The Natural vs The Spiritual

by L. Campbell Evans

God's ultimate purpose is for His children to experience Himself eventually becoming His Body in all His fullness in the earth. This is the spiritual reality of what He painstakingly shows us through the natural realm. Being as we are very 'human' in our concepts of God and His ways and aims, HE graciously meets us where we can understand the natural pictures that He gives called 'parables'. That is why He has birthed us again from above, so that we might understand the things that surround Him . . . above in the heavenly spiritual realm.

He has made it possible for us to understand all of His ways and Words . . . He has seated us in Christ in the heavenlies far above the earthly realm of natural understanding and reasoning.

All of God's parables are actual accounts or natural-based stories to declare to the initiated the glories of Christ and His Kingdom. The whole of the Bible is full of accounts of what happened on the natural plane as men and women of God reacted to the revealing of Himself in their situations.

First . . . God starts with the natural everyday experiences . . . and then second, He teaches with those accounts what He desires each to grasp.

1 Cor 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

SHADOW is the NATURAL picture or pattern of the SPIRITUAL reality.

e.g. Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (simple examples) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ (Col 2:17).

Hebrews 8:5 Who (Old Testament Priests) serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.

'Pattern' Gk. TUPOS5179 = a template, fashion, example.

Jesus Christ was made a spiritual priest of the Melchisedec Order and what the old priests did under the law, Christ did in the Spirit entering into the Holiest of All once for all.

Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

A natural pattern will show in detail what the SPIRITUAL REALITY consists of.

It is the Spirit of God released within a believer who will give the necessary revelation so that we may grasp what God is saying with each and every report in the scriptures. Jesus said . . .

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

If the Holy Spirit within one is to teach ALL THINGS, just how much is left over for you to teach yourself just because you have been to school?

The 10 Commandments (the Law) shows us the 10 promises that they become when we are in Christ. The Cross has provided that we become like the Lord Jesus . . . now, while on earth. . . we are on the earth but not of it! i.e. not controlled by earthly natural thinking! The things that I do, said Jesus, you will do also . . .

Meditate on these patterns . . .

Israel coming out of Egypt shows us what is involved for us coming out of the world where the Lamb made it all possible. Passover is our salvation experience where we receive the mind of Christ: Pentecost is the release of the Mind of Christ from within us: Tabernacles is the achieving of the fullness of His control in our walk . . . His mind seen and heard 100%.

The Lord's Supper is the perfect pattern of how we walk in Him . . . with His life within . . . each day, continually . Repeating 'the form' magnifies the pattern in stead of the reality that it was given for.

Water Baptism is the exact pattern of what the Spirit Baptism (Baptism in the Holy Spirit) achieves or accomplishes in us. After we are born from above, we are saved by His Life when He (the Living Word) is progressively released in us. Remember 'word' is stored in one's mind and released by the spirit (breath)!

The Bible declares who God is and what His purposes are . . . as we walk in its precepts etc., we become the Book of Life. . . epistles of God read by all men. . . see below.

People are looking for LIFE not BELIEFS

They want to experience God NOT just learn a lot about Him.

Please note that these thoughts do not do away in certain instances with the forms and pattern given to us. By all means fulfil the patterns, if that is what God is saying to you, but please GO ON to the realities that they portray. Meditate on these words before the Lord and allow Him to unveil His life to you.

WHO IS 'THE BOOK OF LIFE'

There is first the natural and then the spiritual. . . (I Corinthians 15:46) . . . This is one of the most essential and basic revelations in the scriptures.

Psalm 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

This is an Old Testament quote . . . and is understood as being a natural book . . . the book of the law. The Old Testament is the record of mankind being unable to walk in righteousness . . . man simply cannot achieve spiritual life by himself. Even the twelve disciples who walked and talked with Jesus, all failed . . . none righteous, no not one!

The word 'book' actually means writing, document(s), evidence, scroll . . . for many today it can mean our Bible. However, God being no respecter of persons, didn't treat the first Christians in a fair way . . if this is the case! They didn't have a bible under their arm on the sabbath! Reading 'Acts' and the epistles, one observes that the people of God were the book . . . read of all men and they changed the world, didn't they?

Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

Here it is quoted by Jesus . . . the book written about Him Who does God's will. . . which introduces us to the requirement for being in the book that is not a literal book spoken about here,, but a spiritual book or epistle which we become.

2 Cor 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

Paul now introduces the spiritual aspect of the book. . . it is people who are doing the will of God and thus can be seen by others in the vicinity.

THEY WERE THE BOOK . . . WRITTEN BY THE SPIRIT

(3) Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 'epistle' = a written communication. 'book' = scroll, writing. We who desire to do the will of God become the BOOK OF LIFE. His life in us is the life that makes up 'the book'. We have the life and as we live that Life by His grace, we are read by others. It is not a natural book written with ink but rather written by the Spirit of God on our hearts. 'heart' in scripture equates with one's nature. A new nature I give you as I take away your stony one (old self-centred hard one). ['name' equates with nature or character]. We are to move in the 'name of the Lord Jesus' which is moving in His nature . . . not parrotting certain words!

Rev 3:5 He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name (= His nature . . . now in us) before my Father, and before his angels.

One is exhorted to draw upon the provision of calvary to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil in order to accomplish God's will efficiently.

WE ARE THE BOOK OF THE LIFE OF THE LAMB

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

It is the Lamb-Life that we are to manifest as a communication to the world. If one is not overcoming, there is every chance that you will be misled and worship (pay honour and tribute to) what is NOT the will of God. Without His nature we will not overcome and hence will not be included in the Lamb's Book of Life until we do. Thus we will not be Life, His, that He desires to use in His communication with the world.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. ( Notice the 'books' will contain the evidence of the deeds committed in life).

What has been written on your hearts will manifest. The epistle of God's will within the heart will overflow 'for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks'. The life of Christ from within the overcomers will be what judges those things being dealt with by God at that time.

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

There is a need for those parts of our life that do not glorify God's will and purpose to be burned out of us all. God is the consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) . . . and He is jealous of any who have yielded to ignorance of Himself. For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God (Deut 4:24) When one walks in the Spirit, mighty is His Book that communicates His life. . . we are being read by others . . . do they receive LIFE ? This life will expose all that is not of life . . . judging it and at the same time showing the way to Life.