Life's Enemy - Part 1

By Lloyd Ellefson

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Christ! Jesus means Savior, and Christ means Messiah or the anointed One. Everything originates in God; everything comes from and out of Him, and everything is going back to Him. Jesus Christ did not come to glorify Himself. He came to take away the veil that is over humanity's hearts. He came to reveal the Father and to glorify Him! He was the Word of God made flesh.

The subject under discussion today is LIFE'S ENEMY. We know that death is the great enemy of life - but life has overcome it! In the Bible death is first mentioned in Gen. 2:16-17, where the Lord said, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." It is reasonable to deduct and conclude that Adam had no understanding of death, for he had not seen death nor had he experienced it.

How do we understand death? The natural man does not know the things of the Spirit, so his concept of death has been in the carnal realm, a figment of the imagination, a deception born of ignorance. We know that the things of the Spirit are life, for Jesus said, "My words are spirit and they are life." He also said, "I am the life". The scriptures freely talk about life and death. We don't understand them completely; in fact many erroneously substitute heaven and hell for life and death. They don't seem to have any understanding of what God is saying. In order to do away with the deception and delusion that is so present in the natural man, we have to understand the testimony that is inherent in these verses. It will do away with the deception that has been presented as a way of life. The way of life and the way of death presented by organized religion are without understanding.

I don't think God came to Adam in a visible form when He said, " will surely die." We know God is omnipresent and invisible. Therefore the only way that we can become conscious of God's presence, is through hearing the Word of God spiritually; this brings life to us! If man had been constantly listening to God and obeying Him, he would be enjoying life and have an understanding of spiritual realities. Unfortunately, this did not occur.

Adam became a living soul when God breathed the breath of life into him. He was an earthy representation of God - not a spiritual one. So he only received God's command in his natural mind. Therefore, the visible persuasion - seeing the luscious fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - was greater than the audible persuasion - hearing a word from God. Within Adam a conflict was raging between God's words and the serpent's (satan's) words. Adam and Eve were persuaded through their flesh - through the things that were pleasant to their eyes. To Eve, the message that came through her eyegate was stronger than the one she had heard second-hand through Adam about death. She obviously listened to the serpent's message which told her that she would not die. Adam was not deceived for he had heard the message directly from God, yet he too ate of the forbidden fruit. That is why sin and death entered the world through Adam. And they died!

After Adam was separated from God's presence, he had to deal with his nakedness and the guilt consciousness within him; so he hid himself. His guilt consciousness and condemnation were not put there by God, for he felt guilty BEFORE God spoke to him and asked, "Where are you, Adam?" He no longer saw himself as a son of God, but as a man, subject to the death of his physical body. God knew where Adam was all the time, but He wanted to make Adam aware of where he was in his relationship to Him. Adam had to recognize that he was estranged from God! In Adam all die. Through one man sin came into the world amd death through sin, because sin is the seed of death.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil of which Adam was not to eat, was a figure, just as Adam was a type or figure of Him who was to come. (Rom. 5:14) The good and evil that come from the same tree do not need judgment for they are already judged! God did not say they could eat the good fruit and leave the evil; they were not to eat of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil! All the fruit contained that knowledge! The good and evil deeds that come out of that knowledge are already judged. There is no need for anyone to judge between that good and evil because both come out of the knowledge of that tree.

Three scripture passages, Acts 10:42, 1 Peter 4:5 and 2 Tim. 4:1, tell us that Christ Jesus is the judge of the living and the dead. Christ is not judging whether we are good or evil, but whether we are alive or dead; whether that which comes out of us is based on the life in the Word of God (Christ, the Word made flesh), or the death that is in Adam.

"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep." (1 Cor. 15:20) Since Christ is the first fruits of those who slept, He must have been in sleep too, otherwise He could not have been the first fruits. Then Paul goes on to say, "For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. (v.21) When people said Jairus's daughter was dead, Jesus said, "she sleeps". He also said that of Lazarus after he died. Since Christ has been raised from the dead, we know that death is not an endless existence. Death could not hold Him; He overcame death and abolished it when He was raised from the dead! Jesus Christ is the truth and the life - and He is our truth and our life! When we are in life, we are living in reality, but when we are living in the death of Adam, we are living in a delusion - in the ignorance of what true life is.

"For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead." (v.21) Here are two men. By one man death came, and by another man the resurrection of the dead came. One man is an earthy image of God who relates to the flesh and to creation; his concept of God comes out of his imagination. The second man, the Christ, brings us a spiritual realization of the truth which is unfolded by God Himself!

"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive." (v.22) Adam sinned by yielding to an attraction that came through the flesh. In so doing, he developed a guilt-consciousness. A guilt-consciousness brings separation from God and an inability to hear God's word. God is spirit and does not have form, so man cannot see Him. Natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit because a separation has taken place. So in Adam all die!

"The last enemy that will be abolished is death." The meaning of death is given in Romans 8:4-6. "In order that the requirement (righteousness KJ) of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." Carnality comes from the Latin CARNALIS, meaning flesh - in or of the flesh. To mind the flesh, means to obey the mind of flesh. Adam minded the flesh rather than the Spirit. He couldn't hear the Spirit. However God takes responsibility for that.

Minding the flesh means obeying the senses of the flesh. Whatever the flesh brings to us in feeling, comprehension, realization and discovery, is actually in the death realm; only that which comes from God is life! We have a natural gravitational pull towards creation, since our bodies are composed of that material. Therefore we have a natural inclination to yield to the semses of the body - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. By following this inclination we are minding the flesh.

The mind is a wonderful thing when it takes its rightful place. But in natural man it acts as God because it takes over the rulership, thus displacing God. Those who are alive in the body (natural humanity), hear only what comes to their own mind through their fleshly senses, instead of hearing God. But those who have received God's Spirit can hear what God says! The carnal mind, the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God. (v.7) It is an enemy of God; it is the last enemy to be destroyed. The carnal mind minds or obeys the flesh. This is sin and it bears the fruit of death. Our last enemy is not the devil - it is death! What is going on inside of our natural mind is our enemy, and it is the last enemy to be destroyed! (1 Cor. 15:26)

"Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (v.8) In Matt. 22 Jesus was having a discourse with the Sadducees - they did not believe in the resurrection. In this discussion Jesus said, "But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, `I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead but of the living." (vv.31-32) God is not the God of the carnal mind; it is at enmity with God! God cannot be the God of those who operate in the carnal mind. This is very serious. The carnal mind always rejects Christ. The rejection Jesus received when He was on earth illustrates this! Although He was the exact image and the true representation of the invisible God, yet the Israelites rejected Him! This rejection was spearheaded by the Pharisees, Sadducees, publicans, lawyers, etc. They did not know nor understand who the true God was! If they had, they would not have killed Him who was the exact image of the invisible God!

So we see that our carnal mind is actually the god who sits in the temple as God! The carnal mind is death, and God is not a God of the dead but of the living! So we see that in our ignorance and delusion we have made a grave mistake in not hearing the Spirit. We have thought that we have to pacify God by worshiping Him, going to church, tithing to Him, etc. God does not need to be pacified! We need to worship Him because it is for our spiritual benefit. The gospel message does not consist of the natural mind thinking spiritual things! That is death!

"However you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." (Rom. 8:9) We have to understand that the Spirit of Christ does not come to us through a sacrament, a baptism, or the laying on of hands. It comes to us in faith! We receive the Spirit of God by faith. That is how we hear God, because we have the faith that the Spirit of truth has come.

We have been given the mind of Christ, so we can hear the things of the Spirit and this brings us life! This is what it means to have passed from death to life - this is resurrection! By obeying the spiritual mind of Christ we pass from death into life - we get heaven within us! This has nothing to do with the death of our physical body. This happens today, now - while it is the day of salvation.

Everyone carries two images - the image of the earthy and the image of the heavenly. Even Jesus did. It is not wrong to carry these images, as long as the earthy image is subject to the spiritual image! The types and shadows of the sabbaths, temples, etc., were only representations of the true. The shadows are not to be embraced again; they are not what God desires.

Our fleshly consciousness of God is called Adam! In Adam all die! There is no exception! It includes every good and every evil person. Good or evil is not the criterion by which we are judged. God judges us according to whether we are alive in Christ or dead in our carnal minds!

In John 3:13 Jesus said, "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man." The Son of Man is the corporate new man. There is an earthy man and a spiritual or heavenly man. There are only two corporate men - Adam and Christ. If we remain in Adam we die, but in Christ we are made alive! Through one man (Adam) came death, and through one man (Christ) came the resurrection of the dead!

The image of God that is in Christ is the correct one! God has taken the circumcision and the uncircumcision and made them one new man in Christ, thus making peace! (Eph. 2) The circumcision and the uncircumcision include everyone. God has taken all and made them one new man IN Christ (not BY Christ). When the Son of Man comes down from heaven into our hearts, we are born of the Spirit. We are born from above; we come down from heaven as Jesus did. In other words, our consciousness, our realization, our spiritual awareness has come down from heaven. It didn't come out of the Adamic earthy consciousness of this creation. IN Christ we are a new creation!

In Matt. 27:51 it says that at the time when Jesus died the veil in the temple was torn from the top to the bottom. The veil is over the hearts of men. The veil did not cover up Christ, for He cannot be covered up. He is immortal, invisible, incorruptible and omnipresent, just as God is. (1 Tim. 6:15-16) The veil that is over man's heart keeps him from really seeing who Christ is, who God is, and who we are in Him. The veil in the temple typified the veil over man's heart; it was torn from the top to the bottom. In other words, the power or the energy that tears the veil that is over our hearts comes down from above! It tears the veil so we can enter the holy place and hear the words of the Spirit! Jesus said, "He that hears the word of the Son of God is made alive."

If death were eternal or endless, Jesus could not have been raised from the dead! He was different in a certain sense, but He was the firstfruits of those who slept! He was the first to be raised from the dead, and many after Him will in Him be raised from the dead, i.e. be raised from the carnal mind to the spiritual mind. His mind contained the right idea of death; He knew that death could be overcome - it was not an eternal reality! Those who are living in death are living in a delusion.

Then what about the physical body? In Genesis God said that the physical body was made from dust, and to dust it would return. Even though you may not like that and may want your own body to be redeemed, it will not happen! Preaching that it will happen, will not make it happen.

When people didn't receive the gospel message, the disciples shook the dust off their feet; this was symbolic of not having anything to do with natural man's thinking. There is no redemption for the natural man. He is to be put to death, and in dying, the seed of Christ sprouts, and we are made new creatures in Christ Jesus! That happens now! We have been baptized into the body of Christ. Paul said, "You ARE the body of Christ."

Now let's look at death again. Is death the result of sin? Or was death present before man sinned? Which came first - death or sin? Of course death came first. When God said to Adam that he would die if he would eat the fruit of the forbidden tree, death was present - for God had declared it. What you sow you reap. Inherent in Adam's disobedience was the seed of death, because a wrong persuasion had come to him. The punishment for the disobedience that happened IN him was separation from God; it produced an ignorance of God and an inability to hear the Spirit! Adam was put to sleep and he was not awakened from that sleep until Jesus came. Isaiah prophesied, "Arise, shine; for your light has come..." (Is. 60:1) Paul quoted Is. 26:19 and said, "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Even the Gentiles shall be awakened. Jesus also spoke of death as sleep when He said that the daughter of Jairus was sleeping; after Lazarus died, Jesus referred to him as being asleep.

In Rom. 6:3 it says, "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?" Why did Jesus die since He had never sinned? What did His death consist of? "Therefore we have been buried WITH HIM through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united (planted KJ) with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." (Rom. 6:4-5) The likeness of His death is not in the likeness of Adam. If we are the dead in Christ we are no longer dead because of sin. (1 Thess. 4:16) We are dead TO sin.

"Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves TO sin." (Rom. 6:6) That is how we are crucified together with Christ! Crucifixion did not come at the beginning of Christ's life, but at the end. It did not come until He had verbally expressed that God was His Father, and that He was the Son of Man. When we are put into the new man, we identify with the Son of Man for we have become a new creation man! In this identification we can now receive spiritual realization. Christ did not die as our substitute; He identified with us!

"That our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin." (vv.6b-7) Our "body of sin" does not refer to the physical body, for it is neutral and only a vessel of sin. Obviously satan works through the body. This was very apparent at the temptation of Adam and that of Jesus. In both cases the temptation came through the lusts of the flesh. Hunger pertains to the flesh, so the devil tried to persuade Him to eat the bread of His own effort. Then the devil took Him to a high mountain and showed Him the world. He saw the physical or natural realm. The devil promised this to Him in exchange for worship of himself. When he took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple he said in effect, "You won't break a bone if you jump down because this is God's promise to you." This was physical. The devil tempted Jesus through His physical body. But Jesus was living by the Spirit, so He overcame every temptation!

"Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him." (v.9) This is wonderful! If we have passed from death to life, we don't die anymore either. We have been born of incorruptible seed, by the Word of God that lives and abides forever! This immortal life has nothing to do with our physical body. Death had no dominion over Christ, and if Christ is our life, death will not have dominion over us!

"For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that he lives, He lives to God." (v.10) Jesus died TO SIN! Since we have died together with Him, we too have died TO SIN! Our death is a death to sin! We have been separated or isolated from sin, so that death can no longer have control over us; we no longer fear death! "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." (v.11) This death should also be taking place in us!

We are to present ourselves to God as those alive from the dead! "And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." (v.13) We have passed from death to life! If we are living, then the life of Christ has become our life! There is no other life than the life of God!

In Acts 2:24 Peter said, " was impossible for Him to be held in its power." Death is a separation from God in our consciousness. Jesus made Himself subject to death, but death could not hold Him! He has also raised us from the dead. We don't raise ourselves. Resurrection is not a historical event - it is coming into a conscious union with Christ; it is a union with God!

We can have a conscious realization within our spirit that we are alive to God at this present time! We can know that we have been raised from the dead! The fear of death has been taken from us! Isn't this wonderful?! The average Christian has not given this a thought, because he substitutes his natural ideas for the spiritual things of God. Let me explain. People get so obsessed with health issues in their efforts at self-preservation and greater longevity, instead of giving themselves to God and being united with Christ in the likeness of His death. Although healthy eating is good for us, we must not let natural things supersede or displace our faith in God! Paul said everything God has made is good if it is sanctified by prayer and thanksgiving. Jesus didn't need anything except the presence of God to overcome every obstacle. The presence of God is our guide!

Jesus was the first to die when He was crucified together with two criminals. He did not cling to His physical life. When His side was pierced, blood and water flowed out. This signifies that out of Christ comes the bride. The church is His bride; the church is formed by the blood and water of Christ. We are the bride of Christ; we are one with Him and are part of His body!

Remembering that Paul said that the mind of the flesh is death, what did he mean when he said, "I die daily"? He was dying daily to the carnal mind - that the mind of Christ might operate in him! He wanted to function as God's vessel and be a true witness of the Christ. In Adam all die! Our death in Adam consists of living in the natural mind. This takes place prior to our physical death, because when the body is dead, it has no lusts or desires. When we believe that we have died in Adam, we eliminate the dominion of the flesh; we no longer mind the flesh! Then this god of the natural mind or the consciousness of Adam (which is anti-Christ) is no longer dwelling in the temple!

Those who are anti-God are also anti-Christ. Of course people didn't know about Christ until the prophets began preaching about the Messiah. Jesus Christ means Jesus the Messiah or the Anointed One. MESSIAH and ANOINTED are translated from the same Greek word. Since we have been anointed with the Holy Spirit, we are part of the body of Christ - part of the Anointed One, part of the Messiah. If that is true, and it is, then the Messiah has come. That is the way He comes! So the coming of a physical Jesus is part of the delusion of the carnal man who does not see the reality of the Spirit.

Christ has abolished death. (2 Timothy 1:10) "The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil...that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil." (1 Jn. 3:8b; Heb. 2:14b) He did this by bearing witness to the truth. To Pontius Pilate Jesus said, "For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth." (Jn. 18:37b) God uses truth to destroy evil; it destroys everything that is not good! If we cling to things that are not good, we will go down with them. It is Christ's coming as truth that destroys the deception of death. That is how death is abolished. It is abolished by truth!

In the book of Isaiah, God said that He created the destroyer to ruin. (Is. 54:16b) The truth in Christ Jesus destroys everything that is unlike God, because everything unlike God is not eternal reality; it is a delusion, a figure, form, type or shadow. The rule that actually ruled Adam, in Biblical terminology, is called the world. The world is an orderly arrangement in which the heavens and earth are ruled. Peter mentions three levels of rule in 2 Peter 3. The third level of rule is the rule of righteousness. God so loved the world of righteousness, that He gave His Son. Those who believe on Him shall not perish; so those who don't believe His word will perish. (John 3:16)

Jesus said that the Father did not send Him into the world to condemn the world, because the world is already condemned; it is under judgment because the world rule is one of delusion and deception. This world system began in Genesis when Adam sinned. In Genesis 1 God gave all rule to Christ. The rule of God in Christ was lost by Adam, because of the ignorance that was in him. He was only an earthy image of God. (Gen. 3 and 2) The rule of the lamb of God was slain in the hearts of men from the disruption of the world. (Some translations read, FOUNDATION, but the correct one is DISRUPTION; this applies to Eph. 2 and 1 Peter, etc.) God's rule gave life, because His word is a life-giving word. It keeps us alive! But in Adam all die. When Adam sinned he received the serpent's rule, and that rule has been ruling humanity ever since. Death is the result of a rule other than God's rule.

The whole world lies in the wicked one, but Christ's kingdom is not of this world. (Jn. 18:36) Friendship with the world is hostility toward God; loving the world makes us enemies of God! (James 4:4) As previously mentioned, the world, in biblical terminology, means a rule; it does not refer to creation. WORLD and CREATION are translated from different root words. Humanity is polluting creation by its wars and waste products and substituting its rule for God's rule.

One of the perplexing things Jesus said was, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." This is hard for most Christians to believe because of all the evil and heartache they see! So they say He has to come back to rectify all this. But He said, "Be of good cheer. I HAVE overcome the world." So overcoming the world has nothing to do with that which we see around us. Jesus overcame the world by being the truth. Truth triumphs over error even as life triumphs over death, and realization over ignorance! That is why we can be of good cheer!

In Revelation it says that we are to overcome as He overcame. Jesus overcame the world because of His relationship and union with the Father! He recognized that He could do nothing of Himself! He came into the world to bear witness of the truth, and we are in the world for the same purpose! If we come to Christ, and the Spirit of truth comes to us, then we can bear witness to the truth. This will not make us popular in the world, and much less in the church system.

On our own, we cannot do anything, whether good or evil, to keep us from physical or spiritual death. No judgment is needed between the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil, because both come from the same tree! Both the good and the evil in humanity's carnal mind have the same root - the root of disobedience and delusion. Christ Jesus is a life-giving Spirit. (1 Cor. 15) He makes us alive. He does not judge between good and evil deeds, for He "has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead". (Acts 10:42)

Since good and evil are not the issue now, we do not have to elaborate on how good or how bad people are; nor are we governed by the blessings and curses of the law - the blessings of paying tithes, of being good to your wife and children, nor the curses of robbing banks, etc. Good and evil are not the issue in God's kingdom, but they are an issue with man and the church system and the world! Laws are made to govern man's behavior, and suitable punishment is prescribed to enforce that behavior. Humanity seeks to escape that punishment.

But the kingdom of God does not work that way. It only works in life; it does not work in death - in good and evil. Jesus Christ is the righteous Judge. He will not judge according to appearances but He will judge with true judgment. (Isaiah 11:3b-4a) The judgment of God is true judgment! Humanity thinks in terms of good and evil but God doesn't; He speaks in terms of life and death. To judge correctly, we have to be in life and have the Spirit, so we can discern whether something is coming from a life-giving Spirit or from the Adamic carnal mind - the enemy of our spiritual belief.

"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law...that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful...through the law is the knowledge of sin." (1 Cor. 15:56; Rom. 7:13b; 3:20) Sin is the venom of death, and sin's strength is in the law, because it shows us what sin is. Studying the law of Moses and trying to obey it, will make us knowledgeable of sin and make us sin-conscious. This will only make sin abound. Once it gets big enough, we realize that we want to get rid of it. So sin is the venom of death; its strength is in the law. Adam is the high priest of sin, because through one man sin came into the world, and death through sin - in Adam all die. Therefore we have to change from minding the flesh to minding the Spirit.

"For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous." (Rom. 5:19) This takes place through the activity of the Holy Spirit who brings us into a union and consciousness with Christ. It does not take place in the seen realm. Christ is the righteous Lamb of God and He has no sin-consciousness. Adam received a sin-consciousness after he was disobedient, and the guiltless conscience of fellowship and union and peace with God left him. Adam hid from God because he already had guilt feelings and an awareness of his nakedness before God came to him and asked, "Where are you, Adam?" So we realize that guilt is present in the mind as soon as the deed is committed.

We need to recognize that people commit evil deeds because they are living in the realm of death. After they are transferred into a new realm, the works of sin will quit. Therefore when the death in which they are living is overcome by life, the works of sin will be taken care of. Death spawns sin, and sin is the venom of death! The good that has its root in self-effort, is rooted in the same tree of disobedience as the evil. John the Baptist said, "Now the axe is laid to the root of the tree." That spells death to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! Christ brings us to the tree of life by giving us the Holy Spirit!

In Matt. 23:33 Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees a brood of vipers. A viper is a poisonous snake; it introduces poison into the body of a victim by a bite or sting. Malicious and treacherous people are called vipers because out of their mouths come words carrying a death warrant. What a contrast between them and Christ who is life! There is no peaceful co-existence between truth and error! They are diametrically opposed and they don't work together; they are not bedfellows. A continous battle rages between truth and error, life and death, ignorance and realization. This is the battle of Armageddon. It began on day one and it is still continuing.

In John 8 Jesus said to the Jews who were opposing Him, "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father." They were opposing the truth of God in Jesus Christ, but they did not know nor believe that they were doing that. They were ignorant of it! Anyone who is in deception thinks his deception is truth. He is mesmerised by his deception. He thinks he is speaking truth when he is satisfied with his reasonings and deductions. So people think that human understanding or realization of the Bible is truth. But that is not the truth that was in Jesus Christ! That is simply natural thinking.

Christ's admonition not to call anyone on earth our father is of great significance! Jesus said that we have only the one Father who is in heaven! He told us to pray "Our Father who art in heaven." The Jews were followers of the devil. He was fathering these people. Jesus said, "He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies." (Jn. 8:44) The devil never had any truth in him; he never was a good angel who fell. In other words, there is no law to support the lie for it has no righteousness nor reality; it simply has no foundation! When the truth sheds light on the lie it is dissipated.

The way God abolishes death in us, is by giving us truth. As we grow in the realization of the truth, which is Christ, death is overcome. The resident truth in the natural man is only temporal and has no foundation nor reality. It seems right to the natural man but it is actually a delusion. When natural man's truth is destroyed by the truth in Christ, all that is left is truth! Lies only come into existence after truth has been established. No lie is based on reality or truth; lies are always in opposition to the truth! So truth (Christ) had to be present before His rule could be disrupted. So the rule of God in man was disrupted when the Christ, the Lamb of God was slain. This happened at the time Adam sinned. The delusion that was in the earthy or the Adamic man disrupted the rule of the Christ man. This particular battle between believing the lie of the natural mind and believing the truth of the spiritual mind goes on all the time.

Redemption is not a gift to the natural man. It is not given to human nature. So it is quite different from what humanity has made this gospel. Humanity's gospel of historical substitution and legal rights falls short of being the truth. That gospel misses the mark and therefore is sin. It is against the truth of Christ Jesus; it is anti-Christ and therefore anti-God!

When Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us, Christ was manifested to mankind. He was the Word, God's Son! God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, but without sin, to become our redemption! Christ IS our Redeemer and He IS our redemption. We have to realize that we have been crucified with Christ. We have died with Christ and we have been made alive with Him! He IS our redemption as we identify with Him! CHRIST IS OUR LIFE, OUR REDEMPTION, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND OUR WISDOM! WHEN WE ARE NEW CREATURES IN JESUS CHRIST, WE PARTAKE OF HIM AS OUR REDEMPTION, WISDOM, RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LIFE!

Consider what I say, and God bless you! Amen.

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