Tuesday 2 September 2008

God's Twofold Restoration - So why 3 levels?

Julie and Lydia Joy have been asking for more explanation on my view of Romans 7. Below is an article by Norman Grubb which is the title article from Intercessor magazine volume24 Number 2. But first ....why twofold if this blog is on about a third level? And why thirdlevel anyway?

Here is a simple equation. Jesus saves to the uttermost. Does the Church and indeed us as individuals .....does it now look as if we are saved to the uttermost?

We've had two clear phases in recent history: Evangelical Christianity restoring what it means to be really born again. Charismatic Christianity, first a Pentecostalism from 1907 on, then inside mainstream denominations a charismatic stream since the 50s and 60s. This is the rediscovery of the truths surrounding the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, a supernatural Christianity.
Now in order to look more "saved to the uttermost" than we now do , do we a) work more with what we've got , or b) have we missed something else? Have we only rediscovered 2 out of the 3 areas in God's Heavenly Tabernacle...of which it says in Hebrews that Moses Tabernacle was only a shadow? To further confuse things, Norman , although always being open to all believers, never identified himself personally with the charismatic movement. This was very similar to Basilea Schlink's view when she also described going further into the things of Christ. Both describe a battle of faith where we are "reckoning" things as true that for a while at least, don't "appear" true yet at all. For them , there are only 2 phases.
Then speaking of the difference between what Norman, and now I believe too, and say Rob Rufus and Ryan share ...it is as I've put many times in the comments sections of Dan's blog, the reality of a Romans 7 experience. God has provided 2 main blueprints for us. The Tabernacle and the 3 Feasts of Passover,Pentecost and Tabernacles.
In the Tabernacle you have the altar of incense. In the Feasts you have the Day of Atonement.
If for no other reason, think about the Day of Atonement. If you were Rob and Ryan and other grace preachers you would put the Day of Atonement in with Passover and have made sure Christ died on the Day of Atonement to fulfil all grace. The Day of Atonement and the altar of incense are placed very strategically later on. Why? Because experientially, in the context of grace being worked into us and seen by others, it takes final root some time after the first phases. This is why Pentecost is called firstfruits. In a way charismatic meetings are us putting a flag in the ground."Building construction to take place here". The meetings come with an attendant glory, they are a firstfruits of what will soon invade the universe in 3D form. This is why the prophecy that has been given Rob in Holland so specific to Hong Kong is so important. It is the flag in the ground. From God's point of view Hong Kong has already happened. All we have to do is believe the Word to Rob, whether all hell breaks loose to try and prove God wrong or not.
Please feel free to give feedback about any of this or the article.
God's Twofold Restoration by Norman Grubb
available from Zerubbabel in magazine form then later online.
Jesus Christ not only paid the penalty for our sins and future judgment, He provided the solution for every situation we face in life today. The following article explores the basis for our total restoration to God through the two aspects of Christ's death and resurrection•—His blood and His body. We will now see the way by which this combination of the law given by Moses and the grace and truth by Jesus Christ is not only the Total Truth, but the Total Truth to me in my personal experience—see how it is the only answer with a totally workable application to every situation, whether mine or other folks'—which makes it possible for me to say to myself, "Yes, this is it," and then declare it to the whole world within my reach. If this takes further digging into details (with Paul as our guide) to find out the total solution, we will be like a German pastor wrote:
God needs men, not creatures
Full of noisy, catchy phrases.
Dogs he asks for, who their noses
Deeply thrust into—Today,
And there scent Eternity.
Should it lie too deeply buried,
Then go on, and fiercely burrow,
Excavate until— Tomorrow.

Some of us have been doing this for years. I could not stop. I must be satisfied. I must have the complete answer. It must be wholly workable in all of life. And we boldly say we have come up with the answer: not our own, but revealed in the Scriptures and confirmed by the Holy Spirit in personal inner revelation. The law given by God to Moses in its outer written forms, underlining the outer standards of conduct such as the sins of stealing, lying, adultery, murder, malicious destruction of another's character, is obviously intended to produce outer responses. So it does, and for the simple reason that in our blindness we cannot penetrate into sin at its source,but can only recognize its outer products of committed sins. So the first purpose of the Ten Commandments is to pinpoint our guilt before God and produce in us a realization of His wrath,
judgment, and our coming condemnation. This it effectively does by awakening in us "the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom-." Most of us were stirred from slumber by some person or event alerting us to the reality of our condition as lost, guilty, and hopeless sinners—unless there be some means of pardon. At such a time we neither considered nor were concerned about our inner sinful condition, but saw only our sins and their fearful aftermath. Verily, for this was the law established—that by it "all the world become guilty before God."
The First Stage: The Precious Blood
Now comes the revelation by Paul of the first deliverance stage of the cross of Christ, the amazing but solid replacement of condemnation by justification, as if the sinner had never sinned—the, overplus of grace by the shed blood of His crucified body. Paul speaks of Christ Jesus being "set forth' by God on that historic cross as a public, outward demonstration that He had truly died. That meant that as the penalty of sin is death, so He who "bore our sins in His own body on the tree" really died, having taken our place in death.
But bodily death is but an outer detail. The real meaning of death is not body but spirit destiny: Where do I, an immortal spirit, go? If lost, I shall be among "the spirits in prison"; if saved, among "the spirits of just men made perfect," Scripture reveals. So Peter proclaimed in his Pentecost speech (using David's prophecy in Psalm 16) that the Savior went to hell where we
were destined to go. But hell could not hold Him, for Satan had no hold on Him and so His "soul was not left in hell." But He could not rescue Himself, for He was there representing us in our lost sinnerhood. He was "raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father." So through the Lamb's shed blood, death, and pangs of hell, all that should come to us by way of guilt, condemnation, curse, and uncleanness has disappeared forever for all men. "God was, in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespassesunto them." So no man now goes tohell for his sins, but only because he has rejected the light of Christ as Saviour the light which has shone into the world. But until the Spirit does His convicting work in us, we love darkness rather than that light and refuse to come to it.
The Final Stage: The Crucified Body
We now turn our attention to the area of our daily living. It has been wonderful to have the disturbing questions of our past and future settled however the world may try to hide it,until we have that settled, it is true of all men that "through fear of death we are all our lifetime subject to bondage." However, we live not in the past or future but in the present. Iwe an answer for its immediate neeeds? Yes we have, we are boldly asserting or we would not now be talking it over Paul puts it quite simply as he directs our attention from past to present ; needs. He asks the question, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" In other words, what about our present condition? Let us get down to brass tacks about our daily lives. Have we a genuine one-hundred-per- cent life-level which matches the kind of statements scattered throughout New Testament: "joy unspeakable full of glory"; "peace that pass understanding"; "having all sufficency in all things that we may abound unto every good work"; "reigning in life"; "more than conquerors"; "out of our innermost being flow rivers of living water"; "perfect love"? Or is this only a hit-and-miss attempt at such standards, with more miss than hit (And we all know there is more miss than hit.)

Paul does not shrink from a face-to-face tackling of such questions. He provides us with both a total answer and the basis for that answer. It is best given in his famous Romans 6-8 chapters, into which I personally have never tired of digging further and further until I have at last come up with what I believe is the right understanding and application of what he is saying. It has taken me a long time to be simple enough to let into my head and heart what Paul is really saying, and not what I might think he is saying.The very fact that he adds these chapters to his. completed new-birth presentation in chapters 3-5 shows that he realized the matter of full, present "total living" in our new Christ-relationship needed some more thorough examination and explanation—a further turning of the key in the lock—to establish us solidly in Christ as the new person we are.

He again hangs his answer round the final' completion of the operations of Moses' law on us. He explains how in our new-found sincerity, with a zeal to live consistently (as we should) on totally holy and righteous standards- walking as He walked, loving as He loved—we find ourselves in a struggle between flesh and spirit. We know the law and its commandments; we aspire and we strive; but we largely and disgustingly fail. What we should do, we don't do; and what we hate, we do! That, as Paul says, is because we have by no means yet been enlightened and experienced the "total exchange" which has taken place in our identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. First of all, we never had it clear about the totality of our former identification with that false deity who had stolen us as his dwelling place- that we were never anything but individual expressions of him, manifesting his nature, not our own. So our present
confusion and ineffective living stems right back to that as its source. We have always felt at home with the idea that we are "self-running selves": that we ourselves are responsible for the good and evil in our lives.
Because we were blind to our condition, God in His grace first sent the law through Moses to expose our bondage and reveal to us the nature of the false deity expressing himself through us. In this first exposure, however, we saw no more than the sins we had committed the breaking of outer laws—and by no means did we penetrate within ourselves to note the sin nature—Satan's nature expressed by us. Therefore our first response to the greatness of grace shown in our Lord Jesus Christ was simply to recognize our outer sinfulness, to believe that our guilt and curse had been removed by His shed blood, and to rejoice that God would remember our sins against us no more, as guaranteed by His resurrection. But what we did not know then (and were not within reach of understanding) was that this was no real salvation if it delivered us merely from the outer penalty of our sins but left us as "ves sels of wrath"—still containers of that inner sin-person, that old serpent the devil, still reproducing his evil fruit by us. Complete salvation must rid us of producer as well as product, cause as well as effect, sin as well as sins. This total salvation—the totality of Christ's cross-redemption—is that deeper discovery which Paul himself didn't see in its full implication until he lived three years in Arabia. This is what he speaks of in his Galatian letter as the gospel which "I neither received of man, nor was I taught it, but [I received it] by the revelation of Jesus Christ." That revelation was centered around not the blood but the physical body of Jesus on the cross. And what is the importance of that? It is because a living body is the dwelling place of the spirit, and therefore when a body dies, the spirit is no longer in it.
Therefore Paul (when writing to the Corinthians for whom he was an intercessor, and thus having insight into the full meaning of the Savior's intercession for the world) opened up its total significance as no other did. "We are convinced," he in effect wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, that when the Savior died on our behalf it was a body death, and this means that if died for all, then we all died." And what did His body represent before God? Paul tells us in verse 21 that "God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us." Please note: sin is not sins. By His shed blood He "bore away our sins" but in His crucified body He "was made sin." This is fantastically deeper than "bearing our sins," wonderful though that was. "Made sin" is almost unthinkable; for sin is Satan's label, just as we might say love is God's. Satan is, as it were,Mr. Sin, the spirit of error. Where does the spirit of error live? In human bodies, ever since Adam and Eve partook of that forbidden fruit. So when Jesus in His body hung on the cross, "made sin," that body represented all the bodies of humanity, which are all containers of sin. Yes, He in His body on the cross was made the representative for all the bodies of the human race having Satan, sin's originator,
living within.

There that body died and was buried. When a body dies, the burial is to make it plain that no spirit remains in it. And so it is that Paul can so authoritatively state in Romans 6: "...in that He died, He died unto sin once"—not, in this context, died for our sins, but died unto sin. (That is why the blood is not mentioned by Paul after Romans chapter 5. From there onward the sub-
ject is His body death.) Christ's burial was to signify in plainest terms that no
spirit remained in it.

Dead to Sin
So now Paul just as boldly states is that we believers, being buried with no Him, are "dead to sin"-a truth way beyond being only cleansed from sins. We are no longer containers of sin (the same thought as being containers of Satan), and we are to state this truth and affirm it as completely as we state and affirm that we are justified from our sins. "The body of sin" is "done away with" (Rom. 6:6 NASV), meaning that our bodies are no longer sin's a dwelling place. And we are to reckon this as fact (Rom. 6:11). Many of us commonly use "reckon" to imply uncertainty. If, with a book in his hand, someone says to you "I reckon I have a book in my hand" he is likely implying to you that though he believes it is a book, yet he is not absolutely sure. Were he sure, he would just say "I have a book." But in the Bible, reckoning means considering as actual. To reckon a thing to be so, to count on it as fact, is the first stage of faith that affirms. And "reckoning" will later become "realizing"—which is faith confirmed. But we
must start with the reckoning!

But to consider myself dead to sin is no light thing, especially when I do not yet appear to experience it. We hesitate to declare "I am dead to sin,"because we are thinking about how
often sin still seems to turn up in us.But the issue is plain. Will we obeyGod's Word? In this same chapter, Paul says that we have "obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was
delivered unto us." Have we, really? So let us "go to it" and be sure we boldly
affirm and declare what His Word says we are. Let us not compromise (as many folks do—even teachers of the Bible) and seek to get around this by saying it is our "position" but not yet
our "condition"-a lovely little evangelical wriggle. Let us rather obey, and declare what we are told to recognize, attend to, and say. Then let us go further, after our word of faith and obedi-
ence, and find out how this is a present fact in condition as well as position.
But if it is a fact that we are dead to sin, then it is also a fact that we are "alive unto God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (6: 11b). As the spirit of error (Jesus "made sin"-2 Cor. 5:21) went out of that representative body when Jesus died, so also the Spirit of truth entered in three days later-and therefore the Spirit has entered us through Christ's bodily resurrection. We see the vastness of the implication of that because, for that reason, we who were called the "old man" because of the "old" spirit of sin in us, now are called the "new man" because of the "new"
Spirit of the living God in us. The man, is our human self, has not changed. But the old indwelling deity, of whom the man was but the expression, has been totally replaced by Another. And thus-with our whole self totally and solely at His disposal—we joyfully recognize our new Owner. Because of His new management within us, the old owner, Satan, has no control over us.He can shout at us from without, but he has no further place within. We have changed bosses! We are in the employment of a new Firm!

-Yes, I Am

For many years after his retirement as
General Secretary of the WorldwideEvangelization Crusade, Norman Grubb traveled extensively sharing the truth of our union with Christ. He also carried on a huge personal correspondence with individuals throughout the world. He was the author of many books and pamphlets, a number of which are available through the Zerubbabel Book Ministry. Norman lived with his daughter, Priscilla, in Fort Washington, PA. Norman P. Grubb entered the Kingdom at 98 years of age.


jul said...

Excellent article. Regarding the condition/position part, one of my husband's favorite verses is "From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. " (2 Corinthians 5:16)

I think our obsession with 'condition' stems from living in the flesh, not by the Spirit. We want to regard ourselves and others according to the flesh, not according to faith. Maybe first we need to understand that our position is not changed or affected by our 'condition', but in a sense, when we say our condition is something other than our position we are meaning that in reality we have not changed, we are still not perfect. Either we are perfect in Jesus, or we are not.

I understand that I myself have been afraid to go this far, but what am I afraid of? Still afraid of being judged by the law or those under the law???

I still make people uncomfortable if I bring up such verses as 'where there is no law there is no sin' or 'all things are permissable'. But my point in bringing them up is not that we should try to sin, but that we are no longer sinners, those verses should not frighten us. We shouldn't live aware of and afraid of sin, but aware of and enthralled with Jesus.

I'm not sure I like the idea of 'levels', perhaps because of my Wesleyan background (second work stuff, classes of Christians) by which I mean, I'm not sure if there are 3 distinct levels that are so obvious (but maybe there are!). But most believers do go through these similar revelations, probably in similar ways at similar times, so I won't get hung up on the level part hehe.

Now I'm curious to go dig around in my Dad's library and find some F.B. Meyer, which I know he has.

Still interesting to note that even those who seem to have acquired all this same knowledge in books are failing to live in the reality of it...I guess they are missing the part where they take their eyes off condition or flesh and in faith start reckoning and trusting our union with Jesus and his finished work... I think that's where the grace message is vital, it teaches people to believe in the gospel fully so they can live by faith .

Enough of my babbling for now!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Certainly listening to Rob especially during the Invasion Series had the effect of propelling me into action!!!Although I had been already somewhat independantly quickened by surprise(!) in producing a prophetic Christmas card about the Order of Melchizedek...which is where Jesus currently operates His Church from.
Both Maurice Smith and I were fantastically motivated by grace alone in the mid 70s, although I also knew I'd been hit in the Spirit and in an unarticulated as yet way by Basilea Schlink which made me also want to understand the Jacob story and also how Lamb/Lion living worked. (Both Schlinkisms.) Certainly when the heat was on in the 80s I fell every time , and I was desperate...so desperate to know what to do. More praise? More worship? I was already leading in these things...OK not with gold dust...but at times it was pretty close. Sometimes when I played flute, people would be healed.Sometimes sung prophecy. Sometimes spontaneous songs which became classics in our churches....

Did I need a trip to a deliverance centre? Did I need to fast? I fasted 23 days at one point.

I have to say there were a series of breakthroughs. One was the verse of scripture "Called by the Will of God"...which unfolded into forget about the power of those desires inside you for sin...you are called by My Will. My Will is transplanting itself in you to break the old stuff.
The next thing was the actual Presence of God coming upon me in a car up a Welsh hillside where He challenged me as He did Rob with a "blank cheque moment." Forget the rest Chris, they are none of your business. That's between me and them...are you willing to follow me?
In that moment I made a switch over on the inside. I was largely untroubled from then on as I followed the Spirit doggedly, which culminated in ructions everywhere as I learned something about losing the fear of man. Then as I said on Dan's site, when chucked out and looking for Maurice because the same had happened to him, only to find he was in the States...I met up with Norman's crowd..but not Norman himself sadly. I couldn't believe Yes I am...because it described what I had lived through, but no one then had had a clue what was going on with me. Now, my guess is, is that that is where Todd Bentley is RIGHT NOW...with the same choice...to go on and learn the freefall of faith, which is Christ living His Life in you as you, or to go on keeping that precious delusion of a self-running you...always being pulled by women, or other sins...and always struggling as an"independent being" to somehow make your Christian Life work.

As regards levels. Let evry blog reader together shout with me YUK YUK YUK. WE HATE LEVELS. Yet it's the best I can do to say to everybody look the Body of Christ is moving on. In the 50s and 60s it was about Jesus (still is ofcourse) In the 70s and 80s it was about the Holy Spirit. Still is both ofcourse. But in the 90s and now it is about the Father, and His corresponding level of getting us to operate in Him.
But as some human left-brain grade level...yuk yuk yuk hate it hate it hate it. Hopefully by the time we're through on all this we can see all these spiritual realities with 20/20 vision...and in the same way as now we hardly make any deal about moving in the Spirit and speaking in tongues in meetings....so in time to come...we'll just be operating like Jesus did outside meetings...just simply doing what He saw the Father doing. But that's the big difference...it's the Body of Christ going 3D out in the world at large to fulfil all those things we longed for ...but never could quite manage in the previous revelations.

lydia said...

Chris, Whew, this was good, and I think this post and your comments are helping to unfold to me more of what you are talking about, good stuff!! I'd comment further, but just too tired to think, just wanted to say this little bit though......

Julie, I love the verse you mentioned, that has not stuck out to me like it just did reading it now - thanks for that!!!

Jamie said...

The article you posted totally sets forth what Watchman Nee said in "The Normal Christian Life." And what Bill Gillham And Bob George and others teach as "the finished work."
That is just the Gospel, the exchanged life, if you will.
But when you discuss 3 distinct levels , you are not necessarily discussing the death and life sides of the cross. The Feasts refer to only the life side.
2)Pentecost-fullness of the Spirit(I personally believe that all believers recieve the Spirit upon salvation, the fullness of Christ, and yet not all choose to accept the gifts of the Spirit and manifest them.)
3)Tabernacles-realization of the indwelling Life Of Christ and the experiential evidence of this Life. Some call this sanctification or Holiness.(Once again, all believers are sanctified and Holy upon receiving Christ, yet some never walk this out because they have been told it is a work they do. Most Christians spend their life trying to attain all that they received when they received Christ. They are "new creations" and yet they strive to attain what is already theirs, freely given.)
Satan and the legalistic church mindset have kept Christians from coming into the full expression of who they already are!
Along with experiencing Grace in Christ, the Church needs to awaken to righteousness..."until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts."
Thanks for a fabulous post!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

The real big key as Lydia commented on Jul's verse is that henceforth we view no man after the flesh. RJW you are right that this whole glorious package was made available when we received the One who makes it all possible - Jesus. But the problem has been that all groups have been selective in what they have walked in. By pouring out lashings of grace in these days I really believe Jesus is giving Divine Catchup downloads for each of us to catch up on the different revelations of His Name that we somehow never really got into. Left-brain talks on these subjects are coming to an end...He is expecting us to know them on our insides and be walking in them, and imparting them verbally or even by anointing. Part of the acceleration is to prepare us for the increasingly dark days ahead. Part is to prepare us for one almighty harvest where , like in the fishing hauls in the gospels, every saint will be called on to impart life to the ingathered ones.And lastly part is because we are in a prophetic time period where saints will be mature...not like the Corinthians (Baptised in the Spirit but only capable of receiving from one or two teaching strands)but instead they will have great capacity to hold many seemingly opposite truths in their spirits. Ofcourse they are not really opposite, but they are like those electromagnetic poles I was describing, holding the orb of God's truth between them. (The physics lab picture. I am currently indexing all the previous stuff so I know where everything is on Dan's site)

Jamie said...

Thank you for this blog; it is so wonderful to have someone posting "the whole" picture. The Holy Spirit is growing the Body of Christ into maturity, and Grace is ushering that in. Imagine the Body coming into the realization of being the Bride, here and now, and walking in that authority. Imagine the Church awakening to Her identity and role and carrying the Life and Spirit of God throughout the earth without guilt and condemnation as tools, but moving in Love and Power and Authority. She is going to rock this world!

jul said...

just noticed I wrote F.B Meyer, mixing him up with Norman Grubb somehow...weird.