of Man (John 1:51). That is why we pray to the Father and the Son rather than to the Spirit. The Spirit becomes the ladder that the Son released to connect the two realms transmitting the elements of the divine into mankind and bringing mankind into God. “That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21) That is what the Son has done in releasing His Spirit when He died for us. Christ satisfied the Father’s righteous requirement of the law (Rom. 8:4) and resolved man’s problem of the flesh of sin (Rom. 8:2) releasing the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) into us as the Helper, the Spirit of reality (John 14:16-17), bringing God’s holiness into the born-again man forming a new creation that contains both a divine nature and a human nature, spanning both realms of heaven and earth. 2 Corinthians 13:14 defines the roles of God’s three aspects as it relates to our earthly dimension. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Cor. 13:14) Grace is from the Lord Jesus because He died for us returning us to God to fills us with His fullness; love is the original essence of the Father that motivated (is the source of) why He came to save man eventually forming a union with man as His bride to defeat Satan; and the Spirit acts as the ladder released by Christ to connect the two realms of heaven and of earth so it acts as the “fellowship” between God and us. That is why the Father is the source, the Son is the way, and the Spirit is the fellowship. That is why the only unforgivable sin is if we blaspheme the Holy Spirit. By our blaspheming of the Holy Spirit, we break the connection, the fellowship, between the two realms and Christ cannot save us. However, by our calling on His name, the Spirit forms the connection, the fellowship, between our spirit and God’s Spirit, forming the link between God and us. That is why it is “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” (2 Cor. 13:14) That is why “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Rom. 6:18) The Spirit makes it real to us that we are His children connected to God in the divine life so we not only have His eternal life but His holiness. Realize this is the same as saying: We are His possession and are freed from sin. This is jubilee.

In God’s dimension, He is timeless. That is why God can be timeless and unchanging on the one hand, and changed by being processed through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and returning back to us for our possession on the other hand. That is why certain humans can be approached by God, like Abraham, prior to the rite of circumcision or to the offerings of sacrifices for their sins, because they believed in Christ and it was accounted to them as righteousness. “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6) God applied the death of Christ, in time, to forgive Abraham before Jesus actually died. In God’s dimension of the heavens, He is timeless and sees time from end to end so Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56) Abraham saw the day of Jesus because of Christ’s timelessness, and realized the Spirit within. Today, in the age of grace, in His jubilee, we can all apply the death of Christ to not only deal with our past sins, but to free us of future sins, by believing to receive the Spirit as our possession. “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened…how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:10-13) The Holy Spirit is a gift to us today. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20) The Holy Spirit is knocking today. He is the free gift that God has sent to us for our possession. To receive this free gift, we simply need to open the door and ask Him to come into our lives.

When the Spirit comes as a free gift into us by our calling on Him, He conveys the reality of the Father and the Son into us. “When the Spirit of truth (reality) comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-15) The Spirit is the one that will guide us into all the truth. He guides us into all the realities of God, making all that Jesus did real to us. That is why we realize that Jesus died for us and forgave us of our sins. It is the Spirit’s doing. The Spirit does not speak on his own but acts to transmit the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection and the Father’s love into us. In fact, the Spirit brings the realities of all of God into us. He brings God’s love, God’s light, and God’s holiness into us so we express His righteousness. That is why “…you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be you God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses.” (Eze. 36:25-29) When we are “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18), we are “filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:19) Like the disciples in Acts waiting until the day of Pentecost, when “they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) It is the Holy Spirit in us that gives us utterance expressing Him. When people see our expressions, they will be amazed, as we would be speaking the Spirit into their spirits making the Spirit real to them. That is why “We hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Acts 2:11) Their spiritual eyes will be open (John 9:10), their spiritual ears will be unblocked (Isa. 35:5; Isa. 29:18), the aroma of God will fall upon them (2 Cor. 2:15), they will taste that the Lord is good (Psa. 35:8) and touch Him and be healed (Luke 8:46). This is how the gospel is spread by the church to establish the kingdom of God.

As Christians who possess God, we are all called to bring the good news to others of our jubilee. “Do not quench the Spirit.” (1 The. 5:19) “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going, so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) When someone speaks in the Spirit, the meanings are often not clear to our logical minds alone. They are only understood by the Spirit working within our spirits. “Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” (1 Cor. 2:6-10) Within us God has imparted a secret and hidden wisdom which is the Spirit revealing Himself to us. He has given us the Spirit which searches even the depths of God. That is why, ”No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:11) who is living within us. “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” (1 Cor. 2:12-13) God has freely given us of Himself as our possession. As we are filled with the Spirit, the Spirit will give us utterance (Acts 2:) to speak spiritual things to others. When we speak, realize it should be of the Spirit. The natural man doesn’t understand this. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (2 Cor. 2:14) Only within our spirits, where the Spirit dwells do we understand God Himself.

If you want to know the depths of God, present your natural man as a living sacrifice to God so you no longer live but you let His Spirit live in you, expressing Himself through you to make you holy and acceptable to God (Rom. 12:2; Gal. 2:20). Here you will “taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psa. 34:8)

Why we have God as our possession.

The Lord’s jubilee is the age of grace that we are presently in. Christ has returned us to God so God could now be our possession. We are now all his prodigal sons who have lost our possession and have returned to Him. Having sold ourselves to sin because of our poverty, we now have come home. We realize that in our own strength in the flesh, we cannot meet the righteous requirements of the law. It leaves us only in poverty. It is demeaning and senseless, like feeding pigs. However, because we have sold ourselves to sin, we are now under the bondage of sin. Sin had taken us captive. Sin tells us we can hold the book up in the air against gravity ourselves because we have the knowledge of good and evil. (Please refer to the previous blog and blogs for the references. I have deliberately left the common references for this passage out as it could be placed after every phrase in this passage.) Sin tells us we can keep the law by our own strength without God…But we can’t. No matter how hard we try, eventually we fail. That is the law of sin within us all. You see, keeping the law was not something we were supposed to know. The knowledge of what is good and what is evil is something for God to discern in His holiness. It is distinct from us who are made of the flesh. We don’t have the ability to carry it out, to follow the laws in our flesh. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. We need to return to God as our possession.

When God is returned to us as our possession, we have been filled to all His fullness. As Christ comes to dwell in us, He holy nature becomes a part of us. He dwells within us with His divine life and gives us His life so we may have it abundantly. We had all been blinded by sin thinking we could reach holiness ourselves without His divine life dwelling in us. He came “to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” (Isa. 42:7) Sin had blinded us to think we could do all things in ourselves. We were enslaved to sin, imprisoned sitting in darkness. We were blind but now we see. For the life in us “is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint; and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings of eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’ (Isa. 40:28-31). When we rely on our flesh, even youths will faint and fall exhausted and drop the book. But when we rest in the Spirit and wait on Him who dwells within us, our strength will be renewed and we shall mount up on wings of eagles and take flight in the resurrection life as the dove flying into the open field. We are freed by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death. We can run and not be weary; we can walk and not faint.

When we walk based on the strength of our flesh, we faint and are powerless against sin. It is a law. In our flesh, realize we are one of “a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed” (John 5:3) who are waiting to be healed (see John 5). We have been here for a long time, lame and unable to walk according to the laws of God based on the efforts of our flesh. Then in the age of the jubilee, Jesus said to us, “Do you want to be healed?” (John 5:6) “Get up, take your bed, and walk.” (John 5:8) When Christ tells us to walk, we walk by his Spirit within us. Jesus equates this ability to freedom from sin. “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’” (John 5:16) We were lamed in our ability to keep the law. Christ has set us free when we walk by his power, the power of the Spirit. This is how Christ is working today. “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” (John 5:17)

God is very busy today. The Father, the Son and the Spirit are working to transform us into His image. He is working within us to express Himself out from us. That is why we can all say, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) Realize He came by being incarnated as a man, lived a human life on this earth and went to the cross to die for us so our sins could be forgiven. By dying for us, He met the righteous requirements of the law so He released the life-giving Spirit and returned to us to be our possession. When we possess God in our spirits, He expresses Himself through our bodies (flesh). Just like the bronze serpent lifted up on a cross, He was made like sin, in the form of flesh, yet He had no sin, no poison within Him. We today are like Him, in this body of flesh on the outside, but with God and His holiness on the inside. Realize our lameness and weakness in our flesh has been healed. The lamed man, in his flesh, was healed so he could walk by the Spirit who is the reality of the laws of God. All our deficiencies of our flesh are healed when Christ comes to be our possession. “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become like a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water…And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness, and the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way, even if they are fools, they shall not go astray…but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads, they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isa. 35:5-10) We have found the Way of Holiness. It is Christ as our possession. Christ heals the brokenness in our flesh restoring our bodies to holiness. We are on the highway of Holiness. Realize we have been ransomed by the Lord and have return to Zion, to the house of God, singing with everlasting joy upon our heads, obtaining gladness and joy. We have Christ as our possession, our jubilee.

Today, God is building His house through us. Each one of us is a temple containing God, possessing Him. Collectively, we form the house of God. That is why, “In my Father’s house are many abodes; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, so that where I am you also may be. And where I am going you know the way. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:2-6 – Recovery Version) In the Father’s house we are the many abodes. He went to the cross to prepare a way for us so He could abide in us as our possession. In turn, we are His for His possession as He was preparing the place for us to be received into Himself. He is the only way to the Father because we cannot be one with Him unless we are holy. So no one comes to the Father except through Christ.

Through Christ, the Father does His works. “The Father who dwells in Me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:10-14) Realize it is the Father who dwells in the Son that is doing the works. Today, the fullness of God has come to live within our spirits. Christ is no longer limited in time and space. He has multiplied Himself into a vast number of people by entering into man to make those who believe all sons of God because they contain Him. From one Son, God now has many sons like the sand of the sea. “Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it is said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ it will be said to them, ‘You are the sons of the living God.’” (Hos. 1:10) The covenant He established with Abraham and the sons of Israel has now reached the Gentiles in His second covenant when Christ returned to us as our possession. Realize though God established the first covenant with Abraham, the Bible refers to the children of Israel, and not the children of Abraham, as God’s chosen people. The reason was that the sons of Hagar, the bondservant of Abraham, was not counted as God’s chosen people. Because Sarah was so old, they thought that she could never conceive and tried to help God out so Abraham would have children through Hagar. Realize man’s efforts to help God through the flesh created immense difficulties for himself…even up to this day. We need to rest in God on His Sabbath and learn to do no labour in our flesh relying solely on His promise. This promise today is the Holy Spirit. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:13-14) The Spirit in us has gone through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and now has come back to us to be our promise sealing us in Him. He sealed us with the Spirit as a pledge that we will inherit God as our possession. “So much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.” (Heb. 7:22) We are in this better covenant that is opened to all people including Hagar’s descendants. “For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” (2 Cor. 5:4-5) While we are in the flesh, in this tent that the Word “tabernacled” in (John 1:14 – Recovery Version), we groan and are stilled burdened. We do not divest ourselves of these mortal burdens, that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed. We need to do all things well still in our bodies through the Spirit, but the desires of the flesh no longer hold us as captives. We no longer have idols. An idol is anything other than God that holds us captive. We are no longer enslaved to the things of the flesh so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by the divine life. Things on this earth no longer enslave us as we rest in Him, taking Christ as our possession. Realize the Spirit has become a guarantee of this.

The Spirit in us lives out God’s holiness in our bodies. When we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we internalized a knowledge that was in the realm of God. We knew what is good, but we were not given the ability to carry out what we knew. With Christ as our possession making a home in our hearts, we have gained the ability to follow our conscience through Christ living in us. That is why we need to do everything to the best of our abilities in this world. His holiness inside makes us righteous outside so we can follow our conscience. We no longer add new laws to our knowledge of good and evil. Knowing better or worse is no longer important, as we have learned to be content, learning the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. (Phi. 4:11-14) We no longer struggle to obey our conscience. “Pray for us; we are convinced that we have a clear conscience and desire to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.” (Heb. 13:18) That is why the law is spiritual. “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.” (Rom. 7:14) Obeying the law now does not come from us, but from Christ living in us. That is why disobedience is equated with unbelief.

After the children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt, through the many signs God showed Pharaoh, and having crossed the Red Sea in such a miraculous way, they continued to complain and rebel. “For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” (Heb. 3:16-19) Disobedience is equated with unbelief. If we don’t belief that Christ is now our possession, we will work in our flesh, becoming disobedient so we will not enter into His rest. Realize triumphing over sin is believing He is living inside of us.

In the jubilee, we have gained Christ as our possession and we have been freed from sin so Christ lives out of us. As Christ lives out of us, realize His righteousness will abide by the commandments and follow our conscience. If we sin, realize it is because of our unbelief.

 

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5) Christ in you is the most important reality for man to recognize. It makes Him our possession and us His possessions. That is how the house of God is built.

What is to be “transformed into the same image” of Christ? (Part 10) – How to be freed from sin and enjoy his jubilee?

[This is a summary of the previous blogs. Please look there for further explanations. Please read this slowly and prayerfully as only the Spirit can reveal this to you.] 

For man to have Christ as his possession and to have Christ possessing us is the greatest most profound aspect of our human existence. Man no longer tries to be good. He can possess God’s holiness. He can possess Christ Himself. When we open our spirits to His Spirit, we become “one Spirit with Him” (1 Cor. 6:17). Within our spirit dwells the Holy Spirit. “In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in Spirit.” (Eph. 2:22) That is why we are the temples of God. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19) We now have the Holy Spirit from God who dwells in us as Christ is within us, so what we express is his holiness. We express Christ. God makes us His sons so we express His divine life. His divine life, with its divine nature, is expressed in us. That is how we are freed from sin.

After seven times seven years, during the fiftieth year, the Pentecostal year, the children of Israel had a year of jubilee. They celebrated, as those who had sold away their possessions because of their poverty, had their possessions returned to them. The greatest possession man lost was God, and in the age of jubilee God was returned to us. He could come into man and make His home in us once more. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not our own?” (1 Cor. 6:19) We now have the Holy Spirit given to us by God as our possession; in turn we are given to God as his possession so we “are not our own”. Additionally, if a man was so poor that he sold himself to another clan member, he was to be returned to his own clan on the year of the jubilee. He was no longer in bondage. He was freed. Man had been under the bondage of sin (Rom. 6:6; 7:14) since Adam took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We were given the knowledge of something that should have remained in the realm of God. When we took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we knew how to separate good from evil and we became like God. “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (Gen. 3:22) We were given the knowledge of good and evil, but not the ability to do the good because we were made of flesh. In our flesh, we are unclean. “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” (Rom. 8:18) Sin had kept man as its slaves until Christ came because it keeps telling us that we have the ability in our flesh to do the good when we could not in our flesh. So we commit sins. We keep thinking we can when we can’t. In our own flesh, we think we all know better how to behave and live, and so we all have developed our own ways which we think are better, but are contrary to each others and to God’s holiness. This is the turmoil that the world is in. Realize that having our own ways that is apart from God, is sin. In the extreme case, we do things that are totally against God. We violate the law. In more subtle cases, we get angry at each other for what others do. They violate our sense of what is right, our good. We live according to our own ways. Collectively, every nation establishes its own culture, its own traditions of men, that others violate. This happens even in our worship of God. “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” (Mark 7:8) When we hold to the tradition of men, we live according to ourselves, what we are taught as righteousness. We no longer need God to be alive in us. If we could just follow some rules to reach God, then Christ has died for nothing. “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” (Gal. 2:21) Realize this is the epitome of sin because righteousness is God, and when we think we are righteous, we sin.. Only the Father is righteous. “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19) When we live by our own ways, doing things right according to our knowledge of the law, our knowledge of what is good and evil, realize it isn’t really right. No one is good except God alone. Goodness belongs to His distinctiveness, His holiness. When we are right through the law apart from God, then Christ has died for nothing. To say we can do all things in ourselves without God is the epitome of sin. That is what sin is, us doing what we want. That is why “Whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23)

This is our condition. That is why we are enslaved to sin and under its bondage. We need to realize that sin is a law within man. After man took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, realize sin entered within man and began to act like a natural law within. To illustrate, the law of sin is like the law of gravity. What goes up must come down. Imagine you are told to hold a book out at arms length and resist gravity. You can do it…for a little while. Because our bodies are finite, we can hold the book at arms length only until we exhaust our strength. Eventually, the law of gravity takes over and we drop the book. Fighting against sin is the same. We are told by the law to maintain the book at arms length. We can do it, for a short period of time. Because our bodies are made of the flesh, in our human lives, when we depend on our own strength, eventually the law of gravity takes over and wins. That is how we are with resisting the law of sin. Eventually, sin takes over and we fail. That is why Paul exacerbates, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24) In our flesh, we are enslaved to sin. We are sin’s held captives, sold under sin (Rom. 7:14). No matter what efforts we use, we cannot win. The more effort we use, the stronger sin becomes. There is no freedom.

That is why Christ came. He showed us a new way. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6) He showed us a way that only through Him could the power of sin be broken so we could came to the Father. He had to die for us to break the power of sin. When He died for us, the righteous requirements of the law were met and God could come back into man to be his possession. He came to live within man, making a home in our hearts. He came to fill the God-shaped cavity within our earthen vessels. Realize our flesh is just an empty shell for God to fill. When God enters into man, He brings a new life into man. This life is a divine life, it is God’s life. With this life, there is a new nature that is within us—a divine nature. That is why we are new creations in Christ. Christ was the firstborn of this new creation. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Col. 1:15). We are His brothers (Rom. 8:29), carrying the same life as His Father, who is now our Father (John 20:17). This life carries within it a distinct law also. Just like a dog walks on all fours while a man walks of two legs, every life has it distinct characteristics. The divine life defies gravity. It overcomes the power of sin. It is holy.

When the Spirit enters into us, it brought its own distinct characteristics into man. It brought a new law into man. “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed me from the law of sin and of death.” (Rom. 8:2) Realize the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is a law. It is like tying helium balloons to the book. It defies gravity. We no longer require effort to hold the book up. Christ naturally holds up the book. He doesn’t fatigue because He is eternal. There is a new law within the helium balloons that resists gravity. Holiness of the divine life overcomes the power of sin. It allows us to keep His laws naturally without effort. Our burden become light as Christ holds up the book together with us when we are yoked with Him (Mat. 11:28-30). It is natural for Him to hold up the book indefinitely because He is holy and eternal. He resists the law of sin because the law in Him, his very nature, is holy and eternal. Realize we have received this divine life when we believed. “I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Christ came so we may have God as our possession. His life is expressed out of us in abundance. As He lives out of us, we express a new nature. We are new creations where holding up the book comes naturally, without effort, because of God living within us. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” (2 Cor. 4:7)

Although it appears that we are doing it (holding up the book) today, the reality is that Christ is doing it through us. Whenever we rely on our own strength, realize we will inevitably fail. That is a law. Only the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus can do it. It is a law to God—it is his character—it is His Holiness. We cannot improve the flesh to express holiness. Holiness is distinct from the flesh. We just rest in Him and let the God of peace Himself sanctify us completely. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 The. 5:23) He sets us apart to be holy, from our spirit, through our soul, to our body, so His divine life becomes our life. We are the earthen vessels that contain Him as our possession so what we express in our humanity is of His divinity. “…The surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” (2 Cor. 4:7) That is why when “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed me from the law of sin and of death” (Rom. 8:2), what is expressed from our bodies is the fruit of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23) The fruit of the Spirit is Christ. God’s character, embodied in Christ, is expressed from us naturally as a law of the Spirit of life. (For a further explanation, see the Collected Works of Watchman Nee, Vol. 49, Ch. 25 searching “Books by Watchman Nee.”)

I have deliberately not discussed how to love, how to enjoy, how to make peace, how to act patiently, how to show kindness, etc., because it is so dangerously easy to try to do these things in our flesh and not live by the Spirit within. It is the same as explaining to each other how to best hold up the book by ourselves. There are methods…but they don’t work and the book inevitably falls. That is why Christians don’t seem to change (even after many sermons week after week). We are teaching our flesh ways of improvement. What we need is to be born again with the divine life. We need to be fed with Christ in our spirits as our daily supply. The teachers among us need to express the Spirit so others are fed. Realize “Whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23). “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) When we “walk by the Spirit,…[we] will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16) We need to exercise our spirit by calling on Him. When we contact God within the temples of our bodies (1 Cor. 6:19), we are strengthened with power by His Spirit within our spirits (Eph. 3:16), and the reality of the divine life is there. He lives out of us. That is why we need to “Pray without ceasing”. (1 The. 5:17)

Pray that God will reveal to your spirit that sin is a law within your flesh. You can do nothing about defeating sin no matter how hard you try. Only Christ can. That is why Jesus says to us, “I am the way and the truth (reality) and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) Christ living is us is the only way to overcome sin. He is the reality of the divine nature that is living within us as the Spirit of a divine life that is distinctly of God alone. When God shows us sin is a law we can’t defeat in our flesh, we will give up trying and rest in Him. That is why there is a Sabbath of complete rest, of no labour on our part. In the fullness of time, we have come into his jubilee. This is the age of jubilee that we are living in. It has returned God to us as our possession so we could be freed from our bondage of sin. Christ Himself is our jubilee. That is the exultant joy we have in our spirits. We “…exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Pet. 1:8)

Realize this is the heart of God’s divine revelation. Man is a shell to contain and express God. When we let Him do so in us, realize we have fallen in love with God. When we can say, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42) in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, we have fallen in love with Him. Realize love is not an action. It is not laborious. When we fall in love, we don’t have a sense we are laboring but rather, we have a sense that we are enjoying. We may be doing many things for the person we love, but it is enjoyable and not laborious. When our love is returned to us, we rest in the other person. We trust them. God created us in such a remarkable way to show us an example of the way He is to us. When we love Him, the work we do/the work He does through us, is not laborious. We rest in Him as Christ has freed us from sin and God has returned to us as our possession. He is holding the book for us. We have become one with Him. “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23). When we are one with Him, we are one with each other. We no longer value our own ways of righteousness. We value only Him. Christ is the only way (John 14:5). “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” (Rom. 11:36) When we love our God with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our strength and with all our minds (Luke 10:27; Deu. 6:5; Mat. 22:37; Mark 12:30), we have reached the heart of His divine revelation. This is our jubilee. When Jesus died for us, in his ascension, He brought man back up to the Father so there is no longer a separation between God and man. He brought man back to the Father for His possession. That is why He prayed, “But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” (John 17:13) When we are returned to the Father for His possession, Christ’s joy is fulfilled in us. The father welcomes home his prodigal son. Within our spirit, we have come home to God. It is time to celebrate. This is the mutual jubilee between God and man.

 

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who is thirsty come; let him who wills take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17 – Recovery version)

Come home and enjoy His jubilee!

 

[Although I have quoted many scriptures here, it still will not be of significance to you until you use your spirit to contact His Spirit. Scripture is God-breathed. To receive the divine life, you have to breathe Him in. Understanding, within our flesh apart from God, is nothing. Understanding with God is jubilee.] 

 

 

What is to be “transformed into the same image” of Christ? (Part 9) – Why we are living in the age of jubilee?

Humans have the ability to experience a joy that is higher than anything this world can offer. This joy will make you “exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8 – Recovery Version) so that you are beside yourself in joy. Our inner beings hunger for this. The emptiness that we all feel, our thirst for contentment, can finally be fulfilled. We have come to the age of the jubilee.

In the Old Testament, after the children of Israel (God’s people) were delivered by Moses, the deliverer (Christ), out of Egypt (the world), passing them through the Red Sea (baptizing them separating God’s people from the world of sin), they rejoice and sang a song to the Lord (Exo. 15:1-21). The lambs that had shed their blood, painted on their doorposts, had spared them from God’s judgment which passed over them. (Christ became the lamb shedding his blood for us as our Passover.) The bitter water they endured in Egypt became sweet (Exo. 15:22-26) as they were brought into the wilderness (the world, sin, no longer keeps us in bondage as its slaves). In this wilderness, they were fed by God with the bread from heaven (Exo. 16:4) (“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” – John 6:35), transforming them intrinsically so they could enter the good land (the foretaste of heaven itself). While in the wilderness, God gave them his laws defining for them what holiness really is. They needed sacrifices for whatever they did, before they could approach God because in their flesh, they were all unclean. Every expression out of their flesh was unclean. But God was holy. So God purifies them with his burning fire on the altar, burning up the flesh of the offerings, terminating the life of an animal to pay the penalty as a substitute for their own sins. The animals gave their lives for the children of Israel as Christ gave his life for us. They were to rest in God, so every seven days, they had a Sabbath day of complete rest. Every seven years, they had a Sabbath year where they were to do nothing. “For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord.” (Lev. 25:3-4) Then in the fullness of time, “You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years…And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all your land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan. That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the land.” (Lev. 25:8-12) On the year of the Jubilee, not only did the children of Israel celebrate with ecstatic joy, but two things happened. All the property you had lost, because you were poor and sold it off, was returned to you. If you had even sold yourself because of your poverty, you were freed to return to your own clan. Every fifty years, on the jubilee year, this was to happen. Again during this year, they were to do no work but only enjoy and celebrate. Today, in the fullness of time, realize we have entered his jubilee.

Repeatedly God tells us there is nothing we could do on his Sabbath. Every multiple of seven, we are to rest and do no labour. On the fiftieth year, we are to have a year of jubilee. Fifty is the Pentecostal year. It foreshadows the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the day Christ resurrected when the Spirit came like a mighty rushing wind. “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one on them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4) In this Pentecostal year, this year of jubilee, liberty has been proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the land. What they had loss of their possessions, it was returned to them (Lev. 25:13, 23-34). Because of their poverty, if they had sold themselves to another clan, the children of Israel were to return to their own clan again (Lev. 25:35-55). What we have lost, is found (Luke 15:32). What we have been enslaved to, we are freed (John 8:34). In Luke 4:16-19, Jesus refers us to Isa. 61:1-3 which says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19). Jesus adds, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21) Realize we had been sold to sin as a slave of sin. “Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.’” (John 8:24) “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold into the bondage of sin.” (Rom. 7:14) He has come to proclaim the good news to the poor who have sold themselves into the bondage of sin. He has come to proclaim liberty to those oppressed by sin, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, the year of jubilee.

The loss of our possessions was returned to us on the year of jubilee. What is the greatest possession that man lost? Realize man was created with a God-shaped cavity that was supposed to be filled with God. We were created like a cup, an earthen vessel (2 Cor. 4:7), to contain God on the inside, and to express him on the outside. We were supposed to take from the tree of life so God would be the content filling every human being on this earth. God was supposed to be our possession filling our God-shaped cavity so we would hunger and thirst nevermore. The possession of any earthen vessel is its content. When we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we lost our possession. “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever’—therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Gen. 3:22-24) We where driven out to till the ground ourselves, apart from God and not yoked with Him, and guarded from taking God as our content. We could no longer eat him and assimilate him intrinsically into our inner beings as the tree of life. We lost God as our possession.

When Christ died on the cross for us and resurrected as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), He could enter man once more. Meeting the disciple in the upper room, “He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22) God could enter into man once again providing them with the eternal divine life of God saving them, cleansing them on the inside. Then on the day of Pentecost, He came as a mighty rushing wind and filled the 120 disciples with His Holy Spirit. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) God entered into man as the Spirit of power, expressing Himself through man, becoming man’s expression on the outside. God has come back into man as his life and life supply. We can eat Him and assimilate Him intrinsically into us, transforming us to the same image of Christ. God has returned to us as our possession.

This is jubilee.

When we realize this, our spirit will shout with joy. We will be beside ourselves in ecstasy. “Whom having not seen, you love; into whom though not seeing Him at present, yet believing, you exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Peter 1:8 – Recovery Version) Our joy is so great it is unspeakable, inexpressible. The whole problem of man’s fall has been resolved! God can come back to us to fill our God-shaped cavity! We have been transformed into the same image of God. We no longer hunger and thirst as Christ has become our possession!

Realize the jubilee is mutual.

God is celebrating with us.

In the parable of the prodigal son, we have “squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him any.” (Luke 15:13-16) When we lose our possession of God, there is always a need inside, a hunger and thirst that this world cannot provide. The world today is in a severe famine because it tries to fill us with everything except God. It cannot fill our God-shaped cavity so we begin to be in need. We sell ourselves to sin in an attempt to fill our God-shaped cavity. We even long for the pods that are given to pigs. This is the extent of human depravity. We become its slaves, living in the bondage of sin and without God.

When we came to our senses, we realized that in My Father’s house, “How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!” (Luke 15:17) When we finally say, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” (Luke 15:18-19), we arose and came to the Father. Then, “while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) When we return to our Father and realize we “have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” (Luke 15:21), we have realized how empty and worthless we are in this world without God. Once we realize this about ourselves, the Father comes into us, coming back into mankind, to be our possession. So the father said, “’Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:22-24) When we realize our worthlessness within our flesh, that we can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5), and seek the Father’s face, we were made alive in Him. “Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:5-6) Today, we are celebrating with Christ who has come back into our beings as our jubilee. Not only have we received Christ as our possession, but we have come back to the Father as the lost prodigal son, as his possession. “He was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:24) “Abide in me, and I in you.” (John 5:4) “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23) The prodigal son has returned home. We have God as our possession and God has us as his possession. This is the most momentous occurrence of any event in the history of mankind. Let us “bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate” (Luke 15:24) with God in his jubilee. For today, we who were dead in our flesh have been made alive in God. We who were lost to this world, have been found in Him (Phi. 3:9). This is jubilee.

Jubilee is not just a year as in the Old Testament, it is an age, from the day of Pentecost in Acts, through to the fullness of our celebration of Christ at his wedding feast as his Bride in the millennial kingdom, and likely extending to all of eternity.

Jubilee is not just a celebration, it is Christ in us. Realize God has returned into man, into us, as our possession. When that happens, God has filled our God-shaped cavity with Himself. We are not hungry or thirsty anymore because we have been “filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:19) We are contented because now we possess what we were created for. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:6) Realize possessing God within is contentment within which is of great gain to us. It leads us to “Be anxious for nothing…” (Phi. 4:6) in this world. We have God as our possession and He has us as His possession. “For you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.” (1 Pet. 2:9) That is why we can “Be anxious for nothing…” (Phi. 4:6) “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phi. 4:11-13) Paul’s secret in living on this earth is Christ in him as his possession. That is Jubilee.

 

At the end of his journey through Egypt, the Passover, the Red Sea, and the wilderness, as Moses reflected on his entire life as he approached the end of his existence on this earth, he said, “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?” (Deu. 4:7) Call on Him, and make Christ your possession.

What is to be “transformed into the same image” of Christ? (Part 8) – What is Christ’s resurrection power?

(Please read this prayerfully asking God to reveal it in your spirit. This will not make sense to those who have not believed so I apologize. But for those who love Him, his Spirit will enlighten, encourage and empower you. The previous blogs, index on the home page, will provide a clearer understanding of this passage starting at “What is God?”)

 

To be transformed into the same image of Christ, realize we have to die first. His expression cannot become our expression when self still exists. We have to realize we can do nothing for God. “For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Only when we completely rest in Him can He exert his will maximally through us. Only in our weakness, does He show us his strength. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10) Only when we are last, can Christ become first. “So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Mat. 20:16; 19:30) Only when we die, and no longer live, can Christ live out of us. “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) But when Christ lives as first in us, realize that He becomes our holiness. The God of peace Himself has sanctified us completely. (1 The. 5:22) We no longer walk with a human life, we walk with Christ in his divine life. That is what the resurrection life is.

When Christ was crucified on the cross, at “about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ … And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.” (Mat. 27:46-50) When Jesus died on the cross, the weight of the sins of mankind was so heavily laden on Him that God left him. Whether the divine life that he was born with, or the Spirit of power that descended on him as a dove at his baptism, left, the Bible does not say. Nevertheless, Jesus gave up his spirit so he could die. He gave up his divine life so he could die for us. “He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.” (Phi. 2:8) His death not only paid the penalty for our sins, but freed us from the power of sin which is in us. It freed us from our original rebellion that says, “We know how to be righteous in our flesh and we don’t need you God.” It freed us from our thought that we, in our flesh, have the knowledge of good and evil and can function to keep the law independent of God, without his divine life and its divine nature that is distinct to God. It freed us from sin. His death broke down the separation between God and man.

“And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” (Mat. 27:51) When Christ died, the curtain that separated God from fallen man was torn in two. God can reach man. Man can touch God. This is radical. The earth shook. Realize the separation between God and man, between heaven and earth, exists because we think we can do all things in ourselves, in our flesh, and not need God. We think we can be holy without Him. That is the origin of sin. This is over. The curtain of the temple was torn in two. His holiness can come into us to make us holy. When Jesus died on the cross, he condemned sin in the flesh. “By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:3-4) Sin was condemned because it was not suppose to put to death anyone without sin. It was not suppose to put to death anyone who submitted his will to the Father’s will absolutely. So death loss it sting. God could come back, in his righteousness, according to the law, to raise Christ from the dead.

When Christ was raised from the dead on the third day, God came back to Jesus. He “was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 1:4) By resurrecting Jesus Christ, God declared Him as His Son, “Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” (Rom. 4:25) Raising Christ from the dead means God accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for our sin(s). By accepting the sacrifice, realized we are justified before God. Being justified before God allows him to enter man once again as the fruit from the tree of life.

Man was supposed to take from the tree of life, a life he was not created with. It was God’s life, the divine life. It was God’s holiness. When man fell, he could not take hold of God’s distinctiveness. “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—‘” (Gen. 3:22) To take from the tree of life is to take of God’s life, his distinctiveness, his holiness that is beyond time. When Jesus died of the cross, he paid the penalty so we could take God into us again, as the bread of life, to assimilate God into our beings intrinsically, transforming us into his image so we could be one spirit with him. This is the power of his resurrection.

“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” Jesus was crucified as someone perishable in the flesh with a human life, as someone dishonorable in man’s eyes, as someone in weakness in his natural body. In resurrection, Christ was raised as a new creation imperishable in the Spirit, as a new creation expressing God’s glory with eternal power in a spiritual body. As the life-giving Spirit, Christ was able to come and make a home in man’s hearts giving him His divine life, a life full of His distinctiveness, His holiness that was eternal. “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (1 Cor. 15:47-49) The power of the life-giving Spirit being released was so strong over death when Jesus was resurrected that “The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” (Mat. 27:52-53) In resurrection, the punishment of death for sins we committed is over when we believed. “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:54-55) “…The perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality…” (1 Cor. 15:54) In his resurrection, as we “shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (I Cor. 15:49), we have finally fulfilled the will of God through Christ living in us. “…According to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite (head up) all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Eph. 1:7-10) “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (1 Cor. 15:49) Today, in the realm of our spirit, we have already unified heaven and earth.

Within our spirits where the Spirit dwells, God has already unified heaven and earth today because the holiness of God is already living within our bodies, the temples of God. As Christians, we must realize through the Spirit, that we have been crucified with Christ, and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us in resurrection. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) All the things of this world, we need to let go of, if we deal with it in our flesh. We need to live within our spirit with his Spirit expressing though us. To do this, realize we need to eat of Him. We need to assimilate Him into our beings so His life intrinsically becomes our life. His thoughts become intrinsically our thoughts. “But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16) To keep our spiritual life alive, realize we need to breath Him in, just like we need to breath to keep our physical body alive. That is why “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16) The breathe that God breaths out, we need to breath in. That is how God makes us alive in our spirits. When we immerse ourselves in his words, the Spirit within us will give us understanding. “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” (1 Cor. 2:10) Realize “…the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1 Cor. 2:11-14) That is why we need to “Let the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly, teaching and admonishing each other in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in [our] and and’s hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16)

When we let his word become a reality to us, we become a kind of firstfruits of his resurrection. “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (Jam. 1:18) Christ was the firstfruits of the resurrection. “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Cor. 15:20) “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:22-23) When Christ resurrected, He secretly ascended to the Father to present Himself as the firstfruits to God for His enjoyment. This is foreshadowed in the festival of the firstfruits waved to God.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf after the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.’” (Lev. 23:9-11)

The children of Israel were to offer the firstfruits of the harvest to the Lord. Immediately following his resurrection, before Christ’s public ascension (Luke 24:50-53), Christ secretly ascended to present Himself as the firstfruits to the Father. The firstfruits were people who have died to themselves in the flesh and made alive in God in his holiness, just as Christ was. Realize one human being saw Christ in his resurrected form and touched Him even before He presented Himself to the Father as the firstfruits.

That person was Mary Magdalene. “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.” Mary loved the Lord so much that, while it was still dark, she got up and ran to his tomb. She was the first one to see that the stone had already been taken away. “So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’” (John 20:2) Her concern was only for the Lord and where they may have laid his body. She did not understand the Scripture, that Christ must rise again. When Peter and the other disciple came to the tomb, they did not understand that Jesus had resurrected. “For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes.” (John 20:8-10)

“But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping, and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb, and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.” (John 20:11-12) Because of her great love for the Lord, Mary just stood at the tomb weeping. She was so overwrought with emotions because of her love for the Lord that when she saw two angels in white sitting in the tomb, she did not recognize them as angels. Her only concern was for the Lord. “And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’” (John 20:13) Even when they spoke with her, her one desire was to know where the Lord was. “When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’” (John 20:14-15) She was so distraught, she wept continuously at the tomb and now just wanted His body. “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means, Teacher).” (John 20:16) Realize this is the most poignantly touching moment recorded in the entire Bible. Man demonstrated his own free will to love God so intimately that God reveals Himself. She loved Him with all her heart, with all her soul, with all her strength, and with all her mind. When we love Him in this manner, Christ reveals Himself fully to our Spirit, filling our spirits with the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).

If you do not fully feel this kind of love for God, realize you have to humble yourself. Love cannot be manufactured. It is simply there. It comes with time as we walk with the Lord. As a first step, we have to humble ourselves. When we love someone, realize it is their will we want to please and to do, not our own. We want to do everything for them, and not us. They take precedence, not us. They consume our thoughts. That is why Paul said, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith is Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Phi. 3:7-11) When we present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God (Rom. 12:1), realize we love God. Everything we do is not for ourselves, but for Him. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) We are dead to everything in this world so Christ can live within us.

To see the Lord in this way, we need a severe turning within our beings. Mary had to turn twice to finally see the Lord (John 20:14 and 16). We heed to humble ourselves and get down on our knees, and pray to Him. “Lord, show me how to love you. Show me what it means. I give you my all, all my power, all my strength, all my abilities. That you would be Lord to me.” Only when we can truthfully call Him Lord in our lives, do we have faith in Him. Only when we say, “Lord, you control everything in my life,” do we believe there is a God living within us, doing everything. When we took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we thought we could do everything without God. Only when we take from the tree of life, will we know the power of his resurrection.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father, but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and you God.’” (John 20:17) Because of her love for the Lord, Mary touched the Lord in His resurrected body even before He ascended to the Father. Jesus in turn revealed to her the most important reality of being a Christian—that God had come back into man as his life and life supply in His resurrection. Before His resurrection, the dearest term the Lord used to call His disciples was friends. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:13-14) After His resurrection, we are related to God as sons. Jesus was the only being born of the Father God, now God is our Father making us brothers with Christ. Through His crucifixion and His resurrection, the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) was released to bring God with His divine life and nature back into man to dwell in our spirits. Humans that are of the flesh can be freed from sin and be holy like God Himself. We can be transformed into the image of God through His indwelling Spirit. That was the revelation that Mary was rewarded with because she loved Him so much.

Today, if we love Him that much, with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all our minds, realize we will be a kind of firstfruits to God. “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (Jam. 1:18) The firstfruits are offered as a wave offering first for God to enjoy, then for us to enjoy. The Christ within us, as the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), transforms us to be holy, first for God’s enjoyment, then for us to enjoy each other.

 

To love God means to put His will first, and not our own. As we rest in Him as our Sabbath, we have surrendered our will to his will. We live by faith and not by sight. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) When it is no longer I who live, but Christ expressing out of us as the fruit of the Spirit, collectively, we become the firstfruits for God’s enjoyment and for man’s enjoyment. This is how His Body is formed. This is the power of His resurrection life lived out of us.

 

What is to be “transformed into the same image” of Christ? (Part 7) or Why resting in Him is doing His will?

“…The will of God, your sanctification.” (1 The. 4:3) Realizing the will of God is our sanctification. It sets us apart to God so we become holy through Christ’s living within us, transforming us into the same image of Christ. But how do we follow the will of God? How do we become set apart to God? How do we “be holy”?

Realized today God himself is sanctifying us. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he who calls you, and he also will bring it to pass.” (1 The. 5:23-24} He is doing all the work. “Faithful is he who calls you, and he also will bring it to pass.” (1 The. 5:25) To follow the will of God, realize the only thing we need to do is rest in him.

As human beings, we don’t know how to rest in him. Our flesh is always expressing itself so we are not holy. We are not set apart to him because we are still working within our flesh. Realize all expression of our flesh is unclean. In order to be set apart to him, to be holy, realize we must cease from all our work. Even saying “I am surrendering my will to you Lord,” with a sense that we are capable of surrendering our wills to him, is work. We cannot rely on our flesh to do anything. Only Christ, who is living within us, can surrender our wills to him. That is why, “…He also will bring it to pass.” (1 The. 5:24) He will bring it to pass. Our sanctification, our separation from this world of affliction to the Christ of peace, our setting apart to be holy, is entirely through the God of peace Himself. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (afflictions), but take courage, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 The. 5:23). He is sanctifying us completely. Our spirit, our soul and our body is being separated to him so we would be blameless in the day of Christ.

So what are we to do? Realize it is nothing. We are to do absolutely nothing but just to enjoy Christ. When we enjoy Him and do nothing, we have entered his Sabbath rest. When we enjoy Christ, feasting with Him, the God of peace Himself will sanctify us. That is why, in Leviticus, God tells us that all the expressions from our flesh is unclean. All that we do in our flesh is unclean. So do nothing. “The Lord spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations–My appointed times are these: For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is the Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwellings.” (Lev. 23:1-3) There were seven holy convocations or feasts that the children of Israel were to celebrate. (See “Life Study of Leviticus” for a full explanation of what they are and where we stand today.) In each one, the children of Israel were to do no work; God reminded them repeatedly in Lev. 23:7,8,21,24,28,30,31,32,35,36 and 39 that they were to do no work and rest. In fact, in the holy convocation concerning the day of atonement, the Lord tells them to humble themselves. “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord. You shall not do any work on the same day, for it is the day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. It is to be a Sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your Sabbath.’” (Lev. 23:26-32) Realize the humbling of our souls allows us to rest in Him.

[This actually speaks of the future when Christ returns and the trumpets sound, calling the children of Israel to humble themselves and purify themselves with fire before the Lord. Anyone who fails to do so will be cut off from his people. “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” (Heb. 4:9) That is why the previous convocation is the blowing of trumpets, “a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.” (Lev. 23:24) “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 The. 4:16-17) When the Lord comes back, he will be hidden from our view, in the cloud. He is hidden from plain sight. Just like he was over the mercy seat. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.’” (Lev. 16:2) This is what it is like today. He is hidden from our plain sight, but those who love him see him in their spirits, the inner-most part of their being where the Spirit dwells. “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to the lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2 Pet. 1:19) To those who love him, his second coming will be like his first, announced by the brightest star in the sky, a morning star, except it will now arise only in the hearts of those who love him. That is why “…we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7)]

Learning to rest in Christ is our greatest challenge. We like to exert our will. That is the problem given to us by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We feel we need to work to do our Christian duties. Realize we cannot do Christian work first until we rest in Christ. In Genesis, God created the universe in six days, then he rested on the seventh day. “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Gen. 2:1-2) This seventh day was sanctified, set apart, by God to rest. Realize for man, who was created on the sixth day, his first day was God’s seventh day. His first day is a day of rest. Before we till the ground, we must rest in him. “For we who have believed enter that rest…Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” (Heb. 4:3,11) When we rest in him, we don’t live according to our flesh, we live according to the Spirit so we are no longer disobedient. Why are we not disobedient, because we have been set apart by him as we rest in him. Christ sanctifies us and becomes our holiness. When we work throughout the week, we till the ground now yoked with Christ. “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mat. 11:28-30) When we are yoked with Christ, realize who does all the pulling, and who does all the steering. Christ does everything. “For from Him  and through Him and to Him are all things.” (Rom. 11:36) Our yoke is easy and our burden becomes light as we rest in him. As we get old in Christ, we realize we do not use our own efforts. “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourselves and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” (John 21:18) As we grow old in Christ, we stop trying to be holy because we realize it is a distinctness that is of God alone and not of the flesh. We simply need to love Him. Christ becomes our holiness.

“Whom having not seen, you love; into whom though not seeing Him at present, yet believing, you exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Pet. 1:8 – Recovery Version) As we feast with Christ at his holy convocations, realize we are eating at his table with him. We are eating of him as the bread and the wine, the bread to supply us with his divine life that is distinctly separate from us, and the wine to deal with our sin by the blood he shed on the cross. Realize Christ is supplying us with his holiness, the bread, and dealing with our flesh with his blood. His holy convocations begin with the Passover, with the blood shed by the lamb of God, redeeming us so God’s judgment passes over us. The second convocation is the feast of the unleavened bread. Leaven is the added mixture of sin into our beings when Adam took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor. 5:7-8) We are taking Christ as our unleavened bread each and everyday to supply us with his holiness. We cannot do it ourselves. We rest in Him.

When we rest in Him, we are at a feast, feeding with and on Christ as our unleavened bread. We stay within the Holy of Holies before Him and never go out anymore (Lev. 21:12; Rev. 3:12), we are his priests without blemish. We don’t shave off our hair anymore. “They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh.” (Lev. 21:5) “For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb,” etc. (Lev. 21:18-20), they were not allowed to be priests though they were Aaron sons because of their defects in their flesh. As priests to God today, realize the Christ in you has made you holy and without blemish. We express his perfect humanity if we rest on him and not work ourselves. Instead, we have come into his enjoyment. We are feasting with our brothers and sisters enjoying Christ as our life and life-supply. “Whom having not seen you love; into whom though not seeing Him at present, yet believing, you exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Pet. 1:8 – Recovery Version) The Christian life is one of joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. This is the heart of the divine revelation.

 

By resting in and enjoying Christ, we are transformed into the same image.

 

On the Sabbath, when you gather together with your brothers and sisters in Christ, make sure it is a feast unto Him, that you exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.

 

 

 

 

 

What is God? (Part 3 – His holiness)

(Please read this very slowly and prayerfully in front of Christ.)

 

God is holy.

What does that mean? How can we be holy?

God is holy. Holiness is a state of being that God is. It sets Him apart from us. It is his distinct nature. It is his character. It is who He is. Everything that emanates from God is holy. That is why only the Father is righteous. Not even Jesus, His Son could say He was good. “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.’” (Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19) Goodness is only from God. None of his creation has it. As his created creatures, it makes Him sacred to us. We have to venerate Him. It makes Him God to us.

“But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behaviour, because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:15-16) We are to ‘be holy’, not to make ourselves holy. Holiness is an attribute of God and not of man. It makes Him sacred and venerable. Man can never make himself sacred and venerable so no matter what he does, it does not make him holy. (If ever a man is venerated, realize we have made him a god.) If we image a man who does everything righteously, would we call him holy? Holiness is a condition of God, a state of being. We cannot be holy no matter how righteous our behaviour is. Yet Peter tells us “be holy yourselves also in all your behaviour…’You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:16) How does this come about?

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.’” (Mark 10:18) Even the Son of God did not think He was good. Yet we recognize that He is holy. What make him holy? It was because God was living in Him. As a human being born of the virgin Mary, he could not be holy. But as a divine being born of God, He was holy. He had the divine life within. With God as his Father, his life was divine, so his nature was holy. In expression, his holiness made Him not only sinless, but altogether righteous. That is why He is good. His righteousness was an expression of God the Father.

Realize it is similar for us today. In the flesh, we are sin personified. We are still leprous. However in the Spirit, based on God Himself, we are holy. We are God expressed if we live by our reborn Spirit. (John 3:5-6) That is why we are his many sons. (John 1:12) Our living should be altogether righteous.

This is the difference between the first covenant based on the law, and the second covenant based on Christ. The first covenant tells us what we should not do because we are headed up by the flesh, the second covenant tells us what we should do because we are headed up by Christ (Eph. 1:9-10). The first covenant tells us how to clean our cups from the outside, the second covenant tells us to express God’s holiness from the inside. (Heb. 8:8-12) This is transformational.

Transformation is not a change in behavior, it is a metamorphosis. Just like a caterpillar, in the flesh we crawl around on the ground. When we were reborn, God made us into a beautiful butterfly that can take to the air and fly into the open field. “He shall then sprinkle seven times the one who is to be cleansed from the leprosy and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the live bird go free over the open field.” (Lev. 14:7). No matter how beautiful a caterpillar makes himself, he will never be a butterfly and be able to fly. No matter how righteous we are in our flesh, we will never be holy and be truly good. Holiness is of God and not of us. Holiness is of the divine life in the Spirit and not the human life in the flesh. That is why we are to present ourselves as living sacrifices. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” (Rom. 12:1) A living sacrifice is one who is dead in the flesh, but alive in the Spirit. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:10) Only the Christ in us makes us holy and acceptable to God.

If we think that in the flesh, based on what we have accomplished or grown into, we could somehow be holy, realize that is blasphemous. We have rejected the Spirit. We have rejected God. The only sin that is unforgivable is rejection of the Spirit. “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemies against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” (Mark 13:28-29; see Luke 12:10) When we teach each other how to be better in the flesh without the Spirit, realize we have rejected God. “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” (Gal. 2:21) If we think we could become holy by our improvements over time, we would be “blasphemous” in our thinking. We would have said that our flesh could work towards holiness, that leprosy could become holy without God. That is what religion teaches us. Realize this is “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” (Rev. 17:5) We must not venerate each other according to the flesh. Babylon the great is in the form of a woman, but not His Bride. She says the flesh can become holy by effort. When we teach each other how to be righteous in our flesh without the Spirit, it seems good, but it is not the Bride. It is another woman. It is teaching caterpillars how to fly. It is not holy and acceptable to God because it stems from our own knowledge of good and evil. Its roots are in our rebellious nature that says all things can be headed up in our flesh. We fail to realize that Christ lives in us. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith, examine yourselves. Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Cor. 13:5) When we rely on our flesh, we are not even of the faith. “Whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23)

Christ in us makes us holy. That is why Paul opens his letter, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. To the saints (holy ones) who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 1:1) When we are in the faith, we realize that Christ Jesus is in us. That is why we are saints. Only Christ in us makes us holy. Does living a sinless life make us holy? Realize we are still not holy. Only Christ living in us and expressed out of us makes us “holy and acceptable to God” (Rom. 12:1).

The book of Leviticus was written recording God’s commandments in ordinances to the children of Israel. They were supposed to all be priests to the Gentiles (Num. 3:12). Realize it is written to us, foreshadowing what we, as Christians who are the priests to God today forming his “royal priesthood,” (1 Pet. 2:9) are to do. This book teaches us how priests should conduct themselves when we let God express out of us. It draws a clean line between our dependence on our own life with dependence on God’s life. It shows us a distinct separation between the dependence on our flesh and the dependence on the Spirit living inside of us, in being holy and acceptable to God. When we live by the strength of our flesh, it is unclean. That is why there are dietary restrictions in Leviticus 11 (For their significance, see “Life Study of Leviticus”). But “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” (Mat. 15:11) The expression of the flesh defiles us. Leviticus tells us when a mother gives birth to flesh, she is unclean (Lev. 12) and that males have to be circumcised to cut off their flesh (Lev. 12:3). “But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter.” (Rom. 2:29) It tells us that in our flesh we are leprous, infected by sin so we express sins in our flesh. (Lev. 13) We need to be freed by the Spirit, flying off into the open field, and to cut off all the expressions of the flesh, shaving our entire being. (Lev. 14) It tells us all expressions of our flesh, any discharge out of our being, is unclean. (Lev. 15) It tells us not to eat blood, “For the life of the flesh is in its blood.” (Lev. 17:14) so we are not to internalize and gain strength from any life of the flesh other than the divine life that is of God when we serve as his priests. It tells us “None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness, I am the Lord.” (Lev. 18:6) because our wife is “flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23) and any progeny is related to me in flesh. As Christians, we are not to deal with each other in the flesh but in the Spirit. Our dealings with each other should always be in the Spirit and not in our flesh because we all have the same Father. Only in the Spirit, apart from our flesh, can we be one to form his Bride. So in the very next paragraph, the Lord reminds us he is holy. “You shall be holy, for I the lord your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2) To be holy we cannot express the flesh. So from Leviticus 19:9-27, God tells us what not to do. “You shall not…” because in our flesh, we do all these things. When we function by our own knowledge of what is good and evil, we are in our flesh and not in our spirit with His Spirit, where the Spirit has made a home in our hearts (John 14:23). “If anyone loves me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23) Love Him so we are one with God. It is the only way to be holy. That is why, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) No one can be holy without Christ living in him. “No one is good except God alone.” (Mark 10:18)

Holiness is a noun. It is not a process. There is no such thing as holification. It is God’s distinctness. That is why no matter how righteous we are in our flesh, we are not holy. We are far short of holiness because it is distinctly different. The way God makes us holy is to sanctify us. Sanctification is a process. It is a word that means to set apart to God. God Himself is separating us out from the world so we could be one with Him through Christ. Under the first covenant, men in their flesh tried to set themselves apart. They had so many statutes and ordinances to keep. It never worked because they tried to do them in their flesh, by their own efforts. They just could not be holy because the source of sin in their flesh was not dealt with. So God gave us a second covenant. He came himself. He brought his holiness into men, to reside within men, so that not only is the source of sin in their flesh dealt with, the divine life enlivens men so they could be holy. “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:10) Men could be filled with a distinctness that is not of the flesh, not of this world “…That you may be filled to all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:19) He could be holy, set apart to God in righteousness because the Spirit in him is holy. That is why, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honour.” (1 Thes. 4:3) This is such a strange phrase, “For the will of God, your sanctification” because is could be read as ‘for the will of God is to sanctify us’ or ‘for the will of God is your sanctification’. Realize when we allow the Spirit to live freely within us, we have let the will of God take over our will. We have submitted our will in our flesh to the will of the Spirit. This is our sanctification. We simply submit the desires of our flesh to the will of God who resides within us. Through the working of the Spirit, we know how to control our own flesh in holiness and honour. (1 Thes. 4:3) That is why we are his workmanship. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)

The control of our own flesh in holiness and honour is all dependent on the Spirit residing in us. “Do not quench the Spirit,” (1 The. 5:19) “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Phi. 2:13) Let the Spirit flow freely in you, to will and to work for his good pleasure. Remain in the Holy of Holies within your spirit where He is and never go out anymore (Rev. 3:12). Realize it is God Himself who is sanctifying you completely today. It is not by our own efforts in the flesh. Even when the children of Israel were told to keep the statutes, it was God who sets them apart sanctifying them. “Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” (Lev. 20:8) “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 The. 5:23) He is setting us apart, our whole spirit, soul, and body, every part of who we are, to be with Him in holiness. This is how He keeps us blameless until Christ returns.

 

God is holy … Christ in us makes us holy.