By Lloyd Ellefson

Greetings in the name of the Lord! Redemption is a well-known word in Christian circles, and we may think we know what it means, yet only have a very superficial idea of its meaning. Many believe it only has to do with Jesus coming down as God's sacrifice for sin, and that it enables them to be redeemed and go to heaven when the time comes - whether through death, the rapture, or His coming again. But is the purpose for our redemption only to enjoy the millenium and the holy city that has come down from heaven?

I believe it is time for us to re-think our ideas about redemption! In the Old Testament God shows that redemption comes to us in stages. This is evident in type and shadow. Promises of redemption came in the various time periods -from the time of Adam to Noah, from Noah to Moses and the prophets, then to the appearing of Jesus Christ. However, when the reality of redemption appeared, shadow and type faded away! If we look at the prophecies as though redemption were only for the future, we will not walk in the reality of our present redemption. We will not know that Jesus Christ IS the REDEEMER and that He IS our REDEMPTION!

We may need some clarification about the various aspects of our redemption. We need to know what is included in our redemption and how Christ achieved it. Is He redeeming us FROM the Adamic man with his wrong conception of self (the egotism of who he thinks he is as an individual), his estrangement from God, his carnal, natural, intellectual ideas and concepts of God and Christ, or is He redeeming us OUT OF this Adamic man and putting us into a new man?

We will have a problem with understanding redemption if we do not understand that we are no longer to view Christ Jesus as a natural or physical man. If we think that Christ returned to heaven in a physical body, and is coming back in a physical body, we will only get a natural idea of redemption. We will only relate it to our natural being, believing that our Adamic nature with all its wrong thinking is going to be redeemed. But if our SELF LIFE is crucified with Him, then our old man of sin has died with Christ on the cross, and he no longer lives! If the Christ is in you, the body is dead to sin! God said that our physical body is destined to return to dust. It will not be redeemed. Then what is being redeemed, and how are we involved in redemption? Is our crucifixion with Christ our redemption?

Paul said, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me..." (Gal. 2:20) Who is this Christ who lived in Paul, and now lives in us? He cannot be a natural man and dwell within us, can He? Christ indwells us by His Spirit, for He is spirit. He is not flesh but spirit! This is clarified for us in Matt. 16:15-17. When Christ asked the disciples who they thought He was, Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Christ IS the Son of the living God! The living God is the actual presence of God! He dwells in those who have received Him; He does not dwell in the natural man. A LIVING God cannot dwell in the concepts of our own mind nor in our own natural mental comprehension of the Bible! Only dead gods dwell in man's own concepts!

God sent His own Son into the world in the likeness of sinful flesh. (Rom. 8:3) Christ IS the Son of God! "But when the fulness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, `Abba! Father!'" (Gal. 4:4-6) In these and other passages we notice that God's Son is called by different names - Christ, the Son, the Spirit of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and are one with God. There are no divisions in God! Life cannot be separated from God, because separation from God is death.

Jesus, the Son of God, had been with the Israelites for three and a half years, doing miracles, and teaching about the Father, about Himself, the kingdom, the purposes of God, etc., but they would not listen to Him, nor receive His teaching. The Jews accused Jesus of calling God His Father when in their eyes He was only the son of a carpenter. They chided Him for not obeying the Sabbath, and said that He healed by Beelzebub's power. In spite of all the teaching the Jews had received, they remained ignorant and used the law to prove He was saying things that were against the law. It was intepreted according to their own ideas, and Christ's teaching was not in accord with their understanding. They considered this sufficient reason to have Him convicted and crucified! Jesus recognized their ignorance, for on the cross He said, "Father, forgive them because they know not what they do." This was an indictment, for humanity was in ignorance, darkness, sin, delusion and separation.

The Jews were angry at Jesus but they did not have the power to crucify Him; crucifixion was under the authority of the Romans. That is why they asked the Romans to crucify Him. Pontius Pilate had a lot of trouble with that because he couldn't fault Jesus on anything against the Roman law; nothing incriminated Him! There was nothing to justify their putting Him to death. Finally he asked Jesus if He was a king. Jesus replied, "You say correctly that I am a king." The Jews said, "We have no king but Caesar." So they cried for the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. They got Barabbas the criminal, and Jesus was put on the cross! Then Pilate put a sign on the cross which read, "King of the Jews." The Jews did not want Him to be called their king and wanted the sign changed. Pilate refused to do that, because he had to have some justification for putting Him on the cross. Pilate had to save his own skin by finding something he could use against Jesus Christ. Jesus was innocent, but Israel used their law wrongly to indict Him. Israel accused Jesus of being against their traditions and of breaking their law! The Romans couldn't have cared less, but they feared the Jews!

So you see it was really the law of Moses, misunderstood and unjustly used by the Israelites, that became the leverage to get the Romans to crucify Jesus. However they could only put the body, the visible manifestation of Jesus, to death. But death could not hold Him! After He ascended, He poured out His Spirit upon the believers. Receiving the Spirit is not the same as forgiveness; it is beyond that. Peter clarified that in his first message to the church in Acts 2. He said, "Repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus for the remission of your sins." There you have forgiveness. "And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." So when the Spirit came He brought us the Godhead!

It says that the fulness of the Godhead dwelled in Jesus Christ bodily. This does not refer to His physical body. It means that the complete spiritual image of God dwelled in one body in the consciousness of the Man Jesus. The body of the Father, the Son, the Christ, the Holy Spirit dwelt in Him - not in His bones and flesh, but in His realization, in His awareness of life, in the mind of Christ. Christ's body is made up of light and truth! So the fulness of light and truth dwelt in Jesus Christ! They dwelt in Christ in the same way that you and I dwell in Christ, and Christ dwells in us. Many verses refer to us being IN CHRIST; we are not alongside Christ, nor just in company with Him. It says that we are "alive IN Christ...if anyone is IN Christ he is a new creation...God was IN Christ reconciling the world to Himself...He has given us all the spiritual blessings IN heavenly places IN Christ...we were chosen IN Him before the disruption of the world."

In Eph. 2:15 it says that He took the uncircumcision and the circumcision and made IN HIMSELF one new man! IN Himself, IN Christ, He has made one new humanity, thus establishing peace. IN Christ we are built as a habitation for God! IN Christ we are a place for God to dwell! Jesus said, "My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with My Father's house are many dwelling places;...for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (Jn. 14:23b;2-3) He was there in a physical body talking to some of the disciples as He said this. He said, "Where I AM you may be also." He was talking about being in His Father, being in God in the essence of who He is. He has made it possible for us to be in the same place He was! At this present time while we are still in our physical bodies we are to understand that we are in God, and God and the Son have come and made their abode with us!

I believe this is what redemption is. We are redeemed or bought back by a ransom that was more than fully equal to that which held us in bondage. We were in bondage to death, because all die in Adam. Now we are redeemed by the life that is in Christ! His life is much greater than death, and it abolishes the hold death has on us. Christ, our Redeemer, does not redeem the Adamic man; He does not redeem that old consciousness that is based on delusion, and functions in ignorance.

God wants us to repent of the ignorance that is in the natural mind. Just as the people on Mars Hill were totally ignorant of the fact that they lived and moved and had their being in God, so many are today. Paul said, "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent." (Acts 17:30) People are to repent of their ignorance! They don't know who they are and from what they have been redeemed; nor do they know who God is! So they are walking in darkness!

In Titus 2:14 it says, "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." He gave Himself for our redemption; our redemption is Christ! He cannot come down from heaven to deal again with the sin that has already been totally dealt with. That is why we have to be IN Christ to experience redemption. Redemption does not come to us in a gift-wrapped box. We have to get out of Adam and be put into Christ, because Christ is the One who is redeeming us! It took many years for me to see that the old Adamic man is not to be redeemed; he is to be put away; he is to die! Redemption consists of the transfer from the Adamic natural man (the one who carried a desire in his heart to kill Jesus) to the new man in Christ.

Christ came to be our redemption! In Himself He has made the uncircumcised and the circumcised into one new man; this new man is in the image of God. There is an earthy image of God and a heavenly image of God. As we have borne the earthy image (an earthy concept) of God we are now bearing the spiritual image (a spiritual concept) of God. This heavenly image is the Christ. Christ is now our life! It also says that we are going to appear together with Him; since we are together, we are not entities that are separated from Him.

Christ becomes our redemption when we are put into Christ! If we remain in Adam, we are not being redeemed. To obtain redemption we have to turn away from our Adamic consciousness - from that mind which can never be redeemed nor improved. People try to die to self! At the same time they try to improve the same self; they present it to God, try to make it keep the law, and hope that some day they will go to heaven after they die or are raptured. This is not according to God's program for us. In Christ we receive a new understanding! Our awareness or consciousness passes out of death (separation from God) and brings us into the realization that God is our life! This is the work of God's Spirit within us. He teaches us by His Word, His Christ, His Son! He has come to us individually and thus makes each of us a new creature in the Spirit. This does not change our physical appearance.

Jesus said, "Where I am, there you may be also." At that time, while still in His physical body, He understood that He was the Son of God and was being a witness to Israel. His witness in the world was for us. We need to be redeemed out of our wrong thinking of Christ! Christ did not come into being when He was born in a stable. He has been present all the time. It says that we were chosen in Christ before the disruption of the world. (Eph. 1:4) He was present before the disruption! Christ was in the prophets; He was the rock in Israel; He has always been present!

Since Christ is always present, why hasn't His dominion been manifested in the seen realm? Why don't we see Him ruling everything as the King of kings? Why does it seem as though man is ruling everything? Where was Christ in the Old Testament when God's program was portrayed in types and shadows? Where was He when Israel desecrated all of them? What is the Son of God doing during this time when His dominion is not seen? He is working in the unseen realm until everything is brought under subjection to Him, and then He hands everything back to the Father! This is the way the Son of God operates, because everything Jesus did was of the Father. He was sent by the Father, He did nothing of Himself, for it was the Father in Him who did the works! He relied upon the witness of the Father - not upon His own witness!

Do we believe God is as He was portrayed in Christ, or do we still rely upon our own ideas? Jesus said, "You have heard, `An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth...resist not your neighbor...pray for them that persecute you...and if any one wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also'." Jesus lived what He taught! He was meek and lowly of heart; He didn't retaliate when He was abused; He was like a lamb led to the slaughter. He did not rebuke nor condemn those who arrested Him! He never told them that His Father was going to punish them by casting them into hell! When He was crucified He said, "Father forgive them." Christ Jesus, the Son of God, was the express image of God! He is the truth! The virtues inherent in Him were the exact virtues of the Father! There is no difference! They are one!

To really know God's nature, we have to see Him as He is revealed in Christ! We have to put away the ideas of God gained from the Old Testament. There God commanded the Jews to war and fight, and He afflicted people with plagues and diseases. We have to differentiate between the old and the new covenant! Under the old covenant the law of sin and death prevailed; under the new covenant the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus prevails. It is the life in Christ that reveals who God is!

Those who interpret God according to the futility of human reasoning, only have the impressions and ideas that come from their natural minds. They think God is like they are. They think they have to please God in order for Him to love them and bless them; they think they have to earn their righteousness. They have to be redeemed from their wrong ideas of Christ, the Son of God. The problem is that they are not really hearing God. God's instructions have been disobeyed and trampled on ever since Adam and Eve defied them in Genesis 3.

The Word was made flesh! The Word is the Christ, the Son of God! The Word and Christ are the same! We need to be redeemed from our wrong thinking, so that God's word is not trampled on by humanity. He allowed Himself and His words to be trampled on, to be put down and be rejected! He said that the kingdom of God would be taken away from Israel because they didn't bear the fruit of the kingdom.

The kingdom of God is one of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It IS righteousness, it IS peace, it IS joy, it is IN the Holy Spirit! It cannot become ours apart from Him! It cannot be detached; it is IN the Spirit! If we have the Holy Spirit, it is inherently ours in the Spirit. That is how Christ gives us His peace! He gives us Himself, and in Him we have His peace! He is the "the way, the truth, and the life." He is the way to God; He is truth and life!

This of course could not be understood in the Old Testament; neither did the Israelites understand this when Jesus came. In fact, they were extremely angry at Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life! This anger demonstrated man's attitude toward God since the disruption in Genesis. But God is not to be ignored! He rules the whole earth. Yet we think that if God would rule this earth, evil things would not be happening. We think His rule would force people to obey His laws. We don't understand His rule of love; we don't understand God's pacifism, nor do we understand His love. God's love is perfect, and He only does good to others and loves others as much as He loves Himself!

Natural humanity always puts self first; it wants to be blessed, go to heaven and be changed instantly. It wants its corruption to be changed into incorruption. But corruption does not inherit incorruption; flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God! Flesh and blood are not included in our redemption! Only the spiritual life and reality of the Son inherit the kingdom of God. So don't expect the physical person with his carnal, fleshly mind that lives in mortality to be brought into immortality! Immortality IS. It was present before we were born and it continues after our physical life ends. In a sense, humanity is only a parenthesis, whereas God is life ALWAYS! Man begins and ends, but there is no beginning or end with God!

It is interesting to note that 1 Cor. 15:50 says that "flesh and blood cannot INHERIT the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable INHERIT the perishable," and in v.53 it says that "this perishable must PUT ON the imperishable, and this mortal must PUT ON immortality." At first glance this looks like a contradiction - as though Paul is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. But we know he isn't, so we must let the Holy Spirit lead us into all truth. We notice that two different words are used - INHERIT and PUT ON. It CANNOT inherit the incorruptible, but it can PUT IT ON, or be CLOTHED with it. We cannot put something on that we don't have. The imperishable must first be inherited before it can be put on. In Christ we have inherited immortality and He wants us to be clothed with it - to live in it now!

Repentance brings us into an understanding of things we never understood before. We used to think that after we had repented of our sins, we still remained sinners. We had to ask for forgiveness continually, but this did not produce a change in us. God wants to make us new creatures - righteous people who have a new heart! God wants us to turn away from the government of the fleshly mind and the fleshly body. He asks us to repent of our sense of being separated from God and joined to creation. Having been put into Christ makes us completely new creatures with an entirely new understanding of life. He comes to us in the Spirit and He quickens our spirit; He makes us alive to spiritual realities! He becomes the source of our information, and we receive a true image of God in our spirit! The anointing of the Holy Spirit teaches us and leads us into all truth! Jesus said that His physical leaving would be to our advantage, for then the Comforter could come! This shows us the importance of having the anointing teach us spiritual realities!

Christ is the Word made flesh. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. In John 1:1 it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Then John begins to talk about Christ, who is the life. In 1 John 1:1 it says, "...what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life." Then in Rev. 19:11 it says, "And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war." Here a white horse comes out of heaven, and the One who sits on it is called the Word of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords! (vv.13,16) The First-begotten of God was God's Word; He is the seed. God manifests Himself in the Word, in the Seed, in the Son, in the Christ, in the Holy Spirit! This is totally unfathomable to natural man! Christ, as the Word of God, does everything; God's Word accomplishes everything that is in the mind of God!

"...if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live." (Rev. 3:20; Jn. 5:20) That is called resurrection! If you can hear the voice of the Son of God, you are hearing the Father speaking! You are hearing the Spirit, the Christ, the Word of God - the Word that comes as the Seed. God does everything through His Word! God began His work of creation in Genesis by speaking the Word! And Jesus Christ is the Word of God; He is the Word of the kingdom, He is the good seed! God's Word is the seed of reproduction, and it operates in the the realm of the Spirit.

"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity." (2 Timothy 1:8-9) Christ has given us His testimony of the goodness of God, and we are not to be ashamed of it! His wonderful testimony draws us unto Himself. He saved us and called us with a holy calling according to His own purpose in Christ Jesus, before the world began. Since Christ was present before He was born of Mary, his birth was a continuing testimony of God's redemption - now appearing in physical form in His identification with humanity, speaking, not in King James English, but in the vernacular of the day so everyone could understand Him. In this identification He could be a Mediator between God and man.

Moses also was a mediator, but his mediation was inadequate because the old covenant had faults in it; it couldn't produce what God wanted. That is why God gave us a new covenant. But the old covenant could not be done away with until it was replaced by the new covenant! The new covenant ushered out the old! We embrace the new covenant, for it is actually Christ. The new covenant is the Word; it contains a promise and its fulfillment - and that is Christ the Son of God!

"But now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." (v.10) In Christ God revealed that He had saved us and called us with a holy calling according to His own purpose and grace; this was given us in Christ before the world began. But we did not know that; the revelation of this came to us in Christ, for we could only see it in the natural. We could only hear it when it was spoken through a human being - through a figure. By the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus it was revealed to us! He has abolished death; He has abolished our separation from God by bringing us all back to God! This knowledge comes to us through the gospel.

Death has been abolished in the spiritual realm! God sees death as being abolished! Natural man cannot understand this because it has to come in spiritual realization! Therefore this is meaningless to him and he continues to live in the death realm - in the realm of delusion, because he does not know that it has been abolished in Christ. He will think that death is not abolished, so he projects the abolishment of death into the future - not realizing that it has already been accomplished. It is NOW! In the purpose of God it happened before the world began.

Now look what it says, "...and He has brought life and immmortality to light." Jesus Christ was the great light that came into the world to light all men! This was heralded by the prophets. "Arise, shine; for your light has come." (Is. 60:1) What kind of a light is this? What did Jesus mean when He said, "I am the light"? The light He brought was the enlightenment of the Spirit! He brought to light the nature of His Father God! He was spiritual enlightenment because of His spiritual substance. He was inherently one with God, so the light of His understanding - the things His mind received from God - was not understood by man.

The fact that even all of Christ's chosen disciples deserted Him when He was arrested, showed that they did not really understand His message. When the shepherd was struck, the sheep were scattered, so He trod the winepress of God alone. He alone understood our redemption; He understood that He is our redemption! When He now comes to us in the Spirit (the Holy Spirit, the invisible Christ who is the Anointing, the Spirit of the Son placed in our hearts by the Father) He enlightens us to life and immortality. This comes through the gospel!

Jesus Christ came preaching the gospel of the kingdom. The gospel comes to us through the words of Jesus Christ! It is good news because His words are redeeming words -- we are redeemed by these words! Jesus Christ IS the Word of God! He is the Son of God; He is the Word, the Seed of God. So the gospel, the Word of God, is actually the light that brings us redemption; it brings us into life and immortality! We cannot find out who God is through mental gymnastics even though they are based on a study of the Greek and the Bible, nor by memorizing the Bible. We simply have to put aside the vanity of our mind.

Redemption is for the present time; we do not have to die and leave our planet earth to receive it. Repentance brings a change in our thinking. It takes us out of our ignorance and darkness of who God is and who we are. In order to have a correct image of self, we need to have a right image of God, for we are His sons. A wrong idea of God gives us a wrong idea of His offspring, because they are His image. Repentance involves giving up our SELF for the purpose of being newly created into a new understanding of who we are as sons of God - one with God our Father!

This does not apply to our external appearance but to who we are internally. Once we understand that God is our Father because we have been regenerated (reborn), and that we are sons of God, we will never again call ourselves sinners! This knowledge does not come to us suddenly as by the snap of our fingers. It comes as we grow up in Christ. We also thank God for those who have grown, and have passed their insights on to others. No one has attained to the ultimate knowledge of who God is, but vistas of His unfathomable depths have opened up to us, and we are NOW receiving revelation knowledge of who He is. We can grow up into Christ because we are IN Christ. Through death we have been taken out of our death in Adam, and have been birthed again and regenerated in Christ. We know that we have passed from death into life, and have been resurrected out of our ignorance into knowledge.

Every seed has its own distinctive body. We are born again of incorruptible seed. Since it is in the unseen realm, we cannot see the body of this seed composed of the way, the truth, life, resurrection and immortality - the nature and essence of the "I AM" of Christ. That which He IS has to form the spiritual realization of the body of Christ into which we have been baptized. He only has one body - He doesn't have one body for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. He has put both the Jews and the Gentiles, the circumcision and the uncircumcision, into one new man, thus making one body for a habitation of God!

Those that hear the voice of the Son of God shall live. His voice does not only come in one blast of a trumpet in the end-time, nor will only those hearing it at that time live. His voice comes to us in our hearts. In the Holy Spirit God has given us the Spirit of His Son. To hear that spiritual voice we need a new sense of being; we have to give up our dependence on our natural mind. We have to realize that in being born again, we've been born from above and regenerated spiritually! We've been awakened out of our sleep in which we were unconscious of the presence of God. Being unconscious of the presence of God separates us from Him. Paul said, "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (Eph. 5:14)

Here is the crux of what I am saying. God is redeeming us out of the ignorance and darkness that is in man's natural mind. Man's concepts of Christ are wrong, and he needs to be taken out of them! The only way this can be done, is by putting to death that old humanity. Out of that death, a new man in Christ is raised up - one with a new realization and comprehension of the Son of God. The things God has done need to be revealed in their true light. God is not redeeming evil and ignorance - that fleshly, temporal, sinful, Adamic man. He is not improving nor cleansing that old consciousness. We are being delivered out of it; we are being raised out of Adam and ascended into the consciousness of Christ! This is redemption! Christ IS our redemption!

"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise acording to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God." (1 Cor. 1:26-29)
Jesus Christ did not come to this earth as a great and noble man. The hierarchy thought it could handle this unlearned man from Galilee. He was nothing in their eyes! He came as one who was meek and lowly in heart, yet He confounded the mighty! The things of this world are the concepts of men and they are foolishness compared to what God knows and thinks.

God has chosen humility, service, non-resistance and love toward others - the things that are not valued by the world, to confound the world. They are diametrically opposed to the desires and aspirations of the world. It wants glory, honor, prestige, money, wealth, health, etc. God is bringing to nothing the things that are, by causing us to see the futility of striving for fame, wealth, worldly honor, and accomplishing a lot in politics and science and economics for posterity. All these things have no value for us now, because God is our sufficiency! He is our life, He is our supply, He is our wisdom! It says, "That no flesh should glory in His presence." When the presence of God comes to us in the spirit, the flesh finds nothing to glory in! It loses its glory in the presence of God!

"But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption." (v.30) Christ is our redemption! God has put us in Christ. Isn't that marvellous! Christ, the Son, the Seed of God (for He came out of God), is MADE these things to us! He is not giving these things to us. He has BECOME to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Christ is our redemption from death. He is our life! "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Col 3:3)

Let's see who Christ is in us:
He is our WISDOM: Christ is our wisdom so we don't have to rely upon our own wisdom.
He is our RIGHTEOUSNESS: we don't have to do any works to become righteous. We have been declared righteous by God, and we can't become more righteous by our own works.
He is our SANCTIFICATION: we have been set aside for God! He is our REDEMPTION - we have been redeemed, ransomed, bought back by the mind that is in Christ Jesus.

The Spirit of Christ brings us the understanding of what God is really saying! A natural understanding of the Bible only brings satisfaction to the carnal mind; it only fools us into believing that what the natural aspires to is the end result. We have to repent of that and wait on the Spirit to illumine us. This illumination may come immediately, or it may take awhile. Nevertheless, true understanding will dawn on us. This doesn't come through our mind, through our natural senses or through verbal sounds. It comes to our spirit suddenly and takes on new meaning as we see things spirituallly.

It is very dangerous to continue to live in the carnal mind! How wonderful it is to repent and receive Christ as our life! The coming of Christ causes this old man to die. That is the only way we can get rid of him. Light dispels darkness! We can now glory in the Lord, because He is our life now! All these things are out of God. Before we were in Christ we had a false impression of everything. We thought we were entities in ourselves, but now we understand that we actually weren't. We were living in a delusion, in a lie and in darkness. We were opposing ourselves and God. If the natural man does not repent and receive the Christ, he becomes an antichrist. Jesus said that He who is not with Him is against Him!

In truth, the word REPENTANCE is incredible in its depth of meaning! And the law prepared us for repentance! Since natural man could not keep the law, it was to convince us that our attempts to be righteous were folly. Therefore we have to give them up and find out from God how we can be righteous. We have to let Him do it. If we want His righteousness, He'll make us righteous! But of course if we don't want it, we become antichrist. It's as simple as that.

The Adamic man with his carnal mind is destined for death. So there is no use trying to convince oneself that there is redemption for the Adamic man. That is why we need Christ! In Christ we have now been raised up. We are redeemed out of that mind of SELF, out of our wrong attitudes, ideas and understanding about God. Now we can be very comfortable with God because we know that He is just like Jesus was, and He doesn't condemn us! Isn't that wonderful!

Ever since the disruption of the world, when Adam allowed a voice other than God's to supersede the voice of God, the true knowledge of God has been suppressed in man's carnal mind. Man became subservient to a different rule - and God let man continue to be under this rule. Even His Son, His Christ, was subject to it until the fulness of time came. This rule will not come to an end by a big war; it ends through the rule of the meek and lowly Jesus. He allowed Himself to be mishandled by men, just as the Word of God had been mishandled from the beginning. Those who have allowed the Word of God that is in the law to work in them, have come to repentance - for it is the fruit of the law. The Word of God causes us to understand that we are not only repenting of our sins, but of the vessel of sin - for through one man sin entered the world; it entered through his carnal thinking.

Once we see what repentance means, we will no longer try to save ourselves. We now realize there is a new life, a new rule in Christ. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding. Amen.

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