Struggle of the Nature of Man
August 9, 2015
(Martha) Well, this morning we are kind of gathered here as Church, a few more than two. And I’ve been on this Colossians 3, “If then you’ve been raised with Christ to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead,” “If,” yes, we have been raised with Christ. So let me read it in terms that it’s actual. “You have been raised with Christ to a new life, and thus sharing His resurrection from the dead. We have not only been crucified with Christ, we’ve been resurrected with Him.” If that’s true, then here’s what you do. “Aim at and seek the rich, eternal treasures that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” That’s what we seek. “And set your minds and keep them set on what is above, the higher things, not on things that are on the earth.” That is an incredible possibility that we could. If we’re supposed to, then we can. If we’re supposed to keep our mind on heaven and know the things of heaven; “Our Father who art in heaven.” You start your prayer from heaven and bring it down to earth and bring the kingdom down to earth. That’s our entire possibility, responsibility, calling and joy, and we are learning. We are learning the power of this. So, that’s 1 and 2, then verse 3 says, “For,” because, because of these things.” “As far as this world is concerned, you have died and your new real life is hidden with Christ in God.” I was telling someone the other day, “There is one solution. There’s only one, and we have to learn it. We have to put it in practice. And that is you are dead.” You died with Christ to the world. You’re not only crucified to sin, you’re crucified to the world, and the world is crucified to you. If we can get that, we will be set free from this world. Now the recognition of it only God can give you, that you have no connection to this world and no connection to any other person really. My connection with you is heavenly. It’s not earthly. And because it’s heavenly it bears that kind of heavenly unction, love, protection, all of it. What we have is a heavenly Church. When Christ is head, then you have Church, and you have Church which is in heaven where He is the head. He’s not only in our midst, He’s on the throne. And so, I don’t know how to say it any better that we are not… Jesus said if you are of the world, the world would love you and listen to you. But you are not of the world. If you’re born again, you are not of the world and the world’s going to hate you. If anybody hates you, you can look a little bit closer and you’ll find out always it is somebody of the world, that loves the world. It doesn’t matter who they are. If they love the world, they’re going to hate you instinctively, automatically without thinking; sometimes without knowing. So I said to the Lord, “I don’t feel like I stay focused on the heavens, so I want You to do that. You’re going to have to do that.” And that’s the new creation. The new creation is out from heaven, not from earth. The new creation is divine. The sperm that made the creation is a divine beginning, a divine origin. So we have a divine nature if we’ll live there. The problem is… Someone said the other day, insists on it. I think it’s, it was Dan Stone who said it, and he says it and so does Norman Grubb. “You do not have two natures.” It’s not scriptural. It’s not scriptural. “Put off the old man. Put on the new man.” The old man is dead, yes, but I let it live. I listen to it sometimes. It comes up, and I have to put it off. When anything rises up that’s ungodly, it’s the old man. It’s not just sin. It’s the old man. And I’ve said to ya’ll, “I’ve come to see that sin is just letting the old man live.” There are two natures, still, I’m sorry, available. The old nature is dead. I grant you that. It is irrelevant. I grant you that. It is powerless. I grant you that. It is done. It is finished. I grant you that, but the scripture does not put it in those terms that Dan Stone… I really like his writings. I really like Norman Grubb, but they have this concept of it that is simply not scriptural. Tell me where it says you don’t have two natures. It says you have two. It speaks over and over again of the nature; the nature of Satan, the nature of Adam, the Adamic nature, and the new creation nature, which is the nature of Christ partaking of the divine nature. So the progression is out of the old man, into the new man. And that progression God has to do it. There’s no way… It’s all done, it’s all finished. That’s what the current fad of doctrine is. It’s all finished, it’s done, so whatever you do is Christ. Everything is Christ. No, the Bible shows that there is flesh and there is the Spirit. “If you are led of the Spirit, you are the sons of God.” If you’re led of the Spirit you have the mind of the Spirit. You have the character of the Spirit, and if you’re led of the flesh, you have the mind of the flesh. Look at Romans 8. It’s full of it. Contrast between the old and the new. What is Romans 7? The old nature’s still alive. How will I be delivered? I want to do it; it’s in me. That’s got to be a born again believer. It’s in me to want to. I love the law of God. That’s the new creation, but the crisis is, how do I get from the old creation into the new creation? By the law of the Spirit of Life. So I didn’t mean to get off teaching ya’ll, but this is really on my heart right now, because that’s another gospel. Show it to me in the Word, and I will agree with you, Dan Stone and Norman Grubb; but it is not. Romans 7 and 8 is the clear contrast between the old and the new, still available now. Dead, yes. The old nature is dead; always been dead. It has been taken away and crucified with Christ but there’s still the possibility of its access, and that’s because we always have a choice of what we believe and what we surrender to. When I act in the old nature, I’ve surrendered to do so.
(J) Do you remember seeing the statue in the MET? We were recently at the MET, and I was really, you know, have always wanted to see this statue and just never have seen it, and didn’t even know where it was. And I was taking you down to get some sustenance and some food and was going to go back, and all of a sudden I realized, “Oh, my gosh, there it is. It’s sitting right there is this courtyard.” And it was the struggle of the old nature and the new nature, and the ascension of the new nature and the leaving of the old nature, but there was an entwined entanglement that the new man was setting aside, getting rid of…
(Martha) Putting to death, leaving, fighting. And it was the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
(J) The statue is from George Grey Barnard made it, and he did it in 1888, and it’s called ‘Struggle of the Two Natures in Man.’ This is what it said on the placard; “While living in Paris, Barnard labored on this work, his most famous for over six years. After the single block of marble was roughed out in Italy, Barnard finished carving this sculpture himself. In 1894 he exhibited it in Paris under the title, ‘blublubluchibu…(can’t pronounce it). Hahahahah. ‘Je sens deux hommes en moi.’ Ok, so anyway. ‘I sense two men in myself.’ That’s what it was called in Paris, translated. So while the symbolism of the group eludes definitive interpretation, Barnard used the sculpture to explore all aspects of the human condition. Here the figures are treated dramatically in order to evoke the inner life of man. The bat-like creature on the left arm of the lower figure may refer to the darkness in which man’s baser nature is mixed.” And, you know, we all know where that baser nature is mixed. But anyway, I, when we were down there, I just looked at it, and I said, “Oh, my gosh, there it is. There it is,” and I started running around it with my iPhone, taking pictures and I just was loving it, because I have seen that. I’ve actually put it on podcasts or I put it on something, and it’s just a really interesting sculpture.
(Martha) Well, while you were reading that, John, and I got to see it too. I appreciate your insight on it, because I didn’t really get it till you explained it. But let me give you, since I am so passionate about this false doctrine, another gospel that says, “It’s dead and done.” Yes, it is, but there’s still the struggle, and there’s still the process, not of coming, not of getting it, but of discovering that it’s done. And the process is, you and I have to reckon that nature dead. We have to come to believe what already is. That’s the gospel. Ok, Romans 8:8, “So then those who are living the life of the flesh.” The Romans are born-again, understand. This is not written to the unsaved. “Those who are living the life of the flesh, catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature, cannot please of satisfy God or be acceptable to Him.” There’s that old nature. “So then brothers, we are debtors, but not to the flesh. We are not obligated to our carnal nature to live a life ruled by the standard set up by the dictates of the flesh.” And he said to the Corinthians, “I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual men in who the carnal nature predominates, but you are mere infants in the new life in Christ, unable to talk yet.” That’s how he addressed the Corinthians. He did not address them as heathens. He addressed them as carnal Christians living in the old flesh, and he assured them they had everything. In the beginning of his letter, he said you have it all, but you’re just living carnal. Now, this Colossians 2 says, “You were circumcised in Christ, performed by Christ by stripping the body of the flesh the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts.” He says, you once were in the carnal nature, but now you’ve been set free, so you don’t have to go there. My point in this is that we have a nature that can connect with heaven, that can see what’s in heaven and can bring it down. And I think the first Church was more able to convey this than we are in this dispensation. I don’t know why, but if the old nature was not accessible, then Paul wouldn’t write over and over again, “Reckon yourself dead.” Reckon mean count. It’s a mathematical terms. Reckon, count on the fact that you are dead. But that struggle is reality. We have to choose, and we have to be killed by the cross from connection. The fight’s really a fight of faith and surrender.
(J) We’ve become so tepid that the distinction is not really noticeable. There isn’t a distinct choice, because everything is kind of lukewarm and tepid.
(Martha) Because of the tolerance of the flesh? Is that what you mean?
(J) Yeah. Everything is come down to like a base level…
(Martha) A base level, Uh huh. There’s no standard of…
(J) Right, like the spiritual is right there, right next to the…Everything is just kind of this tepid, kind of lukewarm level. And so, the choice is not distinctive. It’s not complete separation. It’s not, you know what I mean?
(Jennifer) It’s a life and death choice, but, forgive me for whoever this offends, and yet I will not not say it. The average Church you walk into is dead as doornails. So, where’s my life and death choice there? People say, “Oh, come down to the altar and live,” and you look around and it’s zombies, one, two, three, four lined up in a row. There’s no spark of life. There’s no something there that is distinguished in any way, shape or form from the average person you run into in the mall, except I will say this. For me, hey, at least the average person in the mall looks like they’re having a good time. And if I’m gonna go, it’s not going to be as a block of wood. I got one life, then I’m gonna to live it with a smile on my face and cigarette in my hand, a cool beer going down my throat. I’m going to live at least, and if that’s the closest thing that looked like living to me, sorry.
(Carole) You know, that just sparked my own life story of being in that place of playing church and being tepid, but I lack one thing; the fear of God. And when He came after me, He came after me to instill the fear of God into me, and it took judgment, experiential judgment in order for Him to instill that fear of God into me. The process, yeah, I was part of the ‘jump from a to z team,’ you know. If the Word says ‘do it’ then it must be done and ‘hallelujah, I’m there.’
(Martha) But is was the flesh.
(Carole) But it was the flesh. It was all the flesh, and I thank God that He brought the cross, and He brought that process, that life or death process, that life or death fear of Him, knowing Him, seeing Him as real, living, eternal; and shook me out of that complacency and that tepidness and put me into the process of dying daily, and seeing myself, because I don’t know how, I don’t know how we come to see Him without Him showing us who we are first.