"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Eph. 4:17-18).
Alienation from the life of God in us is a great problem in the Church. All of us are still, to one degree or another, alienated from that life we have within us. And the only thing that is going to bring us into more of an understanding of that life, and prepare us for what God is about to do on the earth, is to have most of our concepts of God which we have been taught in the past by our forefathers torn down. They have to be uprooted, because what God wants to bring to the earth through His people is the Gospel of reconciliation. This is the only Gospel that Paul ever told us we need to preach. The people of the earth must be told the magnitude of Calvarys victory.
Very few of Gods people are aware of "Calvarys Emancipation Proclamation." I think probably most of us know what the Emancipation Proclamation was; it was the proclamation that freed the blacks from slavery. And oh, if we knew the benefits of Calvarys proclamation! That is the reason that we are not moving in the power of God. The Church has so little power today. I know there are a few men who are operating somewhat in the power of God, and that it is flowing through certain ones in the gifts of the Spirit. But we havent seen anything yet, because when God by His Spirit comes to maturity within the Church, we will see the power of God such as never has been seen before.
In these days we must understand the heart of God. There is coming such an awesome power of God to the Church, that if you dont understand His heart, and walk in the love of God, you will take His power and bring judgment to His people. You will cause them damage and harm. God is bringing judgment to His people, but it is a righteous judgment. You have to know the heart of God. You have heard it said that the Apostolic and the prophetic anointing of the early Church is going to be restored to the Church, and there are many men of God today who are prophesying and teaching that the Church as we knew it in its beginning stages is going to be restored. But that Church didnt make it the first time! And I am not so sure that if the Apostolic anointing and power came back to the Church as it was in the early days, the same thing wouldnt just happen all over again, unless Gods people begin to understand the heart of God. I dont think such restoration is the answer. I think the only answer today for Gods people is to really understand, and have unveiled to them, the heart of God.
All Shall Be Made Alive
In the first message, I shared with you a passage which has become very controversial in the Church, and I want to pick up with that again. That is 1 Corinthians chapter 15, beginning at verse 20 and going through verse 23: "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christs at his coming."
You remember I asked the question earlier, is the "all" in Christ any less than the "all" in Adam? Because if we can take that verse literally, just as it is spoken, "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," the question is answered. And to understand how this could possibly be, how we all died in Adam, and are made alive in Christ, we need to go back to the very beginning of creation to see what Gods original purpose was for creating man.
I know we have all heard this, but Gods original design, intent and purpose was to create humanity to contain and express His life on the earth. That was His intention from the very beginning. "Let us make man in our image, and let them have dominion over the earth." So man was created to have the very life, nature and character of God, and then to be a possessor and take dominion over the earth. But we all know what happened: For as in Adam all died . . . What caused Adam to die? Every one of you could tell me that when Adam chose the wrong source for his life, it brought to him death, and then that death passed to all mankind, because we all came out of Adam. That is what the Word says. So that means that you had no control over this life of sin and death when you came into this world. When you came from the womb, you had absolutely no control over the life that Adam gave to you. Now religion gives us a totally different picture. Religion tells us that you are a free moral agent, and God has given to you a free will, therefore you have the capability to choose right or wrong; you have the capability to choose either God, or a life of self; you have the capability and the free will to choose. We do have the freedom to choose, but as we will see, our will is bound up in the fall of Adam.
The Knowledge of Good and Evil Brings Death
When I was a struggling Christian with many bondages in my life, I was told, "The devil doesnt make you do the things you do. You have a choice, and if you will choose to do what is right, then that will enable God by His Spirit to work in your life. But you have to make the right choices." And you know what? I never made the right choices! I often tried making the right choice, but I found that I seldom had the power to carry through with it. Now I know a lot of people do, but I didnt have the character, nor the strength. I wanted God, but I also wanted the life that I had which was not compatible with the Christian life. I know a lot of people live at that place where I was. But all I was told was, "Gary, its up to you. You have the free will to make the right choice."
Then one day God revealed to me that my choice was made by Adam! Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." Now I have to ask you again: What brought Adam into death? What in the world did he do that caused him to die and caused me to die with him? God placed him in a garden with various things to eat and gave him very few instructions. When God created Adam He didnt give him a rule book, He gave him just a couple of words. He said, "Of every tree in the garden you may freely eat. But the day you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you are going to die." That is what brought death to humanity. I have been teaching this for years, and I still do not have the full realization of it; I still dont have the full experience of it. But Ill tell you this, that the root of the darkness, and the alienation in our minds from the life of God, is the fruit of this tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Now consider: "Knowledge of good and evil". Think about the teachings of Christianity, or any religion in the world. What is the basis of their teaching, if it isnt based upon the knowledge of good and evil? I know of no religion in the world, including Christianity, that does not base almost everything it teaches on choosing the good over the evil. Yet God says, "The very day, Adam, that you begin to eat that fruit, the very day that you begin to discern the difference between good and evil, is the day that you will die."
Why did God call it a death? It is because when God created Adam, He breathed into him, and we know that the word "breath" is the same word as "spirit," so what God breathed into Adam was His very own life and His nature. It says there was a Tree of Life in the midst of that garden, which simply means that Adam could have chosen to depend wholly and solely upon the life of God that was in him, the life that God literally had breathed into him (and there is so much in that life of God!). The life that God breathed into Adam was simply everything that He was. He breathed into him His energizing, quickening life. He breathed into him His power, His authority. Adam was an example of everything that God wanted on the earth. And God said to him, "Dont partake of the knowledge of good and evil, because the moment that you begin to eat of the fruit of that tree, you will die." You will be cut off from My life. Your consciousness will be separated, and you will become in your consciousness separated from Me, as a separate entity. And you will begin, then, to live your life not by the knowledge of the life that I placed within you, for that will be cut off, and you will have nothing left but a knowledge of good and evil. You will struggle all of your life trying to discern and trying to choose the good over the evil, but you will be cut off from My life. And then you will take this nature that is separated from Me, and you will produce sons in your own image." That is what happened at the fall, and that is what the Bible says. Adam and Eve then produced sons after their image. They lost the image of God.
What was the very first thing that Jesus did on the day of resurrection? The Word says in John 20:22 that on the eve of His resurrection, He appeared. The doors were closed, but He appeared in the midst of the disciples, and the very first thing that He did, it says, is He breathed on them and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." That act restored back to those men what Adam had lost in the garden! Jesus once again, as God did in the beginning, breathed His life into them. 1 Corinthians 15:45 says, "Christ was made a Life-giving Spirit." And thats why Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life. Do you really want to live by God? Then you have to know how to eat of Me. Do you really want to live, do you really want life?" He said, "As the Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, whosoever will eat of Me will live by Me." That is the promiseif you eat of Me, if you learn to assimilate My life, you will live by Me.
This is why Paul said, "Dont be as the gentiles, walking in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God." To be alienated from the life of God means that you believe in your consciousness that you and God are two separate entities. To be in death simply means that you cannot possibly even imagine that you and God are not two entities, but one. But that is how it was in the beginning; Adam was a full replica of what God wanted in humanity. That is why he was called "the first Adam," and Jesus is called "the second Adam" and "the last man". Jesus fulfilled that which Adam failed to do. Jesus restored man back to the Tree of Life. Humanity can once again live by the life of God, instead of trying to choose the good over the evil.
Now, not only did Adam make a fatal choice, but here is where Christianity as a whole has made the same mistake. Very, very shortly, just within a few yearsin fact even beginning within the lifetime of the Apostle Paul, men began to revert back to the knowledge of good and evil, rather than learning how to discern and live by that life that was breathed into them by the new birth. Religion tells us this: "God loved you so much that He sent His own Son to die for you on the cross." And we are told that for the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. But the magnitude of that victory, in the Christians eyes, is so limited, because we have been fed for two thousand years from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "If you are good, God will bless you; if you arent good, God wont bless you." The magnitude of Calvarys victory, according to the religious eyes, is that, yes, Jesus died for the world; He suffered on the cross, but His victory is limited only to those who, first of all, receive Him as Savior, and then after that learn to live by His rule book.
The book of Ephesians talks about the eternal purpose of God. The eternal purpose of God is that man would live from the flowing of Gods life within him. Paul mentions several times in the Book of Ephesians, especially in chapter 3, the "mystery" of the gospel. We all know that if something is a mystery, it is sometimes not that easy to figure out. The Gospel is a deep and hidden mystery, especially from religious eyes, especially from people who have been trained all of their lives to discern the difference between good and evil. Now I know that there is a verse in the Bible which says that some have exercised their senses to discern both good and evil. But it doesnt say that they have learned to discern the difference between good and evil. It says they have learned to discern good and evil, yet both are from the same source! Its not too hard to discern evil, but it is very, very difficult to discern the truth about good sometimes. The truth is that you can be very good, and still not have Gods character and His substance formed in your life.
If what the Word teaches us is true, just as sin entered into the world by one man, and through that sin death passed to all men, then what passed to all men was that seed that Adam took into him from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are born into this life with that seed in us. I know this is a repeat, but we must hear this and clearly get an understanding of it. Before Gods people can ever grasp fully the reconciliation that He wants to bring through them, they have to understand His heart, because if you dont understand the heart of God, and you do become filled with His authority and His power, you will use it to judge, and you will not judge righteously.
God is coming to judge the earth, but He is a righteous judge. God knew, and it wasnt a surprise to Him, that His creation was going to fall. Every man that was born after Adam was separated in his consciousness and his awareness from that life that was in his spirit, and every man was then left with nothing but the discernment to choose between good and evil. Man was cut off in his spirit from the knowledge and the life of God, and because of it he had nothing left but the knowledge of good and evil. Therefore some men would become very good, and other men would be very evil. The people of the world as a whole, looking only through eyes of good and evil, would see that there was a group of good people and there was a group of evil people, and they would imagine that all the evil people needed God, but all the good people were pretty much OK. But listen! In Gods eyes, every man that is born, is born in death. He is alienated and separated in his mind from the life of God that is in his spirit. He is left only with a knowledge of good and evil.
John 1:9 says that Jesus was "the true light that lights every man that comes into the world." Proverbs calls the light of man, the spirit, "the candle of the Lord." So every man that comes into this world has a spirit, has hidden deeply in his being that candle, that spirit from the Lord which needs to be ignited. And we can go to men, and we can tell them about the Gospel; we can convert them, we can even get them to believe intellectually that Jesus is the Son of God. But then we begin to teach them how to live according to the Bible, to choose the good over the evil, and we have done the same thing that Adam did in the very beginning. Even within ourselves we try to choose the good over the evil, rather than learning how to contact and live by that Holy Spirit of God that has been placed within us.
Cant we all see that? That is what is happening! We do not have, especially in the Church in America, many godly people who are manifesting the life and the character of God to a lost and dying world. We have many good people. And most of them think that because they are good, they are OK, and they are always trying to convince the one who is evil to change his ways so that God can help himnot realizing that good and evil are the same tree. We need the light of God to see this! Whether you are very good, or whether you are very evil, it is the same source of life that is cut off from the life of God.
Look again at Ephesians 4:17-18. "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you walk not as other gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." This is the situation today. We have people all over the earth who have been regenerated by the Spirit of the Living God, who have never learned other than to discern the difference between good and evil.
Lets go back and take another look at Calvary. God realized that because of Adam, the whole human race would be raised with a concept of knowing only the good over the evil. And He knew that it was absolutely hopeless. Paul told the Ephesians that before Christ, they were alienated. They were not members of the same family. But through the cross, God put into one both Jew and Gentile. Now one has to understand the mindset in those days, which was that the Jew was very "godly," and the gentile was the "ungodly." So Paul says that God by one offering put both the Jew and the Gentile into one body, thus bringing peace. The Word says Jesus was "the Lamb of God slain from before the foundation of the world." The question we have to ask and this is a hard one to fight, this religious conceptis this: Is the magnitude of Calvarys victory limited only to those who are able to choose the good over the evil?
I questioned God about this for years, before I came into the understanding that I am sharing with you. I used to question God, because I was so full of the lust of the flesh, as a young person, and even as a Christian! I loved God. I used to cry at night over my condition. But I wanted the things of the world. I wanted everything that you are not supposed to want. And I went through hell on earth as a man living to the full extent the experience of Romans, chapter 7. And the only reason we go through that is because of having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God that is in us because of the blindness that is on our hearts. We have to realize the magnitude of Calvarys victory. The Emancipation Proclamation from the cross of Calvary was that you are not guilty.
You are living your life by the knowledge of good and evil if you are not one who has the ability and who has learned how to exercise your spiritual being so that you can live by Gods life. It makes no difference how good you are, or how evil you are, your life source is still coming from the wrong place. In Gods eyes, there is no difference. In the man or woman who is not living by the life of God, there is no difference between the good and the evil. It is all from the wrong tree. And all we have had for two thousand years, in Christianity, is religious teachings, trying to teach us how to be godly, trying to teach us and warn us to choose the good over the evil.
We need to read again Romans 5:12-21. You see, God understands our condition; we dont. Because of our religious traditions, we think that we deserve all the guilt, we deserve all the shame. But I didnt ask to be born having all the lust and wanting all the wrong things. I didnt ask for it; that was Adams gift to me. And so because Adam made a mistake, religion tells me that I came into this world constituted and filled with the character and the nature that loves to sin, or maybe Im fortunate and I have been born with a character which is good. But religion will tell me that because I inherited a life that loves to sin, and loves to do all the things that Im not supposed to do, I somewhere have to find within myself the power to put that down and to choose to live right, so that God can bless me and I can someday die and go to heaven. Yet the very first thing that was said of Jesus by John was, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" I can testify that if you cannot overcome sin no matter how hard you try, if you will continue to seek after God, He will eventually grow within you, and you will overcome! The Christian life is not a matter of will power, but a matter of the Spirit of God flooding every area of your being, and that takes time. We are as "newborn babes" and it takes some of us many years to be transformed.
Church isnt a happy place today. Why? Because we are under so much guilt and condemnation. When we get together, there are times when we break through and we touch the Spirit of God, and there is some rejoicing, but it is so limited! Its so limited, because when you have the slightestand I mean the slightestbit of guilt in your consciousness, it separates you, and you cant break through to the Spirit of God. The very first thing John said was, "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!" Did He do that? If you are religious, you will say He did, but you wont believe it, because your religious concept says, "Yes, He took away the sin of the world, but only for those who say, Jesus I receive You, or only for those who learn to live and choose the good over the evil." Calvary is only beneficial to those who learn to make the right choicesthats what religion teaches us! And so we have multitudes of people all over the world who genuinely have been regenerated by the Spirit of God, but they never have been taught how to live by that life of God that is in them. All they are ever taught is how to choose the good over the evil. And when you do that, it alienates you from the life of God in you, and you become like an unbeliever, having your eyes blinded.
You see, an unbeliever has no consciousness, no awareness at all that they have the Spirit of God in them. But if you have been regenerated, you do have that consciousness. At times you will experience the flowing of God, but because of your concepts, when you sin it will cause a blockage, for guilt cannot enter into the presence of God! The only people who enter into the presence of God and live there are people who know how not to be guilty. As long as you are in the flesh, I can guarantee you every day of your life you are going to err and miss God. Since 1969 I have avidly, every day of my life, sought after and hungered after God. In 1969, when I had the experience of being caught up into the heavenly realms and of experiencing God flooding me, I became extremely hungry for God. And I have spent literally hundreds and hundreds of hours on my face and in the Word of God, hungering and seeking after God. I have been one of the most hungry-after-God people, yet I still make mistakes every day. It is because I have not learned how to live fully by the life of God within me. And, in fact, it is not even a matter of learning. It is a matter of Gods life growing, it is a matter of the Spirit of God maturing within me. It is a matter of my seeking, every day of my life, not after something which is in a distant heaven, but that which is withinlearning how to contact the reality of the Spirit, the energizing, quickening spirit of God, so that every day I can enter into His presence, and I can feast upon the spiritual manna. From that experience, I am energized and quickened and enabled a little more to walk in the life of God. But when I begin in my consciousness to choose the good over the evil, I am separated in my consciousness from God, alienated from that life. And I am left as Adam was again, to struggle around in darkness trying to choose the good over the evil, trying to whip my flesh into line.
Jesus did say, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." But that has been so misunderstood in the Church, because there is no way that Adam, your carnal man, can put himself to death. It cannot be done! And that is why the Apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 8 that if you through the spirit put to death the deeds of the flesh, you will live. The Christian life is totally a life of learning how, through the spirit, to live godly. You will never do it in your own strength. You will not live long enough to learn how to live godly. All you will be is condemned because you cant make it. The flesh cannot live godly.
You simply need to behold the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world! You have absolutely no problem with God except in your religious mind. Gods people have a hard time believing the goodness and the loveliness of God, because we feel that we have to be justified in His sight by what we do, rather than by what He has done. Yet I can go to anyone on the street, I can go to a prostitute in the gutter, and I can say to her, "Lady, you have absolutely no problems with God, absolutely none." And I can guarantee you that when I begin to speak this way, the words that flow out of me will begin to generate in her. I will say to her, "Little lady, there will come a day in your life when you will fully reveal and manifest to the world the glory of God." There will come that day!
Another verse we need to look at says that the last enemy to be destroyed is death. What is Gods concept of death? It is living not by His life, but by a life of good and evil. Gods concept of death is having the consciousness of being separated from Him. If you are separated from God, then you are in death; so for the last enemy, death, to be destroyed would mean that there would not be anything, anywhere, in any place that was not reconciled to Himfor if there were any place, anywhere in the universe, that was not reconciled to God, then it would be in death.
Coming Out of Hell
You all are going to have to bear with me on what follows, because it may take a long while to teach and to reveal all of the misconceptions in the doctrines that we have learned. And I am just going to touch on one of them now, the subject of hell. I will cover this in more detail as we go on in this work. There are many other authors who have covered this subject in the true light of Gods nature, and I would be happy to recommend them to you.
The biggest question in peoples minds is the question of hell and the seeming teaching in Revelation about the eternal torment of hell. Let me just give you a little concept of what hell is. Hell is a literal place. Hell is a place that probably most of the world, and even probably most Christians, are going to experience at one time or another. Let me give you an example of hell. Do you remember a few years ago when the man heading the biggest ministry the world has ever seen confessed publicly, before the whole world, his sin? That man went through hell. Not only did he go through hell because he was caught and had to publicly confess, but he also suffered under the opinions of othersespecially Christians. And I want you know that when I first heard about that, God revealed to me the heart of Jimmy Swaggart. He showed me a man who was not a hypocrite, as the world and as most Christians assumed, but he was a man caught in the web of the knowledge of good and evil. He had the largest ministry the world had ever known, and had probably spoken to more people than any other man at the time, but his message was very judgmental and critical. If you ever heard Jimmy preach, you know that he was a hell-fire and brimstone preacher. Why? Not because he was a hypocrite, but because he hated so much what he had inherited through Adam, and he struggled so desperately with that thing. He didnt want anybody else to ever have to suffer what he suffered; and he did not understand, nor did he know, the extent of the love of God.
There is a book I wrote called Coming Out of Condemnation. Right after this happened to Jimmy, God revealed to me that he needed intercession. I wept and I groaned and I travailed for that man. I felt his suffering. I felt his agony. And God said, "It is time that My people understood that they dont need to feel condemnation." (I wrote the book, and please get onenot because I wrote it, but because I can guarantee that you, too, suffer under condemnation, and you need to read that book.) And God said, "Write that book, and send it to Jimmy Swaggart." And of course you know how we all think. I thought, "Well, you know, he has this big ministry, and hes in the middle of this; how can I even give it to him?" But I just addressed it: "Jimmy Swaggart, Baton Rouge, Louisiana," and I sent it off. Within a few days, I got a letter from Jimmy thanking me for sending it.
Ill tell you, Christian, you just havent been caught. Now I realize that in Adam, in our natural character, there are some who are very strong-willed, and they are able by their self-effort to be very good people. However, they will condemn you something fierce, because you are not able to do what they can do. And they will preach hell-fire and brimstone to you and have your ears smoking. Yet God has men and women positioned all over the earth today who understand what I am telling you. Judgment is coming, and I believe it is coming quickly. Hell is coming to the earth. The fiery indignation is coming to the earth in a fully righteous judgment. The fires of God are coming, and the Word says that our God is a consuming fire. I have been judged by that fire many times. Do you think that Jimmy Swaggart didnt go through a burning? Can you imagine what it would be like if you had your deepest sins revealed to the world? How about even to your family? (Now I know this is not still true for all of us. Right now I dont have a problem like that, but years ago I did. I would have been absolutely humiliated to have the world exposed to my sin.)
Yet you know that Revelation says that there is a day coming when we shall stand before God and the books will be opened. Do you know what that book is? Paul says that you are living epistles, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God. Each of us is a book. There is coming a day for everyone when their book will be opened. But let me tell you something: the fire of God, the judgments of God are never vindictive! We are taught a doctrine of eternal punishment. I will provide more detail later, how the concept of eternal punishment all happened. I will tell you now that it began basically with the Roman Church. It began by men, leadership in the Church, who wanted to instill fear into the hearts of Gods people. We know that the Bible says that perfect love casts out all fear, but yet the churches, almost everywhere in all denominations and in all sects, have within their Gospel and their teaching, fear. If we need to fear anything, it is the carnal self life that keeps us separated in our mind from the life of God in our spirit.
You have heard this expression: "If you really do love someone or something, let it go." Let it go, because if you try to hold onto it, if you keep it in bondage, there can be no genuine love flowing. Gods people today need to be set free. Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world! If the religious concept is true, the victory at Calvary was a very, very small and a very, limited victory. If the religious concept is true, when this thing all winds up, there are going to be a few on Gods side, but the devil is going to have the masses of humanity. That is not a great victory. Even common sense tells us that.
God knew that when He brought you forth into this life you were going to be separated and alienated in your mind from His life, and there are people who live seventy or a hundred years, and for one reason or another, they never, never, hear someone preach the true Gospel to them. Oh, they hear the religious gospel. But they dont want that. They dont want to hear, "Youve got to change your life. If you want to be used by God, you cant do that! Do you want the blessings of God? You cant do that!" They dont want to hear that, because they are just like you, they are selfish. Self wants what self wants. But when God regenerates your spirit, then you begin to want the things of God.
If people begin to realize the extent of Gods love, they will flock to Him. Can you imagine what it would be like for a prostitute to walk into a church where everybody knows she is a prostitute, yet they would love her, they would minister to her, and they would draw her into worship? Can you imagine how long she would be a prostitute? (And even if she was, thats Gods business and not yours.) Do you have enough conviction in your knowledge of God and in the words that you speak to believe that you could speak life into her? Because if you cant, she doesnt need your church. If she only hears how she needs to change her life and clean herself up, it is useless. She cant. She doesnt need to hear that. If you will love her and minister life to her and not the letter of the law, she will begin to grow and change.
Lets go to Romans 5:12-21. "Therefore just as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men because all sinned. For before the Law was given, sin was in the world, but sin is not taken into account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by the breaking of a commandment. (These verses are so plain!) As did Adam who was a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass, for if the many died by the trespass of one man (and we know "the many" was the whole world) how much more does Gods grace, and the gift that came by grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflow to the many (Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one mans sin.) for judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. (That doesnt compute in our minds!) For if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive Gods abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (The next is a key verse:) Consequently just as the result of the one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of the act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men."
How can we separate those two? How can we say "in Adam they all die, but in Christ they are not all going to be made alive"? We would rather read it that "condemnation was for all men, so the result of the one act of righteousness was justification to those who receive Jesus and begin to walk in obedience to His commands." It doesnt say that. And I know that sounds right. What am I saying? Do I have the liberty to live any way I want to live? Are you telling me that I can do anything that I want to do, and that eventually Im still going to be OK? If your attitude is, "If what you are telling me is true, then I am going to go live it up," then my answer to you is this: you do not know God, and you desperately need to be saved. But I will tell you this, you do not have a free will. Adam took care of that for you, and he bound up the human race into the will of the flesh. You do not have a free will. We can obtain freedom in our will only by learning how to contact and fellowship with God in our spirit. By spending time in Gods presence, and learning to live there, His Spirit will flow into our natural will and transform it into His will.
The Pentecostals love to say, "We are filled with the Holy Ghost." Well, let me tell you something: If you are really filled with the Holy Ghost, you will be a holy person. But you cannot be that way by trying to be that way. Trying to do the right thing doesnt work. If you are full of the Holy Spirit, you will be controlled, moved and motivated by that Holy Spirit. But you cant work for it. You cant "live right" for it. You cant try to choose the good over the evil for it, because that puts you into the works of the flesh. Trying with your Adam nature to choose the good over the evil puts you in that category of being alienated in your mind from that life that is in your spirit. You cant make it that way.
"As the result of the one trespass was condemnation for all men, so the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life to all men." So, can you live any way you want to? Yes. But here is the problem. Youre going to go through hell one way or another. God had a plan in the very beginning for every human being that was ever born, and that is why I have shared so often that the Word says we have been chosen in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. That is Gods design; that is His plan, and that is His purpose, and your little will cannot stop Gods purpose for your life. Absolutely impossible! I have done everything in my life but curse God. I have told Him, "Leave me alone! I cant do it any more. I cant make it any more." God would just say, "Too bad, its too late for you. You consecrated yourself to me and there is no turning back."
You see, the teaching of religion has gotten confused between the "will" and the "choice." Your will is bound up in Adam, and you are not a free moral agent. You are bound up to that will of the flesh. But you can choose to do what is right. Now again, this sounds like the man in Romans 7, which it is. He chooses to do that which is right, but he finds in his members another law, warring and bringing him into the bondage of the flesh. We will go through that struggle. That is what happens when you choose to live by the knowledge of good and evil.
Another way to look at this is through the law of sowing and reaping. Gods magnitude at Calvary took away the sin of the world, so you have no problems with God, but if you sow to the flesh, you will of the flesh reap corruption. If you are in the flesh, and you have been reaping the flesh, the answer for you is not to try to change and to choose the good over the evil; the answer for you is learn how to feed upon spiritual food. Again as Jesus said, "If you will learn to eat of Me, you will live by Me." He was even so bold as to make a further statement that very few have been able to understand. He said, "If you will eat the food that I give you, you will never die," and He wasnt talking about spiritual death. He said, "Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died," and He obviously was talking about physical death. But he said, "If you will eat the Bread of Life, you will never die." You may say, "I havent seen any examples of that." Ill tell you, there are men and women all over this earthand you probably never met any of themwho have learned to eat the Bread of Life and have never died.
I am not talking about some "ascended master" or some of the New Age teachings; I am saying that God has people on the earth who have learned how, and are learning how, to eat the Bread of Life. They shall never die! They are about to be loosed to all of creation, and they are about to begin to bring reconciliation and restoration to all of Gods creation. And the sad, sad, thing is that all of Christianity is going to be in an uproar over a group of people manifesting the loveliness of God and the attributes of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Do you know what the Church is looking for? The Church is looking for the restoration of the Apostolic Church, saying, "You better be careful, saints, because the days of Ananias and Saphira are coming back to the Church." How many times have you heard that just recently? If you are motivated to serve God out of fear, you will find yourself in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I have questioned God so much, and I wish Gods people would learn to do this. (Dont be afraid to question God. Dont be afraid to question the Word. We are taught in Christianity, "Oh, dont question! Just take what the man of God says. Dont question God." Please, I beg of you, you need to challenge God! He loves to reveal to you His secrets.) But all of us need our concept of God drastically changed. Our country, America, has not rejected God; they have rejected a Christianity which has given them such a low concept of Who God is. That is what they are rejecting. I rejected that God twenty years ago. I have not had the "Christian" concept of God in twenty years. I am a Christian, but that concept will kill you. How could you be a reconciler if you feel that people have to choose the good over the evil? How can you help someone who is constantly choosing evil? You cant help them unless you understand the heart of God, and can be a reconciler.
Gods reconcilers are all over the earth. He is soon going to loose them, and they will go into churches, they will go into bushes, they will go everywhere, bringing reconciliation and revealing to Gods people the heart of God. That day will come and hopefully soon! But whether it is this Fall or next year, I do know it is coming very quickly. It has to be happening soon, because there is so much revelation, and there is so much coming to the Church that is revealing much of Gods heart.
All that has been written above can be summarized very simply: God truly does love humanity, and He does not expect you to choose the good over the evil, because He knows that you cannot. What you need is to discover the treasure of His life that is within, and to learn to live by that life. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:6-7).
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To Be Continued . . .