The Hope and Purpose of this writing is to communicate to the reader that the Life we have in Christ is a Gift of Spirit, and cannot in any form be acquired, or enhanced, or secured or preserved by any efforts of our carnal thinking. The Spirit of God is the Gift of God.
Examples Are Teachers
Examples are...well, they're just that. They are examples. Examples are teachers; items of interest that should point us in the direction that we are to go. I suppose it is ok to refer to examples as sign posts of a sort. But that description doesn't do justice to the idea that I wish to share. Examples are physical truths that are used to teach us other truths - spiritual truths.
I believe that "All scripture is given by inspiration of GOD, and profitable..." [2 Tim. 3:16] I also strongly believe the teachings in the WORD of GOD are given as physical examples to teach us spiritual truths. I Corinthians 10, verses 6 and 11 (indeed, the entire chapter) indicates that we are to learn from these natural (physical) truths that we might understand spiritual truths. I Corinthians chapter 15 also shows us this, as well as declaring "...the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual". [I Cor. 15:46] This position, or understanding, in no way indicates that the physical (natural) patterns that we are given are any less true. Quite the contrary, by having a natural example and a spiritual example, we fulfill the requirement of TORAH, the law, by having two witnesses. [Deut. 17:6; 19:15; Matt. 18:16]
The process of using physical, or natural, examples to teach us spiritual truths should become the very basis for our understanding. FATHER has established this process, and we have no mandate or ability to fine tune it. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." [2 Cor. 13:1] The physical examples we are shown in scripture declare and confirm that the spiritual is the truth. Spirit is Truth. "GOD is Spirit." [John 4:24] At once, after we have seen and perceived the spiritual truth that the natural examples reveal, we can no longer be fed and ministered to by returning to the natural example. There is no water in that well! "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh (natural, physical) profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are Spirit, and are Life.” [John 6:63]
On February 11, 1996, while wide awake in the early hours of the morning, FATHER began to unfold to me HIS epistle to the Galatians. Since the beginning of my young spiritual walk I have been drawn to this book, and have pondered the mysteries that are cloaked in it. FATHER spoke to me (in Spirit, of course. I have never heard an audible voice of GOD; but then, audible would be natural, would it not?) saying, “Having begun in MY SPIRIT, would you now go on in the flesh?” [Gal. 3:3] As my mind began to race, I started to understand more fully a statement I heard Paul Cain say; “Heresy comes when believers receive Revelation Knowledge, and then attempt to apply it to their carnal living.” Or in other words, when we see (perceive) a spiritual truth, we try to use that which we have ‘seen’ to improve our flesh (carnal living). It began to make sense to me that having taken one step in the SPIRIT, you do not take the next step in the flesh. Now, this logic may make complete sense to the 'world’, but for those who are New Creations in CHRIST, it is not so! Believers have historically received spiritual insights and immediately attempted to convert them to flesh. How ironic!
In his letter to the Galatians, our brother Paul explains to us the relationship between Spirit and flesh. Paul uses the story (example) of Father Abraham and his two male descendants as described in Genesis, chapters 16 and 21. Abram (before Abraham) produced a descendant by the flesh (carnal thinking) in union with a bondwoman (Hagar); Abram had not entered into covenant with Hagar. GOD had promised Abram that he would have descendants "...as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, your descendants also could be numbered." [Gen. 13:16] GOD made this promise to Abram, not to Abraham. Yet Abram had no offspring, no descendant, no heir. Sarai, Abram's wife, was barren. So Abram uses Hagar as a surrogate. By his carnal thinking, Abram (spirit) harkened to the voice of Sarai (soul) and the soulish and carnal reasoning produced a son from a bondwoman. Their actions are obviously carnal and soulish; and their actions in the flesh produced a "son of the flesh." [Gal. 4:23] This "son of the flesh", named Ishmael, became the father of the peoples that are now called Arab. The father of the Arabs was Abram, through carnal thinking and acting, and because of Abram's carnality Ishmael was produced; and Ishmael produced the Arab nations (peoples, 'gentiles') which have become as the "dust of the earth", just as FATHER promised in Gen. 13:16. And they (Abram's descendants according to the flesh) still inhabit the land. "...for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever." [Gen. 13:15] And all the descendants of Abram in his flesh are inhabiting and fighting over that land to this day!
Galatians 4:24-28 remind us that Hagar (Ishmael) and Sarah (Isaac) represent two covenants. Paul the apostle tells us that Hagar (to flee; no resting place) is the covenant at Sinai [Gen. 24:1-8] and deals with the flesh, the carnal nature, and is ever changing. That relationship has no resting place. It moves, just like the tabernacle in the wilderness - always moving, and taking you with it. There is no rest in the wilderness. A wilderness is not meant to be a resting place. A wilderness is a place you are to pass through, not rest in. Abraham's covenant however, through Sarah, produced the "son of promise." The promise to Abraham was that "we might receive the SPIRIT through faith." [Gal. 3:14] Paul said [Gal.4:24-25] that the Sinai covenant "gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar (fleeing, moving, finding no rest). He includes in this description our fascination with physical Jerusalem. He also refers to this covenant (fascination, attachment) as producing children of bondage. Paul also tells us, however, that "the Jerusalem which is above is free", and is the mother (GOD the HOLY SPIRIT is FATHER) that produces Sons that are free. "Now we, brethren, just as Isaac, are children of the promise." [Gal. 4:26-31]
Let us now take a look at what I believe FATHER was revealing with HIS goad of "having begun in the SPIRIT, would you now go on in the flesh?” Gal.4:29-30, teaches us that we are having to deal with two natures - a carnal nature (first) and a spiritual nature. I Cor.15:44-49 also tells us that the natural (physical, carnal) man - the man of dust- is first. Then comes the spiritual man, the man of heaven, from the Jerusalem that is above. First the natural and then the spiritual. Gal.4:29 reminds us that the natural man, the First Adam, will persecute and even seek to kill (to stop it from being) the spiritual man, the Last Adam! Your natural, carnal nature will seek to prevent your CHRIST nature from being realized!
Hear, now, Gal. 4:30. You and I, believers of the promise made to Abraham, must cast out "the Bondwoman (Sinai covenant) and her son (Ishmael).” I could never before understand this. I believed it, but I couldn't see it. We, who are the Beloved, must cast out this fascination with the Sinai covenant because it produces Ishmael. Ishmael means "GOD hears, or GOD will hear.” Ishmael always is looking forward to another day, another time. Isaac, however, means "laughter; the sound of laughter, joy, merriment, the sound of play." Now is the Day of Salvation! Isaac is the joy and revelation of being in the presence of FATHER, and having the right to be there! Isaac is now. [Gal. 4:28] Isaac is laughing and playing and reveling in the presence of your HOLY FATHER, and knowing that you have every right to be there. No man gave you that privilege, and no man can take that away from you!
Go now to Genesis 21:9. Scripture says that Sarah saw Ishmael mocking Isaac. The Hebrew word translated 'mocking' is the same word as Isaac - laughter. Ishmael was trying to be like Isaac. Ishmael was attempting to take the place of Isaac. Ishmael, the son of bondage, was attempting to be seen as "the son of promise." The flesh was making an effort to supplant the Spirit. The man of flesh was aping, or mimicking, the man of the spirit. The man of flesh would usurp that which can only be known in Spirit.
The covenant that Sinai, physical Jerusalem, produces will always try to blot out and overpower the covenant of "the Jerusalem which is above." Ishmael would steal the covenant promise, "the Gift of HOLY SPIRIT" [Gal. 3:14], if that were possible. However: "...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of GOD, nor does corruption inherit incorruption." [I Cor. 15:50]
You are "I Am" in CHRIST; The manifestation of the son "...of the free woman through promise." [Gal. 4:23] FATHER only has one SON. "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds', as of many, but as of one, "And to your seed, who is CHRIST." [Gal. 3:16] "For you are all sons of GOD through faith in CHRIST JESUS." [Gal. 3:26]
Shalom and Shalom! Alan