Despite what has been happening in different corners of this world recently, the following words have been echoing in my spirit all week: ‘Christ is the new humanity’. All the tragedies, heartaches, sufferings, frustrations, pains, and disappointments of this mortal existence are part of the realm of death which find their basis in Adam. But there is a new and living way, a new humanity, a new order and dominion that surpasses the power of the old man of sin. It is in this new man – in Christ, that all of mankind will find its emancipation and rightful place in the God family.
Bear in mind that God knows of only two men who inhabit this world. Contrary to popular belief, they are not believers and unbelievers. Rather, it is the first Adam and the second Adam. The first is the man of flesh and the second is Christ; the man of spirit. Every one of us live under the power and consciousness of one of these men and indeed vacillate between them.
A defining mark of a son is to clearly discern between what is the voice and working of his natural Adamic man and what is the voice and working of his indwelling spirit. As mentioned in my previous message, discernment is the ability to “separate, make a distinction, discriminate”. An important function of spiritual discernment is the ability to divide between soul and spirit. Both have a mind, will and emotion. The soul is the realm from which carnal mindedness and fleshly will, emotions and desires emanate. The spirit is the realm from which the mind, will and passions of Christ flow. Every overcoming son who longs to press on toward the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus needs to be able to discern between these two natures.
Unfortunately, the prevalent lack of spiritual discernment among the saints has been cause for much of the mess we witness in the religious church system today. Limitations in one’s spiritual discernment exists when one continues to live under the understanding and experience of the Adamic nature even though the new man has been birthed within. As natural men, we all once identified with Adam. While in Adam we discerned those things that be of Adam – natural things. Adam is spiritually undiscerning. He is blind, and can never see the spirit. He is deaf, and can never hear reality. He is dead, and can never express life. God’s love and truth are rejected by this man. For “the natural mind does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED” (1 Cor. 2:14).
But, God is now putting off the Adamic so that we no longer identify with that man of dust. For “as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man” (1 Cor. 15:49). And so, we are instructed to put on the new man, to be possessed by the new man, to be one with the new man, to be identified with Him as we daily become transformed into the His image from glory to glory.
Bear in mind that spiritual discernment is not for the “prophet” alone nor should it be reduced to spiritual glimpses or even to the gift of discerning spirits. Nor does it come by fasting and praying or other efforts of the flesh. Rather, discernment is a state of being that comes through our identification with Christ. Dear saint, you will know who you are when you become that thing. Notice that animals always discern their kind. Likewise, only the mind of Christ can rightly discern Christ.
No one can know the things of God except by the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:14). Spiritual things can only be discerned by a spiritual mind. Only by putting on and experientially walking in the mind of Christ are we able to spiritually discern all things (1 Cor. 15-16). Therefore, the degree to which we can discern Him depends on the degree to which we have been transformed into His nature.
With this in mind, I want to turn your attention to the truths concerning discernment of the Lord’s body. You see, there is also a corporate implication to the discernment of Christ. This truth is illustrated through the communion of the Lord’s supper. Paul states: “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, NOT DISCERNING THE LORD’S BODY” (1 Cor. 11:29).
What does Paul mean by “discerning the Lord’s body”? We need to understand here that Paul is not merely referring to the outward ceremony of drinking the cup and breaking bread. He is not providing strict guidelines for religious ritual. The spiritual foreground of this act is much deeper. It’s where the substance or the spiritual reality of the communion lies. Paul makes this clear in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? FOR WE, THOUGH MANY, ARE ONE BREAD AND ONE BODY, FOR WE ALL PARTAKE OF THAT ONE BREAD.”
Dear saint, you and I make up that one bread and one body from which we partake in communion. As Paul puts it, this is the “communion of the body of Christ”. Who is the body of Christ? Paul tells us on numerous occasions that we are the body of Christ. “You are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Cor. 12:27). In the literal and spiritual sense, the ceremony is figurative of our fellowship with our fellow brothers and sisters where each share of the life and words of Christ. Accordingly, I am ministered to by the Christ in those I commune with. And as I partake of the Christ in my brothers and sisters in the Lord, I am partaking of Christ Himself. This is the substance and reality of the Lord’s supper. So, the Lord’s body that we are to discern in our fellowship are our fellow brothers and sisters who are in Christ and who are members of His body.
Of a profound and wonderful truth I tell you with much assurance, the Lord makes no distinction between Himself and His body. Paul reminds us: “‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:31-32). Christ and His body are one. There is no distinction. “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). When the Lord Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, He asked: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Where did Saul ever meet Jesus to persecute Him? Of course, we know that Saul persecuted members of the early Church. Those joined with Christ and in union with Him were the members of His body. Therefore, to persecute members of Christ’s body is to persecute Christ. To reject the truths which members of Christ’s body impart is to reject Christ’s truths. And to reject His coming in members of His body is to reject His coming.
Paul reminds us that those who eat and drink in an unworthy manner (i.e. irreverently), eat and drink to their own judgment. Today, the lack of discernment of the Lord’s body has caused many of the Lord’s people to give themselves over to religious forms and soulish ministries who rely on psychological, motivational, and self-help oriented teachings causing many to grow spiritually frail. And so, Paul goes on to write: “for this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep” (1 Cor. 11:30).
Dears saint, I pray you will be increasingly awakened to the reality of Christ in your spirit and that you would rightly discern and partake of His body. And as God gives us the opportunity, may we declare that which we have seen and heard, that we may have fellowship with each other – for truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Amen!