We have a problem! God’s world is drawing close to us (II Thessalonians 2:1) and we are not accustomed to thinking as He does. Have you ever wondered why there are so many different kinds of churches today? Some believe one thing and some another; they can’t seem to agree on what the Scriptures are telling us. The problem is that we haven’t learned to think like God; and, of course, we can’t learn to think like Him until we begin receiving the mind of Christ. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5.
carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Your human nature will not draw you to God. The carnal mind, which is your human mind, is God’s enemy. It will not lead you to God. Your reasoning will lead you away from the Lord. Verse 6 says that the carnal mind is death and I Corinthians 15:26 says that the last enemy to be destroyed is death. So the last thing to be overcome by God is your thinker. If He can get it conquered, then He can teach you how to walk with Him and live in His world.
Do you know where Jesus was crucified? Golgotha! (Matthew 27:33). What does Golgotha mean? The place of the skull! That is where you will need to die. The Scriptures confirm it in many places. Lean not upon thine own understanding…Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil (Proverbs 3:5,7). What evil? The evil of leaning upon your own understanding.
On one occasion a man said unto Jesus, “Master, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus responded, “The foxes have their holes and the birds have their nests, but the Son of man doesn’t have a place to lay His head” (Matthew 8:19-20). We need to understand that Jesus wasn’t merely saying that He didn’t have a place to sleep. Mystically, He was saying that He did not have a place to lay His Headship. Who is willing to forsake their carnal mind and let the Headship of the Lord rule over them? After all, that is what it really means to be a Christian. Christianity has become so watered down. It has been relegated to something far less than what the Scriptures speak of. “Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you are ready to go to heaven.” That is not true! You have, at that point, just gotten to the place where you can begin learning how to walk with. Being forgiven of your sins doesn’t make you what He wants you do be; that comes as you appropriate His life.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent.
To know the Lord is life eternal – not knowing about Him, but really knowing Him. “Well, I’m a Christian. I know what my pastor says about Him, and I know what the Scriptures say about Him.” That isn’t knowing the Lord. You are learning to know the Lord when you begin experiencing His life and He is living in you.
On one occasion a scribe asked Jesus, “What is the first commandment?” meaning the most important of all. Jesus responded saying, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment (Mark 12:28-30). This most important commandment is not found among the Ten Commandments. All but one of the Ten Commandments is negative, saying, “Thou shalt not…” The only exception is the one that says to honor your father and mother. Jesus did not pick any of those Ten when asked which commandment was most important. Too many Christians major on the negatives – “If you want to be a good Christian, here are the things you shouldn’t do.” That’s not it! You can not do all those things and still be no closer to God than when you did them. It is not how many bad things you don’t do, but how much of God you get in your life that matters. Learn to love the Lord with all your heart, soul mind, and strength.
God has a plan! And if we don’t know His plan, we have a problem! Have you ever read the last chapter of a book first to see how it turned out? Let’s go to the end of the Book of Revelation and see if we can get some clues to how God’s plan turns out.
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.
The Body of Christ is becoming the new heaven and new earth. Our adamic nature is giving way to a new nature. We are becoming the New Jerusalem. We are becoming the city of God.
Jesus told His disciples, Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. They might have said, “No, Master, You are the Light of the world” (John 8:12). And He would have responded, “Well, I’m making you the light of the world, too, and a city on a hill.” We are becoming the city of God. That is what’s happening now, but we are having a little problem with that because we haven’t learned how to think like “city of God dwellers.”
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
He is not saying that we come down out of heaven. This is a word picture to present a spiritual truth. The phrase “coming down out of heaven” means the city of God is a heavenly or spiritual work. We are being created by God. So it is pictured as coming down from God.
Revelation 21:3 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.
Where is the tabernacle of God where God will dwell? It is with men. He has become Emmanuel – God with us! While many are expecting to go up in the sky somewhere to be with the Lord, He is coming down to dwell in His chosen ones. God is creating Himself a dwelling place here on earth. Does that sound strange to you? Read II Corinthians 6:16: Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them (that is obviously not speaking of the Lord coming in bodily form, but His life), and walk in them (He is going to function in and through the Body of Christ); and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
We have a problem understanding what God is doing and what He is trying to reveal to us. We tend to think in absolutes – we are saved or not saved; we are going to heaven or we are gong to hell. It isn’t that simple! II Thessalonians 1:10 says, When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. That isn’t speaking of the Lord coming in bodily form. It is speaking of Him coming forth in us. It is a spiritual coming of His life and presence in us. We tend to only think of a bodily coming of the Lord as a future event. This coming of His presence is taking place now. It is an ongoing coming of His presence to those who can receive Him.
The Greek word for “coming” here is erchomai. It means “to come” or “to go” or “to come and go.” In other words, He is coming in His saints “to go and come.” He is going to function in and through the Body of Christ. This is a problem for many Christians. They want to do good works for the Lord, but what He wants is to work through us. It is difficult for man to understand God. We have a problem! But it can easily be solved by submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Empty yourself of self that He might come forth in your life.
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose