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Posts Tagged ‘Sin’

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“Do you not know that your very body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, …”  1Cor 6:19 Amp

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rom 10:10 Amp

Much examination of the parallels between the layout of the first temples (and tabernacle) and the believer in Jesus Christ has already been accomplished, and that is not my focus here.

I want to establish in your immediate thinking the notion that there is an important similarity between God having three parts, the temple layout having three parts, and you as a believer having three parts.  It is not accidental.  It is very important!

Recall the first temple layout.  There was an outer court, a Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies.  You are a type of this layout.  Your Holy of Holies is where your spirit resides, and the Holy Spirit as well.  When you were first saved this is the place where the Holy Spirit came and awakened you, bringing new life to your spirit, and made a residence for Himself as well.  This is the place that allows you to relate to the spiritual realm, and to have fellowship with God.  It is the place that allows you to be God conscious.

In the temple, the Holy of Holies was the place where, once a year on the day of atonement, the High Priest would minister before the Lord.  The only light in that place was the Shekinah Glory of God. The Holy of Holies contained the ark of the covenant including the golden jar of manna, and the rod of Aaron, and also the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments.  This Holy of Holies was separated from the outer division (Holy Place) by a massive curtain or veil.

So this Holy of Holies of the temple is comparable to your spirit, and the activities of the temple Holy of Holies give us great insight into the workings of our own spirit man.

However, most of the day to day business of the temple actually took place in the Holy Place.  That is where the priests entered in daily performance of their ritual acts of worship.  This Holy Place is like your own soul, where your will, intellect, and emotions reside. 

Our personal Holy Place is likewise a place of great business:  filled with much thinking, reasoning, desiring, estimating, and all the processing of our emotions and opinions. It is in this place, the soul of man, where the enemy first stirred up in Eve in the garden as he provoked her to much thinking and analysis, and ultimately to independence in thought and sin.  This place is where Eve received and entertained the enemy’s questions and doubt concerning the goodness of God.  It is the place where she decided for herself a course of action, and then enticed Adam to also eat. It is from here that she entered all of mankind into isolation from God and death to the spirit. It is here, in the soul of man – where sin found fertile ground, that a Savior was needed to overcome our rebellion and independence from God.

But a really important point, and one that must not be overlooked, is that before Eve ever acted on the apple – before she ever appraised its value or desirability, she first had to entertain doubt in her heart about the goodness of God.  It was in her heart that darkness of corruption was first introduced, because she entertained the devil’s thought that God was withholding good from them.  Because it is with the heart that we first believe, so Eve with her heart first erred in belief, and received Satan’s lie.

While the temple layout (its Holy of Holies, Holy Place, and Outer Court) and our layout as spirit, soul, and body are critical, I want to turn our attention to an equally critical area of the temple. It is an area rarely discussed in depth, yet a reference point for much of the teaching that Jesus accomplished in the temple.  That is the two pillars which framed the entrance to the temple area, and are known as Jachin and Boaz.  Just as these pillars framed the entrance to the temple, they also frame the entrance and become the supports for our discussion of God’s plan and the heart of man.

Hence, we will pick up the discussion of these two pillars, and their importance in the next chapter…

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“He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,…” Heb 1:3 Amp

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If I were to ask you the time, where would you look? Would you refer to your phone, the clock on the wall, or would you look to the world clock which is the time-setter for all other time-keeping devices?  Better yet, would you look to the One Who is the Creator of time, while even outside of time Himself?

This is where Adam and Eve were before the fall. When they wanted to know something, they looked to God.  Watchman Nee explains it this way:

Before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit their right and wrong were in God’s hand. If they did not live before God they knew nothing at all, for their right and wrong actually were in God. By taking the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they found a source of right and wrong in other than God Himself.”  (pg. 21, Spiritual Authority, Watchman Nee.)

Before the fall if you asked Adam and Eve what time it was, they would have asked God. Afterwards, they could only try and figure it out themselves…

This is important for us to understand. The enemy, Satan, introduced into all of mankind self and independence from God: in other words, lawlessness and rebellion.  

Yes he brought mankind into sin.  Forever after the default setting of man would be under sin … until the Cross of Christ paid for that sin.

But also, he introduced into the heart of man, like a silent creeping poison, unregistered, unnoticed, the principle of lawlessness.

After the fall, every time man wanted to know the time … he would look to his own devices.  His watch, his sundial, his self-sufficiency. He didn’t need God anymore to tell him the time. He could do it himself….

This lawlessness meant that not only would man not ask God the time, he would actually dispute God about what time it really was.  The created suddenly knows better than the Creator about what time it is.

So Christ not only had to deal with the sin issue, but He had to somehow overcome the lawlessness that had been introduced forever into the heart of mankind. Legally, it had been welcomed into the heart, so Jesus couldn’t just kick it out. It had legal authority to reside there. Until, that is, Jesus purchased us….

What Jesus provided at the Cross, is not only miraculous, amazing, undeserved, incalculable, eternal, beyond comprehension!  But it is ours, freely, if we will accept it!

As Jesus came into the world, He brought with Himself a new antidote to lawlessness. He brought the capacity to obey. Never before had the divine attributes of obedience been hand carried from the Heavenly realms to earth. But with a Baby Christ-Child, it came.

In Hebrews 10:5 and 7 it says:

Hence, when He [Christ] entered into the world, He said, Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but instead You have made ready a body for Me [to offer];

Then I said, Behold, here I am, coming to do Your will, O God – [to fulfill] what is written of Me in the volume of the Book.” Amp

Like never before His coming, now there was the ability to obey what God said.  Now, not only could we let go of our own notion of what time it is… we could in humility acknowledge our need to know the time, face the fact we couldn’t even find the clock, but the also submit to God believing that He not only knew the time but was more than willing to give us the time!

Just like God created the universe out of the barrenness, He now through Christ created a capacity for our hearts to let go of lawlessness and to embrace obedience, thereby also embracing Him … the One Who is the emblem of Obedience!

Now like never before, we had a choice!  Our innermost being, our heart and our soul could now operate according to obedience.  We could let go of our old man compulsion to be a recorder of the time, and actually receive from God a life to understand the significance of time!

Interesting point in all this is Watchman Nee’s take on where things are headed:

Lawlessness is disobeying God’s authority; and this is sin. Sinning is a matter of conduct but lawlessness is a matter of heart attitude.  This present age is characterized by lawlessness. The world is full of the sin of lawlessness, and soon the son of lawlessness shall appear. Authority in the world is being increasingly undermined until at the end all authorities will be overthrown and lawlessness shall rule.” (pg. 16, Spiritual Authority, Watchman Nee)

Of course we know, through the word of God in Thessalonians that this Man of Lawlessness will not be able to come until the Body of Christ is taken up in the rapture of the Church. But then it will occur, that authorities will be overturned and lawlessness will be unleashed on the earth.

We see the signs of this increasing lawlessness in every sector of society: from Government down to the individual scorning correction, championing their rights to be lawless!

Lawlessness is on the rise, but for us today, it is important to see the truth.

So I ask you, “What time is it?” Will you automatically look to yourself and your devices? Or will you look to God for the answer?

You may think in this moment, “I have a watch, I can tell time.” But that is different from the men of Issachar, who had understanding of the times to know what Israel should do (1Chr 12:32).

We live in a moment when we have the capacity and provision, in Christ, to again live as if all of our right and wrong is found in the Lord. Where like Jesus, our hearts are one with Him and the echo of our heart is, “Here I am coming to do Your will O God — and to fulfill what is written of us in the volume of the Book!” (Heb 10:7, Ps 139:16)

Will we look to ourselves after all, believing in error we can, and thus should?

Or will we humble ourselves before God, confessing our pride and independence is nothing short of the legacy of the fall?

Saints, what time do you have?

 

 

 

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“…[And now, Job, who are you who dares not arouse the unmastered crocodile, yet who dares resist Me, the beast’s Creator, to My face? Everything under the heavens is Mine; therefore, who can have a claim against God?” Amp Job 41:34

“And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad [to offer vain and perilous resistance].” Amp Acts 9:5

“In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the curse and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes God].” Amp Eph 2:2

“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?” Amp Rom 6:16

Your life as a believer is made up of choices. You chose to hear the word, you chose to receive the life of Christ, you chose and still choose to walk it out daily and deny yourself.

The Lord never takes away your choice. Just like King David chose to stay home when kings were out fighting, and he brought himself into the choice of taking Bathsheba…choices matter greatly. Some of them will change the course of your life, eternally.

If as a believer you consistently make choices that run counter to the will and purposes of God … then even though you might call yourself a believer, the principle operating in you is more like sin and rebellion than the principle of obedience.

Thus, what you have continued to surrender to (sin) becomes the defacto ruler over you, even if you have confessed Jesus as Savior.

This is the truth behind the Scripture in Mt 7:21-23. If you have truly surrendered your life to Jesus (Who is the Emblem of Obedience), then His nature will have victory within you, and that victory will foster obedience.

The struggle between your natural life (call it gravity) and your supernatural life from the Spirit (Aerodynamics) are continuously in a struggle. They are adversarial forces which will always be diametrically opposed to each other, but one of them is going to win.

Which one wins is your choice. You get to choose! You choose whether gravity happens and you crash and burn, or whether you overcome gravity with the principles of flight!

Here is the hard part. Choices are not always easy. Sometimes they cost you greatly, and in surrendering again to Christ, you are called to die to your self, die to your rights, die to what seems fair, die to your own opinions and emotions.  This is hard. But it is necessary. And the Lord has given us everything necessary to make the hard choices. We just don’t like it, but it will yield a harvest of righteousness that will bring peace that is freedom from every agitating passion and moral conflict.

Right now my heart aches for many people I know who are locked into a difficult struggle, where the cost of victory in Christ seems too high. They find themselves falling again and again, captive to their natural emotions, to old habits and patterns of behavior that have only yielded wounds so deep they appear like gullies in the terrain of their soul.

These people are choosing comfort and safety. They think they are choosing freedom, when by their choice they abort the conflict in preference to peace. But it is not a true peace, for it is only the quieting of the struggle, but with it comes a loss of perception, of insight, of holiness in the character of God – for they have actually chosen sin, something that conflicts with God’s will and purpose (the comfort and ease of the flesh).

But I would tell you that in Christ all efforts are worthwhile and profitable, and will yield an eternal reward. You have everything given to you that you need to choose to please God rather than yourself. Choose to please Him!

1Peter 4:1-2 speaks to this directly…

“So since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God]. So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.” Amp

The choice is before us daily to live for Christ. It never leaves us. It is never taken away. Rather, it is like while seeing gravity before us, we choose instead to mount up with wings of eagles, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint.

Remember, the Lord doesn’t lay a standard before us to walk out on our own. He is God with us… Emmanuel, and He provides all that we need to stand up under the trial (1Cor 13:10).

Rest in Him even as you fight the great fight!

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