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The Glorious Christ Within

holy spirit dove

So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.”  The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.2

Recently, while I was meditating, Paul’s famous statement in Colossians 1:27 came to mind: “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” There is a staggering amount of depth in those seven words, but one simple thing they clearly show (as do numerous other scriptures) is that, at least here, Christ” does not refer to a person named Jesus.  There is no tiny human living inside our bodies.  So then, what or who is this “Christ” within us, providing our hope of glory?

As I noted recently, the word “Christ” an adjective, a word of description, meaning “anointed.”  An anointing is an impartation of God’s spirit upon or within something in order to set it apart and empower it for a specific purpose.  In Colossians 1:27, what Paul meant was this: the only hope of “glory” (manifesting God’s nature, achieving a higher, spiritual state of being), either for us as individuals or as the body of Christ as a whole, is for us to receive and walk in harmony with the inward anointing of God’s spirit.  Perhaps surprisingly, this holds true even of Jesus, a man whom God made to be “the Christ” by anointing him with power and then raising him from the dead (see my previous post for more on that).  

If all this is true, then the real issue is this: how does this anointing work; how does the Christ within us produce glory?   (I wish questions like these were given more attention).  To answer it, let’s first look at something Paul emphasized in his letters to at least three different congregations: the Romans (Romans 6), Ephesians (Ephesians 4), and Colossians (Colossians 3).  To each, he wrote about an “old man” who is dead and must be shunned, and a “new man” who is alive and must be embraced.  Each of these “men” represent a nature or a mind with which we perceive things and live according to.  In the passage from Romans 8 below, you’ll notice Paul specifically mentions the “mind of the flesh” and the “mind of the spirit.”  In brief, the “old man” is Adam and everything that comes from his fallen, lifeless nature, and the “new man” is Christ and everything that comes from his nature of abundant spiritual life.  (I wrote about this a bit more here). 

Romans 8:6-10 (WEB): “For the mind of the flesh (our natural/Adamic mind, the old man) is death (it’s dead, and everything that comes from it, good or bad, is dead), but the mind of the Spirit (mind of Christ within, the new man) is life and peace (connects with God and conforms to His will); because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God (opposed to Him); for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be (no connection with God, who is spirit and love). Those who are in the flesh (religiously living by the mind of the old man) can’t please God (and have no hope of glory). But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if (since) it is so that the Spirit of God (Christ) dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. If (since) Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

Another literal Greek translation of “if Christ is in you” could be: “since Christ is in you…”   Paul was writing to believers, so I believe he was saying that since Christ (the anointing of God’s spirit) is within, then that inner spirit is full of life and at peace, though at the same time your own mind (“the mind of the flesh”) cannot connect with God (is dead) and is at enmity with Him (no peace).  In learning to follow the anointing of Christ within into glory, step #1 is to realize that there is a difference between  your own mind and will, and that of Christ is in you, and that the former is irreversibly spiritually dead and useless.  It’s the old man who is religious, fearful, guilty, prideful, blind, arrogant, and so on.  The new man is full of love, joy, peace, courage, life.

1 John 2:27 says: “As for you, the anointing which you received from him (Christ) remains in you, and you don’t need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing (Christ) teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him.” Do you want to be a follower of Jesus?  Living according to the mind of Christ/the spirit within IS to follow him!!!  That’s how Jesus lived!  Jesus was absolutely not religious, he had no awareness of separation from God his Father, no awareness of sin, no sense of fear, guilt or of obligation to do certain things he felt he “should.”  He knew his Father’s life, presence, and spirit were with him and in him, and so he simply did and said what that life in him naturally led him to.  Yes, he prayed to his Father, and we should too.  But as we mature, we will begin to realize that God is always with us and in us, and that often, our circumstances are from Him and our will and His will are one.  When “Christ in us” is what we are aware of and operate based on, and the mind of the flesh is shunned, there will be much more peace, trust, and use of authority, and much less begging and worry.

I wish I understood and could articulate more, but I will continue to share what I receive.  God bless you.

  1. John 14:28, John 5:30; 8:28; 8:42; 8:49; 12:49; 14:10.

  2. 1 Corinthians 15:45-47

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Jesus, The Christ

unnamed 

“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3)

“Let all the house of Israel therefore know certainly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:36)

(*All scripture quotations are from the World English Bible translation).  While this is sure to be a controversial statement, I believe one could accurately say that while there is only one “Jesus,” the Lord and God’s pre-eminent son, there are and have been many “christs.”  Allow me to explain.  The name “Jesus” was a common male name in Israel, and it refers to the man the person.  “Christ” refers to the anointing which was upon and within that man.  Of course, Jesus was far from common.  He was born to a virgin, performed unparalleled miracles, taught unparalleled truth, and after being crucified, rose from the dead.  

“Christ” isn’t a name, but is actually an adjective (descriptive word), meaning “anointed” (see here).  Jesus was the name of the man, Christ is what he was.  In fact, many places in scripture refer to Jesus as “the Christ,” meaning THE anointed one, the single, special person from God whom Israel was waiting for, their messiah!  Jesus’ anointing, as all anointings are, was for a special purpose, one that was unique to him.  Jesus was anointed and sent by God to do many things only he could do: fulfill (thus removing and superseding) the law, atone for sin, witness to the truth, and open the way again for the kingdom of God to be established on earth, as it is in heaven, through fully-realized sons of God (of whom Jesus was the first and will always be the greatest).  So what we have is Jesus, a man from Nazareth, a descendant of David, who was anointed by God to be “the Christ,” the savior of Israel and the whole world.

Maybe all this sounds crazy or even heretical, but the first apostles, the ones who literally lived by Jesus’ side 24/7 for years, saw Jesus this way.   For example, in Acts 4:27, while praying to God, the church refers to Jesus like this: “…your holy servant, Jesus, whom you anointed…”  Acts 5:42 says of the first church: “…they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.  Later, in Acts 10:38, Peter says: “…Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” According to the apostle Peter, this is who the Jesus from Nazareth was: a man anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power, who did many good works and healed many oppressed people, because God was with him. Isn’t that amazing?

Other verses speak to Jesus’ manhood as well:

  • 1Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…” 
  • Acts 13:37-38: “But he whom God raised up saw no decay. Be it known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man is proclaimed to you remission of sins…” 
  • Romans 5:15: “For if by the trespass of the one (Adam) the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”

Maybe you’re wondering what the point of this is?  I’ve asked myself that too.  I think first of all, it’s worth looking into the nature of Jesus simply because he is the most important person to have ever lived, and what he was about is critical to understand.   A wrong view of who Jesus was and what he was about will likely lead to a wrong understanding of what it is to honor the God he represented and was unified with.  Second, at least to me personally, it’s very inspiring and encouraging to see and realize that Jesus was not only divine, but human, and that Jesus did what he did as a man, anointed with power by God Himself!  I am convinced God doesn’t desire for men to imitate Jesus from their own effort and understanding, as that can never fulfill His will.  Instead, I believe God desires, even awaits sons, who, just like his firstborn Jesus, fulfill the role God has personally anointed (“Christed”) them for; who perform their function in the body Christ as the spirit (anointing) leads and enables.  You and I aren’t anointed to be the Lord of all or to fulfill the law, to be the first and greatest.  However, if like Jesus we follow the leading of the spirit for us personally, submitting to God, we will walk as Jesus’ brothers and sisters and be joined together as the body of Christ on earth now.

I am putting the finishing touches on a post looking at the “Christ” side of Jesus Christ, which I hope to publish soon.  God bless you!

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Jesus’ Advice to Laodicea

(Revelation 3:18-19)  “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.  (19)  ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.

(1 John 2:27):  “And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

 It’s critical to keep in mind that Laodicea, who Jesus speaks to, is a “church,” a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ.  As I discussed last time, Laodicea means “righteous people,” referring to their self-perceived righteousness.  These “christians” believe in their heart they are “rich” by believing in Christ, have “abundance” by their good works, and have “need of nothing” because they are saved and on their way to heaven.  However, Jesus exposes their true condition as deplorable, pitiful, and bankrupt.  Keep in the forefront of your mind that Jesus is speaking of their spiritual condition.  It’s a grave and common mistake, especially with Jesus’ words, to read scripture in a “natural” sense all the time.  He said he spoke in parables and his words were “spirit” and “life.” He also reminds Laodicea that his harsh rebuke and discipline is a sign of love, and he encourages them to zealously repent, which literally means to zealously reconsider their belief systems and to begin to perceive on a deeper level. 

Jesus first counsel is to get “gold refined by fire.”  This refers to gold that has undergone intense fire, which melts the gold and allows the impurities within it to be seen and removed.  Once Laodicea has this refined gold, Jesus says they will truly be “rich.”  The gold Jesus speaks of is simply that which is precious and leads to increasing wealth in the kingdom of God.  In scripture, gold is compared with wisdom, but wisdom is said to be far superior and God alone knows where it is hidden.  Wisdom and understanding are the “gold” of God’s kingdom

When you are taught by Jesus Himself, through the Holy Spirit (see 1 John 2:27 above), you can access this gold (wisdom) and become rich in the sight of God.  God doesn’t regard much of what men do, including religious men.  The gold Jesus counsels Laodicea to buy is imperishable and has been purified not with physical fire, but with the fire of God’s judgment which consumes and separates every spiritual impurity.  If this comes to our life, it can be painful and a cause for “fear and trembling,” but it’s also a cause for great rejoicing, because it means God receives us as His children. (Hebrews 12): “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”  …But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”  And as Jesus reminded Laodicea: “those whom I love, I reprove and discipline…” 

When we undergo this fire, that which is not from God is consumed or separated from the truly precious “gold” of all which was from Him.  I believe this primarily takes place within our heart, which is the core of our thoughts and beliefs.  In 1 Timothy 1:5, Paul says the goal of his teaching is “love from a pure heart…”  What “pure heart” means is one’s core of thought and belief (mind) which is untainted by the traditions, teachings, religious ideas of men and is therefore “purely” of God.  It isn’t having no desire for sinful things – that would be better called a “clean” heart.  I believe many well-established religious ways of thinking and their resulting “good” works will be burned up in this fire, because they were not based on God’s mind, but the minds of men.  We can only access God’s mind by Spirit-to-spirit revelation of truth and wisdom.

The second thing Jesus says to buy is “white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed…”  The purpose of a garment is to be a covering.  What needs covered?  The natural realm mirrors the spiritual realm.  In the natural, the shamefulness of our naked flesh is covered by our clothing.  In the spiritual, the shame of our “flesh” is also covered by spiritual “garments.”  Flesh in this case speaks of the focus on and obedience of SELF.  When self is the focus and is served, self is god and king.  Self/flesh is permanently opposed to God and must be crucified.  (Romans 8): 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…  13 … for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die…”  (Galatians 5)17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh…”  24 Now those who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” 

I believe the “white garments” here represent the righteousness and purity of Jesus Christ Himself.  Jesus became radiantly white when he was transfigured.  Angels who appeared to men were brilliantly white.  The “overcomers” (of self) in Revelation 3:4-5 are said to be clothed in white.  Once the pride of self in its good or its knowledge (see: the Pharisees) is humbled and the flesh is crucified, then one can receive the white garment of Jesus Christ himself.  God recognizes nothing else, as everything good that is of man is, according to scripture “wood, hay and stubble,” “filthy rags,” and worthless. 

Finally, Jesus counsels Laodicea to buy “eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.”  Our natural eyes give us sight and perception of the physical realm.  We also have “eyes,” or faculties of perception, into the invisible realms of soul and spirit.  Paul spoke of the “eyes of your heart” in Ephesians 1:18, which he prayed would be “enlightened” by the Spirit of God.  In  Matthew 6:22-23, Jesus spoke of the singular “eye” (referring to one’s perception of the spiritual realm) which gives light within, which can be “clear” or “bad.”  Jesus says this “eye” should be “single” (KJV).  The word “single” is the Greek word haplous.  It literally means “without folds or braids,” in the sense of whole, single, uncomplicated, simple.  I think Jesus is saying that one’s spiritual eyesight/perception needs to be without any mixture of darkness caused by the traditions and teachings of selfish, fearful men, which causes confusion.  Jesus then warns that if the “light” (truth and understanding) we claim to have is actually darkness (error and confusion), then this is the most extreme darkness there is.  This is why saying one has “need of nothing” is so dangerous.

The “eye salve” Jesus counsels them to buy and to “anoint” their eyes with is the Greek word kollourion.  It actually comes from a base word meaning “glue,” and refers to a thick glue-like paste that would be applied to eyes to soothe them.  “Anoint” is the word egchrio, has some interesting possible meanings, but likely just means to “rub in” with the idea of “receiving.”  Priests were “anointed” with oil as a symbol of their intended function before God.  I think a literal translation of Jesus admonition here is to buy “eye-glue to rub in your eyes, that you may see.”  The idea is our natural, carnal eyes (human perception, often based on fear, tradition or confusion) being covered or glued shut, with the presence of the Holy Spirit covering them.  Again, 1 John 2:27, which I quoted at the beginning, says: “you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie…”  To perceive spiritually based on the “sight” of this anointing, which John spoke of, requires first that “eye-salve” be applied to glue shut or negate one’s natural, carnal perceptions.  If this is not done, then the carnal, religious perception will remain the “light” within, which Jesus calls the most extreme darkness.  God forbid.

So, Jesus says to Laodicea, the self-righteous and spiritually satisfied and complacent, that if they want to have anything of spiritual value, they need three things:  1). Wisdom which is set on fire and requires a process of burning and separating impurities, 2). the righteousness of Christ himself which requires true humility and self-abasement, and 3). spiritual perception which requires the “gluing shut” of one’s carnal eyes.  My counsel for us all is to take Christ’s counsel earnestly, and to desperately cry out for wisdom, true righteousness, and clear sight.  Let us be still before God to learn of and be equipped by Him.  God bless you.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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