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#369 Kingdom: Struggles in Overcoming

Rom 7:15 For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

Rom 7:19 For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

Of Course we know Paul was referring to the Outward Law of Israel but this “law of the flesh” still continues to work in ALL who try to serve God by human effort. The “law of human effort” appears to be the only law that is available to the natural man and the outer man after the flesh. This “law of human effort” doesn’t just work in the unsaved but is the motivating force in ALL natural men. Everything we do as natural men can only be accomplished by brute force and human effort. Therefore, the natural man will always gravitate toward human effort.

This results in an inner conflict in the “natural life Christian.” As a Christian we really want to do “the right thing.” We want to love God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul. We want to serve others and fulfill the demands of the Kingdom. We recognize spiritual truth and sincerely determine to change the way we live. We recognize the truth of prayer and Bible study and living a holy life.

There seems to be two “wills” within us. One making spiritual plans and another agreeing with the spiritual plans but delaying that for a short time while we seek out an intermediate demand that needs attention right now.

Luke 9:59 And He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Permit me first to go and bury my father." 60 But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God."

Yes! I will do that and change my life! However, there are more immediate pressing needs that I must do first. These are two “wills” in the same person.

One of the major problems we face as Outer Court Christians is the “offering of sacrifice” instead of, or in place of, doing the immediate will of God.

Now we come to the “Law of the New Man.” This law BEGINS with John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

“The law of the natural man” begins with “Yes I failed before but now I have the key and I see what happened and now I will try harder and this time I will not fail.” “Now I see there are 12 steps to success and before I only had seven of the steps. I will add these five steps and then I will overcome.”

Many of us have struggled for years in our own human effort to “overcome” what many refer to as the World, the Flesh and the devil. My theory is that all the human effort of our friend, the flesh, will never overcome our enemy, the flesh, because they are both of the same realm and cooperate with each other to carry on a conflict with the Spirit. These two manifestations of the flesh are friends in the same cause. That is to exalt self and to make “self” the center of everything. God will deliver us from our enemies but not from our friends. We may recognize that the World and the devil are external and the Flesh is internal. It should be obvious that the “internal battle” will precede the external battle. If we cannot overcome the flesh that is internal how can we ever overcome the World or the devil which are external?

The Outer Court preparation is to deal with all the garbage that is in us or we say”to conquer the enemies of God” who are right in the Temple of God doing their abominations.

The enemy can attack and confuse those areas of our life in which the fallen human nature has not yet been removed. He seems to have open access to the areas controlled by the self life and manipulated by the ego of the natural man. The big “I” is our unprotected area because it is still the “dirt” in which the old serpent crawls. Selfishness and self assertiveness IS the devil’s opportunity to gain access to us. These “weapons” of flesh are NOT the tools that we can use to overcome the fleshly areas of our concern that are still unlike Christ.

The Seven Nations of Canaan AND the Thirty One kings over those seven nations are types of the governmental realms and the fallen kings in our old inner man. Every one of these “kings” must be utterly destroyed because; for the functioning Christian there can only be ONE KINGDOM AND ONE KING within us. Slaying all these “31 kings” is NOT a job for the natural man. Permanently dealing with these seven areas that are “nation strongholds” requires more that human will.

My Opinion is that all “overcoming” must be out of His Life in us and NOT from our natural life and human effort. The natural life and human effort is the cause of our failure to overcome. The Overcoming Life, then, is from the realm above this one. Jesus said His Kingdom was NOT of THIS realm. His Kingdom is from the realm above this visible and natural realm. It seems obvious that if we are to be “overcomers” and sit with Him in His Throne that we must draw LIFE from that next realm above the natural realms of human effort.

God has chosen us to be His Holy of Holies. His dwelling place on earth. His personal Sanctuary! His place of Sabbath rest. The place IN WHICH He speaks and then THROUGH WHICH He speaks. When He Speaks “Within His Sanctuary” His words are Spirit and Life. If we speak these same words, our words will contain Spirit and Life!

We have related the three veils in the Tabernacle to Jesus the Way, Jesus the Truth and the third Veil as Jesus the Life. After we enter into the Outer Court through Jesus the Way, He does nor cease to be “THE WAY.” He is always and continually the “WAY.” The “Way” is NOT behind us but with us, now becoming “our continual Way.”

Strong’s dictionary says this word means “the route” and is used to speak of the distance. In other words NOT JUST A GATE through which we pass but the “route” we take. We can take route 70 from one coast to the other but the “on ramp” is just entrance NOT the route.

Christ, “the Living and Abiding Word of God,” IS the WAY into God’s Highest Eternal Purpose and into God’s Predestined Plan for each one of us. Without Him we are just struggling into greater failure.

When we actually become “God’s Holy of Holies, His Most Holy Place”, He will speak from between the Cherubim, first to us and within our New Inner Man. The “ears” of the inner man, when developed, will be tuned to hear what the Father is speaking. The “eyes” of the new inner man, when developed, will be trained to see what the Father is doing. If we always have to receive a “second hand word” through someone who does hear from God, THAT IS NOT the normal Christian Life! God’s provision and His purpose is for each of us to hear directly from God. “My sheep Hear My Voice!”

We often will need a drink of fresh water that someone can provide “from the well in Jerusalem” but we must soon begin to drink directly from the River of the Water of Life. Life, Light and Truth are of the same realm. As we continuously surrender to these things, they are continually being adjusted to the level of our Zoe, Life! We could say that the level of Light / Revelation that we are able to receive is adjusted to the level of His Life that has become effective in us. The more of “His Life” we have, the more Truth and Revelation we are capable of receiving and assimilating. Until His Life increases in us we are limited to the “Realms of Spiritual Vision.” In other words, we may “see” things, intuitively, that are still beyond our experience. These may still be the manifestation of His Life but just in the realm of vision rather than the realm of actual experience. For example; Many saints believe in the “rapture of the saints” when true believers will be caught up into the Presence of God. This is seen only as a future event. We hold to a doctrine of the “future event.” The real question is if it is possible to be “caught up into the Presence of God” now. This is when our new inner man is EXPERIENCING the immediate Presence of God in a Vine-branch union. Those who hold to the “doctrine of future rapture” may never experience the “current rapture.”

There are many realms and layers of His Word in us. We can “read His Word” or “hear His word” or “understand His Word” or receive “revelation of His Word.” We may even perceive the Life in His word. Even simple scriptures will express a much deeper truth as our spiritual Life increases. All this is still less than the Living and Abiding Word of God coming to HIS fulness within us. I am guessing that this fuller dimension of His Living Word is normal for the ministry of the Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.

Adam became the dwelling place for the “breath of God” but we must become the dwelling place of God Himself. That is still just the beginning. HE must still BECOME OUR LIFE. All this begins when we are “born again” by the Living and Abiding Word of God. Still, being “birthed” is not growing to the fulness of His infinite being and manifesting His attributes.

“Growing up in ALL things into Christ” doesn’t leave areas in which “the status quo or no further growth” is permissible or acceptable. IF “overcoming” is required, as essential within the Christian Life, then the lack of growth in the inner man translates as a lack of overcoming in the outward life. In other words we cannot expect a baby Christian to overcome all these hostile enemies, both within AND without!

The “new Christian” ,who still has too much of the “old life” continually dominating his thoughts and actions, will need cleansed from these fallen characteristics before he is on “overcoming ground.”

Rev 21:7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

Sonship is firmly related to those who overcome. God has not specifically made future promises to those who don’t overcome. We try to find a place for them {by grace or sympathy} in our doctrines but this is not specifically implied by the scriptures.

Rev 3:5 'He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.

Does this at least imply that those who DON”T overcome will be in danger of having their names erased from the Book of Life?

Rev 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

This appears to be serious enough a matter that it could be preached on Sunday morning to all the lukewarm believers who are trusting in the grace and mercy of God to save them even in their fallen state!

Rev 2:7 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.'

Even if we just suggest that “overcoming” is the minimum requirement for the

committed Christian, we are rebuked because of our lack of faith in the “unmerited grace of God.” The implication is that “God’s grace” will cover our lukewarmness and lack of overcoming because He loves us just the way we are. After all, it is thought, if we “believe” something about Jesus, we are automatically God’s children and He will in no way cast us out. This is a common doctrine but we are not specifically authorized to preach that doctrine within the authority of the scriptures. We don’t specifically preach that “IF you don’t overcome” your name CAN be erased out of the book of life because that IS offensive to the lukewarm believer. However, that seems to be true in the scriptures.

People are even offended if we preach this basic requirement because they think we are judging them. However, the unyielding Word judges everybody equally. Each of us falls under the judgement of the Word IF we don’t overcome.

Unless we clearly preach the superior provision of the New Covenant, most will see no reason to rise to a higher level of His Divine Life than the Old Testament saints. The Old Covenant was a covenant of the flesh while the New Covenant is a Covenant of the Spirit. The Covenant of the Flesh could not bring anyone to perfection. Therefore, God made a New Covenant that CAN bring the saints to perfection.

Rom 8:2 For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set me free from the law of sin and of death.3 For the Law being powerless, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the righteous demand of the Law might be fulfilled in us, those not walking according to flesh, but according to Spirit.

Heb 7:18 For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Calvary signals the end of the Covenant of the flesh and therefore, the end of the dispensation of the flesh! Pentecost signals the beginning of the Covenant of the Spirit and the introduction to the dispensation of the Spirit. This IS the dispensation of the “more abundant Life” of God IN man. Even if “life” was available in the dispensation of the flesh in a very limited way, under the New Covenant of the Spirit, Life is available in “Abundance.” The “Church that He is building” was birthed AFTER the passing of the dispensation of flesh.

Christ first appeared “in the flesh” to bring to an end the dispensation of flesh. Christ arose as the “Life giving Spirit” and introduced the dispensation of the Spirit during the 40 days that He taught the disciples about the Kingdom of God. After His ascension Christ appeared IN HIS CHURCH as the “Spirit of Christ” Giving Life to our spirits.

Rom 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the “Spirit of Christ”, he does not belong to Him. 10 And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

After His ascension He also poured out the Holy Spirit upon all flesh to experientially do away with the dispensation of flesh and to provide the fulness of the Spirit as a guarantee of the Dispensation of the Spirit and the greater inheritance provided by the New Covenant but NOT by the letter but by the Spirit.

Under the New Covenant, Christ gives Life to whomever He wills. As God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ only did what He saw the Father doing. Within the provision of the New Covenant, the “many sons” are called to do the same works as Christ and even greater works. However, these are NOT man’s works but the “works of God.” How do men do these things? By doing exactly what they see the Father doing.

The popular doctrine says that if man actually did the “greater works” that would rob the glory from Christ. No! That Is Christ’s glory seen “in His Sons.” It was Christ’s works that glorified the Father. It is our fruitful works that also Glorifies the Father. However, IF man could do these works apart from Christ that would rob the glory from Christ but He said “without Me you can do nothing.” That settles the question of glory.

Ultimately our identity will be by His Life. John identified Christ by the “Life.”

John saw the Life and handled the Word of Life and saw the Eternal Life manifested.

1Jo 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life-- 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us--

If we remove the impartation of His Life to those who are born again, born of the

water AND born of the Spirit, we remove the “uncreated inner life of God” in the person and the provision that God has made for us to “overcome” and to inherit all things. However, if we insist upon saving the Old selfish life of Adam by protecting it rather than permitting it to be continuously crucified, we retain the very barrier to the New Life from being manifested. To assure the natural man that he is “saved” because of what he believes ignores the very power that will permit the spiritual man to overcome. If we say “the natural man” cannot be “saved” we have a conflict with what Paul said to the Corinthians. However, remaining a “saved natural man “ is NOT God’s plan and can NEVER fulfill God’s purpose. My theory is this; We will soon have to identify valid ministries by the Life Manifested rather than by their popularity. Some who produce a lot of hype, at the present time, have a much larger following than those who manifest Life. Why? Because the church hasn’t made the transition to the dispensation of the Spirit / Life / Truth / Light and the inner realms of Revelation. They are still following the excitement of the flesh and are still in bondage to the children of the flesh. Some even persecute the children of the Spirit.

Gal 4:28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.

It is said that one area of “overcoming” is overcoming the flesh. It is generally believed that this “flesh” is in us. Of course that may be true but the battles with the flesh are not ONLY internal but also external! This is obvious among “believers” who walk after the flesh instead of after the Spirit.

Soon we will recognize that the New Covenant ministers will not only minister the Word but along with it the Life and the Spirit. Words that are Life and Spirit must originate in the realms far above that of flesh. “Those who minister flesh” will continue to be popular and many will follow after them but those who have “His Life” will seek those who have “His Life.” They recognize the words that are Spirit and Life and eat from these words.

The point I am trying to make it this; The New Inner Man who is living by His Resurrection Life will soon discover that there is a continual death working in us so that Life can work in others. The “increase of His Life” in us requires and inward death to all that is of the old life because that which is of the flesh cannot inherit along with those born of the Spirit. Those who have retained the old life will NOT be able to cause His Life to work in others.

2Cor 4:10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.

Therefore, if we are going to participate in the next restoration it is essential that this “death” begin to work in us because the next restoration will be the “ministry of Spirit / Life.”

Therefore, “overcoming” everything that is of Adam, including his life and fallen

characteristics, is the very minimum requirement if we are going to participate in the Holy Place Life and Ministry. This will NEVER happen by human effort but ONLY by an EXCHANGE of life. That is our old lower life exchanged for His Uncreated eternal and Higher Life, Zoe.

More and more it is obvious that our old “self-life” that is inherent within the natural man is the greatest obstacle to the development of the “new inner man.” We discover that the old life is weakened in times of God’s manifested Presence. The natural life is strengthened in times of physical struggle and natural conflicts. The “inner Life” rises and falls like the ocean tides. Both lives seem to be contending for the preeminence.

After some spiritual victory we enter a time of self-satisfaction and self-congratulation and soon “self” has gained the dominion and our inner like sinks into obscurity. Finding the inner life again so we can retire into it, to find rest, is difficult and takes precious time from our growth. Returning again to the earthly realm can be nearly instantaneous when “self” rises up to power.

In times of His manifest Presence we easily fall under the humiliation of inner faults and defects. Like Isaiah in chapter 6, when we experience the Lord we see our bankrupt condition. If we don’t understand this blessing we may try to immediately escape from the condemnation. If we have understanding we will recognize that this time of the revelation of our defects is the exact time we need to surrender these thing to the Lord in total consecration of the inner man. The natural man will seek to escape because he is terrified of the Presence of the Lord.

A weak inner man will not have the power to resist the flesh and stay in full surrender to The Lord and His shining Light. Then “overcoming” must be postponed until another time. “I “will” overcome but not right now!