In our last message we considered the great apostasy taking place in the institutionalized religious system of our day. This apostasy is fundamentally a falling away from Christ as head, from the love of the truth, from the pursuit of the pureness of His indwelling life and the administration of the Spirit in every sphere of life. We saw that this apostasy is the work of the man of sin whose revelation is a key precursor to the coming of the Day of the Lord in each individual’s experience. But, that man, which corrupts from within men’s hearts, is revealed in measure with our progression in the New Day.
I’m sure every apprehended son who reads these lines can testify of the glory they experienced when the divine revelation of sonship fell upon their hearts. The Spirit of God moved so powerfully upon us that our eyes and ears were opened to behold Him in a higher dimension. We were captivated by the glory that erupted in our hearts. A new sound was heard in our heavens which brought unspeakable joy filling our dry land with heavenly manna. This divine revelation was accompanied by an overwhelming peace that swallowed the fear and condemnation we had inherited from religion. The Prince of Peace had come! He had come to assert His presence on our exodus out of the old into the newness of the Spirit. Every son who has heard that heavenly call to “come up” and to partake of the higher realm of Spirit, the fullness of Tabernacles and the third day in God can attest of these might works God has begun in their lives.
As this journey continued, one of the first things the Lord equipped His elect with was a heightened capacity to separate – between spirit and soul, between truth and error, between Christ and Adam, and between the ways of this world and the principles of the kingdom of God. Thus, this present wicked world began to lose its influence as its devices were being exposed by Christ who had illuminated our earth with His glory (Rev. 18:1). In every son there was a call to overcome the world and all its cares, its lusts, and its pride. For everyone born of God (the inward man) overcomes the world (1 Joh. 5:4).
Today, as in John’s day: “the whole world lies in wickedness” (1 Joh. 5:19). The world (Greek: kosmos) refers to the systems, orders and arrangements of things that constitute our contemporary society rather than the earth (the atmospheric object). The world we live in today is a complex system of systems. And despite man’s ideological evolution and modern society’s vast advances, many of the complex problems that confront us remain beyond man’s ability to remedy. Policy analysts call these persistent and complex problems: “wicked problems”. These are generally related to some combination of political, cultural, economic and environmental issues. Wicked problems are difficult or impossible to address because they are multifaceted, puzzling to remedy and hard to even accurately diagnose let alone solve. Common examples of wicked problems include poverty, hunger, disease & health issues, social injustice, inequality, conflict and violence etc.
The term “wicked” is used by these professionals to highlight the difficulty of such problems, rather than their basis in evil. However, there is an often-ignored layer to the problems mentioned above. These include: greed, hatred, lying, self-seeking, deceit, strife, exploitation, prejudice, perversion, pride and countless other expressions of the corrupted nature of man. Tackling issues such as poverty or social injustices without addressing these underlying evils is like treating the symptoms of a tumor without isolating and removing it from the body. And that is what the world does, it finds temporary external solutions and quick fixes because it neither possess the power nor the moral fortitude to address the evil that lurks in men’s hearts.
Fundamentally, the ills of society are the outcomes of its subjection to futility and the bondage of its corruption (Rom. 8:20,21). Paul refers to this world as: “this present evil age” (Gal. 1:4). John also writes: “the whole world lies in wickedness” (1 Joh. 5:19). The world rests under the dominion of the mind and spirit of the wicked one – the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). Every system of this world, be it its political, economic, educational, cultural, social, or religious systems, are all administered by carnal-minded men whose collective world-views hold no place for the Spirit of God. Despite this, we have countless saints today who have more confidence in human government than the kingdom of God and who have more faith in carnal men than in the living God.
What can we say of a salvation that does not involve deliverance from this world? What can we call a salvation that preserves affinity and like-mindedness with the world and its ideological and moral principles? Our Lord Jesus Christ “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4). But, what is it to be delivered from this evil world? Our absolute deliverance from the present evil age is part and parcel of our deliverance from the influence of the man of sin. But for this to happen, there must first take place a revelation of this man. The individual who has yet to experience the revelation of the lawless one within their consciousness is still under the dominion of this man – they remain under the power of religion and this world.
As mentioned in my opening, I believe a general revelation of who this man is occurs early in our sonship journey. However, the revelation of the man of sin is not a single solitary event, it is an ongoing experience that unfolds in measure with our maturity into the glorious Head – Christ Jesus. Notice that Paul twice mentions the revelation of this man, first as the man of sin and the son of perdition and then as the lawless one. Although Paul is speaking of the same man or nature, the distinction in title is based on the particularity of the sin, in other words, the different ways in which that man manifests or expresses himself. No wonder then that John sees in symbolic vision a beast having seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 17:3). That same cunning serpent that deceived Eve now appears with seven heads – each a unique expression of the bestial nature of the carnal mind and the fleshly nature of the unregenerate self which manifests in a variety of forms to deceive the saints.
Every head of the beast is said to be a mountain (Rev. 17:9). Mountains signify dominions, either within man or raised-up outwardly. They represent elevated powers, wisdom and authority that rule man. All the problems we observer in the world, be it systemic or personal, emerge from one or more of the heads of this beast – the man of sin. Isaiah declares that this man has made the earth tremble, shaken kingdoms, destroyed cities and made the world as a wilderness (Isa. 14:16-17).
When that man is completely removed from our temple, when every head of the beast is severed, we can confidently claim victory from this present evil world. The Lord affirms that: “now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (Joh. 12:31). When the Lord comes to our temple, He comes to execute judgment, to sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver and to purify the royal priesthood of the sons of God; to purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. Fire not only purifies it reveals the true essence of a thing. That divine fire of God reveals the ruler of this world – it exposes and removes every residue of that man in our mind, will and emotions.
The “casting off of the god of this world” will cause the passing away of this world in our individual experiences. The scriptures make clear that the world is passing away (1 Joh. 2:17). “For the FORM of this world passeth away” (1 Cor. 7:31). The word “form” is relevant to what I share here. It is the Greek: ‘schema’ which means “the habitus, comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses, the figure, bearing, discourse, actions, manner of life”. Habitus refers to one’s ingrained habits, attitudes, mannerisms, tastes, and moral dispositions. It influences the way in which people observe the social world they live in and react to it. Paul, here refers to the habitus (form) of this world as passing away. Man is the microcosm of the world. During the flood of Naoh, that world was said to have passed away – all its form, order, arrangements and habitus were abolished. Similarly, this present world shall pass away, for we shall hear that glorious declaration that: “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15)!
The annals of human history testify that human government, laws, politics, or social movements are not permanent answer to the complex problems of human society nor can they establish righteousness on the earth. Righteousness can never be legislated. Holiness cannot be administered. The life of God cannot be decreed. There is but one kingdom whose foundation is righteousness. The righteousness of God’s government works from within by the law of the spirit of His life. Therefore, if one wishes to fix the world, one must first fix nations; to fix nations, one must first fix the family; to fix the family; one must first address one’s life by setting one’s heart aright.
This echoes with the wisdom of Jesus Christ who said: “That which cometh out of the man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23). But, herein also lies the solution to the issues that plague our lives, our community and our nation. For from within, out of our hearts proceed righteousness, peace and joy to liberate us and those around us. Just as man is the microcosm of the world, he is also the microcosm of the kingdom of God. For the kingdom of God is within you and it must manifest in your earth as it is in your heaven.
I close with these words from brother Kassa Keraga, who writes: “we can only heal the earth, bless it and redeem it to God when we first touch heaven. For God’s vision is to bring down the heavenly order to earth.”
May the Lord help us carry forward this divine commission.