Chris Welch uses Designer Pro 365 to illustrate all 3rd level concepts

Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Third Level message is in the Three Kings Story

The BBC Nativity Series 2010 in 5 half hour parts was excellent on many levels.
The photos here depict the final moments of part 5 when the 3 Magi arrive to visit the new-born King. Joseph is studying Jesus when the other three come in bearing their gifts, finally prostrating themselves in worship.
For dramatic reasons several stories within stories culminate in the stable room, thereby making the arrival of the wise men contemporaneous with Jesus birth, and the visit from the shepherds. This does not happen until Jesus is many months older, which is why Herod then orders the death of all babies two and under.




What really comes over in the dramatization is the fact that Jesus' birth simply was not convenient on so many levels.
Who is going to understand a Virgin birth? Not even Joseph to begin with. Then at the precise moment Mary is to give birth comes the upheaval of the census demanded by the authorities, which mean they have to go to the place where Joseph originated, Bethlehem.








Yet what seemed so random, so human, so impossible, was ALL meant. Was all prophesied. And one of the most random events seemed to be the sudden appearance from lands far away of the wise men themselves.







Clearly, stars were intended for signs and seasons, as stupid as this seems to a Western world who are almost totally divorced from their surroundings, having built themselves into "artificial cities" of convenience since the very early days of the fall. But those who are truly openhearted, and listening can indeed discern the times and the seasons.

Secondly, these were clever men. Jesus said that in general the Father has hidden the things of the Kingdom from the wise of the world. But exceptions exist. And these three were such, proving the verse, "if you seek Me with all your heart, you shall find Me."....clever or not!!!!

Thirdly, these wise men had a detached view. They were outsiders. They were not Jews. Yet like the Gentiles to follow, were able to discern more about the plans of God than the very children of Abraham themselves. All this came over very clearly in the production.

Gold, frankincense and myrrh would just seem like a random set of exotic gifts, that they being of means could bring with them from these faraway lands, but yet again like other sets of threes in the Bible,(3 feasts, the shoot ear and full ear of corn,Abraham Isaac and Jacob,the 3 part Tabernacle,Children young men fathers in 1 John 2 and so on and so on)
once again they are a photograph in time,
an encapsulation in the heart of God,
of the Divine Purpose to have a race of sons (and ofcourse daughters) of the Most High, God in flesh. God Incarnate. Not only in Jesus, but by extension-
As He is , so are we in the world.... a race of Jesus in us living as us....John 15.

Here, facing us I believe, every Christmas is the complete package. A version of Christianity which cannot be broken smaller, cannot be watered down,it is the One single Truth known as the real WAY.....the one known as the WAY to the TRUTH to the LIFE.

Here is my Facebook encapsulation. Brevity rules in a Facebook status.
Chris Welch
People say to me "what 3rd level gospel?"
I say first the Head then the Body.
Gold:The Divine God incarnate ,the Father in Jesus, now Jesus in us. Frankincense:Jesus made the High Priest of the Melchizedek Order, now we are made priests with Him.
Myrrh: The Son goes into action even unto death on a Cross,now He goes into action in a race like Him,that is working death in us on behalf of Life in others.











Before describing each, and saying why I believe most churches are "bewitched", and have had nearly all of these necessary ingredients of the True Gospel stripped out of them, may I describe 4 levels of fulfilment.

As we relate more and more to the "single eye way of seeing" that Jesus described, which Rich and Daniel Yordy,Fred Pruitt and Nancy Gilmore, all refer to as "seeing God only"....
we understand that there is ONLY one LIFE. Everything else is distortion of that one Life. The devil tries to steal that life, invert it, turn it in on itself, as a "self for self" existence, which can only at best, ever be partially true. LIFE, since it originates in God, cannot ever really be like that.....so the devil can only pull things off in short term manipulations, since his bad fruit always seeps through in a very obvious manner.

So in describing LIFE as gold,frankincense and myrrh , this is no different for a non-Christian, than a Christian, and no different from what Jacob Boehme describes as "the Cross in the heart of God" before time or creation ever existed at all. It's just the category description of LIFE.

Commission, Cost,Completion. Coupled with the Word process of:
Thought, Word,Deed.
The Father conceives it, it is expressed perfectly in the Son, and SPOKEN into being by the Son, with the Spirit bringing the action to pass.

All genuine fairy tales, stories, acts of musical creation, drama, that have any bearing on reality contain these components. Snow Queen is one such. This describes what happens when we try to shortcircuit the process of LIFE by believing rather A LIE, and receiving in our heart a shard of glass that makes us inoperable as a person.
So gold,frankincense and myrrh relate to anyone involved in the process of Life. So that is the first manner .But it relates specifically to Jesus,two, in its purest form, to Mary, three, and by extension to every believer, four.


Gold,Frankincense and Myrrh

Introduction


This is the apostolic foundation of our faith. Take away from it , it is not Christianity. Add to it, it is not Christianity.

Compare the words : Gold , Frankincense and Myrrh with this verse:

Revelation 12 :11 Youngs Literal :

11and they did overcome him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life -- unto death;

Paul said, among the mature, we compare spiritual with spiritual. In a linear thinking mode, comparing these two statements above would appear fruitless.
But Jesus Blood has bought for you instead of "Genesis 3" type shame, glory. As there is nothing much other than liquid sunshine radiating over a hillside that best represents glory, the most solid way of representing it materially is in the metal gold. Which is the form used in the Tabernacle.

Next, frankincense was offered up by priests in the Temple and tabernacle, and best represents the whole office of priest. Jesus was made High Priest for us. But He conforms those who are born again according to His own priesthood, a priesthood which was never rooted or anchored here on Earth, but in the Melchizedek order in heaven. And how does He do this? Primarily , from Day One, by getting us to believe His Word in our heart, and confess it with our lips......
THE WORD OF TESTIMONY.

Finally Myrrh was for anointing for burial. Myrrh relates to suffering , to laying our life down unto death.

Three forms of death in a believer

A.There is a death, walking away from our former external ways.

B.There is a death that conforms us inwardly to the new priesthood we join.

C.But there is a death of intercession, dying daily in situations to see Life come forth in others. For some this is actual death......but remember, death is quick. It doesn't take long to enter eternal glory. What is valuable is the Romans 12 :1-2 existence that Paul knew, laying his life on the line, going into war against the strong men in the spiritual realms, the principalities and powers, which would then yield up their prey of captive souls over towns, cities and regions. The Kingdom is born in the second, third, fourth mile!!!!!!


The angel came to Mary to say she had been highly favoured among women. She was chosen by God to bear His only begotten Son Jesus. No other human being at any time was ever going to have the privilege of providing a womb for the Father's seed to bring forth "in the likeness of sinful flesh" the 2nd Adam, the Word that had always dwelt co equal with God, now to be manifest in human form. This was the glory of God made manifest. This was the gold of God.

Mary just simply responded with "Be it unto me according to Your Word."

And so it is for us. You don't reason it out. You don't argue. Confronted with this wisdom of God that is higher than any of us, we simply respond:

God, I ask you to be born in me supernaturally by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit overshadows us too, not to bring forth some material manifestation of Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth....for He now sits at the right hand of God the Father. No, it's better.

Better than Mary had. She only had a separate Jesus that she had to bring up, then later follow.

We have a Jesus who has promised to be with us, and even in us by the indwelling and outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

The nearest spiritual picture we have of the gold that the Father is offering us, apart from the natural external picture that the apostles knew of jesus Himself, was the picture of the Holy of Holies. Jesus was humanly this Incarnate form of an acacia wood or human flesh and blood box, covered on the inside and out with gold, with glory.

The presence of the Holy Spirit radiated from within His being, His attitudes, His joy, faith and expectancy, His purpose, His energy. But also the Holy Spirit was upon Him , anointing Him with power to do things that He of Himself COULD NOT DO. Why? Because He had laid His glory aside before He left heaven in order to come and live AS US, AS WE LIVE.

The point being that Jesus ultimate purpose was always to reproduce tons of acacia boxes, just like Himself. The tabernacle has always been about the Holy of Holies. About golden covered containers. Inside and out.

When He came, He came as a golden covered container. Inside and out.

So THIS is the apostolic foundation we are laying in folk from Day One of believing in Jesus. We lay a foundation of grace and glory. We lay the Divine seed by the gift of utterance in the Holy Spirit. This is what the phrase "you have known the gospel of grace in truth" means.

Anything less than this GOLD just is not the gospel of grace in truth.

Yes, we know our sins are forgiven through the precious Blood of Jesus, as it says in 1 John 2 and refers to above in Rev 12:11......but that's not the gold.

The gold is that you were ransomed as treasures of darkness that He manifest His full self in you.That's the gold. It's the seed DNA that from day one destines you to be a greater and greater manifestation of an acacia box of glory, just as He was. "As He is, so are WE in the world."

He destines us to be that as we just simply , like Mary say along with her:

Well....You have spoken.....seems nuts to me....seems humanly impossible.....but I won't argue and I just say




BE IT UNTO ME ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD.


Now Catholics don't teach this. Anglicans don't. Pentecostals don't. Well in general. Charismatics haven't a clue. But this is the apostolic foundation day one Word that we deliver to believers, who then hearing the Word, receive it, are baptised, and are filled with the Holy Spirit.

All churches are "bewitched " on this issue which is why so many voices like mine are crying out on the internet.

You don't work for your GOLD. It is in the finished work of Jesus. You believe the Word on offer to every human alive....but you don't work for it. You don't fast for it. You don't have prayer meetings for it. You don't read the Bible for it.


Now I didn't say you never fast, never read the Bible. I just said that gold now has YOUR NAME on it. These are spiritual realities. They are not even fairy stories or nice Christian things to say.

On my insides right now are 38 years of glory inworked not by me, but by the Holy Spirit who promised not only to be our downpayment, our foretaste of glory, the earnest of our inheritance,

but manifest Himself increasingly both in our innards, and upon us in all our ways. He came to

MAKE KNOWN TO US WHAT IS OURS. Without Him we are blind to it all. With Him we SEE the over aboveness of all the GOLD that has always been on offer.

If you are going to a church that is not offering this gold from day one.....take very seriously the notion that you may be becoming increasingly bewitched as you go there.






Take seriously your priesthood.


Mary's priestly function was to BE a PLACE for Jesus to be conceived and born in.We are just the same. You know it's not even different for those who don't know Jesus, because this is the way LIFE, God's LIFE works.


For example, we may be seized with a vision , or a strong desire on our innards to do something. We commit to it. It may be to study to be a doctor or architect. It may be to work on a new invention, or recipe that has never yet seen the light of day. Norman Grubb says what we take hold of, takes hold of us.


In spiritual terms, what we believe in our heart and what we confess with our lips becomes a visible manifestation of our salvation, in and around us.


Jesus spoke by the Spirit to the apostles.

Some have spent their entire lives only "hearing " leftbrain communication, or if they've heard someone like Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream " speech, they ascribe it to the nearest thing they can attach it readily to...and they ascribe it to the pigeonhole called emotion or passion. Well emotion and passion were certainly there at the surface.....but King's speech was powerful because it was something more than that. It was Spirit. So assuming "Lay down your nets and follow me " was a leftbrain sentence makes no sense. Who is going to bother responding to that? I mean what right has any human to say a thing like that?

Hmmm! Well you are missing it if you think that was a left-brain communication. It was tagged underneath with Spirit. Spirit authority. Prophetic authority. In fact, prophetic grace empowering. Because you would need some kind of assurance inwardly to counteract a wildly buzzing left-brain that was freaking out at the thought of what would happen if they left their comfort zone, to follow a Person with no visible means of support structure.

So, just as it was for the apostles,you need to take yourself seriously!

Priesthood concerning you, is both unique and serious. It's God's calling on your life.You only have one life; take it seriously and God will be serious with you about bringing it forth by the Spirit.

In this aspect the vision of the Church is serious. Ministries in the church are serious. Not important for their own sake. But because the MINISTRY of the PRIESTHOOD in you is so serious. Gifts of ministry are PURELY there to Grace and empower you to the work of MINISTRY. You are important. Not someone's ministry! You are the end product...well actually not you....the next batch through you and so on.

My Facebook Profile:1 communicates to 2, who in turn communicate to 2, and so on 20 times.....congratulations you have just touched 1,048,576 lives with your one life!

The Catholic church is wrong if in any way they even so much as imply that a minister stands as a priest. The whole reclamation of the gospel through Protestantism is to reclaim the universal priesthood of the believer.


The heavenly tabernacle whose Cardboard Cornflake packet replica was constructed in the Old Testament by Moses, has its whole understanding that


you receive the GOLD of Christ INTO your person as a result of passing by the brazen altar of judgment. Christ, offering up Himself as a Blood sacrifice at the Cross that you may safely and freely enter God's tabernacle, and secondly that Christ may ENTER YOU as a deposit of Solid Gold on the inside of your life. Such a good job is done, that the next thing is for you to wash in the laver of His Word, and get baptised in water just as Jesus Himself did "to fulfil all righteousness ".The laver is so shiny that like a Mirror it reflects back to you Jesus, who now lives inside you. The Bible, the Word, talks about the Jesus inside you who is going to fulfil that very Word in you.


At this point you are baptised in the Spirit just as Jesus was. Notice , Jesus only entered the Kingdom procedures at the Laver, because He needed NO ONE to be offered up for His sins....why? He was without sin. So He joins the proceedings at the laver stage. He knows only the GOLD of God's Presence in Him and upon Him. He like us, then entered into the Frankincense stage of priestly ministry. This is what the baptism of the Spirit does for us too. It leads us on into that portion of the tabernacle that is ONLY illumined by Holy Spirit revelation. There are no windows in the Holy Place and the Holiest Place.Even WHILE God is conforming us to the ministry of priest in Him, He is already using us in and out of church, by His precious Spirit. This is the economy of God. Ephesians chapters 1 and 2 lays the foundation of GOLD in us. Chapters 3 ,4 and 5 train us in the Body of Christ, in our lives, in our families and workplaces, and with others in the world, in this new life and how it operates. Chapter 6 is "our main piece of Toast"...the full crowning mission for which we were put on earth.


The young man stage of 1 John 2:12 ff does not BEGIN at the end as if it's a passive stage up until graduation to maturity.

-right from the start, the victory Word is laid upon us


YOU HAVE OVERCOME THE EVIL ONE.


Why?

Because the foundation for our gold, for our overcoming even predates creation.


We were chosen in Him Eph 1:4 before the foundation of the world. Before Adam sinned. Before we sinned! These impediments made no difference whatsoever. At the Cross, God "earthed" His intention. Psalm 85:10-11 Lovingkindness and truth have met together/righteousness and peace have kissed each other/Truth springs from the Earth/and rightousness looks down from heaven!!!!


In the young men stage, based upon Jesus finished work, we are already functioning as His priests in His Melchizedek order, according to this Frankincense stamp, that was upon Mary, then upon her Son preeminently, and then by extension upon us.

Any church that does not make clear in the Spirit the GOLD of our calling,the FRANKINCENSE of our calling....even while we ourselves are being conformed unto a mature knowledge in the Spirit of His grace...


Any church who does not do that

Is building ministry unto itself. Pyramid style. Probably involving the squandering of the sheep's Kingdom money which should either be going to proper apostolic ministry according to the above principles, or helping the poor , needy, or relief of the saints. Or all of the above!!


When we have learned the Gold of our own identity, which is Christ living His Life as Us....


When we have learned how to function as priests by the Spirit, in meetings, in life, in family ,in work..... then we move onto the final stage.


But already we know something of Myrrh. The final stage however is to become intimately acquainted with this, the greatest POWER on God's EARTH.



"And they laid down their lives even unto death." "And for the JOY that was set before Him He endured the Cross, despising the shame."

There are two perspectives on myrrh that are carnal. Only a Christianity that contains the 3 hallmarks : Gold, Frankincense, and a right perspective on Myrrh are genuine. The rest is Religion,heaviness,bondage, us working for salvation, Bewitching.

You can easily tell that the charismatic churches are only at best a middle stage phenomenon, and at worst something that will be consummated as the Antichrist himself "overrunning" the Holy Place, from this description in Song of Solomon Chapter 5:2-6.Something is clearly wrong!
1I have come in to my garden, my sister-spouse, I have plucked my myrrh with my spice, I have eaten my comb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends, drink, Yea, drink abundantly, O beloved ones!

2I am sleeping, but my heart waketh: The sound of my beloved knocking! `Open to me, my sister, my friend, My dove, my perfect one, For my head is filled [with] dew, My locks [with] drops of the night.'

3I have put off my coat, how do I put it on? I have washed my feet, how do I defile them?

4My beloved sent his hand from the net-work, And my bowels were moved for him.

5I rose to open to my beloved, And my hands dropped myrrh, Yea, my fingers flowing myrrh, On the handles of the lock.

6I opened to my beloved, But my beloved withdrew -- he passed on, My soul went forth when he spake, I sought him, and found him not. I called him, and he answered me not.
You sense here praise and worship is going well. The meetings are all about getting right with Christ. About cleansing. Everything is focussed on all these things.

Just one problem here, well a few actually

The real Jesus is alive and keeps moving doing new things....setting up new intercessions.....annoying isn't it for the church rota!

Cleansing and our priesthood role is not a thing in its own right

Jesus was clear from the beginning who He was : climbing upon the mountains, leaping upon the hills......not sinking into the bathtub, then diving into a quiet life of bed.....

He's always had myrrh dripping from His fingers everytime they are on our door catches

It's not that He's been hiding it from us.....so we'd better just ....well

GET OVER IT.....and despise the shame!!!!!

Yes for the joy set before us ....DESPISE the SHAME.

The charismatic independent churches fall apart in the purposes of God round about here.

They are not laying a Spirit foundation from the word go in believers of GOLD,FRANKINCENSE and MYRRH.

They mostly don't seem to know about the gold, and get people working for it.

They are unable to impart Frankincense, so believers are not brought forth in their priesthood, and instead idle away, or idol away, their time fixated on a leadership that is not a leadership, because true leaders impart grace that reproduces.....and fixated on a worship that isn't really....because when the real Jesus of the Melchizedek order turns up they are just not ready for the REAL ONE.

Either Jesus situations on the one hand, or genuine Jesus ministers freak them out....because ,well.....oooh

they are just so MYRRH-Y......."YUK. I've made myself ready for bed!"

The one thing that really came over in the BBC Nativity was that to accept Christ, is to accept a way of shame. Mary was despised. Nothing about Jesus birth and her calling to be a part of it was comfortable. "Nothing flowed". Well it did, but it didn't flow with those living in the spirit of the Pride of life. Who would believe her tale that GOD HIMSELF had made her pregnant. In accepting his beloved Mary, Joseph was accepting a walk of shame. It is the VERY opposite of the Pride of Life. And to walk in Jesus works in us to DELIVERING from this evil root.

Two Carnal and inaccurate views of Myrrh

1. It doesn't exist. It doesn't suit my personal view of life that insists that my Christianity conform to the Pride of Life. (That means me looking good)

2. It does exist this suffering stuff and it's so heavy and sad....come and share my sadness and be as depressed as hell like me....so we can impress other Christians with our serious view of life.

Notice Jesus doesn't deny there are mountains and hills. He's a realist! He just bounds over them! Song of Songs 2:8 He doesn't go into denial about Myrrh. It's the Cross in the heart of God. It's the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. There is shame.

But this is what Jesus does with it. He despises it.

Getting too overly heavy and sad in that deep religious way is simply having a "split eye again" and not a "single eye" which sees everything as God's express purpose to work something new out.

I don't go a bundle on much so called intercession out there done in this religious heavy depressive way. Nor on Christian organisations adopting merely human approaches to trying to relieve suffering of fellow saints. NOR do I believe in NOT doing anything about it either. What I believe in is laying a foundation of Identity in Christ in believers so that any suffering is to purpose and is filled with HOPE.

This is how much Jesus believed in "heavy, religious, depressive suffering." The three days of whipping, cruel death on a cross and the tomb are described in about two pages or less per gospel. PERIOD. FINISH. SILENCE.FINITO.

This is "despising the shame. " Not even giving it an advertising slot.

So we mustn't either.

This is what we've got to know about going into death for others....as shared by Mother Basilea Schlink. "Going the way of the Lamb" is a way of GREAT POWER!

Beloved, you think you've seen revivals? You think you've seen POWER exploding upon believers. Ha! Wait til a MYRRH bunch of overcomers dripping with the stuff, is regularly going into death for others in every country of the earth, despising the shame......seeing God only.....expectantly on tiptoe in their suffering....

straining with their eyes to the dawn.....

as an atomic explosion of what God said was to be

the Knowledge of the Glory of God covering the Earth as the Waters cover the sea

As all the pots and pans cry Holy to the Lord

As the building is complete with shouts of "Grace to it....Grace to it..."

Get my drift?

Friday, 17 December 2010

Divine Health could change your Life

My Facebook friend and one of the original catalysts for the existence of this very blog is Lydia Joy Shatney. She writes a blog called Divine Health , and here on her About Me page she writes:
For much of my adult life I have been very interested in health and nutrition. I sought many paths towards health and wellness, but none of them led me where I truly wanted to go. It was about 3 years ago that I discovered ‘Nourishing Traditions’ by Sally Fallon and that was the missing link for me.
It has only been in the past year that I have fully shifted my family over to real foods and away from processed foods completely. It has been a pleasure!!

After having completely eliminating processed foods in just a year’s time, I have seen a lot of transformation health wise for myself. I no longer suffer from intense menstrual pains and cramps each month, nor the pain of mittelschmerz each month during ovulation. I also no longer suffer from random severe body aches and pains all up and down the right side of my body. Sinus infections used to plague me regularly, and I used to have to blow my nose constantly and produced a lot of mucous, but not anymore. I used to get migraines and headaches constantly and popped ibuprofen like it was candy.
Now, I take ibuprofen once in a blue moon. I have seen my asthma symptoms decrease immensely, as well as seasonal colds and allergies. I have way more energy, lost 10 pounds and overall feel great. I am no longer a slave to my cravings. I find great freedom in that alone.

A goal of mine is to get my degree in holistic nutrition and wellness. Until that time, I plan to share my passion here and hope to benefit many others along the way. Here’s to a healthy life, from the inside out!! Peace!






Here are a random selection of some of Lydia's recipes:




Nourishing Sweet Potato Casserole
By lydia, on November 23rd, 2010
I personally did not grow up with the typical sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows being served on Thanksgiving. Typically, we would simply have, essentially, mashed sweet potatoes with butter. When I grew up and went out on my own I learned about the very popular sweet potato casserole that seemed to grace most every Thanksgiving table.
I honestly could not understand why on earth people would want a casserole topped with marshmallows. Nasty! My personal preference these days is for a more nourishing version of sweet potato casserole that hightlight’s the already delectable sweetness of the tuber along with some good fats from cultured butter and pastured eggs. If you are looking for a more nourishing and healthy version of this ever famous holiday side dish, check out my recipe. (I promise you won’t even miss the marshmallows!)

Sweet Potato Casserole
Serves 6
2 1/2 pounds organic sweet potatoes, or yams, peeled and cubed
2 pastured eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons cultured butter, melted plus more for the baking dish
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, optional
Sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup crispy pecans, coarsely chopped (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Boil potatoes in a pot of water until fork tender. Drain and mash into a large bowl.
3. Add the eggs, butter, honey or maple syrup, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pepper. Stir this mixture until well blended and smooth.
4. Butter and 8×8 inch baking dish. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan and sprinkle the top with pecans. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a bit puffy. Serve.

Crispy Pecans
4 cups pecan halves
2 teaspoons sea salt
filtered water

Mix pecans with salt and filtered water in a bowl and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours, or overnight. Drain in a colander. Spread pecans on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees fahrenheit) for 12 to 24 hours, until completely dry and crispy. Store in an airtight container.



Singing the praises of ACV………By lydia, on May 20th, 2010
About a month ago, I decided to try out an experiment with apple cider vinegar. I had read that an application of it on a wart or mole, in time, would remove said blemish. I figured, what would it hurt? I happen to have moles like crazy and never really much cared for them, and some of them have grown in size over the years. Ick! So, I started with two on my face. Word to the wise, start on a part of your body that is covered. My moles did go away after about 2 weeks of on and off application, but the apple cider vinegar worked so good, it drew out all kinds of impurities and gave me black heads surrounding one of the moles and that took awhile to go away. Along with some redness, that did go away but didn’t look super pretty for several days. It was like the vinegar had an acid peel affect on the areas that were under the bandaids. I am quite happy that this worked though and have moved on to a few other moles to work on removing them as well. I have read quite extensively that this is a great way to get rid of warts too. It can be painful from what I understand, depending on how deep the wart is.

Another reason I super love ACV, is for how it helps my digestion. I have taken it on and off for awhile now, trying to remember to take a teaspoon or two in water before meals. Especially meals I usually have trouble digesting, like beef for example. I can eat beef, but if I eat it twice or more in a row, I experience tummy trouble. But when I take the vinegar, I don’t have trouble. It’s wonderful!
Apparently, Hippocrates (the father of medicine) found and treated his patients with ACV way back in 400 B.C. He discovered that natural, undistilled ACV is a powerful cleansing and healing elixir, ‘a naturally occuring antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria’ for a healthier, stronger, longer life. The versatility of ACV as a powerful body cleansing agent is legendary. It’s been traced to Egyptian urns as far back as 3000 B.C. The Babylonians used it as a condiment and preservative, while Julius Caesar’s army used ACV tonic to stay healthy and fight off disease. The Greeks and Romans kept vinegar vessels for healing and flavoring. It was used in Biblical times as an antiseptic and a healing agent. In Paris during the Middle Ages, it was sold from barrels by street vendors as a body deodorant, healing tonic and a health vinegar drink.

Even Christopher Columbus and his crew on his voyage to discover America in 1492 had their vinegar barrels for prevention of scurvy as did the soldiers in the American Civil War. For centuries in Japan, the feared Samurai warriors drank it for strength and power. ACV has been used for thousands of years not only for health reasons, but also as a cleansing agent to remove bacteria, germs, odors, and even stains and spots.
From what I understand, taking apple cider vinegar regularly can also help with weight loss, as well as body stiffness. Not to mention it is great as a hair rinse, and a facial astringent too. Here is just one of the many sites you can read up on apple cider vinegar. I personally buy Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, which you can purchase here if you like. Braggs also has a great book, touting the amazing benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. There are many more ways that this wonderful liquid gold can benefit you – try one of them today!!


Brick Chicken & Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

By lydia, on August 24th, 2010
Years ago, I’m talking like a decade ago, I watched Bobby Flay do a show on butterflied and grilled chicken pressed down with a brick covered in foil. I had to try it! It was so wonderfully delicious. Years and years past and for whatever reason (moving, not having a grill, having babies, who knows?), I forgot about this delectable way to prepare chicken on the grill. Until this summer, when all my inspiration and drive to cook fun and fabulous food came back.


There are a million and one ways that you could marinate or season the chicken. Here’s what I did;

1 – 3 to 3 1/2 pound whole pastured chicken, backbone cut out and butterflied

A handful of fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano or rosemary

Zest of one organic lemon

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon coarse celtic sea salt

good quality olive oil

Equipment:

kitchen shears or poultry shears

gallon sized plastic bag or large bowl

blender or food processor

gas or charcoal grill

microplane zester

good knife and a cutting board

Directions:

Cut the backbone out, then place the chicken cut side down on a cutting board and press down to flatten.

In a blender, place the herbs, garlic, zest and salt. Turn the blender (or food processor) on and slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup of olive oil until well blended to make a thick paste. Add more oil if desired.

Place the chicken in a container or a ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it, making sure to coat the whole bird. Place in the fridge to marinate up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook the chicken, get a hot fire going in your grill, keeping one half of the grill hot and the other half cold. If using a charcoal grill, build your fire only in half of the grill. This won’t work well if you only have a teeny tiny charcoal grill.

Place the chicken, breast side down, over the hot side of the fire and place a brick covered in aluminum foil on top (I actually used my cast iron skillet for this as I didn’t not have a brick or aluminum foil – I suspect it’s a healthier option). Grill for 2-3 minutes just to crisp the skin and flip and repeat on the other side. After the initial browning,
move the chicken to the other side of the grill, the ‘cold’ side, and grill further for 25 minutes or so until a knife inserted into the thigh produces clear running juices.

Return the chicken to the hot side to crisp up the skin again placing the brick or skillet on top. Again 2 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Time Involved:

Active – 15 minutes

Inactive time – up to 24 hours marinating, 25-30 minutes grilling

______________________________________________________________________________________

Alongside this fabulously grilled chicken I served an Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette, which can be quickly whipped up while the chicken is happily grilling away. Here’s how you do it;

1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced

In a bowl toss with as much basil vinaigrette as you like.

For the basil vinaigrette;

1 cup of basil, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup good quality olive oil

2 tablespoons of brine from one of your ferments, or kombucha (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar work as well)

salt and pepper to taste

Pulse garlic and basil in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in the brine and the oil until emulsified. This entire meal really only takes a little more than 30 minutes to pull together, and really is super simple!

Time:

5 minutes

Hot Artichoke and Goat Cheese Dip
By lydia, on December 16th, 2010
I have been making this particular version of artichoke dip for at least a decade, and I never tire of serving it around the holidays. In fact, the only time I even think of making it is around Christmas. This hot artichoke and goat cheese dip makes a fabulous appetizer for all the many holiday gatherings we find ourselves attending. One thing that I have adjusted about this awesome appetizer, is that I no longer serve it with crispy pita chips or any type of bread, keeping in line with my need to be gluten free and avoid the starchy carbs. I find it equally as good, if not better, with blanched crudites. Truly this dip is a real crowd pleaser!


Hot Artichoke & Goat Cheese Dip
Makes 3 1/2 cups dip
10 ounces frozen artichoke hearts
1 1/2 cups chopped leeks or onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise, or cultured sour cream
8 ounces cultured cream cheese, softened (preferably homemade)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 ounces soft goat cheese

Blanched crudites, cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus to serve.

1. In a food processor, combine the artichoke hearts, onions, garlic, mayo or sour cream, cream cheese, parmesan cheese and goat cheese. Blend ingredients, leaving some texture in the dip. Spoon the dip into an 8 inch casserole dish. (at this point you can refrigerate the dip, covered for up to 2 days.)

2. Preheat the oven to 350.

3. Bake the dip, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until it is browned on top. Serve with the crudites.

*Additions – to make this dip even more filling, try adding some crab meat and/or even some spinach. Delish





October's Ebook Edition available here for $7.95 Currently just £5.16
The other ebooks available here too at the same price. I have downloaded them all.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Part Three - Romans 6 to 8 - Norman Grubb

PART THREE: THE LOST SECRET

Norman Grubb




In this final part of our Romans 6 to 8 -- Paul's key to the liberated life -- let us start by reviewing briefly what has been said in the previous two parts. In essence, the lost secret now revealed is that we humans were never created to be self-dependent or self-operating. There is no such thing as am independent human self. We were marvelously created in God's likeness to function spontaneously as expressers of Himself. Ultimately we will manage His universe as co-heirs with His Son, permanently operating in His perfect other-love nature.

But by the law of the universe, referred to in the previous sections, we understand that nothing can function except by having its opposite, just as light operates by swallowing up darkness. So we can only know and operate of human personhood by being confronted with the opposite: the false deity of the opposite ôsin" nature, which is self-forself.

We started our fallen human lives from the Garden of Eden by being occupied by that false deity and expressing his nature as though it were ours. Then our Saviour Christ, in His other-love nature, took our place as our Last Adam, representing us in His Calvary death and being "made sin" as us. In that death as us, out went that sin-spirit; and in His resurrection as us, in came His Spirit of self-giving love.



COMING HONEST

Paul's main point then, in Romans 6 and 7 has been to expose how we were deluded by Satan into thinking that we were self-operating selves. In actuality, however, it was Satan expressing his self-for-self (sin) nature as us. Then Paul tells us at length how God sent the law with its requirements to expose us when we come honest. We first had to learn that we had not kept the law as lost sinners, and then that we could never keep it because we have never been independent self-relying selves. We were deceived by Satan to think we were, but actually we were only expressers of Satan's self-for-self nature.

In unfolding the value of the law in Romans 7, Paul makes a unique contribution to exposing and removing the main blockage to effective Christian living. At last, in our agony and desperation at our failures, light dawns upon us. We are then capable of seeing that the evil was not in our beautiful, God-created humanity, but in the lie of the independent self (sin dwelling in us). Through Calvary, we now move in by faith to see and recognize that it is He, the Spirit of Truth, expressing Himself in our vessels -- branch containers -- in us and by us, in place of that evil one.

So by faith in the revealed fact, we find ourselves free just to be our human selves with no fears or condemnations. Through the Spirit's certain inner witness, we are expressers of Him: Christ in us as us. And now, after a brief law interlude, we go into chapter 8 of Romans, not as in our walking-Satan forms, but as walking Christs -- "more than conquerors."



A CRISIS MOMENT

Now we move with Paul into Romans 8. Here he comes right out with who he is. What he said he had "reckoned" on in Romans 6:11, he now says he "realizes" (Rom 8:2). The governing principle, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," has set him free. So there is a settled knowing. In "reckoning," you SAY it is so; in "knowing," you KNOW it is so. There is a crisis moment. The lives of the great men of the Bible -- Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, right through to Jesus Himself -- bear witness to this knowing.

So do I know? And how do I know? I began my new knowing at my new birth, and the Spirit bore witness. Now this is a total knowing. If you have seen this change through Calvary, from being Satan-sin indwelt and Satan expresser to now being Christ indwelt and Christ expresser, then be sure you have spoken the word of faith and recognition, as Paul did. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," he says, "has set me free." And in Galatians he proclaims, "I have been crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me."

Say YOUR word now, and say it to someone else! Then what you say echoes back to you, and you know (1 Jn 5:10). Maybe you cannot yet give a date for when you received that knowing, just as I mentioned (in Part II) about Pauline and myself. Only be sure not to pull back, if you do not yet know. What you have said, you have said. You stand on such a word as Galatians 2:20 or Romans 8:2, and God in His time makes you a knower.



THE CHANGE

Now at the summit there is no condemnation. We are freed from that false self guilt, for there is no wrong human self! We are Spirit people in outer bodies. There is nothing to condemn (Rom 8:1). Our human selves are fixed expressions of the Deity Self, where we were formerly fixed expressions of that false deity self. That is the change.

Law (principle) is the way a thing works, and works no other way. We used to be under Satan's law with no escape, and now we are under Christ's law with no escape. There is this change of governing principle controlling our lives. Strong terms! (Rom 8:2). That makes it easy and normal to walk this new way.

On Calvary, Christ put the old sin indweller behind bars on death row (condemned sin in the flesh), from where he is able only to shout at us. That old law standard, which had seemed unattainable, is now our normal way of living -- "the righteousness of the law fulfilled in us" (Rom 8:3,4). This is the Sermon on the Mount top standard of living, and the one who lives it in us is "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus."



SPIRIT PEOPLE

Paul lays unique emphasis on life being the Spirit in us. Nowhere else in the New Testament is this said in such plainness. There are fifteen mentions of the Spirit in Romans 8, in place of those many "I's" in the previous chapter. Paul says, "Get this clear: we are now Spirit people. Christ is living our life. We are walking His way (Rom 8:3). We think His thoughts" (Rom 8:5,6). He in us counteracts those former self-for-self thought patterns, which set us at enmity with God.

"IF you walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh..." Paul begins, for he could not speak our word for us. But speaking for ourselves we say, "SINCE we walk that way..." Again, when Paul says in 8:11, "IF the Spirit dwells in you,..." we say, "He DOES dwell in us." And the Spirit puts those old body habits to death (Rom 8:13).



DAILY LIVING

Because we live in a world of self incitement all around us, to which our normal humanity (our flesh) has been formerly geared to respond, Paul does lay stress on walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh. Does that mean we had better be very careful, for surely we are inclined to flesh walking? The lie again! That would be guarding against independent self uprisings which might respond to those "ought to's." But that is not our Spirit drive. We don't walk fearfully, as if we still plenty of flesh. No! Our human selves are now Spirit kept and Spirit driven.

Certainly there are flesh pulls -- sin's self-for-self nature getting at us through all the world's atmosphere around us. But we don't resist them by any false self-effort. We recognize and admit them, but then we affirm who we ARE and know we are -- Spirit expressers, Christ in our forms; and our faith affirmation puts to death those "deeds of the body" (Rom 8:13). Light swallows up darkness. [See Norman Grubb's leaflet entitled "How to Handle Temptation".]

The Spirit, says Paul, also now permeates our physical bodies, though we remain mortal. The Spirit is the Quickener. So we walk not as body fussers. We accept where there are physical infirmities, but our bodies are His Temples; and in freedom of faith -- not in negative unbelief or foolish questioning -- we often experience His quickenings and healings (8:11).

The normal background to our daily lives is the Spirit's witness with our spirits that we actually are God's children (8:16). By the Spirit we are at home now with our Father/"Daddy," which is very difficult from our former fears of Him in our old false self-condemning life (8:15). We are naturally Spirit-led in the affairs and decisions of our lives, and take that for granted (8:14).



PERMANENT TENSION

From the moment in Romans 8:17 when he opens up the incredible destiny of us humans being co-inheritors of the universe with God's Son, Paul changes the tone of what we are to experience in our daily lives. This comes as a shock, until we see at the end of the chapter that those are devastating conditions in which we, as sons, operate triumphantly as "summit" people.

For the glory living, which will be our permanency through eternity, is first built strongly on a continual "suffering" condition. That sounds terrifying, until we find by experience that there is glory now in the suffering (Rom 5:3-5). The coming "exceeding weight of glory" is the product of these earthly "afflictions," which Paul called "light"! (2 Cor 4:17). These "sufferings" are first on a physical level. Face it, Paul says, the animal and material creation around us is engulfed in suffering -- "red in tooth and claw" -- living in permanent tension. And that, Paul continues, is a Godordained necessary opposite to the "glorious liberty," which will swallow up the "groanings." The deliverance will come through the sons of God, but the methods are not explained in detail (8:19-22).

Then Paul makes very plain that physical perfection on our human body level is not for our present life: a warning note to those who offer complete physical healings and major on a physical healing ministry. Paul tells us that our bodies remain corrupted and mortal. The replacement of corruption by incorruption is only at the Lord's coming (1 Corinthians 15:42-44;52-55). meanwhile, let's not fool ourselves on the physical level. We "suffer" with all the creation, and our "salvation" on that level is by hope, not faith. It is a prospect not within our present reach (8:23-25).



UNSHAKABLE CONFIDENCE

Added to the physical sufferings, we live in a sea of frustration of every kind, and inhibitions we cannot handle by ourselves. We are "compassed by infirmity" and "groan" in distressing experiences, about which we do not even know how to pray for deliverances (8:26-27).

Obviously, Paul is now speaking of the varied disturbed conditions of our daily living: not just the physical, but family problems, economic shocks, fatalities, social problems in our communities, crying needs of every kind, malicious personal hurts, family losses, and whatnot.

In these distresses we "groan"; but we people of the Spirit know that the Spirit Himself is carrying our groanings to the Father in intercession. This gives us our one solid unshakable confidence that, however totally confusing and apparently humanly inextricable, ALL THESE THINGS are actually working out for GOOD. Meanwhile we love our God, no matter how painful the situations, because we know the path of our calling, with outcomes always GOOD, GOOD, GOOD! What a word of faith, which has upheld millions! We might say that the air is full of verbal quotings of Romans 8:28, that great favourite.



TRAINING YEARS

Then Paul goes a glorious step further. He opens up the hidden purpose behind our sufferings and disturbed conditions. "Your destiny is to be a Co-Son with the Son in the development of His vast universal inheritance!" So these are necessary TRAINING YEARS on earth. "You have begun recognizing and realizing that you already are Christ in your human form (Gal. 2:20; Col 3:4); and it is necessary that you are brought, by the maturing grace of the indwelling Spirit, to exact conformity to Him." What a destiny! What a conformity, which John also foresaw (1 Jn 3:2). So there is a steady gradual conforming process in action by the Spirit, who is already indissolubly joined to our spirit (1 Cor 6:17). And we are being "changed into His likeness from glory to glory" (2 Cor 3:18).

We must not confuse God's transforming operations, taking place in us through those constant trials and pressures (which James said are used to establish us "perfect, wanting nothing" [Ja 1:2-4]), with the total basic transformation already taken place. We escaped from the lying independent self outlook of Romans 7 into the permanent liberation of Romans 8:1-2 by our faith recognition of the finished work on Calvary. Growth in conforming us to the image of Christ, which Paul is now speaking about (8:29), is the spontaneous development of Christ fixed in us as us: union fact.

Folks often do try to escape the necessity of the crisis and exchange of the independent self lie of Romans 7 for that glorious fact of Christ having replaced Satan as the fixed one now living our lives, by majoring on the subsequent changes conforming us to His likeness. These changes are constantly taking place in us merely as products of that crisis. They are not to be mistaken for it or used as a gradual improvement method, as though to escape from the rugged confronting of the necessary faith crisis.



POINTING FINGERS

Se we go on now, Paul says (8:30-39), through these processes being fulfilled in us under the cloak of human pressures. We are being conformed marvelously through predestination, justification, even to present glorification (8:29,30). There is a glory even in our attitudes and on our faces, which really glow like Moses as he came down from the Mount; and others see it. And in this transforming process we are bold. We take ourselves to be blameless as God's chosen ones. We neither live in false selfcondemnation (8:1), nor are we disturbed by the pointing finger of others: certainly not of the world, but also not of our brethren.

We all need to learn plenty about not pointing fingers at our brothers in Christ, when we may think they don't measure up. See Christ in our brothers, and leave the Great Transformer to get on with His transforming work in them as in us. Where anything does disturb us, let our contribution be faith in God-in-action in our brother (8:31,33,34). We need a new quality of boldness, both about who we NOW ARE -- walking Christs in place of walking Satans -- and of saying and seeing the same faith of our Christ-indwelt brethren!



"MT. EVEREST" SCALED

The conforming process also includes appearances of need sand necessities of life abundantly supplied by Him, who "spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (8:32). But does Paul sum up his great victory chapter by our being immersed in a sea of prosperity and popularity? Just the opposite! His summation includes the rough, rough seas of every form of outer distress, persecution, material necessity, and subjective assault -- "killed all the day long" and "accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Constant physical dangers dogged Paul, and today most likely face modern-day oppositions to our "pilgrim" walk, and experience, as did Paul, by lost reputations as Christ's fools (8:35,36).

Do we wilt? Do we question, "Why does God allow that?" Do we murmur about hard experiences, manifesting more disturbed feelings than enjoyment and praise? Paul used just one word: "conquerors." He stands, as it were, on HIS Mt. Everest, having scaled the jagged peaks of suffering and persecution (2 Cor 11:21-31) which had defied his ascent. How? Because it was Christ in Paul's form. A prisoner of Nero? No, a prisoner of the Lord; and his fiery trials were called the "sufferings of Christ" (1 Pet 4L12,13). Even Jesus Himself, when suffering came to Him by Satan's agents, called it "the cup which my Father hath given me" (Jn 18:11).



"COME ON UP"

So by faith we see Christ in the garments of our outer tragedies and maltreatments, and stand on OUR Everest summit as "conquerors." And more than standing as "conquerors," Paul says we stand as "MORE than conquerors" (8:37). We have the extra -- "the cups running over" -- to help others climb their summits, when our own inner conquests are complete.

To all toiling climbers, we call out, "Come on up. Drop your heavy equipment." We invite them to step out by faith right where they are now, and they will find by a miracle, grace leap that they are already on the Summit. Christ has already carried them there in His own crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension two thousand years ago. And the Spirit, Who came at Pentecost, will cause them to know their eternal inseparable love-union with the Father and Christ living in them as them -- MORE THAN CONQUERORS!



TO SUM IT UP

The main point has been the startling discovery that we have had really only one problem since the fall of man, and that has been our vast delusion about ourselves -- the lie of Satan concerning his own independence which he has imparted to us concerning ourselves. As a consequence, even when we are sinners saved by grace and in the new birth of the Spirit, and we have been taken further in the sixth chapter to know that through Christ's death and resurrection the control of us by Satan in his sin nature has been replaced by the control of Christ, we still deludedly regard ourselves as independent persons responsible for living our new way of life and therefore equally responsible for living our new way of life and therefore equally responsible for discarding the old.

The shock then comes when Paul says that old way of life will have no further control over us because we are "not under the law, but under grace." But our immediate reaction is, "Why, that is putting the cart before the horse! Don't we need the law to stop us from responding to the pulls of that old life? Take away the law and we shall be caught out again." "Not so," says Paul. "The opposite is true. Your great basic deception is that we are self-managed selves. Therefore what the law will do while you are still under that delusion, is to expose your helplessness and that you never were created to manage yourself, and your old sin-manager will take advantage of the law to show you that you can't obey it, but keep obeying him. But because you are too blind to see this until we have been shocked into it, first I will show you some facts."

Then Paul drives that home by three illustrations which certainly settles the matter when our eyes are sufficiently opened to see these facts; but actually they are not until we have had the necessary radical shock. But anyhow here are those three plain facts. First, we all are slaves and therefore compelled to do what our owner demands of us, and there is no middle condition in which we are just independent free humans. Second, we are branches and bear the fruit f the tree of which we are a part, and there is no such thing as we being independent, and not branches of either of the trees. Third, we are married wives under the marriage bond of our husbands and bearing his children. If our marriage is dissolved by the death of either husband, then we are immediately married to the other husband. We never were just single and unmarried. All of these illustrations, of course, mean that we are slaves, branches, wives, formerly of Satan in his sin nature, but now are the same to Christ in His holy nature, and there never has been a JUST OURSELVES in imaginary activities of our own.

But that point must be driven home never to arise again -- that in actual fact we never were self-operating and never did or could manage our own affairs: and it was in that point the Satan has so grossly deluded us, as he himself is deluded. So that shock has to come, as Paul tells of it in his own experience, and the means in his own experience was the impact of that pouter law on him. So down came the law on newborn Paul in it tenth "Thou shalt not covet" commandment: and because he was very much alive to that illusion of independence, back came his quick response, "Of course I won't and don't covet. I am a new man in Christ." And he found all kinds of what he called "concupiscence" very much alive in him which he could not resist. He surely fell flat on his face and called himself a "slain man."

But Paul had made a unique discovery, to which he refers as his special revelation in his Galatian letter, when he spent three years alone in the Arabian desert. It was that there is this sin virus deposited in us since the Fall (to which he refers in Romans 5:12-21), and that as our Lord Jesus Christ has represented us on the cross, His body was as ours in God's sight, as though the sin-expresser just like ours ("made sin"); and when he died, out went that sin spirit and so out out of us, and in the tomb in His resurrection in came His own Spirit, and so into us. Now with the impact of the law and his inability to obey it through the apparent power of indwelling sin, he saw the great lie of the independent self, and that he was only able to respond to the drives of the false deity in him and the lusts, and it was the impact of the law with its demands that awakened him to this delusion. But now he also saw the great deceit of sin on him, because in Christ the sin-indweller had been replaced by the Holy Spirit indweller, which had been revealed to him in Arabia. So now suddenly he saw his freedom. All he had to do was to recognize and affirm as fact in himself that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death," and now the Spirit already in him since his new birth inwardly confirmed that to him.

So the key had been turned in the lock by the exposure of the lie of independent self through the law. This was the great value of the law for him and us. The claims of the law exposed the lie of his supposed ability to respond to it as though independent. The other lie now exposed to his new born self was that sin power still had its right and presence in him. No. "Dead to sin" in Christ and now alive in Christ to live by the Spirit.

As simple as that when the law had done its Romans 7 work by forcing Paul to find that there never was a Paul-self who could obey that law, and this his Arabian revelation of the body death of Jesus representing us and body resurrection, took Paul right out of Romans 7 into Romans 8 liberty. Then he shares what follows as the fruit of that liberty outlined in chapter 8 in the Spirit-operated life, in the glory of the family relationship with the Father and the Son, the sharing of the eternal inheritance, and the present prolonged period in which we still have the full impact of the consequences of the Fall on our humanity and world conditions, and live the life of overcoming faith, as Jesus Himself did. The sufferings of this present life give us our great constant opportunities for the conquests of faith in every kind of adverse conditions. In the walk and warfare of faith we are experiencing new ways of proving the goodness of God in all kinds of deliverances, though sometimes the highest is that martyrdom and extremity of suffering in the faith of the resurrection, as is says in Hebrews 11:35-38, "of whom the world was not worthy": and in all these the watching hungry world is seeing the inner victories outwardly demonstrated in peace, joy, hope, faith, and love for our enemies, by which Christ is manifested in our bodies "whether by life or by death," and countless others have been inspired to follow the same way.

^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%
APPENDIX

The Liberating Secret’s Scriptural Basis

We desire to teach a clear Biblical presentation of historic Christian truth.
Basic goals:
Gal. 4:19—“Until Christ be formed in you”
2 Cor. 4:10,11—“that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body (mortal flesh).”
1 John 2:13,14—“fathers, because you have known him from the beginning.”
Hebrews 6:1—Leaving the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.

Creator God, the One Independent Person in the Universe.
Isa. 45:6—“I am the Lord, and there is none else.”
1 Tim. 1:17—“the King eternal, immortal, invisible”
1 Tim. 6:16—“Whom no man hath seen, nor can see”
John 4:24—“God is Spirit”
1 Cor. 2:10,11—“only the Spirit of God knows the things of God.
Heb. 12:9—“be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live.
God, and only God is independent; autonomous; self-existent; self-empowering; and self-generating. God’s essence is Spirit and God’s nature is Agape love.

The Creature, Man is a Derivative of God and a Dependent Being. Man is only a receiver, and not a producer.
2 Cor. 6:16—“Ye are the temple of the living God”
John 15:4,5—“I am the vine, you are the branch”
1 Cor. 12:12; Eph 5:23b “all members of one body”
2 Cor. 4:7—“We are this treasure in earthen vessels”
Rom. 6:16,22—“Slaves of righteousness”
Rom. 7 1-3—“Ye should be married to another.”

God is fixed, forever being only other love, while Satan is fixed and can only be self centered and for himself.

God is a Fixed Lover and Lamb:
Titus 1:2, Heb. 6:8—“God cannot lie”
1 John 4:8—“God is love.”
John 3:16—“For God so loved that he gave his son.”
John 1:29—“The Lamb of God who takes away sin.”

Satan is a Fixed Devil:
Eze. 28:13-18—“until iniquity was found in thee.”
Isa. 14:14—“I will be like the most High God.”
Isa. 14:15—“yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
Ezek. 28:16—“I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God and I will destroy thee”

Satan’s Entrance into Humanity and his Role in God’s Plan.
Rev. 12:9—“the great Dragon, that old serpent, Devil, and Satan who deceives the whole world.”
Rom. 8:20,21--God “subjected the creation unto vanity in hope of delivering them from the bondage of corruption into glorious liberty of the sons of God.”
Rom. 11:32—“For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.”
1 Cor. 11:19—“There must be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”
Heb. 5:8—“Though he were a son, yet he learned obedience by the things he suffered.”
Matt. 4:3—“Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Mark 1:12—“The Spirit drove him into the wilderness.”

The Garden of Eden:
Gen. 2:7—God’s perfect man.
Gen. 2:8—God’s perfect garden.
Gen. 3:1--God’s serpent
Rom. 8:20—“the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.”
Gen. 3:14-17—God cursed Satan, not man.”

God Means Evil, not just Permits it.
Isa. 45:7—“I form light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I the Lord do all these things.” God created the possible of evil when he created free beings.
Gen. 50:20—“You thought evil against me, but God meant it for good.”
Isa. 10:5—“Assyria, the rod of my anger”
Isa. 45:3—“I will give you the treasures of darkness.”
Exodus 4:11—“Who made the dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Is it not I, the Lord?
Job 12:16—“the deceived and the deceiver are his.”
Jer. 42:10—“the evil which I did to you.”

The Results of Mankind’s Fall.
John 3:19-21—“light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.”
Eph. 2:1—“Dead in trespasses and sins.”
Eph. 2:2—“the spirit that works in children of disobedience.”
Eph. 2:1-3—“they were by nature children of wrath.”
Rom. 1:27—“received in themselves the recompense of their error”
Act 13:46—“judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life”
1 John 3:10—“Children of the devil.”
John 8:44—“Ye are of your father the devil.”
Rom. 6:17—“Slaves of sin.”
1 Peter 3:19—“Spirits in prison.”
Rom. 9:23—“Vessels of wrath.”

God’s Provision in Christ Unfolds in Two Stages of Restoration.
Christ’s Precious Blood
Col. 1:14—“Through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
Col. 1:20—“the blood of his cross to reconcile all things.”
Rom. 3:24,25—“Justified freely by his grace, through faith in his blood.”
Rom. 5:1—“Peace with God by his blood.”
1 Peter 1:18-20—“Redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.”
Heb. 10:12—“One sacrifice for sins forever.”

Christ’s Broken Body (Exchanged life)
2 Cor. 5:21—“Christ was made sin.”
Rom. 6:2—“Dead to sin.”
Rom. 6:3—“Baptized into His death.”
Rom. 6:6—“The old man is crucified that the body of sin might be destroyed.”
Rom. 7:4—“Dead to the law by the body of Christ.”
Col. 2:11—“We are circumcised with Christ, putting of the body of sins.”
Gal. 2:20—“I live, yet not I, but Christ”
Eph. 2:6—“raised us up together, and made us to sit together in heavenly places.”
Col. 1:22—“In the body of his flesh to present you holy, unblameable and unreprovable.”
Rom. 6:7—“He that is dead is freed from sin.”
Rom. 6:9—“Death hath no more dominion over you.”
2 Peter 8:1—“We are partakers of the divine nature.”

The Three Levels of Maturity.
(1 John 2:12-14)
Little Children Young Men Fathers
God as Savior God as power God as person
John 3:16 Gal. 2:20 John 7:36
Sins are forgiven Exchange life Intercessor
Galatians Colossians Ephesians
Crucifixion Raised Ascension
Moses Joshua Melchisedec
Rom. 1-5 Rom. 6-8 Rom. 9-15

The Replaced Life--We Cannot Have Two Natures At Once.
Rom. 7:1-4—We can only be married to one wife at a time.
1 John 4:4—“He that is in this world, and he that is in us.”
1 John 4:6—“Spirit of truth, and Spirit of error.”
1 John 3 :10—“Child of the devil, child of God.”
John 8:44—Satan was our father.
2 Peter 1:4—“we are partakers of divine nature.”
Col. 3:9—“we have put off the old man.”
Col. 3:10—“We have put on the new man.”

Deceived Self-Life (Acting as if the human has his own nature).
Rom. 7:11—“Sin has deceived me.”
Rom. 7:15,16—“What I hate, that I do.”
Rom. 7:21—“When I would do good, evil is present with me.”
Rom. 7:18—“How to perform that which is good, I find not.”
Rom. 7:24—“Old wretched man who shall deliver me.”
Gal. 5:17—“The flesh lusteth against the Spirit.”
Rom. 8:5—“They that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh.”
Rom. 8:8—“They that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Rom. 8:13—“If you live after the flesh, you shall die.”

The Lie Exposed:
Rom. 7:17 & 20—“No more I that do it, but sin dwelling in me.” Satan is the culprit

The Leap of Faith
Rom. 7:25—“I serve with my new mind in Christ.”
Rom. 8:2—“Christ has set me free from the law of sin and death.”

Spirit/Soul Differences
1 Thes. 5:23—“Sanctify body, soul and spirit.”
Matt. 11:28,29—“There is a rest for our souls
Heb. 4:13—“Sabbath rest for the people of God”
Heb. 4:13—“Dividing soul from Spirit, joints and marrow, thoughts and intents of heart.”
Rom. 7:25—“I myself with my mind am serving the law of God.”
Matt. 26:39—“Not my will, but thine.”

Temptation
Heb. 2:18—“He himself hath suffered being tempted”
Heb. 4:15—“”In all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Heb. 5:8—“Yet learned he obedience by the things he suffered.”
James 1:2—“Count it all joy when you are tempted.”
James 1:14—“Man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed.”
James 1:15—“When lust has conceived.”

Seeing With the Single Eye of Faith
Matt. 6:22,23—“If thine eye be single, thy whole body is full of light.
Matt. 5:8—“Blessed are the pure in heart.”
Titus 1:15—“To the pure all things are pure
1 Thes. 5:18—“In everything give thanks.”
Eph. 1:11—“Him who works all things after the council of his own will.”
Job 1:8—God said to Satan, “Have you considered by servant Job?”
2 Cor. 4:6—“God commanded the light to shine out of darkness.”
Rom. 4:17—“Call the things that be not as though they already were.”
Zeph 3:15—“We shall not see evil anymore.”

Sons in Spirit Action by the Word of Faith
Ex. 14:15—“Why cry to me Moses, tell the sons of Israel to go forward.”
John 7:38—“Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
John 7:24—“Judge not according to the appearances, but judge righteous judgment.”
Heb. 11:1—“Faith is the substance.”
Col. 1:29—“I labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.”
Gal 2:8—“God is mighty in me towards the gentiles.”

Spirit Prayer
Isa. 65:24—“Before they call, I will answer.”
Matt. 16:19—“Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.”
John 20:23—“Whosoever sins you remit, they are remitted.”
Mark 11:24—“What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe and you shall have whatsoever you say.”

Speaking the Creative Word of Faith
Gen. 1:3—“Let there be light.”
Gen. 22:5—“I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you.”
Num. 13:30—“Let us go up at once, and possess it.”
2 Kings 6:16—“”They that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
John 11:43—“Lazarus, come forth.”
2 Cor. 4:6—“God commanded the light to shine out of darkness.”
Rom. 4:17—“Call the things that be not as though they were.”
Rom. 11:1—“Faith is the substance of things hoped for.”
Rom. 11:3—“Through faith the worlds were framed by the word of God.”

The Life of an Intercessor
Ezek. 22:30—“I sought for a man among them to stand in the gap”
Isa. 53:4—“Born our grief, carried our sorrows”
Col. 1:24—“Fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.
Phil. 3:10—“The fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable unto His death.”
Rom. 8:32—“He spared not his own son, how shall he spare us?”
Rom. 8:36—“We are killed all the day long-sheep to the slaughter, yet more than conquerors.
2Cor. 4:10—“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.
2 Cor. 4:12—“So then death works in us, but life you.”
Ex. 32:-32—“Blot me out of thy book which thy has written.”
Rom. 9:1—“I wish that myself were accursed for my brethren sake.”
Rom. 12:2—“Present you bodies a living sacrifice.”
Rom. 15:2—“Bear the infirmities of the weak.”
Rom. 15:3—“The reproaches of them fell on me.”
Gal. 6:2—“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Ezek. 4:5—“I have laid on thee the years of their iniquity.”

Commission: The Call
Ex. 3:10—“I will send thee unto Pharaoh
Jud. 6:14—“Have I not sent you?”
Isa. 6:9—“Go, and tell this people.”
John 1:6—“there was a man sent from God.”
Acts 9:15—“he is a chosen vessel to me.”

The Bodily Cost:
Isa. 53:12—“He has poured out his soul into death.”
2 Cor. 1:8—“We were pressed out of measure above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.”
2 Cor. 1:9—“We had the sentence of death in ourselves.”
2 Cor. 2:4—“Out of much affliction and anguish of heart.”
Phil.1:29—“But also to suffer for his sake.”
2 Cor. 7:5—“Our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side without were fightings, within were fears.”
2 Cor. 6:4-10—“in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes in imprisonments in tumults, in labors, in watching in fastings, by honor, by dishonor, by evil report, by good report, as deceivers and yet true; as unknown and yet well known, as dying and behold we live; as chastened, and not killed. As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, as poor, yet making many rich, as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
2 Cor. 11:23-27—“In labors, in strips, in prisons, in stoning, in shipwreck, a night and a day in the deep; in journey often, in perils in waters, and by robbers, in perils by my own courtrymen, by heathen, in perils in cities, in wilderness, in the sea, among false brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in hunger, thirst, in cold and nakedness.

Completion and Fruit Bearing
Heb. 2:10—“Bring many sons to glory”
John 12:24—“If it die, it brings forth much fruit.”
John 15:16—“He has chosen you to bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain.”
Prov. 11:30—“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life.”
2 Cor. 4:12—“Death works in me, life in you.”
"Faith Laughs at the Impossible and Shouts it Shall Be Done"



Part Two - Romans 6 to 8 - Norman Grubb

PART TWO: PAUL'S ANSWER

Norman Grubb



In Part One of this article, Paul had pointed out that in our redeemed experience of justification by faith and new birth of the Spirit, we do not continue in sin. The reason is that as our Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again as representing us, we then died with Him to being sin-indwelt and rose with Him to being Christ-indwelt, as symbolized by our burial and rising in water baptism. So now we live yielded to God and expressing His right living in our members.

But this is based on a further startling fact of a different kind -- that we are no longer "under law, but under grace," and that we are "dead to law" as well as "dead to sin." We are thus not only freed from the guilt of broken law, but from responding to and having to operate law at all!

But, steady! If we are not under law, do we mistakenly conclude that we shall easily slip back into sin living? Paul then opens to us the basic radical delusion that we have lived in since the Fall, under the Satanic lie of us being independent self-managing selves who must therefore see to it that we respond to law by our self-efforts. But the actual fact is that we were never created to be independent human selves, but were deceived into that delusion by Satan at the Fall.

Paul then points out that in fact we have always been just slaves, either to the sin-owner or the righteousness-owner: branches bearing the fruit of either the false vine or the True Vine: married and producers of the seed of either Satan-husband or Christ-husband. There has never been such a lie and delusion of us being independent self-acting, self-producing human selves, and responding by ourselves to a law of evil or good. Paul now proceeds to explain his own experience of discovery and release from his false deceived bondage to this radical misconception, and thus his freedom in Christ to a totally liberated life.



BACK TO HIS BEGINNING

In Romans 7:7-25 Paul turns from general statements to the strictly personal. How do I find that the Christian life works? How do you? To explain this and to identify with us all, Paul does a big thing. He deliberately backtracks from his actual present experience as "dead to the law," and aligns himself with every born again believer, using the present tense of "I, I, I." He starts with his new-born experience, then shares with us his early years of spiritual adolescence, and finally his searchings and wrestlings right through to the final answer for himself, and thus for us all.

Paul's use of the present tense about himself, in sharing what he had long left behind, has been misunderstood though all these succeeding years by millions of sincere believers, who have themselves not entered into the release of the liberated "I." Thinking that the furthest a believer can know in lie is humiliation, struggles, and constant failures under sin's apparent dominion, they have falsely deduced a "two-nature" condition, as if we humans are permanently caught up in the opposing strife of sin and holiness natures. If, as they say, these natures were both a part of our very selves, then we would have to oscillate despairingly between them and take them for granted as our normal experience.

The truth is that our God-created human self is merely a neutral vessel, or container. In Romans 7:19 Paul described it as being in itself neither the good nor the bad, which he was only then discovering was the sin dwelling in him. It is merely the fruit producer of whichever vine it is a branch, and can never be a branch of both at once (Rom 6:20-22). And though vast numbers of God's people still labour under that mistaken interpretation of Paul's present tense, we say he boldly stepped back in order to identify himself as a true intercessor with what all believers must go through to find their permanent deliverance. So he is now saying, "I see myself with you. I am back with you confronting that old outer law, to which in actual fact I am dead." In order to underline the final necessary confrontation with the law and its final depth surgery on him, as on us all, Paul describes in detail his past dramatic experience. It was the sudden impact of that tenth commandment, with its "Thou shalt not covet," which so rudely awakened him. he had been blissfully ignorant of its having any personal impact. "I was alive without the law once," he says (Rom 7:9); and that is how all the world lives until confronted by the law. Paul had been "delighting in the law" (Rom. 7:22), as every new-born of the Spirit delights. But under the lie of independent self, when that "Thou shalt not covet" struck him, he blindly thought: "No, of course I won't and don't." He was under that fatal delusion of us all that there is such a thing as self-management and selfcontrol.



TROUBLE WITH "I"

Then the blast hit him. Paul found an inner uprising over which he had no control, which he named sin and which "wrought in me all manner of concupiscence" (Rom 7:8). he was devastated, not that there were these sin drives, but because he thought he ought to be able to control them. That was his condemnation and bondage.

This is how Paul put it: "In my newly-born and responsive condition, in which my whole desire is to fulfill the law and produce the fruit of the Spirit, there is this disturbing experience that when I want to do good, there is an evil presence controlling me (Rom 7:22). Yes, I want to and will live by God's law. I would do the good and not the evil [repeated in verses 15, 16, 18, 19, and 21], but I am driven by this humiliating condition to say that something grabs and enslaves me.

"I am carnal and sold under sin," Paul continues (Rom 7:14), "and there seems to be no escape. Here is the law, which I delight in, hammering at me with its godly standards. But I find myself helpless and hopeless. I have the will; but there is nothing in my flesh -- my human makeup -- which has the capacity to combat this negative power drive, which has me in its grasp (Rom 7:18). I am a wretched man (Rom 7:24): newborn, but still as sin slave! Where lies the trouble? Is there a remedy?"

The trouble is in that deceived, independent "I" (popping up thirty-two times in those nineteen verse) -- the enormous delusion, which the law came to expose. Independent self reaction is first of all Satan's delusion about his own created selfhood, and then the lie which he imparted to us all at the Fall.



SELF-EFFORT IS SATAN-EFFORT

We are all forms of God's fire-self, the self of infinite desire. But God, by the begetting of His Son, transmuted His fire-self into the Light-self which is eternally the Self of other-love. Satan, however, turned his self of fiery desires into the consuming love of self-for-self, and imparted his own fallen nature to us as though it were ours.

So all self-effort is actually Satan-effort, whether good or bad in appearance. Paul's good self-efforts to combat his uprising sin desires, unknown to him, were still Satan masquerading as Paul. And our desires and self-reactions, good or bad, are still Satan's self-for-self expressed as us. Paul described his experience this way: "When I would do good, evil is present with me" (Rom 7:21).

The great light is lit when we finally see that our precious humanity has every ability to respond on soul and body level; but the forms the responses take are not ours. There is no such thing as plain self-reactions. Through the Fall, our responses formerly expressed Satan's self-for-self nature, whether in apparent good or evil form. But now through Calvary, having learned that our Romans 7 delusion of independent self-reaction is Satan, our responses express Christ in His self-for-others nature. This is who we really are, as we shall see further in Romans 8.



SLAIN BY THE DELUSION

In his self-delusion Paul was so ashamed and humiliated that he said he was like a slain man (Rom 7:7-11). In fact, that was what had happened. He had been slain by the delusion that he was an independent self who could manage himself, when there is no such thing and it was really Satan's self-effort. So he said, "Sin, taking occasion by the commandment [as if he could obey it], deceived me, and by it slew me" (Rom 7:11).

What a universal deceit in all us humans, and what an exposure and deliverance! The shame and humiliation of Paul's defeat was just the necessary negative God used to make him desperate enough to find the answer, and thus that final usefulness of the law in exposing the lie of selfeffort. So down Paul had fallen by the exposure of his self-relying self, not yet knowing that self-effort is Satan.

Having used his own dramatic experience the underline the necessary negative operation of the law on us, Paul then asks, "Does such an exposure by the law make it a deathdealing and dangerous weapon? The very opposite!" (Rom 7:12-14). Only by that sharp, personal law exposure of his helpless self in response to those self-gratifying desires could the roots of the independent-self lie be exposed. At first he struggled, wrongfully condemning himself instead of Satan-sin. But this drove him to the great final discovery: not of an evil human self, with the false self-condemnation, but to the great light of a right, God-made human self, with the sinner in him really being the sin spirit.

Paul knew, by the revelation he had when in Arabia (Gal 1:11,12,17), that Satan-sin had been cast out by Christ's body death on Calvary (2 Cor 5:14,21). (We shall explain this in detail in Part III). But he had not yet come to the necessary point of personally appropriating that tremendous fact. He was still confused by the self-condemnation of false, independent self, instead of laying the rightful blame on sin. So by the use of the vivid present tense, as though he were a young, struggling believer, he underlines the value of the law in its disturbing effects on "me, me, me!" But finally there would be a right adjustment of the human "me" (See Part III).



A DESPERATE DISCOVERY

Have not I, like Paul, vainly thought there should be some way in which I could combat and overcome this evil bias in myself? Does not the whole world operate by doing its own stuff? Isn't "I must," "I can," "I will," or "I'm going to" the sole, absorbing incentive of human living?

Yes it is. That is humanity's vast, lost, blindness, even though sin is not imputed when law hasn't yet confronted us (Rom 5:13,14). All of us in this fallen world, with no exceptions, really live by that Satan lie, with which we were inoculated at the Fall: that self by itself, in its apparent independence, can run its own life.

While in our deceived, self-relying state -- "living in pleasure [and yet] being dead while we think we live" (1 Tim 5:6) -- we have to be confronted with the law and the standards by which the universe was created to function.

These laws were first embodied outwardly for our enlightenment in those Ten Commandments, from which any deviation finally brings total destruction. We are forced to accept the realization that first we didn't (conviction of sins), and second we cannot fulfill it, which is the final discovery of this Romans 7 chapter.

Why are we not able to keep the law? It is because we created humans can only function by the deity self who manifests his nature through our forms: our Creator-Father's "divine nature" (2 Pet 1:4), or alternatively, so that we might experience and get the opposite into focus, Satan's self-for-self nature (Eph 2:1,2). Always, we humans are vessels, branches, slaves, body-members; or in modern terms, we are computers, who can only develop what is programmed into us. There never was such a thing as a created selfhood which could operate by itself.

Paul, recounting in this Romans 7 crisis statement his former experience, was compelled to discover that he could not manage himself. And now we all, with whom Paul links himself, are compelled to discover that we cannot manage ourselves. "To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Rom 7:18). Precisely. Yes, I am a slave, "sold under sin" (the nature of self-for-self), with no escape. However much I want to, resolve to, or try to keep God's law, I CANNOT because I was never created with the ability to manage myself. I am a managed person.

Through the law's impossible demands on me, I have to discover that I started my human life in sin. "In sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps 51:5), as a slave, a branch, and a vessel. Of whom? Of that false upstart "god of this world," that "spirit working in the children of disobedience" (Eph 2:2). he is that "spirit of error," that "father of lies," that devil "who sinneth from the beginning"; and it is his lusts I have been doing and can't refrain from doing (Jn 8:44).

Then at last, as Paul says in Romans 7:14-25, I am driven to my limit. I am finally among the desperate ones who seek the highest and then I find I can't reach it. The poet Browning wrote, "A man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" But in my desperation, at last I can see my deceived limitations. A tremendous seeing!

I see plainly now that the disrupter is not the law, for the law is "spiritual" (Rom 7:14). And it is not "me," because I hate these things I do. It is the intruder: the sin that dwells in me! Paul says that twice (Rom 7:17,20). This is a radical revelation, because all my trouble and the whole world's trouble is the deception that we are the operators of our lives. We are not! We are the containers, the manifesters, the vessels of wrath or mercy (Rom 9:22,23).

A vast weight, which burdens every believer in his false self-condemnation, lifts off us when this understanding comes. In our former delusion we would say: "I'm the culprit. I'm the trouble. I'm ashamed of myself. I should be better." No. That is a lie, and a delusion; it never was I. The whole intent of the cries of "I, I, I," in Romans 7:14-25 is that I don't like myself. I hate what I'm doing, when actually I am a God-made, beautiful self (Gen 3:26-28). At last I see it; and I had to be brought to my limit to be able to see it.



A BIG DIFFERENCE

All the world's people, including us the born-again, have always taken it for granted in their delusion that they were self-operating and therefore self-responsible persons, who could and would improve themselves. And at last I find that there never was such a person! Now I see I was always a slave of Satan-sin - "sold under sin"- and it is he who is to blame. In my unsaved days I went along with Satan's sin activities. In my saved days I have hated my slavery, been ashamed of it, and wrestled vainly against it.

Sin is the "other law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin in my members" (Rom 7:14-23). Now I have it clear that it is not I, but this evil power controlling me. Paul cries out for us all, as he had cried out for himself, "Am I tied and bound to this death in my body, or is there a deliverance?" (Rom 7:24). At last I have come to my limit. In my hatred of this intruder of my body, I find that I am not to blame, but sin. Is there a deliverance from sin for me?

Now I can see what Paul had already revealed in it completeness in Romans 6:1-13, and which had become his own liberation. Yes, thank God, there is deliverance for me now by the personal application in my desperate need of what I had accepted in my head and reckoned on as told to do (Rom 6:11). But while I remained ignorant of there never having been such a thing as human self-effort or human independence, I had not realized that all my own efforts to live a victorious life were really Satan expressing himself as me. And I had not realized that until I had made such a failure of attempts to live it. Only then was I ready to see that the only way to live the life is if Christ live my life as me, in place of that self-effort which was really Satan -- "good" or bad.

Paul had explained the key to total liberation (Rom 6:1-13), and we had reckoned on it as fact as best we knew how. It was this: my death in Christ's death to indwelling sin power, and my life in freedom from that power in His resurrection. But now I also have the human self in true focus as only the container and expresser, but never the originator. So I could see that the death and resurrection union with Christ which I had reckoned as fact and not He AND me in action in place of Satan and me, but only He AS me, and I the human expresser, replacing only Satan as me, and I as his expresser.

The big difference and final liberation comes when, after my exposure by the law, I have myself in my true eternal relationship to Him: not as kind of co-living with Him (or formerly Satan) as two on the same level of action, but as only He living His life in me as me. I now spontaneously, delightedly, and easily express Him with all the vigor of my God-endowed humanity. That is different! Seeing this as my total life, I move in from reckoning to realizing. Yes, I thank God through Jesus Christ me Lord (Rom 7:25).



FREE AT LAST

The doors of my prison swing open by this one key turned in the lock! It is now possible for me, as it was with Paul, to do one simple thing. And it is not some self-effort act of consecration, as if getting out of the prison depended on me. But it is recognizing, by heart affirmation now combined with my understanding, that I have always been a person released from sin, as from sins. Jesus settled that 2000 years ago on Calvary in His body death, in addition to His blood death. But I have been slow to recognize and receive what He had settled for me, as me, because I still had that Romans 7 delusion about myself.

But what is that prison? I had to find what I was blinded to at first: my only prison was myself. Taken captive by my false owner, as we all were at the Fall, I had been deceived into thinking I managed myself, as he thinks he manages himself.



THE LIE OF LIES!

So down I had to fall in my many failures of self-management, compelled to follow in many false directions, until at last it dawned on me that actually I was the one who was managed and utilized by my thieving owner. At last, in my misery, I was ready to call for help. Was there any way out of this prison? It was already provided. My True Owner had already paid the full redemptive price to release me, so that the false one has no further claims on me. So now I am joyfully free from that wearisome lie of self-management (which in fact never was), and love every new interest and enticing adventure of my True Owner. He is really not so much Owner, as Father and Lover. And along with multitudes of other freed prisoners, I share with Him in His simple multiple plans for the blessing of His whole huge universe.

With the veil of that independent-self lie removed, I can and do see that Christ freed me, a servant who had changed his owner - not change of me, but change of Him! I AM free. I just recognize, affirm, and thankfully praise. I say, along with Paul in Romans 8:1, that there is no more condemnation, because there is no illusory self-effort self to be condemned. The reckoning of Romans 6:11 is now Paul's and my word of realization in Romans 8:2 -- the law (principle) of the Spirit of life in Christ has entered and indwells me as He did Christ in the tomb, and has set me free from those lying claims of the law of sin and death. No longer a prisoner, I am now free forever in Christ by His body sacrifice on my behalf (Rom 8:3).

The Spirit bears witness to what I affirm in faith (1 Jn 5:10). Once I affirm, the settling in of that witness is His timetable. For me, it was two years; for my wife, it was two weeks. But hold steady, maintain your affirmation, and HE makes you a knower.