Tag Archives: Flesh

The Life Was The Light Of Men

The Light of Life

Researchers are now reporting that there is a spark of light at the instant of conception of a human embryo. This was earlier reported by John, the disciple of Christ, writing the Gospel concerning Christ: “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men…. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” John 1:4, 9.

God is a Spirit

This is the Image of God, which distinguishes Mankind from the animal world. Mankind is not merely flesh, but is spirit. God is a Spirit, John 4:24: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.

God is Light:

I John 1:5: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is Light, and in him is no darkness at all.

This, then, settles the question of when life begins. It begins with the spark of Divine Life.

How does Mankind lose this Spirit of God with which he was born?

By Sin: Genesis 1:17: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” That Light of Life, the Spirit of God, departs from him and he remains alive in the flesh only, although he retains the spirit, breath, of a man, capable of knowing God.

How can Mankind regain this Spirit of God?

Ye must be born again,” read John 3:1-21.
John 3:5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again,”
John 3:16-21: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.”

New Covenant: Flesh vs. Spirit and Law vs. Grace

The Dichotomy

The major difference between the Old Covenant Law versus the New Covenant of Grace is only a portion of the basic dichotomy between the Flesh and the Spirit. The Flesh must be ruled by the Law, but the Spirit must be free and must rule over the Flesh.

The Law is not obsolete, but is only a means of restraining the Flesh and identifying sin and its purpose was to bring us to Christ. The Law is good if it is used lawfully.

However, the Law is bondage without the indwelling Spirit. Christianity is not anarchy, but rather the inward operation of the Law by the indwelling Spirit, as opposed to the doctrines of the Pharisees which created and taught an outward, ritual obedience without the right attitudes and motivations of the Holy Spirit. They saw the Law as putting one between the yoke and the ox-goad: The yoke to restrain you from doing what you wanted and the ox-goad to prod you to do what you did not want to do.

It is the Flesh that is opposed to the Spirit, and they war against each other.

Galatians 5:16-25:
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”

Note the conditional phrase preceded by the word ‘IF’. The implication here is that ‘IF’ you are not led of the Spirit, ye are under the law. The Law is for governing the Flesh. The Flesh must be kept under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  Just to remove all doubt as to what is meant by “the Flesh” we are given the details:

“Now the works of the Flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” Galatians 5:19-31.

And just to remove all doubts as to what is meant by “walking in the Spirit” he give us the following details:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,” Galatians 5:22-25.

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

This makes it quite clear that the Grace offered by the Spirit/Faith does not give a license to sin. Quite the contrary. Walking in the Flesh produces the stated results and consequences, clearly spelled out in verses 19, 20, and 21. And the fruits of the Spirit are spelled out in verses 22-25.

The Flesh must be crucified, slain, deprived of life. It is the Spirit, [Breath], that gives Life, as in Genesis 2:7. This death and resurrection is portrayed in Baptism. Jesus did not come to make bad men good, but rather to make dead men live. There is a vast difference between the two ideas. Jesus came to restore the Breath/Spirit of Life.

Some Definitions

It might be helpful to spell out some definitions of some of the terms you will find in your Scripture references.

The Flesh: [As opposed to The Spirit] “Carnality, sensuality, the seat of appetites, specifically sexual.”

Fleshly: “(1) Bodily, (2) sensual, lascivious, carnal.”

Carnal: (synonyms): “fleshly, sensual, animal, of the body as flesh. As opposed to spiritual”

Carnality: “state of being carnal. Habitual indulgence in desires having a physical origin, commonly, bestiality, [brutal].”

Sensuous: (1) Addressing the senses, (sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling); (2) Characterized by sense impressions or imagery addressing the senses – as sensuous descriptions; (3) Highly susceptible to influence through the senses.

[Note: This describes most advertisements, especially on TV. To catch a mouse you have to bait the trap with something he likes. Satan traps us through the lusts of the flesh. The advertisers have learned this from him.]

Sensual: “Pertaining to, or consisting in, the gratification of the senses, or the indulgence of appetite; fleshly.”

Lascivious: (1) “wanton, lewd, lustful; (2) tending to produce lewd emotions.”

Lewd: (1) wicked, worthless, base; (2) lustful, lascivious, unchaste.”

May you be blessed and warned by this lesson.


Sanctification: Is It an Obsolete Doctrine?

Fifty or sixty years ago the ‘Holiness’ Churches taught sanctification. The debate was whether it is a second work of grace, or is it an ongoing process. Whichever it was, they taught that it must precede the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, for the Holy Spirit will not dwell in an unclean temple. The mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early twentieth century came upon those who had taught and practiced Holiness unto the Lord.

The Church of God, (Cleveland), of which I was a member, taught that it is the second work of grace and requires total commitment. That is, it requires the crucifixion of the Flesh and total dedication, nothing reserved. Some of their practices are now belittled and often ridiculed, like modesty in dress and style, disciplined sexuality, forbidden use of addictive substances, non-participation in worldly entertainments such as movies, dancing, gambling, etc. These practices are now seen as legalisms but they did furnish a great deal of protection from the spirits and powers that have now brought our culture to ruin.

I still believe that true Christianity requires sanctification. This is the truth that should be restored to our teachings and doctrines and practices. These things that seemed so hard and grievous to us now were actually easy compared to that Baptism of the death of the Flesh, sanctification.

As to the debate, I now realize that sanctification must also be an ongoing process. Like when a baby is first born, it must be washed thoroughly and the mucous removed from its throat. But after a day and night, it must again be cleaned up and mollified with ointments, salves and powders and changes of garment. In the Christian experience, we find that the old crucified Flesh tries to resurrect quite often and has to be severely dealt with and put down under the control of the Holy Spirit.

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway,” I Corinthians 9:27.

What is ‘sanctification’?*

First of all it is Holiness: Leviticus 11:44:

“For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves and ye shall be holy; for I am holy.”

It is God’s will: I Thessalonians 4:3-8:

“For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man but God who also giveth unto us his holy Spirit.”

Second, sanctification is total commitment and dedication:

Romans 8:10, 13:
“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

The meaning of Baptism: Death, Burial and Resurrection,

Romans 6:1-23:
(1) “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
(2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
(3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
(4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
(5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:
(6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
(7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.
(8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
(9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
(10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
(13) Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.
(14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
(15) What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
(16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
(17) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
(18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
(19) I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
(20) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
(21) What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things [is] death.
(22)But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
(23) For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

It is a Covenant

You make a Covenant with the Lord by the sacrifice of yourself: “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice,” Psalm 50:5. The Old Covenant sacrifices were but a shadow of the New Testament reality of the sacrifices of oneself, sanctification.

*Strong’s Concordance: sanctification (Hebrew #6942) “Make… pronounce, or observe as clean, (ceremonially or morally), dedicate, hallow, be/keep holy, … purify, sanctify.”

The Law – Do We Need It Now?

Let’s start from the beginning.

Genesis 1:26-28: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
(27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.
(28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

God’s First Law: The Breath/Spirit Of Life

Since God is a Spirit, and created Man in His own image, Man was created as a Spirit. We have a soul; we live in a body of flesh; but we are a Spirit. Genesis 2:7: ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Note that the word ‘breath’ is the same word as ‘spirit’ in Hebrew. God breathed His Spirit into Adam. The Spirit is the “breath of Life.” This is the first law: The “Law of the Breath/Spirit of Life,” Romans 8:1-2.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit/Breath of Life hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

The Law of Sin and Death

Genesis 2:16-17: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This is the law of sin and death, see Romans 8:2

Before the fall, Man’s whole volition, intention, and natural spontaneous impulses were to do God’s will in the Spirit. When Mankind fell into sin, however, his Spirit, the inner man, died and it became necessary for his flesh to be ruled by the force of law. This condition required an atoning death, and so the whole Old Testament sacrificial system was established in order to teach Mankind the necessity of sacrificing the Flesh to redeem the Spirit.

In the fullness of time, Christ came, died the atoning death for all Mankind, and offered the resurrected Life to whosoever will. In His resurrected Body, He restored God’s original intention for Mankind; that is, that they would be alive in the Spirit/Breath, ruling, taking dominion over every living thing, including his own fleshly body.

However, not all would be willing to accept this New Birth, this Life from the Dead. So, for those, the Law must still be enforced upon the outward man. And the Spirit Man, the inner man, the real person, must rule his own flesh by the Law. The Law is still necessary to bring the Flesh, the outward man, into obedience to God’s Law until and unless he is born again of the Spirit.

As born-again Christians, we naturally fulfill the law. Our righteousness will exceed that of the Pharisees who were so diligent to keep the letter of the law while twisting and perverting it. Our righteousness must not only keep the true letter of the law, but also keep the Spirit of the law: willing and intuitive obedience to the Spirit of God. For the Christians, keeping the Law is not grievous but the natural thing to do.