What is Man?
There is one God the Father and one mediator between God and man, the Man, Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy
I received an email recently; someone must have read a line I placed on Facebook saying that anything we say about Jesus, we must also say about us. Of course, I was speaking entirely out of marriage union, out of Christ as our new and only Self, out of put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The man said, “Jesus is God; I am not God.” (I do not have his exact words because I will not allow darkness to speak at me.) But then the man said something like, “I must know; do you say that Jesus is God or not?”
Why he “must” know what one person out of seven billion thinks or says I have no idea. But I did reply to him, saying very briefly. “You are dead; Christ who is our life.” I told him I will not play intellectual tiddlywinks with anyone. I received an immediate reply, then erased all of it without opening the reply. I am neither Savior nor Salvation, though He lives through me; I am so glad that I am not responsible for anyone's darkness. Nehemiah's story holds me in good stead; I will not leave my place on the wall to come down to the temple to discuss “truth” with people who love their imaginative construct they call God, but who would also kill the real God should He show up again in the earth.
Normally, I wait to reply to anything, for good reason. I never judge myself, there is no “myself” to judge. But I am seeing more and more the vital reality of “He opened not His mouth to speak.”Even though my reply was brief and “true,” I would, now, maybe, have replied with only one line.
“Sir, you try to drive a wedge between my Savior and me, something you are incapable of doing.”
The title of this article is “Man.” The purpose of this series is to define what can be defined and to describe, somehow, what cannot.
What is man?
There is only one possible answer to that question. The Lord Jesus Christ. If it ain't the Lord Jesus Christ, it ain't man.
People sometimes call Jesus the second Adam. God does not want a second Adam. God had enough of Adam and will have no more. Jesus is the last Adam, rather, and the second man. Here is how I understand that reality as God meant it through Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.
The first man [the first Adam – the last Adam] the second man.
Look carefully at that first bracket. That first bracket is the very moment Adam's teeth pierced the fruit of knowledge. Look carefully at that last bracket. That last bracket is the very second Jesus departed from His body of the likeness of sinful flesh.
Adam is no more. Adam lasted almost exactly four thousand years; Adam is no more. Those who live as if they are still Adamic live in that which already is not.
Now, look at the entire space found between the two brackets. No man is found there except Jesus in His transitional role. Yet that transitional role is not the Man Paul describes in 1 Timothy. The Man, Christ Jesus, Paul refers to there is Jesus as He is now, the resurrected Christ, filling our hearts with His glory. It is the fullness of Man, Christ Jesus, that He, living as us, is causing us to become.
We have the hopes of becoming, very very soon, real human beings in outward manifestation, the new man.
I do not like the phrase Jesus “had to” die. It is incongruous with the word God speaks. Jesus did not “have to” die, but Adam did. Jesus' death was not “Christ dying,” but Adam dying. Christ Jesus was not born “to die”; He was born to bring an end to Adam.
At the very second that Jesus “gave up the ghost,” Adam ceased.
Man, the second man, is Who came out of the grave, that is, you and I inside of Jesus.
Our humanity has ZERO relationship with Adam; it cannot. Therefore, if we are humans, we are entirely of the Man, Christ Jesus.
What is Man?
It is clear to me that in this series, especially, and with my last letter, “Christ Jesus,” I have gone far beyond the pale of accepted Christian thinking. I am not ignorant of my folly; I know that I am beside myself for Christ's sake, as Paul said of himself.
But you know what? The world is mad. I see raving madness everywhere I look. Christians are insane. A “Christian” Texas congressman warned the nation that the “curse” of Genesis 12 will come upon America if we do not support Israel in every possible way including its lust to murder Iranians.
One third of the Bible is written against the government of Israel in its wicked deeds. John the Baptist got his head chopped off, and Jesus crucified, because they openly opposed the wicked deeds of the government of Israel. Yes, there is a curse, but it's not from the blessing of Abraham, but that of Jeremiah against a nation that rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, that the nation and government of Israel would be a curse to all the world.
And where, in the Bible, does God ever suggest to Israel that they should rely on weapons of war and on Egypt (or the United States) for their deliverance?
The Texas congressman is wrong only in his reference. Yes, America is cursed if we do not support Israel in every possible way; it's called nuclear blackmail, neither Jesus nor Abraham.
Madness; they're all mad.
Let us also be as bonkers as the rest of them.
Let us accept ourselves, as we are right now, as the revelation of Almighty God. And in the joy of that acceptance, in the knowing of the Holy Spirit, God reveals Himself through us.
God designed me as an interesting marriage of imagination and reason. At the very same time that I lived in endless fantasy worlds of imagination, I also designed and built buildings of many types, leading crews large and small in the utterly practical arena of construction. I have never been subject to addiction. The moment a chemical I might be using (recently, Starbucks coffee to drive home safely from a college course late at night), crosses a very small barrier (8 times in the Starbucks case), I throw it off. I know the difference between wondrous fantasy and specific reality and have never confused the two.
I am a weak and vulnerable man, desperately in need of both Savior and Salvation.
I will not create my own religion; what mindless folly that would be.
I cannot stay in “Christianity”; what emptiness of soul, void of God present, here, and personal in me.
But I find now that the “mind” that once created endless fantasy worlds in which to live, no longer connects with such. Now, that same mind sees the heavens all around us, sees the realms of Spirit, sees God who is invisible. In complete contrast, these secular college courses require me to drop into a strictly rational mind void of personal interest. I can do that, with minimal effort and time to spit out what I must, but I hate it. Rather, I find the rational side of my brain would far rather contend with what God actually says in His Word concerning Christ my only life.
And so the two minds are fused together in me now, on the one hand to know the realms of Spirit as they exist all around us, working always on the outward realities of earth, on the other hand to know all that God actually says in the Covenant I signed with Him concerning Christ my only life.
Word and Spirit always together as One, with Life pulsing continually inside of me, groaning to come forth.
I am saying these things about myself for a very definite purpose.
What is Man? The Man Christ Jesus: what is Man?
Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
By striking such a blow against the Nicene Creed, I have severed myself from “Christianity,” though “Christians” think that because I engage myself with the Lord Jesus Christ, they have a right to some sort of control over me.
Thus, when I see dear believers in Jesus, you who read these letters, whom I love, witnessing to what I write, I know that God has led you outside the camp as well. I know that I have had nothing, really, to do with that. You find yourself outside the pale because you love Jesus, because you say, “Yes,” to Him, and because He led you here.
But as a rational man, I must share with you the reality of where we stand. Look around. This is the place of sacrifice; it is the killing grounds.
No one tolerates God in the flesh.
Bearing His reproach.
Christians, typically, do not bear His reproach, not in our world. Those who say, “Jesus and I are one,” do.
As a boy, I grew up with my dad's copy of the Mennonite book, Martyr's Mirror. As a young boy, those stories and the black and white pictures accompanying some of them entered deep inside of me. I want to combine a picture and a line from a martyr of Jesus. The picture is of John, banished to Patmos.
John, banished to Patmos.
The line is from one of John's disciples, Polycarp, who made this comment to his persecutor, just before he was burned at the stake.
Polycarp: “I have now served my Lord Christ Jesus eighty-six years, and He has never done me any harm. How can I deny my King, who hath hitherto preserved me from all evil, and so faithfully redeemed me.”
Yes, looking back now, I see that, just as the pictures are 17th century Dutch, so are the words and ideas inserted into the mouths of first and second century Christians. But that is not my point.
The point is that this image and this line have come to me as I contemplate the present reality of where we now find ourselves, outside the camp, here in the killing grounds.
Now, let's come at Man from a different angle.
All the years I was in the move of God, I was taught to “hear” from God and to obey His voice. I was taught to yield myself to His will and to follow Him. This all sounded very Biblical and right EXCEPT – God was completely other. God was over there, I was over here; this God over there was “above me,” looking down on me and testing me to see if I would prove myself worthy, to see if I was “ready,” or whatever this distant God expected of me.
I followed this “God” into mind-numbing ruin and loss.
Now, it is true that the God who loves me and who always carries me had great purpose in all He allowed me to go through, and I give Him all thanks. But it is also true that He wanted to alter my knowing of Him.
God is not out to prove us – what a ridiculous endeavor. I mean really, how stupid of an idea can people come up with? We are proven unmitigated failures. We can't do it. Yes, God wants us to learn that, so He allows us to beat our heads bloody against brick walls until we just stop.
Until we shut up and just stop it.
But God is not out to prove us; He is out to prove Himself in all that He speaks.
When I left move community in 1998, moving into Fort St. John, British Columbia, I made a firm resolve inside myself. My resolve was simply to direct my own life without “trying to discover the will of God.” I hardened myself against witness for or against or any lack thereof. I followed what was in my heart, stepping through doors that opened and turning away from doors that closed, trusting that God directed my ways without my needing to go through any contortions of – “am I missing God?”
That resolve was very much a part of God rescuing me from psychological ruin, commonly known as madness or, euphemistically, mental illness.
For fifteen years, now, I have completely avoided the question, “God, what do YOU want me to do; where do YOU want me to go.” A huge part of why I have avoided that question has been the underlying terror that “God” would make me go back under move covering in a move community where I will be required to “just die, brother,” including a complete repudiation of my knowledge of Christ as me and all of my present ministry. You see, the entire environment in which I ever knew “seek the will of God and not your own,” was inside of “submit to the move elders and just die.”
It is fall again, here in Houston. Autumn, with the browning of the leaves and the nip in the wind, always carries a deep nostalgia for me, a sense of wanderlust, a need to see mountains again. My family and I are in an untenable situation as are most of you who read this. When the system shuts down, and it's on the verge of doing so, there is no food, but there are millions of people all around who will need food now, whatever it takes.
Meanwhile I am attempting to find a way to support my family completely separate from my own true heart. I live always in God, and Christ lives as me, in all I find myself to be. But I would rather be in the midst of all that my heart knows is God than in the empty shadows of this empty world. Some have a ministry to others to sustain them; I do not except sending out what I write.
So, I'm busy this morning looking at properties again, all of which cost millions against the $250 in my bank account. I pause, saddened by the emptiness even of properties that do not contain the present Spirit of God (I love to explore, though, even if only on Google maps). In my pause, the thought comes, “God where do YOU want me to go?” Followed by, “God, what do YOU want me to do?”
It has been more than fifteen years since I have asked such a question from the depths of my spirit.
BUT!!! What a world of difference. A universe of difference.
What is (male/female) man?
This God to whom I am addressing myself is entirely in me, in full communion with me utterly inside of full union with me. The full union is Christ as me; thus I am utterly tucked into Him. But God is also in me as Himself, that is, as communion. And as Himself, this God who fills me full is utterly responsible for all things, especially all things concerning me.
We walk together, God and I, in sweet communion inside of Christ as me.
Pre-eminent means that He is in underlying essence the lead; of His same kind means that I am just like Him, Christ as me. Love means we highly regard one another in all ways, eye to Eye, heart to Heart.
God has no intentions of forcing me back under move covering. Yet in my present place, I am not singing in that which God made me to be. When I am in the place of His singing, I will be in the place where I sing.
It is inside this knowledge of God, then, that I look at the words of Jesus in red text in the gospel of John.
Oh, how my heart sings by those words. It is like harmonic ringing, like the same DNA. I know those words, they speak of me. They speak of all that I am in God and all that God is, now, in me and flowing out from me. Yet they are never divorced from Jesus, my Savior, upon whose breast I always lean my head.
We sing those words together. They speak of me as they speak of Him; they speak of Him as me; they speak of Him in me; they speak of me. I say them as myself; Christ is in my mouth.
I am a man.
Then I look over at the tree of knowledge, and I understand fully the killing grounds.
The two things spoken against me recently are of particular note. The first, which I shared earlier,“Yordy, God does just about everything apart from you. He needs no human consent. Nice that your setting creation free; got some people who need a miracle. Go at it.” And the second, which I presented at the start of this letter, both of these are of a very specific spirit.
The harsh accusation is identical in spirit and in word to the voice of the Pharisees against Jesus as He hung from the cross. The second, a whining question, is identical in spirit and in word to the questions the Pharisees and others threw at Jesus in order to trap Him.
Look at the question. “Is Jesus God? What do you say? I need to know.”
Do we pay taxes to Caesar? What do you say? We need to know.
It's a simple trick, used by all pollsters. Phrase the question so that any possible answer will go in a pre-desired direction, each of which is a wonderful trap.
So, if I say, “Yes, Jesus is God.” Then they say, “Okay, you CANNOT be like Him, idiot.”
If I say, “Jesus is not God, thus I can be like Him,” then they say, “Heretic and false teacher, you are damned to hell.”
If I refuse to answer, they say, “See, Yordy knows he's a liar; he knows we're right. He can't give a straight answer; he's hiding his denial and emptiness.”
The point, of course, is not the foolish psychological trap, but the spirit that demands that its speakers set up that trap against me. This is the importance of “He opened not His mouth.”
I referred to John's statement in 1 John 3 in the last letter: The world does not know us because it did not know Him.
Peter said, “All who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” I have always wondered at that, since we, who do our best to be good Christians, have been completely tolerated by the world and are not persecuted. Now I know that Christianity has always read it wrong. Peter really meant, “All who live God-ly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Those who try to be godly fit right into the world's mould.
When we say, “I am filled with all the fullness of God,” when we say, “I am just like Jesus in all ways right now,” when we say, “I am one with the Lord Jesus Christ – He that has seen me has seen Jesus the Christ,” suddenly we have become a terrifying, deadly threat. We have become the lights turning on.
No one allows God in the flesh. No one tolerates God showing up on planet Earth.
If you want to see full and completely unity in this world, just be God in the flesh. Everyone will come together to be of one heart and purpose – to send God back to “heaven” where He belongs.
When a person buys a pack of cigarettes, they read a warning label that says, “Smoking can kill you.” I must place a warning label, now, on my letters. “Reading these letters and knowing the God who fills you full with Himself can get you killed.”
Don't be fooled. The spirit behind these two recent accusations is a spirit of murder.
These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. . . But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. . . that the word might be fulfilled. . . 'They hated Me without a cause.'” John 15:17-23
I am seeing an upcoming letter, “People,” in which I will explore a theory of human psychology. I will expand more on “They hated Me without a cause” in that letter.
Even though I seem to be jumping all around in this letter, I really am driving hard at one very specific thing.
We cannot know – What is man? – without knowing purpose. And that purpose, of truth, requires a separate series, The Feast of Tabernacles.
You see, it's not me; it's the God who lives in me. He's the One sneaking into this present scene. People have no problem with me; it's God they're tracking down with pitchforks and torches in hand. If I say, “Hey, it's just me, God's nowhere around,” they'll leave me alone. I'll be okay.
But if I say, “He that has seen me has seen the Father,” the pitchforks go through me to get at Him.
So, you see, now when I say, “God where do YOU want me to go? God, what do YOU want me to do,” I am speaking to this God who fills me full. And He is One determined Dude. At this moment in human history, this God who fills me full, this God who has seized me in His grip to reveal Himself through me, is, shall we say, as narrow-minded as One can be. He has one purpose, one focus, one intent, and He will have what He DESIRES.
There is one way only by which we can know – What is a man? We must look at Jesus.
In my last letter, I posited that Jesus KNEW that not one thing He did or said would have any present results, that is, not anything real, not anything that would actually change people's lives.
Jesus knew that before Him was a set path. He knew that the real results, that is the birthing of His church, would not come through Him but through His disciples. Yet in the present moment they were a weight and liability only, bumbling, foolish, and wrong.
Wow. Read through John 16 now. I will not fill the page with it; you have a Bible. In fact, start with 15:26 and read to the end of chapter 16.
“A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a MAN has been born into the world.”
I have noticed that more than once, Jesus insinuates to His disciples that He cannot tell them what we now know as Paul's gospel. He could not tell them, because they were not born again, they were not filled with the Holy Spirit, and He could not yet live as them.
Jesus faced a definite path ahead of Him; we face a similar path. If Jesus had not traversed Hismonogenes path, then the outcome, that is, the birthing of His church on the Day of Pentecost, could not have been.
For 2,000 years, Jesus has been the Plant, His church, living as us in this world. Outwardly, nothing has changed in the world. Demons continue to scream, wicked men continue to rule, and people continue to suffer.
On the third day, He will rise again, this time as a many-membered body, many sons to glory.
He will do so through us by a second, very similar and very definite PATH.
I'm getting right at – What is (male/female) man?
WHAT are you?
Jesus did not “have to” die.
Why am I trying to get a full-time job as a college teacher? Because I must provide for my family. Because I must relieve my wife who has worked too much for too long just to keep us afloat. Why does this prospect feel so empty to me? I can do it; I will do it. Unless. Yet I must get my family into a real place; I would not have my children continue one more day in the public school if I could but provide.
I am a teacher; I am filled with Word and a knowledge of the revelation of Jesus Christ. God's people by the millions NEED to sit under the teaching that LONGS with ALL desire to flow out through me. Why could this not provide for my family?
Yet I am so foolish, and I don't know how. And I so easily get all bent out of shape when my brethren say or do such foolish, non-Christ things. I have to bring everything into rest inside of me, but sometimes it takes hours of sleeplessness.
“God, what do YOU want me to do; God, where do YOU want me to go?”
Jesus did not “have to” die. He died so that He could become me. He died so that I could become Him.
Jesus laid down His life for me. I am His close and dear friend.
What is Man?
A Man lays down his life for His friends, just like God.
What is man?
A man lays down his life for his friends.
There is no knowing of these words except by those who live utterly in the God who fills them with all that He is in Person.
We do not know the outer perimeters of our path, but we know its heart.
My brethren will NOT get it. No matter how much they read my letters and say, “Amen,” they will not get it – until I lay down my life for them. I am not speaking of physical death, but of something Holy in God.
This goes in both directions; I do not raise myself superior to you. I will not “get it” until you lay down your life for me.
All the other stuff is worthless, meaningless, and going nowhere.
Now, I do not say the above because of any desire for an outward ministry of teaching these things I write; the writing is sufficient. I say it, rather, out of the travail of my soul and out of my present very real need. My real desire is to provide a particular type of school for children (parents are welcome to) as a place of safety and the full expression of their hearts.
But no church, no community, no enterprise will be God in the earth unless the core leadership is always laying down their lives for the brethren. And that does NOT mean telling people what to do. It means always willing to lose everything, always willing to allow, even to encourage Christ to be who He is through others, even if that means continually letting go of personal hopes and expectations.
Almost all humans cannot be a guide while refusing to be master. There is something in the judge God created us as that wants to insist that my “wisdom,” my hearing, my “in” with God is “God” to you and that since I am the leader here, you must submit to me and thus submit to God.
Read A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards.
When a man has a vision of “the city of God,” he will seek “volunteers” who will help him fulfill that vision. At first the volunteers are willing, because everything is exciting and new, but before long Christ asserts Himself as them, and the leader now has a choice. Almost all choose to call those who have a different idea, “the devil” and not Christ; they then use every trick known to man to coerce their “vision,” that it might not fail or be sullied by these “rebellious heretics.” The most evil trick in the church is to claim that “obeying me because I have the vision,” is obeying God.
In the world, it always ends with murder.
Very few will allow Christ to be who He is in others or will quietly walk away from all the labor of their hands and all their substance and dreams and hopes if they know the thing has become wrong, without casting any blame on anyone.
But here's the thing. A laid-down-life and love poured out does not happen when the challenge comes. It is God in us now; it is present from the start, as rivers of life.
A few days ago, I happened upon a conversation among precious brethren with whom I associate. They were attempting to control another brother in the Lord, a man with whom they have no association, by their critical words and by their pronouncement of what Jesus ought to do through this other brother, if He were just as smart as they. I know this way of thinking; it is that which puts its hand to the vision to force others to obey it.
Needless to say, I was deeply distressed by this conversation. And that is where life-laid-down proves itself.
I have three options in response.
1. Attempt to control these brethren who are, in my estimation, “acting wrongly.” And control has many devices at hand; I certainly thought of a number of such devices.
2. Ignore it and walk away, washing my hands of these brethren and having nothing more to do with them.
3. Lay down my life for them, for my friends, that is, be a Man.
But how do I do that?
A Man is filled with God.
You see, if they are “wrong” for declaring that their brother is NOT Christ as him, then how am I “right” by seeing their actions NOT as Christ as them?
Jesus drew all wrong into Himself, causing it all to cease upon the cross; Jesus is now our Life forevermore.
The revelation of Jesus Christ begins at home. Since I am filled with all the fullness of Love, the very Mercy Seat of heaven, I draw them into love upon my heart, seeing Christ as them in spite of my own judgment. I do not correct them; I do not ignore them; I love them.
That is, I draw them into Love, into the One who fills me with His glory.
I would be a Man; I would lay down my life for my friends.