The scriptures we will read are very familiar to us, so listen carefully. Sometimes we miss the revelation that takes us a step further into God’s world because we tend to see them as we always have. Each step we take is the foundation for the next step. There are two worlds – the world of man and God’s world. While the presence of the Lord is here with us, we also realize we are very far apart. That is because our flesh nature in its fallen state cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (I Corinthians 15:50). Our need is to move into God’s world. Christians, though, are usually trying to bring God into their world and in doing so they are working against the will of God.
Paul said, “The letter kills but the Spirit gives life” (II Corinthians 3:6). What is he talking about when he says the letter of the Word kills? If you are only receiving the information in the Bible, you’re not going to receive life. Jesus told the Pharisees the same thing, “You search the Scriptures because in them you think you have eternal life, but they are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). Of course, the Pharisees thought, “They testify of You?” All they had was the Old Testament and they said, “Well, Moses talked about the law, the sacrifices and the offerings. We don’t remember Moses ever saying anything about You.” But Jesus said, “He spoke of Me.” It’s not the letter of the Word that we’re after but the Spirit of the Word. We want to hear what God is speaking! Everything in this Bible is written in man’s language and grammar, but underneath is the heavenly Word. I’m sure most of you understand music enough to know what it means to transpose from one key to another. Well, to properly understand what the Spirit is saying in the Scriptures they have to be transposed to God’s world. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches…. Revelation 2:7.
Isaiah 55:8-9 My thoughts are
not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
God’s thoughts and man’s thoughts are not the same, and they never will be. God’s ways and man’s ways are not the same, and they never will be. Also, God does not change (Malachi 3:6). God is not going to change His thoughts and ways to be compatible with man. We will have to learn how to think like God; we will have to learn His ways. What God is doing He’s not doing according to the ways of humans. He takes the weak to confound the strong and the foolish to confound the wise. He chooses the base things of this world. He chooses that which the world despises (I Corinthians 1:27-28).
Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Man does not inhabit eternity. When you receive resurrection life, it won’t be normal life extended. God lives in eternity and He doesn’t think like we do. He doesn’t do things the way humans do them. So we have to learn to think like Him. Paul said, “We have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16). So Christians will often say, “We have the mind of Christ, because Paul said so.” Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you have the mind of Christ. “Well, who does have the mind of Christ?” Paul and the others who do have the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ is something we have to obtain. It’s not something you automatically receive when you become a Christian.
God lives in eternity. His name is Holy and He dwells in a high and holy place with him that is humble and contrite of heart. God’s realm is the realm of eternity where there is no time. How many times have we said, “In the timing of the Lord or in God’s timing, such and such will happen?” God doesn’t have timing. He does not dwell in the realm of time; He dwells in the realm of eternity. Let’s go to Romans 12. This is a very familiar one, too.
Romans 12:1-2 I
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We are already conformed to this world. What we need to do is become un-conformed to it. We have to learn to think differently – the way God thinks. Now if we’re going to reach into the mysteries of the Kingdom, our thinking will have to change, our mind must be renewed so we can understand the ways of God, the way He speaks and explains things.
Be transformed… The Greek word for transform is metamorphoo. Our English word metamorphosis is derived from it. What does it mean? It means a change of life form. That is what we have been talking about. We need a change of life form; we need to be born from above, born again. That is much more than receiving forgiveness. You can say, “I’ve been forgiven of my sins; I’m born again.” No, you now have come to the place where you have the right to become. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe into His name. John 1:12. Many Christians have closed the door to becoming what God wants them to be by assuming their born-again experience is complete. It’s a process and the process has begun, but it’s too early to say it is completed.
Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust
in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Here is human nature: A group of people can come up with a solution to a certain problem and everybody will have their own opinion, and everybody will think their opinion is better than the others. They are wise in their own eyes. Human nature itself isn’t very teachable. It is wise already. Have you ever tried to teach someone who feels they already know? Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and depart from evil. What is the evil? Is He saying don’t commit any sins? No, that is not what He is talking about. The evil is the evil of leaning upon your own understanding; the evil of being wise in your own eyes.
Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the man who walks not in the
counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat
of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law he meditates day and night.
Understand here that the righteous man is the Christ coming forth in us, and the ungodly is our human nature. Do not merely see this as ungodly people from whom you would not want to receive counsel. Our flesh nature is ungodly. So the psalmist is saying, “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of his own human thinking, of his own flesh nature, nor stands in the way of that sinning nature.” When the Scriptures talk about sin, it’s not talking so much about what you do or say as it does what you are. What you are is the real problem. You must be born again!
His delight is in the law…. Now the word for “law” is torah. Don’t think about “the law” as “thou shalt not this” and “thou shalt not that.” It means teaching. Thou shalt delight in the teachings of the Lord.
…and in His teachings does he meditate day and night. Now this is probably one that needs a little repentance. “Don’t know that I’ve delighted over the teachings of the Lord that much lately.” All right, repent and determine in your heart that you’re going to delight in His teachings. What causes you to not delight in the teachings of the Lord? It’s your flesh nature. So you see, it is not the devil out there somewhere that’s the big problem. The problem is in us. We have to overcome our flesh nature. That is where the problem lies. You shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water…when you start delighting in the Word and meditating on it.
Colossians 1:25-27: I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God…. The NASB says “stewardship from God.” In other words, Paul is saying, “I realized the responsibility I have to the royal family of God.” That is the kind of ministry he had …which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery…. A good study for you sometime is to look up the word “mystery” and read all the scriptures concerning it, particularly in the New Testament. The Word of God is a mystery; it’s hidden. The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations…. Now these ages and generations are not people. What are ages and generations? They are time segments, time segments on a timeline. History is past, present, and future. That’s where man lives. Man lives on a timeline. You have your past, your present right now, and the future of what you’re going to walk in and do. This is the normal way of man’s life, on a timeline. So people think on a timeline. They think about what God has done in the past and what He is going to do in the future. That was the problem of the Pharisees. They shut up the Kingdom of God against men. They wouldn’t enter in and they wouldn’t let anyone else enter in because they kept everything on a timeline. They talked about what God did and what He was going to do, but they didn’t open up a present relationship with the Lord.
The mystery of God is not found on a timeline. In other words, it’s not found where human thinking lies, where the flesh life is. It’s hidden from the ages and from the generations. It’s hidden from the timeline. I’ve just told you that God is eternal. He lives in a realm of eternity. There is no time there, and if we’re going to begin seeing the mysteries of the Kingdom of God then we will have to tune in and learn how to receive from the realm of eternity. The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now it is being made manifest to the saints. What is this mystery? In the next verse, Paul tells us what that mystery is.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Paul is not talking about “I’ve got Christ in my heart. I’m saved now. By faith I have Him in my heart.” No, he’s talking about His life really coming forth in us, a real change of nature. So, this mystery hidden from the timeline is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Christ in you is the hope of glory; Christ functioning through you is the glory. His glory is manifested by moving out of time into eternity.
Copyright © 2006 by Henry DuBose