So then experiencing separation from God was new to him. Experiencing frailty was new to him. Experiencing the substance of iniquity was new to him. Sin was strange to him because he was formed in the presence of God and daily communed with Him in the environment prepared by God (garden) for their fellowship... this had been his common experience.
In contrast, we were born in these bodies of death and in the environment of this world which is now filled with darkness instead of the Shekhinah. So then we were born strangers to God and familiar with sin as the only system we had ever known prior to the awakening of God's grace to illuminate us to the need for Christ.
Our hearts must be circumcised by Him so that we may transition from darkness to light even as Adam had to make the transition from light to darkness. The transition of light to dark wreaked havoc within the soul of Man. We can see this effect in our yards or a field during a drought. In the absence of water, the soil begins to dry out, shrink, crack, and crumble. While it was once profitable for growing grain, now only weeds grow. So also in the soul of Man in the absence of the actual power and presence of Christ.
When looking at what our hearts must be circumcised from, we see that, by reason of sin, we had embraced various philosophies and put our confidence in the use of many tools to find our way in this world. We were able to make logical connections between our desire to advance and increase and these philosophies and tools of our selection. In doing so, we were molding our confidence with these things and being conformed by them. As time went on, we began to show tenacity towards these things in that it proved difficult for us to separate ourselves from them even when we desired to do so.
These philosophies, from the perspective of the throne of God, are called idolatry. This is because there is no life in them. There is a power that works with them to inflame the passions and to excite the imagination with many projections of what could be, but there is no power in them to fulfill the expectations they are setting. While we can imagine anything, the imagination is without power to produce substance. For that we use knowledge and tools to work with another power... if that knowledge and those tools are not issued by God, then the substance will reflect death which is separation from God. This substance of death is known as the fruit of iniquity.
We can identify the source of the power and knowledge being used to produce substance by examining the fruit of making application with them. We see internal conflict, divisions, strife, anger, bitterness, and envy within ourselves and with one another as a result of our working with the wrong knowledge and wrong tools. We shall know them by their fruit (substance). (Matthew 7:16) We know that this was our common experience and we hear this testimony in the lips of both those who identify themselves with Christ and those who don't. This is why the world looks upon religion as hypocrisy. While speaking of another kingdom, the fruit is the same as the kingdom of this world.
Jesus Christ came in the form of flesh to set forth a pattern and path for faith to follow by those who were also in the form of flesh. He provided us with new knowledge and a new power which work with new tools to produce new fruit. And not only producing new fruit, but through His work of purging, scourging, cleansing, and healing, He also circumcises our hearts from the substance of darkness which had been formed within our souls.
The power of the substance which we once found difficult to let go of can only be cut away by the greater power provided from above through the new covenant knowledge and fire of His Holy Spirit. But first, we must transition from molding our confidence with false knowledge, unclean tools, and lesser powers.
Having been illuminated by grace, we know that by our own logic and by resourcing those things which seemed right in our sight, we wound up experiencing great and horrific unintended consequences. Let us be sure that the results... or substance... or fruit testifies against those things which were were embracing. No matter how much we found favor with those things, they produced substance which is estranged from God and unacceptable in His sight.
Therefore we must now receive the engrafting of His Spirit within our hearts through the SEAL of the Spirit which is evidenced by the prayer language of tongues. This is the new power from above which is the first point of our separation from the world. This is the power from on high which Jesus commanded His apostles to wait for before doing anything else after His death and resurrection. (Luke 24:49) They were not to attempt to evangelize the world apart from this power because without it, their testimony and teaching would be without power.
As the baptism of the Spirit with tongues equips us with the power necessary to effect change within the soul, the Spirit of God will not work with the idolatry we had grown accustomed to. So then our illumination by grace and our having received His Spirit with tongues is ineffectual for fruit bearing until we also receive instruction in the pattern of truth taught by His living apostles. We can understand this by looking at a seed.
A seed contains the pattern from which the tree and fruit grow. This seed must be within the proper environment for growth, supplied with proper nutrients, and exposed to light and water from above. So also with the forming of Christ in us. The knowledge of Christ is the seed which must be sown with our hearts and we must remain in daily contact with the nutrients necessary for spiritual growth. These nutrients are received by daily contact with the grace and truth of God. We are granted access to these through the contact points sanctified by God for our faith.
The transition and the circumcision take place as we begin the process of being converted. We are learning new knowledge through instruction under the oversight of sanctified stewardship. We are not receiving instruction from man but from God for He is ministering the grace to His stewards who are instructing us in His way of righteousness. The source can be identified by the fruit. Those who receive instruction from covenant apostles of Christ experience the power and presence of Christ confirming the knowledge they teach. (Galatians 4:14)
So also, by the Spirit opening their understanding, do they find the Bible confirms the knowledge they are receiving. While they were not able to come to the knowledge of truth by private interpretation, by studying the doctrine taught by living apostles, they are now receiving Christ in truth and are given the eyes of the Spirit to behold Christ clearly as God always speaks with one voice concerning His plan of redemption. (2 Timothy 3:7, 2 Peter 1:20, 2 Peter 3:16)
As we begin to mold our confidence now with this new knowledge, we are learning to work with this new power of the Holy Spirit and growing competent in handling His knowledge and this power... the instruction is necessary for the power to become productive. This is also true with electricity and fire. A child can use either to burn down a house or cause great damage to themselves or others but electricians and chefs can use these same powers to heat a home and prepare a meal... both require instruction to learn how to work with these powers effectively. So also with the Spirit of God which is the divine power necessary for us to take on His divine nature. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
While most see no need for apostles and and many see no need for the baptism of the Spirit with the witness of tongues, their fruit testifies against them. If there is no need for these things, then why aren't they experiencing freedom from sin and abounding in the fruit of righteousness? If they have all that they need apart from these things, why is each embracing a variation of Christ... why aren't they able to speak with one voice? Is it not that they are all working various spirits (powers) and doctrines (knowledge) which is not from above? We see Apostle James addressing this same conflict in the early church in James 4:1-10.
We see that Apostle John of the first century concluded his first epistle with the words, "Little children, keep yourselves form idols. Amen." Those Apostle James was addressing had not given heed to this warning and had began to mix the philosophies of the world into the doctrine of Christ and even a little leaven leavens the whole lump... rendering it ineffectual. For the Spirit of God will not work with error to produce the fruit of righteousness. (1 Corinthians 5:6-7, Galatians 5:9)
Come then, let use assist you in your joy and in learning how to walk with God and have Him take pleasure in the sacrifices of your faith. We have been sent by Him to preach this original gospel again in truth, free from error, so that all those with ears to hear may join themselves to Christ and free themselves from sin.
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