|2 Corinthians 5:16-17 |
16 Therefore from this time forward we regard no man according to the flesh; yes, even though we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet from this time forward, we know him in this way no longer.
17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.5 [To be in Christ is to be an entirely new creature; the world and all its things have passed away from your sight. From the Word of the Lord within: "If anyone is standing with a new heart, he is a new creature. To be in Jesus is to be in truth. He who is in my name is part of my body." When you are in Jesus, or in truth, or in his name, you have been freed from even the desire to sin, translated into the kingdom, in union with Him, and sitting with Jesus in heaven under his full control of your words and deeds. Anyone who claims to be in Christ when they are not crucified is taking His name in vain; or doing anything while stating you do it in His name or in the name of Jesus is also taking His name in vain.]
5 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. When you become a new creature, you enter a new dimension. From the word of the Lord within: "The new life is as radically different as a man who has lived underground his whole life, suddenly coming above ground to see the sun, the sky, the plants, the animals, the wind, the stars" — all things have become new, and he no longer sees the underground; old things have passed away. In his Journal, George Fox described it as follows:
Now I came up in spirit, through the flaming sword, into the paradise of God. All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew nothing but pureness, innocence, and righteousness,..
You see from an entirely different dimension, which shares the same physical space; but you see with the eyes of God. You walk by faith, not by the light of the sun or moon; you walk as God directs you with his sight and words, and in faith you obey.
- And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever. 1 John 2:17. So the world with its lusts and passions disappear together, crucified by the aid of the Spirit. After we are purified, Christ returns to establish his Kingdom within us, and the world as we know it disappears. We enter a different dimension — paradise or the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world have [past tense for some then already] come. 1 Cor 10:11
- But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise,
and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,
because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 2 Pet 3:10-12
(Peter here is saying to those not yet in the Kingdom: the day of the Lord is coming soon; be obedient; be holy in conduct; be godly to get ready. This is not 2000 years later.
As the eyes of Adam and Eve opened to this dimension, dropping them out of paradise, this is the eyes being closed as one is being restored. As a purified Christian goes back into paradise, this dimension disappears in a roar as though the heavens and elements melt in burning; it is like a tent stretched over them dissolves. Think about it. How else could being transformed into another dimension be described 2000 years ago?
Now notice, not only the earth burns up, but the works. This is man's judgment, and a purified Christian eagerly goes into this burning light, the consuming fire, because his works were prompted by the Holy Spirit, and will be preserved. But on the normal death of an unpurified man, he hates the light and all his works are burned up. And this coming, this judgment, this end of the earth, this melting of the heavens — was coming — so 2000 years ago they were told by Peter to look for and hasten that day.)
To be in Christ is to be an entirely new creature; the world and all its things have passed away from your sight. From the Word of the Lord within: "If anyone is standing with a new heart, he is a new creature."
John also explains who is in Christ: whoever obeys his spoken words [obeys the Lord's commands spoken to him], truly the love of God is perfected in him; by this we know that we are in him. 1 John 2:5. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12. Notice, this is to be "in Christ" — to have the love of God perfected in you. Paul further explains who is in Christ: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom 8:1. If you are walking after the impulses of the flesh, walking according to your own carnal mind, you are not in Christ Jesus. You cannot please God living according to the impulses of the flesh. Rom 8:8. To walk through life according to your own mind is worse than worshipping idols because you have made yourself god. To walk according to your own mind is exactly what Satan promised Adam and Eve — they would be like God and know good and evil; they would be able to decide for themselves what was good and what was bad. Their first decision was that they were naked and that was bad. When you walk according to your own mind, you are making your own decisions, based on your selfish rationalizations — at best, you are capable of only making the least evil decision; without God's direction, you have no idea what to do that is his will and truly good. You cannot still be in the flesh, still sinning, walking after the flesh, and be in Christ; they are mutually exclusive conditions. To believe differently, supposes that Christ embraces sin within his bodily members, supposes that he would join in a marriage to a sinful person, to suppose that light fellowships with darkness, and righteousness with unrighteousness. But those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections]. Gal 5:24