I have often wondered through the years how so many things could appear as God, yet be in opposition to what I knew was a living word being formed in a people. I have known brothers that loved God, and He loved them. Yet, when I looked closely, the level they ministered from did not line up with the kingdom of God as it is being revealed through a living word coming forth. This is not the same thing as God being a God of paradoxes where many things, seemingly opposite, can exist simultaneously. The paradoxical nature of God is one thing, but what appears to be of God, but fails the litmus test in light of Christ, the Living Word, being manifested, is quite another. At best, we can but say Christianity has been a mixture of the true and the false.
I have observed time and time again that the true manifestation of Christ is always followed by teachings that reflect almost imperceptibly the same revelation, yet are devoid of His life. The number one trick of satan is to hide and manifest himself in the midst of Christ’s name, not apart from it. The classic example of this is how satan shrouded himself with the name of Christ in the Catholic church for a thousand years during the Dark Ages. Over the centuries that system produced every abomination imaginable, always mirroring and calling itself the true church.
Today, there is no one group taken seriously as “the” true church. The deceptions of satan have become much more subtle. The deceptions hide within doctrine perpetrated as truth yet without any experiential substance to back it up. Revelation theory has become the new truth. There is no such thing as truth that is not walked in and experienced. Only as we become the truth is it the truth. The Word must become flesh. Provision and reality are two different things. Christ has provided everything pertaining to life and godliness, but that provision has yet to be fully experienced. 2nd Peter 1:4 states:
“For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
“That we MAY become partakers of the divine nature.” Peter does not say that we automatically HAVE become partakers. God’s promises must be worked experientially into our lives. It is according to the word of the Lord concerning Joseph.
17 He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 They afflicted his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons;
19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him.
Here lies the heart of the matter. Many, many teachings are springing forth about how we are already complete in Christ, how we need not suffer because Christ suffered for us. The basis of this teaching is in Col. 1.
9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
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;
12 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.
All these verses are true. But notice carefully how each verse begins with “in Him.” What we see by revelation and declare by faith must still be worked experientially in us. Paul said this in Phil. 2:
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
We can never eliminate our own participation in Christ’s provision for us. This is how the work of the cross has its practical application in us. The realities of how Christ’s life must be created in us experientially are subtly mocked. Such truth is now being labeled “religious striving.” There is a subtle air of superiority interwoven into such teachings, and in those who teach them. It is absolutely true that we do not have to suffer apart from Christ. We do no have to gain or attain our salvation. However, it is also truth that just as we become partakers of His life, we also become partakers of His death. If the part about partaking of His life is a valid experience, so is partaking of His death. It is HIS death worked experientially into sons. The Adamic nature in us is not just a doctrine. It does not release its hold on us because we quote passages about the old things passing away and new things having come. Christ’s life in us will manifest the absolute victory over Adam. But here is the thing. A river does not rise above its source. Jesus said that in His Father’s house are many dwelling places. There are many levels in Christ we can live on. It is absolutely true that by the Spirit we can appropriate a perpetual “now” revelation of the Lord. We don’t have to struggle with every facet of the Adamic soul life. We can reckon it all dead by appropriating His death. But His death will be an experience just as real as His life. If we think we can walk into the fulfillment of all God’s promises, into the completion of His provision for us, without the Adamic realm in us being confronted by the life of Christ, we will be rudely awakened at some point. Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered. We too will learn obedience from entering into the sufferings of Christ. Not our sufferings, but His sufferings. We do not following in Jesus’ footsteps by having to go through everything He did on an individual level, but we must enter into Christ’s experience on every level. If we do not, we deceive ourselves. This is the subtle deception being perpetrated right now.
There is only one Christ, one faith, one baptism. There are not many Christs according to the various teachings that come. When we see this, we begin to comprehend the incomprehensible. That yes, the subtleties of satan are working against a pure manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our greatest love must be our love for a pure word coming forth. There must be a pure manifestation of Christ, the Living Word, in a people.