WITHOUT SIN UNTO SALVATION
WITHOUT SIN UNTO SALVATION Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
From: It Is Time for a Reformation of Christian Thinking
The Christian redemption does not consist principally of the forgiveness of men but rather of their transformation into new creatures in Christ. Salvation is not directed toward forgiveness alone but toward forgiveness as part of our change into righteous behavior.
Forgiveness is a major aspect of salvation. Forgiveness authorizes us to enter the procedures of salvation. Salvation includes our deliverance from the person, works, and effects of Satan and brings us all the way to the fullness of the image of Christ and total union with God through Christ.
To forgive us is not to save us. To forgive, deliver, and transform us is to save us, in the scriptural sense. The Christian salvation is not the changing of God so He is willing to accept us as we are.
The Christian salvation transforms us from chariots of Satan into chariots of Christ.
Table of Contents
A Truth for Our Generation The Conscious "I" The Eternal Plan of God Salvation Comes Through Judgment Judgment Upon the Enemy Two Kinds of Creatures The Living Soul The Transition to the Life-giving Spirit
WITHOUT SIN UNTO SALVATION
This article presents one central truth. It is that the Christian redemption does not consist only of the forgiveness of men but includes their transformation into new creatures in Christ. Salvation is not directed toward forgiveness alone but toward forgiveness as part of our change into righteous behavior.
Forgiveness is an important aspect of the Divine redemption.
Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:3)
Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: (Acts 13:38)
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Colossians 1:14)
However, the Divine salvation in Christ is not primarily our being forgiven by the God of Heaven. It is, rather, our deliverance from the nature and works of spiritual darkness.
To forgive us is not to save us to the extent God desires. To forgive, deliver, and transform us totally is to save us, in the larger sense.
Today’s Christian has been saved in the sense of having been sealed to the day of salvation. But he has not as yet been redeemed from the hand of the enemy. Rather, he has been forgiven.
Our salvation will take place in the future. It is he who endures to the end who will be saved—saved meaning forgiven, delivered, and transformed.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
The Day of Redemption, of salvation, is yet ahead of us. What we have now is forgiveness and a sealing.
When an individual receives Christ he is redeemed through the blood of Jesus. But he has not been fully redeemed until he has been released from the power of Satan, formed in the image of Christ, and brought into restful union with God.
Let us say a person comes to Christ for forgiveness. He has been and still is committing various kinds of sin of spirit, soul, mind, and body. The Lord Jesus forgives him. God forgives him. But he has not been saved from sin until the Lord releases him from the bondages of sin that are in his spirit, soul, mind, and body. Salvation includes deliverance.
Full salvation cannot take place until we are released from the power of Satan. Our redemption includes spiritual and eventually physical healing.
Beginning with the Protestant Reformers, God has restored many truths to the Church: the just shall live by faith, the priesthood of the believer, water baptism by immersion, the born-again experience, the second coming of the Lord, the necessity for living a holy life, the gifts of the Spirit, and the concept of the Body of Christ. One of the understandings being restored today concerns the nature of the salvation that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are beginning to see that salvation, while it includes forgiveness, is directed primarily toward deliverance from Satan and union with God.
The centuries of the Christian Era have been as Israel wandering in the wilderness. Many lessons are learned in the wilderness.
The Word of God that came to the Reformers marked the beginning of the preparation of the Church for the invasion of the land of promise, for the Day of the Lord, the Day of Redemption.
The Day of Redemption is the Day of Vengeance of our God—vengeance upon the spiritual enemies of God and man (Isaiah 61:1,2). As the Day of Vengeance draws near, God will bring into the consciousness of His people the concept of spiritual warfare, of judgment on the devil. The judgment and destruction of Satan is a major aspect of the Divine salvation. Forgiveness holds us intact until the Lord is ready to save us in the sense of delivering us from Satan.
God is ready to save us from our sins. God hears our prayers because of the holy blood of Christ. But the goal of salvation is not forgiveness. Forgiveness leaves us in prison. The Lord Jesus came to release us from prison, to destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8).
We humans are sinful creatures. The Christian salvation is not the changing of God so He is willing to accept us as we are.
The Christian salvation changes us from being chariots of Satan to being chariots of Christ.
If God were to bring us to Paradise as we are by forgiving us and not transforming us, God then would be forgiving Satan—the part of Satan that is in us (Romans 6:6; 7:20,24). Such forgiveness never would result in the Kingdom of God, in the doing of God’s will in earth as it is in Heaven. We then would be forced to continue in our present miserable bondage.
Rather it is true that God through Christ is ready to judge us, discerning what is of Satan in us and destroying the wickedness out of us. This is salvation. This is redemption.
To forgive us and then to permit us to remain what we are, bringing us into the Presence of God, into Paradise, in our lusts and self-centeredness, would be to change what Paradise is, what God Himself Is. It would be to bring wickedness into the Presence of God.
Forgiveness is the means of bringing us to the procedures of salvation. Salvation includes our forgiveness and our deliverance from the person, works, and effects of Satan, and carries us all the way to the fullness of the image of Christ and total union with God through Christ.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
"And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"!
The Christian salvation is not limited to forgiveness coupled with exhortations to holy living, although we have been forgiven and we must do what we can to live a holy life.
Our attempts to live in a righteous, holy manner are necessary if we are to continue on the path of redemption. Our efforts to live by the Word hold us steady while the program of salvation, which includes the forming of Christ in us, increases in our personality. The Divine salvation is not the reforming of what we are but the creation of a new personality.
The new personality, that which is born of God, does not sin. The new personality cannot sin because it has been born of God (I John 3:9).
The Old Testament contains a picture of the Christian salvation.
God justified Abram by faith:
And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)
Then God began to teach Abram concerning redemption—the conquering of God’s enemies and the driving of them from the land of promise.
First, God informed Abram that one day he would receive the land of his wandering as an inheritance. Today God is showing us that one day we will receive the earth and its nations as our inheritance (Genesis 15:7; Psalms 2:8; Romans 8:17-21; Revelation 11:15).
Second, God commanded Abram to present his sacrifice. We are to present our body as a living sacrifice to God (Genesis 15:9,10; Romans 12:1).
Third, Abram maintained his sacrifice (Genesis 15:11; I Corinthians 9:27). Keeping the birds off the sacrifice represents our efforts toward holiness of behavior.
Our redemption does not consist of refraining from one behavior or practicing another. Such discipline on our part is a maintaining of our sacrifice until the Lord comes. Disciplined, scriptural behavior is a necessary part of the victorious Christian life. Otherwise the "birds of the air" will eat up our sacrifice while we are waiting for God.
Fourth, God revealed Himself to Abram in "an horror of great darkness" (Genesis 15:12; II Corinthians 5:11). The believers of our day do not know the terror of the Lord. They are imagining that God is some kind of "good old guy." Any person who claims we should not fear God has never himself been in the Presence of God.
Fifth, God spoke of the history of Abram’s seed for many centuries to come (Genesis 15:13). God knows the end from the beginning. God works in terms of foreknowledge, predestination, election, mercy, and grace. Salvation is not of the person who wills or the person who runs but of God who shows mercy (Romans 9:16). The Christian salvation has been planned carefully from the creation of the world.
Sixth, God spoke of bringing Israel as a weapon of judgment against the Canaanites as soon as the wickedness of the Canaanites had come to maturity (Genesis 15:16). So it is true that God will bring His people to battle readiness as the "tares" come to maturity. We Christian believers will be the hand of God’s judgment upon evil spirits (Psalms 149:5-9; Romans 16:20).
The Divine judgment, the separation of what is to be saved from what is condemned to destruction, begins in our personality. Such judgment and separation constitute the true salvation that is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Seventh, God promised Abram that his seed indeed would inherit the land of promise (Genesis 15:18-21)—and this when Abram had no children! How marvelous are the ways of the Lord God of Heaven.
We Christians have been "sealed to the day of redemption." The Day of Redemption is that point in history when God judges what is of Satan in us and delivers us. Christ will appear to those who look for Him, without sin unto salvation. We who love and serve the Lord Jesus are first in line for the deliverance that can take place only as God judges His enemies.
We have been forgiven. Now the eternal purpose of God, which is our redemption from the hand of Satan and change into God’s image, is knocking at our door.
The Divinely ordained Word of Truth for our generation is that the salvation that is in Christ is not limited to a forgiveness of what we are. The Divine redemption is our release from bondage through means of God’s hand of judgment on unclean, rebellious spirits, destroying them out of our personality.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; (Psalms 107:2)
The Day of Vengeance is at hand. Let us prepare our hearts for spiritual warfare. God is ready to save us, to deliver us—and through us the material creation (Romans 8:21).
The physical warfare of Israel was a shadow of the true Kingdom warfare, which is the casting out of wicked spirits. There is no account in the Old Testament of judging and casting out an unclean spirit, except possibly in instances of physical healing at the hand of the prophets.
But casting out devils in the name of the Lord Jesus is the first sign to follow the believer (Mark 16:17). This is one of the most important differences between the old covenant and the new.
The Christian salvation is a transformation of what we are in spirit, in mind, in soul, and in body. The last enemy that will be destroyed is the spirit of death that claims our body (I Corinthians 15:26). The enemy that is in our spirit, our mind, our soul, and our body must be destroyed before we are ready for the destruction of the last enemy.
Because the first resurrection is near, the days of preparation for the destruction of the last enemy are upon us. All the other enemies must be destroyed before we will be ready for the destruction of the last enemy and the immortalizing of our body.
The following passage speaks of the redemption by judgment that is beginning now and will reach its climax in the raising of our body into incorruptible resurrection life in Christ:
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:27,28)
Notice the parallels:
"Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many" is in parallel with "it is appointed unto men once to die."
"Shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" is in parallel with "after this the judgment."
It is appointed to men once to die—Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.
After this the judgment—shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
The offering of Christ to bear the sins of many has to do with the death that comes to all men because of sin. Christ died in our place. We are saved by entering Christ’s death and resurrection.
The appearing of Christ the second time will be without sin and will bring salvation. This redemption has to do with Divine judgment.
Every man who is born on the earth will die eventually. After he dies he will be judged in terms of his conduct while living on the earth. As every man sows, so shall he reap.
Who will render to every man according to his deeds: (Romans 2:6)
This is true of the saved individual as well as of the unsaved. But the manner in which life, death, and judgment operate in the saved person, particularly in the victorious Christian, is somewhat different from what is true of the unsaved.
One aspect of our personality that must be defined if we are to understand our redemption, our transformation from a living soul to a life-giving spirit, is the aspect of a human being referred to as I.
Let us give some examples of the complexity of the definition of "I" (or "you" or "he," depending on the structure of the sentence).
Precisely who is being addressed?
And whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 11:26)
Obviously, Christians die physically. Therefore "whoever" is not referring to the physical body but to the conscious identity and will of the person. Christ is stating that the conscious identity of the person, the unique individual, never will be separated from the Presence of God.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Precisely who is Paul now? Has Paul become Christ? Who has been crucified? Who is living in Paul’s flesh?
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (Romans 7:19)
Notice the two separate wills, the two "men," living as one. First, there is the "I" who desires to do good. Then there is the "I" who is bent on evil.
Which one of these two wills is Paul? They both are Paul.
We understand, therefore, that the human being is a complex creation.
There is in each individual a conscious will, a unique identity. We do not know whether it is his spirit or soul or some combination of these. It appears that the conscious will of the person is not his brain or body. His spirit, or mind, seem to be the most likely candidates.
Whatever the conscious will of the person is, it is this that chooses to obey or disobey the Lord.
The human personality is part of the first creation, the adamic creation, and is assigned to the cross. It cannot be saved as it is. It must die and be resurrected as part of Christ before it can enter the Kingdom of God.
The first man is a living soul. He is of the earth. He cannot be saved in the sense of being preserved. He drinks lawlessness like water.
The second man is a life-giving spirit (I Corinthians 15:45). He is of Heaven. He is eternal. He is of the Kingdom of God. He cannot sin because he has been born of God (I John 3:9).
The human personality comes into the world as a living soul. If the "I" chooses to receive Christ, the whole original personality is brought into death and then is raised again in Christ. The personality is transformed from a living soul into a life-giving spirit. This is the new covenant (Hebrews 8:10-12; II Corinthians 3:18). This is what it means to be "saved" in the fullest sense.
If the "I" chooses to reject Christ, the "I" finally is banished from the Presence of God along with the whole first personality. This is what it means to be "lost."
The Christian salvation, the Kingdom of God, is not the forgiving and reforming of the first personality. The Christian salvation is the changing of the individual from a living soul, which is hopelessly corrupt, to a life-giving spirit.
While it is necessary for us to hold our animal, earthly personality in check, such restraint is not the final result of the new covenant. The final result of the new covenant is another kind of creature—a life-giving spirit.
The judgment of the saint is based largely on the decisions the "I" has made throughout life on earth. Righteousness and holiness of behavior, or the lack of it, come only from God. But the decisions made by the "I," whether or not to serve God diligently in each incident, each issue, are our responsibility.
We cannot save ourselves. Only God can save us. It is the responsibility of our "I" to turn to God continually, calling on Him for every aspect of our personality and behavior. The Lord Jesus will judge the "I" for the decisions it has made.
When God placed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden He understood they would sin. God was not taken by surprise. God did not cause them to sin, He permitted circumstances to take their natural course. God had prepared salvation in His Christ before Adam and Eve sinned.
From the beginning God has planned to change man from a living soul to a life-giving spirit. The first creation is nothing more than a scaffolding for the true Kingdom of God. From the moment of its conception the first creation was destined to be tossed aside as a used garment.
And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. (Hebrews 1:12)
Throughout history God has appeared to people and has spoken to them in various ways. At one point the giving of the Law of Moses was the greatest of all revelations of God’s Person and way.
Then God brought forth His Lamb, Christ. The Lamb of God was slain in order to forgive and remove the sins of the whole world.
. . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing (ascribing) their trespasses unto them;... (II Corinthians 5:19)
. . . Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)
We have been forgiven for eternity. Now let us begin the plan of redemption, of entering the Kingdom of God.
The current teaching is that the Christian salvation is the forgiveness of those who receive Christ with the intent of bringing them to Heaven to live forever in joy and peace.
This definition of salvation is partially correct but is so limited as to be misleading.
The Christian salvation is the transformation of the human being from a living soul into a life-giving spirit so he can glorify God and have fellowship with Him, and also serve in the various roles and tasks of the Kingdom of God.
The Christian salvation is not the forgiving of the living soul so the individual can go to another place.
The Christian salvation is the delivering of the individual from the bondage of sin. Salvation is not a change of place but of personality.
The sixth chapter of the Book of Romans is a description of the plan of redemption. The new covenant is summed up in the following words:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6)
What is our "old man?" Our old man is our first personality, the living soul. Our old man is our natural mind, our soul, our physical body, and our spirit; for even our spirit is unclean (II Corinthians 7:1).
What is the "body of sin?" The body of sin is the sinful nature resident in our natural mind, our soul, our physical body, and our spirit.
What happens to our "old man?" Our old man is appointed to death. He is crucified with the Lord Jesus. The crucifixion of our old nature marks the end of the adamic creation.
What is the purpose of slaying the old man? The purpose of crucifying the old man is that the "body of sin" may be destroyed.
What is the purpose of destroying the body of sin? It is that "we should not serve sin."
There you have it. The Christian salvation is not a legal state in which God regards us as being something we are not. While the state of imputed (ascribed) righteousness is employed as a legal device to enable us to enter the processes of redemption, the actual redemption itself consists of a death and judgment of the entire first personality with the end in view of releasing it from the bondage of sin.
God will not save the first creation. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (I Corinthians 15:50).
In the Christian redemption the conscious "I," the unique identity of the believer, passes from being in charge of a living soul (in which it often is bound and helpless) to being in charge of a life-giving spirit (in which it rejoices in the glorious liberty of the children of God).
At the beginning of our discussion we mentioned the parallels contained in Hebrews 9:27,28. As men die, so Christ was once offered to bear our sins. As men are appointed to be judged after they die, so Christ will appear without sin unto salvation to those who look for Him. Salvation will come in the last days as a result of our being judged.
Salvation comes by means of judgment. The removal of sin, the destroying of the body of sin, is salvation. The removal of sin is accomplished by Divine judgment.
The conscious "I," the unique identity of the person, will not be condemned if it puts its trust in Jesus:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life. (John 5:24)
This verse is a much used passage of Christian theology. It is being employed as a "key verse". The conclusion is being drawn that the believer will not be judged; in fact, will not even suffer. To this extent we do not understand the Christian redemption.
The fourth chapter of the Book of I Peter makes it clear that we Christians are judged, that the judgment is in the form of suffering, and that the end result of our judgment-suffering is our deliverance from sin (I Peter 4:2). How do we reconcile the fourth chapter of I Peter with John 5:24?
The seeming contradiction has to do in large part with who the "he" is, in "He that heareth my word". The "he," the central consciousness and will of the person, will not come into condemnation; will not experience the wrath of God. Christ’s death was for the purpose of saving the conscious "he."
The "old man" of the person, with its body of sin, indeed shall be judged. The old man, the living soul, is condemned to die on the cross with Christ. God repeatedly will send tribulation on our first personality. Such tribulation is Divine judgment on the old man with the intention of conforming him to the death of Christ on the cross so our entire personality may be raised again as a life-giving spirit (Philippians 3:10,11).
We are saved by judgment, by a baptism of fire on our personality—spirit, soul, and body. This is why so many passages of the New Testament mention the sufferings we must experience, admonishing us to crucify our first personality.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)
God has forgiven the world freely, asking only that people come to Christ for salvation. Those who reject Christ will be lost to God’s Presence and purpose, for there is salvation only in Christ.
When an individual comes to Christ he is received. The blanket forgiveness purchased on the cross is applied to him. Now he is without condemnation. He stands before Christ as a living soul, an adamic nature. But in him there lives a body of sin.
The Lord, perhaps after a season of blessing and joy, directs the believer to the cross of suffering. Whether or not he understands what is taking place, the believer begins to experience tribulation. The tribulation is Divine judgment on his first personality. He may not be suffering because of some specific disobedience but because of what he is in personality.
The first man, the living soul, has been appointed to death. The entire material creation, the first creation, has been appointed to death. God does not intend to save it and bring it to Paradise. God counts the first creation as crucified, as having died with Christ on the cross of Calvary.
The believer is made worthy of the Kingdom of God by the sufferings that come upon him. He does not punish himself so he may be worthy, he submits himself to Christ. Christ is the Judge. For us to punish ourselves is to take our salvation into our own hands. The result of self-punishment is the enlargement of our first personality in religious pride, not its crucifixion. We must allow God to do the chastening of us.
Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: (II Thessalonians 1:5)
The journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan is a type, an illustration of our change from the living soul to the life-giving spirit.
Egypt represents the living soul. Canaan represents the life-giving spirit. We are journeying from the slavery and misery of the living soul to the eternal joy of the life-giving spirit.
We leave the life of the world and wander about, for a season, in a wilderness of confusion and testing. If we do not throw away our confidence while in the wilderness we come at last to the border of Canaan, to the Jordan River. Now we are ready to enter resurrection life in Christ.
There is one problem: our land of promise is occupied by the enemy.
Israel was moving toward Canaan. The tribes were carrying with them the Ark of the Covenant in which were the tables of stone, the Ten Commandments. The moral law of God was moving toward the enemy.
So it is true of us. God is writing His moral law in our minds and hearts. We are at a place now where God is ready to judge His enemy, who is the devil. God’s judgment is not on us, not on the conscious "I." God’s judgment is on the unclean spirits.
As we begin to enter the Lord’s judgment on sin it is important that we realize God’s wrath is not directed toward us but toward the wicked, unclean spirits that tempt us, that urge us to sin. The unclean spirits dwell in our "land," our first personality, our "body of sin." God is ready to bring His judgment on the spirits that dwell in our body of sin, destroying out of us all that is displeasing to Himself. The Divine judgment will result in our release from bondage to sin.
Christ is appearing now to His Church as the Judge of all that is sinful in us. If we will cooperate with the Spirit of Christ, all that is evil in us will be judged and destroyed out of us. The Lord Jesus Christ is appearing without sin unto salvation.
The present-day appearing of Christ is not His appearing to the world in the clouds of glory. That will take place later. Rather, the present coming of Christ is the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament blowing of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and feast of Tabernacles.
The purpose of the current appearing is to bring us into the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles. Only after these three feasts (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) have been fulfilled spiritually in the firstfruits of the Body of Christ will Jesus return in His parousia (coming; presence), shining in glory with and in His glorified saints. (Please see Leviticus, Chapter 23 for the seven feasts of the Lord. Also, the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is set forth in Malachi 3:1-3.)
Before Jesus returns in the clouds of glory He first will come to His saints in the spiritual fulfillment of the last three of the seven Levitical feasts. This is the meaning of John 14:18-23. The Blowing of Trumpets is being fulfilled now as the trumpet of God is sounding in the churches, warning the saints of the spiritual coming of the Lord, the Judge, the King.
The Blowing of Trumpets announces the Day of Atonement, the judgment of God on His enemies, on unclean spirits, with the end in view of redeeming us from the hand of the enemy and reconciling us to Himself.
When we have been cleansed by the baptism of fire of God’s judgment we will be ready for the Father and the Son to take up Their abode in us in fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles (Matthew 3:10-12; John 14:23).
If you are an experienced Christian you may have noticed that the Spirit of God is dealing with you concerning your sins—something you may never have thought you would experience at this stage of your discipleship. The Day of Atonement comes at the climax of our redemption, not at the beginning.
At the beginning of our discipleship we would not have been able to pass joyfully and victoriously through the judgment of our sins, just as the Israelites were not strong enough to engage the Canaanites in war immediately upon making their departure from Egypt. God led them south by the way of Mount Sinai, not by the much shorter trade route bordering the Mediterranean Sea, because the Hebrews were not experienced in war.
And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: (Exodus 13:17)
Judgment is here. It has commenced in the house of God. Christ is ready to judge the living and the dead (I Peter 4:5). We, the living, must be ready to submit ourselves under the mighty hand of God, to confess our sins and repent of them, and to work diligently and willingly with the Holy Spirit in putting to death the deeds of our body (Romans 8:13).
We understand, therefore, that God is not saving our first personality. He is crucifying it so He may raise it again in newness of life in Christ.
The Christian Church will pass through intense fires in the days ahead of us. A baptism of fire will fall upon us, the purpose of which is to purify the Church on the earth, preparing it to meet the Lord at His appearing.
Those who are to participate in the parousia, the appearing of Christ, must be judged beforehand. The deceased saints are being judged now, for Christ judges the dead as well as the living.
Since those who are alive on the earth when the Lord returns will not have the opportunity to be judged prior to their physical death, they must be judged while yet alive on the earth. The Scriptures teach that this will take place:
And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. (Isaiah 4:3,4)
Every person who is to be saved, whose personality is to be preserved in the Presence of God, must die and then be judged. His first personality, his adamic nature, must be judged, and all that is not of Christ must be destroyed out of him.
He must be changed into a second kind of person—a life-giving spirit. He must find his place in the new heaven and earth reign of Christ as a creature who reveals in himself the Life of Christ.
God has all eternity in which to bring every saved individual into such change. We of today, with whom God is dealing so rigorously, are a firstfruits of what one day will be true to some extent of every person brought forth to eternal life on the new earth (James 1:18).
The true saints choose to die in this life in obedience to Paul’s words in the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans. Our reckoning of ourselves dead is a real death. When we choose to die in Christ the work of judgment begins; for after death comes judgment. This is no mere play on words. It is an actual death and resurrection in the spirit realm.
Our present death on the cross with Jesus is as real as any death any person ever dies. After we by faith reckon ourselves to be dead, numerous dealings of the Holy Spirit transform our decision into living reality. The death of the cross is not a pleasant experience for our first personality. Our "old man" does not enjoy being changed into Christ’s death.
Please keep in mind that the judgment that falls on our first personality, on the living soul, is not a judgment on our conscious "I." It is not a judgment on "us." It is Divine judgment on God’s enemies, on the body of sin that dwells in our old man, in our first personality.
Let us think for a moment about the first man and the second man, the old nature, and then the new nature being created in us.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. (I Corinthians 15:47)
Two men: the first man and the second man.
The doctrine of two men is central to our understanding of the redemption that is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no more profound misunderstanding in all Christianity than the one limiting the salvation that is in Christ to the forgiveness and future bliss of the first man (and today bliss and material wealth are being extended to our first man in the present world by the preachers of the "gospel"!). The traditional concept is, redemption is the forgiving and reforming of the first man with the end in view of bringing him to Paradise to live forever.
However, the Divinely ordained salvation is not a plan for forgiving and reforming the first man, the descendant of Adam. We must be born a second time in order to enter the Kingdom of God—or even to see the Kingdom (John 3:3).
While the forgiving of the first personality is an initial stage of salvation, the actual, eternal purpose of God, which is the Kingdom of God, is directed toward the second man—the man from Heaven.
In the creation of the Kingdom of God, two separate races, or kinds of creatures, are involved:The living soul. The life-giving spirit.
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a living [life-giving] spirit. (I Corinthians 15:45)
The unsaved individual is an example of the first man—the living soul.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the supreme Example of the second man—the life-giving spirit.
Every human being who has been born again of Christ is somewhere between the two extremes, between a pure living soul and a pure life-giving spirit.
It is the second man, the life-giving spirit, who is the Kingdom of God, the Body of Christ.
The first man can be blessed by the Kingdom of God and can walk in the light of the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God can be born in the personality of the first man. But the first man, having in himself a "body of sin," never can be a part of the Kingdom of God. The first man is to go to the cross with Jesus, die there, and then be raised into newness of life.
Some believers reap the Kingdom of God thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold. The extent to which we reap the Kingdom of God depends on the diligence with which we approach God, and on our willingness to be pruned—our willingness to die to our first personality.
The most limited definition of the term "salvation" is, escape from residence in the Lake of Fire. The most comprehensive definition of the term is, the perfect, complete transition from a living soul to a life-giving spirit coupled with perfect rest in the Presence of God.
Thus, each true Christian is, to a lesser or greater degree, of Christ, of the Kingdom of God. The remainder of his personality is still of Adam, of the first creation.
The first creation, that to which the first man, the living soul belongs, was brought into existence to give initial form and substance to what God is seeking. The first creation serves as a beginning and a support while the second, eternal creation is being developed.
The first creation always must decrease while the second creation always must increase. Adam, the corruptible, animal creation, always must decrease while Christ, the incorruptible Spirit, always must increase. This is the coming of the Kingdom of God, the Divinely ordained salvation.
Notice once again that the entire first creation is destined to be abolished. It was finished when the Lord said on the cross, "It is finished." It is finished in the mind of God, and what we are witnessing is the bringing to pass of the completed Divine vision.
And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. (Hebrews 1:10-12)
Our religious customs and practices, which involve the first man, are serving as a scaffolding while Christ is creating the second man. As the second man is perfected the scaffolding is removed.
This does not mean we no longer attend the assembling of the saints because we think we have become "spiritual." The true Bride of the Lamb knows His voice and does not behave herself foolishly.
The first man is of the earth.
The first man is made up of a physical body, a mind, a soul, and a spirit. His conscience is the moral law of God written in him, and his spirit is able to reach out to God in prayer. His spirit, mind, and conscience make him different from the animals; but otherwise man is an animal creation.
Scientists speak of man as though he merely is an intelligent animal. People who are conducting their lives apart from God often behave like animals, and as they give place to demons they sometimes act in a manner worse than the wild beasts.
The animal creation is weak and corruptible. The physical body with its appetites and lusts often performs in ridiculous ways. We, who are created in the image of God, behave as ludicrous fools before the angels.
The six thousand years since Adam have witnessed an ever-increasing penetration of the human race by evil spirits. The spiritual environment has become thick with uncleanness. The natural man increasingly is becoming a reflection of the person and ways of Satan.
Our efforts toward salvation quickly become vain if they are directed only or primarily toward reforming the first man.
It is true that both the Old and New Testaments are addressed to a great extent to the first man, because the first man must be beaten down, held down, kept in line while Christ is creating the second man.
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (I Corinthians 9:27)
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections [passions] and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)
If we interpret such passages to mean the Christian salvation is the forgiving and reforming of the natural man we miss the actual program of salvation. The beating down and crucifying of the first man is not for the purpose of saving him. It is for the purpose of holding him in line while the second man is being created. The second man is "the Lord from heaven."
The second man does not sin. He cannot sin because he has been born of God (I John 3:9). The second man is free to move throughout the creation of God. He is the word, the law of God given form and life as a life-giving spirit.
Much of our Christian effort has been directed toward the forgiving and reforming of the first man, the personality God has assigned to the cross. It is time now to consider the creation of the new man. The old personality is to pass away (already has passed away in God’s timeless vision). All things are to be made new and are to be of God through Christ (II Corinthians 5:17,18).
The new creation to which we are referring is not a new creation in which we remain largely unchanged while God, because of His mercy and grace, regards us as new creatures. The new creation is actually a new creation in which all things really are made new and are begotten of God.
We do not keep our body under control in order that God may consider our old personality as being a new personality but in order that Christ may make us literally new creatures. The death of the old man, while it begins as a state that we "reckon" to be a fact, becomes reality as God brings us into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, into the likeness of His death (Philippians 3:10).
The physical body and the soul dominate the first man. The mind operates to obtain security, pleasure, and achievement for the body and soul. The mind cannot see God through the human eye and puts its trust in what it can see.
As the mind is given information it becomes arrogant, supposing all that is of worth is what it can behold through the eye and define with its ability to reason. Soon we have the ridiculous spectacle of a human being strutting about on the skin of the earth like a peacock. Truly, it is the fool who has said in his heart, there is no God.
The first man is both willing and—to an extremely limited extent—able to function temporarily apart from God. (As long as he doesn’t swallow a gnat and choke to death.)
The Gospel of the Kingdom is presented to the first man because there is no second man at this point. The human being is confronted with the choice of living forever in Paradise or being hurled into fiery torment.
The first man upon hearing the Gospel may decide (since his eye cannot see much of what is being told him) that it is so much foolishness. He then turns away and pursues his animal existence of eating, sleeping, working, playing, and reproducing, searing his conscience in the meantime and making himself the prey of the demons.
Since he has disobeyed God he remains under condemnation. Because there is nothing of the Kingdom in him, and the first creation is destined to pass away, his future is bleak indeed. In addition, all that is evil in him must be judged and punished; for God has determined that Satan, his angels, and all their works shall be cast into the Lake of Fire—there to be tormented for eternity.
Or, the first man may decide to do what the witness of God is declaring and his conscience and the Holy Spirit are verifying. He may decide to ease the conviction weighing on him and secure his future by receiving Christ.
Let us say the individual decides to receive Christ.
Now he, the first man, is "saved." At this point he is without condemnation in the sight of his Creator and has been pointed toward the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our newly saved believer then sets out to attempt to do whatever it is Christians do to please God. He hopes to live forever after he dies in another place—perhaps on another planet, as he reasons—where there is love, joy, and peace.
It appears that such is the scope of understanding of the majority of Christian believers. They think of the Christian salvation as the forgiving of the human being, and hopefully some reforming of him so God will not be overly displeased with him, and then the transporting of him to Heaven when he dies.
However, the Christian salvation is not the forgiving and reforming of the first man. Salvation includes the forgiving of the first man. However, it is necessary, if the transition from the first man is to be conducted successfully, that the first man be held in check and finally crucified.
Salvation begins with the forgiving of the first man and requires that he repent of his former manner of living. These are preliminary steps of orientation to the Kingdom of God. However, the actual Kingdom is a new man: new in substance, in nature, in relationship to the Godhead, in motivation, in appearance, in authority, in abilities.
What does God intend to do with the first man? Will God save him? Preserve him? Is the Christian salvation the saving of us or the crucifying of us?
The Christian salvation begins with the hope of our first man that he will be brought to Heaven after he dies so he can be happy. But the parables of Jesus make it clear that the Kingdom is a seed planted in man, not a movement of the believers from the land of misery to the land of joy.
The truth is, the first man is destined to be broken, snared, and taken by the Lord as the Word of the Lord enters his personality and brings forth the second man.
But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:13)
The Lord Jesus is the Word made flesh. We are the flesh being made the Word.
One may ask, Am I to be saved (preserved) or am I to be crucified? What will happen to me?
If you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, being baptized in water according to His command, repenting of your former life of malice, worldliness, and self-seeking, your conscious identity as a unique person will be saved and brought into great joy. But your composition as the first man, the living soul, is to be crucified and raised again as a new creation, a life-giving spirit.
Obviously such a death and rebirth is undesirable from the standpoint of the first man who will continue to fight desperately and convincingly for his life. Your change from the first man to the second man will be attended by troubles, trials, distresses, small and great in which—if you really are determined to reap a hundredfold—your first man, especially your soul, will cry out in the agony of death.
Does being saved mean I am forgiven and ought to try to live a better life so I can go to Heaven when I die?
Yes, in the beginning. Receiving the blood atonement by faith and turning away from the evil of the world are necessary if one is to make a success of the Christian salvation.
However, being saved means that you, meaning your personality—spirit, soul, and body, will be pressed into the death of the cross so a new creature can be formed in you.
Your consciousness and will shall remain intact although your will repeatedly shall be brought into harmony with the will of almighty God through Christ. The kind of creature you are, in the universe of God, will be changed from a living soul to a life-giving spirit.
Will this happen to me so when I die I can be admitted into Heaven?
Not primarily. All this will happen to you so you may fulfill the particular destiny to which you have been called: such as, being an integral part of the eternal Temple of God, a member of the Body of Christ, of the Wife of the Lamb, God’s eternal servant, a witness, prophet, priest, and king throughout His universe, a judge of men and angels, and so forth.
God’s eternal purpose in the Church will be fulfilled in you according to the particular calling that rests on you—a calling established from the creation of the world by the Father.
Whether or not you attain your predestined place in the Kingdom of God depends on your willingness to submit to the Spirit of God as He effects your transition from a living soul to a life-giving spirit. None of the eternal roles and tasks of the Kingdom of God can be accomplished by living souls. Flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God (I Corinthians 15:50).
Our transition from the first man to the second man cannot be accomplished by dying physically. One of the errors of present-day teaching and preaching is the belief that our necessary change from ungodliness to godliness will take place as a result of our physical death.
Both reason and the Scriptures will demonstrate that physical death cannot bring about any change from a living soul to a life-giving spirit.
Physical death merely separates our spirit and soul from our body and leaves the body to decay in the ground. No change takes place in our spirit and soul on the basis of their being separated from our body.
If change does occur in our spirit and soul on the basis of being separated from the body, such change is not mentioned in the Scriptures.
God will not resurrect our mortal body and clothe it with eternal incorruptible life until our spirit and soul have undergone the change from soulish, mortal life to resurrection life. First, the inner man attains resurrection. After that, the outer man is redeemed. Otherwise, chaos would result as willful individuals, subject to the adamic temperament, flew about the universe in Divinely endowed bodies.
Can you imagine a self-willed, disobedient believer clothed with a body like that of the Lord Jesus!
This shall not happen. The believer must experience the inner transformation from the first man to the second man before it is wise—or even possible—for his personality to be housed in an immortal body of Divine capabilities. The new wineskins are for the new wine.
This is why Paul spoke of the need to "attain" the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:11).
It is the second man, the life-giving spirit, who is the Kingdom of God. It is useless to speculate on the possibility of the first man entering the Kingdom.
The first man can be governed by the Kingdom and can walk in the light of the Kingdom. But this is a temporary condition. In God’s new world the Kingdom eventually must be created in the individual.
The Kingdom is made up of people who once were human beings, as we understand the term, but who now are a new kind of creature, a new form of humanity.
The human shape remains. The consciousness and the will (now submitted to God) also remain. But the individual has become a member of a new race. The new creation is a Divine humanity.
Unlike the first man, the second man does not consist of a natural body, a natural mind, a soul, and a spirit. The second man is not a personality apart from the Godhead. The second man is as unable to exist or function apart from the Godhead as the first man is unable to exist or function apart from air, water, and food.
We have stated that the Lord Jesus Christ is the supreme Example of the second man.
If the Lord Jesus is the perfect Example of the second man it can be seen that the body of the second man is spiritual, consisting of resurrected flesh and bones living and moving by the Spirit of God rather than by the processes of blood, air, and water.
The mind of the second man is so under the influence and guidance of God as to be a greatly glorified form of what we ordinarily think of as a mind. The second man walks in the Spirit of prophecy and revelation, directed and moved always by the Lord rather than by any wisdom or judgment of his own apart from the Lord.
It takes a long time before we are able to enter this kind of thinking and motivation. We learn to have the mind of Christ now—during our present trials. The mind of Christ will not be dumped on us against our will when we die physically or in the Day of Resurrection.
The soul of the second man is the throne of God. The fires of his life have been brought into union with the Godhead (John 14:23). He is one with the great eternal Fire that God Is.
The spirit of the second man is one with the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 6:17).
Consider the Lord Jesus Christ. His consciousness and will are unchanged from eternity to eternity, although He learned obedience through suffering during His stay on the earth. The Lord Jesus is a unique Individual as is true of each of us.
But the kind of Person Christ is has changed from the eternal Logos, to the Rabbi of Nazareth, to what He is today.
The body of Jesus consists of His resurrected flesh and bones in a glorified state (Luke 24:39; Revelation 1:13-16). If we overcome, as He overcame, we will have a body like His (Philippians 3:11,12,21).
The mind of the Lord Jesus always is under the inspiration of the Spirit of God.
The Soul of the Lord Jesus is the throne of the almighty God of Heaven. The Throne of God was established for eternity in the Soul of Christ when Christ endured the crucifixion of His will in the garden of Gethsemane:
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. (Matthew 26:38)
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (Luke 22:42)
And in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:44)
The Spirit of Christ is One with God, and we have been called to the same Oneness.
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:21)
Every born-again human being is at some point on a line between the first man and the second man. It is not that the Lord has called us to be an in-between man, or that the final result is part natural man and part life-giving spirit. It is true, rather, that we, if we are pressing forward in the plan of salvation, are changing constantly from a living soul into a life-giving spirit. It is a gradual transformation.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18)
The body of the saint, if he is alive on the earth, is a natural body. If the saint is deceased he has at present, according to our understanding, a spiritual form but no body. We think the glorified body is the reward the Lord will bring with Him at His appearing.
The life of the believer while he is living on the earth is governed to a great extent by his bodily desires until he grows strong enough in the Lord to discipline his body and keep it under his control (I Corinthians 9:27).
The natural mind of the Christian disciple still is predominant, although he is attempting to discover the Lord’s will by processes other than human reasoning:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6)
The mind of the believer must be renewed in God as part of the transition from the first man to the second man.
The believers in Christ range from those who live entirely according to their natural body, soul, and brain all the way to those who are at rest in the Lord and are learning to look to Him for guidance in all areas.
Each day the true saints are more confirmed in their attitude of relying on the motivation and guidance of the Lord rather than on their mental understanding of what they should be doing. It is God who is working in them both to will and to do His good pleasure.
How wonderful it is to live in the Spirit of the Lord rather than in the appetites and lusts of the flesh!
The spirit of the believer reaches out to God in prayer on many occasions, seeking to gain assistance in coping with the difficulty of living on the earth. Life in this world is not always pleasant. Our never-ending tribulations cause us to turn to God for mercy and for grace to help in our hour of need.
The first man has a natural, animal body. The second man has a body constructed on his original flesh and bones but now filled with eternal, incorruptible resurrection life, plus the capabilities necessary for the role and tasks of the particular individual.
The first man has a natural mind. The second man has the ability to reason, but his thinking originates in the mind of Christ. His judgments are based on what God is speaking to him rather than on his own ability to analyze and judge.
The first man has a natural soul. The second man is the temple of the Father and the Son.
The unsaved man has a spirit that is not part of God’s Spirit. When he is forgiven, on the basis of the blood of the Lamb of God, his spirit becomes part of God’s Spirit. He who is joined to the Lord is one Spirit with Him (I Corinthians 6:17).
We can see at once that church activities and other religious work that are directed toward the forgiving and reforming of the first man, while they have value at the beginning of salvation, are not part of the eternal purpose of God. They are a temporary scaffolding erected so the true building can be constructed. When the building is finished the scaffolding will be removed. It is needed no longer.
This does not mean the scaffolding is not necessary or that it should be constructed carelessly. The scaffolding is necessary and is to be constructed with care. It is necessary that the first man be forgiven and that he be brought under the discipline of the Lord. If he is not forgiven or—as often is the case today—is not brought under the discipline of the Lord, the true building cannot be constructed.
If the adamic man does not have integrity, if he does not, with the help of the Spirit of God, obey the commandments of the Lord and His Apostles, the believer cannot make a success of the transition from the soulish man to the life-giving spirit.
We must be careful, however, not to confuse the temporary with the eternal. The Kingdom of God begins as the seed of a new man born in us. The heavenly seed will grow, if taken care of properly, until the second man has come to maturity.
The saints who participate in the first resurrection are a firstfruits (James 1:18; Revelation 14:4) of what God has created. As we understand it, the firstfruits will assist the remainder of the elect until all have successfully made the transition from the first man to the second man. It may be true also that as the members of the Church, the Bride of the Lamb, minister to the nations of the saved, that the nations also will become part of the process of change from the first man to the second man.
The Kingdom of God enters an individual when he is born again and will continue to grow throughout eternity until the person has attained the destiny appointed to him or her by the Lord.
The Scripture asserts that some will be greatest and some will be least in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:19). Some will reap thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold. One star differs from another star in glory. However, he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than any of the prophets because the prophets were the natural man anointed by the Spirit of God.
The Kingdom of God is the Seed—Christ—that will grow until Christ is All in all, and God is All in all in Him:
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (I Corinthians 15:28)
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (Ephesians 1:10)
The growth of the Kingdom of God began when the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to the Father, will continue throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age known as the Millennium, and then proceed throughout eternity. The Father promised Abraham that his Seed (Christ) would be as the stars of the heaven and as the sand on the shore.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, . . . . (Isaiah 9:7)
Christ Is the Kingdom of God. Christ will continue to be formed in people throughout eternity, as we understand it, making them the second man, the life-giving spirit. All those who are saved will continue to eat of the tree of life (as they turn away from sin and self-will) and will continue to grow in the image of the Lord.
One cannot jump instantly from the first man to the second man. The transition is made slowly, "one city at a time."
And the Lord thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. (Deuteronomy 7:22)
Let us consider the program of orderly transition.
"Those nations" represent the evil in the world and in our first man. The Lord does not permit us to consume the evil "at once," while we are making the transition to the second man.
If God were to remove the first man at once, our personality would collapse. If God had slain all the Philistines before Israel had occupied their farms, the beasts of the field would have multiplied until Israel would not have been able to keep them under control.
So it is that our first personality, with its doubts, fears, dreads, sense of duty, arrogance, pride, courage, loyalty, and all its other traits, some detestable and some admirable, serves to keep our personality intact until Christ has grown to sufficient stature in us to insure our integrity and stability in God.
If God were to remove our first personality we would be as a swept room, an empty vessel. Evil spirits would inhabit our personality long before Christ had occupied those rooms. It requires time for Christ to be formed in us (Galatians 4:19).
God puts out those nations before us "by little and little." The transition is orderly so we will not falter along the way.
Spiritual growth that is too fast is as dangerous as spiritual growth that is too slow. Either excess causes a transition that is imperfect and faltering. There is a normal, wholesome transition from the natural man to the spiritual man that results in a mature son of God.
The Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, the body and blood of the Lord Jesus, the assembling of the saints, the gifts and ministries of the Spirit—all serve to build Christ in us.
The enticements of the world, the tribulations of the world, and even the temptations of Satan, play their role in enabling us to change from our first, natural character into the new spiritual character. Our first character is a mixture of noble, ordinary, and satanic traits—the particular mixture depending on the individual.
There is no possible way any aspect of our first personality can be preserved and brought into the Kingdom of God. The part of us that is of Satan must be judged as such by the Lord Jesus Christ and separated from us for eternity. It is an eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:2).
The part of us that is not sinful, such as a friendly nature or courage or loyalty, must die and be raised again in the Lord Jesus Christ. Such traits will break down or be warped when enough pressure is applied to them. They are good traits but not eternal traits. Only that which is of Christ can stand the Divine Fire.
Nothing of the first creation is to be saved as it is. All must be born again in Christ. All must die and be raised in His Divine, incorruptible resurrection Life, in this manner becoming new. The new creation is the eternal blend of the human and God. It is a Divine humanity.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Revelation 21:5)
Until we pass through judgment we cannot enter the rest of God. Our spirit must become one with the Spirit of Christ. Our natural mind must become part of the Mind of Christ. Our soul dies the hardest death of all for it is the center of our will and judgment. To crucify the soul of man is to slay what the first man is. The first man dies a hard death. We cry out in agony as God kills the self-centeredness in us.
There cannot be two separate wills in the universe. There is only one legitimate will in the universe—the will of almighty God as it is expressed in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will in earth as it is in Heaven. It is only as we die to our own choices and judgment that we are able to enter unity and harmony with God.
The judgment and death of our soul, our will, is by far the most difficult death we die—much more difficult than death to our lusts and passions. Are you willing to enter God to the point that you can say with all your being, "Not my will but Thine be done"?
If you cannot say this and mean it from the depths of your soul, your soul has not as yet become the Throne of God and of the Lamb. Your soul still is uncrucified.
When our spirit is at rest in God’s Spirit, our mind is of Christ, and our soul is content in the will of God, then we are ready for our body to be raised from the dead and glorified in Christ. The immortalizing of the physical body in Christ is the destruction of the last enemy, the other enemies of our personality having been dealt with first (I Corinthians 15:26).
Every spirit must bow the knee to Jesus as Lord. All that is in us that is of the adversary is destined for the Lake of Fire. The Divine judgment operates to deliver us from all bondage to Satan and all bondage to our self-will, self-centeredness, and self-love. The latter bondages are worse than the satanic lusts that dwell in us for they represent a continuation of original sin, of human rebellion against God.
Every member of the Kingdom of God obeys God perfectly in a spirit of love, joy, and peace. We must be set free by judgment before we can arrive at such a desirable state. "Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness" (Isaiah 1:27).
We can ruin the entire process by insisting on living in the flesh (Romans 8:13). Willful disobedience to God can result in severe chastening or even in our destruction (Hebrews 10:26,27).
The second man is as unique a creation as the first man. The second man is not a reformed or made-over first man. The second man is not half-natural and half-spiritual. The second man is truly and thoroughly man in that he is not an angel but a creature in the image of God; and truly of God in that he is born of God, in unity with the Godhead, and filled with the Godhead.
The second man is not a first man "trying to be like Jesus." The second man is of the Nature of Jesus and is filled with Jesus.
Our first personality is hopelessly corrupt, weak, and dishonorable (I Corinthians 15:42,43). Our flesh is full of sin. We must confess our sins and put them to death through the Spirit of God, as Christ directs us (Romans 8:13; I John 1:7-9).
If we do not confess our sins and repent of them they remain as part of our personality.
But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. (Numbers 33:55)
God may then have to judge us and bring us into suffering so we will be willing to repent of our sins (I Corinthians 11:29-32).The Scriptures serve as the second man is being brought to full stature. The second man serves God by nature. He is the flesh made the word.
Christ is the Day Star. We are to live by the Scriptures as Christ comes to maturity in us:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy [the Scriptures]; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (II Peter 1:19)