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7 Foundations – (3.1) Removing the Old Garments

Introduction to the 3rd Foundation

The Kingdom Seekers

The Current Situation with Fellowship

Removing the old manner of life and lifestyle in all its dimensions

Radically altering our old source of life

Living in the Eternal Realm, NOW!

Leo Fenton (2013-2018)

In keeping with the overall design of the material in this study, we will share on the third Foundation / preparation for the Priesthood which is the removing of the Old Garments.

This indicates the laying aside and bringing to a final conclusion EVERYTHING from our former Adam life.

This includes what we inherited from the first Adam’s life and his genealogy and from the deterioration of mankind to unacceptable levels of corruption in Romans 1. Why?

Because, the Christian / Kingdom Life is completely NEW and begins with a new creation and a new species of man who must function under a whole New Covenant.

Every person of the “called out ones” MUST be of this new species called “Christian.”

This new species, the new inner man, is of the same Species as the Lord Jesus Christ.

To be “in Christ” requires that we escape completely “out of Adam.” Why?

It is because no MIXTURE can be accepted in the Eternal Realms of Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek.

Clothed with Adam and his life equals being clothed with darkness.

Those who have been properly baptized were baptized into Christ and into His Death and Burial, His Resurrection and His Ascension. A real life change!

“Into Christ” means that we have PUT ON CHRIST as a garment.

For that reason we must FIRST take off Adam and lay him aside as an old garment.

Adam, in his fallen state, is STILL dead and naked.

“But didn’t God “clothe him?”

Yes, but with skins from the earth realm.

Since our old man was crucified with Christ it is essential that we get him buried immediately, before sundown!

The “old garments” represents the Old Covenant, the old friends, the old fellowship, the old habits and everything that will hinder us from running the whole race to the end.

Putting off the OLD is necessary BEFORE we can put on the NEW!

Trying to mix the old garments with the new garments is a fatal mistake!

Ephesians 4:22-32

22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,

23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

24 and put on the new self, which in the Likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of you, WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.

28 Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.

29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

In this exhortation Paul covers both the removing of the old garments and the putting on of the New Garments.

Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Laying aside every encumbrance that will hinder us from running the race is essential if we expect to finish our course!

This means “putting off” everything connected to our old manner of life or our former ‘life-style” that will hinder us from completing our task and fulfilling His purpose for saving us.

These “old garments” MUST be removed BEFORE we are ready to put on the New Garments of the Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek.

Putting on a combination of old and new garments will prevent us from “going on to perfection.”

In the Tabernacle of Moses, to enter the Holy Place with the old garments (not priestly garments) would be a death sentence!

While this subject is too large to cover in the introduction I will add a subject that has been causing some controversy recently.

There seems to be a variety of Kingdom seekers who have been excluded from fellowship or have carefully chosen another kind of fellowship in which to participate.

I receive e-mail from other places and other countries that suggests that there is NO suitable fellowship in their area.

The criticism they hear is that we must NOT cease to have fellowship.

Therefore, we want to investigate the context in which this exhortation is given.

Hebrews 10:19-27

19 Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the Holy Place by the Blood of Jesus,

20 by a New and Living Way which He inaugurated for us through the Veil, that is, His flesh,

21 and since we have a great Priest over the House of God,

22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised is Faithful;

24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

27 but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership (a sharing, communion, fellowship) have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

17 "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; and I will welcome you.

18 And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord Almighty.

In the first instance we are encouraged to continually gather together in fellowship.

In the second instance we are warned to be careful about the kind and level of fellowship we engage in.

Paul defines our primary realm of fellowship.

This is NOT about some believers being better than others or just these believers that are seeking a higher / Kingdom Life.

Some believers today are exhausting themselves just searching for a “normal spiritual fellowship.”

1 Cor 1:9 God is Faithful, through Whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

G2842 κοινωνία koinōnia Thayer Definition:

1) fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse

1a) the share which one has in anything, participation

1b) intercourse, fellowship, intimacy

1b1) the right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship (in fulfilling the apostolic office)

1c) a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship

It appears that all Christian fellowship is designed to BEGIN in our fellowship (participation in, a sharing, a communion) with His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Our primary fellowship is vertical and from that realm we may have fellowship horizontally with others who are fellowshipping vertically.

Now, when we add the Kingdom realm or the priesthood realm of fellowship the whole picture of “fellowship” changes again.

These “exclusions” that Paul listed become necessary. Why?

It is because that carnality destroys Bible fellowship!

For us to fellowship in the Kingdom / Priesthood Realm it is essential that our fellowship reach at least as far as the Holy Place. Why?

Because that is the context of Hebrews 10 that we are addressing.

Hebrews 10:19-22

19 Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the Holy Place by the Blood of Jesus,

20 by a New and Living Way which He inaugurated for us through the Veil, that is, His flesh,

21 and since we have a Great Priest over the House of God,

22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

It seems clear to me that the fellowship being spoken of in this Scripture is to be centered in the Holy Place dimension.

Not forsaking our own assembling together, is related to the Holy Place dimension.

This dimension of fellowship is with those who are living in a full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

In other words our fellowship is with those who have passed beyond the basic Foundations and have approached the area assigned to the Priesthood of our Great High Priest.

This IS THE REALM of the pure Gold Lampstand Church and the Seven Spirits of God.

Since the Lampstand Church is hammered out of one piece of Gold, the “fellowship” spoken of is quite different from that experienced in the visible church.

It seems obvious that this fellowship is more in the vertical dimension than in the horizontal plane.

In other words this “fellowship” is NOT about carry in dinners and days at the beach.

This is also confirmed by John.

1 John 1:3-7

3 What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

4 And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the Truth;

7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

John explains the level of fellowship that we should all seek.

John explains to those who want to have fellowship with him and that group to be aware that there is a quality and standard connected to this level of (koinōnia) fellowship.

To start with, he explains, their primary fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ!

Then he explains the problem to those who are seeking this realm of fellowship.

This is the principle of fellowship in that realm; that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie. However, if we all walk in the light AS HE is in the Light, THEN, we can have fellowship with one another.

While this seems rather exclusive and maybe a little arrogant, John is setting limitations upon “their realm of fellowship” and he seems to explain it rather well.

Fellowship BEGINS in the higher realms of the Father’s Light.

Nothing of darkness can possibly fellowship in that dimension.

Therefore, if you tell us that you also have fellowship with the Father but it is obvious that there is still much darkness surrounding you, this level of fellowship will not be possible.

Now, either this is one of the most arrogant things he could possibly say OR he has a much higher revelation of fellowship than is normal in the primary stages of our preparation.

It may be possible to interpret (fellowship) in different dimensions that is acceptable in various stages of our preparation.

The fellowship that is acceptable in the Outer Court is no longer acceptable in the Holy Place.

We do seem to enjoy “fellowship” with those who are in the same stages of growth within our preparation even though we may not have our primary fellowship in the highest realms.

It should be clear that no one is attempting to place himself higher than any other but when it comes to fellowship there should be some distinction made that incorporates the Kingdom seeker who is laying aside the old garments and the old man.

The Kingdom seeker is intent upon getting ALL the seven (7) Foundations in his life and growing beyond, at least, the first levels of maturity.

Hopefully, it will be acknowledged by those who are concerned, that the Kingdom Seeker is entitled to a higher level of fellowship than is customary with the casual, lukewarm believer.

AFTER we break with the concept of “fellowshipping” with the back of someone’s head, we should be able to comprehend that this “seating level of fellowship” has very little to do with fellowshipping with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ!

It is clear that even “the basic new believer” MUST break with the fallen fellowship with the society of the unbelievers, the heathen and the pagan people of the world system.

It is true that the heathen may get offended but this separation is essential or the “new believer” will soon be a casual, lukewarm believer.

The same thing is true of the Kingdom seeker.

If he continues to fellowship at the lowest level of the casual believer, he will soon discover he is falling behind the normal growth patterns seen in Scripture.

The complaint I hear is that the only fellowship they can find in their area is of the very lowest level.

Rather than be forced to fellowship with those who are not yet living in the Christian dimension, they just stop fellowshipping.

It is this testimony that is being attacked in many places and that is why I am including this deficiency of proper fellowship in this article dealing with the removing of the old garments.

Ceasing to fellowship with the “corrupted human level of persons” is understandable and one of the exclusions Paul lists.

The controversy seems to revolve around the necessity of fellowshipping with the “carnal, natural, fleshly human level of persons.”

However, fellowshipping with the “natural human level of persons” could be acceptable IF there is an opportunity for these souls to develop, grow and mature into Kingdom seekers.

Being integrally involved in these higher realms of preparation, for a higher level of fellowship, is called “Christian ministry” and is focused upon the perfecting of the saints.

The failure of providing “this level of fellowship” is the result of the lack of understanding among some of the “leaders.”

They seem to fail to recognize their call to the “ministry” of maturing the saints so the saints are equipped to do the work of ministry.

When it is obvious that the “ministry” is totally incapable of developing the saints, any expectation of finding mature saints for a higher fellowship destroys our hope and confidence in the “current ministry.”

It is in these situations that the true Kingdom seeker just gives up and stays home even if they don’t fully understand why.

It seems to me, as I travel and answer my e-mails, that this group of “dropouts” must be in the thousands or even millions worldwide by now.

The solution for the “ministries” that are seeing a BIG turn over on Sunday morning is to change the focus from just “winning souls” and warehousing babies to the perfecting of the saints.

They may have a smaller group who are interested in a total change but at least the “ministry” might not totally waste their life in fruitless activity and produce NOTHING eternal.

It is certainly true that we must “win souls” before they can be matured.

That is NOT the problem!

The real problem is that the souls, who have been “won,” are NOT growing.

The job description for the ministries is NOT winning souls but the “perfecting of the saints.”

Winning souls to inhabit the big nursery in the sky, designed for baby Christians, is quickly losing its relevancy and its following.

More and more believers are seeking something real and eternal.

What they are finding in the visible church is a lot of hype, irrelevant “messages” and exciting music, along with carry in dinners that produce NO GROWTH so their frustration is multiplied by attending that level of “pseudo-fellowship.”

Laying aside these old garments that rejoiced in the fellowship at the first Adam level will probably be very controversial and be met with much criticism.

It would be wonderful if EVERYBODY had eyes to see the real problem but this is beginning to look unlikely. Why?

Most “pastors” have settled into their own vision and agenda and want to continue with the old routine and be at peace until their final retirement from “service” and then someone else can fight for this desired change.

Luke 6:26 “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to treat the false prophets.”

When all men accept you, it simply means that they agree with everything you stand for.

It means there is no controversy between your life and their life.

Your vision is the same as their vision.

They feel a unity of purpose with you so they speak well of you.

Jesus said this was a dangerous situation and was to be avoided. Why?

It identifies you with the false prophets because the people were quick to agree with them.

All persons of this dimension can fellowship together without controversy.

The Kingdom level of “fellowship” is of a higher order!

The danger of this “concept of the Kingdom” may produce a smug satisfaction that we are of a higher calling so we become intolerant of others.

We might become unmerciful and exclusive and avoid the casual believer.

Anyone who has developed the “strength of certainty” concerning the Kingdom MUST be very careful to include everyone who is intent upon this radical change.

However, the Second Veil becomes the guardian of the Holy Place and is designed to reduce us down to a total helplessness and hopelessness by the revelation of ultimate Truth.

This “TRUTH” is not about who we THINK we are but about what He KNOWS we are.

This Veil reveals our bankruptcy and our total lack of possessing any good quality or of possessing a natural life that can manifest anything of eternal value!

“But isn’t that just confessing negative thoughts?”

Yes! That is the Charismatic concept but this Second Veil, which wasn’t torn when Jesus was crucified, is about reality and our final preparation for the Lampstand / Priesthood Ministry.

Most all arrogance and pride MUST be laid aside BEFORE we enter this Holy Place Realm of His Life and Ultimate Truth. Why?

None of these negative (devilish, Adamic) qualities can possibly be in the Body of our Great High Priest.

It appears that the main deficiency is in our conception of Truth and our tendency to consider it complete.

The “trauma of the Second Veil” (the Veil of Truth) reveals our severe limitations.

“But why shouldn’t we just be satisfied with what we know and have experienced?”

The obvious reason is because the “Truth” we know and accept is still not the “Absolute and Ultimate Truth.”

For example; each of us defines sin by our own concepts and standards.

But what if God defined “sin” as living outside the Kingdom Realms?

Let us take a simple example;

Matthew 5:21-22

21 "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.'

22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”

Matthew 5:27-28

27 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY';

28 but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

The Kingdom cannot be defined by a moral code or by establishing a new set of laws of behavior to follow!

Jesus is describing how we will be able to live WHEN the Kingdom becomes our LIFE.

The common response to this “Sermon on the Mount” is that this is just an impossible idealism.

However, let us then experiment by doing everything OPPOSITE of what Jesus spoke in Matthew 5 - 6 & 7.

That would render all arguments against the Kingdom null and void. Why?

Because the results will reveal the just verdict and the judgement is instant.

Test this Kingdom manifesto by trial and error and observe how that works out for you!

We will soon discover that every time we live opposite the Kingdom we defeat ourselves.

When we sin against the Kingdom we sin against ourselves. Why?

We were designed for the Kingdom and its Government.

The conclusion is this:

Each Foundation is experiential and essential to “make ourselves ready” for the Kingdom dimension of function.

The Kingdom dimension of function is within the Holy Place and as a Kingdom Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek.

When seen from the Kingdom viewpoint, it is really stupid if we stop short of this realm of Resurrection Life!

When seen from the visible church viewpoint; “God loves us like we are!”

Their proof is John 3:16.