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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Manual and the Garden
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39,40—NIV)
There are two distinct realms of the Gospel. One is of far greater importance than the other. For two thousand years the Christian churches have been occupied primarily with the realm of lesser importance.
The first, and less important realm, concerns doctrine and statements of faith.
The second realm involves the formation and dwelling of Christ in us.
It appears from the Prophets that there is to come a period when Christ suddenly will be brought to maturity in the Church. We may be entering this period now.
The manual is the Bible.
The Garden is Christ.
The new covenant is the Garden, not the manual.
The manual tells us all about the Garden but is not the Garden.
The Bible explains the true significance of world history and orients us to God's plan of redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible also commands us how to live so as to please God. These are the two aspects of the Bible, the manual. But these are not the garden, the new covenant. It is only as we keep God's commandments that the garden begins to grow. When the garden comes to fullness of growth God's Throne will be installed for eternity in Christ-filled people. When God's Throne has been installed in that which formerly was the dust of the ground, Satan and the other former leaders of Heaven have come to the end of all their authority and status.
Because it is only by keeping God's commandments that the Throne of God can be installed in Christ in the believers, and because Satan and the former leaders of Heaven do not wish to come to the end of all their authority and status, the rebels from Heaven use every trick available to prevent God's people from keeping God's commandments.
One trick is to overemphasize the importance of the manual at the expense of the garden. Another is to provoke the believers into arguing endlessly over the manual as though it itself were the new covenant and eternal life.
A third trick, perhaps the most damaging of all, is to mix Paul's doctrine of grace with Gnosticism such that the Christian salvation is seen to be a grasp on theological knowledge with the end in view of attaining eternal residence in the spirit Paradise.
Satan's great success is seen in the eternal babyhood of the believers and the lack in the world of a clear, shining testimony of God's Person, will, way, and eternal purpose in Jesus Christ.
For two thousand years the Christian churches have been working largely with the gardener's manual instead of the garden. There have been at least a million arguments over the wording of the manual. Believers have been tortured and killed because they had a different view of the manual. But the garden has been neglected.
The manual consists of our doctrines and statements of faith.
The garden consists of Christ formed in us and dwelling in us.
To be continued.