Who Are You?

By Lloyd Ellefson

I would like to share some thoughts with you on our consciousness of being, commonly described as the self, the I, or the ego. Some questions that often come to us are: Who are we? Where did we come from? Who is Jesus, and how does He relate to us? What will happen to us after we die? What can effect a change in us?

Everything in the seed of God is programmed by God. As far as we are concerned, we may think that the things we do have been initiated and worked out by us, yet as we grow up we see that it is not our work, but a progression of God's work in us.

Colossians 2:11, "And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ." This cannot be taken literally; it has nothing to do with our physical flesh. It is an identification with Christ.

"Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." (v.12) We have to identify with the working of God in Christ, for this is how He works in us. We were baptized into Christ; we were crucified with Him, buried with Him, and have been raised up with Him. This has come about through faith in the working of God - for it was He who raised Him from the dead. God raised Christ and He raised us. We must see our identification with Him. If we cannot identify with Christ in every area, the area in which we do not identify with Him will separate us from Him. There has to be a total oneness with Christ before we can exercise, manifest or realize oneness with God the Father.

"And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions." (v.13) He has actually forgiven us all our trespasses! Then Paul goes on to say, "Having cancelled out the certificate of debt (handwriting of ordinances)..." Those ordinances obviously referred to the law Moses got at Sinai. From the beginning it was God's purpose that these ordinances should be cancelled out in Christ. Everything God did in the natural foreshadowed a principle of reality and life that is unchanging. God is taking us out of our delusions and giving us reality! The deliverance from our carnal mind, our natural thinking, and our identification with death and darkness, etc., is the birthing process we are presently experiencing.

"...consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." (v.14). We did not understand the meaning of this before we became children of God. God says that we came out of Him and that we are His children. Becoming children of God requires a birthing and deliverance from the law, for it is contrary to us and constantly produces the knowledge of sin. Regeneration comes through Jesus Christ; He causes us to emerge from the womb of death and darkness. We are birthed into an illumination or light which gives us a new sense of being of ourselves, of God and others.

This thought is also expressed in Eph. 2:1ff. "But you who were dead in trespasses and sins." If we believe that we were truly dead (in darkness and in ignorance) because of the working of sin, we will realize our total helplessness and inability to come back to God of our own volition. God has to do something within us before we can come back to Him. The regeneration of our spirit being has to take place. Since God is spirit, that which He does within us is in the spiritual realm.

"In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world." Christ's kingdom is not of this world. In our first or natural idea of who we were, we walked according to the course of this world. After we underwent a change, we walked according to the course of the kingdom of God. What is our part in bringing about this change? Since we are dead in our trespasses and sins, we are unable to contribute anything - we can only be led, either by our Father God, or by our father the devil - depending upon who our father is. Our sense of being depends upon the consciousness we walk in.

"...according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience." (v.2) The prince of the power of the air is a spirit, and it works in the children of disobedience! It is darkness and it is operating in children who are disobeying God; they are disobeying the true spirit of power, righteousness and truth.

I'd like to explain how this works. We have to understand that we are not entities in ourselves. Paul quoted the Old Testament in Romans 3:10-18 saying, "There is none who seeks after God...all have turned aside...there is no one who does good...with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." No man seeks after God! Nobody even wants to. In our natural state, we are full of our own concepts; we are deceived and we deceive others. God did not make man sin, but He subjected him to vanity. His ego or sense of self made him vulnerable to believe a lie - a word which was not from God; it was another word - a word of disobedience.

On one occasion Jesus said that only God is good. By this He seemed to indicate that He was not God. He said, "I can do nothing of Myself...My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me." His teaching and beliefs were manifested in His testimony by words and works. He demonstrated the entirety of God and the nothingness of humanity or human identity. God sent Him to bring us an understanding of both the human and the divine consciousness of being, in order to bring us into the light and truth of God. Our worth does not depend upon who we are in ourselves - our worth is in our participation in the Christ. Our oneness with the Father is in Christ. When Jesus said, "I and the Father are one", He was participating in the consciousness of God. So we too have to live in His consciousness.

Many people are afraid of the word "consciousness"; for some reason they think it is bad. Consciousness is actually an awareness of what is happening around us and the totality of our thoughts, feelings and impressions. When we are born we don't reallly have an awareness of knowledge and recognition. For example, babies cry when they are thirsty and uncomfortable even though they are unable to identify the problem. But as they grow up they begin to have an identity. They begin to call themselves by their name. In the natural, we live in our identification as an "I". Furthermore, we think this I, this me, has a free will. We think we can do our own thing, but this is not scriptural - neither did Christ demonstrate that.

Christ came as the most submissive person there ever was; He recognized the helplessness of His humanity and therefore was completely dependent upon God! He fully allowed the Spirit of God to fill His consciousness with the things that came from God. For this reason He could call God His Father; God was fathering the conception of the spiritual words in Christ. This caused Him to be an obedient Son. His obedience undid natural man's obedience to his own ideas.

When people begin to feel the remorse of sin, they may want to find God, repent, feel better, or whatever. So they apologize to God. This is a natural experience; the soulish man cannot find any real meaning in spiritual things. Since man first comes to God as a soulish man, whatever he experiences is still in the soulish realm. These human experiences become a part of his previous consciousness. When a person wants to surrender himself to God, he comes as a natural man who has no conception of spiritual things - yet He wants to operate in the concepts of God. The Spirit has to change man's concept of God, otherwise man will continue in his former concepts.

We know that Israel's concept of God was formed by its own mind. This was a false concept, for when Jesus came, Israel rejected and crucified the concept of God that was operating in Jesus Christ. This demonstrates that our old conception of God has to change, for our minds receive words from our own perspective and from our sense of being in regard to God, the world, people, and ourselves. If that is the extent of our understanding, we fall short of the revelation given by the Spirit. So when someone comes to Christ and is converted, his concept of God still has to be transformed. He has to know who God is through Jesus Christ who is the exact representation of God; He is the consciousness of God. The Holy Spirit brings this consciousness to us. Unless our understanding of God is changed, we will operate in the same understanding that Israel had.

The natural concept of God rejects the spiritual concept of God that is in Jesus Christ. The flesh always remains contrary to the Spirit, so when someone begins to reveal the true conception of God in Christ, people will reject that person. To the natural man the things of the Spirit are meaningless - they have no real foundation in his life. Our own concepts were our consciousness of God; our consciousness of being was our God; our consciousness of understanding and knowledge was our God. After we receive the Holy Spirit and grow up, our concepts of God begin to change. As we think and meditate on this, we find that without consciousness we don't have anything.

Our natural consciousness is opposed to the spiritual realization of God. To come into a spiritual consciousness of God, we have to receive true revelation of who God really is. True revelation of God does away with the old. We have to operate in, and bear testimony of who our God truly is! If our consciousness of God is brought to us by Christ, then that is our life. If our consciousness of God has not come from Christ, we only have the consciousness of death, mortality, temporal living, and flesh.

As we grow, we begin to see things in greater depth. We used to categorize people as good, bad and very bad. Now we find out that all humanity is under sin, but it is expressed individually. In the same way, the truth of God has always been truth and will always remain truth everywhere, and it was expressed in Jesus Christ. He was the seed of truth that God sent. Since God is everywhere, truth is everywhere, but it is expressed individually by His people. As more and more people express and manifest truth by being obedient to God, truth is enlarged through a multitude of people. This is the fulfillment of who the Christ is - "which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all." (Eph. 1:23) It is the Christ who fills all in all.

Then we have the sin question. What is sin, where does it come from, and how can we be freed from it? Jesus Christ was sent to redeem those who were under the law. No one is justified by circumcision and by trying to keep the law - for he is unable to do so. It only brings transgression of the law; sin is the transgression of the law. Paul said, "Through the letter and circumcision you transgress the law." Yet they thought they were getting better by fulfilling the law, by keeping the letter of the law and by practicing circumcision. However, Paul emphasized that this brought transgression of the law. Actually, the law was added because of transgression! (Gal. 3:19) What was it added to? It was added to man's consciousness, because the knowledge of sin came through the law. Before that man was oblivious to what sin was. Sin was bringing him to death; he was dying and he didn't know why.

Man was not the originator of sin. Sin came into the world through a man, and sin is the transgression of the law. Where does that put you and me? It makes us pawns of disobedience, of flesh, darkness and evil; through the power of sin (which does not have power in itself, but its strength is in the law) we work to fulfill the desires of this adversary of God. Sin comes to us as a powerful delusion; it fills our conscience. Man is a transgressor of the law. That is why we have to be delivered from it, and be put into the spirit of obedience in Jesus Christ.

Christians are people who have experienced a change of consciousness. Two powers have been operating in us. Both of them are greater than we, and have more authority over us than our own will has. We may call our will a free will, but it isn't free; we thought that if we didn't want to be delivered, we could just go ahead and keep on doing what we were doing. However, the law brought the knowledge of sin, and humanity began to see that disobedience to God was sin and it was bringing death! When man's heart is changed through the words of Christ, he will follow Christ in repentance and baptism. He will receive the Holy Spirit, and hear a voice from heaven say, "This is My son in whom I am well pleased."

Man manifests sin in his original identity and vanity, even though he is not the originator of sin and has not participated in the original seed of sin. Once we are freed from the idea that man is the originator of sin, we see that in Christ there is no contamination of sin and no consciousness of sin. I believe Jesus Christ has come to bring us into this understanding. Since there is no condemnation in Him, He obviously doesn't have any sin to contend with. If we would have this mind, we would begin to think like He does. Sin was induced in man by a word that was not of God. When we hear a word that is not of God and obey that word, we are operating in disobedience to God.

Everything came into being by the word of God! Through our natural senses we observe nature and even understand that God made it. However, when we see things man has made, we rarely think of the original substances of which they are made, and that they are there because of the word of God. For example, when we look at a wooden table, we only think of it is a wooden table. Yet it was made from a tree that was created by God. Had God not supplied the wherewithal for making things, man could not do what he is doing. Everything is there because of the creative word of God! It is difficult for us to fathom that God supplied all the raw materials for everything we see in the natural. It all came from God! The reality of everything is what it is in God - not what it appears to be in the natural. We are presently beginning to see the allness of God - that He is everywhere and that He is the source of all things. As long as we only perceive things through our natural senses and our carnal mind, we do not see the reality; we only see the natural manifestations. We only recognize the reality when we become spiritually quickened or awakened.

A prophecy quoted in Hebrews 8:10 reads, "...I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts." Hearts! People pray, "Come into my heart Lord Jesus." What does Jesus want to do in my evil heart, for out of the heart proceeds all kinds of lasciviousness, evil, fornications and every evil thing? Why should we welcome Christ into that heart? In praying that, we are really asking Christ to make us better. By asking Him to come into our heart, we have to receive the things of God without making any stipulations or conditions. He can own every part of me, do anything He wants to do, and be everything He wants to be in me. In reality, God gives us a new heart! Eze. 36:26ff says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you...and cause you to walk in My statutes...so you will be My people and I will be your God...I will save you from all your uncleanness..." In Jesus Christ we become a new creation.

This law only works in the new creation man; in Him we receive a new realm of realization. In Jer. 17:9 it says that our old heart is deceitfully wicked, who can know it? Out of the heart of man comes every kind of evil. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." (Prov. 23:7) An evil man will continually think evil thoughts because he is evil. We are who God says we are. If God has cleansed us from all our sins, we are clean! God wants us to believe we are what He says we are! He tells us we are a new creation in Christ, so that is what we are!

Now let's look at the mind of Christ. In John 3:14 Jesus testified of Himself and said, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." What does that mean? Jesus Christ identified with His humanity by calling Himself the Son of Man. He also said, "I go to prepare a place for you...that where I am you may be also." (Jn. 14:2b-3) The prepared place was not where He was going, but where He was in this world as a new man, a new image of God, having a new concept or realization that is brought by the Spirit. This is the Son of Man that is to be lifted up! This new man is not visible to human eyes.

Moses was told to lift up the brass serpent in the wilderness to save the people who were dying from the poisonous bites of the serpents. Everyone who looked up at the brass serpent would be delivered from the viper's bite. Jesus said if the Son of Man is lifted up like that, He will draw all men unto Himself. Most people think Jesus died on the cross as their substitute. They do not identify with Him; they do not see that they were crucified with Him.

Spiritually we see that the great dragon, that is, the adversary or satan, being put to death on the cross. That means that the carnal mind's conception of God and of itself, died there. That original seed of all sin, transgression and death is put to death on that cross. Man put the visible manifestation of the physical man Jesus to death; the testimony of the Christ in Him was to death. The Son of God did not die; I only see satan dying there. There was a death TO sin through the Spirit of Christ that was in the man Christ Jesus. The seed of delusion that has been injected into man was aborted, so it no longer reproduces itself. The death of Jesus on the cross included more than the visible crucifixion. By putting to death the original seed of all sin, it established the law of life that is in the being of God. Man can live now!

Nobody lived before Christ. He was the Firstborn of all creation. The term, BEFORE CHRIST (B.C.) does not have any spiritual significance; it is only the natural way of referring to the time before Jesus was manifested in the earth as a man. He WAS, before the man Abraham. I don't think there was anything before Christ. Jesus was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. A.D. is an abbreviation of Anno Domini, Latin for IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD. However, we know the Lord was present prior to that!

All thoughts and ideas are communicated through words, but the human mind cannot grasp spiritual realities; human concepts cannot accept spiritual realities. We live and die through spiritual words. The death that was symbolized by Adam, came through words, for God said that the day they would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die. Life also comes through words, for Jesus said, "My words are spirit and are life." So we really die and live by words. Death, which came by words, is destroyed by life, which came in the Word of God.

The Word of God (as a seed) cannot conceive and reproduce in the natural mind, because the natural mind is not pure - it always commits adultery. But the spiritual mind of Christ is as a virgin - it has never accepted another seed. It reproduces the life that is in Christ Jesus, and brings it forth in us. As this realization dawns on us, we begin to see the greatness of what God in Christ Jesus has done for us by taking us into His life!

A clearer realization of what it means to have Christ in us helps us to understand this better. Christ cannot be in the natural man or in an evil heart. When Paul said, "Christ in you", the YOU he referred to is the new creation man. This man has a realization beyond that which comes to us in our natural senses. Even though we continue to live in this body which is subject to cold and heat, etc., we can rise up in faith and be overcomers! We believe God will take care of us as long as He wants us on the earth. He will supply us with what we need to continue our testimony.

If we abide in the vine we will bear fruit, and this fruit will remain! It remains - it does not come and go like weeks, months and years. This fruit is simply the consciousness of who we are - it is not something we try to be. It will become evident in our lives and it will be manifested in our thinking; it will also show in the way we think of other people. The true sense of our being is the Christ in us; it is a rest, it is what we are! It becomes a motivation for our life. What a relief to know that we don't have to strive to be something we aren't! We don't have to strive to love people because we are united to the Christ in us! (Hate seems to come naturally without striving or learning it, therefore we often identify with hate; but hate belongs to the Adamic man.) We no longer have to strive to get people to give things to us, to love us, to be like us, etc. Nor do we strive to have power or control. There is a wonderful rest in that! This is how we are affected by having Christ in us!

We are to present ourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead. (Rom. 6:11,13) This is not what most people do. They present themselves to God as sinners, unclean, and in need. They get so distraught, and finally cry out, "Good gracious, what's the use?" This is not scriptural and it produces many problems.

Sin is the transgression of the law. So the one who transgresses the law is the transgressor. Transgression did not originate in us; something worked in us, causing us to transgress. The only way we can rid ourselves of thinking that we are the cause of our sin, is by getting rid of our identification with that sin. We do not become righteous just because we confess our sins. Confession does not remove the nature or mind that conceives and indulges in things which are wrong. We have to identify with the righteousness that is in Christ Jesus. When we agree with the scriptures, we will believe that we are new creatures in Christ. We will begin to entertain the conceptions that were in the mind of Christ Jesus. He never presented Himself as a sinner because sin is a transgression of the law. The law is the power that causes us to sin. We are helpless in its grip. If we think we have the authority or the free will in ourselves to choose God or the devil and to do what we want, we are operating in a delusion. Satan loves to have us believe we have the ability to choose what is right, because he instilled that thought in man. He operates in a delusion. We have to present ourselves to God as those alive from the dead. We have to be in this life before we can walk in it.

Under the old law Jesus did not qualify for the priesthood, for He was not of Levitical descent. Therefore He did not have the legal right to the temple proper even though He was the Son of God. He could only be in the outer court. His ministry did not consist of administering the law. He did not perform Old Testament sacrifices and washings; nor did He observe religious days. Although He fulfilled the law by beginning His ministry at the age of thirty - thirty being the legal age for entering the priesthood - and thus demonstrated His identity with humanity, administering the law is not the Christ. His only identification with sin was in becoming a sin-offering for us.

Christ's mission was to minister an endless life according to the order of Melchizedek. Receiving His life brings us into a whole new sense of being. He takes away the sin-consciousness, for it requires repentance with all its accompanying sacrifices. We are neither satan nor God, but we manifest whoever is working in us. We have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love. The work of God consists of fathering our thoughts - thus making us like Christ.

Jesus came into our world in order to take us into His kingdom. His kingdom is not of this world. He was crucified and put to death by this world system. This world system always attempts to destroy those who are Christ's, for satan comes only to kill and to destroy. The world system is very complex; it increasingly focuses on the natural mind and its accomplishments. However, it actually brings destruction for it operates in the lie, and it always will. But Christ is just the opposite; He gets rid of the lie. He follows His own pattern.

The gospel is good news! It is not an ecumenical movement (whether in the flesh or in the spirit), for it does not emphasize nor try to get everyone into the same persuasion or church affiliation. It brings us out of our old concepts of always being sinners, needing continual forgiveness and going to heaven as our ultimate goal. We are automatically one as we grow in Christ. Our oneness is in Christ; that is the only oneness there is. If we all grow, we will all have more love for one another, more fellowship, and greater unity. This can only be brought about by each individual expressing God and manifesting Christ in a greater measure. That always works.

Rev. 13:8 speaks about the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. In Eph. 1:4 it says that He has chosen us before the foundation of the world. In these passages and a few others, a correct translation of the word FOUNDATION is DISRUPTION. The Greek word means CASTING DOWN. Eph. 1:4-5 should read, "According as He has chosen us in Him" (not by Him) "before the disruption of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." A disruption of the world has taken place. Since there is more than one world (2 Peter 3), you may wonder which world was disrupted or put down. There is a world that God so loved that He gave His only Son for it. (John 3:16) This world was not disrupted. But there is also a world that we shall not love, nor shall we love the things in that world. If any man loves that world, he is an enemy of God. (1 John 2:15; James 4:4) That world is governed by the god or prince of this world who controls and rules people's consciousness. People are obeying him, but they are not aware of it since they are in delusion. This is the world which was disrupted.

Why was the world disrupted? It was disrupted because of the vanity of man. The word of God was put aside when man accepted and obeyed another word - a word that was not from God. So he came under another rule and he obeyed that. This brought him into bondage to the one who spoke that word. These are the spiritual implications of what happened in Genesis. The world here simply means the rule or a kingdom. It does not refer to the earth, sky or seas. So the rule that was operating in Adam was disrupted by the rule that came to him from a voice other than God. God's kingdom is not of this world; in His kingdom His voice is obeyed!

After the disruption of the first world, another system came into being. This brought the whole world under the control of the wicked one. That is why Christ, the Lamb, was slain from the disruption of the world. All who are under the rule of the wicked one are anti God. The whole world is antichrist; the whole religious system is antichrist; everything operating under this spirit of disobedience, is antichrist. It is a spirit, a rule, or a world. And He has chosen us in Christ before this disruption. This was God's plan all along.

I want to impress you with the fact, that even though Jesus was not of this world, He came into this world to bring us into the kingdom of God. THE RULE OF GOD WILL PRODUCE A CONSCIOUSNESS OF GOD IN US AND BRING US INTO FELLOWSHIP AND ONENESS WITH HIM! So we are no longer of this world - we are of God! God brings us that information through the Holy Spirit; He leads us into all truth! That is what we follow, what we live by, what we operate by, what we manifest and what we bear testimony to! In Jesus Christ the rule of God was unadulterated! In spite of the fact that we still stumble sometimes and have problems, one thing we know - we have been delivered from the old world system, the kingdom of darkness, and have been placed into the rule of God's loving Son!! We operate in a kingdom which is not of this world; it is the ministration of an endless life! I like that!

The most important thing to remember is that none of us as individual entities has either the power or the authority to choose Jesus Christ or satan. We have simply been overcome and persuaded by one or the other - depending upon what has happened to us, where we are living and what consciousness or realization we are living in. It is not enough to be very religious, a preacher, a helper, or a counsellor in the realm of good and evil. We can make people feel good, feel religious and dutiful (the communists and other people can do that too), but we cannot give them, nor can they have, the power or the authority to choose. We need to grow up into Christ to the point where we know who we were and who we now are in Christ. This is where the kingdom of God is really operating today, and this is what is going to grow. It is not going to grow externally, for it doesn't come in the seen realm. The rule of God is taking place in the spiritual conception of people who are submitted to Jesus Christ. He alone is all wisdom; He reveals all the wisdom, power and authority of God. All those that came before Jesus are thieves and robbers.

Christ is the light that lights the entire world. Christ is our life. We have to live in that consciousness! God expresses Himself to us by the Holy Spirit - the Holy Spirit bearing witness to our spirit. This is what we live by, this is what we rest in, and this is what we testify to. Often it takes time for us to digest these things. Therefore we have to meditate, listen to the Holy Spirit, and allow God to bring us into His realization. As truth comes into focus for us, it becomes our moderator. It becomes life to us! So consider what I say and may the Lord give you understanding! Amen!

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