Tuesday 23 July 2013

Yes I Am 9 - The Only Two Natures

Yes I Am by Norman Grubb
Chapter 9

Now after this Biblical revelation of what we humans are -containers and agents - we find the Bible distinctly says that we have no nature of our own but express the nature of the particular deity indwelling us. On the one hand, Paul says in Ephesians 2 that while we were in our unredeemed condition, dead in trespasses and sins, we "walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience... and were by nature children of wrath" - not some nature of our own but of our satanic parent, his children in his wrath nature. Then on the other hand, regarding the redeemed, Peter tells us that by receiving "exceeding great and precious promises" we become "partakers of the divine nature." Quite obviously then, it’s not some human nature, but God expressing His nature by us. Here are the two deity natures expressed in our humanity.

This could not be more explicit than it is in the Biblical account about the Garden of Eden. There we are told life and death were symbolized by the eating of the fruit of the trees. The Bible tells us that if Adam and Eve had eaten of the right tree they would have received eternal life. Yet we know that eternal life is not in a fruit but in a Person - in Him who said, "I am the life." Therefore, if eating the right fruit means that into our first parents would have come the person who is eternal life, eating of the wrong fruit means that the false deity, the spirit of error, entered in and they became his dwelling place.

Now here is the point, the nitty gritty of the reality. All we redeemed humans recognize, when our eyes have been opened by grace, that we were sinners, were under the power of Satan, did his works, were his children. But do we realize that we actually were he, in the sense that humans are always manifesting the deity who expresses himself by us? Did any of us know, while unsaved, that we were Satan walking about in our human forms, or that the redeemed are Christ walking about in their human forms? We should know it now, for we are plainly told this.

I remember the surprise when I first read in 1 John 4:4, "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." I knew that "He in me" was the Holy Spirit, but I suddenly woke up to the fact that there was equally "he in the world" in fallen humans, just as much as the Holy Spirit is in us when redeemed. And two verses later John is saying, "Hereby know we the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." That began to open my eyes, and I began to relate it to the symbol of the fruit of the garden.

Then I became alerted to Jesus’ words as He confronted those opposing Him, as recorded in John 8:38-44. "I speak what I have seen with My Father: and you do what you have seen with your father," stated Jesus. As religious Jews they resented that, and indignantly responded, "We’re not born of fornication. We have one Father, God." Jesus answered, "if God were your Father, you would love Me." Then He broke the truth wide open and declared outright, "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do." When I read that, my eyes were opened to the second phrase as well as the first. The first says that we humans - all of us who have not yet become children of God by faith in Jesus Christ have Satan, not God, as our father. But the second phrase especially struck me: ".... the lusts of your father you will do." Not that we are doing our own lusts, but the lusts of our father. Then all we are doing as humans is not a product of some supposed human fallen nature, but actually Satan himself expressing his own lusting nature by us! All we are, therefore, is merely the outer expression of this spirit of error, this god of this world, living his own Satan-form of life by our humanity. That was revolutionary. I had always thought I was fulfilling my own natural desires; but not so, because we have no nature of our own. We have all been fulfilling the lusts of the god of self-centeredness, and what we think are just our sins are ours only in the sense that we are joined to Satan as branch to false vine, expressing his thoughts and deeds. So when the Bible says "All have sinned," the real inner truth is that the sinner is Satan, and we in a secondary sense are participating in his sinning.

I remember the surprise when I first read in 1 John 4:4, "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." I knew that "He in me" was the Holy Spirit, but I suddenly woke up to the fact that there was equally "he in the world" in fallen humans

This is the major area in which sin - or Satan, as the Scripture has said - has deceived us; and deceit means making us think that we are what we are not. Satan has played his greatest trick on us in making us think that life is "doing our own thing" - our own self-expression. Who of us in the wide world would ever suspect that we were not just "ourselves" in our self-activity but Satan operating in our form? Of course, Satan himself is the fundamentally deceived one, for he vainly imagines that he made himself independent when he rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven. He imagines himself to be Mr. Independent Self, though actually he is still eternally and totally dependent on his Creator, and doing His will - as we see so clearly in the history of Job.

 the spirit of error, the spirit of self-centeredness, can look highly respectable.*

It is this same false concept of independence with which Satan has infected the human race. We just naturally think we are independent and doing our own thing. Independence is the huge lie swallowed by fallen, blinded, deceived humanity, and the great delusion from which we have to be finally and fully delivered before we can be our true selves. That is what Paul so perfectly explores and aims to deliver us from in Romans, chapters 6 to 8. That is the winning of the final battle over the delusion of the Fall. Our whole life has been built on the false assumption that we are just our own responsible selves, and when changes are needed they are needed in us. We can see it in our false self-righteousness, in our fallen days, when we imagined that we ourselves were living our own lives of good and evil (which we thought mainly good, with a few evil touches). Actually, all our "good" was evil, for it was a product of the spirit of independent self, the spirit of error. Self-effort good is no better than self-effort evil, being only Satan’s self-effort produced by us. It is one thing to regard ourselves as humans merely influenced by Satan; but quite another matter to realize that it is actually he just being himself and living his own quality of life by me... and I merely his vessel, branch, slave, temple. I am Satan in my human form.

Our whole life has been built on the false assumption that we are just our own responsible selves, and when changes are needed they are needed in us.
One reason why the natural man cannot easily accept this fact is that he regards Satan’s activity to be mainly the grosser evils like murder, theft, etc. But when our inner eyes are opened, we fully see that the spirit of error, the spirit of self-centeredness, can look highly respectable. We recognize that the self-loving self is usually disguised to make a nice appearance. So, for us who are enlightened, it is not hard to see that fallen humans are Satan - Mr. Self-centeredness himself - in his physical form. It is a profound eye-opener to realize that all forms of our apparent self-activity - even if good, helpful, and beneficial to others - are expressions of our self-loving self and thus, in actual fact, expressions of that Satanic spirit of self-centeredness in us. Good deeds are merely a product of the "good" part of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Two other scriptures also brought this into focus for me. First was 2 Corinthians 4:4, which speaks of the lost as those "in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds"; so there he was within us, in our unbelieving condition. The second is 1 John 3:12, in which John exhorts us to love our brothers, and adds, "Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother." When I read that I asked myself, why are the words "of that wicked one" inserted? Why not just say, "Don’t be like wicked Cain who slew his brother"? Because it was not "wicked Cain" who was the murderer, it was "that wicked one" who Jesus has said was "a murderer from the beginning," and he murdered Abel by Cain’s hands. "The lusts of your father you will do."

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* No one was harmed in this picture. The man in the suit is from a bow tie advert,the bathroom is from a bathroom brochure,the door is from a lounge picture, the dead man is someone visiting an old murder scene and re enacting it, and the blood is drawn in by me.

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