The Great Transition From One Humanity To Another # 12
The Battleground Is Between Two Men, continued -
I wonder if you people in this country ever have time to sit down and think? I know your tremendous activity, but I wonder if you ever have time to just sit down and think? Now I would recommend something to you, for your own need, for your own quiet time, not for public reading or anything like that, but I would recommend to you that translation of the New Testament in "The Amplified Bible." If you remember, the translators of "The Amplified Bible" state in their introduction: "Our object is to get inside of the original language which is so much richer than the English and has so many shades of meaning that no English words can convey and give that amplification which is true to the sense and meaning of the original language. It takes a lot of words and a lot of shades to explain the Greek there, the original language, and so we have given the amplification which is true to the sense of the original language." Now you will need a lot of patience to read that, but if you would sit down with that Bible, you would be searched and illuminated as you think your way through clause after clause of your New Testament.
Now, why am I saying all this? Because I look at Christians today, and I think many have not read their New Testament. My word, look at Christendom! Here (as in the Corinthians letter) there is an utter contradiction; they are not seeing, yet they hold this New Testament as their charter.
Now, why is this? The answer is in a phrase. When Paul wrote this First Letter to the Corinthians speaking about the condition there, he pinpointed and said: "When you do so and so,are ye not 'as men?' You say, 'Must I not be as men?' No, not after a certain humanity, that man is not allowed in here to be 'a man." The Cross has stripped him of that manhood, "...you have put off (and the Greek language again is) you have taken off the clothes; you have put off the old man and his doing and have put on the New Man," and so there is a manhood that is not allowed in here at all.
"Are ye not as men?" Paul says: "You are talking like men, as men talk; behaving as men behave; and it is not allowed, that kind of humanity is not allowed." That man is an intrusion, and he is under a Divinely imposed embargo; and this second chapter indicates the embargo. "The natural man" - that is the man, and "he cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them." Would to God that Christendom would imbibe that. This natural man is an intrusion into the place where he has no standing with God; it is an assumption which has led to a presumption. It is presumption for us to come into this realm of the New Humanity with ourselves, to bring ourselves in in any way. You see the strength of this natural man is shown here in this chapter two, and I am keeping close to the text although I do not quote the actual wording. It is the truth that is here: the strength of the natural man in his proceeding is of himself. The apostle is talking about power, and these Corinthians had a great idea of power-politics. Power! Yes, power is all right if it is the power of God, but their idea of power was the world's idea of power, and their power was of themselves which meant that it was of the world.
Now we bring in the Other Man, and what is the Other Man saying about this? Go back to John 5 where He says: "The Son can do nothing out from Himself" - the Son of God can do nothing out from Himself. And this great servant Paul, who wrote the Corinthians letter, said: "Of mine own self, I can do nothing; when I am weak, then I am strong; I glory in my weakness that the power of God, Christ, may encamp upon me."
The strength of the power of this old creation, this old humanity, is utterly undercut in the New Humanity. And, whether you have reached it yet or not, if the Spirit of God gets hold of you - and you want Him to, perhaps you pray that He will - but let me tell you, you are in for something; if He really gets hold of you, the day is coming when you will feel utterly helpless in yourself. You are at the end of all your ability for anything in yourself, and you will come to the place where you will say: "Lord, if you don't ... this is the end." All this power idea for which the first Adam made his bid - to be as God, powerful in himself - all that has been undercut in the New Man, "Christ crucified."
Power! Dear friends, keep the positive in view that the power be of God. Unto these Corinthians, the apostle states: "I was among you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling." Why? He answers the why - "that your faith should NOT stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
The Way The Old Humanity Does It: A Realm That Is NOT Allowed
Wisdom is another great word in this second chapter; it speaks of the wisdom of this world, the wisdom of men, (and that quest for wisdom, wisdom and their philosophers, that was almost lust with the Greeks and with the Corinthians). "Wisdom" is "the power to judge, to discriminate, to determine, and to decide"; but the wisdom in their procedure was of themselves in Corinth. Their wisdom was their own and the wisdom of this world.
There is something here that I confess I do not understand, something beyond me. To this Corinthian assembly, the apostle comes down on one of the other points of this carry over. If any of you have a matter, do not ask a worldly man with worldly wisdom to decide your affair, that is the way the old humanity does it. Now you in Corinth ought as an assembly in the New Humanity in Christ to have an ability that this world has not got in the matter of wisdom and judgment. And here is the thing that I do not understand; it is the phrase: "Do you not know that we shall judge angels?" Have you thought about that? Oh, I thought they were superior beings to ourselves, obeying God in everything, but the time is coming, the apostle says, "when we shall sit in judgment upon angels." We shall judge angels, and he uses that here to show that there is Another Kind of Wisdom altogether from the wisdom of the best in the old humanity - Wisdom he says which is not "of this world," for in Christ He "is made unto us" the Wisdom of God.
The Holy Spirit in the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, and, therefore, the spiritual man ought to have the power of judgment, discrimination, discernment, and understanding that even a magistrate in this world has not got. Yes, this humanity in the New Man is very different! However, the Corinthians brought in this old humanity, their worldly wisdom, for their driving force was of their own souls in Corinth. It was soul force - that is something to dwell upon. Soul force - have we not in this last part of the age seen what that can do? Yes, we have seen it extended to literally terrible, frightening proportions, soul force in the nations. That soul force is with us all, but I am not going to start on soul and spirit. I am beginning to feel that there is a little too much being said about that. There was a time when it had a real point, it has that today; but it has become a subject, a fascinating subject, and we want to be very careful not to be taken up with subjects. But here is the fact that at Corinth, the driving force was soul force; it was not the force of the Spirit. These people were clever people, they were intellectual people, they were efficient people; but it was in a realm that is NOT allowed.
(continued with # 13)