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Tape 5

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1 Tape 5 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:47 am

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Mystery Covers a Broad Spectrum
I have been teaching now for some time on the mystery of Christ in you that is taken from the book of Colossians 1 where Paul talks about this mystery. The more that I search the Scriptures over these last few days and refresh myself in some areas and other areas I’m digging new wells and discovering that this is such an enormous subject and so broad in scope. We will stay here just as long as we need to. Also there will be from time to time some repetition of some things we’ve already covered. I think it is very important for us to do that.

Grinding of Fine Flour
You do know that before you can ever digest something, digestion begins in the mouth, it doesn’t begin in the stomach. If you’re going to adequately digest something, it has to be adequately masticated. It has to be chewed and chewed. The very release of all the enzymes and in the breaking down of the nutrients then finally the ingesting of it. So there are some things that we’re going to be chewing again, and again, and again. I’ve talked to you before about how that the bread on the table of showbread in the tabernacle of Moses was made from, not just flour, but “fine” flour. This was the diet of the priest. It’s what they consumed before they could go beyond the veil into the most holy place. Or the holy of holies.

It was fine flour. Actually, it was flour that was ground 12 times. And so there’s some of these things that we need to grind. We need to go over and over and over again. I will tell you that some of these things as I’ve mentioned have been areas of review for me personally. But as I turn to these passage, some of which are so worn in my old Bible until I can’t hardly read them anymore. But as I turn to these passages, I’ve been amazed at how something fresh has come to me and I trust you experience the same thing.

What Makes Righteousness?

So before we move forward, I want to touch just real quick on what we spoke about earlier concerning righteousness. It’s extremely important that we understand the concept of righteousness if we’re going to understand our union with him, what it means to be in Christ. There are a lot of concepts that are loose in the church that have given a distorted definition of what righteousness is. We thought that being right is a result of doing right. And that is error. Being right is not the result of doing right, but our doing right is the result of us being right.

2 Corinthians 5
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him

Message Translation
16-20Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don't look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you. 21How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.

Editor’s Note
All things become new. We’ve touched on this several times in the past, but again, some things take a while to chew before they’re swallowed and digested. For so long, this line of thought has always been connected with a “rapture-minded” church rather than a “current-state” understanding of where we are in the kingdom “now”. But once you line up the passages that refer to this, you begin to see the definite connection between my position in Christ, and the fact that the new heavens and the new earth is not a literal interpretation, (outward) but a spiritual one.(inward)

What is my heaven? My New heaven? It’s my spirit, it was dormant, now it’s alive. My earth, my mind, my carnal way of thinking, is now transformed as well as it is continually “reNEWed” When we find our identity “in” Christ, we then are able to see our natural surroundings in a “new” light. It all has a NEW meaning because we are a NEW creation. The act of Jesus going to the cross is what gave us the passage into kingdom understanding because that sacrificial act, clothed us with righteousness, with rightness. In the natural, I’m still prone to do wrong things, but my natural life is not my identity, my spiritual bond to Christ is my identity. He is the source from which my life and light derive from.

Galatians 6:15
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

2 Peter 3:13

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Revelation 21
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.


The new heaven and the new earth that John is seeing here is the bride of Christ, not 2,000 years later, but what he was seeing in that turbulent and treacherous time, was the birthing, the manifesting of the bride of Christ then. Lowering from heaven is just a prophetic way of saying what was invisible to the natural eye, is now becoming visible. But it’s not something to happen in the future, it’s already done. Why do we say that? Look at verse 3. This isn’t something that’s happening ahead of us, The tabernacle of God is with us NOW. And if that’s true, then verse one is something that’s also already done as well.

Ephesians 3
14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God

Hebrews 8
For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

To all these passages above, when did these things take place? When did Christ come and begin to dwell in man’s heart? Every one of these passages are connecting you to the finished work of the cross. As a result, the old heaven in you, as well as the church, the old spiritual system was done away with, all the sacrificial animals offered up daily and yearly, all of those requirements of men are done away with. What is required of us now? Not works-based religion, but rest-based relationship.
End Note

Religion Births Self-righteousness
Verse 21 in 2nd Corinthians 5 is what we are aiming at there. So, if I am righteous, it’s not a result of me being a person that is moral or a person that is a person of integrity, you know, all of those things. You all know people and those are usually the most difficult to reach. They feel there’s really nothing wrong with them. They’re people of honesty, integrity and morality, that’s not righteousness. Later in this study, we’re going to really hit hard this topic of self-righteousness. We might as well let everybody have a break and admit that we’ve all been guilty of self-righteousness to some degree. And we still struggle with that, it’s what religion has done to us.

Romans 5
19For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

I can’t stress enough and I will not spend a great deal of time on this, but did you notice he said “it’s by ONE’S disobedience” speaking of the first Adam. The federal head of the whole human race. It’s by one man’s disobedience that we have come into this fallen state. It is by one man’s “obedience” that we have come into righteousness or to right standing. It has to do with relationship, not a code or doctrine or a set of regulations. I’m very concerned that there are a lot of born-again people that still carry this residual sin-consciousness.

Righteousness is not a Feeling, it’s a Position
And we talked about this a little last time, they’re constantly thinking about their past and their failures and weaknesses. And then people who have yet to understand you are not righteous because you feel righteous. Most Christians, including myself probably haven’t even felt “saved” every hour of every day. So righteousness has nothing to do with the way you feel. It’s a position. It’s a condition that you experience vicariously, if you will, because you have been made righteous in Him. Now I know to some that may seem extremely simple, but I believe that there are very few people that have been able to apprehend it, much less comprehend it.

If there had been a wide scale comprehension of this truth then very few of you would have problems with condemnation all the time. Feeling condemned and guilty about everything. Feeling guilty about not feeling guilty. I mean, are you the kind of person that finds yourself sometimes, where it seems like you’ve had a great day and at the end of the day you can’t really think of anything to worry about? Maybe you’re not that sick, but it’s true.

That’s what Paul is talking about when he says your carnal mind is always at enmity, or always at constant war with God. Blended edit . . . the first thing that pops in my mind on this is I see a picture of people hearing this being spoken and immediate they become defensive and say “I never . . .” but think about what’s being not just said, but also implied. Keep it in the context of how the enemy works. How many times have you heard it preached about offering sacrifices to other gods and we immediately sort of take that with a grain of salt because we don’t actually offer sacrifices in the literal sense. Then someone will throw out the idea that anything that is between you and God, anything that you give more attention to than God is you sacrificing to other gods.

That’s a tough statement and I used to back it up 100% until I’ve learned that it’s a subtle tactic of law again. Why? Well, think about it. Say I watch a lot of television. Some people believe that’s an altar and I give my attention to it because it’s my god. Where do they get that from? This teaching on what you pay more attention to is what you are. It’s what was taught to them by church, more than God revealing it to them by nature, his nature, not natural nature. The point is, I’ve had some of my most profound revelations come not while I was in prayer and fasting, or even when I was in church or at home thinking about God. On more than one occasion, the time God would often drop something in my spirit would be when I’m lathering up in the shower.

This may be a bit of a sacred cow to some, but we get ourselves all “lathered up” when we see others spending too much time with things that we think are less beneficial and we become one of two things, either self-righteous or judgmental of the individual, and maybe even both. It’s the same exact thing Paul was trying to shed some light on about eating food that was offered to other sacrifices. It’s not what goes in that defiles you, it’s what comes out.

It’s not what you watch or what you spend the most time at doing that defiles me, it’s what comes out of me that defiles me. My pious religion is more defiling than you watching your television. The people that are quick to see other’s not measuring up to their standards are the same ones that can’t understand the truth of “greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world”. Television isn’t going to sneak in and steal my position as a child of God any more than attending church accommodated my position in the first place.

What’s all that got to do with the carnal mind being at enmity? It’s your carnal mind that’s trying to convince you that what goes in is what’s defiling you. What you watch, who your with, measuring how much time you do what you do to intimidate you to physically change the outside to satisfy the requirements of your own mind. It’s God that says, it’s not what goes in, but what comes out. Not just your mouth, but what comes out from your spirit. Your attitudes, your judgments, setting your own standards, your condemnation of you and others when those standards aren’t being met. That’s the war between the mind and the spirit we’re talking about.

So, maybe you don’t argue directly with God, but Satan is much more subtle than that. Instead of having a blatant argument, he’ll convince you that a partial truth is a whole truth so that when more is revealed, you have a hard time digesting the newness due to the feeling that it’s different to you, not to mention a bit humiliating because you thought you already had a pretty good grasp on what you considered to be the truth.

Ever ask yourself the question, “would the devil want me to grow?” I know that may sound like a silly question, but think about it. Growing is experiencing things that are uncharted to your mind. Growing spiritually in God is not reinforcing what you already understand. Just something to think about as we continue our journey with each other down this wonderful and unpredictable path he has us on as a family.
End of Note

Acknowledging EVERY GOOD Thing.
So, your mind is continually at enmity with God. And again, it is at war with what God says about you. I think probably that one of, and there’s a whole list of them, but one of the most powerful verses yet, other than 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21 is the one found in this little post card called Philemon. If the other letters or epistles are called letters, then this must just be a postcard because it’s only one chapter. 1:6 of Philemon says that we are to acknowledge every “good thing” that is in us . . .

Philemon
4I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 5Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; 6That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

We are to acknowledge every “good thing” that is in us. And it’s very difficult to for us to reprogram ourselves to acknowledge the good things that are in Christ. Do you understand that you don’t have, even yourself . . . the thought is that people say “other’s don’t have the right to criticize me, but I have the right to criticize myself”. You don’t have the right either. Ephesians 2 says that you are his workmanship So when you become critical of yourself then you are criticizing his workmanship.

It’s amazing how subtle and insidious false humility is. We think, we don’t realize what we’re doing to ourselves. We need to begin identifying and emphasizing every good thing that is in us, in Christ. “Well, the Bible says that we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought . .” That’s true, but why would you want to swing to the other extreme of that pendulum?

Sure you shouldn’t think of yourself more highly than you ought. But David said I make my boast in the Lord . . You say “well that sounds like you’re just trying to help people develop a mental positive attitude.” Of course it is, that’s what you need. There’s enough negativism that has followed you all of your life and still swarms around your head like a swarm of flies trying to lay their nasty larvae in your brain.

Editor’s Note
I just want to jump in here at this point and bring to the surface another connecting piece that this last Scripture has presented. I was just in a conversation earlier in the day today with another individual on a picture beginning in Ezekiel 3 and connecting to Revelation 10

Ezekiel 3
1Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. 2So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. 3And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. 4And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

Revelation 10
9And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. 10And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. 11And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

I have always found this interesting in both cases both of these men who are given a Word from God are to eat the message first, and then are decreed to take the message to others. I think there’s a difference between relaying a message someone else gave, and delivering a message that’s coming from within you.

It’s the same message, but the more effective one is the one that’s transformed you first, then you relay it on to others from your experience rather than from your knowledge. A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument . In both of these cases with Ezekiel and John, the message was received by the prophet as honey. It was sweet in it’s original state. It was also something that required chewing rather than just swallowing like liquid.

Even though your mouth is very often used as a trumpet sound that goes out, it’s also the first stage of the digestion process, we talked about that on the first page of this section. So when they took the message, they themselves had to digest it first before releasing it. The message had to become a part of them first. But also, it was sweet as they ate, but later, in both cases, things became sour. There was something in the digesting of the message that his body was having trouble accepting.

I believe that’s a picture of your spirit. When referring to your belly, it’s a picture of where your spirit is. When you accept Christ, your spirit is brought to life, right? From your belly shall flow rivers of living water, speaking of the spirit. We can see clearly that it has nothing to do with a natural river flowing from your natural belly.

Well, why would that application be any different in Revelation? His mouth would taste it’s sweetness, but his belly will become bitter. It’s not what’s coming out of his mouth which would be his words, that was sweet, it’s the book going in, God’s message, that was sweet to him. And for Ezekiel, he was a priest, he could easily digest this message because that’s who he was, a prophet, the mouthpiece of God. Both these guys were “in Christ” so when they received the message, it was sweet to them. The bitterness comes in those who hear what you’ve digested, but are not where you are in Christ and it becomes sour rather than sweet.

And also, your mouth is where digestion begins by breaking down the food and letting the body’s fluids “water”, be absorbed into it so that it can then be swallowed and here’s where the separation happens. Oh wow! Look at this one!! The body doesn’t separate the waste from the nutrients until after it is in the belly.

How often to we take the word of God and because we can’t swallow it and don’t have the patience to chew it to break it down, we spit it out and our spirit starves for lack of spiritual meat! Oh by the way, Hebrews 6 actually tells you the difference between meat and milk. What we call meat, like sermons dealing with the gifts of the spirit and such, that is actually milk! The meat is the deeper dimension of what’s on the surface. It takes a little more effort to train your mind to be quiet, to be silent so that your spirit can receive what God is trying to plant into you

John on the other hand, was not a prophet of God by trade, but a disciple-turned-Apostle. And the message he was bringing was not a message of judgment, albeit that’s what we’ve always been taught and I’m not sure how far I want to go into that at this stage, but understand this letter John was writing was not to us, it was written to the generation that was under unspeakable tribulation back then just before Israel was wiped off the map.

The message that was sweet to John in receiving it, was bitter to try to digest it and flow it out onto others. It was a gospel not in alignment with the traditions of men. Paul states that it’s the traditions of men that have made the Word of God (that little book referred to in Revelation) of no affect. I’m not coming against denominations, I’m in one. But I am no fan of denominationalism. What God puts in us now is the honey of life, the bitterness comes when our natural minds become indignant of what the Spirit has planted into our spirit.

This word that we are entering into, or should I say, that’s entering into us for our consumption, there’s a spiritual connection that is bringing truth to you and that’s the sweetness. There’s a drawing, a pulling, something that’s caught your attention. But the bitterness comes when spiritual truth collides with natural understanding.

John saw the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and he was moved beyond comprehension by it, that’s the honey. But he didn’t understand any of it without further explanation from the angelic realm, that’s the bitterness. Your carnal mind can not see the meaning of the Spirit, as a result, it puts up defensive walls and tries to protect your spirit from “contamination”.

It’s a tough but true statement when I say, the Word of God is a natural book with Spiritual pictures, written to a natural people with spiritual connections. And it was never intended to have it’s natural stories applied to our natural lives. It’s all to be understood spiritually. A spirit-to-spirit conversation. The natural mind is supposed to just let the spiritual seed be planted in it and allow this spiritual truth to take root and when it does, it will bring my natural mind in compliance with the Spirit of God and the understanding will then begin to flow, with freedom!

One last thing on this, I used to wonder and even try to explain why in Ezekiel you didn’t see the bitterness follow the honey as you do in John. But then I found my jaw dropping once again when I read just a few verses further down in Ezekiel

Ezekiel 3:14
14So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.

And the pattern returns. John ate the book in sweetness, but left in bitterness. It’s not because “my” spiritual body is rejecting the honey, it’s because my mind has trouble putting into words what just got planted into my spirit. That’s not really bitterness though. Bitterness is a reaction of the collision of spirit and soul. Of religion and life. One just can’t digest or blend with the other. Thank God for his grace to bridge that gap in all of us!!
End of Edit
Isaiah 64
6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away

My righteousness is as filthy rags . .
That is a very graphic metaphor. The King James version was not bold enough to put it as it really was. Maybe some of your translations went ahead and frame it the way it really is and it says my righteousness is as a menstrual cloth. That’s a very graphic way and Paul certainly used some choice words in Ephesians 3 in describing self-righteousness as well. How concerning the law that he was blameless, that he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, that he was of the tribe of Benjamin, he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews and on and on.

And after listing all of those things that he attributed, to his own righteousness and his own concept of righteousness before his encounter with Christ, he then said after his experience of coming to Christ I count all of that as dung. . as manure it’s nothing but a pile of crap. So Isaiah isn’t being anymore graphic in his metaphor than Paul. Here he says our righteousness is as a menstrual cloth. Why would he say that? In Genesis, the curse that came upon the woman was, that in pain, she would bear children. That was part of the curse that came on her.

Women With Flowing Issues
I don’t think it was God’s original intention for her to experience pain in childbirth. I have some question as to whether or not she would even had experienced this almost humiliating, flowing of blood every month where she feels unclean. I question as to whether or not she would have even experienced that had they not fallen into sin. But I think probably to take Isaiah 64 in what he says about self-righteousness and then reach over and grab an illustration that’s so clear in one of the encounters that Jesus had with a woman who had an issue of blood.

Every woman that Jesus had an encounter with in the gospels, I’ve said this many times before but I think it’s really important to see. There are only 27 recorded miracles in the gospels that Jesus performed. Obviously he performed more than just 27. John closed his book by saying that if everything he did and said was attempted to be recorded, there wouldn’t be a place big enough in all the world to contain them. So understand that there’s a specific reason why these particular 27 miracles which is to show there’s a profound message that God was seeking to convey.

So Jesus encounters all of these women, the woman at the well, this woman with the issue of blood, a woman who’s demon possessed, a woman who’s caught in the act of adultery, on and on it goes. To me, every one of these women is a picture of the church in some condition. Why? Because all through Scripture you see this parallel between the woman and the church. In Revelation 12, you have this woman who is great with child who is seen as a wonder in the heavens. And she is about to give birth to a man-child. And that’s another series in and of itself.

But when Jesus is encountered by this woman with this issue of blood. . .how did we know she was hemorrhaging or that she had this flow of blood that manifested itself in this manner? Well, because when you go into the book of Leviticus you’ll find out that when it talks about a woman being in her menstrual period that it calls it an issue. She was not to touch anyone or be touched. It was all according to the Old Levitical Law. What does that have to do with righteousness? Remember he says our righteousness is as filthy rags or as a menstrual cloth. (We could touch no one, nor could we ever be touched by others)

Numerical Patterns
This woman who came to Jesus had been in this condition for 12 years. Not like the woman who he’d encountered who’d been bent over for 18 years. Or the man who’d been at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. All of those things has significance as to how long the duration was of their infirmity. In this woman, 12 years, 12 is the number of foundations. Remember the city of New Jerusalem had 12 foundations with 12 gates. Gates speak of government in Scripture and foundations. So everything was out of order in this woman’s life.

Religious M.D.s
Now, the spiritual picture of that would be looking at the church, the bride of Christ, she’s a woman who is really on an unsure footing when it comes to understanding righteousness. When she came to Jesus, Scripture says she had spent all that she had by going to physicians and she grew worse. “I’m not sure I can see what you’re saying, it seems like you’re stretching it a little bit . . “ Well, physicians, you know who they were in Jesus’ day? They were most often the Pharisees. They were religious men, but they were also the physicians as well.

So this woman had suffered many things at the hands of self-righteous preachers. Boy, the plot is thickening now. So she has spent everything to these self-promoting men, she gave her required tithes and offerings that they enforce and she sends off her offering to the guy she sees on television because he guarantees she’ll be healed if she gives him her money. Does that sound familiar?

But she’s growing worse. She still has an issue. She’s still bleeding, she’s still wounded over something. And it’s usually something that is private and she wants to hide and not expose to the world. And of course the Bible says she pushed her way through the noise of the crowds and touched the hem of his garment. Her posture was one of humility. And as soon as she touched his hem, her issue dried up immediately. That is a picture of unrighteousness. The church continues to struggle with a sin-consciousness because they have had false righteousness taught to them.



2 Tape 5 Part 2 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:47 am

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True Righteousness is Contrary to Laws of God?
There’s another picture we’re about to look at that shows again another picture unrighteousness and how it affects us. How it causes us to feel unclean and unworthy. Oh, do you realize, before I go on with this, that this woman, according to the levitical law, she wasn’t supposed to get near anyone. So when she presses through the crowd and touches the hem of his garment, she broke the law. Now, if you don’t think that’s going to upset the self-righteous preachers.

Do you understand that sometimes, in order for us to experience what God has for us in terms of righteousness, we have to break some laws? That’s going to mess you up a bit. But it’s true. Law can’t “gender” righteousness. She broke the law to even get near him, much less to touch him. The reason why she did that, I believe, she must have had some form of revelation. Because this woman realized this woman didn’t come to destroy the law but to fulfill it, to fill it full. Jesus was the fulfillment of the law. She knew if she could “touch” him . . You need to hear that.

Conceived Seed Stops the Flowing Issues
If she could “touch” him, because when you “touch” people, this brings us back to the original concept we’ve been talking about. When you touch people, there is an identification with them. When she touched him, his righteousness, expelled her unrighteousness. How do you know that a woman, and I know we have a mature audience here so we shouldn’t have problems discussing something of this nature, how does a woman know that she is going to go through a season of time where the flow of blood, the weeping of the womb is going to stop? When she conceives seed. And that’s all the church has to do.

When we get the seed of this truth that we are righteous in Christ, when we get that seed of that truth in you, then everything that you’re bleeding to death over, everything that is an “issue” to you, I mean let’s put this in modern vernacular because when we hear the word “issue” now, we don’t think about blood or a woman’s menstrual cycle. When we hear the word “issue” now, what to we think about? We think about some area of concern. Politicians say it and we say it when we get into an argument or heated discussion on something. “Well, the REAL issue is . . .” We just touched and “area” where you’re sensitive.

Measuring Righteousness Via Knowledge of Scripture Locations
Now, in Zechariah 3, before we launch into these verses, I want to go ahead and forewarn you, if you’ve never read the book of Zechariah I don’t want you to feel condemned for that (dry humor) there is now, therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus . . . You know, sometimes we may just need to say simple things like that. I see people sometimes get a cloud of condemnation comes over them in church when you’re trying to teach and encourage them and you tell them to go to a book in the Bible and they don’t know where it is.

Just look in the table of contents, don’t set there and let this cloud of condemnation come in and set over you and let your mind start working against you “I didn’t know where that book was, I didn’t even know it was a book in the Bible at all! Some Christian I am!” Then you go off down this road in which there is no return and you become condemned over it. “well I don’t study my Bible like I ought to . .” and the beat goes on and the enemy just adds on one more verse after another to that song. It’s the song that never ends. So, hey, give yourself a break. You don’t know where it is, fine. All that we’re attempting to do is enlighten the eyes of your understanding.

The whole purpose of this is for you to begin to see who you are in Christ and understand that when you begin to get a grip on these truths, you’ll see that you’re becoming who you already are. I know what I was going to say, I was going to warn you a little about Zechariah. Because he’s given a series of visions in this book and he is, for lack of a better way of saying it, he is a cryptic prophet. He sees things in a different dimension. That’s why people today wouldn’t be given to read a book like this because of all the images he uses, the symbolic and prophetic images he uses to help understand the meaning behind what’s being seen. But this particular one is pretty easy to grasp.

And he showed me Joshua the high priest . . .that’s not the Joshua from the book of Joshua. Who was the first high priest? Aaron. We’ll talk about why God had to have a high priest from which he would bring forth a priest “hood” a little later.

Zechariah 3
1And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

Now watch this as we give another picture of how our own concepts of righteousness have turned into self-righteousness. And are similar to the filthy rags that we saw in Isaiah 64. We’re about to see the same word “filthy garments”.

3Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. 5And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.
6And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, 7Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.


Two Men
Now what I want you to see in this vision here is extremely important but before we deal with it in-depth, I want to talk to you first of all about God’s original intention for Adam. Remember we have been reemphasizing over and over this principle that from God’s viewpoint on this planet, anymore than two men. The first Adam and the last Adam. Now Jesus is refered to in the book of Hebrews as the “high” priest. He’s the high-priest of the New Testament as Aaron was a high-priest in the old.

But now the original intention for Adam was to be a priest unto God. What does a priest do? His primary function is to worship God. Peter says that you are a chosen generation, a royal priest-hood and a holy nation. God wants a priesthood that will worship him. The reason why he created Adam as not because he had some kind of ego problem and he had to create something that would worship him or give him attention all the time. God is not some emotional misfit, he’s not insecure, we don’t praise God because he needs the attention. But when we praise God, when we worship God, we begin to see who he is, and when we begin to see who he is, then we discover who we are.

That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about appeasing God. He can cause rocks to cry out. In the beginning, the only reason he created man . . .have you ever thought about that? As he is hovering over Adam, this lifeless form of clay in the book of Genesis and he’s getting ready, see I think this way, maybe this is to far out there but when he inhales whooooosh and he’s getting ready to exhale into his nostrils the breath of life and he’s going to become a living soul. And that red clay form on the ground is going to start cracking and he’s going to take on a skin color and his cheeks are going to get rosy . . .do you not think . . .

If I Knew Then What I Know Now . . .
I asked the Lord one time, “I” did. I said “Lord when you “inhaled’” of course God knew all this before he started this whole thing but you know my finite mind . .”when you ‘inhaled’ didn’t you know that when you exhaled that it was going to create a whole race of people that would curse you and deny you and rebel against you, why did you do that? Why did you start this whole thing in the first place?

You know if it would have been me and when I inhaled and then thought about the ramifications of what would happen when I exhaled, I would never have set the whole thing in motion. And the reason why he did it is because God is love. He’s not the essence of love, he “is” love. If anything love is the essence of God. And love has to manifest itself. That’s a powerful thing.

Love is not love until it gives, until it manifests itself. You can say you love all day long, but if it doesn’t ever do anything, if it doesn’t manifest, it’s not love. God is love, he doesn’t love, he “is” love so he has to manifest himself. Otherwise it would be contrary to his character and this 6,000 years of human history would be nothing existing. But he is love and he “had” to manifest himself. If he didn’t then he would have violated his own character.

God’s Original Garden within a Garden
So God wanted a priesthood in Adam. What’s that have to do with Joshua, this highpriest that’s standing before the Lord over here with dirty clothes on and you’re saying that’s being unrighteous? Bear with me just a minute and we’ll work toward this whole thing, we’ll develop the thought and let it unfold. So God wanted a priesthood in Adam. What happened with Adam though? When God created Adam, he created the man with the woman “in” him and then he put the man “in” the garden. To me I don’t just see this as some kind of lush, place with all kinds of vegetation all around it. I don’t have a problem with those that think there was an actual garden and I’m not trying to disprove that.

But you have to see that the truth goes beyond that. Because the Bible says over in the New Testament that “You” are God’s garden. You want to know where the garden of Eden is? Look around you.

Ezekiel 31
1-9 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the third month, God's Message came to me: "Son of man, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt, that pompous old goat: "'Who do you, astride the world, think you really are? Look! Assyria was a Big Tree, huge as a Lebanon cedar, beautiful limbs offering cool shade, Skyscraper high, piercing the clouds. The waters gave it drink, the primordial deep lifted it high, Gushing out rivers around the place where it was planted, And then branching out in streams to all the trees in the forest. It was immense, dwarfing all the trees in the forest— Thick boughs, long limbs, roots delving deep into earth's waters. All the birds of the air nested in its boughs. All the wild animals gave birth under its branches. All the mighty nations lived in its shade. It was stunning in its majesty— the reach of its branches! the depth of its water-seeking roots! Not a cedar in God's garden came close to it. No pine tree was anything like it. Mighty oaks looked like bushes growing alongside it. Not a tree in God's garden was in the same class of beauty. I made it beautiful, a work of art in limbs and leaves, The envy of every tree in Eden, every last tree in God's garden.'

Editor’s Note
In going through the rest of this chapter, I found it intriguing how much God compares Egypt as a tree in the garden of Eden. Depending on how deep you would choose to go on that in this context, it does create some interesting possibilities as to what all those other trees actually were in the original garden of Eden. Just something to think about.
End Note

You want to know where the garden of Eden is? You won’t find it as a result of talking to some anthropologist or talking to someone that explores and is looking for the lost ark. I can tell you where the lost ark is as well, You want to know where the lost ark is? I’m not talking about Noah’s ark, because they’ve found it somewhere over in the Turkish mountains. There are all kinds of debates as to where the lost ark is.

Some say the ark is over there somewhere under all that rubble in Jerusalem which is why the Israelis won’t go beyond the western wall and walk in there into that area where the dome of the rock is where the Arabs have built this mosk (How do you spell “mosk”?) because they fear if they do, they may walk on top of where the ark is. We shouldn’t be looking for some little 3 x 4 box with little cherubim carved on top of it. The ark is actually within you.

The Naked Truth of Nakedness
So, God put them in the garden and when he put them in the garden, there’s something interesting that’s stated about their physical condition which is, they were “naked and unashamed.” Now, in natural terms, it’s easy to explain why they wouldn’t be ashamed as they were the only two individuals on the entire planet at that time and they were husband and wife at that. I mean if me and my wife were the only one’s on this planet, I could understand how there’d be no shame in being naked, I wouldn’t put any clothes on either. (Um . .. I’m just transcribing here, just so you know . . .Suzanne would never let me regardless)

But you do understand that this is much bigger than physical nakedness. And the reason why is because we’re going to see what happened when they sinned, sin-consciousness set in on them and they lose relationship or righteousness with God. They were naked before the fall and not ashamed. There’s a difference between being nude and being naked. I have been fully clothed and have still felt naked. When my flesh manifests, most of you guys have an image of me, based on what you’re experiencing right now. You don’t really know me, in fact if most of you really knew me, you probably wouldn’t like me. Which is okay because I assume that if I knew “you” really well, I probably wouldn’t like you either.

Walking A Tight-rope of Nakedness
But you know what it’s like when it gets to that point where nakedness takes place and they see you for who you really are. What you’re really like, that’s nakedness. There’s a difference between being naked and being nude. My secretary is setting back there and she’s seen me naked a few times. Now, if you took a sound-bite of that, wow! Would “that” ever go out there. “He’s having an affair”. No, she’s seen my flesh surface. She’s seen not just the teacher, preacher. She’s seen my flesh, she’s seen me naked.

And what happens then is, it causes shame. So when they sinned, what happened? The first thing that happened, they “knew” they were naked. When they lost relationship with God, when they lost righteousness. They were originally clothed with his righteousness. So they immediately started sewing fig leaves to make aprons and the Bible says they then hid among the trees to the garden. That sounds like church to me. Years ago I taught on fig leaves and aprons, you know when the Bible talks about when Jesus goes into Jerusalem and he curses the fig tree, it was through that message I could understand why Jesus chose the fig tree, and why of all the trees in the garden, they chose fig leaves.

Hiding Amongst the Trees In Nakedness
They didn’t choose any other kind of tree other than fig leaves to attempt to cover up their sense of worthiness. Instantly they felt unworthy and started hiding from God rather than walking with God. They started hiding among the trees . .plural . .in the garden. Most of the places you see with a steeple on the roof, regardless of the denominational sign out front, it’s a tree in God’s garden that they go and hide in. church is a great place to hide, because you don’t have to be real in church. The fakest people in the world are in church.

So what happens? When they hear the voice of the Lord as he’s walking in the cool of the day, it wasn’t because the temperature dropped and so Adam and God could finally stand the heat. But the spirit of the day, the ruwach, it the spirit, the breath of God. When they heard the voice of God walking in the cool of the day, they hid themselves among the trees and God says “Adam where are you?” Not because he didn’t know where Adam was, it wasn’t a hide-and-seek thing that was going on. God knew where Adam was, but Adam didn’t know where he was or how he got there.

As their conversation continues on, it comes down to the most poignant question, the reason this whole thing began with God asking Adam where he was. “Who told you that you were naked? Back to Zachariah here, who tells you that you’re naked? Who makes you feel shame? Does God make you feel shame?

Romans 8
1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Who makes you feel shame?
I’m going to tell you that the image that we’ve created for ourselves is, it’s God that brings on the shame. Shame brings hopelessness and God doesn’t bring hopelessness he brings hope. Christ in you is the HOPE of glory. The accuser of the brethren, the one who is constantly pointing out what I’m not and what I used to be he’s the source of your shame.

Rather than warring with him with the sword of my mouth, as we see in Revelation when he appears, when he comes upon the clouds, the Bible says he warred against the nations with the sword of his mouth. That doesn’t mean Jesus is going to return some day and there’s going to be some big sword literally coming from his mouth. The sword is the word of God. For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder between the soul and spirit . . .(Ephesians 6)

The Difference Between Natural and Spiritual
Do you know that there are sometimes you can not differentiate between the soulish activity and spiritual activity because they’re so closely congruent to one another? And sometimes you get all confused inside and you just don’t know for sure which it really is. See one of the greatest things that could ever happen in the church is if we could teach them the difference between conviction and condemnation. There’s a great difference between the two.

Conviction gives me the ability to identify what’s going on and gives me an answer. Condemnation just causes me to have a sense of hopelessness. And it gets creative and I don’t just start identifying the things that are wrong with me, I start identifying things that really aren’t wrong with me.

So he says “who told you that you’re naked?” Who tells you that you are not the righteousness of God in Christ. Who tells you that you’re not worthy, that you ought to feel guilty. Who tells you that you don’t have the right, if everybody knew who you were? If I didn’t get a hold of this a long time ago, I never would have picked this book up again to read it, much less to teach from it.

Paul said he was the “chief” among sinners. Jesus said that the best thing you could do when your adversary starts saying a bunch of nasty things about you is to just agree with him, that’s right. ”isn’t that contradicting with what you just said?” Maybe so, but on the other end of that, that’s what I used to be, it’s not what I am, I “am” the righteousness of God in Christ. So who tells you that you’re naked? The accuser of the brethren, the same one that’s standing right here at the right hand of this priest in Zechariah.

Conviction Identifies and Offers Solutions
Joshua is one of the descendants of Aaron, but before we go down that road, let me back up just a minute and let us see how does God handle this sin consciousness that comes on them? This sin-conscious virus that comes on them. That’s why I would not go to this church, I would go to a new church tomorrow if all this church did was talk about the problems. God will identify, conviction identifies a problem, but it also gives you a solution. Condemnation just makes you feel worthless with no out, no where else to go.

We Commit Emotional Suicide Without Even Realizing it.
There are people that do it everyday. Whether you do it literally or mentally, you will go out just like Judas and you’ll commit mental, emotional suicide over and over and over again. “I’ll just withdrawal and lock myself up in my own mind and I’ll just torture myself until I think it’s enough, “now” I’m worthy. You can’t die for your own sins can you. So what does God do for their sense of unworthiness, for their sense of unrighteousness now that they know that they’re naked. And their shame just sweeps in on them.

But the Bible says that God made them coats of skin. The Bible doesn’t say that it was of a lamb but there’s a good chance it is a lamb because from then on they had to sacrifice a lamb for their sin all the way through the Old Testament. We know that because it’s what caused Cain to want to kill Abel. It was all about the order of sacrifice. And Jesus was the lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. See, before you ever had a problem, God had already created a solution.

It’s All About the Blood
So God sacrifices a lamb and he takes the coats of that lamb, please hear what I’m saying here, I’m not just talking about a furry little creature here. I’m talking about you being clothed in his righteousness. And him covering your shame and your guilt and your lack of self-esteem with his righteousness. He clothed them with the skin of a lamb, of “the” Lamb. It’s all about the blood, for you are not redeemed by corruptible things such as silver and gold, but by the precious blood . .not just by blood, but by the “precious” blood, the rarest blood that there’s ever been.

Eternal Security?
Have you ever wondered why whenever you get embarrassed that you blush? The blood rushes to the surface of the skin. One day I was reading about a man that was caught in sin in Scripture and he blushed. Remember in the 15th chapter of Luke talking about the prodigal, incidentally, the prodigal there is really Adam. The second application to that is the prodigal is his church. It’s not somebody that has never known God.

He was a son and he wasted his inheritance and even though he’s out there eating with swine, he’s still a son. “Oh, you sound like you believe in eternal security . .” I believe in that a whole lot more than I believe in this eternal “insecurity” that I’ve always been taught. He says if I’m in his hand, no man can pluck me out.

Jhn 10:29
My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand.

I believe that. I choose to believe that rather than believe that “I’m saved today, I’m not saved today, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not . .” that’s some childish game that never ends. But in Luke 15 when this prodigal comes home his father puts a ring on his hand, a sign of eternal relationship, he puts shoes on his feet, a sign of his walk being protected from the earth, and he puts a “coat” on him, he “clothes” him. It’s interesting to me that in that same text, Jesus talks about a lost sheep.

Truth About a Natural Adoption of Sheep
One day many years ago I was reading through some Old Testament literature and I discovered that if an ewe, a female sheep, was giving birth, and she died in labor, that you couldn’t take those lambs and put them with another ewe because the scent of the shepherd would be on the infant and the other mother that was living would smell that scent and reject the baby. So the shepherds in the Old Testament would take that dead ewe and cut her open and take her coat, wrap it around the newborn and take it over to the other ewe and as long as it had that covering, something that imprinted on it that it was a lamb, they’d accept it.

That’s what he’s trying to help us understand with righteousness. He has clothed us in his righteousness. What’s that got to do with this guy over here Joshua? What happened whenever all of this finalizes in Genesis 3, they’ve sinned and God drives them out of the garden. The reason why he drove them out of the garden is because if they had eaten of the tree of life in that condition, then sin never would have had an end. They would have been eternally cut off from God.

Then what did God do? At the east entrance, the only entrance to the Garden of Eden is on the east side and he put a cherubim there with a flaming sword to guard the tree of life to keep them from going in and eating from the eternal tree of life and being eternally lost, living forever separated from God. What’s this again got to do with Joshua? God sets on this path to restore what was lost by Adam, a priesthood, someone that he would have a relationship with, someone that would worship him. And when he finally brings out a whole nation of people after 400 years of Egyptian bondage, in the book of exodus, he begins to raise up a priesthood.

Aaron a Type of Adam
And he reaches for Aaron. Aaron is to replace Adam. Aaron means light bringer. And Aaron is going to be the one that is going beyond the veil in the most holy place and he is going to represent all of Israel because he carries with him a breastplate carrying the 12 stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel on the day of atonement. But he can’t go unclothed. In Exodus 39 there were specific garments that were made especially for him.

Now that bores a lot of people when you start getting in to all of that stuff about the stones and the breastplate and the urim and that thummim and the robe and the ephod and all that kind of stuff and people think all that learning isn’t really necessary. But I want to tell you what, if you just give it a few minutes, it may just revolutionize your thinking about righteousness.

Because in Exodus 39 the Bible says that God had them to make coats, it’s the same word used in Genesis 3 when God made coats of skins to put on Adam. And they made a coat of fine linen, of righteousness to clothe Aaron. Linen also because he didn’t want them wearing anything that would create perspiration or sweat. He didn’t want the scent or smell that was created by man’s flesh and it covered him from his neck down to his feet.

The Wrong Form of Righteousness
When Aaron stood there in what the Bible described as “the garments of beauty” . .it’s awesome that before Aaron was given his high privilege and was clothed in these regal robes, the first layer of which was this white robe, clothed in righteousness because the first high priest had lost his righteousness and he tried to create his own righteousness through sewing a few things together. Through sewing a few ideas together, a few doctrinal ideas together to where you know if we can keep everybody to abide by these rules then we have a righteous church and we can keep sin out and there’s more sin in those churches with that mindset than there is in the red-light district.

They’re whited sepulchers full of dead men’s bones. They look good on the outside but there’s some raunchy stuff . .I’m telling you, I have seen some of the most raunchy stuff in churches, you talk about sin, and usually it’s in the church that’s preaching this false self-righteousness and you’ve got a preacher who is pounding his Bible and the veins in his neck are popping and he’s screaming at people, holding them over hell and telling them they better straighten up and fly right or else! It just wears me out talking about it. Why is it going on? Because they’re preaching the wrong form of righteousness. And it creates a sin-consciousness.

So Aaron is a picture of what Adam was before he fell. He’s clothed in righteousness. And what’s he do? He goes into a tabernacle that was given by God for them to construct as his dwelling place in the midst of his people because he says “I want my tent, my tabernacle to be “in” the middle of the people. I want to be in the middle of all of you. I want your life to revolve around who I am. Everything that you do revolves around who I am. This is not just something that I do on Sunday, it’s not just something that I do just so I won’t go to hell and I’ve got my ticket for when the rapture plane comes. No, it’s because it’s who I am.

Love Must Manifest or It’s Not Love
Remember the “why” again here. Why does God have what appears to be strong requirements of serving him? We first saw this back on page 10. Because again, when we worship God, he is love, and as love, he needs to manifest his nature back on his children, those who he’s created. When he loves on us, we flourish, when we reject that love, we die. So he establishes a framework that manifests his love. Moses’ tabernacle, the activity of the priests, it was all a form of worship. We may not see it as that, but it can’t be anything else but love, because it’s coming from the person of love. What I perceive as an act of love may not have any resemblance to his true love whatsoever. Because my ways are not his ways . . .you know the verse?

Tabernacle Pictures Righteousness
I can’t talk about everything in the tabernacle that has to do with righteousness here, but there was an 8 foot wall that went all the way around the outside of the tabernacle and because of that, you couldn’t see over it. And they hung linen curtains all around it. Could you imagine what an awesome sight against the distant sands and the blistering sun shining out there in the wilderness and you’d stand afar off and see this linen curtain surrounding the activity of God and you couldn’t see over it and that’s why Jesus said in John 10 I am the way, the truth and the life, any man that tries to climb over is a thief and a robber.

The righteousness of God is higher than you can climb so you have to come in by the Way. So here he comes in those linen garments restored to what God originally intended for Adam, clothed in his righteousness. I know I’m stretching some of you, but you need to be stretched. And isn’t it interesting that when he goes in, he can only enter in on the “east” side of the tabernacle which was the same direction on the compass that Adam had been driven out of. So he’s going back in, to where Adam had been driven out from.

Bringing Us Back to Our Birth-place – The Garden
And when he finally gets to the veil that separates them from the manifest presence of God, from the glory of God woven in that veil, the cherubim, the same cherubim that had been the guardians of the garden where the tree of life resided. God is bringing them back by the way of death. He’s reopening the access to the tree of life once they have the evidence, the blood of the Lamb, that a death has been accredited on behalf of their sin. I want to tell you, a lot of people are longing to get away, to get out, to remove themselves, when the truth is, God is wanting to get us back to the garden.

That’s what he originally designed for us is the garden. I’m not talking about some lush place where we sit around and angels are dropping grapes in our mouth and another angel is off to the side fanning us while we have our foot dangling in a literal crystal stream that flows by our bank of serenity. No, I’m talking about a relationship with Him. In order for us to have that, we need to be where he is, we need to go to that spiritual dimension where he resides and become “like” him in every aspect of our lives. And he’s made a way for us to do just that through the shedding of the blood of the Lamb.

Identifying His Righteous Through My Works Causes Me to Be Clothed in Filthy rages
So Joshua, who was one of the descendants of Aaron is also a high-priest. In order to be a high-priest, you had to be the son of a high-priest. Aaron was the first one and he had sons who began to produce this line of priests. Joshua shows up here during this time of Zechariah and his garments are filthy, you know why? Because, they had gotten to the point, where they had gotten away from understanding that their righteousness was based only in God. And the Pharisees began to base their righteousness in what they did. And their righteousness became filthy, as filthy rags.

Connected to the Grave-Clothes of Lazarus
But what is said to him? Take away the filthy garments from him. Is there another picture in Scripture that you can think of where this is related to? Take away the filthy garments from him think of in Jesus ministry . .how about when Jesus arrives and raises Lazarus from the dead. He walks to the tomb and he calls him forth from death. And when he comes out he’s bound hand and foot in grave-clothes and Jesus tells them “Loose him and let him go.” Do you know that what I’ve been doing here for the last few weeks is loose you from your grave clothes in order for you to put on, if you pardon the pun, for you to put on “grace” clothes.

He Identified With Our Nakedness

You’ve been raised with him Ephesians says you’ve been raised from the dead. The problem with the church is not that God has not done something “for” them, but the next step in this whole “in Christ” message is that people haven’t learned how to “put off” and then “put on”. You ever wonder why when Jesus was stretched out on the cross that he was stretched out there naked? They stripped him. You know why they stripped the last Adam and stretched him out like a piece of canvas? Can you imagine that? The physical torture, that he went through, what they did to his body is unspeakable. But to think that they took the precious, sinless Son of God, can you imagine the humiliation?

They took Jesus, the Son of God, on that cross, outside the busiest gate in all of Jerusalem because the place where they crucified him was not some out of the way place that was private and only a few people knew about it. No, they crucified him without the gate and they did it in the most conspicuous, busiest, most congested area of the city. And they hung him up there naked.

One of the things I love to point out about the power, and potency of this, is to understand that there’s no form of sexual abuse or humiliation that you’ve imposed or had imposed upon you that he can not identify with. Because when he hung there, he hung there totally exposed, they stripped him of his garments. They “wanted” to expose and humiliate him. But the reason he had to be stripped was because the first Adam had been stripped and had become aware of his nakedness and so Jesus had to identify with our nakedness so that we could be clothed in his righteousness.

Ephesians 4:22
24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.


My new man is his righteousness. Not my righteousness, but his. And it’s his true holiness, not some duplication or replication of holiness, but it’s his true holiness.

Colossians 3
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

We just saw in Ephesians that we’re to put on the new man, here we’re seeing we need to put off the old man. Who is the old man? Adam. He’s the oldest man. He’s the one through who you gained physical entrance into this world. He’s the one who’s responsible for your flesh birth into this world. All men came from them, right? Put off the old man, why? Because the old man has only a sin-consciousness. The old man was self-consciousness. The old man felt ashamed and unworthy. Who is the old man? Not the man you’re married to . .well really it is, I’m not talking about the one you sleep in bed with at night.

10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Experience it, Rather Than “learn” it
Do you see how he sweeps back there, all the way back to Genesis, that’s the reason why I went back there. So when he talks about renewing the mind, he’s talking about not just you hearing this stuff. See it’s not going to do you any good to set there and say, “Wow, that’s really interesting that really is making me feel better” But instead it has to become a personal revelation to you. I did not say, don’t let your mind work on you, I did not say that you have to go out and teach it like I do. No, because if all of you could go out and teach it like I do then you wouldn’t need me, this is my gift. I am a gift, do I need to remind you of that? I am a gift!

You could and read the same books, that’s not true with all of you, but you could sit and read the same books and not say it like I say it. But it’s not about me, it’s about Christ in me and that’s the way he manifests himself through me, it’s my gift. If you could look past this clay pot and understand there’s hidden treasure in this earthen vessel, there’s hidden wisdom in me, but it’s not me, but Christ in me that brings out his wisdom through me.

If you’d stop and just say “well, I’m not sure about that because, I’ve heard some other stuff that he’s said and I just don’t know if he’s really all that . . .” I’m just a mail carrier. Believe Him. But before you can put on Christ and put on this righteous, you have to first put off some things. To put on him, you have to put off. You have to change clothes don’t you. That’s why I used the example of Lazarus a few minutes ago.

Changing Clothes
I know this may sound like an odd question, but how often to you change clothes? Some of you are thinking right now “Are you going to have prayer for us tonight and I’ll then put off this old man you’re talking about and I’m going to put on the new man and that’s . . .” No, how often do you change clothes, hopefully it’s at least once a day and if you’re like one of my boys, they way they determine if they can still wear it is they give it the sniff test . .sad but true.

Pro-Choice

You don’t change your clothes every month do you? No, you change clothes every day. It’s not a once in a lifetime experience. You have to change into the clothing of righteousness every day. Faith comes by “hearing” and “hearing” by the Word of God and it’s not the Word of God in my mouth, but in yours. When you start talking this way, you’re speaking life to yourself. “you” choose between life and death, God is giving you the freedom of choice every day of your life. You choose on what you’re going to have.

Don’t blame it on the guy you work for. Don’t blame it on your dysfunctional family. Stop it. That’s lame. Don’t blame it on all that stuff. You are the way you are because you choose to be that way. You’re not happy because you choose not to be happy. I can hear the carnal mind grinding with that one. You feel like you have justification and I’m telling you with Christ in you, you don’t have an excuse.

Put off the old the old man and put on the old man which is renewed in knowledge of who he is. You have to get up, you have to put off, you have to pick out, and you have to put on. I heard a guy the other day who was talking about having the mind of Christ and someone asked him about something and they said “Well, what do “you” think? And he said “ I really don’t know, I carry my brains in my hand.” And they said “what are you talking about?” He held up his Bible to them and said “I don’t know what I’m supposed to think unless I find out what this says.” “If this Word says it, then that’s what I’m supposed to think.”

It’s Not What I Thought
Whatsoever things are good, pure, lovely, of good report, all of these things, THINK on these things. You’re not what you think you are, you are what you think all the time. We are to acknowledge every good thing that is in us that is in Christ. And there’s a whole lot of good things in Christ. And Christ is in me. This just takes all of the excuses away . .”Well, I’m a middle child.” Or “I’m Irish, it’s my upbringing, I was abused . . .” No! Put off those former identities and put on the new man.

Whenever Jesus healed the demoniac, they put chains on him and he just twist out of them or break them or whatever he had to do to break free from men, he was already bound by Satan. They couldn’t keep the chains on him, he lived in a tomb, he dwelled in the cemetery. Isn’t “that” interesting. That’s a picture. Most of us live our lives mostly based on our dead relatives and what we’ve inherited from them. The sins of their Fathers to the 4th generation.

Word Study for
“Fourth Generation”

Exd 20:5
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;

Exd 34:7
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear [the guilty]; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth [generation].

Num 14:18
The LORD [is] longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing [the guilty], visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation].

Deu 5:9
Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me,

2Ki 10:30
And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing [that which is] right in mine eyes, [and] hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that [was] in mine heart, thy children of the fourth [generation] shall sit on the throne of Israel. (The Curse is Reversed)

The sins of the fathers are visited upon in the third and to the fourth generation, but the Bible says that our inheritance to him that reaches unto a thousand generations. You just need to know that you’ve been re-“gene”-erated. The book of Revelation says I’ve got a name that’s written on a white stone. Why is it white? Because it’s his righteousness that purified me. I’ve got not just a name, but a “new” name.

1. Deuteronomy 7:9
Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

2. 1 Chronicles 16:15
Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;

3. Psalm 105:8
He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.

Move Out of That Grave-yard Mentality
You go far enough back into my natural genealogy, there were some extremely mean people. The type that familiarize themselves with the inside of prisons kind of man. But that’s not who I am. I’ve been regenerated. So this demoniac, what happens to him?

Isn’t it interesting what the Bible says about him when Jesus delivered him. Not only could they not keep chains on him, but he was also naked. But after Jesus delivered him, the Bible says he was clothed and in his “right mind”. And he decides then that he wants to move out of the cemetery. Some of us need to make that decision to move out of our proverbial graveyards. Move out of all of that stuff that you’ve been living with, living through, put up with, tolerate and give excuses “that’s just the way I am” That really bugs me when people use that for justification.

Put on the garment of praise, for the spirit of heaviness, lift up your voice to God. You have to put it on. “Well, you’re just talking about faking it.” No I’m not. I’m talking about when you begin to realize who you really are in Christ, then this stuff will become your nature because you have been made partakers of “his” divine nature. You have his divine nature, you just haven’t been told it to you. You know if you grow up in a home where you’re constantly being told you’re worthless, you’ll never amount to anything, how ugly you are and they didn’t want you anyway and you were a mistake. You grew up feeling stupid because you didn’t do well in school. It goes on and on and on and on.

That’s the old man. You can do all things through Christ! Who strengthens you. My life is hid in Christ with God. I am what God says I am, I can do what God says I can do and I don’t have the right to an opinion that says anything other than that.

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