Perfection in Christ

Perfection is of course a much contested biblical topic. But for the apprehended ones, it is a high calling that scripture is clear about. It is the very purpose for which Jesus Christ died. Perfection manifests in the birthing of Christ in His fullness in sons. This is also synonymous with the salvation of our soul (mind, will, emotion). However, a key point here is that this renewal of our mind that Paul speaks of in Rom. 12:2 is not the carnal mind. Repentance or the changing of our mind is not the changing of this carnal mind but a putting on of another mind; the mind of Christ. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. The Greek word for ‘repentance’ is metanoia and implies the putting on of another mind. It is similar to what is implied when one changes their shirt; taking off one and putting on another. The carnal mind is enmity against God, it neither receives nor knows the things of God. This carnal mind in other words is the Adamic nature. But the second Adam has come and He must now reign in place of the first. Thus the need for the death of the old. “That ye put off the concerning the former conversation of the old man…and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man…” (Eph. 4:22-24).

The Christian life is not lived by Adam in conformity to Christ. It is lived by Christ Himself, in us. Our new birth gives us no greater calibre of living the God kind of life. Yes we are born again and the Spirit of Christ has indwelled by the Holy Spirit but that is that initial spiritual birth. Christ is in us in seed form. But the full potential is in the seed. However there is still duality in man: truth and error, flesh and spirit, Christ and Adam cohabitating. This duality is relayed by Paul in Rom 7:15-25. He says: “For I know in me (that is my flesh) nothing good dwells for to will is present with me…But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me to captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” The battle within Paul is evident even in our lived experiences as Christians. Galatians 5:16-17 written to believer in Galatia says: “Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” There are numerous verses like this including: 1 Corth 3:3, Rom 8:13, Col 3:1-5. The double minded man is unstable, another way to say this is double souled man. This one will not receive anything of the Lord.

We know that man was unable to fulfil the law. Christ Jesus not only fulfilled the law but superseded it by living a life to the Father’s perfect will. Now man, as a believer is attempting to emulate the life of Christ. You realize this saved man can’t even fulfil the law even with Spirit in him. Of course he doesn’t need to since he has accepted the free gift so that he is no longer under law but grace. The law is dealt with but how about the new standard of the Christ life. Well, attempting to live the Christ life is more impossible than fulfilling the law. Again only Christ can live the Christ life, which is the standard of the Father. Thus the purpose for His indwelling life. He is not just fuel for the journey, some type of spiritual red bull. Christ Himself is living in me to live as me. But Christians with countless teachings, principles, sermons, efforts are trying to get this man Adam to be like Christ. That’s why I said Christianity is lived from inward nature and not outward conformity. It will never work and it has not worked for 2000 years of church history. It is the very life of Christ within that has the capacity to live this life to the standard of the Father and only that will satisfy Him.  Christianity is about becoming and not doing. Jesus said first cleanse the inside and the outside will be clean. He is saying deal with the root cause, the inward Adamic nature and not his outward manifestations.

But the problem is that Christ lies dormant or in seed form in believers. This was Paul’s anguish and labour. That Adam would come to his end so that Christ having full supremacy within would live through us. All this to say that our call is not to be like Christ but to be Christ. To be perfect. Jesus said: “be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt 5:48). This scares some people. Do we not realize this is what God has purposed from the foundation of the world. That Jesus Christ might be the firstborn among many bretheren (Rom 8: 29). Paul says: I no longer live but Christ. We are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. This truth has helped me enter into the rest of God. I have stopped working or striving to be a good or mature Christian. Yes even what good old religion has thought me in church, God has started to purge. I realize Adam wants to do stuff, it makes him feel closer to God. But God wants nothing of Adam no matter how good it may seem. Christianity is summed up in this, allowing Christ be Christ in you.

This coming to the fullness of Christ is a work done by the Spirit of God. Just like death of the carnal mind is also His work. “For if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you shall live.” (Rom. 8:13). This progression of faith is relayed in the tabernacle of Moses. The outer court represents initial salvation, that’s where the sacrifices took place. The bronze laver and bronze altar all have spiritual meanings that represent this initial salvation experience. Now this is by no means perfection, as mentioned earlier it is spiritual birth, much like babies are born in the physical. Yes life is in them but they have to grow. The source of illumination in the outer court is the sun which is partial because it gets dark. So it’s not a realm of fullness or perfection. The holy place on the other hand represents the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is the gifts realm. However this is an in-part realm. Paul says: “we know in part and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” (1 Corth. 13:9-10). The holy place is in-part because the candlestick partially illuminates this realm and it has to be continually filled by priests as it runs out of oil. This is a realm where man still serves or works. It is also in-part because man or Adam still exists, otherwise it would be perfect. The candlestick is of course synonymous with the church (Rev. 1:20). We see this realm represented by the 7 churches in Revelation. There we see duality: the good and the bad, truth and error, in sum; the Adamic nature manifesting in various forms. This is also not a realm of perfection.

Many are now contending for ministries of power; miracles, signs and healings. Of course Jesus healed during His earthly ministry. Healing is God’s will. But let me point you to the resurrected Christ that appeared to the disciples. What did He do then.  Not a single healing. He thought them regarding the Kingdom (i.e. the weightier matter). You see here another dimension or level of life that far exceeds signs, miracles and wonders: life of the Kingdom and sonship. That’s one. Secondly, the healing ministry of Jesus on earth was not in the gifts of the Spirit. It was in the fullness of the 7 seven Spirits of God (Rev. 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, 5:6 & Isa. 11:2). It was not in-part. In other words it always worked. There was never an unanswered prayer for healing or a word that did not bring forth. “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for God does not give the Spirit by measure unto Him.” (John 3:34). Jesus didn’t operate in the gift of healing, He operated in the Spirit of might (Isa. 11:2). What God desires to bring us to is this fullness of the 7 Spirits, not the gift realm. This can happen only when we come to the measure the stature the fullness of Christ. You see unless this happens how can we do greater works than Him? Us with our in-part gifts trying to match the fullness of the 7 spirits that operated in Jesus Christ.

Back to the tabernacle. In the most holy place the source of illumination is nothing created (i.e sun) and there is no need for man’s work to illuminate (i.e. candlesticks and priest). In this realm the Shekinah glory of God illuminates this place and in Him there is no shadow of turning. Perfect illumination and fullness. Entering this most holy place is a high calling and the church has not entered it. On the contrary she has settled in the realm of the holy place and traded this high calling for everything that is external. In Revelation, Jesus Christ calls those who transition on to the most holy place; overcomers. In Rev. 4:1-2 we see what comes after this candlestick realm.   “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this. Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” The throne is representative of the most holy place. Entering into the most holy place is synonymous with perfection.

It is also relayed by Paul in Romans 8:19, 21: “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the manifestation of the sons of God… because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Who are these sons? In the bible children (greek: teknon) and sons (greek: uihos) are different. In the tradition of Israel these sons represent mature ones that are ready to take on their father’s name and inheritance.  These are they that overcome. They press on in the fullness of Christ and enter into the throne of God. Christ has become their nature and there is nothing of man. They are in perfect union, God’s will is their will and they have put on the mind and nature of Christ. These will liberate even creation. What mandate God has assigned to us. It is impossible for man to conceive let alone accomplish. This is my eager expectation and hope.  No another hope comes close. Christ is the hope of our calling!

This process of the manifestation of sons is actually all that is relayed in the book of Revelation. The 144,000 are these overcomers that inherit and possess the kingdom, “having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” (Rev. 14:1). The mark on their forehead is the mind of Christ. Those who stand with the Lamb have been renewed in the spirit of their mind and have put on God’s mind, they think as God thinks, understand as God understands, see as God sees in all things. On the contrary, the mark of the beast denotes that those who bear it have subscribed to the mind: the doctrines, ways, methods, spirit, blasphemy, idolatry – the system of this world, including the carnal, man-made, religious systems.

Unfortunately man has literally translated the book of revelation. However, the book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ not on a white horse to come one day. Christ has come in me already, I don’t look to the clouds, I look within. He is now working in me and processing me through various trials and dealings and I see clearer each day His life bringing illumination and revelation of His divine agenda. I see Him exposing every work of religious Babylon that has kept me in ignorance of the deep spiritual realities of the Kingdom of God. When He is revealed, yes in me, I shall be like Him for I shall see Him as He is. This is a glorious inward work. Like Michael Angelo hidden under a cover was carving David, God in the inward parts is chiselling away at the things that don’t belong, He is forming the very nature of Christ so that when sons are unveiled, they will liberate creation with the power of the Christ of God. This was what God was doing in Jesus for 30 years in the quiet place, while He grew in wisdom with man and God, until He went through His death experience in the Jordan to be the first manifested Son.

Amen

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