the Book of the NEW MAN in Christ
“Verse by verse” the deeper meaning of this Bible-book,
explained in the light of the Israeli Tabernacle
The life in ‘the holy of holies’ of the marriage child of God
God’s (royal) priests know an absolute devotion to their King
Worldly-mindedness must be a victory gained for a laborer of God
By nature man is worldly-minded. Therefore an unbeliever can only perceive the visible and material things with his senses. Their senses are blind to the supernatural things, the spirit realm. Their intellectual capacity, their “common sense”, is based only upon these sensory perceptions. This therefore is the reason they could never find God and the supernatural things with their intellect alone. However, their spirit is capable, once they (start) to believe the truth regarding this spiritual world and the supernatural things of God, to make contact with God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who can deliver them (completely) from all forms of bondage to tangible (and thus visible) things and from a way of life which is solely focused on this earth. Through faith the born-again and now spiritual person can receive a completely new existence from God, as well as divine powers and inspirations from the Holy Spirit for the life and the ministry he is called to. In 1 Corinthians 1:30 we read the following: “But of Him (i.e. God) are ye IN Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us: wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
We know that our Lord Jesus Christ, by His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, brought us in the first place redemption. The “redemption” (from sin and guilt) therefore does not take place by one act or another, but by a person; namely by the second revelation form of God: the Son of God. Yes, all divine works of grace are given to us in and by Him, and this therefore is the reason John, in his first general missionary letter, writes: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (5:12)!
Again: Only Jesus can deliver us from all material bonds, from all earth-bound acts and from all emphasis a man may put on the treasures of this earth. And not only this, but He also gives us an ETERNAL treasure in the knowledge of Him and in the relationship with Him, whereby we receive that (divine) love, peace, and joy, but also His divine strength to be able to live in that divine justice and mercy. “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and they exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1b), whereby is meant that God wants to be our Protector, and wants to be an eternal Possession unto us.
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (garbage), that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8). In this light we must view the new standpoint Zacchaeus had taken regarding earthly possessions, after our Lord Jesus had found him and granted him godliness.
LUKE 19 verse 1-9, “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son (of the generation) of Abraham.”
Here is Zacchaeus with a strong desire to see Jesus. God had drawn him unto Himself because He knew his deepest being. For, no one comes to Jesus unless the Father has drawn him (John 6:44).
In order to be able to see Jesus properly Zacchaeus had climbed a wild fig tree… That was very appropriate, for his life, too, was like that of the wild fig tree: wild through sins and stubbornness. That was also the reason Jesus asked him to come out of that fig tree. When Jesus calls us unto Him, we, too, must humble ourselves in confession of our sins that He deliver us from them. And when we obey then He will become to us a Deliverer (of sin and guilt). “If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free (of sin and guilt) indeed” (John 8:36).
Let us, too, experience personally that Jesus Christ is our Deliverer; because the burden (and the power) of sin has fallen off us! We first must believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and also that this was done personally for us. We also must believe in Jesus’ omnipotence to deliver us (completely) from sin. That is the legal side (the promise) of our redemption. Then, by God’s work of grace, the deliverance, as a real experience, will come over us. This is the realistic side of our deliverance. First there was faith, now reality.
As Jesus’ disciple Zacchaeus laid his life on the altar of burnt offering to die to his old life. So his old publican life, a life full of stinginess and deceit, could be burned to ashes by God; because of which Zacchaeus was renewed, and was called a son of Abraham, a son to whom salvation was brought by God’s work(s) of grace.
LUKE 19 verse 10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus said to Zacchaeus that He was to stay in his house that day; the same way Jesus, after He delivered us from all earthly lusts, comes to make His dwelling within our heart and life.
He had freed Zacchaeus from the idol mammon; and the same way He will free us, if we sincerely want to, from each idol and each idolatrous attraction of sin, fear and worldly-mindedness! When He enters into our heart and life, the spiritual death (and thus satan) must go. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
A true laborer of God receives from Him the spiritual ability (such as gifts, powers, etc.) to – in and by Him – work with Him
LUKE 19 verse 11-13, “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy (do business with this) till I come (back).”
Jesus was near to Jerusalem and His disciples thought, that He was about to rule as a King over the earthly Jerusalem. Therefore He told them the parable of a King-to-be, Who first had to leave for a distant country (namely heaven) to receive the Kingship there (from His Father), to return afterwards as a ruling King. This king-to-be (future king) had ten servants. The number 10 in the bible is the number of fullness (perfection); all His servants throughout all ages are meant here. (Compare: “The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins” – see Matthew 25:1a). Each servant He called unto Himself, received a pound, symbol of the divine gift (the revelations of the Spirit – see 1 Corinthians 12:1-11), to be able to really serve Him.
LUKE 19 verse 14-27, “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury (interest)? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”
In order to receive a ministry in the service of the Lord, we need the divine gift of sharing His anointing – namely the revelation of the indwelling Spirit of God – in order to build and perfect the Church. But, before there can be any talk of the revelation of the indwelling Spirit of God, God’s Spirit must first be able to come and live in His temple, His dwelling place, whereby first the body of the believer is meant. We can read this in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”. The Lord also warns us in John 15:5b “…for without me ye can do nothing!” Nothing regarding the eternal things of God. We are only co-workers with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). He determines the work we are to do in Him. Us fits an eternal: “What would You, Lord, that I do?” (Luke 17:10).
The great line in this labor (in, by and for God) we find in Ephesians 4 verses 11-13: “And he (God) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers; (1) For the perfecting of the saints, (2) for the work of the ministry, (3) for the edifying of the body of Christ: (4) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
The Holy Spirit’s work, in and through God’s laborers, must bring the Church of the LIVING God to unity of doctrine (namely: knowing the real truth concerning God’s plan of redemption, renewal and perfecting of mankind), and by the knowledge of this unto union with God (namely: knowing Him, because He is IN us, and we IN Him) until “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” in all is reached, whereby is meant the perfection in Christ; where Ephesians 3:18-19 speaks of: “(that ye) may be able to comprehend with the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD.”
Let us now return to above parable. The Spirit of Christ, symbolized by the pound, has come to dwell in His temple (which is, and must be, in our body – see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). What do you do with Him? Do you let Him and His guidance freely work in you, or are you binding Him? We let Him free, when our spirit continues to serve Him by the sincere prayer of our soul: “What would You, Lord, that I do?“… without being in His way. We bind Him, when we let our own will guide us into labor for Him, and continue to live after the lusts and longings of our sinful flesh! This life after the flesh can also relate to our religious work. We then do something for Him highhandedly and by our own will. It is something which is bound to be worthless to God. God cannot sanctify us by such a life in the flesh, let alone work through us! However, if we give Him the free hand in our heart and life, because our heart sincerely longs for this, then He is able to work mightily through us, that we be a blessing to others. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9a). This way we also meet Ephesians 2:10.
This then was the way the first (faithful) servant, who was called to account by his king. The pound he was entrusted with grew to ten pounds. This means that the measure of the Spirit in him grew ten times as big. And we know that in the bible, 10 is the number of fullness, of perfection. Do you want this? Do you wish to let God’s Spirit grew and work freely in you, until at last He has brought you unto His fullness; until God’s Spirit has brought you “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”? This means that God finally has His way for the rest of your life; that God, in His fullness, comes to make His dwelling in your heart and life! (Ephesians 3:19b). He will then put the seal of His love and mercy on your life, and work through you in His perfect, redeeming and sanctifying power. Then you will be able to say with Paul: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Soon a perfect revelation of Christ will become reality in and through us: His desire has become our desire; His will our will; His thoughts our thoughts. For this will happen when He will have made His Bride(church) without spot or wrinkle (i.e. perfect) (Ephesians 5:27). It is because of this that Obadiah, speaking of this time, prophesied: “And saviors shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau (type of the worldly-minded Christian); and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s” (verse 21). Christ will be able to reveal Himself, and work, so powerfully in and through them that they can and will bring His people the full salvation of God like saviors. In the strength and in the Name of the Lord Jesus they will lead the Great Revival (namely the so-called Latter Rain period of the end-time), which will go all over the world. To God be all glory for this! Let us remember that this perfect sanctification in Christ is a process. Let us therefore now give ourselves completely, with heart and soul, to Christ.
With the second (faithful) servant the pound grew to five pounds. The number 5 in the bible is the symbol for the reconciliation with God, but also of the deliverance from all powers of darkness, and from all sinful and dead works (works in one’s own strength) of the “old man”. Here the five pounds of this second (faithful) servant typify a wonderful state of holiness which was brought about by the full fire of the Holy Spirit (see Isaiah 4:4, and Matthew 3:11-12), but not yet of perfection (the number 10) in Him.
If, in the light of the Israeli Tabernacle, the Holiest of holy is the type of the group represented by the first servant; the Holy Place is for the group of God’s children represented by this second servant. There were five pillars which bore the “door” of the Tabernacle (type of the Lord Jesus Christ and His five wounds). And this “door” led to the Holy Place of the Israeli Tabernacle. The 3-partite division and order of the Israeli Tabernacle is as follows: First the Forecourt, then the Holy Place, and next the Holiest of holy. They are symbols of successively: the Paradise (where all deceased believers go after their death); the heavenly Canaan (God’s true church here on earth = God’s heaven on earth); and the New Jerusalem (the [Bride]church, the wife of the Lamb, coming down from heaven – see Revelation 21:9-27). That, which we usually call “heaven”, in fact relates to these three (different) areas of the Kingdom of God.
When He comes into our life, we must let God’s Spirit cleanse us of all dead works of the old, sinful man, that we, being cleansed in Him, shine His light in this world, just like the sevenfold candlestick did in the Holy Place of the Israeli Tabernacle. Let us not put away the gift (namely the “pound) we received from God in a sweat cloth like that third (unfaithful) servant did; whereby we push away the Holy Spirit in our life in order to, in our own strength, work ourselves into a sweat for the Lord, and therefore de-activate God’s Spirit by the (spiritually seen) dead works of our “flesh”, namely works in sin and self-will!
How many children of God, although baptized with the Holy Spirit, do their own works, and labor in their own, human strength! Such Christians do not have themselves sanctified by Him either, but “do their best” to seem righteous in the eyes of their neighbors, as if they could earn heaven by their works (in their own strength and after their own insight). In Romans 10:2-4 we can read: “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth”.
Many Christians try, with set jaws, to walk the “holy way of Christ” (see Isaiah 35:8), while He testified: “My yoke is soft, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). This stubbornness in the service of the Lord is also depicted by the church of Ephesus in the book of Revelation (2:1-7).
We must subject ourselves to Him alone, with a completely sincere heart, and devote our life completely to Him. Then He will (be able to) work through us (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore it is no honor to us. It is not our righteousness, but His righteousness, not our love, but His love, which must work in us. As Paul testified: “The love of Jesus constrains us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). When you work yourself, you perspire (sweat). The “pound” was wrapped in a sweat cloth by the third (unfaithful) servant. He received God’s Holy Spirit, yet he worked in his own strength. And, as we read, the returned king spoke His judgment over him; he should have given the “pound” to the bank, if he did not know what to do with it. The bank here symbolizes God Himself. He should have come to God and should have put this gift in God’s hands, in absolute subjection. Then God would have been able to lead him into this rest in the labor for Him, “practicing usury” with this pound, namely winning souls, etc.!
We also know what will happen to the enemies of King Jesus: they will taste eternal death, eternal damnation, just like satan and his angels. Therefore, beloved, let us pursue the in-filling of His Holy Spirit, after that He delivered us from the lusts of this world; let us be willing to be a co-worker with God, then He will be with us until the end of this world.
By E. van den Worm
If you want, see also the ‘verse by verse’ study of: