I read something the other day by T. Austin Sparks that in few words nailed what the Lord has been stirring up in me over the last year…
“This whole Bible is about bringing man back to God, bringing him into God, and restoring him to his environment. ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’ is the fundamental truth of the spiritual life… Have you got that? You look again at any seemingly ‘little’ thing that the Lord says, and if you could see you would find that you have a universe of meaning in it.”
What seems a “little thing” to the natural man is a BIG thing to God and how I have overlooked it all these years. Take the little words into and in mentioned above. Sparks nails it… the whole Bible is about bringing man INTO God. So that it may be said of us, “IN Him we live and move and have our being”!
Why is it so hard for us to see ourselves as living NOW in the kingdom of God? What environment are we really of? Could the reason be that many Christians live dual lives? They see themselves as having their worldly lives and their Christian lives which mostly, sad to say, consists of attending church meetings. Yet, is this the “life” that Jesus died and rose again for us to walk in, lives that are neither spiritually hot nor cold, but a lukewarm mixture? Is this the powerful Spirit led ekklesia that turned the world upside down in the first century? Why is it so hard for us to believe that by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross the veil of separation between one another and between us and our Father has been torn down? Why do we live our lives as though we are separate from our Father down here on earth and from being truly “members one of another in Christ” as His living organism? Why do we compartmentalize our lives and think nothing of it?
I believe I have been shown part of the reason and it is because of many poorly translated scriptures by the not always so Spirit led translators that were ignorant of the power of God to translate His saints out of this world system and its controls into the presence of the Father and the Son and make us full citizens of their kingdom. Intellectualism blinded many of these translators to the fact that true faith places us INTO a deep and personal relationship where we abide from that point on IN the Father and the Son and where we are given the mind of Christ concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
Did you know that most verses in the Bible that have to do with our initial step of believing (salvation verses) are translated wrong? Take the Greek word εἰς, eis. Where this word is used regarding the initial act of believing, it is almost never properly translated into its rich, true meaning, the word “into,” yet that is exactly what happens when saving faith has been worked into us by the Father. We are transported out of the Old Adam who abides in the kingdoms of this world, controlled by the prince of this world, and made part of “one new man IN Christ” by being placed into Him and into the kingdom of God. It is a lack of fully realizing our new place IN Christ that keeps most of Christen-dom just that — dumb! We remain ignorant of the fact that “we NOW dwell in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus” and continue to live our lives as if they are just that, OUR LIVES (see Galatians 2:20)!
Typically when a modern Christian “comes to Christ” they “say a sinner’s prayer” and go on living like they are mere humans left here on earth to live by the power of their own energies and thoughts, yet doing them from that point on, “for God.” NOT! I remember how miserably I failed to “be a witness for Christ” when I was a baby Christian. I was told by my pastor that now that I was saved I had to witness to people about Jesus and bring them to church. So I went to the local Christian bookstore and bought a handful of tracts and started giving them to my co-workers. Their reaction was not one of acceptance. In fact we almost came to blows over it. Why? Because the arm of the flesh can not do the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. The one guy that I got to come to church with us was really there so he could get a date with the good looking daughter of the pastor. After he got his date he never came back.
Didn’t Jesus say, “Apart from me you can do nothing”? I am afraid that most of the “good works” that I did back then were just that in the eyes of God – NOTHING! Why? Because they did not come out from Him, but rather were born from a well meaning religious mind that was not yielded to the Spirit of God. Yet, I was only following the example of my church leaders. Go figure! I believe that part of the reason we have overlooked our high callings IN Christ Jesus (see Philippians 3:14 and 1 John 3:1) is due to improperly translated scriptures that fail to convey the message of true faith’s transforming work “taking us out of the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Here are some examples where this little word “into” was mistranslated into prepositions that get us to, unto, upon, etc. Christ, but never get us to that place where we believe that salvation actually puts us INTO Jesus Christ and the Father and they IN us (see Jesus prayer in John chapter 17).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into (Grk. εἰς eis – into) the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in (Grk. εἰς eis – into) the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18 KJ2000)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into (Grk. εἰς eis – into) condemnation; but is passed from death unto (Grk. εἰς eis – into) life. (John 5:24 KJ2000)
Labor not for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures unto (Grk. εἰς eis – into) everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for on him has God the Father set his seal. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him whom he has sent. (John 6:27-29 KJ2000)
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto (Grk. εἰς eis – into) me, and drink. He that believes on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, whom they that believe on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39 KJ2000)
And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in (Grk. εἰς eis – into) Christ. (Acts 24:24 KJV)
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon (Grk. εἰς eis – into) me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10 KJ2000)
Once I saw that believing faith actually took me out of the world system (Grk. ek ho kosmos) and placed me IN Christ (Grk. en Christos), then all these other passages about abiding IN Him took on greater depth. Here are just a few verses that speak of our actual position IN Christ…
[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in (Grk. ἐν en – in) Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in (Grk. ἐν en – in) Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 KJV)
So then they that are in (Grk. ἐν en – in) the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in (Grk. ἐν en – in) the flesh, but in (Grk. ἐν en – in) the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also bring to life your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you. (Romans 8:8-11 KJ2000)
Every branch in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, and I in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) the vine; no more can you, except you abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, and I in (Grk. ἐν en – in) him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If a man abides not in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into (Grk. εἰς eis – into) the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, and my words abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:2-7 KJ2000)
I have manifested your name unto the men that you gave me out of the world (Grk. ek kosmos – out from the world system not out from the earth) yours they were, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word. (John 17:6 KJ2000)
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) me through their word; That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, and I in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you, that they also may be one in (Grk. ἐν en – in) us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21 KJ2000)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into (Grk. εἰς eis – into) His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 HCSB)
For as many of you as have been baptized into (Grk. baptizo eis – immersed into) Christ have put on (Grk. enduo – sunk into) Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in (en) Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:27-28 KJ2000).
Seeing myself totally immersed into the Father and the Son, sunk into and become ONE in them, has made all the difference. Oh, what a great salvation we have as we abide IN the Son of God and the Father by the Spirit which has been given us! All things are ours IN Christ. “I have strength for all things IN CHRIST the One strengthening me.” (Philippians 4:13 LITV – emphasis added).
Here is a list of some of the things that are ours as we abide IN Christ.
* We believe and obey by the faith of Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16 and Philippians 3:9)
* Our life is His life within us (John 6:53-57 and Galatians 2:20)
* Our light is His light within (John 8:12)
* His Spirit is our spirit within and is our Teacher (John 14:26, 1 John 2:26-27)
* Ours is the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5, 1 John 2:6 and 1 Peter 4:1)
* His inheritance in the Father is ours as well (Romans 8:17)
* His sufferings are our sufferings (Romans 8:17, Matthew 20:23, 2 Corinthians 1:5)
* His death is our death (Romans 6:3-5, Galatians 2:20, 1 Timothy 2:11)
To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given… to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages IN GOD who created all things; that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:8-10 RSVA- emphasis added)
Wonderful truths! So let’s all show forth the REALITY we’ve believed INTO. It’s THE LIFE that counts!
I agree, Markus. With this in mind, consider this verse,
“In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” First LIFE then comes light. In the western culture men most always seek after light, enlightenment, knowledge of the scriptures, doctrines, etc., but rarely do they seek after His Life. Once we have found His LIFE within, true light comes naturally. “But you have an unction and that unction will lead you into all truth.” Without the life of the Spirit in us, the purest from of scriptures available will never enlighten us. First LIFE then light. “I came that you might have LIFE and have it more abundantly.”
So it is, Michael! But sadly the most prefer ‘a form of life’ than THE LIFE – having a form of life, but denying its power. THE LIFE has a precondition the most try to avoid: First we have to die before HIS LIFE can sprout forth!
As long we hold fast on old experiences, our wishes, man-made theories and theologies… even ‘this little bit God surely will leave me’, we block HIS LIFE in us to come into full bloom.
Markus, what you wrote reminded me of this story of Lot leaving Sodom:
Lot first lingered in Sodom and had to be drug out by force least he be consumed not by fire from heaven, but “by the iniquity of the city.” Then he pleaded to not be removed from that sinful plain he was in least he perish in the mountains. “Its just a little one [city], let me escape there?” Cities on earth represent human strongholds and dwelling in the mountains represents walking by faith, just like Abraham did. We do the same thing. We linger in this world thinking it has something for us even when we know that God has a better way. Then when He drags us out we want to maintain our lives with one foot in the world and allow a stronghold to continue in our lives because we can see no harm in it. Soon that “little city” rises up in us like a weed and takes over once again. We in the flesh prefer a form of godliness, but deny the power that comes by living totally IN Christ. The flesh, like the red lizard on the shoulder of the man from Purgatory in C.S. Lewis’ book, “The Great Divorce,” it has to be crushed before we can go on to the Eternal City.
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Reblogged this on Overflowing Wine and commented:
Dont always get achance to interract or comment….but i always appreciate truth and th brothas who speak it…frm th moment i was born of th Spirit of God my life in this world is completety different and l dont know many ppl who s life is IN Christ…this post really explains that…
Christ came…not for a second chance to live th adamic life and strenvthen/help us be better adams…but to remove us compleyely from this kingdom of darkness…being born again isnt asecond chance at natural life…its a First & Last Life… Truth Life …we live n move n have our being IN Him…how great is that…
Thx fa postin bro…
We are always only the containers of the spirit who is in charge of our spirituality like a computer who needs a programmer to function as a computer. The whole world lies in the evil one and does the will of their evil father. The most seductive way he deceives us, is to let us beleive that we can be independent and appease God through our religious endeavors. Well, that tree in Eden represented the good and evil we wrongly think we can do. Man cannot do anything out of himself although that is a very hard, humiliating thing for proud man to admit. But once we are broken, we know that we do not even have the capacity to do good. Our best “self-efforts” is also Satan-and-us in action . My husband likes to say that if this was what God wanted, the Moslems will go straight to heaven for as a religion, they are sometimes much more loving and do much more good than the Christain religion (here in South Africa, in any case). This is where we cry out to Pappa in true brokeness to save us. This takes quite a while, but once we are there, He welcomes us back into Jesus’ Resurrected Life, into His loving Embrace, into life lived in sweet union with Him where He is the source of everything in our lives. It is sort of like the marriage act of a bride an her groom. As she receives his seed on their marriage night in love and complete abandon for she knows he loves her, so we receive the Life of our Lord within our spirit in complete abandon for He alone is Love! And as we walk from here on, we know that our Husband, our Lord Jesus, is the sole Provider of this relationship.
Love to Dorothy.
Mia, thanks for your comment and insight. My mom used to say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In the Bible we read, “There is a way that seem right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.” Any religion that focuses on the mind and the belief in dogma falls short of the Kingdom of God. Jesus made it clear that we enter into the kingdom of heaven by a divine act. We must be born of the Spirit of God. Actually in John ch. 3 the Greek says we must be inseminated by the Father. God is the Prime Mover in salvation, not our fleshly rebellious minds. This is how we become “born of the Spirit.” There is a great deal of Christian mythology built around, “making a decision for Christ.” John makes this very clear when he wrote, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name: Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13 KJ2000). We can only receive the Spirit of Christ as God moves to place Him in us. All too much of what passes for “Christianity” is no different that the rest of the religions of the world– they hinge on the decisions of man for their righteousness. The following is something that I read this morning by T. Austin Sparks that nails this fact:
You know speaking of ‘little words’ try this on for size, the word that was translated as ‘Kingdom’ is in the Greek is ‘Basileia’ and it DOES NOT mean ‘Kingdom’ rather it means ‘Reign’ the Reign of God. As opposed to a territory or dominion. Also the word that was translated as ‘believe’ is in the Greek ‘Pisteou’ the KJV translators and everyone since then redefined the word removing it’s ancient usage which was and meant ‘TO OBEY. I believe Liddel Scott dictionary still carries the correct definition. But anyway if you read Jn 3:16 substituting the correct usage then you have ‘He who obeys me shall not perish but have everlasting life.’ It certainly makes a ton more sense this way, let’s face it, Christianity has been spinning their wheels for 2000 years still going nowhere. Why? Most do not hear and obey the Word of Truth. To do so would demolish the heart and soul of religion and enthrone the Most High within you in a very real and tangible way.
love that about “to obey”…th Lord told me years ago…u be livin what u believin–to believe MEANS to Be Live…He told me believing means to Be Living–its not some rhetoric ppl spout off to define who they are…He told me how th word “mind” means to obey (as in mind ur parents, mind ur manners, etc)…no man can be livin in Christ unless He puts us there; no man can mind (obey) apart from the mind of Christ which is true obedience…
th mind of Christ obeys God…apart from Him there is neither life nor obedience which are probly th same anyway—as Jesus Christ and th Father are one…if we have th mind of Christ, then we have obedience; not our own obedience but His, as His life and righteousness is ours also…He alone can shape our unwilling parts (th servant that is bought wit a high price) and remake what He bought and paid fa, to serve Him, and He does that, as a potter to lumps of clay, while th new creation that is born of th Spirit seeks and desires Christ alone…
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Well, G, that says it pretty well. Funny out we in the west compartmentalize everything, take living life and belief. That bubble got popped in me one day when a man said, “You ARE what you believe.” In other words you live according to what you REALLY believe. Belief infers obedience and conformity to what you believe. You say you believe in Christ? Then you are saying that you are being conformed into the image of the Son of God as obedient sons of the Father.
Mishayah said, “Christianity has been spinning their wheels for 2000 years still going nowhere.”.
Oh, my! Some one is reading history the way folks *should* read the Bible, focusing on what it tells us instead of what we want/prefer/need it to say! History, it is said, is written by the victors. In the West, that’s pretty much the same as “History is written by the Christians.” Either way, what does that History say? Inquisitions, holocausts, pogroms, witch hunts, wars, persecutions and coveting focused on power grabbing. Rich v. poor, black v. white, Men over women, Catholic v. Protestant AND Jesuit v. Liguorian /Calvin v. Anabaptist, (as well as ‘God v. Allah’, etc.), – very much a cacophony of divided and divisive ‘respecting of persons’, and all of it magnified by it being redundantly repetitive in its recurrence — nothing overtly different from the Before Christian Era, except the labels and methods, (technology). It seems very obvious to me that status quo Christianity is and has long been spinning its increasingly bald and flattening wheels, while its transmission has ground its gears to near tooth-less disks. Meanwhile, traditional, historic, (increasingly faded labels), strive relentlessly – to keep the substance of the ‘vehicle’ free of bird droppings, chips, cracks, dust, superficial rust and anything less than having a bright, shiny, fresh paint job to catch the eye!
I wonder what would happen if Churchianity’s minions started doing what the Bible commands: 1.) prove all things; 2.) test the spirits; 3.) study to show *yourself* approved, (not your Pro-choicer relative or the same-sex couple next state over). What would happen if folks started getting interested in what was actually said, i.e. the use of “‘Basileia”‘ in the post and understood by the original hearers! I really wonder what would happen if more of the ‘good churchians’ started doing this to the point that “Survivor” or “Smack Down!” ratings were impacted, even slightly!
Great Post! And fantastic blog!
The sinners prayer is not scripture according to AWTozer I had the same experience say sinners prayer but no discipleship the Leaders are telling us to know God but do they?
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Thanks, Deon. I agree. The question for me is do they preach easy believe-ism or the way of the cross which Jesus and Paul preached? I think we know the answer.
Without the cross of Christ being worked in us to deal with that old carnal man within us, we are illegitimate believers at best.
“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Heb 12:3-11, ESV)
“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” (2Cor 2:15-17, ESV)
In all this we become the a sweet fragrance of Life to God and those who are His, but the smell of death to the carnal and sinners. No wonder we do not fit in the carnal church systems of presumptuous men, but end up enduring hostility from sinners just as Christ did as we try to fit in among them!
To “know God” and His Christ is to know the cross in a personal way. Thanks for your comment.