The law promotes black and white thinking. And the illusion of certainty. As a child of the knowledge of good and evil the law births a culture of dualism and false contrasts. Thus the aficionado of the law will see a draft board of ‘truth’ in a Bible study centered on statements and positions but may see little if anything in a discourse that is pure spirit and life.
SOLIDITY AND LIFE
Spirit and life is the substance of the Kingdom. The letter is the myths and lies of the tree of death.* The tree of knowledge is the tree of death on which Jesus was crucified. At best it dulls people and at worst it kills people. Jesus faced down the lie, confronted it. Was crucified on it and in doing so overcame its colossal conceit in claiming to offer a higher life.
In Himself Jesus became the tree of life by excising the tree of knowledge from the earth and making Himself and His cross the Tree of Life.
‘The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit’ 1 Cor 2.14 NIV.
Any attachment to the law causes detachment from the Spirit.
THE WHO OF YOU
We invent ourselves from the beliefs in which we choose to retain ourselves. From inside a law culture we can be liberal in outlook yet miss the new covenant mode of the Spirit entirely. Miss it because we have never gone beyond a system of belief into genuine life in the Spirit.
PRISON OF THE LETTER
As much as we may talk anointing and ‘having’ the Holy Spirit, we never get to live in the Spirit because we have created ourselves in the letter that kills: In the letter that cannot ‘see’ life and consistently redefines the things of the Spirit into the letter with formulations and methods.
To be a messenger of the letter is not to place us in the mindset of the ‘hard right.’ But it is to make us a fellow traveller and a participant in that variety of stagnation that eliminates spiritual discernment. Addiction to the letter is an example of the mystery of iniquity: Mysterious because for reasons of their own, letter addicts prefer darkness rather than light.
There’s a lot in ‘Seeing.’ Well, ‘seeing’ is everything.
CHASING THE MIRAGE
‘Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again’ John 3.3 NIV.
The new birth marks our transition from ‘knowing’ in the tree to ‘knowing’ in God. Once we have made this transition we have made a journey from words as bits of information to words as spirit and life.
We will know clearly what the Bible is saying when we have entered oneness with Jesus. The lens of the law distorts the entire Bible and warps our being in Christ. Religion leaves us near the life of Jesus and the apostles but not in it. We really do find our lives, find ourselves, find truth in increasing revelation when we lose ourselves entirely to Jesus. The latter is not a one-off event.
Growth into the spirit of sonship and the emergence of our own glory is a life of progressing dying to what we though we were and rising to who we really are in the person of Jesus. This is not a duty. It’s an adventure.
Entering the new covenant leaves dualism behind and unites us with God and truth. Truth is personal and relational and is discerned in union with God. Because Christ is our life – which is the core of new covenant being – truth is our life. We are not just privy to revelation. We ‘know’ the truth that sets us free.
SPIRIT AND LIFE
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63.
We cannot be spirit and life, know it or see it if we are captured in the old covenant and the law. Here we are eating the fruit of blindness and death even though we have been delivered from Adam and positioned in Christ.
LEARN FROM THIS PARABLE
We live in what we believe. Rick Joyner’s vision entitled The Torch and the Sword is an accurate description of the intellectual daze and spiritual blindness that afflicts us in the culture of the knowledge of good and evil.
In Jesus, as distinct from Adam, righteousness not only becomes us. Truth becomes us. This is the effect of union with God. It is one of the delights of the spirit of sonship.
BELIEVING IS SEEING
‘Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again" John 3.3 NIV. If our culture is law and old covenant it is possible that we have never seen the Kingdom of God.
The dualistic mind is the mind formed from the compartments and structures of the tree of knowledge. It is the natural position of the old covenant believer and the position that denies the visibility of the Kingdom of God. It contains us in woodenness, false certainty and blindness and is the reason why law-embeddedness leaves us with diseased spiritual eye sight. Richard Rohr writes,
PURE IN HEART
“The dualistic mind immediately attacks paradox as weak thinking or confusion, separate from hard logic. The very modern phenomenon of fundamentalism shows an almost complete incapacity to deal with paradox, and shows how much we have regressed. But today, thank God, what mystics have always known, great scientists now teach as well, and the church is trying to catch up after a long amnesia.” (1)
The issue is, are we trying to catch up or are we continuing to doze in our favorite fantasies and falling into a coma in our self-made identity?
‘I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him’ 2 Cor 11.2 NIV. The pure in heart will see God. The divided in heart will see their own illusions.
* The tree of knowledge of good and evil, aka the law, appears to offer strength and practicality. Its real nature is well illustrated by Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings. Where he pictures its effects on a variety of characters, particularly the orcs. His trilogy illustrates not only the power of Christ in the party whose enterprise effect the Return of the King but the hideous strength of the witchcraft that inhabits the degrees of evil that attend the power of the one ring.