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C-16

Understanding Life in the Spirit


For those who live according to the flesh set their
minds on the things of the flesh, but those who
live according to the Spirit, the things of the
Spirit (Romans 8:13, emphasis added).

When Jesus was on earth He lived His life in


heaven. No one has ascended to heaven but He
who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of
Man who is in heaven (John 3:13, emphasis
added). To understand life in the Spirit you must
understand your triune nature. If you have a deep
understanding of how your triune nature is
operating in the dispensation of imperfection you
can live your life in the realm of heaven (spirit).
Spiritual revelation and discernment joined with
faith creates skillfulness in all dimensions of
godliness. Mental knowledge puffs up.

Let me explain it through an example. Many years


ago I was a highly qualified university lecturer and
Head of Department at a prominent university in
my city. There was an older person among my staff
with only a masters-degree but he had years of
practical experience as a practitioner. Some
outstanding universities and professional institutes
in the country considered me an expert on certain
aspects of my subject. Suffering from academic
arrogance I thought nobody could teach me
anything. In my heart I was looking down on this
old man because I considered him less skillful than
me. Then I had a dream that I must redo all my
academic qualifications, which I have obtained from
academic universities, at a university of technology
and this old man would be my tutor. In this dream
the Holy Spirit told me that to know something on a
mental level is not the same as to acquire the skill.
Theory only becomes useful when you can
successfully apply it in organizational systems.

It is erroneous to assume that when you acquired


certain knowledge that you are also skillful in that
field. For example, to study books on intercession
does not make you an intercessor. It just gives you
an overview of how some authors practice and
experience intercession and prayer. To become an
intercessor and prayer warrior you need to exercise
intercession and prayer until you are skillful in it.
The skill must be developed with the Holy Spirit as
your tutor until you walk competent and faithfully in
it. Prayer and intercession is an inseparable part of
an intimate relationship with the Lord. Prayer will
become a major activity in the evil days ahead of
the Church. When you exercise prayer and
intercession long enough and you have become
faithful in it you have gained firsthand experience
of how to intercede and pray effectively and
purposefully. As an intercessor you will experience
a certain level of fulfillment. I am emphasizing “a
certain level” because though you may be skillful in
intercession and prayer you will always grow in it
providing you remain faithful in practicing it. After
you have obtained the skill and then neglect it you
will not lose the skill but you will become clumsy in
its application just like any other skill you have
neglected. But reject profane and old wives’ fables,
and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily
exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable
for all things, having promise of the life that now is
and of that which is to come (1 Timothy 4:7-8,
emphasis added).

Jesus was the greatest teacher ever. His greatest


teachings were demonstrations of how He lived His
life in oneness with the Father as an example for
others to follow. To teach man he had to become
like man that man could become like Him. He had
to empty Himself of His divine glory and He took on
the form of a bondservant and came to the earth in
the form of fallen man. God is Spirit, so, Jesus had
to put on a body of flesh to house His Spirit and
have a soul in His blood to become like man. So,
Christ became like man, having a spirit, soul and a
body. Though He came in the form of fallen man He
was sinless, the Lamb of God without blemish.

Adam in his innocence was perfect. His spirit, soul


and body was alive to God, meaning that he could
observe God with his spirit, soul and body. He lived
in the Garden of Eden where heaven and earth was
one realm. God is one and His kingdom is one
because there is no division in Him. When the New
Jerusalem will come down from heaven to the
earth, the earth (natural) will be married to heaven
(spirit) in oneness again. Because Adam was
created a living soul he related to God, Eve and the
rest of creation mainly from impulses from his soul.
It was not improper because his soul was filled with
the light of God’s perfection.

When Adam sinned he divided the universe into the


spirit realm and the physical and psychic spheres of
the natural realm. Because Adam became enmity
against God, God divorced Himself from Adam and
choose His abode to be in heaven, which is the
realm of Spirit. Just like the Father forsook Christ on
account of our sin he has forsaken Adam on
account of his own transgression. Two is the
number of division, which denotes there is a
second. The Lord would not share his glorious
dwelling with fallen man, which is dead to Him and
separated from His person. God condemned Adam
and creation under his domain to live in the lower
realms of the natural, namely, the physical and
psychic realms. Adam had also division in himself;
therefore, he occupied the physical realm with his
body and lived in the psychic (soulish) realm with
His soul. Adam was no longer aware of God’s
presence because He lived in a different realm
(kingdom) as God. With time, because of division,
as a result of sin, the earth was divided into the
many kingdoms of men. Sin and death brought
division because it came as a result of the fruit of
the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The tree of
knowledge is death as it is a source of knowledge
independent from Christ. And though I have the gift
of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all
knowledge [tree of knowledge], and though I
have all faith, so that I could remove mountains,
but have not love [tree of life], I am nothing (1
Corinthians 13:2).

When Adam sinned he lived in the physical realm


with his body and psychic realm with his soul, the
sphere of the natural. He was not capable of living
in the Spirit, because Christ, which is the only
access to God, has not yet paved the way. Adam
searched out knowledge through observation of his
five bodily senses and then he was interpreting the
data through his intellect and emotions to make
sense out of life. This was futility because it was
knowledge obtained independently from God,
which is death. Consequently, unredeemed man,
with every consecutive generation, wandered
further away from God. The only hope man had,
was to wait for the day of Christ.

So, Christ, Son of God, humbled Himself to


become Son of Man (likeness of sinful Adam) that
he could demonstrate to those in Him how they as
imperfect human beings should walk in a broken
universe as sons of God. Jesus, like man, had a
spirit, a soul and a body. What was the difference
between Him and man? Firstly, Christ was alive to
the Father in his, spirit, soul and body; though in
the form of fallen man he was perfect, without sin.
Unredeemed man is dead to God in his spirit, soul
and body; the epitome of death as a result of sin.
Redeemed man is only alive to God in his spirit
because of righteousness. He is dead in his body to
God because of sin. His soul, which is in his blood,
is enmity against God (Romans 8:10, 7).
Secondly, Christ is a quickening spirit meaning
that He related to God and to all of creation
primarily from His Spirit. Although He was perfect in
His Spirit, soul and body yet He was not moved by
the observation of His bodily senses or His heart’s
feelings or anticipation of a gut-feel or according to
a conclusion of His intellect. …I do nothing of
Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these
things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father
has not left Me alone, for I always do those
things that please Him (John 8:28b-29, emphasis
added). He lived His life on earth responding from
His Spirit but He could have responded from His
soul or bodily impulses also because He was perfect
in all respect, He could not err, yet He emptied
Himself of that privilege that He may show man the
way of life. In other words, He lived not by bread
alone but responded to every word that proceeds
from the mouth of God. Jesus demonstrated to man
when He was tempted by the devil how to defeat
him by responding with the word of God. Christ was
not just quoting Scripture; it came from His deepest
innermost Spirit because He is the Word of God
that became flesh. Because the Word was flesh He
fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. The moment
the Word of God (Christ) became flesh the
Law and Prophets started to come into
fulfillment.

Unredeemed man is of the seed of the first Adam


who was a living soul. This means that he responds
to his immediate environment primarily from the
desires of his corrupted heart. The heart is deceitful
above all things, and desperately wicked; who can
know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). He is moved by the
feelings of his emotions and by the reasoning of his
confused understanding of the universe. But the
natural man does not receive the things of the
Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor
can he know them, because they are spiritually
discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). Unredeemed man is
moved by his imperfect nature that is in enmity
with God (Romans 8:7). That is why wicked man is
busy to destroy the earth by perverting the truth
because of his perpetual isolation from God.

When a man turns to Christ the veil of the flesh is


taken away (2 Corinthians 3:16). Redeemed man
is in Christ and therefore has excess to God and
he can see the kingdom of God. Redeemed man,
through faith, can live in the Spirit while being alive
in his body. Christ is the starting point of redeemed
man’s journey of faith in the Spirit and Christ is also
man’s completeness. Christ is the alpha and
omega, beginning and the end of man’s faith and
every step in-between. For to me, to live is Christ…
(Philippians 1:21a). For man to do the will of God
and to accomplish his purpose on earth, the word of
God and man’s heart must be united in faith. To
the degree the word of God in man becomes
flesh, to that same degree the purpose of God
for his life will start to come into fulfillment.

Thirdly, Christ is the Creator, Maintainer and


Redeemer of creation and man is part of Christ’s
creation while regenerated man is part of the
redeemed of the Lord. It was fitting for the Creator
and Maintainer of all things to become Redeemer of
His own creation. Christ reconciled fallen man to
God in Himself. Life must be viewed in the light of
God’s eternal purpose to bring forth many sons
(nothing to do with gender) to glory. For it was
fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by
whom are all things, in bringing many sons to
glory… (Hebrews 2:10a, emphasis added).

Christ, the Son of God, became Son of Man that the


sons of man could become sons of God. In Christ
you are predestined to be conformed to the image
of God’s Son that you may learn to live according to
the Spirit and not the dictates of your flesh. When
you came to Christ only your spirit was quickened
to God because when you were joined to Him your
spirit became one with His Spirit and you share in
His righteousness. Though you are in Christ, your
body is still mortal and subject to corruption and
your soul is still enmity against God. Although
Christ has completed His work on the cross the
universe is still divided into the spirit and natural
realms. The work of Christ is complete but not the
restoration process of the New Covenant. Christ will
not be crucified again. When He said, “It is
finished,” it was finished.

If Christ has completed His work on the cross why


are you not totally alive to God and why do all of
creation still groans and labor with birth pangs to
be delivered from the bondage of corruption? God
is not a magician but He is a restorer of His
creation. If Christ was a magician all things, good
and evil, would have been clothed with perfection
when He died and was raised from the dead.
Imperfection would have been instantly swallowed
up of perfection. All men of all timeframes,
including the seed of Cain, would have been saved.
Then the New Covenant in Christ’s blood would not
have been of faith. This means He would have
restored the universe without our faith. That is
possible but how does He restore our relationship
with Him without involving our faith. Without faith
we would have been made robots, which is not
God’s image and likeness. A relationship comes
from two sides, leaving us with choices to choose
between life and death. God will not restore
creation that was under Adam’s domain and was
ruined by him without involving the sons of man.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. He is
using our faith, hope and love to restore all things
of which our relationship with Him surpasses in
glory all other things put together. He will not
restore anything apart from our relationship with
Him. The manifestation of His kingdom can only
come about as the body of Christ reaches into it
through faith. When the Son of Man comes shall he
find faith on the earth? (Luke 8:18b).
Why does God want to restore all things using the
faith, hope and love of His sons? The New Covenant
in the blood of Christ is a covenant of faith,
believing God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. The
New Covenant is also a relationship with the Father
where His sons are not to be engaged in the works
of the Law but in the works of faith, labor of love
and patience of hope (1 Thessalonians 1:3). Man
can only relate to God through faith, hope and love.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but
the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13,
emphasis added). Faith, hope and love are the
three components of a divine relationship, which
are also the three doorways in the spirit where God
dwells. The will of the Father does not consist of do
and don’ts (the Law) but it is a relationship
between God and His sons that is based on faith,
hope and love, which emphasizes God’s mercy and
grace and his sons’ obedience.

Because believers are imperfect, God does not


require works of perfection but works of faith.
While you are imperfect it is impossible to
present to God perfection, therefore, God is
only looking for works of faith. Works of faith
are not done out of spontaneity of perfection but
they are choices where you substitute your will for
God’s will.

Faith and hope exist in the realm of


imperfection. Hope points to the future but
faith is always in the present. Hope is
dreaming of perfection and fulfillment and
faith is walking in the time of imperfection
and lack as if it is the time of perfection and
fulfillment. The past is history of good and bad
times. You cannot change it but you can learn from
it and repent from your mistakes. Love is
perfection. Because you are imperfect even the
love that your are presently manifested is of faith,
and not of perfection, in hope that you will attain to
resurrection life in your body and to perfect love in
your soul. As long as you are an imperfect mortal in
a broken world it is impossible to offer God any
measure of perfection. To offer God some measure
of human perfection is legalistic hypocrisy because
of ignorance as it is not possible to produce perfect
works in the dispensation of imperfection; it is an
illusion, self-deception. God is not asking for
perfection from you but faith. …when the Son
of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?
(Luke 18:8b). Because of imperfection you can
please God only by faith, which is a shadow of
perfection to come.

Perfection will only come when the Spirit of Him


that raised Jesus from the dead will quicken your
mortal body; that is to put on immortality in your
body and to be made perfect in your soul. When
perfection is coming, then God will do away with
imperfection. Perfection is total fulfillment. When
perfection has come prophecies will fail,
tongues will cease and knowledge will vanish
away, which is necessary for God to paint visions
of hope (the prophetic). Faith (restoration)
will cease to exist for lack will become total
fulfillment. Hope and faith, which is in part, will be
swallowed up of unfailing love (perfection),
which is complete fulfillment. Prophets (visions
of hope) and kings (restoration through faith)
will become priests (ministry of unfailing
love).

In the dispensation of imperfection there abide


faith, hope and love (presented in faith with the
hope of perfection) but the greatest is love.

Redeemed man’s journey in the spirit starts with


visions of hope. For example, Enoch must have
learned firsthand from Adam about his relationship
with God in the garden. When Adam died at the age
of 930 years Enoch was more than 300 years old
(Genesis 5). Adam’s words and account of his live
gave Enoch visions of hope and he believed there
was a life with God on earth for him to experience.
Enoch yearned so much for the Father-son
relationship Adam had with God that he discovered
faith and he believed God for the relationship that
Adam lost in the garden. He must have meditated
much on the words of Adam and he was changed
in the spirit of His mind. He walked (conversed)
with God and God revealed to him life in the
Spirit. He walked so close with God that he began
to experience the joy and strength that man knew
before the fall. Life became so great in him that the
Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead quickened his
mortal body that God took him bodily into heaven
so that he did not see death and could not be found
among the sons of men. Before God took him he
had this testimony, that he pleased God. Enoch
proved that without faith it is impossible to please
(reveal) God and through faith you can attain
bodily to resurrection life (Hebrews 11:5-6). In the
last days there will be a generation that will know
God as Father and they will walk with Him like
Enoch and Elijah did (Jude 14).

The things of the Spirit can only be observed


through the senses of your redeemed human spirit.
Your five bodily senses cannot observe the things
of the spirit because it lives in a different
dimension, the natural realm. Peter, James and John
witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain in
a vision with the eyes and ears of their spirit
because man’s bodily senses are limited to
observance in the physical realm. Man’s five bodily
senses cannot observe in the spirit and psychic
realms. The experience was probably so real for
them that they thought they witnessed it with their
eyes and ears of flesh. However, Jesus told them it
was only a vision. Now as they came down from the
mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell
the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen
from the dead” (Matthew 17:9, emphasis added).
Experiences can sometimes be so real that the
natural and spiritual surroundings seem to blend
into the one world of Christ and often you thought
you have observed these things with the eyes of
your flesh. The physical objects you do observe
with your physical senses but the spiritual objects
with your spiritual senses. However, the senses of
the physical and spirit is synchronized that the
experienced seems to appear in one realm.

I can illustrate this through a short example that I


normally use. One day we sat at the kitchen table
and we shared the gospel of Jesus’ saving grace
with a stranger. This man started to pretend he
knew God. I looked at my refrigerator and saw a
vision of an African Green parrot in a cage on top of
the refrigerator. When the parrot saw me it flees
away with a distinct noise through the bars of the
cage and hid behind the refrigerator. The
experience was so real that the natural and
spiritual surroundings were synchronized into the
one world of Christ. I got up to look for the parrot
behind the refrigerator. Obviously, it was not there.
In the vision I discerned that the man was in
bondage (the cage) and that he was just repeating
what he heard from others (like a parrot) from his
mind (color green). The Holy Spirit showed me he
was pretending.

Elisha was a seer prophet. There was a time when


the king of Syria was warring against Israel. All his
plans were thwarted because Elijah warned the
king of Israel constantly against the ambushes of
the Syrians. Elisha lived in the spirit and he could
tell the king of Israel the words that the king of
Syria spoke in his bedroom (2 Kings 6:8-23). When
the king of Syria surrounded the city to search out
Elisha, Elisha’s servant was fearful and asked his
master what they will do. Elisha prayed to God to
open the eyes of the young man that he could see
what he was seeing. … Then the Lord opened the
eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold,
the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire
all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down
to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike
this people, I pray with blindness.” And He struck
them with blindness according to the word of Elisha
(2 Kings 6:17b-18). Elisha lived in another
dimension as mere man.

The spirit realm is not subjected to natural laws.


Jesus calmed storms, multiplied food, walk on the
water, sent Peter to catch a fish to find money in its
mouth for their taxes, raised the dead, heal the
sick, etc. You live in the spirit realm through faith.
The secret is to view the universe the way God sees
it in His Son and live your life that way. Changes
start in the mind and are fulfilled when you live
your vision. For those who live according to the
flesh set their minds on the things of the
flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit,
the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:13, emphasis
added).

In the spirit realm is no time or space. God is


omnipresent meaning He is present in all places in
all time frames, which is the past, present and
future. As we will be like Christ and live where He
lives will we be omnipresent? I do not know but I
hope so.