Live While We Are Dying?

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Hi R____,
Thank you for your question.

You are struggling with the inability to “compare spiritual things with spiritual.”

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

It is simply beyond the natural man to understand how the scriptures can say that “the invisible things of God are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made” (Rom 1:20), and at the same time tell us that “the spirit teaches comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

As Christ told Peter, no physical teacher can give a man spiritual vision or spiritual understanding. That comes only from “My Father which is in heaven.”

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

I cannot give you the ability to compare spiritual things with spiritual, but just as Christ was used by God the Father to teach Peter and the other apostles, so too, can I be used by God to teach others to whom God gives spiritual vision.

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Now if you can believe this next verse, you will understand much more of God’s Word, and there will be much fewer contradictions to you:

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

In Mat 4:4 and Luk 4:4 Christ informs us that mankind will live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Now if you can begin to understand that “every word ” means every word from Gen 1:1 to Rev 22:21, then you will begin to understand that all those words “are spirit.” Only then will you begin to be able to compare spiritual things with spiritual.

I myself struggle every day to remember the depth of the Truth of Joh 6:63. Only recently did I come to see that Christ’s statement to Nicodemus about being “born again” had absolutely nothing at all to do with physical birth. It has to do with first being born “of your father the devil” and then being “born again of water and of spirit.”

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Christ was comparing spiritual things with spiritual when He was teaching. Invisible, spiritual things “are understood by things that are made”, but they are never those things themselves. Christ’s sacrifice is understood by looking at a helpless and vulnerable lamb, but that is not Christ. Being born is understood by Nicodemus as speaking of “entering again into his mother’s womb”, but neither the first nor the second birth, spoken of in Christ’s words to Nicodemus, are physical. To insist that they are, would be to do what Nicodemus and we all naturally do, and compare physical things to spiritual things and expect to understand the deep things of the spirit. That is not how the holy spirit teaches.

John 8 demonstrates that we are all born of our father the devil, spiritually, before we are born of the spirit of God which is “the words that I have spoken unto you…”

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

So when the scripture speaks of death, it is always speaking of spiritual death. Even Lazarus’s physical death was spoken of as a spiritual sleep. Like all of us, Christ’s disciples could not think spiritually, and he had to tell them that spiritual sleep is physical death:

Joh 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

But Lazarus was also spiritually dead at this time simply because Christ had not yet been offered for sin.

Mat 8:22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

When it concerns Old Testament verses and promises, it becomes especially needful to keep these principles in mind, because we are plainly told that everything that happened and everything that was written about that time was “not unto themselves, but unto us.”

1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves [the Old Testament prophets], but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them [Old Testament principles] for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

So the dying and the living in Ezekiel 18 and in Matthew 16 are both speaking of spiritual matters. “The flesh profits nothing”, so why bother with it? The soul that commits spiritual sin shall spiritually die, and the soul which does spiritually well will be spiritually alive in Christ.

Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

Notice how the spirit teaches. “Ye are dead” to the flesh “when you lived in them”. “The flesh profits nothing” except as it foreshadows the things of the spirit. We all must first be spiritually born of our spiritual father, the devil, being “dead while she liveth,” spiritually living to the flesh and the doctrines of Babylon, then after we are born as the seed of the serpent, we must be born again and spiritually die daily to the flesh as we live spiritually to Christ being dead with Him in “baptism by the word” and “risen with Him in newness of life.”

1Ti 5:6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Our salvation frees us from our slavery to sin, here and now, with the promise of “the redemption of the purchased possession” and the hope of the first resurrection which we enjoy now only in promise and in “earnest”.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

I hope this is of some help to you as you struggle against your flesh to “compare spiritual things with spiritual.”
Your brother in Christ.

Mike

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