Minding Flesh or Spirit

By Lloyd Ellefson

Greetings in the name of the Lord. The Lord is the Spirit. That is who the Lord is - nothing else. We are not to be governed by the body, by doctrines, by men, nor by the letter of the scriptures. That creates some difficulties for us, doesn't it?

The subject of our talk today is our sense of being or our identity. I am going to deal with some of the ways in which we have a wrong consciousness or sense of being, in the ways it attacks us, and what it produces in us. Then we will look at a right consciousness and see what it does for us.

In John 10:36-38 Jesus said, "Do you say of Him, whom the Father snctified and sent into the world, `You are blaspheming,' because I said, `I am the Son of God'? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." In this confrontation, the Jews were very unhappy because Jesus talked about God being His Father, and saying that He and the Father are one! Jesus knew who His Father was! He did not claim to be the Father, but He claimed to be the Son of God. Then Jesus asked them, "Do you think I am blaspheming because I say that?" The Jews had no understanding of what He was saying! How could He and the Father be one? How could the Father be in Him and He in the Father?

How had Jesus come down from heaven? Yet this is what He said in John 3:13! "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man." The Son of man came down from heaven. He was from from above; the others were from below. Because the Father was in Him and He was in the Father, Jesus did not leave God up in heaven when He came down upon this earth! Notice the difference in the source of their identity! Christ's source of being was from above - from the Father! Humanity's source of identity comes from the earth, from creation! So there was quite a difference between Christ's sense of being and humanity's - as evidenced by what the Jews said. It is very important to know the true source of our being, that we identify with it, and know where our conscience is initiated.

True identity has to go back to God. If we would express our true identity, we would acknowledge that God is the Father of our identity. We have had an interloper called the flesh. It has caused us to be estranged from God. When we believe the flesh we are separated from God - and that is what death is. Our ideas of what death is do not change the fact of what it is. Jesus compared it to sleep - both in the case of Jairus's daughter and of Lazarus. Jesus knew that death was not an eternal passing away in the sense of annihilation; death was a separation from God in which there was no consciousness of a direct relationship with God. Jesus was always aware of His relationship with God. He said, "The Father is in Me". This conscious relationship with the Father never left Him.

Some things which Jesus demonstrated were the cause of a lot of confusion, and they are not always easy to understand. Jesus never said that He was God; He never identified Himself as being the source and the essence of being, and neither should we. He said, "I am the way, the truth, the life, the resurrection...Before Abraham was, I am." But He never said, "I am the great I Am" or "the one true God", because He was an EXPRESSION of the true identity of God! He was conscious of the fact that God was the source of His life, and that in God He had His being; in God He had His sense of consciousness! When He came into our realm, He was still touching God! We know this because of the things He said. "The Father is in Me...I don't do the works by Myself, it is the Father in Me who does His works."

The natural mind would like to have the authority and power to initiate and do the works which would please God. We like to be independent and pride ourselves in our own ability! We would like to please God and fulfill His call upon our lives in our own strength. But this is impossible! We cannot do the works of God! God does His works in us! This is the difference between humanity's way of looking at things and Christ's way. Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, came to bring us into a new humanity! This is our initiation into the true realization of spiritual things! More about that later.

"Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus." (Heb. 10:19) The holy place that is referred to, is not a physical structure; the author is not talking about restoring the old temple that used to be in Jerusalem. It does not have to be restored for us to enter the holiest. Nor is he talking about a mental concept, because the natural mind can't conceive the things of God. It must have something to do with a spiritual pilgrimage into a spiritual realization or consciousness!

The temple that existed at the time of Jesus was built by Ezra, and refurbished or improved by the Herods. The courtyard was not actually a part of the temple; anyone could enter that. The actual temple or tabernacle consisted of two parts under one roof, like one building. The first part was called the holy place; the general public could not enter here; it was only for the priesthood - for those who had been anointed as priests! The second part was called the holiest place. Only the high priest could enter this part once a year, but not without blood! That means once is enough.

There are many different ideas about the blood. In the Old Testament, God told the Israelites to use hyssop to sprinkle blood on their doorposts to escape the destroyer. And there is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood. (Heb. 9:22) Since we now have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, His blood does something for us.

Because of a mistranslation in Leviticus we are told that the life is in the blood. (Lev. 17:11) The Hebrew text says that the SOUL is in the blood. The soul has to do with the mind, with our sense of being; it causes us to become aware or conscious of things. That constitutes our soul. In Gen. 1 the animals are also called living souls. Now that is a separate teaching.

When Jesus hung on the cross, the soldiers pierced His side and some of His blood flowed out onto the earth. That was typical. It is interesting to notice that Jesus Christ entered the holy place with His own blood. (Heb. 9:12) He took His blood into the holy place, into heaven itself, and presented it to His Father. How did He do that? His blood had been spilt onto the earth. He didn't scoop it up and take it to the Father, did He? Why would the Father want His blood? He was simply coming in the realization of His identification with humanity and His identification with God before He came and took on flesh.

In Romans 8:3 it says, "...God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh." In John 3:13 Jesus said, "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man." Later manuscripts add, "who is in heaven." Jesus was saying that people's ideas come from the earth (v.12); His came from heaven! Ideas can have different sources from which they originate. Christ's thoughts did not originate from the earth; the Adamic man's do! When Jesus was in His physical body, He felt the needs of that body; He was conscious of earthy things, of physical, material things. He actually had to breathe air, eat food and drink water to sustain His physical life, just like we do. He had left His realm of supply in spirit to take on flesh that depended on creation for its sustenance. There wasn't any way He could get by without it. His physical needs were the same as ours, and He was conscious of them - but He was not ruled by them! His identity was with the Creator; man's identity is with creation.

In Heb. 10:19 it says, "we have confidence (boldness) to enter the holy place." There is no place beyond the holiest. That's it! And we are invited to enter there through the blood by a new and living way which He has inaugurated for us! That is the way to enter in! It is the only one that Christ has inaugurated; it is the only effective journey or pilgrimage into the realization that was in the mind of Christ.

God's purpose and the energy to perform His purpose came through the man Jesus while He was veiled by His flesh. He ministered the things of God - not in His own ability, His own sense of relationship, etc., for He said, "I can do nothing of Myself." By this He was proclaiming an unadulterated realization and confession of His unity, His source, and His true nature with God. But His true nature was veiled by the flesh. Yet it was through the flesh that He came into our being, and made the way for us into the holy of holies.

We know that the outer court was not barred to anyone. Priests as well as commoners could enter. But only the anointed priesthood in Israel could enter into the first part of the temple proper. Jesus was not allowed in there because He was not of Aaronic priesthood descent. Into the second holy place, only the high priest could go in - but not without blood. Everything had to start with the blood that had its source in the death of a sacrifice in the outer court. Only then could the priests enter the delights of the first sanctuary, and only the high priest the second holy place.

In order for us to have confidence to enter in, we have to identify with our oneness in Christ. Sinners in the outer court still have two veils to pass through, before they can enter in; those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit have only one veil to pass through. It is only when we identify with our oneness in Christ, namely, that Christ is our life, that we can enter the second holy place. Christ, who is the anointing, brings us into the consciousness of this oneness. The Hebrew word MESSIAH, is CHRISTOS in the Greek, and CHRIST in English. Their root meaning is ANOINTED or ANOINTING, depending upon its use. Christ is the ANOINTING or the ANOINTED ONE!

Jesus only operated in the anointing after He was baptized, first in water and then in the Holy Spirit. At that time God identified and proclaimed Him as His beloved Son. It was only after He received the anointing that He actually began His spiritual ministry in the earth. For thirty years He lived under the law, and three and a half years in the anointing of the Spirit, demonstrating the Christ. LIVING IN THE ANOINTING IS THE NEW WAY! IT IS A NEW AND LIVING WAY! In Christ all things are made new. Living by the law does not bring us into a relationship with God. To have a relationship with Him requires a new and living way - it cannot be obtained through the law! It can only be obtained by receiving the consciousness that was in Christ! This is identified by His blood - His mind or sense of being, His sense of relationship with the Father.

"Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus." Jesus operated in the mind of God. In doing this, He did not take from God and leave Him with less than He had, for when God gives, He still has everything, because nothing really leaves Him. He is not like we are; when we give things away, we don't own as much; when we give money away, our bank account dwindles. Christ's supply was in God! Whatever He possessed and whatever He gave belonged to God; it was a part of God! Christ gives us the life of God - not separated from Himself, but in union with Himself! This does not diminish His life in any way, but it increases the participants of that life! Nobody can ever own it, earn it, keep it, sustain or maintain it. We can only receive it by subjecting ourselves to the will of God and dwelling in a relationship with Him.

This new and living way is a walk in the Spirit. It does not have anything to do with the old me, with the old life, nor with fulfilling the old law. In Rom. 7 it says that we are not to walk in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the Spirit. In other words, the new life is a walk in a new spiritual realization. Just thinking spiritual things doesn't mean we are walking in the Spirit. We have to have a new sense of being! Our spiritual thinking has to come from being the new man who has been born of the Spirit, born of incorruptible seed, born into immortality.

This has nothing to do with the sense of life in natural humanity - the Adamic consciousness, which is our first consciousness. Our natural existence comes through parents. We come into this world in a body and it forms our consciousness. The man God formed out of the existing creation, out of the earth, is completely dependent on the existing creation. When Adam sinned by disobeying God, he did not form his own consciousness, as some think. He was formed of the earth before he sinned. (Gen. 2) In Gen. 1 everything is good; there is no sickness, disease, evil, or death. Before man was generated into flesh, there was no man to cultivate this earth, so God formed a man out of the existing creation. That is why we are totally dependent on creation for our physical sustenance!

Our body is dependent on creation for its sustenance, and our consciousness realization comes from our body. Even emotions like fear and love have to register in our body. If they do not register, we won't be conscious of them. As new-born babes, we did not really have a consciousness of self, mother or dad. Our needs were met by crying when we were hungry, wet, or uncomfortable. As we grew and developed our recognition of things increased; this came through our five senses. Our consciousness of being has developed through our body of flesh that is one with creation.

This did not apply to Jesus Christ. He came down from heaven and His realization came from His source, His Father God; His sense of being was formed out of those spiritual things that are of the Father's nature - like immortality, resurrection, life and truth. These enabled Him to receive righteousness and incorruptibility. They constituted the consciousness that was in Christ, for it had been drawn from the Spirit.

Everyone is identified with Adam because in Adam all die. When Jesus went to the cross, all humanity was dead in Adam because it was separated from God. If we only have the consciousness that is derived from our physical body, and this body leaves us, we no longer have a place from which to draw a consciousness. Then we will really be lost. So it is very vital for us to have ears that hear what the Spirit is saying to the church today. Adam was given a body before he had a consciousness of being, because his sense of being came through his body. The realization of who he was came out of his feelings, emotions, etc. Natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit; his mind is one of death because it is separated from God; it can only receive stimuli through the body formed of this creation, and creation is not the Creator.

Christ makes us new creatures - a new man in Him. The realization of what this means does away with the old concepts - the idea that the old man had to be made righteous and enhanced by suppressing evil; that the body has to be preserved for going to heaven some day. If these worked, Jesus Christ wouldn't have had to come. We would only need God's commandments to show us how to be moral, and please God by obeying them, and then we could go to heaven.

There are many types, shadows and figures in the Old Testament. They are not the reality, but they are represent a reality! Adam was a figure, not of God, but a figure of the Man that was to come, the Son of Man, the Man Christ Jesus. As the old humanity is in Adam, so the new humanity is in Christ! We realize Moses was a mediator, and he mediated a covenant, a law, but these were only types, shadows, figures, representations. There is one mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus. At that time only God knew the spiritual realities and significance of figures, such as Adam, Moses, the temple, etc. These types were not useless, worthless or purposeless. They came from God, but only He knew what was behind the scenes! Only He knew how wonderful the fulfillment would be! That's why it is impossible for natural man to figure them out; all his struggles are useless.

The mind of man cannot understand what God has prepared for us in Christ - they cannot even enter his mind. (1 Cor. 2:9) Adam's consciousness operates in the death realm and it cannot know the thoughts of God. Because humanity is only sustained by creation, it has no immortality; so it cannot help but retain its consciousness of death. People try not to die, but eventually death overtakes them. Since they have to die, they focus on the hope of going to heaven after they die. But God has provided a new and living way for us to get into the holiest place. This holy place represents a dwelling place with God. In order to dwell with Him we must be conscious of a relationship and an identity with God the Father through the Spirit. through the veil,

God has provided a natural physical body for us, and He has also provided a spiritual body. (1 Cor. 15) As we have birthed and experienced an earthy consciousness, so we have now been birthed into a heavenly consciousness. Even as the earthy consciousness has been a vehicle for us, the heavenly one is now a vehicle to bring us the things of God. This constitutes the new man.

Have you ever noticed that Jesus usually referred to Himself as the Son of Man? The Son of Man came down from heaven, the Son of Man will be given into the hands of men, the Son of Man will die, the Son of Man will be resurrected, the Son of Man will come again, etc. This is not noticed by most Christians because they want to go from Adam to God without going through the mediation of the Spirit. Jesus had a physical body while He was on earth, but He lived as the Son of Man.

We may wondr whether Jesus ever have the mind of the flesh. "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace." (Rom. 8:6) The mind set on the flesh is death and it cannot please God! Sin is incipient death. Sin came into the world and death came because of sin. A penalty is imposed when a law is broken. The penalty of sin is death. What kind of an idea do we have about sin? Sin means missing the mark. The consciousness of guilt, uncleanness and unworthiness which plagues many, comes as a result of sin. Sin means missing the mark. Jesus became a sin-offering for us. "For the One not knowing sin, He makes to be a sin offering for our sakes..." (2 Cor. 5:21 [Concordant]) However He did not commit sin! He went through death, "that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is the devil." (Heb. 2:14b) He came for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil. (1 Jn. 3:8b) In Rom. 8:6 Paul tells us that "the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." The carnal mind is death, and the spiritual mind is life.

Since Jesus did not sin in any way, it is hard for some to believe that Jesus repented; but He did! "God is not a man that He should lie, neither the Son of man that He should repent." (Deut.) When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, He repented. He turned away from living under the law according to human nature, and from exercising the things of the flesh in obedience to God under the law. He repented of living under the law so He could live by the Spirit!

Jesus was not crucified because He had sinned; He had not committed any sin! He was crucified because He said that God was His Father. It says that He died TO sin! It also says that we were crucified with Him. So why were we crucified together with Him? Was it because we had sinned? Since Jesus was not crucified because He had sinned, and we were crucified with Him, was it actually sin then that caused us to to be crucified with Him? No. What does that say to us? If we were crucified together with Christ, we have the same testimony He had; we testify that God is our Father.

Am I blaspheming then because I say that the anointing has come and that Christ is my life? Why should that sound blasphemous to us? We haven't been able to do that because we haven't gotten rid of our sin consciousness. Instead of drawing from the Spirit, we have been drawing from the natural man and receiving his ideas of what sin is, God is, a lie is, and what death is. Natural man's ideas are all wrong! Everything becomes new in Christ because He is a new revelation of all these things which we thought we knew. Jesus became a sin-offering for us and went through death - not that He committed any sin, but He identified with missing the mark, He identified with the fleshly body, He identified with human nature. He understood what it was all about.

"The Word became flesh." His physical body had the same needs our does. He became hungry, He ate and drank and had to go to the bathroom. He got tired and had blood coursing through His veins. On the cross He said, "Father forgive them." At another point He said, "My God why have You forsaken Me?" Actually separation from God is death, and through this death, Jesus, the Son of Man, destroyed the works of the devil. Satan's final point of activity against Jesus was death. He could not be reduced to anything lower than that. Satan really is death. So Jesus Christ abolished death. He went through death, and threw off death in His resurrection!

This was all accomplished through this flesh, which veiled who He really was. He identified with man. "Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;" (Heb. 2:14) We are flesh and blood; even though we are children of God we are partaking of flesh and blood. We are partaking of a consciousness that comes through creation and through the body. But this is not our true being, our true identity! We had a problem, and Jesus Christ came to bring us out of that stage of ignorance and into a stage of realization through the work of the Holy Spirit. That is why we must hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. Because the children were partakers of flesh, Christ Jesus had to likewise take part of the same. He took part in flesh, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil!

Death dwells in the flesh. Jesus took on flesh so that He could destroy the works of the devil who works through the flesh. We need to believe that we have been crucified, that our old man has been crucified TOGETHER with Christ! This has taken place through the activity of Christ! Through His work we have been crucified and put to death; we have died to sin. When Jesus died on the cross, He demonstrated His death to sin!

You see, Jesus had to take on flesh because satan can only work in the flesh. The temptation of Jesus is an example of this. After Jesus was baptized He received the Holy Spirit, and the mind of the Spirit came to Him. Then He was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. I don't think the devil came to Jesus in a physical form; I think the temptations took place inside of Him, because it was it was a temptation that worked in His flesh. Satan said, "You are hungry, huh? Forty days without food! Make the stones bread." This bread was for His physical body. Satan was tempting Him to do something for His physical body.

Then he said, "I will take you up on this high mountain, and show You all the kingdoms of this world." Jesus would be able to see these kingdoms over which satan ruled, with his physical eyes. But Jesus was not lusting to rule this world; He only wanted God to rule them. Satan was trying to seduce Jesus to rule the world as he rules the world, because he is the god of this world. But the kingdom of God is not of this world!

Satan then tried to lure Jesus away from God by quoting scripture. He said, "Cast Yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple, because in the psalms it is written, "None of Your bones shall be broken." Jesus did not have to prove that He was the Son of God! The Father had witnessed this to Him; He was consciousness of the fact that He was the Son of God! He didn't have to obey those directives of satan! He always works through the flesh!

Jesus Christ died to sin! God deals with sin through this death. Sin comes into the world through the operation of the adversary. The vehicle satan uses is man. God deals with that man, that vehicle of sin, by putting this man to death. The priesthood, ministry, the mind of the flesh, and everything he gets through the flesh, is put to death. God does not deal with sin by instituting laws, punishments, penalties, accusations, or condemnations. God deals with sin by giving us the realization that living in sin, in the consciousness of the Adamic man, is what death and sin are all about! That consciousness is put to death when the light of Christ comes to take away the darkness and ignorance of that man. So satan always works through the flesh. If the flesh is judged, and we live in the Spirit, we escape the power of sin and the power of death. It was through the death of the physical body of Jesus Christ, that satan's works were destroyed. He even destroyed the sense that satan has any power in himself. Through death He destroyed him that had the power of death.

Before Jesus lived on earth, He did not know death, nor was He experiencing death. Christ is our LIFE! He is a quickening Spirit, and He delivers all who fear death. Those who live in the fear of death are subject to the bondage of the death realm.

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) "The only begotten from the Father" does not refer to the physical Jesus who was born with a figure and form of humanity. Jesus Christ as the Son of God is simply the offspring of the omnipresent and invisible God; He is the exact representation of God's nature! He is the only begotten from the Father! Those who are in Christ can also are also sons of God; they can receive the same realization that is in Christ - that they are begotten of God and are sons of God. Everyone who is born of the Spirit is begotten of God.

There is only one God and there is only one Son; but there are many individual realizations of who Christ is. It is a universal truth that we are begotten of the Father. God has a way for us, and His way is Christ; when we have Christ, we are in the way that God has purposed for man since the beginning. So we enter into His rest, because all these things are provided for Him. When He finished His work in Genesis 1, He quit working. Everything functioned after what He had laid the energy and the groundwork in His word for, and it is still going on. Christ came through this whole motions??? of God's purpose in the beginning. We are taken into Christ, and brought into the same relationship with God through this wonderful purpose that was in the mind of God in the beginning. Nothing happens to us outside of that . We are all taken in to the counsel and the purpose of God which is the only real sense of mind, energy, spirit source that there is, in and out of the world or in and out of our consciousness. We will never see this unless we submit to this purpose and program of God through which the first stage of our redemption is the law, the second stage is the Son of Man, and the third stage is sonship and relationship and oneness with God. These are typified by the faiths??? earth, sea and air, by the temple and the outer court. Most of all they are a progress or a pilgrimage from ignorance, sin and darkness through spiritual realization into a relationship and a dwelling with God in the Spirit in His Son the Christ. Now this is by faith, because it is not our faith, it is the faith of the Son of God. John 1:14 says, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,(and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." What is that saying? It says, "The Word was made flesh."

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