The law and the fellowship
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was unto the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1Jn 1:1-3
The everlasting gospel is the revelation of that fellowship which was from the beginning, which is between the Father and his Son, to which we are called, according to God’s eternal purpose. In this fellowship is the everlasting life. The covenant faith of the Son of God receives the Father and lives to do his will. In this life of faith, the Father’s commandment is everlasting life to the Son.
And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. Joh 12:50
But a life apart from that fellowship does not see the commandment of the Father as everlasting life. In the pursuit of their own will, which is produced by the nature of their being, they fall into diverse temptations; because in reality they are under the law of their bond to their substance (being). It is a life lived according to the nature of their substance, while trying to fit their actions within the parameters of God’s law according to private interpretation. The life under the law is a life of performance.
The fellowship which was revealed in Christ is always hidden to them who seek to do their own will. They cannot know it. They see it as bondage. It is hidden to them who look to themselves. The pursuit of their own happiness and interest makes that fellowship a yoke and burden. They want a god who loves “them” (approves of them). They want to be the object of his love, rather than that they should love God, their Father. They want a different relationship than the one of the Son of God.
The following comparison has been presented by some to illustrate the change from the old to the new covenant (the change from living under the law to living by the spirit). This comparison is made like unto to a son or daughter who has come of age and who has left home, and is no longer under the jurisdiction of the parents. Mother and Father can no longer dictate what they must do. Their behaviour is not because of what their parents command. They are now free from that system of government. They are now free from the law of the Father! They are no longer under the law. They are now dead to the law. Somehow God has effected a change in their nature so that they now walk naturally in harmony with God’s will (if they only believe that this has happened). Now they are controlled and directed by the spirit of God. This is a far higher rule than the law of the Father. Now they have the principles of a pure and righteous nature! Just like Christ now lives a life wholly dedicated unto God, which is not governed by rules, but by the principles of a pure and righteous nature within him, so those who partake of his very life are governed by the same principle. Now they are governed from within by the principles of a pure and righteous nature. (What this principle or nature is, is not stated, other than that it is divine)
Is this a true picture of Eternal life, and the Old Covenant vs. the New; from law to grace? Is the true picture of holiness and righteousness, when we come to be righteous in order to live apart from our Father? Has this Son received the spirit of his Father or a different spirit? Is the God that this son or daughter is serving not another, than his or her Father?
Is the true picture of righteousness a righteousness that proceeds from within one’s nature, regardless how that nature came about? Is there such a “thing” as a true and righteous nature? Is there such a “thing” as good? Is good a thing, or is a person good?
Christ testified:Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Mat 19:17
That God the Father is the only one who is good, is the testimony of Christ. Sadly, many do not accept his testimony, and say that Christ is good also, so that makes two who are good. While this may sound good, and to men appear right, it is fundamentally error, contradicts the testimony of the Son of God, and a great deception designed to destroy the faith of Jesus. It is precisely that error which Satan diffused in heaven that hid the fellowship which was between the Son and the Father.
The truth of Christ’s testimony cannot be understated. It is not gratuitous. It is the certification of his faith: he lives by every word that proceeds from his Father; not by a pure and righteous nature (within). The spirit of the Son of God is bound by faith (trust) in the Father. In order to so trust his Father he cannot think of himself as good. He who thinks himself as good trusts himself; believes himself; lives by his own judgment. Thus the testimony of the Son that the Father alone is good is the unequivocal truth which is the backbone of his faith that he lives by, and of those who receive the Son.
What happened to that Covering Cherub who was indeed so glorious in nature when he turned to live by that glorious nature within him (which he had indeed acquired in his Father’s house)? Eze 28:11-19
What does the Lord say?
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. Eze 28:15
What iniquity was found in him?
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: Eze 28:17
The iniquity is found when he turned to his own brightness and beauty; to the nature within him; rather than to enter into that fellowship of the son through the covenant of faith. Yes, even though he was so glorious and pure, the way of life is to lay down the life from within, and not to live by it, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Father. He thought he was now mature and ready to live on his own. He thought he had the principles of a pure and righteous nature within. Did not the Lord say that he was perfect in all his ways? He had never sinned!
Satan’s deception is to cause us to think that we can find good or life or righteousness in a substance or essence, a thing or an idea, a performance or a nature, physical or spiritual.
The spirit has no nature of its own and never will. The kind of spirit one is is the result of whom or what one trusts (has put his faith in). Who or whatever is trusted becomes the source for the spirit and defines its nature. The moment faith is redirected from the Father to one’s own goodness; one’s own substance; one’s own idea; one’s own nature, a belief, or anything else, that spirit is being redefined; there is iniquity. Holiness proceeds only from the spirit of the Father who is holy. Holiness cannot proceed from any other place or nature of anything. God has given to those who are made in his image the power to determine what kind of spirit they wish to be. This power is in where they elect to put their faith in.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. Rom 1:21-25
The Son can do nothing of (from) himself. Christ cannot live by a “true and righteous nature” within himself. If he were to think so, his faith would be in himself, he would trust to his own nature, and not his Father. If he would trust his own nature then he would be his own Father just like Satan who trusted in his own glory and became the Father of lies.
The divine nature spoken of in scripture is the faith of the Son of God. Apart from it there is no such thing as a good, pure and righteous nature, because whatever is not of faith is sin. And there is no righteousness apart from faith, because righteousness is by faith. And there is only one true definition of faith and that is the faith of the Son of God; the faith that the Son of God lives by. He is the chief leader and completer of faith. His righteousness is of the Father by faith.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1Jn 4:1 Test them, not by experimentation, but by discerning the source of spirit.
When Christ lives in us, then living in us is his faith. This is what Paul also testified: 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. Gal 2:20.
For this cause exceeding great and precious promises are given unto us: that by these we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2Pe 1:4) A promise requires faith in him who promised. Therefore promises were given to us to turn our faith from ourselves to the one who gave the promise, to live by his word. This is the faith of the Son of God
There is a parable that Jesus gave in Luke 15:11-32. In this parable he spoke of a son who thought he had the right principles in his heart, and who wanted to be ruled from within, and not to be under the Father’s law and system of government. He gathered all the blessings, abilities, means and ways; indeed the inheritance. He had come of age and had grown out of childhood, and would no longer be under the jurisdiction of his father. The father would no longer dictate to him what he must do. His behaviour now was not because of what his father commands. He would be free! He would not be subject to any. He would now be ruled by the spirit of God (the God of his choosing). This governor was within him.
Well, you know what happened, and I will not expound on that, but we will look at what happened when he returned.
When he turned his way back to the father’s house; to live in his father’s house, he thought he would be a servant under rules again, as he had related to the father before in reality, for now he saw that he had lost privilege. But even so he saw that it was better under his father’s rules than his own idea of good; than his own idea of freedom of spirit.
But is the father interested in servants? Is that what he had been instructing his son towards? Is that the calling he had laid out for his sons? Is that what the father ever had in mind? On the other hand, did the son return to his father’s house to live his own life and do as he saw fit? Let us see what all transpired in repentance when he met his father; when he admitted that he had sinned against heaven and the father.
Was he to stay in his own garment?
You will say: But of course not! But what does the garment represent?
His father’s righteousness! Yes, the son had to accept his father’s righteousness and to be clothed with it. Now his father’s judgment would be his.
What more? Was he to walk in his own shoes?
He received new shoes from his father’s house! What do the shoes represent?
Now he was to walk in his father’s ways, and do the father’s bidding!
What more? Was he to be without authority?
He received the ring! What does the ring represent?
The father’s authority! Yes, the father’s authority, and not his own. This ring was the sign that he now is under his father’s authority, and in that capacity has authority. Now he had become the son who, though he had been called long ago to receive his father, has now elected to live in his father’s house! Now the Son was happy to do the father’s will. Now he trusted his Father’s judgment. Now he was under his Father’s spirit and grace. They now rejoiced together. This is the faith of the Son: His faith rests in his Father!
Thus the truth of the everlasting covenant is not one who has come of age, and left the Father’s house to live on his own; led by the spirit “of God”, so as not to be under the father’s jurisdiction! The son who has the spirit of the Father will never find the need to leave his Father’s house in order to live righteously. Where does he want to go; to set up his own house, and live apart from the Father? This is the work of the adversary, the Devil.
Yes, the new covenant is when the Father writes his laws into the son’s heart and in his mind. But, when does the Father accomplish this? Is it an arbitrary choice on the part of the Father? What does the apostle say?
For by means of the faith are ye saved to grace; and this not out of yourselves. it is God’s offering. Eph 2:8 This is the true translation of the Greek text: τη γαρ χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι δια της πιστεως
When the son has elected to trust his Father; to live in his Father’s house according to his Father’s righteousness and judgment, doing the Father’s bidding, doing the will of his Father, under his Father’s authority; delighting to do his Father’s will, rejoicing daily before him, and being daily his father’s delight. This is when the Father can write his law into the son’s heart and in his mind. If the son will not believe the Father, how will the word of the Father enter in?
There is another son in this parable, one who had not left home, but stayed under the law of his father. He also thought he had the right principles in his heart. He was obedient to his father’s command; never transgressed it; he served his father, yet never cherished the father’s values in his heart. His father’s word was but only the law to him. He never made his father’s joy his own; he never made the father’s sorrow his own. He had nurtured in his heart the desire of doing things himself. He had friends of his own, who were not his father’s friends. These are the ones he wanted to make merry with. If his friends had also been his father’s friends, these would have been inside rejoicing with the father. He had no pleasure in his father’s joy; in fact, there was enmity. Though he was a son in his father’s house, yet he lived as a servant under the law. In him was the spirit of bondage. He had not received the spirit of sonship. He had not elected to live as a son in his father’s house, delighting to do his father’s bidding and will, rejoicing daily before him, and being daily his father’s delight. Though he wore the garment, yet he took not his father’s righteousness to heart. Though he walked in the sandals that his father gave him, yet he took not pleasure in it. It was a law to him. He wished to do his own will.
This is the parable of the two covenants: The one of bondage; the other of sonship. Not because of the father, and not because the father was keeping them under an inferior system of government which they were to shed when they came of age; but because they held an inferior view of the father, his judgments, his intents, his purposes, and his righteousness. They regarded their father as the taskmaster, while regarding their own interests and judgment as freedom. While the two sons took different approaches, both were biding the time, until they could do their own thing. The younger only took the matter into his own hands sooner.
Yet, the younger son came to his senses. He turned his feet back to his father’s house; where he discovered the spirit of sonship to which he had been called, and to which his father’s law and bidding had been schooling him. Now he was ready to enter into that fellowship of the faith of the son, who walks not in his own ways (according to the nature within himself) but in the will of his father, in the Father’s spirit, whom he now received as his father indeed. Now he is a faithful son in his father’s house.
When one has elected to place his faith in his Father; to live in the Father’s house, as a faithful Son, rejoicing to do his Father’s will, not seeking his own. That is when one has entered into that fellowship which God purposed from the beginning. That is the faith of the Son, who abides in the Father’s house forever.
In my Father’s house are many rooms…Let not your heart be troubled. The true righteousness is by faith and it is always by faith, and shall forever be by faith, and it shall always be in my Father’s house. It is when we trust our Father, believe him and delight to do his will, and do not have our own agenda. The only way we can do our Father’s will and be truly partakers of his divine nature is by faith, the faith of the Son.
It is not a faith in one’s own judgment. This faith does not believe a belief. It does not rely on one’s own understanding. It is not a faith in one’s own pure and righteous nature within. It is not a life lived by a “pure and righteous nature” within. It never was for the Son of God either. This it never will be, nor can be! It is a life lived by faith which trusts the Father. It is the faith that the Son of God lives by. The just shall live by faith.
So what happened to the father’s law?
Now that the son listens to the father, he rejoices in that which his father rejoices in; now that he sorrows in that which the father sorrows in; he appreciates his father’s commandments. They are now glorious to him. They are no longer seen in the spirit of bondage. Now, the law of the spirit of that fellowship of the Son and the Father has set the son free from that spirit of bondage. Now the righteousness of the Father is delighted in. The father’s biddings are the Son’s delight. In the law the righteousness of the father was always expressed. But what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom 8:3)
Once the fellowship of the faith of the son of God (the law of the spirit of life) has set us free from the bond of our faith to the nature of our being (law of sin), then and only then can the righteousness of the Father be fulfilled in us who live by that faith which the Son of God lives by. Apart from the Faith of the Son, one uses the law to establish his own righteousness. This is equally done by performance of the law or by rejection of the law. When one rejects the law so as not to be under the law one sets up his own righteousness, as well as when one uses the law to establish his own righteousness by performance. Thus they are judges of the law and not doers of the law. All this is lawlessness and iniquity, for it is not of the faith. Now where the faith of the Son is, there the law is not used to establish one’s own righteousness, but is obeyed as the voice of the Father. Such a one does not set aside the law, so as not to be “under” the law, rather he is a doer of the law fulfilling the will of his Father and the righteousness of the law.
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1Co 1:9