To Be Christs

By Lloyd Ellefson

It's important to understand the basics of our belief in Christ. A faulty foundation produces a faulty building. If our basic understanding is defective we will go off on a tangent which takes us far away from the truth. A tangent can be compared with a crescendo symbol in music. At first the difference may be minimal, but eventually the difference is very marked.

Differences in belief are very evident in the Christian religious denominations worldwide. They reproduce themselves after their kind - Lutherans make Lutherans, Baptists make Baptists, etc. People are afraid to leave the cover or umbrella of their denomination, for their denomination is their security. If they leave, who will take care of them, who will teach them, who will help them, and who will keep them from false doctrine and wrong thinking? Nor do they want to face the consequences of the rejection associated with leaving a particular affiliation. This kind of thinking is all in the natural realm.

The Holy Spirit can use a spoken word to produce faith and a new realization from God, but this realization has to come to us from within. It doesn't come from any external source. It is not enough to listen to various testimonies; we need to know the Spirit of truth experientially and actively, otherwise we will fall prey to all kinds of teachings. The natural man assumes that reasonings are truth, so he embraces them. However, natural man's truth is error. The Adamic or soulish man births a wrong idea of God and a wrong idea of self!

We know that God is omnipresent. People all over the world find that God is constantly active in their lives even though their understanding of Him may be faulty. If God were not omnipresent, we might miss Him for He might not be where we are. Paul told the pagans on Mars Hill that they lived and moved and had their being in God. (Acts 17) They didn't know that, so they were to repent of their ignorance. Paul had a true realization of God, but the pagans didn't. The Holy Spirit had come to Paul and revealed to him that God was his nature, God was his being, God was his substance, God was everything to him! If we hold on to our own conception of self and God, we will not receive the true realization of who God is.

God has created all things; He fills all things and He sustains all things by His mighty power! He reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit; He comes into our consciousness - our realization of who we are! That is the only way we can understand His presence. As we actively submit ourselves to God we experience His presence! (Submission to God differs from submission to an earthly individual.) His presence is received by us individually, personally - in our own private being.

Since God is omnipresent, there is no place where God is not! He is not only present in a specific place - He is everywhere! He doesn't need to move toward us when we call nor when we pray. In the physical sense, He can't even move because He IS! He fills all things, He is the substance of all forms, and He is that all the time! He has created both the seen and the unseen things in the universe - like air, electricity, gravity, etc. God does not change. If God changed, everything would change.

It is very important that we know God is the source of all things; there is no other source! He is omnipotent and He has all power! His power is the only power. God's power is truth, because He is the truth! He is the Creator, Sustainer and Source of all things! Jesus Christ came to teach us that He is the truth. The lie always opposes truth by deception. It brings its believers into a delusion. The father of lies is called the adversary, the devil, satan, the ruler (prince or god) of this world. He is an adversary of God and has no inherent power; he operates in a lie and in a delusion. He was not in existence in the beginning; no law sustains him except the law of the lie.

By believing the lie, man entered into the law of the lie, and made lies his refuge. Adam, the natural man, became the priesthood of lies, for through one man sin ENTERED the world. However, man was not the originator of sin; he did not bring it into being. Sin was present before man sinned. Man was deluded; sin began to work in him and he brought it into the world. The lie came from the adversary who opposes God's truth. The lie is not a power; but to us it has been a power, because we become slaves of that to which we submit ourselves.

God is omniscient; He knows everything. Since a higher authority than God's is not in existence, He cannot be subject to a higher authority. However, He has not experienced all things. His mind has never had a sin-consciousness because He has never sinned. God has never experienced humanity, so He sent His Son into this world to participate in humanity. This God is the substance of our faith!

In the beginning God created the universe. In this creation a development took place. God spoke light into the darkness; then the earth emerged out of the waters and the heavens began to rule. The Word was the Seed that produced everything, for it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God." This Word was God's Son. When God said, "Let there be light", there it was! The substance of light is in the Word - not in the light. We need to be taken back into the substance of things! Faith is the substance of things hoped for. As we appropriate and live in this substance which is in all forms, we find the presence of God.

Because of man's disobedience, a disruption of God's rule in man occurred. A number of scripture passages refer to this. Again, it's a mistranslation that misleads us. That which should read, "since the DISRUPTION of the world", has been translated "since the FOUNDATION of the world" in the King James version. The world is not the creation; the world is a rule or an arrangement that operates in creation. God has His rule and arrangement, but the adversary has disrupted God's rule through Adam. This happened in the garden when Adam believed a lie in place of the truth, and he fell from his previous estate. He then received a consciousness, born of a seed in a word that was not of God. It was a lie, and it brought man into a delusion. This man was then cast out of the garden.

A flaming sword and the cherubim guarded the entrance to the way to the tree of life. So this Adam man could not get back into the garden - and he never will! It's important to understand that this man, this humanity, this I-consciousness that God cast out of the garden, can never come back in! He is never redeemed! He is destined to die because his consciousness cannot live in a harmonious relationship with God. The consciousness or sense of being of our old Adamic man was crucified with Jesus Christ; He ends in Christ, and Christ becomes the last Adam!

There are only two men. One man, Adam, was cast out of the garden. (Gen. 3) However, there was another man in the garden who was not cast out. We read about Him in Genesis 1; He is the One of whom God said, "It is very good". I believe the first man never left the garden; He is the Son of Man - as Jesus often called Himself in the New Testament. When Jesus was nailed to the cross by humanity, one of the evildoers who was also being crucified, repented. He said, "Remember me when You come into Your kingdom." (Lu. 23:42) Jesus answered, "Today you shall be with Me in Paradise." Paradise is another name for the garden of Eden. Jesus did not say He was going to Paradise, for He was always there. So you see Jesus Christ never left the garden.

This leads me to believe something that might be a little difficult for many to understand. That is, in essence man is the same as the consciousness he possesses. I believe God is the same as the consciousness He possesses. God's mind is not a receptor like man's. Man's mind has to receive thought and thus is subject to deception. But consciousness is a sense of being, of knowing. Since we are made in the image of God, we must also possess consciousness. Death occurs when this consciousness is estranged or separated from God. So I believe that the first Adam has a false sense of being and realization of who he is; his consciousness of reality and self is born of the lie.

On the other hand, Christ, the last Adam, has a true sense of being and realization of who He is; His consciousness of reality and self is born of God and is truth. Only the Holy Spirit can make this alive to us. As a matter of fact, we will not understand the meaning of the scriptures nor of these writings unless we let His Spirit speak to us. Do not expect an audible voice, but let your spirit be energized, for Christ is a quickening Spirit.

In Rom. 8:3 it says, "For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did." People could not even keep the first commandment; they couldn't worship ONE God. So God sent His only Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and condemned sin in the flesh. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Jn. 1:1) God sent His own Son! The Word took the form of His Son; His Son was the form taken on by the Word. So the Word was one with God. As God spoke the Word, things came into being - into forms. But the substance of all things is the Word! The Son was the Seed; He can take on many forms. God does not have a physical form, and neither does God's Son - He was only veiled by the physical form.

"In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." (v.4) In His humanity Jesus Christ demonstrated that God was the source of His life and the true realization of who He was. In God's Word was the Seed which produced the body, nature and expression of His Son. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, but He did not have sinful flesh. They called this man Jesus, the Son of God. The angels and the prophets witnessed to this fact.

God is the reality of the Son! God's Son in a flesh form was called Jesus. He was called Jesus, for He would save His people from their sins. The name JESUS has meaning; it denotes His nature. The name Jesus comes from Jehoshua, Jehovah-Savior, because He was the Savior provided by Jehovah. This refers to the personal name of our Lord in the earthly state of His humiliation. Christ is the Greek equivalent of the Anointed, indicating His exaltation to the office of Messiah. So when we say Jesus Christ, it's the equivalent of Jesus, the Christ. It isn't merely a name like John Doe. Jesus Christ's name is the same as His nature, for He came forth from the truth; He is the Savior, the Christ, provided by God. He was not born by the will of man, and thus was free from error and delusion. Jesus, the Christ, is an expression of the nature of God that was making its form and substance here for us - for humanity had lost its relationship with God and could not hear the Spirit. People were dying and didn't know why.

In Acts 10:38 it says that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and He went about doing good. He came as a human being, was circumcised and operated under the law and was governed by the law. During that time He never did any miracles. After He was baptized and anointed by the Holy Spirit at the Jordan, He came under the government of the Holy Spirit.

Years ago this change of government had been symbolized by Israel. Before they could enter the promised land they had to receive a new circumcision and pass over the Jordan. Twelve stones were taken out of the Jordan and new ones from the promised land were put in. This symbolized a change of government. They were no longer to be led by their fleshly desires; God was to be their Lord and King! Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of that symbolic act when the government in His life changed! Jesus repented of the old law government of His life. That is why John the Baptist was there in the spirit of Elijah (repentance). Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies and types about Himself and became the sum of all these things! The anointing of the Spirit did not change His physical body, but it did bring about a change in His consciousness.

The words ANOINTING and MESSIAH are derived from basically the same root word. The word CHRIST (Christos) corresponds to the Hebrew MESSIAH (Messias), a title used especially of the Anointed. It is the Greek equivalent of the Anointed, indicating His exaltation to the office of Messiah. The word ANOINTING has the same meaning. When the Holy Spirit comes, it's called an anointing. The person who has been anointed becomes the anointed one. The Messiah is one who has been anointed; it is also a title applied to priests, kings and prophets after their official consecration by means of the anointing. God baptized Jesus in the Holy Spirit; He anointed Jesus of Nazareth after He was baptized by John.

Jesus came in the LIKENESS of sinful flesh; flesh, or human nature cannot give a correct impression of God. God is not flesh. "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent." (Numbers 23:19) The flesh is contrary to the Spirit, and God is Spirit. We have to understand that the fleshly or natural mind cannot have a true impression of God. It operates in a delusion. It can only express its own idea or form of God. This form is merely a figment of its imagination, but not the true God.

In John 5 Jesus was speaking to God's chosen people - people who had seen God's miracles and experienced His wonderful leading in their lives. They were circumcised and they thought they knew who their God was. To these people Jesus said, "And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form." (v.37) They had never seen God's shape nor heard His voice. I don't think He was only talking to Israel - I think He was referring to all of humanity, because He was sent into the world.

"And you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. (v.38) These are terrible indictments! They did not have His word abiding in them; they did not believe Christ; they thought they had eternal life in the scriptures, so they would not come to Jesus! Many today have the same wrong ideas the Jews had. They THINK they can have eternal life by reading the scriptures. They do not know that the letter is dead; it cannot give life. We are to serve in newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter. (Rom. 7:6) Furthermore, He said that the scriptures bore witness of Him, but He (Christ) alone could give them life! Yet they would not come to Him that they might have life. (Jn. 5:39-40) So they remained in their estrangement from Christ.

As we compare the teachings of Jesus Christ with what is happening in Christendom today, we see many aberrations. Jesus said, "I don't receive honor from men." How hard it is for us to be free from this desire! Yet if we receive glory from people we are not free to follow Christ! In John 16:23 Jesus said, "In that day you will ask Me no question." However, people today are elevating Jesus, saying, "Jesus, Jesus." Jesus said, "If you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name!" This is because the Holy Spirit in us causes us to cry, "Abba, Father". (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6)

The Jews thought they loved God, but Jesus said, "I know that you have not the love of God in yourselves." (Jn. 5:42) The Jews must have thought how preposterous it was for Him to say that they did not love God! Jesus continued, "I have come in My Father's name and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father." (vv. 43-45a) Jesus never accuses anyone of any sin, and neither does God! 2 Cor. 5:19 tells us that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their sins. God was in Christ not counting their trespasses against them. Since Christ is a true image of God, He does not count our transgressions against us either! Israel had set its hope in Moses (the law), yet it was the law that accused them!

"For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote of Me." (v.46) What, they didn't believe Moses?! "But if you do not believe his writings, how are you going to believe My words?" (v.47) What an indictment against natural humanity! The Jews were deceived - they thought they knew God and who they were as God's chosen people, but they didn't! They thought they were obeying Moses because they knew the 10 commandments, yet knowing them was not obeying them. Christ knew they were unable to keep them so He was able to say all these things. He was indicting the natural man. Israel was a prepared and called-out people. They had been delivered from Egypt, given many blessings, witnessed many miracles and divine deliverances, had prophets who gave them divine messages, etc. Yet when Jesus Christ came, He found a people who were not hearing God, nor were they bearing the fruit of what God had been doing for them.

This is the state they were in when Jesus said, "The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it." (Matt. 21:43) This is a nation of which He will be King! Although God had called out Israel and prepared them to be His people, they didn't know God and they didn't know His Son; they had never heard God, and they did not have the love of God dwelling in them. They didn't even believe Moses! They had only been living in sense knowledge - knowledge taught by the flesh. If that is the only knowledge you are living in, then you are in the same mind-frame as Israel; you are in the Adamic man, separated from God, operating in a false idea of God - in a delusion.

Jesus explained to the Jews who the true God is; He actually demonstrated the true God! Since their concept of God did not agree with what they were hearing, they were incensed! So they killed Him! This showed that Israel was worshiping their own imagination of God; this is a false god, a god who is no God. Christ was the true expression of the invisible God! He was the first man who ever truly demonstrated who God was in Spirit. He proved that by what He said and did. The big indictment against most of the church systems in this world is that they are worshiping the same conception and idea of God that Israel had. The church and natural Israel are still waiting for their Messiah - the Anointed One, the Anointing. Let's remember that THE ANOINTING HAS COME!

Peter talked about that in Acts 2. He said, "God has poured forth this which you both see and hear...Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (vv. 33,38) Peter said that we are to repent and be baptized in Jesus' name - that is, in His nature - and we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. These are the things God expects of us if we want to become Christians. This was how it was achieved in Jesus' life.

"When the fulness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law." (Gal. 4:4-5a) His Son was veiled by the flesh. Those who couldn't see beyond the flesh wouldn't know who the Son was. Today, as then, this can only be known by what the Spirit tells us. Jesus, the Son of God came in a physical form; He was made of flesh and was under the law. For the first thirty years of His life He was not anointed by the Spirit. The prophecy that He would be the Christ was fulfilled at the Jordan; that is where He repented. Yes, Jesus repented. He did not repent of sin, for He never sinned. We are not only to repent of our sin, but of our human nature - our I, our ego, our sense of being that is in the old Adam - the soul which thinks we are what we are according to natural genealogy. This has to die because it is formed of the lie. Adam is the priesthood of lies. The fleshly Adamic man has ingested a word that is a lie; his consciousness is birthed of a lie.

Jesus Christ said, "I am truth." In John 18 He said, "For this reason I came into the world, to bear witness to the truth." He came because there wasn't any truth! There were only false ideas of truth! People had a wrong conception of God and of themselves. In Christ we are created anew and we receive a new conception of God and of ourselves. Jesus Christ identified with us in everything He did, so we now identify with Him. Jesus was NOT CRUCIFIED ALONE, He was NOT BURIED ALONE, He was NOT RAISED FROM THE DEAD ALONE, and He is NOT COMING AGAIN ALONE. This is scriptural. It says we have died with Him on the cross, we have been buried with Him, we have been raised with Him in resurrection, and He is coming again together with us. (Rom. 6:3-8; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:6; 1 Thess. 3:13) He comes into the world through you and me. This is His appearing into the world! He no longer comes as an individual. You can put that in your book.

In John 14-16 Jesus talked about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He said it was to our advantage that He should go away, and that the Holy Spirit would come and take the things of Christ and disclose them to us. He reveals to us the consciousness that He walked in. Jesus no longer walked in the consciousness of the law. It had worked in Him the fruit of repentance, so He now obeyed the Spirit. He knew the promises of God; He knew that God had promised to make all things new! (Rev. 21:5) In Christ we are new creatures! Old things have passed away and new things have come!

Jesus Christ was a true believer, and what happened to Him is a pattern for us. Just as Jesus received the Holy Spirit so we too have to receive Him. Unless we have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, we will be strong in our own delusions and think we have the right idea of God, that we know all about Jesus and His death which took place about 2000 years ago. We will still think He died as our substitute, etc. Since that understanding of His death and resurrection is wrong, it will not have any effect on us.

Unless we have died to that Adamic man like Jesus did, the Adamic man will still live in us and continue to delude us. We'll continue to think that we are pretty good, and that our idea of God and our understanding of the Bible are right. We'll still worship the same deluded idea of God that Israel had and wait for a physical return of Jesus - not realizing that very few could then get near Him. In many evangelistic endeavors overseas, preachers are simply reproducing their own denominations.

The flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God was a veil; this was typified by the veil of the temple which was torn when the flesh was broken at the cross, and the consciousness and Spirit of God that were inside that veil of flesh were released. The Spirit we receive is the Spirit of sonship. The Spirit teaches us that we are sons of God; sonship is not dependent on our color, beauty, or social standing! The Spirit who brings us the Christ is all we need! If the desire of our heart is to only have God's presence come to us, we won't need prayers for security, health, etc. We will rest in the knowledge that God will supply all our needs and give us the ministry He has designed for us.

Jesus said, "He that has seen Me has seen the Father...The Father and I are one...I can do nothing of Myself...It is the Father in Me that does the works." Jesus never did any miracle, for it was the Father in Christ who was doing the works! The Godhead dwelt bodily in Him - bodily does not refer to the physical body of Jesus. The Godhead (God, the Son and the Holy Spirit) is all one body in Christ - one in source, one in purpose, one in government, and one in power. All the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in one body in Christ and was manifested in His physical body. God, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all one. The understanding that God is our Father can only come to us when the Spirit of God's Son comes into us and causes us to cry, "Abba! Father!" Likewise, the Lord's prayer, or anything spiritual, isn't real to us until the Spirit makes it real.

When Jesus came to the Jordan, He was the sum of the various steps in salvation represented by men like Adam, Noah, Moses, Elijah, and David. These were incorporated in Him for they all had a part in God's revelation of His plan of salvation. They were all there in His consciousness. Noah symbolized redemption; the dove brought a message of life to Noah in the ark. Moses represented the law; Jesus came to the Jordan as an Adamic man governed by the law. Elijah was there in John the Baptist, symbolizing repentance from one's old life. Jesus repented from being under the law and received the anointing of the Spirit. We too have to repent from our old government - our I, our ME, our perception of who we are. Repenting of this I, this me, this self, results in living the Christian life. In order to do this, we have to have faith in God. Unless we understand that He will give us something better, we cannot give up our old self, for we will think that our essence of being will be lost.

In 2 Cor. 4:16 Paul says, "...though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day." Paul speaks about two men - an outer man of flesh and an inner man of the Spirit. Adam is the outer man of death, and Christ is the inner man of the Spirit. The outer man is put to death in Christ; this does not refer to the body of flesh, but to the mind of the flesh! As we are awakened or quickened in spirit, we are passing from Adam to Christ, from death to life. This is resurrection; it has nothing to do with our physical body!

A careful reading of 2 Cor. 4:11 - 5:6, reveals that we have an earthly tent called our house. Even before this one is torn down, we have a building from God, a dwelling place, a spiritual house not made with hands, but eternal in the heavens. This is our spiritual dwelling place in God even before the physical one passes away! This is the faith we live by!

A Christian is someone who has been born anew or regenerated in spirit and given a new nature. There is a difference between those who are trying to achieve a new level of goodness by self-effort (trying to keep the ten commandments and not doing evil) and those who have received a new nature and identify with that nature. THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN, YET STRUGGLE WITH NOT DOING EVIL, DO NOT KNOW THAT THEY HAVE RECEIVED A NEW NATURE AND THAT THEY HAVE TO IDENTIFY WITH THAT NATURE, FOR IT IS THEIR TRUE ONE! As we operate in our new nature, the Holy Spirit brings us to the realization that we are sons of God. When we operate in the old nature we are operating in the death realm. The Adamic man is always trying to redeem himself, preserve himself, and make himself better. He always desires to be right by his own efforts, for he doesn't know any other way.

But there is another way, and Christ came to show us this new way! He showed us that He is the way and He is the life! If we have passed from Adam to Christ, we have passed from death to life. "We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death." (1 John 3:14) God has quickened or made us alive in Christ! He has raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus! (Eph. 2:5-6) We are members of the body of Christ, and His body is the body of the anointing; this is not the fleshly body.

No human being has ever seen Christ because He is invisible. Christ is the spiritual anointing and can never be seen by human eyes. However, since He has quickened our spirit and made us alive, we have received a new consciousness. Now we can understand and believe it! This is the faith we live in! Christ, the Messiah (the Anointing) is already here! "And as for you, the anointing that you have received from Him abides in you...but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie..." (1 Jn. 2:27) He will be with us forever! Isn't that wonderful!

Everything we experience comes into our inner being through our senses. Whatever we see, hear, smell, taste or feel, registers within us. Without these senses we wouldn't be aware of things about us. Our knowledge of the universe, the fears we experience, in fact everything that happens to us, registers in our inner consciousness. It is our consciousness that gives us the idea of who we are and determines what we do.

Humanity could not see the Christ. People didn't know what was transpiring in Jesus Christ - they didn't know that He didn't fear man, that His faith would survive the onslaughts of man - even the gruesome death of crucifixion. Piercing nails through His hands and feet, a crown of thorns on His head, and the derision of mocking men, showed that man's atrocities could not take away His faith.

Humanity's evil hands put Him on the cross; humanity killed Him - that is they killed the tabernacle of the body, the likeness of sinful flesh that He had taken on. Only the human form died there; that was all humanity could kill! They could not deal with the Christ. The Son of God is still alive! God the Father is still alive! The anointing that was on Jesus Christ never died - it is still alive today! It now comes to us in the form of the baptism of the Holy Spirit!

Although humanity crucified Jesus, it was the god of this world or satan that put that thought into humanity. The lie came through Adam, but Adam was not the source nor the originator of the lie. Sin entered the world through one man, namely Adam, but he was not the first liar; he is not the father of lies. Jesus said to the Jews, "You are of your father the devil...he is a liar, and the father of lies." (John 8:44) The Adamic man was fathered by words that were seeded by satan; they were not of God!

In 1 Cor. 2:7-8 we read, "But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." The rulers of this age system passed the death sentence on Jesus. "The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2 Cor.4:4-6) There is a god of this world. The unbelieving are being ruled by the god of this world. Believers have been transferred to a new kingdom and are being ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ. His kingdom is not of this world!

Three worlds are mentioned in 2 Peter 3, so creation differs from worlds, for there are not three creations. In 1 John 5:19 it says that the whole world lies in the evil one. The world system is governed by satan, and unbelieving man is simply a pawn in it. Man's thoughts are either fathered by satan or by God. Race or ethnic origin doesn't make any difference. You are either fathered by satan or by God. He that is not for Christ is against Him! He that is not gathering with Him is scattering! He that does not know the Father does not know the Son! These are some wonderful absolutes!

Satan has put us into a delusion and caused us to think we can make choices. For instance, we may think we can make a choice between following God or satan. But we can't! Unless we know the truth which is in God, we will be deluded by the lie which is in satan, for we are a product of either the truth or the lie. Regeneration or being born anew means that our spirit is made alive and regenerated and we begin to understand what the Holy Spirit is teaching us.

The Bible is a wonderful book and contains two testimonies. The letter kills but the Spirit brings life! The law testifies to the truth, but the truth is Christ; the truth is the Spirit! The spiritual realization of the truth must come to us, or the Bible will only be a letter of death. (2 Cor. 3:6) We are to serve in the newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter. (Rom. 7:6) Those who are uncircumcised, yet keep the law, will judge those who have the letter of the law, yet are transgressors of the law. (Rom. 2:27)

Can you see that being born again is more than what most people in the church have thought? It is more than just being forgiven! FORGIVENESS DOES NOT CHANGE OUR NATURE! Being forgiven by people or the courts, etc., does not change our nature. As long as we live under the law, our nature will not be changed; we will be sinners and servants continually! We need to be born anew to become sons! The regeneration Jesus experienced at the Jordan changed His life completely! He began to preach the kingdom of God! He did miracles, testified that God was His Father, that He was the Son of God, the Christ, etc. He did none of these things before the Jordan experience. In fact, only one direct quote has been recorded, namely, "Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be about My Father's business?" We probably find it hard to understand that He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. But He did! Whatever else happened to Him spiritually before He was baptized in the Jordan has not been revealed to us.

The government of our old life also has to be left in the Jordan! The law was our old government. In checking the various verses about the law in the scriptures, we find that the knowledge of sin is through the law; the law works wrath and is not of faith. We need to be delivered from the law and the sin-consciousness it produces. Jesus came to redeem us from the righteousness of the law - that is, of doing good in order to obtain righteousness. He did this by giving us a new nature; this new nature doesn't require a law which commands us to be good.

Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth." (John 18:37) His kingdom was not of this world! Since He came to bear witness to the truth, this world's system must be functioning in a lie. That is why Jesus said, "All that came before Me are thieves and robbers." (John 10:8)

We cannot change our past; the important thing is that we are changed! As we constantly submit our inner life to God a spiritual change will occur in us. In Christ our Adamic man has been put to death! Our physical body - whether black, white, old, young, sick, healthy, etc., does not determine who we are. When we welcome the light of Christ, the darkness of the old understanding disappears and we are changed immediately! This change does not apply to the outward appearance (our skin color and weight remain the same), but to the source of life that supplies all our needs! Jesus said, "Do not be anxious then, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `With what shall we clothe ourselves?'" People are so worried about THINGS instead of their spiritual growth! Having money does not make people good, nor does it prove that God is pleased with them.

Many Christians are deluded about Christ and His kingdom. If they are in delusion, their missionary outreach will produce the same type of Christianity - denominations which are in a delusion. I call it organized ignorance. People are given a false hope and led into bondage; a bondage of giving to the church and serving the church - not the Christ. Christ is available to everybody! There are no prerequisites such as education, money, etc. We need to welcome whatever God provides for us!

The death of our old self will come by believing that we have been crucified with Christ and by living in the new resurrection life of Christ! We cannot get rid of our old nature by crucifying ourselves; we cannot rid ourselves of our old man by our own efforts, because this takes place in the spiritual realm! On one hand, the old man will always be there to tempt us; but on the other hand, the Holy Spirit is present to teach us so we can grow in Christ. We will grow in our realization of justification, of being a new creature and of having immortality. These are resident in the mind of Christ and we have the mind of Christ! His mind knew who God was. He also knew He was God's Son, that He had immortality, that the cross could not kill His true being (who He really was), and that man could do nothing to Him outside of the will of God. He came here to lay down His life for man, to offer Himself to man, but man rejected Him.

Jesus knew that He was crucified in the hearts of men before He ever went to the cross. He knew they wanted to kill Him. That is why He asked, "Why do you seek to kill Me?" It was a well-established fact that the leaders wanted to kill Him, for the people asked, "Is this the man the leaders want to kill?" God sent Jesus into the world to be a testimony to the world, but mankind rejected Him. It was through the instigation of the prince of this world (satan, or the god of this world) that man crucified Him. With angry hearts they rejected Him and asked for Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified.

This attitude toward the Christ has been present from the foundation (or rather disruption) of the world. Ever since Adam became a child of delusion, Christ was put to death. He was put to death in the hearts of men throughout the Old Testament - except where God brought in stages of redemption through people like Moses, Elijah, etc. When Jesus came to the Jordan all these stages were fulfilled in Him. The visible hatred toward the Son of God, veiled by flesh, proved that men had been killing Him in their hearts all the time. They crucified Him and put Him in the grave! God did not kill Jesus; nor did Jesus die as our substitute! We have been crucified with Him! Yet human nature continues its rejection of Christ.

However, when we are spiritually quickened, the realization of that which Christ has done comes to us like the dawning of a new day. It's a spiritual realization that brings life and depth to the words of the Bible. This is the work of the Holy Spirit! In our spirit comes a growing discernment. This enables us to distinguish between Adamic reasoning and comprehension, and the revelation of the mind of Christ. Now we begin to understand why nobody can deceive us. It is because Christ who is the truth protects us. We have given ourselves to Christ. Those who fear deception are already deceived, because their fear of deception testifies to the fact that they are not really trusting Christ. They are looking to the natural mind for discernment and answers while doubting its ability.

God deals with sin through the crucifixion of the old man. Our old man was crucified together with Him! The man of sin through whom sin entered the world needs to be put to death! This death put an end to the emotions of sin which are produced by the law. God does not deal with sin by telling us to suppress it, nor by having us wait for Jesus to come back to deal with sin again. He has dealt with sin through the crucifixion of the man of sin - the antichrist. Israel proved that every Adamic man is an antichrist.

Becoming a new creature in Christ really sums up this teaching! Amen.

Return to "God and Our Lord Jesus Christ" by Lloyd Ellefson

Archived Writings by Lloyd Ellefson