Our Culture May Overlay Our Understanding of the Kingdom
Our Thought Patterns Can Modify Kingdom
Separating Kingdom Truth From Religious Fantasy
February 16, 2015
How much does the mental Capacity of the Outer Man affect the Truth one hears? How much of our culture and background affect our understanding of truth? How much does our religious training affect our acceptance of New Truth?
The challenge of recognizing our cultural overlays is very demanding. These overlays affect
most areas of our understanding of situations and even of our viewpoint of life. For example; the way we view politics may be established years before we are aware of the political situation. Our current President is a prime example! His culture overlays his decisions and his training from his youth determines his actions today. He was raised as a Muslim and that “stored information” is still evident. Eric Holder, the Attorney General, coming from a black culture, has a similar problem of adopting a neutral attitude! Both of their attitudes about the police, the law and the Constitution have been modified by their past history. Each of us, also, are affected by our history but we may not be controlled by our culture. We may have established a moral and rational viewpoint of what is normal and right from the events and the environment in which we were raised.
The automatic acceptance of a block of previously stored information can be added or subtracted from whatever current Truth is presented. This stored data is particularly dangerous when it is substituted for scriptural Truth assigned to the Kingdom. Why? That causes us to arrive at a modified interpretation of the Kingdom and alters our understanding of eternal things. We may either add to or limit the Truth we hear because of our human overlays. This is common in secular people and often seen within the visible church. Why? That is because each denomination has set its doctrines and patterns of acceptance as absolutes. Therefore, our cultural overlay and religious training affects our comprehension of Truth. I expect that if we could pull back the multiple layers of failed humanity from our past we would be amazed at how those layers have altered the Truth we hear. Even if the Truth we hear is pure, what we understand of that truth can be quite different from what other people hear and understand.
When we add the radical difference between Eternal Truth and temporal truth or when we focus upon the Wisdom from Above and compare it to the wisdom from below, the problem of faulty comprehension is magnified. Why? The Temporal truth appears more acceptable and much easier to understand.`
Since this confusion involving ultimate Truth affects nearly every Christian denomination, what is the solution?
Matthew 13:14 "And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, 'YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; 15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES LEST THEY SHOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I SHOULD HEAL THEM.' 16 "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
First we should understand why Jesus selected ignorant and unlearned fishermen to teach the ways of God and to start His Church. A tremendous change was about to take place immediately. God was going to cancel the Old Covenant and activate a totally New Covenant. Surely Jesus should have selected the most intelligent and responsive individual that were available. There were certainly outstanding intellects among the religious leaders that already knew the scriptures. The big problem was that they had eyes to see but could not see, they had ears to hear but they could not hear. Of course these people were not blind, stupid or deaf. The unwelcome Truth was that the era that was about to break upon mankind would require a totally new kind of person to participate.
In our recent studies on the Christian Life we focused upon the New Covenant requiring the New Creation person to begin to function before we can meet its requirements!
Col 3:10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him 11 --a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
All the former distinctions were going to be invalidated and a completely “new self” was going to emerge in which the CHRIST within would master the outer person.
Ephesians 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 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.
The fact they we are pressing is this; Until there is a completely NEW SELF functioning and the OLD SELF is inactivated, this introduction of a totally New Covenant would be so restricted that it would be ineffective. If anyone is familiar with church history they will understand this is exactly what has happened. Religion does not need to deal with the old self because he is acceptable to the religious systems.
Therefore, Jesus never considered that ignorant and unlearned fishermen would be any detriment to the Christian Ministry. Why? That is because the New Covenant does not depend upon the education of the fishermen or even consider it to be of any importance. Why? God never intended to use the outer man, that is the ignorant and unlearned fisherman, in the ministry of the New Covenant. The limited preparation and the lack of the “intellectual adequacy of ignorant and unlearned fishermen” is not even relevant to New Covenant ministry because ;
2Cor 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
This Christian Experience demands the birth of an entirely new inner man! This new Christian Person is created as an exclusive and different species from the first Adam. The first species of mankind, which was born from the first Adam , had inherited all his fallen traits. This New Species of Man has been BORN OF GOD and is created in God’s image and likeness! He has, therefore, potentially inherited GOD’S perfect characteristics. As this new inner man grows to maturity he should be able to manifest these Perfect and divine Characteristics. But, brother, is that really possible? Yes! And it is also expected and demanded.
Eph 4:10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
The problems arise when we try to perfect the Old Outer Man who is in the genealogy of first Adam. Adam can never be more than Adam and Adam can never be perfected. Each time we mention “going on the perfection” we are confronted with this reality by a variety of voices insisting that the OLD MAN can never be perfected. Of course that is true because he is already sentenced to death and burial because God has NOT called him to anything except extinction. The first Adam and his genealogy are all from the dirt dimension and he must return to the dirt. ONLY the New Inner Man can be “saved” or become Christian. ONLY that which is born of God, by the semen of God, can be Christian. This simple fact could revolutionize the visible church if it were accepted as an absolute.
It is for that reason that all our efforts and expectations are directed toward the Growth of the New Inner Man until he arrives at the measure and stature and fulness of Christ. It should be obvious that the outer man, the old man, has many fallen traits that can be traced back to first Adam and to his progeny. This “old man” can never become Christian regardless of his culture, traditions, religious training, college education or his church attendance. All the effort to convert the old man into the Christian Life has always been and will always be fruitless. Having the old natural man say certain words and call that conversion is silly.
Our thesis in these last dozen of studies has ONLY focused upon the New Man GROWING to perfection. When the response is that no one is perfect, I certainly agree when the subject is the outer man.
Mat 5:48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
PER'FECT, to complete; to do or make through, to carry to the end. Finished; complete; consummate; not defective; having all that is requisite to its nature and kind; as a perfect statue; a perfect likeness; a perfect work; a perfect system.
1John 4:12-------God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
To quantify my thesis; I insist that our cultural overlay, our traditions, our patterns of life, our limitations, our blocks of stored information and our religious systems are ALL related to our outward man. When we accept this Adam man into the visible church system, it should be obvious, that all kinds of disruptions will occur. Why? That is simply because he will bring all his fallen characteristics into the church. If we place the natural man into the pulpit or elect him to the board of directors, his natural tendencies will corrupt the ministry. The evidence of a natural leader, which should be obvious in the visible church, is that the believers have no chance to advance into the Kingdom dimensions of God Government. Therefore, “growing to perfection” is just a cliche.
If we can accept this fact, it will help us understand the problems that face the visible church today. Working with the outward man, the Adam man, the old man, the natural man, and attempting to make him Christian has been the source of so much frustration in past church history. This reality of the Ephesians “growth” requires that we lay aside the old man and PUT ON THE NEW MAN. Why? The old man CANNOT grow up in all things into Christ! This is an “absolute.”
Eph 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Preaching “messages” to the old man each Sunday and expecting him to change is ignorant, unreasonable and impossible. It is for THAT reason that we must insist upon the proper foundations being laid in each Christian’s life. Why? That is because it is these foundations that overcomes the old man and removes his natural tendencies to pervert the Christian Life by his life style, his opinions, arguments and programs.
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts.
How anybody could read these verses and still insist that baptism is optional or unnecessary because “Jesus paid it all” on Calvary is ridiculous. Still, the natural man in the pulpit will always come up with irrational doctrines. The fact is that the Old Man does not volunteer to go away on his own accord. He must be experientially dead and buried or he will ALWAYS interfere with the Christian Life until he is dead and buried. In every denomination that I have visited, where the foundations are ignored, there is strife, struggle and ignorance that reigns. Why? That is because the old man has never been dethroned. It is really sad when he is still in the pulpit.
In the same way that Israel remains in ignorance with a veil laying over their understanding, the visible church appears to have a veil over their understanding about the necessity of the foundations being experientially laid.
2Cor 3:14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains un-lifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
This is an example of the veil NOT being removed. Some use the excuse that EVERY person who was coming for the Feast of Pentecost had to be ritually bathed before entering into the feast as the reason for 3000 persons being baptized in Acts 2! This is really ignorant. Ritual bathing has nothing in common with baptism as we saw in Romans 6. Ritual bathing had been a law in Israel since Mount Sinai but the Ritual Bathing never affected the old self. Nothing from the Old Covenant caused death or burial and there was NO provision for a new self to be resurrected. Therefore, Baptism was NOT ritual bathing.
The only hope of anyone coming to Perfection is in the birth of this New Creation Inner Man. To be as clear as possible; There is NO HOPE of the natural man ever being perfected. The secret to our coming to perfection in the inner man is this; “God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” Perfection begins on the inside and it begins with the ONE WHO IS ALREADY PERFECT. If this is not an experiential fact then Mat 5:48 will not become a reality. "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
For the old Adam, the natural outer man, to expect to become perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect, is pure fantasy. Still, it is interesting to hear the preacher in the pulpit try to explain that verse. The old man is perfected by faith is one false concept but there are many others. When you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, God puts you into Jesus who is already perfect. We become “hidden in Jesus” so God doesn’t see our failures when he looks on us He only sees Jesus. Therefore, perfection is just a matter of faith in Jesus.
Without a New Inner Man who has been born of God, by the semen of God, all the doctrines about faith are worthless. Why? They are just “doctrines” without experience or reality.
1Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed (Spora– Sperma– Spanish–Semen) which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. 24 For, "ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, 25 BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ABIDES FOREVER." And this is the word which was preached to you.
The Outer Man is born of “natural semen” which is perishable. The New Inner Man is born of “divine semen” that is imperishable, that is BY the LIVING and ABIDING Word of God.
Psalms 107:19 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. 20 He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.
Using the religious term “to be born again” without receiving His Living and Abiding Word, His Semen, His Imperishable Seed, is just more rhetoric without reality. If that Word is not Living AND Abiding (dwells within) it is Not the real thing that results in becoming Christian. Insisting that we are “born again” by agreeing to certain doctrines or by saying that we believe in Jesus, seems ridiculous.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Everybody who was to participate in the Kingdom MUST be born again.
Therefore, Jesus could select ignorant and unlearned fishermen as His disciples. Why? That is because the ignorance of the natural man has NO bearing on the ministry of the new inner man. It is the inner man that is born anew!
Of course if the old man intends to go in the ministry it is necessary that he go somewhere to learn how to do the ministry that is acceptable to that denomination. However, that natural person will NEVER preach accurately the Kingdom of God. Why? That is because we must be BORN AGAIN ( by the Living and Abiding Word of God) just to see the Kingdom from a distance! Being Born of the Water and of the Spirit releases the Living and Abiding Word of God to teach and anoint us to preach the Kingdom right from the divine SOURCE!
My theory for this concept is that The Living and Abiding Word of God CAN SPEAK and will SPEAK in us if we grow up and permit Him to Speak. How is that possible? He spoke in Jesus and He spoke in Paul. He will also speak in us when we are fully equipped.
Matthew 10:18 and you shall even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 "But when they deliver you up, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak. 20 "For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
We might wonder why this form of preaching is not a common practice in the visible church on Sunday morning. We say we are preaching the Word of God but most often we are just preaching and explaining some scriptures.
When the Holy Spirit (who is in us) takes WORDS from the Living and Abiding Word of God (who is in us) and SPEAKS that Word through us, THEN, we are preaching the Word of God!
When we speak in tongues it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the words. The more we speak in tongues the more normal and comfortable it is to permit the Holy Spirit to speak. That is EXACTLY how we learn to let the Holy Spirit speak the Living and Abiding Word of God through us.
When the “ministries” lost this ability to speak out of the inner man, they had to revert back to their natural ability and do the very best they could to say something relevant. Today, hearing this kind of “message”is what we call “having church.”
A true restoration of the church MUST restore this ability to speak the Word of God, by the Holy Spirit, out of the New Inner Man. If the natural man could LEARN how to preach the Word of God, what would be the purpose for both the Living and Abiding Word of God and the Holy Spirit to dwell in us?
The sad situation remains and that is the Natural Man can learn to do the ministry and be ordained by man and then become a leader in the visible church. However, God is Sovereign over His Heaven and over His Purpose and this kind of ministry is NEVER acceptable for the Church He is Building. How do I know that?
Rom 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
If we could remove every pastor who was operating out of the flesh, many
churches would cease to exist. God’s method of choosing ignorant and unlearned fishermen to do the New Covenant Ministry cannot be improved upon. Of course, the ignorant person must also have the ability to let the Holy Spirit speak the Living and Abiding Word of God out from his new inner man. The ministry of an ignorant outer man or the ministry of an intelligent outer man both accomplish the same thing. NOTHING! I am the proof of that truth.
Human intelligence, in many places, is not an asset to the ministry but the death of the New Covenant ministry. Why? That is because, still today, the letter kills. When we permit the Holy Spirit to speak, HE brings LIFE! The Kingdom may always be a mystery to the natural man and that is way it should be. It is really ONLY the New Man that can relate properly to the Kingdom.
It is ONLY the New Man that is qualified to preach this Gospel of the Kingdom; Mat 24 :14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.
Why hasn’t this Gospel been preached? That is because the outer man has been eliminated from the Kingdom ministry. Maybe, if we pray and fast God will finally accept the natural man. Forget It, he will NEVER please God!
The conclusion then is this; The “church as we know it” cannot make the transition to the Priesthood ministry nor to the ministry of the Kingdom or transition into the Kingdom Government UNTIL there is a genuine and functioning New Inner Man. Why? That is because the natural man cannot even see, recognize or hear anything from the Kingdom dimension.
We have speculated that in this NEXT RESTORATION the believers must transition into the Holy Place life and ministry. Why? That is where the Priesthood Ministry BEGINS. That is the location of the Pure Gold Lampstand Church.
The natural man is forbidden from this inner dimension of the Tabernacle of God. This “inner dimension” answers to the New Inner Man who resides in an outer shell, which answers to the TENT OF MEETING. The articles of ministry, the garments, furniture, etc. in the Holy Place depict the OPERATION of the New Inner Man as he begins his Holy Place Ministry. None of this realm is ever understood or recognized by the natural outer man. Therefore, the natural man is forbidden from this realm. In fact, if a “stranger” even approached this realm in the Tabernacle of Moses he was to be instantly killed. We are identifying that “stranger” as the natural man. Nevertheless, the natural man does not give up easily and always insists that he can “do the ministry” and all he needs is a good opportunity. His enemy in this ministry is not man but God.